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

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