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Arts and Culture

It would be a shame for one seat to go empty during this run.
Debuting to 10 Tony Awards 50 years ago, Hello, Dolly! is a rarity among musicals: song and dance blend seamlessly with story, its buoyant innocence saving it from contrivance. Based on Thornton Wilder’s play The Matchmaker, it’s a perfect vehicle for 2nd Star Productions, long recognized for outstanding musicals. The combination of strength in show and talent makes this the best amateur musical production I have seen in 13 years of reviewing.   

Is your neighbor the next New York Times bestseller?

The death of reading — like the death of Mark Twain — may be greatly exaggerated.     For the Digital Age has given us high-quality, nearly instant do-it-yourself publishing. Thus the book each of us has within can find a publisher — if it finds an author.     Then it must find readers.     If you’re a reader in search of an author, you’ll find them on May 31 at Prince Frederick Library’s huge Author Festival.

Gather under the stars for satins and sequins, top hats and tails and vocal harmonies with that Merry Melodies brand of manic sweetness

It seems only yesterday we were urged to come and meet those dancing feet … on 42nd Street. But the 2001 revival of the 1980 Broadway hit (both multiple Tony Award winners) debuted as a 1933 Warner Brothers film starring Ruby Keeler and Ginger Rogers. Now Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre brings back this buoyant musical extravaganza, after a 20-year hiatus, in a show billed as a “bold celebration of the transcendent joys of Broadway.”

Three years in, I’m planning ahead for optimal success

I didn’t move to Annapolis three years ago because our capital city hosts a barbeque festival. The Naptown barBAYq was one of those pleasant discoveries I made after arrival.     That happy coincidence has helped me realize that how we experience is just as important as what we experience. With the Parole Rotary’s 2014 Naptown barBAYq Contest and Music Festival just around the corner — May 3 and 4 — I’m planning to maximize the experience.

Noxzema comes to The Baltimore Museum of Industry

From COVERGIRL cosmetics to Noxzema, Maryland has a legacy of good skin. For those two boons to ­beauty, we owe thanks to turn-of-the-20th-century Baltimore pharmacist George Bunting. Bunting invented Noxzema to relieve sunburn. Perhaps he was beseeched by clients who failed to factor in the sun’s strength as they sought relief from summer heat on rivers, Bay or oceans.     Who hasn’t used Noxzema? The skin care line with the bracing aroma has become a staple of adolescent medicine cabinets and beauty regimens around the world.

Teachers draw the lines

Lineage, the new year’s first show at the ArtWorks@7th Gallery in North Beach, is telling secrets out of school.     Its painters, photographers and potters are the Southern High School art teachers, joining forces in their first faculty-only show.     On opening day, Southern High School students and alumni swelled attendance. To see their teachers’ other lives, National Art Honor Society vice president Mary Watts joined alumni Cat Allen and Tyler Mills, both past Best of Show ArtQuest winners.

A trip to Balticon is like cozying up to the bar at a Star Wars cantina

Science fiction fans love technology, so it’s no surprise that they stay in touch with each other using Twitter, Facebook and Skype. But they also enjoy getting together in person. One of the biggest destinations is just around the corner: Balticon, the annual convention of the venerable Baltimore Science Fiction Society.

Bowie Community Theater earns three Washington area awards

Is it worth your while to invest $20 plus a couple of hours of your time in community theater?         That evaluation is made each year by Washington Area Theatre Community Honors. Three dozen local companies make up WATCH, which reaches beyond the District into suburban and rural Maryland and Virginia. Last year, WATCH members evaluated 127 plays to recognize excellence in 38 categories. In each category, typically five nominees were chosen.

Both these artists love their dogs — as pets and as subjects. That’s where the similarity ends.

Kelley Donnelly looks at a dog and sees a colorful character. Blue, red, yellow. Her pooches are a flamboyant lot.

Acting team Anna and Alan Ostroff find a Fantastick way to express their love

The curtain goes up on a real life love story in Infinity Theatre Company’s production of The Fantasticks. The play, which tells the tale of two lovers overcoming familial obstacles, opens at the Children’s Theatre of Annapolis this Friday.