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Performing Arts

Plenty of solid hits light up nine innings

     Colonial Players’ One-Act Play Festival has been a biyearly summer event since 1999. This year’s installment, THIS AND THAT, presents nine plays across two slates, THIS and THAT, running on alternating dates. The Festival is an occasion for novice directors, production staff and actors to produce known and unknown works under the tutelage of seasoned mentors.

Two past winners illustrate the magic of make-believe

     Make a play! Bay Weekly challenged two aspiring young playwrights to show us how the Twin Beach Players Kids Playwriting Festival lights the fire of creativity.     Holmes and Watson Make the Best Summer Ever is the result.

Talent Machine’s young actors are rehearsing for life

     Talent Machine is a gifted crew of kids and volunteers who make magic for audiences of every age. This year, the seven- to 14-year-old troupe is working on Peter Pan; the kids have learned lines, choreography and music to captivate audiences. From this experience, they’ll take away more than memories and new friends.     As actors, they have learned to manage their time, to carry on when things didn’t go according to plan and to work with different people. Most of all, they have gained confidence in themselves.

Magical flight beyond Neverland

     Peter Pan is an ageless adventure in a magical realm of opportunity and imagination. It’s impossible to stay earthbound when Peter Pan (Sam Ellis), Wendy (Lucy O’Brien), Michael (Tad Clifton) and John (Connor McCarty) lift off from the stage to fly to Neverland.

A show of fun and fashion delights kids and the adults who bring them

Infinity Theatre — which has gained a solid reputation for bringing New York talent to the Annapolis stage — gives young audiences as well as adults a taste of professional theater.     Infinity’s production of The Emperor’s New Clothes is a delight; you know it’s a winner when the parents and grandparents cheer and clap as enthusiastically as the kids they’ve accompanied.

Teen players give you hope in youth and humanity

An all-teen cast draws a fine line between the real and unreal in Twin Beach Players’ Harvey. We’ve known Elwood P. Dowd since 1944, when Mary Chase’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play opened on Broadway, but most notably in James Stewart’s 1950 movie incarnation.     In all those years, nobody has ever seen Dowd’s best friend and constant companion, a six-foot-three-inch tall white rabbit named Harvey.
It would be a shame for one seat to go empty during this run.
Debuting to 10 Tony Awards 50 years ago, Hello, Dolly! is a rarity among musicals: song and dance blend seamlessly with story, its buoyant innocence saving it from contrivance. Based on Thornton Wilder’s play The Matchmaker, it’s a perfect vehicle for 2nd Star Productions, long recognized for outstanding musicals. The combination of strength in show and talent makes this the best amateur musical production I have seen in 13 years of reviewing.   

Gather under the stars for satins and sequins, top hats and tails and vocal harmonies with that Merry Melodies brand of manic sweetness

It seems only yesterday we were urged to come and meet those dancing feet … on 42nd Street. But the 2001 revival of the 1980 Broadway hit (both multiple Tony Award winners) debuted as a 1933 Warner Brothers film starring Ruby Keeler and Ginger Rogers. Now Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre brings back this buoyant musical extravaganza, after a 20-year hiatus, in a show billed as a “bold celebration of the transcendent joys of Broadway.”

Farewell, Dignity Players

Less is more.         For nine years, Dignity Players proved it. The focus of this unique volunteer theater company was not on complex sets, colorful costumes, tricky lighting and sound effects. It couldn’t be, because for Dignity those things didn’t exist. All that existed was the small, bare stage at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis.

In acting, production and design, local theaters claim the gold

It’s official. Anne Arundel County has some of the region’s best amateur theatrical troupes, as was proven again this year at the 14th Annual Washington Area Theatre Community Honors — WATCH — Awards. With 500 thespians and designers from 33 theaters gathered at the Birchmere in Alexandria for their version of the Oscars, Colonial Players and 2nd Star Productions took home a quarter of the awards. If you saw 2nd Star’s Camelot or Colonial’s Shipwrecked, Trying or 177 — four of the night’s most nominated shows — you know why.