Posted on 08 May 2013 by admin
Photo by Kyle Cassidy.
Theater (and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) fans should rejoice – West Philly’s Curio Theatre is getting ready to emBARK on The Hound of the Baskervilles, their last production of the 2012-2013 season and Philadelphia premiere. We hear that the play, which opens tonight at 8 p.m., is quite spooky (as it should be), but has some derailments, like the cast, Harry Slack of West Philadelphia, Steve Carpenter of South Philly and CJ Keller of Havertown, arguing about whether they should include a medical disclaimer for the audience or getting distracted by a Twitter comment (don’t worry, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson will get back on the case).
The new production, directed by Curio Artistic Director and West Philly resident Paul Kuhn is a very “Curio” kind of play, with its double-casting and high theatricality, and includes some costumes changes right in front of the audience! With all the derailments and cast distractions you may wonder how it will it end. Why not see for yourself? The shows will run through June 1.
The Hound of the Baskervilles, a Philadelphia premiere
May 8-June 1, 2013
Performing on Curio’s Corner Stage (corner of 48th St. and Baltimore Ave.)
All shows are at 8 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays (and Wednesday, May 8)
Ticket Prices: $15-20 ($5 off for preview tickets: 5/8-9)
Tickets/Info: 215-525-1350 or www.curiotheatre.org
Posted on 28 November 2012 by admin
Reuben Mitchell, an inspiring 31-year-old actor, was riding his motorcycle on the 3900 block of Woodland Avenue shortly after 7 a.m. on November 12 when he struck a car that was making a u-turn. He died later that evening from the injuries sustained in the accident (source: Philly.com). Reuben was cast to play the role of Magnus in an upcoming Curio Theatre show, Tom Stoppard’s The Real Inspector Hound.
Mourning Reuben’s death and after some difficult decisions, the theatre administration decided to cancel the first weekend of previews scheduled for November 29 – December 1 but to go on with the main production run. Josh Browns who knew Reuben well will be filling the role.
“It’s been a real tragedy for the entire Philadelphia theatre community,” says Curio’s Managing Director Gay Carducci. “Though, we have known Reuben for quite some time, The Real Inspector Hound was going to be the first show that Reuben would have done with us. After much thought we decided to continue on with the show, as we believe Reuben would have wanted us to do.”
The December 5 performance will be held in honor of Reuben, and all of the proceeds that evening will go to his family in an “effort to help them during this trying time.”
Posted on 26 October 2012 by Kelly Lawler
The Curio Theatre Company, a favorite West Philly theater spot, is premiering Stoker’s Dracula adapted and performed by company member Josh Hitchens. The seventy-minute adaptation, previously seen at the Philly Fringe Festival, the Independent Voices Festival, and many other venues, re-imagines Stoker’s chilling vampire tale as a one-man show, with Hitchens inhabiting twelve distinct characters, just in time for Halloween! As an added bonus, Hitchens acts out the famous vampire tale using nothing but Stoker’s original text from the novel for dialogue.
Performances include late-nights tonight and tomorrow at 10:30 p.m., as well as October 30 and 31 at 8:00 p.m. at the theater, located at 4740 Baltimore Avenue. Tickets ($15) can be purchased online or at the door.
- Kelly Lawler
Posted on 09 October 2012 by admin
The Runner Stumbles cast members Isa St.Clair (Sister Rita) and Steve Carpenter (Father Rivard). Photo by Kyle Cassidy.
West Philly’s Curio Theatre Company begins its eighth season this Thursday with The Runner Stumbles by Milan Stitt. First produced on Broadway in 1976, The Runner Stumbles is based on a true story that happened in 1911 at a Roman Catholic parish in rural Michigan. It is a long-awaited project for director and Curio co-founder Gay Carducci.
“It’s a play about a crisis of faith, with a hint of mystery,” she says. “It’s been speaking to me since I saw it done 20-some-odd years ago. And it’s always a piece that I loved and wanted to bring back again.”
The cast features Ryan Walter, Rachel Gluck, Harry Slack and Artistic Director Paul Kuhn, all of West Philadelphia, as well as Aetna Gallagher of Wallingford, Liam Castellan of Center City, and introducing Meridian Lowe, a student at Masterman High School and one of the first students in Curio’s educational program.
The show runs October 11 to November 10 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., in the Calvary Center at 4740 Baltimore Ave. Tickets are $15-20 ($10-15 for preview performances). For more information and to buy tickets, visit this page.
Posted on 06 September 2012 by admin
The Philly Fringe festival is back this month with its usual wide array of performances and venues. Many of the programs will take place in West Philadelphia. For the full list of festival events and to purchase tickets, see the Live Arts/Fringe Festival website. Highlights of local neighborhood events, in no particular order, include:
- Monsters: A Workshop and Happening on Sept 16, 3 pm at the Penn Museum. Participants will work with artist Douglas Repetto to make a herd of moving tables that will be set free among the artifacts.
- Le Mirage/Dead City Philly by DysFUNctional Theater. Sept 10 and 11, 8 pm at the Rotunda. A 1892 novella reimagined as a rock opera and set in modern day Philadelphia. Debuted at the Fringe festival in 2011 and back by popular demand.
- The Legend of Nahia by Duende Musical. Sept 7, 8, 12, and 15, 7 pm at the Calvary Center, 801 South 48th St. A story set in an imaginary town in Spain about a a female survivor of sexual assault healing through music, art, story telling, and dance.
- You Don’t Say by Tangle Arts Movement, Sept 13, 14, and 15 at 8 pm with a special show at 3 pm. Although the venue, Philadelphia Soundstages (1600 N. 5th St), is not in West Philly, neighbors are probably familiar with the group’s outdoor show in Clark Park, Tiny Circus. Their Fringe show purports to include a rope, trapeze, and a dinner table as the performers explore relationships and miscommunication all while defying gravity.
Posted on 26 July 2012 by Editor
Last night Clark Park hosted the first performance of the “Merry Wives of Windsor” as part of the annual summer “Shakespeare in Clark Park.” It was great – see the review below written by Kelly Lawler. Also, please check out our photos of the merry performers and the crowd watching them. Not only is Shakespeare in Clark Park a great chance to connect with friends and neighbors and see a great show, it’s also a great place to people-watch.
If they weren’t using Shakespearean language, a passerby might mistake the performance of The Merry Wives of Windsor for a party or a dance or a barbecue in Clark Park’s bowl. And indeed, everyone has fun with the play; the actors, the musicians, and the audience all revel in the ridiculousness and hilarity. And the result is a very pleasant theater experience.
The play, one of Shakespeare’s less-famous comedies, follows several wives and lovers through an absurd series of events. Falstaff, a knight, is in debt and decides to alleviate this problem by seducing the wives of two rich merchants, Mistress Ford and Mistress Page. Meanwhile, Mistress Page’s daughter, Anne, is in love with Fenton, but her father wants her to marry Slender and her mother wants her to marry Dr. Caius. Hilarity ensues.
Merry Wives takes place in Elizabethan Windsor in England, but as is the norm with Shakespeare productions now, it is put in a different setting. The director, Rebecca Wright, chose to place it in an old West setting, complete with cowboy hats and boots and country music. It works well in an outdoor performance like this, where the physical space is so large and so distinct that the actors and the set and the props must also be large and hammy to compensate. If the play were inside a normal theater it might have seemed cheesy, but instead it worked well in the park. The production was at its best when it utilized the space it was in. Not being able to have a traditional “back stage” area the actors were forced to stay in character for the whole performance, even when not in the scene. But this allowed things like young lovers Fenton and Anne to wander off and have a romantic talk under a distant tree.
The production also utilized music very well. A three piece band accompanied much of the show, complete with a banjo and a real washtub-bass. Original songs were written for the production, which was more of a musical than other Shakespeare, but worked really well both with the absurd story of Merry Wives, and with the Western setting. It was also great for the audience who got to clap along to the beat, and join in the party-like atmosphere of the play.
All in all the performance is a lot of fun. The story is easy to follow and quite funny. With a picnic blanket and basket, Shakespeare in Clark Park is a really lovely way to spend a summer evening.
- Kelly Lawler
If you missed last night’s show, there are four more left. For more information, go here.