Friday, February 5, 2016

Archive: October, 2011

POSTED: Monday, October 24, 2011, 9:14 PM

By Wendy Rosenfield

For the Inquirer

As they say in show biz, timing is everything. But Delaware Theatre Company’s timing, opening Arthur Miller’s capitalist corruption drama All My Sons--amidst the myriad Occupy Wall Street protests, and the same week 20/20 aired an episode revealing the damage Bernie Madoff’s crimes inflicted on his late son--is uncanny. Or maybe it’s just that like so many of the themes in Miller’s work, the more business changes, the more it stays the same.

Wendy Rosenfield @ 9:14 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Sunday, October 23, 2011, 8:34 AM


By Wendy Rosenfield

For the Inquirer

Wendy Rosenfield @ 8:34 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, October 21, 2011, 12:09 AM

By Toby Zinman
For the Inquirer

EgoPo Classic Theater, under Lane Savadove’s direction, launches its Festival of Jewish Theater with The Diary of Anne Frank at the Prince Music Theater Cabaret. How do you review an excellent production of a terrible play? Especially when that play is iconic?  Well, here goes.

The story, as everyone knows, is about a 13-year-old Jewish girl who, with her parents and older sister, hides from the Nazis in an attic along with another family and a dentist. Eight people, living in fear and hunger, alert to every noise, getting on each other’s nerves. Many of the eight people are annoying, as people are; they are also brave and affectionate. Sometimes they are noble, sometimes ignoble. All the ingredients for a good drama.

Toby Zinman @ 12:09 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, October 20, 2011, 11:23 PM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

Three new one-act comedies written by three famous comic names (Ethan Coen, Elaine May, and Woody Allen) and performed by many veteran comic actors  should be a trifecta of laughs.  Should be.

Toby Zinman @ 11:23 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, October 20, 2011, 11:17 AM
The Wilma Theater cast of "Our Class," in young and happy times. Photo by by Alexander Iziliaev.

By Howard Shapiro

One thought comes first about the overpowering Our Class: The cast and creative team at the Wilma Theater, giving the play a remarkable United States premiere, are serving more than audiences or even the notion of theater.

Their ample abilities strikingly honor the memory of 1,600 Jews who were marched by Catholic Poles - and not invading Germans - into a barn that their attackers locked and set afire in a drench of kerosene.

howard shapiro @ 11:17 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, October 19, 2011, 2:30 PM
Dominique Scott and the cast of "Rock of Ages" at the Merriam Theater. (Kate Egan)

By Howard Shapiro

Electric, cocky, boistrous, kinetic, sometimes smart, sometimes dumb, and accelerating with hugely impressive speed — that’s the big picture of Rock of Ages, the Broadway juke-box musical that reclaims the heavy-metal ’80s.

The show’s national tour, here at the Merriam Theater through the weekend, is better than on Broadway because of its killer cast, which strikes me as even more polished. That’s not to say that the Broadway version slumps by comparison — it’s been playing two years, is just short of 1,000 performances, and is also more magnetic as it rolls along.

howard shapiro @ 2:30 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, October 19, 2011, 1:22 PM

Over at the Society Hill Playhouse the other night, Tom Tansey had his lines memorized. They were not many, but his role was a critical one.

Amy Rosenberg @ 1:22 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, October 19, 2011, 1:11 PM
As she traveled with playwright Tadeusz Slobadzianek through the Czech Republic and Poland last summer, Blanka Zizka, founding director of the Wilma Theater, noticed that many of the towns they passed through were full of vivid posters advertising theater, concerts, and other activities. But their destination, Jedwabne - on which Slobadzianek modeled the town in his play Our Class, whose central event is the 1941 massacre of its Jews - impressed her only with the vacuity of its cultural life.

"What I found important," Zizka says, "was to be able to inhale the same air, to see the landscape, the surprising flatness of it, the misery of the small places, the void of the Jewish presence, the overgrown Jewish graveyards ... ."

Merilyn Jackson @ 1:11 PM  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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