Last word

Last word

December 30, 2004

COMING UP

The American premiere of Elmina's Kitchen, a drama about the legacy of violence among three generations of British West Indian men, begins performances at Center Stage tomorrow. Commissioned by London's Royal National Theatre, where it made its debut in 2003, the play won its author, Kwame Kwei-Armah, the Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright.

Center Stage associate artist Marion McClinton directs a cast headed by Thomas Jefferson Byrd, Yvette Ganier, Leroy McClain and Curtis McClarin. The set, a West Indian carryout restaurant in a section of London known as "Murder Mile," is designed by Neil Patel, with lighting by Michelle Habeck and costumes by David Burdick.

Show times at Center Stage, 700 N. Calvert St., are 8 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays and 7:30 p.m. Sundays, with matinees at 2 p.m. most Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are $10-$60. The theater is holding additional post-show conversations and community programming in conjunction with this hard-hitting urban drama. For more information, call 410-332-0033.

-- J. Wynn Rousuck

NEXT WEEK IN LIVE

Checking out the food at Baltimore's new hookah lounge, Zeeba Lounge ... Rashod Ollison names the best reissues of 2004.

NOW OR NEVER

Somewhere along the line, the Viennese gained a monopoly on musical New Year's celebrations. No wonder. Nothing expresses the dueling emotions of the big calendar change -- nostalgia and optimism -- more deliciously than Viennese waltzes and polkas.

Millions around the world tune in to the annual New Year's Day Concert broadcast by the Vienna Philharmonic; you can attend a version of that festive event right here. For 10 seasons, "Salute to Vienna" has been presented all over North America, offering programs very much like the one given in the Austrian capital. This year's version, led by Hungarian conductor Andras Deak, features the specially named "Strauss Symphony of America" (you'll spot some Baltimore Symphony players in the mix), members of the Hungarian National Ballet (pictured above) and a couple of opera singers in a program brimming with music by Johann Strauss.

The concert is at 3 p.m. Saturday at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St. Tickets are $35 to $67. Call 410-783-8000.

-- Tim Smith

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