Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Tuesday, October 21, 2014, 9:43 AM

By Wendy Rosenfield

for the Inquirer

There's something about Quintessence Theatre Group's production of Richard II that calls to mind The Rocky Horror Picture Show and the downfall of its alien king, Frank N. Furter. Stay with me here. It's not the costumes or spare set, but Alexander Burns' direction, which picks sides, favoring Richard as sexy, bratty, and decadent, and poking at Bolingbroke (the future Henry IV) for his humorlessness and austerity. It's hubris vs. hubris, but Richard's hubris has style, and while it ultimately loses him both the crown and his life, he exits looking and sounding better than his buttoned-up rival.

Wendy Rosenfield @ 9:43 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, October 17, 2014, 12:44 PM

By Wendy Rosenfield

for the Inquirer

Wendy Rosenfield @ 12:44 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, October 16, 2014, 11:51 PM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

Bad Jews a family drama without parents, aunts, uncles and most especially in this case, without a grandfather. There is none of the usual equipment for a dysfunctional family drama: no kitchen table, no drunks, no terrible secrets. This is a millennial generation showdown: two "bad" Jews, one "good" Jew and one shiksa girlfriend. 

Toby Zinman @ 11:51 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, October 13, 2014, 6:36 PM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

Words like "luminous" and "radiant" come to mind to describe Roundabout's fine production of Tom Stoppard's 1995 play, Indian Ink; it's not only the deliciously romantic and satisfyingly complex script, but also the visuals: Robert Wierzel's lighting design is beautifully evocative;

Toby Zinman @ 6:36 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Saturday, October 11, 2014, 8:13 AM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

Fans of  BBC mysteries involving MI6, the British Intelligence agency that handles international spy stuff, will enjoy this small-scale puzzle-play about double dealing and turned agents.  Inis Nua Theatre Company's production of Dawn King's play, Ciphers, is handsomely performed under Tom Reing's satisfyingly sly direction.

Toby Zinman @ 8:13 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, October 10, 2014, 8:10 AM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

This is not your father's dinner theater. Tiny Dynamite's version of eating-at-the-theater offers "A Play, A Pint and a Pie"—a drink, a slice of pizza and a professional production of an hour-long play, with a new show each week. This week's production is A Number by major British playwright,  Caryl Churchill, and it is not to be missed.

Toby Zinman @ 8:10 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, October 9, 2014, 11:34 PM

by Toby Zinman

for the Inquirer

Another major revival on Broadway: Terrence McNally's 1982 comedy, It's Only a Play, has been stuffed with stars and often hilarious up-to-the-minute topical references about New York theatre and New York theatre people.  Directed by Tony-winning Jack O'Brien, it's old-time entertainment.

Toby Zinman @ 11:34 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, October 6, 2014, 5:56 PM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

Toby Zinman @ 5:56 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
About this blog
Toby Zinman's night job since 2006 is theater critic for the Inquirer. She also is a contributing writer for Variety and American Theatre magazine. Her day job: Prize-winning prof at UArts, author of four books about four playwrights (Rabe, McNally, Miller, Albee), and doer of scholarly deeds (winner of five NEH grants, Fulbright lecturer at Tel Aviv University, visiting professor in China). Her 'weekend' job as a travel writer provides adventure: dogsledding in the Yukon, ziplining in Belize, walking coast-to-coast across England, and cowboying in the Australian Outback.


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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