New This Week

The Brownings

(Orbiter 3, FringeArts). Sam Henderson's comic rethinking of the time-honored poet/spouses. Could get a little wild. Wednesday through Dec. 9.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) [Revised] (Delaware Theatre Company, Wilmington). The title speaks for itself. Wednesday through Dec. 23.

Cooking with the Calamari Sisters (Penn's Landing Playhouse). A funny Philly tradition continues! Through Dec. 17.

Upright Citizens Brigade Touring Company (Philadelphia Theatre Company). The venerable Chicago/New York improv troupe headlines an improv weekend. Friday and Saturday.


Reviewed by Julia M. Klein (J.M.K.), John Timpane (J.T.), and Toby Zinman (T.Z.).

Aladdin: A Musical Panto (People's Light, Malvern). Keeping the British tradition of the panto very much alive. Promises to be hilarious. Through Jan. 7.

Annie (Walnut Street Theatre). A carrot-top, a hard-knocks life, and a durable sunrise. A disappointing production, too loud, too slow, too awkward. Through Jan. 7. - T.Z.

Beauty and the Beast (Media Theatre). The Menken/Ashman gem that seems to get better with age. Excellent family holiday bet. Through Jan. 14.

A Christmas Carol (Walnut Street Theatre). Wouldn't be Christmastime without it. An hour-long, family-friendly version. Through Dec. 23.

A Christmas Carol (Hedgerow Theatre Company, Rose Valley). The 25th anniversary of the theater's special version of the Dickens classic. Through Dec. 24.

The Craftsman (Lantern Theater Company). Bruce Graham world premiere. Dutch patriots discover one of them has sold priceless Vermeers to the Nazis. Thought-provoking, with fine performances. Through Dec. 17. - T.Z.

Every Brilliant Thing (Arden Theatre Company). An audience-participation heartbreaker. Scott Greer shows brilliant comic chops in turning this one-man show into a cast of 80. Through Dec. 10. - J.T.

The Fantasticks (Eagle Theatre, Hammonton, N.J.). Durable, popular tunefest about two neighboring dads who create a love match. Through Dec. 10.

Finding Neverland (Academy of Music). The back story to the creation of J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan. Often stunning, with fine singing and acting: an adult musical masquerading as a child's play. Ends Sunday. - T.Z.

Lights Out: Nat "King" Cole (People's Light, Malvern). World premiere. Dulé Hill (West Wing, Psych) stars as Cole on the last night of his 1950s TV show. Hill shines, as does Daniel J. Watts as Sammy Davis Jr. Ends next Sunday. - J.T.

My Fair Lady (Quintessence Theatre Group). A two-piano concert version of the beloved musical. Sounds like a pretty good idea! Through Dec. 17.

The New World (Bucks County Playhouse, New Hope). World-premiere musical about the first Thanksgiving. Funny, no stereotypes or schmaltz, with Justin Guarini, a talking turkey, and a wry ending. Ends Saturday.

Peter Pan (Arden Theatre Company). Speaking of that capable Peter, here's the front story to Finding Neverland's back story. Through Jan. 28.

Plaid Tidings (Montgomery Theatre, Souderton). The theater's traditional show of holiday faves sung by four guys in plaid ties. Through Dec. 10.

Rasheeda Speaking (Allens Lane Arts Center). A workplace thriller about tensions in a supposedly post-racial world. Ends next Sunday.

This Is the Week That Is (1812 Productions). The theater's raucous year-end satire-fest. May be particularly memorable this year. Through Dec. 14.

TouchTones (Arden Theatre Company). World premiere of Michael Hollinger and Robert Maggio's musical about communications-age intimacy. Racy, engaging, and ultimately romantic. Ends next Sunday. - J.M.K.