Stage

  • Solo play "Mom Baby God" digs deep into pro-life teen crusaders

    Solo play "Mom Baby God" digs deep into pro-life teen crusaders

    I knew from the beginning that comfort was out of the question as I sat in the audience for "Mom Baby God," a one-woman play written and performed by Madeline Burrows and directed by Kathleen Akerly showing as a part of Single Carrot Theatre's four-play festival "Undercurrent: Theatre for Now."...

  • Forking paths in Submersive Productions' "Incredible Musaeum"

    Forking paths in Submersive Productions' "Incredible Musaeum"

    On a July evening in 1822, more than a thousand people gathered in Baltimore's Peale Museum to see a rare cactus bloom. They crowded around the foot-long bud as it opened, straining to glimpse its "many yellow filaments, forming a deep funnel-shaped cavity." Those who couldn't get close enough...

  • Solo play "Mom Baby God" digs deep into pro-life teen crusaders

    Solo play "Mom Baby God" digs deep into pro-life teen crusaders

    I knew from the beginning that comfort was out of the question as I sat in the audience for "Mom Baby God," a one-woman play written and performed by Madeline Burrows and directed by Kathleen Akerly showing as a part of Single Carrot Theatre's four-play festival "Undercurrent: Theatre for Now."...

  • Digging into the research for "Hidden Figures"

    Digging into the research for "Hidden Figures"

    Before there was "Hidden Figures," the blockbuster movie and book by Margot Lee Shetterly, there was "Determination of Azimuth," an operetta about the life of mathematician Katherine Johnson and the Apollo 10 mission staged in 2015 by the Baltimore Rock Opera Society. As the writers of "Determination...

  • Iron Crow Theatre's "Fucking A" is fucking sad

    Iron Crow Theatre's "Fucking A" is fucking sad

    As the title would suggest, there is no subtlety in Suzan-Lori Parks' "Fucking A." In the dystopian future world crafted by Parks back in 2000, everything seems to exist in the extreme—the subjugation and exploitation of women, the political reach of the aristocracy, the wealth gap, the bloodthirst...

  • What About Justice?: Paul Giamatti and Sonja Sohn star in 'Antigone in Ferguson' at Coppin

    What About Justice?: Paul Giamatti and Sonja Sohn star in 'Antigone in Ferguson' at Coppin

    On Saturday evening, people from all over Baltimore—some coming straight from the Women's March in Washington—filed into Coppin State University's James Weldon Johnson Auditorium, passing through the epicenter of the Baltimore Uprising to see acclaimed actors perform dramatic readings of an adapted...

  • Top Ten Stage Productions of 2016

    Top Ten Stage Productions of 2016

    1. “Cleveland” (Psychic Readings) Anchored by spit-take performances from Madison Coan as a girl who just wants a dress to wear to the school dance and Cricket Arrison as her mother who may be from outer effing space, this production captured everything that makes Psychic Readings’ Late Night Theatre...

  • Center Stage's 'Les Liaisons Dangereuses' is a disappointing choice

    Center Stage's 'Les Liaisons Dangereuses' is a disappointing choice

    The commanding Marquise de Merteuil and her ex-lover, the womanizing Vicomte de Valmont, aren't just thinkers—even though they're both highly intelligent, successful people. They're doers. And over the course of Center Stage's two-hour, 40-minute performance of "Les Liaisons Dangereuses," they,...

  • Acme Corporation's 'Stranger Kindness' solves the Brando problem

    Acme Corporation's 'Stranger Kindness' solves the Brando problem

    The 1951 Elia Kazan adaptation of "A Streetcar Named Desire" is pretty much owned by Marlon Brando in all his magnificent, mumbling method actor swagger. Subsequent attempts to put on Tennessee Williams' 1947 play, no matter how artful, inevitably suffer from a void of charisma—no one else is Brando,...

  • Chesapeake Shakespeare Company marks 15 years with a focus on education

    Chesapeake Shakespeare Company marks 15 years with a focus on education

    Prior to directing a production of Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing," theater-generalist-turned-artistic-director Ian Gallanar wasn't sure that the Bard was for him. He thought the language would be dense, that the show would be dry. But then a line or two started to make him laugh. "It seemed...

  • Childhood goes dark in 'The Flower Queen'

    Childhood goes dark in 'The Flower Queen'

    The first few moments of "The Flower Queen" drag us back to a time when falling asleep meant a reckoning with the monster under the bed. But this is not a production about a child squirming for a bit at the idea of a formless monster before comfortably sinking into dreamland. No, this monster actually...

  • High society meets 'The Elephant Man'

    High society meets 'The Elephant Man'

    When David Bowie and, more recently, Bradley Cooper took on the role of "The Elephant Man" on Broadway, both celebrities knew the weight of being stared at by the masses. Audiences gawked at Bowie and Cooper much like Victorian gawkers gathered to stare at one of history's most famous sideshow...

  • The highlights and lowlights of Fields Festival

    The highlights and lowlights of Fields Festival

    Highlights Bobbing around in the pool on Friday night with just about everyone; sipping the Champagne of Beers; the spontaneous whirlpool someone started; the line of beer cans and empty cups around the pool's perimeter that created an ephemeral and interactive installation; the security guards...

  • 'Hoax' brings marks into the con game

    'Hoax' brings marks into the con game

    Flipping matching card pair after matching card pair onto the floor from a brand-new deck shuffled by a volunteer, Maxwell Fink spits, "You can't win if you play with me." Why? Because he's not just a magician, he may be the devil. Lights dim to the candy pop song 'Sh-Boom (Life Could Be a Dream).'...

  • Fields Fest organizers talk about adding artists, fostering an immersive experience, and more

    Fields Fest organizers talk about adding artists, fostering an immersive experience, and more

    When I first walk into Red Emma's to meet with the organizers of Fields Festival, the multi-day arts festival and camp-out that brings the best and weirdest parts of Baltimore's DIY arts scene to the middle of the woods, they are in a conversation with someone at a nearby table who has an idea...

  • Dissecting the constructed political persona

    Dissecting the constructed political persona

    Four hundred years have passed since the death of William Shakespeare, and 2,060 since the death of the subject of his great tragedy "Julius Caesar," but both live on as specters in the meadow behind the Evergreen Museum, where the Baltimore Shakespeare Factory holds performances in the evening...

  • Fluid Movement hits the pool with 'Science Fair: The Water Ballet'

    Fluid Movement hits the pool with 'Science Fair: The Water Ballet'

    Despite dark clouds and scattered storms, swarms of people crowded around the edges of Druid Hill Park Pool on Saturday afternoon to watch synchronized swimmers pay homage to scientific phenomena—both real and fantastical, celestial and super-local. The premiere of local performance collective...

  • 'Lord of the Flies' grows up in new Annex production set in biotech facility

    'Lord of the Flies' grows up in new Annex production set in biotech facility

    People have always said this—even in better times—but it really feels like the world is falling apart a little bit. Our country is on the brink of a second civil war and we're in danger of electing the biggest and possibly most dangerous joke of a human being as president, not to mention the recent...

  • The RNC's production of 'Make America Great Again' is a rollicking comedy with a dark twist

    The RNC's production of 'Make America Great Again' is a rollicking comedy with a dark twist

    The RNC's production of "Make America Great Again," directed by Donald J. Trump and written by a rambling mass of "ordinary Americans" and a few politicians, features a dazzling ensemble of actors who deliver performances so powerful one almost thinks they're real. In the world premiere of this...

  • Single Carrot penetrates an aging mind in 'Midlife'

    Single Carrot penetrates an aging mind in 'Midlife'

    "The rules have changed." Those words are almost an incantation throughout "Midlife," Single Carrot's last production of their ninth season, which is devoted to the theme "No-Fear New Work." Indeed, Single Carrot's commitment to taking risks continues in a big way with the world premiere of playwright,...

  • Arena Players' 'Luther' merges soaring slow jams with quiet, stormy melodrama

    Arena Players' 'Luther' merges soaring slow jams with quiet, stormy melodrama

    As you'd expect, this hypnagogic Luther Vandross musical doles out the legendary R&B-er's inviolable songs. Along the way though, it shrewdly excavates the ennui and loneliness which dogged the singer up until his death—namely, endless speculation surrounding Vandross' private life (something he...

  • Performance artist Naoko Maeshiba turns inward

    Performance artist Naoko Maeshiba turns inward

    When I visit Naoko Maeshiba in her Mount Washington studio, she tells me little about her upcoming performance at the Baltimore Theatre Project, and yet she shares almost everything. She's preparing a solo performance titled "Subject/Object," opening this Thursday. Billed on the venue's website...

  • Sizzlin' Summer Performing Arts Events

    Sizzlin' Summer Performing Arts Events

    May “BrouHaHa.” Happenstance Theater returns with a “clown-esque” performance based on old-timey entertainment and imagery. Through May 22, Baltimore Theatre Project, 45 W. Preston St., (410) 752-8558, theatreproject.org, $12-$22. “Death of a Salesman.” Vincent M. Lancisi directs Arthur Miller’s...

  • Part of the Team: 'Force Continuum' explores black cops and brutality

    Part of the Team: 'Force Continuum' explores black cops and brutality

    Director Rosiland Cauthen introduces Cohesion Theatre's production of "Force Continuum" with a projected video montage of cell phone and surveillance footage capturing police brutality incidents, starting with the traffic stop arrest of Sandra Bland just days before she was found dead in her jail...

  • Center Stage's 'Detroit '67' draws obvious parallels

    Center Stage's 'Detroit '67' draws obvious parallels

    I wanted to like Center Stage's production of "Detroit '67" more than I did. Playwright Dominique Morisseau's kitchen-sink drama (well, technically, basement-sink, I guess since the play takes place in a basement rec room that doubles as an after-hours club) recounts the story of a black family...

  • Straight, No Chaser: Single Carrot's 'Something Like Jazz Music' goes dark in the '20s

    Straight, No Chaser: Single Carrot's 'Something Like Jazz Music' goes dark in the '20s

    One of the first performances of "Something Like Jazz Music" coincided with Single Carrot Theatre's decadent fundraising gala, The Carrot Club. Keeping with the setting of the play in Prohibition-era Baltimore, the attendees—mostly older white folks—arrived dressed to the nines in beaded fringe...

  • Stillpointe Theatre hosts 'The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee'

    Kids are cute sometimes. More often, they're pretty scary—if not because of their limitless energy and emotional range, then for the disturbing reflection of how adults have fucked them up. Even if they aren't all that screwed up, they're trying desperately to show the world (or at least themselves)...

  • 'Under the Skin' at Everyman Theatre toys with sympathy

    'Under the Skin' at Everyman Theatre toys with sympathy

    Raina clearly deserves our sympathy. The main character in Michael Hollinger's "Under the Skin," she is a single mom with a mediocre job in Perrysburg, Ohio. She recently lost her own mother to a bitter battle with cancer, and now the father that she's been estranged from for years is knocking...

  • The Stoop Storytelling Series' co-hosts reflect on 10 years of making people cry

    The Stoop Storytelling Series' co-hosts reflect on 10 years of making people cry

    On the eve of the 10th anniversary of The Stoop Storytelling Series, Baltimore's beloved stranger-than-fiction storytelling event, co-producers and co-hosts Jessica Henkin and Laura Wexler sat down to interview each other. Because the theme of The Stoop's anniversary show is "Awkward Adolescence,"...

  • The Baltimore Rock Opera Society sets everything to 11 in "Chronoshred"

    The Baltimore Rock Opera Society sets everything to 11 in "Chronoshred"

    A massive T-Rex plays a massive saxophone at the beginning of "Chronoshred: The Adventures of Stardust Lazerdong," conceived by Philip Doccolo (who co-directs with Danielle Robinette) and a large team of writers and librettists. This puppeteered beast presumably took weeks to construct, but it...

  • Annex Theater transports 'Flatland' into a new dimension

    Annex Theater transports 'Flatland' into a new dimension

    Arms rigid at their sides, three actors flip around with each step as they move forward and back on a runway, confined to a single line. Thus is the reality of the denizens of Line Land, anthropomorphized geometric forms who are helplessly constricted as the two-dimensional shape Chromatistes blinks...

  • Center Stage's 'As You Like It' takes Shakespearean gender-bending a step further

    Center Stage's 'As You Like It' takes Shakespearean gender-bending a step further

    The lights in the theater go down. The modern office that is this play's royal court recedes. Life-size birch trees drift down from overhead to plant themselves on the Astroturf-covered stage. A tent pops up. So far, it is your average contemporary take on a classic, Shakespeare's "As You Like...

  • Spotlighters' "Moonlight and Magnolias" delves into messy Hollywood history

    Spotlighters' "Moonlight and Magnolias" delves into messy Hollywood history

    Ron Hutchinson's 2004 play "Moonlight and Magnolias," which opened last week at Spotlighters Theatre under the direction of Michael Zemarel, does little to romanticize the creation of "Gone With the Wind," one of the most successful and adored (and racist) films of all time. With a difficult director,...

  • 'Outside Mullingar' at Everyman Theatre revitalizes the romantic comedy genre

    'Outside Mullingar' at Everyman Theatre revitalizes the romantic comedy genre

    The Irish dairy farmer Tony Reilly believes his son Anthony has inherited the craziness of his late mother's side of the family. Tony's father-in-law, after all, once "took his dog to court for slander." When actor Wil Love delivers that line in the new production of "Outside Mullingar" at the...

  • Anna Deavere Smith channels Baltimore on the school-to-prison pipeline

    Anna Deavere Smith channels Baltimore on the school-to-prison pipeline

    The "character" on the stage casts back to her childhood and tells the audience that her father was a "race man." She grew up watching endless documentaries of the civil rights movement and was filled with awe, inspiration, and regret. "I remember thinking, 'Damn it, I missed it,'" she says. Since...

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