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By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,Sun Staff Correspondent | November 29, 1990
WashingtonArena Stage's production of "Our Town" begins with a bit that's probably folksier than playwright Thornton Wilder ever imagined.The cast members amble out, talking among themselves and looking at the audience. Then Robert Prosky, who plays the stage manager -- as he has in three previous Arena productions -- introduces the cast. He provides tidbits of real-life information, such as the fact that he and actress Halo Wines were both in the production that traveled to the Soviet Union in 1973, and that cast member John Prosky is his son.It's a down-home cutesy moment, and it's followed by more cutesy touches -- including Mr. Prosky's cackling like a chicken -- when the actors launch into the first act of this now-classic text about life in the fictitious small town of Grover's Corners, N.H.But the tone of the production, directed by Douglas C. Wager, isn't all tooth-decaying sweetness.
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NEWS
November 23, 2013
I've lived in Maryland for my entire life, and I didn't even know that Frederick County had its own holiday on November 23rd until this week. On this week's episode of J. Doug at Night , House of Delegates candidate Darren Wigfield introduced us to the concept of Repudiation Day, the first act of defiance by British Colonists against the stamp act. The day was made a holiday by the Maryland General Assembly during its 1894 session....
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FEATURES
By Sandra Crockett and Sandra Crockett,SUN STAFF | March 21, 1998
It was an opening night with a twist.And not just the usual twists and turns that are a part of the opera "Carmen," a psychological tale of murder and jealousy.This twist was more like a break. A breaking of the lead performer's bones, in fact. But mezzo-soprano Irina Mishura carried on at the opening performance last night and so will "Carmen," performed by the Baltimore Opera Company."She slipped and fell," says Michael Harrison, the general director at the Baltimore Opera Company. "She fell during the performance, but it did not stop her. She didn't know herself if her arm was broken.
NEWS
By Jonah Goldberg | December 20, 2012
On Friday, in his moving and heartfelt statement in response to the horrific shooting in Newtown, Conn., President Barack Obama said, "As a country, we have been through this too many times. ... And we're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics. " There's just one problem: In a democracy, politics is a synonym for "democracy. " It is through politics that people with strong feelings and strong interests peaceably hash out their disagreements.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | May 1, 2000
In an age as cynical as ours, the sad and simple story of Puccini's "La Boheme" must be awfully hard for some folks to take. They're wise to movies and TV shows that try to manipulate us into feeling all squishy. Such an obvious emotional-button-pusher as "Boheme" doesn't stand a chance with people like that. The rest of us, though, make no apologies for responding to an opera that, after more than a century on the hit parade, continues to hit home. All we require is a production that believes in "Boheme" as much as we do. Baltimore Opera provided just such a production Saturday evening at the Lyric Opera House.
ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck | October 10, 1996
"Twice Around the Park" has come around again. The pair of one-act comedies by Murray Schisgal tried out for Broadway at the Mechanic Theatre back in 1982. A small-scale look at the battle between the sexes, the show is just the right size for the Spotlighters Theatre, where it is being presented in conjunction with the Columbia Community Players through Oct. 27.The sparring partners in the first act are an actor who has angered his upstairs neighbor, a New York city policewoman, by playing opera recordings too loudly.
EXPLORE
By Mike Giuliano | November 17, 2011
The messy emotions in David Mamet's "American Buffalo" find material expression in the 1970s-era junk that fills every messy square foot of a Chicago pawn shop. Some of this clutter even hangs from the front of the stage, as if threatening to spill over into the audience at Centerstage. No thanks for the offer of junk, 'cause we already have enough at home. Thanks, though, for a boisterous production that effectively reflects the urban culture of the decade in which this early Mamet play was written.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,Theater Critic | November 25, 1993
"White Lies, Dark Secrets" -- a play written and directed by Kevin Brown at the New Metropolitan Theatre Company, where he is artistic director -- starts out as a piece of environmental theater.Most of the first act takes place in a funeral parlor, and the audience members -- who are encouraged to wear black -- serve as mourners at the funeral of a woman named Doris Detweiler Sweetwater Brown. Wrapped around the playbill is a program for the memorial service, complete with a picture of the deceased and a detailed tribute, which ends with the part-whimsical, part-mercenary suggestion: "In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in her name to the Metropolitan Theatre Company."
ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,Theater Critic | April 23, 1993
The opening image in Impossible Industrial Action's production of Caryl Churchill's "Cloud 9" is the shadow of a man in safari clothes, silhouetted behind, and completely overpowering, a map of Africa.It's an excellent scenic metaphor for British colonization, which is the ostensible subject of the first act of this play, being presented at the Theatre Project. However, Churchill is known ,, for standing subjects on their ears -- and so, for that matter, is IIA. "Cloud 9" is the second Churchill play directed for this company by Paul Wright, and judging from both productions, the sensibilities of this British feminist playwright and this socially concerned local troupe are well-matched.
FEATURES
By Lou Cedrone and Lou Cedrone,Evening Sun Staff | June 11, 1991
You don't want to judge ''The Petition'' by its first act. All sorts of questions arise during the opening act, questions that need to be answered.The questions, it turns out, are answered during the second act, to the relative satisfaction of the viewer, and by the time the play is ended, we are pleased to have been in the company of an interesting couple.Of course, the couple in "The Petition" are a little exasperating, but then they are British aristocracy, and these people have always marched to their own classical music, if the plays and movies that have been written about them are in any way accurate.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Brandon Soderberg | September 13, 2012
The winner of this year's "America's Got Talent" has pretty much been decided already -- it will be William Close and his earth harp -- and so, we're really watching to see who can continue to hack it, at least. You'll also notice that with the stakes this high, judges Howard Stern, Sharon Osbourne, and Howie Mandel tended to stay neutral or positive, as to not sway voters too much. The first act up was David Garibaldi and his CMYK's. In the pre-performance film, the energetic geek managed to follow up a "Star Wars" reference with a "Star Trek" one when he explained that, "This is the time where creativity goes in hyper-speed," then added, "this is the moment to bring it, creatively we just want to go to a place where no one's gone before.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case, The Baltimore Sun | August 8, 2012
Maryland Live Casino will officially open its Rams Head Center Stage concert venue on Aug. 30, officials announced today. The Charlie Daniels Band will be the first act to perform at an invitation-only event. Invitations will be sent to select Live Rewards Card members, according to Carmen Gonzales, Maryland Live's Director of Communications. The first shows open to the public at the 500-seat venue will feature local acts, including the Real Geniuses (Aug. 31), Crazy in Stereo (Sept.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Erik Maza and The Baltimore Sun | April 26, 2012
Avicii, Kid Cudi, and the Shins are the last three acts of the Sweetlife Festival on Saturday, with the the DJ and Cudi getting Merriweather all to themselves for the last two hours of the night. They will play after 22 other acts, including Zola Jesus, Fun. , and Twin Shadow, have performed at three different stages throughout the day at the one-day event, according to the just-released official schedule.  Kicking off the one-day festival at noon Saturday is a solo set on the secondary, 'Treehouse, stage by Cut Copy bassist Ben Browning.
EXPLORE
By Mike Giuliano | November 17, 2011
The messy emotions in David Mamet's "American Buffalo" find material expression in the 1970s-era junk that fills every messy square foot of a Chicago pawn shop. Some of this clutter even hangs from the front of the stage, as if threatening to spill over into the audience at Centerstage. No thanks for the offer of junk, 'cause we already have enough at home. Thanks, though, for a boisterous production that effectively reflects the urban culture of the decade in which this early Mamet play was written.
NEWS
December 31, 2006
First Night Annapolis, tonight's 16th annual celebration of the arts, will usher in the new year with more than 20 new acts. Additions to the program of dance, magic acts and musical performances throughout downtown include 1st Samuel, a high-energy group of young gospel singers, comedian Kelly Terranova, Whirlwind Woodwinds and a tour of little-known historic African-American sites. The celebration will begin with the children's program, "First Act," from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts on Chase Street.
NEWS
By Nick Madigan | October 8, 2006
A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION -- New Line Home Entertainment / $27.95 Robert Altman's A Prairie Home Companion, a gentle rhapsody to homespun values and country vaudeville, looks and feels as though the veteran director had simply ordered the camera switched on and then sat back to enjoy the show. His touch is so deft, and the actors so light on their feet - other than Kevin Kline, an incorrigible ham - that the story unfolds without apparent effort, an ensemble play of first-rate thespians who calmly defer to each other's best moments.
NEWS
By Cindy Parr and Cindy Parr,Contributing writer | April 8, 1992
"Rehearsal for Murder," a suspense-filled play within a play, will be presented by Francis Scott Key High School students at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the school's auditorium.Director Suzanne Summitsaid a cast of 15 students will perform in the the murder mystery. The theme of the play focuses on finding the killer of a Broadway actress."The play has a lot of suspense. It's modern, almost like a 'Murder She Wrote' episode," explained Summit, who has been directing plays at Key for last 15 years.
FEATURES
By J. L. Conklin and J. L. Conklin,Contributing Writer | September 20, 1993
"Bristle," New York-based choreographer Donald Byrd's new work that opened the Dance on the Edge series at Towson State University on Friday night, is a work with so much voltage that at times it's tantamount to putting your finger into an electric socket."Bristle" pulsates with energy, primarily sexual energy and Mr. Byrd's work investigates the war between the sexes, or at least the subtle skirmishes, with unabashed primal power. The result is a dance that is exciting, bold and ultimately satisfying.
FEATURES
By Mary Carole McCauley and Mary Carole McCauley,SUN ARTS WRITER | July 21, 2005
NEW YORK - In his heyday, Stanley Cohen was a first-rate salesman, with a twinkly smile and a habit of leaning close and confidentially gripping your arm. He knew all the tricks of the trade, so he never expected to get sold down the river. The younger Cohen, Jeff, also is a bit of a salesman, having used his talent and considerable charm to forge a life against all odds in the notoriously punishing world of New York theater. He is a founder and director of the respected Worth Street Theater and has a formidable eye for talent; among his early "finds" was actress Laura Linney.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | March 4, 2005
With this production of Allen Boretz's and John Murray's zany comic farce Room Service, the folks at 2nd Star chase away any lingering winter blahs. Often dismissed as the Marx Brothers' not-so-funny movie, Room Service began life in 1937 as a Broadway show about the indomitable spirit of theater people who could mount a show back then for a mere $15,000. Charles Maloney, the 2nd Star director, met the challenges of enabling his 14-member cast to bring life to these struggling theater people who employ various strategies to remain hotel-housed and fed while bringing their show to production.
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