“The Real Inspector Hound”
Fri., Dec. 14, Curio Theatre. curiotheatre.org
Overall vibe: Disarming, especially when the walls of the drawing room of Muldoon Manor crumble in Curio’s black box theatre. This play premiered in 1968, the same year censorship was abolished on the English stage. Tom Stoppard, exercising his newly acquired freedom, stretches the boundaries of formulaic realism in this subversively satirical production.
Most memorable moment: The maid of the manor, Mrs. Drudge (Aetna Gallagher) serves coffee to the cast at a snails pace, posing the question three times: “Black or white?” The cast supplies her with the same answer three times: “White, please.” Five minutes into this laboriously long coffee break, sitting in the audience, Moon’s shoulders collapse with boredom. Boom: black and white-realism torn apart by a shoulder slump.
Scene stealer: Undoubtedly, Liam Castellan as Moon. Since Mr. Castellan has the masochistic tendency of reading reviews during the run of a show, allow me to address him directly: “Hi, Liam. Please lose that toupee; it’s not a good look for you. Plus, balding guys are hot—like Stanley Tucci in the late 1990s.” (Jessica Foley)
BCKSEET Productions’ “El Fuego”
Through Dec. 29, Skybox @ The Adrienne Theatre. bckseet.com
Overall vibe: Pure holiday magic. As nauseating as a Christmas musical might sound to anyone over the age of 10, there’s just something undeniably infectious about this tale of four unemployed misfits forced to replace Santa’s helpers.
Most memorable moment: Basically any time the talented cast opened their mouths, whether they were speaking in rhyme or delivering a surprisingly enjoyable tune.
Scene stealer: The entire production and design crew. Without them, there wouldn’t have been such a wonderfully whimsical and well-conceived scene to steal. (Nicole Finkbiner)
1311 Sansom St. 215.545.0170. opaphiladelphia.com
Here’s the dish: Chicken Gyro.
Description: Strips of chicken, diced cucumbers, tomato and onion wrapped up in a soft pita—warmed on the charbroiler—with a dallop of tzatziki (yogurt sauce).
Yum or yuck? Both. The inclusion of house-cut oregano fries in the sandwich was reminiscent of a late-night snack in Thessaloniki, but the diced veggies added no flavor to the thinly-sliced meat. Adding some of the delicious, imported Feta cheese from my Horiatiki salad into the pita elevated the sandwich from cocktail reception to My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Opa! (Anastasia Barbalios)