Author Archive | John Harding

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Review: ‘Lysistrata Jones’ at Red Branch Theatre Company

Red Branch Theatre Company continues to amaze with its 2017 season premiere of the perky and impertinent Lysistrata Jones. Thanks to savvy staging and choreography, this short-lived 2011 Broadway musical is tuned up to give any modern Greek scholar more than an earful. The book by Douglas Carter Beane and songs by Lewis Flinn drag […]

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Review: ‘Finding Neverland’ at the Hippodrome Theatre

Those who’ve forgotten Peter Pan are destined to repeat it in Finding Neverland. The U.S. national tour now at Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theatre until July 2 makes for a dreamy midsummer night’s entertainment, with the added value of a great-looking production and an opportunity to reacquaint oneself with the charms of long-time musical star John Davidson. […]

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Review: ‘Cry-Baby The Musical’ at Drama Learning Center

Baltimore’s John Waters takes another swipe at Eisenhower-era conformity in Cry-Baby: The Musical, making its area premiere now at the Drama Learning Center in Columbia. The show had a short Broadway run in 2008, so local theater fans can thank DLC’s Teaching Young Artists troupe for this rare chance to see what New Yorkers might […]

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Preview: Toby Orenstein Tailors ‘Dreamcoat’ for a Dream Cast at Toby’s Dinner Theatre

To help mark its 45th year in business, Toby’s — The Dinner Theatre of Columbia is serving up something special in its new revival of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. No less than five female stars from previous Toby’s productions will take turns playing the lead role during the show’s upcoming 10-week run. The theater’s founder […]

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Review: ‘Something Rotten!’ at Hippodrome Theatre

Fans of Broadway musicals won’t get more bang for their entertainment buck this whole season than at Something Rotten! Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theatre has been on a roll when it comes to offering great touring shows with top-flight casts. But Something Rotten! is something else. The musical by Wayne and Karey Kirkpatrick (score) and John O’Farrell […]

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Review: ‘Rent’ at The Hippodrome Theatre

Fans of Rent, it’s time to “Occupy Baltimore” once again. Hook yourselves up with tickets by any means necessary to that 20th Anniversary Tour making a brief, flash-point stop inside the old Hippodrome Theatre. Paul Clay’s New York set design — love that tower of metal and rubble — prepares the audience for a piece of […]

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Review: ‘Beauty and the Beast’ at Toby’s Dinner Theatre

In the new Beauty and the Beast at Toby’s Dinner Theatre, it’s not just the accursed Beast and his castle of talking knickknacks that are caught in a magic spell of enchantment. So were lucky ticket-holders with tableside seats at the flawless opening-night performance on March 30th. Word is that remaining tickets are already scarce […]

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Review: ‘Mad Libs Live!’ at Red Branch Theatre Company

Mad Libs Live! sounds like a political gathering many would want to avoid. But happily it turns out to be a (Fill-in-the-Blank) musical providing peppy songs, millennial-rich humor, and random word-play based on audience input. This 2015 Off-Broadway work is getting its first staging outside of New York at the tiny, always-up-for-a-challenge Red Branch Theatre […]

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Review: ‘The Hot New Deal’ at Glenelg Country School

The Great Depression sure had a great soundtrack. That’s one take-away from the debut of a new “jukebox musical” named The Hot New Deal, now through February 25th at Glenelg Country School. Carole Graham Lehan’s original book is a celebration of America’s musical melting pot, and its playlist is filled to bursting with all manner […]

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News: Howard County to See Two New Musicals: ‘The Hot New Deal’ at Glenelg Country School and ‘Dorian’s Closet’ at Rep Stage

Howard County is about to enjoy the debuts of no less than two original musicals in the coming weeks. First up this week is The Hot New Deal at Glenelg Country School’s Mulitz Theater, this Wednesday, February 22nd through Saturday, February 25, 2017. This is a remarkable effort on the part of Glenelg performing Arts Chair […]

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Review: ‘H20’ at Rep Stage

Not everyone who attends Jane Martin’s H20 at Rep Stage will necessarily agree, but the case could be made for its taking place in one of Dante’s outer circles of Hell. As the play opens, a cynical male actor slashes his wrists and spends the rest of the play in a sort of spiritual limbo […]

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Review: ‘Titanic The Musical’ at Signature Theatre

There’s something fundamentally spiritual about the legend of RMS Titanic. Just as there are no atheists in a foxhole there are few to be found aboard an ocean liner going down fast in icy waters but coming up short on lifeboats. While Maury Yeston’s 1997 musical Titanic may never be seen as a seasonal alternative […]

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Review: ‘The Happy Elf’ at Red Branch Theatre Company

Red Branch Theatre in Columbia has an early present for young audiences this season. On opening night of Harry Connick Jr.’s The Happy Elf, many of those in the next generation of theater-lovers came clad in dress-rehearsal costumes for Christmas morning — footed pajamas, long-sleeved pull-overs, or comfy woolen pants with slippers. Mingling in the […]

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Review: ‘A Christmas Carol’ at Toby’s Dinner Theatre

Ebenezer Scrooge would be a terror on Facebook. He’s just not your social media type of guy. Bahhumbug would be his Twitter log-on. And if he’s your boss, like poor Bob Cratchit, don’t even think about asking him for a livable wage this coming year. A Christmas Carol is all about the profound soul journey […]

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