Friday, February 5, 2016

Archive: August, 2012

POSTED: Monday, August 27, 2012, 10:08 PM


By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

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POSTED: Sunday, August 26, 2012, 2:42 PM

By Toby Zinman

For the Inquirer

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POSTED: Thursday, August 16, 2012, 12:51 AM

By Howard Shapiro

In what may be the last act of the Barrymore Awards, the region’s professional theater honors, three very different productions — a play about a lesbian couple’s disagreement over what constitutes art, a musical celebrating the fancy hats of African American church-going women, and an offbeat take on Shakespeare — top the nominees among the 2011-2012 season’s shows.

Each received 10 nominations for the region’s professional theater honors; all the nominees will be announced Thursday.

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POSTED: Tuesday, August 14, 2012, 9:02 PM


by Toby Zinman

for The Inquirer

Toby Zinman @ 9:02 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, August 13, 2012, 1:02 PM
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Matt Tallman (left) as Benedick and Sean Thompson as Beatrice in Mauckingbird Theatre Company's "Much Ado About Nothing." Photo by Ian Paul Guzzone.

By Howard Shapiro

Shakespeare was used to seeing men play women on stage — it was the legal way to operate a theater in his time. But I bet he never dreamed of anything like the gender-bending Much Ado About Nothing that Mauckingbird Theatre Company is putting on at the Off-Broad Street Theater in Center City.

Mauckingbird, the region’s professional theater devoted to gay issues, casts men in the roles of the two sets of lovers in Much Ado — just as Shakespeare would have. But in Mauckingbird’s take, they all play men. It’s a gay version, complete with the themes and sensibilites Shakespeare gave it: jealousy and wit, trickery and honor and, of course, love.

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POSTED: Monday, August 13, 2012, 3:37 PM
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Lee Aaron Rosen and Virginia Veale in "Barefoot in the Park" at Bucks County Playhouse. Photo by Mandee Kuenzle.

By Howard Shapiro

After Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park hit Broadway in 1963, the then-sophisticated New York comedy ran 1,532 performances and became a popular movie. But time has ravished the formerly au courant Barefoot. A 2006 Broadway revival lasted a scant 135 curtains.

Still, there’s a special reason for the newly re-opened Bucks County Playhouse, once again professional, to produce Barefoot: The play is deep in its roots. The Playhouse was the tryout stage for Nobody Loves Me before it went to Broadway under its new Barefoot title. Portraying the young newlyweds at the play’s core, at the Playhouse world premiere and on Broadway, were Robert Redford and Elizabeth Ashley.

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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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