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Arts and Culture (Theatre Reviews)

Take the Naval Academy Masqueraders’ magic carpet ride to ancient Persia and meet merchants, lovers, royalty and travelers

Mary Zimmerman’s The Arabian Nights is not your same old Ali Baba, Sinbad and Aladdin story. None of them appears in this 15-story sampling of the bawdy and moralistic tales. But if you take the Naval Academy Masqueraders’ magic carpet ride to ancient Persia, you will meet the masses: merchants, lovers, royalty and travelers.
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Twin Beach Players’ cast and company unite for toothy fun.

Twin Beach Players brings Dracula to the light of day in North Beach. Needle-sharp teeth sink into soft flesh ... but I digress.
    By the way, did you know that a vampire’s fangs are retractable? They are. I’ve often wondered about that.
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Plotting a course to triumph

The new Compass Rose Studio Theater in Eastport’s Bay Ridge Shopping Center has hit on a winning strategy for success, debuting with Neil Simon’s Pulitzer Prize winning play, Lost in Yonkers. That strategy: deliver family entertainment starring student-child actors alongside seasoned professionals, and watch them grow. It’s inspirational on a human and artistic level.
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A clichéd pairing of opposites turns dying into a Hallmark production in this Bowie Community Theatre effort

Dying is one drama we all star in. This makes it an irresistible subject for playwrights, actors and directors. Grace and Glorie, now playing at Bowie Community Theatre, has death and dying as its focus and personal relationships as its theme.
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Logistically challenging, Dignity Players’ attention to detail shows.

Sordid Lives, a black comedy about white trash, rode a wave of financial and critical success for over a decade, from L.A.’s theater scene to film and TV credits. Playwright Del Shores did it by playing on stereotypes that feed social discord, from homophobia to fundamentalism, from the country club to the trailer park. His characters are as big as Texas, comic diversions of tragic proportions....

Two hours to ponder the bearings on which a life rests

In Wit, Bay Theatre Company tackles a heartfelt and erudite play about a woman coming to terms with cancer.
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Even the actors don’t know whodunit in this appealing mystery

The works of Agatha Christie, the queen of murder and reportedly the best-selling author of all time, are timeless because her characters transcend their settings. The privileged classes, it seems, are no happier than the rest of us, so we adore their frailties as much as the grandeur that surrounds them....

After two Irene cancellations, expect pent-up energy to enhance fine acting, staging and special effects in the last seven shows of this comedy about mis-communication

The lines of communication were abuzz all last week as first an earthquake and then a hurricane shook up our complacency....

Beneath the fun and fluff is the true history of Baltimore kids caught at the color line

A good hairspray delivers lasting style that looks sleek and natural, and at Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre’s final musical of the season that’s just what you get.
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Talent Machine’s 13- to 18-year-old thespians bring to life Cole Porter’s Can-Can

Talent Machine’s 13- to 18-year-old thespians bring to life Cole Porter’s Can-Can, a musical about the music, dance, love and artistry of 1890s’ Paris. Featuring the songs Never Give Anything Away, I Am in Love and Come Along with Me.

Fri. Aug. 12 & Sat. Aug. 13 at 7:30pm. Key Auditorium, St. John’s College, Annapolis. $12 w/age discounts: 410-956-0512; www.talentmachine.com.

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