Review: THE GARBOLOGIST at Philadelphia Theatre Company-A Must See

THE GARBOLOGIST at Philadelphia Theatre Company

By: Nov. 23, 2021
Review: THE GARBOLOGIST at Philadelphia Theatre Company-A Must See

"You can learn a lot about a person by what they throw out."

By Danny in The Garbologist

The Garbologist, a captivating and entertaining new play written by Lindsay Joelle opens the 2021-2022 Season by the Philadelphia Theatre Company (PTC). It will be onstage through December 5th. Don't miss this two-hander! Superbly directed by Estafania Fadul and featuring a talented, accomplished cast, this show is full of humor and heart as it tells the story of two sanitation workers. PTC has selected the ideal production to open their 47th season.

In her opening night address to the PTC audience, Producing Artistic Director, Paige Price delivered a warm welcome and stressed the importance of supporting the arts in these times. We agree, and it's great to be back seeing live theatre.

Review: THE GARBOLOGIST at Philadelphia Theatre Company-A Must See

In The Garbologists, Danny and Marlowe are partnered as NYC sanitation employees working the streets, and the two of them couldn't be more different. Danny is a white, blue-collar worker and veteran of the department who knows how to "read the bags." Marlowe is a young black woman and Columbia University graduate who is new to the job. In their conversations, Danny opens up about the trials of his broken marriage and not seeing his young son, while Marlowe makes every effort to maintain her privacy. Yet, as the story unfolds, Danny and Marlowe work to achieve common ground and develop camaraderie both on and off the job. The play paints a compelling portrait of the characters while realistically portraying the strenuous and often dangerous work of sanitation workers.

Review: THE GARBOLOGIST at Philadelphia Theatre Company-A Must See

Joelle's finely crafted play is laced with wit and wisdom. Ngozi Anyanwu as Marlowe and Steven Rishard as Danny are ideal in their roles and deliver their dialogue with impeccable timing. Scenes move quickly and seamlessly. Unforgettable moments include Marlowe working to dispose of a mattress; Danny buying Marlowe coffee; Danny talking about watching NY Rangers hockey with his son; Danny explaining the concept of mongo or scavenging the garbage; Marlowe and Danny having a drink together; Marlowe considering the value of an art book found in the garbage; and Marlowe revealing details of her family life.

Review: THE GARBOLOGIST at Philadelphia Theatre Company-A Must See

The Creative Team has done a remarkable job of bringing The Garbologists to the stage. The set brings NYC's streets and garbage disposal units to life. The mobile truck that Danny and Marlowe drive is a great touch that makes the setting feel all the more realistic. The team includes scenic design by Christopher Ash; costume design by LeVonne Lindsay; lighting design by Alyssandra Docherty; and sound design by Daniel Ison.

The Stage Manager is Alison Hassman; Production Manager is Will Cruttenden; Dramaturg is Clare Drobot; Technical Supervisor is Nick Kargel; Props Supervisor is Shannon O'Brien; and the Movement and Fight Consultant is J. Alex Cordaro. The Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Officer is Noelle Diane Johnson.

Review: THE GARBOLOGIST at Philadelphia Theatre Company-A Must See

We congratulate Producing Artistic Director, Paige Price and Managing Director, Emily Zeck on the successful opening of their 47th Season.

The Garbologists is being performed at Philadelphia Theatre Company's Suzanne Roberts Theatre located at 480 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19146. The show runs for 90 minutes with no intermission. For more information, ticketing and to learn about the full season, visit or call 215.985.0420.

We like that PTC is being proactive in supporting sanitation workers, an essential part of every community. For more information, please visit

Photo Credit: Mark Garvin