Saturday, August 1, 2015

POSTED: Saturday, August 1, 2015, 10:34 AM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

 Heathers: the Musical was adapted by Kevin Murphy and Laurence O'Keefe  from the 1988 mean girls cult movie. Now, Vulcan Lyric, formerly known as the Center City Opera Theater, launches their Summer Festival with this rock musical and three operas running  in rep through mid-August.   And although Vucan Lyric's announced mission is to develop "new works with contemporary resonance," Heathers: the Musical has already had an off-Broadway run.  

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POSTED: Tuesday, July 21, 2015, 9:13 PM
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Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2015, 3:01 AM
 

A wide range of styles typifies the annual Come Together Festival, opening Wednesday at Suzanne Roberts Theatre.

The brainchild of Roni Koresh and brother Alon, the festival began in 2013 and has expanded rapidly, jumping from 26 companies presented last year to 33 this year. That includes a few out-of-towners: 10 Hairy Legs (Highland Park, N.J.), Ballet Inc. (New York), and Donald Byrd's Seattle-based Spectrum Dance Theater. Byrd has achieved international visibility for his creation of the Harlem Nutcracker and his choreography for the Broadway smash The Color Purple.

Merilyn Jackson @ 9:13 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Saturday, July 18, 2015, 11:09 AM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

Grab your wigs and fake boobs, guys: the glitter is in the audience for Divine/Intervention. The onstage show, which just opened at a nightclub called Voyeur (dark, dark, dark with gigantic lavender-lit chandeliers), is actually a serious and often moving bio drama about the counter-culture icon known as Divine.  

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POSTED: Monday, July 13, 2015, 6:13 PM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

This outlandish comedy by Robert Askins takes on some big issues—sex, religion, the inevitability of violence, secret knowledge, and the permanent presence of evil, for instance—and, with the help of some creepy sock puppets makes those topics surprisingly entertaining. It's Genesis all over again: temptation, the fall, and the beginning of adulthood.

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POSTED: Tuesday, July 7, 2015, 12:10 AM

By Merilyn Jackson

FOR THE INQUIRER

It’s a privilege to observe a dance rehearsal. After a while, you’re not noticed. You become like that fly on the wall — the wall of a studio at the University of the Arts, where BalletX is rehearsing for its summer run, opening Wednesday, at the Wilma Theater. In one corner, dancers try on shoes, speaking softly so as not to disturb the duet across the room, under the choreographer’s eye.

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POSTED: Saturday, July 4, 2015, 8:11 AM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

Moon Man Walk is the first of six productions of Orbiter 3, a new playwrights' collective in Philadelphia, created to give new scripts a chance to be seen. James Ijames, the author of Moon Man Walk, is an excellent high-profile starting point, having scooped up Barrymore Awards, Pew grants and all manner of career-making prizes. Last summer we saw his brilliant tragicomedy, The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington.

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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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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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