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Arts and Culture (All)

This frothy farce reflects on commitment as characters at crossroads take literal and figurative steps

British farces are not usually my cup of tea; I find madcap, bawdy romps to be silly and exhausting. But Alan Ayckbourn’s Taking Steps is a delightful summer infusion of iced chai: more cool and spicy than hot and saucy, with suspenseful plot twists to make it fun....

What could have been an interesting political satire or a subversive black comedy is instead a dreadfully dull horror movie laden with stereotypes

In 2022, the American government has come up with a solution for crime: The Purge. Once every year, for 12 hours, all crime is legal. You can murder, rape, assault and rob to your heart’s content and get a free pass. Government officials are protected, emergency services are shut down and the rest of the country lets it rip.
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Jet correspondent Simeon Booker tells of his front-line reporting on the war for Civil Rights

Simeon Booker is a lucky man. He has lived to enjoy the spoils of victory.
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Aside from a not-so-new twist, this movie is an entertaining illusion

Four magicians, drawn together by a mysterious puppet master, team up to steal from the rich and give to the poor. Think Robin Hood with flash paper and sequins. As if pillaging the bank accounts of the one-percent isn’t hard enough, the illusionists must evade the pernicious attention of an FBI agent (Mark Ruffalo: Iron Man 3) tasked with lowering the curtain on this charitable crime spree.
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Rich not only in sound but also in spectacle

Atorch flickers in the castle keep before the orchestra plays a note, illuminating the Dark Ages and modern times alike with the dream of Camelot. 2nd Star Productions’ revival of Lerner and Loewe’s 1960 blockbuster sparkles like a chandelier with 33 local stars in sumptuous costumes and sets, under the visionary direction of Jane B. Wingard. It’s three hours of enchantment and unflagging entertainment.
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Are stunning visuals enough to conceal the plot holes in this animated tale of good vs. evil?

Teenager M.K. (Amanda Seyfried: The Big Wedding) is forced to move back in with her father (Jason Sudeikis: Movie 43) after the death of her mother. A veritable stranger to her, Dad is far more interested in tiny people who he believes live in the forest than in his mourning child.
    Dear old dad might not be as crazy as M.K. believes.
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Big entertainment with 17 singers and dancers, 30 songs and dances and 100 costumes

Swing! was a gusty and lusty blast from the past on Friday night at Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre. At 53 degrees with gale-force winds, it felt like Winter Garden Theatre. President Carolyn Kirby said she hadn’t seen the like since the cast were babes. But as the program notes, “Swing was never a time or place — it has always been a state of mind.” In the end, mind triumphed over season.
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The beloved franchise trades Sci-Fi for action in this bombastic sequel

After a routine mission goes awry, the Enterprise is called back to Earth and cavalier captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine: Rise of the Guardians) is demoted for his disregard of the Prime Directive. Kirk’s disciplining is put on hold, however, when terrorist John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch: The Hobbit) brings Star Fleet to its knees.
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Kenneth Walsh on how 10 modern-day presidents tried to keep in touch

For more than 25 years, Kenneth Walsh has covered the White House and its chief occupant for U.S. News & World Report, penning more than a dozen books in that time. His latest, Prisoners of the White House: The Isolation of America’s Presidents and the Crisis of Leadership, explores the irony that the most powerful man in the world, the president of the United States, is powerless against the confines of his very office.
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This cabaret of pop, Broadway and opera tunes is a fun potpourri

Theater 11 is the 2003 creation of 11 artists from the Anne Arundel County theater and music scene, devised to bring new or rare works to local audiences. They began with a seldom seen Wendy Wasserstein play, followed by two original works by local authors. Their stage went dark after two seasons while its members focused on life’s larger needs. But their vision never died....