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Arts and Culture

This theater tells its stories in dance, music and fashion
      It’s a Friday afternoon and opening night for Ballet Theatre of Maryland’s Aladdin is just a week away. Artistic Director Dianna Cuatto is working the company, Maryland’s sole professional ballet, on Act II and tweaking little things — the kinds of gestures, head positions and facial expressions — that will make the performance sing.

The hero of Wakanda makes a fantastic ­addition to the Marvel pantheon

      Prince T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman: Marshall) returns to his native Wakanda after the death of his father in a terrorist attack. Wakanda’s image as a charming but reclusive third-world nation is an illusion. In reality, a mountain of the powerful metal vibranium has given the nation technological prowess. The Wakandans have kept their secret to avoid the exploitation endured by other resource-rich African nations. 

Dr. Joan Gaither’s quilts document lives and history

      Mention quilts, and people often share memories of grandmothers or great aunts working with needle and thread, joining pieces of fabric with precise stitching.       Dr. Joan Gaither, who documents history with cloth and thread, describes herself as “a quilter who breaks all the rules.” Her quilts are covered with images, words and objects: buttons, ribbons, pieces of jewelry, shells — anything that can be sewn to fabric and symbolizes an aspect of the story she tells.

Lincoln was the first to use photos to shape public perception

       Abraham Lincoln, whose leadership the country celebrates on Presidents Day February 19, a week after his February 12 birthday, ranks as one of our best presidents. He won the Civil War, saved the Union, ended slavery and uttered some of the most eloquent words ever spoken by an American leader. 

Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival ­honored for its commitment to the music

      Every year, the Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival donates its sizable profits to charity. And every year, fans of the music return to the shores of Chesapeake Bay at Sandy Point State Park for the festival that features strong lineups and standout performers. So it comes as no surprise that the popular festival was recently awarded the Keeping the Blues Alive Award from the Blues Foundation based in Memphis, Tennessee.

The acting is tight, the pace is fast, the one-liners fly and people die

      Take some Neil Simon-like one liners, add a dash of the door-slamming slapstick of Noises Off, mix with some World War II political intrigue, a bunch of mistaken identities and hidden passages in a dark mansion, and what do you get? The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940, running through February 24 at the Bowie Playhouse. 

A woman tries to pick up the pieces of her life in this wonderful drama

      Marina (Daniela Vega: The Guest) is enjoying her birthday until boyfriend Orlando (Francisco Reyes: Neruda) has an aneurysm. She rushes him to the hospital, where he dies.         And her nightmare begins.

Making beer is fun. Can it also be a means to make a living?

       For beer lovers, this is a heady time. Some 1.15 million Americans brew beer at home, in their kitchens, garages and porches, according to the American Homebrew Association. Most are guys, and most older than 30.        “Access to information and equipment has never been better,” says John Morehead, the Association’s competition director, noting that in those areas, “the lines between professional and amateur bleed into each other.”

Humanity is the danger in this depressing western

      Captain Joseph Blocker (Christian Bale: The Promise) is an Indian fighter. He knows the tribes, customs and languages. He’s made a career of tracking, moving and culling them from U.S. territories. He’s committed atrocities, and been paid back in kind.

"If we don’t tell these stories, no one will know what life was really like"

      Important African American history is being lost with each passing year. You can help preserve the past before it disappears forever by sharing a story about the civil rights era and historic sites in Anne Arundel County.       The Lost Towns Project wants to hear your stories about African American history for two grants sponsored by the National Park Service Civil Rights African American Historic Preservation Program and the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority.