Saturday, November 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Thursday, November 20, 2014, 3:10 PM
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Photo: Alexander Iziliaev

BalletX in Jorma Elo's Gran Partita

By Merilyn Jackson

Merilyn Jackson @ 3:10 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, November 18, 2014, 1:19 PM

By Wendy Rosenfield

for the Inquirer

It's kind of a marvel to realize that Neil Simon's Lost in Yonkers, now in a fine revival at Bristol Riverside Theatre, premiered in 1990. Though it won the 1991 Pulitzer Prize and swept the Tonys, it was, by then, something of an anachronism: both a new Simon play and a sentimental look back at a Jewish immigrant family during World War II.

Wendy Rosenfield @ 1:19 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, November 18, 2014, 1:15 PM

By Wendy Rosenfield

for the Inquirer

WILMINGTON - Delaware Theatre Company advertises L.A.-based comedy writer Steve Bluestein's Rest, in Pieces as "Laugh Out Loud FUNNY," using that pull quote from a review of another production of this play, in big, bold letters. But if the sounds of audience sobbing and sniffling are any guide, that's really a mischaracterization. It's a dramatic comedy, sure, but its driving force is grief, its plot an exploration of that grief, and its jokes - or at least two-thirds of them - born of bitterness and anger.

Wendy Rosenfield @ 1:15 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Sunday, November 16, 2014, 10:43 PM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

My first thought as I sit down to write this is that I need to see this play again. And not only because it's deliberately ambiguous but also because it's great theater: great writing, great acting, great production.

Toby Zinman @ 10:43 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, November 14, 2014, 4:20 PM

By Merilyn Jackson

For the Inquirer

Philadelphia’s most expressive company, Koresh Dance, opened its home season at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre Thursday night, flaunting its signature emotive style. Ev-o-lu-tion, a reprise from 2009, adds primordial grunts to its signifying gestures. Koresh notes that if you flip the first four letters of evolution, you get love, which inspired this piece – an examination of how humans expressed love in pre-language ages.

Merilyn Jackson @ 4:20 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, November 13, 2014, 8:33 AM

by Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

It's a Tinkerbell moment (I know, I know: wrong show): when Mary Poppins, holding her umbrella, toes pointed out, flies serenely through the air, across the stage, everybody claps.  The Walnut Street Theatre's production of Mary Poppins is full of those big irresistible Broadway moments, likely to delight children and their parents and their grandparents, and their cousins, and their dogs, and just about anybody who enjoys the sugar rush of Disneyfied musical comedy.

Toby Zinman @ 8:33 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Sunday, November 9, 2014, 12:09 AM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

Madeleine George's The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence is a brainy play about computers and love, and the Azuka production, under Allison Heishman's canny direction, is smart and funny and oddly moving. It asks big questions about trust and human-ness and the "awning of history" and the contemporary "epidemic of feduped-ness."

Toby Zinman @ 12:09 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, November 6, 2014, 10:02 PM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

David Rabe's Sticks and Bones is surely the most surprising and ferocious revival in this revival-laden season in New York theater. Written in 1971, soon after the playwright returned home from a tour of duty in Vietnam, the script has been revised—but not, interestingly, updated—for this brilliant production. That it has not been updated is surprising since it references all kinds of stuff most people under 50 don't know or care much about: the  popular 1950s-60s TV sit-com The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet,  Ricky Nelson as pop music star, and the war in Vietnam, which, for many young people is merely ancient history and not the sea change in American culture it was.

Toby Zinman @ 10:02 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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