Tagged: theatre

This is community theatre that melts your face. The Baltimore Rock Opera Society (which calls itself the BROS) brought their signature production Gründlehämmer to the Torpedo Factory Art Center, giving Old Town Alexandria glitz, mayhem, and some rowdy drama.

Gründlehämmer
Mark Miller as a royal guard
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Mondays in October are home to a serialized theatre event that I’ve been lucky enough to attend for the past two years. Like soap operas, the Hope Operas feature recurring characters and advancing plots. Though self-contained, the real fun is to return to see cliff-hangers resolved and characters grow. For 2013, their fifth year, the theme was “cartoons for adults.” Here are photos and summaries from the five shows that contributed episodes.

2013 Hope Operas
John Tweel, Tony Greenberg, Catherine Aselford, Andrew Lloyd Baughman, and Jefferson Farber
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Death stalks the stage in Constellation Theatre‘s production of Federico García Lorca‘s Blood Wedding. A mother grieves years after the death of her husband and oldest son, with her surviving son bearing the burden of providing a new generation to take care of the family farm. The good news of his finding a bride is mixed with worrisome news: the future bride once was with a man related to the murderer of the mother’s husband. I would suggest “Romeo and Juliet and Juliet’s Crazy Ex-Boyfriend” as an alternate title for this play.

Luckily director Shirley Serotsky does away with melodrama and presents this tragedy with duende, earthy and ethereal. Key to the plot’s emotional twists is the bride, played by Victoria Reinsel, who has to choose between passion and love.

The story is accompanied by music throughout, primarily by guitarist Behzad Habibzai sitting on the side of the stage. Actors join in by singing, most joyfully when rousing the bride with “Awake, O Bride, awaken,” the guests’ celebration contrasting with the bride’s own sense of doom. » Continue Reading…

“You, Nero” is a historical farce from Arena Stage‘s resident playwright Amy Freed. Having been staged before on the west coast, Arena took this zany confection and mounted a colorful production in Fichandler’s in-the-round stage.

Integral to the production is the casting of Danny Scheie as the impish Nero, who fully inhabits the role and draws in your empathy even while making clear his character’s demented schemes.

The story doesn’t offer a clear protagonist, in spite of Nero’s sheer cuteness. Our narrator is the playwright Scribonius. While his morals make him the only character to wrestle with ethical dilemmas – such as, say, whether killing your mom is a bad thing – he remains distant from both the audience and his fellow Romans. In a comedy this dependent on schtick, his introspection is overshadowed by fear, lust, and anguish. » Continue Reading…

Roman Shenanigans at Arena Stage