Flick even more wonderful as a musical

By Mark Dreisonstok
Posted on November 21, 2022

The classic Frank Capra film, It’s a Wonderful Life, is one of cinema’s greatest gifts to Americana. It was released in 1946, and in the decades since has aired on television every Christmas Eve. Some years ago, Toby Orenstein, founder and director of Toby’s Dinner Theatre, discovered that the movie had entered the public domain. So, she commissioned actor/singer David Nehls and... READ MORE

Cookbooks make time in the kitchen fun

By Dinah Rokach
Posted on November 09, 2022

The Bibliophile A 2019 survey by the American Farm Bureau Federation revealed that a majority of Americans prepare their entire Thanksgiving meal at home. Here are three cookbooks that can help you prepare innovative as well as traditional meals. The Complete Autumn and Winter Cookbook: 550+ Recipes for Warming Dinners, Holiday Roasts, Seasonal Desserts, Breads, Food Gifts, and More, by ... READ MORE

Oh, the wonders of yesteryear’s libraries

By Bob Levey
Posted on November 07, 2022

The flight attendant was making the usual pre-departure announcements. She urged everyone to put their rolling bags in the overhead compartments, wheels first, “and then turn them to the side, like books in a library.” This frequent flyer had never heard that line before. I was nodding my head at the cleverness of it when the very young man sitting next to me said: “I have never ... READ MORE

Former prison now an active arts center

By Glenda C. Booth
Posted on November 01, 2022

Once a prison, the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, Virginia, today is a beehive of artists’ studios, galleries, theaters, classes, community events, a museum and more. Plans are in the works for an outdoor amphitheater, event venue, education center, Fairfax County Museum, more art studios and outdoor arts areas — even a new café and brewery. Coming soon are two enticing... READ MORE

A comedic “Ghost” entertains at Toby’s

By Mark Dreisonstok
Posted on October 17, 2022

The current production of Ghost: The Musical at Toby’s Dinner Theatre will bring back fond memories of the 1990 movie starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg. For some of us, it might even recall the classic ghostly adventures of Topper and Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit, earlier productions that mixed mad-cap adventures, romance and the supernatural. For those new to ... READ MORE

Older authors publish books about sports

By Dinah Rokach
Posted on October 13, 2022

The Bibliophile A book about your favorite sport can provide a broader perspective than reading the sports section or watching the highlights. Gods at Play: An Eyewitness Account of Great Moments in American Sports, by Tom Callahan, 304 pages, W.W. Norton & Company paperback, 2022 Enjoy a yarn or two from this spellbinding raconteur’s stories about yesteryear’s sports icons... READ MORE

What to do with what you leave behind?

By Bob Levey
Posted on October 07, 2022

We walked them across the street by the hand. We fed them, clothed them, drove them, hovered over them. And now that our children are adults, do we owe them anything more? Some seniors say yes. They say we should arrange our assets (if any) so that the kids and grandkids inherit everything. They say that you’re always Mom or Dad. They say that you don’t really need one more... READ MORE

Ford’s transformational “Trip to Bountiful”

By Lynda Lantz
Posted on October 03, 2022

A play written in and set in the 1950s, The Trip to Bountiful, now at Ford’s Theatre, gently explores how differently a family can experience dislocation, anxiety and nostalgia based, in part, on their openness to reflecting on their past. Playwright Horton Foote, who some have called “the greatest playwright you’ve never heard of,” wrote plays about families in Texas. But his... READ MORE

Singers gotta sing — and serve others

By Susan Ahearn
Posted on September 20, 2022

“Sing well. Have fun. Serve others.” That’s the motto of ShowTime Singers, a community chorus based in Ellicott City. Its singers, who range in age from 30 to 82, perform at assisted living facilities, libraries and senior centers throughout the Baltimore-Washington area. The group’s motto guides its actions, said Cathy Johnson, music director of ShowTime... READ MORE

Tamron Hall hopes to inspire women

By Gary Gerard Hamilton
Posted on September 19, 2022

Two sparkly golden trophies gleam behind Tamron Hall on the New York set of her nationally syndicated talk show. But despite entering its fourth season, the “Tamron Hall” show is not a well-oiled machine — and that’s intentional. “The only thing that shines in this room are the Emmys. I want this show to evolve. And if it’s well-oiled, I believe that you’re not looking... READ MORE