Carol Burnett headlines the Lyric Opera House on July 23. Image via Ticketmaster.

July features a variety pack of theatrical performances in Baltimore: magic shows, a water ballet, lots of musicals, Shakespeare and Carol Burnett. While summer is usually a slow time for theater companies that take a break in July and August, Baltimore is still pulsing with one-off and experimental performances.

To be included in monthly Baltimore theater features, email writer Cassandra Miller at with show information.

Variety Shows: Magic, Performance Art, Immersive Theater
“8 Short Plays,” July 5-21, at the Mercury Theater, 1823 N. Charles St., info/tickets.
The local playwrights describe “8 Short Plays” as a “surreal vaudevillian variety show” that includes experimental theater, song and dance numbers, and poetry, and a plot that follows the performers’ inner lives.

“Altar Ego,” presented by Submersive Productions, July 6-21, at The Peale Center, 225 Holliday St., info/tickets.
Submersive Productions remounts part of its Institute of Visionary History immersive vignettes with “Altar Ego,” a multi-sensory experience in the guise of a house party centered around a “model citizen” Vietnamese-American neighbor.

“Cerebral Sorcery,” presented by Francis Menotti and David London, July 12-14, at Baltimore Theatre Project, 45 W. Preston St., info/tickets.
Magicians Francis Menotti and David London bring back their theatrical magic show, which focuses around a mysterious box that taunts two eccentric magicians who must solve a series of riddles and metaphysical puzzles to unlock its secrets.

“Carol Burnett’s Evening of Laughter and Reflection,” presented by Carol Burnett, July 23, at The Modell Lyric, 140 W. Mt Royal Ave., info/tickets.
Comic legend Carol Burnett will take questions from the audience and show clips from her shows in a format similar to the opening of “The Carol Burnett Show,” when a studio audience had an unfiltered opportunity to engage Carol.

“Visions for the End of the World,” July 13, at Function Coworking Community, 4709 Harford Road, info/tickets.
An eccentric showman presents a pseudo-religious pageant of apocalyptic visions in this one-man theatrical show by Detroit-based performance artist Scott Crandall.

“The Hugo Ball: A Dada Soiree,” July 14, at The Peale Center, 225 Holliday St., info/tickets.
In celebration of the 105th anniversary of when artist Hugo Ball first read his Dada Manifesto on July 14, 1914 at the first Dada Soiree in Zurich, the Peale will present an evening of avant-garde performances. Surrealist attire is encouraged.

“Days of Future Past,” presented by Stand Up For Theatre, July 19, at Chesapeake Arts Center, 194 Hammonds Lane, Brooklyn Park, info/tickets.
Stand Up For Theatre presents a review of its past eight shows, as well as a preview of its upcoming season.

“Fluid Movement: The Water Ballet 20th Anniversary Show” presented by Fluid Movement, July 27-Aug. 4, at Patterson Park Pool and Druid Park Pool, info/tickets.
The summertime water ballet company celebrates its 20th anniversary this year with a variety show that combines on-deck scenes, collaborative choreography and inventive costumes to create a spectacle with Baltimore public pools as their stage.

“The Pajama Game,” presented by Howard County Summer Theatre, through July 6, at Mount Hebron High School, 9440 Old Frederick Road, Ellicott City, info/tickets.
A battle of the sexes ensues at the Sleep-Tite Pajama Factory between Sid Sorokin, the new superintendent, and Babe Williams, leader of the union grievance committee who is heading a strike for a pay increase.

“Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” presented by Charm City Players, through July 14, at The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Auditorium at Mercy High School, 1300 E. Northern Parkway, info/tickets.
Venture into Willy Wonka’s mysterious chocolate factory with one of Baltimore’s top children’s theaters as it presents the 2004 musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s fantasy. Featuring songs from the 1971 movie as well as the new material by the composer behind “Jekyll and Hyde.”

“Hamilton,” presented by Broadway Across America, through July 21, at Hippodrome at France-Merrick Performing Arts Center, 12 N. Eutaw St., info/tickets.
Musical god Lin-Manuel Miranda created the biggest Broadway hit in history with his hip-hop interpretation on America’s founding father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington’s right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and served as the new nation’s first treasury secretary.

“Disney’s Aladdin Jr.,” presented by Cockpit in Court, July 6-14, at CCBC Essex’s Robert and Eleanor Romadka College Center, 7201 Rossville Blvd., Rosedale, info/tickets.
A kids version of the 2014 Broadway show based on the favorite 1992 Disney story of Aladdin, Princess Jasmine and the Genie.

“Nice Work if You Can Get It,” presented by Cockpit in Court, July 19-Aug. 4, at CCBC Essex’s Robert and Eleanor Romadka College Center, 7201 Rossville Blvd., Rosedale, info/tickets.
The comedy pokes fun at the Prohibition era in a clash of socialites and bootleggers, all set to the classic songs of George and Ira Gershwin, including “Someone to Watch Over Me” and “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.”

“Little Shop of Horrors,” presented by ArtsCentric, July 26-Aug. 17, at Motor House, 120 W. North Ave., info/tickets.
The campy musical based on 1960s cult horror films features nerdy Seymour, a florist’s clerk, who buys and nourishes a Venus fly trap-like plant that develops a soulful R&B voice and an unquenchable thirst for human flesh.

“Voices of Carmen,” presented by Dance and Bmore, July 30-Aug. 2, at Baltimore School for the Arts, 712 Cathedral St., info/tickets.
The adaptation of the opera “Carmen” includes new pop, hip-hop and R&B songs, and is set in a contemporary high school.

Plays (Non-Musicals)
“Steel Magnolias”
presented by Spotlighters Theatre, through July 14, at Spotlighters Theatre, 817 St Paul St., info/tickets.
Bring your tissues for this dramedy about a group of Southern women who gossip, laugh and face mortality at a small-town Louisiana beauty salon.

“Puffs,” presented by Artistic Synergy of Baltimore, July 12-Aug. 24, at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 8212 Philadelphia Road, Rosedale, info/tickets.
The cult off-Broadway show “Puffs” (aka Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic!) parodies Harry Potter and follows the adventures of three young magical kids as they traverse the difficulties of life in a school of magic.

“The Unexpected Guest,” presented by Cockpit in Court, July 20-Aug. 4, at CCBC Essex’s Robert and Eleanor Romadka College Center, 7201 Rossville Blvd., Rosedale, info/tickets.
The Agatha Christie murder mystery begins when a stranger seeks refuge in a nearby house only to find a man shot dead and his wife standing over him with a smoking gun.

“The Yellow Wallpaper,” presented by Welcome Homesick, July 26-Aug. 3 at The Peale Center, 225 Holliday St., info/tickets.
The psychological drama is an original adaptation based on an 1892 novella that looks at one woman’s experience with postpartum psychosis.

“Twelfth Night,” presented by Green Globe Theatre, through July 5, at Green Globe Theatre, 141 S. Clinton St., info/tickets.
Disguises come out and hijinks ensue when Shakespeare’s heroes wash up by the boardwalk in a beach town in the 1980s.

“Romeo and Juliet,” presented by Baltimore Shakespeare Factory, through July 21, at The Great Hall Theater at St. Mary’s Community Center, 3900 Roland Ave., info/tickets.
There’s a reason this tale of star-crossed lovers is one of Shakespeare’s most popular. Haven’t seen it, or faked your way through ninth-grade English? Well, now’s your chance to find out what all the buzz has been about for 300 years.

“The Merry Wives of Windsor,” presented by Baltimore Shakespeare Factory, July 26-Aug. 18, at The Great Hall Theater at St. Mary’s Community Center, 3900 Roland Ave., info/tickets.
The story goes that Queen Elizabeth I was so enamored with the character of Falstaff that she demanded to see a play about sweet Jack in love. Shakespeare delivered as only he could, with one of his most free-wheeling and manic comedies. Rolling into Windsor flat broke, Falstaff decides he’ll woo two wealthy women. Instead, he becomes the butt of every joke they can imagine.

“Love’s Labour Lost,” presented by Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, through July 28, at Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park, 3655 Church Road, Ellicott City, info/tickets.
Bring a picnic for CSC’s summer “in the ruins” production of this pun-filled Shakespeare comedy, featuring the King of Navarre and three courtiers who agree to avoid the distractions of women for three years while they study and pray.

Cassandra Miller

Cassandra Miller writes about theater for Baltimore Fishbowl. Regionally, she has written about the arts for Baltimore magazine, Bmore Art, City Paper, DC Metro Theater Arts, The Bad Oracle, Greater Baltimore...