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'On the Town' is a musical experience with moxie

On The TownOLNEY – The year 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein. The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland in College Park has been commemorating this milestone with a series of productions such as a June concert featuring selections from his musical dramas, including “West Side Story,” “Candide,” and “On the Town.”

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'Ragtime' in a Minor Key at Bowie Playhouse

BOWIE – “Patriotism was a reliable sentiment in the early 1900’s,” writes E.L. Doctorow in his well-regarded 1975 novel “Ragtime.” “Teddy Roosevelt was President. The population customarily gathered in great numbers out of doors for parades, public concerts, fish fries, political picnics, social outings, or indoors in meeting halls, vaudeville theatres, operas, ballrooms. . . . Trains and steamers and trolleys moved them from one place to another. That was the style, that was the way people lived.”

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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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