Harlem dreamersWhen solo performance artist Dael Orlandersmith...


Harlem dreamers

When solo performance artist Dael Orlandersmith was last at Center Stage, during the 1998 Off Center Festival, she included parts of a work-in-progress among the excerpts she performed. Now her show has come together under the title "The Gimmick," and it opens Friday as part of Center Stage's main season.

Directed by Chris Coleman, "The Gimmick" tells the fictitious story of two Harlem teen-agers determined to build a life in the arts. Orlandersmith's play is one of two one-woman shows that Center Stage is offering in the Head Theater in the final slot of the season. The other, Lisa Kron's "2.5 Minute Ride," an autobiographical piece by the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, opens May 17.

Show times for "The Gimmick" at Center Stage, 700 N. Calvert St., are 8 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays and 7:30 p.m. April 30 and May 7, with matinees at 2 p.m. May 7, 13 and 14. The runs through May 14. Tickets are $24-$29. Call 410-332-0033.

Critiquing Hitler

"Heartfield," a musical about German photomontage artist John Heartfield, will have its world premiere at the Theatre Project beginning tonight. Produced in conjunction with Towson University's graduate theater program, the show has a libretto and score by Kenneth Allan Vega. Stage direction is by Towson master's candidate Kate Chisholm and music direction by Peter Foley.

Beginning in Berlin after World War I, Heartfield created montages out of printed propaganda, slogans and images, which he cut up and reassembled to offer a critical commentary on Hitler and the Third Reich. The Theatre Project production features more than 50 projections of these anti-fascist montages.

Show times at the Theatre Project, 45 W. Preston St., are 8 p.m. today through Saturday and May 3-6, 7 p.m. Sunday , with matinees at 2 p.m. May 6 and 7. Tickets are $14. Call 410-752-8558.

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