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Preview: - Entertainment

Arts - Baltimore Sun

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

Last Build Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2018 19:25:19 -0500

Copyright: ©2018 Baltimore Sun

'Hamilton' will play a month at Baltimore's Hippodrome Theatre in summer 2019

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 04:30:00 PST

The long-anticipated arrival of the uber-musical “Hamilton” in Baltimore will take place June 25 to July 21, 2019, capping a Hippodrome Theatre season spiced by current and recent Broadway shows.

As previously announced, current Hippodrome subscribers will have first pick for the 2018-2019 lineup;...


Stephanie Blythe to launch Lyric series emphasizing American music

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 10:30:00 PST

In 2006, mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe treated the Shriver Hall Concert Series audience to incisive musicality and a downright electrifying voice capable as much of roof-raising power as of exquisite nuance. On Sunday, she returns to town, this time to inaugurate a vocal recital series at the...


Free admission hasn't stopped attendance slide at Baltimore art museums — and other solutions prove elusive, too

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 02:00:00 PST

Eleven years ago, when Baltimore’s two largest art museums joined a nationwide trend by announcing that they would drop admission fees, the news was applauded in newspapers from New York to Detroit to Jackson, Miss. The policy was credited with inspiring Free Fall Baltimore, a monthlong slate of...


Morgan alum 'fixed' H&M ad — just one example of his uplifting works

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 14:35:00 PST

Freelance visual artist Kyle Yearwood grew up fixated on magic.

He was entranced with the Harry Potter novels and inspired by mystical and adventurous films like “Forrest Gump,” “ Big Fish” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” that challenged the depths of reality and imagination. But when...


BSO mixes Saint-Saens with rap, showcases percussive Glass concerto

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 08:55:00 PST

Classical music institutions routinely get charged with being stuck in ruts, overly focused on repeating old repertoire over and over, skittish about stretching boundaries. The latest Baltimore Symphony Orchestra program, full of rapping and pounding, practically shouts, “What ruts? What boundaries?”


In Baltimore and nationwide, art museums fight sharp declines in attendance

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 05:25:00 PST

When former Walters Art Museum director Gary Vikan remembers the late 1990s, he gets a little wistful.

It was a time when as many as 600,000 people crowded through the doors of the city’s two largest art museums each year. Local celebrities would hit him up for tickets. Airline employees checking...


Shut down over safety issues, Johnston Square arts studio works to reopen

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 08:55:00 PST

The Post Office Garage building, a Johnston Square property that houses artist studios, was shut down Monday due to various safety concerns but work is being done to make the building operational again, the Baltimore housing department said.

Responding to a complaint of a burst water pipe inside...


At Peabody jazz: discrimination allegations, a forced ouster — and new hope

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 13:00:00 PST

Trumpeter Sean Jones will arrive as the jazz chairman at the Peabody Institute this fall with a long, sterling resume: brass department chair at the Berklee College of Music, artistic director of Carnegie Hall’s NYO Jazz, board member of the Jazz Education Network, former lead trumpeter with the...


Baltimore artist Amy Sherald's Michelle Obama portrait to be unveiled next month

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 08:15:00 PST

Baltimore artist Amy Sherald’s portrait of former first lady Michelle Obama will have its official unveiling Feb. 12 at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington.

Sherald, 44, a graduate and faculty member of the Maryland Institute College of Art, was chosen by the Obamas to paint the official...


'Stains on the Sidewalk' photographer captured year of Baltimore killings, keeps at it

Mon, 8 Jan 2018 06:30:00 PST

Amy Berbert couldn’t stop.

Even after she went out to the 2200 block of E. North Ave. at 1 a.m. on New Year’s Eve to snap the final photograph in her series, “Stains on the Sidewalk,” Berbert knew her work wasn’t finished.

She had many reasons to call it quits.

Berbert, who now is 23, had accomplished...


Carroll County Arts Council executive director Sandy Oxx leaving organization after 21 years

Sun, 7 Jan 2018 17:00:00 PST

When Sandy Oxx started her first day as executive director of the Carroll County Arts Council, she made her way down the stairs into the dingy basement of the Winchester Exchange, greeted the council’s one part-time employee, sat down in her office which housed the Arts Center’s only bathroom and...


Psychological thriller co-written by Maryland author Sarah Pekkanen lands movie deal

Fri, 5 Jan 2018 05:00:00 PST

Literary world cognoscenti are betting that the novel and psychological thriller co-written by Maryland author Sarah Pekkanen will be snapped up by the same readers who made “Big Little Lies” and “Gone Girl” national obsessions.

“The Wife Between Us” was co-written with Pekkanen’s former editor...


New independent bookstore coming to Fells Point

Thu, 4 Jan 2018 11:55:00 PST

Book lovers alert: Greedy Reads, a new independent bookstore, is scheduled to open in Fells Point in late February.

The store is owned by former publishing professional Julia Fleischaker. She said said that the 500-square foot storefront, located at 1744 Aliceanna St. on the site of a former boutique,...


BSO opens new year with all-Mozart program

Thu, 4 Jan 2018 10:50:00 PST

To start up the new year, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra turned to something old — music by Mozart. A program devoted solely to that composer can be counted on to draw a crowd, as it did Friday at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.

The reward for venturing out on a bitter night (what’s a little wind chill...


Two Annapolis artists focus on oysters as their creative muse

Tue, 2 Jan 2018 03:00:00 PST

If there is a First Sunday festival on the first block of West Street in downtown Annapolis, Eric H. Roberge will be there.

People come to a full halt when they spy his curbside table laden with his artwork: oyster shells decorated with his designs. As if they were freshly-shucked bivalves, people...


Shriver Hall finds venues for season's remaining concerts

Mon, 1 Jan 2018 03:00:00 PST

Earlier this month, when Shriver Hall Concert Series presented its last event of 2017 — one of the best performances I heard this year, by the way (more on that in a moment) — the organization wasn’t totally sure where all of the season’s remaining subscription concerts would be held while renovations...


Md. Historical Society gets provocative with works by David Brewster

Fri, 29 Dec 2017 09:15:00 PST

At the entrance to “Structure & Perspective: David Brewster Explores Maryland’s Social Landscape,” a provocative exhibit that represents quite a departure for the Maryland Historical Society, two large paintings face each other.

Charles Willson Peale’s 1791 portrait of the James Gittings family...


Baltimore's arts scene figured prominently in the conversations that galvanized America in 2017

Wed, 27 Dec 2017 09:00:00 PST

This was the year of observable change, of a discernible shift in the status quo. It was a year when social attitudes about sex and race that had been imperceptibly shifting for decades suddenly seemed to achieve cumulative mass, and pillars of American society — both literal and figurative — came...


Free BSO musicians holiday concert set for Friday evening at Penn Station

Fri, 22 Dec 2017 08:40:00 PST

Baltimore Symphony Musicians will perform a free holiday concert Friday evening at Penn Station.

The concert, set for 5 p.m. in the station’s lobby, will include Christmas carols as well as pieces from J.S. Bach and selections from Handel’s “Messiah.”

“Hopefully it will make for a nice quick respite...


Elementary school marching band, drumline led by Morgan State alumnus to perform at Ravens game Saturday

Thu, 21 Dec 2017 04:55:00 PST

The Marching Lions, the marching band and drumline at Maple Elementary School in Cambridge, will take their talents to the Ravens game Saturday.

Led by Morgan State University alumnus Ray Washington Jr., the band of about 45 fourth- and fifth-graders will perform alongside the Ravens Marching Band...


Baltimore Safe Arts Space task force recommends repurposing vacant buildings, appointing liaison and more

Wed, 20 Dec 2017 15:55:00 PST

A Baltimore task force released a set of wide-ranging recommendations Wednesday for ways the city can help establish more safe spaces for artists to live and work — including developing a business plan to transform vacant properties into arts spaces.

The suggestion to use vacant properties was...


Two Baltimore authors are up for 2018 PEN America Literary Awards

Wed, 20 Dec 2017 07:35:00 PST

Two Baltimore authors, former Sun sports columnist John Eisenberg and Johns Hopkins University professor Lawrence P. Jackson, are on a list of those being considered for PEN America Literary Awards.

Eisenberg, who spent two decades as a sports columnist for The Sun and has been a columnist at


Baltimore Center Stage to present world premiere of musical about Stax Records, a cornerstone of '60s R&B

Wed, 20 Dec 2017 04:40:00 PST

The world premiere of a musical based on Memphis-based Stax Records, one of the cornerstones of 1960s soul and rhythm & blues, will close out the 2017-18 season at Baltimore’s Center Stage, the theater announced today.

Written by Matthew Benjamin and directed by outgoing Center Stage artistic director...


Baltimore’s Contemporary museum goes on hiatus, its future in question

Wed, 20 Dec 2017 03:00:00 PST

Less than four years after announcing its return following 15 months in limbo, The Contemporary, Baltimore’s vagabond art-museum-without-walls, is once again going on hiatus and facing an uncertain future.

Although it is not closing, The Contemporary has effectively ceased operations. Its last...


Baltimore Mayor Pugh to present Safe Art Space task force's recommendations on Wednesday

Tue, 19 Dec 2017 14:30:00 PST

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh on Wednesday will present the findings and recommendations of the Safe Art Space task force, which she formed last December in response to the Bell Foundry’s shuttering and the many issues surrounding safe and affordable spaces where Baltimore artists can live and...


Ta-Nehisi Coates deletes widely read Twitter account

Tue, 19 Dec 2017 08:40:00 PST

Ta-Nehisi Coates has had enough.

The influential author and journalist has deleted his widely followed Twitter account, writing "peace, y'all. I'm out." Coates, a Baltimore native, had had a contentious exchange with Cornel West, author of "Race Matters." West had recently called Coates' views...


MICA alum, West Baltimore community team up on striking 'Wisdom Wall' murals

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 14:45:00 PST

Makayla Rebecca Hughes and her older brother, Ty’Jhawn Dorsey, were walking home from school in West Baltimore when they saw a man painting the wall on Warwick and West North avenues, near Coppin State University and Frederick Douglass High School.

Their curiosity got the best of them.

“We started...


Bel Air Tuba Christmas rings in the season with brassy holiday tunes

Sun, 17 Dec 2017 16:45:00 PST

When Sophia Mohen’s school band sits down to play, she’s the only middle schooler hoisting a tuba to her lips.

But on Sunday she was in good company. Forty tuba, euphonium and other low brass players from the Baltimore region gathered to play a concert of Christmas carols to a nearly full house...


A feminist venture through the French Revolution at Everyman Theatre

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 03:00:00 PST

There’s something about “The Revolutionists,” Lauren Gunderson’s funny and moving play now galvanizing the stage of Everyman Theatre, that perfectly matches the tenor of our time.

Blending fact, fiction and fantasy, the playwright puts the audience into the thick of the French Revolution, but not...


Modell Lyric's new executive director to diversify offerings, expand reach

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 15:05:00 PST

As the new executive director of the Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric, Jonathan Schwartz says he comes in with twin goals: diversifying the offerings at the 123-year-old performance venue and instituting more educational programs “that reach out to the community.”

“The Lyric needs to...


A year after the Bell Foundry was shut down, Baltimore's DIY arts scene remains in flux

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 04:45:00 PST

When Butch Dawson walks by the former Bell Foundry, the vacant, 13,000-square-foot building the Baltimore rapper once called home, he often stops, just momentarily.

“I look up, and look inside the windows, and get this weird nostalgia,” said the 24-year-old West Baltimore man. “There was no negative...


'Alice' gets a curiouser adaptation at Baltimore Center Stage, featuring aerials and Demi Lovato music

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 09:00:00 PST

Filled with odd characters and even more unusual twists on what we think of as reality, Lewis Carroll’s 1865 fantasy “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” is practically ready-made for the stage.

While there is gold to be mined in a straightforward adaptation — Annapolis Shakespeare Company reaffirmed...


Compass Rose Theater moving, not without drama

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 16:05:00 PST

Compass Rose Theater has had some unconventional homes. The Annapolis-based professional theater company started in an empty McDonald’s in Eastport in 2011. In the last four years, the theater housed itself on Spa Road in what used to be a rug cleaning building. On Sunday night, Compass Rose’s...


Fells Point theater cancels ‘A Christmas Carol’ after revelation that Scrooge actor is convicted sex offender

Fri, 8 Dec 2017 13:00:00 PST

Faced with the revelation that their lead actor was a convicted sex offender and fearing the possibility of protests, the Fells Point Corner Theatre and the Collaborative Theatre Company have canceled their production of “A Christmas Carol,” which was scheduled to open Friday.

“The information...


Chesapeake Shakespeare Company to sing carols in downtown Baltimore Thursday afternoon

Thu, 7 Dec 2017 08:10:00 PST

If you can barely wait to experience the holiday cheer during Thursday night’s lighting of the Washington Monument, the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company has something that will tide you over.

From 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., the theater company’s staff will frolic downtown, from Inner Harbor streets...


Baltimore artist Loring Cornish, known for his colorful mosaics and personality, moving to California

Thu, 7 Dec 2017 07:05:00 PST

Artist Loring Cornish, whose glass and found-object mosaics have beautified homes on Eutaw Street, a former police outpost near Penn Station and his studio in Fells Point, is leaving Baltimore for Los Angeles, where he hopes to realize his dream of an acting career.

“I just didn’t want to waste...


Columbia's Root Studio offers shared creative space, artistic community

Wed, 6 Dec 2017 03:00:00 PST

All a budding artist needs is curiosity and the desire to explore new ideas — that’s the philosophy behind Root Studio, a shared creative space in Columbia designed to foster an “artistic ecosystem.”

Root Studio’s owner, Columbia painter Karen Isailovic, has been honing the concept for years. It...


Departing BOPA head Bill Gilmore reflects on Artscape, Light City

Sat, 2 Dec 2017 05:55:00 PST

An interview with Bill Gilmore, the longtime head of Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, as he serves his final week in office(image)

Reflections on life and death as BSO performs Rouse, Mozart

Fri, 1 Dec 2017 06:30:00 PST

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s latest program is a matter of life and death.

In “Berceuse Infinie,” receiving its world premiere, the eminent Baltimore-born composer Christopher Rouse spins a spellbinding, not necessarily soothing lullaby for adults. Punctuated by the eerie sound of orchestra...


Seasoned librarian shares best book picks for holiday gifts

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 11:00:00 PST

For some folks, the an impersonal gift card just won’t do this holiday season. But with less than a month until Christmas, time is shorter than one of Santa’s elves to make those personal selections.

Jane Sharpe, associate librarian emerita of McDaniel College, reviewed what she considers the best...


Baltimore photographer Devin Allen, 'Step' documentary among local NAACP Image Award nominees

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 14:55:00 PST

Baltimore photographer Devin Allen, author Ta-Nehisi Coates and the documentary “Step” are among a handful of local figures or projects nominated for NAACP Image Awards on Monday.

Allen is nominated for outstanding literary work by a debut author for his book, “A Beautiful Ghetto,” a collection...


Christopher Rouse dedicates his latest work to Marin Alsop; BSO to give premiere

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 13:20:00 PST

“Berceuse Infinie,” the work by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Christopher Rouse that receives its world premiere this week from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, opens with only a portion of the violins playing an E. They are instructed to make that note not just very soft, but way beyond soft...


A vibrant return of 'The Lion King' at the Hippodrome in Baltimore

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 12:15:00 PST

Since the first time was the charm — “The Lion King” played 14 weeks to packed houses at the Hippodrome Theatre on its initial visit in 2005 — what to make of the third time for this epic Disney musical in Baltimore? A lot, as it turns out.

Although aimed at kids in many ways, the piece, with book...


Baltimore-area theaters put their twist on 'A Christmas Carol'

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 09:10:00 PST

Only the incurably humbug-prone would bemoan the plentiful adaptations of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” lighting up theaters this season in the Baltimore-Annapolis area.

For whatever reason, there will be a few more opportunities this year to watch “squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping,...


Gift guide 2017: Baltimore finds for everyone on your list

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 02:00:00 PST


The new Bible museum tells a clear, powerful story; it could change the museum business

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 15:13:00 PST

When the Museum of the Bible opens this weekend, it will set a new standard for how this country's museums fuse entertainment and education. The $500 million, privately funded project is as large as some of the Smithsonian's premier attractions, including the National Museum of African American...(image)

Slices of Baltimore life from photographer Joseph Kohl at Historical Society

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 13:55:00 PST

Baltimore has never lacked for attention from photographers. The best go far beyond chronicling the urbanscape to capture the people — unknown and familiar, ordinary and quirky, safe and risky — who give the city its character. That’s what Joseph Kohl did throughout a productive, all too short...


Baltimore Museum of Art launches ambitious partnership with Greenmount Community Center

Fri, 10 Nov 2017 13:15:00 PST

Artist Mark Bradford and the Baltimore Museum of Art will launch an innovative program next year aimed at teaching low-income children creative and entrepreneurial skills needed to smash the cycle of poverty.

The multiyear partnership between the MacArthur Fellowship-winning artist, the museum...


'The Lion King' returns to Baltimore with its uplifting story, catchy music and intricate puppets

Fri, 10 Nov 2017 11:05:00 PST

When the sun first rose on Pride Rock 20 years ago at the New Amsterdam Theater in New York, as a mandrill named Rafiki summoned all the animals to welcome Simba, newborn lion cub of King Mufasa, the sight caused a stir. It’s still stirring.

Since that opening night on Nov. 13, 1997, “The Lion...