Chesapeake Film Festival: Moving Stories Screening

The Chesapeake Film Festival will screen the riveting, award winning documentary, Moving Stories, on Saturday, May 11, at 3:00 p.m. at the Talbot County Free Library, 100 W. Dover St. in Easton.

Moving Stories follows Battery Dance’s troupe in India, Romania, Korea, and Iraq as the professional dancers teach tools of choreography to at-risk youth through the Dancing to Connect program. The film captures the struggle, frustration, determination, and transformation of both teachers and students, who have just one week to prepare for a final performance.

The film, by Cornelia Ravenal, Mikael Södersten, Rob Fruchtman, and Wendy Sax, premiered at the New York Museum of Modern Art last year and won the Best Documentary Award at the Chesapeake Film Festival in 2018.

Two of the filmmakers, Cornelia Ravenal and Mikael Södersten, will participate in a Question and Answer session after a short reception in the Frederick Douglass Room following the screening. The event is free but seating is limited. To reserve tickets for this event, go to Moving Stories on chesapeakefilmfestival.com and click on “Register.”

As a journalist and cultural critic, Cornelia Ravenal has a B.A. in English from Harvard University and has written for the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer, New York Post and India Today. As a scriptwriter, she has been recognized three times by The Writers Lab funded by Meryl Streep. She was a producer of the NY Times Critics Pick Nirbhaya off-Broadway and has won five Best Awards at more than twenty-five film festivals. As founder of WIP (Women Independent Producers), she is a prominent activist for women in the film industry.

Mikael Södersten is a filmmaker, producer, screenwriter, and script doctor for Sweden’s leading producers and television networks. As a scriptwriter, he co-wrote the Swedish film I Love You (2016) and the upcoming mini-series Raoul Wallenberg. As a script consultant, he has developed over seventy projects, including Grand Jury Prizewinners at Tribeca (Let The Right One In) and Sundance (King Of Ping Pong). He majored in film at Harvard and studied film theory at Stockholm University. He has taught story structure at the Swedish Royal Academy of Fine Arts and currently teaches Directing Actors at Columbia University’s Graduate Film Program.

This event serves both as a “thank you to our audience” from the Chesapeake Film Festival and an opportunity for attendees to learn how to volunteer at our exciting festival which will take place from October 3 to October 10, 2019. For further information please contact the Festival Office at 410-822-3500.

SMAL Announces Winners of 2019 Original “Celebrate St. Michaels” Banner Art

The St. Michaels Art League is pleased to announce the winners of the 2019 “Celebrate St. Michaels” original banner artwork show.

The banner art was judged by Johnny Mautz, Maryland House of Delegates Representative for District 37B. Mr. Mautz is a resident of St. Michaels and he also manages the Carpenter Street Saloon in St. Michaels. First place awards were given in two categories:Excellence in Artistry and Graphic Design.

Photo: L to R – Delegate Johnny Mautz, Beth Wright, President SMAL and Shauna Beulah, Branch Mgr. of the St. Michaels Library,standing next to the two First Place winners – Deborah McFarlin’s on the left and Kevin Snelling’s on the right.

First place in the category of Excellence in Artistry went to Deborah McFarlin for her watercolor titled “Watchful Eye.”  First Place for Graphic Design went to Kevin Snelling for his multi-media work titled “Here in Bay Hundred.” In addition, an Honorable Mention went to Eve Yacopino for her acrylic painting “Kadan.” Eve is an AP Art Student at St. Michaels Middle High School and participates in the banner program along with three other SMMHS students. The cost to produce the student banners is covered by a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council.

You can see all the banner art that will be displayed on the town utility poles at the St. Michaels Library through April 30th during regular library hours: Monday and Thursday 9am-8pm; Tuesday and Wednesday 9am-6pm; and Friday/Saturday 9am-5pm. Original banner artwork is for sale. For more information go to smartleague.org or call 410-745-5146.  This program is funded in part by a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council with revenue provided by the Maryland State Arts Council.

Tred Avon Players Presents “Laughing Stock” May 2 through 12

Tred Avon Players are presenting Laughing Stock, written by Charles Morey and directed by Zack Schlag, May 2 through May 12 at the Oxford Community Center.

Laughing Stock is a hilarious backstage farce and genuinely affectionate look into the world of the theatre. When The Playhouse, a rustic New England summer theatre, schedules a repertory season of Dracula, Hamlet and Charley’s Aunt, comic mayhem ensues. We follow the well-intentioned but over-matched company from outrageous auditions to ego-driven rehearsals through opening nights gone disastrously awry to the elation of a great play well told and the comic and nostalgic season close.

Tred Avon Players are presenting Laughing Stock May 2-May 12. From L-R: CJ Barnes, Alex Greenlee, and Rob Sanchez

The Laughing Stock cast includes C J Barnes as Tyler; Val Cavalheri as Daisy; Missy Doyle as Susannah, Alex Greenlee as Jack; Tyler Henry as Henry; Ben Lee as Braun;  Kyla Lynch as Karma; Brian McGunigle as Richfield; Bob O’Boyle as Vernon; John “Perk” Perkinson as Craig;  Jackie Royer as Mary; Lynn Sanchez as Sarah, and Rob Sanchez as Gordon.

Performances dates are May 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11 and 12. Performance times are Thursday, Friday, & Saturday at 7:30pm with Sunday matinees at 2pm.

Tickets are $22 for adults, and $11 for students (fees included). May 2 is Half Price Preview Thursday. For tickets go to TredAvonPlayers.com or call 410-226-0061.

The Oxford Community Center is located at 200 Oxford Rd. Oxford, MD 21654.

Tred Avon Players are sponsored in part by revenues from the Talbot County Arts Council, which is funded by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council.

Academy Art Museum Announces May Events

Richard Diebenkorn, untitled, c. 1945

EXHIBITIONS

The following Academy Art Museum exhibitions are sponsored by the Talbot County Arts Council, the Maryland State Arts Council, and the Star Democrat.

Richard Diebenkorn: Beginnings, 1942–1955
April 26–July 10
Reception: Friday, April 26, 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Free Docent Tours: Wednesdays, 11 a.m.
The exhibition and its accompanying catalogue aim to present a comprehensive view of Diebenkorn’s evolution to maturity, focusing solely on the paintings and drawings that precede his 1955 shift to figuration at age 33. Included in the exhibition are 100 paintings and drawings primarily from the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation, many of which have not before been publicly exhibited. The exhibition is organized by the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation in conjunction with the Crocker Art Museum, and curated by Scott Shields, Associate Director and Chief Curator of the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA. The Academy Art Museum is the only venue on the East Coast.

Related Events:
Lecture: Saturday, June 1, 11 a.m. – Gretchen Diebenkorn Grant, My Father Richard Diebenkorn

ARTS EXPRESS TRIPS

Art in Three Acts

WASHINGTON, DC
Visit the Museums Day
Wednesday, May 15
Cost: $45 Members, $49 Non-members

SPECIAL EVENTS
Open MIC
Second Wednesday Each Month
Get Out
May 8, 7 to 9 p.m.
Contact Ray Remesch at RayRemesch@gmail.com for additional information.

Art in Three Acts
Thursday, May 16, 6 p.m.
FREE. Refreshments available.
Come enjoy writers’ interpretations of artists’ works, including the works of Museum instructors and members of the Working Artist Forum and the St. Michaels Art League, as well as listen to local musicians’ interpretations of the artwork. Art in Three Acts promises to inspire and entertain.

Paint and Sip: Fine Craft and Craft Beer
Instructor: Theresa Schram
Wednesday, May 15, 6–8 p.m.
Cost: $45
Participants will learn glass painting techniques and have the chance to sip tasty craft beers.

Brad Ross

ADULT CLASSES
Here is a sampling of the many classes, instructors, and mediums being featured. Please visit academyartmuseum.org to see a complete list of adult class offerings.

Drawing the Human Figure
Instructor: Brad Ross
5 weeks: May 1–29
Wednesdays, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Cost: $150 Members, $200 Non-members

Modern Wall Hanging Workshop
Instructor: Jenny Walton
Three-Day Workshop: May 7–9
Tuesday–Thursday, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Cost: $120 Members, $144 Non-members

Painting the Landscape with Pastel
Instructor: Nick Serratore
Two-Day Workshop: May 4 and 5
Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Cost: $175 Members, $210 Non-members

Nick Serratore

Paint Along with Diane and Sheryl
Mentors: Diane DuBois Mullaly and Sheryl Southwick
Three Days: May 28–30
Tuesday–Thursday: 9 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
Cost $95 Members, $114 Non-members

Beginning and Intermediate Potter’s Wheel
Instructor: Paul Aspell
One Six-Week Session: May 8–June 12
Wednesdays, 9:30–11:30 a.m.
Cost: $205 Members, $245 Non-members

Intermediate /Advanced Hand Building
Instructor: Paul Aspell
One Six-Week Session: May 8–June 12
Wednesdays, 1–3 p.m.
Cost: $205 Members, $245 Non-members

Beginning / Intermediate / Advanced Pottery
Instructor: Stephen Walker
One Six-Week Session: May 8–June 12
Wednesdays, 6–8 p.m.
Cost: $205 Members, $245 Non-members

Cookies by Maggii Sarfaty

Edible Art! The Decorated Cookie
Instructor: Maggii Sarfaty
One-Day Workshop: May 21
Tuesday, 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Cost: $65 Members, $78 Non-members

Intermediate and Advanced Potter’s Wheel
Instructor: Paul Aspell
One Six-Week Session: May 6–June 10
Mondays, 1–3 p.m.
Cost: $205 Members, $245 Non-members

CHILDREN’S CLASSES

All aboard!! Travel the World to Canada
Instructor: Museum Staff
Saturday, May 18, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
FREE
Travel the World takes children ages 6+ and their parents on a “trip” to a far-away country…where they will work together on an art project typical of that country. Contact the Museum’s Director of Children’s Education and Community Programs, Constance Del Nero, at cdelnero@academyartmuseum.org if you have any questions.

SUMMER CAMPS

Academy Art Museum Summer Camp Participant

Academy Art Museum Summer Camps (PreK –High School)
Camps are offered weekly, beginning the last week of June and continuing through the third week of August. Most camps are between two and three hours long.
Academy Art Museum camps are designed to appeal to every age range and arts interest from pre-school summer-themed offerings to tween and teen crafts, such as paper-making and plaster sculpture. The Museum’s signature Kaleidoscope Camp—a perennial favorite—consists of multi-media projects, while other camps focus on building basic art skills, such as drawing and painting. New 2019 camps offer high school students advanced drawing and digital media expertise.

PERFORMING ARTS CLASSES

Piano & Guitar Lessons
Instructor: Raymond Remesch
Contact Instructor for further information at (410) 829-0335 or rayremesch@gmail.com

Voice Lessons
Instructor: Georgiann Gibson
Contact instructor for Information at (410) 829-2525 or georgiann@atlanticbb.net.

Ballroom and Latin Dance
Instructor: Amanda Showell
Contact instructor for information at (302) 377-3088 or visit dancingontheshore.com.

For additional information, visit academyartmuseum.org or call the Museum at 410-822-2787.

Garfield Center Announces the Opening of Where the Wild Things Are

On April 26th director Bee Betley will be opening a new show at the Garfield Center for the Arts; an adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s beloved children’s book, Where the Wild Things Are. A veteran of local theatre, this is Betley’s second full-length production since directing The Little Prince in 2018.

Feeling misunderstood at home and at school, mischievous Max (Lydia Sensenig) escapes to the land of the Wild Things, majestic — and sometimes fierce — creatures. They allow Max to become their leader, and he promises to create a kingdom where everyone will be happy. However, Max soon finds that being king is not easy and that, even being with the Wild Things, there is something missing.Also featuring Sarah Lyle, Izzie Southworth, Paul Cambardella, John Mann, Georgia Rickloff, Mike Heffron, Phebe Wood, Zach Ryan, Aaron Sensenig, Zuzu Kusmider and Alden Swanson.

The show runs for three weekends, with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 7pm and Sundays at 2pm, April 26 – May 12. This production is appropriate for all ages.

Where the Wild Things Are is sponsored by Aztec Environmental Inc. & Kaleidoscope Children’s Art Studio. The 2019 season of plays at the Garfield is dedicated to the memory of Judy Kohl, a board member, patron, benefactor and friend who is missed dearly.

Tickets are $20 general admission, $15 for seniors 65+and members of the US Military, and $10 for students. They are available online at www.garfieldcenter.org or by calling the Garfield Center box office at 410-810-2060.

St. Michaels Art League Members Show

The St. Michaels Art League (SMAL) Members Show will be held at the St. Michaels Library during regular library hours May 1-31.

The exhibit of original artwork in various mediums includes landscapes, figurative and architectural subjects and more; from abstract to realistic.  Artwork may be purchased directly through the artist.

Last year’s winner “Sheep Barns” by George Hamilton.

The show will be judged and awards given by Wallace McGarry.  Mr. McGarry is a native Washingtonian now retired on the Eastern Shore. He studied art at Chounard Art Institute in Los Angeles before starting a successful 35- year career in advertising and illustration in California. He has taught many classes and workshops on oil painting and now paints mostly for pleasure, exhibiting in many local art shows.

The library is located at 106 Fremont Street in St. Michaels and the exhibit is free to the public. Library hour are Monday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.

For more information about the exhibit contact Valerie Sunderland at 410-598-5548 or visit smartleague.org. This program is funded in part by a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council with revenues provided by the Maryland State Arts Council.

National Music Festival Alumnus Yoshi Horiguchi Wraps Up Resonance Season

Yoshiaki Horiguchi is no stranger to Chestertown. To this day, he fondly remembers it as the place he had his first “slow dance” with a girl while attending summer camp at Washington College as a middle schooler. Fast forward 10 years later, he would spend the next five summers as an apprentice double bass player with the National Music Festival. He’s also performed with the Chester River Chorale.

So when he returns April 28 to play a solo recital as part of NMF’s Resonance series at St. Paul’s Parish, Kent, he’ll feel right at home. Horiguchi – Yoshi to his friends – will be accompanied by pianist Soojeong Oh, a colleague at Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, where he’s pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts in bass performance and pedagogy. Their repertoire will range from Bach to jazz composer Chick Corea.

“I enjoy mixing genres and mixing styles and mixing audiences as well,” Horiguchi said by phone while driving to a recent gig in York, Pa. – a performance of Stravinsky’s “L’histoire du soldat” accompanied by a light show.

Horiguchi’s playing has been praised by The Baltimore Sun for its “dazzling display of dexterity and panache.” While classically trained, he is a self-described champion of “music accessibility.” (Horiguchi replaces cellist Gwen Krosnick, who was originally scheduled to perform but had to withdraw on short notice.)

His engagements have spanned a range of genres and venues, from concert halls with symphony orchestras to hip-hop clubs with the Baltimore Boom Bap Society, dance halls with The Hungry Monks Swing Band, and more. Horiguchi has taught with OrchKids, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s program that works for social change through music. His Chestertown performance will lean more towards classical but also embrace contemporary concert pieces for double bass.

At first blush, the bass might seem an odd choice for a solo instrument. Not a lot of music has been written specifically for the largest of the orchestra’s string instruments (the one played standing up). But Horiguchi will showcase music from concertos written for double bass, music originally written for other instruments and even his own arrangement of a Corea’s “Spain,” a jazz classic.

On “Spain” Horiguchi will build a multi-layered performance using a loop pedal, an electronic device that allows him to lay track upon track recorded live and simultaneously accompany himself.

His program will include “Firesides for Solo Double Bass,” a contemporary work by Ledah Finck, a friend and Peabody colleague; a Bach cello suite and “Ode d’Espagne,” a flamenco guitar-inspired solo by Syrian-French bassist and composer François Rabbath.

Tickets for Horiguchi’s Resonance (formerly Kent Chamber Music) recital, April 28, 3 p.m. at St. Paul’s Parish Hall, 7579 Sandy Bottom Rd., are $20 and may be purchased online at http://nationalmusic.us/events-and-tickets/single-concert-tickets/. The concert is free for holders of 2019 National Music Festival Combination Passes. Student tickets are $5.

“I think music is just music,” Horiguchi said of his eclectic tastes. “Because the communicative power of music and the strength that it holds to bond two people together and bring people together is an incredible potential that music has, and I learned a lot of that from the National Musical Festival. It’s kind of my guiding light so far as how I carry forth in my musical career.”

The 2019 National Music Festival will run June 2 -15, for more information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.nationalmusic.us.

RES·O·NANCE /ˈrezənəns/ Noun: the quality in a sound of being deep, full, and reverberating … a quality of richness or variety.

Talbot Arts Scholarship Applications Due April 30

The Talbot County Arts Council reminds local students that April 30 is the cutoff date for applications for scholarships to support advanced arts studies during Summer 2019.  To be eligible for the program, students must be residents of Talbot County and now enrolled in the 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grades.

There is no specific dollar limit to individual grant requests, but the amount asked of the Arts Council must be matched dollar-for-dollar by funds from other sources (so that if a program costs $1,000, no more than $500 may be requested from the Arts Council).  A total of $4,500 is available for summer arts scholarships this year.

Programs that qualify in the visual or performing arts include summer arts camps, summer arts programs or classes, or private lessons.

For further information on the scholarship program, including application materials, contact the Talbot County Arts Council, P.O. Box 6, Easton, MD  21601 (phone 410-310-9812/ e-mail gearly@talbotarts.org).

Academy Art Museum Offers Only East Coast Richard Diebenkorn Exhibition

Richard Diebenkorn in the US Marine Corps

Audiences today generally know the career of Richard Diebenkorn (1922–1993) in three periods: the Sausalito, Albuquerque, Urbana, and “early Berkeley” periods of Abstract Expressionism; the Berkeley figurative/representational period; and lastly the famous Ocean Park and Healdsburg series of abstractions. Yet Diebenkorn’s earliest work remains very little known. The exhibition, Richard Diebenkorn: Beginnings, 1942–1955, will be on view at the Academy Art Museum in Easton, MD from April 26 to July 14, 2019 — the only venue on the East Coast. A reception on Friday, April 26, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. is free and the public are invited to attend.

The exhibition and its accompanying catalogue aim to present a comprehensive view of Diebenkorn’s evolution to maturity, focusing solely on the paintings and drawings that precede his 1955 shift to figuration at age 33. Included in the exhibition are 100 paintings and drawings from the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation, offering a full picture of the young artist’s achievements.

Certainly, many of the elements that came to define Diebenkorn’s mature work are present in his earliest paintings and drawings, which evolved rapidly from representational landscape scenes and portraits of military colleagues, to semi-abstract and Surrealist-inspired depictions of topography and the human form, to mature Abstract Expressionist paintings that he made while living in California, New Mexico, and Illinois. The exhibition reveals the forces that shaped Diebenkorn as a young artist, including his teachers and mentors, most notably painter David Park, whose artistic and paternal guidance lasted until Park’s early death in 1960. It also evidences the influence of artists he admired, including Arshile Gorky, Joan Miró, and Willem de Kooning; as well as the writings of art critic Clement Greenberg.

In 1955, the artist abandoned the non-objective purity of Abstract Expressionism and, while keeping its painterly language, made a return to representational painting. He reversed course yet again in 1967, after moving to Santa Monica, California, where he produced a new, highly acclaimed series that he called Ocean Park. Some of the works in Richard Diebenkorn: Beginnings, 1942–1955 have not been seen by the public nor reproduced, except in the context of the artist’s recent catalogue raisonneì (Yale University Press, 2016). Together these drawings and paintings offer a fuller picture of Diebenkorn’s precocious achievements.

Dorsey Waxter, partner at Van Doren Waxter, New York, whose gallery represents the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation states, “This exhibition is an exceptional opportunity to see the nascent work of an artist who became a giant in American art. For anyone who admires Richard Diebenkorn, the paintings and works on paper in this exhibition will offer a window into the artist’s early explorations that are so important to understanding what became his mature period. This is a must-see exhibition for all ages and audiences who want to understand how an artist becomes one.”

Richard Diebenkorn, Untitled (Magician’s Table), 1947

The exhibition is organized by the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation in conjunction with the Crocker Art Museum, and curated by Scott Shields, Associate Director and Chief Curator of the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA. The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation expands knowledge and fosters appreciation of the artist and his role in central artistic developments of the 20th century. The Foundation increases public access to Diebenkorn’s work and understanding of his legacy and times through support of exhibitions, loan of artworks, research, publications, archival services, and digital initiatives. The new diebenkorn.org provides unprecedented public access to the artist’s work and archives.

The exhibition opened in 2017, traveling from the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA; to the David Owsley Museum of Art, Muncie, IN; the Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR; and The Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, Malibu, prior to coming to the Academy Art Museum, the sole East Coast venue of the show.

The exhibition is sponsored by the Maryland State Arts Council, Talbot County Arts Council and the Star Democrat.

The Academy Art Museum will offer associated programs, including a lecture and book signing by Scott Shields, Associate Director and Chief Curator, Crocker Museum of Art, author of the exhibition catalogue Richard Diebenkorn: Beginnings, 1942–1955, on Sunday, April 28 at 2 p.m. On Saturday, June 1, Gretchen Diebenkorn Grant, daughter of the artist, will be introduced by Dorsey Waxter, Partner of Van Doren Waxter, New York, and will present the lecture, “My Father: Richard Diebenkorn.”

The Museum is located at 106 South Street is one of Easton’s historic landmarks – deeply tied to the educational community in Easton since 1800. Its permanent collection includes important paintings by Gene Davis and Anne Truitt among others and is especially strong on works paper by modern American and European masters. The Museum holds drawings, photographs, and prints by artists such as Pierre Bonnard, Robert Rauschenberg, and Martin Puryear. Welcoming over 50,000 visitors and participants annually to experience national and regional exhibitions, the Museum also offers concerts, lectures, educational programs, and visual and performing arts classes for adults and children.

Museum hours: Tuesday – Thursday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., and Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. On Wednesdays, admission is free. For further information, visit academyartmuseum.org or call 410-822-2787.

A Flea in Her Ear Brings Laughter to Church Hill Theatre

The hilarious French farce, A Flea in Her Ear written by Georges Feydeau and adapted by David Ives continues at Church Hill Theatre through Sunday April 14.  With performances on Friday and Saturday nights at 8 pm and Sunday afternoons at 2 pm, and is “not to be missed” according to a review by Peter Heck.  Reservations can be made by calling 410-556-6003 or online at churchhilltheatre.org

Under the helm of Christopher Wallace’s “first class direction,” and with “some of the area’s best comic talent” this delightful comedy comes to life.  Originally written by Feydeau in 1907, A Flea in Her Ear tells the story of Raymonde Chandebise who suspects her husband, Victor of being unfaithful.  To catch him, Raymonde’s best friend Lucienne suggests arranging a rendezvous with an imaginary secret admirer at the Frisky Puss Hotel, and then catching him when he meets her.  Of course, the plan goes awry with a host of characters running around and confusing everything and everyone.  Mistaken identities, jealousy, and more will put the audience in stiches.

Don Carlos (Howard Mesick, left) shows off his pistol to Victor (Bradley Chaires, left). Photo by Genevieve Croker.

In his review, Heck praises the talented cast taking on this riotous comedy.  Raymonde and her husband Victor are played by Hester Sachse and Brad Chaires (Chaires has a double role as Monsieur Chandebise and Poche the Frisky Puss Hotel’s porter).  Heck notes that Sachse is “in her element…conveying her character’s real concern…while moving effectively into the comic consequences” and Chaires’ “deadpan approach…is right on target” and he “gets a real showcase for his talents.”  Natalie Lane and Howard Mesick take on the roles of Lucienne and her husband Don Carlos Homenides de Histangua.  Both are praised for their deft abilities to “effectively handle exchanges – in rapid Spanish” with Lane as an “instigator…at the heart of the play” and Mesick “makes it good fun as he stomps across the stage, brandishing a pistol.”  Tournel, best friend to Chandebise, and a bit of a rake, is played with “convincing [and] amusing” effect by Dan Guidice.  Robbie Spray takes on the role of Camille, nephew to Victor, with the review noting his “nice physical performance adding to the fun.”  Herb Ziegler is “fun to watch” as Faraillon, the ex-army man who owns the Frisky Puss.   Minnie Maloney plays Raymonde’s flirtatious maid Antoinette, and Michael Moore is her jealous husband, the Chandebise valet, Etienne.  Doctor Finache, a somewhat suspect medical expert is played by Bryan Zajchowski.  Faraillon’s wife is played by Mary Zober.  Their maid Eugenie is played by Shannon Whitaker with a special guest appearance by Maya McGrory in the role on April 5th only.  Steve Atkinson and Troy Strootman take on the roles of a rheumatic drunkard and confused Englishman respectively.  Heck notes that the more minor players “get their comic bits, and are all thoroughly entertaining.”

Eugenie (Shannon Whitaker) maintains the cleanliness of the Frisky Puss Hotel. Photo by Genevieve Croker.

Another draw to the Church Hill Theatre production of A Flea in Her Ear is the impressive set designed by Shelagh Grasso and executed by Carmen Grasso, Tom Rhodes and Jim Johnson.  There are two distinct, opulent interiors recreated on the stage, with multiple doors for actors to burst out of, and catch others by surprise.  Audiences in the first weekend stayed in their seats to watch the crew make the transformation.  Heck noted the skill of the design, and “precisely choreographed set change on wheels” helmed by stage manager, Michelle Christopher.

The production team also includes Producer, Sylvia Maloney; Costumer, Juanita Wieczoreck; Lighting Designer, Nic Carter; Photographer Genevieve Croker.

If laughter is something that you enjoy, then be sure to reserve your tickets for A Flea in Her Ear.  There is no profanity in the play, but there are adult themes wrapped in double entendre and innuendo.  However, the slapstick will likely entertain younger audience members.

A Flea in Her Ear runs through April 14, with performances on Friday and Saturday nights at 8 pm and Sunday afternoons at 2 pm.  Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for members and $10 for students, with special prices for groups of ten or more. Reservations can be made by calling the box office at 410-556-6003 or online at www.churchhilltheatre.org

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