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If there be spirits, now’s the time to find them

Al ­DeCesaris is running down the East Coast for Sturge-Weber syndrome

The Volvo Ocean Race is on its round-the-world blitz again

7 million Books for International Goodwill

While the wind blows, I’m ­getting a handle on things

Colonial Players explores what It took to make Gone with the Wind

Margaret Mitchell’s publishing blockbuster Gone with the Wind became an iconic American film, but first a screenplay had to be written. Playwright Ron Hutchinson whimsically, hysterically and sometimes seriously turned the Hollywood lore of the scriptwriting into Moonlight and Magnolias, now playing at Colonial Players of Annapolis.     Three weeks into filming, without an acceptable script and slow production work by director George Cukor, producer David O. Selznick...

You’ll come away humming all the standard hits and ready to rent the classic film

Fiddler on the Roof, Broadway and Hollywood’s golden chestnut, is rich as rugelach, oozing joy and pathos. The tale of a Jewish village in Revolutionary Russia was destined for success in the hands of 2nd Star Productions, a troupe with a track record of musical triumphs. But Oy! God is not always so quick to grant his blessings. Such an ambitious enterprise demands more chutzpah from its 39 chosen people than was evident on opening night.     Surely you know the story:...

Sometimes, you might not want all the answers

If you could ask our creator one question, what would it be? Why do bad things happen to good people? What’s the meaning of it all? Why does Adam Sandler continue to get his movies green-lighted?     This thought exercise makes one big assumption: there will be answers.     In Prometheus, director Ridley Scott (Robin Hood) takes on the question of our origins —at least our origins in the Alien mythos.     Archeologists Dr. Elizabeth...

Two actors expand themselves into 15 ­characters in this Dignity Players performance

Stones in His Pockets, now at Dignity Players, has a wonderful premise: an American film crew comes back to the Irish town where The Quiet Man was filmed decades ago to make another movie. The return provides for a clash of cultures and nationalities, heightened by the incongruities of filmmaking and stereotypical star and fan behaviors.     Stones in His Pockets was written by Marie Jones, a writer celebrated in Ireland and the United Kingdom and deserving of greater American...

Would you walk 30 miles for the answer?

It won’t be the walkers who are sorest after Sunday, June 10’s two-day, 30-mile Chesapeake Challenge MS Walk. It will be the chalkers.     For the past several years, my husband, Jonathan Doherty and our 24-year-old daughter Ruth have chalked jokes and pictures along the route of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s annual fundraising walk on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. My husband and daughter started their chalking to help me go the distance. But when...

A Bay Weekly ­conversation with local author Mick Blackistone

Mick Blackistone has a name in Chesapeake Country.     Part of it came to him effortlessly, by the grace of inheritance.     Blackistone is a name of reckoning in Maryland history. Mick, 66, his twin brother, two older sisters and scads of cousins are the 14th generation to descend from Nathaniel Blackistone, colonist under Lord Baltimore’s land grant, who arrived in Maryland in the party of the Arc and Dove in 1634.     Mick’s own...

Bay Weekly’s movie reviewer joins prestigious Washington DC Area Film Critics Association

After what she calls a “long history of being a really annoying amateur film critic,” Bay Weekly’s own Diana Beechener is now a member of the Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association.     The Washington, D.C. Area Film Critics Association keeps its membership select with “stringent” criteria. Its critics must have history — at least 50 reviews in a year. Their publication must have scope: 50,000 readers a month for print.   ...

Naptown barBAYq hands out more than $40K

The smell of barbecue rising from the grills of 41 competing Kansas City Barbecue Society teams drew 12,000 people to Annapolis for Parole Rotary Club’s second annual Naptown barBAYq Contest and Music Festival.     A good time was had by all. The weather was fine. Families ate well and extended their fun with live music on two stages, activities for all ages, arts and crafts vendors and cooking demonstrations. Chefs earned competition points and renown for their slow-...

The Skinny on TMDL

Are you still paying attention to TMDL? Or have acronyms driven you to distraction?     We’re here to tell you there’s good news about Total Maximum Daily Loads: The big top-down plan to get every state in the Bay watershed working hard on restoration is on track and now well into Phase II.     Each Bay jurisdiction has now finished its Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan, the Environmental Protection Agency declared last week. The plans detail...

Ancient sea creatures provide food for birds, medicine for us

On the beaches of the Chesapeake, you can consort with creatures that predate the dinosaurs and whose existence you’ve benefited from if you’ve been to the doctor in the past 30 years.     Especially if you get up very early in the morning.     A full moon between mid-May and June signals the mating period for horseshoe crabs, limulus polyphemus. Females emerge from the water to lay eggs that are then inseminated by eager males. The worldwide...