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Philadelphia Spotlight: February 2008

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Chris Faith and Chris Fluck in Grace
(© Andrew Cowles)
After a wildly busy January, Philadelphia-area theater shows no signs of letting up. Theatergoers' can sample the work of playwright Craig Wright when the enterprising Luna Theater Company presents the area premiere of Wright's comedy Grace (through February 23), about a devout Christian couple who find themselves involved in a tale of murder, romance, and betrayal.

Theatre Exile continues its season with a rare production of Milcha Sanchez-Scott's gritty family drama Roosters (through February 24). The play revolves around the father of a combative Latino family, who returns from prison and attempts to reestablish himself as the head of the household over the objections of his combative son.

After opening its season with two winning productions, the Lantern Theater Company looks to make it three in a row with their staging of Sir David Hare's Skylight (February 1-24). A contemporary love story that deftly connects the personal with the political, director Dan Kern's production stars Barrymore Award winner Peter DeLaurier.

The musical Whistle Down the Wind, by legendary composer Andrew Lloyd Weber and lyricist Jim Steinman, occupies the Merriam Theater for a limited engagement (February 5-10). An epic tale about the transformative power of love, Wind blends gospel, rock, blues, and country music to tell the story of a mysterious stranger who is befriended by a young Louisiana girl.

The Wilma Theater offers a dose of British humor when the company presents Ying Tong-A Walk with the Goons (February 13-March 16). Penned by Roy Smiles, Ying Tong remembers the legendary UK comedy troupe the Goons, whose popular radio program The Goon Show influenced everyone from Monty Python to the Beatles.

The Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium presents Oh, for the Love of Love (February 17-28), a program of three one-act plays from absurdist playwrights Christopher Durang, Eugene Ionesco, and Samuel Beckett. In Wanda's Visit, Durang tells the story of a woman on the run from a group of angry mobsters while Beckett explores the two sides of a single soul in his short work Ohio Impromptu. Rounding out the evening is Ionesco's Frenzy for Two, Or More, in which a couple are trapped inside their home as a mysterious battle rages just outside.

Obie Award winning playwright Deb Margolin explores the divide between body and mind in O Yes I Will (February 29-March 16). Produced by the ambitious company Gas and Electric Arts, the play focuses on a woman preparing to undergo surgery. In this unique memory play, Margolin offers five different versions of what the woman may -- or may not have -- said while under the influence of anesthesia.

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