All’s Well That Ends Well.
It’s one of William Shakespeare many titles and phrases that have entered the lexicon.
“All’s Well That Ends Well,” primary source material for the phrase, on stage through Aug. 5, brings down the curtain on the 2018 Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival (PSF) at DeSales University, Center Valley.
There is no curtain to bring down or up in the three-quarter round Schubert Theatre. Nor is there a director, scenic designer, costume desiger, lighting designer, or sound designer.
“Mamma Mia!” Here We Go Again” is really Amanda Seyfried’s movie.
While the movie poster for “Mama Mia! Here We Go Again” lists its stars in alphabetical order, Seyfried stars as Sophie, daughter of Donna (Meryl Streep), who is readying the reopening of Hotel Bella Donna on a Greek island (The fictional Kalokairi. Island scenes in the sequel were filmed on Vis, Croatia, in the Adriatic Sea).
The feature animated film, “Yellow Submarine,” was produced to fulfill a three feature movie contract for The Beatles, the 1960s rock band that enraptured the world.
Fifty years after its release in 1968, with a restored print and soundtrack, the re-release shows that “Yellow Submarine” has traveled well. The film has even grown in stature for its inventive animation, dialogue of mordant wit and, of course, its soundtrack of Beatles’ songs, including the title song that inspired it.
The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival (PSF) “King Richard II” is fierce.
And yet the king at the center of William Shakespeare’s history play, in its PSF debut though through Aug. 5, Main Stage, Labuda Center for the Performing Arts, DeSales University, is a soft target.
As the knives are pulled, the swords are drawn and the heads are rolled (and trundled out in bloody sacks), King Richard II (Christian Coulson) is emotionally-cauterized. You want to warn him, run to his side, give him a hug.
“Shakespeare In Love” could be subtitled “Shakespeare With Writer’s Block.”
William Shakespeare (played by the magnificent Luigi Sottile), taking a page from modern nomenclature, must come up with his next hit.
Quill in hand, centerstage at his desk, backdropped by the impressive wood two-tiered set by Scenic Designer Daniel Conway that evokes The Globe Theater, Shakespeare laps up plot points from his pal, Kit Marlowe (an enthusiastic Justin Adams), as willing and eager as the shaggy dog, Spot (the willing and eager Buddy Igor), that ambles on stage.
If you want to have the dibs on saying,”I saw him when ..., “ don’t miss the astounding performance of Frankie Grande in The Muhlenberg College Summer Music Theatre production of “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying.”
Grande does it all: act, sing and dance (including speed-tap and a handstand flip) in the terrifically-entertaining musical directed with impish charm by MSMT co-founder Charles Richter.
“Ant-Man And The Wasp” is preposterous. That’s OK. It’s preposterous fun.
The Marvel Comics superheroes Ant-Man, aka Scott Lang, is played with charming bravura by Paul Rudd.
The Wasp, aka Hope Van Dyne, is played with confident strength by Evangeline Lily.
Together, and apart, they are big fun. Ant-Man super-sizes to proportions bigger than the Stay Puft Marshamallow Man in “Ghostbusters.”
They are also small fun. Ant-Man shrinks to the size of, well, an ant. And the Wasp, too, goes from large to small.
Call it “Honey, I Shrunk The Superheroes.”
The question, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?,” has an implicit assumption.
It’s not “Please be my neighbor.”
it’s not “Will you be my neighbor?”
“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” implies that the decision is up to the individual being asked. It’s a straight-forward request. And it indicates a willingness on the part of the person asking, to be your neighbor to begin with.
It’s how Fred Rogers (1928 - 2003), creator and host of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” (beginning on PBS in 1968 and continuing until 2001), put it.
The Munopco Music Theatre production of “Hairspray: The Broadway Musical” is adorable kitsch.
Munopco “Hairspray” director Susan McDermott, and assistant director Vince Rostkowski, get it right: a mix of 1960s’ dance-craze nostalgia, in excellent choreography by Suzanne Baltsar, with dance captain Caitlin McLemore; in exuberant singing, with robust direction by Julius Sarkozy; in catchy costumes, with fabulous frocks and thrift-shop chic by McDermott, and clever set design, with pastel palette by McDermott, and lighting by Jonathan Tobias.
The Schubert Theatre in Labuda Center for the Performing Arts at DeSales University is a kind of thespian trampoline. The three-sided stage with arena-style seating on each of the three sides lends itself to actor-audience interplay.