Friday, February 12, 2016

POSTED: Monday, March 3, 2014, 8:08 PM

By David Patrick Stearns

Jane Austen has handily overtaken pretty much everybody among staged romantic comedies, not just because she helped codify the form, but because nobody (still) does it better.

The People’s Light and Theatre Company’s engrossing adaptation of Pride and Prejudice achieves immediacy for 21st-century audiences through meticulous attention to period manners. Our distance from Regency England allows a more objective comparison to our own cold, calculating mating dances. For all their exterior formality, Austen’s characters — who pursue the spouse of their dreams with endless complications along the way — verbalize power dynamics with a frankness that Sex and the City denizens would only discuss guiltily among themselves.

POSTED: Wednesday, January 22, 2014, 3:22 PM
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 12: Actor Bradley Cooper attends the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 12, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt (Getty Images)

Want to get up close and personal with Rydal's own Bradley Cooper? The recent Oscar nominee will reprise his role as John Merrick in a revival of Bernard Pomerance's "The Elephant Man," Entertainment Weekly reports.

Cooper originally played the role of the severely disfigured Merrick in a 2012 at the well-respected Williamstown Theatre Festival in the Berkshires. Actor Philip Anglim was nominated for a Tony during the show's original 1979, and John Hurt was nominated for an Oscar for his role in the 1980 David Lynch film adaptation, playing opposite Anthony Hopkins.

The production is set for the fall. No details on the cast has been released.

POSTED: Thursday, December 19, 2013, 1:28 PM
Glen Macnow, of WIP Sportsradio. (Sharon Gekoski-Kimmel)

Glen Macnow has settled on new contract details with SportsRadio WIP. Rather than appear on the midday show with Anthony Gargano, Macnow will serve as "expert contributor," according to a statement.

Macnow will KYW Newsradio's "Reporter's Round-up" and work with Harry Donahue during football season. He will continue to host WIP's Saturday program from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with Ray Didinger. In addition, Macnow will contribute to Phillies pre- and post- game shows on WPHT.

Macnow took a hiatus from his midday show earlier this month due to the contract dispute, but continued to appear on  the Eagles pregame show.

POSTED: Friday, September 13, 2013, 7:59 PM

By David Patrick Stearns

Rarely is an audience so deadly quiet as during On the Concept of the Face, Regarding the Son of God, the unofficial centerpiece of FringeArts’ curated section of the 2013 Fringe Festival. The theater piece by Italian director Romeo Castellucci uses a huge Renaissance painting of Jesus as a backdrop for exploring end-of-life issues at their most degrading.

The Societas Raffaello Sanzio production, which opened Thursday at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, has been seen in two dozen countries and has met with extreme reactions, pro and con. A deeply considered, precisely rendered piece of stagecraft, it’s full of doors, perceptual and philosophical, that lead to important places, but never the same ones for any two audience members. It’s such a boat-rocking experience that I can’t recommend it across the board. But I wouldn’t have missed it for anything.

POSTED: Sunday, September 8, 2013, 9:51 PM

By David Patrick Stearns

By the end of A Doll’s House on Friday at the Adrienne Theater, EgoPo Classic Theater had presented an exposé of modern theater techniques commonly used to dismantle great plays.

Surely the savvy artistic minds at EgoPo recognize the stature of A Doll’s House, know that Henrik Ibsen’s story of a 19th-century Scandinavian housewife facing blackmail and ruin in a rigid, retrogressive society not only holds up 130 years after its premiere but has much to say to any generation trapped by received ideas on how life should be lived.

POSTED: Monday, June 24, 2013, 6:18 PM

By Jim Rutter

"What doesn't kill us makes us stronger." Nietzsche's dictum, great for individuals seeking motivation, bad for couples incapable of masking mutual resentment. Case in point: Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years, now receiving a soulful production by 11th Hour Theatre Company at University of the Arts' Caplan Center for the Performing Arts.

Brown's book chronologically separates the sung-through storylines of twentysomethings Jamie (Michael Philip O'Brien) and Cathy (Cara Noel Antosca); her narrative begins at the end of their failed five-year marriage and works backward, while he retells the story from the start. It's a clever, if at times confusing, device in which each character tells one side of the story, only interacting with the other in the number that signifies their engagement and wedding.

POSTED: Friday, May 31, 2013, 3:21 PM

By Jim Rutter

The Arden Theatre first staged Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music in 1995 at the Arts Bank on Broad and South Streets. Two decades on, they've upstaged the musical with a gorgeously designed, magnificently presented production that, as a capstone to the Arden's 25th season, revels in its success.

Hugh Wheeler's book (inspired by Ingmar Bergman's 1955 film Smiles of a Summer Night) depicts the intermingled romantic follies of three couples: mid-40s lawyer Fredrik Egerman (Christopher Patrick Mullen) and his 18-year-old still-virgin bride, Anne (Patti-Lee Meringo), who teases her husband's seminary-student son, Henrik (Joe Hogan), even as he flirts with the maid, Petra (Alex Keiper), while his dad tries to rekindle a romance with actress Desiree (Grace Gonglewski), herself stoking the dying fires of an affair with Count Carl-Magnus (Ben Dibble), as his marriage to Countess Charlotte (Karen Peakes) falters.

POSTED: Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 2:20 PM

By David Patrick Stearns

PRINCETON - "Is this professional or volunteer?" asked one of the younger audience members at Into the Woods, now playing at the McCarter Theatre Center in a production by the Fiasco Theater. Good question.

Before the show began on Saturday afternoon, the scrupulously casual actors loitered around the stage, greeting friends in the audience, slowly coalescing into the intricate web of fairy tales retold by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine with a wisdom that grows deeper with repeated exposure.

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Theater news, reviews, and criticism from The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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