Theater: New and Noteworthy

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"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum": Brandon O'Rourke (rear), Frank Ferrante, and Alanna J. Smith in the Walnut Street Theatre production.

New This Week

Blithe Spirit (Hedgerow Theatre, Rose Valley). Noel Coward's droll play of a threesome among a husband and two wives, one in this life, one in the next. Thursday through Oct. 29.

Buyer and Cellar (1812 Productions, Plays & Players Theatre). Dito Van Reigersberg (as in Martha Graham Cracker) plays Alex, who takes a job in Barbra Streisand's basement in Malibu. Here we go! Thursday through Oct. 29.

Faustus (Ethos Physical Theatre Company). Two-man acrobatic retelling of Marlowe's tragedy of humanity and the limits of the possible. With masks, masks, puppetry and circus aerials. Thursday through next Sunday.

Kinky Boots (Academy of Music). Gender, genre- and boot-bending musical of capitalism, identity, and general party-minded goofiness. Tuesday through Sunday.

Long Day's Journey into Night (Quintessence Theatre Group/Sedgwick Theatre). Eugene O'Neill's autobiographical passion play, as envisioned by Quintessence artistic director Alexander Burns. Wednesday through Oct. 22.

My Son the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy (Penn's Landing Playhouse). Brad Zimmerman's comic tale of long-term (and we do mean long-term) perseverance in pursuit of an artistic dream. Thursday through Nov. 19.

The Nerd (Steel River Playhouse, Pottstown). An architect is visited by a strange young man who just happens to save his life. Friday through Oct. 22.

Paradise (Passage Theatre, Princeton). A gifted Muslim-American teenager and her disgraced biology teacher form an unlikely partnership to research first love. Science, religion, and exploitation are all fair game. Thursday through Oct. 22. 

The Swallowing Dark (Inis Nua/The Drake). Two Zimbabwean refugees settle in Liverpool - and face threats to their asylum status. Wednesday through Oct. 22.

2.5 Minute Ride (Theatre Horizon, Norristown). Lisa Kron's bio-play about fathers, history, and a love of roller coasters. Friday through Oct. 29.

Continuing

Reviewed by Tirdad Derakhshani (T.D.), Jim Rutter (J.R.), John Timpane (J.T.), and Toby Zinman (T.Z.).

Cabaret (Arden Theatre Company). Tuneful, stylish love triangle set in decadent 1931 Berlin. Sexy, sensuous, but oddly laid-back and loosey-goosey. Through Oct. 22. - T.D.

Carousel (Media Theatre). Innovative production of the dark Rodgers and Hammerstein classic set at a merry-go-round in Maine. Through Oct. 22.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Walnut Street Theatre). Big, vulgar, a little old-fashioned, and paralytically funny, with expert farceurs galore. Through Oct. 22. - J.T.

The Gin Game (Montgomery Theatre, Souderton). The enduringly popular 1978 Pulitzer Prize winner about a friendship at a nursing home. Through Oct. 8.

Godspell (Villanova Theatre). Women in the roles of Jesus and John the Baptist drive this diverse, Matt Pfeiffer-directed rendition. Ends Sunday.

Next to Normal (Resident Theatre Company, West Chester). Tony-winning musical about a seemingly normal American family whose lives are anything but. Through Oct. 15.

Outside Mullingar (Cape May Stage). John Patrick Shanley's tale of two Irish farmers, one shy, one amorous. Through Nov. 10.

Red Velvet (Lantern Theater Company). While anti-abolition riots rage in the streets of 19th-century London, an African American actor prepares to play Othello. A powerful and intriguing production. Through Oct. 15. - T.Z.

Ripcord (South Camden Theatre Company). David Lindsay-Abaire's comedy about two women engaged in a zero-sum battle. Ends Sunday.

Rock and Roll Man: The Alan Freed Story (Bucks County Playhouse, New Hope). Musical about the DJ who helped inject rock into U.S. culture. Needs trims, but great music and great cast. Ends Sunday. - J.T.

The Shape of Things (Eagle Theatre, Hammonton, N.J.) Neil Labute's 2001 drama about four students and the romances among them. Through Oct. 15.

She Loves Me (Gateway Playhouse, Somers Point, N.J.). The Shaken Not Stirred Players perform this 1963 chestnut, based on The Little Shop Around the Corner. Ends Sunday.

Shrek: The Musical (Broadway Theatre of Pitman, N.J.). The big green guy who's unpopular with everyone except the entire noncartoon world. Ends next Sunday.

Simpatico (McCarter Theatre Center, Princeton). Sam Shepard drama performed by Michael Shannon (Boardwalk Empire) and A Red Orchid Theatre. Lacks Shepard's trademark intensity. Through Oct. 15. - T.Z.

Something Wicked This Way Comes (Delaware Theatre Company, Wilmington). A musical based on the fiction of fantasy writer Ray Bradbury. Lackluster score but dazzling design. Through Oct. 18. - J.R.

Souvenir, A Fantasia of the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins (Walnut Street Theatre, Independence Studio on 3). Philly's own Florence sings! A Philly story all the way, with music in an intimate space. Through Oct. 15.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Bristol Riverside Theatre). In this musical about kids, words, parents, and competition, six adolescents square off in the battle of battles. Sparkling production that makes you feel young and hopeful again. Through Oct. 15. – J.R.

Which Reminds Me (Act II Playhouse, Ambler). The tireless Tony Braithwaite one-man show based on theater stories, letters from patrons, and much more. Ends Sunday.

Wreck of the Spanish Armada (Aerodrome, Cape May Airport). Bill Sterritt's love story/adventure. Friday-Sunday through mid-October.

A Year in the Trenches (East Lynne Theatre Company, Cape May). World premiere of a remembrance of World War I written for the the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into the war. Through Oct. 14.