Fall plays focus on three American eras

By: Robert Friedman
Posted on: September 25, 2015

Plays that are now onstage, or will be soon, at Columbia theaters address three significant themes.Ragtime, the multiple award-winning musical now being staged at Toby’s Dinner Theater, focuses on the early years of the 20th century. But its themes — race relations, immigration, and the upper 1 percent — will sound awfully familiar to local audiences during the... READ MORE

Belly dancing offers healthy fun for all

By: Carol Sorgen
Posted on: September 18, 2015

Like many single moms, Nina Amaya was stretched to the limit. Her primary care physician wrote her a prescription to “have fun.” On a lark, Amaya signed up for a belly dancing class at her local Y.Twenty-some years later, Amaya, now 52 and living in North Baltimore, is still having fun. So much so, in fact, that she now teaches belly dancing herself and is the founder of the... READ MORE

Artists’ retreat center blossoms in Pinyon

By: Lydia Kremer
Posted on: September 10, 2015

One of the results of the massive do-it-yourself trend that began in the early 1970s was the phenomenal success of DIY television of the 1990s. That spawned a frenzy by the general public in DIY home improvement projects. And the trend shows no sign of slowing down.Similarly, artists, craftsmen, hobbyists and artisans of every stripe embraced a growing emphasis on making things by your own ... READ MORE

The valley’s first lady of jazz

By: Bill Marchese
Posted on: September 07, 2015

By age 2, Diane Schuur’s future as a singer and musician seemed to be her destiny.Born blind with perfect pitch, she could carry a tune as a toddler. She taught herself to play the piano by ear at age three, sitting on her father’s lap. By age 9, she was singing in public and earning her first professional gigs in hometown Tacoma, Wash.A brilliant jazz vocalist, the Cathedral... READ MORE

Political musical needs a little fixing up

By: Michael Toscano
Posted on: August 31, 2015

Don’t believe the advertising that says The Fix, now onstage at Signature Theatre, is a rock musical. It’s not. The music does range rather fluidly through a variety of 1960s-accented, middle-of-the-road pop genres, though, with some nice stops along the way at a couple of smoky blues numbers, lite jazz, some march-able anthems, and even some show-bizzy, tap-dancing music hall... READ MORE

It’s cool to be square at these fun dances

By: Robert Friedman
Posted on: August 25, 2015

The Tom Thumb Square Dance Club  starts its 51st year of swinging partners and do-si-do-ing on Friday, Sept. 4, continuing on the first and third Friday of each month through May 2016.The dances take place starting 8 p.m. at the Hollifield Station Elementary School in Ellicott City. The dance club will also offer modern Western square dancing lessons to newcomers and those who want to... READ MORE