Charm City Call Board: April 8 - 14

Welcome to Charm City Call Board for the week of April 8 - 14, keeping you up to date each week with all that is theater in Baltimore and the region.           

Discounts and contest notices are listed first.  "On Stage" listings follow in this order: opening this week, in previews, current running productions, closing this week and upcoming productions.  Audition and help wanted notices will be next (arranged by date), followed by "Backstage Babble" - news bites, your letters and book/CD recommendations and "Theatre Events" are at the end.   I hope you find this format even more user friendly! 

Please feel free to send me suggestions/comments at jameshoward@broadwayworld.com.  

NEW THIS WEEK!:

  • BEST BETS: 5 Diamond – rated shows abound in Charm City!
  • NEWS: New theatre company offers Open House!  Glory Days to Broadway!
  • AUDITIONS: BPF and Regional Premiere of bare: the musical!
  • NEW SHOWS: The latest from Laurel Mill Playhouse, FPCT, Theatre Project and more!
  • COMPLETE LISTINGS:  How to get tickets for all of the local shows!  April listings are here!

If you have some news or an event you'd like added, please contact me at jameshoward@broadwayworld.com

 

BROADWAYWORLD.BALTIMORE DISCOUNTS! 

  •  4 By Tenn at Spotlighters:  BWW readers get $5.00 off per ticket!  Just go to www.spotlighters.org, click on "Tickets" and enter code BWW-4T, or mention this code when making phone reservations at 410-752-1225.

 

CONTESTS

There are no contests currently running.  Check back soon!

 

ONSTAGE THIS WEEK!

A five star system will be utilized in order to differentiate between the various levels of success: artistry and entertainment value.  This system is not directly numeric, however.  That is, a 4 rated show isn't necessarily twice as good as a 2 rated show; neither is a 4 rated show a "B" or an 80%.

◊◊◊◊◊ - The absolute best theatre has to offer!  Missing this should not be an option!
◊◊◊◊ - This is excellent theatre!  Do not miss this show!
◊◊◊ - This is a good production.  Try to get to this one!
◊◊ - This is a fair production.
- Save your money.

Be sure to contact the theatre directly for show times, dates and prices.  All shows subject to change.  

 

CURTAIN UP!  Shows opening this week.

There are no scheduled openings this week.

 

NOW PLAYING!  Shows currently open.    

Kiss of the Spider Woman  and The Happy Time at Signature Theatre

  • ◊◊◊◊ 1/2 Kiss of the Spider Woman (Musical): Signature Theatre.  Through 4/20.  Review posted 3/18.  703.820.9771 or www.signature-theatre.org.  BEST BET 3/18! Click above for review.
  • Zombie Prom (Musical): Merely Players at Chesapeake Arts Center.  Through 4/20.  www.cheaspeakearts.org/tickets.html.
  • ◊◊ 1/2 The Winter's Tale (Shakespearean Comedy): Baltimore Shakespeare Festival.  Through 4/27.  Review posted 4/6.  410-366-8569 or www.baltimoreshakespeare.org. See below for related article!
  • ◊◊◊◊◊ Gem of the Ocean (Regional Premiere Drama): Everyman Theatre.  Through 4/27.  Review posted 3/22.  410.752.2208 or www.everymantheatre.org.  BEST BET 3/25! Click above for review.
  • ◊◊◊◊◊ The Happy Time (Musical): Signature Theatre.  Through 6/01.  Review to be posted 4/9.  703.820.9771 or www.signature-theatre.orgBEST BET 4/08!  See below for related article!  Click above for review.
  • ◊◊◊ Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat(Musical – Dinner Theatre): Toby's Dinner Theatre of Columbia.  Through 6/5.  Review posted 3/9www.tobysdinnertheatre.com or 1-800-88TOBYS.
  • ◊◊◊◊◊ The Wizard of Oz (Musical – Dinner Theatre): Toby's Dinner Theatre of Baltimore.  Through 6/8.  Review to be posted 4/1.  Look for interviews with the stars of the show coming soon!  1.866.99TOBYS or www.tobysdinnertheatre.com BEST BET 4/01!  Click above for review.

 

Gem of the Ocean at Everyman Theatre and The Wizard of Oz at Toby's Baltimore

CLOSING THIS WEEK! Your last chance… 

Pippin at Johns Hopkins and A Little Night Music at CENTERSTAGE

  • ◊◊◊◊ Pippin (Musical): JHU Barnstormers.  Through 4/13.  Review posted 4/7.  www.thejhubarnstormers.org. Click above for review.
  • Thom Pain (One Man Play): Rep Stage.  Through 4/13.  Review posted 3/28.  410.772.4900 or  www.repstage.org.
  • ◊◊◊◊◊ A Little Night Music (Musical): CENTERSTAGE.  Through 4/13.  2 hours, 30 minutes, including intermission.  Review posted 3/20.   410.332.0033 or www.centerstage.org.  BEST BET 3/25!  Click above for review.
  • ◊◊◊ 1/2 Three Days of Rain (Play): Fells Point Corner Theatre.  Through 4/13.  2 hours, 30 minutes, including intermission.  Review posted 3/23.  410.276.7837 or www.fpct.org.  
  • ◊◊◊ 4 by Tenn (Drama): Spotlighters Theatre.  Through 4/13.  Review to be posted 3/29.  410.752.1225 or www.spotlighters.org. See above for BWW Discount!  See below for related article!

 

OPENING SOON!   

  • She Stoops to Conquer (Play): UMBC Theatre.  4/16 – 27.  www.umbc.edu.
  • Death and Taxes (Audience Participation Comedy):  Do or Die Productions at Spotlighters Theatre.  April 18 – 19.  410.752.1225 or www.spotlighters.org
  • West Side Story (Musical): CCBC – Essex.  4/18 – 26.  Review to be posted 4/19.  410-780-6369 or www.ccbcmd.edu.
  • The Woolgatherer (Play): Fells Point Corner Theatre.  4/18 – 5/4.  410-276-7837 or www.fpct.org.
  • Steel Magnolias (Play): Laurel Mill Playhouse. 4/18 – 5/11.  301-617-9906 or www.laurelmillplayhouse.org. See below for related article!
  • Kimberly Akimbo (Play): Vagabond Players.  4/18 – 5/18.  410-563-9135 or www.vagabondplayers.com.
  • The Hot L Baltimore (Play): McDaniel College4/23 – 26.  410-848-7000 or www.mcdaniel.edu.
  • A New Brain (Musical): Spotlighters Theatre.  4/25 – 5/18.  410-752-1225 or www.spotlighters.org.
  • These Shining Lives (World Premiere Play): CENERSTAGE. 4/24 – 6/1.  410-332-0033 or www.centerstage.org.
  • The Color Purple (Musical): The Hippodrome.  4/29 – 5/18.  410-547-SEAT or www.broadwayacrossamerica.com/

 

AUDITION NOTICES: 

Baltimore Playwrights Festival

  • WHEN: April 8, beginning at 7PM
  • WHERE: Chesapeake Arts Center in Brooklyn Park
  • WHAT THEY ARE LOOKING FOR:  Open call; various roles, types, ages.
  • INFORMATION: www.baltimoreplaywrights.org
  • SHOW DATES: Vary.  Summer performances.

 

bare: the musical – Baltimore/DC Regional Premiere

  • WHEN: May 3 beginning at 12PM; May 6 beginning at 7PM
  • WHERE: The Audrey Herman Spotlighters Theatre in Baltimore*
  • WHAT THEY ARE LOOKING FOR:
    • 6-9 males and 6-9 females, ages 18 – mid-20's, must be able to play high school age
    • Due to the adult content in the show, no one under the age of 18 will be seen.
  • INFORMATION: Full details of audition requirements, complete synopsis of the show, and much more at www.barethemusicalinbaltimore.com
  • PERFORMANCE DATES: August 8 – 31, Fri – Sun at the Baltimore Theatre Project.*

*NOTE: Neither Spotlighters Theatre nor the Baltimore Theatre Project are producing this project.  They are merely providing facilities.

 

BACKSTAGE BABBLE!  News, Best Bets, etc. (New items in RED.)  

BEST BET : ◊◊◊◊◊ SHOWS IN BALTIMORE!

There is so much great theatre going on in our area, it is hard to pick just one Best Bet!  So how about getting to see one of the four shows that got 5 diamond reviews from BoradwayWorld.com?  CENTERSTAGE's lovely A Little Night Music closes this Sunday.  Moving drama more your speed?  Don't miss Everyman's Gem of the Ocean!  Want to take the whole family to live theatre (and eat?)?  Get to The Wizard of Oz at Toby's Dinner Theatre of Baltimore!  Don't mind traveling?  Get to Signature Theatre to see The Happy Time, a gem of a show that will warm your heart!  No matter where you go, you can't lose!

 

NEWS: Baltimore's Newest Theater Opens Its Doors in Station Arts North and Entertainment District 

The Strand Theater Company would like to announce the first event at their new theater located at 1823 North Charles Street in Baltimore City. They will host a free open house on April 20, 2008 from 4 -7 p.m. The event will include performances by Single Carrot, BIG Improv, and Love the Poet, music by Baby Aspirin and King Cloud, and a playwrighting and acting workshop.  

"We are excited to introduce the community to our new space!" said Jayme Kilburn, The Strand's Artistic Director. "We have planned a fun afternoon with great food and outstanding local artists. I think it's a perfect way to launch our first season." 

"The Strand is dedicated to bringing new and innovative productions to Baltimore with the goal of developing a vibrant young generation of theater patrons. The Open House on the 20th is just the start," said Alison Buckley, President. 

For additional information on the free open house event, please contact Jayme Kilburn at 443-874-4917 or jkilburn@strandtheatercompany.org

The Strand Theater is a community theater dedicated to providing opportunities for women artists, writers, designers and directors. With a focus on producing original works, the Strand hopes to foster a love of theater for a new generation of patrons. 

Go to www.strandtheatercompany.org for more information. 

Open House Program Schedule

  • 4-4:20pm – King Cloud (Band)
  • 4:20-4:40pm - BIG Improv
    • Mister Licorice is part of the Baltimore Improv Group and is a long-form improv troop. Mister Licorice uses suggestions from the audience to open with monologues and then create scenes. Some of those scenes may tie in with the monologues and others will just be inspired!
  • 4:40-5pm - BIG Improv Workshop - Fundamentals
  • 5-5:20pm - Baby Aspirin (Band) – Indie, Blues, Rock
  • 5:20-5:40pm - Love the Poet
    • Michelle A. Nelson, spoken word poetry
  • 5:40-6pm - Rich Espey Playwrighting Workshop
  • 6-6:20pm - Baby Aspirin (Band)
  • 6:20-6:40pm - Ian Belknap Acting Workshop
  • 6:40-7pm - Single Carrot Performance
    • Single Carrot theatre presents a brand new, high-energy sketch comedy show. Navigating through communication breakdowns, innuendos, and societal misinterpretations, this comedy-cocktail hits you in a series of short, hilarious bursts.

 

NEWS: DC Musical is Going to Broadway!  Click above for review.

Signature Theatre, one of the Washington, DC area's most innovative theater companies, is sending its world premiere musical Glory Days to Broadway, opening on May 6, 2008.  The musical is the creation of two talented 23-year-old Washington area artists Nick Blaemire (music and lyrics) and James Gardiner (book) and was a critical success at Signature, playing to sold-out houses in January and February.  The work was staged by Signature's Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer, who had championed the students' work starting in 2004 and helped them develop the musical through advice and workshops over the following three years. 

"I'm thrilled for Signature Theatre and for theater in Washington that Glory Days is opening on Broadway.  The last show from a regional theater to transfer from Washington DC was Ford's Theatre's Don't Let this Dream Go (renamed Truly Blessed) in 1989.  It's about time that theater in Washington is once again represented on Broadway.  It's exciting for our company and audiences who have embraced the daring new work we have presented over the years," stated Schaeffer.  

Glory Days will run at Broadway's Circle in the Square Theatre (235 West 50th Street, NYC).  Previews will begin on Tuesday, April 22 at 8PM.   The production will feature the acclaimed Signature cast: Steven Booth (Will), Andrew C. Call (Andy), Adam Halpin (Skip), and Jesse JP Johnson (Jack).  Led by director Eric Schaeffer, the creative team also includes James Kronzer (scenic design), Sasha Ludwig-Siegel (costume design), Mark Lanks (lighting design) and Peter Hylenski (sound design). Vocal arrangements are by Nick Blaemire and Jesse Vargas with arrangement and orchestrations by Jesse Vargas.  

Glory Days is the story of four best friends who reunite a year after high school graduation, only to find how much they have grown apart.  As they attempt to understand each other's differences, they soon realize that nothing can compare to the glory days of high school when life was simpler.  Set to a vibrant score, Glory Days is a witty, unflinching look at four guys who refuse to be defined by generational stereotypes as they struggle to find their place in the world.  

At 23-years-old, Nick Blaemire (Music and Lyrics) is making his Broadway debut this season both as a songwriter with Glory Days and as a performer in the ensemble of Cry-Baby.  Born and raised just outside of Washington, DC, in Bethesda, MD, he attended Sidwell Friends School and then the University of Michigan, where he received his BFA in Musical Theatre in 2006.  Blaemire has composed two original musicals, an album of pop music, and has a respectable resume as an actor.  His writing has been presented at Signature, as well as the Kennedy Center, Joe's Pub, and the Lucille Lortel Theatre, among numerous other venues across the country. He recently originated the role of Abraham in the first national tour of Altar Boyz

James Gardiner (Book), is a 23-year-old College Park, Maryland native, and is making his debut on Broadway as the book writer of Glory Days.  He is currently performing the role of Gabriel in Signature's production of Kiss of the Spider Woman, part of the theater company's Kander & Ebb Celebration.  At Signature Gardiner has also performed the roles of Michael Spofford in The Witches of Eastwick and Tyler in Merrily We Roll Along, as well as performing in Saving Aimee and Funny Girl in Concert. Other performing credits include Library of Congress: West Side Story: 50th Anniversary Concert; Williamstown Theatre Festival: Home Free! (Lawrence); Round House: A Prayer For Owen Meany (Buzzy); Studio Theatre 2ndStage: Dog Sees God (Beethoven); Kennedy Center: Phantom Tollbooth (Voice of the Tollbooth, Mathemagician), The Brand New Kid (Lazlo); Woolly Mammoth/UM: The Distance From Here (Darrell). Gardiner received his BA in Theatre at the University of Maryland.   

This will be Schaeffer's second Broadway production.  Previously, he directed Putting It Together with Carol Burnett, as well as The Witches of Eastwick in London's West End. 

Glory Days will be produced on Broadway by John O'Boyle, Ricky Stevens, Richard E. Leopold and Lizzie Leopold, and Max Productions in association with Signature Theatre.

 

THEATRE EVENTS (New items in RED.)  

April 11- 20: OnStage Presents Heaven Can Wait  

The classic play tells the story of Joe Pendleton, a professional boxer and pilot who, when a plane flight does awry, has his soul pulled from his body before he has died. In Heaven, Mr. Jordan, the chief angel, is forced to find him a new body. He ends up in the form of a rich man recently murdered by his wife. The hijinx begins when Joe as Jonathan Farnsworth, falls for the lovely Bette, reunites with his manager, Max, and avoids his "wife" Julia's attacks. Meanwhile Jordan and his assistant 7013 struggle to keep Joe in line and find him a body better suited for his habitation. The play is full of laughs and fun with the sincerity and working man ethics of the theater of the 1940s. Remade as a film by Warren Beatty in the 1970s, Heaven Can Wait is a play that smiles while it asks questions about love, destiny and free will.  

The show runs April 11 – 20; Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm .  Performances will be held at St. John's United Church of Christ, 1000 S. Rolling Road, Catonsville, MD 21228.  Tickets are $12 General Admission/$10 Seniors, children under 18, groups of 10 or more and military.  Call the box office at 443--644-6481 or make a reservation on-line at www.onstageplayers.org.

 

April 17 – 27: Lost in Electroland at Theatre Project 

The Chocolate Factory Performance Collective and Towson University's MFA Theatre Program present ((( Lost in ElectroLand ))) at Theatre Project. The show is a multimedia concert retelling of Peter Pan that examines the search for happiness in a culture obsessed with lifestyle. Live original music, comedy, absurdist storytelling and a fully interactive sound and video design aid to tell a tale of processed food, online dating, video games and the world economy. Also featured are the "Syber Sirens," burlesque lady-bots who are just as happy to give you a Twinkie or a tap dance.  

Songwriter/playwright Michael Todd moved from Alaska to New York City and started creating this work.  "I was living in a tent on the side of a hill, no computer, no cell phone. I was pooping in a hole!" Todd says. "Two weeks later I'm in New York drinking low-fat peppermint lattes, debating which designer book bag made me look the most artistic. It was amazing how clearly I could see the hook of advertising and lifestyle obsession. I had to write a show about it: my departure from the simple life."  

What is a multimedia concert?  "I grew up with concept albums: Tommy, The Point, Red Headed Stranger, Joe's Garage and Jesus Christ Superstar," Todd says. "And I'd sit there in my room in suburban Oklahoma and dream about how the story could get told onstage. I never lost that fascination, and this is my newest work: a collision between performance and story."   

"I start with my songs," Todd says of his process. "Then I layer in text, sound effects and video design. I know I'm done when it makes me laugh and cry at the same time. If I'm squeamish, laughing, leaning forward, and I'm nervous and exhilarated; I think I will have created what I wanted. I think an audience is ready for this. People have been trained to process information on multiple dimensions at the same time. We are able to choose our attention between things, to be master of the remote."   

Under the helm of New York Director Eric Nightengale, who runs 78th Street Theatre Lab, ((( Lost in ElectroLand ))) stars a cast of young artists: Rachel Blank as TINK 5000, Alex Kliner as S.M.E. Jessica Knoerl as Tigress 694U, Caroline Reck as Wendy, Stacey Pounsberry as Pi-R8 Queen 2.0, Michael Todd as Peter, and Erik Trester as The Captain. Todd takes on video and sound design, Jessica Knoerl designs costumes, Ryan Pervola designs lights, and Alex Kliner leads the band. 

A story concert for the paranoid heart, ((( Lost in ElectroLand ))) is rated PG-13. WARNING: This multimedia concert contains Twinkies and Dr Pepper.  Performances are April 17 - 27, Thursday through Saturday at 8pm; Sunday at 3pm. Tickets are $20 general admission, $15 seniors and artists and $10 for students. Tickets can be purchased at www.missiontix.com. More information can be found at www.myspace.com/thisiselectroland. To make a reservation, call (410) 752-8558.

ElectroLand. You'll laugh at it. You'll spit on it. Either way, you'll recognize it. Why, you probably grew up there too.

 

April 18 – May 4: FPCT Presents The Woolgatherer 

Rose, a shy daydreamer, invites Cliff, a smart-mouthed truck driver, back to her place…and this begins this simple but complex, dark yet gentle look at love and loneliness. 

"Mastrosimone has a knack for composing wildly humorous lines at the same time that he is able to penetrate people's hearts and dreams."   -   Hollywood Reporter

"Energy, compassion and theatrical sense are there."   -   The New York Times 

The Woolgatherer is directed by Erin Billings, a graduate of Towson University's Theatre program, and a teacher in the Education Program at Fell's Point Corner Theatre in 2007.   In 2006, she was the Artistic Director of Free Space Theatre, and recently assistant directed and choreographed The Comedy of Errors at the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival with Ian Belknap. An accomplished actress, she appeared in Hair, Antigone, The Other Shore, Macbeth, Dirty Little Rooms and The Adding Machine at Towson University.  She has studied at Broadway Dance Center and the Julie Rogers Studio of Dance.  The cast of The Woolgatherer includes Vince Eustace and Sarah Zietlow

Performances of The Woolgatherer will be held on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m.  (There will be no show on Saturday, April 26th)   Call 410-276-7837 for reservations.

 

April 18 – May 11: Laurel Mill Playhouse to Present Steel Magnolias 

Laurel Mill Playhouse, located at 508 Main Street in historic Laurel, MD., is proud to present Steel Magnolias



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