Wednesday, May 27, 2015

POSTED: Sunday, May 24, 2015, 1:18 PM

By Wendy Rosenfield

for the Inquirer

Here’s what an extravaganza Pig Iron Theatre Company’s new devised (collaborative) production, I Promised Myself to Live Faster is: I had to check the program several times, because I couldn’t believe it listed only five performers. As a tribute to Charles Ludlam and his Ridiculous Theatre Company, this is right and good. 

Wendy Rosenfield @ 1:18 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Sunday, May 24, 2015, 10:04 AM

By Wendy Rosenfield

for the Inquirer

Here's a shameful confession: I have been reviewing theater since before my children were born, and not only is the current tour of Disney's The Lion King, which roars into the Academy of Music for a 3 1/2-week run, my first time seeing the show, but my kids have never seen it, either. Now, with yet another tour padding into town, they're too busy, too old, and too trained in the art of watching theater to really enjoy it.

Wendy Rosenfield @ 10:04 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, May 19, 2015, 10:04 PM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

Pub theater is a venerable tradition in the UK: a drinking establishment downstairs and a small theater upstairs.  Fergie's Pub has provided such a venue locally for Inis Nua's "second helping," a final show tacked onto their main season. David Greig's The Letter of Last Resort is a little play—merely half an hour--about a big idea.

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POSTED: Monday, May 18, 2015, 9:52 PM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

But how does she do it? How does Annie Baker's The Flick mesmerize us when nothing seems to be happening, and rivet our attention when nobody seems to be saying anything particularly important? Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, The Flick is Baker's latest in her starry, off-Broadway career, as she once again collaborates with the director Sam Gold; together they are astounding.

Toby Zinman @ 9:52 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, May 14, 2015, 11:17 PM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

A work of bizarro genius, The Incredibly Dangerous Astonishing Lucrative and Potentially True Adventure of Barry Seal, at Fringe Arts only through Saturday, is not to be missed. Thaddeus Phillips gives us a brilliant, hilarious theater installation/conspiracy theory/telenovela/true-life drama about the drug smuggler and CIA agent named Barry Seal. 

Toby Zinman @ 11:17 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, May 11, 2015, 5:39 AM

FIVE MILE LAKE

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

Toby Zinman @ 5:39 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Sunday, May 10, 2015, 9:20 AM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

The saddest line in this funny play by Steven Karamabout misfit teenagers struggling with all the stuff misfit teenagers struggle with is: "I don't want to talk about it."

Toby Zinman @ 9:20 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, May 8, 2015, 8:35 AM

By Wendy Rosenfield

for the Inquirer

Even under the best circumstances, there's so much effort, so much heartbreak and anxiety that goes into raising, educating, and preparing a child for college and adulthood. Kimber Lee's brownsville song (b-side for tray), in a coproduction between Philadelphia Theatre Company and New Haven's Long Wharf Theatre, examines the tail end of those efforts when, despite all odds, everything starts to come together for Tray, a promising African American high school senior and aspiring boxer.

Wendy Rosenfield @ 8:35 AM  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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