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Charm City Call Board November 6 - 12

Welcome to Charm City Call Board for the week of November 6 – November 12, keeping you up to date each week with all that is theater in Baltimore.    

NEW THIS WEEK!:

  • A NEW Audition notice!
  • A BEST BET from a group new to BroadwayWorld.com, plus a BEST BET from an old friend of the site!!
  • Readers Write – Audience behavior from the actor's point of view!
  • CSC makes jail house headlines!
  • A holiday show coming to DC!
  • Plus:  College news, events at Laurel Mill, local playwright published, more!

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

Discounts and contest notices are listed first.  Show listings follow in this order: current productions and upcoming productions.  Audition notices, news bites, and book/CD recommendations are at the end.  

BROADWAYWORLD.BALTIMORE DISCOUNTS!

  • Pumpkin Theatre is hosting a bus trip to NYC to see the Broadway production of DR. SEUSS' HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS - THE MUSICAL on Sunday, November 18.  Tickets are $140.00 which includes show ticket, bus to and from NYC, and breakfast on the bus.  Call (410) 828-1814. MENTION BROADWAYWORLD.COM AND GET $10.00 OFF!!
  • Macbeth at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company: On Sunday, November 18 at 2pm, BWW readers will receive $5 off the price of a General Admission ticket. To receive the discount, use the promotional code BWW when pre-purchasing tickets for 11/18 on our website, www.chesapeakeshakespeare.com, or print out this page and bring that to the box office on 11/18.

CONTESTS!

A BIG contest for Avenue Q tour tickets coming up on November 13th!

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 very 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!  Opening this week!

My Fair Lady at the Hippodrome Theatre, Broadway Bound at Fells Point Corner Theatre.

  • ◊◊ 1/2 My Fair Lady (Musical): Hippodrome Theatre.  Through 11/18.  2 hours, 55 minutes, including intermission.  Review posted 11/7www.broadwayacrossamerica.com or 410-547-SEAT.
  • ◊◊◊◊ 1/2 Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespearean Comedy): Everyman Theatre.  Through 12/16.  2 hours, 20 minutes, plus intermission.  Review posted 11/12www.everymantheatre.org or 410-752-2208.
  • ◊◊◊ 1/2 Rounding Third (Comedy/Drama): Catonsville Theatre Company at CCBC Catonsville.  Through 11/24.  1 hour, 35 minutes, plus intermission.  Adult language, content.  Review to be posted 11/13www.ccbcmd.edu or 410-455-4400.
  • Macbeth (Shakespearean Tragedy): Chesapeake Shakespeare Company.  11/9 – 12/2.  hours, minutes.  Review to be posted 11/17.  www.chesapeakeshakespeare.com or 866-811-4111.  See above for BWW discount!
  • ◊◊◊◊ 1/2Broadway Bound (Comedy/Drama): Fells Point Corner Theatre.  Through 12/9.  2 hours, 40 minutes, including intermission.  Adult language.  Review to be posted 11/14www.fpct.org or 410-276-7837.
  • Miracle on 34th Street (Musical – Dinner Theatre): Timonium Dinner Theatre.  11/9 – 12/23.  Review TBAwww.timoniumdinnertheatre.com or 410-560-1113.

 

Macbeth at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company.

CURTAIN DOWN!  Closing this week!

Antigone at Baltimore Shakespeare Festival, Six Degrees of Separation at JHU Barnstormers.

◊◊◊◊◊ Antigone (Classic Drama): Baltimore Shakespeare Festival.  Through 11/11. 90 minutes, including intermission.  Adult content, vivid war images.  Review posted 11/3www.baltimoreshakespeare.org or 410-366-8596. BEST BET 11/6!

◊◊◊◊ Dreamgirls (Musical – Dinner Theatre): Toby's Dinner Theatre of Baltimore.  Through 11/11.  2 hours, 20 minutes, plus intermission.  Adult language and themes.  Review posted 9/19.  www.tobysdinnertheatre.com or 410-649-1660 or 1-866-99TOBYS.  BEST BET 9/18!

◊◊◊◊◊◊ Titanic: The Musical (Musical – Dinner Theatre): Toby's Dinner Theatre of Columbia.  Through 11/11.  2 hours, 30 minutes, plus intermission.  Review posted 9/10www.tobysdinnertheatre.com or 410-649-1660 or 1-866-99TOBYS.  BEST BET 9/11!

◊◊◊◊ Six Degrees of Separation (Drama): JHU Barnstormers.  Through 11/11.  90 minutes, no intermission.  Adult language, sexual situations, brief, full male nudity.  Review posted 11/6www.jhubarnstormers.orgBEST BET 11/6!

 

Titanic: The Musical ends its acclaimed run this week at Toby's Columbia.

NOW PLAYING!  Shows that are currently running.

Hearts at CENTERSTAGE, Nickel and Dimed at Theatre Hopkins at Meadow Mill.

◊◊ Nickel and Dimed (Play): Theatre Hopkins at Meadow Mill.  Through 11/18.  2 hours, 10 minutes, plus intermission.  Adult language.  Review posted 11/5www.jhu.edu.

◊◊◊1/2 The Last 5 Years (Musical): Vagabond Players.  Through 11/25.  hours, minutes.  Review posted 10/29www.vagabondplayers.com or 410-563-9135. 

◊◊◊ Hearts (Play): CENTERSTAGE.  Through 12/2.  90 minutes, no intermission.  Adult language, war violence and images.  Review posted 11/1www.centerstage.org or 410-332-0033.  See below for more information on this production.

 

COMING SOON!  Shows opening soon!

The Trial of the Catonsville Nine (Drama): Catonsville Community College.  11/14 – 11/18.  hours, minutes.  Review to be posted 11/16www.ccbcmd.edu or 410-780-6369.

The Sound of Music (Musical – Dinner Theatre): Toby's Dinner Theatre of Columbia.  11/15 – 2/15.  hours, minutes.  Review to be posted TBAwww.tobysdinnertheatre.com or 1-866-99TOBYS.

The Lion in Winter (Drama): Spotlighters.  11/16 – 12/16.  hours, minutes.  Review to be posted 11/19.  www.spotlighters.org or 410-752-1225.

Holiday Hot Nostalgia (Musical Revue – Dinner Theatre): Toby's Dinner Theatre of Baltimore.  11/20 – TBA.  hours, minutes.  Review to be posted TBAwww.tobysdinnertheatre.com or 410-649-1660 or 1-866-99TOBYS.

Little Women (Drama): Laurel Mill Playhouse.  11/23 – 12/15.  Review TBA.  www.laurelmillplayhouse.org or 301-617-9906.

The Threepenny Opera (Musical): UMBC Theatre.  11/28 – 12/9.  hours, minutes.  Review to be posted 12/1www.umbc.edu.

The House of Bernarda Alba (Drama): Towson University.  11/30 – 12/8.  hours, minutes.  Review to be posted 12/2www.towson.edu

Mrs. Bob Cratchet's Wild Christmas Binge (Comedy): Mobtown Players.  11/30 – 12/22.  hours, minutes.  Review to be posted 12/8www.mobtownplayers.com or 410-467-3057.

AUDITIONS!

Little Shop of Horrors

  • WHO: The Suburban Players
  • WHAT: Auditions for their 34th annual dinner theatre production, Little Shop of Horrors.
  • WHEN: Saturday, November 17th  from 1:00pm to 3:00pm and Monday, November 19th from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
  • WHERE: Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church on 2504 Cub Hill Road in the Carney area of Baltimore County.  
  • WHAT YOU NEED TO DO: Auditioners should come with a prepared song and be dressed for a dance audition.  An accompanist will be provided.  
  • WHO IS INVOLVED: John Desmone directs, Sally Tarr is the musical director, and Debbie Goetzinger choreographs.  
  • SHOW RUN: Three weekends beginning February 22, 2008.  
  • INFORMATION: For directions, please call the Church at 410-661-1090.

If you know of any auditions, or would like to announce some, please send information to: jameshoward@broadwayworld.com.

 

BACKSTAGE BABBLE!  News, Best Bets, etc.

BEST BET #1: BALTIMORE SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL'S ANTIGONE

This ancient classic may just have more to say to today's audiences than they did in 445 B.C.!  Resonant themes of war and doing what is right vs. what is for the common good give the play meaning, but the superb staging by Raine Bode and the amazing cast headed by Stephen Patrick Martin as Kreon and Christine Demuth as Antigone, make this a show you should not miss!  See above for details.

BEST BET #2: JHU BARNSTORMERS PRESENT SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION

This modern comedy/drama was all the rage in the 90's, and brought the world the idea that each of us is separated from every other person on the planet by only six acquaintances.  What the play is really about though, is the disconnect between the generations and just how little we know about each other until a time of crisis.  How poignant that college students, at the start of their first real separation from family are performing this play to packed houses of other students, and, believe it or not, their parents.  See above for details.

(A review of this play will appear later today.)

CSC's MACBETH AT LOCAL PRISON MAKES NEWS HEADLINES

Last Sunday, you might have seen the WBAL coverage of Chesapeake Shakespeare Company performing Macbeth at the state's maximum security prison.  They made news all over the place! 

See CSC:

In the Baltimore Sun: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/howard/bal-md.shakespeare05nov05,0,7325470.story

In The Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/04/AR2007110401608.html (print)  and video: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/video/2007/11/05/VI2007110500241.html

In The Baltimore Examiner: http://www.examiner.com/a-1029185~_Macbeth__enthralls_inmates.html

Congratulations on a successful endeavor!

LOCAL PLAYWRIGHT PUBLISHED

Mark Scharf, local playwright has had another of his plays published.  Memory Garden, produced as part of the Baltimore Playwrights Festival two years ago, has been published by Pioneer Drama.  Go to www.pioneerdrama.com for details and to order your copy!

Congratulations, Mark.

READERS WRITE: IN RESPONSE TO LAST WEEK'S "AUDIENCES"

Last week, I wrote an editorial about the lack of audiences locally and their behavior.  One of the actors in one of the plays I saw that prompted my editorial wrote the following:

Hi James,

  First and foremost let me say AMEN! Your "My Two Cents" posting in last week's CCCB about rude audiences took the words right out of my mouth. As an active performer in the Baltimore Theatre Community (and coincidentally one of the tight-wearing performers in the large musical you attended this past weekend) I have had to put up with my fair share of rude and distracting audiences. I think I speak for any performer when I say that we don't care how big the house is as long as the audience is with us, enjoying themselves and responding to our efforts. What I can't understand is why these people go to see theatre if they're hell-bent on not enjoying it. Stay home. Watch reruns and text message your friends without being rude to those around you.

I honestly don't think people realize that when we perform, we're doing it because we love doing it. One of the first things that I'm normally asked by audience members after a show is "How much do you all get paid to do this?!"  The answer is: Absolutely nothing. The Baltimore theatre community is mostly made of volunteers who give their time, money and passion to the arts because they enjoy doing so.

So again thank you for shedding some light on the issue and for contributing to the community in which I'm proud to call myself a member.

~Drew Gaver

Mr. Gaver recently appeared as Hero in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at Dundalk Community Theatre.

If you have any comments, please write to jameshoward@broadwayworld.com  

LAUREL MILL PLAYHOUSE PRESENTS ONE ACT FESTIVAL AND ONE-WOMAN SHOW BY LOCAL PLAYWRIGHT

True to LMP's stated mission to encourage and challenge community members to pursue their creative potential, the One-Act Play Festival will be presented as a short-story "pot luck" of entertainment created and presented by local artists.

Show dates for the Encore Performance of the One-Acts are Friday and Saturday evenings November 9 and 10 at 8 p.m. The same One Acts will be presented each night. All performances will be presented at the Laurel Mill Playhouse, 508 Main Street, Laurel, Md.  Tickets are $13.00 for adults and $10 for students (18 and under) and seniors (65 and over).

Please call (301) 617-9906 for reservations and visit www.laurelmillplayhouse.org or call Maureen Rogers at 301-452-2557 for more information.

Laurel Mill Playhouse  presents Think, Therefore I Burp…Or: We're All in Here Together,  a One-woman, four character play written and directed by Laurel native William Stanley III.

The four characters/facets are Ginger, a sadder-but-wiser southern belle who at an early age was runner-up in an inner beauty pageant, and since then has been trying to recapture that inner beauty she once could see, Althea, a perpetual teenager who determined on her 16th birthday that she would not change her chronological age until she learned how to act her age, and as a result has been 16 for a number of years, Hermoine, the umpteen year old philosophy student who is trying to perfect her golf game while regaling innocent passersby with the story of her umpteen year long life and various bits of philosophical insight she has mined from her experiences, and finally; Baby Ruth, who is Ginger's daughter from a former marriage, and whose birth is recreated during one of Ginger's monologues in which she claims to remember being born as clearly as giving birth…as she describes the process of giving birth to her daughter, she transitions into Baby Ruth…who has her own brand of philosophical insights to share. 

This special one-time performance is on Sunday, November 11 at 2:00 PM.  Tickets are $10 general admission.  For reservations please  call (301) 617-9906. Walk-ins welcome! For further information visit the website at www.laurelmillplayhouse.org   or contact Maureen Rogers at jjjmm@aol.com or 301-452-2557.

 

TWO MEMBERS OF "CATONSVILLE NINE" TO SPEAK IN CONJUNCTION WITH PLAY AT CCBC -CATONSVILLE 

  • Who:  George Mische and Tom Melville of the "Catonsville Nine," and Dave Eberhardt of the "Baltimore Four"                              
  • What: Anti-war activists will discuss the protests surrounding the Vietnam War including the incident in Catonsville in 1968.  This program will be held for the actors and the public in conjunction with CCBC Catonsville Academic Theatre production of "The Trial of the Catonsville Nine" (Nov. 14-18, 2007 in the Q Theatre)                 
  • When/Where:  11 a.m. – 12 p.m., November 12 in the Q Lounge at CCBC Catonsville 
  • How Much: Free and open to the public
  • Contact:          CCBC Box Office at 410-780-6369  
  • Theatre at CCBC Catonsville will present "The Trial of the Catonsville Nine," written by Father Daniel Berrigan and directed by CCBC Associate Professor Carl Freundel, about nine Catholics who burned draft records to protest the Vietnam War.
  • Performances will be held on:
    • 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, Friday, Nov. 16 and Saturday, Nov. 17
    • 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15
    • 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 16
    • 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18

All performances will be in the Q Building Theatre at CCBC Catonsville, 800 S. Rolling Road. Tickets are $7 general admission; $ 5 for senior adults and $2 for students, CCBC faculty, staff and alumni.  Tickets are available through the CCBC Box Office at 410-780-6369 and 2 hours prior to each performance at the Q Theatre Box Office (subject to availability).

Dave Eberhardt will be attending both the Saturday, Nov. 17 and the Sunday, Nov. 18 performances of "The Trial of the Catonsville Nine" and will take questions about the peace movement during the Vietnam era.   

For in-depth information about the "Catonsville Nine," contact Dave Eberhardt by phone at 443-668-6203 or by email at mozela9@bcpl.net

McDANIEL COLLEGE STUDENTS CREATE TOPICAL PLAY FROM SCRATCH

The McDaniel College Department of Theatre Arts presents "Playing Gender: A Community Based Piece," at 8 p.m. Nov. 14-17 in WMC Alumni Hall.

Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for seniors (65+), students and the McDaniel community. For ticket information, call the box office at 410-857-2448.

The play's subject matter comes from true stories told by selected students, faculty and community members. The work was created as part of the advanced theatre lab, "Community Based Performance."

The group chose to focus on gender issues – specifically how people "act out" their gender in different ways: from women who don high heels and lipstick to those who are untraditional in their beliefs and actions.

"We're in the creative stage where things are being pieced together," says Associate Professor of Theatre Arts Ron Miller, who will be directing this type of interactive theatre for the first time. "There are some unknowns, and I'm dependent on the contributions of the students who are not only performing the roles, they're writing the play."

Students in the class include Davalas Henry '07, Peter Kendall '08, George Moorehead IV '09, Alex Neiman '08 and Brandon Senter '09.  Additional student actors include Colleen Alford '10, Ryan Brown '08 and Katie Ridgway '10.

A TUNA CHRISTMAS COMES TO DC

Seasons Greetings from Tuna, Texas!  A TUNA CHRISTMAS, the hilarious sequel to the hit comedy Greater Tuna, makes its triumphant return to Washington, D.C. for a limited one-week engagement beginning November 20 through 25 at the Warner Theatre (13th Street between E and F Streets NW).

Kick off the holiday season with all of your favorite citizens of Tuna, Texas, where the Lions Club is too liberal and Patsy Cline never dies.  Master comedians, Joe Sears and Jaston Williams, with their deft comedic timing, trademark characterizations and split-second costume changes, bring all 24 citizens of Tuna, Texas back to the stage.  In A TUNA CHRISTMAS, it is 24 hours before Christmas and all comic hell is about to break loose as the delightfully eccentric characters attempt to cope with seasonal traumas, including a disaster-prone Little Theatre production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL and a yard decorating contest that is being sabotaged by a mysterious Christmas phantom.

TonyÒ award-nominated Joe Sears and Jaston Williams have been touring extensively with the Tuna trilogy for 25 years.  Their over 30-year stage partnership has outlasted the comic duos of Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello and Martin and Lewis.  A TUNA CHRISTMAS features scenery by Loren Sherman, lighting design by Root Choyce, sound design by Ken Huncovsky and costumes by Linda Fisher.  A TUNA CHRISTMAS is presented by Producer Charles H. Duggan.

Celebrate the start of the holiday season in grand style with laughter in abundance, courtesy of A TUNA CHRISTMAS at the Warner Theatre.  Performances are Tuesday and Wednesday at 8 PM, Friday and Saturday at 2 PM and 8 PM and Sunday at 1 PM and 6:30 PM.  (no performance on Thanksgiving Day)  Tickets range from $25 to $48.  For general information, call 202-783-4000.  Tickets may be purchased at the Warner Theatre Box Office or at any TicketMaster Ticket Center.  To charge by phone, call 202-397-SEAT, 703-573-SEAT, or 410-547-SEAT.  For groups of twenty or more, call 877-407-8497.  Charge online at www.ticketmaster.com or check out the Warner Theatre website at www.warnertheatre.com.

 

FROM LAST WEEK'S BABBLE!

CSC: "THE SCOTTISH PLAY"CAST ANNOUNCED

Chesapeake Shakespeare Company begins its 2007-2008 season with a production of Shakespeare's Macbeth.  This year, in addition to a traditional run at the Howard County Center for the Arts, the show will do a mini-tour of two local high schools and a local prison.

The cast of this production is as follows:

Macbeth, Thane of Glamis - Scott Alan Small*

Lady Macbeth, his wife - Lesley Malin*

Banquo, a Scottish Thane -Wayne Willinger*

Macduff, Thane of Fife - Charlie Mitchell*

Duncan, King of Scotland - Frank B. Moorman*

Malcolm, Duncan's eldest son - Vince Eisenson

Donalbain, Duncan's younger son - Charles Coates

First Witch - Jenny Leopold*

Second Witch - Jenny Crooks

Third Witch - Lorraine Imwold*

Hecate, goddess of the moon - Santina Maiolatesi

Lennox, a Scottish thane - Frank Mancino*

Ross, a Scottish thane - John Miller

Menteith, a Scottish thane - Joe Mariano

Fleance, Banquo's son - Daniel Swann

Siward, English Earl of Northumberland - David Lemire

Young Siward, his son - Liz Armour*

Porter - Patrick Kilpatrick*

Sergeant - Joe Mariano

Seyton, an officer attending Macbeth - Wayne Willinger*

Lady Macduff - Tami Moon*

Young Macduff - Megan Lentz

Doctor - Jenny Leopold*

Gentlewoman to Lady Macbeth - Santina Maiolatesi

Murderers - David Lemire, Frank Mancino*, Charles Coates

Messengers, Servants - Brennan Johnson, Daniel Swann, Liz Armour*

Understudy to Duncan - Steve Beall

*CSC Company Member

The run of Macbeth at the Howard County Center for the Arts runs November 9 – December 2.  See above for ticket information and a special BWW discount for the November 18 performance.

CENTERSTAGE PRESENTS HEARTS; RELATED NOVEMBER EVENTS ANNOUNCED

HeartsWilly Holtzman's frank, poignant play inspired by his father's experiences as a Jewish-American soldier in World War II and his struggles to cope with them after—continues CENTERSTAGE's 45th Season, which recently opened with the vintage crowd-pleaser, Arsenic & Old Lace. Former Resident Director Tim Vasen returns to direct a dexterous company of four accomplished actors: Jordan Charney as the central figure of Donald Waldman, with Vasili Bogazianos, Bill Cwikowski, and Merwin Goldsmith playing more than 60 roles. Holtzman's blunt-spoken but surprisingly comedic drama unfolds in The Head Theater through December 2nd. Northrop Grumman is the production's official corporate sponsor, with additional support from Kramon & Graham, PA.

In conjunction with this production, CENTERSTAGE offers the following related programs in November:

Post-Show Chats: Every performance w/o a scheduled post-show event

  • Join your fellow patrons for an informal chat on the themes and questions raised by Hearts.  

Meet the Actors: Friday, November 9th, 8 pm

  • Join Public Relations Director Aaron Heinsman for a post-show Q&A with the cast on the Marilyn Meyerhoff Mezzanine. Media Sponsor: Style 

Wachovia Bank presents LIVE! @ CENTERSTAGE: Friday, November 9th; happy hour starts at 6 pm

  • Join fellow young professionals for a happy hour featuring complimentary hors d'oeuvres and entertainment. Then stay for the show and Meet the Actors, or return on a future date with a specially discounted $25 ticket. Media Sponsor: Urbanite

Veterans Day Post-Show Talkback: Sunday, November 11th, 2 pm

  • CENTERSTAGE invites all veterans to join us after the performance to share stories in an informal moderated conversation.

Live Audio Description

Audio describers from Maryland Arts Access provide a live description of the unspoken action on stage, which is transmitted to a small, hand-size receiver. Please request audio description when purchasing your tickets for one of these scheduled performances: 

  • Wednesday, November 14th, 1 pm
  • Sunday, November 25th, 2 pm & 7:30 pm
  • Wednesday, November 28th, 8 pm

AfterThoughts

  • Join members of the dramaturgy staff for a deeper look into the production with these post-show discussions, sponsored by McDaniel College.
    • Thursday, November 15th, 8 pm
    • Sunday, November 25th, 2 pm
    • Thursday, November 29th, 7 pm

Celebrating Jewish War Veterans: Wednesday, November 14th, 6:30 pm

  • Members of the Jewish War Veterans of America join us for a pre-show reception and conversation about war and the Jewish faith. Discounts available.

Child's Play

  • On-site theater-related "play care" for children aged four to ten during select Saturday matinees. $15 per child; pre-registration is required. 
    • Saturday, November 24th, 2 pm
    • Saturday, December 1st, 2 pm

Twilight Thursday: Thursday, November 29th, 7 pm

  • There's no need to make a late night of a night at the theater with this early curtain performance, followed by an AfterThoughts discussion.

Sign Interpretation: Friday, November 30th, 8 pm

  • The CIRS Agency works with the artistic staff and experienced interpreters to provide a cohesive American Sign Language interpretation, incorporating the style and artistic characteristics of the performance. Please request the sign interpreted performance when purchasing tickets. Advance copies of the script may be requested via e-mail: access@centerstage.org.

FELLS POINT TO PRESENT NEIL SIMON'S BROADWAY BOUND

It's 1949 in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, where Eugene and Stanley Jerome are desperately trying to come up with an idea for a comedy sketch that will make them stars at CBS.  Exuberantly funny and immensely moving, Simon's Pulitzer and Tony nominated autobiographical play is both a lighthearted account of his breakthrough as a comedy writer, and a powerful portrayal of the dissolution of his parent's marriage.  Frank Rich of the New York Times wrote, "Broadway Bound contains some of its author's most accomplished writing to date…a mesmerizing journey to a bygone working-class Brooklyn where first-generation American Jews discovered the opportunities and guilt that came with the secular temptations of a brash new world." 

Broadway Bound is directed by Steve Goldklang, who also directed The House of Blue Leaves, Everett Beekin, Scotland Road, The Dying Gaul, The Complete History of America (abridged), Art, and Six Degrees of Separation, all at Fells Point Corner Theatre.

Appearing in Broadway Bound are a stellar cast of local veteran actors that include Chris Krysztofiak, Michael Himbelfarb, Amy Jo Shapiro, Tony Colavito, Richard Blank and Lisa Hodsoll.

Performances of Broadway Bound are November 9 – December 9, 2007; Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., Sundays at 2:00 p.m. Call 410-276-7837 for reservations.

READERS WRITE: AVENUE Q ON TOUR

James,

I am so excited about Avenue Q coming to the Hippodrome in December!  I am confused, though.  When I saw the show on Broadway, a woman played Gary Coleman.  But, when I went to see Hairspray at the Hippodrome, they were playing a commercial for Avenue Q that showed a MAN playing Gary Coleman.  Has there been a change made for the touring production that you know of?

RR in Baltimore

RR,

I saw that ad, too!  But I recognized that it was showing footage from the London company of Avenue Q, which has a man playing Gary Coleman.  I understand they cast it that way there because they felt British audiences wouldn't be familiar enough with the real Gary Coleman to accept a woman in the role.  (I can't say for 100% sure that it's the case, but I read that somewhere.)  I also recognized the British version from the yellow and black logo used at the beginning, not the "American" orange fuzzy/NY Subway logo that we are used to.

Anyway, according to the Touring Company section of the Avenue Q website, Gary Coleman will be played by Carla Renatta (above), very clearly a woman in her bio picture.  Her understudies are Erica Robinson and Danielle K. Thomas, also two ladies.  Of course, the cast may change between then and now, but it is pretty clear that women are playing the role on tour in the states!  Thanks for writing!

James

If you have a question, please send it to jameshoward@broadwayworld.com.

BROADWAYWORLD.COM FEATURES

Obviously, if you are reading this, you have found the Baltimore or DC page of BroadwayWorld.com.  (Thanks for joining us!)  But, you may not know all of the really cool features the website has to offer readers.  Over the next few weeks, I'll highlight them.  And please, let me know what you think, including suggestions for improving the site!

EVENT CALENDAR

When you are on the Baltimore page, if you scroll down the left hand side of the page, you'll see a heading called "Insider Info."  Under that section there is an item called "Event Calendar."  Click on that, and you'll find a monthly calendar for theatre events in Baltimore – just Baltimore.  (The same thing goes for the DC page, though I do not update that one.)  Events are sorted by such categories as Opening, Closing, etc.  Click on any title and show information will appear.

You will also notice that there is a place for Calendar Event submissions.  PLEASE do not submit entries to the site.  Your request will be added to a huge pile that our editor will get.  It could take several days for your information to post.  INSTEAD, submit information directly to me, and I'll post it for you.  I have direct access to posting there.  It will be done much faster, and is easily edited.

Submit calendar entries to me at jameshoward@broadwayworld.com.  Please put "Calendar" in the subject heading.

MY OWN TWO CENTS: AUDIENCES

Please indulge me for a paragraph or two (ok, three) to address an issue that really hit home for me this past weekend – audiences and audience behavior.

This weekend, I attended three vastly different performances and three vastly different venues, and I had the most eye-opening experiences.  I hear all the time from readers, friends, colleagues and local theatre practitioners that audiences seem to get smaller and smaller for local shows.  These same people complain that there is a lack of variety and quality out there.  Ok, so there has been an influx of The Foreigner lately, and I, too might scream if I have to sit through another version of it.  But mostly, there are fresh, new plays and musicals, or at least fresh new takes on plays and musicals out there in Charm City.  It is true that there is a wide variety of quality out there, and I will admit that those theaters who throw any old thing up on the stage drag the rest of the theatre community down.  But, in general, the performance quality in the Baltimore area is quite high.  And don't mistake shoe string budgets for low quality.  Remember, the Greeks did it on a stone slab, with a couple of masks and the sun.  Lastly, these same folks complain about audience behavior, and I have to agree, 100%.  It is getting worse and worse.

This weekend, I had the good fortune to attend three shows: a play, by a new company on a shoestring budget, a musical by an established company in a very small venue with limited production values (limited by space, mostly), and a big splashy musical by an established community theatre with a huge (I am guessing) budget.  The play, an edgy, modern dramedy, was superbly performed by a cast willing to take daring risks, and on a set whose main content was toilet paper.  This kind of work is exactly what all the grumblers complain "doesn't exist" in Baltimore – energetic, off the beam, thought-provoking and STILL entertaining.  The smaller musical is one that certainly fits the bill for these nay sayers that bemoan the fact that they want to see modern musicals, not the billionth production of The King and I.  The endlessly talented cast (of just two) sang their hearts out, had excellent character and really connected with each other.  Finally, the big splashy musical gives these moaning theatre goers the other thing they want – big musicals.  It features a large cast, a well-known score and script, big costumes, lots of dancing, etc., etc. In short, in just three days I saw everything that local theatre goers think doesn't exist in our fair city.  To be fair, I sit through plenty of dreck, things I'd be embarrassed to have my name in the program for – and they are at every level – be it at the Hippodrome, CENTERSTAGE or any number of community theatres.  But these same venues offer plenty to love, too.  So here is my point.  Everything everyone wants is out there, so WHERE ARE YOU!?  In no particular order, the audience size was (including me) 22, 2, and roughly 150, in theatres that fit, respectively, about 65, 45, and 300.  And here's the real kicker – one of them is performing FOR FREE!

This same weekend, I was witness to some of the most appalling audience behavior I have seen in Baltimore.  It is no less than shameful.  Over the weekend, I sat next to a man literally groping his girlfriend's upper thigh throughout the show.  At that same performance, a senior member of the audience (and usher) sat behind me unwrapping what sounded like a tin foil wrapped sandwich, but was actually three hard candies (she left the wrappers on the floor).  And I am not exaggerating, either.  She unwrapped them so slowly that the noise went through two complete songs.  Tough competition of a soloist and a piano/guitar combo, huh?  And finally at this show, two patrons loudly announced, "this stinks!" and talked their way out of the theatre.  (If you don't like it, don't stay, but SHUT UP ALREADY!)  At the most heavily attended performance, I sat between a man with a glass of wine (not his first, I think) that ended up on my shoe and jacket, and a young girl taking pictures with her phone and texting throughout the performance.  That same man loudly talked about certain cast members' sexual orientation, in terms that even Isaiah Washington wouldn't have used, mainly because the actors wore tights.  How enlightened, right?  But the real fun came after intermission, when the guy behind me opened his bag of BBQ chips and munched them like he was at home.  Finally, at the show where I was one of two, I guess I felt guilty because there were times I wasn't watching the stage, because I was writing notes.  Doing my job, yes, but embarrassed nonetheless, because these actors were giving 100% to me and the sound guy.  Believe it or not, I've seen worse from audiences, but never so much concentrated in one weekend. 

Go to the theatre in Baltimore.  It is really very good, and there is a lot to choose from.  But if you want to throw food, talk, text, or be rude any number of other ways, stay home, throw a party and yell at your big screen.  Of course, that might make audiences smaller still.  Is there any way out of this catch-22?

(This is just my opinion, not necessarily that of the site at large.  Comments?  Write to me at jameshoward@broadwayworld.com.  And thanks for indulging me.)

THEATRE PROJECT PRESENTS TWO PLAYS ON FEAR OF DEATH

Theatre Project presents Hystery of Heat and Spoleum on November 8-17: Thurs.-Sat. at 8pm and  Sun. at 3pm.  Tickets are $20 general admission/ $15 seniors and artists/ $10 students.  Box Office: 410-752-8558 or www.missiontix.com 

The fear of death is the inspiration for two lively shows at Theatre Project. From Nov. 8-17, The Performance Thanatology Research Society presents Hystery of Heat and Spoleum, a double bill that reflects the group's dedication to the study of death and dying.

  • Hystery of Heat is a multimedia performance piece about heat, love, death, dance, hysteria and the dangers of rock and roll. Structured as a lecture, the show features a live soundtrack and an extra warm theater. As the heat (literally) rises, the lecturer and his researchers have to avoid the high anxiety and heat given off by their own subjects. Some of it is funny and some of it is very dark, but all of it will make you think.
  • Spoleum is a one-act-play about Venice, memory and architecture. In a race to save relics from the Italian city, an obsessed architect - played by Towson University alum Daniel Allen Nelson - becomes submerged in the darkest mysteries of the empire's foundation. The show is an intriguing performance-hybrid romp through the drowning city, where obsessions and ghostly sightings from the empire's wicked past abound.

 

CHILDREN'S PLAYHOUSE OF MARYLAND STAR CAST IN OFF-BROADWAY'S CROSSING BROOKLYN; BUS TRIP PLANNED

Over the past four years CPM has had a young man by the name of Bradley Bowers appear in 11 of their shows.  Bradley, last summer, got cast and appeared in Tarzan, on Broadway, as Young Tarzan.  

Bradley has now been cast in an Off-Broadway show – Crossing Brooklyn.  It is a modern day musical that deals with the emotions of a schoolteacher, his wife, and one of his students (Bradley) after September 11th. He is one of the leads in the show.

A bus trip planned for NY to see Bradley in this show, Saturday, November 17th.   Please join us if you can. It is going to be a fun-filled day and very exciting to see Bradley perform. 

Please email actorlist@yahoo.com to reserve your spot and then fill out the form below and mail it with payment to: Diane Smith, 2126 Eastridge Rd, Timonium, MD 21093 

  • Cost:  $88.00 per person
  • Price includes: Bus, Crossing Brooklyn Ticket, light snacks on the bus, driver gratuity and a GREAT TIME.  We will spend the day in lower Manhattan.  We can visit Ground Zero, South Street Seaport, Chinatown and/or The Statue of Liberty prior to the show.

 

 

NEW TO THE BWW FAMILY!: THEATRE HOPKINS OFFERS AREA PREMIERE OF NICKEL AND DIMED!  

For the first time, Theatre Hopkins will be the guest of Mobtown Players, presenting the area premiere of Nickel and Dimed opening Friday, Nov. 2.

 Adapted by Joan Holden from Barbara Ehrenreich's book of the same name, the drama Nickel and Dimed chronicles Ehrenreich's effort to explore the lives of Americans surviving on minimum wage income by joining their ranks. Led by Mandy Dalton as author Barbara Ehrenreich, the cast also includes Gail Anderson, Ameerah al-Mateen, Joey Hellman, Jennifer Johnson and Tawanna Kane.

The production will run three weekends through Sunday, Nov. 18, at Mobtown's theater located at 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., off Union Avenue in Hampden. Curtain time for Friday and Saturday performances is 8 p.m.; Sunday matinees begin at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15. Student rush tickets for $5 are available at curtain time for all performances, if space allows. For reservations or information, contact Theatre Hopkins at (410) 516-7159, or by e-mail to thehop@jhu.edu.



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