Sunday, July 5, 2015

POSTED: Wednesday, June 3, 2015, 10:50 PM

THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

Toby Zinman @ 10:50 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, June 2, 2015, 10:23 PM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

Skinny pale arms stick out of a droopy white t-shirt. He plucks at his skin in meaningless, jumpy gestures, and sometimes talks—faster than seems possible--with his eyes closed as if he's reading off the inside of his eyelids. This is Jesse Eisenberg's terrific portrayal of Ben, an extreme neurotic personality and the central character in The Spoils, which boasts a supporting cast just as good as he is. Eisenberg also wrote this disturbing and very contemporary play 

Toby Zinman @ 10:23 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, June 2, 2015, 12:09 AM

By Toby Zinman

FOR THE INQUIRER

Early arrivers at the Arden Theatre’s fund-raising concert and award ceremony for Broadway eminence Stephen Sondheim on Monday night were greeted with champagne and popcorn, and chatted happily in the lobby until just after 7 p.m., when the lights went out.

Toby Zinman @ 12:09 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Sunday, May 31, 2015, 2:39 PM

By Wendy Rosenfield

for the Inquirer

Some men just love trouble, and some women are happy to provide it. Such are the inflammations in the Arden Theatre's production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's dark, romantic Passion. This is not "another simple love story," sing its entangled leads, Clara and Giorgio. Although Clara is married with a young child, and Giorgio is about to tell her he's shipping off to a provincial military outpost in a few days, they don't yet know the half of it.

Wendy Rosenfield @ 2:39 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, May 28, 2015, 7:46 AM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

Tom Stoppard's brilliant play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, now in a lively production at the Wilma Theater, takes its title from the last scene in Hamlet when a messenger arrives to report that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two friends of the Prince of Denmark, are dead.  In Shakespeare's play, this news doesn't move us much—they are, after all, two smarmy, not-too-bright guys sent to spy on Hamlet, and we have larger, tragic deaths to deal with—like everybody's.

Toby Zinman @ 7:46 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, May 27, 2015, 8:54 PM
Blog Image

Philadelphia dances down to Longwood Gardens

Merilyn Jackson, For The Inquirer

Posted: Tuesday, May 26, 2015, 3:01 AM

Merilyn Jackson @ 8:54 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Sunday, May 24, 2015, 1:18 PM

By Wendy Rosenfield

for the Inquirer

Here’s what an extravaganza Pig Iron Theatre Company’s new devised (collaborative) production, I Promised Myself to Live Faster is: I had to check the program several times, because I couldn’t believe it listed only five performers. As a tribute to Charles Ludlam and his Ridiculous Theatre Company, this is right and good. 

Wendy Rosenfield @ 1:18 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Sunday, May 24, 2015, 10:04 AM

By Wendy Rosenfield

for the Inquirer

Here's a shameful confession: I have been reviewing theater since before my children were born, and not only is the current tour of Disney's The Lion King, which roars into the Academy of Music for a 3 1/2-week run, my first time seeing the show, but my kids have never seen it, either. Now, with yet another tour padding into town, they're too busy, too old, and too trained in the art of watching theater to really enjoy it.

Wendy Rosenfield @ 10:04 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
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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