philadelphia theater reviews

Phindie regularly publishes Philadelphia theater reviews and articles on the performing arts in Philadelphia.

UNTITLED (Inis Nua): Brother, Name, Destiny—The American premiere of Inua Ellams’ drama

Two brothers must find each other before they can find themselves.

BOB: A LIFE IN FIVE ACTS (Azuka Theatre): Great things are done by a series of small things brought together

Great things are done by a series of small things brought together —Vincent Van Gogh When Bob is born and immediately deserted in a White Castle restaurant bathroom, an employee…

BETRAYAL (Lantern): Reversal of fortunes

Pinter’s use of reverse chronology highlights depths beyond the quiet drama and sedate setting.

THE TEMPEST (Lantern): Sounds and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not

Lantern Theater’s production of THE TEMPEST, Shakespeare’s last play, is an enjoyable, modest show, full of comedy and romance and the gentle spirit of human forgiveness.

REALLY (Theatre Exile): Camera obscura

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

A DOLL’S HOUSE (Arden): Ibsen for our times

A timelessly relevant damnation of our human falsehoods is also an au courant commentary on sexism.

TOUCHTONES (Arden): 60-second review

This treacly throwback neither titillates nor liberates.

Buyer & Cellar 1812 Productions

BUYER & CELLAR (1812 Productions): The way we are

This is one of those truth-is-stranger-than-fiction moments. BUYER AND CELLAR is about Barbra Streisand’s basement.

KINKY BOOTS (national tour at the Academy of Music): Everybody say yeah

Seeing KINKY BOOTS every couple of years turns out to be a semi-good idea

HAMLET (REV Theatre Company): “For the apparel oft proclaims the man” Fashion-forward styling updates HAMLET

REV Theatre Company creates a powerful rendition of HAMLET through scenery and clothing

PROJECT DAWN (People’s Light): The hug or the hammer

A well-intentioned but dull play about an important legal program in Philadelphia.

Theater in Sketch: HIR (Simpatico)

Simpatico Theatre Company’s production of HIR by Taylor Mac challenges audiences to reconsider preconceptions of gender identity

SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER (Walnut): Stayin’ Alive

SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER is a white-washed adaptation of the classic movie, with double the music and none of the soul. Director/choreographer Richard Stafford seems terrified of losing audience attention for…

HIR (Simpatico): We are all everything

Author’s note: Taylor Mac uses “judy” as a gender pronoun. This review reflects Mac’s preference. Taylor Mac’s work is unwieldy and absurdist, challenging and unsettling. These elements often work to…

MAKING HISTORY (Irish Heritage Theatre): A very human Irish history play

A great play for history buffs and hibernophiles.

GYPSY (Arden): A self-aware musical

Another take on the Arden’s GYPSY

PEACEABLE KINGDOM (Orbiter 3): Can we live in peace?

A remarkable play navigating the deep waters of philosophy and the shallow waters of adults wearing animal costumes.

THE PRISONER OF ZENDA (Hedgerow Theatre): 60-second review

A sense of familiarity permeates THE PRISONER OF ZENDA, Matt Tallman’s adaptation of Anthony Hope’s novel of intrigue, adventure, and mistaken identity

light pricess arden theatre image

THE LIGHT PRINCESS (Arden): An elixir of make-believe

The Arden Theatre Company’s world premiere of THE LIGHT PRINCESS mixes up a elixir of make-believe