January 1, 2016
Through Jan. 3. Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad St. Tickets: $45-95. Information: 215-731-3333 or kimmelcenter.org/broadway.
January 1, 2016 |
You just can't beat the Old Testament for family drama. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat , at the Merriam Theater, takes its plot from Genesis 37-50. It's about 12 brothers (it's always brothers, isn't it?), 11 of whom are envious of the youngest, Joseph, their father's favorite, who has a fancy coat of many colors; they sell him into slavery and tell their father he's dead. While in prison in Egypt, he becomes famous for being able to interpret dreams, and when he warns Pharaoh that his mystifying dream foretells seven years of feast followed by seven years of famine, he saves the kingdom by preparing for the worst.
November 13, 2015 |
The news release for Tyler Perry's Madea on the Run claims "the title says it all," but that's not exactly true. Aside from entrances and exits, Madea remains in her friend Aunt Bam's daughter's living room, dispensing hard truths, breaking the fourth wall, and occasionally bursting into song. Bam (played by longtime Perry collaborator and House of Payne star Cassi Davis) is a grandmother here, not an aunt, and after 2 1/2 hours, I'm still not sure what Madea did to end up on the streets.
November 4, 2015 |
'Another opening, another show . . . Our Philly comp'nies are all aglow. . .. " So went the song from Kiss Me Kate , modified to open Theatre Philadelphia's 2015 Barrymore Awards on Monday at the Merriam Theater. The equal-opportunity Barrymore nominations turned into near-equal-opportunity wins at Theatre Philadelphia's celebration of itself. The most wins were four each, going to Theater Exile's The Whale , a play about a morbidly obese gay man, and to Norristown's Theatre Horizon production of the Stephen Sondheim fairy tale musical Into the Woods.
October 30, 2015 |
AS MUCH as we are in denial about the ever-accelerating passage of time, the fact is, the annual Barrymore Awards are upon us again. The yearly celebration of the Delaware Valley's diverse and vibrant theater scene will pay tribute to productions, performers and behind-the-sceners that audiences enjoyed between July 1, 2014, and June 30 of this year. Monday's open-to-the-public affair at the Merriam Theater is the second since Theatre Philadelphia, which oversees both the balloting and awards ceremony, revived it after a two-year hiatus from staging full-blown presentations.
October 13, 2015 |
As far as hometown shows go, native Melody Gardot could have been playing Timbuktu, Milan, or Sheboygan when she hit the Merriam Theater on Friday night. Ever since the former Center City resident-chanteuse became something of a long-distance lodger, she has touched base in Paris, Brazil, and Los Angeles - literally, figuratively - to represent her smoky brand of jazz-blues, CinemaScopic instrumentation, and lyrics tinged with lonely teardrops and rapturous universality. "I missed you, Philly," a moist-eyed Gardot said at her show's halfway point.
October 2, 2015
IT MAY NOT be the same as thrilling audiences on Broadway, but Audra McDonald nonetheless loves participating in the kind of program she'll be doing Wednesday night. McDonald, who, in 2014, became the first performer to win six acting Tony Awards, will be at the Merriam Theater to kick off the Kimmel Center's Seth Rudetsky Broadway Concert Series, a quartet of Merriam programs that will feature Rudetsky - a musical theater vet and high-profile host on SiriusXM's Broadway channel - conducting conversations with McDonald, Kelli O'Hara (Jan.
September 20, 2015 |
You put on a hi-viz vest and optional facemask, and you plug a set of buds into your ears. After tracing your hand onto a sheet of paper, you hear a voice that guides you (and 14 others, one group every 30 minutes) into the Merriam Theater auditorium. "Swat away the flies," the voice instructs, and with your eyes closed, you hear the buzzing of pesky insects in Sam Britton's sound design for Ant Hampton's The Extra People . The automated, childlike voice commands you to move, to sit, to huddle under a blanket, or direct a flashlight into the face of another "extra person.
June 14, 2015 |
From the opening curtain to the final darkening of the lights, exuberant reactions - both subjectively visceral and objectively profound - rippled through the Merriam Theater at the Pennsylvania Ballet's season closer Thursday night. Choreographer William Forsythe has returned to the States after decades helming Ballet Frankfurt and then his own company in Dresden. The Philadelphia premiere of his 1991 The Second Detail is his third work from the Pennsylvania Ballet. These decades-old, neoclassical ballets will appeal to lovers of Balanchine, whom Forsythe most admired, and, to my eye, advanced the Balanchine aesthetic.
March 22, 2015 |
The Book of Mormon will be back in Philadelphia's Forrest Theatre late this year for a month-long reprise of its successful 47-day 2014 engagement, part of Broadway Philadelphia's 2015-16 season, officials of the Kimmel Center and the Schubert Organization announced Friday. The Kimmel and the Schubert Organization are joint presenters of the season. "Each season, we seek compelling theater productions with story lines that resonate with our diverse audiences," Anne Ewers, Kimmel president and chief executive, said in a statement.