A religious experience: ‘Book of Mormon’ lives up to hype

Curtain Call August 7, 2014 0 Comments

by Clark Groome Believe the hype. “The Book of Mormon” deserves all the kudos it has received since opening on Broadway early in 2011. The story of two Mormon missionaries sent to Uganda is both profane and profound. It satirizes the Mormons’ missionary practices while simultaneously showing that decency and courage can overcome the evil […]
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J.S. Bach’s theatrical job audition very entertaining

Curtain Call July 18, 2014 0 Comments

by Clark Groome When six musicians show up in Leipzig, Germany, to audition to be organist Johann Kuhnau’s replacement, all manner of madness ensues. The first thing you notice in the People’s Light and Theatre Company’s production (in Malvern) of Itamar Moses’ “Bach at Leipzig” is the curtain speech. You know the drill: turn off […]
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Newest play openings: one winner and one loser

Curtain Call June 6, 2014 0 Comments

by Clark Groome A thrilling play by local playwright Michael Hollinger and a disappointing production of Tom Stoppard’s “The Real Thing” opened last week. Here’s my take on them. Incorruptible When I saw the world premiere production of Michael Hollinger’s “Incorruptible” 18 years ago, I was taken by its wit, which bordered on farce, and […]
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Scene-chewing pace not very successful in ‘Succeed’

Curtain Call May 30, 2014 0 Comments

by Clark Groome Ever since I first saw “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying” at Philadelphia’s Shubert Theatre (now the Merriam) on its way to Broadway in 1961, I was hooked. So, apparently, was everyone else. The show got ecstatic reviews and went on to win seven Tonys, including the one for best […]
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‘Horrors,’ ‘You’re Perfect’ and ‘Woody’ all winners

Curtain Call May 16, 2014 0 Comments

by Clark Groome A man-eating plant seeking world domination, a series of complicated and very human relationships and Woody Guthrie’s life story and music make up the three shows I saw last week, one of the best theater weeks I’ve had in many a moon. Little Shop of Horrors Audrey II, the marvelously evil carnivorous […]
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‘La Mancha’ in Ambler: ‘seriously flawed’ but moving

Curtain Call May 9, 2014 0 Comments

by Clark Groome Over the years I’ve seen four productions of “Man of La Mancha.” While each had its assets, for the most part I found the show to be heavy handed and, in the worse case, ponderous. For all its popularity, Dale Wasserman’s book bored me. The Mitch Leigh score, with Joe Darion’s lyrics, […]
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Two plays, both compelling and both somewhat flawed

Curtain Call April 5, 2014 0 Comments

by Clark Groome Christopher Durang’s 2013 Tony Award-winning “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” at the Philadelphia Theatre Company and the world premiere of Paula Vogel’s fascinating if somewhat over-produced “Don Juan Comes Home from Iraq” made up an exciting pair of recent theater openings. Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike Playwright Christopher […]
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‘Arsenic’ and ‘Laughter’ not perfect but recommended

Curtain Call March 27, 2014 0 Comments

by Clark Groome Two comedies – the classic “Arsenic and Old Lace” and Neil Simon’s “Laughter on the 23rd Floor” – made up last week’s theater openings. Both productions, while not perfect, had lots to recommend them. Here’s my take on both of them: Arsenic and Old Lace Joseph Kesselring’s venerable “Arsenic and Old Lace” […]
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Neil Simon comedy in Ambler almost a suite success

Curtain Call February 28, 2014 0 Comments

by Clark Groome Laughter being, as it is, the best medicine, there is lots of theatrical evidence why Neil Simon’s nickname is “Doc.” Simon’s “Hotel Suite,” Act II Playhouse in Ambler’s current offering (through March 23), is actually a compilation of scenes from his three “Suite” plays: “Plaza Suite,” “California Suite” and “London Suite.” In […]
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Compelling drama about a most dysfunctional family

Curtain Call February 24, 2014 0 Comments

by Clark Groome Jon Robin Baitz, in his terrific “Other Desert Cities,” looks, at first blush, to be examining at a family where the parents are the devils and the kids their victims. Look closer and you’ll find that those parents are really not the enemy, not the devils that they seem initially. Polly and […]
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