Baltimore’s theater scene includes more than 35 professional and independent theater companies. This month, they’re presenting a variety of Pulitzer Prize-winning plays, popular musicals, classic stories and contemporary shows in 15 productions.
Pulitzer Prize Winners
“Indecent” presented by Baltimore Center Stage through March 31 at Baltimore Center Stage, 700 N. Calvert St., info/tickets.
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paul Vogel’s “Indecent” tells the true story of the making of “God of Vengeance,” a Yiddish play first produced in 1907 that features a very taboo lesbian love story between a nice Jewish girl and a prostitute. The 2015 play “Indecent” is an imaginative dramatic history of the play’s origins from inception through the 1923 trial and beyond.
“Crimes of the Heart” presented by Vagabond Players, March 1-24 at Vagabond Players, 806 S. Broadway, info/tickets.
Winner of the 1981 Pulitzer Prize and the NY Drama Critics’ Circle Award, Beth Henley’s comedy brings you into the Mississippi household of the Magrath sisters. Babe has just shot her husband; Meg is back in town after a nervous breakdown; and no one has remembered Lenny’s 30th birthday.
“Dinner with Friends” presented by Everyman Theatre, March 12-April 7 at Everyman Theatre, 315 W. Fayette St., info/tickets.
Everyman is presenting the “Dinner with Friends,” winner of the 2000 Pulitzer Prize. The play follows two well-to-do middle-aged couples. At a dinner party in Connecticut at the home of food writers Gabe and Karen, Beth shared that her husband Tom wants out of their 12-year marriage. Both couples find themselves grappling with questions of loyalty, individuality, and commitment through flashbacks and the dramatic present-day dinner party.
“Sweeney Todd in Concert” presented by Heritage Players, March 1-10 at Thomas Rice Auditorium, 55 Wade Ave., Catonsville, info/tickets.
Heritage Players presents a concert version of Stephen Sondheim’s hit 1979 musical thriller set in 19th-century London. The show is focused on the “demon barber of Fleet Street,” Sweeney Todd, who seeks revenge against the judge who framed him and ravaged his young wife. Todd teams up with pie shop owner Mrs. Lovett, who incorporates Todd’s carnage into meat pies that the people of London go crazy for.
“Once on This Island Jr.” presented by The Children’s Playhouse of Maryland
March 2-17 at CCBC, Essex, 7201 Rossville Blvd., info/tickets.
The classic fairy tale “The Little Mermaid” gets a Caribbean spin in “Once On This Island Jr.” Through almost non-stop song and dance, the musical tells the story of Ti Moune, a peasant girl who rescues and falls in love with Daniel, a wealthy boy from the other side of her island. The Children’s Playhouse of Maryland presents a kid-friendly adaptation in its production that features more than 40 young performers from the region.
“Macbeth, a Musical Adaptation” presented by Green Globe Theatre, March 1-9 at Breath of God Lutheran Church, 141 S Clinton St., info/tickets.
Green Globe Theatre’s production of Shakespeare’s “Scottish play” is set in ’90s L.A., when a brave cop named Macbeth receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become the chief of police. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders Chief Duncan and takes the throne for himself. Plus, singing!
“Mamma Mia” presented by Charm City Players, March 9-24 at Mercy High School, 1300 E. Northern Parkway, info/tickets.
The musical about a soon-to-be young bride who’s searching for the identity of her biological father is one of the most popular musicals of the 20th century, thanks to its lighthearted story told exclusively through ABBA songs. On a small Greek island, Sophie dreams of a perfect wedding, one in which the father she’s never known walks her down the aisle. She secretly invites three of her free-spirited mom’s love affairs from 20 years ago to the wedding, convinced she’ll know her biological father when she sees him.
“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” presented by Artistic Synergy, March 1-17 at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church 8212 Philadelphia Road, Rosedale, info/tickets.
The charming 2005 musical comedy centers on six eccentric kids competing in a spelling bee hosted by a quirky cast of adults. While candidly disclosing humorous and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear “ding” of the bell that signals a mistake. The crowd-pleasing show also includes audience participation.
“Beehive, The ’60s Musical” presented by Spotlighters Theatre, March 29-April 21 at Spotlighters Theatre, 817 St. Paul St., info/tickets.
Including hits from Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Janis Joplin and The Supremes, “Beehive the ’60s Musical” is billed by Spotlighters as “the ultimate celebration of 1960s female empowerment.” Featuring classics like “My Boyfriend’s Back,” “Be My Baby,” “Respect,” “Proud Mary” and “Me and Bobby McGee,” the show is told from the perspective of baby boomers looking back on a host of issues ranging from their first Beehive Dance to the civil rights and women’s rights movements.
Contemporary and Classic Plays
“The Effect” presented by Fells Point Corner Theatre, through March 17 at Fells Point Corner Theatre, 251 S. Ann St., info/tickets.
The contemporary play is the classic story of boy meets girl. Boy likes girl and girl likes boy. They fall in love. But why? Connie and Tristan are test subjects in a clinical trial for a new antidepressant in development. Their immediate and fevered love ends up risking the integrity of the trial while they wrangle with the very origin and nature of their feelings. Are they truly meant for each other, or is it just the effect of some drug?
“Sojourners” presented by The Strand Theater, through March 10 at The Strand Theater, 5426 Harford Road, info/tickets.
Baltimore’s female-centric Strand Theatre presents the regional premiere of “Sojourners” by Mfoniso Udofia, directed by Cheryl J. Williams. Abasiama came to America with high hopes—for her arranged marriage and for her future. She was intent on earning a degree and returning to Nigeria. But when her husband is seduced by America, she must choose between the Nigerian and the American dream.
“Cymbeline” presented by Baltimore Shakespeare Factory, through March 10 at St. Mary’s Community Center, 3900 Roland Ave., info/tickets.
Set in ancient Britain, “Cymbeline” is among Shakespeare’s final triumphs. Blending comedy, tragedy, romance and adventure—and featuring one of the early modern stage’s strongest female leads—”Cymbeline” considers the implications of jealousy run wild, and the healing powers of pardon and forgiveness.
“Henry IV, Part I” presented by Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, through March 30 at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, 7 S. Calvert St., info/tickets.
Rarely performed individually or together, Chesapeake Shakespeare Company is presenting “Henry IV, Part I” and “Henry IV, Part II,” which features the roguish Prince Hal, who is pulled between the magnetic, funny, and dissolute Falstaff and his dutiful and despondent father, King Henry. See Part I and come back for seconds (Part II) later this month.
“Pygmalion” presented by Spotlighters Theatre, through March 10 at Spotlighters Theatre, 817 St. Paul St., info/tickets.
Spotlighters presents George Bernard Shaw’s more than 100-year-old story of the relationship between Eliza Doolittle, an intelligent but poor woman who sells flowers, and her mentor Henry Higgins, an insensitive but brilliant linguist who studies phonetics. What starts as a phonetic experiment becomes a social experiment. As these two headstrong people spar, the play follows Eliza through to her emotional and financial independence, as Eliza herself realizes she was already a lady.
“Frankenstein” presented by Cohesion Theatre Company, through March 10 at United Evangelical Church, 923 S. East Ave., info/tickets.
The Robert Kauzlaric adaptation of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” opens Cohesion Theatre Company’s fifth season. The play features the use of puppetry (Baltimore LOVES puppets, I’ve learned) as Victoria Frankenstein mourns the death of her father and constructs a monster in his place, a monster that begins to consume her life. The company says that through the Monster puppet and Kauzlaric’s script, this production explores the themes of loss, grief and despair through the lens of Shelley’s original story.