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.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street at Rep Stage

“The history of the world, my love, is those below serving those up above.” The daunting lyrics of Stephen Sondheim seem to echo through our world at present, where at the top are seated those privileged few making mock of the vermin in the lower zoo, and what better way to exemplify this than to take one of Sondheim’s darker musical classics and spin it on its head in a modern vent? Rep Stage is giving you Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street with this concept firmly in mind.

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Dancing at Lughnasa at Everyman Theatre

Memory is a funny thing; how we remember and what we remember, though oft going hand in hand, are truly two separate details, neither of which can ever accurately portray the past. But is it the event that needs remembering or the way you felt as it was happening? Is it the people who need remembering or the way they smiled through the moment that you remember? Everyman Theatre takes a comfortable stroll down memory lane to open their 2018/2019 season with the Irish classic Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel.

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Viva V.E.R.D.I. The Promised End at The InSeries

One button more…one button less… the death of one child is devastating. The death of two is unfathomable. After losing both of his children in their infancy, Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi gave birth to 27 children… that would outlive him to this very day: his operas. And yet one evaded him to the end. Though he tried numerous times, Verdi was never able to compose Shakespeare’s King Lear, despite having created several other operas baring the Bard’s titles.

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Unlucky Soldiers at Theatrical Mining Company

War does horrific things to people. A reality that our country is still struggling to come to grips with; we send young boys off to fight battles, to lose their humanity when they kill other human beings. They return home with PTSD, survivor’s guilt, strung-out and self-medicating, often taking their own lives. Robert Garcia’s Unlucky Soldiers is an semi-autobiographical experience of returning home from the Vietnam War and the war within himself that rages on long past the combat “in the Nam” has ceased.

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Hand to God at Maryland Ensemble Theatre

In the beginning we were one. There was no right and no wrong. But then someone invented right and wrong, where right is for all of us and wrong is just for you. Go to the Maryland Ensemble Theatre to see Hand to God…RIGHT. Skip out on seeing Maryland Ensemble Theatre’s Hand to God…WRONG. And you do not want to be in the wrong when it comes to this darkened,

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Chess at Tidewater Players

Are you where you want to be and who you want to be and doing what you always said you would? Tidewater Players, the resident theatre company of Havre de Grace, is where they want to be and who they want to be and doing what they always said they would! Making a bold move by opening their 2018/2019 season with a politically charged production of Chess (the musical in concert), Tidewater Players stands to set the tone for their season with this shocking opening gambit.

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Timon of Athens at The Rude Mechanicals

How goes the world? A loaded question if ever there was one to be asked, especially in this day and age. But set yourself back from this day and age, set your dial of existence back to 1978 in order to prepare yourself to digest The Rude Mechanicals’ latest offering: Timon of Athens. Directed by Joshua Engel, this miscreant play of Williams Shakespeare’s is finding a new lens through which to be viewed in the hands of The Rude Mechanicals.

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Anything Goes at September Song

Times have changed!

And though the classics seem dead and gone—

The audiences’ sing right along

To those Cole Porter tunes at September Song!

In olden days a normal stage show, was the summer’s end event to go to—

But now, God knows! It’s Anything Goes! The 2018 summer selection for September Song has all the Cole Porter classics wrapped up in a romantic romp and funny farce on a Trans-Atlantic pleasure cruise filled with music and mayhem,

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Poe’s Last Stanza comes to Elkridge Furnace Inn

Halloween. Ghosties and Ghoulies.  Scarecrows and Skeletons.  Pumpkins and Poe.  Yup.  Poe.  We all know Poe…master of the macabre, father of the modern murder mystery…and ravens…and tell tale hearts…and black cats.  Some of us love him.  Some of us would be happy to hear him nevermore.

Poe and Halloween – they just seem to go together.  Poe’s legacy has become a tribute to madness, moodiness and morosity.  We forget the rapier wit,

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Noises Off at Cumberland Theatre

Sardines! You won’t forget the sardines! Or the boxes. Or the bags. Or the words by the time you get finished with Noises Off at The Cumberland Theatre this summer. Directed by Matt Bannister, this zany, maniacal, and marvelous farce will have you rolling in the aisles with gut-bursting laughter from start to finish. Better than Waiting for Guffman, with twice as much hilarity as any backstage antics that cook up as they do during any theatrical engagement,

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Atypical Perspectives at West Arundel Creative Arts

Though at first it may seem clownish, see the world more upside-downish! Turn it on it’s head and pirouette it! Anything can happen if you let it…and you’re letting it happen at the West Arundel Creative Arts Center when you go to see Atypical Perspectives: An Evening of One-Act Plays written by Jeff Dunne. While the sole connective thread of the six one-act plays appears to be only that they share the same author,

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Dawn O'Croinon (front left) as Dolly Levi, Stephen Strosnider (front center) as Cornelius Hackl, and Mark Quackenbush (front right) as Barnaby Tucker in Hello, Dolly!

Hello, Dolly! at Glyndon Area Players

Come feel the room swayin’! Hear the band playin’ one of my old favorite shows from way back when! Well, golly gee, people, you gotta come and see, people— Hello, Dolly! at Glyndon Area Players before its run does end! Revitalizing a classic in all its glorious vivacity, Director Homero Bayarena, Musical Directors Andrew Zile and Tom Zepp, and Choreographers Cecelia, Lucy, and Maia DeBaugh, elevate the grandeur of this timelessly classic piece of musical theatre and bring a stellar production to the Glyndon Area Players this 2018 summer season.

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Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Water Ballet a Fluid Movement Production

For me, the theatre is not a slice of life but a piece of cake. And there is a tremendously foreboding and utterly delicious cake of terror awaiting to delight the masses at Fluid Movement’s annual water ballet. This year they’re modeling their efforts after one of the silver screen masters of the macabre, the true prince of filmed darkness and serving up a whopping splash of Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Water Ballet.

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Carla R. Stewart (left) as Shug Avery and Adrianna hicks (right) as Celie in The National Tour of The Color Purple

The Color Purple at The Kennedy Center

Hey, sister, whatcha gon’ do? Goin’ down by the Potomac River, gonna see The Color Purple with you. In a striking reimagination of the iconic novel turned film turned stage musical, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts proudly presents The Color Purple, a Menier Chocolate Factory Production. Directed and Conceptualized by John Doyle, with Musical Direction and Pit Conduction by Darryl Archibald, this stunning story is reinvented with simplicity at its aesthetic core,

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Macbeth at 4615 Theatre Company

If it were done when ‘tis done, then ‘twere well it were done quickly. With expedience and precision one can readily say 4615 Theatre Company’s production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth were done both well and quickly. Directed by Jordan Friend, this intimate production unfolds in the laps of the audience, shaking tremors of terror and raw Shakespearean storytelling into the minds of 30 individuals at a time, ensuring that they shall burn for dreams restlessly and indeed sleep no more.

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Twelfth Night at Storytellers: A Theater Arts Academy

I have unclasp’d to thee the book even of my secret soul. Where lies my text? In Storytellers: A Theater Arts Academy’s bosom! In what chapter of their bosom? To answer by the method, in their current production of Twelfth Night. Directed by Terry Sweet Bouma with Assistant Directors Alyssa Bouma and Alex Foley, this true comedy of errors and mistaken identities is a fine showcase of youth digesting and transforming Shakespeare.

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Honeymoon in Vegas at STAR Ltd

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas! But what happens at the Rice Auditorium with STAR Ltd. needs to be broadcast on a big blinking billboard! The 2018 sizzling summer production— Honeymoon in Vegas— is that zany, whacky weekend everyone wishes they could have in the great Nevadan desert oasis! Directed by Michael Juba with Musical Direction by Cheryl Campo, Pit Conduction by David Wacyk, and Choreography by Lauren Lowell, this hilarious musical comedy with a whole lotta heart and a hunka hunka burnin’— Elvii?!?

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Much Ado About Nothing at Gypsy Wagon Theatre Company

All’s fair in love and war. Shakespeare said it. Well, he didn’t actually. In fact, he wrote a whole bunch of plays that seemed to prove the opposite of fairness in war and especially in love. Much Ado About Nothing, one of the less-troubled comedies, is one such that is now making its way to outdoor (and temporarily indoor) stages by way of Gypsy Wagon Theatre Company this summer. Directed by Bill Soucy,

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The Little Mermaid at Cockpit in Court

Look at their set; isn’t it neat? Wouldn’t you think their set design is so sweet? Wouldn’t you think Michael Rasinski’s the guy— the guy who’s designed everything? Look at those lights— colors so bold! How many wonders can Lighting Designer Thomas Gardner behold? Looking around the stage you’d think— the creative team’s done everything! They’ve got James Hunnicutt designing the properties. They’ve got Brent Tomchik making splashes with sound. You want Choreography? That’s Karli Burnham.

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Mamma Mia at Shenandoah Summer Musical Theatre

Mamma Mia! Here I go again! My, my! How could I resist ya? Mamma Mia! Does it show again? My, my— just how much I missed ya! It’s only been a week since I’ve been at Shenandoah Summer Musical Theatre but— here they go again with their third and final production of the 2018 summer season— the exceedingly popular Mamma Mia! Directed by Jeremy Scott Blaustein,

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Pippin at Monumental Theatre Company

Time weaves ribbon of memory to sweeten life when youth is through and rivers run where they can ramble— but it’s time to take time to see all of the magic they’ve got to do— the they being Monumental Theatre Company and the magic being their street-savvy modern coming-of-age production of Pippin. Directed by Rebeca Wahls with Musical Direction by Leigh Delano and Choreography by Ahmad Maaty, this sleek and slick production of Stephen Schwartz’ Pippin is reaching out to a new generation;

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Murder For Two at Infinity Theatre Company

Every fingerprint fits a hand and if you’re willing to understand that protocol says— you must get a ticket to see the only mainstage show at Infinity Theatre Company this 2018 season! Making its regional area premiere, Murder For Two settles into the Broadway-quality professional summer theatre of Annapolis under the direction of the company’s co-producing Artistic Director Alan Ostroff. With zany Book & Music by Joe Kinosian and Book &

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The House of Blue Leaves at Silver Spring Stage

It’s 1965 and your music career hasn’t quite turned out the way you thought, the pope’s come to town, your freshly drafted son has gone AWOL, your mistress is trying to drag you down to the street side to see his holiness, and your wife has gone bananas, or rather is Bananas. And then the nuns arrive. It sounds like a zany barrel of laughs, but there’s a much deeper and unsettling darkness happening inside the walls of Artie Shaughnessy’s apartment in Sunnyside,

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West Side Story at Shenandoah Summer Musical Theatre

West Side Story at Shenandoah Summer Musical Theatre

There’s a place for you. At Shenandoah Summer Musical Theatre— there’s a seat for you. To celebrate Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday, they’re holding a seat for you— at their production of West Side Story. Directed by Jacob Brent with Musical Direction by Thomas Albert and Choreography recreated from the original Robbins’ choreography by Michael Jablonski, the SSMT production of this ‘musical Romeo & Juliet’ seems more relevant now than ever,

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Nunsense at The JCS Summer Community Theatre

The JCS Summer Community Theatre is here to show you the humor of the nun! That’s right, they’re back in the habit— well, some habits are returning to the stage at any rate (remember two summers ago and all the nuns from their great production of The Sound of Music?)— and the JCSSCT is thrilled to be debuting Nunsense as their summer show. Directed and Choreographed by Dickie Mahoney,

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Mamma Mia at Toby’s Dinner Theatre

They can dance! They can jive! They’re having the time of their life! And you will too when you come to see Toby’s Dinner Theatre of Columbia present the professional regional premiere of the world famous production Mamma Mia! Available for the first time since the infamous Abba-based production ended its seemingly endless tour, Toby’s Dinner Theatre of Columbia has all your favorite Abba songs, all of the flashy costumes and marvelous dancing,

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Altar Boyz at Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre

There’s a brand new sound goin’ ‘round the world and it’s going to ‘altar’ your mind! It’s the Altar Boyz live in living color at the Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre and they’re going ‘altar’ your mind for sure! Directed by Mark Briner with Musical Direction by Ken Kimble and Choreography by Becca Vourvoulas, this poppy, enthusiastic musical will spin your head right round, get your feet stomping on the ground,

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James and The Giant Peach at Heritage Players

Close your eyes and try to conceive, the most outrageous story to ever be believed! If you can just believe, it’s beautifully bizarre, a story about a boy— and a giant peach, and that’s just the way things are! Right before your eyes— James and The Giant Peach is now appearing on stage at The Heritage Players as their summer engagement. Directed by Elizabeth Tane Kanner with Musical Direction by Emily Taylor &

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Judy and The General at Spotlighters Theatre

Are you ready to go back in time? It’s not about history or geography (though it’s important to note the current dates— through July 29, 2018— and the exact location— The Audrey Herman Spotlighters Theatre—) it’s really just about a he and a she, but don’t get caught up in the details. Because the big important detail is that this show— this world premiere musical— is the closer of Season56 at Spotlighters. Judy and The General,

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Ain’t Too Proud at The Kennedy Center

You can achieve many successes in the music industry. You can climb to the top, you can enjoy the view from the top once you get there, but to be the top? There’s only group in the history of rhythm & blues that has been touted continually, through to this very moment, as the best group in the entire history of rhythm & blues: The Temptations didn’t climb to the top they became the top.

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