All stories by John Harding on BroadwayStars

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Review: ‘Miracle on 34th Street: The Musical’ at Toby’s Dinner Theatre by John Harding

It doesn’t exactly live up to its billing as a miracle, but Miracle on 34th Street: The Musical at Toby’s Dinner Theatre has its heart in the right place. It is a lovely way to gather th…

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:33PM
Sunday, November 19, 2017

Review: ‘The Lion King’ at the Hippodrome Theatre by John Harding

The Lion King is epic. It is so full of throat-tightening spectacle and aural splendor that Baltimore’s grand Hippodrome Theatre can appear at times like a modest host. With Julie Taymor…

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 03:35PM
Saturday, November 4, 2017

Review: ‘Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill’ at Rep Stage by John Harding

It took way too long for Baltimore gal Billie Holiday to make the 20-odd mile trip out to Howard County for a live performance. It was a hard trip, too, judging from the bruised and fragile …

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:56PM
Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Review: ‘The Color Purple: The Musical’ at Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theatre by John Harding

Timing could not be better for a professionally mounted, national tour of The Color Purple: The Musical. Call this a reminder-on-wheels that sexual exploitation is not a Hollywood invention.…

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 04:44PM
Saturday, September 23, 2017

Review: ‘Bridges of Madison County’ at Red Branch Theatre Company by John Harding

The Bridges of Madison County turns out to be an ideal musical for an ambitious youth theater looking to build bridges to a wider audience of grown-up fans. A sensitive, artfully realized pr…

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 05:16PM
Monday, September 11, 2017

Review: ‘The Heidi Chronicles’ at Rep Stage by John Harding

Even successful plays get retired from the workforce after a few seasons. A select few, however, may go on to a new phase of wizened seniority. That is the case with The Heidi Chronicles, no…

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:01AM
Sunday, September 10, 2017

Review: ‘Dreamgirls’ at Toby’s Dinner Theatre by John Harding

Dreamgirls has followed the summer’s closet full of Dreamcoats into Toby’s Dinner Theatre of Columbia. That’s a lot of dreams, providing plenty of rich musical memories for theater fan…

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:57AM
Saturday, August 5, 2017

Review: ‘Lysistrata Jones’ at Red Branch Theatre Company by John Harding

Red Branch Theatre Company continues to amaze with its 2017 season premiere of the perky and impertinent Lysistrata Jones. Thanks to savvy staging and choreography, this short-lived 2011 Bro…

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 12:40PM
Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Review: ‘Finding Neverland’ at the Hippodrome Theatre by John Harding

Those who’ve forgotten Peter Pan are destined to repeat it in Finding Neverland. The U.S. national tour now at Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theatre until July 2 makes for a dreamy midsummer ni…

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:49PM
Sunday, June 18, 2017

Review: ‘Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat’ at Toby’s Dinner Theatre by John Harding

“May I return to the beginning?” runs a beloved lyric to the song “Any Dream Will Do” from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, now back for the summer at Toby’s — The …

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 07:13PM
Saturday, June 17, 2017

Review: ‘Cry-Baby The Musical’ at Drama Learning Center by John Harding

Baltimore’s John Waters takes another swipe at Eisenhower-era conformity in Cry-Baby: The Musical, making its area premiere now at the Drama Learning Center in Columbia. The show had a sho…

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 04:15PM
Friday, June 9, 2017

Preview: Toby Orenstein tailors ‘Dreamcoat’ for a dream cast at Toby’s Dinner Theatre by John Harding

To help mark its 45th year in business, Toby’s — The Dinner Theatre of Columbia is serving up something special in its new revival of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. No l…

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 10:40PM
Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Review: ‘Something Rotten!’ at Hippodrome Theatre by John Harding

Fans of Broadway musicals won’t get more bang for their entertainment buck this whole season than at Something Rotten! Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theatre has been on a roll when it comes to …

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 07:08PM
Saturday, April 1, 2017

Review: ‘Rent’ at The Hippodrome Theatre by John Harding

Fans of Rent, it’s time to “Occupy Baltimore” once again. Hook yourselves up with tickets by any means necessary to that 20th Anniversary Tour making a brief, flash-point stop inside …

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 12:30PM
Friday, March 31, 2017

Review: ‘Beauty and the Beast’ at Toby’s Dinner Theatre by John Harding

In the new Beauty and the Beast at Toby’s Dinner Theatre, it’s not just the accursed Beast and his castle of talking knickknacks that appear caught in a magic spell of enchantment. So di…

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:45PM
Saturday, March 18, 2017

Review: ‘Mad Libs Live!’ at Red Branch Theatre Company by John Harding

Mad Libs Live! sounds like a political gathering many would want to avoid. But happily it turns out to be a (Fill-in-the-Blank) musical providing peppy songs, millennial-rich humor, and rand…

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 03:17PM
Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Review: ‘The Bodyguard’ at Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theatre by John Harding

Fans of The Bodyguard, The Musical are legion. And boisterous. Also very loyal. Large numbers of them turned out for opening night in Baltimore February 28, when the national tour arrived fo…

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 12:07PM
Thursday, February 23, 2017

Review: The Hot New Deal at Glenelg Country School by John Harding

The Great Depression sure had a great soundtrack. That’s one take-away from the debut of a new “jukebox musical” named The Hot New Deal, now through February 25 at Glenelg Country Scho…

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 11:56AM
Sunday, February 19, 2017

News: Howard County to See Two New Musicals: ‘The Hot New Deal’ at Glenelg Country School and ‘Dorian’s Closet’ at Rep Stage by John Harding

Howard County is about to enjoy the debuts of no less than two original musicals in the coming weeks. First up this week is The Hot New Deal at Glenelg Country School’s Mulitz Theater, thi…

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 07:58PM
Saturday, February 18, 2017

Review: ‘H20’ at Rep Stage by John Harding

Not everyone who attends Jane Martin’s H20 at Rep Stage will necessarily agree, but the case could be made for its taking place in one of Dante’s outer circles of Hell. As the play opens…

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 04:46PM
Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Review: ‘Beautiful: The Carole King Musical’ at The Hippodrome Theatre by John Harding

Little Carol Klein of Brooklyn, New York, did herself proud when she blossomed into songwriter Carole King. In 2013 her hit-parade of a life came to Broadway as Beautiful: The Carole King Mu…

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:47PM
Saturday, January 21, 2017

Review: ‘Show Boat’ at Toby’s The Dinner Theatre of Columbia by John Harding

Can’t help lovin’ that Show Boat at Toby’s Dinner Theatre. Modern audiences are still likely to find the miscegenation drama that sets the story in motion more dramatically engagin…

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 07:13PM
Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Review: ‘A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder’ at The Hippodrome Theatre by John Harding

From time to time in the mock-Edwardian musical farce A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder you may be reminded of the inspired antics of an old “Carol Burnett Show.” When actor Joh…

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 03:03PM
Wednesday, December 21, 2016

‘Titanic The Musical’ at Signature Theatre by John Harding

There’s something fundamentally spiritual about the legend of RMS Titanic. Just as there are no atheists in a foxhole there are few to be found aboard an ocean liner going down fast in icy…

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 03:43PM
Saturday, December 10, 2016

Review: ‘The Happy Elf’ at Red Branch Theatre Company by John Harding

Red Branch Theatre in Columbia has an early present for young audiences this season. On opening night of Harry Connick Jr.’s The Happy Elf, many of those in the next generation of theater-…

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:53PM
Friday, December 9, 2016

‘A Christmas Carol’ at Toby’s Dinner Theatre by John Harding

Ebenezer Scrooge would be a terror on Facebook. He’s just not your social media type of guy. Bahhumbug would be his Twitter log-on. And if he’s your boss, like poor Bob Cratchit, don…

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:29PM
Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Review: ‘A Christmas Story: The Musical’ at Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theatre by John Harding

Humorist Jean Shepherd left us in 1999 but his folksy memories of being a child in Indiana at Christmas time live delightfully on in A Christmas Story: The Musical. Now making its Baltimore …

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:21PM
Saturday, November 5, 2016

Review: ‘American Hero’ at Rep Stage by John Harding

In its area premiere of American Hero, Rep Stage has sent out a likable little David to do battle with the soulless Goliath of modern corporate culture. While playwright Bess Wohl accomplish…

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 04:56PM
Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Review: ‘Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella’ at the Hippodrome Theatre at the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center by John Harding

It’s anyone’s guess what the late Oscar Hammerstein would make of it, but we are now getting our first close look at Oscar’s modest Eisenhower-era TV musical Cinderella all buffed up a…

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 01:40PM
Saturday, October 8, 2016

Review: ‘Evil Dead The Musical’ at Red Branch Theatre Company by John Harding

Evil Dead: The Musical is ideal for those theatergoers who always found The Rocky Horror Show just too darned serious. No need to give this show a big hand — it already has one as a recurr…

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 05:12PM
Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Review: ‘Jersey Boys’ at The Hippodrome Theatre by John Harding

In the bright and tuneful world of jukebox musicals there are your basic pizza joints that sell by the slice and the hot-diggity neighborhood kitchens that dish up the whole pie. Jersey Boys…

SOURCE: DC Metro Theater Arts at 02:02PM

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