Cassandra Miller

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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]

‘How to Catch Creation’ is a charming exploration of art and love

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Shayna Small, left, and Stephanie Weeks in “How to Catch Creation.” Photo by Paola Nogueras.

Playwright Christina Anderson’s lyrical and ambitious “How to Catch Creation” at Baltimore Center Stage is a charming exploration of art and love told through a stellar cast, lively direction and sensory-pleasing design elements.

The creation of children, relationships, art and literature are the primary issues spinning between six successful, well-rounded characters whose coincidental intersections across two generations make the play feel akin to NBC’s “This Is Us.”

‘Pink Milk’ offers a full sensory experience and fitting end to Single Carrot’s Remington home

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Mohammad R. Suaidi, left, as Alan Turing in “Pink Milk.” Image via Single Carrot Theatre.

With “Pink Milk,” Single Carrot Theatre takes full advantage of its final show in the company’s 6,000 square-foot space. Technicolor lighting (by Cheryl J. Williams) splashes across a white set (designed by Allison Campbell) with peekaboo openings creatively used by actors.

The script’s writer, Chicago-based playwright and composer Ariel Zetina, even contributed a new electronica, synth-heavy score that bumps almost nonstop through the production. It’s a Times Square-level sensory experience.

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.

Despite Vagabond Players’ best efforts, ‘Blithe Spirit’ falls flat in the #MeToo era

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Credit: Bruce F. Press Photography.

Noël Coward’s “Blithe Spirit” has been a crowd favorite since it debuted in 1941, eventually becoming part of the modern-day theater canon. Vagabond Players is the latest local company to present the British comedy, and its adaptation is indeed well done, thanks to polished production elements and some stellar acting. However, the “funny” misogyny of this 78-year-old play falls flat in the #MeToo era.

‘And Baby Makes Seven’ has an intriguing premise, but Strand Theater’s production is ineffective in places

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Grant Emerson Harvey, left, Jess Rivera, center, and Katharine Vary in “And Baby Makes Seven.” Image courtesy of Strand Theater Company.

A polyamorous queer relationship must have seemed transgressive and bold in 1984 when Paula Vogel’s “And Baby Makes Seven” debuted, but today, the relationship is not what is most interesting. As the experience of seeing the Strand Theater Company’s production illustrates, it’s the extreme acceptance of the three adult characters’ role-playing as children to deal with the impending welcoming of an actual child into their home.

The very pregnant Anna (Katherine Vary) and her lover, Ruth (Jess Rivera), are preparing to co-parent with Peter (Grant Emerson Harvey), a gay friend and the biological father of the naturally conceived baby. Rounding out the seven titular characters are the unborn baby and three child alter-egos Anna and Ruth regularly slip into while in the privacy of their home.

19 theater shows to see in Baltimore in April

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“Timon of Athens” will be performed at the Mercury Theater from April 19-28. Image via Facebook.

Baltimore’s theater scene includes more than 35 professional and independent theater companies. This month, which includes the fourth anniversary of the Baltimore Uprising in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death, several theaters are presenting shows that touch on social justice topics. Other theatrical offerings include new works, contemporary productions, comedy classics and a range of Shakespeare plays.

Cohesion Theatre’s ‘Frankenstein’ is an inventive examination of grief and loss

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The cast of Cohesion Theatre’s “Frankenstein.” Press handout.

For its production of “Frankenstein,” Cohesion Theatre decided on an adaption of the classic story told through the perspective of Victor Frankenstein’s adult daughter who attempts to bring her father back to life. The result is insanely creative in addition to being a poetic, lyrical examination of grief and loss told through stellar direction, acting and production design.

15 theater productions to see in Baltimore this March

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“Indecent” at Baltimore Center Stage. Credit: Stanley Photography.

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.

‘Fun Home’ at Center Stage strikes a chord with anyone making peace with their past

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From left to right, Andrea Prestinario, Molly Lyons and Jeffry Denman in “Fun Home.” Credit: Bill Geenen.

“Fun Home” strikes a chord by creatively showing, often through song, how defining moments in our childhood and formative years shape who we become as adults.

Q&A: Stephanie Ybarra discusses her vision for Center Stage, diversity in the arts and more

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Photo courtesy of Baltimore Center Stage.

Stephanie Ybarra is only a couple of months into her full-time role as the artistic director at Baltimore Center Stage, but already she has met for listening sessions and meet-and-greets with dozens of leaders in the Baltimore community, been named the keynote speaker of Maryland Arts Day in Annapolis on Feb. 14, and completely rearranged the admin offices at 700 N. Calvert St.

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