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By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | May 27, 2010
The most direct road to old Baltimore next week might run through Washington. Actor Laurence Fishburne takes to the stage at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday to perform the title role in "Thurgood," a one-actor play about the first African-American appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. And, as Fishburne embodies Thurgood Marshall delivering a lecture on his life at Howard University, audiences will also get a glimpse into the city where the future justice grew up. Theatergoers will meet Marshall's formidable grandmother, Annie, who launched possibly the first sit-down strike ever held in the city from her grocery store at the corner of Dolphin and Division streets.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | March 19, 2014
The Los Angeles Philharmonic brought an inspired -- you might even say brave -- program to the Kenendy Center Tuesday night and made every note of it count.  Instead of picking the usual crowd-pleasing stuff to go with Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5, as touring orchestras are apt to do, the Philharmonic's celebrated young music director, Gustavo Dudamel, chose a challenging score that divided listeners when it was first heard in 1990 and may divide...
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | December 10, 2013
Deborah F. Rutter, president of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association for the past decade, has been named president of the Kennedy Center, effective Sept. 1, 2014. She will succeed Michael M. Kaiser. As top administrator for one of the world's greatest orchestras, Rutter is a major figure in the performing arts world. The Chicago Symphony has enjoyed substantial growth in fundraising and ticket sales during her tenure. Rutter also succeeded in getting eminent Italian conductor Riccardo Muti to accept the job as the orchestra's music director.  "The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is in a great place -- musically, financially, the artistic leadership, and from an audience perspective," Rutter said in an interview Tuesday.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | March 4, 2014
The Kennedy Center's 2014-2015 season will feature a celebration of arts from the Iberian peninsula, along with the premiere of a Degas-inspired theater work, and, as usual, a wide assortment of music and dance events. The center's two major affiliate organizations will contribute to that range. Washington National Opera plans to introduce two works to its repertoire -- Daniel Catan's "Florencia in the Amazon," one of the most successful new works of the past 30 years, and Francis Poulenc's 1957 masterpiece "Dialogues of the Carmelites," both directed by the company artistic director Francesca Zambello.  Rounding out the WNO season will be Rossini's "Cenerentola," Wagner's "The Flying Dutchman" (with Eric Owens in the title role)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | July 10, 2010
Impervious to cynicism and layered with critic-retardants, "Mary Poppins" has plopped into the Kennedy Center Opera House for a nice long stay that should keep the box office humming. The musical, a Disney/Cameron Mackintosh presentation that boasts the theatrical bells and whistles expected from those forces, might not fully satisfy folks devoted to, and expecting a copy of, the popular 1964 movie that inspired it. Devotees of the children's book series by P.L. Travers that started it all might find a nit or two to pick as well.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | June 18, 2013
You may subscribe to the notion that American musicals prior to the arrival of Rodgers and Hammerstein in the 1940s are hardly worth putting back on the stage, since they're just gussied-up revues, heavy on song, dance and stale vaudeville jokes, short on artistic substance. It will be much harder holding onto such thinking if you catch the Roundabout Theatre Company revival of "Anything Goes" currently at the Kennedy Center as part of a national tour. And catch it you should. It's delicious, delirious and, yes (might as well get this cheap reference out of the way quickly)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | March 5, 2013
The Kennedy Center plans to shake up the Foggy Bottom hood next season. As part of its 2013-2014 lineup, the center will showcase a global pop music phenomenon. Really? Shizzle, man. A week-long festival, "One Mic: Hip-Hop Culture Worldwide," will feature MCing, DJing, B-Boying and more. The National Symphony will even get in the act, performing with the rapper Nas. And you thought the Kennedy Center didn't have game. On a more traditional front, Washington's premiere culture palace will offer the International Theater Festival 2014, with such productions as “A Midsummer Night's Dream” by the Bristol Old Vic from England and South Africa's Handspring Puppet Company.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | December 21, 2012
Anyone interested in time travel need not settle for an episode of “Dr. Who.” You can be whisked back to the 1950s in a flash just by catching the production of “Irving Berlin's White Christmas” at the Kennedy Center. You have to check a lot of baggage first, though. For a start, you can't take aboard any prejudices against mid-century musicals with snowflake-thin, surprise-free story lines and songs that do nothing to advance the plot or provide character insights. You also can't carry on your usual cynical antipathy to cornball humor, tap-dancing routines or precocious kids onstage.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | June 12, 2013
In theater history, the names Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne still register strongly -- the husband-and-wife team enjoyed enormous popularity on the American stage from the 1920s into the '50s. (Some of us, quite wickedly, get a very different image of Lunt and Fontanne, thanks to the duo of "Funt and Mundane" portrayed in terrific skits by Carol Burnett and Harvey Korman.)  One of the most durable vehicles the Lunts rode in their career was a comedy called "The Guardsman" that they first played on Broadway in 1924.
NEWS
Erica L. Green and Erica L. Green | September 17, 2012
Baltimore City has been chosen as the next school district to receive a comprehensive arts-education program from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the organization and city officials announced Monday. The program, "Any Given Child," will create a long-range arts education plan for Baltimore students in grades kindergarten through eight, and will be tailored specially for Baltimore city students by incorporating resources from city schools and other local arts organizations, according to a release.  The Kennedy Center will begin devising Baltimore's plan--which aims to have little administrative costs by partnering with renowned arts organizations and the local Arts Every Day program--with a comprehensive audit of arts education in city schools, which its consultants will conduct in the next six to nine months.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | February 7, 2014
The award-winning "Peter and the Starcatcher" will reach the Hippodrome in May, when I will have more to say on this delectable play. But, having enjoyed it so much on Broadway, I couldn't wait to see it again, so I headed to the Kennedy Center, where the show is running through Feb. 16 . Now I can't wait to catch it yet again in Baltimore. Yes, it's that good. If you think the prequel market was cornered by "Wicked," think again. "Peter and the Starcatcher," written by Rick Elice and based on a novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, provides a wildly imaginative back-story to "Peter Pan. " Elice, who knows a thing or two about entertainment (his credits include "Jersey Boys")
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | December 10, 2013
Deborah F. Rutter, president of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association for the past decade, has been named president of the Kennedy Center, effective Sept. 1, 2014. She will succeed Michael M. Kaiser. As top administrator for one of the world's greatest orchestras, Rutter is a major figure in the performing arts world. The Chicago Symphony has enjoyed substantial growth in fundraising and ticket sales during her tenure. Rutter also succeeded in getting eminent Italian conductor Riccardo Muti to accept the job as the orchestra's music director.  "The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is in a great place -- musically, financially, the artistic leadership, and from an audience perspective," Rutter said in an interview Tuesday.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | November 20, 2013
The DeVos Institute of Arts Management, founded in 2001 by Kennedy Center president Michael Kaiser and based at the center since then, will move to the University of Maryland's College Park campus effective Sept. 1. Kaiser, who was to have stepped down as head of the Kennedy Center at the end of 2014, will depart four months earlier in order to lead the arts management program, together with Brett Egan, its current director. The institute offers training and support for arts managers and members of arts organization boards.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | September 18, 2013
The American Opera Initiative, a worthy project launched last year by Washington National Opera, will be back this season with more premieres. Three 20-minute operas on American subjects, including a work by the Baltimore team of composer Joshua Bornfield and librettist Caitlin Vincent, will get their first hearings on Nov. 13 at the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater. Bornfield and Vincent recently collaborated on "Camelot Requiem," an effective opera commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination . For American Opera Initiative, the team is creating "Uncle Alex," an opera dealing with the immigrants arriving at Ellis Island in 1907 and "an unexpected act of heroism" that ensues.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | July 24, 2013
When the Kennedy Center opened in 1971, the Concert Hall boasted a fine pipe organ given by the great philanthropist Catherine Filene Shouise. It gradually wore out over the decades and became essentially unusable. Last fall, an impressive new instrument constructed by Casavant Freres was installed, with 85 ranks and nearly 5,000 pipes, and the center has big plans for it during the 2013-14 season. There will be three organ recitals featuring leading organists -- Cameron Carpenter, a brilliant player and showman (suggesting a sci-fi combination of Virgil Fox and Liberace)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | July 13, 2013
"The Book of Mormon" has to be the most subversive Broadway musical in history. All those other supposedly radical shows, the ones with nudity or such tough subjects as mental illness, just can't hold a candle to this insanely brilliant concoction about peppy, preachy young men from the Church of Latter-day Saints. The mucho-Tony-Award-grabbing "Mormon," now at the Kennedy Center and due to hit the Hippodrome next season, comes from the creative team of Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone, who also helped unleash "South Park" on an unsuspecting world.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | November 20, 2013
The DeVos Institute of Arts Management, founded in 2001 by Kennedy Center president Michael Kaiser and based at the center since then, will move to the University of Maryland's College Park campus effective Sept. 1. Kaiser, who was to have stepped down as head of the Kennedy Center at the end of 2014, will depart four months earlier in order to lead the arts management program, together with Brett Egan, its current director. The institute offers training and support for arts managers and members of arts organization boards.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | September 22, 2010
Baltimore-born billionaire and philanthropist David Rubenstein pledged $10 million Wednesday to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, with half of those funds earmarked for the National Symphony Orchestra. The five-year gift will include $5 million to the symphony in connection with the arrival of the group's new music director, Christoph Eschenbach; $2.5 million for a major annual cultural program at the institution; and $1.5 million for a program that brings the arts into classrooms around the U.S. The remaining $1 million will be used to support such major events as the center's annual honors gala and the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | June 18, 2013
You may subscribe to the notion that American musicals prior to the arrival of Rodgers and Hammerstein in the 1940s are hardly worth putting back on the stage, since they're just gussied-up revues, heavy on song, dance and stale vaudeville jokes, short on artistic substance. It will be much harder holding onto such thinking if you catch the Roundabout Theatre Company revival of "Anything Goes" currently at the Kennedy Center as part of a national tour. And catch it you should. It's delicious, delirious and, yes (might as well get this cheap reference out of the way quickly)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | June 12, 2013
In theater history, the names Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne still register strongly -- the husband-and-wife team enjoyed enormous popularity on the American stage from the 1920s into the '50s. (Some of us, quite wickedly, get a very different image of Lunt and Fontanne, thanks to the duo of "Funt and Mundane" portrayed in terrific skits by Carol Burnett and Harvey Korman.)  One of the most durable vehicles the Lunts rode in their career was a comedy called "The Guardsman" that they first played on Broadway in 1924.
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