You Can’t Take It With You

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You think your family’s crazy? Compared to the purposefully pixilated Sycamore-Vanderhof clan — the characters, and I mean characters, populating George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart’s exuberant comedy You Can’t Take It With You — your relatives probably err on the side of prosaic. You get to hang out with these eccentric lovelies for nearly three, […]

Chesapeake Shakespeare expands to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

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On May 7th, the Baltimore theatre world received some good news:  the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, currently located in Howard County, announced its purchase of the downtown Mercantile Safe Depost and Trust Building, a classically designed brownstone built in 1885. What was born as a bank, and transfomed as an afterhours spot for Baltimore party people, […]

Mary Poppins

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True story: My mother took my sister and my seven year-old self to see “Mary Poppins” in 1964 at a downtown Baltimore movie palace—who knows, it could have been the Hippodrome. The gilded theater was filled with mothers in suits and white gloves toting their daughters in crinolined party dresses.

Kaddish, based on a Nobel winning novel, makes its world premiere in a tiny Baltimore space

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Director Barbara Lanciers was ready to premiere Kaddish, her version of Imre Kertesz’s novel “Kaddish for an Unborn Child” at the Baltimore Theatre Project. It’s a production she’s been waiting almost a decade to bring to the stage. And for herself and actor Jacob Goodman, it’s been a labor of love. There was only one thing missing: […]

The Strand premieres Lawton’s Blood-bound and Tongue-tied

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Slipping from the street into the store-front space of the Strand Theater Company in Baltimore, you’re in for some surprises. You pass a showcase displaying the detritus of former tenants, a band of gypsies including its Queen, who read tarot cards for walk-up customers before being murdered by her mates. The atmosphere of the Strand […]

CenterStage’s Into the Woods well worth the trip

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Cherry blossoms and the perfumed air of a new spring pale in comparison to the enchantments awaiting indoors at CenterStage, home of a beautiful and liltingly fiendish production of the Sondheim-Lapine musical Into the Woods, a transplant from the Westport Country Playhouse directed by Mark Lamos, who expertly balances the melodic and the mischievous.

Arena Players, proud of its roots, ready for its future

David Mitchell (photo courtesy of Arena Players)

If you’re new to Baltimore, and driving up from DC, the Arena Players is the first Baltimore theater you’ll see. Off the I-95 ramp, down Martin Luther Avenue, it sticks out as a gaily painted brick structure off of McCulloh Street.

Smokey Joe’s Cafe

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Winter holds a certain charm before the holidays, with turkeys and caroling and gifts and gift-wrapping. But then comes months of gray skies and tax season.  The soul begins to demand summer. Toby’s Dinner Theatre of Baltimore is packing a pocketful of summer, delivered in the form of Smokey Joe’s Café.

A Skull in Connemara

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Though Martin McDonagh’s A Skull in Connemara, is set in Leenane, Ireland, it’s hard not to think of a front yard in Hampden during Halloween. In Todd Rosenthal’s set for CenterStage, the grey (plastic) headstones stick up at awkward angles, creating a cheap Hollywood gothic. Then the lights go down, and as they do, the gravestones […]

Fifty Words

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A night off. No kids, no responsibilities. Just a husband and wife, Chinese takeout, and a bottle of wine. This rare “just the two of us” evening proves to be a dark night of the soul in Michael Weller’s taut Fifty Words, a piercing examination of how in the hell any relationship survives, much less […]

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