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.

Gwen & Ida at Nu Sass and Uncle Funsy Productions

If you won’t tell your story, then who will? More
importantly, will they tell it correctly? Or will they romanticize it through
the lens of B-grade Hollywood celluloid and be creative with your very
existence? Such might have been the ill-fated path of infamy for Gwen John if
Ida Lupino had had her way when it came to telling her story on the big screen.
Only it didn’t happen; Ida Lupino never made that film all about the life of
Gwen John,

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Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at The Rude Mechanicals

Mendacity is the system we live in. Death is one way out.
Liquor is the other. Unless of course the crystal decanter top fuses into the
bottle-neck and prevents you from your liquor. (Try the screw-top.) Feeling a
little uncomfortable yet? A little like a Cat
on a Hot Tin Roof
? Then you’ve found your way to The Rude Mechanical’s
production of Tennessee Williams’ other play, or his other, other play. Not the
one with the street-screaming for Stella or the one with all the little glass
animals and the jonquils and gentlemen callers,

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Betty Buckley and the National Touring Company of Hello, Dolly! Photo: Julieta Cervantes

Hello, Dolly! at The Kennedy Center

When the whistles blow and the cymbals crash and the
sparklers light the sky— it’s time to call on The John F. Kennedy Center!
Because this summer they’re raising the roof; they’re carrying on; and you’ll
want to have an old trombone and an old baton before the parade of Hello, Dolly! starring Betty Buckley
passes by! Appearing live for one sizzling summer month on the Kennedy Center’s
Opera House Stage,

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Grease at Toby’s Dinner Theatre of Columbia

I got chills! They’re multiplying! And I’m telling you to go—
‘cause the show that they’re supplying— it’s electrifying! Why, it’s more than electrifying,
it’s Grease lightning! You’re gonna
need to meditate in Toby’s Dinner Theatre of Columbia’s direction for some real
summer lovin’ this 2019 summer season because Grease is the word and Toby’s production is the one that you want.
Directed and Choreographed by Mark Minnick with Musical Direction by Ross Scott
Rawlings,

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Oliver! at St. Gabriel Miracle Players

There’s a little ditty they’re singing in the city— right
here in the city of Windsor Mill!

And if you’ve got the patience, then your imagination will
tell you what you want to hear!

Oliver! Oliver!
Ol-li-ver!
That’s the ditty they’re singing in the city— Oliver! at The St. Gabriel Miracle
Players
, who have produced another miracle by keeping their theatre alive and
thriving in the building that their audiences know and love.

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Cabaret at Silhouette Stages

The sun on Columbia is summery warm. It’s shining on a
theatre gem. So gather together and see their show. Tomorrow belongs— to them.
Silhouette Stages mounts the production of the season— Kander & Ebb’s Cabaret as Directed by Stephen Foreman,
with Musical Direction by Michael Tan and Choreography by Aime Bell. Truly not
your momma’s Cabaret, this heady and
intoxicating production doesn’t just showcase the darkness burbling readily
beneath the surface of the iconic Kander &

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"Consider Yourself" from Oliver! at Kensington Arts Theatre. Photo: Mark McLaughlin Photography

Oliver! at Kensington Arts Theatre

I’d do anything— for a good show— anything! And despite all
the connotations the come alongside Oliver!
(that it’s dated, that it’s a child’s musical, that it’s a bit rubbish in
music and book, etc.) Kensington Arts Theatre is producing what is arguably
their best show of the 2018-2019 season. Practically perfect, with a few minor
exceptions, this well-heeled production of Lionel Bart’s musical adaptation of
Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist is surprisingly
endearing and loaded with an extraordinarily talented cast.

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(L to R) Anya Lengberye as Jemima, Andrew Wilson as Caractacus Potts, Mackenzie Currie as Truly Scrumptious, and Pilot Earle-Smith as Jeremy in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr. at Children’s Theatre of Annapolis

They’re more than spectacular! To use the vernacular? They’re
wizard! They’re smashing! They’re keen! Why, The Children’s Theatre of
Annapolis, of course! And their wonderful, phantasmagorical production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr. Directed by
Atticus Boidy, with Musical Direction by Trevor Greenfield, and Choreography by
Kristin Rigsby, this fun-filled junior version of the iconic movie-turned-stage-musical
is fun for families, children of all ages, and of course for those forever
young at heart!

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1776 at The Woodbrook Players. Photo: Amanda Gunther

1776 at The Woodbrook Players

Somebody ought to open up a window! So that they can hear
the bellowing cries of the second continental congress as they piddle, twiddle,
and resolve over whether or not to start a revolution and declare independence
from Great Britain. Ready for America’s spirited beginnings? The Woodbrook
Players, successfully settled into their new home at Govans Presbyterian Church
on York Road right near Belvedere Square, are pleased to presenting to the
masses their spring musical: 1776!

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The Producers at Third Wall Productions

They can do it! They can do it! And they know it’s gonna work! Third Wall Productions’ current production of Mel Brooks’ The Producers, that is. Despite some last minute directorial changes, the show must go on and on it goes with Director Amy Haynes Rapnicki freshly at the helm. This production of that zany comedy about Broadway producers, with Musical Direction by Patty DeLisle, Choreography by Jillian Arnold, and Orchestra Conduction by Andrew Zile,

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The Oresteia at Shakespeare Theatre Company

Everything feels as if it has just happened. Ellen McLaughlin’s
The Oresteia, freely adapted from the
trilogy by Aeschylus that is nearly 2,500 years old, feels as if it is
happening. And what must happen does. Boldly closing the 2018/2019 season at
Shakespeare Theatre Company in their prestigious Sidney Harman Hall under the
Direction of STC legend Michael Kahn, The
Oresteia
is modernized yet timeless, prescient yet ancient;

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Treasure Island at We Happy Few

The seafarin’ man with
one leg
.

Such is the stuff of nightmares or high-seas hijinks for
young Master Hawkins when it comes to the beloved piratical and nautical
adventures of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure
Island
. 15 men on a dead man’s chest, yo-ho-ho and a— Drinking in Tortuga
cocktail? Has all the earmarkings of a We Happy Few Production! There are
ukuleles, pirates, squeezeboxes— well,

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Newsies at Children’s Playhouse of Maryland

And The World will
know! And The Sun will too! ‘Bout
these Newsies and the awesome job they
do! The things they do today will be tomorrow’s news! And you heard it here
first— right in black in white— front page ABOVE the fold! That’s right— read
all about it! Right here! Children’s Playhouse of Maryland does Newsies and makes Disney proud with all
of their energy,

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Boeing Boeing at The Heritage Players

It’s all about the time tables! You’ve got to get yourself a
time table! Check your time tables and you’ll see that they’re telling you it’s
time to board Flight-519 on Heritage Airlines and enjoy their in-flight
entertainment: Boeing Boeing by Marc
Camoletti. Directed by Ryan Geiger, this flight-based French farce will whisk
audiences away to Paris, France circa 1962 and give them an inside look at an
American bachelor in Paris who has landed himself a fiancée.

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Marooned! at Alex and Olmsted

*ccchk* Houston? *ccchk* Hello? *ccchk* Is there anybody out there?

Space.

The final frontier.

It is man’s destiny to go forth and explore. It is Alex
& Olmsted’s destiny to go forth and create extraordinary theatre with puppetry
and puppets being their cynosure into the next leg of their extraterrestrial
and theatrical experience. Marooned! A
Space Comedy
is the latest offering from the Jim Henson Foundation Grant
Winning company.

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Dog Sees God at Wolf Pack Theater Company

The broken parts of a dead body will never heal. Sticks and
stones may break my bones but names— will scar me so deep that I just may never
recover. Good grief. When the iconic, albeit off-kilter, happiness of one’s
childhood, hits puberty and spirals off course with tough life lessons and
harrowing high-school truths, you get Bert V. Royal’s Dog Sees God. Fitting into the wheelhouse of Wolf Pack Theatre
Company
productions,

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Les Miserables at Storytellers: A Theater Arts Academy

The time is now. The day is here. Les Miserables is on stage at Storytellers: A Theater Arts Academy!
Boldly tackling the iconic behemoth that is Les
Miserables
, under the Direction of Terry Sweet Bouma, with Musical
Direction by Chris Pinder, this talented cast of young performers weaves a
story like no other with their spirited and emotionally intense retelling of
Cameron Macintosh’s Les Miserables.

Amanda N.

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Appropriate at Silver Spring Stage

Are people anything more than porous vessels susceptible to
influence from— other people? Spirits? And is family really anything more than
mismatched memories or stories that you tell yourself when you feel a certain
way?’ What happens when the spirits of families past haunt you and influence
you right into a catastrophe? You get Branden Jacobs-Jenkins Appropriate, now on stage at Silver
Spring Stage
, Directed by Jeff Mikoni.

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Ghost-Writer at Quotidian Theatre Company

“The waiting is part of the work. One never knows when the
words will come.” The words may be Michael Hollinger’s from his play Ghost-Writer, but they are in fact
relatable to anyone who has ever tried their hand or pen or keys (of any
vintage) at writing. A mysteriously intriguing ghost story springs to life on
the stage of The Writer’s Center in Bethesda as resident theatre Quotidian
Theatre Company opens their 2019 calendar season with its production.

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Pantheon at Happenstance Theatre

Oh workers, builders, and destroyers of the world! Heed the
call— it is your destiny— in seats at Theatre Project for your bodies to be—  feel the sweetness of Eurydice— and rest
assured the show’s lyricist (Craig Jaster) is far better at this rhyming stuff
than me— and to prove it you must take yourself forth and see— Pantheon. The latest in the Happenstance
Theatre
realm of fantastical fabrications,

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Jessica Bennett (left) as Esmerelda and Sam Kobren (right) as Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Jeri Tidwell Photography)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame at Toby’s Dinner Theatre

Here it is— the moment you’ve been waiting for! Here it is—
you know exactly what’s in store! A story like you’ve never seen or heard
before! Now’s the time to head to Toby’s Dinner Theatre of Columbia to see the
DC-regional premiere of The Hunchback of
Notre Dame
. Directed by Toby Orenstein & Mark Minnick, with Musical
Direction by Ross Scott Rawlings, this musical masterpiece inspired by the
Victor Hugo novel with musical selections from the Disney animated feature film
presents a hauntingly beautiful tale with striking,

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Beehive at Spotlighters Theatre

Hey, mamma, welcome to the 60’s! Whoa-oh-ooooh— go, mamma! Go,
go go! Wait— no. That’s a different musical. But such is par for the course
these last few months at The Audrey Herman Spotlighters Theatre where stumbling
blocks like pulled rights have failed to thwart the creative and artistic efforts
of staunch thespians in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood. Despite being
three weeks into rehearsal for Smokey Joe’s
Café
(and having the rights pulled due to a potential national tour) the
cast and crew at Spotlighters was able to switch gears and turn out a pretty
impressive production of Beehive…the 60’s
Musical.

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Macbeth at We Happy Few

Into the air as breath into the wind…a Bard quote, yes, but
the truest sanguine nature of theatre; it is ephemeral. And if it is bad, then
we breathe its essence into the wind with breath and it is gone from us,
perchance as if it never existed. But what if it be good? What if it be
superbly refocused? Is it still not ephemeral? Perhaps then we breathe more
slowly, savoring the sounds,

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Anything Goes at Silhouette Stages

The world has gone mad today and good’s bad today and black’s
white today and day’s night today— and the show today you should see today—
well, God knows…it’s Anything Goes!
Springing up on Silhouette Stage’s stages as the second show of their 2018/2019
season, Cole Porter’s classic ship-set musical is setting sail this spring!
Directed by Conni Ross with Musical Direction by William Georg and Choreography
by Tina Marie DeSimone,

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Sweeney Todd at The Heritage Players

Attend the tale of Sweeney
Todd
. The opening line should be enough to entice anyone to visit this dark
and bloody Sondheim event at The Heritage Players. The second in their annual “musical
theatre concert” series, this year’s devious stage offering is none other than
the bloody demon barber of fleet street. Sweeney
Todd
, Directed by John Gary Pullen with Musical Direction by David Zajic,

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Once On This Island Jr. at Children’s Playhouse of Maryland

Life! Pain! Love! Grief! Hope! Faith! You! THAT is why they
tell the story! What story, you ask? Once
On This Island Jr.
! Who’s telling it, you ask? Children’s Playhouse of
Maryland! Their incredibly talented cast of young performers presents a
whimsical tale of two worlds that were never meant to meet, joined together by
the island they share. Directed by Liz Boyer Hunnicutt, with musical Direction
by Charlotte Evans,

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The Company of ASoB's 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Artistic Synergy of Baltimore

Miraculous— (adjective.)
“performed by or involving a supernatural power or agency. Of the nature of a
miracle; marvelous. Having or seeming to have the power to work miracles.” This
current production of The 25th
Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
is a miraculous show put forth by
Artistic Synergy. M-I-R-A-C-U-L-O-U-S. Produced
by Melissa Broy Fortson, with Direction by Atticus Cooper Boidy, and Musical
Direction by Rachel Sandler, the astonishing talent, the heartfelt
performances,

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In The Next Room or The Vibrator Play at Silver Spring Stage

What thing can put a man to death and bring him back to life
again? Why the cure for women’s hysteria, naturally, or better known as
electricity. Thank you, Mr. Edison, for the focal point of Sarah Ruhl’s play
with two titles, In The Next Room or The Vibrator Play. While electricity
does run as a strong alternating and direct current throughout the script,
there are so many more deeply layered,

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A Year with Frog and Toad at Dundalk Community Theatre

Tweet, tweet! Let’s greet the spring! So what if it’s only
the end of February? Spring is almost here! You know how you can tell? Because A Year with Frog and Toad is on the
stage at Dundalk Community Theatre! Directed by Tom Colonna, with Musical
Direction by Michael Clark, and Choreography by Angelique “Gigi” Cause, this
delightful family-friendly show is perfect for young audiences and audiences
young at heart!

Read More »


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