On display: the art of writing instruments

By Carol Sorgen
Posted on August 19, 2011

Throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia, the art of writing long served as a hallmark of the literate and cultured classes. Hence every culture that has valued the written word has found ways to reflect the prestige and pleasure of writing.For those who made writing their primary occupation, such as calligraphers and poets, or their avocation, including wealthy merchants and women of... READ MORE

Arena’s Oklahoma! redux is more than OK

By Michael Toscano
Posted on August 01, 2011

Rerun Summer ’11 continues through sultry August, as local theater companies entice audiences into their air-cooled, usually-empty-in-the-summer confines by bringing back blasts from the past. For example, Wicked, the glittering musical telling the back story of the two witches at the heart of The Wizard of Oz, is still packing them in (through Aug. 21) in its second run at the... READ MORE

Meet the local Ms. Senior America winners

By Emily Hatton
Posted on August 01, 2011

The word “pageant” generally brings to mind big hair, big gowns and little swimsuits. The Ms. Senior America Pageant however, focuses more on big personalities. Its philosophy is “based on the beliefs that seniors are the foundations of America,” according to its mission statement. Since 1972, contestants and title holders, who must be at least 60 years old, have... READ MORE

National Aquarium celebrates 30 years

By Beacon
Posted on July 15, 2011

Last September, the National Aquarium officially unveiled the National Aquarium Conservation Center and kicked off its celebration of the Baltimore venue’s 30th anniversary year.The Conservation Center is the next stage in the National Aquarium’s growth from a successful attraction with conservation as its primary message, to a nationally-recognized and respected conservation... READ MORE

Strange magic: Xanadu at Toby’s Theatre

By Dan Collins
Posted on July 15, 2011

At first glance, the idea of basing a Broadway musical on a film that inspired the creation of the Razzies — the anti-Oscars given each year to the year’s worst movies — might not seem too bright.Xanadu, Olivia Newton-John’s follow-up to her star turn in Grease, was vilified by the critics, and if you’ve ever seen it, you likely understand why. A Greek goddess... READ MORE

Betty White writes about life, love, career

By Frazier Moore
Posted on July 01, 2011

A few Betty White turn-ons:She likes a cocktail before dinner and a weekly poker night. She has a taste for french fries and hot-dogs, and a jones for crossword puzzles. And, in service to her passion as a writer, reams of lined notebook paper really get her going.Indeed, White has written a new book, If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t). It’s a chipper, hop-scotching... READ MORE

Oz witches weave a wickedly good spell

By Michael Toscano
Posted on July 01, 2011

Still afraid of the flying monkeys? Does the memory of Margaret Hamilton’s cackle as the Wicked Witch of the West still give you the creeps?Here’s the chance to undo those horrors, to see the magical land of Oz in an entirely new (though still green-tinged) light. The Kennedy Center has brought back to the Opera House the Grammy and Tony Award-winning musical Wicked, “the... READ MORE

Helping others brings recognition from Oprah

By Carol Sorgen
Posted on June 17, 2011

When Joanie Reisfeld was pregnant more than 20 years ago, she had to endure complete bed rest for two and a half months until her son Zach was born at 30 weeks, weighing just 2 lb., 10 oz.  It was a period of tremendous emotional and physical stress.So in 1993, the veteran teacher of blind children and part–time realtor founded Better BedRest, Inc., an advocacy, public awareness... READ MORE

Get your fill of live theatre this summer

By Carol Sorgen
Posted on June 17, 2011

While many area theaters are dark for the summer, there are still opportunities for you to get your fill of comedy, drama and musicals over the next several months.Here are a few local and regional offerings that are worth considering.In our own backyardBaltimore’s Run of the Mill Theater will present BMORE 1-ACTS, a collection of four one-act plays by local authors.Henry’s... READ MORE

Sondheim’s Follies needs a patient audience

By Michael Toscano
Posted on June 01, 2011

First the good news about Follies, the potentially Broadway-bound Kennedy Center revival of Stephen Sondheim’s 1971 musical: the music sounds magnificent. A 28-piece orchestra, almost unheard-of these days, robustly plays Jonathan Tunick’s original orchestrations of Sondheim’s charming score.That music, by the way, won Sondheim the Tony Award for Best Original Score,... READ MORE