The Importance of Being Earnest at Everyman Theatre

 

When one is in town, one amuses oneself. And if one is in Baltimore, one can amuse oneself by getting tickets to see an uproarious and smart production of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest now appearing at Everyman Theatre for the holidays. Directed by Joseph W. Ritsch, this high-brow, tongue-in-cheek, comedy chestnut is a delightful romp through town, country, and all sorts of shenanigans. A pleasingly pleasant alternative to all of the elves,

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A Little Pre-Tonys Seasonal Speculation

Late Season Broadway & Tony Potential

The 2018 season on Broadway hasn’t come to an end just yet, and in fact there are some exciting openings and previews this month. However, with the date set for the 2019 Tony Awards, which will recognize achievements in the 2017-18 season, it’s not too early to talk about award potential, particularly for some of the more recent shows.

At this early stage,

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Season of Light: A Winter Fairytale at Silver Spring Stage

The winter woods are ripe with snow; there’s a crisp clear moonlight glow and the world is ready for winter’s end. The solstice! December 21st this year, but don’t wait until then to celebrate. Silver Spring Stage has a fabulous story all about hope in the bleakest darkness of winter right now upon their stage in the spirit of the season. Season of Light: A Winter Fairytale by Steph DeFerie makes its debut as the seasonal,

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A Christmas Carol at Wolf Pack Theatre Company

For those unfamiliar with the tale, A Christmas Carol is a sci-fi story of outer worldly spirits and time travel overlaid with a profitable Christmas theme. You know,like in It’s A Wonderful Life. If you find that an interesting way to think of it, Director Bill Leary’s adaptation is just as intriguing in how it updates this classic. The relationships that Ebeneezer Scrooge shuns are heightened by tying every character closer to him through family and business.Old boss Fezziwig is replaced with Scrooge’s father Andrew,

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Miracle on 34th Street at Artistic Synergy

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” and this December, Artistic Synergy of Baltimore brings us one of our favorite holiday classics, Miracle on 34th Street—this time, as a spirited musical production with book, music,& lyrics by Meredith Willson! Directed by Melissa Broy Fortson, Music Directed by LeVar Betts, & Choreographed by Kristin Miller, this endearing show is sure to delight Christmas-lovers of all ages and make us believe once again in the magic of the season.

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Running on Glass at Venus Theatre

The internet is a glorious thing. You can look up anything at the touch of a button or the tap of your finger. Instantly you can access all sorts of records, all sorts of facts, and all sorts of history. You can  read bios, get sports stats, and discover a world of knowledge about people from the past. But you can’t google a spirit. You cannot live and breathe their moments of excitement or feel their triumphs and failures through the internet.Enter live theatre;

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Newsies at Street Lamp Productions

Now is the time seize the day! Or in this case, “Carpe scaena!” And seize the stage like they did! Street Lamp Productions presentation of Disney’s Newsies, Directed and Choreographed by Bambi Johnson, is well worth the drive to Rising Sun, MD. I reckon it may be a bit out of the way for some Baltimore City folk, (Admittedly, had my mother not lived in Colora for over eleven years, I may not have known about it either.) but I promise you it’s worth the trip.

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The Little Mermaid at Toby’s Dinner Theatre

Watch and you’ll see— you too can be— part of their world! If you book your tickets quickly, that is, you too can be a part of the irresistible holiday magic happening at Toby’s Dinner Theatre this Christmas. Presenting Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Directed and Choreographed by Mark Minnick with Musical Direction by Ross Scott Rawlings, this epic adventure will bring you under the sea and into the fully animated world of Disney’s cherished coming-of-age tale about a little mermaid and her dreams to be part of the human world.

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A Christmas Story at Tidewater Players

High above the town, flying down, better catch it quick— it’s better than ole Saint Nick— and it may still be in other locales— but somewhere hovering over Tidewater Players…across the whole opera house stage and straight to you…comes A Christmas Story. That’s right, kids— and kids at heart— after waiting for ages in line at Higbee’s, you’ve asked Santa for that irresistible major-award of a musical, and he’s delivered— because what’s the harm in simply watching Ralphie Parker shoot his eye out with his Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time?

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Beautiful at The National Theatre

You certainly will feel the earth move at the National Theatre right now through the end of the year!  Beautiful is just that……BEAUTIFUL.  Under the direction Marc Bruni this production leaves you feeling nothing short of wonderful.  I guarantee after seeing this show your toes will be tapping and you will be humming Carole King’s extraordinary music for days to come.  I had the pleasure of seeing the Beautiful tour open back in 2015 at the Providence Preforming Arts Center in Providence,

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My Fair Lady at Third Wall Productions

You only have one weekend left to see My Fair Lady at Third Wall Productions and I recommend that you do! It is no secret that I dig this company of families, friends, and volunteers who gather out of love to perform three shows a season in the sanctuary of St. Thomas on Providence Road. One of the many ways that their stalwart leader, Mike Zellhofer, shows his generosity is by giving fresh directors an opportunity to work on dream shows.

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Side Show at Dundalk Community Theatre

Come look at the freaks! Come gape at the geeks! Come examine Dundalk Community Theatre’s aberrations, their malformations— grotesque physiques…only pennies* for peeks…come look at the freaks! Come look inside the John E. Ravekes Theatre and have your curiosity satisfied with this gloriously haunting production of Side Show. Directed by Robert W. Oppel with Musical Direction by Rebecca Rossello, and Choreography by Vincent Musgrave, this breathtaking story is a circus marvel that twists and turns your mind and heart inside out and upside down all along its treacherous trail.

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Winter Wonderettes at Tidewater Players

You’ll shoot your— wait. No. That’s later. Before you shoot your eye out with your Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time, have your turkey gobbled up by the Bumpuses hellhound dogs, and do the leg-lamp kick-line for your Major Award, settle into 1968 at the Harper’s Hardware Store annual Christmas Party! And guess what? There’s a wintery surprise— because this year?

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A Christmas Story at St. Gabriel Miracle Players

You’ll shoot your eye out! You’ll shoot your eye out! You’ll shoot your eye out when you hear just how many different theatres are all doing A Christmas Story this Christmas season!! BUT— fear not! St. Gabriel Miracle Players are the first AND they are the only ones to be doing the non-musical version! So you won’t find any leg-lamp kick-lines at St. Gabriel’s this November, but you will find a talented bunch of youngsters and youngsters at heart doing their seasonal magic on the Miracle Players’ stage to bring you that timeless— since 1983— tale of little Ralphie,

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Detroit ’67 at The Strand Theatre

A little scratch gives you character, unless you’re a 45-vinyl, in which case it just causes you to skip a lot. The Strand Theatre has a whole lot of character and more importantly they have the message. They have the message of love with their production of Dominique Morisseau’s Detroit ’67, directed by Erin Riley. Powerful, evocative, visceral— this stunning drama set in the heart of the “colored district in downtown Detroit in the midst of the race riots” is poignant and disturbing in its relevance to the modern day.

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Songs For a New World at Spotlighters Theatre

A new world calls across Charm City! A new world calls across street. A new world whispers through Mt. Vernon— time to see— time to see…it is time to see Songs For a New World at The Audrey Herman Spotlighters Theatre. Co-Directed by Andrea Bush and Michael Tan, and Musical Direction by Michael Tan, four talented voices come together on the stage to sing songs of love and hope.

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Sweeney Todd at Kensington Arts Theatre

God, that’s good! Yum…is that a pie fit for a king? A wondrous sweet— a most delectable thing! Well, I am no king (nor have I shaved the faces of any) but the pies in Kensington Arts Theatre’s production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street are to die for. Sit yourself at one of the rustically ill-sanded picnic tables just at the foot of the stage and if you dare (and are very lucky) you might just sneak a snack during the opening of Act II!

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Beauty & The Beast at Damascus Theatre Company

“Tale as old as time” perfectly describes this musical and I can’t think of one person that hasn’t watched this classic Disney movie, or most recently the remake in 2017.  Beauty and the Beast at Damascus Theatre Company under the direction of Lee Michele Rosenthal and musical direction by Marci Shegogue will leave you feeling magical and uplifted, however there are a few bumps along the path.  I must admit,

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A Piece of My Heart at Bowie Community Theatre

Women are strong. When most people think of war, the first image that comes to their mind is that of a man charging into battle. It wasn’t until last year that our military opened the doors for women to serve in combat roles. In spite of this, women serving in and alongside the military have faced the horrors of war just as valiantly men have, and they too have suffered the consequences of such violence.

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The Changeling at Brave Spirits Theatre

Who, precisely, is the title character in Brave Spirits Theatre’s production of The Changeling, by Thomas Middleton and William Rowley, is left open to interpretation. The text of the play speculates on the question but does not provide a definitive answer. Director Charlene V. Smith takes that tone of ambiguity and plays with it brilliantly in her approach to the script. She takes a late-Renaissance play that features violence, misogyny, and sexual assault as major plot elements,

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Lila Coogan (center) as Anya in the National Tour of Anastasia

Anastasia at The Kennedy Center

Have you heard? There’s a rumor that St. Petersburg— is coming straight to Washington D.C.! No longer far away or long ago, glowing brighter than an ember, it’s here to see, a breathtaking show, one you will always remember… Anastasia— a wintery wondrous fairytale arriving in time for the Thanksgiving season now on the Eisenhower stage of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Commissioned by Dmitry Bogachev,

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The Toxic Avenger at Greenbelt Arts Center

The Toxic Avenger, directed by Jeffery Lesniak, is a musical based on the movie of the same name and both a playful parody of the superhero genre and of conventional musical theatre sensibilities.  The plot revolves around a toxic dump of a fictional New Jersey town called Tromaville and its dark knight—Melvin Ferd the Third, a sweet, stereotypical nerd with a crush on his pretty (and blind—beware there are a lot of blind jokes that get old quickly) librarian friend Sarah and deep-seated convictions about cleaning up the town and calling out the corrupt mayor Babs Belgoody. 

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A Midnight Dreary at We Happy Few

Hear the loud theatrical bells— brazen bells! What tale of terror now, their turbulency tells! In the startled ear of night—  amid a Horror Rep of fright— how they scream out with delight— of We Happy Few’s A Midnight Dreary. They clearly keep on ringing, much do the praises that I’m singing, of their Horror Rep’s production of Edgar Allan Poe and his various death knells, and storms that quell,

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Sweat at Everyman Theatre

A couple of minutes is all it takes; your life can change just like that. In these unsettling and disturbing times of political unrest and social unease with humanity caught dangling in the balance between civility and annihilation, it is no surprise that Everyman Theatre is once more producing two time Pulitzer Prize-winning dramatist Lynn Nottage. This time it’s her core-shaking production of Sweat, Directed by the company’s Artistic Director,

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King John at Folger Theatre

The real King John of England has a murky reputation. We know him for the Magna Carta. We know him as a villain from the tales of Robin Hood. And, at a stretch, we know him as Shakespeare’s earliest monarch, chronologically. Folger Theatre capitalizes on a chance to tell the rarely-told tale of this questionable king in its current production of Shakespeare’s King John, directed by Aaron Posner.

As the Folger describes,

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I Hate Shakespeare! at Children’s Playhouse of Maryland

Oh, God! I Hate Shakespeare! That’s right! I said it! I do! I really hate Shakespeare! I just don’t get it! How a mediocre actor from a measly little town is suddenly the brightest jewel in England’s royal crown! Oh, God, I HATE SHAKESPEARE! His plays are wordy— ooh. Wait. Maybe I shouldn’t sing all about it. Something is rotten in the state of— Essex!? Actually that’s sort of funny (Essex is in Shakespeare somewhere…isn’t it?) No,

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The Duchess of Malfi at Brave Spirits Theatre

John Webster is, perhaps, an even better patron saint for Brave Spirits than William Shakespeare: he brings both the verse, and the violence with The Duchess of Malfi. Katie Culligan brings the Duchess’ power from her first silent moments on stage. She is strong and self-possessed, charming and beautiful, grounded and passionate. Her performance is closely nuanced at every moment.

The villain of the piece is Ferdinand, her brother,

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