Individual Show tickets for the Walnut Street Theatre’s 2018 -19 Season will go on sale to the public online on August 12. Patrons will be able to purchase tickets to any of the Walnut’s mainstage shows - Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn, Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical, Ken Ludwig’s A Comedy of Tenors, The Curious Incident of the Dog in The Night-Time and Legally Blonde: The Musical. The Box office will open on Monday August 13 for in-person ticket sales. Based on the classic film, Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn features many of Berlin’s standard hits along with laugh-out-loud comedy and dance numbers. The show runs from September 4 - October 21, 2018. The holiday season will be ushered in with Matilda The Musical, winner of over 85 international awards, including 16 for Best Musical. Filled with high energy dance and catchy songs, Roald Dahl’s Matilda proves that despite the odds, you can do anything you set your mind to. This show will run from November 6, 2018 – January 6, 2019. The next show is Ken Ludwig’s A Comedy of Tenors. When your basic ingredients are one hotel suite. two wives, three girlfriends, four tenors and stadium of screaming fans, there is plenty of room for error, leading to uproarious comedy. The show will run from January 15, 2019 – March 3, 2019. The season will continue with Tony and Oliver Award Winning Best Play The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-Time. After the untimely death of a neighbor’s dog, the brilliant but unique boy is compelled to investigate the crime. The audience is given an opportunity to see the world through Christopher’s eyes as he embarks on his extraordinary journey. The show can be seen from March 12, 2019 – April 28, 2019. The final mainstage production will be Legally Blonde: The Musical. Based on the smash hit movie, Legally Blonde: The Musical follows the transformation of Ellie Woods from a Southern Cal sorority girl to a Harvard law student, all on her own terms. It will appear on the mainstage from May 14, 2019 – July 14, 2019.
Thursday, August 2, 2018
New York-based dance company and America’s Got Talent finalist iLuminate will present three family-friendly performances on the Kimmel Cultural Campus at the Merriam Theater on September 21 and September 22, 2018. iLuminate was formed in 2009 by Miral Kotb who brought together her passion for dance and software engineering. The patented technology enables performers, choreographers, engineers, technicians, stylists and artistic directors to produce explosive performances with customized wireless lighting programs. The shows focus on stories of adventure and romance expressed through a variety of dance styles and illusions. The performance is at 7:30 p.m. on September 21. On September 22 there will be a matinee performance at 2 p.m. followed by an evening performance at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling 215-893-1999, visiting online at www.kimmelcenter.org. or visiting the Kimmel Center Box Office. For group sales of 10 or more, call 215-790-5883.
The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, in association with Live Nation, welcomes back Hasan Minhaj to the Kimmel Canter’s Merriam Theater on Sunday, September 23, 2018. The popular comedian was the host of the 2017 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. His new show, entitled Hasan Minhaj: Before the Storm, tackles the political climate with razor-sharp wit and his signature story-telling style. This fall, Minhaj will become the first Indian-American to host his own weekly comedy show for Netflix that has been picked up for 32 episodes. Earlier this year, Minhaj won a Peabody Award for his critically acclaimed special Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King. Due to a high demand for tickets, there will be two shows on September 23 – one at 7:00 p.m. and one at 10:00 p.m. No cellphones, cameras or recording devices will be allowed at this show. Upon arrival, all phones and smart watches will be secured in a Yondr pouch that will be unlocked at the end of the show. Guests are encouraged to print their tickets in advance to ensure a smooth entry process.
The Kimmel Canter for the Performing Arts, in association with Larry Magid Entertainment, welcomes back acclaimed artist and activist Joan Baez as she embarks on her final North American tour. Following 50 UK and European dates, Ms. Baez’s Fare Thee Well Tour is her final formal North American tour. It includes a stop at the Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall on September 26, 2018 at 8:00 p.m. As a special offer to fans purchasing tickets, a CD or digital download of her forthcoming album, Whistle Down the Wind, is included with every ticket purchased. This new music marks the first release from Baez since the 2008’s Grammy® nominated album, Day After Tomorrow. Baez’ musical influence has been incalculable. Likewise, she has been in the forefront of public causes. She marched with Martin Luther King Jr. on the front line of the civil rights movement, shined a spotlight on the Free Speech Movement, organized resistance to the Vietnam War, stood with Nelson Mandela, and to this day continues to stand passionately on behalf of causes that she embraces.
Friday, June 15, 2018
|Isabelle McCalla & Clinton Greenspan|
Disney Theatrical Productions and Broadway Philadelphia are presenting Aladdin through Sunday, July 1 at the Academy of Music. How many superlatives are too many? Six-time Tony-winning lighting designer Natasha Katz is responsible for lights changing on the curtains during the overture causing the appearance of a variety of magnificent Arabian tapestries hanging from the ceiling. There are many examples of her talent throughout, but never more so than the phenominal lighting in the big production number, "Friend. Like Me." Later she can be credited for the gorgeous moonlit sky that serves as a backdrop for a breathless magic carpet ride. Seven-time Tony winning scenic designer Bob Crowley designed the extraordinary sets. My nine year old granddaughter was captivated by buildings that Aladdin climbs. The hanging tapestries in the marketplace are spectacular and lend an air of authenticity to the set. The cave that Aladdin enters is indescribably lavish and exquisite. Two-time Tony winning costume designer Gregg Barnes designed the multitude of costumes that are worn throughout the show. The use of colors and fluidity of design that enhances the dancing of the ensemble members is brilliant. The vocal arrangements are also exceptional, thanks to music director Michael Kosarin. Aladdin (Clinton Greenspan) and Jasmine (Isabelle McCalla) have lovely voices on their own but it is when their voices blend together in arranged duets that something magical truly happens. The Genie (Michael James Scott) is a gem. He takes command of the role as if it were written solely for him. He can sing, dance, and speak three times faster than anyone else on stage. There is no weak spot in this production. Aladdin’s friends Omar (Philippe Arroyo) Kassim (Jed Feder) and Babbak (Zack Bencal) all sing and dance very admirably in their routines. The ensemble is excellent, dancing a variety a styles including tap and soft shoe. The singing is first rate. For more information, visit AladdinTheMusical.com/tour.Facebook.com/Aladdin and Twitter.com/Aladdin. Bring your children, bring your parents, bring your spouse or best friend. There is no age limit set to enjoy this marvelous production.
Monday, June 4, 2018
|Karen Peakes & Jessica Bedford|
The Lantern Theater Company, located in St Stephen’s Church, 10th and Ludlow Streets, is presenting the Philadelphia Premiere of Don’t Dress for Dinner through June 24, 2018. This absolutely uproarious French farce will have you doubled over with laughter as soon as the production begins and the side splitting humor continues until the end of the second act. The six member ensemble cast utters their double entendres (sometimes unknowingly) without batting an eye. When Jacqueline (Karen Peakes) learns that her husband Bernard has invited his best friend Robert (Mark LeVasseur) for the weekend, she cancels plans to visit her mother. When Bernard (William Zileinski) learns of this, he utters “Oh good Oh God Oh good“ for he had been planning a weekend with his mistress with Robert as a cover story. Farces must have more than one complication. Enter the cook….Suzette (Lee Minora) aka Susi confused with Robert’s mistress and Suzanne (Jessica Bedford) confused with the cook….a delightful romp ensues and the entire household is brought to near hysteria. It takes the appearance of George, Suzette’s husband, (Chris Anthony) to straighten things out. For more information or tickets to this delightful experience, call 215-829-0395 or visit online at www.lanterntheater.org.
Sunday, May 27, 2018
|Charis Leos, Anne Brummel &|
Walnut Street Theatre, located at 825 Walnut Street, is presenting the delightful musical Mamma Mia! on its main stage through June 21, 2018. Whether you have no experience with this show with over 20 of ABBA's greatest hits or you have seen it in many times, this production is guaranteed to make you want to get out of your seat and dance. Unbelievably, the appearances of three of the main actors are performed by understudies in the beginning of the run. The result is dazzling. Lyn Philistine portrays Donna Sheridan as if she were born to the role, singing and dancing her way across the stage. Not far behind her are Tara Tagliaferro portraying Tanya and Kimberly Mason portraying Ali. Laura Giknis is adorable in her portrayal of Sophie Sheridan. She belts out song after song and flits across the stage with the ease of a butterfly. No matter how many times you might have seen Mamma Mia! (and I have seen it several times before) you will enjoy Walnut Street’s new presentation. There is a large dancing ensemble with original choreography. The dancers begin even as the overture starts. The men’s ensemble in swimwear and snorkel equipment is clever into the depths of the ocean. Another unique twist to this production is the use of choral backup off stage. Whether you are enjoying a feast for your ears, or your eyes or your feet, you will certain enjoy Mamma Mia! For more information or tickets, call 215-574-3550, 800-982-2787, or visit online at www.WalnutStreetTheatre.org or Ticketmaster.
Thursday, May 24, 2018
The Arden Theatre Company, located at 40 N. 2nd Street, is presenting the unique theatrical experience of Fun Home on its F. Otto Haas main stage through June 17. Winner of 5 Tony Awards, Fun Home explores the memories of cartoonist Allison Bechdel as she reminisces upon the painful and joyful moments in her family history. Mary Tuomanen takes the audience on a journey through her life’s memories. She is sometimes on the sidelines observing as an artist; other times she treats the audience to her powerful voice. Izzy Castaldi portrays college-aged Allison. Her first sexual encounter after she discovers that she is gay is childlike in its amazement; fantastic with wonder and hysterical with the joy of it all. Her comic timing is superb! Lily Lexer and Kate Bove will alternate in the role of Allison as a young child. This is perhaps the largest role of all. Lily was on stage opening night. Remember the name because this little package is a bundle of talent. She is brimming with poise and her singing voice got stronger as the show progressed. There are intriguing moments when all three Allisons are on stage singing in three part harmonies. The effect is stunning. Ben Dibble gives a very strong performance as Bruce Bechdel, tormented, closeted homosexual and father of Allison and her two siblings. This is a brilliant musical and the Arden does a magnificent job with its production. For more information or tickets, call 215-922-1122 or visit www.ardentheatre.org.
Friday, May 4, 2018
|David Ingram, Sean Close|
& Jessica Johnson
1812 Productions, Philadelphia’s all Comedy Theatre Company, is presenting Michael Hollinger’s Hope and Gravity at the Plays and Players Theater, 17th and Delancey Streets, through May 20, 2018. A series of nine vignettes, it features an ensemble cast sensitively playing dual roles. Jorge Cousineau has designed a set that is nothing short of exquisite. Moving geometric projections imitate the schemes of an elevator shaft; each time the projections stop moving, curtains partially open and a new set is revealed on another elevator floor. One would expect a play that is being presented by 1812 Productions to be witty and it certainly is. The skits become increasing more humorous as the show progresses. The vignette with the two grad students and their college professor is hilarious. Whether this is in recognition that some of the characters’ story lines intersect or it is inherent in the writing, it is difficult to say. What is not difficult to determine, is a recommendation to get tickets to see Hope and Gravity before tickets are sold out. For more information or tickets call 215- 592-9560 or visit online at www.1812productions.org.