Working-class bar is the set for “Sweat”

By Lynda Lantz
Posted on September 05, 2023

Perhaps the best way to learn about the dreams and betrayals of working-class families is to eavesdrop at a bar. At the bar in the play Sweat by Lynn Nottage, at D.C.’s Keegan Theatre through September 16, everyone knows your name — and all of the rest of your messy business. The set for most of the play — a bar with a prominent American flag — might as well be another member... READ MORE

Artists pass down folk art to apprentices

By Susan Ahearn
Posted on August 23, 2023

An older Black storyteller stands before an audience, gesturing as she recounts an African parable. Every few minutes, she pauses so her companion, a 15-year-old girl, can speak. The girl continues the story, stretching her arms wide and widening her eyes during dramatic moments. At the end of the tale, the teenager, Naomi Reid, delivers the kicker: “A man is not really dead until he... READ MORE

Why would I want to listen to a podcast?

By Adam Cochran
Posted on August 15, 2023

Weird Al Yankovic once quipped that he releases a new album every three to five years, so every album is a comeback album. Like Weird Al’s music, every time podcasting is discovered by another generation, it becomes new again. The audio and video delivery process known as podcasting has been around since 2000. But it experienced its latest resurgence in 2014, when NPR began... READ MORE

Sneaker wearer confesses his sneakery

By Bob Levey
Posted on August 10, 2023

Seven years ago, our son tied the knot. My uniform that day was utterly traditional — dark blue suit, white shirt, cautious tie, shiny black shoes. It was the last time I’ve worn those shoes — or any other “real” shoes, for that matter. Late in life, I’ve adopted two approaches to my feet. Approach One: They and I deserve to be comfortable, and shoes never achieve that. ... READ MORE

Mysteries offering history, chess, humor

By Dinah Rokach
Posted on August 08, 2023

The Bibliophile These three whodunits are set in a variety of times and places: present-day New York; Brighton, England in the late 1950s; and Europe during the Napoleonic Wars of the early 1800s. They will undoubtedly capture your imagination. Assassin’s Lullaby, by Mark Rubinstein, 328 pages, Thunder Lake Press paperback, 2022 Follow hired assassin Eli Dagan as he takes on an ... READ MORE

New memoir tells of family’s life in China

By Robert Friedman
Posted on August 01, 2023

Shanghai-born Cultural Revolution survivor Qin Sun Stubis, 63, has a story to tell. It’s about her ancestors, who survived the Great Chinese Famine, historic upheavals, generations-old family curses, demeaning traditions and the Communist-led government. Qin, as she prefers to be called, describes her family’s often tumultuous times in a new memoir, Once Our Lives: Life, Death and... READ MORE

Jimmy Buffett’s songs take center stage

By Eddie Applefeld
Posted on July 19, 2023

If you think it’s 5 o’clock somewhere — and it’s a good guess it is — then you’ll want to visit Toby’s Dinner Theatre in Columbia to check out the current production of Jimmy Buffett’s Escape to Margaritaville. Like Mamma Mia, it’s a “jukebox musical” that includes pre-existing songs and builds a storyline around them. This is the area premiere of the show. It... READ MORE

Local 10-play festival is short and sweet

By Dan Collins
Posted on July 17, 2023

Did you know the average human attention span is about eight seconds? That’s less than that of a goldfish. So, the prospect of having to sit through a play that might run two or even three hours? Egad, pass the Benadryl and good night! Fortunately for drama enthusiasts, the Fells Point Corner Theatre (FPCT) has an alternative: the 10x10x10 Short Play Festival, which will take place... READ MORE

My latest birthday is setting records

By Bob Levey
Posted on July 11, 2023

Another birthday has crept up and landed. So has the oldest cliché. Yes, I have considered the alternative. No, I’m not ready to embrace it. But while rummaging through the usual birthday emotions — ho-hum, boo-hoo, bah-humbug, just-another-day — I suddenly got zapped by a bolt of reminiscence. I just turned 78. What does that number evoke? Why, 78 RPM records, of... READ MORE

Murder, mystery and more for summer

By Dinah Rokach
Posted on July 10, 2023

The Bibliophile Many readers prefer short bursts of creativity in short story form. This summer, enjoy these selections. Reader, I Buried Them & Other Stories, by Peter Lovesey, 384 pages, Soho Crime paperback, 2023 Murder most efficient is the theme of this superb anthology by an octogenarian award-winning mystery writer. Follow along as each crime is solved with speed and... READ MORE