36 theater shows to see in Baltimore in May

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Dawn Ursula, who plays Jacqueline Marie Butler in “Queens Girl in the World” and “Queens Girl in Africa.” Courtesy: Everyman Theatre.

Baltimore is a theater town, which is never more evident than in the Lusty Month of May, when many companies are presenting their season finales or sole productions. This month, audiences in Baltimore and its closes suburbs have a chance to see 36 different productions (56 if you break out the 22 short plays in two different local playwright festivals). Expanding the theater radius just 10 or 15 miles includes dozens more productions, underscoring the truth in Baltimore/D.C. being named the fastest growing theater region in the country, according to a study by Actors’ Equity. Read on for information on how to take advantage of our city’s theatrical storytelling bounty this month.

Last Chance: Shows Closing the First Week of May
“Janet Langhart Cohen’s Anne & Emmett” presented by Morgan State University Theater, through May 4 at Morgan State University’s Carl J. Murphy Fine Arts Center, 2201 Argonne Drive, info/tickets.
The play depicts an imagined conversation between Emmett Till, a young African-American who was lynched at the age of 14, and Anne Frank, who died at 15 in a Holocaust concentration camp.

“All New People” presented by The Green Globe Theatre, through May 4 at  Breath of God Lutheran Church, 141 S. Clinton St., info/tickets.
Written by Zach Braff (of “Garden State” and “Scrubs” fame), the comedy centers around Charlie and various house crashers at his sanctuary beach house on the Jersey shore.

“Marooned” presented by Alex & Olmstead, through May 5 at Baltimore Theatre Project, 45 W. Preston St., info/tickets.
Alex & Olmsted (creators of the Jim Henson Foundation Grant-awarded “Milo the Magnificent”) present a new story about an astronaut who crashes on an uncharted planet and has to survive.

“A Murder is Announced” presented by Artistic Synergy of Baltimore, through May 5 at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 8212 Philadelphia Road, Rosedale, info/tickets.
This Agatha Christie murder mystery takes place at a newspaper, when a murder is announced before it has actually happened.

“Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” presented by Fells Point Corner Theatre, through May 5 Fells Point Corner Theatre, 251 S. Ann St., info/tickets.
Tom Stoppard’s absurdist comedy features nimble play on words, puns and virtually every character who died in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.”

“Hamlet” presented by Baltimore Shakespeare Factory, through May 5 at St. Mary’s Community Center, 3900 Roland Ave., info/tickets.
BSF presents the classic story of a grieving son avenging his father’s death in original old English pronunciation

“Timon of Athens,” through May 5 at Mercury Theater, 1823 N. Charles St., info/tickets.
One of Shakespeare’s least-performed plays focuses on Lord Timon, who loses all of his money, then hates humanity, then finds gold, then funds the demise of Athens and dies.

Brand New Works by Local Playwrights
“He Do the Police in Different Voices” presented by Acme Corporation, May 9-10, at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 1900 St. Paul St., info/tickets.
This new work in progress is a musical adaptation of T.S. Eliot’s poem “The Waste Land” with the poet’s use of multiple voices and characters throughout the poem, as well as the relationship between Eliot and his first wife, Vivienne Haigh-Wood.

“Variations on Myth” presented by Rapid Lemon Productions, May 10-23 at Baltimore Theatre Project, 45 W. Preston St., info/tickets.
The 10-minute play festival returns with works tackling the theme “Myth,” featuring 12 world premiere plays by local authors.

“Tornkid” presented by Cohesion Theatre Company and Baltimore Asian Pasifika Arts Collective, May 23-June 9 at United Evangelical Church, 923 S. East Ave., info/tickets.
The new play harnesses indigenous Asian and Pacific creation stories to explore identity and unearth how ancient female narratives can provide guidance towards healing our broken world. Plus, puppets! Baltimore loves puppets.

“10x10x10” presented by Fells Point Corner Theatre, May 24-June 16 at Fells Point Corner Theatre, 251 S. Ann St., info/tickets.
The seventh festival continues the formula of 10 fully produced 10-minute plays by local playwrights performed by an ensemble cast of 10 actors, and includes audience voting and cash prizes.

“Welcome to Shakesville” presented by Baltimore Rock Opera Society, May 24-June 16 at Zion Church Of the City Of Baltimore, 400 E. Lexington St., info/tickets.
The BROS describe their original spring production as “A groovy love letter to the ’60s filled with puppets, magic, and rock ‘n’ roll” inspired by The Muppets, Lidsville and Yellow Submarine.

“Much Ado About Nothing: a Hip Hop Shakespeare Adaptation” presented by Fools and Madmen, May 31-June 2 at Motor House, 120 W. North Ave., info/tickets.
This update on this romantic comedy is the second hip-hop Shakespeare adaptation by Baltimore collective Fools and Madmen, who will tour the show at Baltimore City Public Schools in addition to its public shows at Motor House.

First Timers: New Reps and a Premiere
“How to Catch Creation” presented by Baltimore Center Stage, May 2-26 at Baltimore Center Stage, 700 N. Calvert St., info/tickets.
This world premiere by Lorraine Hansberry Award-winning playwright Christina Anderson explore the universal act of creation–of life, of family, of art–through the intersecting lives of four individuals finding and following their passions.

“Holly Down in Heaven” (Part of “Sister Plays: Two Plays in Repertory by the Corthron Sisters”) presented by Wombworks, May 2-19 at 3123 Walbrook Ave., info/tickets.
The dark comedy by Kara Lee Corthron follows Holly, a pregnant 15-year-old born-again Christian, who navigates the terrain from childhood to adulthood in a world of talking dolls.

“Megastasis” (Part of “Sister Plays: Two Plays in Repertory by the Corthron Sisters”) presented by Wombworks, May 2-19 at 3123 Walbrook Ave., info/tickets.
Kia Corthron’s drama focuses on Tray, 19, a caring grandson and father who gets caught up in the War on Drugs when a joint at a party becomes a major military provocation.

“Queens Girl in the World” presented by Everyman Theatre, May 7-June 23 at Everyman Theatre, 315 W. Fayette St., info/tickets.
Performed for the first time as a two-play repertory with Caleen’s “Queens Girl in Africa,” “Queens Girl in the World” chronicles the misadventures of Jacqueline Marie Butler, who suddenly transfers from a protective, middle class late-1950s upbringing in Queens to a progressive, predominantly-Jewish private school in Greenwich Village.

“Queens Girl in Africa” presented by Everyman Theatre, May 14-June 23 at Everyman Theatre, 315 W. Fayette St., info/tickets.
“Queens Girl in Africa” follows Jacqueline Marie Butler when her family ups and moves to Nigeria following the assassination of civil rights leader Malcolm X (a close personal family friend).

Modern Takes on Famous Men
“Twisted Melodies” presented by Baltimore Center Stage, May 9-19 at Baltimore Center Stage, 700 N. Calvert St., info/tickets.
BCS remounts this one-man show based on the life of ’70s soul singer and composer Donny Hathaway, known for his duets with Roberta Flack on “The Closer I Get to You” and “Where is the Love?”

“Pink Milk” presented by Single Carrot Theatre, through May 19 at Single Carrot Theatre, 2600 N. Howard St., info/tickets.
The final production at Single Carrot’s brick-and-mortar Remington theater is an imaginative take on the life of pioneering British mathematician and codebreaker Alan Turing.

Tried and True Plays
“Blithe Spirit” presented by Vagabond Players, through May 12 at Vagabond Players, 806 S. Broadway, info/tickets.
Noël Coward’s popular comic play involves a fantastical love triangle with Charles Condomine, his living second wife Ruth and his deceased first wife Elvira.

“Boeing Boeing” presented by Heritage Players, May 3-19 at Thomas Rice Auditorium, 55 Wade Ave., Catonsville, info/tickets.
It’s the 1960s, and swinging bachelor Bernard, an American architect living in Paris, is engaged to three stewardesses, who unexpectedly are all in town simultaneously.

“The Diary of Anne Frank” presented by Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, through May 26 at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, 7 S. Calvert St., info/tickets.
This recent adaptation presents Anne Frank’s thoughts penned while hiding during the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands.

“Hamlet” presented by Arena Players, May 10-19 at Arena Players, 801 McCulloh St., info/tickets.
The Shakespeare classic revenge drama includes all of the catchphrases: “To be or not to be,” “To thine own self be true,” “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

“Vinegar Tom” presented by Spotlighters Theatre, May 10-June 2 at Spotlighters Theatre, 817 St. Paul St., info/tickets.
Women are subjected to humiliating investigations in this play set during a 17th century witch hunt.

“Rumors” presented by Just Off Broadway, May 10-June 15 at Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church, 4605 Belair Road, info/tickets.
The Neil Simon farce features four high-society couples gathering for one couple’s 10th wedding anniversary.

“Clybourne Park” presented by Arena Players, May 23-26 at Arena Players, 801 McCulloh St., info/tickets.
A spin-off to Lorraine Hansberry’s 1959 “A Raisin in the Sun,” this 2010 play portrays fictional events set before and after the Hansberry’s play, and is loosely based on historical events.

“A Few Good Men” presented by Stand Up For…Theatre, May 31-June 15 at The Chesapeake Arts Center, 194 Hammonds Lane, Brooklyn Park, info/tickets.
Aaron Sorkin’s debut 1989 play (which he adapted for the 1992 movie) tells the story of a group of military lawyers assigned to defend two Marines.

“The Crucible” presented by Vagabond Players, May 31-June 30 at Vagabonds Players, 806 S. Broadway, info/tickets.
Arthur Miller’s 1953 drama is a fictionalized account of the Salem Witch Trials told through a group young Salem women who falsely accuse other villagers of witchcraft.

Musicals
“The Producers” presented by Third Wall Productions, May 3-12 at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 1108 Providence Road, Towson, info/tickets.
Down and out producer Max Bialystock and his accountant Leo Bloom try to put together the worst play possible, titled “Springtime for Hitler,” to get a payout for the flop.

“Freaky Friday” presented by Street Lamp Productions, May 10-19 at Street Lamp Community Theatre, 5 Valley View Drive, Rising Sun, info/tickets.
The recent musical based on the 1972 novel and subsequent Disney film adds songs to the wacky mother/daughter body switcheroo story.

“Joey & Gina’s Italian Comedy Wedding” presented by Ovation Dinner Theatre, May 18, at Sparrows Point Country Club, 919 Wise Ave., info/tickets.
This classic dinner theater show engages the audience as guests at Joey and Gina’s dysfunctional wedding reception.  

“A New Brain” presented by Iron Crow Theatre. May 31-June 9 at Baltimore Theatre Project, 45 W. Preston St., info/tickets.
The comedic musical centers on Gordon, a children’s TV show composer who dreams of writing Broadway’s next hit musical, then suffers a brain seizure.

Student Productions
“Crazy for You,” May 2-4 at Gilman School, 5407 Roland Ave., info/tickets.
A cast of 36 students from Gilman, Bryn Mawr, Roland Park Country School, and St. Paul’s School for Girls presents the Gershwin-filled show with hits like “I Got Rhythm,” “Someone to Watch Over Me” and “They Can’t Take That Away From Me.”

“Clue” presented by Patapsco High School Theatre, May 2-4 at Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts, 8100 Wise Ave., Dundalk, info/tickets.
Seniors at the arts high school take on the characters of Scarlet, Plum, White, Green, Peacock and Mustard as they race to find the murderer in Boddy Manor.

“Merrily We Roll Along” presented by Towson University, May 2-11 at Towson University, Center for the Arts, info/tickets.
The Sondheim musical tracks the unraveling of the friendship and aspirations of three friends with a narrative traveling backward in time from 1980 to 1957.

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 Cultural Alliance, and The Washington Post, where she was the Entertainment Editor of Express. She can be reached at [email protected]

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