Drama group turns 50, burlesque takes center stage, Shakespeare meets hip-hop and ‘Bridgerton’ invites fans to visit – Baltimore Sun

COVID-19 cannot stop the Young Victorian Theater CompanyThe production of the 50th anniversary season of ‘The Pirates of Penzance’.

“We’ve had a bit of a challenge this year because we’ve had a few cases of COVID, including me,” said Brian Goodman, who served as chief executive of the Young Victorian Theater Company for 46 of 50 seasons. “We were able to set up a virtual rehearsal so that people in bad weather could actually watch the blocking take place, so we didn’t miss any rehearsals due to illness.”

With the pandemic postponing their performances since 2019 and curtailing their anniversary plans, the company celebrates five decades of producing Gilbert and Sullivan operettas for Baltimore crowds every summer.

“We started as a small student organization, and now it’s a fully professional group, a 25-piece orchestra, great opera singers, we have a budget of 200,000 dollars a year, we have half a million dollars in permanent endowments,” Goodman said. “We are a true Baltimore institution.”

Since its beginnings as the Gilbert and Sullivan Theater in 1971, the organization has honored the playwright-composer duo, whom Goodman called “forerunners of modern Broadway musicals.”

“Even ‘Hamilton’ greets Gilbert and Sullivan just as George Washington walks in. He says, ‘I’m the very model of a modern major general’, which comes straight from ‘The Pirate of Penzance,’ the show what we’re doing this year,” Goodman said.

The production will include modern political and cultural references to engage today’s audiences with the opera which was first performed in New York in 1879.

“Gilbert and Sullivan used to update their shows when they did them over and over again,” Goodman said. “So it was a lot of work, but it was my main involvement in the community and I was happy to do it.”

Before its official return to the stage on July 10, the company will present excerpts from the show at the 50th Celebration Gala on July 7 at the Wine Collective in Hampden.

The Young Victorian Theater Company will perform “The Pirates of Penzance” at the Gilman School on July 10 at 3 p.m.; family home evening Thursday, July 14 at 8 p.m.; 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 16; and 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 17. Tickets range from $25 to $40 and can be purchased at yvtc.org.

After the overthrow of Roe v. Wade, burlesque troupe The Naughty Menagerie offers a sanctuary to enjoy bodily expression.

“Burlesque is a really fun and exciting way to express your identity, to express your bodily autonomy and we want people to know they’re safe in space,” said Sedusa, 25, who has co-founded the troupe with another burlesque performer. Rose Beret.

The two performers, who prefer to call each other by their stage names, reunite to produce “Rosie Beret’s Showtune Cabaret” at Baltimore Center Stage‘s Deering Lounge on July 9.

Featuring nine cast members, the show will be the group’s first performance in a theater since kicking off in 2020 with “Bite Night,” a virtual vampire burlesque show that took place around Halloween. Soon after, the troupe began performing at Charm City’s The crown.

Sedusa, who first worked with Rosie when they were co-presidents of a burlesque troupe with the Maryland Institute College of Art, said there was a lot going on to bring the Naughty Menagerie to life, from from promoting shows to selling tickets to coordinating rehearsals.

But it’s not just about having butts in the seats, it’s about creating a safe environment in what Sedusa described as a “very vulnerable space”.

“You’re taking clothes off in a way that’s really fun and entertaining for the crowd, and we want to make sure the performers feel like they have agency during that process,” Sedusa said.

She said the July 9 performance will be a “fun, live, varied and slapstick performance, really showcasing musical show tunes and jazz numbers,” and will feature an interactive intermission with a raffle that includes giveaways. performers.

The bard’s admirers and hip-hop fans can come together for Fools and Madmen’s adaptation of “Julius Caesar,” which opens at the Motor House in Baltimore on July 8.

When they applied for a City Arts Grant in 2017, Caitlin Carbone Hernandez and Joshua C. Thomas knew they wanted to combine Shakespeare and hip-hop into productions they could present to schools across the city for free. from Baltimore. After receiving the grant to create their adaptation of “King Lear”, the two worked to make William Shakespeare’s stories accessible to all audiences.

“Our mission is to address racial disparity in classical theater by changing voices and the cultural lens through which we tell history,” Hernandez said.

After performing the comedy ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ last year, the cast thought ‘The Tragedy of Julius Caesar’ would provide a show with a clear message to take to schools.

“It’s something that we know students will likely read in school and we also had in mind the concept of centering toxic masculinity and intimate male friendships on stage,” Hernandez said.

To bring their vision from the page to the stage, the two brought in Mari Andrea Travis as director and choreographer. With intimate seating in the round, the show will feature a live band and original music created by Thomas as well as interactive moments that will allow for audience participation.

“We have a few songs that people can sing along to. We like everyone to be excited and having a good time, because it’s not just about sitting down and watching a play,” Thomas said.

The production of “Julius Caesar” by Fools and Madmen is at Motor House Baltimore on July 8, 9, 15 and 16 at 8 p.m. and July 10 and 17 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at motorhousebaltimore.com.

We rarely travel beyond Baltimore’s art scene, but sometimes you have to hit the road for an event that drew locals to dress up and take a trip not just to Washington, but to the 19th century.

Fans of Netflix’s hit show “Bridgerton” and series newbies can attend “The Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience,” an interactive traveling event that transports guests back to the days of the British Regency (officially 1811-1820). The DC Tour, which began March 31, is co-produced by Netflix, Shondaland and Fever.

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“The experience includes immersive rooms with costumes from the show, stops at iconic locations from the show, including the artist’s studio and the Milliner, and an audience with the Queen to try to curry favor of Her Majesty,” said Greg Lombardo, Vice President. Netflix live experiences.

Morgan Jones, 26, from Baltimore, attended the event with a group that included her mother, who does not watch the show. Despite this, they both had fun.

“It’s such an interactive experience, you don’t have to watch the show to be able to follow what’s going on, or to have a good time or to dance,” Jones said.

Guests learn about the Regency era, see Bridgerton’s costumes, learn about show elements like the Artist’s Studio and Madame Delacroix’s Modiste (seamstress), and receive “an audience with the Queen to try and win the favor of Her Majesty,” Lombardo said.

And because it’s a ball, there’s dancing. “It really was like a dance party,” Jones said.

As a fan of the show, Jones considers the experience “the icing on the cake,” but she said it was worth the trip from Charm City to DC.

“I feel like for people in Baltimore, it can be a good experience to go somewhere and get out of your comfort zone,” she said. “Have fun, dance and wear clothes from another era and have fun.”