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Arts and Culture (Theatre Reviews)

Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre, 2nd Star Productions and Colonial Players take top Ruby Griffith Awards

 If dinner and a show sound like an ideal date night but you’re reluctant to drive to the city and drop $75 a ticket, consider that some of the area’s best theater is right in your own back yard at a fraction of the price. Such was proven last month for the 10th time in as many years when three troupes from Anne Arundel County nearly swept highest honors at the 45th Annual Ruby Griffith Awards.  

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Dickens’ last becomes a whodunnit

            Charles Dickens’ commentaries showed the often dark and ­dreary reality of life in Victorian England. So why is a group of teenage actors of The Talent Machine Company dancing and singing a Dickens’ story at St. John’s College?

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Come to hear kids tell you what’s on their minds

   Scene: An up-and-coming Bayside town. The building, a Boys and Girls Club, is charming in a functional way, surrounded by playgrounds and parking lots, filled with laughter and noise. Rooms are utilitarian. Walls are speckled with flyers for team meetings and reading club dates.

            Despite its sensible nature, the building shimmers with the energy of kids unleashed.

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Rocking with televangelical energy

Surely you remember Whoopi Goldberg in the hit film Sister Act? How outsized she was as nightclub chanteuse Deloris Van Cartier, how woefully entangled with her married mobster boyfriend, how terrified when she saw him shoot a man in cold blood and how hilarious she was masquerading as a nun? Hold that thought …

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Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy yields a full house of fun

It takes chutzpah to put on a Pulitzer Prize-winning play, but Twin Beach Players thrives on challenge.

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A moviemaker without a script meets all the loves of his life in this seductive musical



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Boys will be boys, but their parents can be hell

"My whole life is in there!" That’s the quote of the night as Alan becomes tragically detached from a part of his body — his cell phone — in Yasmina Reza’s Tony Award-winning God of Carnage, playing through March at Compass Rose Theater. In his playbill notes, director Steven Carpenter quotes playwright Reza as saying of her plays: “They are funny tragedy, but they are tragedy.” Indeed.

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Shakespeare makes a thrilling return to the Dark Ages

This month Annapolitans celebrate Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary with not only his First Folio on display at St. John’s College’s Mitchell Gallery but also a fine production of Hamlet at the Compass Rose Studio Theater.
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First-rate performers, playful ­choreography, excellent music and an enduring message

The game of life has no stadium or season yet is rife with winners and losers, superstars and scandals. We all love a good underdog story, and if it can be told in song and dance, all the better. Compass Rose Theater’s The Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd is just such a spectacle.
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Annapolis Shakespeare Company delivers a deep play for thoughtful viewers

Director Donald Hicken, a Helen Hayes winner and Tony nominee, has adapted Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters to convey with elegant simplicity and exquisite bleakness the provinciality of a place so depressing it is identified only as “not Moscow.” This show is the company’s strongest production to date. But it is not for playgoers with seasonal depression.
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