Charm City Call Board: February 12 - 18

Welcome to Charm City Call Board for the week of February 12 - 18, keeping you up to date each week with all that is theater in Baltimore.      

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 BET: CSC's A Doll's House!
  • Ford's Theatre Bestows Lincoln Honors to Sandra Day O'Connor and Dr. Ben Carson!
  • Dundalk Community Theatre opens Other People's Money!
  • Spotlighters opens a revival of the smash hit Pageant!
  • Local church offers benefit performances of Nunsense A-Men!
  • Theatre Project offers World Premiere of A Summer in Sanctuary!

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

 

BROADWAYWORLD.BALTIMORE DISCOUNTS!

  • La Cage aux Folles at Toby's Dinner Theatre of Baltimore:  BWW Readers get 25% off all Thursday and Sunday Evening Performances of the award-winning musical!  Call 1-866-99TOBYS and mention this discount!  This offer good through February 24 only.
  • Off the Map at Fells Point Corner Theatre: BroadwayWorld.com readers get $2.00 of per ticket for any performance of Off the Map. To receive discount, bring a copy of the article with you to the Box Office.  See below for details about performances.
  • Pageant at Spotlighters: BroadwayWorld.com readers get $5.00 off per ticket for any performance of the hilarious musical, Pageant Order tickets online at www.spotlighters.org and use code BWW-PGT or bring a copy of this article to the box office to receive discount!  See below for details about performances.

     

 

CONTEST

  • Win a family four pack of tickets to the opening of Disney's High School Musical! Contest posted 2/11; deadline is noon, Saturday, February 16!

 

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.

Six Dead Queens... at Mobtown; Pageant at Spotlighters

  • The Comedy of Errors (Shakespearean Comedy): Baltimore Shakespeare Festival.  2/15 – 2/24.  Review to be posted 2/17.  www.baltimoreshakespeare.org or 410-366-8596.
  • Six Dead Queens…and an Inflatable Henry (US Premiere Comedy): Mobtown Players.  2/15 – 3/8.  PARENTAL ADVISORY: Not recommended for children.  www.mobtownplayers.com.  See below for article about this show!  NOTE: Opening night is SOLD OUT.  Reservations are HIGHLY recommended.
  • The Philadelphia Story (Comedy): Laurel Mill Playhouse.  2/15 – 3/9.  www.laurelmillplayhouse.org or 301-617-9906.
  • Pageant (Musical): Spotlighters Theatre.  2/15 – 3/9.  Review to be posted 2/24.  www.spotlighters.org or 410-752-1225.
  • Three Irish Plays (Drama): Performance Workshop Theatre. 2/15 – 3/16.  Review to be posted 2/18.  www.performanceworkshoptheatre.org or 410-659-7830.

 

NOW PLAYING!  Shows currently open. 

Mrs. Warren's Profession at Rep Stage; La Cage aux Folles at Toby's Dinner Theatre Baltimore

  • ◊◊◊◊◊ The Turn of the Screw (Mystery-Thriller): Everyman Theatre. Through 2/24.  1 hour, 25 minutes, no intermission.  www.everymantheatre.org or 410-752-2208.  Review posted 1/19.   BEST BET 1/22!
  • ◊◊◊ Mrs. Warren's Profession (Drama): Rep Stage.  Through 2/24.  2 hours, 30 minutes, including intermission.  Adult themes. Review posted 2/4.  www.repstage.org or 410-772-4900.
  • ◊◊◊◊ A Doll's House (Drama): Chesapeake Shakespeare Company.  Through 3/2.  Review posted 2/10.  www.chesapeakeshakespeare.com or 866-811-4111.  BEST BET 2/12!
  • ◊◊◊◊◊ La Cage aux Folles (Musical – Dinner Theatre): Toby's Dinner Theatre of Baltimore. Through 3/9.  12 hours, 35 minutes, including intermission.  Adult themes, situations.  www.tobysdinnertheatre.com or 410-649-1660 or 1-866-99TOBYS.  Review posted 1/21.  See above for BWW discount!  BEST BET 1/22!
  • ◊ 1/2 Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Drama): CENTERSTAGE.  Through 3/9.  Review posted 2/7.  www.centerstage.org or 410-332-0033.

 

The Turn of the Screw at Everyman Theatre; A Doll's House at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company

CLOSING THIS WEEK! Your last chance…

Glory Days at Signature Theatre

  • ◊◊◊◊ Glory Days (World Premiere Musical): Signature Theatre in Virginia.  Through 2/17.  85 minutes, no intermission.  Adult language and themes.  www.signature-theatre.org Review posted 1/25.  BEST BET 1/29!
  • ◊◊ 1/2 Off the Map (Drama): Fells Point Corner Theatre. Through 2/17. 1 hour, 50 minutes, including intermission.  Adult themes.  www.fpct.org or 410-276-7837.  Review posted 1/21.  See above for BWW discount!
  • ◊◊◊◊◊ The Sound of Music (Musical – Dinner Theatre): Toby's Dinner Theatre of Columbia.  Through 2/15.  2 hours, 35minutes, including intermission.  Review posted 12/10.  www.tobysdinnertheatre.com or 1-866-99TOBYS. BEST BET 12/11!

 

Off the Map at Fells Point Corner Theatre

SPECIAL THEATRE EVENTS!

 

OPENING SOON!  Shows opening in February.

  • Disney's High School Musical (Musical): Hippodrome Theatre.  2/19 – 3/2.  Review to be posted 2/20.  www.broadwayacrossamerica.com or 410-547-SEAT.
  • Other People's Money (Drama): Dundalk Community Theatre.  2/22 – 3/2.  Review to be posted 2/25.  www.ccbcmd.edu or 410-780-6369.  See article below!
  • Spinning Into Butter (Drama): Theatre Hopkins.  2/22 – 3/2.  www.jhu.edu~theatre .
  • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Musical – Dinner Theatre): Toby's Dinner Theatre of Columbia.  2/21 - 6/5.  Review to be posted TBA.  www.tobysdinnertheatre.com or 1-800-88TOBYS.
  • Hatful of Rain (Drama): Vagabonds. 2/29 - 3/30. Review to be posted 3/2.  www.vagabondplayers.com or 410-563-9135.

HELP WANTED:

REP STAGE NEEDS USHERS!

Rep Stage is still in need of ushers for its production of Mrs. Warren's Professionby George Bernard Shaw, which is running now through February 24!  Here's your chance to see this great classic play for free!

Here are the dates and times that ushers are still needed: 

Wed Feb 13 (7:30); Thurs Feb 14 (7:30); Sat, Feb 16 (2:30); Sun, Feb 17 (2:30); Fri, Feb 22 (8:00); Sat, Feb 23 (2:30 and 8:00); Sun, Feb 24 (2:30). 

Please email boxoffice@howardcc.edu to sign up, or call (410) 772-4900 during Box Office hours (Tues – Fri 12-5pm).

 

AUDITION NOTICES:

Steel Magnolias

  • WHO: Laurel Mill Playhouse
  • WHAT: Steel Magnolias by Robert Harling
  • WHEN:  February 10th and 12th at 7PM
  • WHERE:  Laurel Mill Playhouse, 508 Main St., Laurel, MD.
  • WHAT THEY ARE LOOKING FOR: 6 female roles. 
  • WHAT TO PREPARE: Director, Tricia Schwaab will have sides available for cold reading from the script.
  • PRODUCTION DATES: April 11th - May 11th on Friday and Saturday nights with two selected Sunday matinees and one selected Thursday evening performance.
  • INFORMATION: Contact Tricia Schaab at Taschwaab@aol.com or 301-221-3390 or Maureen Rogers at 301-452-2557. For further information email lmp@laurelmillplayhouse.org, call LMP at 301-617-9906, or visit www.laurelmillplayhouse.org

The Who's Tommy

  • WHO: Winters Lane Productions
  • WHAT: The Who's Tommy
  • WHEN:  Monday, February 18, 2008 and Tuesday, February 19, 2008 from 7:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.  POSSIBLE CALLBACKS: Wednesday, February 20, 2007 @ 7:00 p.m. (if necessary)
  • WHERE:  CCBC Catonsville --- 800 South Rolling Road, Q Building, Catonsville, MD 21228
  • WHAT TO PREPARE: 32 bars of a pop, rock, or musical theatre selection. Be ready to dance.
  • WHAT THEY ARE LOOKING FOR:
    • Tommy, a young genius who becomes a rock star—strong rock tenor age 17-24 with appealing stage presence and that indefinable "it" factor 
    • Captain Walker, Tommy's handsome father—strong tenor who ages from early 20's to early 40's during the play, must be physically able to pass on both ages.  Strong, commanding presence.
    • Mrs. Walker, Tommy's mother—strong belt alto who ages from 20-40 during the play, must be physically able to pass on both ages.
    • Uncle Ernie, Captain Walker's alcoholic older brother—character baritone who ages from 30-50 during the play.  He's the stereotypically creepy uncle everyone denies having. 
    • Cousin Kevin, Tommy's cruel and abusive babysitter—strong pop tenor age 17-24 with bad boy looks and attitude 
    • Sally Simpson, Tommy's biggest fan—pop soprano age 15-23, the typical teenage girl next door.
    • The Gypsy, (a/k/a the Acid Queen), a heroine addict and prostitute—typically African-American R&B/rock alto age 21-35, hardened, street-looking, and very sexually charged.  Usually associated with a Tina Turner vocal style and presence, but other character types will be entertained
    • Tommy (age 4 & age 10), both parts boy sopranos who look the appropriate age, bear a passable physical resemblance to adult Tommy, and must be willing to change hair color to match him if needed.
    • Adult Ensemble—various adults of all ages and types who portray cameo characters such as Kevin's and Sally's parents, specialist doctors who treat Tommy's catatonic condition, soldiers, security guards, and London folk
    • Youth Ensemble—various teens of all physical types age 14-25 who play Kevin's thug comrades, rock fans, and  the lads and lasses of London
  • SHOW DATES: July 17 – August 3, 2008
  • MORE INFORMATION:  For more information contact Troy Hopper at (877) 718-7977 x703 or troy@winterslaneproductions.org       

 

Variations Project

  • WHO: Run of the Mill Theater
  • WHAT: Variations Project
  • WHEN: February 26th and 27th 2008
  • WHERE: Theater Project, 45 West Preston Street  Baltimore, MD
  • WHAT TO DO: To schedule an audition please send your head-shot and resume to
    Runofthemilltheater@gmail.com with "Variations Audition" in the subject line.

 

Pump Boys & Dinettes, Into the Woods, Anansi: Tales of the Trickster Spider, and Fabulous Post-Show Review

  • WHO: Theatre on the Hill
  • WHAT: Pump Boys & Dinettes, Into the Woods, Anansi: Tales of the Trickster Spider, and Fabulous Post-Show Review
  • WHEN: Auditions for those 18 and over will be held 10 a.m.-5 p.m. March 8 in WMC Alumni Hall at McDaniel College. Apprentice candidates ages 15-17 may also audition at this time.  Appointments are required for auditions and can be made by calling (410)
    857-2599.
  • WHAT TO PREPARE:  Participants should prepare and bring sheet music for 32 bars of a show
    tune, prepare a one-minute contemporary comedic monologue, and dress for a dance audition. Any adult male singers or actors who play guitar or standing bass should bring their instrument with them.
  • PAY: All adult company members are paid and housing is available.
  • WHAT THEY ARE LOOKING FOR:  All roles except L.M. in Pump Boys & Dinettes and narrator/mysterious man in Into the Woods are open.
  • SHOW DATES: Pump Boys & Dinettes will run at 7:30 p.m. on June 20, 21, 27, 28 and July 5. Matinee shows at 1:30 p.m. will run June 28 and July 5.  Into the Woods will run at 7:30 p.m. on July 18, 19, 25, 26, Aug. 1and Aug. 2. There will be a matinee performance at 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 2.  Anansi the Clever Spider will run at 1:30 p.m. on July 12, 13, 19, 20and 26.  Late Night Post-Show Revue, a cabaret-style performance, will run at10 p.m. June 27, 28, and July 5; 7:30 p.m. on July 11-12; and 10:15 on July 19 and 26.

 

BACKSTAGE BABBLE!  News, Best Bets, etc.

BEST BET: CSC's A Doll's House

Chesapeake Shakespeare Company opened a nearly flawless production of Henrik Ibsen's classic drama A Doll's House this past weekend, and it is simply not to be missed.  With superb direction by Kevin Costa and riveting performances by leads Patrick Kilpatrick and Christina Schlegel, A Doll's House returns CSC to the top of the heap for local classic theatre!  See above for performance details.  Reserve today!

 

NEWS: Local Church to Present Benefit Performances of Nunsense A-Men!

For three nights only, the Little Sisters of Hoboken will be live on stage at the First United Church, UCC to benefit the church and its programs.  This version of the popular Nunsense series, Dan Goggin's Nunsense A-Men! is performed by an all male cast, and will be presented for three nights only – February 22 – 24.

Featuring a cast of local favorites - Eddie Peters, James Hunnicutt, Drew Gaver, Jeffrey Hawks and Tom Burns - the show is under the direction of Gregory Dorsey.   

In addition to the show, audiences will be treated to a dinner theatre style venue – seating and dinner begins at 6:30 PM, and curtain is 8PM.  Tickets are $20 per adult, $15 per youth (ages 12 – 16.  Table rates are available through jwilson@ihip.com.  The performance will be at 1728 Eastern Avenue, Baltimore 21231, between Ann and Broadway.

 

NEWS: Ford's Theatre Presents Lincoln Medals to Sandra Day O'Connor and Dr. Ben Carson

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and Dr. Benjamin S. Carson, Sr. have been named 2008 recipients of the Ford's Theatre Lincoln Medal.

Given by Ford's Theatre, the site of one of the most significant events in American history, the Ford's Theatre Lincoln Medal is an award given to individuals who through their body of work, accomplishments or personal attributes exemplify the lasting legacy and mettle of character embodied by the most beloved president in our nation's history, President Abraham Lincoln.

As the kickoff to milestone cultural programming and events leading up to the Bicentennial of President Abraham Lincoln's birth in February of 2009, the President and Mrs. Bush hosted an event honoring President Abraham Lincoln's 199th birthday at the White House on Sunday, February 10, 2008.  The evening reception was held in honor of President Lincoln's birthday and the presentation of the Ford's Theatre Lincoln Medals by President Bush.  Through the Lincoln Bicentennial in 2009 and on, Ford's Theatre will bestow the Ford's Theatre Lincoln Medal on those whose work has illuminated President Abraham Lincoln's life, legacy, and death in unparalleled ways through scholarship or in support of the institution.

The evening's celebration began with author and historian Richard Norton Smith speaking on presidential legacies and actor Craig Wallace reading the Emancipation Proclamation.  It continued with historian Dr. Allen Guelzo and actor Avery Brooks sharing anecdotes and the actual words of Abraham Lincoln. 

Last year at the celebration of President Lincoln's birthday President Bush remarked, "We remember Abraham Lincoln's eloquence, his wisdom, his unshakeable faith in the enduring truth that we're all created equal. He worked to renew the promise of America's founding, and to build a more perfect union for all Americans." 

"This year's recipients, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and Dr. Benjamin S. Carson, Sr." says Ford's Theatre Chairman of the Board of Trustees Wayne R. Reynolds, "have connected us to President Abraham Lincoln bringing his legacy alive through their groundbreaking careers and life's work."

Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor made history as the first woman ever to serve on our nation's highest court.  Ford's Theatre Producing Director Paul R. Tetreault says "Justice O'Connor's 24 years and four months of service on the Court reflected a Lincolnesque ability to reach across both sides of the ideological divide to forge decisions that reflected the larger consensus of American society.  Her temperament, fairness, intellectual capacity, and devotion to the public good characterized her years of faithful service."

Dr. Benjamin S. Carson, Sr. is director of pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center, a position he has held since 1984. He also holds appointments in the departments of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery, and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. One would think that growing up in a single parent home with dire poverty, poor grades, and a horrible temper would prevent the realization of Dr. Carson's childhood dream to become a doctor but his mother, who like Abraham Lincoln, believed in education, insisted that her son learn and value the skill of reading. 

In 1987, Dr. Carson made medical history with the first successful operation to separate Siamese twins born joined at the back of the head. In 2001, Dr. Carson was named by CNN and TIME Magazine as one of the nation's 20 foremost physicians and scientists.  That same year, he was selected by the Library of Congress as one of 89 "Living Legends."   He is a best-selling author, Gifted Hands and Think Big, and is president and co-founder of the Carson Scholars Fund, which recognizes young people of all backgrounds for exceptional academic and humanitarian accomplishments.

Tetreault says "Dr. Benjamin S. Carson has touched thousands of young lives, not only through his work as a pediatric neurosurgeon, but also through inspirational speaking and his drive for excellence.  Through scholarships and medical assistance for children unable to pay for medical services, Dr. Carson promotes and embodies the very characteristics of intellectual and humanitarian leadership."

The celebration of President Lincoln's birthday and awarding of Ford's Theatre Lincoln Medals at the White House on February 10th is another example of how Ford's Theatre will bring America's most beloved president to center stage for the Bicentennial celebration in 2009.  Programming will include a commissioned play about Lincoln and his presidency as well as a series of Monday night special events that will include lectures, panel discussions, readings by theatre artists, Lincoln scholars, and noted personalities. Ford's Theatre will also inaugurate its first summer season with a presentation of programming tied to the Civil War. A complete announcement of Bicentennial programming and initiatives will be made at a later date.

Ford's Theatre is the only cultural landmark where diverse audiences of all ages can experience Abraham Lincoln's life, legacy, and love of the performing arts. Ford's Theatre Lincoln Medal recipients illuminate Lincoln's legacy of leadership, service, humanity, wisdom, eloquence and vision in unparalleled ways and, as Ford Theatre does, serve as a connection point and reminder of Lincoln's legacy.

 

NEWS: FPCT & CTC TEAM UP TO RAISE FUNDS FOR THE TROOPS WITH ROUNDING THIRD                                                            

As part of Operation Baseball Diplomacy to benefit our troops In Iraq, Catonsville Theatre Company, a committee of the Catonsville Chapter of the CCBC Alumni Association present an encore presentation of the comedy, Rounding Third, by Richard Dresser, at the Fells Point Corner Theatre, 251 S. Ann Street, Baltimore, MD 21231. This special promotion to benefit our troops is 3 performances only; Friday, February 29 and Saturday, March 1 @ 8 PM and Sunday, March 2 @ 3 PM.   Ticket prices are $17.  Donate baseballs and/or gloves (new or used) ticket price is $10.  All donated equipment and equipment purchased with a portion of the proceeds, will benefit the troops in Iraq. 

For tickets or information call 410/455-4400 or email catheatrecompany@aol.com 

 

THEATRE EVENTS (New items in RED.)

February 15 – March 8: MOBTOWN PRESENTS US PREMIERE OF SIX DEAD QUEENS…

Please note:  Opening night is sold out.  Seating at the Mobtown Theater is by general admission, so please arrive early to secure a good seat.

Marriage is tough business, even under the best of circumstances.  If she's not careful, a girl could lose her head ... literally.  In fact, several women did when they married the most demanding husband in history, England's King Henry VIII.  Next month, the Mobtown Players take an irreverent look at the lives and deaths of Henry's wives when they stage the U.S.  premiere of Six Dead Queens…and an Inflatable Henry.

Created by The Foursight Theatre Company of Wolverhampton, England, Six Dead Queens… is an experimental comic musical packed with intrigue, rowdy good humor and duels of words. The action takes place in eternity where Henry's consorts have been trapped together for 500 years in the same bedroom they fought to win in life.  Wit, candor and knitting needles fly as each fights to assert her position as the One True Queen. 

The production runs February 15 through March 8 with performances Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm.  There will be two special matinees on Sundays, February 24 and March 2.  Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students and seniors and are available at the box office or online.

Parents are encouraged to leave their children at home, as the cheeky dialogue is aimed squarely at adults.

Director Erin Riley first saw Six Dead Queens while studying for her theater degree in England.  "I've been dying to produce it ever since," she says.  "The piece is a dynamic and unique picture of six women who were almost completely overshadowed by their husband in the history books. 

"And let's face it," she adds, "history isn't always truthful or kind.  But it's sure fun when it's rewritten!"

Riley's cast includes some of Baltimore's best-known actresses. The six queens are Virginia Weeks, Stephanie Ranno, Melissa McGinley, Kristen Zwobot, Hannah Marr, and Kerry Brady.  Brady is especially familiar; this is her third turn on the Mobtown stage this year. 

Audiences accustomed to Mobtown's spare productions will find Six Dead Queens… a feast for the senses.  The costumes are traditional Tudor in jewel tones, complete with original jewelry design.  The music is an extremely challenging blend of madrigal style in 4 - 6 part harmony with infusions of Motown, Latin and Jazz styles.  And despite Mobtown's small stage, the set boasts a working fireplace, a large projection screen, and a bed large enough to fit all 6 women AND spin in a complete circle. 

Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. The Mobtown Theater is located at Meadow Mill, 3600 Clipper Mill Road in Hampden. To purchase tickets or find directions to the Mobtown Theater, please call 410-467-3057 or visit www.mobtown.net.

February 15 – March 9: Spotlighters Presents the 10 Year Reunion of  Pageant!

Spotlighters Theatre brings the beauty back to Baltimore with Pageant! The Ten Year Reunion brings back the Regional Finalist in the Miss Glamouresse Pageant to Spotlighters stage, where 10 years ago, it was the longest running show in Spotlighters history, running 9 weeks, before beginning a tour of Baltimore and Howard counties.


Pageant takes on beauty pageants - from the in-side out! And with a large dose of comedy! Watch the contestants compete in Evening Gown, Talent, Swimsuit, Physical Fitness, Spokesmodel and finally Beauty Crisis Call - - - all for the title of Miss Glamouresse!

Terry J. Long directs this hilarious romp through clouds of hairspray, mounds of facial spackle, thousands of sequins. Jason Kimmell puts the "girls" through their dance paces, while Robert A. Gee has our songbirds singing their hearts out! Denise Umland has dressed our lovelies from head to toe, to dazzle and beguile our audience judges! At each performance four audience members will be selected to score our beauties and select the next Miss Glamouresse.


Join veteran host, Frankie Cavalier (David Minges), and our lovely regional finalists: Miss Deep South, Laurinda Summerford (Jim Waltz); Miss Great Plains, Bonnie Louise Cutlett (Douglas Lisenbee); Miss Bible Belt, Ruth Anne Ruth (Stuart Goldstone); Miss Texas, Kitty-Bob Ames (Richard Goldberg); Miss West Coast, Karma Quinn (David C. Allen) and Miss Industrial Northeast, Consuela Manuela Rafaela Lopez (Brian Jacobs).


Don't miss the fun! Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for students, seniors and Baltimore Theatre Alliance members. Order on line at www.spotlighters.org - just click on TICKETS! Running Feb 15 through Mar 9, with showtimes: Fri & Sat at 8pm, Sun at 2pm and one Thur performance: March 6, at 8pm.

 

February 21 – March 2: Theatre Project Presents World Premiere of A Summer in Sanctuary

Theatre Project presents the world premiere of A Summer in Sanctuary, an autobiographical piece by performance poet/playwright Al Letson. Set in the summer of 2006, the show is based on Letson's experience as a counselor at Sanctuary on 8th Street, a community center in an economically challenged neighborhood in Jacksonville, Fla. Through monologue, song, poetry and multimedia, Letson challenges perceptions about race and class, as he struggles to connect with the disadvantaged children of the Sanctuary. Funny, poignant and ultimately inspiring, A Summer in Sanctuary will take you into the heart of a community and leave you with a better understanding of the world.

"Working at the Sanctuary was an education for me, not just on poverty, but about myself," Letson says. "It was an experience that taught me so much about who I am and the man I want to be."

A Summer in Sanctuary is directed by Gary Anderson. The show runs at Theatre Project Feb. 21-Mar. 2. Tickets are $20 general admission, $15 seniors and artists and $10 students. Tickets can be purchased in advance at www.missiontix.com. For reservations, please call 410-752-8558.

 

February 22 – March 2: DCT Presents Other People's Money

The Outer Critics Circle's Best Off-Broadway Play of 1989 is a dazzlingly sharp comedic drama combining the dizzying workings of big business with a classic battle of the sexes. Lawrence Garfinkle—aka "Larry The Liquidator"—is a corporate raider who meets his match when his attempts to take over a New England wire and cable company are thwarted by sexy attorney Kate Sullivan, whom he immediately falls for. Both Kate and her smitten adversary are first-class manipulators—but how far will they go to close the deal? If the stockholders back his take over, he will make a bundle but what will happen to the 1200 employees and the community when he liquidates the assets?

Best described by New York theatre critic John Simon as "Funny, serious, suspenseful, disturbing, but above all expertly crafted," this gripping economic drama will make you want to stand up and cheer for the little guy! See how these workers fight back to protect their company and their small town life.

Director John Amato brings together the following cast:  Frank Vince as Lawrence Garfield, Elisa Dugan as Kate Sullivan, Mike Styer as Andrew Jorgenson, Jim Knost as Bill Coles, and Marianne Shaughnessy as Bea Sullivan.

Show Dates are February 22, 23, 24, 29, March 1 and 2nd.  Friday/Saturday showtime 8pm, Sunday 3pm.  Tickets $21 General, $18 Senior and $13 Student.  Box Office phone number – 410-780-6369

 

Through  March 2: Chesapeake Shakespeare Company to Present Ibsen's Classic A Doll's House

The Chesapeake Shakespeare Company will produce the immortal "door slam heard around the world" with its Classics-in-the-Box production of Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, February 8-March 2, 2008 at the Howard County Center for the Arts in Ellicott City, Maryland.

A Doll's House, a searing drama that unintentionally helped fuel the women's movement of the late 19th century, follows Nora, the perfect wife and mother, who always has time for her children while satisfying her husband's every whim.  To her husband, she is a little doll.  A riveting chain of events leads to Nora's realization that she controls her own future.  "The door slam heard around the world" is the critics' characterization of Nora's final action, and the start of Nora's new future.

The play was shocking in its time because Nora's empowerment and the decision she makes in its wake was the most profoundly feminist statement yet seen on European stages.   A Doll's House was also particularly unique in its time for focusing on a female protagonist.

Directing A Doll's House is company member and Education Director Kevin Costa.  Dr. Costa brings a wealth of professional directing and acting experience from theaters across the country. Past credits with CSC include: Mr. Purgon in The Imaginary Invalid, Grumio in Taming of the Shrew, several roles in King Lear, Touchstone in As You Like It and several roles in Henry V.   Dr. Costa is also the Drama Department Chair at the McDonogh School in Owings Mills, Maryland.

 "Our hope is to re-examine, collaboratively, the fundamental predicaments at the heart of this play. Why is Nora's plight still compelling 127 years after the play's first appearance? Why do we remain drawn to her situation?  Moreover, what does Ibsen explore about the human situation through each person in this timely drama?  Like Nora at the end of the play, we can't – and perhaps shouldn't – have a definitive answer.  This production, rather, will provide the opportunity for the cast to attempt answers with the full knowledge that we may only find more questions," explains Costa.

The cast is headlined by CSC Company Members Patrick Kilpatrick, Christina Schlegel, Scott Alan Small and Charlie Mitchell.

Tickets for A Doll's House can be purchased online at www.chesapeakeshakespeare.com, by calling 866.811.4111 or prior to the performance at the box office.  Groups of 10 or more, please call 410.313.8874 for group rates.  For general information, call the CSC offices at 410.313.8874.

Through March 8: MET to Present Killer Laughs with Letts' Killer Joe

"A normal person is just someone you don't know real well."

So says Tracy Letts, playwright and author of Maryland Ensemble's latest mainstage production, Killer Joe.  This dark comedy delves into the idea that under the surface of every seemingly 'normal' person, family or relationship, there lurks the possibility of madness, absurdity and evil. 

Killer Joe is a brutally funny and disturbing play, a black comedy of deplorable manners.  Chris needs money, a lot of money. With his father Ansel and stepmother Sharla, Chris hires Killer Joe Cooper to assassinate his mother.  But when Mom's insurance payout doesn't go as planned, Joe demands a different form of currency, leading to a climax that is both bloody and surprisingly redemptive.  The final blackout comes on an unexpected fresh start - for some of the characters.

"Letts is a very exciting playwright in our country today," says MET Producing Artistic Director Tad Janes. "After reading his play, our company was enthralled at the possibility of doing it. It's funny, it's intense and it has a lot of attributes our company likes in a play."

Featuring the talents of MET Ensemble Members Matt Baughman, Amy Easton, Julie Herber, Tad Janes, Gené Fouché (Director) and MET regular Denny Grizzle, Killer Joe is not for everyone.  Its poetic qualities notwithstanding, it is dark, obscene and violent.  Due to language, violence, drug use and nudity, Killer Joe is recommended for mature audiences only.

"This is a difficult play in terms of content, that's for sure," says director Gené Fouché.  "But despite that, it's an exciting and thought-provoking piece of theatre which is why it was chosen for our season.  The fact that it's live makes it so controversial.  On film, this same story wouldn't raise an eyebrow.  Killer Joe is fast, funny, dangerous and tragic – it has all the ingredients for great theatre."

This "Shepard-esque" thriller won awards and rave reviews in London and off-Broadway. Alternating between humor and menace, Killer Joe is at once clever, suspenseful, subtle, complex, deeply funny and riveting.

Tracy Letts was born and raised in Oklahoma. His first play, Killer Joe premiered in Chicago in1993, and has since been performed in ten countries in over a dozen languages. His second play, Bug premiered in London in 1996 and was made into a film, starring Ashley Judd, this past year.  His play August: Osage County, currently running on Broadway, looks like the play to beat for the Tony Award this year.

Killer Joe opens February 8th and runs through March 8th.  Tickets are $22 for adults and $19 for students and seniors.  For tickets or more information call 301-694-4744 or visit www.marylandensemble.org

 



Related Articles

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...)