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Performing Arts

Performers make the magic happen

     They are bedraggled hermits, shouting village sheriffs, enchanting shopkeepers and battle-worn knights. They are crowned, jolly kings and gallivanting princesses and run-down peasant rabblers.      Other times of the year, they are people with everyday lives. During this special season, however, they shapeshift into magical time travelers intent on bringing you with them at the 27-acre Renaissance Festival in Crownsville.

Smithsonian’s Year of Music comes to SERC

     “We call it eelgrass music,” says Jeff Holland from his office on the campus of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater. “Eelgrass seems an apt descriptor for the genre of ethno/eco-music we’re trying to create as part of the effort to build music into the legacy of the Bay.”

Decisions — and life — put to music

 

     Jason Robert Brown is a Tony Award-winning composer, lyricist and playwright best known for his work on Parade, The Bridges of Madison County, and The Last Five Years. Prior to those successes, Brown in 1995 debuted the self-penned Songs for a New World, a musical revue now playing at Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre through July 20.

Experience the culture’s diversity at this annual festival 

 

      At the Annapolis Greek Festival, something magical happens. You become Greek for a day.      Hosted by the Saints Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church on Riva Road from Thursday, May 30 to the following Sunday, the festival thrusts you into a makeshift Greek homeland. In this land, you’ll find more than 30 Greek foods and dishes, as well as four dance groups, two bands and vendors selling unique arts and crafts.

Like ice cream on a hot day

 

      It takes a little chutzpah and a lot of hard work for a community theater to try to perform Crazy for You with the original Broadway choreography. With plenty of both, Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre has scored. The dancing awes, and the music and singing soars, riveting the audience for a full two and one-half hours (plus a 15-minute intermission).      Crazy for You takes us back to the 1930s with music by George and Ira Gershwin performed by a nine-piece live orchestra.

Lots of heart in this musical ­autobiography of recovery

     William Finn is best known for writing and composing The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Falsettos with his collaborator, writer and director James Lapine. Soon after Falsettos opened in 1992, Finn was rushed to the hospital with what turned out to be arteriovenous malformation: an abnormal formation of blood vessels in the brain. He survived, with A New Brain the result of Lapine’s insistence that Finn keep a record of his own recovery. 

Highschoolers shone as ­highschoolers shining

     School of Rock is a success by all measures.       The 2003 movie starred Jack Black, who won an MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance and was nominated for a Golden Globe Best Actor. In 2015, Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes rewrote the movie for stage with new music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. It was nominated for four Tonys.       Magic happened when Southern High School Drama Company brought the musical spectacular to Harwood.

Live from Jefferson Patterson Park, it’s Motown Under Moonlight!

       A Motown tribute grooves its way into Chesapeake Country on September 8. The Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum will host a soulful homage to Motown legends like Gladys Knight & The Pips, Martha and the Vandellas, Marvin Gaye, Smokey and the Miracles, Stevie Wonder and The Temptations.

How much of ourselves must we give up to coexist?

         It’s unusual for a play to have more relevance today than when it was written, but Ayad Akhtar’s Disgraced, which won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for drama, resonates powerfully in the context of current events that have awakened a deep-seated fear of dark-skinned, mustachioed people in many Americans.
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.