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March 18, 2011

Reviews: Center Stage's 'Snow,' Shakespeare Theatre Company's 'Husband'

Just so you never fall out of my precious loop, I wanted to alert you to a couple theater reviews running on the Sun's Web site and, in slightly abbreviated form, in Friday's paper.

Baltimore's Center Stage is offering "Snow Falling on Cedars," an adaptation of the David Guterson novel. I'm a little tired of shows with actors playing multiple roles, and with narrative taking over the drama, but this play does raise important issues.

We need to confront the shameful internment of Japanese Americans during WW II; that issue is woven through this work. And we always need to be reminded of our problems with prejudice and rushes to judgment; those issues, too, are at the heart of the murder/love/war plot.

Note that the Smithsonian's America Art Museum has loaned to Center Stage a striking collection of works from the exhibit "The Art of Gaman: Arts and Crafts from the Japanese American Internment Camps, 1942-1946." The items will be on display during the first part of the show's run.

If you're in need of some great laughs ...

some fun melodrama and some ever-pertinent points about hypocritical politicians, myopic spouses and high-society airheads, don't miss the lavish revival of Oscar Wilde's "An Ideal Husband" at Washington's Shakespeare Theater Company.

I've always liked this play, but no other exposure to it, even Sir Peter Hall's wonderful staging in the 1990s, so thoroughly engaged me as this one. It positively sparkles.

Posted by Tim Smith at 11:11 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Center Stage, Drama Queens

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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 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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