January 10, 2016 |
Bruce Graham's Funnyman opens at the Arden Theatre on Thursday. The lead character, aging vaudeville slapstick comic Chick Sherman, speaks for Graham - Philly's most Philadelphia playwright - when he says, "Nobody takes comics seriously until they do something serious. " Much of Graham's theatrical output engages people, places, and events from his past. North of the Boulevard is a blue-collar affair set in the Darby auto garage his cousin owns. His first play, Burkie (now 35 years old)
October 15, 2015 |
When South Philly playwright Bruce Graham set out to dramatize the life of larger-than-life Frank Rizzo, he made a startling discovery that shook up his creative juices. "When I started outlining the play, I panicked - and I never panic," said the blue-collar playwright whose Theatre Exile world premiere of "Rizzo" runs tomorrow through Nov. 8 at Christ Church Neighborhood House, in Old City. Before he researched Rizzo's life, Graham said, "I thought, 'Wow, what an interesting character!
September 17, 2015 |
The rather innocuous title of Bruce Graham's According to Goldman conceals two characters' committing some nasty little acts against each other. Their dealings concern the movie business, which lends a fascinating touch and means their sly maneuverings harm no one but themselves. (The Goldman of the title, veteran screenwriter William Goldman, once famously noted that, in the entertainment industry, "nobody knows anything. ") Comic actor Tony Braithwaite plays Gavin Miller, a disgruntled, cynical professor of screenwriting at a Northeast college.
July 22, 2015 |
By the end of Stella and Lou , the excellent Bruce Graham play that opened over the weekend at People's Light & Theatre Company in Malvern, you're relieved that this love-amid-the-ruins play, about middle-aged people getting a second chance at life, was premiered with respectable success in Chicago. So echt -Philly is this script that people from elsewhere might not understand why venturing into New Jersey is measured by the number of toll booths - and miss the play's considerable deeper issues.
September 11, 2013 |
I loved Bruce Graham's hard-hitting comedy Any Given Monday when Theatre Exile gave it its 2010 world premiere. Delaware Theatre Company's furious production confirmed my original assessment: I still love it. It's my kind of play. But that alone wouldn't persuade my family to hike to Wilmington to catch this riveting rendition. So below, three reasons why any theater lover should see this play. It deals with real life. Too many couples these days cheat or divorce. More than two-thirds of the time, men don't initiate the latter process.
April 15, 2012 |
Sunday What is to be lost In Bruce Graham's textured drama The Outgoing Tide, a flinty patriarch comes up with a plan to deal with his diminishing capacities, laid out to his reluctant wife and beleaguered son at the family's cabin on the Chesapeake. The Philadelphia Theatre Company production goes on at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, Broad and Lombard Streets, and continues with shows at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, 1 and 7 p.m. Wednesday, 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. next Sunday.
March 30, 2012 |
Bruce Graham's fine new play, The Outgoing Tide, at the Philadelphia Theatre Company, is deeply moving and surprisingly funny, a straight-talking, unpretentious meditation on Alzheimer's and end-of-life suffering: "Quality of life. Kiss my ass. " Directed with invisible finesse and strength by James J. Christy, the excellent cast provides bedrock realism, refusing any of the topic's maudlin possibilities. The fact is, Gunner (Richard Poe), a tough guy who ran a trucking company and dealt with the Teamsters, is losing his memory and his mind; he still has enough left to plan his exit, refusing to settle for years of humiliating deterioration in a "home.
October 13, 2011 |
NEW YORK - Nuance - the shadows and creases that provide depth and richness - is what makes the Off-Broadway production of Any Given Monday so different from its world-premiere version last year in Philadelphia. Philadelphia playwright Bruce Graham has reworked a bit of his striking, funny play, which overturns commonly held values in order to celebrate the very notion of values. But that's only partly why Any Given Monday differs in overall effect from its first productions at Theatre Exile in Center City, then Act II Playhouse in Ambler, joint producers of its premiere.
October 18, 2010
In his native Philadelphia, Bruce Graham is best known as the prolific and acclaimed author of numerous plays, including "Burkie," "Early One Evening at the Rainbow Bar & Grille," "Moon Over the Brewery," "Belmont Avenue Social Club" and "Coyote on a Fence," which won the Rosenthal Prize and two Drama Desk nominations (and whose staging in London's West End starred Ben Cross, of "Chariots of Fire" fame). His efforts have been recognized with two Barrymore Awards (the local equivalent of the Tonys)
February 13, 2010 |
That ker-CHUNK! you're hearing after the storm isn't confined to the clots of snow falling from trees and rooftops. You can sense the sound inside Plays & Players Theatre, too, where Bruce Graham's terrific new Any Given Monday, a funny and mesmerizingly dark adventure set in a family room somewhere in Philadelphia, is in its world premiere. At the theater, what's falling onto the stage and crashing to pieces is more fragile even than snow. It's a moral code. And maybe it's making a more shattering sound - like the crashing of those tablets Moses is said to have dropped.