Philadelphia Spotlight: May 2011
Return to Saigon
Philadelphia Theatre Company wraps their season with Lynn Nottage's affecting drama Ruined (May 20-June 12). Inspired by interviews conducted in Africa, the play is a touching and inspirational work about people on both sides of the bloody civil war in the embattled nation of Congo. This is the first opportunity for Philadelphia audiences to witness the play that was rightly accorded the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in Drama.
Interact Theatre Company presents A. Zell Williams' In A Daughter's Eyes, which recently won the 2011 Smith Prize from the National New Play Network (NNPN). Inspired by the true story of Mumia Abu-Jamal, an activist and journalist convicted in the death of a Philadelphia police officer, it follows two women -- the lawyer-child of an incarcerated Black Panther, and the daughter of the white police officer Abu-Jamal allegedly killed.
For the first time in their history, the Wilma Theater is staging a work by renowned British playwright Alan Ayckbourn with the production of Ayckbourn's wickedly funny comedy My Wonderful Day (May 18-June 19). Helmed by guest director Richard Hamburger, the plot focuses on an Afro-Caribbean cleaning woman who brings her young daughter to work with her in the London home of a wealthy couple in the midst of a turbulent love affair.
The Arden Theatre ends their 2010-11 campaign with the world premiere production of The Flea and the Professor (May 4-June 12). A new musical featuring music by Richard Gray and a book by the hugely talented Jordan Harrison (who is also responsible for the show's lyrics), the story is based on the final tale by Hans Christian Anderson. A celebration of the unknown, the jaunty musical follows the exploits of a young professor and a flea who is both the professor's best friend and constant companion. Intended for children and adults of all ages, the production employs all manner of stage magic to bring to life the pair's adventurous journey to the four corners of the globe.