Arts List: 5 Reasons to Go to the Theater

After the end-of-year lull, the Philly theater scene hits the ground running in 2017.
Nancy Boykin, Carla Belver and Jing Xu in John at the Arden. Photo by Mark Garvin

Nancy Boykin, Carla Belver and Jing Xu in John at the Arden. Photo by Mark Garvin

John @ Arden Theatre Company| Through February 26
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Annie Baker’s John follows a young couple from Brooklyn on a weekend trip to a B&B in Gettysburg, which happens to be located on the site of a Civil War hospital — and just might have something supernatural going on.

Constellations @ Wilma Theater | Through February 5
This one is a love story about a theoretical physicist and a beekeeper that takes place across parallel universes where the pair does and doesn’t wind up together. I’m getting a Sliding Doors vibe, and I dig it.

Marcus/Emma @ The Drake | January 20-February 12
InterAct Theatre Company is premiering a timely show by Philly’s own Mary Tuomanen, described as a “no-holds-barred, sex-fueled, bloody-minded battle” between two influential figures: civil rights leader Marcus Garvey and Jewish anarchist Emma Goldman. Akeem Davis, 2015 recipient of the F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Philadelphia Theatre Artist, and Barrymore Award winner Susan Riley Stevens play the title roles. InterAct doesn’t recommend this one for anyone under 17.

Lizzie @ Christ Church Neighborhood House | Through January 29
Theater critic David Fox says 11th Hour Theatre Company’s all-female rock opera about the infamous Lizzie Borden, tried but acquitted for the ax murder of her father and stepmother in 1892, has “range and ambition in the score,” though he found the show “most effective in its softer moments.” It’s not for kids; 11th Hour suggests 16 and up.

Early One Evening at the Rainbow Bar and Grille @ Plays and Players | January 19-29
Plays and Players is remounting this older work by acclaimed playwright Bruce Graham, best known for his hits The Philly Fan and Rizzo. It’s about a bartender in a small town in Pennsylvania on the day before the world comes to an end.

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