New This Week

Ideation (Theatre Exile). Stressed-out consultants meet to plan their presentation of a mysterious and shady project. Through Nov. 5.

Next but Not This (Hella Fresh Theater/The Hum'n'bards Performance Troupe, 1318 Crease St., Fishtown). Two sisters have a bicoastal phone fight. Performed simultaneously in Philly and Los Angeles. 5 p.m. on Nov. 21-22 and 28-29.

Rock of Ages (Surflight Theatre, Beach Haven, N.J.). Drew and Sherrie chase love and the rock-and-roll dream in Los Angeles. Lots of guitar and big hair. Oct. 20-22.

TouchTones (Arden Theatre Company). World premiere of Michael Hollinger and Robert Maggio's musical about intimacy (or is it?) in the communications age. Thursday through Dec. 3.


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

Blithe Spirit (Hedgerow Theatre, Rose Valley). Noel Coward's threesome among a husband and two wives, one in this life, one in the next. Witty, sharp, even endearing. Through Oct. 29. - J.R.

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. Van Reigersberg is fabulous, both satirical and affectionate toward Babs. Here we go! Through Oct. 29. - T.D.

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

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

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. Ends next Sunday. - J.T.

Hair (11th Hour Theatre Company/Drake Theatre). Concert version of the hallowed 1960s musical. Ends Sunday.

Lights Out: Nat "King" Cole (People's Light, Malvern). World premiere. Dulé Hill (West Wing, Psych) stars as Cole on the last night of his 1950s TV show. With Daniel J. Watts as Sammy Davis Jr. Through Dec. 3.

Long Day's Journey into Night (Quintessence Theatre Group/Sedgwick Theatre). Eugene O'Neill's autobiographical passion play. A very good performance; stunning work by E. Ashley Izard as Mary. Ends next Sunday. - J.T.

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. 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. Ends next Sunday.

Next to Normal (Resident Theatre Company, West Chester). Tony-winning musical about an American family whose lives are anything but normal. An outstanding cast; a profoundly moving evening of theater. Ends Sunday. - J.M.K.

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

Paradise (Passage Theatre, Trenton). A Muslim American teenager and her disgraced biology teacher form an unlikely partnership to research first love. Ends next Sunday.

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

The Rocky Horror Show (Bucks County Playhouse, New Hope). Let's do the Time Warp again! As seasonal as pumpkin spice. Through Oct. 29.

The Shape of Things (Eagle Theatre, Hammonton, N.J.) Neil Labute's 2001 drama about four students and the romances among them. Ends 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. Ends Sunday. - 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. Ends Wednesday. - J.R.

Souvenir, A Fantasia of the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins (Walnut Street Theatre's Independence Studio on 3). Philly's own Florence sings! – in an intimate space. Unexpectedly moving, with great performances. Ends Sunday. - J.R.

The Swallowing Dark (Inis Nua/The Drake). Two refugees settle in Liverpool - and face threats to their asylum status. A worthy subject, but this production lacks excitement. Ends next Sunday. - T.Z.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Bristol Riverside Theatre). A musical about kids, words, parents, and competition. Sparkling production that makes you feel young and hopeful again. Ends Sunday. - J.R.

2.5 Minute Ride (Theatre Horizon, Norristown). Lisa Kron's bio-play about fathers, history, and a love of roller coasters. Leah Walton is expressive, energetic, funny, elegant. Through Oct. 29. - J.M.K.