As was the case throughout the South during the mid-1950s white folks in Memphis referred to African-Americans as coloreds and by the N-word. Radio stations played either white music or black music – not both. People dared not set foot in an establishment whose ownership and clientele were of another race. Interracial relationships were forbidden and dangerous.
While things have improved significantly but not entirely over the years, these conditions provide the backdrop for the hand-clapping, toe-tapping musical extravaganza, Memphis the Musical, now playing at Toby’s, the Dinner Theatre of Columbia.
The timing of the National New Play Network’s Rolling World Premiere production of Colossal could not be better. The play is about football (the new season has just begun); it’s about a gay male player dealing with the macho world of organized sports (the journey of openly gay football player Michael Sam has caught the nation’s attention); football injuries (constantly in the news); and it’s about love and family (always timely).
Colossal, written by Andrew Hinderaker, makes its debut at the Olney Theatre Center before the new play appears in three other venues in the country. Director Will Davis guides the talented all-male cast with great skill accentuating the physicality of football and dance and how these conflicting elements can sometime be fused. The visuals are as much a part of this unconventional play as the dialogue.
The Cohesion Theatre Company (Cohesiontheatre.org), a new collaboration-based Baltimore theatre group, will host a launch party and fundraiser to introduce its inaugural season line-up at Gallery 788 in Hampden at 8 p.m. on Friday, September 26.
The Iron Crow Theatre Company, Baltimore’s only professional queer theatre company, consciously sought out plays for the 2014/2015 season that featured strong female characters and put them at the center of the story. “Regardless of where you sit on the gender spectrum, we know these plays will speak to you,” said Artistic Director Steven J. Satta. “These productions will provide you with a rich and satisfying evening in the theatre.”
Members of JQ Baltimore, an organization that strives to make Baltimore a welcoming community for Jewish LGBT individuals, families and allies, will be attending the opening night of the solo play Mother/Son on August 14.
Making its Baltimore premiere and which will run from August 14-17, Mother/Son will be performed at the Theatre Project, 45 West Preston Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. Jeffrey Solomon’s acclaimed solo play is about a Jewish mother and son navigating the coming out journey.
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