Reviews

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Marcel the Shell, a tiny shell with one eye and sneakers, stands on a laptop keyboard. She fits on a single key.

The Philadelphia Film Society presents SpringFest 2022

Four films to watch out for

In one movie-packed weekend, PFS SpringFest screened 22 films at the Philadelphia Film Center, from a full-length treatment of a viral shell with shoes to the film Apple hopes will be the next CODA. Stephen Silver reviews.
Stephen Silver

Stephen Silver

Reviews 5 minute read
Scene from the play. Eugene, wearing a cream knit sweater, argyle socks, & baseball hat, looks at his brother, who’s speaking

Delaware Theatre Company presents Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs

Confessions of a teenage dramatist

Delaware Theatre Company’s production of Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs provides nostalgia and some light laughs. Josh Herren reviews.
Josh Herren

Josh Herren

Reviews 4 minute read
Two male dancers in long black skirts jump high in unison, and four women dancers stand in white leotards behind them.

The Philadelphia Ballet presents Hans van Manen’s Humankind

A full-circle performance

The Philadelphia Ballet says goodbye to longtime dancer Jermel Johnson in this program from choreographer Hans van Manen, who has his own retirement announcement. Camille Bacon-Smith reviews.
Camille Bacon-Smith

Camille Bacon-Smith

Reviews 4 minute read
Scene from Reverie. Bazemore & Mitchell, both Black men, in an apartment kitchen, both looking wistfully toward the audience

Azuka Theatre presents James Ijames’s Reverie

Death’s best gift

The new work by Philly’s own Pulitzer Prize winner, James Ijames, explores what gets left behind when a person dies without having authentically lived. Jill Ivey reviews.
Jillian Ashley Blair Ivey

Jillian Ashley Blair Ivey

Reviews 3 minute read
The book cover. The title on an orange background, with slender images of mosaic, grass, cement, and dirt winding beneath.

Ways of Walking, edited by Ann de Forest

Headed somewhere together

A new anthology by Philly writer Ann de Forest explores how we walk, and where, and
why that experience means such different things for different bodies. Anndee Hochman reviews.
Anndee Hochman

Anndee Hochman

Reviews 5 minute read
A black and white photo of Bertucci performing on a dark stage, looking at a laptop with a misty spotlight on her.

Ars Nova Workshop presents Lea Bertucci’s Of Shadow and Substance

An explosion of music

With a world-premiere commission by composer and sound artist Lea Bertucci, Ars Nova Workshop presented a musical meditation on the 2019 Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery explosion. Aaron Pond reviews.
Aaron Pond

Aaron Pond

Reviews 3 minute read
Floyd, a Black woman, sits on a river dock on a sunny day, holding a gold frame in front of her. She wears a long pale dress

Intercultural Journeys presents The Frances Suite

Walking out from the shadows

Intercultural Journeys presents The Frances Suite, a musical portrayal of 19th-century Philadelphia activist, speaker, and writer Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, by composer Ruth Naomi Floyd. Melissa Strong reviews.
Melissa Strong

Melissa Strong

Reviews 4 minute read
A scene from the play. The 3 actors sit on an apartment couch, each of them talking on the phone, not looking at each other

Theatre Exile presents Susan Soon He Stanton’s Today Is My Birthday

Twenty-first century ties

Theatre Exile’s production of Succession writer Susan Soon He Stanton’s charming play shows just how possible it is to feel alone, even when you spend your life talking to other people. Jill Ivey reviews.
Jillian Ashley Blair Ivey

Jillian Ashley Blair Ivey

Reviews 3 minute read
A scene from the opera: a dynamic ensemble shot of 15 men in suits, with a range of avid expressions, on and around a couch.

Opera Philadelphia presents Rigoletto

A rapturous return

Rigoletto is Opera Philadelphia’s first full production at the Academy of Music since 2019, reminding us how we sustain, and are sustained by, great art. Gail Obenreder reviews.
Gail Obenreder

Gail Obenreder

Reviews 4 minute read
The book cover. The upper half shows the classical façade of the school; the lower a crowded city protest for school funding.

The Roots of Educational Inequality: Philadelphia’s Germantown High School, 1907-2014, by Erika M. Kitzmiller

A century in Germantown

We know how the story of Germantown High School ended, but how did it begin? A new book explains, and highlights the fault lines that remain in our schools today. Anndee Hochman reviews.
Anndee Hochman

Anndee Hochman

Reviews 5 minute read