Monday, September 21, 2015

Photograph 51

Harry Watermeier &
Genviève Perrier
The Lantern Theater, located in St. Stephen’s Church, 10th and Ludlow Street, is presenting Photograph 51 through October 11.  Members of the brilliant ensemble cast of Chris Anthony, Trevor William Fayle, Joseph Mc Granaghan, Harry Smith and Harry Watermeier play foils for Genviève Perrier, portraying female scientist Dr. Rosalind Franklin. Dr. Franklin is a scientist in London, England in the mid 20th century, a time when females are barely acknowledged.  As she devotes her life to her research, jealous colleagues surreptitiously take her findings and earn themselves a Nobel Prize for discovering the helix of DNA while she meets an early death from cancer. Anna Ziegler’s play is well written. Thanks to Kathryn Macmillan’s direction, the five male cast members appear and disappear from different parts of the stage and speak a line or two  and then stop, seeming to interrupt each other yet at the same time, seeming to continue each other’s thoughts.  This technique is very effective and serves to underline the solidarity of the male scientists as opposed to the solitude of Dr. Rosalind Franklin. The play is both powerful and thought provoking. For more information or tickets, call 215-829-0395 or visit online at  

Friday, September 18, 2015

High Society

Walnut Street Theatre, located at 825 Walnut Street, is presenting High Society on its main stage. Based on the play, The Philadelphia Story by Philip Barry with music and lyrics by Cole Porter and additional lyrics by Susan Birkenhead., this high energy musical will appear through October 25. Megan Nicole Arnoldy gives an excellent performance as New York Socialite Tracy Lord who is preparing for her upcoming weekend wedding. Her mannerisms are kittenish and her voice is solid and strong.  Jon Reinhold portrays George Kittredge, Tracy’s fiancé. Paul Schaeffer portrays Dexter C.K. Haven, Tracy’s ex and Ben Dibble portrays Macaulay “Mike” Connor, a reporter sent to cover the wedding. All three would like to be the one to exchange wedding vows with Tracy and all three have an opportunity to express themselves in song.  Many foolish side plots take place during the course of weekend. Grace Gonglewski is delightful as Margaret Lord, Tracy's mother. Alexis Gwynn and Cambria Klein share the role of Dinah Lord, Tracy's younger sister. Both young ladies are already accomplished actors. A very talented ensemble cast of maids and man-servants sing and dance their way throughout the weekend-long celebration. It is Jenny Lee Stern as Liz Imbrie, secret society reporter, who steals the show, however.  She is a showcase of talent. Her facial expressions are uproarious; her voice can knock down the rafters; and her body language would make a mime envious. If all of this weren’t enough to have you flock to the theatre to see the show, the scenic design by Robert Andrew Kovach is extraordinary.  This is certainly a production you won’t want to miss. For more information or tickets, call 215-574-3550, 800-982-2787, or visit online at or Ticketmaster..

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Lantern Theater Season Preview

The Lantern Theater, located in St. Stephen’s Church, 10th and Ludlow Streets, recently had a lovely season preview event featuring the theater’s education director and the directors of each of the season’s upcoming plays as well as some of the actors in these plays. Education Director Craig Getting enthusiastically described the education programs in the city serving 3000 students, many in the form of in-school residencies.  The programs help students to tell classic stories in their own ways to better understand the original version. Teachers are also being trained and given tools to teach these theater units on their own.
Photograph 51 was presented by director Kathryn MacMillan and actors Geneviève Perrier and Harry Smith. The director informed the audience that she had been in touch with the playwright daily. The show has just opened in London and the playwright has made some changes but MacMillan felt those changes were not suitable for the Lantern. The Lantern’s production will be unique. The main character, Rosalind, is a Jewish female scientist in a man’s world. She is responsible for the discovery of the helix of DNA.  Geneviève Perrier dedicates her performance to her Jewish grandmother who was a dentist in France. Smith portrays Morris Wilkins, an incredibly intelligent young man who is socially inept and doesn’t understand how people work.
Underneath the Lintel- will also be directed by Kathryn MacMillan and Peter DeLaurier will reprise his Barrymore award winning performance.  DeLaurier’s character is a librarian who “dances on the edge of personality disorders.”
Oscar Wilde: From the Depths- Director Craig Getting interviewed playwright Charles McMahon.  McMahon mentioned that in writing The Importance of Being Ernest, Oscar Wilde was writing about his own life.  Wilde also went to prison as a result of a libel suit which he knew to be erroneous.  The question is why?  Perhaps McMahon answers that question and others in his play.
As You Like It- Charles McMahon is the director and J Hernandez the represented actor. McMahon described Shakespeare’s play as one with a lot of jokes and as series of reversals. Consider the  two main characters.  One sees the world as it is and it liberates him.  The other sees the world as it is and it depresses him.
36 Views – by playwright Naomi lizuka, Director Peter DeLaurier and designer Jorge Cousineau. This is a study of what’s true and what’s false.  It uses the metaphor, what is true Asian art? What do we value? What happens when a person whose habitual response to relationships is avoidance finds himself in love? This has been described as a “profoundly unusual play.”
The preview was fascinating. All five shows are bound to be intriguing. For more information, visit online at or call 215-829-0395.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Bullets Over Broadway


WILL LAUNCH  2015-2016



           OCT 27- NOV 1 AT ACADEMY OF MUSIC

                        Tickets On Sale Now! 

The national tour of Woody Allen’s musical comedy,  BULLETS OVER BROADWAY will make its Philadelphia premiere, kicking off the new Broadway Philadelphia  season from Oct 27 – Nov 1 at the Academy of Music.  Broadway Philadelphia is presented collaboratively by the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and the Shubert Organization. BULLETS OVER BROADWAY premiered last season on Broadway and received six Tony-Award nominations, including Best Book  of a Musical and Best Choreography.  The tour is under the direction of Jeff Whiting who worked on the Broadway production. Original choreography will be replicated. 

The production, set in  the 1920’s, tells the tale of a playwright who needs someone to back his next show and a mobster who is looking for some way to please his less than talented showgirl girlfriend. BULLETS OVER BROADWAY features existing music of the period including “Let’s Misbehave” and “I’m Sitting On Top Of  The World.”

Tickets are available beginning September 4 by calling 215-731-3333, visiting online at, at the Kimmel Center box office, Broad and Spruce Sts.(open daily 10 am to 6 pm) or at The Academy of Music box office, Broad and Locust Sts. (open during performances only). Orders for groups of 10 or more may be placed by calling 215-790-5883 or 866-276-2947.  Performances are Tuesday through Thursday evenings at 7:30 pm. Friday & Saturday evenings at 8:00 pm; Sunday evenings at 6:30 pm; matinees Saturday at 2:00 pm and Sunday at 1:00 pm.

In addition to Bullets over Broadway, the new 2015-2016 season of Broadway Philadelphia will include Matilda The Musical (Nov. 17- 29, 2015;  Pippin (Feb 23 – 28, 2016); The Sound of Music (March 15 – 20, 2016); Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Mar. 22 – Apr 3, 2016); If/Then (Jun 21 – 26, 2016), all at The Academy of Music. Additional productions will include The Book of Morman (Nov 24 – Dec. 27,2015) at the Forrest Theatre; Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical (Dec.15- 20 ); Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Dec. 29, 2015 – Jan 3, 2016), both at the Merriam Theater; and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Feb 16 – 21).

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Shoplifters

Mary Martello, Johnnie Hobbs Jr.,
Daniel Fredrick & Marla Burkholder
1812 Productions, Philadelphia’s all comedy theatre company, is presenting the Philadelphia premiere of Morris Panych’s The Shoplifters. This engaging and hysterically funny comedy can be seen through September 20 on Arden Theatre’s Arcadia Stage, 40 N. 2nd Street. Veteran actor and multiple Barrymore Awards winner Mary Martello has to face off with the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Barrymore Award recipient, Johnnie Hobbs Jr. in the back room of a supermarket and the sparks fly.  She, a practiced shoplifter who has some acerbic insights into corporate America, can easily hold her own against him, an aging security guard who is about to receive the boot.   Marla Burkholder, new to the 1812 stage and new to the shoplifting experience is hilarious in her naiveté.  Her facial expressions are priceless and her body language speaks volumes without her uttering a word. But utter words she does, too many, in fact and to the wrong person - the over zealous security guard-in-training portrayed by Daniel Fredrick. .Panych’s latest comedy is comprised of a series of short scenes or vignettes with the cast of characters always rotating. Whether the interaction is between the two security guards (Otto and Dom); the two shoplifters (Alma and Phyllis); Otto and Alma; Dom and Phyllis or all four together, laughter is guaranteed to be the outcome. One would expect nothing less in a production directed by 1812 Productions’ Producing Artistic Director, Jennifer Childs.  In the words of playwright Morris Panych, ”Life is a supermarket.  We wander it - sometimes shopping, sometimes pilfering - gathering what pleasure, necessities, hope and joys can fill up our basket before we head, as eventually we must, to the check out.”  For an evening of pithy humor that’s both thought provoking and fall-out-of-your-seat hilarious, get your tickets now by calling 215-592-9560 or visiting online at