Friday, September 27, 2013


Ensemble at a Ball
The Lantern Theater Company, located in St. Stephen’s Church at 10th and Ludlow Streets, is presenting Jane Austin’s Emma through October 27. The performance is a pure delight.  Audience members are transported to early 19th Century England’s high society where only an impeccable match can be deemed appropriate by Emma, self-proclaimed matchmaker.  Lantern theater-goers will appreciate the return of veteran actors Jake Blough and Peter Delaurier, playing Frank Churchill and Mr. Woodhouse respectively.  The determined and headstrong Emma is flawlessly portrayed by Lauren Sowa. Frequent scene changes and furniture movements are done seamlessly so that audience members sitting on all three sides of Lantern’s stage can revel in the actors’ fine performances.  Alisa Sickora Kleckner has done outstanding work as the costume designer for this production. You'll find yourself immersed in 19th Century’s haute couture  and will have a difficult time keeping up with all the costume changes. These young actors are fleet of foot!  In conjunction with the theater performances, Lantern will also present a Jane Austin Festival from October 11-15 featuring performances, lectures, readings, demonstrations, and hands-on events. The Festival Pass is $75 for subscribers, seniors and students and $90 for all others.  It includes all festival events and $10 discount to all Emma performances.  Events may also be purchased individually.  On Friday, October 11 at 6:00 PM there will be a Festival Welcome and Food and Wine Matching.  Following the 8:00 PM performance of Emma, there will be post-show Artists in Conversation with the Emma cast. On Saturday October 12, at 2:00 PM there is a lecture and Q&A  with Margaret C. Sullivan, celebrated author of The Jane Austin Handbook.  At 3:30 PM there will be Demonstration & Lesson: Regency Dance Forms and Afternoon Ball. This is a participatory event and will put into immediate use the information gleaned from the preceding lecture. Participants will be led through dances such as the cotillion, the quadrille and the early waltz, accompanied by live music. The evening performance is at 8:00 PM.  On Sunday October 13, following the 2:00 PM matinĂ©e performance of Emma, there will be a 5:00 PM Demonstration & Refreshments: Regency Tea Rituals.  At 7:00 PM there will be a Concert Performance & Discussion of Austentatious by 11th Hour Theatre Company- a script in hand  adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Submerge yourself into Jane Austin's world.  For more information about festival events or ticket information for the show, call 215,829-0395 or visit online at

Monday, September 23, 2013

My Mother's Italian, My Father's Jewish, & I'm Still in Therapy

Bristol Riverside Theatre, located at 120 Radcliffe Street, Bristol, Pa, is presenting Steve Solomon’s My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish, and I’m Still in Therapy through October 6. This is  the 3rd installment of Solomon’s original hit, My Mother's Italian, My Father's Jewish and I'm in Therapy, which is  one of the longest running one-man comedy shows in history.  Touring companies are presenting all three shows throughout the United States as well as overseas. Steve Solomon is a comic genius. The material that he has written is very funny but equally important is his presentation. He has an uncanny ability to mimic voices and imitate sounds.  Solomon  provides non-stop laughter from the moment he steps onto the stage until his parting words.   I would have been embarrassed at my outbursts  had not the rest  of the audience been roaring right along side of me. Be sure to get your tickets immediately for the biggest belly-laugh you are likely to have in a very long time.  Treat yourself to a night of fun.  For more information or tickets call 215-785-0100 or visit online at 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

In the Heights

Walnut Street Theatre, located at 825 Walnut Street, is presenting the Tony Award Winning Best Musical In The Heights on its mainstage to open its 205th Season. The show has had a myriad of awards including a Pulitzer, a Grammy, several Tony’s and several Drama Desk Awards. Once you have seen this performance you will understand why. The set is breathtaking.  Set Designer Anna Louizos also designed the set for the Broadway production.  You must pinch yourself to be sure you are not smack dab in the middle of a barrio.  Lighting Designer Paul Black and Costume Designed Colleen Grady add to the illusion.  Perry Young arrives straight off the National Tour of In the Heights to reprise his role of Usnavi.  With his unique blend of rap and hip hop he has the audience mesmerized from curtain to curtain. Raised by his Abuela, it is their joint dream for him to get out of the barrio and retire to the beach but then something happens to make him realize the importance of home.  Gizel Jimenez portrays Vanessa, his love interest.  The way she belts out a song can heard two blocks outside the theatre.   There are two dozen songs in this production- solos, duets, ensembles pieces, and every one on them is a winner. The dancing, too, is phenomenal.  Kudos to choreographer  Michelle Gaudette and the entire ensemble cast.  Not a moment goes by when the audience is not wholly engaged.   I have been to performances where the cast has had a standing ovation at the end of the show, but I don't think I have ever before seen every single audience member on their feet applauding at the end of the performance. This show's really reached great heights and you would be remiss if you didn’t make every effort to see it before the end of its run on October 20.  For more information or tickets, call 215-574-3550 or 800-982-2787 or visit online at