December 6, 2014 |
John Patrick Shanley's Outside Mullingar is a lovable play about love. The Philadelphia Theatre Company production is lovable, too - full of quirky charm and tasty dialogue and, well, lovable characters. The cast is superb; they create rich accents and meticulously craft personalities. Shanley, best known for his New York voice in both the tough-minded play Doubt and the romantic screenplay for Moonstruck , here returns to his Irish roots. Outside Mullingar is set on two farms in rural Ireland, and although we're told the events begin in December 2008 and continue to 2013, it feels long ago and far away.
October 18, 2014 |
Rapture, Blister, Burn may go down in history as the first feminist play to end with brainy female characters toasting Phyllis Schlafly, that bête noire of the Equal Rights Amendment, without sarcasm. It's no gimmick. Gina Gionfriddo's intellectually ambitious comedy, reopening the question of women choosing between career and family, allows that all choices are valid, even mediocre ones. A bit dour, perhaps? No. Rapture , which opened Wednesday at the Wilma Theater, is part of a growing genre that might be called war-of-the-brain-cells plays, such as Yasmina Reza's 2008 God of Carnage , with intelligent urbanites talking, drinking, and destroying each other's pretensions.
October 18, 2014 |
There's a strange sort of bookending between Philadelphia Theatre Company's 40th-season opener, Lisa D'Amour's Detroit , and last season's production of Christopher Durang's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike . Where Durang's characters examined contemporary America through the eyes of an elder generation filled with nostalgia and disdain for today's careless youth, D'Amour brings us up to date, in real time, with the American Dream's death...
August 15, 2014 |
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT - Taney Dragons player Joe Richardson Jr. said there's one ritual he will perform before stepping onto the field for the team's first game in the Little League World Series today: He must eat a bag of Skittles. "I didn't know that was a ritual," his father, Joe Richardson Sr., of Francisville, said. "I just thought he wanted to eat candy. " As the first of the Taney Dragons players' families arrived at the Little League World Series complex in South Williamsport yesterday, they gathered around the batting cages and got their first look at their children in days.
August 8, 2014 |
"INTO THE STORM" is a "Sharknado" movie with a troubling lack of sharks. But there is a whale of sorts - an EF5 (big) tornado pursued o'er the amber waves by the Ahabian storm chaser (Matt Walsh), whose obsessive zeal to find and film a gigantic tornado endangers his overworked and fearful crew. They track a super cell to a town in Oklahoma where a high school principal (right-sized Richard Armitage, from the "Hobbit" movies) watches nervously as clouds approach a packed graduation service.
August 7, 2014 |
"IF YOU have a character who is smelling and tasting green onions and also has a hand on their bottom, your audience understands them better," said Diana Gabaldon , the mega-best-selling author of the Outlander series. Gabaldon was explaining why she needed to travel to Philadelphia in order to write the most recent entry in the series, Written in My Own Heart's Blood , which takes place during the Revolutionary War. If she imbues her characters with more sensory details - from bad breath to some backside-related flirting - her faraway characters become real for her readers, who have gobbled up 17 million copies of her books in print.
July 16, 2014 |
Flashpoint Theatre does it again: Herringbone , the second show of its summer season - following the The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington - is another knockout, with Ben Dibble giving a performance of stunning virtuosity in a musical that's strange and compelling by any standard. Everyone who attends Philadelphia theater regularly knows Dibble's range, from Shakespeare to children's shows; he sings, he dances, he acts in comedies and tragedies.
July 12, 2014 |
If jurors walked away with one word lodged in their heads after the first day of defense testimony in the federal trial of five former Philadelphia Traffic Court judges, it is likely to have been impeccable. A parade of character witnesses employed that adjective over and over again Thursday to describe the reputations of the former jurists now facing mail- and wire-fraud charges. How would Judge Michael Lowry's character best be described? "Impeccable," said several of his childhood pals.
June 23, 2014 |
Some fathers bond with their sons over a baseball game, a museum visit, a day at the zoo. Others wake up at 4 in the morning, drive from Virginia to Philadelphia, dress up in Batman, Robin, and Nightwing costumes, and become celebrities at the Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con. "It's something we do together," said Dave Huffman, 47, outfitted in full Batman costume. "We've met a lot of fun people. " Huffman drove up from Chesapeake, Va., to spend the day with his sons at the Convention Center, where 25,000 visitors were expected over four days.
June 4, 2014 |
In 1990, Eric Bogosian - a darling of Manhattan's performance art scene because of the brusque Talk Radio and such one-mess shows as Drinking in America - crafted the perfect, tic-filled vehicle for himself in 1990's blackly comic Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll . This set of manic soliloquies had him bouncing off walls and leaping about the stage in a tangled weave of grotesque faces and fin de siècle commentary, speaking through characters that...