Monday, November 24, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Friday, June 13, 2014, 11:11 PM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

They say that clothes make the man. This seems to be literally true in the case of Jack, the central character in The Toughest Boy in Philadelphia, who is actually a transvestite named Florence.  Iron Age Theatre, based in Norristown, brings this new play to Philadelphia for Gay Pride Month and for the company's first full-run in the city in ten years.

Toby Zinman @ 11:11 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, June 13, 2014, 10:06 AM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

"This show has never been seen before and will never be seen again." This  is how Bobbi Block, founder of the improv company Tongue & Groove, introduces "Unspoken," a 75-minute show that will be created before our eyes and will be based on audience submissions: every show is a one-of-a-kind.

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POSTED: Friday, June 6, 2014, 11:16 AM

By Wendy Rosenfield

for the Inquirer

There's a lot to like about InterAct Theatre Company's world premiere for Ritu Comes Home, written by Peter Gil-Sheridan. Commissioned by the company in 2009, this comedy about Jason and Brendan, a bourgeois gay white couple; their Mexican American female BFF, Yesenia; and Ritu, the impoverished Bangladeshi teen the couple support "for just 80 cents a day," mixes zingy dialogue with identity politics lite and a little magic.

Wendy Rosenfield @ 11:16 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, June 2, 2014, 10:36 AM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

She's the scorned woman who showed Hell what fury looks like. She's the 2500 year-old feminist icon, half witch, half myth. Medea, Euripides' child-murdering monster, is also Nicky Silver's appalling maternal character who turns up over and over again in his plays. Too Much Sun, his newest comedy, stars the knockout Linda Lavin diva-ing it up in this premiere at the Vineyard Theater.

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POSTED: Saturday, May 31, 2014, 1:31 PM

By Wendy Rosenfield

for the Inquirer

The first time I saw New Paradise Laboratories' 27, back during its 2012 Fringe Fest premiere, I thought it was mostly form over function. This dance-theater meditation on purgatory and the "27 Club" - those rock icons who perished directly or indirectly by their own hands at age 27 - was pretty but inconsequential, elegantly wasted.

Wendy Rosenfield @ 1:31 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Saturday, May 31, 2014, 9:58 AM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

And then the lights went out.

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POSTED: Friday, May 30, 2014, 8:51 AM

By Wendy Rosenfield

for the Inquirer

It's not often I get to write an unabashed rave that's also an expression of civic pride, so listen up: The Arden Theatre's revival of Incorruptible is a valentine to and from the Philadelphia theater community. An Arden greatest hit from its 1995-96 season, it's written by Michael Hollinger, a Philadelphia-based playwright, and features an all-Philadelphia cast, director, and designers. But that's not the only reason you should care.

Wendy Rosenfield @ 8:51 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, May 27, 2014, 11:26 AM

By Wendy Rosenfield

for the Inquirer

Neil Simon's Chapter Two, a 1976 Broadway hit and tribute to the romantic fortitude of the playwright's second wife, Marsha Mason, finds itself at the Bucks County Playhouse for yet another chapter. The twist this time is that Mason directs the story of her own marriage and the role that, for its film adaptation costarring James Caan, won her an Academy Award nomination.

Wendy Rosenfield @ 11:26 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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