It may be cold outside, but stay warm inside with a "Wintry Mix," sampling of winter performances. Robin Bloom shares her picks.
George Bernard Shaw's "Misalliance"
The Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium continues its 9th season of presenting challenging and rarely-produced absurdist works from around the world with George Bernard Shaw's Misalliance. The comedy, a "discussion" play and commentary on marriage, begins in previews January 28 through February 22. Directed by Tina Brock and featuring David Bardeen, David Stanger, Andrew Carroll, Langston Darby, John D'Alonzo, Heather Cole, Paul McElwee, Kristen Norine (pictured), and Emily Schuman. The Philadelphia premiere is onstage at Walnut Street Theatre's Studio 5, 825 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. Photo by Johanna Austin.
"Voices of a People's History of the United States" at Plays & Players
Voices of a People's History of the United States, the stage version featuring excerpts from the anthology by historian Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove, is onstage at Plays & Players Theatre, January 29-31. The show blends a mix of performance styles and brings to life more than 400 years of history with activists like Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Helen Keller, Cesar Chavez, Eugene Debs, and Sojourner Truth, as well as lesser known voices. With speeches, songs and words that helped end slavery and Jim Crow, fought war and genocide, advanced gay and women's rights, and each section focusing on a major theme that unifies people of different generations and causes across radical, gender and cultural lines. Directed by John Doyle (Artistic Director of Iron Age Theatre) and starring a large cast of Philadelphia favorites including Bob Weick as Zinn, Adam Altman, Richard Bradford, K.O. DelMarcelle, Camryn Duncan, Dan Higbee, Colleen Hughes, Bi Jean Ngo, Gabriela Sanchez, Cathy Simpson, Roderick Slocum, Mary Tuomanen, and Damien Wallace, 1714 Delancey Place, Philadelphia. Photo by Daniel Student.
"Wintry Mix" at Bryn Mawr College
Head to Bryn Mawr for Wintry Mix, a blending of a variety of genres with a contemporary sampler of new works that mix theater, dance and music in two different nights and lineups, culminating in dance parties with audience participation. Friday, January 30, 8pm features an original musical experience with headliner Cynthia Hopkins, an ensemble theatre piece based on Chekhov with music and dance by Camilla Dely, selections from The Dancer Films, bringing to life the cartoons of Jules Feiffer with Judy Dennis, a comedy set with Chris Davis, experimental work by audiovisual artist Rucyl, avant-garde performance artist Annie Wilson, concluding with New York performer Miguel Gutierrez's Deep Aerobics (pictured). On Saturday, January 31, 8pm, music, dance and theater collide with Martha Graham Cracker, modern dance duo Chelsea & Magda, filmmaker Peter Rose and selections of his experimental films, hip-hop veteran and spoken word artist Raphael Xavier, exploring 100 years of dance styles in 10 minutes with Christina Zani, concluding with New York City DJ Rekha's dance party merging South Asian and Bollywood music with traditional dance songs, Hepburn Teaching Theater in Goodhart Hall, 150 North Merion Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA. Part of Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series. Photo by Pekka Makinen.
Chinese New Year at Penn Museum
Welcome the Year of the Sheep at Penn Museum's annual Chinese New Year Celebration, Saturday, January 31, 11am-4pm with traditional music and dance performances, martial arts demonstrations, Calligraphy, marketplace, vegetable carving with Master Chef Joseph Poon, and many more activities for all ages, culminating with the Grand Finale Lion Dance to chase away evil and usher in a year of good luck, 3260 South Street, Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of Chef Poon.
"Always...Patsy Cline" at Bristol Riverside Theatre
Take a nostalgic journey back to the early 1960s with Always...Patsy Cline, based on a true story about the friendship between the legendary singer and a fan from Houston named Louise Seger who befriended the star in 1961 and stayed in touch with her until her death in 1963. The show is onstage at Bristol Riverside Theatre through February 22 and features 27 of her iconic hits, directed by Susan D. Atkinson and starring Jessica Wagner as Patsy and Jo Twiss as Louise (pictured). Special events include a Friday Festival, January 30, 7pm with wine, appetizers and desserts and a guest speaker. Also, Wine Down Wednesday, February 4, Thirsty Thursday, February 12 and Theatre Theology on February 15, 120 Radcliffe Street, Bristol, PA. Photo by Mark Garvin.
"Menopause the Musical" at Bucks County Playhouse
Join in the fun and sing along with Bucks County Playhouse's Menopause the Musical, the celebration of women who are on the brink of, in the middle of or have survived "The Change," through February 1. The all-female cast features Annette Houlihan Verdolino, Cherie Price, Megan Cavanagh, and Linda Boston as four women who meet while shopping in a department store and notice unmistakable similarities with each other, 70 South Main Street, New Hope, PA. A co-production with GFour Productions. And then catch Late Night Catechism, February 3-15. Photo by Mandee Kuenzle.
"Young Frankenstein" at Candlelight Theatre
Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein is onstage at the Candlelight Theatre. The Broadway show was directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman, who began her career at Candlelight! Directed and choreographed by Peter Rios, with musical direction by Hana Cai, and starring Anthony Connell as Dr. Frankenstein, David McConney as the Monster, Samantha Morrone, Chris Trombetta, Tori Healy, Kat Lee, Elizabeth Benning, and Brian McCole, 2208 Millers Road, Wilmington, DE. All tickets include dinner and the show. Photo by Cindy Millison.
Nice and Fresh
SmokeyScout Productions hosts Nice and Fresh: Pop Up Performances of New Theater and Dance and Circus Arts, Friday, January 30, 8pm and Saturday, January 31, 6pm and 8pm, Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, 5900A Greene Street, Philadelphia. Designed to showcase a variety of new programs (for mature audiences only!), the four new works, approximately 15 minutes each, include Deborah Crocker performing The Beauty of the Program Is, a one-woman play by Josh McIlvain, Touch and Unwind Rewind, created and performed by Tangle Movement Arts, circus arts company (pictured), Sunny Days with Seaside Simon, created and performed by Melissa Krodman, and Looks Like Everyone Has Left by Murmuration Theater, created and performed by Nell Bang-Jensen, Brian Ratcliffe, and Isa St. Clair. Photo by Michael Ermilio. Enjoy complimentary wine and beer!
The Mask and Wig Club's "A Comedy of Terrors"
The Mask and Wig Club presents its 127th annual production, A Comedy of Terrors, a theatrical performance of wit and paranormal whimsy about two brothers (who are paranormal investigators) whose TV show ratings are "frighteningly" low, onstage through April 10, 310 South Quince Street. Directed by Matt Pfeiffer. The Mask and Wig Club is the oldest all-male collegiate musical comedy troupe in the United States. Photo by Milan Savani.
Concrete Temple Theatre's "Geppetto: Extraordinary Extremities"
New York based Concrete Temple Theatre brings its production of Geppetto: Extraordinary Extremities to Rowan University this Friday, January 30, 8pm. Puppet maker Geppetto (Carlo Adinolfi) is attempting to perform (all by himself for the first time) the grand mythical love story of Perseus, who slays a sea monster to save his beloved Andromeda. During the show things begin to go wrong, and Geppetto finds himself desperately improvising to overcome the challenges of performing solo while at the same time scrambling to devise new story lines, new characters, and even new limbs. Inspired by a NPR story on Hugh Herr, whose legs were amputated after a climbing accident and who now designs technologically advanced artificial limbs. For mature audiences only, in Tohill Theatre, Bunce Hall, 201 Mullica Hill Road, Glassboro, NJ. Photo by Stefan Hagen (courtesy of Concrete Temple Theatre).
Broadway tour of "Sister Act"
Direct from Broadway, the hit musical Sister Act arrives in Easton, PA for one night only at the State Theatre, Friday, January 30, 7:30pm, 453 Northampton Street, Easton, PA.
The story of a wannabe diva whose life takes a surprising turn when she witnesses a crime and the cops hide her in a convent is based on the film by the same name that starred Whoopi Goldberg (who produced the Broadway adaptation). Photo by Joan Marcus.
"The Miracle Worker" at Media Theatre
Onstage at Media Theatre is The Miracle Worker, the classic play by William Gibson about the relationship between the blind and deaf child Helen Keller and her governess Annie Sullivan, who took her out of isolation and taught her how to communicate. The fact-based drama is onstage through February 15, directed by Jesse Cline and stars Lexi Gwynn as Helen Keller and Barrymore Award winner Jennie Eisenhower as Annie Sullivan, 104 E. State Street, Media, PA. Photo courtesy of Media Theatre.
"Something Intangible" at Stagecrafters
Stagecrafters takes a look at what makes genius with Something Intangible by award-winning Philadelphia playwright Bruce Graham, a thinly disguised version of the creative battles between brothers Walt and Roy Disney. Directed by Barbara Mills and featuring Chris Anthony, Anthony Marsala, Susan Mattson, Michael Tarringer, Mike Mogar, and Danny Donnelly, January 30 through February 15 at 8130 Germantown Avenue, Chestnut Hill. Meet the playwright, director and cast at a Q&A after the show on February 6. Photo by Sara Stewart.
"Catch Me If You Can" at Eagle Theatre
Tickets are going fast for Eagle Theatre's production of the musical Catch Me If You Can, the crime drama based on the life of con artist Frank Abagnale, starring South Jersey native and Barrymore Award Winning actor Jeff Coon as FBI agent Carl Hanratty and Adam Hoyak as Frank. This professional regional area premiere offers a unique twist - presented as a televised variety hour, incorporating a live multi-camera shoot that will be displayed on televisions interspersed throughout the set - through February 21, 208 Vine Street, Hammonton, NJ. Enjoy talk back sessions after select performances and visit the on-site wine lounge. Photo by Chris Miller.
Sinatra Centennial Celebration
2015 marks what would be the 100th birthday of Frank Sinatra and you can be one of the first to celebrate the centennial with Simply Sinatra, Sunday, February 1, 3pm, Upper Darby Performing Arts Center. Acclaimed entertainer Steve Lippia and his 10 piece orchestra brings his classic hits to new life. Lippia stops in our area on his national tour at one of the first venues to pay tribute to Ol' Blue Eyes this year, 601 N. Lansdowne Avenue, Drexel Hill, PA. Photo of Frank Sinatra courtesy of the AP.
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