Thursday, December 25, 2014

POSTED: Tuesday, December 16, 2014, 12:35 PM

By Wendy Rosenfield

for the Inquirer

Sure, NBC brought a whole new layer of uncomfortable subtext to its recent production of Peter Pan Live!, but for pure equilibrium-smashing anarchy, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland might still be the strangest classic children's tale. Quintessence Theatre Group makes it even "curiouser and curiouser," pairing with black-light mask-and-puppeteers Archedream for Humankind to take on Simon Reade's adaptation of Lewis Carroll's story.

Wendy Rosenfield @ 12:35 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, December 15, 2014, 10:08 PM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

If the title of this new play by Samuel D. Hunter has you singing Judy Garland's famous song from A Star is Born ("I was born in a trunk in the Princess Theatre in Pocatello, Idaho"), sing no more. This is a grim, realistic drama, a big-cast hymn to unhappiness by the playwright whose enormous hit, The Whale, will be on Theatre Exile's stage in February.

Toby Zinman @ 10:08 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Saturday, December 6, 2014, 1:57 PM
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Parsons Dance onstage at Annenberg

Merilyn Jackson, For The Inquirer

Posted: Saturday, December 6, 2014, 3:01 AM

Additional performances: 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 3680 Walnut St. Information: 215-898-3900 or www.annenbergcenter.org
 
Dance Celebration favorite David Parsons came to town with his company, Parsons Dance, Thursday night for a run at the Annenberg Center and infused the audience with his playful spirit.

Merilyn Jackson @ 1:57 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, December 4, 2014, 7:27 AM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

Toby Zinman @ 7:27 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, November 25, 2014, 11:51 PM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

It's a neat trick: fulfill retrograde girlish fantasies (tall, handsome, rich price whisks you away from your dreary chores and your lousy dresses) while also pandering to the demands of contemporary gender politics: offer empowerment, self-actualization and any other politically correct goal on the current curriculum.  And this touring production of the Broadway show, Cinderella, at the Academy of Music for the Thanksgiving holiday week, adds to the p.c. effect with a veritable rainbow of actors in the ensemble.

Toby Zinman @ 11:51 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Sunday, November 23, 2014, 3:12 PM

By Wendy Rosenfield

for the Inquirer

A year ago this week, Methodist minister Frank Schaefer was defrocked for officiating at his oldest son Tim's same-sex wedding. Curio Theatre Company's The Matter of Frank Schaefer, a documentary theater-style look at the furor surrounding his trials, both literal and figurative, presents an imperfect, though compelling, account of a man asking "What would Jesus do?

Wendy Rosenfield @ 3:12 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
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
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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