Matteo Scammell

THERE (Wilma): 2019 Fringe review

THERE is not a place on Earth’s map. It is not a poem recital, nor is it a play.

THERE (Wilma): 2019 Fringe review

Visually arresting and aurally haunting, THERE makes rarefied language solid and visceral

Sweat Philadelphia theater review

SWEAT (PTC): What’s the matter with Reading?

Why does SWEAT appeal to us, as aging urban middle-to-upper-to-upper-upper-class theatergoers? Do we hope to understand? Relate? Gawk? What do we applaud?

REALLY (Theatre Exile): Camera obscura

Discomfort is the name of the game here, but to what purpose?

BLOOD WEDDING (Wilma): Movement in the veins

Lorca’s BLOOD WEDDING makes a fitting vehicle for the Wilma Theater in-house troupe.

HELLO BLACKOUT (New Paradise Labs): 2017 Fringe review

More engrossing, more alienating, and more disciplined than its predecessor.

HELLO BLACKOUT! (New Paradise Laboratories): 2017 Fringe review

How can a radically plotless work communicate a complex and controversial theory?

BUZZER (Theatre Exile): We wouldn’t come here if we didn’t live here

A provocative and dismaying story, conveyed through complex characters rather than through statistics and theories

Philadelphia Theatre Company Hand of God review

HAND TO GOD (PTC): The human comedy with sock puppets

What a funny, nasty, smart show.

Neal Zoren’s BEST OF PHILADELPHIA THEATER, 2016

Neal Zoren chose his favorite productions, directors, and actors from the last year.

Keen to Feed: Favorite tunes from Red 40 & the Last Groovement

Artists from Philly’s favorite clown-funk band pick favorite songs from their new album and the world of music

THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE (Arden): “Your First Shade!”

Dito van Reigersberg in a new drag persona steals the spotlight in this riotuous, fierce production.

SMOKE (Theatre Exile): Sexy but unsettling

Kim Davies’s SMOKE is a dangerous experiment in sexual politics In the taboo world of kink parties.

S&M, Sexual Politics, and SMOKE from a Female Perspective: An interview with Theatre Exile’s Deborah Block

Director Deborah Block discusses her approach to the socio-sexual themes in Theatre Exile’s Philadelphia premiere of Kim Davies’ SMOKE.

The Best in Philadelphia Theater, 2015

Each January, local theater critic Neal Zoren announces his picks for the best in Philadelphia theater over the previous calendar year.

HANS BRINKER AND THE SILVER SKATES (Arden): The sweet rewards of hope, understanding, and kindness

A world-premiere stage adaptation of Mary Mapes Dodge’s 19th-century children’s story delivers a clear message about the importance of kindness and understanding.

Holden (George + Co.): Violence in the 21st

In George + Co.’s HOLDEN, J. D. Salinger hasn’t published another book since two assassins blamed his The Catcher in the Rye for their own acts of violence.

Ben Dibble, winner of "Best Actor" for his role in Herringbone at Flashpoint Theatre.

Picks for Best in Theater, 2014/15, by Philly Reviewer Neal Zoren

Each year, Philadelphia-based reviewer Neal Zoren announces his choices for the Helen and Morris Zoren Awards for World Theater. A fair number of the picks on Neal’s list are performers and productions from the Philadelphia area.

THE HAIRY APE (EgoPo): The cage of modern life

The challenge for EgoPo director Brenna Geffers was to make a play which must have been theatrically and politically radical a century ago relevant to a 21st-century audience.

Matteo Scammell as the Beast in the Arden’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Photo credit: Mark Garvin)

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Arden): An innovative retelling of a favorite fairytale

Director Whit MacLaughlin employs both live actors and shadow puppets to convey both the darkness and magic of the popular story.