Theater's props have to go


At Hopkins, an auction will include the entire set of `Murder on the Nile'

Theater Column

August 25, 2005|By J. Wynn Rousuck | J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC

Wanna put on a show, but having trouble finding props and costumes? Theatre Hopkins could have the answer to your problems.

Forced to vacate its longtime home in the Merrick Barn at the Johns Hopkins University to make room for the university's undergraduate theater courses, Theatre Hopkins is holding a sale of costumes, props and memorabilia from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday in the Mattin Center's F. Ross Jones Building on the Homewood campus, 3400 N. Charles St.

The sale's largest item is the entire set - designed by the late John Lehmeyer - for the 2003 production of Murder on the Nile. Props for sale include the pulpit from the 1985 production of Mass Appeal. "It's just gorgeous," Theatre Hopkins director Suzanne Pratt says of the pulpit, which was handmade for the production by the father of the actor who played the young deacon.

FOR THE RECORD - A headline and a caption for an article in Thursday's editions of The Sun incorrectly stated the nature of an event conducted today by Theatre Hopkins. The event is not an auction, but rather a sale of surplus theater costumes, props and memorabilia. It runs from noon to 4 p.m. in the Mattin Center's F. Ross Jones Building, 3400 N. Charles St.
The Sun regrets the errors.

Among the costumes, says Pratt, "are about 15 handsome, probably tailor-made or designer evening dresses that have been given to us over the years by patrons to use in shows, most of which were probably never used in shows."

Not all of the inventory is up for sale. Pratt is starting a rental service called Community Collection, which will make costumes and props available to community and school productions. Information on this service will be available at the sale.

As to the fate of Theatre Hopkins, Pratt said, "We are looking for a permanent home, but in the interim we are presenting productions we hope will be of interest in various venues."

First up will be a Nov. 6 performance of Rosalie Calvert, The Mistress of Riversdale, a one-woman show based on the letters of the Belgian wife of George Calvert and performed by Cherie Weinert at the Maryland Historical Society. In the spring, a Shakespeare play will be produced on the grounds of Homewood House, and in June, another play will be produced in the Mattin Arts Center's Swirnow Theater.

For information on Theatre Hopkins or the sale, call 410-516-7159.

Olney's lineup

Olney Theatre Center will inaugurate its recently opened New Mainstage with the largest lineup in its history - eight shows in the first full season. It's a lineup that reprises a number of Olney's greatest hits. Six of the offerings, including three musicals, will be produced in the new theater. The remaining two, a pair of dramas by Henrik Ibsen, will be staged in the smaller Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab and will be performed in repertory during an overlapping weekend.

Here's the list: The Heiress (Feb. 15-March 12), Augustus and Ruth Goetz's adaptation of Henry James' novel, Washington Square; Anything Goes (March 29-April 23), Cole Porter's 1934 shipboard musical; The Elephant Man (May 24-June 18), Bernard Pomerance's true account of tragically disfigured John Merrick, first produced at Olney in 1991; Hedda Gabler (June 21-July 23), Ibsen's drama about a wife trapped in an airless marriage to an academician; Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris (June 28-July 23), a revival of artistic director Jim Petosa's 1995 production of the revue of songs by the Belgian songwriter; An Enemy of the People (July 20-Aug. 27), Arthur Miller's adaptation of Ibsen's play about political corruption; The Foreigner (Sept. 27-Oct. 22), Larry Shue's farce, which, in 1985, set what was then the Olney box-office record; Cinderella (Nov. 15-Dec. 17), the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, returning to Olney for the third time in a dozen years.

Olney has also announced one nonsubscription production, the initial offering in its annual New Play Initiative. Irene Wurtzel's In the Mood - a play about an artist and her husband, a State Department official - will make its world premiere in the Mulitz-Gudelsky Lab in September 2006.

Subscriptions to the eight-play season range from $200 to $264, with early-bird discounts available through Nov. 1. For more information, call 301-924-3400 or visit

`Morrie' cast change

Harold Gould will replace Hal Linden in the title role in the touring production of Tuesdays with Morrie, coming to the Hippodrome Theatre Nov. 15-27. Gould's TV credits include playing Valerie Harper's father on Rhoda and Betty White's mobster boyfriend on Golden Girls. More recently, he portrayed Lindsay Lohan's grandfather in the 2003 remake of the movie Freaky Friday. The actor played the role of Prof. Morris Schwartz in a California regional theater production of Tuesdays with Morrie earlier this summer. Linden withdrew from the production because of a family illness.

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