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By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | March 10, 1996
One of the happiest stories of 1995 was the artistic resurgence of the Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre after several seasons of flat, colorless productions.We were graced last summerwith a delightful visit from the Little Sisters of Hoboken in the spirited production of "Nunsense."And when the good sisters left town, director Peter Kaiser and his talented cast came through with a solid, thoroughly enjoyable "Annie," featuring the extraordinary CeCe Newbrough as Broadway's least lovable lush, Miss Hannigan.
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By Katie V. Jones, Baltimore Sun Media Group | August 12, 2013
As a song from of "Bye Bye Birdie" filled the auditorium at Severn School's Chesapeake campus on Wednesday, two voices were called in to assist. Drama director Harrison Smith and counselor Brian Shatt willingly added their voices to the all-female cast. "It's an odd year," acknowledged Sharon Stevens-Cimaglia, vice president of Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre and executive director of the camp. "Typically we have five to 10 boys. " The Annapolis company's Performing Arts Camp for teens has performed a musical revue since its beginnings 14 years ago. While many theater camps focus on producing a "book" show - a show that follows a story and features several leads and a chorus - a revue gives the staff an opportunity to tailor the show to the campers' talents.
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NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | May 24, 1996
Any Broadway aficionado can tell you what fairy tales, presidential assassinations and gang warfare on Manhattan's West Side have in common.All, of course, have been brought to the musical stage through the poetry and song of the incomparable Stephen Sondheim, the composer and lyricist whose work includes "Into the Woods," "Assassins" and the immortal "West Side Story."This weekend, the Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre inaugurates its 31st season with "Side by Side by Sondheim," a snappy, fast-paced revue that pays tribute to this genius of the American musical stage.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson, Special to The Baltimore Sun | June 10, 2012
Setting a new high with Cole Porter's "Anything Goes," director Jerry Vess marks his seventh Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre directorial assignment by adding sparkle to the opening of the outdoor theater's 47th season under the stars. Not only has Vess gathered a stellar cast to lend extra zest to Porter's timeless classic, but as set designer he has also created a fabulous tri-level cruise ship SS America complete with realistic smokestacks and portholes. A construction crew of four along with several artist-painters helped Vess.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | April 19, 2001
Fairy tales and football mixed with the comic genius of William Shakespeare will take center stage at the Summer Garden Theatre's lovely outdoor facility in downtown Annapolis in the coming months. The theater will open its 2001 season May 5 with Stephen Sondheim's Tony Award-winning musical "Into the Woods," a breathtakingly clever piece of theater that melds several fairy tales as the inimitable Sondheim has us pondering what happens after their "happily ever after" conclusions are reached.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | June 6, 2002
Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre opened its 37th season last weekend with a rollicking outdoor rock 'n' roll festival near City Dock. Rock Around the Dock is a unique tribute to a genuine American art form, performed at an outdoor setting that seemed perfect for a rock show. Which raised the question: Why did it take 36 years for this great idea to germinate? The production, conceived and directed by Jeff Hitaffer and Kevin Wheatley, features a cast of eight dancers and nine singers who join a five-piece band on stage.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | June 10, 2004
Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre's Gypsy is a strong season opener. Based on the early life of stripper Gypsy Rose Lee and her formidable stage mother, Mama Rose, Gypsy is set in the final days of vaudeville. Debuting in 1957, the only collaboration between Stephen Sondheim and Jule Styne boasts a great score filled with songs such as "Small World," "Let Me Entertain You," "All I Need Is the Girl" and "Everything's Coming up Roses." Making his Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre directing debut, veteran actor, director and playwright Alan Kootsher moves the action along swiftly through a variety of scene changes.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | May 20, 1999
The Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre opens its 34th season under the stars Saturday, bringing Leonard Bernstein's "West Side Story" to the theater's historic location on Compromise Street across from City Dock.The show will be presented Thursdays through Sundays until June 26. The 1957 retelling of "Romeo and Juliet" remains a masterpiece, thanks in large part to Bernstein's incomparable score. Classic songs from the show include "Maria," "Tonight," "America," "I Feel Pretty" and "Somewhere."
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | May 29, 2003
The story of Eva Duarte, the opportunistic peasant girl who ascended the stage of history and, later, Broadway as Evita, consort of the repressive Argentine dictator Juan Peron, is a monument to excess. The hypocrisy was legendary, the profits obscene, and the spectacle grand as Eva's mystical appeal to Argentina's descamisados - the "shirtless" peasants - helped bring her husband to power and keep him there, the better to loot their country's political and economic resources. Evita, the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice musical, is no self-effacing piece of theater either, as opulent rhythms, costumes and staging effects must be brought out in any effective realization of the show.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | August 8, 2002
Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre's current show -- Promises, Promises -- promised more than it delivers in entertaining contemporary theater. Still, the play is worth seeing because first-rate actors enliven and elevate the dated material. Based on the 1960 Oscar-winning film The Apartment, the play was reworked by Neil Simon and transformed into a 1968 musical by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Although Bacharach's music is generally distinguished by sophisticated, unusual harmonies and syncopated rhythms, and Simon has few peers in creating snappy dialogue, both composer and playwright seem to have become victims of '60s irrelevance.
NEWS
June 28, 2009
Summer Garden Theatre holds musical workshop Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre holds a workshop for teens where they can explore auditioning techniques, monologues, cold readings, improvisation, vocal skills and various styles of dance. Workshop culminates in two final performances. Session runs 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 3 through 7. Students must have completed the seventh grade to attend. Final rehearsal is 5 p.m. ro 10 p.m. Aug. 10. Performances will be at 8:30 p.m. Aug. 11 and 12 at 143 Compromise St. in Annapolis.
NEWS
By MARY JOHNSON and MARY JOHNSON,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | June 1, 2007
Godspell is an inspired opener for Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre's season. It is the most joyously energetic and reverent production of this show I've yet seen. Since it first appeared in 1971, John-Michael Tebelak's show with music by Stephen Schwartz has offered freedom and flexibility of interpretation for directors and actors. ASGT Director/choreographer Doug Kotula sets the action in a contemporary New York City subway car adorned with graffiti proclaiming Jesus as Savior. "It made sense that Jesus could appear in such a familiar subway setting among stereotypical New Yorkers," said Kotula, a former New York University student.
NEWS
By MARY JOHNSON and MARY JOHNSON,Special to The Sun | May 25, 2007
Two events this week signal the start of summer in Annapolis: Naval Academy Commissioning Week and the opening of Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre. The outdoor theater across from City Dock opens its 41st season of three shows tonight: Godspell, which runs through June 23, followed by Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd in July and Thoroughly Modern Millie in August. At Godspell rehearsal on Saturday morning at West Annapolis Elementary School, director Douglas Kotula said his love for New York City inspired him to stage the production on a New York subway car. Jesus appears as the conductor and Judas as a Wall Street entrepreneur with the disciples stereotypical New Yorkers.
NEWS
By MARY JOHNSON and MARY JOHNSON,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | August 11, 2006
Cabaret opened on Broadway the same year that Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre was founded - 1966. Now the indestructible musical comes to life in the city troupe's third production of the season. Kander and Ebb's score has survived numerous revivals and interpretations, starting with its three-year inaugural run featuring Jill Haworth, Joel Grey, Jack Gilford and Lotte Lenye. It became a 1972 award-winning movie starring Liza Minelli as Sally Bowles and Grey, who again starred as the Emcee in a 1987 revival.
NEWS
By MARY JOHNSON and MARY JOHNSON,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | May 26, 2006
While Commissioning Week may mark the unofficial start of summer for some locals, the season begins for downtown theater lovers with tonight's debut at Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre. The outdoor theater across from City Dock on the site of a colonial blacksmith shop is celebrating its 40th season of presenting three shows under the stars from Thursdays to Sundays through Labor Day. Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella opens tonight and runs through June 24 followed by Urinetown The Musical in July.
NEWS
By MARY JOHNSON and MARY JOHNSON,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | May 14, 2006
The county of Maryland's capital boasts a performing arts array that might be the envy of areas twice its size, thriving culturally despite its proximity to Washington and Baltimore, where several first-rate theaters, world-class symphony orchestras and major opera companies compete. Theater Anne Arundel County's cultural hub is Annapolis, where three major theater companies are located: Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre. celebrating its 40th season; Colonial Players Inc., completing its 56th year; and relative newcomer Bay Theatre Company, ending its fourth season.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | July 16, 1998
I saw Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" last Thursday night and, true to the theme of Shakespeare's comedy of mortals and fairies, I came away enchanted.Not only was the production well-done (more on that in a moment), but the theater was packed, the audience had a marvelous time, and among those laughing loudest were many youngsters getting perhaps their first whiff of the Bard in all his glory.The play itself is the thing, of course, so how doth it fare? In most respects, forsooth, it's terrific.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | May 20, 2004
The U.S. Naval Academy's Commissioning Week signals the start of summer in Annapolis, with this year's commencement set for May 28 - the same date another harbinger of summer, Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre, begins its season. Across from City Dock at 143 Compromise St., the 200-seat courtyard theater is on the site of the city's Colonial-era blacksmith shop, where two weeks ago art luminaries gathered to celebrate Summer Garden's 39th season. On Thursdays through Sundays at 8:30 p.m. from May 28 to Sept.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | June 10, 2004
Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre's Gypsy is a strong season opener. Based on the early life of stripper Gypsy Rose Lee and her formidable stage mother, Mama Rose, Gypsy is set in the final days of vaudeville. Debuting in 1957, the only collaboration between Stephen Sondheim and Jule Styne boasts a great score filled with songs such as "Small World," "Let Me Entertain You," "All I Need Is the Girl" and "Everything's Coming up Roses." Making his Annapolis Summer Garden Theater directing debut, veteran actor, director and playwright Alan Kootsher moves the action along swiftly through a variety of scene changes.
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