Ghostly matters raised in ‘The Quickening’

By: Dan Collins

According to Wikipedia, “quickening” refers to the moment in pregnancy when “the woman starts to feel or perceive fetal movements in the uterus…the word, ‘quick,’ originally meant ‘alive.’” In award-winning local playwright Mark Scharf’s modern gothic tale, The Quickening, it’s the moment when one’s spirit — what constitutes one’s true self — takes... READ MORE

See Shakespeare under the summer sky

By: Robert Friedman

Summer is a comin’ in, which means that Shakespeare plays are moving out to stages under the stars. There is something about Shakespeare that suits outdoor productions very well. There are struggles against universal forces through beautiful language; a largeness of images; sometimes a need to conjure up magic. And there are powerful themes with stories so strong, yet still... READ MORE

Moving dark comedy packs a message

By: Michael Toscano

It’s amazing how little it takes for the sound of water to quickly transform from peaceful sloshes and ripples to a mighty, fearful roar. One moment you’re being calmed and relaxed. Suddenly, you’re powerless, swept away and helpless in the malevolent grip of an unyielding and mighty force. That’s just the first switch that playwright Gabrielle Reisman layers in for us in her... READ MORE

What’s onstage this summer and beyond

By: Robert Friedman

While Kennedy Center gets set to pack ‘em in this summer, several revivals of other award-winning and audience-arousing musicals — such as Mamma Mia!, Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street — are set for staging by Howard County theater groups. Mamma Mia! will be moving and grooving at Toby’s Dinner Theater soon. The play, inspired by the songs... READ MORE

Fats Waller to Shakespeare this summer

By: Carol Sorgen

If you’re stage-struck year-round, you’ll have plenty of theatrical offerings in the upcoming months to keep you entertained. Baltimore’s Arena Players, the oldest continuously operating African-American community theater in the United States, will put on the popular Fats Waller musical, Ain’t Misbehavin’ from June 8 to July 1 (Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 4... READ MORE

Play peels back layers of family mystery

By: Dan Collins

A man, struck with the shocking, tragic loss of both parents in a car accident, comes across a small, nondescript suitcase among his father’s detritus. Opening it, he finds letters — scores and scores of letters in a language he can’t decipher, many imprinted with an emblem known throughout modern history as a symbol of absolute evil — the swastika. The actions — and... READ MORE