Tina Marie DeSimone (left) as Rosie, with Heather Marie Beck (center) as Donna and Coby Kay Callahan (right) as Tanya in Mamma Mia.

Mamma Mia! Here They Go Again: Reviving Mamma Mia at Toby’s Dinner Theatre

Mamma Mia! Here they go again! My, my, just how much you’ve missed them! Mamma Mia! What a show again— my, my, how could you resist them? Well don’t resist too much longer as they’re just at the midway point of their six-week revival engagement of the sold-out stage production of Mamma Mia! at Toby’s Dinner Theatre. After sensational success last season, with a 13-week engagement that made getting tickets for Hamilton look easy,

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Into The Woods at Beth Tfiloh Community Theatre

Stephen
Sondheim is synonymous with darkly themed, intricately scored, chamber pieces
that hold a mirror up for the audience to self-reflect. On the surface, the fairy
tale wrappings of Into the Woods seem to defy that with brightly colored
costumes, unusually bouncy tunes, and a familiar cast of characters voicing a
plethora of wishes and dreams. But do not be fooled, because Sondheim, with
book writer James Lapine, has drawn his on-the-surface quaint fable not from Walt
Disney’s stable of technicolor,

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The Addams Family at Hereford Community Theater

It’s just a simple dinner. What
could go wrong? Famous last words by the delightfully unsuspecting,
crazier-than-you Wednesday Addams right before chaos and calamity are unleashed
upon her “meet-the-parents” style dinner. The story may be a familiar one, since
there’s hardly a company left who hasn’t produced Andrew Lippa’s The Addams
Family
, unless of course they’re a brand new company. As it happens, the
Hereford Community Theater is exactly that. In their inaugural debut,

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Crusade at Rapid Lemon Productions

Recon— they don’t speculate. They observe and report. Sort
of like theatre critics. We don’t speculate— we observe and report. Observing
now: Crusade the only full-length production of the Baltimore
Playwrights Festival in the 2019 calendar year. Crusade, written by Bruce
Bonafede, is a world premiere making its debut in association with the BPF
through Rapid Lemon Productions at the Baltimore Theatre Project. (BPF, RLP,
BTP, over and out!) Directed by Timoth David Copney,

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Dear Evan Hansen at The Kennedy Center

Dear Washington DC,

Today is going to be a good day and here’s why:

#youwillbefound

Dear Evan Hansen has arrived for a limited-run
engagement at The John F. Kennedy Center for The Performing Arts just as summer
comes to an end. This Tony Award-Winning musical has stunning emotional impact
and will take your breath away with its poignancy and overall relevance to
everyone from every walk of life,

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Nice Work If You Can Get It at Cockpit In Court

“When music
is playing and couples are swaying Say! I’ve got to be there! I’ve got to be
there!”

Indeed you do.

Attendance is quite simply mandatory for Cockpit in Court Summer Theater’s production of Nice Work If You Can Get It still open for two full weekends at the F. Scott Black Theatre.

The Company of Nice Work If You Can Get It at Cockpit in CourtAmanda N. Gunther | TheatreBloom The Company of Nice Work If You Can Get It at Cockpit in Court

Fans of
Golden Age music (and musicals) will be overjoyed to see this production,

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The Country Wife at The Rude Mechanicals

For my part, I will have only those glorious, womanly
pleasures of being very verbose and very favorable to The Rude Mechanical’s
production of William Wycherley’s The Country Wife. A far cry from very
slovenly, though indeed ‘tis very drunk, this quirky Restoration comedy
(apparently there was humor in the restoration era) under the direction of Alan
Duda, finds its footing not in its original setting but rather in the posh and
swanky New York City of the 1950’s.

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Mary Poppins at Glyndon Area Players

By the time the wind has blown the weather vein around, Glyndon
Area Players
will show you a practically perfect production of Disney’s Mary
Poppins
. Giving life to the message of love through the magic of
performance, GAP has outdone themselves this year with their high-quality
community theatre performance of Disney’s musical about a flying nanny with a
kite-string of loveable chaos in her wake. Directed by the heart and soul of
the Glyndon Area Players,

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Cry Baby B-Cast at STAR Ltd.

What a wonderful time to be a teenage conformist! But you
better watch your @$$!! You thought you saw everything STAR Ltd.’s Cry Baby had
to offer last weekend? Think again! Ready to rock your world, baby, baby, baby,
the alternate cast has got a whole of lot everything going on! If you missed
what was rocking-and-rolling in last week’s cast, you can read
all about it here
.

Seeing a show more than once allows you to absorb multiple
things;

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Greg & Michele Guyton on their wedding day, July 21, 1990.

Love Letters: Spelling Marriage One Married Couple At A Time- Greg & Michele Guyton

“Someday I’ll meet someone whose heart joins with mine—
aortas and arteries all intertwined! They’ll beat so much stronger than they
could apart, eight chambers of muscle to hustle the love in our heart!” Greg Kotis
& Mark Hollmann this time, weighing in on love as TheatreBloom talks shop—
love and marriage, that is— with the next married couple appearing in Love
Letters
during the benefit fundraiser production run at Spotlighters
Theatre
.

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Cry Baby at STAR LTD

Are you a drape? Or are you a square? Nobody is too square
to come on out and see the drapes & the squares facing off in this summer’s
STAR Ltd. musical performance of Cry Baby! Directed by Mike Juba with
Musical Direction by Scott AuCoin and Choreography by Lauren Lowell, the iconic
John Waters film finds new life on the stage. With adapted book by Mark O’Donnell
and Thomas Meehan, and Songs by David Javerbaum and Adam Schlesinger,

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Phantom of the Opera Tickets Now on Sale at The Hippodrome Theatre in Baltimore

He’s here— The Phantom of the Opera! He’s with us, it’s the show! He’s here! The Phantom of the Opera! Return to Baltimore’s Hippodrome Broadway Theatre after much too long an absence! Andrew Lloyd Webber’s fantastical The Phantom of the Opera returns in a spectacular new production by Cameron Mackintosh and tickets are on sale today— July 26, 2019!

Quentin Oliver Lee as ‘The Phantom’ and Eva Tavares as ‘Christine Daaé’ in The Phantom of The Opera. Photo: Matthew Murray.Matthew Murray Quentin Oliver Lee as ‘The Phantom’ and Eva Tavares as ‘Christine Daaé’ in The Phantom of The Opera.

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Laura and Larry Malkus on their wedding day

Love Letters: Spelling Marriage One Married Couple At A Time- Larry & Laura Malkus

“Love is oration, like an elation, love speaks to us in
tongues. Natural as teething, simple as breathing, air in the love-starved
lungs.” Andrew Lippa’s take on love through the morbidly delightful lens of
Gomez Addams. Everyone has their own approach to love. A.R. Gurney probably
never imagined that his words of love would be used as a benefit fundraiser for
the theatergoers of Baltimore to show their love of theatre and in particular
their love of Spotlighters Theatre.

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Endangered Species (theatre) Project

This green plot shall be their stage! And by this, tis meant
the Hodson Outdoor Theatre of Hood College, unless of course it rains, and then
there’s an indoor option, but speak not, yet mortals, of tempests— that’s
another Shakespeare altogether! Think instead upon the season, the season of
midsummer, and attend ye well to the first-annual Frederick Shakespeare
Festival, presenting productions by Endangered Species (theatre) Project, and
in this case the production be A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

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The Unexpected Guest at Cockpit in Court

How different things look in the daylight. A shadowy
murderess might look an innocent housewife when night slips away into day. In
one of Agatha Christie’s more spine-tingling mysteries, all is not as it seems
for the Warwick family in South Wales. Closing the cabaret space 2019 summer
season for Cockpit in Court, The Unexpected Guest is riddled with
unexpected plot twists and daring reveals that keeps audiences on the edge of
their seat through to the mysterious conclusion.

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Bard’s Wagon Players

I am amazed; I know not what to say. Though the words be but
borrowed from The Bard, the sentiment bares much troth for feelings in my left
pap, where heart doth hop, in regard to The Bard Wagon Players. Striking up
against adversity— both of weather foul and ill-sentiment to their company’s
original namesake— the little mobile wagon full of Shakespeare doth enter its
third season upon the grassy fields of performing outdoor* Shakespeare here in
Maryland.

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Kaenaonālani Kekoa (left) as Princess Jasmine and Clinton Greenspan (right) as Aladdin in Disney's Aladdin. Photo: Deen van Meer

Aladdin at The Kennedy Center

Well Ali Baba had them 40 thieves, Scheherezad-ie had a thousand
tales! But DC, you in luck, ‘cause on your stage— you got a Disney show that
never fails! You got some Disney in your Opera House, it’s the summer show, it’s
set up camp! The Kennedy Center’s punching with pizzazz, and all you’ll wanna
do is rub that lamp and you’ll get— Disney’s Aladdin! Direct from
Broadway on its National Tour,

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The cast of Newsies at The Fredericktowne Players

Newsies at The Fredericktowne Players

Newsies on a mission; kill the competition! The
Fredericktowne Players are carrying the banner of Disney’s latest screen-to-stage
hit musical with their production of Newsies. Directed by Meg Williams,with Musical Direction by Matthew Dohm, and Choreography by Kendall Sigman,
this heartfelt production showcases some vivaciously talented individuals and
produces a quality summertime show for everyone to see during the sweltering
heat of Maryland’s 2019 indoor summer season.

The cast of Newsies at The Fredericktowne PlayersThe Fredericktowne Players The cast of Newsies at The Fredericktowne Players

With bold ambitions,

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Much Ado About Nothing at Storytellers: A Theater Arts Academy

Marry, sirs and madams and those of all genders, I shall
commit no false report; moreover, I will speak no untruths; secondly, I shall not
be a slanderer; sixth and lastly, I shall belay a jovial account; thirdly, I
shall verify only just things pertaining to this account; and to conclude, I
send ye my most polished praises to this Storytellers: A Theater Arts Academy’s
production of Much Ado About Nothing. Hopping houses,

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Absolutely Dead at Bowie Community Theatre

Absolutely Dead, by
Michael Walker, is a rather difficult play for me to review. Whereas Ken
Kienas, director of the production currently running at the Bowie Community
Theatre
, writes in his director’s note that he was floored upon reviewing the
play’s ending, I can’t say that my response was at all comparable — and, given
the overwhelming importance of the reveal to one’s impression of a
murder mystery,

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Hamlet (Free For All) at Shakespeare Theatre Company

Shakespeare Theatre Company brings its
Summer Free For All program to life for a 29th season, this year reviving its
2018 production of Hamlet, originally directed by Michael Kahn and
remounted by Artistic Associate Craig Baldwin, and starring Michael Urie as the
title role. The show is a power-packed run at over 3 hours, but a scattered
performance from the cast and an incohesive design leaves the audience feeling
every minute of it.

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The Mollusc at Quotidian Theatre Company

It is extraordinary, the amount of force and pressure a
mollusk will exert to do nothing. Surely it would be easier to do something.
Don’t be a mollusk. Do something. And by something, I mean venture out to
Quotidian Theatre Company’s production of Hubert Henry Davies’ The Mollusc directed
by Jack Sbarbori.

(L to R) Emily H. Gilson as Miss Roberts, Marnie Kanarek as Mrs. Baxter, Brendan Murray as Tom Kemp, and Craig Houk as Mr. Baxter in The Mollusc. Photo: Steve LaRocqueSteve LaRocque (L to R) Emily H. Gilson as Miss Roberts, Marnie Kanarek as Mrs. Baxter,

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The Band’s Visit at The Kennedy Center

Once, not long ago, a group of musicians came from Broadway
to The Kennedy Center— but you will hear about this as it is pretty important.
The Tony Award-winning musical The Band’s Visit comes to the Eisenhower
Theatre of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts this summer, with
Music and Lyrics by David Yazbek and Book by Itamar Moses, the poignant and
striking tale of two cultures meeting by mistake is brilliant and relevant in
today’s ever-changing,

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PUFFS or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic at Artistic Synergy of Baltimore

PUFFS! Spoiler alert— not everyone’s favorite house…but
when a hat speaks, you listen! Let’s be clear here, there will be much foolish
wand waving and silly incantations in Artistic Synergy of Baltimore’s production
of PUFFS or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic
and Magic
. Fresh from Off-Broadway, and playing a limited four-show engagement,
PUFFS is the ridiculously absurd parody play that will banish all your
boggarts back into their closets with a healthy dose of laughter.

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Hand to God at Wolf Pack Theatre Company

There are certain works that, for
all of their other merits, really demand to be seen for one specific scene.
Fans of obscure cinema know this well. In an age where sharing spoilers was not
a capital offense, amateur critics would often open reviews by describing these
climactic scenes in exhaustive detail, and readers were not deterred. Rather
than complaining that the work had been ruined for them, they signed into their
eBay accounts and searched for used VHS copies of the films in question because
it was incredibly important that,

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Intimate Apparel at Silver Spring Stage

Lynn Nottage’s play, Intimate
Apparel
, tells the story of one woman desperately reaching out for real,
unguarded, intimate human connection, and it is fitting that Silver Spring
Stage
, with its intimate and engaging black box and overall style, should
select this piece to conclude its 2018-2019 season. Directed by SSS Board Chair
Seth Ghitelman, this emotion-driven production provided an entertaining and
thoughtful experience.

Amanda N. Gunther | TheatreBloom

The play,

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Steel Magnolias at Spotlighters Theatre

I wasn’t sure what to think about
seeing a play I had only ever heard of as an acclaimed movie.  Director Fuzz Roark assuaged those fears by
allowing us to experience the story in a setting not only made more intimate by
being kept in the same room as Alan Zemla’s set designs, but also brought to
our senses by virtue of Spotlighters Theater being a cozy space.  Being so very close to the action made you
not an audience member at a play,

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