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Arts and Culture (Theatre Reviews)

You’re never too young to fall for the magic of theater

 

When I went to see 42nd Street on opening night, I remembered my days as a young actress. When the school play was announced, I would race to the audition. I adored the chance to sing, dance and act as someone that I was not. I became a chorus member, a munchkin, a princess, a sailor and a wardrobe. The stage transported me to fairytale lands and long-past eras. Now I love going to youth theater productions to see where and when these children are transported today.

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Irresistible ’90s’ choreography with five singing and dancing guys

Altar Boyz is the This is Spinal Tap of boy bands. As that classic 1980s’ movie mocked heavy metal bands, so does Altar Boyz mock the marketed maleness of the Backstreet Boys, New Kids on the Block and Menudo. But it does so gently, with an affection that softens the satire and allows the audience to appreciate the characters and their story.
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2nd Star’s production has it all: unique characters, intertwining stories and beautiful music

       Ragtime began as a novel. Next, E. L. Doctorow’s historical novel published in 1975, was made into a movie.  In 1998, it opened as a Broadway musical with a book by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens....

Come for the songs

       When Woody Allen’s movie Bullets Over Broadway opened in 1994, it received mostly positive reviews. Then Allen decided to make it a Broadway musical — without original music. Instead, standards from the 1920s and 1930s were inserted throughout. The result: tepid reviews and a short run of just 100 performances, despite a slew of Tony nominations.

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These creative cross-dressers would just like to have fun. But can they? 

      "Men’s clothing is the fashion equivalent of Mexican food: eight ingredients served 75 ways."
–Albert/Bessie
 
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People of all ages and great talent bring the Bible to life

       A Broadway-style show with choreography, live music, costumes and professional-grade theatrical lighting may seem a bit ambitious for a church production. Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church in Severn pulls it off beautifully in Children of Eden.

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Join Neil Simon and local talent for this lovely and ­nostalgic stroll

 Spring has been dragging its feet across the region, but it’s sprung in Twin Beach Players’ production of Barefoot in the Park. Neil Simon’s lighthearted 1960s’ comedy about the first days of marriage between a free spirited bride and a buttoned-up groom is charming and full of laughs. This smart and masterfully written script sets up silly and wonderful situations fueled by lots of love — and too much Ouzo. 

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This wonderful production gives us deep emotions and high elation 

        A Chorus Line debuted on Broadway in 1975 and set records by running for more than 6,000 performances. The production now running at Compass Rose Theater, scheduled to close May 20, deserves to set records of its own.

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If you need a few laughs — and who doesn’t — grab your ticket 

         Colonial Players’ Lucky Stiff, a musical and comic charmer, is organized chaos. It takes precision to do comedy right. Director Eric Hufford’s production is laugh-out-loud funny not just because of the material — c’mon, if you read a story about a dead guy being shown around Monaco in a wheelchair, would you have laughed?...

How much of ourselves must we give up to coexist?

         It’s unusual for a play to have more relevance today than when it was written, but Ayad Akhtar’s Disgraced, which won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for drama, resonates powerfully in the context of current events that have awakened a deep-seated fear of dark-skinned, mustachioed people in many Americans....