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By Tim Smith | January 9, 2013
By now, 60 long years after Agatha Christie's “The Mousetrap” opened in London, the whodunit is more of a fixture than a stage show. It apparently cannot ever be stopped on that side of The Pond, where it has surpassed the 25,000th performance mark and still holds firmly onto the record as the world's longest-running play. On our shores, the work never became such an institution, but it still continues to attract attention now and then, particularly from community theater groups.
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NEWS
By Chris Kaltenbach, The Baltimore Sun | August 16, 2014
Get ready for some seriously cheap entertainment. Free Fall Baltimore, the city's annual nod to its budget-conscious fans of culture, will return for its ninth installment in October. Scores of museums, entertainment venues, cultural organizations and other city attractions will be opening their doors free of charge, offering a range of events including plays, dance performances, tours, concerts and lectures. Among the offerings: •The Welcome Winter Family Fair, Oct. 4 at Hampden's COW Company Theatre •Free admission to the Baltimore Museum of Industry on Oct. 5 and 14 •A WEAA-sponsored lecture and performance on "Baltimore's Jazz Scene: 1934" on Oct. 9 at the Walters Art Museum •Puppet-making workshops and shows at the Black Cherry Puppet Theater, every Sunday in October •A performance of "Ain't Misbehavin' by the Vagabond Players on Oct. 16 •A Harbor Harvest Children's Festival Oct. 19at West Shore Park •An open rehearsal with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra on Oct. 21 In all, nearly 70 groups are participating in Free Fall Baltimore 2014, offering more than 200 events and activities; some require tickets or advance registration.
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EXPLORE
By Mike Giuliano | September 15, 2011
Vagabond Players may save money on its utility bill this month, because much of "Wait Until Dark" actually takes place in the dark. Although Frederick Knott's 1966 Broadway thriller tends to be slow and creaky, it's still capable of making you nervous. The Vagabond production likewise knows how to make you feel uneasy. Knott's play is best-remembered for its 1967 movie version starring Audrey Hepburn. It would be unreasonable to expect any actor to match up to Hepburn's delicately beautiful aura, but April Rejman is persuasive as a blind woman, Susy Hendrix, who is terrorized by thugs in a Greenwich Village apartment.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | May 6, 2014
In the canon of stage comedies, Larry Shue's "The Foreigner" may not rank in the uppermost percentile, but there sure is something awfully likable about it. The work has been widely and frequently performed since its off-Broadway premiere in 1984, a year before the playwright's death in a plane crash at the age of 39. It offers abundant opportunities for actors -- there really is no small part -- and a plot that manages to combine wacky humor with...
EXPLORE
By Mike Giuliano | January 10, 2013
Agatha Christie's "The Mousetrap" opened in London in 1952 and continues to run there. The world's longest running play also remains popular with community theaters around the globe. As the Vagabond Players production demonstrates, this murder mystery remains entertaining. Considered from a sternly logical standpoint, Christie's play suffers from stereotypical characters, a formulaic story and preposterous plot twists. Sternly logical people should avoid this play and the rest of us should avoid them by going to see it. Christie's simple formula involves placing a group of quirky guests in an isolated country inn, stranding them there when heavy snow closes local roads, making them nervous upon learning about a recent unsolved murder, bringing in a policeman to investigate, and consequently having the guests and the audience alike realize that everybody at the inn seems mighty suspicious.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | June 12, 2013
In terms of enthusiasm for the art form, there is really no difference between community theater groups, with their mostly volunteer corps, and professional companies, with their Actors' Equity card-carrying cast members. It's the matter of artistic quality that tends to separate the waters. But, as many a what-I-do-for-love actor will tell you, there isn't an automatic correlation between a pay check and a good performance. And when the fates allow, a community theater can deliver remarkably satisfying work.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | April 18, 2013
According to an old song, there's a broken heart for every light on Broadway. There's also a lot of humor to be mined from all that disappointment, all those shattered dreams littering the theater industry, where producers scramble for backers, playwrights dream way too big, and aspiring actors will leap at any opportunity. Whether “Room Service,” the 1937 farce by John Murray and Allen Boretz, is the best comedy to be inspired by this volatile milieu can be debated. The work, which has been given a welcome, if spotty, revival by Vagabond Players, certainly creaks in places.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | January 9, 2013
By now, 60 long years after Agatha Christie's “The Mousetrap” opened in London, the whodunit is more of a fixture than a stage show. It apparently cannot ever be stopped on that side of The Pond, where it has surpassed the 25,000th performance mark and still holds firmly onto the record as the world's longest-running play. On our shores, the work never became such an institution, but it still continues to attract attention now and then, particularly from community theater groups.
ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck | February 15, 1996
Jean Anouilh's historical drama "Becket" opens tomorrow at the Vagabond Players.Barry Feinstein directs this study of political vs. religious allegiance. Tom Nolte plays the title role opposite Mark Williams as Henry II.Show times at the Vagabond Players, 806 S. Broadway, are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sundays, through March 17. Tickets are $9 and $10. Call (410) 563-9135.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck | April 25, 1991
By now, there have been more versions of "Rashomon" than there are folds in a piece of origami.The account of a rape and murder retold four different ways by four different sources, it originated as Japanese stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa. These were adapted into an Academy Award-winning movie by Akira Kurosawa in 1951. Eight years later "Rashomon" showed up on Broadway, scripted by Fay and Michael Kanin. And, hoping to cash in on a good thing, MGM remade it as a Western -- retitled "The Outrage" -- in 1964.
NEWS
By Mike Giuliano | March 28, 2014
Theaters usually take a short break between productions in order to catch their breath, but Columbia's Red Branch Theatre Company is about to have two musicals running in repertory that hopefully won't have the theater staff running out of breath. The pairing is titled "The Love/Loss Cycle. " It consists of "The Last Five Years," opening on Friday, April 4, and "john and jen," opening on April 18. The production schedules overlap late in the run, and there are even two dates on which you can see both shows on the same day. Helping keep things on track is the director of both shows, Stephanie Lynn Williams, who is this theater company's co-founder and executive producer.
NEWS
Jacques Kelly | September 13, 2013
While Baltimore's development community was focused on the City Council vote on Harbor Point this week, a crew of test-boring workers set up equipment at the corner of Charles and Read streets in Mount Vernon. They fired up a derrick and drilled down through the asphalt to see if a new eight-story apartment building could rise just a couple of blocks from the Washington Monument. If this one gets built — and there have been unkept promises at Charles and Read before — an unattractive, gap-toothed hole in the neighborhood would be filled with what promises to be a stylish apartment house with an expansive view on Baltimore history.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | June 12, 2013
In terms of enthusiasm for the art form, there is really no difference between community theater groups, with their mostly volunteer corps, and professional companies, with their Actors' Equity card-carrying cast members. It's the matter of artistic quality that tends to separate the waters. But, as many a what-I-do-for-love actor will tell you, there isn't an automatic correlation between a pay check and a good performance. And when the fates allow, a community theater can deliver remarkably satisfying work.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | April 18, 2013
According to an old song, there's a broken heart for every light on Broadway. There's also a lot of humor to be mined from all that disappointment, all those shattered dreams littering the theater industry, where producers scramble for backers, playwrights dream way too big, and aspiring actors will leap at any opportunity. Whether “Room Service,” the 1937 farce by John Murray and Allen Boretz, is the best comedy to be inspired by this volatile milieu can be debated. The work, which has been given a welcome, if spotty, revival by Vagabond Players, certainly creaks in places.
EXPLORE
By Mike Giuliano | January 10, 2013
Agatha Christie's "The Mousetrap" opened in London in 1952 and continues to run there. The world's longest running play also remains popular with community theaters around the globe. As the Vagabond Players production demonstrates, this murder mystery remains entertaining. Considered from a sternly logical standpoint, Christie's play suffers from stereotypical characters, a formulaic story and preposterous plot twists. Sternly logical people should avoid this play and the rest of us should avoid them by going to see it. Christie's simple formula involves placing a group of quirky guests in an isolated country inn, stranding them there when heavy snow closes local roads, making them nervous upon learning about a recent unsolved murder, bringing in a policeman to investigate, and consequently having the guests and the audience alike realize that everybody at the inn seems mighty suspicious.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith | January 9, 2013
By now, 60 long years after Agatha Christie's “The Mousetrap” opened in London, the whodunit is more of a fixture than a stage show. It apparently cannot ever be stopped on that side of The Pond, where it has surpassed the 25,000th performance mark and still holds firmly onto the record as the world's longest-running play. On our shores, the work never became such an institution, but it still continues to attract attention now and then, particularly from community theater groups.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck | November 14, 1991
"Nine" was far from a standard musical when it opened on Broadway in 1982, and it is far from a standard selection for the Vagabond Players.Not only is this Maury Yeston-Arthur Kopit musical based on the seemingly unlikely source of Federico Fellini's semi-autobiographical, impressionistic film, "8 1/2 ," but the original production featured a cast of 21 women and one man (and several children), most of whom spent most of the show moving around a set that represented a Venetian spa.At the Vagabonds, director Todd Pearthree has trimmed the cast down to 13 women, one man and one child, and the fluid way he choreographs their movements on the constricted set is a mini-marvel.
ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,Theater Critic | February 28, 1992
Playwright Arthur Miller likes to build furniture in his spare time. It's a fitting hobby; his appreciation of solid craftsmanship is reflected in the structure of his plays. And, in the case of "The Price," solidly built furniture is the subject of the most memorable speech.Banging his hand on a heavy wood table, Gregory Solomon, an 89-year-old Russian-Jewish furniture dealer, exclaims, ". . .this table. . . Listen! You can't move it. A man sits down to such a table, he knows not only he's married, he's got to stay married -- there is no more possibilities."
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | January 9, 2013
By now, 60 long years after Agatha Christie's “The Mousetrap” opened in London, the whodunit is more of a fixture than a stage show. It apparently cannot ever be stopped on that side of The Pond, where it has surpassed the 25,000th performance mark and still holds firmly onto the record as the world's longest-running play. On our shores, the work never became such an institution, but it still continues to attract attention now and then, particularly from community theater groups.
EXPLORE
By Mike Giuliano | October 25, 2011
Prepare ye the way of another revival of "Godspell," whose hippie-era aura makes it a cultural relic from early 1970s pop culture. It would not be reasonable to expect this perky musical to seem as fresh now as it did way back when, but the production at Vagabond Players serves as a lively reminder that this show still knows how to lift the spirits. Baby-boomers who first saw this musical at a tender age probably have had its score stored away in their subconscious ever since then.
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