Hamlet in the age of Twitter and Snapchat

By: Michael Toscano

To be or not to be. Is that really the question a twitchy millennial — a man-child with little self-awareness and a slippery grasp on reality — might be asking himself in the midst of existential angst? Apparently not, if Michael Kahn’s uneven wreck of Hamlet, onstage at the Shakespeare Theatre Company through March 4, is to be believed. And that’s why we see the Danish prince ... READ MORE

Silk painter shares her skill with others

By: Rebekah Alcalde

Living in Egypt as a child during WWII, Diane Tuckman recalls, “they were shooting Jewish girls in the street...My family and I escaped [in 1949] and went to France.” Though less harrowing, even in France “it was a very difficult time after the war, with ration tickets and very little housing.” But eventually, Paris became home and much more to Tuckman. For it was there that she... READ MORE

International tai chi champions

By: Robert Friedman

Many recreation centers provide instruction in the ancient martial art of tai chi. But it’s a rare program that sends 17 of its members to China to participate in an international competition, and no doubt even rarer when such a group sweeps the awards in their categories. That’s exactly what happened, however, when a group from the East Columbia 50+ Center’s tai chi class traveled ... READ MORE

Grandmother’s kids books focus on family

By: Carol Sorgen

As is the case with most grandparents, Daneace Terry Jeffery’s grandchildren have her wrapped around every one of their adorable little fingers. But unlike most grandparents, Jeffery has made her grandchildren the stars of a series of children’s books. Her “Ella Books” are loosely based on Jeffery’s two oldest granddaughters. The third of Jeffery’s projected five-book... READ MORE

Retiree rekindles passion for painting

By: Robert Friedman

Former homemaker, beautician and banker Pauline Rakis is making up for lost painting time. It’s a pursuit she had put on hold for decades. At 74, she is now on a full brush-on-canvas schedule four days a week, at least six hours a day. One of the 25 artists who own and operate the co-op Artists Gallery in Ellicott City, Rakis spent many earlier years styling the hair of other women,... READ MORE

How to feed backyard birds this winter

By: Lela Martin

Although many of our feathered friends fly south during colder weather, other birds remain in the Richmond metropolitan area over the winter. Observing birds is one of the most popular wildlife-related activities. By feeding the birds, you will increase your opportunities to observe permanent residents, such as the cardinal, goldfinch, blue jay and tufted titmouse, as well as winter-only ... READ MORE