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Turning a pop phenomenon into challenging life lessons

Highway medians become home to the birds, bees, butterflies

My guests were not who I expected

Billed as a smart and energetic musical comedy with a pop rock score and immensely likable story, this show delivers

A waterspout may get you if you don’t watch out

Reflections on heroes and superheroes

The music is timeless as life ­imitates art

Is it life imitates art? Or art imitates life? Either way, when Kiss Me, Kate hit Broadway back in 1948, winning a Tony Award, it marked the first time that Cole Porter’s music and lyrics integrated into a stage story, moving beyond showcasing Porter’s clever musical banter to pushing the story along. The story, told in show-within-a-show technique, is the on-and-offstage comedy of errors of the producer, director and star of musical version of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the...

More cool tips for hot summer fun

Summer brings local favorites and nationally known artists to Chesapeake Country for open-air concerts.     Hear music al fresco almost every night of summer at Chesapeake Beach Resort, with concerts ranging from $5 for local bands to $39 for Martha and the Vandellas June 10. The acts play under the half-shell bandstand. Food and drink sold separately.     Sundays June 7 to 28, hear big bands, classical, country, jazz, rock and more at Downs Park, Pasadena. Bring...

Whodunnit? Ask the audience

When Charles Dickens died 145 years ago this month, he left behind an unfinished novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Release was scheduled in a dozen installments between 1870 and 1871, but he finished only six. Afterward, it became a bit of a cottage industry to take on the novel’s completion, including deciding which of Dickens’ characters was responsible for the murder of the title character.  Would-be Dickens met with varying levels of success. One that turned out quite well...

That’s what we want in stories — and libraries

For sharks like Mary Lee, the great white star of this week’s Creature Feature, mobility is the law of life. Though even she can’t be two places at once — despite a suggestive reading from her satellite transmitter that she was swimming toward Chesapeake Beach on May 29.     For others of us, it’s hard to be anywhere but where we are. Though firmly rooted creatures like trees and oysters broadcast their seeds in uncountable abundance to transcend their...

So many variables are at play it can sometimes be baffling

We arrived at our fishing spot at 9am, two hours after the predicted low tide. Consultations with tide and current charts told us that at our location about a quarter-mile below the Bay Bridge, the incoming tide would just be starting. It ­wasn’t; the current was still going out.     Anchoring and expecting the change at any moment, we set out our chum bag and flipped our baits over the side. After an hour with no tidal change and no action, we headed farther south,...

It’s not there just to look pretty

Good mulch should be dark brown, persist for at least one growing season, be compatible with all the plants in the landscape and control weeds by suffocation only. Superb mulch does all that plus providing slow-release nutrients to feed the plants it is mulching.     Mother Nature provides us with an abundance of mulches every fall. Fallen leaves and pine needles are excellent mulches satisfying every standard except being dark brown.  I have never purchased a bag of...

Seach the sky for Berenice’s hair and Ariadne’s crown

The moon wanes to last-quarter Tuesday, rising more than a half-hour later each night, providing an increasingly darker backdrop for sky-watching.     As the evening sky begins to darken, the first lights to appear are the planets Venus and Jupiter high in the west. Then you might notice golden Saturn aglow in the southeast. The next brightest object to appear is Arcturus, almost directly overhead.     Arcturus is the third brightest star in the heavens and is...

It’s a disaster!

Rescue pilot Ray Gaines (Dwayne Johnson: Furious 7) has saved countless lives. But he was unable to save his daughter from drowning on a family trip. Haunted by memories, Ray drove away his wife Emma (Carla Gugino: Match) and his surviving daughter Blake (Alexandra Daddario: Burying the Ex). Now he longs to have them back.     What could possibly mend this broken family?     How about a catastrophic earthquake along the California coast?     When...

At stake: The location, size and scope of Anne Arundel County public libraries

You’d expect this kind of action in a thriller borrowed from your public library. Not over it.     Instead, Anne Arundel County’s public libraries are the story in a showdown with high stakes: The location, size and scope of public libraries for the county’s 555,743 people.     On one side is County Executive Steve Schuh, now six months in office. His first budget proposes a JumpStart Anne Arundel Capital Funding Program to initiate “a new...

Open season on these “voracious predators”

Reader Jesse Ledford asks: “Are there any reports on snakeheads in the Patuxent River? I’ve seen one in a lake in Lusby that runs into the Patuxent.”     There sure are, and that’s not the only place. Scientists at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center have received reports of snakehead fish in the Patuxent, with some caught in the main stem near Jug Bay. The Potomac is prime snakehead territory. The highly adaptable predator has also shown up on...