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Arts and Culture (Theatre Reviews)

Halloween sweetens the bait in this timely production

Agatha Christie catches you in her Mousetrap — the longest running show in the world — baited by Twin Beach Players with Halloween lure.
    Enter the cozy North Beach Boys and Girls Club and you step into the spell. Cobwebs drape the gate of Christie’s barely illuminated Monkswell Manor, now a guesthouse.
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A small staging delivers on theater’s favorite things

Compass Rose opens its little new theater with a giant of American musical theater.
     Written in 1959 with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein and book by Howard Lindsay and Russell Crouse, The Sound of Music went on to win the Best Musical Tony Award. 
    No surprise there: Music has a
dramatic true story for inspiration, and Hammerstein’s brilliant lyrics and songs sound vibrant over 50 years later....

Little shop; big hit

Was it really 30 years ago this week that Little Shop of Horrors made its Broadway debut? How can that be when it still feels fresh as a daisy?
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I’d gladly travel back in time for another first look at this production

Facing a time-travel problem, Star Trek Voyager’s Captain Janeway looked pained, rubbed her forehead and moaned, “Time-travel paradigms: they give me such a headache!”
    Colonial Players’ Communicating Doors will cure any time-travel problem, indeed any headache.
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Great vocal talents and imaginative theater choices lead you into the woods of an atypical fairy tale

As you enter Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre, take note of the Into the Woods set, designed by show director and choreographer Darnell Morris. The woods are beautifully painted in soft pastels with large trees on each side of the stage, evoking a pastoral Monet sensibility. Appreciate the beauty while you can because, as advertised, “this is not your typical fairy tale,” and with Alex Doan’s lighting, the stage becomes dark and ominous very quickly.
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An entertaining transposition of Shakespeare to the 1950s

Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing endures because audiences love smart love stories. Twenty years ago, Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson revived it on film. Joss Whedon’s critically acclaimed remake — now showing at the West End Cinema in D.C. — is set in modern-day California.
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I loved every minute and may go back for more

It’s hard being special. Just ask the contestants in Dignity Players’ 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, the 2005 Tony Award-winning musical about five over-achieving basket cases and an accidental also-ran.
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Meet these award-winners at Twin Beach Players Kids Playwriting Festival

Love, not money, sparked 21 kids to seek spots in Twin Beach Players’ annual Kids Playwriting Festival.
    Lots of love as each had to write a play.
    The $100 prize money was a bonus, all six finalists agreed.
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Once more … with spectacle, grand singing and clever choreography.

Three generations of movie lovers have loved She Loves Me. But each has known Miklos Laszlo’s 1937 play The Parfumerie by a different name, and with different stars. Jimmy Stewart turned the story of haters in love into The Shop Around the Corner in 1940. Judy Garland reprised it as In the Good Old Summertime in 1949. And Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks did it again — with the help of Nora Ephron as screenwriter and director — in 1998’s You’ve Got Mail.
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A little Neil Simon and a little Seinfeld, it’s a lively summer diversion.

When The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife debuted on Broadway in 2000, one reviewer called its three leads the only three reasons to see Charles Busch’s breakthrough Tony-nominee. It’s not hard to see why.
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