June arts and jazz festivals in Columbia

By: Robert Friedman

It’s festival time in Columbia.In June, the city will host both the 22nd annual Capital Jazz Fest and the 2014 Columbia Festival of the Arts.First, from June 6 to 8, will be the jazz fest at Merriweather Post Pavilion. The event is scheduled to feature, among others, singer-songwriter-nine time Grammy winner John Legend, jazz vocalist legends Al Jarreau and Dianna Reeves, bassist... READ MORE

Ventriloquist loves to make children laugh

By: Carol Sorgen

Children’s entertainer Valerie Leonhart Smalkin was never especially drawn to young children. Until she had her own, that is.“I didn’t think I liked children,” the 64-year-old Cockeysville ventriloquist-musician-author said. “Then I had one, and I fell in love.”After Smalkin received a BA in philosophy cum laude from Goucher College in 1971, she found... READ MORE

Putnam County Bee spells fun at Ford’s

By: Michael Toscano

Don’t make the mistake of passing up the chance to see The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee because you think it’s just a silly kid’s show.Yes, it is very silly. And yes, kids get a kick out of it. Ford’s recommends 12 and older, but some younger ones may enjoy it as well without permanent damage from a bit of language. (There is an R-rated version of the... READ MORE

Man of La Mancha tilts toward Baltimore

By: Carol Sorgen

When the touring production of Man of La Mancha rolls into town this month, Jack Curenton will be thinking of his grandfather, who grew up in Baltimore and worked at the Continental Can Company.“I didn’t live in Baltimore myself,” said the 62-year-old Los Angeles resident who plays Don Quixote, “but I feel connected to it.”Curenton, who acted as a young man... READ MORE

Finding a lot to laugh about in Spamalot

By: Barbara Ruben

Rubber chickens, Vegas, disco and gay marriage in Camelot? Richard Burton would not be amused. But the current musical Spamalot at Toby’s Dinner Theatre is two letters and five decades removed from the venerated 1960 Broadway production.And audiences are not just amused, they guffaw and snort with laughter at every double entendre, every pun, no matter how puny, and every fart... READ MORE

Time to dress up for El Paseo Fashion Week

By: Jorie Parr

Fashion mania will sweep over the valley in the wake of the 9th El Paseo Fashion Week, March 16-22, presented by Palm Springs Life (PSL) magazine, with title sponsor Saxony Group.Trimmed this year to an actual 7-day week, the event headlines Palm Springs-based designers Michael Costello and Jim Mullin of JM Couture, and culminates with Zang Toi, the first New York notable to participate.The ... READ MORE