Topical, Heartfelt: New Season at Center Stage

Baltimore Center Stage recently announced its exhilarating season of Mainstage plays to mark the debut programming under Artistic Director Stephanie Ybarra. The 58th season includes the directorial debut of Broadway and screen star Taye Diggs with Thoughts of a Colored Man by Keenan Scott II; a fresh take on the immortal play The Bacchae by Euripides; topical themes in a contemporary musical by Quiara Alegría Hudes and Erin McKeown’s Miss You Like Hell; a dramatic comedy about family dynamics in Richard & Jane & Dick & Sally by Noah Diaz; hilarity through a retelling of the exploration of the Grand […]

Stomp Makes Noise at DC’s National Theatre

When asked his favorite part of performing in Stomp, Cary Lamb, Jr., says that it’s all about connection. “It is this opportunity to be all of yourself,” says Lamb. “A lot of times, we have to shut off certain parts of ourselves and awaken others. On stage, everything is alive. When you look at the audience and see someone connecting, it’s so awesome.” Lamb is one performer in the eight-member troupe that performs in Stomp. Using unconventional percussion items like matchboxes, garbage cans, Zippo lighters, and more, the performers use rhythm to tell their story. “Everyone has a different character […]

The Curse of La Llorona is All Wet

With the recent Pet Sematary remake offering little in the way of fright or originality, a new horror movie has come along that has the promise of some good quality scares coming from the producers of “The Conjuring Universe” … even though The Curse of La Llorona is not being billed as another chapter in that popular franchise. The story begins in 1673 Mexico, where a woman, her husband, and two boys are enjoying an outing. One of the boys gives mom a necklace and the next thing you know she’s drowning both of her sons, weeping at the realization […]

Dashing Don, Saucy Schoolboy

What happens when a teenage schoolboy at England’s storied Eton College grows enthralled with a dashing young teacher fresh out of Oxford? For the rest of the story, read Edmund Marlowe’s pot-boiling novel Alexander’s Choice (available on Amazon). Eton has produced 19 British prime ministers and writers such as Orwell, Shelly, and Huxley. With their privileged all-male inmates scaling adolescent hormonal peaks, the likes of Eton or Harrow – England’s great public schools (that would be “private schools” in Americanese) – have long been hothouses of homoerotics, tolerance of which has waned and waxed along the decades and centuries. Still, […]

Girl Talk

Singer / songwriter Garrison Starr, a Grammy-nominee for her songwriting work on Margaret Cho’s American Myth album, is back in a big way. Girl I Used to Be, Starr’s highly-anticipated new album, is scheduled for release later this year. Working once again with producer Neilson Hubbard, Starr recorded the album in Nashville over the course of five days. Before the album is released, Starr is heading out on tour with fellow Tennessean Lolo on the “Tennessee Queens” tour during the summer months. I had the pleasure of catching up with her shortly before the tour began. Gregg Shapiro: In order […]

Come from Away Lands at Hippodrome this April

On 9/11, the world stopped. On 9/12, their stories moved us all. The musical Come from Away will run at the Hippodrome from April 23rd to 28th. Come from Away takes audiences into the heart of the remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships. Baltimore OUTloud recently chatted with actor Michael Brian Dunn (Standby) who performs in the production. Frankie Kujawa: What can audiences expect from this play? Michael […]

Hunchback of Notre Dame at Toby’s

Running until May 19th, Toby’s Dinner Theatre presents The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The musical is a stunning retelling of Victor Hugo’s epic story of love, acceptance, and what it means to be a hero. As the bells of Notre Dame sound through the famed cathedral in 15th-century Paris, Quasimodo, the deformed bell-ringer, longs to be “Out There,” celebrating the “Feast of Fools.” Baltimore OUTloud recently chatted with Baltimore-native Jessica Bennett to discuss her upcoming role as Esmerelda in the musical. Frankie Kujawa: What can audiences expect from Toby’s rendition of one of theatre’s great classics? Jessica Bennett: I think […]

Queer Group Therapy

It’s interesting that Boy George and Culture Club, as they are now known, would call its new studio album – its first such release in almost 20 years – Life (BMG) as that’s the one thing it could use more of. For a group that was so influential and groundbreaking in its early 1980s heyday, Culture Club sounds surprisingly out of touch. You have to wonder what it is they’ve been listening to all these years. At a time when electronic dance music is having a strong resurgence, Life would have benefited from some of the house music energy that […]

American Opera ‘Most Beloved’: Porgy and Bess

According to Dr. Eric Conway, “Porgy and Bess is ‘the’ most beloved America opera. One is reminded of the strengths and frailties of the human spirit via a lens of beautifully written and orchestrated music.” From April 12th to 14th,, experience the marvelous music of George Gershwin as it is performed by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) and the Morgan State University Choir. Porgy and Bess opened in 1935 and has remained a staple in American music ever since. As director of the Morgan State choir, Dr. Conway guided the group to put its own spin on the music while […]

Good Intentions Don’t Pay Off in Gospel of Eureka

Documentaries are often made with good intentions, sometimes to spotlight the life of a beloved figure, reveal previously unknown details about a historical event, or expose the dark sides of governments and corporations. Of course there are myriad subjects documentaries can cover, but just because these films offer actual slices of life with new and archival footage and interviews, a lot of people don’t realize that it doesn’t all just come together after someone goes out with a camera to shoot something. Documentaries do need an outline so the filmmakers can focus on the story they want to tell with […]