November 10, 2005
We loved that song. While Mama was at work, my younger sister Reagan and I used to blast Arrested Development's "People Everyday." The hit was on the radio, like, every 10 minutes during the summer of '92. As I cranked up the volume, I'd call out to Reagan, who was always in the bathroom mirror experimenting with her hair: "Girl, the jam's on!" She'd fly into the living room - one side of her head done, the other side looking like she had been in a fight. And we'd hurriedly move the coffee table out of the way for our own Soul Train.
September 9, 2004
The Vagabond Players' new season focuses primarily on modern American masters, from Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams to Lerner and Loewe. But as its season opener, the theater has taken a risk on a relative newcomer - a cartoonist/screenwriter/playwright named Doug Stone. It's not a risk that pays off. An account of a suburban Tupperware party in 1968, Stone's Sealed for Freshness is a pretty stale affair. The play begins with a housewife named Bonnie (Debra Tracey) being told by her husband (Steven Michael Kovalic)
October 9, 1999
"Have Arm, Will Travel."That could be the calling card for Neil O'Donnell, the former University of Maryland quarterback who has become a vagabond in the NFL.O'Donnell, who will quarterback the Tennessee Titans tomorrow against the Ravens, is playing for his fifth head coach and fourth team in the past five years.O'Donnell has become a symbol of the perils of free agency -- players who leave a good situation for a lucrative one that may not be a good fit for them.In just more than three years, O'Donnell has gone from Super Bowl starter, a quarterback who got a $25 million deal, to one who has been cut in successive years by the Jets and Bengals.
January 25, 2007
As enjoyable as an evening of music by a favorite songwriter can be, it's even more fun to discover the talents of someone new. To be honest, David Friedman isn't a newcomer. His songs have been recorded by Barry Manilow and Diana Ross, and I am a fan of the late cabaret singer Nancy LaMott's recordings of his music. So, I had some familiarity with Friedman before the Vagabond Players' engaging, current production of his musical revue, Listen to My Heart. Judging from the two dozen songs in this revue, certain themes recur in Friedman's work - the notion that opposites attract; the importance of getting the most out of life; and a stalwart belief that it is possible to find a soulmate.
September 21, 2006
Almost exactly a year after August Wilson's untimely death at age 60, the Vagabond Players is honoring the playwright's memory with a moving production of one of his most magnificent works - Joe Turner's Come and Gone. Chronologically the second play in Wilson's decade-by-decade chronicle of 20th century African-American life, Joe Turner is set in a Pittsburgh boarding house in 1911. The Vagabonds production is directed by Amini Johari-Courts, who also staged this play at Arena Players in 1993, five years after it was seen on Broadway.
July 31, 2008
John Bruce Johnson, a retired teacher whom friends called the "patriarch of community theater in Baltimore," died of dementia Sunday at Seasons Hospice and Palliative Care. The Canton resident was 77. "The Vagabond [Players] claim to be the oldest continuously running little theater in the country, and Johnson is really only the second long-term leader it has had in its 82 years," said a 1998 Sun profile of him. The paper's story went on to describe him as "an oddly typical old-time amiable Baltimorean with old-time Baltimore idiosyncrasies.