Friday, July 3, 2015

POSTED: Friday, July 3, 2015, 8:58 AM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

The endearing, talented, always-a-pleasure Bearded Ladies have concocted a new show, Bitter Homes and Gardens: A Botanical Hoedown. In it, they ask the question: if plants had voices, what would they sing? This outdoor production, in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's Pop-Up Gardens, is in the heart of South Philly, across 9th Street from Pat's Steaks. The BLs perform on a makeshift stage with the crumbling mural faces of Bobby Rydell, Chubby Checker and Frankie Avalon looking down upon them.

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POSTED: Thursday, July 2, 2015, 12:48 AM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

An amiable little play, unadorned by sets or costumes or props, Heisenberg is about uncertainty—thus the title. Although Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle is about quantum mechanics—if you know where a subatomic particle  is, you can't tell how fast it's going and vice versa—the appeal for non-mathematicians and non-physicists is obvious: we all know that uncertainty seems to be a law of the universe we inhabit daily. Especially when it comes to love.

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POSTED: Thursday, June 25, 2015, 8:11 AM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

 A nude Blanche du Bois in Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire. A barefoot production of Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge. An operatic version of Annie Proulx's  Brokeback Mountain. Shakespeare’s Roman plays—Coriolanus, Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra—transformed into an epic multi-media spectacle.

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POSTED: Thursday, June 18, 2015, 9:50 PM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

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POSTED: Sunday, June 14, 2015, 9:56 PM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

Bruce Norris: Master of Bickering.  Like his earlier, Pulitzer-winning, Tony-winning play, Clybourne Park, his new but not-so-funny comedy, The Qualms, is about a small group of people, gathered together, whose conversation deteriorates into sneering, and whose claims to honesty disintegrate into judgmental sniping. This time, it's not a real estate they're bickering about, but sex.

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POSTED: Friday, June 12, 2015, 10:51 PM

By Merilyn Jackson

For The Philadelphia Inquirer

From the opening curtain to the final darkening of the lights, exuberant reactions -- both subjectively visceral and objectively profound -- rippled through the Merriam Theater at The Pennsylvania Ballet’s season closer Thursday night.

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POSTED: Friday, June 12, 2015, 12:11 AM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

Mary Tuomanen, whose company Applied Mechanics has given Philadelphia's more adventurous audiences some great shows (Vainglorious is my favorite), and others in collaboration with Aaron Cromie (the extraordinary The Body Lautrec in last year's Fringe). Hello, Sadness is a solo piece, although she created it with Cromie and Rebecca Wright, and performs under Annie Wilson's direction.

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POSTED: Wednesday, June 3, 2015, 10:50 PM

THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

Toby Zinman @ 10:50 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
About this blog

Toby Zinman's night job since 2006 is theater critic for the Inquirer where she reviews New York and London as well as Philadelphia. Her day job: Prize-winning prof at UArts, author of five books about modern and contemporary drama, and doer of scholarly deeds (winner of five NEH grants, Fulbright lecturer at Tel Aviv University, visiting professor in China). She was recently named by American Theatre magazine "one of the twelve most influential critics in America."


Wendy Rosenfield has written freelance features and theater reviews for The Inquirer since 2006. She was theater critic for the Philadelphia Weekly from 1995 to 2001, after which she enjoyed a five-year baby-raising sabbatical. She serves on the board of the American Theatre Critics Association, was a participant in the Bennington Writer's Workshop, a 2008 NEA/USC Fellow in Theater and Musical Theater, and twice was guest critic for the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival's Region II National Critics Institute. She received her B.A. from Bennington College and her M.L.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. She also is a fiction writer, was proofreader to a swami, publications editor for the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, and spends all her free time working out and driving people places. Follow her on Twitter @WendyRosenfield.


Jim Rutter has reviewed theater for The Inquirer since September, 2011. Since 2006, he covered dance, theater and opera for the Broad Street Review, and has also written for many suburban newspapers, including The Main Line Times. In 2009, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded him a Fellowship in Arts Journalism. Thames & Hudson released his updated and revised version of Ballet and Modern Dance in June, 2012. From 1998 to 2005, he taught philosophy and logic at Drexel, and then Widener University. He also coaches Olympic Weightlifting for Liberty Barbell, and has competed at the national level in that sport since 2001.


Merilyn Jackson regularly writes on dance for The Inquirer and other publications. She specializes in the arts, literature, food, travel, and Eastern European culture and politics. In 2001, she was dance critic in residence at the Festival of Contemporary Dance in Bytom, Poland; in 2005, she received an NEA Critics’ Fellowship to Duke University’s Institute for Dance Criticism. She likes to say that dance was her first love but that when she discovered writing she began to cheat on dance. Now that she writes about dance, she’s made an honest woman of herself, although she also writes poetry.

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