All posts by Mike Zellhofer

Disaster! at Cockpit in Court

This
review can practically write itself. Let’s face it, there is nothing disastrous
about Cockpit in Court’s current production. Of course, I am talking about Disaster! the 70’s disaster movie
musical written by Seth Rudetsky and Jack Plotnick and directed by Todd
Pearthree. Pearthree and his production team (Music Director Michael DeVito,
Technical Director Jason Randolph, Set Designer Michael Rasinski, Lighting
Designer Thomas Gardner, Costumer Designer Will Crowther, Sound Designer Corey
Sekulow, and Stage Manager John Chrzanowski) have put together THE smash hit of
the summer.

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A Few Good Men at Stand Up For… Theatre

Whenever
I am assigned to review a show presented by Stand Up For… Theatre, I know for
sure that I am going to be challenged to examine my conscience. For years now SUFT,
the theatrical division of Erase Hate Through Art, has been giving us
productions that challenge us to not only look at the world around us and the
role we play in it, but our perception of the madness that surrounds us.

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A Murder is Announced at Artistic Synergy of Baltimore

Rosedale
has got itself are real who done it, as Artistic Synergy of Baltimore presents
Agatha Christie’s A Murder Is Announced.
If you have a knack for solving the case before your favorite TV detective,
then this is a show for you. But I’ll warn you now nothing is as it appears and
with Miss Marple on hand, you’ll need to be quick.

The cast of A Murder is Announced at Artistic Synergy of Baltimore.Amanda N. Gunther | TheatreBloom The cast of A Murder is Announced at Artistic Synergy of Baltimore.

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Urinetown at Phoenix Festival Theatre

It was a
cold and rainy night. Ironic, since I was on my way to see a play about a drought.
I was driving to Harford County. A place that has been in the news recently
because one of its politicians apologized for making a racial remark that she
didn’t recall making. Fitting since this show also features nasty politicians.
Finally, I arrived at Harford Community College and Urinetown. Wow! What an unexpected surprise!

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Sojourners at The Strand Theatre

I first became involved with
theatre in 1982. So, you can imagine that in 37 years I have seen and
experienced quit a few things in the theatrical world; and then came Sojourners. Sojourners is a play written by first generation Nigerian-American
playwright Mfoniso Udofia. It is currently showing at The Strand Theatre and is
directed by Cheryl J. Williams. It is well written, has a powerfully amazing
cast,

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Heathers at Tidewater Players

Freak,
slut, burn out, bug eyes, poser, lard ass, loser, short bus, bull dyke, stuck
up, hunchback, white trash! Names. Labels. Words used to describe people who
are different or don’t fit our image of what we consider the “norm.” Words that
one might associate with high school, but all to often are used far more common
in our everyday speech. In fact, if I am being honest, although I didn’t speak
the words,

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Newsies at Street Lamp Productions

Now is the time seize the day! Or in this case, “Carpe scaena!” And seize the stage like they did! Street Lamp Productions presentation of Disney’s Newsies, Directed and Choreographed by Bambi Johnson, is well worth the drive to Rising Sun, MD. I reckon it may be a bit out of the way for some Baltimore City folk, (Admittedly, had my mother not lived in Colora for over eleven years, I may not have known about it either.) but I promise you it’s worth the trip.

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La Cage Aux Folles at HDYLMN’s Stand Up for… Theatre

Every holiday season I search the idiot box for that feel-good show of the year. Little did I know that this year I would find it at the Chesapeake Arts Center, in Stand Up For…Theatre’s La Cage Aux Folles. Like Macy’s, Best Buy, SUFT brings Christmas early; only instead of a big box they use a black box.

Before I dive into the cast, crew, and show itself,

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The Last Five Years at The Montgomery Playhouse

There is a song in The Last Five Years titled, “I Can Do Better Than That” and if The Montgomery Playhouse & Theatre @ CBT want to fill the seats, Producers David Jones and Elizabeth Weiss really need to do better. To ad lib a line from Mel Brooks, “What they did to Jason Robert Brown, Booth did to Lincoln.” When you put up a show with only two actors and music by JRB you need to make sure that your actors and Musical Director are up to the task.

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Gloria at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Adam Grant wrote, “The culture of a workplace – an organization’s values, norms and practices – has a huge impact on our happiness and success.” Never has this been truer than in Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Gloria, Directed by Kip Fagan at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.

Fagan has a clear understanding of Jacob-Jenkins’ work, and his staging is brilliant. Life, especially in the work place, is full of ups and downs,

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Rumors at Colonial Players

“How do rumors get started, they’re started by the jealous people and….,” no wait, that was the Timex Social Club. We’re talking Neil Simon’s Rumors at The Colonial Players. The Maryland General Assembly may not be in session but Director Atticus Cooper Boidy has Annapolis all a buzz. Simply put, Mr. Boidy delivers perhaps the best production you’ll see in the state capitol this year. His understanding of comedic timing and how to navigate a farce is incredible.

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You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown at Artistic Synergy

Happiness is finding a pencil, pizza with sausage, telling the time. Happiness is learning to whistle, tying your shoe for the very first time. Happiness is playing the drum in your own school band, and happiness is spending an evening with the cast and crew of Artistic Synergy of Baltimore’s You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, Directed by Melissa Broy Fortson, with Musical Direction by Michelle Bruno.  

ASoB has elevated their production from show status to a concept,

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Damn Yankees at Pasadena Theatre Company

You gotta have heart. All you really need is heart. Well, heart, a talented cast, dynamite dancing, and a few catchy tunes if you want to score like the folks at Pasadena Theatre Company. Their recent production of Damn Yankees, Directed by Chuck Dick, with Musical Direction by Robert White is, well, a hit.
The Humanities Recital Hall on the campus of Anne Arundel Community College is a nice venue for this production.

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Breaking The Code at How Do You Like Me Now Productions

Ed Higgins, as Alan Turing says in one scene, “It’s about right and wrong.” How Do You Like Me Now Productions (HDYLMNP) understands this and gets it right again with Hugh Whitemore’s Breaking the Code.  If there is one thing that we have learned about HDYLMNP throughout the years, it’s that they will take an issue, put it in your face, and make you aware of something that you needed to be made aware.

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Lucky Stiff at Colonial Players

“Well, I suppose there are two ways to look at this I mean, true I am here in a foreign country with a dead man in a wheelchair, trying to pretend that nothing is wrong, and having to do all sorts of things I don’t even want to think about. On the other hand, this is a chance to earn a great deal of money in a very short time. So, for once in my life I shall think positive I will think positive.” – Harry Witherspoon

I’m positive that you will have a wonderful time at Colonial Players’ Lucky Stiff,

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Shrek at Charm City Players

I thought that love was only true in fairytales…. Then I saw Shrek, directed by Stephen Napp, at Charm City Players and now I’m a believer! The Charm City Players are in residence at the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Auditorium at Mercy High School.

If it were possible to capture the very definition of “collaborative theatre”, then there would have to be a reference to Charm City Players. From the moment that you walk into the theatre,

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The Graduate at Dundalk Community Theatre

Dundalk Community Theatre brings to stage the classic coming of age story, “The Graduate”, Directed by Todd Starkey, with scene/lighting/sound design by Marc W. Smith, and costumer Eva Grove. As I am a fan of Mr. Starkey’s work, I was very much looking forward to this production. Having seen his phenomenal direction of Assassins, and his brilliant portrayal of Professor Callahan, perhaps I set the bar too high for this one.

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Trouble in Tahiti at Stillpointe Theatre

Sometimes what we long for is staring us right in the face. This could not be a truer example than in Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble In Tahiti, Directed by David Schweitzer, with Musical Direction by Benjamin Shaver, now playing at Stillpointe Theatre. 

From the moment that you enter the venue, you are captivated by Scenic/Properties Designer Ryan Haase’s transformation of an upper church room into a 1950’s “supper club”. The covered tables,

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