Author Archive | John Harding

MaryKate Brouillet and Matt Hirsh in Newsies. Photo by Jeri Tidwell Photography.

Review: ‘Newsies’ at Toby’s Dinner Theatre

There’s nothing fake about the news out of Toby’s Dinner Theatre. Its homegrown production of Newsies gathers such a concentration of explosive male talent under one roof that Columbia might consider an emergency cordon. Ever since the show’s debut as a theater piece in 2011, Newsies has been making the case for musicals as a […]

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Review: ‘Waitress’ at the Hippodrome

You will want to leave a more-than-generous tip for the national tour of Waitress, especially if you appreciate top-notch service. It is currently bringing all the spicy baked sweetness of the original Broadway musical to Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theatre, just in time to add another layer of amazing voices to the ongoing Women’s Voices Theater Festival. […]

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Review: ‘Madagascar—A Musical Adventure’ at Red Branch Theatre Company

Chalk up one more cartoon feature making a dash for freedom under the footlights. Madagascar—A Musical Adventure is now filling the intimate Red Branch Theatre with a veritable Noah’s Ark of singing, dancing animal friends. Young viewers especially will find themselves the happy captives of this class menagerie. Based on the 2005 DreamWorks Animation feature […]

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Review: ‘The Lion King’ at the Hippodrome Theatre

The Lion King is epic. It is so full of throat-tightening spectacle and aural splendor that Baltimore’s grand Hippodrome Theatre can appear at times like a modest host. With Julie Taymor’s magical African beasts streaming down its aisles and the box seats over the stage alive with percussionists, there’s simply no room left for a […]

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Review: ‘The Color Purple: The Musical’ at Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theatre

Timing could not be better for a professionally mounted, national tour of The Color Purple: The Musical. Call this a reminder-on-wheels that sexual exploitation is not a Hollywood invention. Judging by the passionate outpourings of an opening night crowd at Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theatre, there are plenty of untreated wounds out there needing some redress. What […]

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Review: ‘The Heidi Chronicles’ at Rep Stage

Even successful plays get retired from the workforce after a few seasons. A select few, however, may go on to a new phase of wizened seniority. That is the case with The Heidi Chronicles, now getting an entertaining new look by the Equity actors of Rep Stage at Howard Community College. Playwright Wendy Wasserstein basically […]

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Review: ‘Dreamgirls’ at Toby’s Dinner Theatre

Dreamgirls has followed the summer’s closet full of Dreamcoats into Toby’s Dinner Theatre of Columbia. That’s a lot of dreams, providing plenty of rich musical memories for theater fans to cuddle up with all fall. Thirty-six years after its smash Broadway debut in 1981, Dreamgirls still comes over you like a caffeine rush. That’s especially […]

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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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