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Preview: - Entertainment

Arts - Baltimore Sun

Baltimore art exhibits, theater productions and books coverage from The Baltimore Sun

Last Build Date: Sat, 21 Jan 2017 04:05:54 -0500

Copyright: ©2017 Baltimore Sun

'Beautiful' heads to Hippodrome with Carole King's story

Fri, 20 Jan 2017 07:35:00 PST

Back in an era that now feels so far away, every college dorm room seemed to have a well-used LP of Carole King's "Tapestry." That 1971 album, made in Los Angeles by the Brooklyn-born singer/songwriter, quickly expanded its reach far beyond the campus crowd, selling more than 25 million copies...


'Hamilton' coming to Baltimore's Hippodrome in 2018-19; 'Phantom' sequel on tap for '17-'18

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 08:00:00 PST

Call it the pre-"Hamilton" season.

The gaga-hit musical will finally reach Baltimore during the Hippodrome Theatre's 2018-2019 season, and subscribers to the theater's 2017-2018 lineup, announced Wednesday, will be first in line for tickets. 

"We're not saying you have to subscribe to get tickets...


Contemporary African art exhibit at the BMA looks at race, privilege and protest

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 06:21:00 PST

An intimate, politically charged exhibit at the Baltimore Museum of Art addresses issues of race, privilege and protest from a perspective that has much to reveal about a distant world and our own.

The prints, drawings and photographs here are by contemporary African-born (or –based) artists, the...


Mural project aims to transform buildings, perception of East Baltimore

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 13:57:43 PST

East Baltimore's Oliver and Johnston Square neighborhoods have suffered high levels of violence, blight and drug trafficking.

But they're also home to historic landmarks such as the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum and Green Mount Cemetery, resilient communities and efforts to redevelop.



Ann Patchett, Michael Chabon among nominees for National Book Critics Circle Awards

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 06:29:00 PST

Ann Patchett, Michael Chabon and Zadie Smith were among the nominees announced Tuesday for the National Book Critics Circle Awards.

Books by Louise Erdrich and former U.S. poet laureate Robert Pinsky also were among 30 finalists in six competitive categories selected by the 42-year-old organization.


Joyous Beethoven 7th caps colorful BSO program

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 15:55:00 PST

The latest Baltimore Symphony Orchestra program is a one-from-Column-A, one-from-Column-B concoction — something nominally Spanish, but actually Russian (Rimsky-Korsakov's "Capriccio Espagnol"); something British (the infrequently encountered Violin Concerto by William Walton); something solidly...


Arts groups plan thinly veiled protests against Trump inauguration

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 14:21:00 PST

Baltimore-area arts groups are planning activities for this week ranging from literary readings to a dance party that could be interpreted as thinly veiled protests against the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump.

None of the organizers are saying explicitly that events named "Nasty Women...


Paul Giamatti, Sonja Sohn coming to Baltimore for social justice-focused 'Antigone' performance

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 10:31:00 PST

Free performance at Coppin State University will culminate in audience discussion of contemporary issues(image)

Roughly Speaking podcast: Exiled from Bell Foundry, Baltimore Rock Opera Society seeks own home (episode 196)

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 11:43:00 PST

In this podcast:

“Brides of Tortuga,” “Grundelhammer” and “Phantom of the Paradise” were three of the original productions staged by the Baltimore Rock Opera Society over the last eight years. But BROS actors, writers, designers, builders, musicians and artists now finds themselves in exile, without...


Spotlighters Theatre to give 'Threepenny Opera' a Baltimore twist

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 06:47:00 PST

"The Ballad of Mack the Knife" is nothing if not double-edged. The song's instantly catchy melody, colorful lyrics and irresistible sway make it easy to forget that the subject is an amoral fellow who kills and defiles at will.

That fellow is at the heart of a brilliantly subversive work of theater...


Baltimore mayor's task force on artists' housing meets for first time

Mon, 9 Jan 2017 16:56:00 PST

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh's Safe Arts Space Task Force, formed after last month's shuttering of the workspace and performance venue the Bell Foundry due to safety violations, met for the first time Monday to discuss how the city can create a network of safe, cost-effective spaces where emerging...


Renaissance Academy art exhibit raises $7,000 amid West Baltimore school's uncertain future

Fri, 6 Jan 2017 14:44:00 PST

Renaissance Academy High School’s art exhibit and auction “Breaking Frames,” in which artists from across the country created pieces inspired by the school's students, raised around $7,000, the project's organizer said.

All but six of the 55 artworks displayed (two works fell through at the last...


A wintry sampling of music, theater events in Baltimore

Thu, 5 Jan 2017 14:04:01 PST

With winter settling in, here's my second annual sampling of potentially hot classical concerts and theater productions that just might help you feel toasty during the cold weeks that lie ahead:

Instead of curling up by the fire with a Charles Dickens novel, you can see one brought to life onstage...


The curtain first rose at the Morris Mechanic Theatre 50 years ago

Thu, 5 Jan 2017 09:53:00 PST

Ticket buyers formed a line outside the just-completed Morris A. Mechanic Theatre in early January 1967 for movie star Betty Grable’s performances in the title role of “Hello, Dolly!”

Baltimore’s new playhouse, constructed in a rough concrete shell, opened officially the night of Jan. 16, 1967....


Homage and warning in William Christenberry's look at the Deep South

Thu, 29 Dec 2016 08:47:00 PST

William Christenberry didn't have perfect sight — the result of a serious eye injury when he was a teen — but the Alabama-born artist possessed extraordinary insight.

His primary focus was the Deep South, a focus that can be explored in a retrospective at the Maryland Institute College of Art:...


Marylanders well represented in national African-American museum

Wed, 28 Dec 2016 13:23:00 PST

WASHINGTON — Although their paths crossed more than two centuries ago, Benjamin Banneker — a free black Marylander — and Thomas Jefferson, the nation's third president — were not considered equals because of slavery.

Yet inside the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington,...


In 2016, Baltimore had an outsized impact on the nation's – and world's – cultural conversations

Fri, 23 Dec 2016 03:00:00 PST

For a city with a fraction of the population of such giants as New York and Los Angeles, Baltimore is having an outsized impact on the nation's — and increasingly the world's — cultural conversations.

From the #OscarsSoWhite campaign led by two former Baltimoreans to the former head of Baltimore's...


'Gentleman's Guide' to close out '16 with love, murder

Thu, 22 Dec 2016 13:34:00 PST

Monty Navarro, the, um, hero of the Tony Award-winning, Baltimore-bound musical "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder," could be the poster boy for Oscar Wilde's motto: "I can resist everything except temptation."

Monty learns that his late, lamented mother had been disinherited from the aristocratic...


Pugh announces task force to create 'safe art spaces' in Baltimore after Bell Foundry evictions

Wed, 21 Dec 2016 16:47:32 PST

Mayor Catherine E. Pugh on Wednesday charged a new task force with recommending how to create "safe, cost-effective" spaces for young artists to live.

The new group was formed in response to dozens of local artists being evicted this month from work spaces at the Bell Foundry building in Baltimore's...


With $3 million gift, Baltimore School for the Arts expands programming

Wed, 21 Dec 2016 07:05:00 PST

A $3 million gift to Baltimore City's premiere arts high school will give it another reason to stand out.

Beginning next fall, the Baltimore School for the Arts will expand its programming to include a film and visual storytelling program.

The $3 million gift from local philanthropists Mark and...


Equipped with new heart, Baltimore's Amy Sherald gains fame with surreal portraiture

Mon, 19 Dec 2016 08:06:00 PST

At one time, the Baltimore artist Amy Sherald intended to paint a portrait of herself as the Tin Man from "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz."

At age 39, Sherald, a person who stops to talk — really talk — to panhandlers and who recently raised $1,600 for a friend's rent, found herself desperately in...


Center Stage receives $50,000 NEA grant in support of 'Jazz' world premiere

Wed, 14 Dec 2016 08:06:00 PST

Included in more than $30 million of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts announced this week is $50,000 to help with the world premiere of "Jazz," Nambi E. Kelley's play based on the Harlem-centric historical novel by Toni Morrison, to be produced in the spring at Center Stage.

In a...


Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden selects 25 movies to be included in National Film Registry

Wed, 14 Dec 2016 09:05:00 PST

Longtime Baltimorean Carla Hayden isn't merely the nation's chief bookworm. Today she's serving as America's chief film critic.

Hayden, in her new job as librarian of Congress, named 25 movies that are at least 10 years old and are deemed to have cultural, aesthetic or historical importance, to...


Production of Colman Domingo's 'Dot' one of Everyman Theatre's most affecting

Tue, 13 Dec 2016 05:17:00 PST

Midway through "Dot," the funny and poignant play by Colman Domingo enjoying a terrific production at Everyman Theatre, a proud woman in her mid-60s is gently led toward a simple admission: "I'm scared," she says.

At that moment, the weight of what this character is going through hits particularly...


Go-go gadgetometers: New Windsor couple create steampunk-inspired crafts

Tue, 13 Dec 2016 11:50:00 PST

New Windsor couple create steampunk-inspired crafts from other people's junk(image)

The Bell Foundry, Baltimore's arts scene and the issue of safe, affordable housing

Mon, 12 Dec 2016 05:45:00 PST

In recent years, Dan Deacon — one of Baltimore's best-known musicians — has toured with Grammy nominees Arcade Fire and Miley Cyrus, at times playing arenas with capacities above 20,000 people.

That success and exposure would never have been possible, Deacon said, without "underground" spaces like...


Great books to give kids this holiday season

Fri, 9 Dec 2016 17:34:00 PST

It's always a great time to give a book to a kid.

Scads of academic studies show that every book in a child's house improves their future academic success. And there's nothing better than watching a kid unwrap a gift and then spend half the afternoon reading it.

Here are a few recent books that...


Baltimore-linked books that just might make page-turning gifts

Sat, 10 Dec 2016 09:54:59 PST

There are books that we don't choose to read as much as we get stalked by them. Certain titles practically fling themselves off the shelves and into our outspread hands, where they recline suggestively and ruffle their pages. Open one at random, read a line or two, and suddenly it's five hours...


A Civil War granddaughter encounters rare image of grandfather at Evergreen Museum

Fri, 9 Dec 2016 16:21:00 PST

Hours before the exhibit opens at the Evergreen Museum and Library, Johns Hopkins University alumna Vanessa Tall Bryant walks past penciled, life-size portraits of black Civil War soldiers, each stoic and dressed in blue uniforms decorated with gold buttons. The Nashville resident passes a painting...


Center Stage offers handsome production of 'Liaisons'

Fri, 9 Dec 2016 13:05:00 PST

The characters and schemes in Christopher Hampton's 1985 play "Les Liaisons Dangereuses," based on the novel written two centuries earlier by Choderlos de Laclos, aren't easily viewed dispassionately, let alone blithely.

As the handsome revival now at Center Stage underlines, for all of the would-be...


Musical version of 'A Christmas Story' provides pleasant diversion at Hippodrome

Fri, 9 Dec 2016 06:01:00 PST

Those who anticipate Christmas and its promised mounds of presents as if it were the most important, incredible, life-changing day of the year — or those who can still remember being that young and innocent — should find it worthwhile visiting the Hippodrome Theatre this weekend. That's where "A...


Peabody partners with Young Audiences to reach Baltimore schools

Thu, 8 Dec 2016 06:32:00 PST

The latest evidence of how Peabody Institute dean Fred Bronstein has steered the conservatory toward the community surrounding it: The Maryland chapter of Young Audiences, the national arts education advocate, is collaborating with Peabody to make available instrumental and vocal music to 181 city...


Artists picked for Light City 2017's Neighborhood Lights celebration

Wed, 7 Dec 2016 13:43:00 PST

The artists who will design installations for the 2017 Neighborhood Lights celebration, designed to spread the energy of spring's Light City festival throughout the city, were announced Wednesday by the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts.

Eight are scheduled -- an increase from this year's...


As artists vacate shuttered Bell Foundry, questions swirl around building's condition - and its future

Tue, 6 Dec 2016 17:54:00 PST

The mass eviction of artists from a warehouse in Baltimore's Station North Arts District stoked a national debate about the safety of the arrangements between landlords and local artists intent on maintaining affordable spaces for the creative class.

It raised questions about who is responsible...


Baltimore Symphony Orchestra names new CEO, from Grand Rapids Symphony

Tue, 6 Dec 2016 05:32:00 PST

After a 10-month search, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra has named Peter T. Kjome as president and CEO, effective Feb. 1. Kjome is currently president and CEO of the Grand Rapids Symphony in Michigan, the orchestra where he once served as principal oboist.Kjome (pronounced CHO-mee) succeeds Paul...


Everyman Theatre to give local premiere of Colman Domingo play 'Dot'

Tue, 6 Dec 2016 08:25:00 PST

Among those attending the premiere of Colman Domingo's "Dot" at the Humana Festival of New Plays in Louisville, Ky., in 2015 was Everyman Theatre artistic director Vincent Lancisi.

"I think this play is going to be a classic," Lancisi says. "It's a universal story — a family coming home for the...


At Ellicott City's Syriana Gallery, an immigrant shares the beautiful side of a war-torn country

Wed, 7 Dec 2016 10:59:00 PST

Khaldoun “K” Alghatrif may be considered one lucky guy.

The 32-year-old, who left his native Syria over a dozen years ago, was living in Qatar and working in human resources.

His wife, Rasha, an elementary school teacher, received a green card through the State Department’s Diversity Immigrant...


Baltimore officials condemn, shutter Bell Foundry arts building in Station North for safety violations

Mon, 5 Dec 2016 19:00:00 PST

Dozens of local artists were abruptly evicted Monday from their work spaces at the Bell Foundry building in the city's Station North Arts District after city officials said they discovered a variety of safety violations in the two-story hub of theater, art and recording studios.

The move — which...


Maryland nonprofit art organizations contributed $1.16 billion to the state economy last year

Tue, 6 Dec 2016 11:56:25 PST

Nonprofit art organizations in Maryland contributed $1.16 billion to the state's economy in the 2015 fiscal year, a 10 percent increase from the year before, according to annual economic impact report from the Maryland State Arts Council.

The number of full-time jobs supported by the state's nonprofit...


Taylor's Collective in Ellicott City pools talents of local artists, artisans and vendors

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 12:04:00 PST

The signature building on the corner of Main Street and Old Columbia Pike in Ellicott City has a new life.

Once the home of Taylor’s Furniture, Jewelry and Appliances, in November it became Taylor’s Collective, where artisans, artists and purveyors of high-quality antiques and furnishings arrived...


The dish on 'Hairspray Live': John Waters, Kenny Leon, Baltimore upstart Unissa Cruse-Ferguson

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 15:18:00 PST

Asked the inevitable question about how things were going on the set of "Hairspray Live," which NBC will air Wednesday night, director Kenny Leon just laughed. And laughed. Then laughed some more.

"It's very scary," Leon said. "But it's going very well."

The mix of nerves and confidence is understandable.


Gettysburg Hall of Presidents museum closes, wax figures to be auctioned

Mon, 5 Dec 2016 09:00:00 PST

Forty-three U.S. presidents will be looking for homes next month, as Gettysburg’s Hall of Presidents and First Ladies, which closed in late November, will be auctioning off the wax figures that have been entertaining tourists for more than half-a-century.

The figures, along with other museum contents,...


It's the moments that make 'A Christmas Story,' coming to Hippodrome

Sat, 3 Dec 2016 00:00:00 PST

How popular is "A Christmas Story," the 1983 film about a young boy in a bunny suit, a Red Ryder BB gun and a leg lamp that ends up in pieces on the living-room floor?

Popular enough that you can actually buy one of those leg lamps on Ebay (only $169.99!).

Popular enough that "You'll shoot your...


Two Peabody alums gain new conducting posts

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 14:01:00 PST

Two young conductors who studied at Baltimore's Peabody Institute made significant career steps in recent days.

Stephen Mulligan has been named assistant conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and music director of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra, starting with the 2017-2018 season.



Center Stage returns to home base with 'Les Liaisons Dangereuses'

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 12:49:00 PST

You might call it "The Game of Moans."

The 1782 novel "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" ("Dangerous Liaisons") by Choderlos de Laclos paints a damning portrait of two French aristocrats engaged in a chess match of seduction, manipulation, betrayal and revenge.

Playwright Christopher Hampton's 1985 adaptation...


Ballet Theatre of Md. gives Baltimore its first professional ballet company residency since 1993

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 08:56:00 PST

Don't let the toe shoes fool you. They might look like nothing but pearl-colored satin and glossy ribbons, but those kicks are made to take a pounding.

When the Ballet Theatre of Maryland's dancers bourree onto the stage Saturday to perform "The Nutcracker" in the Modell Performing Arts Center...


Lyric names new head: Vickie Hubbard, 25-year veteran of live entertainment business

Wed, 23 Nov 2016 11:25:27 PST

The Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric has named as its new executive director Vickie Hubbard, 58, a native of Pennsylvania's Dauphin County with 25 years of experience in the live entertainment business.

The executive director slot has been vacant since February 2015. Hubbard, who assumes...


Meet 5 artists selling their creations at Baltimore-area holiday art markets

Wed, 23 Nov 2016 08:28:00 PST

There's a thrill that comes with shopping for gifts and decorations at local holiday art markets. It's a blend of the anticipation, just weeks, if not days away from the holidays; the cheerful spirit of market-goers; and, most of all, the rush of getting something handcrafted and one-of-a-kind...


Why you need to know Randy Harrison, coordinator of Merry Tuba Christmas Bel Air

Wed, 23 Nov 2016 10:53:00 PST

Each December, dozens of tuba players in holiday garb congregate in Bel Air, their euphoniums, sousaphones, helicons and alto horns festooned with decorations for the Merry Tuba Christmas concert. Behind the baton is Essex resident Randy Harrison, the longtime conductor who brought the event to...


MICA fiber professor Piper Shepard wins $50,000 U.S. Artists award

Tue, 22 Nov 2016 13:19:00 PST

Piper Shepard doesn’t know who nominated her to receive $50,000. But when the list of 2016 United States Artists winners came out last week, the Maryland Institute College of Art professor's name was on it, alongside big names like Miranda July and Shirin Neshat.

"I was extremely surprised,” said...