Saturday, October 10, 2015

POSTED: Wednesday, April 15, 2015, 10:31 AM

By Wendy Rosenfield

for the Inquirer

Montgomery Theater is a cozy suburban house, and Marry Me a Little, a sweet, sung-through two-hander featuring Sondheim castoffs (and a few songs that would later be included in his musical Saturday Night) should be just the right fit.  Fashioned into a tale about two of the naked city’s stories--a man, a woman, and the apartment building they share (with hopes of someday sharing the apartment)--it underscores the point that when it comes to Sondheim’s lyricism, “castoff” is a relative term.

Wendy Rosenfield @ 10:31 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, April 14, 2015, 11:12 AM
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(TOM GRALISH/Staff Photographer) (From left) Michele Tantoco, Christina Gesualdi, Beau Hancock, Megan Bridge, Gregory Holt rehearse "Dust," set to Robert Ashley's opera.

A choreographer takes an opera to heart

Merilyn Jackson, For the Inquirer

Posted: Tuesday, April 14, 2015, 3:01 AM

Merilyn Jackson @ 11:12 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, April 13, 2015, 1:39 AM

By Wendy Rosenfield

for the Inquirer

Enda Walsh’s Penelope is really only peripherally about that long-suffering classical icon of marital devotion. In Inis Nua Theatre Company’s production, she wanders in and out of a sliding glass door far above her final four suitors, never saying a word. They’re stuck at the bottom of an empty swimming pool with a defunct barbecue grill, makeshift wet bar and only themselves for company. One by one, between brawls, they pitch their woo to the lady upstairs via closed circuit television camera. 

Wendy Rosenfield @ 1:39 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Saturday, April 11, 2015, 11:54 AM
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TIM SUMMERS Zoe Scofield with Ariel Freedman in Scofield's "BeginAgain," performed by Zoe | Juniper at FringeArts.

Zoe | Juniper brings Scofield choreography to FringeArts

Merilyn Jackson, For The Inquirer

Posted: Saturday, April 11, 2015, 3:01 AM A snippet of Zoe Scofield's choreography was seen last fall at the FringeArts Festival in a piece commissioned for Pennsylvania Ballet dancers. With her BeginAgain opening at FringeArts on Thursday night, Scofield and her company Zoe | Juniper present an evening length dance that ranged from tender and mysterious to fearless and bitchy, but always retained an eerie dreaminess of self and otherness.

Visual artist and Scofield's partner in art and life, Juniper Shuey, makes up the other half of the Seattle-based Zoe | Juniper.

Merilyn Jackson @ 11:54 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Saturday, April 11, 2015, 12:08 AM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

"Two boards and a passion": that, according to the old saying, is all you need to make theatre, and EgoPo Classic Theater proves this—literally—in their stunning production of The Hairy Ape

Toby Zinman @ 12:08 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, April 6, 2015, 10:06 AM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

Somebody quipped that the Tony Awards should be moved to London to save all the British actors the airfare; true again this year, as Helen Mirren, Ben Miles and Nathanial Parker are joined by a magnificent revival of David Hare's Skylight starring Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan. 

Toby Zinman @ 10:06 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Saturday, April 4, 2015, 12:00 AM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

Philadelphia Artists' Collective has done it again!  PAC has unearthed another antique play—this time the obscure Renaissance comedy, The Fair Maid of the West by Thomas Heywood-- polished it up and made it shine. Under Charlotte Northeast's brilliant direction, a rambunctious cast whips us into the rowdy audience the play demands, and we laugh and stamp our feet and clap and roar our approval.

Toby Zinman @ 12:00 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, April 2, 2015, 8:30 AM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

Blanka Zizka has directed a much-anticipated Hamlet at the Wilma Theater, and central to the advance buzz is having Zainab Jah, a petite black African woman, in the title role. So was the idea that Hamlet is essentially human, and thus post-race and post-gender? Maybe. But if you want to do a High Concept production, you have to actually have a concept and not just a bunch of weird stylistic choices.

Toby Zinman @ 8:30 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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