The Beauty Queen of Leenane
This blackest of family comedies was Irish playwright Martin McDonagh’s first hit, so it’s a fitting closer for Lantern’s stellar tribute survey. Can’t wait to see Philly favorites Mary Martello and Megan Bellwoar team up as mother and daughter.
Jan. 10-Feb. 10, St. Stephen’s Theater, Lantern Theater Company.
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
This recent off- and on-Broadway cult-hit musical gets its Philly premiere, featuring a talented young cast in the capable hands of director Daniel Student. Go see it, and be grateful we’ll never have to endure Bloody Bloody Mitt Romney.
Jan. 17-Feb. 10, Plays & Players Theatre.
The Bad Seed
Maxwell Anderson’s 1950s nature-or-nurture creepfest is a camp-classic film. So who could resist the chance to see Mauckingbird Theatre Company’s staged reading of the original play, starring the brilliant Amanda Schoonover as Rhoda, the 8-year-old girl with cleats on her shoes and mayhem in her heart?
Jan. 25-27, Off-Broad Street Theater, Mauckingbird Theatre Company.
The Diary of a Madman
There are few loftier goals for a theater than the creation of a genuine repertory company devoted to the classics. That’s the aspiration at Quintessence, where they’ve already scored some genuine triumphs. This is their adaptation of Gogol’s brilliantly strange short story.
Feb. 13-March 10, Sedgwick Theater, Quintessence Theatre Group.
David Rabe’s 1984 study in existential angst among Hollywood wannabes is made to order for a lively ensemble … so it should be made to order for the New City group, which grows in stature with every season.
Feb. 28-March 24, New City Stage.
A Raisin in the Sun
One of the greatest American plays of the 1950s gets a rare and welcome revival — and an especially timely one, since it follows on the heels of Arden’s exceptionally strong Clybourne Park, a play that is itself a tribute to Raisin.
March 7-April 21, Arden Theatre.
The Life (and Death) of Harry Houdini
EgoPo director Lane Savadove’s concept of theme seasons has always yielded something interesting. This time around, the theme is vaudeville — who knows what Savadove has up his sleeve with this tale of the famous magician, but I’m betting it’s worth finding out.
March 20-April 7, Plays and Players Theater, EgoPo Theatre Company.
North of the Boulevard
Theatre Exile rocked it last fall with The English Bride, and this show — a premiere by Philly playwright Bruce Graham, starring a stellar group of local actors (Scott Greer, Brian McCann, Bill Rahill) — is sure to be another hit.
April 18-May 19, Studio X, Theatre Exile.
Venus in Fur
More than a decade ago, Phil-adelphia Theatre Company scored a couple of major hits with David Ives’ plays. Now they’ll be the first to bring this twisty, sexy, keeps-you-guessing two-hander — a favorite on Broadway last season — to Philadelphia. Expect the sparks to fly.
May 24-June 23, Suzanne Roberts Theatre, Philadelphia Theatre Company.