A lot of force is with this one. This weekend, The Last Jedi enjoyed the second-biggest opening weekend in North American box-office history, according to studio estimates on Sunday. And that has to mean the folks at Disney are feeling fine.
"The Color Purple," at the Forrest Theatre through Sunday, is a national tour of the enduringly popular Broadway musical. In many ways it's closer to the novel than was the beloved, somewhat overdone 1985 Spielberg movie. Act 1 is pretty good, if muted and (surprisingly) burdened with stereotype - but act 2 is an ever-loving triumph that will elevate a lot of people to a place of joy, suitable for the season.
WHYY's Marty Moss-Coane has hosted 30 years of 'Radio Times' (and one distressing segment with Carl Bernstein)
This year, WHYY's Marty Moss-Coane celebrates the 30th anniversary of "Radio Times." She talked with us about how she got there, how she finally found work-life balance, and about good and bad guests through the years.
The national tour of "The Color Purple" is here Tuesday through Sunday, at the Forrest Theatre. Trenton Central High School alum Carrie Compere plays Sofia. "Yeah, it's the iconic Oprah Winfrey role everybody knows from the movie," she said in a phone call Monday. "I mean, people really know it. On our performance last night in Hartford, a woman shouted from the crowd, 'All right, Oprah!' " The trick is to make your own Sofia - and sing, "Hell No"!
"My Fair Lady," through Dec. 23 at the Quintessence Theatre Group, is, I'm told, the group's first attempt at an adult classic musical. It's a success (Friday's house was packed with a singalong crowd), and I hope they do a lot more. It's an evening full of brio, heady emotions, the spectacle of people changing before your eyes, and a profound closing truth, all the more profound right now.
"Aladdin - A Musical Panto," through Jan. 7 at People's Light, is the theater's 14th annual panto. Sung and danced with wacky abandon, infectious and smile-inducing, it's a diverse, pop-cult-wise show for everyone, especially the video gamers out there.
"Peter Pan" at the Arden Theatre Company (through Jan. 28) is a clever, engaging production. It's great for the littlest littles, diverting enough for the middle littles, and its major theme - about time, and how children will always grow up and leave their parents - may give parents a lump in the throat. Special effects tend toward the homemade: This version makes you imagine, rendering this oft-told tale fresh and engaging.
Ed Asner and Kate Burton are coming to Philadelphia in January as part of an East Coast tour, in a tribute to International Holocaust Remembrance Day (Jan. 27). On Jan. 31, 2018, at 7 p.m., Asner and Burton will do a concert reading of The Soap Myth by Jeff Cohen at Congregation Rodeph Shalom, 615 N. Broad Street.
"Every Brilliant Thing" is playing at the Arden Theatre Company through Dec. 10. Scott Greer turns a one-man show into a cast of 80 in the brand-new "Bob and Selma" stage. This is an audience-participation heartbreaker, about what makes life worth living, what the brilliant things in life really are. We come out loving life and the brilliant things more.
Justin Guarini, Doylestown resident, "American Idol" veteran, and Broadway star, has agreed to step in for the injured lead in "The New World," at Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope. The play is a musical about the first Thanksgiving. Guarini will play the lead for the entire run.
John Timpane is the books/fine arts editor/writer for the Inquirer. His beat includes books, social media, dance, theater, art, museums, and classical music. From 1997 to 2008 he was the Commentary page editor.