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In its 4th year, the Annapolis Irish Festival draws an ever-larger crowd seeking Celtic music and heritage

Two past winners illustrate the magic of make-believe

Creativity comes out to play in Twin Beach Players’ Kids
Playwriting Festival

Talent Machine’s young actors are rehearsing for life

Summer’s darlings, winter’s pests

Fish recipes from the Chesapeake

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.    Dolly Levi (Nori Morton...
An iconic villain gets a makeover in this flighty fairytale
Betrayed by a boyfriend, fairy Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) becomes the vengeful protector of enchanted lands where she grew up. As her revenge, she will curse the human king’s newborn daughter.   Aurora will be beautiful and loved until her 16th birthday. Then she will prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and fall into a death-like sleep. She can be awakened only by true love’s kiss — and that, Maleficent believes, does not exist.    The king...
The land of opportunity is a lie in this stirring drama
When Ewa (Marion Cotillard: Anchorman 2) emerges from the dank hull of an immigrant ship into the gray New York winter, the land of opportunity is cold and foreboding. Crammed into lines at Ellis Island, Ewa is nervous that her sister Magda (Angela Sarafyan: Paranoia), who fell ill on the boat, won’t pass inspection.   She’s right.    Magda is ushered into a quarantine room while Ewa tries to figure out what’s going on. As a woman alone, Ewa too is an...
Last winter was hard on this easy-to-grow fruit tree — but not fatal
The winter of 2013-2014 was so severe that it killed fig trees back to the ground. Many plants also suffered severe rabbit damage at the base of the young stems with smooth bark. Rabbits eat the smooth brown bark at times when other food sources are scarce.   As we are located at the northern climatic range for growing figs, we need to anticipate winter damage at least once every 10 to 15 years. According to my records, the last time fig plants were killed back to the ground was during...

You can get (most) anything you want — even a good book

If the medium is the message, then there’s more to be learned from Calvert Library’s huge festival of local authors than you’ll read in this week’s feature story, The Writers Next Door.     Your neighbor may have written just the one for you, I say, introducing 33 authors and their latest (or favorite) books. These are quick introductions, the literary equivalent of speed dating, with a life compressed into one sentence and a plot into another. At the May...

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...

June 3 is the last day to ensure your vote for June 24’s Primary election

Memorial Day reminds us of one way to serve our country.     Election Day offers each of us another way.     To vote, you don’t have to don a uniform, swear an oath or go in harm’s way.     You do have to register, and for that time is short.     June 3 is the last day to register — or change your registration — to vote in June 24’s Primary Election.     Choice is widest in primaries,...

Calvert Marine Museum chips away at 58 million years

Persistence pays off. That’s the case with retired farmer Bernard Kuehn of Accokeek.     After 30-plus years combing the stream bed running through his farmland for fossilized sharks’ teeth, Kuehn hit the jackpot this month.     He discovered the soft-shell turtle fossil that lived over 58 million years ago in the Paleocene epoch.     Heavy rains this spring exposed new layers in the creek bed, revealing the significant paleontological...

In Their Own Words

Maddie Breed, 18, ­Annapolis

I’ve been singing opera since I was eight. Yeah, people look at me crazy when they hear that because I don’t really seem like I would. Like opera singers aren’t supposed to wear hats like this. I definitely don’t fit the stereotype of an opera singer, so it’s cool to be someone who does things people don’t expect.

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.”     Packed with show-...