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Baltimore/Washington Backstage - June 16, 2006

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What a thrill it is to be writing this column while watching the PBS "Live from Lincoln Center" presentation of "Light in the Piazza". And what a surprise to see a camera IN the orchestra pit focusing on the conductor. This is going to be exciting!  I hope everyone got a chance to see this incredible production. The bonus features at intermission where you were taken backstage were a lot of fun. Great job PBS!!! A special thanks to Bernard Gersten for allowing the taping to be broadcast.

 Late addition: Tonight on ABC World News Tonight (June 16) a profile of Tony winner John Lloyd Young from "Jersey Boys".

Errata. Thanks so much to a reader from New York who corrected an item in last week's column. I mentioned that Idina Menzel had sung "For Good" at a November "Broadway Meets Country" concert. Unfortunately, though Menzel was slated to perform, she was unable to make the event. Nice to have readers in the Big Apple, especially when they take the time to make a correction. Thank you.

Just announced is the FREE Summer Broadway concert lunchtime concert series in Bryant Park (one block from Times Sq. on 42nd St. I highly recommend these if you can get there around noon on Thursdays.

July 6- Jacques Brel, Avenue Q, Hot Feet, and Stomp

July 13- Mamma Mia!, The Drowsy Chaperone, Beauty and the Beast, and Drumstuck I really recommend this one!.

July 20- Wicked, The Color Purple, Phantom, and Shout! The Mod Musical

July 27- You, YoThe Wedding Singer, Tarzan, Hairspray, and Rent

August 3- Spamalot, The Lion King, Chicago, I Love u're Perfect, Now Change

August 10- Putnam Spelling Bee, Fantasticks, and The Actors Fund Annual Concert: Best Little Whorehouse

Notice what is missing? Jersey Boys!!!

Get there as early as you can. Sit on the lawn. Shows go from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Video cameras ARE allowed!!! And you get a chance to meet the actors.

Anyone interested in FREE theater should head to a reading of "Call Me Mister", a 1946 revue with a score by Harold Rome. This is the first time since the original 1946 production is being presented. I recommend a wonderful column by Peter Filichia on TheaterMania.com on June 14 concerning the story behind this. A cast of 29 will be doing the reading at the Theater on the Run, 3700 S. Mile Run, Arlington, VA. For reservations, call 703-553-8782 or visit www.americancentury.org.

 

Ever hear of "The Sky is the Limit" camp? It gives instruction in acting, dance, music, and design for children and young adults with mild developmental disabilities and non-disabled individuals ages 6 and older. The five week camp starts on July 3 in Dundalk. It is sponsored by the Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks' Office of Therapeutic Recreation. Registration deadline is this Monday. 410-887-5370.

 

Ending on Sunday, at the Olney Theater Center, as "The Elephant Man" ends is successfully run. 301-924-3400. Tickets are only $10!!! Good chance to check out this great theater complex. The OTC kicks off its annual Potomoc Theatre Festival with both "Hedda Gabler" and "Enemy of the People" by Ibsen in repertory in its intimate Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab. "Hedda" runs June 21-July 23 with a Pay What You Can Preview on Tuesday, June 20 @ 7:45 p.m.

 

Also ending this Sunday, and FREE, "Two Gentlemen of Verona" by the Maryland Shakespeare Festival through June 18 at Hood College in Frederick and its "outdoors". 301-770-9080

 

Love Opening Nights. Tonight, the Cockpit in Court Summer Theatre opens its production of the musical "The Full Monty" based on the the highly successful film. It runs till July 2. I saw the touring production at the Mechanic in 2003 with the wonderful Robert Westenberg (original casts of both "Sunday in the Park" and "Into the Woods"). This will be the first production done by a local Baltimore theater. Remember, anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent. Not sure WHY this has to be mentioned since I have seen the film and the show…but since it is….I have. I recall a wonderful rendition of the final number on the "Today" show.  Is it because it is in Essex? 410-780-6369.

 

The following Friday night is Opening Night for the Maryland Arts Festival. Could this be the new and improved MAF? This used to be such a terrific summer highlight. Now that Towson's Arts Center has been renovated, who knows? They offer "Beehive, the '60s Musical' June 23-July 16. Beginning June 30-July 22 in the Mainstage Theater, will be "Gypsy". (Wonder if those under 16 must be accompanied by a parent to see a musical about strippers?)  And speaking of strippers, would you like to learn to dance like Gypsy Rose Lee? Join Baltimore performance artist Keri Burneston, aka Trixie Little, for a Burlesque Boot Camp workshop on striptease on Saturday, July 15 from Cost is $20.

 

Some interesting talkbacks are being held. On June 25 @ a discussion on the role of women in 1960's popular music, On July 9, the topic is the effect of the Vietnam War on popular music in the late 1960's and July 16 (write this down), a discussion of the Beehive hairdo and its association with Baltimore. Hope John Waters makes it!!

 

On July16 (before "Gypsy"), at , a discussion on American Musical Theatre in the late 1950's will be discussed.

 

Also on the agenda are "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe", "Air Heart", "Tea for Three: Lady Bird, Pat, and Betty", Piano 2: Music for Four Hand Piano, "The Capital Steps", "A Woman is a Sondheim Thing", "The Girl Singers: Rosemary Clooney, Doris Day, and Peggy Lee", an Opera film series, and art exhibits.

 

For all of the above, 410-704-2787 or www.towson.edu/maf.

 

The Everyman is still alive and kicking. Catch Shaw's "Candida" till June 25. 410-752-2008. This is a wonderfully, well-done production which is perfect for a summer evening.

 

For a new musical, head to the Round House Theater in Bethesda to see "A Murder, a Mystery, and a Marriage: A Mark Train Musical Melodrama". You will love it. 240-1100. Till June 25.

 

Also at the Round House, this Sunday night, 6 local theater teams are participating a Play In a Day in which they all will be producing 10-minute plays all in a day. Tickets are $10.

 

For an older musical, the Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre has Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella" through June 24. This is under the stars. 410-268-9212.

 

If you are a Tom Stoppard fan, his "Travesties" gets a rare production at Theater Hopkins till June 25. 410-516-7159.

 

The Spotlighters continues with "Southern Baptist Sissies" through July 1. 410-752-1225.

The Kennedy Center has no tickets to "Mame" but they do for the Steppenwolf Theatre production of "Love-Lies-Bleeding. This runs June 17-18 and 20-25. Starring is John Heard. Tickets are $35. 202-467-4600.

The Signature's "Assassins" has extended for the final time, til July 30. Act quickly. 800-955-5566.

Theater J presents the world premiere of Ariel Dorfman's "Picasso's Closet", a drama that imagines the consequences if Picasso had been murdered by the Nazis in Paris during World War II. Pay What You Can Previews are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30. Dorfman wrote "Death and the Maiden" coming to Center Stage next season. 800-494-8497.

"Spamalot" continues at the National through July 9. 800-447-7400.

Would you like to listen to wide variety of Broadway Show Music all day and night for Free? Have I got a deal for you?  All it takes is clicking onto broadwayworld.com/radio and what a surprise is in store for you. This is on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

 BroadwayWorld Radio features online broadcasts of Seth Broadway's Chatterbox (this can be hilarious) and Jim Caruso's Cast Party along with a library of more than 190 cast recordings, an interactive request and dedication system, an interactive song rating system. You can even make requests and at , the top 10 songs of the day are played. The variety is what has impressed me. You can hear "Billy Elliot" to "The Last Five Years" to "Tick, Tick Boom!" This is the internet's largest theatre web radio station. So check it out and tell me what you think.

 

Have you ever been to Baltimore's Fells Point and wanted to learn more about its history? Well, here's your chance. Every Monday night from to the
"Secrets of a Seaport-Fell's Point" till Aug. 2 at the Fells Point Visitor Center, 808 S. Ann St.

410-675-6750, ext. 12. And it's FREE!!!

 

For comments, write me at cgshubow@broadwayworld.com. 

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Charles Shubow Originally from Boston, Charles' first college show was "Barefoot in the Park," he played the role of the telephone repairman. Next came "How to Succeed..." in which he played in the ensemble and then Chairman of the Board. He appeared in "Fiddler on the Roof" at the White Marsh Dinner Theatre as Lazar Wolf. Charles' daughter Britt played one of Tevye's younger daughters. Britt later completed a five year stint in Broadway's "Mamma Mia!" as the Sophie understudy. Charles conducts theatre trips to Broadway shows as the "Shubow Shuttle."


 
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