March 21, 2015 |
Agatha Christie's old chestnut of a novel, Ten Little Indians , was a best-seller in 1939 and was adapted for the stage in 1943. It creaks along under its politically correct title, And Then There Were None , on the Walnut Street Theatre's main stage, providing a mildly amusing evening and a mildly puzzling whodunit. As a murder mystery, it has more in common with the board game Clue than with Law and Order . The premise: 10 people, strangers to one another, have been invited to an isolated manor house in the middle of an island for a weekend.
March 12, 2015 |
THANK GOD for the Philadelphia Film Society! On Monday, it officially announced the acquisition of the historic Prince Music Theater, on Chestnut Street near Broad. The beloved theater had been shuttered since October, when the theatrical organization that occupied the building - the American Music Theater Festival - failed to find new leadership after its board chairman died. Prince reps tell me that the beleaguered theater had been in a constant state of bankruptcy but was being floated by its board chairman.
February 7, 2015 |
What's that smell? It's The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fair(l)y (stoopid) Tales at Walnut Street Theatre through Sunday. The hour-long musical comedy is based on the immensely popular 1992 book by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith. Jack tries to save himself from being eaten by the Giant by regaling him with fairy tales, frequently fractured (Cinderumplestiltskin, anyone? Goldilocks and the Three Elephants?). Fairy-tale worlds converge and come to life as the audience goes on a journey into Jack's crazy world.
February 4, 2015 |
George Bernard Shaw stuffed enough big ideas, quotable lines, interesting characters, and surprising plot turns into Misalliance to furnish half a dozen contemporary plays. Currently playing at the Walnut Street Theatre's Studio 5, the Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium's enjoyable production features a large, lively cast on a too-small stage. This comedy of ideas concerns many misalliances: people engaged to marry the wrong people, parents and their adult children misunderstanding each other, the wrongheaded government and its beleaguered citizens, the smart moneymakers and the aristocratic money-inheritors, and one of Shaw's favorite themes: the old-fashioned woman and the "new woman.
January 24, 2015 |
Noel Coward's delectable 1930 comedy Private Lives , now at the Walnut Street Theatre, is what every romcom aspires to be: laugh-out-loud funny, sexy, rambunctious, and complete with a happy ending preceded by bad behavior. Here are characters whose dialogue is clever and naughty as opposed to their contemporary versions, who often seem dopey and vulgar. The play requires everyone to be veddy, veddy English, knowing all the while that it is all veddy veddy. Here's the setup: Amanda (Kathleen Wallace)
January 18, 2015 |
David Mamet's A Life in the Theatre arrives at Walnut Street Theatre's Independence Studio 3 at just the right time. After a month when the world has been awash in horrors, this small backstage comedy gets back to basics and celebrates the people (two of them, anyway) who, for our escapist pleasure, make their lives out of make-believe. This play premiered in 1977, and you can practically feel the energy of Mamet's early successes, as he turns theater conventions inside out, all while working firmly within them.
December 6, 2014 |
Enjoy holiday shopping and fun on Saturday while benefiting a good cause at the Jingle Fest Holiday Craft Bazaar & Family Fun Festival at Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks. There are activities for the whole family, including Fido - featured are face painting, a moon bounce, pet Peach the pony, and spin-wheel games. Guests can paint a horseshoe and get on a giant slide. Santa, Frozen characters Elsa and Olaf, and Mickey and Minnie Mouse will visit. The expo will have an abundance of food and crafts and other items for purchase.
November 29, 2014 |
It's truly the most wonderful time of the year. No, not Black Friday - put the shopping bag down, step away from the cash register, and consider what else the Christmas season has to offer in music, dance, on stage, and, well, everywhere. This year's cornucopia of holiday entertainment offers just about anything - even a use for that ugly sweater someone is even now taking off a rack to put in a colorful wrapped box with a bow and a tag that says For You . Aaahhh! Let's think of fun instead.
November 10, 2014 |
When the power was shut off at the Walnut Street Theatre's Port Richmond scenic and prop shop a few years ago, it could have meant trouble. But, there in the dark, producing artistic director Bernard Havard saw an opportunity. It turned out the landlord hadn't been paying the utility bills or the mortgage. So, rather than risk eviction, the Walnut bought the building - more than tripling its space from 24,000 to 85,000 square feet. "To be able to control our own destiny has always been a priority for me," Havard said.
November 8, 2014
YOU MAY still be munching on Halloween candy, but like it or not, the holiday season is here. Certainly retailers are already on the case, and so is the region's theater community, which has a diverse menu of offerings ready for serving. As always, the fare includes both the season-specific (the annual staging of "A Christmas Carol" at Princeton University's McCarter Theatre) and the family-friendly ("Mary Poppins" at the Walnut Street Theatre; " Rodgers & Hammerstein 's Cinderella" at the Academy of Music)