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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Family way too profane, noisy, in play about deaf boy

Curtain Call February 8, 2014 0 Comments

by Clark Groome Actions speak louder than words. The truth of that statement is abundantly clear in Nina Raine’s highly praised “Tribes,” the drama about a creative and generally obnoxious family living in modern day London. Beth and Christopher are parents to Daniel, Ruth and Billy. All in the family are hearing except Billy, who […]
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‘Famous’ delights in Ambler, even without Meryl Streep

Curtain Call January 17, 2014 0 Comments

by Clark Groome Tony Braithwaite and Jennifer Childs sent out several invitations to celebrities (including Meryl Streep and Chase Utley) asking that they join them on the Act II Playhouse stage in Ambler for their latest show. None accepts the invitation. All say, one way or another, that they’ve never heard of them. Disappointed and […]
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Stunning theatrical look at world’s most famous ‘Nerds’

Curtain Call December 13, 2013 0 Comments

by Clark Groome When “Nerds” first appeared at the Philadelphia Theatre Company in 2007 it was an entertaining but somewhat unsatisfying look at the relationship between tech gurus Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. “Nerds” is back, revised and ever so much better than it was six years ago. Originally created and subsequently revised by Jordan […]
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Ghostly ‘Woman’ not great but entertaining in Ambler

Curtain Call November 7, 2013 0 Comments

by Clark Groome Since 1989 Stephen Mallatratt’s stage adaptation of Susan Hill’s novel, “The Woman in Black,” has been playing in London’s West End, making it the second longest-running non-musical in London history behind only Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap.” Like “The Mousetrap,” “The Woman in Black” is mostly about entertaining and diverting its audiences. It’s […]
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Audience sees hilarious comedy; reviewer sees sadness

Curtain Call October 28, 2013 0 Comments

by Clark Groome The audience’s reaction to the opening night of the Philadelphia Theatre Company’s production of Amy Herzog’s “4000 Miles” confused me. From its almost continuous raucous laughter, the audience must have thought or actually felt it was viewing a laugh-a-minute comedy. My take on the play was quite different. When the young Leo […]
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Only 3 people in U.S. history share her distinction; Eisenhower/Nixon kin currently starring in local play

Curtain Call October 24, 2013 0 Comments

by Clark Groome Jennie Eisenhower, one of Philadelphia’s busiest and most respected actresses says, “I love being weird. I think at my core there’s just a little bit of quirkiness, a little bit of weirdness that allows me to access strange people. I think I’m at my best when I’m not playing someone who is […]
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‘Parade’: Great music but heavy-handed and predictable

Curtain Call October 11, 2013 0 Comments

by Clark Groome “Parade’s” pedigree is impeccable: book by Alfred Uhry of “Driving Miss Daisy” and “The Last Night of Ballyhoo”; music by the brilliant young composer Jason Robert Brown; originally conceived by the inestimable Harold Prince; a true story that contains elements of bigotry, humanity and terror; a splendid cast led by Ben Dibble […]
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This not-very-tasty Starbuck makes rain, not coffee

Curtain Call September 27, 2013 0 Comments

by Clark Groome Central to N. Richard Nash’s delightful “The Rainmaker” is Starbuck, the conman who arrives at the Curry family’s western Iowa farm during a cattle-killing, crop-destroying 1936 drought. Starbuck convinces the family that he is a rainmaker. For $100 he’ll bring the much-needed precipitation to the town within 24 hours. His character is […]
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