A snow day turns special when "Frosty the Snow Man" comes to life at Adventure Theatre

FROSTY 2 copyDallas Tolentino plays the title character of “Frosty the Snow Man” at Adventure Theatre. COURTESY PHOTO You can’t escape the wildly popular Christmas song when you enter stores during the holiday season.

“Frosty the Snow Man,” written by Steve "Jack" Rollins and Steve Nelson, and first recorded by Gene Autry, has taken on a life of its own. The story of the magical snowman has been sung by various artists since its inception, including Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby and Jimmy Durante, and been adapted in other mediums, including animated television specials and children’s books.

Now “Frosty the Snow Man” is commanding the stage at Adventure Theatre. Dallas Tolentino plays Frosty in a white suit and vest, with LED lights.


Quotidian alternates two plays by its favorite authors

Quotidian Theatre Company has long embraced the works of the late American playwright Horton Foote and Irish playwright Conor McPherson. Artistic director Jack Sbarbori developed not only a working relationship but a friendship with both men.

Now Quotidian is offering one work each by Foote and McPherson in repertory for the final productions of 2017-2018.

“St. Nicholas,” which McPherson wrote at the age of 26 and helped to establish his reputation, concerns a Dubliner who may have encountered vampires.


The tale of two staged readings - one a comedy

9BMRJeterOct2017 copyLiz Galuardi and Paul Reisman in Best Medicine Rep’s reading of “Derek Jeter Makes the Play.” COURTESY PHOTO BY MARY ROBERDSThe historical farce “Philosophus,” by contemporary playwright Colin Speer Crowley, is billed as “clever and funny,” making it perfect fare for Best Medicine Repertory Theater.

The Gaithersburg-based theater began its programming earlier this year, focusing on new works and specifically on comedies, according to John Morogiello, artistic director.

“The Shadow of a Doubt,” on the other hand, was written by Edith Wharton, the author of such classic novels as “The Age of Innocence” and “The House of Mirth,” who passed away in 1937. It is her only known play – planned for a Broadway run that never happened.

“Two scholars working at the University of Texas found the manuscript, which Wharton wrote in 1901, right before she started writing novels,” said Drew Lichtenberg, Literary Manager of Shakespeare Theatre Company, where the play will have a reading. “Like many people, she wanted to write for the stage.”


Doomed romance at the heart of Kensington play

Bridges of Madison County at KATElizabeth Hester and Jonathan Rizzardi star in Kensington Arts Theatre s production of “The Bridges of Madison County." COURTESY PHOTO BY ENELISON AYALASome have labeled Robert James Waller’s 1992 novel “The Bridges of Madison County” oversentimental. But it inspired a well-received film three years later in which Clint Eastwood, who also directed, demonstrated his romantic chops and for which Meryl Streep garnered yet another Oscar nomination.

Nearly 20 years later, a show by the same name opened on Broadway – with a book by Marsha Norman and music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown.

Despite numerous nominations and some awards, as well as star power – including Kelli O’Hara as the female lead and director Bartlett Sher – the musical lasted only weeks on Broadway.

Now, “The Bridges of Madison County” is coming to Kensington Arts Theatre, the first community theater in the area to present it, said the show’s director Craig Pettinati.


Irving Berlin’s favorite holiday play visits Rockville

DSC 0286 0360 copy white christmasMichael Page and Sirena Dib star in Rockville Musical Theatre’s stage production of "White Christmas."    COURTESY PHOTO BY BRUCE ROSENBERGIn 2000, David Ives and Paul Blake created a show based on the popular 1954 Paramount Pictures movie musical “White Christmas,” which starred Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen. The stage musical, like the film, features the songs of composer and lyricist Irving Berlin, best known for “Annie Get Your Gun.”

Now, “White Christmas” is coming to Rockville Musical Theatre, closing its 2017 season.

“The (stage) musical and the movie are very similar – same characters, same music, same story – even some of the same dialogue,” said Marci Shegogue, the production’s music director. “There are a few differences in how it is presented, of course, but that’s mainly due to the limits of film and stage. If you loved the movie, we think you will love the stage production even more.”


Peace Mountain Theatre Company stages Neil Simon’s “Lost in Yonkers”

20171002 201109 001 copy Lost in YonkersDavid Dieudonne directs Elyon Topolosky and Leah Mazade in Neil Simon's "Lost in Yonkers." COURTESY PHOTO Those who only know Neil Simon as the comic playwright of such works as “Barefoot in the Park,” and “The Odd Couple” may be underselling him.

“Lost in Yonkers,” for example, won both a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award, and many consider it his finest play.

That’s the prevalent attitude at Peace Mountain Theatre Company. The Potomac-based theater company is gearing up for a production of the play, after having previously produced such “heavier” fare as Edward Albee’s “A Delicate Balance” and Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons.”


Puppets share stage with people in Olney Theatre’s ‘Our Town’

Wedding of George and Emily copyGeorge (left) and Emily (right) – William Vaughan and Cindy De La Cruz – stand with Jon Hudson Odom as the Stage Manager in Olney Theatre Center’s production of "Our Town." COURTESY PHOTO  The creative mind works in unexpected ways.

When Aaron Posner was staging “Measure for Measure” at the Folger Theatre in 2004 – a production that incorporated puppets – he pointed out to their designer Aaron Cromie that his creations looked “lively and human” during rehearsals but “so dead” during a break.

Posner made a mental leap, that should he direct Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town,” puppets would represent the dead people in the third act.

From there Posner went on to the idea of using puppets more extensively, as he is currently doing as the director of the Olney Theatre Center’s production of “Our Town.” 


Rockville Little Theatre Celebrates 70 years

ROCKVILLE — Montgomery County experienced a radical change in the aftermath of World War II. The population of Rockville and surrounding areas swelled as thousands of people moved to take jobs with federal government contractors, the county schools and government and technology companies. And during that time, people from various occupations have come to Rockville Little Theatre to watch and participate in the production of a wide variety of plays.

The community theater company inaugurated its 70th season Sept. 22 through Oct. 1 with a production of the play "Almost, Maine," by John Cariani, which was featured in last week’s review by The Sentinel’s Barbara Trainin Blank. Set in a quasi-mythical Maine town, the frequently-produced play features a series of interrelated vignettes in which characters attempt, with varying degrees of success, to achieve romantic connections.


Passion for puppetry in Glen Echo company

Pinocchio Puppet Co. 1Blue Fairy helps Pinocchio in Puppet Co. production. COURTESY PHOTO  A puppeteer often must do it all.

That’s the case at the Puppet Co., a professional organization in Glen Echo that produces everything audiences see on stage.

“We make the puppets, write the scripts, design and make the costumes and sets, and sometimes compose the music when we’re not using that of classical composers,” said Christopher Piper, artistic director. “And we create the video animations used in some of our shows.”