King and I at Toby’s is like an old friend

By: Michael Toscano
Posted on: February 20, 2012

When attending the production of an old-time classic — especially an enduring show such as The King and I, which has long-since blossomed beyond Broadway into popular culture — a reviewer can be forgiven for hoping to see the director tweak familiar material to bring out some new facet or to make the show speak with a new voice.But what director Shawn Kettering and his fully... READ MORE

Shakespeare’s contemporary comedy

By: Michael Toscano
Posted on: February 06, 2012

One of the problems with taking the work of William Shakespeare ever so seriously, even with his comedies, is that we can forget just how youthful some of his lovers actually are.But director PJ Paparelli has not forgotten, and he makes sure we don’t either, with his production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona, now onstage at the Lansburgh Theatre of the Shakespeare Theatre Company.In... READ MORE

Jewish films address universal themes

By: Robert Friedman
Posted on: January 30, 2012

The very human side of the propaganda-filled, seemingly intractable Arab-Israeli conflict is portrayed movingly in the Israeli film, For My Father, the first of four films in this year’s Jewish Film Series.The series has presented entertaining and thought-provoking films for 20 years. While films may have Jewish themes, they are “for the whole community to enjoy,” said Tom ... READ MORE

Black comedy spreads infectious humor

By: Carol Sorgen
Posted on: January 23, 2012

You’re probably familiar with the popular film, Arsenic and Old Lace, starring Cary Grant. But if you’ve never seen the play that inspired the movie, hightail it down to the Vagabond Players on weekends through Feb. 5 for this thoroughly entertaining comic romp.This classic theatrical staple, written by American playwright Joseph Kesselring, has been an audience favorite since... READ MORE

New book depicts Baltimore’s home front

By: Carol Sorgen
Posted on: January 23, 2012

In 2006, Gil Sandler found himself in the library of the Baltimore Sun, doing research for his weekly editorial page column, “Baltimore Glimpses.” Coming across the issue dated June 20, 1944, Sandler read of the battle of Saipan, known as Operation Forager, designed to take control of the Mariana Islands.Sandler himself had been engaged in that operation, serving aboard the USS... READ MORE

Arts Fest more than its name implies

By: Connie George
Posted on: January 16, 2012

The Southwest Arts Festival (SWAF) celebrates its 26th anniversary this month with more than 250 acclaimed artists in an abundance of creative disciplines and a solid reputation as a promising venue for art collectors — in spite of a name that organizers say often presents a marketing challenge.“The Southwest Arts Festival is so much more than Southwest style,” said... READ MORE