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Articles by Jane C. Elkin

I was choked up from the moment the somber workhouse orphans marched onstage

Lionel Bart’s musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic Oliver Twist has seen a lot of action in 50 years: 10 Tony nominations and five Oscars, including 1969’s Best Picture. It’s the tale of an innocent orphan among a den of thieves in Victorian London, a story I’ve seen and performed countless times....

This Bay Theatre Company show will appeal to any with emotion and ears to hear

“How was the play?” my son-in-law, the family sports, poker and comics buff, asked.
    “Good,” I said, “but two hours of Emily Dickinson wouldn’t be your style.”
...

An abstract painting sets cast and audience wondering how well you know your friends — and yourself

In 1994, French playwright Yasmina Reza wrote an intellectual comedy about friendship, the foundations upon which it’s built and the walls we erect to preserve it. Three Moliere Awards, one translation and a Tony later, Art entertains  audiences with a message that seems more relevant than ever in this era of cyber friendships....

See the miracle four young student actors achieve with the guidance of pros

Imagine for a moment that you can neither see nor hear, that you careen through life as an animal trapped in a silent, black maze.Omnipotent beings collude against your wild frustration until only your savagery can wear them down enough to earn you meager bribes and scraps of their exasperated affection. Such is the life of six-year-old Helen Keller.
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These contests need writers

You have a story to tell. It’s the image that stays with you, whether you want it to or not. It’s that anecdote you tell at parties that makes people say, you ought to write that down.
    Your story could be a winner in more ways than one. Maryland is fertile ground for budding authors, and writing contests abound.  
...

Kleenex needed for this unrequited romance about the surprise of the human condition — as we all know it.

Love Letters is a simple show about a complex relationship chronicled through 50 years of letters. It needs, playwright A.R. Gurney says, “no theater, no lengthy rehearsal, no special set, no memorization of lines and no commitment from its two actors beyond the night of performance.”
    If those actors happen to be a couple? All the better.
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Superb casting, sumptuous costumes, stunning sets and whimsical dance can transcend even the flimsiest plot

Remember Nelson Eddie and Jeanette MacDonald singing Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life, At Last I’ve Found You in their 1935 debut film, Naughty Marietta?
    No?
    How about Madeline Kahn in Young Frankenstein?
    Ah, I thought so.
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The dysfunctional family of this fractured fairy tale is the medieval equivalent of trailer park trash in a neighborhood populated by Grimms’ all-stars.

Ladies: Did you grow up on Cinderella dreams? How did that work out for you?
    Gentlemen: Is the prince for real?
    Parents: Which frustrates you more — the Disney princess culture or books such as the best-selling Cinderella Ate My Daughter that denigrate it?
...

Volunteers take flight each year so that isolated Tangier Island has a green Christmas

The miracle of flight has long been Santa’s secret to guaranteed overnight delivery, but sometimes the reindeer need a break. During the pre-Christmas rush they’re in demand everywhere, including some pretty remote locales....

Louisa May Alcott’s classic is perfect for young romantics as well as nostalgic mature ladies

Louisa May Alcott’s classic Little Women is one of those novels you either love or love to forget. It’s sweet or cloying, buoyant or overblown, fiery or flagging — and so is the musical, Colonial Players’ last offering of 2011....