Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Archive: December, 2012

POSTED: Tuesday, December 11, 2012, 12:38 PM

By Wendy Rosenfield

for the Inquirer

The Wonderettes made their first appearance with 11th Hour Theatre Company back in June. Then, the quartet was The Marvelous Wonderettes, a nostalgia trip to the 1950s and ‘60s whose conceit was a last-minute girl-group substitution for a cancelled boys’ glee club performance. Now, they’re Winter Wonderettes, still in beehives, go-go boots and cat’s eye frames, trading on nostalgia--this time, for the ghosts of Christmases past--while filling in for a missing Santa at Harper’s Hardware Holiday Party.

Wendy Rosenfield @ 12:38 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Saturday, December 8, 2012, 8:36 AM
Kristen Bailey and John Jarboe in 'Marlene and the Machine'

By Jim Rutter


Each day, Internet users upload nearly half a billion photos to Facebook, another 60-plus hours of video per minute to YouTube, and post several hundred million messages on Twitter. 

@ 8:36 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, December 7, 2012, 11:52 PM

by Toby Zinman

Startling moment #1: Dan Hodge, director of Tom Stoppard’s clever one-act, The Real Inspector Hound in Curio Theatre’s new little venue, finishes his opening night welcoming speech and then lies down on the floor.

Toby Zinman @ 11:52 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, December 5, 2012, 10:25 PM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

Toby Zinman @ 10:25 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, December 4, 2012, 8:46 PM
Blog Image

Last spring, Koresh Dance Company thrilled audiences with a new full-length Bolero. The mono-themed work was a departure for company artistic director and choreographer Roni Koresh, who often devises multiple loosely connected episodes. In its current run at the Suzanne Roberts Theater, which opened Thursday, Koresh fell back into his comfort zone with a 15-section work he calls Trust.
Trust among dancers is always a significant element - they must thrust themselves into one another's waiting arms, be lifted aloft, spun in the air, or dragged along by the arm. One false calculation in the counts or a split second's distraction can lead to a fall or a crash.

So from this perspective, I watched in awe as this well-trained troupe averted what could have been major trouble. Less than a week ago company dancer Shannon Bramham lost her father, and she was unable to dance. Her colleagues quickly assumed her roles, closing ranks for a seamless and triumphant whole.

This can only happen when a company builds esprit by keeping a core group for many years, as with Koresh stars Melissa Rector, Fang-Ju Chou Gant, Jessica Dailey, Eric Bean, Micah Geyer, and Alexis Viator. But newer dancers keep things fresh. Thursday, the big guy on stage, Joseph Cotler, created volume and power, and the newest man, Robert Tyler, who studied with Cotler, sparked things with his sinuous torso and expressive arms.

Merilyn Jackson @ 8:46 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, December 3, 2012, 12:34 PM

By Jim Rutter


Given enough time, some jerk will eventually turn everything a culture holds dear into camp. For a recent example, see People’s Light’s production of Steve Murray’s This Wonderful Life.

@ 12:34 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Sunday, December 2, 2012, 12:37 AM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

Irreverence, thy name is Christopher Durang.  Kicking the crutch out from under Tiny Tim, Durang’s Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge,  a spoof of Dickens’ famously sentimental A Christmas Carol, is not nearly as amusing as it should be. And this is despite New City Stage’s having assembled a large and impressive Equity cast. The show limps along (oops, sorry Tiny Tim) under the slow and plodding (oops—did it again) direction of Michael Brophy.

Toby Zinman @ 12:37 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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