What’s the matter with these kids? Nada!

By Bob Levey
Posted on April 16, 2024

We oldies certainly do love our childhood heroes — even when those heroes weren’t always so heroic. Frank Sinatra? Hung out with mobsters. Dwight Eisenhower? Might have been an unfaithful husband. Babe Ruth? Never met a bottle of bourbon he didn’t crack open and adore. But I’m still stuck on one idol who never fell (or could fall) off his perch: Walter Johnson. He was... READ MORE

Three books by local authors reveal secrets

By Dinah Rokach
Posted on April 10, 2024

In Memoriam We are saddened to report that our longtime book reviewer and columnist, Dinah Rokach, passed away in March. Dinah began publishing her monthly column in the Beacon in 2017. This was her final column. We know our readers who enjoyed her careful selection of good reads will miss her as much as we will.      —The Beacon The Bibliophile This spring, learn more about... READ MORE

‘Little Shop of Horrors’ blossoms at Ford’s

By Lynda Lantz
Posted on April 02, 2024

Little Shop of Horrors, at Ford’s Theatre through May 18, is a noir musical full of dark ambitions, cruel acts, flawed characters and some of the most wonderful voices in the D.C. theater scene. Directed by Kevin S. McAllister, the musical leans into its pulp science-fiction and 1950s roots with  music, costumes and set. With music by Alan Menken, the 1982 musical was based on a 1960... READ MORE

Turning scrap wood to wildlife paintings

By Margaret Foster
Posted on March 18, 2024

If you’ve ever seen the Mona Lisa in person, you may have noticed that the painting was made on wood, not canvas. Leonardo da Vinci painted La Joconde’s mysterious smile on a panel of wood from a white poplar tree. In fact, most artists, from Raphael to Peter Bruegel, painted on wood until canvas became popular in the 18th century. Wood is also the canvas of Ellicott City artist... READ MORE

Books on how science impacts our lives

By Dinah Rokach
Posted on March 12, 2024

The Bibliphile These three books provide a unique perspective on the world around us. Pretty Good House: A Guide to Creating Better Homes, by Michael Maines, Daniel Kolbert, Emily Mottram and Christopher Briley, 252 pages, Taunton Press hardcover, 2022 Whether you’re building your dream house, planning a home renovation, replacing mechanical systems or considering solar panels,... READ MORE

Dreaming of GPS voices from yesteryear

By Bob Levey
Posted on March 06, 2024

After years of struggle, I’ve made some tentative peace with newfangled gimmickry. I can deal with e-mail, voice mail, texting and Google. But there’s one 21st century presence that leaves me pining for days of yore: That woman who gives me directions via GPS. You know her. If you tee up an address on your smartphone, she’s right there, snippy and snappy, ordering you to turn... READ MORE

A glittery, gritty ‘Chorus Line’ at Toby’s

By Mark Dreisonstok
Posted on February 21, 2024

A Chorus Line, one of the longest-running Broadway shows of all time, highlights both the romance and the struggle of performing in a Broadway musical. Behind the glory of being part of a show in America’s theater capital are hard work, constant auditions, likelihood of rejection, and — at least for the characters in the show — the need to overcome the harsh experiences of the... READ MORE

Fascinating biography from local author

By Laura Melamed
Posted on February 19, 2024

At 86, Baltimore writer Frances Altman has reinvented herself many times throughout her life. Her new book, Destiny’s Daughter, published last year, is a biography of a woman who also had to change with the times. Altman was inspired to write the book more than a decade ago, after seeing a news clipping about Mary Edwards Walker, the first American woman to graduate medical school, in... READ MORE

Redefine retirement by volunteering

By Family Features
Posted on February 14, 2024

Everyone benefits when older adults remain engaged, independent and included. Instead of letting age define their circumstances, older Americans are embracing change, pushing boundaries and transforming their communities through creativity, commitment and service. As a first stop for anyone looking to explore volunteer opportunities, AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors connect individuals... READ MORE

How not to answer a telephone poll

By Bob Levey
Posted on February 05, 2024

Politics is webbed into my DNA. Been that way since I was a pup (don’t ask how long ago that was). I think about politics, talk about politics, write about politics, lose old friends over politics. But until the other day, I had never taken part in a political poll. I’ll never take part in another. When I answered the phone, a female voice, obviously young, obviously reading... READ MORE