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An aesthetically pleasing 'Patience' entertains all

ROCKVILLE – Theater-goers who attended the University of Maryland School of Theatre, Dance and Performance’s recent performances of Oscar Wilde's “The Importance of Being Earnest” will have a decided advantage in appreciating Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic operetta “Patience,” playing through June 17 at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre in Rockville. 
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A dark ‘Macbeth’ is lit at Blackfriars Playhouse

Macbeth StauntonSTAUNTON – Though we “write men’s virtues in water,” according to Shakespeare, performing plays as ever “more water glideth by” is quite another matter. The topic this week is performing Shakespeare as it was meant to be enacted, for the Hard Bargain Players of Prince George’s County in May performed Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” from May 10 to 19. It was performed in “a space where it was always meant to be played: right under our beautiful canopy of trees and starlight!” Although the Hard Bargain Players’ website waxed in this way lyrical on its Theatre in the Woods productions in Accokeek, the outdoor performance I had hoped to attend was not possible due to the heavy daily rains of last week. “To the water side, I must conduct your grace” indeed! (Shakespeare).    

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Visiting Joseph in Laurel, Kate in Annapolis

Kiss Me Kate Kate and PetruchioLAUREL – “Take you the lute, and you the set of books,” writes Shakespeare in his raucous comedy “The Taming of the Shrew.” Two area shows take up both classic books and, if not the lute, then indeed a variety of instruments to bring vividly to life two classic stories which are so universal that they continue to speak to us today.

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Thoroughly modern retro musicals

SEABROOK – Two very different musical theater productions are in our midst – productions that have little in common at first other than being written early in the 2000s. At a closer view, however, both “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” performed by the Prince George’s Little Theatre and “Thoroughly Modern Millie” enacted by the Reston Community Players are – to adopt the title of the latter – “thoroughly retro modern musicals,” blending venerable broadway traditions with a dose of modern cynicism. 

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‘Snow Child’ makes world premiere at Arena Stage

snow childWASHINGTON, D.C. – The new musical, “Snow Child,” is onstage at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. through May 20. While interesting with its storyline of a grieving couple who find hope from a young girl who transforms their lives in the Alaska wilderness in the 1920s, never seems to hit the emotional ball out of the park.

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