Variety of shows on tap on area stages

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Carol Sorgen

Amy Luchey and Jim Baxter dance as Millie and Jimmy during the Jazz Age in Thoroughly Modern Millie, playing through Aug. 2 at Cockpit in Court Summer Theater at Baltimore County-Essex Community College.
Courtesy of Zach Miller

​​Maryland is particularly rich when it comes to community theatre, and this summer’s range of offerings — from comedy to drama to musicals — once again proves the point.

Spotlighters Theatre

​Through Aug. 2, Spotlighters Theatre puts on Altar Boyz, a “foot-stomping, rafter-raising, musical comedy” about a fictitious Christian boy-band on the last night of their national “Raise the Praise” tour. The Boyz are five singing, dancing heartthrobs from Ohio: Matthew, Mark, Luke, Juan and Abraham.

As they perform their signature hits such as “Rhythm in Me,” “The Calling,” and “I Believe,” the Boyz question their loyalty to each other and ask whether or not faith is really holding them together. They finally deliver a message of unity, that “there is no star as bright as its constellation, no harmony in a single voice.” ​

Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for those 60+, and $16 for students and military. Spotlighters is located at 817 St. Paul St. Call (410) 752-1225 or visit www.spotlighters.org.

Vagabond Players

​Vagabond Players, the oldest continuous “little theater” in the United States, presents Commander through July 26. Is America ready for a gay President? Governor Ned Worley is about to find out. But can the ambitious politician prove the naysayers wrong, or will personal demons, and a troubled partner, scuttle his historic candidacy?

Vagabond is located at 806 S. Broadway St. Ticket prices range from $10 to $17. Call (410) 563-9135 or visit www.vagabondplayers.org.

Cockpit in Court Summer Theatre

​At Cockpit in Court Summer Theatre at the Community College of Baltimore County-Essex, the entertaining Thoroughly Modern Millie runs through Aug. 2 on the Mainstage. The winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie was the 2002 season’s most awarded new show on Broadway. Based on the 1967 Academy Award-winning film, Thoroughly Modern Millie takes us back to the height of the Jazz Age in New York City, when “moderns”— including a flapper named Millie Dillmount — were bobbing their hair, raising their hemlines, entering the workforce and rewriting the rules of love.

Also at Cockpit, in the Cabaret through Aug. 2, is An Evening of Murder. ​​

For ticket information for all shows, call (443) 840-ARTS or email cockpitincourt@ccbcmd.edu.

Toby’s Dinner Theater

Into the Woods, the by-now classic musical with songs of Stephen Sondheim, will relate its not-so-happily-ever-after fairy tales at Toby’s Dinner Theater in Columbia through Sept. 6.

In the First Act, a baker and his wife join several of their Grimm Brothers acquaintances — Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack (of the beanstalk) and Rapunzel, as well as a nice-enough witch, considering her occupation, and a couple of outwardly charming  princes — as they go through some tough times in the woods, but come out more or less getting what they wished for.

In the Second Act, however, when the characters return to the woods, things really fall apart: the princes prove unfaithful to Cinderella and Rapunzel, the witch loses her powers, and the giant wife of the giant that Jack killed takes revenge.

Toby’s Dinner Theatre is located at 5900 Symphony Woods Rd., Columbia. Ticket prices range from $53 to $58 and include an all-you-can-eat brunch or dinner buffet. Call (410) 730-8311 or see www.tobysdinnertheatre.com for more information.

Annapolis Shakespeare Company

​Annapolis Shakespeare Company returns this summer with The Servant of Two Masters, through Sept. 29 in the outdoor courtyard at Reynolds Tavern, and A Tale of Two Cities, through Aug. 2 at ASC’s Studio 111 in Annapolis.

The Servant of Two Masters is Carlo Goldoni’s 18th-century farce that follows Truffaldino, a minion who tries to double his earnings by working for two bosses. Needless to say, things don’t go as planned, with lots of mistaken identities and missed connections leading to lots of laughts.

A Tale of Two Cities, adapted from the classic Charles Dickens novel, tells the tale of French emigrant Charles Darnay, who returns to his native Paris to help a friend. His aristocratic past leads to his imprisonment in the infamous Bastille, where he is sentenced to death by guillotine. With time running out, Darnay’s friends and family try to free him before it’s “off with his head.”​ ​

Reynolds Tavern is located at 7 Church Circle in Annapolis. The Servant of Two Masters is $20, while ticket prices for A Tale of Two Cities range from $30 to $35, with discounts for seniors.

Purchase tickets online at www.annapolisshakespeare.org or call the box office at (410) 415-3513.

Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre ​ ​

Catch through July 25, at Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre (a theatre under the stars), Catch Me If You Can, a criminal caper based on the hit film of that name and the true story that inspired it.

Teenager Frank W. Abagnale, Jr. runs away from home in search of a glamorous life. With nothing more than his boyish charm, a big imagination, and millions of dollars in forged checks, Frank successfully poses as a pilot, a doctor and a lawyer. But the globe-trotting con artist eventually catches the attention of FBI agent Carl Hanratty, who pursues Frank across the country, along the way forging an unlikely friendship.

Following Catch Me If You Can, from Aug. 6 to Sept. 6, ASGT will present The Addams Family, a musical comedy based on the kooky TV characters of Gomez Addams, his wife Morticia, and their daughter Wednesday.

Tickets for all shows are $22 and can be purchased by sending a check, payable to ASGT, to ASGT Ticket Office, 143 Compromise St., Annapolis, MD 21401, or by visiting online at www.summergarden.com. Seating is outdoors, with the stage under

​​​For a listing of theaters throughout Maryland, visit www.srbnet.com.