Recent stories by Tim Smith

BSO suffers three high-profile cancellations

9:39 AM EDT, September 27, 2014

BSO suffers three high-profile cancellations

You might suspect some strange jinx, or wonder if the third time's the harm. But the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is taking a rash of high-profile artist cancellations in stride.

Baltimore Concert Opera spotlights forgotten 'Amleto'

9:40 AM EDT, September 27, 2014

Baltimore Concert Opera spotlights forgotten 'Amleto'

That an opera inspired by Shakespeare's "Hamlet" should have suffered a tragic fate has a certain irony. Whether Franco Faccio's "Amleto" deserved it is another matter. This week, Baltimore Concert Opera will make a fresh case for the piece, which has gone unheard since 1871.

September 20, 2014

Center Stage gives 'Amadeus' a stylish revival

You've got to feel sorry for Antonio Salieri.

Future Symphony Institute to be held at UB

10:12 AM EDT, September 20, 2014

Future Symphony Institute to be held at UB

Andrew Balio is best known around here for the gleaming sound and refined musicality he regularly provides as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's principal trumpet, a post he has held since 2001. Offstage, Balio devotes a great deal of his energies to strategizing about the future of classical music and the survival of orchestras.

'Autumn Leaves' project explores the art of aging

3:18 PM EDT, September 17, 2014

'Autumn Leaves' project explores the art of aging

It all started with a number: 49.

Center Stage opens season with revival of 'Amadeus'

10:15 AM EDT, September 12, 2014

Center Stage opens season with revival of 'Amadeus'

In a letter to his father, a 25-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart declared: "I pay no attention whatever to anybody's praise or blame. … I simply follow my own feelings."

The Bard gets new 'Globe-ish' digs in Baltimore

September 13, 2014

The Bard gets new 'Globe-ish' digs in Baltimore

For the past 12 years, the name Chesapeake Shakespeare Company has been most associated with its outdoor productions in summer and fall, reached by trekking up a hill to the rustic ruins of Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park in Ellicott City. Audience seating typically involved folding chairs or blankets.

'Banner' a hit song with staying power

10:08 AM EDT, September 8, 2014

'Banner' a hit song with staying power

The sight that stirred Francis Scott Key on the morning of Sept. 14, 1814, from the deck of a ship on the Patapsco River, not only gave proof of the country's ability to survive a war with Britain. It also generated the verses that, set to a song of British origins, would one day be proudly hailed as our national anthem.

Rene Marie pays tribute to Eartha Kitt at Creative Alliance

9:24 AM EDT, September 5, 2014

Rene Marie pays tribute to Eartha Kitt at Creative Alliance

Every performance by jazz singer Rene Marie is an act of validation. Sixteen years ago, she faced an ultimatum from her then-husband — abandon music or get out. She chose the latter course, and went on to enjoy an international career.

New dean aims to strike proper tone at Peabody

August 30, 2014

New dean aims to strike proper tone at Peabody

The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University opens its school year this week with about 600 students, 150 faculty members and a new dean.

Tony-winner 'Once' to open Hippodrome season

9:08 AM EDT, September 9, 2014

Tony-winner 'Once' to open Hippodrome season

Big-bucks movies -- "Sister Act," "Ghost," "Flashdance," "Dirty Dancing," to name a few -- get turned into stage musicals with some frequency. Indie films form a smaller screen-to-boards subset. Of these, "Once," based on the minuscule-budget, shot-in-17-days Irish film written and directed by John Carney, may be the most distinctive.

New UMBC arts center is built for show

August 30, 2014

New UMBC arts center is built for show

The just-completed Performing Arts and Humanities Building atop the campus of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, makes quite a statement from almost every angle — the sun-reflecting, stainless-steel-wrapped Concert Hall; the glass-enclosed Dance Cube jutting from the structure; views of the downtown Baltimore skyline from upper floors.

Everyman opens season with 'The Understudy'

8:31 AM EDT, August 29, 2014

Everyman opens season with 'The Understudy'

If there's one thing theatergoers like more than a play, it's a play about theater.

For these musicians, a fateful first listen

12:38 PM EDT, August 18, 2014

For these musicians, a fateful first listen

Music's communicative power — "such sweet compulsion," Milton called it — has been known to change lives. Hearing the right piece at the right time can make a person start to think and feel differently, maybe start down a new path.

New theaters proposed for block of N. Howard Street

8:03 PM EDT, July 8, 2014

New theaters proposed for block of N. Howard Street

A listless west-side block of downtown Baltimore will undergo an energetic makeover if an idea generated by DIY-style theater troupes and local developer Winstead "Ted" Rouse comes to fruition.

Baltimore native to be next Ravens anthem singer

6:24 PM EDT, July 21, 2014

Baltimore native to be next Ravens anthem singer

Baltimore native Joey Odoms, who returned this summer from duty in Afghanistan as a member of the Maryland Army National Guard, will be the next national anthem singer for the Ravens. He was selected from among eight finalists who sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" before a jury last week at M&T Bank Stadium.

Ben Folds' 'Orchestra Experience' tour includes BSO

July 12, 2014

Ben Folds' 'Orchestra Experience' tour includes BSO

The worlds of pop and classical music do not meet all that often — or all that well, as a rule — but certain artists have proved quite adept at bridging the gap. Ben Folds is one of them.

A wealth of absorbing art exhibits in Washington

July 19, 2014

A wealth of absorbing art exhibits in Washington

Artistic attractions well worth wending your way to Washington for include two winning exhibits devoted to Whistler and Wyeth, as well as a fascinating show pairing Degas with Cassatt. There's a towering, even titillating, Titian, too.

Finalists vie for job as Ravens anthem singer

7:01 PM EDT, July 15, 2014

Finalists vie for job as Ravens anthem singer

They could only imagine 71,000 fans packed inside M&T Bank Stadium. But the eight finalists who auditioned Tuesday morning for the coveted gig of Baltimore Ravens home-game national anthem singer got a good taste.

Michael Hersch's first opera an unconventional take on life and death

12:54 PM EDT, June 20, 2014

Michael Hersch's first opera an unconventional take on life and death

Michael Hersch composes music of sobering complexity -- lots of jagged melodic lines, thorny harmonies, quick-shifting rhythms. But even at its densest, his intense work communicates in a way that can make a listener feel privy to Hersch's innermost thoughts.

Young Vic goes for gorgeous music in 'The Gondoliers'

10:17 AM EDT, July 11, 2014

Young Vic goes for gorgeous music in 'The Gondoliers'

For the seventh time since 1971, when Young Victorian Theatre Company was launched in Baltimore to champion the operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan, the company will present "The Gondoliers."

Center Stage gives area premiere of 'Wild with Happy'

May 31, 2014

Center Stage gives area premiere of 'Wild with Happy'

Journeys of one kind or another — emotional, physical, spiritual — are at the heart of Colman Domingo's 2012 play "Wild with Happy," receiving its Baltimore premiere at Center Stage. There isn't just a road trip in this work, but a car chase.

Back to 'Oz' with extra tunes by Andrew Lloyd Webber

5:45 AM EDT, May 25, 2014

Back to 'Oz' with extra tunes by Andrew Lloyd Webber

The strange journey of Dorothy, courtesy of a tornado, from Kansas to Oz was so indelibly committed to celluloid in 1939 that it might seem unnecessary — even a little sacrilegious — to transform the MGM classic into a stage show.

Vibrant works from Sondheim Prize finalists

8:17 PM EDT, June 20, 2014

Vibrant works from Sondheim Prize finalists

If you had to describe the 2014 Janet and Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize Finalists Exhibition at the Walters Art Museum in a single word, "visceral" would fit well.

'Ultima Partida' is a play on words, emotions and music

11:11 AM EDT, June 16, 2014

'Ultima Partida' is a play on words, emotions and music

Even in a group of overachievers, Monica Lopez-Gonzalez would likely stand out.

After 50 years, Md. Youth Symphony Orchestra founder steps down

6:22 PM EDT, June 6, 2014

After 50 years, Md. Youth Symphony Orchestra founder steps down

Angelo Gatto spoke softly and carried a small baton, but the slender 92-year-old conductor had no trouble getting respect from the musicians of the Maryland Youth Symphony Orchestra rehearsing for Saturday's milestone concert.

Happenstance Theater to make Baltimore debut

5:23 PM EDT, May 21, 2014

Happenstance Theater to make Baltimore debut

If you happen upon Happenstance Theater during the next few weeks, count on some good old-fashioned entertainment. The ensemble makes its local debut at the Baltimore Theatre Project with two family-friendly shows celebrating vintage circuses and clowns.

'Sister Act' brings nuns and disco together

3:27 PM EDT, June 2, 2014

'Sister Act' brings nuns and disco together

Singing nuns have always proved irresistible.

In Everyman's 'Tribes,' a theme that resonates with its star

4:20 PM EDT, May 28, 2014

In Everyman's 'Tribes,' a theme that resonates with its star

Many a play deals with language and communication. There is always theatrical ore to be mined in the way people express themselves — or fail to — and how that can complicate so many things in life.

Lyric Opera Baltimore to present Verdi's 'Nabucco' with guaranteed encore

8:35 PM EDT, May 2, 2014

Lyric Opera Baltimore to present Verdi's 'Nabucco' with guaranteed encore

When Lyric Opera of Baltimore presents a new production of Verdi's first hit, "Nabucco," this week, there will be a guaranteed encore: The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves.

Baltimore premieres, classics on Everyman's 2014-15 season

11:53 PM EDT, April 26, 2014

Baltimore premieres, classics on Everyman's 2014-15 season

Everyman Theatre has been on a roll since the beginning of 2013, when the company inaugurated its inviting new downtown space.

This 'Ghost' carries a tune

10:54 AM EDT, April 7, 2014

This 'Ghost' carries a tune

Bruce Joel Rubin, who won an Academy Award for his screenplay for the 1990 hit movie "Ghost," did not feel a compelling need to revisit the work.

Q&A with Neil Meyerhoff

8:09 AM EDT, May 15, 2014

Q&A with Neil Meyerhoff

Since the late 1960s, Neil Meyerhoff has been keeping a keen eye out for striking images of people and places. Some of the results have been acquired by such institutions as the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington and the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego. He is represented locally by C. Grimaldis Gallery.

Everyman becomes film company for a day

April 12, 2014

Everyman becomes film company for a day

A voice called out, "Cameras ready."

Imaginative prequel to Peter Pan heads to the Hippodrome

May 3, 2014

Imaginative prequel to Peter Pan heads to the Hippodrome

The boy who never grew up, but learned how to fly, has fascinated children — and adults who still remember being young — since he first soared above a London stage in a hit play by J.M. Barrie in 1904.

'Homo Poe Show' casts writer's works in a new light

1:29 AM EDT, March 16, 2014

'Homo Poe Show' casts writer's works in a new light

Edgar Allan Poe was a pretty open-minded guy. "I do not believe that any thought, properly so called," he once said, "is out of the reach of language."

'Rocky' road runs from Maryland to Broadway

March 8, 2014

'Rocky' road runs from Maryland to Broadway

A down-to-earth guy from a working-class city is determined to succeed in a tough business. Punching above his weight, he beats the odds and makes it into the ring, cheered on by a crowd that includes a woman who shares his modest roots and encourages his big dreams.

Interrobang troupe to make debut with 'Scab'

9:07 AM EDT, March 28, 2014

Interrobang troupe to make debut with 'Scab'

Over the past decade or so, Baltimore has experienced a boom in small theater companies founded by young college grads dedicated to producing adventurous, contemporary plays. The boom continues.

At Hippodrome's 10th anniversary, a report card

10:05 PM EDT, March 21, 2014

At Hippodrome's 10th anniversary, a report card

Ten years after the Hippodrome reopened its doors, revealing a vibrant makeover to a long-neglected, century-old Baltimore landmark, the theater appears to have settled into a manageable groove.

Handel Choir celebrates Baltimore with new concert

3:53 PM EST, February 27, 2014

Handel Choir celebrates Baltimore with new concert

The 79-year-old Handel Choir of Baltimore has made a point of honoring its namesake every year with a performance of the oratorio "Messiah." But on Saturday at Old St. Paul's, the chorus will focus on the "Baltimore" portion of its name with a concert celebrating the city's history and diversity.

Hippodrome production faithful to irreverent 'Mormon'

March 1, 2014

Hippodrome production faithful to irreverent 'Mormon'

Humor, unlike music, isn't a universal language. I mention this up front for the benefit of anyone who cannot find anything funny in religion, poverty, disease, genital mutilation or various other things targeted in "The Book of Mormon," the mega-musical that has hit Baltimore full-force for a two-week engagement at the Hippodrome.

Zhao Jing captures the art of translation in Grimaldis exhibit

9:14 AM EDT, March 21, 2014

Zhao Jing captures the art of translation in Grimaldis exhibit

Around the turn of the 20th century, ancient Chinese poetry grabbed fresh attention in the West and provided inspiration for some notable works.

4:24 PM EST, February 4, 2014

UMBC presents exhibit of N. Jay Jaffee photos

N. Jay Jaffee might not be among the best known American photographers of the 20th century, but a sizable and engrossing exhibit of his works at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, makes it obvious that he deserves much wider recognition.

With attendance, revenue up, Center Stage extends Kwei-Armah's contract

9:25 AM EST, February 23, 2014

With attendance, revenue up, Center Stage extends Kwei-Armah's contract

Five months before Kwame Kwei-Armah's initial three-year contract as artistic director of Center Stage was to expire, the board of directors has extended this tenure through June 2018. The company's managing director, Stephen Richard, who started in 2012, has received a similar contract extension.

UMBC presents exhibit of N. Jay Jaffee photos

5:46 PM EST, February 6, 2014

UMBC presents exhibit of N. Jay Jaffee photos

N. Jay Jaffee might not be among the best known American photographers of the 20th century, but a sizable and engrossing exhibit of his works at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, makes it obvious that he deserves much wider recognition.

'Book of Mormon' packs fresh irreverence into traditional musical formula

8:02 AM EST, February 25, 2014

'Book of Mormon' packs fresh irreverence into traditional musical formula

The curtain-raising scene of Jesus appearing "in ancient upstate New York" is the first little clue that "The Book of Mormon" is not your average Broadway musical. By the time the show ends, every politically incorrect button has been pushed, every doorbell rung.

BMA exhibit explores German Expressionism

February 1, 2014

BMA exhibit explores German Expressionism

Dresden was the place for artistic jolts in 1905.

'Star Trek' alum George Takei still stuns

10:04 AM EST, February 21, 2014

'Star Trek' alum George Takei still stuns

George Takei, speaking by phone from his California home, cannot resist describing the un-wintry view from his window.

Baltimore Symphony to premiere Leshnoff guitar concerto composed for Manuel Barrueco

11:32 AM EST, January 6, 2014

Baltimore Symphony to premiere Leshnoff guitar concerto composed for Manuel Barrueco

The number of concertos for guitar and orchestra is not long; the list of those heard regularly in concert halls is shorter still. This week, a Baltimore-rooted guitar concerto will enter the repertoire and, given the considerable assets behind it, should have a good chance of becoming one of the more successful works of its kind.

Single Carrot establishes permanent roots, maintains adventurous flavor

11:27 AM EST, January 18, 2014

Single Carrot establishes permanent roots, maintains adventurous flavor

Single Carrot Theatre, the zesty venture by a bunch of buddies from the University of Colorado who decided to cultivate a company in Baltimore, now has something it has long desired — a permanent roof over its head.

'War Horse' gallops into Baltimore

3:55 PM EST, January 31, 2014

'War Horse' gallops into Baltimore

Joey's earliest memories were mostly "a confusion of hilly fields and dark, damp stables." But one thing he clearly remembered was the horse sale. "The terror of it stayed with me all of my life," he said.

John Ruppert's striking composite photos of Icelandic terrain on display at Grimaldis Gallery

3:12 PM EST, December 12, 2013

John Ruppert's striking composite photos of Icelandic terrain on display at Grimaldis Gallery

For most of John Ruppert's career, metal sculpture has been a major focus, but he has added photography to his pursuits lately. Some of the results can be sampled and savored in an exhibit at C. Grimaldis Gallery titled "The Iceland Project."

Hippodrome names new head with history of community involvement

10:43 PM EST, February 18, 2014

Hippodrome names new head with history of community involvement

The Hippodrome Theatre at the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center, a key venue in the blossoming Bromo Tower Arts and Entertainment District, is getting a new president with a history of sparking the redevelopment of an arts community.

BSO offers tribute to Marvin Hamlisch

11:28 AM EST, January 24, 2014

BSO offers tribute to Marvin Hamlisch

Orchestras these days like to put titles on programs, which usually means a dash of the cute, the trite or the hyperbolic. But the title given to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's SuperPops offering this weekend strikes just the right note — "Marvin Hamlisch: One Singular Sensation."

Marin Alsop recalls parents' passion for music

February 8, 2014

Marin Alsop recalls parents' passion for music

The past few weeks have been rough on Marin Alsop.

Best on Baltimore stages in 2013

6:20 PM EST, December 20, 2013

Best on Baltimore stages in 2013

The arts world tends to think in terms of September-to-June seasons, rather than calendar years, but it's still fun to look back on the past 12 months and relive the performances that offered extra satisfaction.

Two actors tackle multiple roles, accents for 'Stones in His Pockets' at Center Stage

9:03 AM EST, January 17, 2014

Two actors tackle multiple roles, accents for 'Stones in His Pockets' at Center Stage

"Stones in His Pockets," a play about an American film company invading a community in rural Ireland, has more than a dozen characters, but only two actors. That means a lot of quick switches between genders, ages and, above all, accents.

A trio of new-to-Baltimore stage shows take the spotlight this holiday season

6:59 PM EST, November 22, 2013

A trio of new-to-Baltimore stage shows take the spotlight this holiday season

The performing arts scene is revved up for another holiday season.

'Elf the Musical' comes to the Lyric

11:34 AM EST, November 21, 2013

'Elf the Musical' comes to the Lyric

Few holiday movies give such cinematic chestnuts as "It's a Wonderful Live" and "White Christmas" a real run for their money, but, every now and then, one takes off. In 1983, it was the wry, nostalgic "A Christmas Story." Twenty years later, it was the cute, disarming "Elf" with Will Ferrell.

Everyman Theatre marks first year in new venue

10:27 AM EST, January 10, 2014

Everyman Theatre marks first year in new venue

On Jan. 14, 2013, a crowd gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony on West Fayette Street at the site of what had been the Empire Theatre a century earlier. With a restored, glistening facade and entirely new interior, the venue officially opened as the Everyman Theatre, new home to one of Baltimore's finest cultural assets.

Last weekend before Christmas in Baltimore offers two 'Nutcracker' productions

7:37 AM EST, December 20, 2013

Last weekend before Christmas in Baltimore offers two 'Nutcracker' productions

Even people who ordinarily find ballet a tough nut to crack can find themselves falling for the charms of "The Nutcracker." Set to an ear worm-filled score by Tchaikovsky, the ballet tells a Christmas Eve story of childhood and fantasy, toys and sweets, snow and sentiment.

November 23, 2013

A trio of new-to-Baltimore stage shows take the spotlight this holiday season

The performing arts scene is revved up for another holiday season.

Seeing 'Red': Absorbing play about Mark Rothko

3:03 PM EST, November 13, 2013

Seeing 'Red': Absorbing play about Mark Rothko

It's talky, contrived and a little creaky, but John Logan's "Red," the two-actor play on the boards at Everyman Theatre, is also remarkably absorbing, even uplifting. Who knew art history could be so much fun?

'Jersey Boys' is back at the Hippodrome in sturdy form

7:14 PM EST, November 15, 2013

'Jersey Boys' is back at the Hippodrome in sturdy form

"Jersey Boys," the durable jukebox musical about the Four Seasons, has worked its way back to Baltimore, hanging on to what it's got — a whole bunch of popular songs interspersed with tales of triumph, tribulation and more triumph.

Peabody Opera to present Poulenc's 'Dialogues of the Carmelites'

2:51 PM EST, November 13, 2013

Peabody Opera to present Poulenc's 'Dialogues of the Carmelites'

For many years, critics didn't take French composer Francis Poulenc or his music very seriously, even after his first opera was premiered in 1947.

World War I echoes in Britten's 'Requiem'

November 9, 2013

World War I echoes in Britten's 'Requiem'

At the 11th hour on Nov. 11, 1918, "the monstrous anger of the guns" and "the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle" — to quote two of poet Wilfred Owen's indelible phrases — finally subsided. The First World War, the one to end all wars, was over.

Teacher-student dynamic at work in 'Red'

November 2, 2013

Teacher-student dynamic at work in 'Red'

In John Logan's heralded play "Red," the brilliant, suffered-no-fools painter Mark Rothko doesn't have much patience for his new assistant, Ken.

'We Will Rock You' launches its U.S. tour in Baltimore

7:55 AM EDT, October 15, 2013

'We Will Rock You' launches its U.S. tour in Baltimore

They were the champions, dominating airwaves in the '70s and '80s with their distinctive brand of pomp and romp. And now they're back, making the same bold promise: "We Will Rock You."

New opera links Jewish, German legacies of Holocaust

November 2, 2013

New opera links Jewish, German legacies of Holocaust

On the night of Nov. 9, 1938, a well-orchestrated anti-Jewish pogrom erupted throughout Germany and Austria. Synagogues, businesses and homes were attacked, lives were lost. The vicious destruction continued into a second night.

Actors in 'Jersey Boys' learn methods at 'Frankie Camp'

1:25 PM EST, November 8, 2013

Actors in 'Jersey Boys' learn methods at 'Frankie Camp'

Frankie Valli made it seem so easy, spinning out those distinctive falsetto notes in hit songs as lead singer for the Four Seasons, starting 51 years ago with "Sherry." But what came naturally to Valli takes honing for the guys who have to approximate his vocal cords in the hit bio-musical "Jersey Boys."

MICA stages definitive exhibit on screen painting

9:59 PM EST, December 7, 2013

MICA stages definitive exhibit on screen painting

One hundred years ago, Bohemian-born William Oktavec, a butcher by trade and a would-be artist, arrived in Baltimore from New York with his wife and young son. He set up a grocery shop at the corner of North Collington and Ashland avenues in the area known as Little Bohemia.

Pink Martini set to shake and stir BSO gala

August 31, 2013

Pink Martini set to shake and stir BSO gala

When he was 13, Thomas Lauderdale's world in Portland, Ore., opened up wide. That was when the future founder of the ensemble called Pink Martini saw the 1946 Rita Hayworth film "Gilda" for the first time.

Ambience aplenty for Chesapeake production of 'Dracula'

September 28, 2013

Ambience aplenty for Chesapeake production of 'Dracula'

At the start of Bram Stoker's 1897 novel "Dracula," a London lawyer named Harker visits Transylvania to facilitate a real estate deal for a mysterious count who desires new digs in England.

'Apartment 213' a telling look at Jeffrey Dahmer

8:17 AM EDT, October 4, 2013

'Apartment 213' a telling look at Jeffrey Dahmer

In the annals of serial killers, a particularly hideous chapter will forever be reserved for Jeffrey Dahmer.

One woman's life, as depicted by her dad

11:15 AM EDT, September 20, 2013

One woman's life, as depicted by her dad

The only daughter of eminent French artist Henri Matisse lived a long, eventful life. That is not what some might have predicted for Marguerite Matisse, who is the subject of an intimate, intriguing new exhibit at the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Behind-the-scenes changes at Rep Stage

10:20 AM EDT, September 13, 2013

Behind-the-scenes changes at Rep Stage

When Rep Stage opens its season this weekend with a production of Horton Foote's "A Young Lady of Property," a nostalgic piece by the author of "The Trip to Bountiful," it may seem like business as usual.

Walters Art Museum exhibits Gregory Vershbow's 'Site Unseen'

8:31 AM EDT, August 30, 2013

Walters Art Museum exhibits Gregory Vershbow's 'Site Unseen'

Works of art can be said to exist fully only when they are put on view.

New contract signals BSO's faith in Marin Alsop

11:28 AM EDT, July 29, 2013

New contract signals BSO's faith in Marin Alsop

Any number of things might happen in — or to — our world between now and 2021, a year that seems so sci-fi-distant. But one thing can be counted on: Marin Alsop will be music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra the whole time.

BSO to perform Bernstein's 'Age of Anxiety'

11:25 AM EDT, September 26, 2013

BSO to perform Bernstein's 'Age of Anxiety'

Marin Alsop's tenure as music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra has been notable for several things, prominent among them the programming of compositions by Leonard Bernstein, her childhood idol and mentor when she was starting her conducting career in the 1980s.

With new box set, pianist Leon Fleisher celebrates the sounds of a lifetime

8:26 AM EDT, August 13, 2013

With new box set, pianist Leon Fleisher celebrates the sounds of a lifetime

On an upper floor of the Peabody Conservatory the other day, the sound of a piano played by a single hand could be heard coming from Leon Fleisher's studio. Even through the closed, thick door, there was no mistaking the authority behind that sound.

'Glass Menagerie' subtle, affecting at Everyman

September 14, 2013

'Glass Menagerie' subtle, affecting at Everyman

How easily things get broken. Not just fragile things, like little glass figurines, but the less tangible things clutched most tightly, cherished most deeply — dreams, passions, ideals.

A giddy revival for 'Animal Crackers'

September 14, 2013

A giddy revival for 'Animal Crackers'

Center Stage could easily have chosen a work of great dramatic depth and weight to open its 51st season — some masterwork of the vast American theatrical canon, like, say, Eugene O'Neill's "Strange Interlude" from 1928.

Four decades of Leon Fleisher on boxed CD set

1:35 PM EDT, August 12, 2013

Four decades of Leon Fleisher on boxed CD set

Longtime record collectors will have previous incarnations of releases in the 23-compact disc boxed set, "Leon Fleisher: The Complete Album Collection" from Sony Classical. Ultra-serious collectors, of course, will still have the original LPs from the 1950s and '60s weighing down shelves (artwork and liner notes from those vinyl days are reproduced here on the CD sleeves).

At the Phillips in D.C., the art of repenting

12:56 PM EDT, July 13, 2013

At the Phillips in D.C., the art of repenting

Visitors to the Phillips Collection, the exceptional modern art museum near Washington's Dupont Circle, may do a double-take when they stop to admire El Greco's "The Repentant St. Peter."

Puppet cinema troupe brings 'Planet Egg' to Baltimore

12:01 PM EDT, July 25, 2013

Puppet cinema troupe brings 'Planet Egg' to Baltimore

Eggs, cabbage, celery, beets — not great ingredients for an omelet, perhaps, but ideal for a multimedia genre defined as "puppet cinema."

After two decades on the road, art cars still rev up the imagination at Artscape

6:37 PM EDT, July 19, 2013

After two decades on the road, art cars still rev up the imagination at Artscape

At first glance — best shielded, given the sun's fierce glare reflected from all the chrome — the 7,500-pound, 29-feet-long "Finnjet" suggests transport for intergalactic travelers with a pronounced sense of humor.

Summer show at C. Grimaldis Gallery offers stylistic mix

9:15 AM EDT, August 2, 2013

Summer show at C. Grimaldis Gallery offers stylistic mix

The "Summer '13" show at C. Grimaldis Gallery brings together an eclectic, invigorating mix of artists and media.

Living up to the Marx Brothers

2:20 PM EDT, September 3, 2013

Living up to the Marx Brothers

Anarchists have taken over Center Stage.

Peabody director Sharkey to step down

6:58 PM EDT, May 10, 2013

Peabody director Sharkey to step down

After seven years as director of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, Jeffrey Sharkey is stepping down. He will remain with the conservatory until a successor is named.

BSO musicians OK three-year contract

2:45 PM EDT, September 14, 2013

BSO musicians OK three-year contract

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra musicians ratified a new three-year contract Friday that will include the restoration of salary cuts that were made in the wake of the economic downturn.

Contemporary play festival continues to confront

July 13, 2013

Contemporary play festival continues to confront

Whether approached from the south, through gently rolling fields of farmland, or from the north, past the sacred ground of Antietam and then across a graceful bridge over the Potomac, the drive here can be remarkably tranquil and restorative.

'Great Day': New life for old music of black churches

6:17 PM EDT, May 24, 2013

'Great Day': New life for old music of black churches

As afternoon light tried to filter through the thick, stained-glass windows of Sharp Street United Methodist Church last weekend, Marco K. Merrick pounded out the bass line of a spiritual on a raw-sounding piano, singing along in a raspy voice: "Great day, the righteous marching. Great day, God's going to build up Zion's walls."

'Book of Mormon' restores one's faith in musical theater

July 13, 2013

'Book of Mormon' restores one's faith in musical theater

"The Book of Mormon" has to be the most subversive Broadway musical in history.

Hippodrome camp introduces middle-schoolers to joys of drama, song and dance

June 29, 2013

Hippodrome camp introduces middle-schoolers to joys of drama, song and dance

They were sprawled on their backs all over the floor, holding their stomachs and emitting a chorus of deep wails and moans.

Lyric Opera offers trio of bel canto greats

9:00 AM EDT, April 12, 2013

Lyric Opera offers trio of bel canto greats

In theory, if not always in practice, all opera singing should sound beautiful. It's practically required when dealing with one specific genre, the early 19th century Italian repertoire known as "bel canto," because that's what it means — "beautiful singing."

Hearing the voice behind 'West Side Story'

June 8, 2013

Hearing the voice behind 'West Side Story'

UPDATE: This just in on June 13, 2013: Marni Nixon has had to cancel her scheduled appearance with the Baltimore Symphony this week due to what a press release from the orchestra describes as "a sudden temporary illness."  Read more on the Artsmash blog.

Tapping into 'Glass Menagerie,' Williams

11:19 AM EDT, September 6, 2013

Tapping into 'Glass Menagerie,' Williams

The first voice in Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie" belongs to Tom Wingfield, a budding poet trapped in a boring day job. Serving as guide through the playwright's exquisitely crafted layers of memory and anxiety, Tom dispenses "truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion."

Maryland roots in new 'Ali' opera

June 1, 2013

Maryland roots in new 'Ali' opera

In his typical rhyming style, Muhammad Ali might call it something like "a whopper of an opera."

Film composer John Williams to make Baltimore conducting premiere

June 1, 2013

Film composer John Williams to make Baltimore conducting premiere

John Williams has won just about everything there is to win in the music industry, including a slew of Grammys, Golden Globes, Emmys and no less than five Academy Awards — his record of 48 Oscar nominations is second only to Walt Disney.

Center Stage sets sights on joy, fun

12:24 PM EDT, March 11, 2013

Center Stage sets sights on joy, fun

For his first full season as Center Stage artistic director, Kwame Kwei-Armah focused on works that could spark conversation about a variety of heady issues. Midway through that season, he has unveiled a very different theme for the next one.

Modell Lyric sets theater, dance season

May 25, 2013

Modell Lyric sets theater, dance season

One of Santa's helpers, a man who tilts at windmills, and Toto, too, will be part of the 2013-2014 season of the Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric. One of the country's most distinguished dance companies, the Joffrey Ballet, is also scheduled.

Lyric Opera Baltimore salutes Verdi bicentennial with 'Rigoletto'

6:29 PM EDT, May 16, 2013

Lyric Opera Baltimore salutes Verdi bicentennial with 'Rigoletto'

The opera world has been giving a little extra attention to a couple of giants born in 1813, Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner.

Everyman announces first full season at new home

11:01 PM EDT, April 21, 2013

Everyman announces first full season at new home

It might be hard to duplicate the anticipation and publicity that greeted the inaugural season in Everyman Theatre's inviting new home on West Fayette Street, but that hasn't stopped the company from trying.

'The Civil War and American Art' is one of the first in a wave of regional creative projects on the conflict

7:25 PM EDT, March 22, 2013

'The Civil War and American Art' is one of the first in a wave of regional creative projects on the conflict

The lone Union sentry stands atop Federal Hill, outlined against an ominous orange/red sky. In the distance, the tops of the Washington Monument and several spires rise above the city, as straight and determined as the rifle held in the soldier's left arm.

Everyman stages update of 17th-century comedy 'Beaux' Stratagem'

12:13 PM EDT, June 7, 2013

Everyman stages update of 17th-century comedy 'Beaux' Stratagem'

Picture it: England, 1707.

'AGT' phenom Jackie Evancho to perform with BSO

6:35 PM EDT, May 16, 2013

'AGT' phenom Jackie Evancho to perform with BSO

In 2010, a blond-haired girl with a sweet smile stood before the "America's Got Talent" studio audience and millions of TV viewers. The 10-year-old proceeded to sing about asking her daddy to grant her request.

Stefanie Powers plays Tallulah Bankhead at Hippodrome

10:58 AM EST, March 3, 2013

Stefanie Powers plays Tallulah Bankhead at Hippodrome

Here's a cool example of what-goes-around-comes-around:

March 23, 2013

"The Civil War and American Art" is one of the first in a wave of regional creative projects about the conflict

The lone Union sentry stands atop Federal Hill, outlined against an ominous orange/red sky. In the distance, the tops of the Washington Monument and several spires rise above the city, as straight and determined as the rifle held in the soldier's left arm.

A 'Requiem' for JFK assassination

4:38 PM EDT, May 8, 2013

A 'Requiem' for JFK assassination

Fifty years later, the assassination of John F. Kennedy remains a galvanizing event, studied by serious scholars and conspiracy fringers with equal intensity.

A beautiful work in a horrific setting

April 20, 2013

A beautiful work in a horrific setting

The most famous, roof-rattling passage in Giuseppe Verdi's "Requiem" describes the "day of wrath" for the guilty as they face their eternal fate: "How great will be the terror when the Judge comes who will smash everything completely … Whatever is hidden will be revealed. Nothing shall remain unavenged."

For 'American Idiot,' Md. native went behind the music with Green Day

9:17 AM EDT, May 3, 2013

For 'American Idiot,' Md. native went behind the music with Green Day

Michael Mayer knows a thing or two about coming of age.

Artist confronts opposition to same-sex marriage

7:28 AM EST, February 22, 2013

Artist confronts opposition to same-sex marriage

It is not unusual to see art that tackles social and political issues, but there's still something startling about Jeffrey Kent's solo show "Preach!" at the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park.

Baltimore artists catch Ravens fever

5:15 PM EST, February 1, 2013

Baltimore artists catch Ravens fever

Baltimore has been enveloped for weeks in a deep purple hue — figuratively at the very least, often literally — and this all-Ravens-all-the-time stimulation was bound to rub off on the arts community.

Baltimore guitarist brings lessons into school classrooms

8:54 AM EST, February 25, 2013

Baltimore guitarist brings lessons into school classrooms

Chris Dunn called the class to order with a simple instruction:

5:41 PM EST, February 19, 2013

Artist confronts opposition to same-sex marriage

It is not unusual to see art that tackles social and political issues, but there's still something startling about Jeffrey Kent's solo show "Preach!" at the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park.

Everyman opens new theater with 'August: Osage County'

6:36 PM EST, January 19, 2013

Everyman opens new theater with 'August: Osage County'

Families that flay together can't stay together for long.

A murder mystery that just won't die

7:52 PM EST, December 30, 2012

A murder mystery that just won't die

Sixty years ago, an extraordinary reign began in England, one that would provide the nation with a comforting measure of stability and continuity during some of the most tumultuous decades of the 20th century and right on into the far-from-placid 21st.

A genius and an anti-Semite, Wagner

February 9, 2013

A genius and an anti-Semite, Wagner

It takes little effort to find severe problems with the character of Richard Wagner, the man who was born two centuries ago and, as he was the first to acknowledge, became one of history's greatest composers.

'Flashdance — The Musical' heading to the Hippodrome

2:07 PM EST, February 8, 2013

'Flashdance — The Musical' heading to the Hippodrome

If such golden oldies as "Maniac," "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" and, of course, "Flashdance… What a Feeling" still run through your head, there's a show heading to Baltimore ready to scoop you up in a wave of feel-good nostalgia.

Peabody grad stars in 'Beauty and the Beast' at Hippodrome

8:14 AM EST, January 30, 2013

Peabody grad stars in 'Beauty and the Beast' at Hippodrome

When William A. Martin arrived at the Peabody Institute to work on a master's degree in 2001, he was of two minds, thinking about a performance career and a teaching one. You could say he was also of two voices.

With 'Appalachian Spring' Baltimore School for the Arts breaks new ground

3:18 PM EDT, April 5, 2013

With 'Appalachian Spring' Baltimore School for the Arts breaks new ground

If there is a single work that captures the essence of America in sound and movement, it's "Appalachian Spring," the ballet with music by Aaron Copland and choreography by Martha Graham that premiered in 1944 at the Library of Congress.

Head off the well-worn path for classical-music options in Baltimore

8:47 AM EST, January 4, 2013

Head off the well-worn path for classical-music options in Baltimore

With all the usual fresh-look-forward talk prompted by the new year, it's a good time to consider broadening your musical horizons to include performances presented by groups that might have been off your radar.

Marc-Andre Hamelin to make Shriver Hall recital debut

8:46 AM EST, January 25, 2013

Marc-Andre Hamelin to make Shriver Hall recital debut

There is no shortage of pianists with pristine techniques today. There is even a decent supply of polished pianists who possess the rarer attribute of musicality. But Marc-Andre Hamelin still stands out from the pack.

New Everyman Theatre ready for spotlight

January 12, 2013

New Everyman Theatre ready for spotlight

Early in the renovations at the former Town Theatre movie house on West Fayette Street, a member of the architectural firm was hoisted on a cherry picker and spotted something beneath the grime up at the top of the facade of the century-old building. It was a single capital letter: "E."

Rhymes with Opera dials up 'Numbers/Dates'

8:15 AM EST, December 14, 2012

Rhymes with Opera dials up 'Numbers/Dates'

The words "opera" and "emotional" typically go together, but not in the way it will happen this weekend.

Barbara Cook is still glowing at 85

11:16 AM EDT, October 29, 2012

Barbara Cook is still glowing at 85

Barbara Cook approaches a song from the inside out, judging the weight of each measure, the point behind each word in a lyric. So when she sings, she starts from a place where there's nothing but truth. No artifice, no exaggeration, no self-aggrandizing flourish.

Sondheim Artscape Prize exhibit moves to Walters

5:04 PM EDT, October 17, 2012

Sondheim Artscape Prize exhibit moves to Walters

The finalists' exhibit and awards ceremony of the annual Janet and Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize will move from the Baltimore Museum of Art, where it has been held since the inaugural competition in 2005, to the Walters Art Museum next year.

John Waters' 'Hairspray' keeps its hold on us

8:33 AM EST, January 22, 2013

John Waters' 'Hairspray' keeps its hold on us

"Hairspray" is the product that just keeps giving.

Season of 'Nutcracker,' 'Messiah' starts early

November 17, 2012

Season of 'Nutcracker,' 'Messiah' starts early

The holiday season wouldn't be the holiday season without colorful music and dance events.

BSO SuperPops returns to fabulous '50s

3:31 PM EDT, October 11, 2012

BSO SuperPops returns to fabulous '50s

Appropriately, given the prominent TV references, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra opens its 2012-2013 SuperPops season this weekend with a rerun — a program called "The Golden Age of Black and White."

Acme Corporation premieres 'Office Ladies'

1:57 PM EST, December 7, 2012

Acme Corporation premieres 'Office Ladies'

Well before the first performance last week of Lola Pierson's latest work, "Office Ladies," it was advertised as a "hit play."

Holiday viewing at the Walters, BMA

7:51 AM EST, December 28, 2012

Holiday viewing at the Walters, BMA

Art museums always come in handy during the holidays, when so many people are looking for enjoyable ways to while away the hours with friends and family — or to escape from friends and family.

Darkrooms are re-developing in Baltimore

4:02 PM EST, January 4, 2013

Darkrooms are re-developing in Baltimore

Once upon a time, people interested in taking a picture used a device known as a camera. Taking pictures was all that this device did. It could never make phone calls. Or play music and video.

'Billy Elliot' resonates with boys in Peabody's dance program

December 15, 2012

'Billy Elliot' resonates with boys in Peabody's dance program

In 2000, the British film "Billy Elliot" generated a flurry of admiration on both sides of the Atlantic. Something about this story of an 11-year-old boy, who decides to study ballet even as it makes him a major oddity in his northern England mining town, touched a nerve.

BSO to perform Bernstein's 'Kaddish'

4:33 PM EDT, September 24, 2012

BSO to perform Bernstein's 'Kaddish'

Leonard Bernstein, the brilliant American conductor and composer, did not just wear his heart on his sleeve. All his worries were clearly exposed as well.

Everyman winds up Charles Street years with 'Heroes'

7:56 AM EDT, October 26, 2012

Everyman winds up Charles Street years with 'Heroes'

Three men in a home for aging veterans yearn for a taste of life beyond the institution's grounds. They want to soar right out of there, like the geese in a V-formation they can see overhead.

'Wicked' returns to the Hippodrome

7:30 AM EDT, October 5, 2012

'Wicked' returns to the Hippodrome

She emerged from the womb "like a froggy, ferny cabbage." Some folks never did get over the shock of seeing the artichoke-colored baby, who grew up to be a fearsome threat to a girl from Kansas ... and her little dog, too.

PBS show shines light on BSO's OrchKids

2:35 PM EDT, September 16, 2012

PBS show shines light on BSO's OrchKids

Baltimore figures substantially in "Arts and the Mind," a two-hour documentary airing on PBS stations around the country.

As referendum looms, gay plays open theater season

September 8, 2012

As referendum looms, gay plays open theater season

During Jon Marans' "The Temperamentals," the season-opening play by Rep Stage about the gay rights movement, a woman raises the subject of marriage.

DIY spaces are fertile grounds for Baltimore's arts, music scenes

3:32 PM EST, December 6, 2012

DIY spaces are fertile grounds for Baltimore's arts, music scenes

Part of the charm of Baltimore's arts scene is that someone is always hitting the "refresh" button.

Art Modell left mark on Baltimore's cultural community

September 24, 2012

Art Modell left mark on Baltimore's cultural community

Art Modell did not just play a major role in the sports life of Baltimore. He and his wife Pat were among the region's most generous donors to the city's cultural institutions, including the Lyric Opera House, Walters Art Museum, Baltimore Museum of Art and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

Whoopi Goldberg brings her strong views to Baltimore

9:01 AM EDT, November 1, 2012

Whoopi Goldberg brings her strong views to Baltimore

Even if Caryn Elaine Johnson had never changed her name to Whoopi Goldberg, chances are she would have made a splash. Talent will out.

A 'classical revolution' is spreading in Baltimore

3:01 PM EDT, October 19, 2012

A 'classical revolution' is spreading in Baltimore

It was a quiet night for a revolution.

September 6, 2012

Energetic Baker Artist Award exhibit at BMA

Close on the heels of the eclectic and engaging exhibit of Sondheim Artscape Prize winners at the Baltimore Museum of Art comes the eclectic and engaging exhibit of the Baker Artist Award winners.

Summer exhibits at Grimaldis, School 33 offer diversion from the heat

4:53 PM EDT, August 9, 2012

Summer exhibits at Grimaldis, School 33 offer diversion from the heat

Two cool summertime art exhibits located in different neighborhoods, and very much in different financial brackets, provide welcome diversion from the heat.

ArtsCentric troupe puts fresh spin on 'Next to Normal'

7:25 AM EDT, August 17, 2012

ArtsCentric troupe puts fresh spin on 'Next to Normal'

When a dozen Morgan State University students launched a theater troupe called ArtsCentric nearly a decade ago, their goal went beyond creating performance opportunities for themselves. They wanted to do work that could make a difference to people.

'Time Stands Still' opens Everyman season

8:39 AM EDT, August 31, 2012

'Time Stands Still' opens Everyman season

Last December, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta declared the end of the war in Iraq. Whether there will be an end to repercussions from that war remains to be seen.

Jordan Faye Contemporary moving to Mount Vernon

4:48 PM EDT, July 16, 2012

Jordan Faye Contemporary moving to Mount Vernon

Jordan Faye Contemporary is moving to Mount Vernon next month after three years in its Federal Hill location. The commercial gallery, founded and managed by Jordan Faye Block, is particularly known for showcasing local artists.

Accordionists' Association encourages young players

8:56 PM EDT, July 13, 2012

Accordionists' Association encourages young players

Vince Demor walked through a hotel lobby in shorts and a T-shirt, looking like any teenager, except for the accordion around his neck, which he wore as naturally as a lawyer sports a tie. He played exercises quietly as he walked.

Walters Art Museum goes off the wall

7:22 AM EDT, September 12, 2012

Walters Art Museum goes off the wall

Paintings in museum-quality frames are popping up outdoors around town — displayed on a post just outside the entrance to Baltimore's City Hall and along Patterson Park, mounted to the wall on a corner of the Avenue in Hampden.

Cockpit in Court Summer Theatre marks 40th season

7:32 AM EDT, July 27, 2012

Cockpit in Court Summer Theatre marks 40th season

The Cockpit in Court Summer Theatre is in the midst of its 40th anniversary season, a significant milestone for a company that has tackled a sizable breadth of repertoire, from "Lysistrata" to "Hairspray," and maintained wallet-friendly ticket prices the whole time.

Walters Museum to showcase its American art

1:06 PM EDT, July 31, 2012

Walters Museum to showcase its American art

The Walters Art Museum has been granted $111,615 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to support a nearly two-year project called "American Visions: Engaging the Community with American Art."

Baltimore classical music summer school

August 11, 2012

Baltimore classical music summer school

These dog days of summer, when concert halls are terribly quiet around here, are a perfect time for classical music fans to do a little homework that will pay off in the new season.

Excavating an assassin in 'The Booth Project'

4:22 PM EDT, August 2, 2012

Excavating an assassin in 'The Booth Project'

Harford County's most notorious native son has been exhumed theatrically.

Lewis Museum's 'Growing Up Afro' takes viewers from paper routes to picket lines

4:28 PM EDT, July 27, 2012

Lewis Museum's 'Growing Up Afro' takes viewers from paper routes to picket lines

Beulah Hinson beams as she holds up a copy of the Afro-American newspaper, the young girl's expression a sharp contrast to the headlines from this particular edition — "205 Die in Dance Hall Fire," "Hubby Made Store Love Nest."

Accordion: Not just for polkas anymore, say fans

8:48 AM EDT, July 13, 2012

Accordion: Not just for polkas anymore, say fans

Blame it on Lawrence Welk.

BSO's 'Overture for 2012' draws rousing response

10:20 PM EDT, June 17, 2012

BSO's 'Overture for 2012' draws rousing response

With a giant flag of 15 stars and stripes as a backdrop inside Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, a celebratory concert Sunday night drew a packed house to cap the weekend's commemoration of the War of 1812 bicentennial.

Serenade Festival showcases choirs from around the world

June 28, 2012

Serenade Festival showcases choirs from around the world

Classical Movements is the go-to company for ensembles planning concert tours. The firm's who's-who list of clients includes the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Morgan State University Choir and National Symphony Orchestra, not to mention the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra and Vienna Philharmonic.

Maryland Art Place showcases Mina Cheon's provocative 'polipop' art

June 9, 2012

Maryland Art Place showcases Mina Cheon's provocative 'polipop' art

Mina Cheon is used to seeing things from multiple perspectives.

Mayor Schaefer musical gets second reading

10:54 AM EDT, July 13, 2012

Mayor Schaefer musical gets second reading

William Donald Schaefer sang Baltimore's praises loudly, so it's only fitting that a new musical should be singing his.

Baltimore filmmaker shines light on Islamic art

June 30, 2012

Baltimore filmmaker shines light on Islamic art

Matters of faith continue to divide people in dreadful ways, but there has always been at least one thing that religions have in common — the urge to express belief through art.

'Mamma Mia' is theatrical homecoming for Baltimore's Paul DeBoy

10:05 AM EDT, June 14, 2012

'Mamma Mia' is theatrical homecoming for Baltimore's Paul DeBoy

Paul DeBoy may have a genetic inclination toward the stage.

Hesperus gives vintage voice to 'Robin Hood' silent film

6:26 PM EDT, July 3, 2012

Hesperus gives vintage voice to 'Robin Hood' silent film

Silent films are never really silent.

6:17 PM EDT, June 8, 2012

Study: Arts had $388.2 million economic impact on Baltimore in 2010

Arts and culture activity in the city had a $388.2 million total economic impact in 2010, according to a study released Friday by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts. A previous version of the study, conducted every five years, found a $270 million impact in 2005.

Contemporary Museum to suspend operations May 31

7:38 PM EDT, May 21, 2012

Contemporary Museum to suspend operations May 31

The trustees of the Contemporary Museum announced Monday that they have voted unanimously to suspend operations May 31. That will be the last day for the executive director and four part-time staff members. Plans to secure a new home for the museum have been scrapped.

Philip Glass' 'Overture for 2012' to get dual premiere

10:44 AM EDT, June 6, 2012

Philip Glass' 'Overture for 2012' to get dual premiere

The most famous piece of music about a conflict in 1812 has nothing to do with what is dubbed the second war of American independence.

Grimaldis exhibit showcases Alexey Titarenko's haunted photographs

7:41 AM EDT, May 31, 2012

Grimaldis exhibit showcases Alexey Titarenko's haunted photographs

Alexey Titarenko's black-and-white photographs conjure up gray areas between motion and inertia, living and getting by, past and present. The images haunt, and are haunted.

Kristin Chenoweth tour hits Baltimore this week

8:39 AM EDT, June 4, 2012

Kristin Chenoweth tour hits Baltimore this week

She isn't quite 5 feet tall, but Kristin Chenoweth has achieved uncommon stature in show business, thanks to consistently sizzling performances on Broadway, including an indelible portrayal of Glinda in "Wicked"that earned her a Tony nomination, and several television shows.

Finalists for Sondheim Artscape Prize in BMA show

7:26 AM EDT, June 22, 2012

Finalists for Sondheim Artscape Prize in BMA show

Art is often more about questions than answers. That point is driven home by the Sondheim Artscape Prize: 2012 Finalists exhibit at the Baltimore Museum of Art, co-presented by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts.

'Fela!' celebrates influential Nigerian musician, activist

May 12, 2012

'Fela!' celebrates influential Nigerian musician, activist

He pioneered one the most influential, far-reaching musical genres of the past 50 years. He became a galvanizing force, too, in the cause of human rights. When he died, more than a million people turned out to witness his funeral cortege. Among those mourning his loss were the 27 women who had once been his wives.

Annapolis Symphony Orchestra celebrates 50 years

12:51 PM EDT, May 3, 2012

Annapolis Symphony Orchestra celebrates 50 years

Nonprofit music organizations face so many hurdles that each milestone successfully reached becomes all the more significant. No wonder the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra is wrapping up its golden anniversary season in a big way this weekend.

Chesapeake Shakespeare Theatre plans move to $6 million downtown space

7:27 PM EDT, May 7, 2012

Chesapeake Shakespeare Theatre plans move to $6 million downtown space

The Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, best known for its summer productions outdoors on the hilltop grounds of the 19th-century Patapsco Female Institute in Ellicott City, has purchased a historic site for its second home — the 1885 Mercantile Trust & Deposit Co. building in downtown Baltimore.

The engaging voice of composer Kevin Puts

June 2, 2012

The engaging voice of composer Kevin Puts

There are unexpected perks that can come with receiving a Pulitzer Prize, as composer Kevin Puts discovered last Tuesday.

Peabody composer wins Pulitzer Prize in music

9:17 PM EDT, April 16, 2012

Peabody composer wins Pulitzer Prize in music

Kevin Puts, a composer who teaches at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, won the Pulitzer Prize in music Monday for his first opera.

Opera star Denyce Graves joins Peabody Conservatory faculty

3:51 PM EDT, April 6, 2012

Opera star Denyce Graves joins Peabody Conservatory faculty

In terms of talent, glamour and wide appeal, few opera singers today rank as high as mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves. No wonder there's quite a buzz at the Peabody Conservatory, where Graves will join the voice faculty in the fall.

Everyman Theatre sets season of premieres

April 21, 2012

Everyman Theatre sets season of premieres

Everyman Theatre will split its 2012-2013 season between two venues, but a common thread unifies the plays — all are Baltimore premieres.

April 8, 2012

Single Carrot Theatre checks into the shadowy 'Hotel Cassiopeia'

You might say that Joseph Cornell lived in a box within a box.

At 78, Joan Rivers connects with a new generation of fans

3:43 PM EDT, March 16, 2012

At 78, Joan Rivers connects with a new generation of fans

Joan Rivers is having a manicure and a pedicure in her hotel room while juggling a phone.

Morgan State to stage 'Porgy and Bess'

5:13 PM EDT, March 23, 2012

Morgan State to stage 'Porgy and Bess'

It's a kind of a musical homecoming.

John Astin is still everyone's favorite Gomez Addams

6:07 PM EST, March 9, 2012

John Astin is still everyone's favorite Gomez Addams

After a performance of "The Addams Family," the Broadway musical now playing at the Hippodrome Theatre, a tall, bald, mustachioed man went backstage to greet the cast — the original, the ultimate Gomez Addams, John Astin.

March 10, 2012

This 'Addams Family' lacks snap

It has all the weight and nutritional value of cotton candy. But "The Addams Family," the Broadway musical that has taken up temporary residence at the Hippodrome Theatre, adds up to a mildly entertaining package of song and shtick.

The rare and ethereal armonica is coming to Baltimore

3:34 PM EDT, March 16, 2012

The rare and ethereal armonica is coming to Baltimore

Dennis James, a heralded armonica virtuoso who lives in upstate New York, will visit Baltimore next weekend to be a soloist with two organizations.

The art of cracking skulls

February 25, 2012

The art of cracking skulls

In the prop department at Center Stage, crew members have worked themselves to the bone for their latest production.

Lyric Opera gives 'Faust' a modern twist

April 14, 2012

Lyric Opera gives 'Faust' a modern twist

The last time Charles Gounod's "Faust" was staged at the Lyric Opera House, 11 years ago, the work's original medieval-period setting was changed to World War I.

Rain Pryor to lead Station North's Strand Theater

5:08 PM EST, February 3, 2012

Rain Pryor to lead Station North's Strand Theater

The first time Rain Pryor visited the intimate Strand Theater, she knew she was in the right place.

Second thoughts on 'The Addams Family'

5:07 PM EST, March 2, 2012

Second thoughts on 'The Addams Family'

"The Addams Family" seemed to have everything going for it when the musical opened on Broadway two years ago: a book by the creators of the mega-hit "Jersey Boys"; two exceedingly popular stars, Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth; and a title known to trigger fond memories and finger-snaps from any number of people who recall the 1960s sitcom of the same name.

Soulful Symphony's 'Evolution'

7:26 AM EST, February 24, 2012

Soulful Symphony's 'Evolution'

After a hiatus of more than a year, Soulful Symphony re-emerged last month to perform for a packed house at the Hippodrome Theatre, inaugurating a concert series that continues there Friday night.

Walters Art Museum director Gary Vikan to step down

5:03 PM EST, March 7, 2012

Walters Art Museum director Gary Vikan to step down

Gary Vikan, who has been a dynamic force at the helm of the Walters Art Museum for 18 years, will leave the post of director in June 2013, or when his successor is in place.

Walters receives large bequest of Russian works

1:11 PM EST, December 20, 2011

Walters receives large bequest of Russian works

A bequest from Washington, D.C. arts patron Jean Montgomery Riddell, who died last year at the age of 100, has enriched the holdings of the Walters Art Museum with more than 260 objects of enameled Russian silver from the 17th through early 20th centuries.

Sinatra homage will be homecoming for Ellicott City dancer

7:06 PM EST, February 17, 2012

Sinatra homage will be homecoming for Ellicott City dancer

The national touring production of "Come Fly Away," Twyla Tharp's sensual ballet/musical set to the songs of Frank Sinatra, breezes through Baltimore this week. One of the featured dancers in the show will look very much at home on the stage of the Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric.

'Sesame Street' veteran heads 'Jitney' cast at MSU

February 9, 2012

'Sesame Street' veteran heads 'Jitney' cast at MSU

August Wilson's "Jitney," set in 1977, focuses on a poor urban neighborhood where "urban renewal" just means demolition and neglect. The plot revolves around a company of unlicensed cabs trying to maintain service for an African-American community ignored by regular taxis.

BSO accompanies 'The Passion of Joan of Arc'

7:02 AM EST, March 1, 2012

BSO accompanies 'The Passion of Joan of Arc'

Call it poetic injustice.

January 21, 2012

Blockbusters from the BSO

It is possible to quibble with the idea of cramming three blockbuster works into a single program, but the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra carries it off.

A welcome journey 'Into the Woods'

3:54 PM EDT, March 16, 2012

A welcome journey 'Into the Woods'

Fairy tales seem like so much fun until you start paying attention. All that violence and vengeance, the spookiness, illusion, deceit.

BSO to premiere concert version of 'Christmas Carol'

December 15, 2011

BSO to premiere concert version of 'Christmas Carol'

Composer Bob Christianson is nothing if not versatile.

A designing 'Mad Men' actor

2:05 PM EST, February 16, 2012

A designing 'Mad Men' actor

As Salvatore Romano, the closeted art director at the turbulent Sterling Cooper ad agency in the TV series "Mad Men," Bryan Batt struck out — his character, cruelly compromised by a client, was fired partway through the third season of the much-admired cable show in 2009.

Hippodrome's 2012-13 lineup: Presley to punk-rock

3:03 PM EST, February 12, 2012

Hippodrome's 2012-13 lineup: Presley to punk-rock

The Hippodrome's 2012-2013 Broadway Series will have tried-and-true crowd pleasers such as "Wicked" and "Beauty and the Beast" alongside newer musicals "American Idiot" and "Billy Elliot."

For the national anthem, the Ravens go for a pro

6:35 PM EST, January 10, 2012

For the national anthem, the Ravens go for a pro

Just before the Ravens face the Houston Texans Sunday, they will hear a familiar voice — other than John Harbaugh's, that is.

Homecoming at Everyman Theatre

7:42 AM EST, January 20, 2012

Homecoming at Everyman Theatre

The domestic drama unfolding on the stage of Everyman Theatre these days in Michael Weller's "Fifty Words" can get pretty messy — stories about marriage frequently are. But the set that the two actors in this play get to inhabit is a study in calm, careful planning and execution.

'Lion King' moves smoothly back to the Hippodrome

11:31 PM EST, December 10, 2011

'Lion King' moves smoothly back to the Hippodrome

With the broad appeal of a fast-food chain — 54 million people served in 14 countries on five continents — "The Lion King" enjoys a mighty status on Broadway, where it's the seventh-longest-running musical and has packed them in since 1997.

Carrie Fisher shares her checkered past in 'Wishful Drinking'

3:36 PM EST, January 28, 2012

Carrie Fisher shares her checkered past in 'Wishful Drinking'

She survived drugs, booze, parental issues, complex relationships and a metal bikini, not to mention the electroconvulsive shock therapy that helps her cope with bipolar disorder. And Carrie Fisher has a lot to say about all of it.

January 14, 2012

Perlman leads BSO in stirring Brahms' Fourth

The classical music world, ever on the hunt for bright young stars with box office snap, still has some reliably surefire veterans. One of them is Itzhak Perlman, the most popular, widely recognized violinist since Heifetz.

Rhapsody in Gershwin: BSO salutes George and Ira

3:30 PM EST, January 4, 2012

Rhapsody in Gershwin: BSO salutes George and Ira

Another pops program devoted to George Gershwin? Why not? This weekend's Gershwin feast being presented on the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's SuperPops series will hardly be the last.

Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance names new director

4:47 PM EST, December 20, 2011

Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance names new director

Jeannie Howe, former president of Everyman Theatre's board of directors, has been appointed executive director of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance, effective Jan. 3.

BSO takes a new approach to the holidays

December 3, 2011

BSO takes a new approach to the holidays

A bevy of Santas will not tap-dance their way into Rockette-style formations onstage to help the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra celebrate the Christmas season this year.

A sample of fresh arts ventures for 2012

December 31, 2011

A sample of fresh arts ventures for 2012

In the arts world, fresh ideas are generated on a perennial basis — and this year is no different. Three new cultural projects in a variety of media promise to spice things up considerably in 2012.

'Unveiled': A post-9/11 portrait of Muslim women

December 1, 2011

'Unveiled': A post-9/11 portrait of Muslim women

Not long after 9/11, playwright and actress Rohina Malik attended her best friend's wedding wearing a hijab.

Project aims for national standard in music education

5:51 PM EST, December 20, 2011

Project aims for national standard in music education

For generations, music students have been getting gold stars, certificates and other pats on the back from their teachers. But a budding musician with high marks in one state is not necessarily on the same level, judged by the same criteria, as a budding musician in another.

Live performances learn to live with noisy phones

5:57 PM EST, January 20, 2012

Live performances learn to live with noisy phones

It was the cellphone heard 'round the world.

BSO lights a new fire under 'Joan of Arc'

November 11, 2011

BSO lights a new fire under 'Joan of Arc'

At the age of 16, a French villager named Jeanne d'Arc responded to what she said were the voices of saints, exhorting her to take up arms against English invaders. Dressed in male clothing, she led troops to victory in battle after battle before being captured when she was 19.

All-free Baltimore Open Theatre to debut next season

December 17, 2011

All-free Baltimore Open Theatre to debut next season

Two pioneers from different eras of Baltimore's theater scene have joined forces to create Baltimore Open Theatre, which will offer free performances by contemporary theater and dance companies from the region, nation and abroad, starting in the fall of 2012.

Baltimorean works behind the scenes on 'The Lion King'

December 8, 2011

Baltimorean works behind the scenes on 'The Lion King'

With a staging as intricate as "The Lion King," the right personnel have to be backstage making everything click into place night after night.

Hippodrome uses new grant to give nonprofits a broader stage

November 7, 2011

Hippodrome uses new grant to give nonprofits a broader stage

The Hippodrome Theatre is largely defined by marquee Broadway shows, from "The Lion King" to "South Pacific." But starting Monday, the theater aims to be a hub for local arts groups, becoming much more than just a stopping-off spot for touring artists and productions.

Tapping into the relevant grit of 'American Buffalo'

6:49 PM EDT, November 4, 2011

Tapping into the relevant grit of 'American Buffalo'

Taped to the side of the counter in the junk shop that forms the set for David Mamet's "American Buffalo" at Center Stage is a vintage sign: "People who advocate violence should be shot."

Q & A: Tony Bennett

8:52 AM EDT, October 13, 2011

Q & A: Tony Bennett

Last month, Tony Bennett became the oldest recording artist to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Album charts, thanks to "Duets II," featuring his collaborations with the likes of Lady Gaga, Andrea Bocelli, Norah Jones, Michael Buble and the late Amy Winehouse.

Peabody Opera Theatre makes 'Progress'

7:37 AM EST, November 17, 2011

Peabody Opera Theatre makes 'Progress'

A bearded lady, a flock of prostitutes, a machine that supposedly turns stones into bread — just a few of the off-kilter elements in "The Rake's Progress," the brilliant opera with music by Igor Stravinsky.

Halloween Lantern Parade postponed due to threat of ill weather

4:57 PM EDT, October 28, 2011

Halloween Lantern Parade postponed due to threat of ill weather

An ill-timed trick of nature that threatens rain and even light snow on Saturday has put a kink into the "Great Big Halloween Parade of Light & Luminaria," an annual tradition in Patterson Park.

'South Pacific' is still afloat

11:25 AM EDT, October 6, 2011

'South Pacific' is still afloat

The songs from "South Pacific" have been practically embedded in the DNA of many Americans for a long time. So it's all the more remarkable that the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical about love, loss and gain amid World War II did not get an all-out revival on Broadway until nearly 60 years after its premiere.

Review: A propulsive 'La Cage' at the Hippodrome

8:07 AM EDT, November 3, 2011

Review: A propulsive 'La Cage' at the Hippodrome

There's a restaurant scene partway through Act 2 of "La Cage aux Folles" that spotlights Christopher Sieber, playing Albin, the reigning drag queen of Saint-Tropez in the propulsive and entertaining production at the Hippodrome this week.

Ensemble theater companies blossoming in Baltimore

4:57 PM EST, November 25, 2011

Ensemble theater companies blossoming in Baltimore

They're mostly in their 20s, college grads who majored in theater or related studies. If they weren't friends before deciding to collaborate, they're friends now. They're enthusiastic multitaskers. None of them will get rich soon.

George Hamilton back in the spotlight for 'La Cage' at Hippodrome

October 29, 2011

George Hamilton back in the spotlight for 'La Cage' at Hippodrome

George Hamilton just wants a cup of coffee, that's all. But a small obstacle confounds the handsome, supernaturally tanned actor in his Tulsa, Okla., hotel room — the coffee maker.

Review: A powerful revival of 'Trouble in Mind'

September 29, 2011

Review: A powerful revival of 'Trouble in Mind'

There's an unexpected case of theatrical synergy going on in the region, with two productions that look squarely at issues of race, identity and self-esteem.

Vasily Petrenko returns to Baltimore Symphony podium

6:52 PM EDT, October 21, 2011

Vasily Petrenko returns to Baltimore Symphony podium

Blond and boyishly handsome, Vasily Petrenko might be mistaken for a gymnast, or perhaps a player of his favorite sport, soccer. But when the 35-year-old Russian conductor steps onto a podium, there's no doubt about his true calling.

'The Rivals' sparkles at Center Stage

October 8, 2011

'The Rivals' sparkles at Center Stage

In the age when a 140-character tweet is about as literary as some folks get, and when the most obvious of observations or lamest of jokes can elicit a "LOL" response, there's something doubly refreshing about the opportunity to indulge in the long, luscious feast of language and humor currently on the boards at Center Stage.

Icons and minimalists

October 6, 2011

Icons and minimalists

Engaging, museum-level work fills two venues in Baltimore. Maryland Art Place has assembled a remarkable survey of minimalist painters from different areas and generations, while C. Grimaldis Gallery is offering a collection of pieces by five exceptional artists who produced work locally.

'Diner' to be turned into Broadway musical

8:44 PM EDT, September 20, 2011

'Diner' to be turned into Broadway musical

Another classic American film set in Baltimore is headed for Broadway, but unlike "Hairspray" this one may be a less obvious fit.

What makes Broadway revivals tick

6:41 PM EDT, September 30, 2011

What makes Broadway revivals tick

When "South Pacific" opened on Broadway in 1949, it galvanized the public and the press. The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical went on to run for five years, chalking up more than 1,900 performances.

Walters Art Museum opens access to 10,000 images

5:40 PM EDT, October 4, 2011

Walters Art Museum opens access to 10,000 images

More than 10,000 items in the Walters Art Museum — about a third of the total collection — can now be viewed and downloaded online for free, without copyright restrictions.

A moving 'Our Town' — literally

October 20, 2011

A moving 'Our Town' — literally

Those straightforward, honest folks of Grover's Corners are back, waiting for the milkman, smelling the heliotrope, attending choir practice, falling in love. And, of course, making their way to the local cemetery.

Notre Dame of Maryland University celebrates the music of Franz Liszt

October 8, 2011

Notre Dame of Maryland University celebrates the music of Franz Liszt

Born 200 years ago on Oct. 22, Franz Liszt changed music history. Even if the Hungarian-born pianist/composer had not done so, people would probably still remember him, if only for his romances.

Baltimore's Theatre Project is still radical at 40

October 15, 2011

Baltimore's Theatre Project is still radical at 40

The headline on a 1972 article in The Baltimore Sun neatly summed up the recently formed Theatre Project: "New and radical — and free."

6:40 PM EDT, September 24, 2011

BSO premieres vibrant work about Harriet Tubman

In addition to such things as new recording contracts and a nationally recognized education program, Marin Alsop's influence as music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra can be seen in the programming each season.

BSO salutes legacy of Harriet Tubman with new composition

8:41 AM EDT, September 22, 2011

BSO salutes legacy of Harriet Tubman with new composition

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is all about brand-new this month. Two weeks after premiering David T. Little's Baltimore-inspired "Charm," the BSO is set to premiere another commissioned work — "Chuphshah! Harriet's Drive to Canaan," by James Lee III.

Lyric Opera Baltimore ready to raise its voice

October 22, 2011

Lyric Opera Baltimore ready to raise its voice

Three years ago, a Druid priestess and her Roman lover walked willingly and melodically into a blazing pyre as the curtain fell on a performance of Bellini's "Norma" at the Lyric Opera House. Those epic characters were not the only ones being consumed.

Review: The Second City does Baltimore again with 'Charmed and Dangerous'

September 24, 2011

Review: The Second City does Baltimore again with 'Charmed and Dangerous'

The first time was the charm. Last season's smash at Center Stage, "The Second City Does Baltimore," enjoyed the element of surprise as it skewered a lot of those quaint little quirks that make us so, well, skewer-able.

'Young Blood' flows through Maryland Art Place

6:32 PM EDT, June 30, 2011

'Young Blood' flows through Maryland Art Place

Tucked in between restaurants and clubs at Power Plant Live is a nondescript corridor that leads to something very, well, descript — the always lively Maryland Art Place and its latest exhibit, "Young Blood."

New Baker Awards exhibit has surface appeal

7:30 AM EDT, September 8, 2011

New Baker Awards exhibit has surface appeal

Moving through the Baltimore Museum of Art's exhibit of work by the 2011 Baker Artist Awards provides an experience akin to that in the film "Pleasantville." You start in living color and, before you know it, you're swallowed up in a black-and-white world.

Patricia Modell, actress and philanthropist, dies at 80

4:37 PM EDT, October 12, 2011

Patricia Modell, actress and philanthropist, dies at 80

Patricia Modell, a successful TV and film actress in the 1950s and '60s who became a well-known philanthropist in Baltimore with her husband, former Ravens owner Arthur Modell, died Wednesday at the age of 80.

'Living history' is making a comeback at some Maryland museums

9:32 AM EDT, July 10, 2011

'Living history' is making a comeback at some Maryland museums

In the shadow of Abraham Lincoln memorabilia, John Wilkes Booth will tell anyone who'll listen just why that tyrant had to be assassinated.

Burlesque duo featured on Sundance show

September 10, 2011

Burlesque duo featured on Sundance show

This has been a good year for Baltimore representation in the New York theater scene.

Rep Stage's 'Or' looks at barrier-breaking Sixties — 1660s, that is

September 1, 2011

Rep Stage's 'Or' looks at barrier-breaking Sixties — 1660s, that is

When the reign of Oliver Cromwell and his fellow killjoys ended, one of the first things the new English king did was order the theaters to reopen.

Castleton Festival keeps growing

3:24 PM EDT, June 23, 2011

Castleton Festival keeps growing

The most atmospheric way to experience the Castleton Festival, which opens Saturday, is to travel down to Virginia's Rappahannock County and catch opera productions or orchestra concerts on the spacious, idyllic estate of celebrated conductor Lorin Maazel.

Current Space's art market — literally

August 4, 2011

Current Space's art market — literally

The intersection of art and commerce has always been a dangerous spot. It gets extra slippery at a cheeky exhibit at Current Space, the ever-funky gallery that has staked out an oasis on an otherwise development-shy block of Howard Street.

Madeleine Peyroux: 'Growing toward the sun'

10:13 AM EDT, September 27, 2011

Madeleine Peyroux: 'Growing toward the sun'

With a timbre suggestive of Billie Holiday and an intimate style of phrasing that needs only the subtlest twist of a syllable to hook a listener, Madeleine Peyroux has cleared a distinctive path in today's jazz world.

Rhymes with Opera explores definition, dimension of art form

8:34 AM EDT, June 16, 2011

Rhymes with Opera explores definition, dimension of art form

They've heard just about all the suggestions by now. But if you insist, you can approach members of the Rhymes with Opera ensemble Saturday at the Windup Space and offer your response to what is actually not a request.

Fluid Movement's floating film noir

10:37 AM EDT, July 26, 2011

Fluid Movement's floating film noir

Take the classic film "Sunset Boulevard," slip in the witty "Guy Noir" feature from "Prairie Home Companion," and toss the whole mix into a swimming pool, and you might end up with something like "Mobtown Murder Mystery" — the latest production by Fluid Movement, one of Baltimore's zaniest organizers of performance art.

BMA guards show their artistic sides with 'Guardists'

August 20, 2011

BMA guards show their artistic sides with 'Guardists'

Art museum guards don't, as a rule, call much attention to themselves.

BSO captures Baltimore in music

1:28 PM EDT, September 6, 2011

BSO captures Baltimore in music

Some of the loudest, most propulsive sounds to be heard outside of an Ozzfest arena show hit unsuspecting Baltimore Symphony Orchestra audiences last year during a circus-theme program devised by music director Marin Alsop.

Sondheim Prize finalists engage senses, issues

June 25, 2011

Sondheim Prize finalists engage senses, issues

Every year at this time, the Baltimore Museum of Art showcases the finalists for the Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize. The exhibits invariably reveal "energy, imagination and engagement with the significant issues of our time," says BMA director Doreen Bolger.

Raising a 'Bump' on stage at Theatre Project

2:53 PM EDT, August 24, 2011

Raising a 'Bump' on stage at Theatre Project

Theater audiences are typically faced with no-no's before the action starts — no recording devices of any kind, no picture-taking.

From Baltimore, a celebration of Woody Guthrie

4:16 PM EDT, September 9, 2011

From Baltimore, a celebration of Woody Guthrie

Nearly a decade ago, Michael Patrick Flanagan Smith, a Frederick-born playwright, actor and musician who called Baltimore home for several years, began digging into the life of Woody Guthrie. The fruits of that exploration are now onstage in New York.

Abstract scores combine graphics, music

5:04 PM EDT, August 12, 2011

Abstract scores combine graphics, music

It takes a little time to unroll "Scroll," a composition by Baltimore composer Will Redman, since it's on paper that measures 8 feet long, 8 inches wide. It takes even longer to digest.

Walters Art Museum partners with German venue

5:13 PM EDT, August 2, 2011

Walters Art Museum partners with German venue

The Walters Art Museum has entered into a partnership with the Roemer and Pelizaeus Museum in Hildesheim, Germany, to exchange ideas, staff members and art projects, officials announced Tuesday.

'Harpejji' gaining traction in music world

July 23, 2011

'Harpejji' gaining traction in music world

It looks a little bit like a body board, and it does ride the waves — sound waves, that is. Meet the harpejji, a fretted string instrument invented and built in the Baltimore area.

Rep Stage season looks at complex personalities, issues

May 28, 2011

Rep Stage season looks at complex personalities, issues

The races and the sexes will get an intense look during Rep Stage's 2011-2012 season, the company's 19th.

Lewis Museum marks sixth year with free events

2:07 PM EDT, June 23, 2011

Lewis Museum marks sixth year with free events

The story goes that Reginald F. Lewis, the remarkably successful Baltimore-born lawyer, businessman and philanthropist, learned the value of saving money from his grandmother. She gave him a tin cup to hold his earnings from delivering papers when he was 10.

Homecoming: Andrew Grams conducts BSO

7:13 AM EDT, July 22, 2011

Homecoming: Andrew Grams conducts BSO

When he was in his early teens, Andrew Grams saw the sci-fi hit "Jurassic Park." The visual side of the movie wasn't the only thing that left an impression.

Baltimore Playwrights Festival hits 30

2:44 PM EDT, July 7, 2011

Baltimore Playwrights Festival hits 30

The numbers tell an impressive tale: 266 plays by 158 playwrights produced by 25 companies during a 29-year span. Those figures from the Baltimore Playwrights Festival are about to tick higher.

Eschewing flashy, out-of-town shows, Baltimore museums look inward

7:37 PM EDT, June 15, 2011

Eschewing flashy, out-of-town shows, Baltimore museums look inward

In the 1990s, crowds packed the Walters Art Museum to see a touring show of artifacts from the reign of China's first emperor. They flocked as well to the Baltimore Museum of Art to see a collection from London's Victoria and Albert Museum.

Baltimore Improv Festival marks fifth anniversary

7:37 AM EDT, August 11, 2011

Baltimore Improv Festival marks fifth anniversary

A fifth anniversary might not be the grandest of milestones, but it's nothing to laugh at — except in this case.

Diverse mix for Everyman Theatre's last season on Charles St.

9:26 AM EDT, May 27, 2011

Diverse mix for Everyman Theatre's last season on Charles St.

A year from now, Everyman Theatre will begin packing for the big move to a freshly renovated venue on the west side of town. To help stem any regrets, the title of the last show in the company's current Charles Street location will carry a familiar admonition: "You Can't Take It With You."

Outdoor theater: Shakespeare under the stars

July 2, 2011

Outdoor theater: Shakespeare under the stars

Fireflies crisscross a meadow as an audience on lawn chairs and blankets takes in the fast-paced complications of "As You Like It" on the grounds of the Evergreen Museum and Library — a particularly apt setting for the Maryland Shakespeare Festival production.

'Company's' coming to a movie theater near you

6:01 PM EDT, June 9, 2011

'Company's' coming to a movie theater near you

Four decades ago, "Company" opened on Broadway, putting Stephen Sondheim firmly on the music theater map. The show left an indelible impression on a young person who saw the premiere in 1970.

k.d. lang returns to her roots with 'Sing It Loud'

July 9, 2011

k.d. lang returns to her roots with 'Sing It Loud'

Of all the singers to hit the pop music scene in the past 25 years, k.d. lang continues to stand out.

Looking for LOL at the Contemporary Museum

5:49 PM EDT, June 9, 2011

Looking for LOL at the Contemporary Museum

When Sue Spaid started her job as the Contemporary Museum's executive director in November, she said she wouldn't be offering "an easy art experience." But she didn't say it couldn't be fun, or even funny.

New company works to bring grand opera back to Baltimore

12:11 AM EST, February 14, 2011

New company works to bring grand opera back to Baltimore

When Ron Griffin received a solicitation for Lyric Opera Baltimore a few weeks ago, he had some questions. The organization sounded a lot like the Baltimore Opera Company, which folded midseason in 2009 because of financial problems, leaving Griffin and many others holding worthless tickets.

Baltimorean boosted voices of Valli, Four Seasons

1:09 PM EST, February 3, 2011

Baltimorean boosted voices of Valli, Four Seasons

Picture it: Club Venus, Perring Plaza. One night in 1967, booking agent Bill Bateman brought in Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. Responsible for making sure the crowd hears the music at the best possible level is the house soundman, Bob Goldstein.

Gay couples weigh going out-of-state to marry or gambling on Annapolis

3:23 PM EDT, July 19, 2011

Gay couples weigh going out-of-state to marry or gambling on Annapolis

Shortly after Jon A. Kaplan and Joel Pearson met, they decided to spend a week together in Florida over the holidays — an extended first date, they call it. The trip went so well that they bought a pair of matching rings while they were there, rings that resemble traditional, pricey wedding bands.

Iron Crow Theatre offers platform to LGBT artists

3:41 PM EDT, June 2, 2011

Iron Crow Theatre offers platform to LGBT artists

Baltimore's theater community got even more diverse last year with the arrival of an ensemble devoted to the work of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender artists.

Performance Workshop gets new home, Artists' Initiative debuts

5:22 PM EST, March 3, 2011

Performance Workshop gets new home, Artists' Initiative debuts

It's a big weekend for two organizations devoted to bringing more people into the local theater community.

7:09 AM EST, February 11, 2011

Exhibit explores struggles of African-Americans, Jews

A couple years ago, African-American artist Loring Cornish was focusing his creativity on works that addressed the civil rights movement. When a Jewish couple, Ellen and Paul Saval, bought some other pieces of his, Cornish went to their home to hang the art.

BSO review: A mix of high spirits, high drama

6:31 PM EDT, June 3, 2011

BSO review: A mix of high spirits, high drama

The penultimate program of the Baltimore Symphony's season balances feel-good orchestral pieces by Osvaldo Golijov and Benjamin Britten against a piano concerto by Johannes Brahms packed with darkly emotional drama. It makes for an engrossing combination.

Next season at Center Stage: 'Jazz,' Sondheim, Mamet

March 26, 2011

Next season at Center Stage: 'Jazz,' Sondheim, Mamet

The theme of Center Stage's 2011-2012 season might be summed up as rhythm — from the distinctive beat of "Jazz," a world premiere adapted from the Toni Morrison novel of that name, to the percussive profanity of David Mamet's "American Buffalo"; from the improvised patter of Second City to the intricate rhymes and melodic pulse of Stephen Sondheim's "Into the Woods."

Savoring the rare beauty of 'Iphigenie'

1:46 PM EDT, May 12, 2011

Savoring the rare beauty of 'Iphigenie'

If opera had somehow become so unfashionable, so unthinkable that no one dared create another one after 1779, we'd still be well off, for that would mean we'd still have an incredible work from that year — Christoph Willibald Gluck's "Iphigenie en Tauride" ("Iphigenia in Tauris").

A nearly ideal 'Ideal Husband'

1:49 PM EDT, March 17, 2011

A nearly ideal 'Ideal Husband'

Although just about everybody recognizes Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest" as a supremely brilliant comedy, the embrace of his other plays is usually not quite so hearty. Those earlier works have been faulted for being a little too stuffily Victorian in subject matter and view of the sexes, too obvious or contrived of plot, too skimpy with wit.

'West Side Story' rumbles into Baltimore

8:32 AM EDT, April 15, 2011

'West Side Story' rumbles into Baltimore

"West Side Story," with one foot in Shakespeare and the other on the lawless streets of New York, rattled Broadway in 1957. Not surprisingly, it lost the Tony Award for best musical to something far more digestible and comforting" "The Music Man."

The snow that ate the arts

February 9, 2010

The snow that ate the arts

The balmy strains of Gershwin's "Summertime" went unheard at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. No one got a glimpse of "The Glass Menagerie" at Rep Stage or lived through the trauma of "Two Rooms" at Everyman Theatre. The adventures of the long-nosed hero of "Cyrano" went unlived at Center Stage.

Charm City gets Second City treatment

4:08 PM EST, January 6, 2011

Charm City gets Second City treatment

Let's face it. Baltimore is ripe for satirizing. We've probably got more offbeat people, more distinctive edifices, more colorful history and habits per block than any metropolitan area in the country. Oh yeah, and some crime.

Peabody's Amit Peled to make Kennedy Center debut

2:43 PM EST, January 20, 2011

Peabody's Amit Peled to make Kennedy Center debut

"It's definitely a milestone for me," said cellist Amit Peled about his debut at the Kennedy Center on Sunday, presented by the Washington Performing Arts Society. "When I saw who else was on the WPAS season brochure, I freaked out."

Peabody players strike a note of volunteerism

March 21, 2010

Peabody players strike a note of volunteerism

The homeless who line up for meals from the Our Daily Bread service center in the shadow of the Jones Falls Expressway might receive something in addition to the physical nourishment one Sunday in May. If current plans pan out, they'll hear classical music performed live underneath the overpass by the Be Orchestra, a volunteer group of Peabody Conservatory students.

Playing with 'Crumbs'

5:40 PM EDT, May 5, 2011

Playing with 'Crumbs'

If life is a banquet, playwright and actor Al Letson doesn't let a crumb go to waste.

New venue, new works for Rock Opera Society

11:30 AM EDT, May 26, 2011

New venue, new works for Rock Opera Society

A steady snap of beer cans being opened punctuated the air as members of the Baltimore Rock Opera Society gathered earlier this week to rehearse — this volunteer, do-it-yourself ensemble runs on beer. They may need a few more cases, given the challenges they've set for themselves.

Through a lens starkly: Sofia Silva's suburbia

7:53 AM EDT, May 20, 2011

Through a lens starkly: Sofia Silva's suburbia

For some, the sight of a faceless garage or a squat chain store or a long stretch of tract housing barely registers; there's just nothing unusual about such things. For artist Sofia Silva, they mean a lot. And, once framed by her camera lens, they are imbued with provocative power.

'Shrek the Musical' shines at the Hippodrome

5:16 PM EDT, March 25, 2011

'Shrek the Musical' shines at the Hippodrome

Before the hapless "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" started doing its accident-prone thing in an endless run of preview performances, the record-holder for costliest Broadway show was "Shrek the Musical."

Peering into the troubled mind of Robert Schumann

4:46 PM EDT, May 12, 2011

Peering into the troubled mind of Robert Schumann

Robert Schumann heard so much music in his head, he felt compelled to compose.

Shark attack: 'Swimming in the Shallows'

5:07 PM EDT, April 13, 2011

Shark attack: 'Swimming in the Shallows'

It's the ultimate extension of homophobic predictions of societal destruction if same-sex relationships are sanctioned: a boy-shark romance. That unlikely combination provides the oddest component in Adam Bock's refreshingly quirky comedy "Swimming in the Shallows," the latest offering from the Iron Crow Theatre Company.

Contemporary Museum names new executive director

7:59 PM EST, November 17, 2010

Contemporary Museum names new executive director

The Contemporary Museum, which has featured provocative works by a broad sampling of cutting-edge artists, announced a new executive director this week who promises to keep things innovative.

A how-to guide for Baltimore community theater

March 24, 2011

A how-to guide for Baltimore community theater

In the late 1990s, Brett Rohrer decided he wanted to be onstage and headed off to an audition at a community theater. He got as far as a nearby parking space.

Review: 'Les Miserables' thunders into the Hippodrome

1:48 PM EST, March 3, 2011

Review: 'Les Miserables' thunders into the Hippodrome

With protesters from Wisconsin to Libya raising heated voices and issues, it seems like a particularly apt time for the hit musical "Les Miserables" to be back on the scene.

Galleries: Artfully under the radar

7:01 AM EST, November 12, 2010

Galleries: Artfully under the radar

Beyond the mighty Baltimore Museum of Art and Walters Art Museum, beyond such long-established, up-market spaces as C. Grimaldis Gallery and Thomas Segal Gallery, a world of artistic enterprise thrives — some of it off the radar or almost literally underground.

Broadway, ballet, John Waters to inaugurate Modell Center

5:51 PM EDT, May 20, 2011

Broadway, ballet, John Waters to inaugurate Modell Center

Medieval knights searching in all the wrong places for the Holy Grail, singing as they go, will help fuel the first full season in the Patricia and Arthur Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric. So will John Waters, Baltimore's champion of all things weird, and the storied Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

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ABOUT THE BLOGGER


Tim Smith is the fine arts critic for The Baltimore Sun, covering classical music, theater and visual arts. Before starting at The Sun in 2000, Smith was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where he also contributed to NPR. He's written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and he's a longtime contributor to Opera News. His book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

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