Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sideways Stories from Wayside School

Mrs. Gorf turns students into apples
The Arden Theatre Company, located at 40 N 2nd Street, is presenting Sideways Stories from Wayside School for its first children’s theatre production of the year. This zany show can be seen on the F. Otto Haas Stage through February 15.  As students Rondi, played by Taysha Canales and Myron, portrayed by Robert Hager so aptly explain to their new teacher, “the building should have had 30 classrooms on one floor, but the architect accidently designed the building to be built on its side.” The children are in a class on the 30th floor.  Children and adults alike will marvel at Scenic Designer David P. Gordon’s flash of brilliance. Everything in the classroom is constructed on its side….from the door which opens up from the floor to the tiled floor on the walls and the ultra-high clock and flag waving from the ceiling. The youngest audience members murmur to their parents about all the misplaced items in the classroom before the show even begins. Older audience members nod to each other in appreciation of the quirky set.  It is not only the set that is sideways. Teaching methods are askew also.  The ultimate threat from the mean Mrs. Gorf is to be turned into an apple for reciting a wrong answer. Everyone in the audience shudders as that warning turns into a reality. The ultimate threat from her gentle replacement, Mrs. Jewls, portrayed by Rachel Camp, is to be sent home on the kindergarten bus.   While this is met with chuckles from most, my granddaughter, herself a kindergarten student, did not get the joke. That is not to say that the show appeals only to older children.  Everyone, from 5 to 95 will find many occasions for side-splitting laughter. All cast members do a great job in bringing this tale to life; however, special kudos must be given to Steve Pacek, not only for  his depiction of Mrs. Gorf, but for his portrayal of 6 other characters as well.  Be sure to make plans to take the young people in your life to this unforgettable experience at the Wayside School.  If you have no young people to take to the theatre, grab a ticket for yourself.  You won’t regret it.  For more information or tickets, call 215-922-1122 or visit online at

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Child's Christmas in Wales

mean cat
Lantern Theater Company, located in St. Stephen’s Church, 10th and Lombard Streets, is presenting a World Premiere Adaptation of Dylan Thomas’ A Child’s Christmas in Wales, through January 5.

 This piece was  co-created by Artistic Director Charles McMahon and interdisciplinary artist  and director Sebastienne Mundheim.  As fascinating as it is to hear the vivid language of Dylan Thomas’s poem and the nostalgic moments of Christmases past it might invoke, it is equally intriguing to discover just how this presentation was put together. Click on the insert for a short video that gives a preview of the delight that will be in store for you when you go to see A Child’s Christmas in Wales.   Performed seamlessly  by an all-star ensemble cast of Charlie DelMarcelle, Genevieve Perrier, Doug Hara and Amy Smith, the captivating language of Dylan’s poem is brought to life on the stage with the help of Sebastienne Mundheim’s creations and the audience’s fond memories of Christmas from childhood days.  The language of the work and the artistry on the stage are enough to induce appreciation of the work even if a flood of memories are not evoked. Include this delight for your eyes and ears when making plans for holiday viewing.  For more information or tickets, call 215-829-0395 or visit online at 

Sunday, December 8, 2013


Woz and Steve Jobs
The Philadelphia Theatre Company located at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, 17th and Lombard Streets, is producing NERDS through December 29.  Having had its world premiere with the Philadelphia Theatre Company in 2007, NERDS received two Barrymore Awards and is back, updated, and stronger than ever with eye-popping visuals,  saucy quips, exhilarating choreography and a cameo appearance of Steve Wozniak’s favorite Segway. NERDS is a satirical look at the travails of rivals Bill Gates and Steve Jobs from their early inventions in a garage and the hoodwinking of a fellow “nerd” for the rights to an operating system to the rarified ranks of millionaires and billionaires  The show is peppered with pizzazz and includes some gut-wrenching moments, all expressed though the electrifying songs performed by Stanley Bahorek as Bill Gates, Matt Bradley as Steve Jobs, Briana Carlson-Goodman as Sally, and Lexy Fridell as Myrtle in addition to performances by the entire company.  Whether or not you were ever a nerd, you must see this funny, delightful, feel-good musical parody.  For more information or tickets, call 215-985-0420 or visit online at 

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Big Time: New Vaudeville for the Holidays

Greg Nix & Dave Jadico-mirror image
1812 Productions, operating out of Plays and Players Theatre, 1714 Delancey Street, has a wonderful treat in store this holiday season.  Philadelphia’s all comedy theatre company is presenting The Big Time: New Vaudeville for the Holidays through December 31.  You won’t find a better place to experience the fun of constant in-your-face humor.  The show is a series of skits paying homage to vaudeville styles and well-known comedic routines.  With Greg Nix acting as a stage hand and turning the cue cards to announce each act, the audience thinks it’s aware of the content of each upcoming act but remember... this is 1812’s production and not everything will be as it seems. Burns and Allen had nothing on Greer and Childs and The Smothers Brothers better move over to make room for Nix and Jadico.  Quick costume changes?  There must be magic going on in the back of the Italian bakery. Be prepared to be surprised.  Be prepared to chuckle, laugh and guffaw. Greg Nix, Dave Jadico, Scott Greer and Jen Childs are just that funny.   For more information or tickets, call 215-592-9560 or visit online at