Much ado about Maryland actress and her recent role in new musical

August 24, 2006|By J. Wynn Rousuck | J. Wynn Rousuck,Sun theater critic

Actress Catherine Brookman graduated from the Carver Center for Arts and Technology only two years ago, but she is already attracting praise in the mainstream press. Now attending Chicago's Northwestern University, Brookman recently completed a run in a new musical, The Boys Are Coming Home, at Northwestern's American Music Theatre Project. Set at the end of the Second World War, the show is inspired by Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing; Brookman played the Beatrice role.

In the Chicago Sun-Times, critic Hedy Weiss called Brookman "a sort of Angela Lansbury in the making, who has just completed her freshman year and already can knock your socks off with her comic timing and vocal abilities." Among other local roles, Brookman was the appealing Sally Bowles in the Maryland Arts Festival's 2004 Cabaret.

Page-to-Stage

Two Baltimore institutions will be among more than 25 theaters represented in the fifth annual Page-to-Stage New Play Festival at Washington's Kennedy Center from Sept. 2 to 4. The Baltimore Playwrights Festival will present two productions, The Past Is Present and Split, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 2.

The Past Is Present, originally produced by Fell's Point Corner Theatre in June, is a bill of four one-acts -- Willie Baby, by Joe Dennison, Kimberley Lynne and the late Carol Weinberg; Memory Garden and Wilderness, both by Mark Scharf; and Miss Alice Plays, by Rich Espey. Split, a coming-of-age play by Ira Gamerman, was produced by Uncommon Voices at Fell's Point Corner, where it concludes its run Sunday.

In addition, Center Stage will present a staged reading of the first act of Dan Dietz's Americanmisfit from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 2 in the center's Terrace Gallery. The play, described by the theater as "Of Mice and Men meets Natural Born Killers," received a previous reading in Center Stage's First Look series in 2005.

The Page-to-Stage festival showcases area theaters devoted to developing new work. Admission is free, but on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, call 800-444-1324 or visit kennedy-center.org.

j.wynn.rousuck@baltsun.com

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