Curio Theatre Company Opens 2019-2020 Season with The Mystery of Irma Vep – A Penny Dreadful, by Charles Ludlum Quick-change Spoof Runs October 30-November 23

Curio Theatre Company opens its 15th Season with Charles Ludlum’s definitive spoof of Gothic melodramas, The Mystery of Irma Vep – A Penny Dreadful. This hilarious quick-change extravaganza opens the West Philadelphia professional theatre’s 2019-2020 season. The show begins previews October 30 and runs through November 23. Opening night is Saturday November 2 at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $15-$30  and are available online at or by phone at 215-921-8243. Curio is also offering $10 Student Rush tickets for each show. They are available at the door at 7:50 p.m. before each performance.  All shows are performed at Curio’s home theatre at the Calvary Center for Culture and Community, 4740 Baltimore Ave.

This hilarious evening of theatre is a marathon of lightning quick costume changes in which two actors play all the roles. A sympathetic werewolf, a vampire and an Egyptian princess brought to life when her tomb is opened make this a comedy that has a bit of everything. It was recently revived off-Broadway.  “Far and away the funniest two hours on a New York stage… What more meaningful gift could Ludlam bequeath [audiences] than to leave them eternally laughing, said The New York Times. Added The New York Post, “A really good laugh… The story has to be seen to be believed.” –

The Curio production of The Mystery of Irma Vep – A Penny Dreadful is directed by Steven Wright, who appeared at Curio as Othello in the classic Shakespearean tragedy. Wright also recently directed Theatre in the X’s The Beast of Nubia.  Curio co-founder and Artistic Director Paul Kuhn is starring with Curio Company Member Rich Bradford.  Kuhn is also designing the set.  Company Member Aetna Gallagher is designing the costumes. Nathan Hart is the Lighting Designer.

“In this play, audiences can expect a little bit of everything: comedy, horror, mystery, drama and even some romance,” said Wright. “I want the audience to come out having a good time. I want them to be entertained and maybe think about the things people do and the lengths they’ll go for love.”

About Curio Theatre Company

Curio Theatre Company’s mission is to serve audiences in West Philadelphia and beyond with high quality, affordable theatre performances; to develop artistic talent through ensemble, company -based training and rehearsal processes; and to further academic, social, and personal development through arts education.  The artistic and the educational arms of the theatre company are intertwined as we make our home in the diverse community of West Philadelphia.    The company’s Educational program was awarded the 2017 Victory Theatre Education Award at the Barrymore Awards Ceremony. It marked the company’s first Barrymore Award. Curio Theatre Company is a 501(c)3 non-profit company based in West Philadelphia. The Company was founded by professional artists and administrators who met at the Hedgerow Theatre in Rose Valley, PA, and incorporated as a non-profit in 2004.”. After touring locally and internationally for several years, the Company began a search for a permanent home. In January 2005, Curio Theatre Company joined in partnership with the Calvary Center for Culture and Community at 4740 Baltimore Avenue, Philadelphia. This partnership provides Curio with a performance venue and classrooms within the Calvary Center as well as office space and company housing in the adjacent parish house. In return Curio is assisting the Calvary Center in creating a professional Performing Arts Venue in the heart of West Philadelphia.

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