November theater offers something for every taste, and we’re thankful for the bounty of stories on Baltimore stages right now. A theme of shows up this month are epic journeys, whether it’s Don Quixote’s quest for love in classic musical “Man of La Mancha” or pilot Amelia’s pursuit of afterlife peace in world premiere play “Here We Area.” Creativity is another big theme this month, with a queer cabaret interpreting the written word through song and dance (“Cliterature”), a Shakespeare Rap Battle by Fools and Madmen and Baltimore Rock Opera Society doing something kooky with space, wrestling and beer.
Familiar stories find their way to song-and-dance numbers in several musicals, and still other theater companies are presenting thought-provoking dramas and light-hearted comedies. Artists are offering a buffet of delectable choices for live entertainment. Read on to fill your plate with performances.
Film (And Book) To Stage Musicals
“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” presented by Just Off Broadway, through Nov. 3, at Epiphany Lutheran Church, 4301 Raspe Ave., info/tickets.
The 1970 family-friendly musical is Broadway powerhouse team Andrew Llyod Weber and Tim Rice’s first publicly performed collaboration, a reimagining of the Biblical story of Joseph, his father Jacob, eleven brothers, and the coat of many colors.
“Carrie the Musical,” presented by Stand Up for Theater, through Nov. 9, at Chesapeake Arts Center, 194 Hammonds Lane, Brooklyn Park, info/tickets.
What doesn’t scream Broadway musical like an awkward teenage girl with telekinetic powers who murders her community after being bullied one-too-many times via pig’s blood? Stephen King’s best-selling novel that had a Broadway adaptation in 1988 is having a community theater resurgence lately, including a production by Stand Up for Theater this fall.
“Man of La Mancha,” presented by Third Wall Productions, Nov. 8-17, at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 1108 Providence Road, info/tickets.
The 1965 musical based on Miguel de Cervantes’ epic 17th-century novel “Don Quixote” features classic songs like “The Impossible Dream” and “Dulcinea” and follows mentally unstable romantic Don Quixote on a journey with sidekick Sancho Panza and love interest Aldonza, a prostitute and barmaid.
“Elf the Musical,” presented by Charm City Players, Nov. 9-Dec. 1, at Mercy High School, 1300 E. Northern Parkway, info/tickets.
The 2011 Broadway musical brings singing and dancing to the 2003 Christmas classic movie, “Elf,” about Buddy the Elf and his quest to find his true identity that takes him from the North Pole to New York City.
“Aladdin,” presented by Broadway Across America, Nov. 13-Dec. 1, at Hippodrome Theatre, 12 N. Eutaw St., info/tickets.
On stage for a long run at the Hippodrome, the 2011 musical adaptation of Disney’s 1992 cartoon about a poor young man given three wishes by a genie, which features familiar hits like “A Whole New World” and “Friend Like Me.”
Satires–Plays and Musicals
“Ruthless,” presented by the Heritage Players, through Nov. 10, at Spring Grove Hospital Center, 55 Wade Ave., Catonsville, info/tickets.
This all-female off-Broadway musical spoofs traditional Broadway musicals like “Gypsy” and “Mame” and movies like “The Bad Seed” by following an ambitious and frightfully competitive 8-year-old performer who believes she was born to play Pippi Longstocking–at any cost.
“The Colored Museum,” presented by Arena Players, Nov. 1-17, 801 McCulloh St., info/tickets.
Set in a fictional museum where African-American figures are kept for public consumption, this George C. Wolfe play serves as a satire of themes and identities of African-American culture through 11 vignettes centered on different museum “exhibits.”
“The Knight of Burning Pestle,” presented by Baltimore Shakespeare Factory, Nov. 1-24, at St. Mary’s Community Center, 3900 Roland Ave., info/tickets.
BSF closes its season with a local premiere of the 1607 Francis Beaumont comedy, considered the first parody written in English. It is a satire of chivalric romance that often breaks the fourth wall.
A Little Variety
“Bits and Pieces: A Collection of Short Horror Plays,” presented by Jack Bellows, through Nov. 2 at Mercury Theater, 1823 N. Charles St., info/tickets.
An ensemble cast performs short horror plays, showcasing new stories and some popular favorites. Also look for possessed dolls, human sacrifice and confronting “the darkness within each of our souls.”
“Cabaret Macabre,” presented by Happenstance Theater, through Nov. 3, at Baltimore Theatre Project, 45 W. Preston St., info/tickets.
Happenstance Theater presents its annual show, a witty theatrical collage inspired by the illustrations of Edward Gorey, the Victorian era, Gothic style and other horror elements.
“Shakespeare Rap Battle,” presented by Fools and Madmen, Nov. 7, at Motor House, 120 W. North Ave., info/tickets.
Fools and Madmen is presenting a Shakespeare rap battle with judges scoring prepared old English raps by members of the theater community, including Mike Smith, Quincy Vicks, JC Payne and Jess Rivera.
“Cliterature,” presented by Charm City Kitty Club, Nov. 8 and 9, at Baltimore Theatre Project, 45 W. Preston St., info/tickets.
This new queer cabaret by Charm City Kitty Club–in its 17th season featuring LGBTQ perfomers–showcases a variety of performances that reimagine tropes from Sappho, Shakespeare, noir, sci-fi and more.
“Space Kümité,” presented by Baltimore Rock Opera Society, Nov. 8-23, at Peabody Heights Brewery, 401 East 30th Street, info/tickets.
BROS’ speciality is producing wildly creative original experiences. Their latest, intergalactic saga, “Space Kümité,: is described as combining theater, music, audience participation, professional wrestling and ’80s action and sci-fi movies. And its performed at a brewery. Methinks it shall be fun, whatever the full experience is.
“Thoughts of a Colored Man,” presented by Baltimore Center Stage, through Nov. 10, 700 N. Calvert St., info/tickets.
A world-premiere play from Keenan Scott II, “Thoughts of a Colored Man” is set over a single day and seeks to shed light “into the hearts and minds of a community of men searching for their most triumphant selves.”
“Refuge: Needing, Seeking, Finding,” presented by Full Circle Dance Company, Nov. 16 and 17, at Baltimore Theatre Project, 45 W. Preston St., info/tickets.
Full Circle Dance Company, which focuses on tackling real-world issues through dance, presents a show that explores immigration and the global refugee crisis through movement, music and personal storytelling.
Dark Historical and Historically Inspired Dramas
“A Shayna Maidel,” presented by The Strand Theater, through Nov. 3, 5426 Harford Road, info/tickets.
Barbara Lebow’s heartbreaking 1984 drama focuses on Polish immigrant family members in 1946 New York City grappling with memories of loved ones left behind in the old country who became prisoners of Nazi concentration camps.
“In the Blood,” presented by Fells Point Corner Theatre, through Nov. 3, at Fells Point Corner Theatre, 251 S. Ann St., info/tickets.
This Suzi Lori Parks play is a modern twist on “The Scarlet Letter,” casting Hester as a homeless woman living on the streets with five children.
“Devil in Me: Based on the Life of H.H. Holmes,” presented by Green Globe Theatre, Nov. 8-16, at Breadth of God Lutheran Church, 141 S. Clinton St., info/tickets.
Based on the life of 19th century American serial killer H.H. Holmes, this dark play follows the doctor/former city manager of Orlando/bigamist/con artist/murderer of potentially more than 200 through the eyes of investigator Frank Geyer.
“Here We Are,” presented by Interrobang Theatre, Nov. 8-17, at Fells Point Corner Theatre, 251 S. Ann St., info/tickets.
Interrobang, known for presenting new work by local playwrights, follows up its “One Night Stand Variety Show” with a new play by Jen Diamond about a female pilot, Amelia, who wakes up in the underworld and is forced by Death himself to assess her darkest times on Earth. This is part of Free Fall Baltimore, with a couple of additional pay-what-you-can performances.
“Radio Golf,” presented by Everyman Theatre, through Nov. 17, 315 W. Fayette St., info/tickets.
Real estate developer Harmond Wilks tries in 1997 to become Pittsburgh’s first black mayor in this fast-paced conclusion to August Wilson’s 10-play “The American Century Cycle,” which examines the African-American experience in the 20th century.
“Moon Over Buffalo,” presented by Spotlighters Theatre, through Nov. 17, 817 St. Paul St., info/tickets.
Ken Ludwig’s throwback farce features former Broadway stars who have taken their dilapidated company to Buffalo, where they encounter an unplanned pregnancy and talent scouting by Frank Capra.
“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” presented by Vagabond Players, through Nov. 17, at Vagabond Players, 806 S. Broadway, info/tickets.
The charming comedy centers on six eccentric mid-pubescents 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 spelling mistake.
“She Stoops to Conquer,” presented by Fells Point Corner Theatre, Nov. 22-Dec. 15, 251 S. Ann St., info/tickets.
The comedy takes place over the course of a day at a dilapitated country house Young Marlow mistakes for an inn, where he falls in love with who he thinks is a serving girl, but is in fact the woman his father has arranged for him to marry. Misunderstandings delight, and all’s well that ends well.
“Men on Boats,” presented by Baltimore Center Stage, Nov. 29-Dec. 22, 700 N. Calvert St., info/tickets.
This 2015 comedy by Jacklyn Backhaus features an all-female cast of “male” explorers set off to chart the American West, under the guidance of John Wesley Powell, a one-armed Civil War Veteran and personal friend of President Grant.