Artsmash Critic Tim Smith covers classical music, theater and visual arts in Baltimore and beyond
Baltimore artist Amy Sherald to paint Michelle Obama's official portrait

Baltimore artist Amy Sherald, who graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2004 and just joined the faculty there, has been commissioned by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery to paint the official portrait of former first lady Michelle Obama.

New York-based Kehinde Wiley will paint the official portrait of President Barack Obama.

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Acclaimed, pared-down version of 'The Color Purple' to launch national tour in Baltimore

Getting another chance, finding an unexpected path and taking it — that’s a major theme in “The Color Purple,” the musical based on the eventful Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker. It describes the history of the show pretty well, too.

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Single Carrot Theatre offers vibrant staging of quirky, multilayered 'Lear'

Partway through “Lear,” the quirky, multilayered play by Young Jean Lee receiving a vibrant regional premiere at Single Carrot Theatre, someone says: “What are you talking about?”

Audience members might be tempted to ask that same question multiple times. But not feeling quite sure of things turns out to be a crucial part of the experience.

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Markus Stenz leads BSO in radiant excerpts from Wagner's 'Parsifal'

Markus Stenz, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s principal guest conductor, can be counted on to generate vivifying performances of great repertoire. He’s doing it again in his latest visit.

Given how infrequently the music of Wagner turns up in Baltimore, it is particularly gratifying to find substantive selections from the composer’s last opera, “Parsifal,” making up the second half of the program.

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'The Cradle Will Rock' gets spicy revival from Iron Crow Theatre

The back story of Marc Blitzstein’s “The Cradle Will Rock” — the government’s shut down of the theater to prevent the New York premiere; the cast trekking uptown to another venue so the show could go on; the ensuing embellishments and legends about the whole business — will always make for fascinating re-telling.

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People in need raise voices in 'a Baltimore choir of hope'

Late on Tuesday mornings, shortly after the dining room at the outreach center Paul’s Place in Pigtown starts its daily task of serving a few hundred hot lunches to people in need, about a dozen people gather in an upstairs room to sing together.

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