If you love a good mystery, great atmosphere, fun food, and superb performances, then don't miss this week's Best Bet, An Inspector Calls at Cockpit-in-Court at CCBC-Essex.  Call TODAY!  Get whatever tickets are left for the remaining 3 performances!  Trust me, performances of this caliber are few and far between.  It features the best ensemble of actors currently on any Baltimore stage, including the always fantastic Liz Boyer Hunnicutt, and expert direction from Linda Chambers.  Performed in-the-round in the intimate upstairs cabaret, light refreshments (fruit and cheeses, delicious desserts and a variety of beverages) and reasonable ticket prices combine to make this a delightful summer evening.  Call the Box Office for tickets and information at 410.780.6369.

(An Inspector Calls review posted on 07/31/2006.)  




The first winner of last spring's Toby's Tickets Contest, Alisa D. Bralove, as been to the show and is reporting in. 

The music wasn't the only thing causing 80's flashbacks Thursday night as my husband and I attended Footloose at Toby's of Baltimore.  As we made our way through the buffet, my summer camp memories of dinner theater field trips flooded back, thanks to the group of campers from the Drama Learning Center's summer program.  Guests of cast member Jason Wiggins (Swing), the campers, ages 11 to 15, had a chance to enjoy the evening's show and meet the performers.

And they came on a good night too -- the performance was top-notch.  Ariel (Becca Vourvoulas) and her gal pals Rusty (Jamie Eacker), Wendy Jo (Natalie Finn), and Urleen (Caroline Bowman) shone in the first act, especially when belting out "Holding Out For a Hero," while Ren (Kurt Boehn) displayed an amazing stage presence.  Alan Wiggins, with family members in the audience, gave a breakout performance as Willard in "Mamma Says." His dancing, particularly in "Let's Hear It for the Boy," was one of the show's more memorable moments.

It appeared that the campers enjoyed the show as much as we did. So while much has changed since my childhood (the songs from Footloose were actually Top 40 hits back then), it was nice to see that kids still have the same enthusiasm for the theater that I had at that age. With any luck, they'll be just as much of a theater fan when they're pushing 30, too.




Thanks, Alisa!





Josh Singer, local (he's from Towson) theatre enthusiast, actor, and now website creator has created a terrific new website for New York playwright (and friend) David M. Korn.  His new play, This Won't Take Long, has been selected for inclusion in the 2006 New York International Fringe Festival.  The easy to navigate, informative and nicely presented site is (note that it is .NET not .COM) The play, based on an article in the New York Times Mr. Korn read, features 3 Equity actors with extensive stage, screen and TV credits – Albert Christmas, John Speredakos and James Wetzel.  The production will be seen at the 13th Street Repertory Company at 50 West 13th Street in New York City, on August 13, 16 and 23 – 26th.  All tickets for all performances are $15.00.  Much more information is available at the website.  See you at the Fringe!  If you go, please write and let me know what you thought!





I got a great letter from a very proud parent (and who wouldn't be considering her news?) and thought I'd share it: 




Hi! I've been reading your Broadway world columns for a while and decided to contact you about a local actor who is currently on the 25th anniversary tour of Cats.  Julia Lancione of Middle River began rehearsals in NYC on June 2, 2006. She is the female swing covering the parts of Grizabella, Jennyanydots, and Jellylorum.

She is taking a break from the final semester of her BFA at Shenandoah Conservatory as a music theater major where she has performed in many productions including playing Rosabella in The Most Happy Fella. Locally, she performed at Cockpit for two summers as Rose in Meet Me In St. Louis, as Rita in Lucky Stiff (with Rebecca VourvoulasFootloose at Toby's Baltimore) and as Maria in The Sound of Music (also with Harriette Bush ClarkThe Full Monty at Cockpit-in-Court).  She graduated from Patapsco High in 2002 where she had leads in Crazy for You and

42nd Street.
The musical director of ...St. Louis, William Waldrop is also on the Cats tour as the pianist.


            The tour opened in Montreal and is currently in the Midwest. At the end of July, it will be in Las Vegas at the Aladdin, and then go to Florida before a month in Brazil. After that, the tour travels the country and Canada, until July 1, 2007.

I didn't know if you are interested in local talent, but I thought I'd take a chance and let you know.  I enjoy reading your column.

Sincerely, Angela Lancione (Yes, I'm her mom.)




  • Look for an interview with Ms. Lancione in the near future.  And if any of you have friends or relatives currently touring, on Broadway or off-Broadway, or in any professional capacity, and they have a Baltimore/DC connection, PLEASE let me know!  I'd love to interview them and feature them in an article or two!





The folks at Spotlighters Theatre have again generously offered an exclusive discount to readers of this column and the Baltimore page of!  If you mention "" when you place a phone order or make a purchase at the box office for their current offering, "Just For Laffs", you get $5.00 off per ticket!  That's a savings of over 33%!  See below for more information.  Thank you Spotlighters!



Perhaps an evening of rib-tickling belly laughs is not always the first thought that comes into one's mind when hearing the name Chekhov.  The themes of his plays, though, are the stuff of wonderful comedy---the never-ending conflicts between men and women merely trying to cope with the world, with the tedium of life, and with each other.  Directors John Sadowsky and Mary H. Pohlig, and translator Paul Schmidt bring to life some of this world-class playwright's greatest short plays in an evening of hilarious vaudevilles.  Tickets are $15 for adults with discounts for Seniors, Students, and Baltimore Theatre Alliance members.  See above for exclusive BWW discount!

The cast includes several actors giving terrific performances, including long-time Charm City actor Branch Warfield, relative newcomers Russ Addis and Charlie Mitchell (regulars at CSC), and the always delightful Cathy Ireland and Mark Squirek.  The clever sets and snappy dialogue do make for a fun evening.

Tickets may be purchased at the Box Office one hour prior to each performance.  Tickets may be placed on Will Call by phoning the theatre at 410-752-1225, or from the website:  Will Call Reservations are strongly recommended.  Cash and Credit Cards are accepted at the Box Office.  Tickets may be purchased on line at using a credit card.  (Discount NOT available with online purchases.)

(Reviewed on 07/19/2006 on – Baltimore.)        





Local theatre icon Toby Orenstein has great summer fare in two locations – her original Toby's of Columbia and now the terrific new Toby's of Baltimore.  And that great fare takes place at both the dinner table (sumptuous buffets are featured at both locations) and on the stage!  At the fabulous new Toby's in Baltimore (located at the newly renovated Best Western at the Baltimore Travel Plaza) the terrific Footloose: The Musical continues its successful run throughout the summer.  This don't-miss production features two of Baltimore's most thrilling new performers, Kurt Boehm as Ren and Becca Vourvoulas as Ariel.  For more information, and to make reservations (you REALLY should) call 1-866-99TOBYS or go online at

(Review of Footloose posted 06/20/2006 on BroadwayWorld – Baltimore.)

An interview with Mr. Boehm and Ms. Vourvoulas posted on 07/14/2006 on BroadwayWorld – Baltimore.   

            Toby's Columbia recently opened its summer show, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Musical, which will run through September 3, 2006.  For more information about this rock n' roll event, call 1-800-88TOBYS or go online at

(Review posted 07/10/2006 on BroadwayWorld – Baltimore)  




Cockpit-in-Court at its home at CCBC-Essex has, on the main stage is Meredith Willson's family classic The Music Man will run at Cockpit in Court Summer Theatre through August 6, with performances Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 3pm, and one Thursday performance on August 3 at 8pm.  Ken Kemp of Gaithersburg plays Harold Hill in this production, opposite Kimberly Hart of Fallston as Marian Paroo.  Tickets are $18 general admission, $16 seniors and CCBC alumni, and $12 for children 12 and under.  Tickets are available in advance by calling the Box Office at 410.780.6369. 

(The Music Man review posted on – 07/24/2006) 




The Baltimore Playwrights Festival is in the midst of it 25th year of bringing new, exciting works to the stage.  Through August 6th at Vagabond Players in Fell's Point is "A Modern Pas de Duex" by Susan Middaugh, directed by Barry Feinstein.  Show times at Vags are Fri – Sat at 8PM, Sun at 7PM and tickets are $15 General/ $13 Seniors and Students.  For more information go to or call 410-563-9135.

For more information about the entire festival, go to or call 410-276-2153.





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  • Comments, suggestions and items to include in Charm City Stage Door should be sent to me at




Thanks for reading!  James

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From This Author James Howard

James was first bitten by the theatre bug at the tender young age of 11, when, at the last minute, he was called upon to (read more...)