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

Books about Lincoln offer new perspectives

By Dinah Rokach
Posted on January 31, 2024

The Bibliophile This year marks the 215th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln. Scholars continue researching his life, revealing additional insights and forming new interpretations. Lincoln: The Fire of Genius: How Abraham Lincoln’s Commitment to Science and Technology Helped Modernize America, by David J. Kent, 322 pages, Lyons Press hardcover, 2022 Author David J. Kent, a ... READ MORE

Musician-poet finds new career in retirement

By Glenda C. Booth
Posted on January 30, 2024

Some people may get a gold watch or pen when they retire. But Clifford Bernier received harmonicas — not one, but two. When Bernier stepped down after 30 years at the Association for Advancement of Medical Instrumentation, his employer gave him a gold Seydel harmonica and a 16-hole, chromatic Hohner. They knew him well. Bernier has been playing the harmonica since he was 19 years... READ MORE

Streisand writes about acting, music, life

By Hillel Italie
Posted on January 26, 2024

Her book is called My Name is Barbra, and it runs nearly 1,000 pages. You expected less from Barbra Streisand? Streisand spent the past decade working on one of the epic narratives in modern show business — her uncompromising rise from working class Brooklyn in the 1940s and 50s to global fame. During a recent telephone interview, she reflected on her tastes in music, her tastes in... READ MORE

Agatha Christie’s most convincing witness

By Dan Collins
Posted on January 16, 2024

Even if you’re not that familiar with whodunit writer extraordinaire Agatha Christie, chances are you’ve caught a bit of the myriad stage, film or TV productions of her short story and play “The Witness for the Prosecution.” It’s a murder mystery and trial drama which has starred everyone from Marlene Dietrich and Tyrone Power to Edward G. Robinson and Beau... READ MORE

Mixed emotions about work from home

By Bob Levey
Posted on January 08, 2024

He was 30-something — a bit smug, a bit too fond of his own opinions. But I was seated beside him at a fancy dinner, so I was stuck. After the salad, I asked how he had weathered the pandemic. “Perfectly,” he announced. I wasn’t sure that I had heard him correctly. In whose universe was the pandemic perfect? His. “I didn’t have to go into the office once,” he said.... READ MORE

Games, calendars for mental gymnastics

By Dinah Rokach
Posted on January 05, 2024

The Bibliophile When you’re stuck indoors this winter, exercise your mind. Find a new board game to enjoy or hone your skills mastering your favorite game. Seven Games: A Human History, by Oliver Roeder, 306 pages, W.W. Norton & Company paperback, 2023 Read an engaging account of these seven games: checkers, chess, Go, backgammon, poker, Scrabble and bridge. Learn their... READ MORE