Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Saturday, February 22, 2014, 1:40 AM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

Ibsen's The Lady from the Sea is not nearly as famous nor as frequently performed as A Doll's House or Hedda Gabler.But it does take up the same enduring and fascinating questions: is marriage a viable social institution? Are women free to exercise their will within the bourgeois confines of being a wife? Is it possible for men and women to understand each other? But in Lady from the Sea, EgoPo's second installment in their Ibsen season, the master goes beyond these societal issues and deals with the depths of the psyche, exploring the profound pull of sexual "terror" that both repels and attracts.

Toby Zinman @ 1:40 AM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Wednesday, February 19, 2014, 9:18 PM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

Nobody goes to a Caryl Churchill play knowing what to expect, except that you know it will be unlike the last Caryl Churchill play you saw and unlike the one before that.  That it will be smart, oddly structured, and challenging to actors goes without saying. It's also likely to have a political agenda in that her vision of the contemporary world is dire. Consider the huge differences among just a few of her plays: A Number, Topgirls, Serious Money, Cloud Nine.

Toby Zinman @ 9:18 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Wednesday, February 19, 2014, 12:31 AM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

If you only know the rich Gershwin music and the gorgeous songs of Porgy and Bess, you might be surprised, as I was, to see this opera-turned-Broadway musical currently on national tour and in Philadelphia until Sunday.  Touted as a radical reinvention of a sacred show, the surprise for me was in how dated it seemed and how little I was moved by the characters or their plights.

Toby Zinman @ 12:31 AM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Wednesday, February 12, 2014, 11:57 PM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

Toby Zinman @ 11:57 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Tuesday, February 11, 2014, 2:24 PM

By Wendy Rosenfield

for the Inquirer

It's one thing to show up at your grandmother's apartment unexpectedly; it's quite another to do so at 3 a.m. after an extended period off the grid, filthy, penniless, and bereft. Montgomery Theater's take on Amy Herzog's 4000 Miles - the second production this season, after Philadelphia Theatre Company's - removes granny Vera's teeth and gives them to grandson Leo (Eric Wunsch), an Into the Wild-style idealist reeling from his ill-fated cross-country bicycle trip.

Wendy Rosenfield @ 2:24 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Saturday, February 8, 2014, 12:12 AM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

Toby Zinman @ 12:12 AM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Thursday, February 6, 2014, 8:08 AM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

Sam Shepard's terrific play, True West, is exactly the kind of show Theatre Exile is good at: funny and dangerous and profound. So it is surprising that this new production seems so tame and falls so flat.

Toby Zinman @ 8:08 AM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Saturday, February 1, 2014, 2:27 PM
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Spring Arts - Dance: A dozen dances for spring

Posted: January 27, 2014

- Merilyn Jackson, who reviews dance for The Inquirer

Merilyn Jackson @ 2:27 PM  Permalink | 0
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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