All posts by Amanda N. Gunther

A full-time theatre reviewer in the Baltimore, Washington, and surrounding areas; Amanda holds a BFA in Acting from the University of Maryland Baltimore County as well as a minor in Creative Writing. Having spent two of her five years at college studying abroad at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, she has learned a great deal about improv, devised work theatre, and interpretive movement pieces. Striving to promote theatre of all types, she can often be found in a theatre of some type, even on her nights off.

Henry VIII at The Rude Mechanicals

“Men’s evils manners live in brass; their virtues we write in water.” And we shall now ascribe the virtues of The Rude Mechanicals production of Henry VIII in ink. Well, digital ink. Directed and Choreographed by Liana Olear, this ‘lost history’ (the most boring of the boring and banal of banal Shakespearean histories) is revitalized and given a new lease on life. Olear’s strategic placement of the historical recounting of the eighth Henry in the mid 1910’s lends itself to her dancer’s passion,

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Wondrous Strange: An Interview with Champions of Magic Performer Sam Strange

Abracadabra! Alakazam! With a wave of a wind and a flick of the hand you’ve got— MAGIC. And not just any magic but Champions of Magic coming live to The Hippodrome Theatre this February! In a TheatreBloom exclusive interview, we took a quick across-the-pond call with illusionist and magician Sam Strange— of Young & Strange, one of the featured magic acts appearing with Champions of Magic— to chat about the craft and what has him so fascinated with magic and illusion enough to want to perform it world-wide.

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The Weapons Master: Ben Blaque

The Illusionists at The Kennedy Center

Are you ready to witness the next generation of magic? Forget card tricks as you know them, and illusions as you’ve come to see them…or not see them…as the case may be. Returning to The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, direct from Broadway with a whole new routine and series of new magicians, The Illusionists will razzle you, dazzle you, and perform mind-blowing defeats of magic that simply must be seen to be believed!

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Blue Christmas at Do or Die Productions

Ding dong merrily on high! The murder bells are ringing!

I saw three bodies come sailing in— at Christmas time! At Christmas time!

Deck the halls with bowels and bodies— fa-la-la-la-la! La-la-la-la!!!

It’s that time of year when the murder mysteries start, it’s that time, I fear, when we say “Deadly Christmas!” And nobody does death better than Do or Die Productions! Revealing a brand-spanking new murder mystery for the 2017 Christmas season,

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First Date at Spotlighters Theatre

How does it start? With a meet-cute little musical number featuring the cast of seven. How does it last? Those same seven sing and dance and talk and laugh and cry for 100 minutes every Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday afternoon* so that audiences all over Charm City can have an adorable feel-good alternative to the Christmas season’s traditional musical theatre offerings. Despite an unsuccessful run Off-Broadway, the current cast of the Spotlighters Theatre production of First Date is finding second life,

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Matt Shingledecker as Enjolres with the cast of the National Tour of Les Misérables

Les Miserables at The National Theatre

Welcome, Monsieur, sit yourself down, and meet the best touring production in town! As for the rest, well none of them is— quite as impressive as this show of Les Mis. The National Theatre has the distinguished honor of hosting the current touring production of the infamous and iconic Broadway musical Les Misérables this festive holiday season and there’s none better a show to welcome to the stage at this season of year,

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An American in Paris at The Kennedy Center

When you think of Paris, what comes to mind? Is it the irresistible city of lights? Parisian art? The people? All of those miraculous, wondrous, lively attributes that radiate from the cultural capital of France are what vividly and readily come to mind. But what about when the city of light was darkened by the days of war? When Nazi occupation dimmed even the brightest bulbs of creativity? In the stellar screen-to-stage adaptation inspired by the motion picture,

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Wonderful Life at Third Wall Productions

What do you want, Baltimore? Do you want the moon? Just say the word and George Bailey will throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Third Wall Productions seems to think that’s a pretty good idea. So they’re going to give you the moon— in the form a musical adaptation of Frank Capra’s Bedford Falls icon, called A Wonderful Life. With Books & Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and Music by Joe Raposo,

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The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at Silver Spring Stage

God bless us, everyone!

And in Whoville, they say, the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day.

You’ll shoot your eye out.

Nope, nope, nope. Not at Silver Spring Stage this Christmas. You won’t find Bob Cratchit or Tiny Tim and Mister Scrooge, and you won’t find the Grinch and Cindy Lou Who. And you won’t find Ralphie Parker and 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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Madagascar at Red Branch Theatre Company

Everybody get up! Everybody jump! Everybody bump everybody in the rump! That’s right, you cavalcade of theatergoing weirdos! Red Branch Theatre Company likes to MOVE IT, MOVE IT! They like to MOVE IT, MOVE IT! They like to MOVE IT, MOVE IT! They like to— MOVE IT! And their production of Madagascar: A Musical Adventure is moving its way right onto the stage as their holiday offering this December. When dozens of other theatres in and around the metropolitan areas of Washington DC and Baltimore are offering up Dickens twisted every which way,

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School of Rock at The Students’ Theatre at The Highwood Theatre

Are you ready to rock the house and make a scene? Because The Students’ Theatre at The Highwood Theatre is— and they’re doing exactly that with the Maryland premiere of School of Rock. Directed by Dylan Kaufman and Kevin Kearney, this roof-roaring production takes the Paramount movie and transposes it to the stage with all you need to stick it to the man, understand rock and roll, and totally expose children of all ages to the powers of rock music.

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Sister Act at ArtsCentric

Outside life is grim, filled with smut and scandal to the brim. But here within these ArtsCentric walls, the cast of Sister Act has the remedy and the cure for all that is wrong with the world. Directed by Kevin S. McAllister with Musical Direction by Cedric D. Lyles and Choreography by Shalyce N. Hemby, this cast is raising their voices and making a joyful noise that will ring all through the Christmas season.

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Twist Your Dickens at The Kennedy Center

God bless you, theatre patrons of DC. You’ve been blessed that for another year, The Second City’s Twist Your Dickens is bringing tiding of holiday hilarity to The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts! Appearing now through New Year’s Eve in the Theatre Lab, this uproarious mishmosh of Dickensian tomfoolery and modernity will have you splitting seams as you chuckle with Christmas cheer all through the nonsensical two hours of silliness they traffic across the stage.

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Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play at Cohesion Theatre Company

Die Bart Die! Probably not exactly what Kelsey Grammer thinks he’ll be remembered for when his time is up. Side Show Bob, that loveable nefarious evil-doer spawned inside the depraved animator’s brain of Matt Groening, father of the indomitable prime time animated series, The Simpsons. Of course, what will any of us really be remembered for once we’re gone? What about once the world as we know it is gone? What becomes important,

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A Christmas Story at The Maryland Ensemble Theatre

I want an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time! NO WAY, KID! YOU’LL SHOOT YOUR EYE OUT! So instead Santa’s going to bring you tickets to see A Christmas Story at The Maryland Ensemble Theatre this year! Hey, it beats Lincoln Logs or Tinker Toys! Directed by Gené Fouché this non-musical stage adaptation of the classic Turner Entertainment Co.,

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Scrooge at Children’s Playhouse of Maryland

Of all the days in all the year that I’m familiar with— there’s several very important ones leading up to— December the 25th! Correct! And those important days are any days between now and December 17, 2017 wherein The Children’s Playhouse of Maryland has a performance of their holiday musical, Scrooge. Directed by Liz Boyer Hunnicutt with Musical Direction by Charlotte Evans and Choreography by Amanda Poxon, this classic and musical spin on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol will put you in the holiday spirit for certain with all of its spry and spirited youngsters skipping and spinning about!

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How The Grinch Stole Christmas at Pasadena Theatre Company

Fah who foraze! Dah who doraze! Welcome, Christmas, come this way! Fa who foraze! Dah who doraze! Welcome Christmas, Christmas day! It’s Pasadena Theatre Company’s turn to trim up the tree with Christmas stuff, like bingle bells and whofoo fluff! Their trimming up the town with their production of Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Directed by Chuck Dick with Musical Direction by Lindsey Miller, this time-honored animated Christmas classic from 1966,

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Hansel & Gretel at Synetic Theater

Are you ready for an adventure? Not your typical fairytale story as Hansel & Gretel wander about through their magically enchanted wood! Synetic Family Theater presents Hansel & Gretel like you’ve never seen it before! Co-Directors Tori Bertocci and Elena Velasco also co-choreograph this fantastical and wondrous holiday spectacular which transplants the classic story of two children lost in the woods into the modern world of Christmas. With a babysitter who is too busy texting away on her smart phone,

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Heavy Hors D’oeuvres 3: Interrobang’s Holiday Dinner at The Interrobang Theatre Company

Tis the season to stuff your face be it with chestnuts roasting on the open fire, grandma’s pumpkin pie or the Heavy Hors D’Oeuvres that The Interrobang Theatre Company his throwing down this holiday season! In its third incarnation, The Interrobang Theatre Company is proud to present Heavy Hors D’Oeuvres 3: Interrobang’s Holiday Dinner. But don’t be fooled, this isn’t your ordinary Christmas comedy or holiday hilarity,

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A Christmas Carol at Memorial Players

Bah! Humbug! It’s that time of year when every theatre company goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on their lips and a production of A Christmas Carol on their stage! Even The Memorial Players of Bolton Hill have fallen into step with the holiday tradition and are mounting the Dickensian classic this season, but don’t be fooled! They aren’t presenting any old Christmas Carol, they’re adding deep thoughts, spooky edges, and a true reformation that really makes strong parallels to the world we live in today ring true,

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Miracle on 34th Street at Toby’s Dinner Theatre

It’s that time of year when the world falls in love and every song you hear seems to say… buy this toy for Christmas! Purchase that thing for Christmas! Spend, spend, spend for holiday cheer! Armed to the teeth with the true spirit of Christmas and holiday bliss, Toby’s the Dinner Theatre of Columbia is fully prepared to combat Christmas commercialism and slay seasonal cynicism with their superb production of Meredith Willson’s Miracle on 34th Street.

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A Christmas Carol at KAT 2nd Stage

Tis the season to be— producing A Christmas Carol, most certainly. Thanksgiving weekend is fair game for theatres to start turning out their productions of Dickens’ most time-honored, cherished, and stageable tale. Running through December 10, 2017 as a co-production with Arts on the Green, The Kensington Arts Theatre’s 2nd Stage is putting up their very own A Christmas Carol, featuring young actors and adult actors alike! Adapted for the stage by Laura Victor and Directed by Jordan Clifford,

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Twelfth Night at Shakespeare Theatre Company

*bing*

Final boarding call for all passengers boarding flight STC-2017 to Illyria. All passengers please make their way to Sidney Harman Hall and follow the instructions of the flight attendant.

*bing*

The setup is astonishing, and at first a peculiar choice, but Director Ethan McSweeny’s conceptualization of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night is nothing but gob-smacking by the play’s conclusion. Not unlike a cinematic psychological thriller,

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Nicholas Hayes (center left) and Joanne Evans (center) right in Gobsmacked!

Gobsmacked at The Kennedy Center

Gobsmacked! By the rhythm of you! Gobsmacked! By what they can do! Mind blown! How do I react? Silenced by the impact! All true statements when it comes to the high-octane explosive acapella performance happening in The Eisenhower Theatre this weekend at The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. Direct from London and led by the ferociously tenacious and fearlessly flawless beat-boxing legend, Ball-Zee— GOBSMACKED lands in time to pump up the volume,

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Me…Jane at The Kennedy Center

Animals, animals, animals, animals. Animals, Animals, Animals, Animals. ANIMALS, ANIMALS, ANIMALS, ANIMALS! It’s all about those animals, well, actually, you see, it’s all about those wild and incredible animals that Jane Goodall will spend her life researching and understanding as she evolves into being a Naturalist. But first she’s got to eat her breakfast! Bring the whole family for a fun and thrilling adventurous musical all about young Jane Goodall, who would later in life grow to be one of the world’s most renowned Naturalists,

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Beauty and The Beast at Tidewater Players

Aha! Oui, oui, mah friends! The day we have waited for may be at hand! The Tidewater Players are producing Disney’s Beauty and The Beast. Ah…Beauty and The Beast. Think what that means! They’ll be singing again! They’ll be dancing again! They’ll be dressing up in glitter galore! They’ll be acting again! They’ll be living again! They’ll be entertaining audiences by the score! And The Tidewater Players,

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The Mousetrap at The Woodbrook Players

Three blind mice…three blind mice…see how they run…to The Woodbrook Players in the Brown Memorial Woodbrook Presbyterian Church this autumn to see the infamous Agatha Christie play The Mousetrap. Critically acclaimed as The West End’s longest running live theatrical show, The Mousetrap is filled with spine-tingling chills that only Agatha Christie can pen properly for the stage. Directed by Ron Oaks, the show is making its Towson area appearance just in time to put the post-Halloween shivers in the air.

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Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Carol at St. Gabriel’s Miracle Players

Moriarty was dead to begin with.

Not exactly your average Dickensian start to A Christmas Carol is it?

But these are the facts:

  • Moriarty was dead to begin with
  • Sherlock Holmes was in a mood most foul
  • The Saint Gabriel Miracle Players are producing a most splendid holiday production right now

As luck or good holiday fortune might have it,

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Origin of the Species at The Strand Theatre

Archeology is not a science, but an art. It is the art of knowing where to look and what to look for and going to find it. Put on your Doctor Jones hat and join the archeological excursion for extraordinary women’s theatre this fall as The Strand Theatre delves into the ancient past with Bryony Lavory’s Origin of the Species. Directed by Erin Riley, this thought-provoking tale puts a new spin on history and how we as humans,

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Ashley Gerhardt (left) and Jim Gerhardt (right) in Leading Ladies at The Salem Players

Leading Ladies at The Salem Players

You are not defined by where you start but by where you end up. And if you end up like Leo Clark and Jack Gable you’re going to need an entire Webster’s dictionary to define just exactly where you’ve ended up. Or how you’ve ended up. Or as whom! The Salem Players present to audiences all over the 21228 (and beyond!) zip-code their fall production of Ken Ludwig’s zany farce, Leading Ladies.

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