Baltimore is a great place to be in the summer. Orioles, ArtScape, ethnic festivals, Fourth of July fireworks, and plenty heat. But there is nothing hotter than the action going on in the local theatre scene. We’ve already had sensational productions from DCT’s Addams Family, Spotlighters’ Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, and Vagabond’ Side by Side by Sondheim. And that was only the beginning. With a mid-summer smorgasbord of exceptionally ambitious productions, this summer should prove again why Baltimore is home to some of the best locally produced productions to be found anywhere.
Spotlighters will give us Altar Boyz, a foot-stomping, rafter-raising, musical comedy about a fictitious Christian boy-band on the last night of their national ‘Raise the Praise’ tour. The Boyz are five all-singing, all-dancing heartthrobs from Ohio: Matthew, Mark, Luke, Juan and Abraham (the Jewish one).
Runs July 10–August 2.
Cockpit in Court will premier Thoroughly Modern Millie. This tune-fest takes you back to the height of the Jazz Age in New York City, when “moderns”—including a flapper named Millie Dillmount—were bobbing their hair, raising their hemlines, entering the workforce, and rewriting the rules of love.
Runs July 17–August 2.
One of the most anticipated summer events is The Baltimore Playwrights Festival. I’m especially looking forward to Commander, the tale of what might happen when we have our first gay presidential candidate. With a script by Mario Correa, Catch it July 10–19 at Vagabond. And in August they’ll be bringing Tying The Knot to the stage at Fells Point Corner Theatre August 14–23. When a young, successful guy tells his Mother he’s getting married to a girl—even though he’s gay—he hilariously underestimates her reaction as she tries to get him back to the ex-boyfriend she’s convinced is the right match for him. Kudos to this venerated theatrical showcase for bringing us two gay-themed efforts.
A newcomer to the summer season this year is the Baltimore Parity Festival. The brain-child of Brad Norris and Alicia Stanley, founders of Cohesion Theatre, this innovative initiative spotlights works by female playwrights. In collaboration with several local companies, the readings take place the whole month of July.
Stillpoint Theatre is offering Bat Boy The Musical, an indie-type fringe musical with a great pop score about a half-boy, half-bat kid who’s thrust into the spotlight in a small town in West Virginia. This cutting edge company is rapidly building a reputation for outstanding shows and this rarely performed piece should only solidify their place in the theatre community.
Runs July 30–August 22.
September Song Theatre is making it under the wire for the summer season when they open their take on the venerable story of a nanny with supercalifragilisticexpialidocious powers. Mary Poppins features the delightful Katie McIntyre Sheldon in the title role.
Runs July 31–August 8.
Summer 2015 promises to deliver another stellar season of quality entertainment for Baltimore audiences. So go buy tickets and support our local theatres and talent.
Gay Life July 2015