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Preview: - Entertainment

Arts - Baltimore Sun

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

Last Build Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2018 12:49:08 -0500

Copyright: ©2018 Baltimore Sun

Michelle Obama portraitist Amy Sherald to appear on CBS Sunday Morning

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 18:00:00 PST

Baltimore-based artist Amy Sherald, who painted the portrait of Michelle Obama for the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, is scheduled to be featured today on the CBS Sunday Morning show.

The show’s website says that correspondent Alex Wagner will profile Sherald, who earned her MFA at Maryland...


BSO spotlights neglected African-American composer Florence Price

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 11:30:00 PST

Friday night’s Baltimore Symphony Orchestra concert proved rewarding in many ways, not the least that it opened with a piece by Florence Price, a trailblazer as an African-American woman in the first half of the 20th century.

That this Arkansas-born composer — whose output includes symphonies,...


The original Baltimore bad girl: New Wallis Warfield Simpson bio out from royals biographer

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 03:00:00 PST

A Mays Chapel woman remembers the long-ago night in Paris when she cradled the former King of England in her arms as the dying ex-monarch rasped his final breath.

“Poor old man,” Juliana Chatard Alexander said. “He was very sweet.”

Though it has been nearly 45 years, Alexander’s affection for the...


Time traveling with the Cone sisters, Gertrude Stein in new Rep Stage play

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 08:15:00 PST

At the center of “All She Must Possess,” the entertaining play by Susan McCully receiving its world premiere at Rep Stage, is Etta Cone, the unassuming half of the celebrated sisters from Baltimore who amassed an astounding collection of contemporary art at the turn of the 20th century.

But Etta...


Truly best in show: Westminster winner makes Broadway debut

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 00:40:00 PST

America's new top dog became best in a Broadway show.

Flynn the bichon frise took quite a victory lap on Valentine's Day, hours after he won the Westminster Kennel Club dog show at Madison Square Garden.

The white powder puff's tour of the town finished Wednesday night with a walk-on part in the...


Three things you didn't know about the new leader of Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 03:00:00 PST

It’s no secret that Margaret Davis, the new president and CEO of the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, is a capable leader. The 58-year-old Chicago native has more than three decades of experience in nonprofit management, communications and resource development, leading a staff of 20 that offers...


Michelle Obama portrait by Amy Sherald: The critics respond

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 08:10:00 PST

The official portrait of Michelle Obama, painted by Baltimore-based artist Amy Sherald, was unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery on Monday morning, and became a national event, with everyday tweeters, art enthusiasts and art critics sounding off.

While some critics complimented Sherald’s signature...


Why is Barack Obama's portrait set at Wrigley Field? Some Chicagoans are asking

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 11:35:00 PST

This may come out of left field, but Barack Obama sure looks like he’s posing in front of Wrigley Field’s ivy in a new portrait of the former president.

Fine, fine, we know the White Sox fan-in-chief likely would never do such a thing, but observers couldn’t help but go there when his and Michelle...


Michelle Obama portrait by Baltimore artist Amy Sherald makes national splash

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 11:05:00 PST

Michelle Obama, as envisaged by the Baltimore artist Amy Sherald, has gray skin.

That’s one of the characteristics of the portrait unveiled Monday in Washington’s National Portrait Gallery that has everyone talking.

Specifically, the former first lady is rendered in Sherald’s trademark “grayscale”...


Michelle Obama portrait: What they're saying about Baltimore artist's big reveal

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 09:45:00 PST

After the official portrait for Michelle Obama, painted by Baltimore-based artist Amy Sherald, was unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery on Monday morning, reactions to photos of the portrait on Twitter were largely critical.

While celebrated by some as elegant, others failed to see the resemblance...


Annapolis' 'TransAm Grannie' writes, illustrates and bikes cross-country adventure

Sun, 11 Feb 2018 15:05:00 PST

Patsy Helmetag doesn’t really like to bike.

The 68-year-old has lived in Annapolis 20 years and hasn’t biked much of the 13-mile Baltimore & Annapolis trail. Yet, she and her best friend biked across the coastal United States over six summers, and they’re steadily making their way back.

“It’s the...


200th birthday of Frederick Douglass celebrated by historians and other fans in Baltimore

Sat, 10 Feb 2018 16:15:00 PST

The fame and esteem of orator and abolitionist Frederick Douglass was so pervasive during his life, he became the most photographed individual in the 19th century.

“He sat for photographers more than Lincoln or Grant,” Harvard University professor and historian John Stauffer said at an event at...


Actor Reg Cathey, known for roles in The Wire, House of Cards, dies at 59

Fri, 9 Feb 2018 17:30:00 PST

Reg E. Cathey, known for playing Norman Wilson on the HBO series “The Wire” from 2006 to 2008, has died at 59.

The death of the actor, known for his deep gravelly voice, was reported by the show’s creator, David Simon.

“Reg Cathey, 1958-2018. Not only a fine, masterful actor — but simply one of...


MICA's David Plunkert wins ASME award for New Yorker's Trump Klan cover

Fri, 9 Feb 2018 17:00:00 PST

Maryland Institute College of Art adjunct faculty member David Plunkert has won cover of the year in the American Society of Magazine Editors’ 2018 Best Cover Contest for a New Yorker cover that depicted President Donald Trump in a boat — rudder in hand — as he blows a sail that resembles a Klu...


Get to know Amy Sherald, the Baltimore artist painting Michelle Obama's official portrait

Fri, 9 Feb 2018 03:00:00 PST

The Baltimore artist Amy Sherald is undergoing her first major public test, with the unveiling Monday of the portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama in a ceremony at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.

Normally, presidential portraits don’t generate tons of buzz. But last year, when...


Still wild about Eubie Blake on his 135th birthday

Fri, 9 Feb 2018 02:00:00 PST

Eubie Blake defied the odds. His parents had been slaves. He was their only child to survive past infancy. He smoked unfiltered Pall Malls into old age. “I’m a cigarette fiend,” he told a reporter in 1979, when he was well into his 90s. “Some people just smoke, but I’m a fiend.”

According to his...


Impressive revival of O'Neill's epic 'Journey' at Everyman Theatre

Thu, 8 Feb 2018 10:10:00 PST

There’s really no laughing matter in Eugene O’Neill’s “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” the epic play that has received an impressive revival at Everyman Theatre.

But at one point, as that night finally envelops the summer home of the Tyrone family in August 1912, the younger and sickly son, Edmund,...


Baltimore group helps reimagine city's Confederate monuments, address inequity in arts scene

Thu, 8 Feb 2018 04:30:00 PST

Artist Sheila Gaskins performed all over the city before she noticed the arts community was segregated. On one part of town, audience members were predominantly black. On the other, they were all white.

“I didn't understand how divided the city was when it came to race relations. In Station North...


White supremacy, Confederate mythology: MICA art exhibit critiques this legacy

Thu, 8 Feb 2018 04:25:00 PST

First, there was the deadly violence at a white supremacist rally in August in Charlottesville, Va.

And then, days later, the overnight removal of four Confederate statues in Baltimore.

With that, Lauren Adams was moved to act. A daughter of the South — born in North Carolina, raised on tales of...


New play from Rep Stage focuses on one of the Cone Sisters

Wed, 7 Feb 2018 10:40:00 PST

The names of Claribel and Etta Cone have a very familiar ring to art lovers, especially in our region. Their ravenous and adventurous interests in the contemporary art world at the turn of the 20th century led to the most important collection in the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Cezanne, Gauguin, Picasso...


'Skeleton Crew' at Baltimore Center Stage offers telling look at the economy's downside

Wed, 7 Feb 2018 10:40:00 PST

Even with the seesawing stock market, the economy today is so far ahead of where it was just a decade ago that some folks may have forgotten the hard thump that signaled the start of the Great Recession.

For a bracing reminder, check out “Skeleton Crew,” the tough and humane play by Dominique Morisseau...


Musical version of 'Waitress' hits an affecting Time's-Up chord on Baltimore tour

Thu, 1 Feb 2018 05:55:00 PST

The central character in “Waitress,” the deft musical adaptation of the 2007 film now at the Hippodrome Theatre, speaks for many women when she says that she just won’t settle anymore for being “happy enough.” She wants actual “happy” for a change.

For Jenna, the unusually imaginative pie baker...


It's Frederick Douglass' 200th birthday. Here's how Maryland is celebrating the abolitionist's legacy

Thu, 1 Feb 2018 04:00:00 PST

When a figure as historically significant as Frederick Douglass celebrates his 200th birthday, it calls for quite a celebration. So it’s no surprise that many throughout the region are planning events to honor the bicentennial of the Maryland abolitionist and orator.

“Douglass is an internationally...


Baltimore photographer Devin Allen taking over The New Yorker photo desk Instagram this week

Tue, 30 Jan 2018 04:00:00 PST

Baltimore photographer Devin Allen is taking over the Instagram feed of The New Yorker's photography department this week.(image)

Marin Alsop to become first female chief conductor of ORF Vienna Radio Symphony

Mon, 29 Jan 2018 06:35:00 PST

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra music director Marin Alsop, whose career has included the breaking of glass ceilings worldwide, will break another one when she becomes the first female chief conductor of the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Her initial three-year contract begins in September 2019,...


A midwinter bounty of theater in Baltimore

Thu, 25 Jan 2018 11:05:00 PST

A bounty of theater productions is heating up mid-winter in Baltimore.

Within the space of a few days, a hit Broadway musical and a vintage feminist play will be onstage, both gaining fresh relevance from the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements for sexual assault awareness and gender equality. A classic...


Laura Lippman talks fiction: 'I'm very empathetic — that might be one of my superpowers'

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 08:50:00 PST

Though she and her husband, TV writer/producer David Simon ("The Wire," "The Deuce"), have divided their time between Baltimore and New Orleans, novelist Laura Lippman will always be first and foremost a favorite daughter of Charm City. That's where she grew up and was a reporter for a dozen years...


BSO's $65 million 'Second Century' fundraising campaign is 2/3 there

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 09:00:00 PST

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra has raised more than $42 million toward a $65 million “Second Century” fundraising campaign aimed at boosting the organization’s endowment and educational activities.

The $42.6 million received so far in cash and pledges came during what the BSO calls the “quiet...


Art museums, in Baltimore and beyond, let the internet pass them by. Now, they're starting to catch on

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 02:00:00 PST

We never noticed before, but David Letterman is a dead ringer for Henry Walters, co-founder of the local museum that bears his name. Maybe it’s that Old Testament beard. And Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh bears a striking resemblance to a woman with a flower in her hair captured in Diego Rivera’s...


BSO trots out war horses by Tchaikovsky, Bartok

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 07:35:00 PST

Another week, another impressive effort by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

If anyone has somehow not noticed how tight the ensemble’s technique has become, Friday night’s performance of Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra, conducted by music director Marin Alsop, would surely have woken up the ears.


'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...