Philadelphia Theater

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BITTER HOMES AND GARDENS (Bearded Ladies at PHS Pop-Up)

The Bearded Ladies latest show is planted full of good ideas, some of which germinate, some of which reach farther than they can comically travel, and some of which die on the vine.

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Mr. Darby Goes to New York: Double Time, All The Time

Langston Darby is continuously working. “Double time. All the time.” This September, one of the strongest actors in Philadelphia is departing for the Atlantic Acting School in New York

Susan Ferrara Barto (left) and David Newhouse in GROUCHO: A LIFE IN REVUE.

GROUCHO: A LIFE IN REVUE (ActorsNET): There’s no such thing as a sanity clause

Off stage, David Newhouse looks nothing like Groucho Marx. In makeup, Newhouse’s transformation is astounding.

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THE THREEPENNY OPERA (Villanova): Brecht played louder than the music

Republished by kind permission from Neals Paper. Kurt Weill’s insistent tingel-tangel score for THE THREEPENNY OPERA pervades the Vasey Hall stage, with horns and drum pumping to a martial beat that…

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UNDERNEATH THE LINTEL (Hedgerow): Following a shaggy dog to the library

One of the funniest and most entertaining of all shaggy dog stories.

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MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG (Temple Theater): Parties and excess

The young talent the school is grooming stands out in the Temple Theater production of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG.

Tamara Anderson as Oda Mae Brown with Anna Giordano as Molly in GHOST. Photo by Maura McConnell.

GHOST (Media Theatre): Animating a corpse

Director Jesse Cline doesn’t let GHOST’s musical or lyrical deficiencies stand in his way of making involving theater.

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

Neal Zoren announces his picks for the best in Philadelphia theater, 2014

Each January, local critic Neil Zoren announces his favorite production, direction, and male and female actor and male and female supporting actor for the previous calendar year.

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Phindie in 2014: The most-read articles of the past year

The first complete calendar year of Phindie’s existence is almost at a close. This year Phindie published almost 500 pieces on local theater, dance, and other arts. We look back at the articles which you liked the most in 2014. Here are the top ten in various categories.

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MARY POPPINS (Walnut): Flying between lightness and gravitas

In doing MARY POPPINS, a director has to decide between approaches: light and fantastical like the movie or darker like the book.

YOU KNOW MY NAME: A DANIEL TALBOTT TRIO (Quince): Devils and saints in small-town America

Daniel Talbott’s YOU KNOW MY NAME: A DANIEL TALBOTT TRIO presents some unique challenges. Three short plays which could easily take place in the same town dwell with nearly pornographic clarity on the cruelty of the town’s inhabitants and of fate.

Photographing Quince Productions’ YOU KNOW MY NAME: A DANIEL TALBOTT TRIO

In shooting YOU KNOW MY NAME: A DANIEL TALBOTT TRIO, I wanted to capture not only the unique world in which Talbott’s plays occur, but the very different worlds of these three short plays. A kitchen (Break My Face on Your Hand), a public bench (You Know My Name), and a bedroom (What Happened When) become joyous, sinister, hopeful, despairing, or reassuring places as the plays move along and flow into one another.

Photo by John Donges

John Donges Photographs THREE DAYS OF RAIN (Quince): A Double Assignment

In shooting Richard Greenberg’s THREE DAYS OF RAIN, my first photographic challenge was to capture the unique structure of the play: the first act is set in 1995 and involves a brother/sister and their old friend – the son of their father’s architecture partner and oldest friend. In Act II, the three actors play the parents of their Act I characters. So it was a dual challenge to photograph basically two casts instead of one, and to try and paint a visual portrait of what is both similar and different between each character and his/her parent, and to portray the look of two very different decades.

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“I always hated the 70s when I was a kid because I was dumb,” and other words of wisdom from John Rosenberg, writer-director of Queen Of All Weapons

California born and bred, now entrenched in Philadelphia, the playwright-director John Rosenberg debuts his latest work Queen Of All Weapons this Saturday at 2pm at the Papermill Theater (2528 Ormes Street) in…

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Bringing Women’s Voices to the Stage: an interview with Polly Rose Edelstein of Crack the Glass Theatre Company

It’s a common complaint: few good roles exist for female actors in Philadelphia. Indeed even your most ardent male feminist (self-proclaimed) tends to turn his theatre company into a boys’…

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Why’s Everyone Such a Critic?

I’ve been a lover of the stage as long as I can remember. Mostly this love has been realized as a patron of local theaters. My father acted in community…

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Talkin’ Irish with Madi Distefano of Brat Productions

Six theater companies came together this season to create the Philadelphia Irish Theatre Festival, which featured eight contemporary plays from the Emerald Isle. Brat Productions is joining the fray with…

It was such fun to be in France in the 1910s!

World War What? Did PIFA forget a little something in its celebration of Paris 1910-20?

IS it just a little strange that in a festival with a theme of Paris 1910–20, few of the shows and none of the literature seem to mention that there was a little war going on

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Lessons from Newt Gingrich: or how we in the theatre and dance communities can stop acting like losers and learn to make the nation love us

How often have you heard that performing arts are dying, that we’re a niche market, that you can never make a living off of it, that we’re a charity case?…

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Meta is Dead. Long Live Meta.

I want to talk about shows in theatre and dance that deal with the audience head on. In other words, works that acknowledge the existence of the audience as part…