Paul L. Nolan

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THE CRAFTSMAN (Lantern): Crafting a good story

Now in its world premiere from Lantern Theater, the latest play by Philly’s favorite playwright Bruce Graham is based on a true story. It’s a great story.

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RIZZO (PTC): A larger-than-life life onstage

An entertaining work about a compelling character, RIZZO displays pitfalls common to biographical drama.

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THE THREE MARIES (no Attytude productions): Philly Phun on Broad Street

This celebration of all things Philly and silly gets the audience strutting in their seats and laughing as they leave. Shakespeare it’s not, but Ogborn and the producers hope it will be adopted as a Philadelphia staple with a life of its own.

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Sketching Theater: RIZZO (Theatre Exile)

Artist Aaron Krolikowski provides first-hand accounts of events. Not in words, but in sketch.

Frank Rizzo, 1974.

RIZZO (Theatre Exile): A romp through the Rizzo years

Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear when Frank Rizzo strode the city like he owned it.

Scott Greer and Amanda Schoonover  in Bruce Graham's RIZZO from Theatre Exile. 
Photo by Paola Nogueras.

RIZZO (Theatre Exile): A big hit on the “Big Bambino”

A world-premiere production on former Mayor Frank Rizzo portrays the good and the bad of the controversial Philadelphia icon.

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AND THEN THERE WERE NONE (Walnut): Ten little soldier boys having lots of fun

Agatha Christie has always been a theatrical guilty pleasure, like sitting down with a nice genre book or singing along to top 40

Ian Merrill Peakes, Mary Martello, and Paul L. Nolan in Arden Theatre Company’s Incorruptible by Michael Hollinger. Photo by Mark Garvin

INCORRUPTIBLE (Arden): Laughter in the monastery

The set of Michael Hollinger’s witty INCORRUPTIBLE looks like it has been there for hundreds of years, transporting one back to the days of monks and minstrels. At the Abbey…

Walnut Street Theatre, Arsenic and Old Lace, Damon Bonetti and Jennie Eisenhower

ARSENIC AND OLD LACE (Walnut Street Theatre): Macabre Madcap Comedy Classic

The historic Walnut Street Theatre celebrates two milestones with its mainstage presentation of ARSENIC AND OLD LACE, written by New York playwright Joseph Kesselring in 1939: the play’s 75th anniversary and its own 205th landmark season. Directed by Charles Abbott, the Walnut Street’s crackerjack production (in association with Fulton Theatre in Lancaster, PA) whips up the perfect concoction of murder, mayhem, and misplaced “mercy,” topped with a large dollop of macabre madness, in this delectable recipe for hilarity.

Christopher Sutton as Buddy, with a supporting ensemble of elves, in the Walnut Street Theatre’s ELF (Photo credit: Mark Garvin)

ELF (Walnut): A family-friendly feel-good musical for the holidays

Based on the 2003 hit film of the same name, ELF, this year’s annual Christmas-time extravaganza at the Walnut Street Theatre, offers popular feel-good entertainment for the whole family. The amusing musical comedy is filled with magic and spectacle for the kids, wry jokes and innuendo for their grown-ups, and a familiar sentimental moral that is relevant for all ages. It’s a cute and snappy start to the holiday theater season that could make even the meanest Grinch smile.

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WHY TORTURE IS WRONG AND THE PEOPLE WHO LOVE THEM (New City): Side-Splitting Satire on a Timely Topic

Written by Durang (a Bucks County native) in 2009, in the aftermath of Abu Ghraib and in the midst of America’s unending involvement in the Middle East, WHY TORTURE IS WRONG, AND THE PEOPLE WHO LOVE THEM will have you howling, as well as questioning the sanity of our elected officials, national security advisers, and the growing reactionary fringe of our voting populace (if you don’t already).