News Column

Your Annapolis-area theater guide for the 2013-2014 season

October 17, 2013

YellowBrix

Oct. 17--Looking for a new experience next weekend -- or just about any weekend now through next year?

Instead of watching sports over some brews at the local watering hole, or schlepping to New York for an overpriced Broadway ticket, stay close to home and enjoy the offerings of the region's terrific theater troupes.

Live. On stage. And very reasonably priced.

Keep this guide and refer to it when planning a special night out. You'll find all the shows being staged by area theatrical, operatic and dance companies for the 2013-2014 season.

The online listing will be updated as additional shows and showtimes become available.

Did you know close to two dozen theater companies pepper the area?

Their productions range from lavish, detailed productions of Shakespeare classics to side-splitting musical comedies like Colonial Players' "Bat Boy: The Musical" or Compass Theatre's rendition of "The Sound of Music," which is on stage now.

If more provocative fare is on your menu, never fear. Dignity Players delves into social issues of the 1960s in Dublin, Ireland -- and by extension, worldwide -- with "A Man of No Importance," while Colonial Players follows four female factory workers sickened by radium poisoning in the 1920s in "These Shining Lives." That's just a sampling.

Need a belly laugh?

Bay Theatre's "Bad Dates," a one-woman production featuring Janet Luby, will remind you of your own dismal date nights -- or maybe more than one bumbling blind date.

There's also "The Fox on The Fairway," Prince George's Little Theatre's look at the deep-seeded (pun intended) affection between a man and the golf green.

As the holiday season arrives, there will be at least two versions of "A Christmas Carol," a staged dramatic reading by Dignity Players and the more familiar musical version by the Pasadena Theatre Company.

It also will be a time of fond farewells: This year's twin performances by comics and longtime professional partners John Davis and Spencer Humm will be their last as Hack and Slash. Hopefully, someone else will invent a venue where it is acceptable to attend a show clad only in pajamas.

A brief look

The Annapolis Opera opens its season with a presentation of a medley of operatic styles performed by some of the company's favorite singers. The setting for its "Celebrate Opera" concert is the sanctuary of Calvary Methodist Church. In March, audiences are in for a treat as Annapolis Opera stages "La Boheme," in a lavish, fully staged production at Maryland Hall replete with an orchestra and chorus.

William Shakespeare's works continue to enthrall audiences around the globe. In this area, the Annapolis Shakespeare Company stages its performances of the bard's works at the Bowie Playhouse in Bowie. In the limelight this season is "A Midsummer Night's Dream," running through most of December, and "Hamlet," opening in late March.

Approaching its 48th season, Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre, a summertime mainstay at City Dock, will announce its 2014 season in mid-November. Stay tuned.

The Performing Arts departments of Anne Arundel Community College offer a potpourri of styles and periods during its performances this academic year. Two, "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" and "Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson," evoke troubled times in our nations history as its citizens faced issues of racism, slavery and poverty -- one with words, the second with rock music.

The AACC Dance Company celebrates the 25th anniversary of its founding by Lynda Plavin Fitzgerald with a trio of performances: "Flying By the Seat of Our Pants" in early December, "Spring Migration" in May, plus a bonus, the AACC Dance Company Alumni Concert the same May weekend.

Keeping its audiences on its toes, Ballet Theatre of Maryland's production of "Beauty & The Beast" is on the boards this weekend at Maryland Hall. In December, a classic returns: "The Nutcracker," beloved by children and adults alike.

Like the legendary phoenix, Bay Theatre is rising from the closing of its black box theater space in Annapolis' West Gate neighborhood and is spreading its wings in a new space, the Studio 194 Theatre at the Chesapeake Arts Center in Brooklyn Park. Depending upon whose GPS you use, the drive to Chesapeake Arts Center takes less time than hunting for a free, legal evening parking spot in downtown Annapolis. And, parking is ample and free at CAC. Bay Theatre's first production, like the parking, is also free: "Wine and Words" on Nov. 4, is a free, staged reading of "Love, Loss, and What I Wore" by sisters Nora and Delia Ephron. You must reserve a seat, however.

Where were you in 1966? Bowie Community Theatre is celebrating its 47th season this year. Join them at the Bowie Playhouse for the company's fall production of "The Cover of LIFE" and "Dark Passages."

Stuff yourself with a pre-Thanksgiving dinner of turkey while watching a fun, thrilling whodunnit murder mystery -- Do or Die Productions' "Death by Turkey" murder-mystery show staged at the Chesapeake Arts Center.

Tonight and through the weekend, Children's Theatre of Annapolis presents the not-so-grim "Snow White, A Grimm Brothers Fairy Tale" as a drama, written by a talented local playwright, Severna Park High and CTA alumnus Dylan Roche, who is, more recently, a University of Maryland graduate.

The oldest continually operating theater in the Annapolis (not counting the Naval Academy's Masqueraders, founded in 1847), is Colonial Players, now celebrating its 65th season. Roll down memory lane with its production of "Annie," followed by the dark, modern drama "Coyote on a Fence" about men on death row in a maximum security prison.

Join Compass Rose Theater as it continues to settle into its new home at 49 Spa Road, near Westgate Circle. Its four productions include "The Sound of Music" now through early November.

Charles Dickens probably never envisioned his "A Christmas Carol" as a musical. Get closer to the meaning of his story with Dignity Players' staged dramatic reading of "A Christmas Carol" adapted by Lois Evans, Mark Hildebrand and Eric Lund.

If you long for the classic musical version, Pasadena Theatre Company presents "A Christmas Carol" at the Chesapeake Arts Center in early December.

After 20 years of skewering William Shakespeare, Hack and Slash Shakespeare Company is taking its final bow. John Davis and Spencer Humm, a.k.a Hack and Slash, return one last time with "Christmas Massacre 2013: Kill Will." Tickets are selling quickly for the two-show finale at Chesapeake Performing Arts Center.

Like the Annapolis Summer Garden Theater, Infinity Theatre is still finalizing its schedule for its short but jam-packed summer of 2014 season. The New York City company takes summertime residence near the Chesapeake Bay at the Children's Theatre of Annapolis' Theatre complex. Infinity Theatre will stage two shows and the first will be "Hank Williams: Lost Highway."

Another celebration: Prince George's Little Theatre, the oldest community theater in Prince George's County, is observing its 54th season this year. Prince George's Little Theatre' winter production, "Over the River and Through The Woods," a comedy drama set in the late 20th century, centers on a tightly knit Italian-American family with ties that show signs of raveling.

A pair of wickedly funny musicals bookend a farcical comedy, all produced by 2nd Star Productions at the Bowie Playhouse this season. First up is "Little Shop of Horrors," a comic tutorial in the tragically wrong way to feed a houseplant, especially a blood-thirsty variety from outer space.

The King William Players at St. John's College tackle two productions this season, both free. One, on April 25, is a classic: William Shakespeare's "King Lear." The second, "A Door Made of Frosted Glass," may someday become a classic.

It's not Christmas without The Talent Machine's "Holiday Magic" show for kids of all ages in the Francis Scott Key Auditorium at St. John's College, or its "Breakfast with Santa" fun-do at Buddy's Crabs & Ribs on Main Street. It's purely for the young at heart -- and those who believe in the magic of Santa.

Watching them march by in crisp formation, it's sometimes hard to believe Naval Academy's midshipmen ever crack a smile. But, they do. A lot. If you've never watched them get downright silly on their Spirit Week YouTube taunts to opposing teams, the polished performance of the academy's drama troupe, the Masqueraders, now 166 years old, will stun you. This season, the Masqueraders set sail with "The Importance of Being Earnest" by Oscar Wilde.

See you at the theater!

Annapolis Opera

Maryland Hall, 801 Chase St., Annapolis.

410-267-8135.

www.AnnapolisOpera.org.

Unless otherwise noted, all performances held at Maryland Hall.

Dec. 8, 3 p.m. -- Celebrate Opera Concert, Calvary Methodist Church, 301 Rowe Blvd., Annapolis. $45 or $15 for students.

Feb. 1, 10:30 a.m. -- "The Magic Flute Children's Opera," an adaptation of Mozart's masterpiece especially for children in grades 3 through 6 provided by Towson University's Opera in a Can. $15.

March 14, 8 p.m., March 16, 3 p.m. -- "La Boheme" at Maryland Hall. One of the best-loved of all Italian operas, this will be a fully staged production complete with sets and costumes, English supertitles, chorus and orchestra and exceptional singers to tell the ill-fated love story of Mimi and Rodolfo. $65-$80 or $25 for students.

May 3, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. -- Semi-finals of the 26th Vocal Competition Weekend at Maryland Hall. Vote your choice for the Audience Favorite Award. Free.

May 4, 3 p.m. -- Finals concert, Vocal Competition. Opera stars of the future compete for over $10,000 in prizes. Free.

Annapolis Shakespeare Company

301-836-1620.

www.annapolisshakespeare.org.

All performances are held at The Bowie Playhouse, 16500 White Marsh Park Drive, Bowie (in White Marsh Park).

Admission $18-$24.

Dec. 6-7, 12-13, 14, 19-20-21, 8 p.m. -- "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

Dec. 8, 15 and 22, 7:30 p.m. -- "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

Dec. 7, 8, 15 and 22, 2 p.m. -- "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

March 28-29, April 3-4-5, 10-11-12, 8 p.m. -- "Hamlet."

March 30, April 6 and 13, 7:30 p.m. -- "Hamlet."

March 30, April 5-6 and 13, 2 p.m. -- "Hamlet."

Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre

143 Compromise St., Annapolis.

410-268-1212 or www.summergarden.com.

Showtimes: 8:30 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. General admission and season ticket pricing TBA. Children under age 5 are not admitted.

Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre will not have a 2014 season selected until mid-November.

Anne Arundel Community College

101 College Parkway, Arnold.

410-777-2457.

Except where noted, all performances at the Kauffman Theater at the Pascal Center for the Performing Arts. Also, unless stated otherwise, admission is $15, $10 for senior citizens, groups, students and AACC employees, and $5 with valid AACC student ID.

Nov. 8-9, 14-15-16, 8 p.m. -- "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer," play adapted by Laura Eason from the novel by Mark Twain.

Nov. 10, 2 p.m. -- "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer."

Dec. 5-6-7, 8 p.m. -- "Flying By the Seat of Our Pants," presented by the AACC Dance Company.

Dec. 13-14, 8 p.m., and Dec. 15, 3 p.m. -- "Amahl and the Night Visitors" with the AACC Concert Choir.

Feb. 6-7-8, 13-14-15, 8 p.m., and Feb. 9, 2 p.m. -- "Valentine's Cabaret."

April 10-11-12, 17-18-19, 8 p.m., and April 13, 2 p.m. -- "Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson," a comedic rock musical about the founding of the Democratic Party and Jackson's rocky road to and in the White House. $7-$15-$20.

May 1-2-3, 8 p.m. -- "Spring Migration," a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the AACC Dance Company.

May 3, 2 p.m. -- AACC Dance Company Alumni Concert.

Ballet Theatre of Maryland

801 Chase St., Annapolis.

410-263-8289 or 410-224-5644.

www.balletmaryland.org.

Unless otherwise noted, all shows held at Maryland Hall.

Single tickets for performances at Maryland Hall are based upon tiered seating locations: $34.50 to $42 for adults and $15.50 to $17 for children ages 10 and under. For tickets and information, visit tickets.marylandhall.org.

Oct 18, 7:30 p.m. -- "Beauty & The Beast."

Oct 19, 7 p.m. -- "Beauty & The Beast."

Oct. 20, 2 p.m. -- "Beauty & The Beast." Free Princess Tea Party one hour prior to performance

Dec. 7, 7 p.m. -- "The Nutcracker," Bowie Center for the Performing Arts, 15200 Annapolis Road, Bowie.

$13-$17-$25-$31.

Dec. 8, 3 p.m. -- "The Nutcracker."

Dec. 14 and 21, 7 p.m. -- "The Nutcracker."

Dec. 15 and 22, 1 and 4:30 p.m. -- "The Nutcracker." Free Sugar Plum Parties one hour prior to all Sunday matinees.

Feb. 8, 7 p.m. -- "Pirates of the Chesapeake." Bowie Center for the Performing Arts. $13-$17-$25-$31.

Feb. 21, 7:30 p.m., Feb. 22, 7 p.m., and Feb. 23, 2 p.m. -- "Swan Lake."

April 11, 7:30 p.m., April 12, 7 p.m., and April 13, 2 p.m. -- Director's Choice. Season grande finale party after April 13 matinee.

April 26, 7 p.m. -- "Edges and Dimensions." Bowie Center for the Performing Arts. $13-$17-$25-$31.

Bay Theatre

Chesapeake Arts Center,

194 Hammonds Lane, Brooklyn Park.

410-636-6597, www.baytheatre.org or

www.chesapeakearts.org.

Performances are held in Studio 194 Theatre.

Nov. 4, 7 p.m. -- Wine and Words, a free, staged reading of Nora and Delia Ephron "Love, Loss, and What I Wore." Free, includes complimentary wine. Must reserve a seat in advance; email

bay@chesapeakearts.org.

Jan. 10-11, 17-18, 24-25, 7 p.m. -- "Bad Dates," a one-woman performance.

Jan. 12, 19 and 26, 2 p.m. -- "Bad Dates."

Bowie Community Theatre

Bowie Playhouse, 16500 White Marsh Park Drive, Bowie (in White Marsh Park).

301-805-0219 or www.BCTheatre.com.

Box office opens one hour before showtime. Admission: $20 adults, $15 seniors (62 and older) and students with valid ID.

Nov. 8-9, 15-16, 22-23, 8 p.m. -- "The Cover of LIFE" by R.T. Robinson.

Nov. 10, 17 and 24, 2 p.m. -- "The Cover of LIFE."

Feb. 28, 8 p.m. -- "Dark Passages" by Shannon Michal Dow, Jan Henson Dow and Robert Schroeder.

March 1, 7-8, 14-15, 8 p.m. -- "Dark Passages."

March 2, 9 and 16, 2 p.m. -- "Dark Passages."

Do or Die Productions

and Chesapeake Arts Center

194 Hammonds Lane, Brooklyn Park.

410-636-6597 or www.chesapeakearts.org.

Performances are held in Studio 194 Theatre.

Admission: $25-$30.

Nov. 1-2, 7:30 -- "Death by Turkey" murder-mystery show.

Children's Theatre of Annapolis

1661 Bay Head Road, Bay Head Park, Annapolis.

410-757-2281.

www.childrenstheatreofannapolis.org.

Admission: $12-$15.

Oct. 18-19, 7:30 p.m., and Oct. 19-20, 2 p.m. -- "Snow White, A Grimm Brothers Fairy Tale" (a drama, not a musical), by local playwright Dylan Roche.

Jan. 10-11, 17-18, 24-25, 7:30 p.m., and Jan. 11-12, 18-19, 25-26, 2 p.m. -- "Shrek: The Musical."

April 4-5, 11-12, 7:30 p.m., and April 5-6, 12-13, 2 p.m. -- "Pippi Longstocking."

Colonial Players

108 East St., Annapolis.

410-268-7373.

www.cplayers.com.

Except where noted, admission is $20 adults, $15 seniors (65 and older), $15 full-time students with ID.

Nov. 8-9, 14-15-16, 21-22-23, 29-30, Dec. 5-6-7, 8 p.m., Nov. 17, 7:30 p.m., and Nov. 10, 17, 24, and Dec. 1 and 7, 2 p.m. -- "Annie."

Jan. 10-11, 16-17-18, 23-24-25, 8 p.m., Jan. 12 and 19, 2 p.m., and Jan. 19, 7:30 p.m. -- "Coyote on a Fence."

Feb. 14-15, 20-21-22, 27-28, March 1, 6-7-8, 8 p.m., and Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m., and Feb. 16 and 23, March 2, 2 p.m. -- "Superior Donuts."

March 28-29, April 3-4-5, 10-11, 13, 17, 18-19, 8 p.m., and March 30, April 6 and 13, 2 p.m. -- "Bat Boy: The Musical."

May 9-10, 15-16-17, 22-23-24, 29-30-31, 8 p.m., and May 18, 7:30 p.m., and May 11, 18 and 25, 2 p.m. -- "These Shining Lives."

June 13-14, 19-20-21, 26-27-28, 8 p.m., and June 22, 7:30 p.m., and June 15 and 22, 2 p.m. -- "Dead Man's Cell Phone."

Compass Rose Theater

49 Spa Road, Annapolis

410-980-6662, www.compassrosetheater.org.

Unless otherwise noted, all performances are held at the Spa Road location. Admission: $20-$30-$35.

Oct. 17-18-19, 24-25-26 and 31, and Nov. 1-2, 7-8-9, 8 p.m. -- "The Sound of Music."

Oct. 19-20, 26-27, Nov. 2-3, 9-10, 2 p.m. -- "The Sound of Music."

Jan. 10-11, 16-17-18, 23-24-25, 20 and 31, and Feb. 1, 6-7-8, 13-14-15, 8 p.m. -- "Look Homeward Angel."

Jan. 11-12, 18-19, 25-26, and Feb. 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 2 p.m. -- "Look Homeward Angel."

March 14-15, 20-21-22, 27-28-29, and April 3-4-5, 10-11-12, 17-18-19, 8 p.m. -- "Romeo and Juliet."

March 15-16, 22-23, 29-30, April 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, 2 p.m. -- "Romeo and Juliet."

May 2-3, 8-9-10, 15-16-17, 22-23-24, 29-30-31, 8 p.m. -- "Another Day on Willow St."

May 3-4, 10-11, 17-18, 24-25 and 31, June 1, 2 p.m. -- "Another Day on Willow St."

Dignity Players

Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis.

333 DuBois Road.

www.dignityplayers.org.

Call the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis, 410-266-8044, ext. 127, for information or to make reservations. Leave your full name, email and phone number so a representative can return your call.

Unless otherwise noted, admission for Friday and Saturday performances is $10 and $15 for Thursday and Sunday performances.

Dec. 5-6-7, 8 p.m. -- "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens, adapted for dramatic reading by Lois Evans, Mark Hildebrand, and Eric Lund.

Jan. 17-18, 24-25, Feb. 1, 8 p.m. -- "Collected Stories" by Donald Margulies.

Jan. 19 and 26, 3 p.m. -- "Collected Stories."

March 21-22, 28-29. April 3-4-5, 8 p.m. -- "A Man of No Importance" with music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and book by Terrence McNally

March 23 and 30, 3 p.m. -- "A Man of No Importance."

May 2-3, 8-10, 15 and 17, 8 p.m. -- "The 39 Steps" by John Buchan.

May 4, 3 p.m. -- "The 39 Steps."

Hack and Slash Shakespeare Company

Hammonds Lane Theatre.

Chesapeake Performing Arts Center,

194 Hammonds Lane, Brooklyn Park.

www.hackandslash.com.

Admission $29 to $55.

Dec. 14, 8 p.m. -- "Christmas Massacre 2013: Kill Will," after 20 year partnership, final performance of John Davis and Spencer Humm as Hack and Slash.

Dec. 15, 5:30 p.m. -- "Christmas Massacre 2013: Kill Will."

Infinity Theatre

A New York City company in summertime residence at Children's Theatre of Annapolis Theatre complex, 1661 Bay Head Road.

877-501-8499.

www.infinitytheatrecompany.com.

Tickets range from $40 to $19, plus a $44 Thursday matinee and buffet special for groups of 20 or more.

Dates TBA summer 2014 -- "Hank Williams: Lost Highway"

Dates TBA summer 2014 -- Title TBA.

Maryland Hall for the

Performing Arts

Maryland Hall, 801 Chase St., Annapolis.

410-263-5544 or www.marylandhall.org.

Unless otherwise noted, performances are held on the Main Stage.

April 6, 4 p.m. -- Comedy Pet Theater. Admission: Adults $25, $16 for children 10 and under.

Feb. 14, 7:30 p.m. -- Annapolis Chorale presents "Once Upon A Mattress." Admission: $28-$43, $15 for students.

Feb. 15, 8 p.m. -- Annapolis Chorale presents "Once Upon A Mattress."

Pasadena Theatre Company

Studio 194 Theatre, Chesapeake Arts Center, 194 Hammonds Lane, Brooklyn Park.

410-440-8460 or www.ptcshows.com.

Dec. 6-7, 13-14, 8 p.m. --

"A Christmas Carol."

Dec. 8-15, 3 p.m. --

"A Christmas Carol."

Prince George's Little Theatre

The Bowie Playhouse.

White Marsh Park, 16500 White Marsh Park Drive, Bowie.

301-937-7458.

www.pglt.org.

For information, email pgltinfo@gmail.com.

Unless otherwise noted, admission is $20 general, $15 seniors and youths 18 and under.

Jan. 1, 11, 17-18 and 24, 8 p.m. -- "Over the River and Through the Woods, " a comedy drama by Joe DiPietro.

Jan. 12, 19 and 25, 2 p.m. -- "Over the River and Through the Woods" by Joe DiPietro.

May 2, 5, 9-10, 16-17, 8 p.m. -- "The Fox on the Fairway."

May 4, 11 and 18, 2 p.m. -- "The Fox on the Fairway."

2nd Star Productions

The Bowie Playhouse, 16500 White Marsh Park Drive, Bowie (in White Marsh Park).

410-757-5700, 301-832-4819 or www.2ndStarProductions.com.

Admission: $20, $17 for seniors (aged 60 and over) and full-time students.

Oct. 17-18-19, 25-26, 8 p.m. -- "Little Shop of Horrors."

Oct. 20 and 26, 3 p.m. -- "Little Shop of Horrors."

Jan. 31, Feb. 1, 7-8, 14-15, 8 p.m. -- "Funny Money" by Ray Cooney.

Feb. 2, 9 amd 16, 3 p.m. -- "Funny Money."

May 30-31, June 6-7, 13-14, 20-21,

27- 28, 8 p.m.-- "Hello Dolly."

June 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29, 3 p.m. -- "Hello Dolly."

St. John's College's King William Players

60 College Avenue, Annapolis.

www.stjohnscollege.edu.

Unless otherwise noted, all performances take place in the Francis Scott Key Auditorium and are free and open to the public. For more information visit www.stjohnscollege.edu.

Dec. 6, 8 p.m. -- "A Door Made of Frosted Glass," a coming-of-age tale based on the experiences of the author, St. John's student Nino Benashvili. It is set in her homeland, the Republic of Georgia.

April 25, 8 p.m. -- "King Lear" by William Shakespeare.

Talent Machine

410-956-0512 or www.talentmachine.com.

Dec. 13-14, 19-20-21, 7:30 p.m. -- "Holiday Magic" at Francis Scott Key Auditorium, St. John's College, 60 College Ave. Admission: $12 all ages.

Dec. 14-15, 21-22, 2 p.m. -- "Holiday Magic."

Dec. 15, 6:30 p.m. -- "Holiday Magic."

Dec. 22, 10 a.m. -- "Holiday Magic."

Dec. 7, 14 and 21, doors open at 8:30 a.m. -- "Breakfast with Santa," Buddy's Crabs & Ribs, 100 Main St., Annapolis. Admission $10.95 all ages, includes breakfast buffet, balloons, audience participation.

USNA Masqueraders

Mahan Hall,

United States Naval Academy.

Tickets: 410-293-8497 or

navyperforms.showare.com.

Nov. 15-16, 22-23, 8 p.m. -- "The Importance of Being Earnest" by Oscar Wilde, set during the late 19th century, a whimsical romantic comedy and sharp-witted satire of Victorian society.

___

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