Sunday, January 28, 2018

Time Stands Still

Michael Satow &
Eleanor Handley
Bristol Riverside Theatre is presenting the Pulitzer-Prize-winning drama Time Stands Still through February 11 This production gives an outstanding glimpse of both the physical and psychological effects of PTSD.  Usually attributed to soldiers returning home from a tour of duty, post-traumatic stress can also be suffered by journalists and photo-journalists that cover the events. Award-winning playwright Donald Margulies brings home Sara Goodwin (Eleanor Handley) a photo-journalist who was injured in Kabul. She returns to the home she has shared for 8 years with journalist James Dodd (Michael Satow) Both actors give strong performances, without a hint that they are actually married off-stage.  Danny Vaccaro, portraying Richard Ehrlich, Sara’s editor, visits with ingĂ©nue Mandy Bloom (Laura Giknis) on his arm. Laura gives a very convincing performance of a young “ditzy” girl who is totally out of her element with this professional group. She gains some inner strength and maturity after she gives birth. A series of blackouts denotes passage of time which enables us to further study the war’s damage to the psyche.  Which is worse to bear? The physical damage suffered by Sara when she suffered broken bones and a coma as a result of a bomb being detonated in front of her or the psychological damage suffered by Jamie when body parts were strewn all over his hair and face? This is not necessarily an easy show to watch but it is an excellent one. The ensemble cast is brilliant and the drama is thought-provoking. For more information of tickets, call 215-785-0100 or visit online at 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Humans

Mainstage set of The Humans
The Walnut Street Theatre, located at 825 Walnut Street, is presenting the much-acclaimed drama The Humans through March 4th on its main stage. Playwright Stephen Karam set about writing a play that deals with the minutia and the travails of one family during a holiday dinner. The set is ingenious. Urgent visits to the second story bathroom  interrupt uncomfortable conversations. An "elevator" transporting a wheelchair conveniently clears the stage of a few characters for minutes at a time. An Eagles Stadium blanket elicits cheers from the entire audience. The spiral staircase connecting the first and second floor is the perfect spot for characters to pause and listen to conversations on the floor above or below them. Everyone is constantly talking about someone else and no one wants to be left out of the loop.  You will laugh as you watch this for there are some funny lines; you might squirm as well while peering into this family’s most intimate moments. Sharon Alexander’s portrayal of Momo’s ‘bad day’ is outstanding. Jennie Eisenhower lights up any stage she appears on and Mary Martello is always a delight to see (even if her characters are not). It is Alex Keiper, however, who illustrates her phenomenal sense of timing with the zingers and one-liners that she delivers first to her mother (Mary Martello), and then to her father (Greg Wood) at the dinner table. So effectively are the lines delivered that the audience gasps and then recoups in a moment of silence. This slice of life is offered with a razor sharp blade that is fascinating to observe. For more information or tickets, call 215,574-3550, 800-982-2787, visit online at or Ticketmaster.

Friday, January 19, 2018

A Doll's House

Nora & Torvald
The Arden Theatre Company is presenting Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House through February 25, 2018. The Arden’s smaller Arcadia Stage has been reconfigured to bring the audience inside the parlor of the … Doll’s House right alongside all the members of its talented ensemble cast. Although most two-act dramas have the majority of the action in the first act, such is not the case in this piece. Act I sets up the life style and relationships of  Torvald (Cody  Nickell) and his wife Nora (Katherine Powell) and their friends Dr. Rank (Scott Greer), Kristine (Betty Chong),and nemesis Krogstad (Akeem Davis). Act II is longer and more intense. Nora’s having helped Kristine get a job with Torvald inadvertently opens herself up to blackmail. Krogstad puts pressure on Nora and gives her an ultimatum she feels she can’t possibly meet. Katherine Powell is phenomenal in the role of Nora. If “a look is worth a thousand words”, she crams five thousand into each agonized facial expression in Act II.  Dr. Rank has agonizing revelations of his own. Even the staid Kristine has a secret passion which ultimately opens the doll house door. For more information or tickets to this timely centuries’ old drama, call 215-922-1122 or visit online