June 13, 2016 |
It will be a song-and-dance summer in our region, from the Lehigh Valley to the Shore, with dramatic gems studding the landscape. Below are some standout song-and-dancefests, summer Shakespeare - including four gentlemen of Verona (see below) - plus summer Neil Simon, summer Noël Coward, and more. Riverdance (June 14-19, Academy of Music) The 20th-anniversary world tour comes through Philadelphia, looking back at the show's history, and adding costumes, lighting, projections, and a brand-new number, "Anna Livia" (embodiment of the River Liffey flowing through Dublin)
April 10, 2016
Forever Plaid (Montgomery Theater). The Plaids, an old-time doo-wop group, get a chance to return from the afterlife and sing the great old hits. Starts Saturday, through May 8. Sex with Strangers (Philadelphia Theatre Company). Laura Eason's play about two people who don't really get along - until one night they're forced to share a bed, and . . . bingo. Starts Wednesday, through May 8. They're Playing Our Song! (Center City Theatre Works). In Neil Simon's two-hander with songs by Marvin Hamlisch and Carol Bayer Sager, a composer finds a lyricist who is . . . not perfect.
March 29, 2016 |
Here's a bit of gossip that will undoubtedly prove true: Bristol Riverside Theatre's production of Neil Simon's Rumors provides two hours of unashamedly hilarious entertainment. Simon wrote Rumors in the late 1980s as a farce about the upper class in the style of Moliere. When lawyers Chris (Valerie Leonard) and Ken Gorman (Danny Vaccaro) arrive at the home of New York City's deputy mayor to celebrate his 10th wedding anniversary, they hear a gunshot. Rushing upstairs, they find the host wounded, and the hostess missing.
May 6, 2015 |
Like the army itself, the best war stories tell ensemble-driven tales ( Band of Brothers , Saving Private Ryan ) of warriors worn down by conflict and overcoming (or not) their trials through a unified effort. People's Light and Theatre's superb production of Neil Simon's Biloxi Blues adheres to this tradition, with director Samantha Bellomo finding an endearing balance of warmth and humor centered on the richly textured characterizations of her outstanding ensemble cast.
November 18, 2014 |
It's kind of a marvel to realize that Neil Simon's Lost in Yonkers , now in a fine revival at Bristol Riverside Theatre, premiered in 1990. Though it won the 1991 Pulitzer Prize and swept the Tonys, it was, by then, something of an anachronism: both a new Simon play and a sentimental look back at a Jewish immigrant family during World War II. But clearly, it struck a nerve. This production, directed by Keith Baker, does the same, calling to mind the Kurnitz family's international legacy: new waves of refugees who came to America, settled into an ethnic enclave, moved into an apartment above their store, and raised the next generation with one foot here and another resting uneasily in the Old World.
May 27, 2014 |
Neil Simon's Chapter Two , a 1976 Broadway hit and tribute to the romantic fortitude of the playwright's second wife, Marsha Mason, finds itself at the Bucks County Playhouse for yet another chapter. The twist this time is that Mason directs the story of her own marriage and the role that, for its film adaptation costarring James Caan, won her an Academy Award nomination. The pair met within a year of Simon's first wife's death from cancer, while Mason was licking her wounds from a divorce; they wed after a courtship of three weeks.
April 4, 2014
LET'S FACE it: To this point, 2014 hasn't exactly been what you'd call a laugh riot here in the old Del Val. Unless, of course, you have the kind of twisted sense of humor that would find hilarity in the horrendous weather, 76ers' losing streak and the latest political and police scandals we've endured since New Year's. So, it is with gratitude and a sense of relief that I can point you to a pair of ensemble-propelled chuckle-fests currently playing in the region. These two shows are not necessarily for the same audience.
March 23, 2014 |
I could easily dismiss Laughter on the 23rd Floor as harmless nostalgia. Neil Simon's 1993 play takes place in 1953, when he and "the finest writing staff in the history of TV" produced the weekly sketches for Sid Caesar's Your Show of Shows . Simon's semiautobiographical piece, now at Bristol Riverside Theatre, disguises or blends the main players: He renames himself Lucas Brickman (Jason Silverman), Caesar becomes Max Prince (David Edwards), and Mel Brooks turns up as Ira Stone (Ben Lloyd)
February 26, 2014 |
In the first vignette of Act II Playhouse's Hotel Suite , Diana Nichols (Karen Peakes) scoffs at her own Oscar nomination. She has done Pinter, Beckett, but what finally hit was this "silly comedy. " Her husband Sidney (Leonard C. Haas) responds, "They don't go for quality, love, they go by gross. " If its cast weren't so amiable, the same could be said for Hotel Suite , a "best of" collection that cherry-picks from Neil Simon's other successful Suites ( Plaza , California , London )
August 16, 2013 |
NEW YORK - Luxurious rehearsal was not in the cards for the cast of Charles Busch's The Tale of the Allergist's Wife two weeks before its Thursday opening at Bucks County Playhouse. As Manhattan studio time to prepare the densely comic play dwindled, the cast was spending long days feeling its way when the script's warped magic unexpectedly took hold. "That's obnoxious and crazy! In a really good way," Boyd Gaines, who is making his directorial debut, said at that turning point.