OWTK PHILLY LOCAL: Surreal Stories from a Strange School in the Snow on Stage

It wasn’t the Polar Vortex, but it was bad. Pretty, but nasty. A snow sudden and a snow deep, but still we went forth on the 35 minute drive. Did I say 35 minutes? My bad, I meant 135 minutes. It was a freakin’ nightmare. Yeah, Schuylkill, I’m talking ’bout you. But we arrived, parked, and walked around before the show. Kicked the snow, took some pictures, bought a few records at AKA Music, and bellied up to a round of hot chocolates with brunch at Revolution House. And then we settled into someone else’s seats inside the F. Otto Haas stage at the Arden Theatre. Cowards, wouldn’t brave the powder. The place was less than half full. We were all invited down closer, to give the players the energy they needed to put on this absurdist dream of a play.

What they missed, we saw, and we loved.

Based on the books by Louis Sachar, the Arden’s Sideways Stories from Wayside School is a trippy scholastic rabbit hole well worth falling into with your kids. It’s a ridiculous show, said in the most positive way possible. I’m taking hilarity at every bizarre turn with plot twists you’ll never ever see coming (unless you’ve read the three books, as the Bear has multiple times, from which this 90 minute play was derived,) and with a dance sequence you’ll be play-acting at home for weeks. …we TANGO!!

Sideways Stories from Wayside School is the most fun we’ve had at the theatre in years. We wish we could do it all again. Without the snow, this time. In fact, we can. The run has been extended and is on stage for another 5 weeks. There’s time for your family too! And the forecast points to 50 degree days. Word.

The show is on stage at the Arden through February 15, 2014, to be precise. Use code SIDEWAYS50 to save 50% off tickets to all Friday 7pm performances through the end of the run.

Press photos for your pleasure

*OWTK received tickets to see the play for review consideration. The opinions expressed above are honest and unbiased, as always.

*All photos I took were with the amazing Samsung NX300 as part of their Imagelogger program.

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