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By J. Wynn Rousuck | November 11, 1999
The Vagabond Players is on a Willy Russell kick. The theater began the season with Russell's "Shirley Valentine," and tomorrow marks the opening of Russell's small-scale musical, "Blood Brothers."A tale of twin brothers separated at birth, the show is directed by James Hunnicutt and stars Tom Burns and Steve Mitchell as the ill-fated twins; Liz Boyer plays their birth mother, Mrs. Johnstone. Both Boyer and Burns appeared in Cockpit-in-Court's production of the musical two summers ago, although Burns is now playing the other twin.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | August 12, 2005
Four Brothers is a Western without the West, an old-fashioned "vengeance is mine" shoot 'em-up transplanted from Tombstone to the rough streets of Detroit. Director John Singleton's way with an update doesn't always work - there's a lot of hard-to-justify ancillary damage these boys never answer for, and our guys spend a little too much time restating their all-but-blood bond to one another. But most of the old formulas prove remarkably sturdy, and Singleton's uncluttered narrative style keeps things moving at a brisk pace that's hard to resist.
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NEWS
August 1, 1997
"Blood Brothers," a modern-day take on "The Prince and the Pauper," opens today as the season finale at Theatre on the Hill, a professional summer company in residence at Western Maryland College.The production is the area premiere of what has been described as a haunting, musical drama by Englishman Willy Russell, who also wrote "Educating Rita" and "Shirley Valentine," said Ira Domser, producer."It is not typical, traditional summer fare," he said. "Although it is beautiful and has wonderful scenery and a great score, it does not have a happy ending.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | October 28, 2004
Actors, like all of us, need a change of pace once in a while, and so do the theater companies that cast them. So after several weeks of walking the fine line between genius and madness in David Auburn's intense and volatile play Proof, the folks over at Colonial Players of Annapolis have shifted gears. Playing through Nov. 20 at the intimate theater-in-the-round just off State Circle in the heart of the capital city's historic district is Donald Wollner's Kid Purple, a quirky and fanciful comedy about an aspiring boxing champion who's purple from the neck up. The son of an absentee father and a co-dependent mother who thinks nothing of manipulating her purple-faced 5-year-old with visions of law school and heroics a la Teddy Roosevelt, Benjamin "Kid Purple" Schwartz is a social outcast who feels emotional release only when punching a bag. Mommy, needless to say, is not pleased.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | April 5, 2001
What makes us truly us? Is it an innate self that comes to the fore to define human beings, or are we, ultimately, the sum total of our interactions with others? Every other deep philosophical question you can think of has been posed on the musical stage at one time or another, so why should this nature vs. nurture controversy be any different? That conundrum sits at the core of "Blood Brothers," the Willy Russell musical in production at Colonial Players of Annapolis. While full of humorous moments, "Blood Brothers" is the raw, dark tale of the Johnstone twins, born to a divorced, working-class mother in northern England during the 1950s, and separated at birth.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,Sun Theater Critic | April 6, 1995
The opening image in "Blood Brothers" is of projected red star-burst designs that dissolve, or more precisely, bleed, down the screen.It's an image that typifies the lack of subtlety in this downer of a British pop musical about a pair of ill-fated twins. Written and composed by Willy Russell, it continues at the Lyric Opera House through Sunday.Essentially a three-hour soap opera with music, "Blood Brothers" encompasses sub- jects including unwanted pregnancy, mental illness, crime, drug addiction and class struggle.
NEWS
By Lisa Respers and Lisa Respers,SUN STAFF | June 9, 2000
RicRyder has never forgotten where he came from. The Broadway actor who grew up in Ellicott City has fond memories of his life in Howard County, where he still has family. "I try to get back whenever my schedule allows it," Ryder said. "I come down and visit quite often." That trek has been made a bit easier by Ryder's current role in "Reunion" at Ford's Theater in Washington. Ryder, who was in the first graduating class of Centennial High School in 1979, plays a young soldier in the Civil War musical.
ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck | August 14, 1997
This is the last chance to see Theatre on the Hill's production of the hit British pop musical, "Blood Brothers." Written by Willy Russell, the author of "Shirley Valentine" and "Educating Rita," "Blood Brothers" tells the dark tale of a pair of twin brothers separated at birth.Joshua Perilo and Steve Varon play the ill-fated twins, under Josh Selzer's direction. The show is part of Theatre on the Hill's salute to the United Kingdom. One other production in the series, "Winnie the Pooh," for children, has its final performance at 2 p.m. Saturday (tickets $5)
ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck | July 23, 1998
"Blood Brothers," the long-running British musical about ill-fated twin brothers, separated at birth, opens tomorrow at Cockpit in Court's Upstairs Cabaret Theatre.Written by Willy Russell, author of "Shirley Valentine" and "Educating Rita," the musical is a kind of updated version of "The Prince and the Pauper," in which a cleaning lady is coerced into secretly giving one of the newborn twins to her wealthy employer. Cockpit's production is directed by Eric Potter and stars Jason Ayestes and Tom Burns as the twins and Liz Boyer as their birth mother.
NEWS
October 19, 1993
* Walter B. Newman,who wrote the screenplays for "The Man With the Golden Arm" and "Cat Ballou," died of lung cancer Thursday at his home in Sherman Oaks, Calif. The 77-year-old New York City native began writing radio dramas, notably "The Halls of Ivy," with Ronald Coleman, and "Columbia Workshop." He was also a co-writer of the pilot episode for the radio series "Gunsmoke," which established the characters that were later popular in the television series of the same name. In 1951, he wrote his first screenplay, "Ace in the Hole," with Billy Wilder, who directed the film, which was later known by the title "The Big Carnival."
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | April 5, 2001
What makes us truly us? Is it an innate self that comes to the fore to define human beings, or are we, ultimately, the sum total of our interactions with others? Every other deep philosophical question you can think of has been posed on the musical stage at one time or another, so why should this nature vs. nurture controversy be any different? That conundrum sits at the core of "Blood Brothers," the Willy Russell musical in production at Colonial Players of Annapolis. While full of humorous moments, "Blood Brothers" is the raw, dark tale of the Johnstone twins, born to a divorced, working-class mother in northern England during the 1950s, and separated at birth.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | August 24, 2000
The all-volunteer Colonial Players theater company begins its 52nd season next week with five plays on the schedule. The first production, opening Sept. 1, is John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men," a powerful story of the loneliness and poverty of farm life, set in the Great Depression. The classic story focuses on a simple-minded farmhand, Lennie, and his loyal and protective friend George, who faces a moral dilemma resulting from Lennie's childlike actions. Colonial's production, directed by Barry Bach, will run on weekends through September.
NEWS
By Lisa Respers and Lisa Respers,SUN STAFF | June 9, 2000
RicRyder has never forgotten where he came from. The Broadway actor who grew up in Ellicott City has fond memories of his life in Howard County, where he still has family. "I try to get back whenever my schedule allows it," Ryder said. "I come down and visit quite often." That trek has been made a bit easier by Ryder's current role in "Reunion" at Ford's Theater in Washington. Ryder, who was in the first graduating class of Centennial High School in 1979, plays a young soldier in the Civil War musical.
ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck | March 12, 2000
Suddenly the Civil War has become hot musical subject matter. In addition to the Frank Wildhorn musical, "The Civil War," which played the Mechanic Theatre last month, there's "Reunion, A Musical Epic in Miniature," which opens Tuesday at Ford's Theatre in Washington. In this case, the venue is a perfect fit. Written by Jack Kyrieleison, of Kensington, Md., the show focuses on a vaudeville troupe headed by Harry Hawk, who was the sole actor on stage at Ford's at the moment Abraham Lincoln was shot.
ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck | July 23, 1998
"Blood Brothers," the long-running British musical about ill-fated twin brothers, separated at birth, opens tomorrow at Cockpit in Court's Upstairs Cabaret Theatre.Written by Willy Russell, author of "Shirley Valentine" and "Educating Rita," the musical is a kind of updated version of "The Prince and the Pauper," in which a cleaning lady is coerced into secretly giving one of the newborn twins to her wealthy employer. Cockpit's production is directed by Eric Potter and stars Jason Ayestes and Tom Burns as the twins and Liz Boyer as their birth mother.
FEATURES
By Carl Schoettler and Carl Schoettler,SUN STAFF | June 22, 1998
An article in yesterday's Today section about two Maryland junior officers who served during the Civil War misidentified the Union Army officer. He was Capt. Robert B. Meads.The Sun regrets the errors.Margaret Fresco looks down the long corridors of the years and sees the past much more clearly than the present.At 90, she's a handsome, buoyant woman who bears her age with easy grace, even though for the last few years her sight has been failing badly.She can envision the tombstone of her grandfather with its Confederate emblem more precisely than the dim forms and faint colors of visitors to her assisted living apartment at Solomons, in Southern Maryland.
FEATURES
By John Dorsey | April 2, 1995
Print show opens in ArlingtonThe 13th Washington International Print Fair opened yesterday and continues today at the Rosslyn Westpark Hotel in Arlington, Va. Featured are 29 exhibitors, and works include 19th- and 20th-century American and European prints, 16th- and 17th-century Dutch prints, and 20th-century Latin-American prints. German expressionism, Audubon birds, natural history, antique maps, art deco and sporting art are among the subjects covered. Show hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Rosslyn Westpark is at 1900 N. Fort Myer Drive in Arlington.
ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck | August 14, 1997
This is the last chance to see Theatre on the Hill's production of the hit British pop musical, "Blood Brothers." Written by Willy Russell, the author of "Shirley Valentine" and "Educating Rita," "Blood Brothers" tells the dark tale of a pair of twin brothers separated at birth.Joshua Perilo and Steve Varon play the ill-fated twins, under Josh Selzer's direction. The show is part of Theatre on the Hill's salute to the United Kingdom. One other production in the series, "Winnie the Pooh," for children, has its final performance at 2 p.m. Saturday (tickets $5)
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