Author Archive | Ben Fisler

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Review: Junie B. Jones in ‘Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!’ at Maryland Ensemble Theatre

Junie B Jones in Jingle Bells Batman Smells! is a charming piece of family comedy playing at Maryland Ensemble Theatre through January 1, 2017. The Fun Company takes on Allison Gregory’s adaptation of the Barbara Parks youth novels with a nicely enlarged sense of childhood’s daily existential pleasures and terrors. Gregory’s adaptation dramatizes many of […]

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Review: ‘Murder Ballad’ at StillPointe Theatre

In 2013, Playwright Julia Jordan and Indie rock singer/songwriter, Juliana Nash (formerly with Talking to Animals), created a ground-breaking minimalist musical about a tragic love triangle. Though the show takes place throughout Manhattan, the staging occurs among the café seats, stools, and pool tables of a downtown city bar, treating the patrons to a close-up […]

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2016 Capital Fringe Review ‘…and a Ghost Grrl’

The King’s Players are presenting an exploration of modern love and supernatural forces, by Founding Artistic Director Timothy R. King, at the Trinidad Theatre for the 2016 Capital Fringe Festival.  Flavored like a combination of Lost Girl and Grace and Frankie, King’s play boldly showcases difficult relationships between women, centered on the object of both […]

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2016 Capital Fringe Review: ‘Before the Lights Go Up’

Bucky Mitchell, Jr. presents an intelligently written and thought-provoking new play at the Upstairs Theatre of the Logan Fringe Arts Space, a comedy reminiscent of the cerebral metatheatrical work of the like of Pirandello or Stoppard. Alex (Chris Hrozencik) is a first-time actor who remarkably finds himself surrounded by seasoned professionals, and proceeds to interrogate […]

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Review: ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’ at The Heritage Players

Thoroughly Modern Millie, a tale of a “modern” gal from small-town America who takes on the business and social world of big-city New York, is a popular choice for community theatre seasons. The score is catchy and the characters are appealing, and there are many opportunities for humorous surprises, like Mrs. Meers dropping in and […]

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Review: ‘Venus in Fur’ at The Colonial Players

Like all David Ives plays, Venus in Fur is built on everyday life becoming fantasy, as the primary devices of drama, language, and character, systematically move from ambiguity, to instability, to total collapse, only to be reconstructed as metaphor. In this instance, one that is perhaps Ives’s best written work, we enter an impromptu casting […]

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‘From a Black Egg’ at Yellow Sign Theatre

Yellow Sign Theatre’s mission promises “pranks with a B-movie aesthetic” and low art, and usually they deliver productions that are unapologetic, kitschy fun. Surprisingly, however, their current production is a high-art homage to German expressionism, a supernatural metaphor of love and death, and a flawless feast of movement and imagery. Aaron Travis, as writer and director, […]

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‘Much Ado About Nothing’ at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company

In Chesapeake Shakespeare Company’s production of Much Ado About Nothing, there is an endless menu of farce devices, a beautifully carved and textured faux-marble façade (Daniel O’Brien, the technical director’s, contribution) and Scenic Designer Kathryn Kawecki), lavish Edwardian dress (designed by Kristina Lambdin, who even delivers when one gives her military coats a close look at the […]

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‘The Journey of Thing Three’ at Boom Theatre Company

What makes productions by Boom Theatre Company so valuable is that they bring to audiences, specifically those in Harford County, theatre that is truly cutting edge. The Journey of Thing Three, an original play by Boom’s new Artistic Director, Joshua Fletcher, is a strong addition to the company’s four-year history of producing what their mission statement promises: […]

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‘Shrek the Musical’ at Glyndon Area Players

All the components of a phenomenal production march across the stage of the Sacred Heart School Auditorium for the Glyndon Area Players’ (GAP) 2015 summer musical: Shrek The Musical. There are clever scenic elements, including an exploding bluebird and flats that link together easily for quick shifts from the Ogre’s swamp to Dulac castle. There […]

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2015 Capital Fringe Review: ‘Ten Principles )'(‘

The mission of AWol (A Way of Life) Productions is to “share the values of communities by collaborating, creating, and telling stories of the performing arts.” Its current production fulfills this mission by allowing “burners” (In this case, broadly conceived as anyone with a direct, regional, or thematic connection to the Burning Man festival) to […]

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2015 Capital Fringe Review: ‘Priest/Penitent’

Bob Lohrmann brings Wally K. Daly’s monodrama, a two-sided exploration of the world of Catholic confessionals, to the Capital Fringe this year.  The play is a thoughtful, entertaining, and clever journey into the minds of an aging priest and a returning congregant. Part 1 (subtitled “Priest: A Comedy of Catholicism”) showcases the inner life of […]

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‘The Business End’ at Yellow Sign Theatre

You have only one more weekend to catch one of the most interesting pieces of theatre in Baltimore, a tragic parody of the plight of the B-horror screenwriter longing to create art. Mike Jancz penned this offbeat journey as part of Yellow Sign Theatre’s writing contest, and as Artistic Director Craig Coletta notes, it dovetails […]

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‘Marley’ at Centerstage

Director/Book writer Kwame Kwei-Armah showcases the three most productive years of Bob Marley’s career (1975-78) in a jukebox musical experience nearly as electric as the legend and his Wailers themselves. Starting with the events leading to the infamous “Smile Jamaica Concert” and the preceding attempt on Marley’s life, following his self-imposed, two-year exile to London, and […]

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‘Romeo and Juliet’ at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company

Director Ian Gallanar, and his cast and crew have thoroughly delivered on the promise of a “lusty, fiery production” of the classic tale of woe, that of Juliet and her Romeo. In fact, what makes the production at CSC’s new downtown Baltimore space so worthy of the Bard’s tragedy is that each individual cast member […]

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‘The Dum Dums’ at Glass Mind Theatre

While a depression journal might be an unlikely starting point for Glass Mind Theatre’s unpretentious, fast-paced, delightful romp through classic sci-fi and isolation, Joshua Conkel’s The Dum Dums proves to be everything experimental drama should, delivering a little under an hour of tongue-in-cheek reflections on the nature of loss, emptiness, flawed relationships, and personal failure. […]

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