Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Lady from the Sea

The Stranger & Ellida
EgoPo Classic Theatre Company is producing The Lady from the Sea as the second in its three- part series of Ibsen’s works this year.  It can be seen at the Christ Church Neighborhood House on American Street through March 2. Genevieve Perrier, a much acclaimed Philadelphia actress, portrays Ellida, the mysterious woman from the sea.  Her passions for the sea and a young sailor she knew in her youth are strong, yet not easily identifiable. Finding herself in a marriage with a domineering man and unnamed yearnings of fulfillment, Ellida comes to a crossroads when she once again meets the strange sailor from her past.  Ed Swidey gives a fine performance as Ellida’s husband. As a doctor he professes to know what is best for her but she obviously has little input into their lives together. Ensemble members Ross Beschler as Arholm, K.O.DelMarcelle as Bolette, Lee Minora as Hilde and Kevin Chick as Lyngstrand are an excellent addition to the cast and add some levity to the piece.  Set Designer Dan Soule and Lighting Designer Matt Sharp have made a delightful set which is intermittingly behind the curtains.  This show is having a short run so don’t hesitate to call 267-273-1414 for tickets or visit online at

Friday, February 14, 2014

Julius Caesar

Jered McLenigan as Marc Antony
The Lantern Theater Company, located in St. Stephen’s Church at 10th and Ludlow Streets, is presenting The Tragedy of Julius Caesar though March 16.  The Lantern Theater has received many commendations for their annual Shakespeare presentations and it has not been without merit. No theatre company produces a better Shakespeare production than the Lantern. That having been said, some liberties have been taken with this creation.  Instead of being set in Rome, the work is set in feudal Japan.  The reason for this is explained in the program.  Artistic director Charles McMahon states, “ For me, the story could take place anywhere and at any time….The parallels between the Zen tradition of the Japanese warrior class and the stoicism of the Romans are striking…calling into question the rights of the ruler against the rights of his people.” The ensemble cast reads as a who’s who of Philadelphia actors, many of them Barrymore award-winners or nominees for awards for previous work. Bradley K. Wrenn, Matt Tallman, Kittson O’Neill, Forrest McClendon, Joe Guzman, Mary Lee Bednarek, Adam Altman all make their presence felt on the stage.  And when U.R, as Brutus, is angry, you can feel his anger. Although not the title character, Jered McLenigan, portraying Marc Antony steals the show.  His oration, his sarcasm, his plotting, his fighting, his sorrow…there's no moment when he is on the stage that he isn’t spot on. For all of you who love Shakespeare and for those of you who have just heard about Lantern’s reputation, come see this not oft produced work. For more information or tickets,  call 215-829-0395 or visit online at

Saturday, February 8, 2014

True West

Brian Osborne & Jeb Keager
Theatre Exile is presenting Sam Shepard’s True West at Play and Player’s Theatre, 1714 Delancey Streets through February 23.  Sam Shepard is known for his dark comedy and while some might question the abundance of this production's comic moments, no one can deny that it is dark. Jeb Kreager portrays Austin, an ivy-league educated screenwriter and Brian Osborne plays his n’er-do-well brother Lee. Sad, tragic, even horrific are words which come to mind before comic.  When Austin is house-sitting to take care of his mother’s plants while she is on vacation, his long-lost brother Lee arrives.  Although leery of his brother at first, Austin does everything he can to win his favor. Jeb Kreager’s acting consistently portrays the laid-back brother who lets very little ruffle him.  Brian Osborne’s character is very much of a hot-head and his actions become more convincing as the play progresses.  E. Ashley Izard portrays the boy’s mom and if Shepard wanted her to be a vapid character, she has nailed it.  If you are a fan of Sam Shepard’s work, you should see this production while it is still in town.  For more information or tickets, call 215-690-4065 or visit online at

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Tuesdays With Morrie

Morrie and Mitch
Bristol Riverside Theatre, located at 120 Radcliffe Street, Bristol, Pa, is presenting Tuesdays With Morrie through February 16.  Based on the best-selling book by Mitch Albom, this memoir relates the time Albom spent with his much beloved former college professor after he was diagnosed with ALS.  Mitch, played by Danny Vaccaro, is an ambitious, talented self-serving, sports journalist whose work takes him all over the world to cover every major sporting event for print, radio and TV. It is no small wonder that he forgets a promise made to a favorite college professor to “stay in touch.”  Richards Easley plays that college professor, Morrie Schwartz, otherwise known as "coach."  When Mitch sees Morrie interviewed on Ted Koppel because of his ALS, he feels a twinge of guilt and flies to visit him.  Morrie is delighted and doesn’t let Mitch leave without extracting a promise from him to visit the following Tuesday.  The months of Tuesdays allow the actors to develop their characters.  Mitch is no longer a one-dimensional individual by the end of the play. Despite his illness, Morrie  never stops being a teacher. He tells Mitch, “You have to learn how to die in order to learn how to live.”  His portrayal of someone with Lou Gehrig’s disease is superb. His gradual loss of physicality is incredible.  For more information or tickets to see this wonderful production, call 215-785-0100 or visit