Saturday, May 25, 2013


The 4 friends preparing for adventure

The Lantern Theater Company, located in St. Stephen’s Church, 10th and Ludlow Streets, Philadelphia, has done it again. It has ended another spectacular season with a sure-fire hit...the Philadelphia premiere of Tom Stoppard’s Heroes.  Set on a “private” terrace of a veterans’ retirement home, Heroes explores the psyche of 3 World War I veterans, all damaged by the war to some degree.  It is the humor in this adaptation that creeps up on you so unexpectedly.  In the first act we are introduced to Henri, played by Peter DeLaurier, Gustave, portrayed by Dan Kern, and Philippe, portrayed by Mal Whyte.  Oh yes, and the dog, played by a stone statue.  Philippe’s belief that the dog can move is not really funny in the first act, even to the other two veterans,but it can be explained away by the shrapnel which was left imbedded in his head and causes him to have periodic “spells”.   Henri also has physical damage from the war…a crippled leg, but it doesn’t stop him from taking walks to observe the young girls in a nearby girls’ school. Gustave appears very self-possessed and in command until we learn he can barely leave his room, let alone leave the grounds or relate to others.  These revelations are humorous but watch out for the second act.  What was slightly amusing in the first act becomes hysterical with just a slight twist added to the script. It is no holds barred. Nothing is sacred and I found myself laughing almost non-stop as the veterans and the dog plan an excursion. Lighting designer, Janet Embree has done fantastic work- the blackouts are quick and the actors are repositioned on the stage with no one in the audience being the wiser. This show will only run through June 9, so order your tickets immediately if you haven’t already done so. For more information or tickets, call 215- 829- 0395 or visit online at

Friday, May 24, 2013

Inherit The Wind

Scope Monkey Trial

Bristol  Riverside Theatre, located at 120 Radcliffe Street, Bristol, Pa. is presenting a new twist on an old classic,  Inherit The Wind  through June 9. The large ensemble cast is a confluence of professional actors and Bucks County community members. The result is a courtroom drama that sends sparks flying and audience members longing to reach for  fans as the battle heats up.  Liz Filios, oft seen on Philadelphia area stages, does outstanding work as the conflicted Rachel Brown.  She is not only the daughter of the town’s Reverend but is also the one-time girlfriend of the schoolteacher on trial for breaking the law by teaching Darwin’s theory of  evolution. Stephen Novelli provides such a convincing performance of an ineffectual judge that the audience might forget that he is acting and mistake his performance for an unimpressive one.  Michael McCarty provides a larger-than-life performance as Matthew Harrison Brady,  prosecuting attorney with a direct pipeline to God. Not to be outdone, Keith Baker brings his wealth of talent to the production in his role of determined defense attorney, Henry Drummond. There are several children in this cast and it was my good fortune to see  Vincent Crocilla on the stage again, portraying Timmy Blair.  This show does not have a very long run; make sure you plan to get tickets quickly.  For tickets or more information, call 215-785-0100 or visit online at


Ensemble cast at high school dance

The Walnut Street Theatre, located at 825 Walnut Street, is concluding its season with a new presentation of Grease, scheduled to run on its Mainstage through July 14.  This production is proof-positive that some shows can be revived again and again and still maintain a fresh appeal to audiences who clamor for more. A first-rate ensemble cast dances with the vigor of teenagers, thanks to choreographer Michelle Gaudette.  Although not a dancer, Laura Giknis, portraying Sandy, demonstrates her adept acting ability throughout the performance. Her depiction of the innocent “girl next door” is convincing as is her self-imposed make-over. Many additional cast members have an opportunity to showcase their voice with a solo but few do it with as much vitriol as Kate Fahrner when she portrays Rizzo and sings, “There are Worse Things I Could Do.”  Adolpho Blaire demonstrates a magnificent falsetto when he sings “Mooning” with Tara Tagliaferro counterbalancing him as Jan. Take yourself back to life in the late 50’s when Rock ‘N Roll was in full swing and immerse yourself in life at Rydell High.  Cheer on Patty the Cheerleader, portrayed by Tracy Dunn, Captain of the Eagles 2012 Eagles Cheerleading Squad. Re-aquaint yourself with the angst of high school romance. This production is nostalgia at its best. For more information or tickets call 215-574-350, 80-982-2787 or visit online at