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Baltimore/Washington Backstage - October 6, 2006

Phil Collins and scenes from the Broadway musical "Tarzan" will be featured Sunday morning, Oct. 8 on A&E's "Breakfast with the Arts" between 8 and 10 a.m. You'll see Josh Strickland and Jenn Gambatese perform a number from the show while composer Phil Collines will be interviewed.

 On Monday morning (at 5:30 a.m.) MPT will rebroadcast "Artworks This Week" which includes a wonderful interview with Center Stage Manager Director, Michael Ross discussing Chekov's "The Three Sisters". You can also view a scene from the play. Sad to report that Stacie Ross (no relation I don't believe) suffered a back injury and the Friday night performance of "The Three Sisters" had to be cancelled. Mhari Sandoval, who will be playing Paulina Salas in their next production "Death and the Maiden", will be pinch-hitting playing the role of Olga "on-book" during the week-end. Here's hoping that Ross makes a quick recovery. "The Three Sisters" continues until Oct. 29. 410-332-0033. It was great to receive an email from Darren Holden about his upcoming concert in New York.

You may remember Darren as "The Piano Man", performing songs in "Movin' Out" at the Hippodrome. He will perform songs from his new CD "Roadworks" as well as some Billy Joel, Elton John and others. The concert at The Cutting Room", 19 W. 24th Street at 7 p.m. 212-691-1900. Darren's webstie is This should be fabulous.

"The Today Show" featured the cast of "The Wedding Singer" on Thursday morning. This show which critics panned continues thriving on Broadway due to word of mouth. Another show the critics panned in London is the just-opened"Wicked" with Idena Menzel, Broadway's Tony winner for Best Actress. But once again, here's a show that is "critic-proof".

I recently read a nice article about a fairly new Annapolis professional theater company, "The Bay Theatre Company". I spoke with Artistic Director, Lucinda Merry-Browne, about their current season. In their very intimate space at 275 West Street in the heart of the state capital, they are currently doing Ira Levin's "Deathtrap" through Nov. 4. I admit I've very excitied about their next production, the musical "A Man Of No Importance" by Terrence McNally with music by Stephen Flaherty and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens which will run from December 1 to January 13, 2007. I LOVE this musicl.Buy the CD. Hear it for yourself. I saw the Lincoln Center production with Roger Rees and never get tired of listening to it. Albert Finney played the lead in the English film it is based on (sans music ofcourse). Bay Theatre then continues with the classic William Inge play "Picnic" (Feb. 23-March 31) and they close the season with Alan Ayckbourn's "The Norman Conquests: Table Manners". An auspicious line-up. Vist the web-site at or call 410-268-1333.

 Finally, want to say I really was impressed with the Carver Center's "Songs from a New World". This Towson performing arts high school did an admirable job with Jason Robert Brown's music setting it in New York post 9/11. Congratulations to the cast and Director Matt Bowerman.

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