Reviews

“Half” is Wholeheartedly Superb

A fellow reviewer and friend of mine has a rule that applies to watching comedy. It is his tried and true, “10 Chuckle Ratio.” If a comedy has at least ten, you can unequivocally say that it is, indeed, funny.

That ratio was reached in just Act One/Scene One of the Crowded Kitchen Players’ production of Alexander Ostrovsky’s “To Clever By Half” at the McCoole’s Arts and Events Place in Quakertown.

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'Mockingbird' brought back to life by Pennsylvania Playhouse

The cast and crew breathes life into the story of To Kill A Mockingbird with such finesse that the audience is – for one evening – transported back to a summer in Maycomb, Alabama in 1935 and invited to witness Atticus Finch, his children, and the members of the community prepare for a trial being treated with an almost carnival like attitude right down to “picnics on the lawn of the courthouse.”

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Watch the Cloud Ships with the Puppets of 'The Morningtime of Now'

Come to the Blue Hills…

“The Morningtime of Now” is based on the diary of Opal Whitely, an American nature writer whose childhood journals were first published in 1920. The journals were a huge sensation, using Opal’s deep connection to nature to bring her stories to life.

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'Motherhood' definitely 'Out Loud' in Macungie

Global Impactors Group production of 'Motherhood Out Loud' is a very mixed collection of 20 vignettes by 14 writers – some famous and some not so famous.

In contrast to many theatrical events, there is no story – just a series of vignettes tied together by a common thread. That thread is being a mother in its varied role throughout our lives.

And even though it is deemed Motherhood, it is not the standard “only women will understand this ” type of show. I found it to be much more about being a parent to a child and the wonderful and tenuous relationship we enjoy with these new human beings over the years.

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Urinetown: Weird name, fantastic show

 A show that has an amazing ensemble is usually deemed a success. Even if certain elements are out of whack, a strong ensemble can make it all better. Likewise, sometimes incredibly strong leading actors and actresses alone can pull a show together, distracting the audience from weaker elements. Other companies rely on the technical aspect, depending on impressive lighting and sound to make a good production even if the acting is weak. Very rarely does a show come along that has all the pieces: An incredible ensemble, stunning leads, and brilliant lighting, sound, and music.

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DCP Theatre's 'Goodbye Charlie' great fun from start to finish

Normally, gunshots are not the first thing you’d expect to hear at the beginning of a comedy. DCP Theatre’s ‘Goodbye Charlie’ begins with the death of the title character, but don’t let that discourage you. The play delivers tons of laughs, light humor, and classic slapstick comedy that audiences are sure to love. Read more...

Pennsylvania Playhouse's 'La Cage Aux Folles' is more than a story about two gay men; it's a story about love.

In 1983 La Cage Aux Folles premiered on Broadway to critical and financial success despite concerns by the producers that a “gay musical” would not be well received. The original Broadway production received nine Tony Award nominations and won six including: Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book.

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'A Shropshire Lad' an exquisite production from start to finish

The time is the late 19th century when, under Queen Victoria's rule, war is raging. The place is Ludlow in County Shropshire, on the border of England and Wales.

This is an exquisite production from start to finish. The pacing of the story is perfect, the set and lighting evocative. The talented ensemble cast of 16 brings life to the poetry of A,E. Housman.

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Civic Theatre presents 'Other Desert Cities'

And you thought your family had issues...

Other Desert Cities, written by Jon Robin Baitz and Directed by William Sanders, is the latest piece of theatre brought to Allentown by Civic Theatre, and it promises to open up discussions on the value of family, reputations, and the amount of love parents can show for their children.

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DeSales' 'Anne Frank' ensures past won't be forgotten

Tragedy can be tough.

Wayne S. Turney who directs ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ at DeSales University posits that the enduring success of this story, as in Greek tragedy, can be attributed to the audience wanting to learn something more.

The production currently running on the Main Stage at DeSales University in Center Valley, PA fulfills that goal as we learn more about life and hope in the Amsterdam attic.

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Auditions

Auditions for next CKPlayers show

Crowded Kitchen Players seeks 6 men and 7 women for “The Brothers Tortellini, a Toga Comedy”, based on the classic Roman farce “The Brothers Menaechmi” which was the source for Shakespeare’s “A Comedy of Errors”, and “Two Gentleman of Verona”, Richard Rodgers’ “The Boys From Syracuse”, and Larry Gelbart’s “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”. Read more...

Stage News

New performance series at The IceHouse in Bethlehem

The Charles Brown IceHouse Performing Arts Center is proud to announce the opening of its formally scheduled performance series, ‘The IceHouse Tonight’.

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Crew/Volunteers

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NY Theatre Reviews

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  • Theresa Rebeck decants two marriages on the rocks, but fails to get us to care about either couple.

  • Two young women, of different races but similarly scarred, take on a cold world.

  • Anna Gunn and Billy Magnussen are excellent in Laura Eason’s compelling new play.

  • Norm Lewis, for all his talent, doesn t fit in the role of the Phantom.

  • Amidst all the sex being thrown around in Thomas Bradshaw’s boinkathon, social conventions get clawed at and stripped away.

  • The script could use trimming, but Dee Dee Bridgewater makes an excellent Billie Holiday.

  • Tennessee Williams’ classic drama, set in a sweltering New Orleans, is missing the elemental heat here.

  • Underneath the provocative, shocking elements of Burning lies a play that ambitiously examines issues of love and identity.

  • Despite pressing a lot of the right buttons, this production fails to strike the right balance between its mundane madness and the characters’ collective thirst for something great.

  • Larry Kramer’s incendiary play about the early days of confronting AIDS has gained historical heft and dramatic power since it was written 25 years ago.

  • The South Park creators bring a big, fun musical to Broadway, using Mormonism as their vehicle.

  • Broke-ology offers plenty of heartfelt and funny moments in this story of individual, family, and societal struggle.

  • Beware the trail of bread crumbs - but follow these crack actors as they explore parenthood's dark side.

  • This revival of the oft-played Twelfth Night is done with clarity and visual allure.

  • Uncomfortably spanning several eras, this threadbare revival ends up fit for none

  • Kindness is partly a heartfelt meditation on death and the family...but this being Adam Rapp, is it more than that?

  • This production of the Clifford Odets potboiler The Country Girl leaves us with one burning question: what in the world made someone put on this revival?

  • Sarah Ruhl's latest, Dead Man's Cell Phone is a doozy. Inspired silliness transcends morbidity in this riff on a modern accoutrement.

  • Alan Palmer is spot on as he conjures up a legion of Fabulous Divas of Broadway .

  • Kevin Kline and Cyrano go hand in sword. His boundless energy propels the play forward. Never does this story of unrequited love flag when he bestrides the stage

  • Magic is more than pulling a rabbit out of a hat. Sam Eaton's The Quantum Eye needs to add showmanship to keep his show from vanishing.

  • If you haven't seen Stomp , Blue Man Group , Blast! , Cirque du Soleil , Gumboots and/or Drumstruck , have I got a show for you...

  • Christopher Shinn 's haunting new play Dying City at Lincoln Center stars Liev Schreiber's younger brother Pablo ...

  • Scruffy and coked up, Liev Schreiber's Barry can be mesmerizing, but Schreiber doesn't have material strong enough...

  • The cinematic fairy tale suits deviser-director-choreographer Matthew Bourne's over-the-top style...

  • Philip Seymour Hoffman in his first stage appearance since winning the Oscar for Capote ...

  • Spring is in the air and no sweeter in bloom than at the Paper Mill Playhouse...

  • Diahann Carroll is back in New York, singing at Feinstein's at the Regency .

  • Tom Stoppard's exhilarating trilogy about a group of Russian intellectuals comes to an end...

  • It's hard to believe that 17 years have passed since Craig Lucas' fairy tale-tinged romance Prelude to a Kiss ...

  • There's a general consensus among the theatre community that the Pulitzer which Edward Albee earned in 1967...

  • Alcoholism, as any alcoholic's family and friends will tell you, is not funny...

  • Our modern sensibilities shudder to contemplate the horrific possibilities were an eleven-year-old girl...

  • Patrick Marber has created a larger-than-life protagonist and given him a clear trajectory to follow...

  • Every war is its own little hell. Journey's End is no exception...

  • Though the Mint Theater's revival of The Madras House is well played ...

  • There's little doubt that Raul Esparza will one day make a fine Ben...

  • With the arrival of Spring Awakening , Broadway has a bright new star...

  • It is surprising that Mary Poppins was not the first Disney property to be adopted into a Broadway musical...

  • The original Cameron Mackintosh / Royal Shakespeare Company production...

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Upcoming Shows

Shawnee raises curtain on fall 2014 shows

For 36 years, the Shawnee Playhouse has been offering theatre in a variety of forms to the local community and vacationers enjoying the Pocono Mountains.

Their Fall Preview Release: Read more...

'Unnecessary Farce' at Dutch Country

Dutch Country Players Theatre of Telford, PA presents Paul Slade Smith’s Unnecessary Farce, directed by Beth Cohen, produced by Nancy Server Thompson, and featuring John Weber, Marianne Dell’Aquila, Christine Martuscello, Marc Schule, Scott Grande, Ray Greenley, and Jan Thompson. Read more...

'Three Viewings' at RCP

Reading Community Players and Feeney's Funeral Home present Jeffrey Hatcher's 'Three Viewings', a play that reveals that sometimes only at death do we fully realize how we feel about the departed -- and perhaps ourselves; that death can bring out the best and worst in survivors; and that no matter how familiar the deceased may be, he can still surprise us. Read more...

Touchstone hosts Maladype Theatre at start of their first US Tour

Touchstone Theatre kicks off their 2014-15 season with Hungarian theatre company Maladype Theatre in Alfred Jary's King Ubu, a schoolboy farce turned social satire.

The play performs September 25-28, 2014.

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Woodstock recreated by Star of the Day

Star of the Day Event Productions presents Woodstock – Peace, Love, and Music- a family-friendly NY Style Cabaret show filled with popular music performed at the original Woodstock Music Festival 45 years ago.

The show will be performed Sunday, August 31, 2014 4PM in SteelsStacks at ArtsQuest. Read more...