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Charm City Call Board: October 30 - November 4

Welcome to Charm City Call Board for the week of October 30 – November 4, keeping you up to date each week with all that is theater in Baltimore.    

NEW THIS WEEK!:

  • A new contest is up and running for My Fair Lady at the Hippodrome!
  • Last chance to several top notch shows!
  • TWO Best Bets – One musical, one play!
  • CSC goes to jail for a good cause!
  • CENTERSTAGE offers many events for their new show, Hearts!
  • Readers write: Avenue Q!
  • BWW Feature of the Week: Events Calendar!
  • And op-ed: Audiences!

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!

  • The Baltimore Waltz at Single Carrot TheatreALL PERFORMANCES ARE FREE.  This weekend, Sat & Sun at 2:30, this week (October 29-November 4), Weds - Sat at 8PM, Sat and Sun at 2:30PM.  At Sydonne's Event Hall on North Howard Street.
  • The Great American Trailer Park Musical at Spotlighters - $5.00 each ticket.  Go to www.spotlighters.org and click on "tickets".  Enter code BWW-TPM to get your discount.  You may also get this discount at the box office by bringing a copy of this article with you.  The show runs through November 4ADVISORY: Adult language and situations.
  • 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!

Win tickets to the opening night of My Fair Lady at the Hippodrome!  See contest posted 10/29!

COMING SOON! Win opening night tickets to the First National Tour of Avenue Q at the Hippodrome! Look for contest to post on November 13!

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!

Hearts at CENTERSTAGE.

  • ◊◊◊Hearts (Drama): CENTERSTAGE.  Through 12/2.  90 minutes, no intermission.  Adult language, war violence, adult themes.  Review posted 11/1www.centerstage.org or 410-332-0033.  See below for related article.
  • ◊◊◊◊Six Degrees of Separation (Drama): JHU Barnstormers.  Through 11/11.  90 minutes, no intermission.  Adult language, situations and brief male nudity.  Review to be posted 11/6www.jhubarnstormers.org.
  • ◊◊Nickel and Dimed (Drama): Theatre Hopkins at Meadow Mill.  11/2 – 11/18.  2 hours, 10 minutes, plus intermission.  Adult language.  Review posted 11/5www.jhu.edu.

CURTAIN DOWN!  Closing this week!

A Shayna Maidel at Rep Stage and The Baltimore Waltz at Single Carrot Theatre.

  • ◊◊◊ 1/2 A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Musical): Dundalk Community Theatre.  Through 11/4. 2 hours, 30 minutes, plus intermission.  Broad sexual humor.  Review posted 10/28www.ccbcmd.edu or 410-780-6369.
  • ◊◊◊◊◊ A Shayna Maidel (Drama): Rep Stage.  Through 11/4.  2 hours, 30 minutes, including intermission.  Review posted 10/9www.repstage.org or 410-772-4900.  BEST BET 10/9!
  • ◊◊◊◊ The Baltimore Waltz (Comedy/Drama): Single Carrot Theatre.  Through 11/4.  2 hours, including intermission.  Adult language, situations and sexual contentReview posted 10/27www.singlecarrot.com or 443-844-9253.  BEST BET 10/30!  See above for BWW discount!
  • ◊◊◊◊ The Great American Trailer Park Musical (Musical): Spotlighters.  Through 11/4. 2 hours, including intermission.  Adult language, content and themes.  Review posted 10/16.  www.spotlighters.org or 410-752-1225.  BEST BET 10/16!  See above for BWW discount!
  • Tom, Dick & Harry (Farce): Timonium Dinner Theatre.  Through 11/4.  www.timoniumdinnertheatre.com or 410-560-1113.

 

The Great American Trailer Park Musical at Spotlighters (through 11/4) and Titanic: The Musical at Toby's Columbia (through 11/11).

NOW PLAYING!  Shows that are currently running.

  • ◊◊◊◊◊Antigone (Classic Drama): Baltimore Shakespeare Festival.  Through 11/11. 90 minutes, including intermission.  Adult themes, violent war images.  Review posted 11/3www.baltimoreshakespeare.org or 410-366-8596.
  • ◊◊◊◊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!
  • ◊◊◊ 1/2 The Last 5 Years (Musical): Vagabond Players.  Through 11/25.  hours, minutes.  Review posted 10/29.  BEST BET 10/30!  www.vagabondplayers.com or 410-563-9135.

 

COMING SOON!  Shows opening soon!

My Fair Lady at the Hippodrome Theatre.

  • My Fair Lady (Musical): Hippodrome Theatre.  11/6 – 11/18.  hours, minutes.  Review to be posted 11/7www.broadwayacrossamerica.com or 410-547-SEAT.
  • Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespearean Comedy): Everyman Theatre.  11/7 – 12/16.  hours, minutes.  Review to be posted 11/10www.everymantheatre.org or 410-752-2208.
  • Rounding Third (Comedy/Drama): Catonsville Theatre Company at CCBC Catonsville.  11/9 – 11/24.  hours, minutes.  Review to be posted 11/11www.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.

Broadway Bound at Fells Point Corner Theatre.

  • Broadway Bound (Comedy/Drama): Fells Point Corner Theatre.  11/9 – 12/9.  hours, minutes.  Review to be posted 11/12www.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.
  • 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.

 

Rounding Third at Catonsville Theatre Company.

AUDITIONS!

There are no auditions currently posted.  If you know of any or would like to announce some, please send information to: jameshoward@broadwayworld.com.

 

BACKSTAGE BABBLE!  News, Best Bets, etc.

BEST BET #1: THE BALTIMORE WALTZ PRESENTED BY SINGLE CARROT THEATRE

This delightfully funny play by Paula Vogel is the latest hit show by Baltimore's newest theatre company, Single Carrot Theatre.  This quiry comedy is in a quirlky theatre space - Sydonne's Event Hall on North Howard Street in Mt. Vernon.  Even quirkier?  Single Carrot is performing this show for FREE!  That's right, free!  (They are, of course, collecting donations.)  I'd suggest you call and reserve seats.  There are only 6 shows left!  See review and/or details above!

BEST BET #2: THE LAST 5 YEARS PRESENTED BY VAGABOND PLAYERS

From the youngest theatre company to the oldest - 92 years and counting!  The Vagabond Players are presenting Jason Robert Brown's interesting look at the construction and destruction of a relationship through the eyes of its participants.  The tuneful score and the excellent lyrics make this an entertaining and emotional experience.  It also features two fantastic performers, Julia Lancione and Randy Dunkle.  See above for details, and look for my review later today (10/30/20070!

CSC GOES BEHIND BARS WITH "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.

On Sunday, November 4, at the invitation of Warden John P. Wilt, the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company will bring its touring production of Shakespeare's Macbeth to the inmates of the Patuxent Institution.  (This performance is NOT open to the general public.) 

The Patuxent Institution, part of the Maryland state prison system, is located in Jessup in Howard County.   It is a maximum security facility for men, women, and juvenile offenders that specializes in treating mental illness.   It has been called the nation's most intriguing and most experimental prison.  Shakespeare as a program in prisons has been implemented in other states, most notably with the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival's Shakespeare Behind Bars program, which was featured in a 2005 award-winning documentary.  Inmates are selected to attend Macbeth based on their good behavior and their families have also been invited to attend.  Proceeds from the performance will be donated to the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund. 

Artistic Director and Director of Macbeth, Ian Gallanar, is enthusiastic about bringing one of Shakespeare's major works to a prison population.  "Shakespeare remains relevant and vital because of his work's ability to connect to people on all sorts of levels and from all walks of life. He gets to the very core of what it is to be human. It will be a wonderful and exhilarating experience to perform this play for an audience that I imagine has had limited exposure to the material."

Gallanar finds the play an easy one with which to connect. "For me, the play is about real people in extraordinary circumstances. What fascinates me about the play is not the great battle to define universal evil, but rather the human beings in the play and why they decide to take the actions that they do."

This performance is part of a CSC mini-tour of the region that includes residencies at two regional high schools, the prison performance, and a limited run at the Howard County Center for the Arts. Managing Director Lesley Malin hopes that the performance at the Patuxent Institution will mark the beginning of a partnership with the Maryland State Department of Corrections and an expansion of CSC's mission of making Shakespeare accessible to all audiences. 

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* (Chuck Leonard* 10/30 performance)
  • 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 and runs through December 2nd; Opening Night is Wednesday, October 31st. 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.  

College Night: Thursday, November 1st; party starts at 6:30 pm

  • Join fellow college students for a pre-show party featuring free food from Iggies, live entertainment, and a raffle with prizes from local businesses.  

Stage Door Canteen: Saturday, November 3rd, 5 pm

  • Join us for swing music and dancing, a cash bar, and free doughnuts and coffee as CENTERSTAGE creates our own "Stage Door Canteen" to entertain the troops. Active duty military and veterans of all wars are invited to wear their uniforms. A portion of ticket sales and all bar tips will benefit the USO.

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

Carla Renatta as Gary Coleman in the National Tour of Avenue Q.

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, 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.)

FROM LAST WEEK'S BABBLE!

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 Dimedopening 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.

BALTIMORE PLAYWRIGHTS GROUP TO DISCUSS ANNA IN THE TROPICS!

The Baltimore Playwrights Group will hold its next Fifth Tuesday play discussion on Tuesday, October 30 at Fell's Point Corner Theatre, 251 S. Ann Street. They will be discussing Nilo Cruz' Pulitzer Prize winning play Anna in the Tropics.  Admission: a dessert or non-alcoholic beverage to share. Please read the play in advance and/or see the current production at FPCT. (www.fpct.org). Come ready to discuss what makes Anna in the Tropics a 21st century Pulitzer winner.

Note:  This is event is designed for anyone interested in playwrighting specifically.

 



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