Monday, February 5, 2018

Contrasting premieres at New Jersey Regionals: “The Outsider” and “American Hero” by Philip

As if we needed a reminder about the difference between governing and politicking, along comes “The Outsider,” running through February 18 at Paper Mill Playhouse. The wide chasm tha…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 12:52PM
Monday, January 22, 2018

Glorious still: “A Chorus Line” in Westchester by Philip

Here’s a list of those individuals who should see “A Chorus Line”: Anyone who has ever auditioned for a show or competed in any way for any job; anyone who has ever sung, danced and/or…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 05:36PM
Monday, January 15, 2018

“El Coquí Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom” at Two River Theater: Bueno, muy bueno by Philip

Write what you know, the saying goes. Playwright Matt Barbot and director José Zayas both credit their Hispanic heritage with having inspired their collaboration on “El Coquí Espectacula…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 10:42PM
Tuesday, January 9, 2018

New Jersey Repertory Company gets religion: “The Calling” world premiere by Philip

Selected by NJPAC’s Stage Exchange as one of 30 plays by New Jersey playwrights to be produced at in-state venues, Monmouth University adjunct professor of playwriting Joel Stone’s “Th…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 05:12PM
Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Together off-Broadway: Ballet, Bach and…Frankenstein? by Philip

It may be a tad unfair to begin a review of Ensemble for the Romantic Century’s serious play “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” by recalling the most irreverent take ever on Mary’s crea…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 03:52PM
Monday, December 18, 2017

Something old, something…older: Once On This Island and Twelfth Night by Philip

Re-visit with me, if you will, some of the comments I made in reviews of “Once On This Island” in Ocean Grove in 2004 (“…undistinguished, although pleasant enough”) and at Paper Mi…

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 09:09PM
Thursday, December 7, 2017

“The Parisian Woman” in D.C. (via B’way) and another tomorrow for “Annie” in NJ by Philip

I couldn’t find an English translation of Henry Becque’s 19th-Century farce La Parisienne, upon which Beau Willimon based “The Parisian Woman,” but it’s a safe assumption that the …

Linked From sceneonstage.com at 02:18PM
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

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