Reviews

Forge Theatre's 'Equus' a precise, concise, and exacting production

Sitting through Forge Theatre's presentation of 'Equus' in Phoenixville on opening night was a harrowing experience, and one can assume that was the company's intention, given that everything about the staging of this play was concise, precise, and exacting.

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Give DCP's 'And Then There Were None' a chance to win you over

DCP Theatre is the little engine that tries.

And they've been trying--- with evident success--- for over sixty years in a comfortably intimate and smartly converted auction house on a narrow country lane outside the bucolic village of Telford in Montgomery County, PA.

And what it is that they've been trying to do is neatly captured in the words of a news article from a few years back that described their birth as arising from a discussion between "some friends who had attended a play at a local women's club and later (after a few drinks at the local pub) theorized that they could do better."

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Playhouse's "You Can't Take it With You" heartwarming and playful romp

Spend an enjoyable evening with the the lovably eccentric family of Alice Sycamore in Pennsylvania Playhouse's playful production of the classic comedy "You Can't Take it With You."

Director Brian McDermott has assembled a cast who bring the family to endearing life as they clash with a purportedly "normal" family of Alice's boyfriend Tony.

Set in the 1940s, the comedy is presented in three acts with two brief intermissions and the first act introduces the whole wacky clan

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Hilarious farce "Pints, Pounds & Pilgrims" delivers

An original farce about two different theater companies performing at a festival on a remote island in Ireland is filled with just enough unlikely juxtapositions and absurd situations to keep the audience laughing throughout. It's not many shows that can coherently combine a dog who might become stew, leather bondage-type appare,l and an in-shower rendition of the 1970s song "Afternoon Delight" and have it make a crazy sort of sense and be funny as well.

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Act 1's updated "The Crucible" is intense and thought-provoking

A contemporary flair transforms Act 1's "The Crucible" giving it a modern aesthetic while honoring the Arthur Miller's story based on the actual witch trials which took place in Salem in 1692.
Chilling and still relevant, the show at Desales University in Center Valley follows mass hysteria in the small religious town in Massachusetts.
Steven Dennis directs a talented cast of 21 in the intense and shattering production that seems to fly by.
An industrial-style set bookended by visible scaffolding looming ominously in the background created by scenic designer Will Neuert puts the action in a place and time that could be the 17th century as much as it could be now.

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Musical Reviews

"The Nightingale" delightfully blends Bach with puppets

The world premiere of "The Nightingale" Sunday at Zoellner Arts Center in Bethlehem, seemlessly blended puppets and Bach in an utterly charming and engaging interpretation of the Hans Christian Andersen tale.

The Bach Choir Family Concert skillfully brought together the renowned chorale group and four-foot-tall puppets hand carved by Mock Turtle Marionettes for an hour-long show that was delightful from beginning to end.

The concert featured the glorious voices of 40 members of the Bach Choir of Bethlehem as well as 21 members of the Bach Festival Orchestra directed by Greg Funfgeld. Virtuoso recorder player Tricia Van Oers provided the lilting voice of the nightingale on multiple recorders.

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"Once on This Island" colorful and charming by Kathy Lauer-Williams

"Once on This Island," on stage this weekend at Cedar Crest's Samuels Theatre is an ultimately uplifting and enchanting fable that deals with class division, the power of love and sacrifice. Directors JoAnn Wilchek Basist and Robin Gershman have their talented cast make this mythic-feeling tale colorful and festive throughout starting with the energetic opening number "We Dance." The plot - a mash-up of themes from "Romeo and Juliet" and "The Little Mermaid" - is put in motion by four Caribbean gods who are calvalier and meddlesome and who gleefully interfere in the life of the young Ti Moune's as if it is a game.

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Dance, Poetry Make Courageous Conversation in “What Lies Within”

In “What Lies Within,” which opened Friday night at Bethlehem's Ice House, DanceLink and Basement Poetry have collaborated to create an affecting and artful production that addresses issues of racial identity and injustice.

This original work was devised by the entire ensemble. It marries poetic speech and movement to describe bits of personal experience, moments of vulnerability and oppression, and emotions that lie under the skin of this diverse cast.

The pairing is effective, as the (mostly) modern dance gives another dimension to the spoken word.

Dance bridges the poems beautifully, so that one number flows into the next, while giving the audience respite to absorb them.

The poetry is accessible almost without exception, and well articulated. The seventeen poems range from monologue to full-ensemble numbers, with a duet and a sort of Greek-chorus quartet to vary the mix.

Musicians Vernon Mobley on keyboard and Moe Jerant on percussion provide pleasing accompaniment. Read more...

'Chaise Lounge' masterfully mixing music and theater at the highest level

Music reviewers call 'Chaise Lounge' a '"jazz sextet'".

This merry troupe of Washington, D.C.-based vertuosi bills itself, economically, "A cadre of musical pros".

To me, they are theater sublime.

Stripped of its many pretensions, theater is simply a profession. It is driven by a mission. That mission impels it to winnow its way into a venue. That venue needs only four walls, a rack or two of folding chairs, and just enough lights so a paying audience member can see and hear a live, colorfully-frocked performer tell a story with a beginning, middle, and end.

Boy, does that description ever fit these guys!

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PA Playhouse's ''1940s Radio Hour" a delightful holiday treat

What could possibly be entertaining about watching a group of entertainers put on a radio show set in 1940's America?

Everything!

“The 1940's Radio Hour” currently at the Pennsylvania Playhouse takes the audience back to the days when “entertainment” was more than just CGI or the latest vlog on Youtube. From the moment you step into the lobby of the theater one is surrounded by both the warmth of holiday decorations and posters from the era reminding you to “Buy War Bonds For Victory!” Read more...

Stage News

Winners announced in Original Playwright Series contest

Each year the Shawnee Playhouse encourages local playwrights to submit their original and unpublished works for a chance to win our annual Shawnee Original Playwright Series contest.

This spring, each submission was read by volunteer actors over several weeks. The public was invited to listen to the readings of the original plays and had a chance to vote and comment on each work. When our Executive Committee reviewed the ratings, the tabulations revealed that three plays scored closely, so it was decided all three full length winners as well as the six short play winners would be produced and performed by Worthington Players in 2016. Read more...

Shawnee Playhouse readings of contest entries

Each year, Worthington Players produces and performs an original work at Shawnee Playhouse by an area playwright, chosen by our Executive Committee from among submissions received in an open contest.

Stage readings are held in the playhouse to help determine the winner.

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Crew Calls

Call for Director Applications at Pa Playhouse

Pennsylvania Playhouse is accepting applications for director of their 2017 Christmas show "The Happy Elf" by Harry Connick, Jr.

Performances are scheduled Dec. 1 through Dec. 17, 2017.

To apply to direct please forward your contact information and a resume of your theatrical experience (particularly directorial experience) to Beth Breiner at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Deadline to submit applications: Oct. 27, 2017.

'Death Defying Acts' at Reading Community Players in May

Reading Community Players is pleased to announce it's upcoming production of DEATH DEFYING ACTS:
Three one-act comedies by David Mamet, Elaine May and Woody Allen. Directed by Bruce McLean.

A two-person comedy by the irascible David Mamet, AN INTERVIEW unfolds as a mysterious interrogation. A sleazy lawyer is forced to answer difficult questions and to admit the truth about his life and career. The Interviewer (the Judge) holds the keys to the gates of Hell.

In the wildly funny Elaine May's HOTLINE, a neurotic woman with enough urban angst to fill a neighborhood calls a suicide crisis hotline late one night. The counselor who gets the call is overwhelmed - it's his first night on the job. Although a serious subject, it becomes a delightfully comic situation, with a split stage allowing us to follow both great characters play out their really wonderful roles.

Read more...

'The Tin Woman' coming to Global ImpACTORS Group

Global ImpACTORS Group (GIG) is thrilled to announce their production of the engaging comedy/drama The Tin Woman written by Sean Grennan and directed by Eric D. Hersh.

The storyline follows Joy, a recent heart transplant recipient, as she explores her second-chance with a new heart and the donor's family.

This new dynamic enthralls us as we become absorbed in each character's predicament. We laugh through our tears as the characters fight to find the new normal under extraordinary circumstances.

Todd Williams is Stage Manager and the cast features: Marian Barshinger, Trish Cipoletti, Bill Joachim, Ryan MacNamara, Brian Wendt, and Rachel Williams.tin 2 compressed

The Tin Woman opens on Friday, May 12th at 8 pm at the Macungie Institute, 510 East Main Street (Rt. 100), Macungie, PA.

Five additional performances will follow: Saturday, May 13th at 2 pm and 7 pm; Friday, May 19th at 8 pm; and Saturday, May 20th at 2 pm and 7 pm.

Prime Seating Tickets (choose your seats before General Admission and receive a free drink) are $25, General admission tickets are $17, General Admission Matinee tickets are $15, Students and Seniors are $15 with valid ID.

Advanced ticket purchases or more information can be obtained by calling 484-891-1314, visiting www.GIGtheater.com, or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Approximate show run time: Two hours including one intermission.

A brief "Talk Back" will take place immediately after our Saturday, May 13th, 7 pm show. Please join us!

During our Talk Back the cast, crew, a guest heart transplant recipient, and a donor family will discuss more about The Tin Woman as well as personal and true life experiences with organ donation.

Each run of a show will allow GIG to help in supporting a charity or someone in need through the art of theatre. We are proud to support Gift of Life Family House with this production. "Gift of Life Family House serves as a 'home away from home' for transplant patients and their families by providing temporary, affordable lodging and supportive services to those who travel to Philadelphia for transplant-related care." Gift of Life Family House is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization. If someone is suffering from unfortunate conditions or a severe health problem, please contact GIG for consideration of help through a future production.

Act 1 Presents the Monstrously Funny Musical “Young Frankenstein”

Center Valley, PA – (April 6, 2017) –Act 1 DeSales University Theatre winds up its 47th season with Mel Brooks’ hysterical comedy, “Young Frankenstein.” This musical adaptation will be presented April 26 to May 7, 2017 on the Main Stage of the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts, Center Valley, PA.

“Young Frankenstein” tells the tale of Frederick Frankenstein, a notable New York neuroscientist who is forced to travel to Transylvania in order to claim his recently departed grandfather’s estate. Upon his arrival, Frankenstein is greeted by a myriad of eccentric characters, including a hunchbacked henchman and a voluptuous, yodeling lab assistant, who try to convince Frederick to continue in his grandfather’s dark work. However dismissive at first, Frankenstein eventually comes around after a dream inspires him to take up his family’s heinous cause. With his eyes set on conquering death, Frankenstein succeeds in creating life. However, his victory soon turns to chaos as a series of hilarious mistakes throws the village into hysteria.

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Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre embarks on 37th theatrical season Summer lineup includes 'Hair,' June 14 – July 2; 'My Fair Lady,' July 12-30; 'Wild' circus performance, June 28 – July 29

Allentown, Pa. (April 13, 2017) — Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre at Muhlenberg College announces the lineup for its 37th summer season. The season will feature the revolutionary rock musical "Hair," the classic "My Fair Lady," and "Wild," a new modern circus production for all ages.

"Hair" opens the season, running June 14 – July 2. A celebration of freewheeling 1960s youth counterculture, "Hair" commemorates the 50th anniversary of its original Broadway run.

Read more...

Muhlenberg to present 21st century adaptation of Chekhov's 'Cherry Orchard' by Tony-winning playwright

ALLENTOWN, PA (April 11, 2017) — Anton Chekhov's prescient drama "The Cherry Orchard" will soon take the stage at Muhlenberg College, illuminating the class struggles that permeated early 20th century Russia — which, in turn, illuminate the class struggles of today.

"'The Cherry Orchard' captures the full complexity of progress and what it means to live through changing times," says director and Muhlenberg theater faculty member Matthew Moore. "It is at the same time ordinary and supremely poetic."

The Muhlenberg Theatre & Dance Department will present "The Cherry Orchard," in a new version by American playwright Stephen Karam, in the Baker Theatre, Trexler Pavilion for Theatre & Dance, April 26-29.

Read more...

Shawnee's 2017 Season beginning NOW

Shawnee Playhouse and C&K Dance Theatre presents an hour-long abbreviated version of The Classical Tchaikovsky ballet Sleeping Beauty.  This is the story of the ill-fated Princess Aurora cursed to sleep for a hundred years by the evil fairy Carabosse who was scorned by Aurora's parents. This ballet includes a whimsical list of characters including Puss in Boots, Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella. Princess Aurora is being played by Katie Schlemmer, a sophomore from Pennsylvania Leadership Cyber School.
This production is being presented by C&K Dance Theater and Shawnee Playhouse as a part of their mission to expose children to classical ballets and dance.

Performances will be:Katie on Pointe compressed
11am April 29
2pm April 30
7pm April 28 & 29

 Ticket Prices are:
All seats $10
* Ticket prices do not reflect ticketing fees

Read more...

The Pines Dinner Theatre presenting 'Church Basement Ladies' March 31 through May 14, 2017.

The Heavenly Musical Hit!

Allentown, Pa. – The Pines Dinner Theatre, 448 N 17th St, Allentown, will be presenting Church Basement Ladies  March 31 through May 14, 2017.

The Pines continues its 2017 season by celebrating the church basement kitchen and the women who work there.   Church Basement Ladies takes us to the church basement kitchen of East Cornucopia Lutheran Church of the Prairie in Cornucopia, Minnesota. 

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Touchstone Young Playwrights’ Festival Celebrates Twelfth Year

Bethlehem, PA – Touchstone Theatre proudly presents the twelfth year of its acclaimed Young Playwrights’ Festival. This showcase of new plays written by local elementary, middle, and high school students performs on May 13th at Zoellner Arts Center’s Baker Hall. The full evening includes a preshow party and post-show gala reception in the Lehigh University Black Box Theatre.

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Upcoming Shows

The Pines Dinner Theatre presenting 'Church Basement Ladies' March 31 through May 14, 2017.

The Heavenly Musical Hit!

Allentown, Pa. – The Pines Dinner Theatre, 448 N 17th St, Allentown, will be presenting Church Basement Ladies  March 31 through May 14, 2017.

The Pines continues its 2017 season by celebrating the church basement kitchen and the women who work there.   Church Basement Ladies takes us to the church basement kitchen of East Cornucopia Lutheran Church of the Prairie in Cornucopia, Minnesota. 

Read more...

Act 1 Presents the Monstrously Funny Musical “Young Frankenstein”

Center Valley, PA – (April 6, 2017) –Act 1 DeSales University Theatre winds up its 47th season with Mel Brooks’ hysterical comedy, “Young Frankenstein.” This musical adaptation will be presented April 26 to May 7, 2017 on the Main Stage of the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts, Center Valley, PA.

“Young Frankenstein” tells the tale of Frederick Frankenstein, a notable New York neuroscientist who is forced to travel to Transylvania in order to claim his recently departed grandfather’s estate. Upon his arrival, Frankenstein is greeted by a myriad of eccentric characters, including a hunchbacked henchman and a voluptuous, yodeling lab assistant, who try to convince Frederick to continue in his grandfather’s dark work. However dismissive at first, Frankenstein eventually comes around after a dream inspires him to take up his family’s heinous cause. With his eyes set on conquering death, Frankenstein succeeds in creating life. However, his victory soon turns to chaos as a series of hilarious mistakes throws the village into hysteria.

Read more...

Touchstone Young Playwrights’ Festival Celebrates Twelfth Year

Bethlehem, PA – Touchstone Theatre proudly presents the twelfth year of its acclaimed Young Playwrights’ Festival. This showcase of new plays written by local elementary, middle, and high school students performs on May 13th at Zoellner Arts Center’s Baker Hall. The full evening includes a preshow party and post-show gala reception in the Lehigh University Black Box Theatre. Read more...

Muhlenberg to present 21st century adaptation of Chekhov's 'Cherry Orchard' by Tony-winning playwright

ALLENTOWN, PA (April 11, 2017) — Anton Chekhov's prescient drama "The Cherry Orchard" will soon take the stage at Muhlenberg College, illuminating the class struggles that permeated early 20th century Russia — which, in turn, illuminate the class struggles of today.

"'The Cherry Orchard' captures the full complexity of progress and what it means to live through changing times," says director and Muhlenberg theater faculty member Matthew Moore. "It is at the same time ordinary and supremely poetic."

The Muhlenberg Theatre & Dance Department will present "The Cherry Orchard," in a new version by American playwright Stephen Karam, in the Baker Theatre, Trexler Pavilion for Theatre & Dance, April 26-29.

Read more...

'The Tin Woman' coming to Global ImpACTORS Group

Global ImpACTORS Group (GIG) is thrilled to announce their production of the engaging comedy/drama The Tin Woman written by Sean Grennan and directed by Eric D. Hersh.

The storyline follows Joy, a recent heart transplant recipient, as she explores her second-chance with a new heart and the donor's family.

This new dynamic enthralls us as we become absorbed in each character's predicament. We laugh through our tears as the characters fight to find the new normal under extraordinary circumstances.

Todd Williams is Stage Manager and the cast features: Marian Barshinger, Trish Cipoletti, Bill Joachim, Ryan MacNamara, Brian Wendt, and Rachel Williams.

The Tin Woman opens on Friday, May 12th at 8 pm at the Macungie Institute, 510 East Main Street (Rt. 100), Macungie, PA.

Five additional performances will follow: Saturday, May 13th at 2 pm and 7 pm; Friday, May 19th at 8 pm; and Saturday, May 20th at 2 pm and 7 pm.

Prime Seating Tickets (choose your seats before General Admission and receive a free drink) are $25, General admission tickets are $17, General Admission Matinee tickets are $15, Students and Seniors are $15 with valid ID.

Advanced ticket purchases or more information can be obtained by calling 484-891-1314, visiting www.GIGtheater.com, or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Approximate show run time: Two hours including one intermission.

A brief "Talk Back" will take place immediately after our Saturday, May 13th, 7 pm show. Please join us!

During our Talk Back the cast, crew, a guest heart transplant recipient, and a donor family will discuss more about The Tin Woman as well as personal and true life experiences with organ donation.

Each run of a show will allow GIG to help in supporting a charity or someone in need through the art of theatre. We are proud to support Gift of Life Family House with this production. "Gift of Life Family House serves as a 'home away from home' for transplant patients and their families by providing temporary, affordable lodging and supportive services to those who travel to Philadelphia for transplant-related care." Gift of Life Family House is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization. If someone is suffering from unfortunate conditions or a severe health problem, please contact GIG for consideration of help through a future production.

Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre embarks on 37th theatrical season Summer lineup includes 'Hair,' June 14 – July 2; 'My Fair Lady,' July 12-30; 'Wild' circus performance, June 28 – July 29

Allentown, Pa. (April 13, 2017) — Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre at Muhlenberg College announces the lineup for its 37th summer season. The season will feature the revolutionary rock musical "Hair," the classic "My Fair Lady," and "Wild," a new modern circus production for all ages.

"Hair" opens the season, running June 14 – July 2. A celebration of freewheeling 1960s youth counterculture, "Hair" commemorates the 50th anniversary of its original Broadway run.

Read more...

'Death Defying Acts' at Reading Community Players in May

Reading Community Players is pleased to announce it's upcoming production of DEATH DEFYING ACTS:
Three one-act comedies by David Mamet, Elaine May and Woody Allen. Directed by Bruce McLean.

A two-person comedy by the irascible David Mamet, AN INTERVIEW unfolds as a mysterious interrogation. A sleazy lawyer is forced to answer difficult questions and to admit the truth about his life and career. The Interviewer (the Judge) holds the keys to the gates of Hell.

In the wildly funny Elaine May's HOTLINE, a neurotic woman with enough urban angst to fill a neighborhood calls a suicide crisis hotline late one night. The counselor who gets the call is overwhelmed - it's his first night on the job. Although a serious subject, it becomes a delightfully comic situation, with a split stage allowing us to follow both great characters play out their really wonderful roles. Read more...

Shawnee's 2017 Season beginning NOW

Shawnee Playhouse and C&K Dance Theatre presents an hour-long abbreviated version of The Classical Tchaikovsky ballet Sleeping Beauty.  This is the story of the ill-fated Princess Aurora cursed to sleep for a hundred years by the evil fairy Carabosse who was scorned by Aurora's parents. This ballet includes a whimsical list of characters including Puss in Boots, Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella. Princess Aurora is being played by Katie Schlemmer, a sophomore from Pennsylvania Leadership Cyber School.
This production is being presented by C&K Dance Theater and Shawnee Playhouse as a part of their mission to expose children to classical ballets and dance.

Performances will be:
11am April 29
2pm April 30
7pm April 28 & 29

 Ticket Prices are:
All seats $10
* Ticket prices do not reflect ticketing fees

Read more...

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