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December 3, 2010

In today's Sun: 'Rock of Ages' rockin' the Hippodrome

This morning, I'm still recovering from a mortifying experience during last night's festive lighting of the Washington Monument.

For the benefit of any non-Baltimore readers of this humble little blog, I should point out that our fair city's monument to the first president pre-dates the one in DC by many a year and is located in one of Baltimore's most picturesque spots.

As for the mortification, let's just say that the best way to make an impression on one's editor when you're invited to his first holiday party -- his fabulous apartment overlooks the Mount Vernon Place and the Monument -- is not to spill half a large cocktail shaker's worth of Gimlets all over the place. (Robert and I brought said shaker, pre-filled, to the party; not one of my brighter ideas.)

Never did see the lights being turned on by the Mayor or the fireworks afterward, as we were too busy trying to clean up the spill -- how it managed to coat a wall, as well as the floor, I'll never know -- while all the other guests were glued to windows or out on the balcony.

Needless to say, the newsroom is already abuzz today with the story of my sensational faux pas. I'm just glad it's not on YouTube.

Anyway, I mention all of this by way of trying to divert you from the fact that I don't have a fresh blog post yet, as I've got to finish a story for Sunday's paper. Meanwhile, I can

direct you to my review of "Rock of Ages," the Broadway hit now on its first national tour.

I didn't expect an '80s jukebox musical with an emphasis on metal bands to be quite so much fun, since my pop music tastes tended in those days toward tunes with softer edges. (I always did like "Harden my Heart," though, and that gets a cool treatment in the song-packed show).

But the production, which boasts a strong and supple cast, delivers a surprisingly effective kick of nostalgia and old-fashioned (if sometimes ever so slightly raunchy) entertainment.

The engagement at the Hippodrome is only here through Sunday.

MONUMENT LIGHTING PHOTO BY SUN PHOTOGRAPHER AMY DAVIS

 'ROCK OF AGES' PHOTO BY WINSLOW TOWNSON 

Posted by Tim Smith at 9:47 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Drama Queens, Hippodrome
        

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at baltimoresun.com/artsmash. This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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