I wasn’t sure what to think about
seeing a play I had only ever heard of as an acclaimed movie. Director Fuzz Roark assuaged those fears by
allowing us to experience the story in a setting not only made more intimate by
being kept in the same room as Alan Zemla’s set designs, but also brought to
our senses by virtue of Spotlighters Theater being a cozy space. Being so very close to the action made you
not an audience member at a play,
I wasn’t sure what to think about
Sometimes, it’s all in the
timing. When the circles of life coincide with your best efforts, everyone
wins. There is a history of shows that premiered to little or no hoopla, but
when revived later in a different political or social climate, felt way more
relevant and meaningful. The most popular example is Kander & Ebb’s classic
musical Chicago. Opening in 1975
under the direction of Bob Fosse and starring dual leading legends Gwen Verdon
and Chita Rivera,
ancient Greek mythology, the shy artist Pygmalion expressed no interest in
women, but when he created a statue of Galatea so fair he fell in love with it,
he made sacrifices to the goddess Aphrodite to give him a woman as beautiful as
his sculpture. She does him one better by bringing the marble Galatea to life
as his reward. In 1912, master Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw used that metaphor
of taking the basest elements of the earth and sculpting them into a real lady
in a very literal sense in his masterpiece Pygmalion.
A new world calls across Charm City! A new world calls across street. A new world whispers through Mt. Vernon— time to see— time to see…it is time to see Songs For a New World at The Audrey Herman Spotlighters Theatre. Co-Directed by Andrea Bush and Michael Tan, and Musical Direction by Michael Tan, four talented voices come together on the stage to sing songs of love and hope.
War! Huh! Good God! What is it good for? The age old question that is as relevant now as it was 2400 years ago when Aristophanes took words to parchment and penned Lysistrata. The classic Greek comedy where women hole themselves up in the Acropolis and refuse sex to the men until they end the war finds a retooling with a new translation by Sarah Ruden. Opening the 57th Season— A Season of Strong Voices— at The Audrey Herman Spotlighters Theatre,
It was a white dress with pink floral patterns all over it, A-frame and 50’s vintage style cut with a singular crinoline layer that peaked out from the bottom. I wore it with a pink hat dotted in flowers and pearls, the hat that my partner calls “…that flower bucket on your head…” I got the dress in Vegas, at a retro-chic wannabe vintage shop called Rockin’ Betty’s over in the Arts District— that’s off the strip— on the last Sunday of our family trip there.
Let’s not talk about anything else but love! It’s worth repeating, let’s not talk about anything else but love? Why? Life is fleeting, because pleasures come, pleasures go, love can come and go in one throw! Let’s not talk about anything else but love! Love that launched a thousand ships! Love that causes war and famine! Love is love is love is love is love. Love of the theatre— is certainly what The Audrey Herman Spotlighters Theatre has going on with their unexpected production of I Love You,
To see or not to see… that is the question! Spotlighters’ latest production in their 56th season is none other than Paul Rudnick’s 1991 comedy-drama I Hate Hamlet, directed by Hillary Glass and Ilene Chalmers. The play revolves around the young and successful television actor Andrew Rally who has just relocated to New York after the recent cancellation of his television show. He finds his agent has booked him a gig as the titular character in Shakespeare’s Hamlet,
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,
“I ain’t on oith and I ain’t in Heaven, get me? I’m in de middel tryin’ to seperate em, takin all de woist punches from bot’ of ’em. Maybe dat’s whay dey call Hell, huh?”
On a weekend packed with frightening diversions the most terrifying of all is surely Eugene O’Neill’s nearly century old expressionist drama, The Hairy Ape running through 19 November at Spotlighters Theatre. I was at opening night on Friday and I have been haunted ever since by the themes,
11 July and the question is shame. Will you feel shame if you don’t go and see Spring Awakening at The Audrey Herman Spotlighters Theatre this summer? The answer is yes. Shame is a product of education, but do not remain ignorant to this impressively evocative and intimate piece of highly charged sensual musical theatre. Directed by Jillian Bauersfeld with Musical Direction by Michael W. Tan, this gripping and moving musical drama traverses the controversial plains of adolescence blossoming into maturity despite the deliberate ignorance engrained from the religious and parental rule that governs the time.
The epic quest for epic theatre in Baltimore City has been going for as long as theatergoers have been seeking it out: since the dawn of theatrical time! The holy grail of theatrical mother-loads has landed at The Audrey Herman Spotlighters Theatre and it’s slaying— literally! She Kills Monsters by Qui Nguyen and Directed by Stephanie Miller, is exactly what thespians of Charm City have been seeking! Under-produced and rarely seen productions?
Come on and— ease on down, ease on down the road! Pick up your left foot when your right foot’s down, and head to the Mt. Vernon side of Charm City Town. You’ve got to— ease on down, ease on down the road! It’s time to ease on down, ease on down the road! Pick up your tickets— for this show that is— come on down to Spots and see their show of The Wiz!
Pride is a luxury a woman in love cannot afford. And the devilish lengths a woman in love will go to in order to maintain that love is unseemly and unsightly to the modern feminist. But in the world of Clare Booth Luce’s The Women, where the utmost priority for the women of society was maintaining a marriage and quashing scandals before they could rise, it’s quite a different story. Directed by Fuzz Roark,
The line forms, on the right, babe— now that Macheath is back in town! The Audrey Herman Spotlighters Theatre is sending scarlet billowing all over the stage, kicking off 2017 with a flash of those pearly white sharks teeth as they bring the iconic Bertolt Brecht adaptation, The Three Penny Opera to the stage. Directed (with new editing, adapting, and translating) by Michael Blum with Musical Direction by Erica Rome,
Madhouse doesn’t begin to describe the utter shenanigans happening in William Gillette’s New England mansion on Christmas Eve. Scandal! Mystery! Murder! For god’s sake, there are actors present! What else could be expected from Ken Ludwig’s bitingly humorous and boisterously bloody play The Game’s Afoot? Directed by Fuzz Roark, this scintillating madcap comedy with just a dandy drop of blood for the murder mystery enthusiast in us all is the perfect way to ring in the holiday season.
There’s a ring of gold in Texas that hitched a tumbleweed coach to Baltimore and is kicking up more dust than a dozen road-runners aiming to outrun a pack of coyotes. Yeehaw, you dun heard right if what you heard was Das Barbecü, the musical that spins Wagner’s Ring Cycle as a witty Texas fable, coming to the stage of The Audrey Herman Spotlighters Theatre! Sure ‘nuff it done been Directed by Greg Bell with that there Musical Direction by Michael Tan and the result is a dead ringer for comedic performance of the year.
Is there anything more outrageous than an honest critic? It might be the way that The Audrey Herman Spotlighters Theatre is kicking off their 55th season with Howard Zinn’s Marx in Soho. Directed by Sherrionne Brown, with Phil Gallagher in the titular role, this evening of socialist banter is an engaging theatrical endeavor that will grip the audience and give them pause to think about whether or not society is going in any direction at all,
Stop the clock. Take time out. Hear the Tick Tick BOOM! as it explodes on the stage of The Audrey Herman Spotlighters Theatre to close out their 54th season. Jonathan Larson’s pre-Rent musical arrives under the Direction of Jillian Locklear Bauersfeld with Musical Direction by Michael W. Tan and features an intimate cast of three just living the real life of 1990 New York City. Big dreams,
Scandal. Lust. Mind games. Les Liaisons Dangereuses at The Audrey Herman Spotlighters Theatre has it all. And so does area actor Nathan Parry. In a TheatreBloom exclusive interview, we take a moment to sit down with Nathan and talk shop about what it’s like to play vile villain Vicomte de Valmont, and find out just what makes it so dangerous.
Thanks for sitting with us! Would you give us the brief introduction and tell us what you’ve done that we might recognize of your work in the area?
Love is something you use, not something you fall into. Though should you choose to use your love of theatre to fall into one of the 68 seats inside The Audrey Herman Spotlighters Theatre between now and the 19th of June you may just fall in love with what’s on the stage. Swordplay— of two distinctive varieties, once of which includes actual rapiers— scandal, sin; all of these delicious morsels are yours for the taking if you dare the three-hour theatrical endeavor that is Les Liaisons Dangereuses.
It’s astonishing what a little moonlight can do. And it’s a full moon over Mount Vernon in Charm City for the next three weekends as Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill lights up the stage at The Audrey Herman Spotlighters Theatre. Featuring solo performer Anya Randall Nebel as the legendary Billie Holiday under the Direction of Jared Shamberger and Musical Direction of LeVar Betts, this truly haunting and powerfully evocative musical tale is not your ordinary jukebox musical.
Everybody has their truth. Yours may be different from mine, but there’s only one way to the promised land…of theatre…and for the moment that way is through the gates of Spotlighters Theatre as they warm up the winter with their production of Southern Baptist Sissies. Written by Del Shores and Directed by Fuzz Roark, this evocative, heartbreaking tale of reconciling religious truth with reality tugs the heartstrings hard and doesn’t let go until the show’s stirring conclusion.
As God is my witness, you shall never be hungry again, at least your comedic appetite will be sated when you turn up to the Audrey Herman Spotlighters Theatre for their first production of 2016, Moonlight & Magnolias. A madcap malady of hilarious proportions Directed by Michael Zemarel, this play is a zany two hour trek across Hollywood’s most manic melodrama, Gone With the Wind. Only in the most truncated and hysterical fashion possible,
Well yeehaw, y’all! It’s a rootin’ tootin’ Christmas time down in ol’ Tuna, Texas, yes it is, why yes it is! And for a limited holiday engagement you too can visit with Aunt Pearl, Didi and RR, Vera Carp, and all the rest of those zany southern characters from the lone star state at The Audrey Herman Spotlighters Theatre as they take up residence to celebrate the festive season through December 20th.
Atomic adolescent angst rears its radioactive righteousness in a teenage nuclear zombie! Not a catchy enough hook? Think Grease meets The Walking Dead, but with more dancing and you’ll have the hysterically campy and hell of a good time musical, Zombie Prom now shambling onto the stage of the Audrey Herman Spotlighters Theatre just in time for the spooktacular season of Halloween. Directed by Kristen Cooley with Musical Direction by Michael Tan,
To be a sensation novel author is a most fascinating thing indeed. To play a wicked baronet who isn’t all that wicked is also a curious subject. To play both in one show— and not just any show but the American premier of a Gilbert before Sullivan play is a great honor and sensational experience. In an exclusive TheatreBloom Interview series, we’ve sat down with Baltimore area performer Jim Knost to find out just what it’s like to play in and write the sensation novel in the musical performance of A Sensation Novel: A Musical Play in Three Acts,
Piece together, for a moment if you can imagine, all of the fancy finery that floats to mind when you utter the words Victorian London. Let those images of haughty parlors, high cinched collars, and stodgy outfits with miles of lace drift dreamily through your mind along the delectable operetta-style story telling of W. S. Gilbert. Add the accompaniment of Music by Michael Nash, T. German Reed, and a little hint of Arthur Sullivan.
Bienvenue sur le carnaval! Where the broken sands of time and fairy floss floats o’er the fairgrounds of The Audrey Herman Spotlighters Theatre. You won’t recognize a single song in this flash of 21 vignettes, at least not by their lyrics, but the iconic melodies of Jacque Brell tinkle blissfully under each song inviting the audience into a cantering calliope of romanticism, cynicism, and jingly jaunts of whimsy. Directed by Timoth David Copney with Musical Direction by Michael Tan,
Aye, if ye be in the mood for a poitìn bit o’ good theatre, ‘specially the dark and funny like— now mind you, not the haha out loud sort o’ funny, but the ‘oh…’ sort o’ funny— then The Spotlighters is the place to be goin’. Though bundle up, ye’ll be needin’ th’ heat once ya’ get there. Despite several setbacks, the Martin McDonagh black comedy The Beauty Queen of Leenane carries on upon the stage-in-the-square with a vigorous shake that’ll light a fire in your belly.