New This Week

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Merriam Theater) New production of this '60s-vintage Tim Rice/Andrew Lloyd Webber rock musical. Opens Tuesday.


Reviewed by Wendy Rosenfield (W.R.), Jim Rutter (J.R.), David Patrick Stearns (D.P.S.) and Toby Zinman (T.Z.).

A Christmas Story (Walnut Street Theatre) If you loved the 1983 film version, you'll love this musical. And if you hated the 1983 film version, you'll love this musical. Through Jan 20. - J.R.

Baskerville (Philadelphia Theatre Company) A tissue-thin comedy revisits the Conan Doyle classic with some good performances but not in aid of much. Ends Sunday. - D.P.S.

Becoming Dr. Ruth (Walnut Street Theatre/Independence Studio) This cozy, risk-free biodrama chronicles the life of America's most famous sex therapist. Ends Sunday. - T.Z.

Billy Elliot (Media Theatre) This homage to dance's transformative power is a promise that Media's production expertly fulfills in one of its best musicals ever. Through next Sunday. - J.R.

The Book of Mormon (Forrest Theatre) The enthusiastic elders deliver their religious message in a winning and hilarious, but very much R-rated, song-and-dance package. Ends Sunday. - W.R.

Diner: The Musical (Delaware Theatre Company) Lifelong early-20s buddies meet at the diner, where they sing, josh, and jive and face the fact that growing up may be inevitable. Musically weak, but a terrific cast. Extended through next Sunday. - J.R.

Gentlemen Volunteers (Pig Iron Theatre) A revival of this story of two World War I American ambulance drivers does not enchant as the original did. Ends Sunday. - T.Z.

Hansel and Gretel (Quintessence Theatre Group) A contemporary retelling of the classic Grimm fairy tale that piles on a bit too much but that is beautifully acted and produced. Through next Sunday. - J.R.

It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play (Bucks County Playhouse) A warm, surprisingly engrossing production of this musical adaptation. Ends Sunday. - W.R.

This Is the Week That Is (1812 Productions) Now marking its 10th anniversary, 1812's merry take on the highs and lows of current events is as fresh as ever. Ends Thursday. - J.R.

The Three Maries: A Philadelphia Phable (Prince Theater) It's 1926 and Queen Marie of Romania is coming to visit Philadelphia in this new city-centric musical by Michael Ogborn. Shamelessly entertaining, it lovingly spoofs Philly accents, institutions, and traditions. Great phun! Through Jan. 10.

The Three Musketeers (People's Light) In this year's holiday panto, Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and a chicken hunt for justice against the evil Lord Mazorotti. It's fun for all, but a little too long and a little too sweet. Through Jan. 10. - W.R.