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Articles by Jane C. Elkin

Not up to Twain’s standard

Good theater, like good fiction, convinces the audience to suspend its disbelief, and Mark Twain’s genius was his ability to convey place and personality with such unblinking realism that we embrace his story no matter how far-fetched. In The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, that meant accepting that Tom (John Patterson), a kid from a good home, could be best friends with the town delinquent, Huck Finn (Erik W....

Last chance to see Shakespeare live before he disappears into the mists of time for another 400 years

Not ready to hang up Halloween? Then Theater 11 has just the treat for you this Friday, All Saints Day and Saturday, All Souls Day). It’s a spirited comedy featuring a celebrity ghost, Shakespeare.
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Little shop; big hit

Was it really 30 years ago this week that Little Shop of Horrors made its Broadway debut? How can that be when it still feels fresh as a daisy?
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An entertaining transposition of Shakespeare to the 1950s

Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing endures because audiences love smart love stories. Twenty years ago, Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson revived it on film. Joss Whedon’s critically acclaimed remake — now showing at the West End Cinema in D.C. — is set in modern-day California.
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I loved every minute and may go back for more

It’s hard being special. Just ask the contestants in Dignity Players’ 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, the 2005 Tony Award-winning musical about five over-achieving basket cases and an accidental also-ran.
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A little Neil Simon and a little Seinfeld, it’s a lively summer diversion.

When The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife debuted on Broadway in 2000, one reviewer called its three leads the only three reasons to see Charles Busch’s breakthrough Tony-nominee. It’s not hard to see why.
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With dinner and drinks, Comedy in the Courtyard is your ticket to Tuesday night fun

Sitting under the towering magnolia of the Reynolds Tavern courtyard, I sip a spiked summer Tavern Tea and munch fried green tomatoes with shrimp and corn relish, all the enticement I need to come out on a warm weeknight. But there’s more. Listening to the gentle strains of a harpsichord, I am transported back in time — way back to 1664 for Moliere’s Tartuffe, the Annapolis Shakespeare Company’s first production in the new Comedy in the Courtyard series.
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Rich not only in sound but also in spectacle

Atorch flickers in the castle keep before the orchestra plays a note, illuminating the Dark Ages and modern times alike with the dream of Camelot. 2nd Star Productions’ revival of Lerner and Loewe’s 1960 blockbuster sparkles like a chandelier with 33 local stars in sumptuous costumes and sets, under the visionary direction of Jane B. Wingard. It’s three hours of enchantment and unflagging entertainment.
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Big entertainment with 17 singers and dancers, 30 songs and dances and 100 costumes

Swing! was a gusty and lusty blast from the past on Friday night at Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre. At 53 degrees with gale-force winds, it felt like Winter Garden Theatre. President Carolyn Kirby said she hadn’t seen the like since the cast were babes. But as the program notes, “Swing was never a time or place — it has always been a state of mind.” In the end, mind triumphed over season.
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This cabaret of pop, Broadway and opera tunes is a fun potpourri

Theater 11 is the 2003 creation of 11 artists from the Anne Arundel County theater and music scene, devised to bring new or rare works to local audiences. They began with a seldom seen Wendy Wasserstein play, followed by two original works by local authors. Their stage went dark after two seasons while its members focused on life’s larger needs. But their vision never died....