Putting on a show for charity

By: Carol Sorgen

Judy Kahl, Jody Duke, and Deb Wilson rehearse for the Paint and Powder Club’s upcoming performance on June 2 and 3. The club, which was founded in 1893 and puts on shows to benefit charity, is thought to be the oldest of its kind in the United States.Photo by Jason SaulerBaltimore has many nicknames, including the “city of firsts,” with such claims to fame as the first... READ MORE

Funny? Serious? ‘Well’ is hard to describe

By: Michael Toscano

Well, now. How to describe Well — the quirky, perspective-shifting, serio-comic play from New York actor and writer Lisa Kron? That, as they say in the theater, is the question. What you see at 1st Stage, a non-profit theater in Tysons, Va., may depend on what you bring into the theater with you.It’s a mother-daughter play for some. Others may see it as an examination... READ MORE

Area comics live for the laughter

By: Barbara Ruben

Stand-up comedian Jeff Hysen is at D.C. Improv performing a short routine on an open mic night.“I’m the oldest comedian of the evening,” begins the 58-year-old attorney from Silver Spring, Md. “I had a show recently, and before it began the other comics were asking each other about the effects of drug use on comedy. They asked me my opinion, and I said,... READ MORE

Venus Theatre focuses on women writers

By: Robert Friedman

Deborah Randall says her audiences have an “immersion experience” at the Venus Theatre in Laurel, and this could include, as it recently did, sharing a dinner being cooked up on stage.In Soft Revolution, a play about Afghans in Australia, Venus founder-director Randall felt the recent production needed a sign of authenticity, so a pot of Kabuli palaw, the Afghan national dish,... READ MORE

Novels help heal war’s trauma

By: Robert Friedman

For Ellicott City resident Tom Glenn, 80, “Not to write would be to accept damnation. If I gave up writing, my spiritual life would come to an end. I would be a husk, and cease to be a human being.”For Glenn, you see, writing is not only a compulsion — “I’ve been writing since I was 6 years old” — but also a therapy. It eases the post-traumatic... READ MORE

Local writer imagines a Baltimore suburb

By: Laura Bogart

St. Bart’s Way could be any affluent suburb in America: rich with the histories — and the secrets — of the families who believe that their opulent homes with well-manicured lawns, and the high-powered jobs that keep the lights on, will somehow protect them from the seedier side of life.However, this well-to-do Baltimore ‘burb comes straight from the imagination of... READ MORE