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Out on Stage

Out on Stage

Theatre and performances

Any actor will tell you that playing a role is not simply memorizing lines from a script and following the play’s director. One needs to do research and delve into the character’s qualities and persona and for a couple of hours lose one’s own identity and virtually become that character.

In A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas now playing at the Olney Theatre Center’s Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab, multiple Helen Hayes Award nominee and Olney stage veteran Paul Morella does exactly that. Except there is a major difference: he not only acts out a singular character, he plays over two dozen characters in this heartwarming, imaginative adaptation of Charles Dickens’ 1843 classic novella A Christmas Carol.

Step back in time to 1950-something, to the beginning of the Golden Age of Television, step into the theater which is now a TV studio, specifically Desilu Studios and enjoy the “filming” of two episodes of the classic TV comedy I Love Lucy.

If you’re a fan of Lucy, Ricky, Fred, and Ethel, then you’ll want to make sure to snap up some tickets to the hit touring production I Love Lucy Live On Stage, now in its “second season.” This production is currently at Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theatre through October 26. What can audiences expect from something that’s probably so familiar to so many? A really fun evening!

Friday, October 17, 2014

‘4.48 Psychosis’ at Iron Crow

In keeping with the Iron Crow Theatre Company’s tradition of staging unconventional, thought-provoking, often dark dramas, the kick-off to their three-play 2014-2015 season did not disappoint. You know you’re in for a signature Iron Crow theatrical experience when before the play begins the audience observes a body dressed in white, highlighted by occasional red lighting, lying prone on the otherwise darkened Baltimore Theatre Project stage with some gloomy New Age music droning in the background prior to its presentation of 4.48 Psychosis.

Some people spend their lives searching for fame and fortune only to find out disappointingly that they are merely mediocre as such lofty goals become elusive. Others find that such gifts are natural and their fame comes easy and enduring. When such people intersect in their life’s journeys, it may not always be pleasant.

That is in essence the core plotline of acclaimed British playwright Peter Shaffer’s 1979 play Amadeus now playing at Center Stage. It revolves around 18th-century Vienna Court composer Antonio Salieri (played by Bruce R. Nelson) who was having things go his way until the child prodigy of Salzburg, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, (Stanton Nash) comes on the scene.

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.

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