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Charm City Call Board: February 26 - March 3

Welcome to Charm City Call Board for the week of February 26 – March 3, 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!:

  • JUST ADDED!  New discount for Pageant at Spotlighters for Thursday, March 6th!
  • BEST BET: 12 Queens – 6 at Mobtown and 6 at Spotlighters!
  • 2008 Helen Hayes Awards Announced!
  • World Premiere Musical at McDaniel College!
  • Kid-friendly Shows at MET and Children's Playhouse!
  • New Audition Notices!
  • Plus! News of FPCT!
  • And…the March list of openings!

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

 

BROADWAYWORLD.BALTIMORE DISCOUNTS!

 

  • Annie at The Warner Theatre in Washington, DC:
    • The Leapin' Lizards Leap Year Discount! $20.00 off regularly priced tickets for the Friday, February 29th performance!  Go to www.ticketmaster.com or call 202.397.7328.  Use password: LEAP.
    • The Pet Lovers Discount! 50% off regularly priced tickets for the February 26th, 27th and 28th performances!  Go to www.ticketmaster.com or call 202.397.7328.  Use password: SANDY. 
  • Pageant at Spotlighters: BWW readers get $5.00 off per ticket!  Go to www.spotlighters.org click on "tickets", and use code "BWW-PGT" or print out this article and bring it to the Box Office to receive this discount!
  • Pageant at Spotlighters: EXTRA SPECIAL DEAL!  See the Glamouresse Girls on Thursday, March 6 at 8PM for HALF PRICE!!!  That's right!  Each ticket is only $9.00 for BroadwayWorld Readers!  Go to www.spotlighters.org, click on TICKETS and use discount code BWW-PGT5 or call 410-752-1225 and use the same code when making your reservation!

     

 

CONTESTS

There are no contests currently running.  Look for one 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.

  • ◊◊ Hatful of Rain (Play): Vagabond Players. 2/29 – 3/30.  Review to be posted soon. www.vagabondplayers.com or 410-563-9135

IN PREVIEWS!

  • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Musical – Dinner Theatre): Toby's Dinner Theatre of Columbia.  2/21 - 6/5.  Review to be posted 3/8.  www.tobysdinnertheatre.com or 1-800-88TOBYS.

NOW PLAYING!  Shows currently open. 

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead at CENTERSTAGE

  • ◊◊◊◊◊ La Cage aux Folles (Musical – Dinner Theatre): Toby's Dinner Theatre of Baltimore. Through 3/9.  2 hours, 35 minutes, including intermission.  Adult themes, situations.  www.tobysdinnertheatre.com or 410-649-1660 or 1-866-99TOBYS.  Review posted 1/21.  BEST BET 1/22!
  • ◊ 1/2 Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead(Drama): CENTERSTAGE.  Through 3/9. 2 hours, 40 minutes, including intermission.  Review posted 2/7.  www.centerstage.org or 410-332-0033.
  • ◊◊◊◊◊ Six Dead Queens…and an Inflatable Henry(US Premiere Comedy): Mobtown Players.  Through 3/8. 90 minutes, no intermission.  Review posted 2/23. PARENTAL ADVISORY: Not recommended for children.  www.mobtownplayers.com See below for article about this show.  Reservations are HIGHLY recommended.  BEST BET 2/26!
  • The Philadelphia Story(Comedy): Laurel Mill Playhouse.  Through 3/9.  www.laurelmillplayhouse.org or 301-617-9906.
  • ◊◊◊◊ 1/2 Pageant (Musical): Spotlighters Theatre.  Through 3/9.  Review posted 2/25.  www.spotlighters.org or 410-752-1225.  BEST BET 2/26!
  • Three Irish Plays (Drama): Performance Workshop Theatre. Through 3/16.   www.performanceworkshoptheatre.org or 410-659-7830.

 

Six Dead Queens...and an Inflatable Henry at Mobtown

CLOSING THIS WEEK! Your last chance…

Disney's High School Musical at the Hippodrome

Disney's HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL National Tour. ©2007, Disney. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

  • ◊◊◊◊ A Doll's House (Drama): Chesapeake Shakespeare Company.  Through 3/2.  2 hours, 40 minutes, including intermission.  Review posted 2/10.  www.chesapeakeshakespeare.com or 866-811-4111.  BEST BET 2/12!
  • ◊◊◊ 1/2 Disney's High School Musical(Musical): Hippodrome Theatre.  Through 3/2.  Review posted 2/20.  www.broadwayacrossamerica.com or 410-547-SEAT.
  • Other People's Money(Drama): Dundalk Community Theatre.  Through 3/2.  www.ccbcmd.edu or 410-780-6369.
  • Spinning Into Butter (Drama): Theatre Hopkins.  Through 3/2.  www.jhu.edu~theatre .

 

OPENING SOON! 

  • Bring Me Giants (World Premiere Musical): McDaniel College.  3/5 – 8.  Review to be posted 3/6.  410.848.7000 or www.mcdaniel.edu.
  • Noises Off (Comedy): Towson University.  3/6 – 13.  Review to be posted 3/9.  410.704.ARTS or www.towson.edu
  • Rent (Musical): Hippodrome Theatre.  3/7 – 9.  410.547.SEAT or www.broadwayacrossamerica.com
  • Kiss of the Spider Woman (Musical): Signature Theatre.  3/11 – 4/20.  Review to be posted 3/18.  703.820.9771 or www.signature-theatre.org.
  • Sects and Violins (Sketch Comedy): Single Carrot Theatre.  3/13 – 29.  Review to be posted 3/16.  443.844.9253 or www.singlecarrot.com.
  • A Little Night Music (Musical): CENTERSTAGE.  3/13 – 4/13.  Review to be posted 3/20.  Look for an interview with Barbara Walsh soon!  410.332.0033 or www.centerstage.org.
  • Three Days of Rain (Play): Fells Point Corner Theatre.  3/14 – 4/13.  Review to be posted 3/17.  410.276.7837 or www.fpct.org.
  • The Wizard of Oz (Musical – Dinner Theatre): Toby's Dinner Theatre of Baltimore.  3/15 – 6/8.  Review TBA.  1.866.99TOBYS or www.tobysdinnertheatre.com
  • Gem of the Ocean (Regional Premiere Drama): Everyman Theatre.  3/19 – 4/27.  Review to be posted 3/22.  410.752.2208 or www.everymantheatre.org.
  • From Tel Aviv (Performance Piece): CENTERSTAGE.  3/20 – 29.  410.332.0033 or www.centerstage.org.
  • Love, Sex and the IRS (Comedy): Laurel Mill Playhouse.  3/12 – 4/6.  Review to be posted 3/23.  301.617.9906 or www.laurelmillplayhouse.org.
  • 4 by Tenn (Drama): Spotlighters Theatre.  3/21 – 4/13.  Review to be posted 3/24.  410.752.1225 or www.spotlighters.org.
  • Camelot (Musical): Hippodrome Theatre.  3/26 – 4/6.  Review to be posted 3/26.  410.547.SEAT or www.broadwayacrossamerica.com.
  • Thom Pain (One Man Play): Rep Stage.  3/26 – 4/13.  Review to be posted 3/31.  410.772.4900 or www.repstage.org.

 

HELP WANTED 

Stage Manager Needed

OnStage, located in Catonsville, MD., is looking for a stage manager for Heaven Can Wait.  The show is in rehearsal now and will open on April 4, 2008 and run through April 20. The show runs for 3 weekends on Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm.  If you are interested, please contact Marie Sproul at 410-598-0572. or Maureen Rogers at maureencrogers@gmail.com.

 

AUDITION NOTICES:

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.

 

I Never Sang for My Father

  • WHO: Spotlighters, directed by Audra Mains
  • WHEN: Saturday, March 8 - 11am - 2pm and Sunday, March 9 - 6pm - 9pm
  • WHAT TO BRING: Please bring headshot and resume, and be prepared to read sides from the script.  Open Call - No Appointment Necessary.  Actors will be reading in groups of 2 or more.
  • PERFORMANCE DATES:  July 11 - Aug 3, 2008 (Fri & Sat 8pm, Sun 2pm)
  • CONTACT: If you are unable to make the Mar 8 & 9 auditions, please contact Audra Mains at Audra.Mains@gmail.com to schedule an audition time before Mar 8th.
  • WHAT THEY ARE LOOKING FOR:
    • GENE:  Male (age 30-45)  Narrator of the story.  The son of Tom and Margaret Garrison.  A widower who is searching for a way to connect with his father.
    • TOM:  Male (age 55-75)  Loves to relive "the good old days" and tell anyone who will listen his life story.  Very "Willy Loman"-esque in his mannerisms and attitude. 
    • MARGARET:  Female (age 55-75) The glue that holds her family together.  Worries more about everyone else than herself and is constantly making sure she's not a bother to anyone.  Very loving and sentimental.  Has more knowledge than she is given credit for. 
    • ALICE:  Female (age 35-50)  Gene's sister.  Lives in Chicago after being thrown out of the family by Tom for marrying a Jewish man.  Very independent and pushes Gene to have a back bone. 
    • PORTER/WAITER – younger male – porter at the train station, waiter at the rotary club 
    • MARY/NURSE – younger female – Irish waitress at Schraft's; Margaret's nurse who works for Dr. Mayberry 
    • REVEREND PELL – middle-aged male - Local minister, has known the Garrison family for a while 
    • MARVIN SCOTT – older male – family friend; local funeral director 
    • DR. MAYBERRY – male – family physician; has been treating both Tom and Margaret for at least a 5 years

 

Once Upon a Mattress 

  • WHO: Phoenix Festival Theater, a community theater at Harford Community College WHEN: Saturday, March 8, noon-4 p.m., and Sunday, March 9, 2-4 p.m.
  • WHERE: Chesapeake Theater. 
  • PERFORMANCE DATES: The play, with musical direction from Russell Gartner, the choreography of Bambi Nevel Johnson, and directed by John Desmone, will be performed June 6-8 and 13-14.
  • DETAILS: Auditions are on a first-come, first-served basis; no appointment is needed.  All roles are open; anyone 16 years of age and older may audition.
  • WHAT TO BRING: Those auditioning should bring sheet music; an accompanist will be provided.  Comfortable clothing and footwear should be worn for musical/dance auditions. 
  • FOR MORE INFORMATION: The Chesapeake Theater is located in the Chesapeake Center on the campus of Harford Community College.  For further information, contact Cultural Events Director Susan Nicolaides, at: snicolai@harford.edu or 410-836-4340.

 

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, 20 and 26.  Late Night Post-Show Revue, a cabaret-style performance, will run at 10 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. (New items in RED.)

Pageant at Spotlighters

BEST BET: Comedy, Drama, Musical, 12 Queens!

It is rare indeed that the Baltimore are has two sizzling hot tickets!  The first is the triumphant US Premiere of Six Dead Queens…and an Inflatable Henry at Mobtown Players in Hampden.  The show features high production values, excellent direction and a veritable study in ensemble acting.  These queens depart Baltimore on March 8th.

Six more queens of an entirely different sort take the stage through March 9 at Spotlighters in Mt. Vernon.  And these girls have been around the block before – 10 years ago, that is as Pageant makes its own triumphant return to Charm City.  Competing in a live beauty pageant each night, the audience helps select a new Miss Glamouresse 2008.

Tickets for both shows are selling fast.  But you really don't want to miss either show!  Information on how to get tickets is above.  (Pageant has a discount for BWW readers.)

NEWS: Toby's Titanic Nominated for 4 Helen Hayes Awards!

Titanic: The Musical a 4 Time Helen Hayes Award Nominee!

Congratulations to Toby, the cast, crew and staff of Toby's Dinner Theatre of Columbia on their 4 Helen Hayes Award nominations for Titanic: The MusicalToby Orenstein and Larry Munsey were nominated for their direction, and Christopher Youstra was nominated for his musical direction of this epic show.  The production itself was nominated for Best Resident Musical

Other shows that played DC and Baltimore in 2007 that were nominated include: Avenue Q, Doubt, and My Fair Lady.  The first two were named Best Touring Productions by this site, and actors in all three were Helen Hayes nominated (ands recognized as the Best of 2007 here) including Rob McClure and Kelli Sawyer of Avenue Q, Cherry Jones, Chris McGarry and Lisa Joyce of Doubt, and Lisa O'Hare of My Fair Lady.  All three productions are nominated for Outstanding Non-Resident Production.

The Helen Hayes Awards are given out in late April.

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.)

March 1 – 16: Peter Pan at Children's Playhouse of Maryland 

Children's Playhouse of Maryland, Inc., in residence at CCBC Essex, presents Peter Pan, 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, March 1 and 2, 8 and 9 and 15 and 16 and 3 p.m. Saturday, March 15 in the J Building Lecture Hall (J-137) on the Essex campus, 7201 Rossville Blvd. All seats are $10 each. This production stars Bradley Bowers of Towson as Peter and Jamie Watson of Beverly Hills in Northeast Baltimore as Wendy. Bowers recently appeared in the off Broadway play Crossing Brooklyn and was young Tarzan in Tarzan on Broadway. For tickets and information, call the CCBC Box Office at 410-780-6369.

  

March 1 – April 19: The Fun Company at MET presents Children's Show 

Hold on to your Pasta Pot!  The Fun Company is proud to present their first production of the new year, Strega Nona.  Full of slapstick comedy, boys in dresses, magic potions, bad Italian accents and PLENTY of Pasta to go around, Strega Nona promises to hit the spot.  Don't miss out on the party, the fun starts March 1st! 

Based on the popular children's book written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola, Strega Nona follows an elderly lady who helps her fellow villagers by curing their troubles with her magic.  These problems could range from headaches to finding husbands to ridding people of their hideous warts.  All is calm in their tiny Italian town until Strega Nona, in desperate need of help, hires a bumbling Italian vagabond named Big Anthony to be her house attendant.  A simple man, Big Anthony is only in need of something to eat and a place to sleep.   Until he finds out that Strega Nona is handing out free magic lessons.  If you know magic, you don't have to work right?  Jealousy gets the best of him as he watches her beautiful pupil, Bambelona, training to be a Strega (Italian for Witch).  Unfortunately for Big Anthony, boys can not be Stregas, only girls. Hilarity ensues as Big Anthony digs deeper and deeper to fulfill his dream in becoming the first male witch in history. 

"This show is extremely fun to do", said Amy Easton, who plays Bambalona.  "I think kids are really going to have a blast watching it."   

Matt Baughman, who plays Big Anthony explains, "The physical comedy that I do can be hard on the body but the toughest part of this show are the Italian accents."  According to Baughman, the director wanted every character to have Italian accents.  "I think it actually adds a little more comedy to the play.  Luckily, since I am in 'disguise' for some of the show, I get to do other voices." 

Fun Company Founder and Artistic Director Julie Herber and Fun Company Producer & Production Stage Manager Brian Irons have assembled an All-Star who's who of Frederick favorites. Joining Baughman and Easton are James MaGarvey as Papa Bamba and Karen Paone as the notorious Strega Nona.    

Strega Nona performs every Saturday at 2:00pm from March 1st – April 19th at The Maryland Ensemble Theatre (31 W. Patrick Street, Frederick, MD 21701).  All tickets are $12.  For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit our website at www.marylandensemble.org or call 301-694-4744.  BIRTHDAY PACKAGES ARE AVAILABLE!

 

Through 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.

 

Through  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.

 

March 5 – 8: World Premiere of Bring Me Giants at McDaniel College 

McDaniel actors will perform the world premiere of Bring Me Giants, a musical based on Cyrano de Bergerac, at 8 p.m. March 5-8 in WMC Alumni Hall.  Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students. For more information, call the box office at 410-857-2448.

Bring Me Giants is created by alumnus Steven Zumbrun '92 and composerIvan Sherman. They conceived the idea in the late 1980s, when Sherman wanted to adapt Cyrano de Bergerac, the play about the swash-buckling poet, into a musical. Thus, the two started what has become a nearly 20-year collaboration.

In the years that followed, Zumbrun, who was traveling with national and regional touring musicals, wrote Bring me Giants during the dead of
night by the overhead light on tour busses as they crisscrossed the country.

"My objective is to tell the story in as clear and vivid and exciting a way as possible, using song," he says.  Zumbrun describes the musical as "streamlined, lean and mean," and says he has taken out the frosting – the extra characters and unnecessary subplots. What remains are 10 cast members, four with doubling parts.

Professor of Theatre Arts Ira Domser, who knew Zumbrun from his student days, approached him and Sherman and proposed opening the show at McDaniel.

"It seemed like we hadn't done a major original play for a while, and it's a good idea for students to work with playwrights and composers," says Domser.

"McDaniel is the perfect place to premiere such a work," says Zumbrun, "because it challenges the actors to master music and stage fighting, and have an understanding of dialogue during the 17th century."

"I have so much fun playing this character," says Andrew Tucker '10, who plays Cyrano de Bergerac. "He really goes through every emotion known to
a human being." 

 

March 6 – 9: The Unity of Skin at Theatre Project 

Ancient Greek philosophy and contemporary dance form an unlikely duo in this new show by Carrie Ahern Dance. Presented at Theatre Project Mar. 6-9, The Unity of Skin illustrates the cyclical thought patterns of pre-Socratic philosophy. The most famous of these thinkers is Heraclitus and The Unity of Skin applies visual meaning to his quote, "It is not possible to step twice into the same river."  Featuring a crocheted set and costumes that evolve as the performance progresses, the show is cyclic in character and embraces the possibility of continuing indefinitely. Dizzily growing and fading, the line between audience and performers becomes blurred.           

The Unity of Skin was created in collaboration with international visual artist Olek, who also created the costumes and set, and features dancers David Figueroa, Kelly Hayes and Jillian Hollis. Choreography and stage direction is by Carrie Ahern. Cellist and composer Greg Heffernan will perform the live soundtrack for each show.  

The Unity of Skin runs at Theatre Project Mar. 6-9. For more information about the production, please visit www.carrieahern.com/calendar/calendar.html. Tickets are $20 general admission, $15 seniors and artists and $10 students. Tickets can be purchased at www.missiontix.com or by calling 410-752-8558.

 

Through March 8: MOBTOWN PRESENTS US PREMIERE OF SIX DEAD QUEENS…

Please note:  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.

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 

 

March 14 – April 13: FPCT Presents Three Days of Rain by Richard Greenberg

Walker, Nan and Pip come together for the reading of the will and in the process, delve deep into their parents' history. Discover the story behind the words, "three days of rain," written over 30 years before in this Drama Desk Award-winning Pulitzer Prize nominated play. 

Three Days of Rain will be directed by Sherrionne Brown, whose directing credits include The Odd Couple, named one of the five best plays in 2005 and All My Sons, which was nominated for Outstanding Direction with the Greater Baltimore Theater Awards.  She also directed After Dinner and Burn This at Fell's Point Corner Theatre.  At Spotlighters, she directed Mary, Mary and most recently, The Lion in Winter, which was named "Best Play of 2007" by Broadwayworld.com.  She has also been involved in over fifty productions as a scenic artist and set designer, in addition to being an accomplished actress.  

Appearing in Three Days of Rain is a stellar cast of local veteran actors, which includes Michael Leicht, Karina Ferry and Warren Hemenway

Performances of Three Days of Rain are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $17 General, $15 Seniors/Students.  Call 410-276-7837 for reservations.  Go to www.fpct.org for more details. 



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