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.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company

To laugh? Or not to laugh? That won’t really be much of a
question as Chesapeake Shakespeare Company attempts all 37 of Shakespeare’s
plays with three guys, one stage, and 2 hours traffic upon it. Yes, the Bard’s
almighty collection— as condensed, despoiled, and distilled by Adam Long,
Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield— also entitled The Complete Works of William
Shakespeare Abridged
— now finds its way onto the Globe-esque stage of Chesapeake
Shakespeare Company
under the direction of Artistic Director Ian Gallanar.

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The Marvelous Wonderettes: Dream On at Tidewater Players

They are family! They got all their sisters— you’ll see! That’s
right, they’re back! All four original Wonderettes— Cindy Lou, Betty Jean,
Missy, and Suzie— are back and dreaming on, this time to celebrate their
favorite home-room teacher— Mrs. McPherson (watch out, audience!) and her
retirement party after 39 years as a Springfield High Chipmunk! Tidewater
Players knows how to put on a show when it comes to everyone’s favorite
foursome; their production of The Marvelous Wonderettes: Dream On is wholesome
family fun that features four talented individuals breathing new life and
dreams into many iconic tunes of the late 60’s and late 70’s!

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The Wanderers at Theater J

Not all those who wander are lost; time has tested such a
proverb, but what if those who are lost don’t know they are wandering? Wandering
from their faith, wandering from their lives, wandering from themselves, life
is short and full of illusions, so who really understands whether or not they
are happy? An evocative and poignant new drama by Anna Ziegler wanders through
these notions, exploring the paths our lives take when we are lost and
wandering.

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Footloose at The Suburban Players

I’ve got this feeling— that nothing’s holding them down;
they’re hitting the ceiling— they’re tearing up the east side of town— with
their production of Footloose! Footloose! They’re kicking off their weekday
blues! With the hottest production of the dated 80’s classic this side of Charm
City, The St. Demetrios’ Suburban Players are giving audiences all over Carney,
Parkville, and Baltimore a thrilling joyride through Bomont! They’re cutting
Footloose! And you won’t want to miss it!

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Gentlemen Prefer Blondes at The Heritage Players

Baltimore is full of theatre shows; some comedies, some with
duels, but I prefer a company that produces flashy jewels! A show on your stage
might be quite continental— but “in concerts” are your new best friend! At
least, they are for The Heritage Players this winter. On their third annual “musical
in concert” The Heritage Players breathes new life into a golden oldie— Gentlemen
Prefer Blondes
. Directed and Choreographed by Tommy Malek (with Lori
Struss-Weatherly),

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Steel Magnolias at Showcase On Main

Too twisted for colored TV, Showcase On Main is bringing
everyone’s favorite beauty-shop-gossip-fest to their stages this February. That’s
right, come on out to Elkton, MD and take a whack at— Steel Magnolias,
Directed by Lee Lewis. With just six people in the cast, and the cozy intimate
setting of SoM’s playing space, it’s a narrative experience filled with heart,
soul, and everybody’s favorite emotion— laughter though tears. There are some powerful
performances and some unique twists that make the show specific to Showcase On
Main;

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The Band's Visit national tour. Photo: Matthew Murphy.

Haled’s Song About Love: An Interview with The Band’s Visit’s Joe Joseph

“Not break the ice; you melt the ice. You melt yourself and soon
you’re all one puddle.” The lead-in lyrics from “Haled’s Song About Love”, the
feature number performed by Joe Joseph’s character, Haled, in The Band’s
Visit
. TheatreBloom Founder Amanda Gunther sits down with Joe Joseph and ‘melts
the ice’ in a quick conversation about his experience on tour with the
production and why he’s excited for it to come to Charm City.

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Legally Blonde at Third Wall Productions

They’ve got that beeeeeend and SNAP! See how good they’re
getting? Beeeeeend and SNAP! All the fun they’re having? They’ve sprung the trap;
you’ll cheer and clap for their beeeeeend and SNAP! And generally for their
production of Legally Blonde! Third Wall Productions breaks up the
midwinter blues with their second show of the 2019-2020 season— Legally
Blonde
! Directed by Henry Cyr with Musical Direction by Patty DeLisle, and
Choreography y Cecilia &

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Talia Suskauer as Elphaba. Photo: Joan Marcus

Wicked at The Hippodrome

Magic is a demanderating mistress! And who better to know
that than the witches of Oz! Yes, for one short day— well, several short days
(through March 8, 2020)— you too can see the Emerald City, and hear the
splendor, and experience the glory that is the Tony Award-winning musical Wicked
as it defies gravity and lands once more in Baltimore! Green with envy yet?
You will be if you don’t get your tickets and they’re red hot like ruby
slippers!

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Sean Coe (left) as Albert, Whitley Cargill (center) as Jack, and Holly Gibbs (right) as Bessie in Give Me Moonlight

Give Me Moonlight

There are somethings that you cannot put into words;
experiencing the joy of a world premiere is one of those things. Rapid Lemon
Productions presents the world premiere of Give Me Moonlight by Ariel
Mitchell. This surrealist tale of historical happenings in rooted in the truth
of Albert and Bessie Johnson, who eventually built a castle in Death Valley. Directed
by Noah Silas, the play features just four actors and carries a loosely woven
narrative of hope and despair,

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DeCarlo Raspberry (left) as Lola and Matt Hirsh (right) as Charlie Price in Kinky Boots. Photo: Jeri Tidwell Photography

The Sex Is In The Heel! Talking Some Kinky Boots with Kinky Boots Stars and Helen Hayes Award Winners Matt Hirsh and DeCarlo Raspberry

PINK is for playthings.

YELLOW’s for warnings.

PURPLE for princes.

BLACK for wannabes.

GREEN is for pickles.

But RED… RED IS FOR SEX!!!

Serving up all the sex, the sauce, the sassiness, and the
serious heart and soul, Kinky Boots is all the rage at Toby’s Dinner
Theatre
of Columbia. Marking the regional premiere of the production, whose
successful run on Broadway sent it touring around the country before it finally
landed in Columbia,

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Loserville at The Fredericktowne Players

Pinch me! Is this real? I got a one-way ticket into Loserville
the musical! Now appearing on the Jack B. Kussmaul Theater at Frederick Community
College with The Fredericktowne Players, Loserville, the incredibly
underrated and fabulously feel-good musical all about communication is under
the superb direction of Matthew Bannister with Musical Direction by Matthew Dohm
and Choreography by Laurie Newton. The tagline’s not wrong— think Grease
meets The Big Bang Theory
— but it’s so much more than that.

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9 To 5 at Stand Up For…Theatre

Tumble on the stage and they’re
hopin’ and a wishin’! They’ve poured themselves a cup of ambition— Stand Up For…
Theatre! is doing 9 to 5. They’re singin’ and a dancin’; they got their
blood pumping! Dolly Parton’s musical will really keep you jumping! I’ll say it
again— they’re producing 9 To 5. Produced by Grant Myers, Directed by Ed
Higgins, with Musical Direction by Brandon Seehoffer, and Choreography by
Lenore Florez,

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DeCarlo Raspberry (center in blue) as Lola and The Angels in Kinky Boots. Photo: Jeri Tidwell Photography

Kinky Boots at Toby’s Dinner Theatre

The sex is in the heel! And the heels are all over that
stage at Toby’s Dinner Theatre of Columbia as they are serving up a big old
helping of Kinky Boots for dinner this winter. Marking the regional
premiere of Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper’s Broadway sensation, Kinky
Boots
has a world of joy to offer. Under the superb direction of Mark Minnick,
with Musical Direction by Ross Scott Rawlings,

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The North American Tour of Cats. Photo: Matthew Murphy

Cats at The Hippodrome

Practical cats, dramatical cats, pragmatical cats, fanatical
cats! Oratorical cats, delphioracle cats, allegorical cats, metaphorical cats!
And then of course there’s the Jellicle Cat. What— you ask— is a Jellicle Cat?
Well…no better way to learn than to venture out in the moonlight to Baltimore’s
Hippodrome Theatre and see them live in action. Cats, the first show of
the 2020 calendar to land in Charm City will mesmerize you, enchant you,

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The Hippodrome’s 2020/2021 Broadway Season: A Quick Chat With President Ron Legler

Are you ready for Broadway in your own backyard? Baltimore’s
Hippodrome Theatre just announced their 2020/2021 season and they’re bringing
shows hot off Broadway right to the heart of Charm City! The season features
six shows making their Baltimore debut:

  • Tootsie                                                  (10/13/20 – 10/18/20)
  • Pretty Woman                                   (12/8/20 – 12/13/20)
  • Mean Girls                                          (01/19/21 – 01/24/21)
  • The Prom                           

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Jesus Christ Superstar at The Hippodrome Theatre

Strip away myth from the man and you get a strangely vexing
yet utterly intriguing new-age production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus
Christ Superstar
. Now appearing, albeit unseasonably, at The Hippodrome
Theatre in the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center, this original rock opera,
the first of its kind back in 1970 is now celebrating its 50th
Anniversary Tour. Directed by Timothy Sheader with Choreography by Drew McOnie,
the production is a post-apocalyptic amalgamation of its rock musical concert
roots and modernity that burble caustically in some spots but gel smoothly in
others.

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The cast of Second City's Love, Factually

Love, Factually at The Kennedy Center

If you look for it, love actually is all around you.
Unless you’re bitter-pill Cassie, whose got an icepick up her hoo-hah over
love, romance, and happy endings. As the zany and quirky title might imply,
Second City’s Love, Factually, is bringing you the jaded and hardened
look at the warm-n-fuzzy feel goods of the holidays this December at The John
F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. Appearing through December 29 in the
Theatre Lab,

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Yehezkel Lazarov (center left) as Tevye, and Jonathan Von Mering (center right) as Lazar Wolf & the Cast of Fiddler on the Roof. Photo: Joan Marcus

Fiddler on the Roof at The National Theatre

Fiddler on the Roof for Christmas? Unthinkable.
Unheard of. On the other hand, it’s a brilliant story with glorious music. On
the other hand, it’s not A Christmas Carol or some other stalwart
tradition in the nation’s capital. On the other hand, The National Theatre is
bringing tradition to their stage for a limited week-long engagement smack in
the middle of December this year. With original Direction by Barlett Sher
(recreated here by Sari Evans) and original choreography by Hofesh Shechter
(recreated here by Christopher Evans),

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Elf at Tidewater Players

There’s a saying that they have up in Havre de Grace

That helps keep happy smiles on their face

“If you want a Christmas show filled with glee— make sure
that it’s sparkle-jolly-twinkle-jingle-y!”

And The Tidewater Players is sparkling, twinkling, jolly,
jingling their way across the stage of the Havre de Grace Opera House with
their seasonal production of Elf! Directed by Laurie Sentman Starkey,
with Musical Direction by Stephanie Carlock Cvach and Choreography by Carissa
Lagano,

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The Illusionists: Magic Of The Holidays at The National Theatre

What is magic? Is it just a misdirection that a magician attempts to hide their secret moves? Or is it something more than that? You’ll have to find out this holiday season at The National Theatre as The Illusionists: Magic of the Holidays lands for a one-week limited engagement in the unprecedented 16-show season of one of DC’s national artistic treasures. Featuring world-class magicians— The Elusive, The Trickster, The Daredevil, The Delusionist, The Manipulator,

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Seussical at St. Gabriel Miracle Players

After all of those years being
stuck on a page, did you ever imagine it up on the stage?

And what is this “it” to imagine,
you ask? It’s some pretty big thinks; it’s a mighty big task!

As Christmas approaches, write to Santa,
say your prayers,

Because Seussical— the
musical! Is now on stage at St. Gabriel Miracle Players!

They went out of the box— and
their sky turned bright pink!

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A Christmas Story at Toby’s Dinner Theatre

It’s almost nearly getting close to counting down to Christmas!
It’s almost time to see the show light up the stage for Christmas! It’s really
only just 34* days away! It’s almost nearly getting close to counting down to
Christmas Day! And what better way to spend your festive holiday? Then by
seeing A Christmas Story at Toby’s Dinner Theatre of Columbia! Directed
by Shawn Kettering with Musical Direction by Ross Scott Rawlings and Choreography
by Mark Minnick &

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Kaenaonālani Kekoa (left) as Jasmine and Jonah Ho'okano (right) as Aladdin. Photo: Deen van Meer

Aladdin at The Hippodrome

Gotta keep— one jump, ahead of the box-office line! One
swing— ahead of the rest! Disney’s got a show that truly tops the rest! So make
way— for Disney’s Aladdin! Make way— for Disney’s Aladdin! Coasting
in on a magic carpet just in time for the holidays this highly adventurous, memorably
Disney stage show brings you a cave of wonders and them some when it comes to
theatrical spectacle.

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Terrifying Thrills with Baltimore Theatre Collective’s Creepy Kooky Cabaret

They’re being pulled in a new direction! Quite literally in
all senses imaginable too! Baltimore Theatre Collective, formerly known as The
Purple Light Theatre Company, has progressed into its next phase of life, now
under the auspices of Baltimore Theatre Collective. And just as their first
major cabaret was attempting to get underway, a snag in their original performance
venue pulled them right over to Genesis Arts, a dance studio in Columbia’s Red
Branch corridor.

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The Company of the RENT 20th Anniversary Tour. Photo: Amy Boyle

Rent at The National Theatre

How can you connect in an age when strangers, landlords,
lovers, your own blood cells betray? What binds the fabric together when the
raging, shifting winds of change keep ripping away? RENT! While often
appreciated as somewhat of a “period piece” or an iconic stamp in musical
theatre history, now entering its 25th years (in the fourth
incarnation of the 20th Anniversary Tour), Rent is still
incredibly relevant to today and all that’s happening around us in our 525,600
minutes.

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Man of La Mancha at Third Wall Productions

Hear me now! Oh thou bleak and unbearable world— thou art in
need of good quality musical classics on the stage! There’s a company, with
their banners all bravely unfurled now hurling their gauntlet to thee— they are
they— Third Wall Productions— bringing you the Man of La Mancha and all
of its exquisite fantasy! They are they— Third Wall Productions— with their Man
of La Mancha
and your destiny calls you to go!

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Devil In Me at Green Globe Theatre

Truth is stranger than fiction. But don’t you fret,
Baltimore, this one will be a real Lally-cooler, you’ll see. Once it figures
out just what it wants to evolve to be. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s
rewind, right back to the 1890’s with America’s first serial killer. Enter
Green Globe Theatre and their production of Devil In Me, a new work
written and directed by Lianna von Haubritz. There is much happening in this intriguing
theatrical endeavor,

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Politics, Pomp & Proprieties at The Woodbrook Players

If you’re looking for a little something different this
fall, if you need a change of pace but still want to support local theatre then
The Woodbrook Players have your ticket. They’re actually offering up four
one-act plays of the 20th century all gently squeezed together and
bundled up as an evening— or afternoon’s— entertainment. While the through-line
of what ties these four specific works together is a bit of a stretch, the
performances are solid,

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DREAMING THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM WITH THIRD WALL PRODUCTIONS- INTERVIEWS WITH THE CAST OF MAN OF LA MANCHA: Robert Howard, Jim Morgan, Nick Ruth, Mike Zellhofer

The impossible dream interview series may be coming to a
close— just in time for you to stop dreaming of Third Wall’s Man of La
Mancha
and go see it! They open tomorrow! (Friday 11/8/19) and there are
still tickets available! You won’t want to miss this timeless classic, rarely
produced in Baltimore, as it sweeps past its own impossible dreams and brings
you hope of dreaming once more. In the final installment of the interview
series,

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