New This Week

The American Revolution

(Arden Theatre Company/ Studio Theatre). Seven actors zip through the country's story in a little less than an hour. Friday through next Sunday.

Motown the Musical (Academy of Music). The most classical - and most danceable - of American pop. Tuesday through June 11.

A Midsummer Night's Dream (Hedgerow Theatre). Summer is a time for love, lunacy, ass's ears, and laughs. Through June 11.

Uncle Vanya (Quintessence Theatre Company). Thwarted ambition, thwarted loves, a certain gun, and classic Chekov. Wednesday through June 18.

Denial (Playcrafters, Skippack). Peter Sagal's play about the First Amendment and the limits of free speech. Thursday through Saturday, and June 9-11 and 15-17.

The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens, and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord (Lantern Theater Company). Three greats of the 19th century compare notes in the afterlife. Thursday through July 2.

]HIR (Simpatico Theatre Company). A woman is set free to help a child transition - and to dismantle the patriarchy! Thursday through June 25.

Project Dawn (People's Light, Malvern). A revolutionary court in Philly serves a passionate and shockingly funny group of women. Saturday through June 27.


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

The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey (Philadelphia Theatre Company). One life touches many others. Touching, thought-provoking, with a bravura multi-role performance by James Lecesne. Ends next Sunday. - J.M.K.

Brighton Beach Memoirs (Act II Playhouse, Ambler). Neil Simon's first "Eugene" play follows a teen stumbling toward manhood in Depression-era Brooklyn. Through June 18.

Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (Bucks County Playhouse, New Hope; Perelman Theater) Buddy will rock the Bucks County Playhouse, travel south on I-95 to the Kimmel Center, and resume rocking. (Bucks County Playhouse, through June 17; Perelman Theater, June 24-July 9).

Buzzer (Theatre Exile). Race, danger in the street, and gentrification, with a twist. Edgy, striking play about personal and neighborhood transitions. Ends Sunday. - J.M.K.

Gypsy (Arden Theatre Company). Speaking of dancing and singing, Gypsy makes her way through the last days of vaudeville. Stars the ubiquitous Mary Martello. Through June 19.

How to Use a Knife (InterAct Theatre Company). In a busy Wall Street restaurant, a master chef and an African immigrant forge a singular bond. Through June 18.

Intimate Apparel (McCarter Theatre, Princeton). Pulitzer-winner Lynn Nottage's play on the working life and women's place, 1905. Deeply moving, somewhat predicatble, with touches of genius. Ends next Sunday. - J.T.

Jerry's Girls (Walnut Street Theatre, Independence Studio on 3). Nostalgic revue of the songs of Jerry Herman (Mame; Hello, Dolly!). Great voices, great costumes, musty songs. Ends Sunday. - D.P.S.

The Light Princess (Arden Theatre Company). A teenager has no gravity of any kind - including no feelings for others as she floats in the air. Ends Sunday.

The Little Mermaid (Steel River Playhouse, Pottstown). The Disney version of the beloved tale, featuring the best in local talent. Through June 11.

Making History (Irish Heritage Theatre/Plays & Players). Brian Friel's play about a bloody battle, and who gets to say what history is. Through June 10.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (People's Light). A dignified china rabbit embarks on an epic journey from a child's arms to worlds beyond. Ends Sunday.

One More River to Cross (Latvian Society). Pulitzer-winner Lynn Nottage's music/drama piece, based on late-1930s WPA interviews with former slaves. Through June 11.

Peaceable Kingdom (Orbiter 3/Christ Church Neighborhood House). The irrepressible Mary Tuomanen's play about Quakers, cultures, and the ecology. Dreamlike, hilarious, and earnest. Ends Sunday. - T.D.

Peter and the Starcatcher (Eagle Theatre, Hammonton, N.J.). The grown-up's prequel to Peter Pan. Through June 11.

Saturday Night Fever (Walnut Street Theatre). Speaking of erotic dance favorites . . . in 1979 Brooklyn, Tony and Stephanie train together for a dance competition. You can sing and dance the rest. Through July 16.

West Side Story (Media Theatre). Warring street gangs and an unlikely romance. Through June 11.

White (Theatre Horizon). A comic look at art, race, and imposture from award-winner James Ijames. Smart, cutting, original. Ends Sunday. - J.R.

Witness for the Prosecution (Bristol Riverside Theatre). This Agatha Christie courtroom drama is showing its age: This production is stylish but staid. Ends Sunday. - J.M.K.