Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Tuesday, September 16, 2014, 9:18 AM

By Wendy Rosenfield

for the Inquirer

There's often a direct line drawn between the artists Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Andy Warhol: their personal oddities and illnesses, their embrace of advertising as art, their affection for depicting quotidian moments in the lives of the demimonde. However, Mary Tuomanen and Aaron Cromie's The Body Lautrecfocuses less on Lautrec the artist and more on Lautrec the invalid outcast, with mixed results.

Wendy Rosenfield @ 9:18 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Sunday, September 14, 2014, 3:32 AM
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Merilyn Jackson

For the Inquirer

  The much-anticipated Antigone Sr./Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at the Judson Church (L) opened Friday night at the FringeArts venue. The scene is set with three large white raised squares near the audience. As choreographer Trajal Harrell explains in a curtain talk, they are “islands” which the space’s lack of depth prevented from being set back  further, “But they’re here,” he said drily.

Merilyn Jackson @ 3:32 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, September 12, 2014, 11:53 PM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

Not a single word of the 512 pages of Victor Hugo's novel is spoken in The Hunchback of Notre Dame...a Mute Play, since it is performed as mime, which sometimes works to great effect and sometimes doesn't; even the best effects can wear thin and big scenes can go on too long. The production was conceived and directed by Michael Durkin.

Toby Zinman @ 11:53 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, September 12, 2014, 12:02 AM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

One of those wonderful Fringe surprises: a show running only two nights with the unprepossessing title,  Speed Dating TONIGHT! turns out to be so good in such unexpected and charming ways.

Toby Zinman @ 12:02 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, September 11, 2014, 7:54 AM

by Toby Zinman

for the Inquirer

Toby Zinman @ 7:54 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, September 8, 2014, 9:49 AM

By Jim Rutter

For THE INQUIRER

In Communicating Doors, Alan Ayckbourn has written an almost director-proof play. At least I would have argued that before seeing the Liam Castellan helmed production currently at the Hedgerow Theatre.

@ 9:49 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Sunday, September 7, 2014, 10:24 PM

by Toby Zinman

for the Inquirer

Steve Jobs said that the "i" in all the Apple products' names stood for "internet, individual, instruct, inform, inspire." And although the products are patented, the use of  "i" is not, and Philly Shakes's solo show, iHamlet, an adaptation by Robin Malan, seems to mean the "i" literally as "I" since the show is made up of Hamlet's lines extracted from the play and strung together. Hamlet as narcissist. And a female narcissist to boot.

Toby Zinman @ 10:24 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Sunday, September 7, 2014, 8:19 AM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

It's hard to know which is the more astonishing: the revelation of a work by Shakespeare unknown to almost everybody, or the impassioned performance by Dan Hodge in delivering the epic poem, The Rape of Lucrece.  Either way, this production by PAC (Philadelphia Artists Collective) is not to be missed.

Toby Zinman @ 8:19 AM  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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