Jake Blumgart is a reporter and researcher who lives in West Philadelphia. His work has been published by The Stranger, The American Prospect, Alternet, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Follow him on Twitter.
By this Author
Paul Thomas Anderson’s 'Inherent Vice'
The trick to enjoying Inherent Vice is to just let the thing wash over you, laugh at the jokes, and don’t fret too much (or at all) about the details. This is substantially easier if you are a fan, as its protagonist is, of late-night movie marathons.
Tom Stoppard's 'Arcadia' at Lantern Theater Company
Romantic poetry and the second law of thermodynamics
Sir Tom Stoppard doesn’t let the characters become puppets of his wit and intellect: Arcadia is a delightful, engaging, and engrossing escapade.
Fringe Festival: New Paradise Laboratories’ ‘The Adults’
A masterwork of unease
New Paradise Laboratories’ Fringe show, The Adults, is a play for those who like their drunken pratfalls freighted with metaphysical anxiety.
James Gunn's 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
A by-the-book comic-book blockbuster
It’s nice having a reliably enjoyable summer movie experience, the cinematic equivalent of fried boardwalk food or cheap, cold beer. A lot of blockbusters don’t live up to my hopes, but with a Marvel movie I always know what I’m going to get, so I’m never disappointed.
Bong Joon-ho's 'Snowpiercer'
An allegory with ax fights
Snowpiercer is worth seeing not just because of its indictment of widening global inequality, but because it seriously examines the alternatives.
Stoppard's 'The Real Thing' at the Wilma
An intellectual's foray into matters of the heart
The Real Thing is not just a showcase for Tom Stoppard's beautifully crafted language — it has a heart, even if it is well-concealed.
'Blue Is the Warmest Color' and 'The Great Beauty'
The view from Europe
Blue Is the Warmest Color and The Great Beauty make excellent companion pieces, presenting a surfeit of gorgeous filmmaking as they bookend two lives in advanced industrial democracies.
Wes Anderson's 'Grand Budapest Hotel' (second review)
Inside a Central European snow globe
The Grand Budapest Hotel is no different from Wes Anderson’s other films — it is visually stunning and quite funny, but there is nothing at the center.
Lantern’s ‘A Child’s Christmas in Wales’ (2nd review)
Even in Wales, was Christmas ever this somber?
Would it be too much to ask that a few kids be cast in a play that’s so purely wrapped up in the wonders of youth?
Curio Theatre’s ‘Gender Comedy’
Do you really think Shakespeare’s comedies are funny?
In the sophomoric and absurd Gender Comedy, Curio Theater does to Twelfth Night what should be done to Twelfth Night.
Saki's "Unrest-Cure': Lampooning Britain's upper class
The defeat of the smug and the boring
Every fan of satire knows Wilde and Wodehouse. But don't forget Saki, who introduced talking cats and child-hungry werewolves into upper-class British drawing rooms, on the theory that nothing invigorates a tea party like a ravening hyena.
"The World's End': 40-something reunion
The old gang of mine meets the Stepford wives
In this appealing comedy, five ex-buddies in their 40s try to rekindle their youthful friendship, only to find that even a robot/alien invasion can't heal their fundamental differences.
Stoppard's "Heroes' at the Lantern (2nd review)
Waiting for Godot, or for Stoppard?
The audience was in stitches throughout much of Heroes. But the intellectual fireworks that accompany most Tom Stoppard scripts are largely absent here.
Oscar Wilde's "Ideal Husband' at the Walnut (1st review)
Oscar Wilde gets serious
At the fringes, Oscar Wilde's characters in An Ideal Husband convey a spritely delight in mocking the staid practices of a moralistic society. But Wilde keeps dragging them into a ludicrous plot that he wants us to take seriously.