All stories by Philip on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The importance of seeing “Earnest” at Two River Theater by Philip

In a modern play about Oscar Wilde, he says “I have spent my life holding language up to the light, making words shimmer.” (Wilde might well have said that.) Then his 1895 play “The Im…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 03:11PM
Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Paging Dr. Seuss: Report to Red Bank for “Seussical” by Philip

An unscripted moment on opening night of Phoenix Productions’ “Seussical” revealed much about how the show was being received. Nearing the end, the Cat in the Hat addresses the audienc…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 05:27PM
Thursday, November 2, 2017

Tennis, anyone? “The Last Match” off-Broadway by Philip

There’s a mind game we used to play in college built around someone finishing the sentence “Life is like a ­___” with a concept (film noir, say) or item (a coke bottle is one I recall…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 08:49AM
Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Careful what you wish for: “Mutual Philanthropy” at NJ Rep by Philip

We like to think we can size up strangers in a first meeting, but we really can’t. Everyone is guarded for a while, with deep feelings and values held in check, at least until the atmosphe…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 12:24AM
Monday, October 16, 2017

Improved with age: “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” by Philip

Two things to know about George Street Playhouse’s temporary home on the Cook College Campus of Rutgers University: One is that the venue is temporary only in the sense that GSP will be mo…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 04:41PM
Friday, September 29, 2017

A likeable “As You Like It” off-B’way and a tasty dinner theater in the suburbs by Philip

There must be as many ways of creating the Forest of Arden onstage as there are productions of “As You Like It.” In director John Doyle’s minimalist production of Shakespeare’s roman…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 09:11PM
Monday, September 18, 2017

A first-class revival of an American classic: “A Raisin in the Sun” at Two River Theater by Philip

There is little that I can add to the praise that has been heaped upon Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun,” virtually from the hour it opened on Broadway in 1959. Ms. Hansberry,…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 03:29PM
Friday, September 1, 2017

“Prince of Broadway” = Nostalgia on Broadway by Philip

“Prince of Broadway” has been variously compared to a highlight reel, a mix-tape and a best-of list. Simply stated, “Prince” is a compilation of musical numbers from sixteen of the t…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 05:07PM
Monday, August 21, 2017

“F Theory” in Long Branch NJ: an imperfect blendship by Philip

For starters, the F in “F Theory,” world-premiering at New Jersey Repertory Company, does not stand for what you are thinking. No; it represents friendship, in this case not even with be…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 03:33PM
Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Curvy Widow on 43rd Street and Songbook Summit on 59th by Philip

Pinpointing a target audience for some shows is easy. Ten-to-twelve-year-old girls whose parents took them to “Annie” were seen a decade or so later with one another at “Rent,” while…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 03:25PM
Sunday, August 6, 2017

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” come true in Central Park by Philip

Settings and casting variations on Shakespeare are virtually infinite. “Othello” in an Army barracks? “Shrew” on a Dude Ranch? A female Prospero or even Richard III? A campy “Peric…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 03:36PM
Sunday, July 23, 2017

Broadway door opens into “Marvin’s Room” by Philip

In life there are the care-givers, the care-receivers, and those who simply don’t care. All three are represented in Scott McPherson’s “Marvin’s Room,” finally debuting on Broadway…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 05:22PM
Thursday, July 13, 2017

“Halftime With Don” worth your time… by Philip

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, is a degenerative disease found in people who have suffered repeated blows to the head. Symptoms, which manifest themselves eight-to-ten years later…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 09:18PM
Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Shakespeare, Shaw and More: North of the Border by Philip

William Shakespeare and George Bernard Shaw are the raisons d’être for the Stratford and Shaw Festivals in Ontario, where those venerated playwrights (and others) are staged by world-clas…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 09:16PM
Sunday, June 18, 2017

Half-way to ’18 already! My goodness, where did the time go? by Philip

With the year nearly half spent, some random observations before leaving for Ontario to cover the Stratford and Shaw Festivals for Digital First Media newspapers in Michigan (and online) and…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 04:56PM
Monday, June 12, 2017

Musicals in the Garden State: “Little Jo” at Two River and Paper Mill’s “Mary Poppins” by Philip

Anyone who does not believe truth is stranger than fiction hasn’t been following the news lately…or has never heard about Joe Monaghan, whose story is encapsulated in the playbill of Two…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 04:49PM
Monday, June 5, 2017

The 2017 Broadway Tony Awards: Predictions and Preferences by Philip

Some Broadway plays and musicals succeed or fail regardless of Tony Award consideration, but the fate of many more depends heavily on nominations, not even considering wins. Ticket sales for…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 06:27PM
Thursday, June 1, 2017

“The Government Inspector” is worth inspecting… by Philip

Part of my enjoyment of Red Bull Theater’s “The Government Inspector” derived from not knowing how accurately Jeffrey Hatcher’s adaptation translates Russian author Nikolai Gogol’s…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 10:00PM
Monday, May 22, 2017

There’s a lot to love in “Ernest Shackleton Loves Me” by Philip

The set for “Ernest Shackleton Loves Me” features a metal-frame stand-up desk upon which set microphones, a tape deck, amps and speakers, various other electronic devices and, oh yes, a …

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 04:17PM
Monday, May 8, 2017

But soft! What light on NJ Rep Stage? ‘Tis “& Juliet” by Philip

There is an intriguing one-act, 80-minute play on the New Jersey Repertory stage. Unfolding in the fertile theatrical setting of higher-education academia, it deals with faculty jealousy, co…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 04:15PM
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

La guerra es el infierno para “The Women of Padilla” a Two River Theater by Philip

“The Women of Padilla” is a very well-written play, a realization I came to while reading it a couple days after seeing it at Two River Theater. If ever a play was suited for Two River…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 05:39PM
Monday, April 17, 2017

“The Play That Goes Wrong” goes right! by Philip

Two-thirds of “The Play That Goes Wrong” is hilarious. The other half (apologies to Yogi Berra) is just funny. If you’ve ever appeared in a play, or produced, directed or stage-managed…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 02:04PM
Wednesday, April 12, 2017

“The Play That Goes Wrong” and “The Price” both go right. by Philip

Two-thirds of “The Play That Goes Wrong” is hilarious. The other half (apologies to Yogi Berra) is just funny. If you’ve ever appeared in a play, or produced, directed or stage-managed…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 04:51PM
Monday, April 3, 2017

A classic well told: “Of Mice and Men” in Holmdel, NJ by Philip

Some years ago I picked up a 1939 edition of John Gassner’s “20 Best Plays of the American Theatre” at the Cincinnati Public Library’s Buck-a-Book sale. Among the titles are some tha…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 04:11PM
Friday, March 31, 2017

The heat is back on in “Miss Saigon” by Philip

“Miss Saigon” was the first play I reviewed for the Two River Times in Red Bank, NJ – or for anywhere, actually, since a stint on a Rhode Island weekly during a long-ago college summer…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 11:29PM
Thursday, March 30, 2017

“The Price” is right by Philip

“The Price” is not a comedy – far from it. But Arthur Miller’s seldom-staged play demonstrates something his other plays do not – that Miller could indeed write funny. Not just the…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 02:38PM
Friday, March 24, 2017

A well-built “Multiple Family Dwelling” in Long Branch NJ by Philip

It’s said that there are only seven plots. If so, who’s sleeping with whose husband/wife/SO must be at least two of them. The details of such assignations are revealed late in “Multipl…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 04:38PM
Monday, March 20, 2017

Come from wherever to see “Come From Away” by Philip

Any people who don’t believe in the Magic of Theatre would be well advised to get themselves to “Come From Away,” where a dozen diverse performers, aided by some chairs, a few coats an…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 04:48PM
Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical in NJ (not that one) by Philip

Before Lin-Manuel Miranda chose Ron Chernow’s 827-page biography of Alexander Hamilton to read on vacation, “In the Heights” had established him as a composer-lyricist to reckon with. …

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 04:17PM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A three-actor scramble: “Merry Wives” at Two River Theater by Philip

Tradition has it that Queen Elizabeth, enamored of Falstaff from Shakespeare’s Henry IV plays, asked the playwright for a play depicting the character in love (a likely apocryphal  ‘alt…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 04:39PM
Thursday, March 2, 2017

“All the Fine Boys” on the prowl off-Broadway by Philip

One of the two male characters in “All the Fine Boys” is well past boyhood and neither fits the definition of fine. Joseph (Joe Tippett), at 28, is, in fact, very un-fine; the other, Ada…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 03:34PM

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