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Arts and Culture

Intrigue at the highest levels in politics, journalism and gender

      In 1971, a secret study exposing the futility of the Vietnam War was leaked to the New York Times. Printing it reveals decades of deception. The Pentagon Papers, as the explosive revelations were known, shook the American people’s trust in their government and infuriated the Nixon administration.       Nixon sued. The Times was barred from further revelations while the Supreme Court deliberated on the paper’s First Amendment rights to print.

King’s words resound in drama and music this weekend

      Fifty-five years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. proclaimed “I have a dream!” from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the 50th anniversary year of King’s death, those rousing words will resound in Annapolis.

She seeks success in high-stakes poker

     Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain: The Zookeeper’s Wife) has impressive credentials. An Olympic-caliber skier and academic whiz on her way to Harvard Law School, she impresses everyone but domineering father (Kevin Costner: Hidden Figures). When her Olympic dreams crash, Molly abandons her father’s plan and heads to LA. 

A beautiful fairy tale for fish out of water 

     Orphan Elisa Esposito (Sally Hawkins: Maudie) knows hard times. Mute since a childhood throat slashing, she works as an unnoticed janitor at a secret government facility in Baltimore.       Her life ticks by in lonely minutes until agent Strickland (Michael Shannon: Nocturnal Animals) introduces an amphibious humanoid called the Asset. Worshiped as a god in South America, the Asset was captured to add to America’s Cold War arsenal. 

The force fully awakens in the space adventure we deserve

     Former stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega: Detroit) wakes from his coma to finds things looking dire in a galaxy far, far away.       Better financed and armed, the evil First Order is crushing the rebellion led by General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher, in her final role). The rebels’ last fighters flee across the universe with the First Order hot on their heels.

Artist John W. ‘Bud’ Taylor inspired an ethic of land preservation

     Mayo resident John W. ‘Bud’ Taylor told us (https://tinyurl.com/BW-Taylor-99) that for him, being outdoors wasn’t exactly a drive. “It’s more a refreshment, like recharging your batteries,” he said. It turns out that it was actually Bud, who passed away at the age of 86 on Oct. 28, who was recharging our collective drive all these years to treasure and protect the Bay landscapes. 

Take advantage of the quiet — and of migration — to go birding

     Winter is a wonderful time to study nature in Chesapeake Country. Yes, you read that correctly, the dreaded season of cold and snow. Before I am lambasted for being a warm-weather heretic, let me explain my reasoning.      First, winter in the natural world is mostly a quiet time for humans and nature alike. Similar to our many hardwood species, the crowds of summer now lie dormant, giving you plenty of space to enjoy the natural world.

This engrossing dramedy makes art from catastrophe

     Greg Sestero (Dave Franco: The Little Hours) is an actor seeking the courage to perform. A ball of nerves in his San Francisco acting classes, he finds inspiration in mysterious and fearless classmate Tommy Wiseau (James ­Franco: The Vault).

How to sing Messiah for St. James’ sing-along

     On key, according to Michael Ryan, the mighty voice retired from the President’s Own U.S. Marine Band and, later, St. Mary’s College to lead Chesapeake Country in a unique opportunity to sing George Frideric Handel’s most beloved and “accessible” oratorio.

A boy pursues his dream through the land of the dead in this gorgeous film

     Music is a dirty word in Miguel’s (voiced by Anthony Gonzalez: Icebox) family. It’s been banned since his great-great-grandfather abandoned the family to chase dreams of fame as a singer. Miguel is destined to continue the family business, making shoes, and hand it on to the next generation.        But Miguel has music in his blood.