David Patrick Stearns is a classical music critic and columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Marvin Hamlisch was such a singular sensation that at his unexpected death in 2012 at age 68, some Philadelphians couldn't quite believe he was no longer a candidate to take over the Philly Pops. No surprise, then, that the songwriter/film composer/conductor is the subject of an evening-long tribute by the Philly Pops Friday through Sunday at the Kimmel Center.
Is small-town South Jersey ready for an unflinching musical about mental illness, shock therapy, and imaginary children? To judge from the opening of Eagle Theatre's Next to Normal production, the Hammonton audience was not just ready but actually hungry for this stylish, solid production of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning musical.