Friday, May 30, 2014

The Screwtape Letters

Anthony Lawton in Hell
The Lantern Theatre Company, located in St. Stephen’s Church, 10th and Ludlow Streets, is presenting a return engagement of Anthony Lawton’s adaptation of C.S.  Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters through June 15.  Don’t assume that if you’ve seen this presentation once you needn’t see it again. I’ve seen this production 3 times and this one is by far the crispest and most polished. Anthony Lawton’s skill onstage for the entire production is unsurpassed as he reads letters from his nephew, Wormwood, and gives him advice on how to corrupt an individual’s soul. His lengthy monologues are interspersed with delightful sultry (and sometimes sado/masochistic) dancing routines with his equally agile secretary Toadpipe, portrayed by Sarah Gliko. He also throws in an occasional fire-eating demonstration, and a duel. This production is not a picture of hell that one might expect.  Every moment has a new surprise. Lawton is engaging as a demon who becomes frustrated in his attempt to instruct his nephew in the finer nuances of corrupting a soul. Gliko is a breath of fresh air in what must be a very hot environment. For more information or tickets, call 215-829-0395 or visit online at            

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Altar Boyz

11th Hour Theatre Company, located in the Arts Bank of the Avenue of the Arts, is presenting its mainstage production Altar Boyz, through June 1. The Altar Boyz - Matthew, Mark, Luke, Juan and Abraham, are a fictitious Christian boy-band near the end of a national tour. Their mission is to save souls and they bring down the house in their attempt to do so. They’ve interspersed clever quips along with the engaging lyrics and a bit of histrionics. The ensemble cast of Robert Hager, Adam Hoyak, Billy Kametz, Michael Linden and Nicholas Park are extraordinarily talented. Although the Boyz come to the conclusion that there is “no harmony in a single voice”, each and every one of them has a strong solo voice. And oh the feet! These young men can dance with acute precision. You’ll be rocking in your seats. For more information or tickets for this limited run, call 267-987-9865 or visit online at 11th

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Little Shop of Horrors

Seymour and Audrey II
The Bristol Riverside Theatre, located at 120 Radcliffe Street, is presenting Little Shop of Horrors through June 8.  This fun-filled upbeat musical is somewhat of an antithesis to Sweeny Todd, the musical in which a maniacal barber has men killed and ground into best-selling meat pies.  Little Shop… revolves around a majestic carnivorous plant, Audrey II, who brings fame and fortune to her creator as long as she is fed. Unfortunately, her appetite isn’t appeased for long. This production has an outstanding ensemble cast. Seymour, portrayed by Andrew McMath, grew the strange and unusual plant from a clipping, encouraged by fellow flower shop worker Audrey, portrayed by melodic-voiced Laura C. Giknis. Shop owner Mr. Mushnik (Daniel Marcus) belts out a song and dance as well as anyone on the stage until he is no longer there.  Danny Vaccaro, playing multiple roles, brings comic relief as well as a booming voice. Nate Golden, puppeteer, and Carl Clemons-Hopkins, the voice of Audrey II, work hand-in-hand to make this incredible production work.  Lindsey Warren, Candace Thomas and Berlando Drake are a phenomenal dancing and singing trio, equally at home with rag-tag skid row routines or in long sequined gowns reminiscent of the  Motown of the. Supremes. The award winning members of the production team do a brilliant job as well: Kudos to Set Designer Jason Simms for his rotating set, Costume Designer Linda Bee Stockton for the many costume changes developed and Lighting Designer Charles Reece. This show may shock you, may make you want to sing and dance, may make you jeer or cheer, but it will never make you regret having come to see it. For more information or tickets, call 215-785-0100 or visit online at

Saturday, May 3, 2014


Gint Ensemble Cast
EgoPo Classic Theatre is presenting Gint, Romulus Linney’s adaptation of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt through May 11 in the Christ Church Neighborhood House.  Set in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky, rather than ice-covered Norway, this production sets the tone with a half hour hootenanny before the actual performance begins. The singing and instrumentation is so captivating that there is a moment when the audience doesn’t want the singing to segway to the drama, but such a sense lasts for only a moment or two. Everyone is quickly drawn into this incredible transformation of the Norwegian legend into an Appalachian folktale. According to Ibsen expert Rolf Kristen Stang, Norwegian and Appalachian folklore both “value community, a sense of self and a common use of storytelling to get through difficult times.” Linney was thus able to adapt Ibsen’s tale and set it in the mountains of Kentucky. Director Lane Salvadore with incredible foresight has taken Linney’s bare-bones script and has brought it to life with music and constant scene changes using little more than wooden crates. Members of the marvelously talented ensemble cast sing, perform as stage hands and play multiple roles throughout. Sean Lally, as Pete Gint, gives us a peek into the complexity of human nature as he takes us on a wild ride from his meager beginnings in Appalachia to wealth gained and lost on the west coast. Throw in stolen brides, women scorned, fantasy sequences with the Devil and talking hogs and you have your typical tale.  This production is nothing short of brilliant.  It is one of EgoPo’s very best. Before you go to see it, however (and you should definitely make plans to see it) familiarize yourself with the storyline of Peer Gynt so that you can appreciate this fascinating adaptation. For more information or tickets, call 267-273-1414 or visit online at  

Thursday, May 1, 2014

This Is The Week That Is: The Musical!

Scott Greer,Jennifer Childs, Alex Bechtel
1812 Productions, Philadelphia’s only all comedy theatre company,  is presenting its eighth annual political comedy This Is The Week That Is performed at Plays and Players Theater, 17th and Delancey Streets through June 1. This Is The Week That Is: The Musical! is the wittiest and most outrageous iteration of the show to date. Artistic Director Jennifer Childs frequently begins the show with some type of pitch to the audience, but when Scott Greer  enters the stage dressed as a Government official to speak about O’Drama Care which is forcing everyone to become theatre subscribers, the audience is in an uproar. And this is only the first three minutes of the show!  “This is not a musical!” exclaims Jen. “I have too many political issues to discuss,” but with what appears to be only a little prodding from Alex Bechtel at the piano, she, too, begins to sing.  Political humor is as up-to-date as today’s headlines. This show will have you falling out of your seat with laughter.  The ensemble cast of Jen Childs, Scott Greer, David Jadico, Aime Donna Kelly and Alex Bechtel do an extraordinary job with comedic presentation, singing, zany  humor, and rapid fire exchanges. To see Jen Childs once, is to adore this fabulously talented comedienne.  Imagine seeing her as Hillary singing, “I’m Still Here,” as Chris Christie in the skit “:Will the REAL Chris Christie please stand”, as a member of the Rydells, and as “Patsy from the stoop” all in one show! There is ever so much more to the show... three chances for audience participation, a riff on Disney and Putin, puppets from Avenue O, and an up-to-date news broadcast from the news desk. This is a show that you just can’t miss. It is scheduled to play through June 1.  Each night will be slightly different as new headlines appear every day but no matter what  changes appear, this show is a sure-fire winner.  For tickets or more information, call 215-592-9560 or visit online at