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Pros and community, our theater companies go on with the show

Second acts abound in theater. So it’s a good thing for Chesapeake theater lovers that Lucinda Merry-Browne practices that art and thus is immune to novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous flawed dictum that There are no second acts in American life.     With Lost in Yonkers, the curtain rises on a second — or third or fourth — act for Merry-Browne (Merry is her birth name, not a lingering high school affectation, in case you worried). The first production...

Gravestones chronicle changing Annapolis

A friend of mine was fond of saying that cemeteries were pleasant places to walk. They’re also great places to reflect on local history and, especially this time of year, to feel the spirits of the past.     The cemeteries of St Anne’s Church and the old City Cemetery near the heart of Annapolis are a pair of open spaces wedged between busy Rowe Boulevard and West Street.     Historic St. Anne Church, rebuilt three times on Annapolis’ second-...

Was this year’s good news because of — or in spite of — our fishery practices?

The Young of Year Survey for striped bass spawning success in the Chesapeake Bay for 2011 is a whopping 34.6, the fourth highest on record since the Department of Natural Resources began this statistical measurement 58 years ago. Since our resident rockfish population has declined by approximately 30 percent over the last decade, this is great news indeed.     Twenty-two survey sites are visited monthly from July through September each year by DNR biologists, who collect fish...

Damp-loving needle cast disease thriving this year

Most narrow-leaf evergreens will shed their old needles, some more often than others. In the fall each year, you can anticipate that white pine, Virginia pine, red pine etc. will develop yellowing needles that fall and accumulate on the ground beneath the branches. Evergreens such as arborvitae, chamaecyparis, Leyland cypress and white cedar trees will also shed their needles but at a much slower rate.     Most pine trees will retain their old needles for 18 months or so...

Plotting a course to triumph

The new Compass Rose Studio Theater in Eastport’s Bay Ridge Shopping Center has hit on a winning strategy for success, debuting with Neil Simon’s Pulitzer Prize winning play, Lost in Yonkers. That strategy: deliver family entertainment starring student-child actors alongside seasoned professionals, and watch them grow. It’s inspirational on a human and artistic level.     Picture two kids in a candy store, spoiled and happy. Now turn your expectations upside...

Twin Beach Players’ cast and company unite for toothy fun.

Twin Beach Players brings Dracula to the light of day in North Beach. Needle-sharp teeth sink into soft flesh ... but I digress.     By the way, did you know that a vampire’s fangs are retractable? They are. I’ve often wondered about that.     The mood of the play is established by a lengthy, somber intro and an eerie set, evoking the interior of an old castle. Wolves  howl in the background. Just across the valley sits another old castle, which...

Discover how one family began their unhappy haunt

Sisters Katie (Katie Featherstone) and Kristi (Sprague Grayden: 24) have terrible luck. In Paranormal Activity, elder sister Katie is terrorized by a glass-breaking, door-slamming demon that wants to possess her. In Paranormal Activity 2, it’s little sister’s turn to meet this property damage-obsessed dark entity. Now in the  third things-that-go-bump-in-the-night installment, the filmmakers go back to the beginning to tell us exactly how these sisters had the misfortune to...

At Spider Hall, education and old-fashioned fun help keep the family farm in business

Squeals rise from deep inside the eight-acre corn maze. Families hitch a ride atop bales of hay. Kids scour the pumpkin patch in search of the perfect gourd. Shoppers mull over crisp apples and Maryland meat, cheese and ice cream in the farm market.     Susan and Catherine Cox — mother and daughter proprietors of Calvert County’s Spider Hall Farm — lure people to their fields with fun — hoping they leave with good memories and newfound respect for farming...

The lifting’s easier when we love it

TDML is a leaden initialism, as the experts opined at Smithsonian Environmental Research Center’s confab last week on how we can help restore the Bay by reducing our Total Daily Maximum Load.     The job is heavy lifting, too, as we’ve written in these pages more times than once, most recently in the September 29 story Sharing the Load (bayweekly.com/ articles/environment/article/sharing-load).     Yet I’m uplifted day by day in the many ways I...

From 800 pounds of trash rise the prospect of ‘an entirely green event’

Beneath the marketplace of dreams that is the U.S. Boat Shows runs a stream of waste.         That’s the conclusion of the first ever audit of the waste produced by one of the shows, this year’s Sail Boat Show.     While you were slipping off your shoes, stepping aboard sleek sailboats and sipping Pusser’s Painkillers, a pair of sustainability managers from the environmental strategies firm WasteStrategies were sorting through 800...