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Walnut Street Theatre

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ENTERTAINMENT
September 21, 2012 | By Monica Peters, For The Inquirer
Go inside the phobic world of 10-year-old Sheila Tubman, who is scared of everything, at the Walnut Street Theatre for Kids' stage production Saturday of Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great , based on the 1972 book by Judy Blume. While at day camp, Sheila meets an adventurous girl named Merle "Mouse" Ellis. Sheila covers up her fears with bravado to be friends with Mouse. Meeting Mouse, combined with a family vacation to Tarrytown, forces Sheila to overcome some of her secret fears, including being in the dark, swimming, spiders, dogs and more.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 22, 2013 | By Toby Zinman, For The Inquirer
David Lindsay-Abaire's Broadway hit play Good People , at Walnut Street Theatre, is about class. It is a sociological cliche that the American inclination is always to root for the underdog, which often means, as it does here, the unlucky, the uneducated, the unemployed. "Un" is the fact of life in "Southie," a thickly accented rough and tough neighborhood in Boston. The plot centers on Margaret (Julie Czarnecki) who, fired by her nice-guy boss (Jered McLenigan) from her job at the Dollar Store, faces eviction from her not-so-nice landlady (Sharon Alexander)
ENTERTAINMENT
April 19, 2014 | By Monica Peters, For The Inquirer
On Saturday, you can see what happens when a pink thing goes too far at Walnut Street Theatre's stage production of Pinkalicious , which runs through April 27. Despite her parents' warnings, Pinkalicious Pinkerton just can't stop eating pink cupcakes. Now she's come down with a case of pinkititis and is turning pink from head to toe - then pinker, and even pinker. The cure? Could it be green and leafy? The play is based on the popular children's book by Victoria and Elizabeth Kann.
NEWS
May 23, 2014
HAD ENOUGH of deformed, subterranean opera-house denizens, barricade-building, 19th-century French student revolutionaries, musical adaptations of obscure movies and the endless parade of Disney characters come-to-life? Then head to the Walnut Street Theatre and bask in the glory of the way things used to be, when musicals sparkled with clever comedic banter, genuinely funny jokes and honest-to-goodness songs that stayed in your head long after the curtain fell, as opposed to dialogue delivered via instantly forgettable melodies wrapped in ersatz rock or watered-down R&B. Through July 13, the Walnut is presenting "How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying," one of the most popular musical comedies of all time.
NEWS
November 22, 2013
IT'S A good thing I thoroughly enjoyed "Elf," the musical-stage version of the hit 2003 movie that runs through Jan. 5 at the Walnut Street Theatre. If I hadn't, I'd likely have to surrender my membership in the human race. That's because only the Grinchiest of Scrooges (or is that Scroogiest of Grinches?) could give a "Bah, humbug!" to this merry melange of yuletide music and mirth. Like the film upon which it is based, "Elf" follows the misadventures of a bumbling but lovable North Pole denizen who, though raised from infanthood as one of Santa's elves, is actually a human being (hence his unusual height and inability to speedily and efficiently construct toys)
ENTERTAINMENT
April 2, 1987 | By NELS NELSON, Daily News Theater Critic
Three one-act plays: "One for the Road" and "Applicant," by Harold Pinter, and "Audience," by Vaclav Havel. Directed by Andrew Lichtenberg, costumes by Christine A. Moore, lighting by Rebecca R. Klein, sound by Jeff Chestek. Presented by the Walnut Street Theatre Co. in the Studio 3 Theatre, 9th and Walnut streets, through April 12. By arrangement or coincidence, two contemporary plays dealing with the interrogation of political prisoners have opened in this city within three days of each other.
NEWS
October 20, 1988 | By Nels Nelson, Daily News Theater Critic
Another season and another show at the Walnut Street Theatre, and still another hearty slap on the back of Bernard Havard for his keen assessment of the largest, non-profit theater subscription audience in Pennsylvania. The Walnut subscribers like their shows corny, cliche-ridden, easily digested, happily ended, devoid of distressing surprises and preferably over in time for a leisurely nightcap before snuggling in their cocoons for the 11 o'clock news. "Social Security," the season opener which Havard served up for his people last night, meets the Walnut standards about as well as any production in the company's brief and prodigiously successful history.
NEWS
November 21, 2002 | By Douglas J. Keating INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
With a $5 million grant from the state and a purchase agreement on a parking lot next door, the Walnut Street Theatre is poised to launch a campaign to build a 300-to-350-seat theater adjacent to its historic building at Ninth and Walnut Streets. Bernard Havard, the Walnut's producing artistic director, said the state grant - part of $43 million that Gov. Schweiker awarded to area cultural groups Tuesday - was a major initial step toward the construction of a second performance space.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 1, 2009 | By Howard Shapiro INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Buy a single ticket to the Walnut Street Theatre - just one ticket for a specific show - and you'll be asked to be a theater critic. "How did you like the show?" someone will inquire in a phone call a few days later - and then tell you what subscription options you have for more shows at the nation's oldest working theater. Tomorrow - the actual date it opened in 1809, as a circus - the theater company celebrates its bicentennial with an invited audience and some performers who have appeared there over the decades.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 3, 2013
Through April 14 at the Walnut Street Theatre's Independence Studio on 3, 825 Walnut St. Tickets: $30-$40. 215-574-3550 or www.walnutstreettheatre.org
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
September 14, 2014 | BY CHUCK DARROW, Daily News Staff Writer darrowc@phillynews.com, 215-313-3134
THEATER season has kicked off, as always, with the Fringe Festival, now in its 18th year. Between now and the holidays, the region will see a slate of performances ranging from Broadway-blockbusters like "Newsies" to dramas like Arden Theatre's take on "Great Expectations" to one-person presentations on a dizzying array of topics - including a cheeky zoology lesson by Isabella Rossellini. If you blink you'll miss what figures to be the most talked-about one-night stand on the schedule - the musical horror story "Ghost Brothers of Darkland County" by Stephen King, John Mellencamp and T Bone Burnett.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 13, 2014 | By Toby Zinman, For The Inquirer
A big, cheerful, gorgeous dumb blonde of a musical comedy, 9 to 5: The Musical , the Walnut Street Theatre's season opener, is, like many a dumb blonde, good for a fun night out. (OK, OK, is every new-wave feminist going to call the gender police? Aw, shucks.) Based on the 1980 movie of the same name (its screenwriter, Patricia Resnick, wrote the show's book), Dolly Parton wrote 16 songs for the Broadway show, each with her signature country sound; the excellent cast belts them out with gusto.
NEWS
July 18, 2014
THAT PHILLY-based actor Forrest McClendon is spending this week in Wisconsin is hardly big news. After all, the Land of Beer and Cheese is a popular place for rest and recreation in mid-July. But of the untold numbers of people currently visiting America's Dairyland, McClendon is unique: He is one of only 10 thespians there as part of the Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship. Named for famed early-20th-century stage actors Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne , the fellowship is a weeklong master class conducted at Ten Chimneys, the couple's estate in the bucolic town of Genesee Depot.
NEWS
June 2, 2014 | BY CHUCK DARROW, Daily News Staff Writer darrowc@phillynews.com, 215-313-3134
SUMMERTIME IS DOWNTIME for many of the region's theater companies, who'll spend the next couple of months gearing up for the 2014-15 season. But there are still plenty of good shows for theatergoers of all stripes and interests, especially those with a fondness for Broadway musicals. Unfortunately, our town doesn't offer much in the way of outdoor theater. Blame the humidity. One fine exception: the annual Shakespeare show in West Philly's Clark Park, this year taking on "Henry IV" with a vast cast of locals enacting the battle scenes.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 24, 2014 | By Toby Zinman, For The Inquirer
Confession: I had never seen How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying , the musical comedy concluding the Walnut Street Theatre's season. Its reputation, of course, preceded it. One of the major Frank Loesser shows (Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock, and Willie Gilbert wrote the book), it won the 1962 Pulitzer Prize for drama and seven Tony Awards. So I was expecting greatness. Ah, well. Think of a singing Mad Men , but without the complicated attitude. How to Succeed is also a satire of corporate America, of the ambitious, gray-suited yes-men with skinny ties who connive and backstab their way up the ladder, and their over-coiffed secretaries determined to hook a tycoon.
NEWS
May 23, 2014
HAD ENOUGH of deformed, subterranean opera-house denizens, barricade-building, 19th-century French student revolutionaries, musical adaptations of obscure movies and the endless parade of Disney characters come-to-life? Then head to the Walnut Street Theatre and bask in the glory of the way things used to be, when musicals sparkled with clever comedic banter, genuinely funny jokes and honest-to-goodness songs that stayed in your head long after the curtain fell, as opposed to dialogue delivered via instantly forgettable melodies wrapped in ersatz rock or watered-down R&B. Through July 13, the Walnut is presenting "How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying," one of the most popular musical comedies of all time.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 14, 2014 | By Wendy Rosenfield, For The Inquirer
Neil LaBute is a frustrating, infuriating playwright, who also occasionally taps a direct line into the heart of men's darkness. Simpatico Theatre's version of LaBute's In a Dark Dark House , a taut 2007 drama about a family's secrets, recently retooled by the playwright, provides a conduit for that line, and for all the elements that make him so confounding and compelling. As directed by Harriet Power, this is a nervewracking hour and a half. All three characters - adult brothers Drew and Terry and 16-year-old Jennifer, whom Terry meets at her father's miniature golf course - squirm like bugs under a magnifying glass in the hot sun, each trying to wriggle out of their own skin as one or the other continues to apply the fire.
NEWS
May 4, 2014 | By Jim Rutter, For The Inquirer
Everyone's done it. Yes, what you're thinking, too. But every regular theatergoer has seen (or will see) I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change . Lyricist Joe DiPietro and musician Jimmy Roberts' 1996 battle-of-the-sexes musical comedy ran Off-Broadway for more than a decade and has been staged across the country. Few companies I've seen have staged it with the same charm and comic aplomb as the production now running at the Walnut Street Theatre's Independence Studio on 3. DiPietro's book pokes evenhanded, light fun at the courtship habits of two couples: Man 1 (Christopher Sutton)
ENTERTAINMENT
April 19, 2014 | By Monica Peters, For The Inquirer
On Saturday, you can see what happens when a pink thing goes too far at Walnut Street Theatre's stage production of Pinkalicious , which runs through April 27. Despite her parents' warnings, Pinkalicious Pinkerton just can't stop eating pink cupcakes. Now she's come down with a case of pinkititis and is turning pink from head to toe - then pinker, and even pinker. The cure? Could it be green and leafy? The play is based on the popular children's book by Victoria and Elizabeth Kann.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 22, 2014 | By Toby Zinman, For The Inquirer
  Corpses in the cellar, clueless cops, sweet old ladies, long-lost brothers, crazy other brothers: This is the farcical frolic that is Arsenic and Old Lace at the Walnut Street Theatre. The Blacklist it's not, although there are plenty of serial killers on the scene. A famous play written 75 years ago by a playwright nobody ever heard of (Joseph Kesselring) and made into an even more famous movie, Arsenic and Old Lace is a rom-com a la Keystone Kops, served with a large helping of vaudevillian chase scenes (rolling pins and all)
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