John Lewis's picture
March, 24th 2014

Open Walls 2 Launches Tonight

Baltimore magazine

This evening, street artist Gaia and friends will announce plans for Open Walls 2, another round of curated street art for Station North. Like 2012’s Open Walls project, it will feature murals and site-specific pieces by national and international artists chosen by Gaia. The roster this time around includes Nanook and the duo of Jessie Unterhalter and Katie Truhn from the inaugural project, along with Ozmo, Ernest Shaw, Logan Hicks, Lesser Gonzalez Alvarez, and eight others. The pieces go up between March and June, and the project also has some Parkour in the mix (courtesy of the Urban Playground Group). You can get full details at tonight’s launch party (6-8 pm) at the Windup Space.

John Lewis's picture
March, 18th 2014

Silopanna Music Fest Returns

Baltimore magazine

After a one-year hiatus, the Silopanna Music Festival is back. This year’s event, according to Rams Head Promotions, will be held August 16 at the Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds in Crownsville. Rams Head hasn’t announced who’s playing, but you can sign up for news alerts via Silopanna’s Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages. The 2012 fest featured Cake, G. Love, and Robert Randolph alongside local and regional bands like J. Roddy Walston & The Business.

John Lewis's picture
March, 18th 2014

Book Festival Moves to Inner Harbor

Baltimore magazine

This year’s Baltimore Book Festival will be held at the Inner Harbor rather than its usual location in Mt. Vernon. The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts is moving the popular festival, which will be held September 26-28, because of construction related to the Washington Monument restoration. Though the venue will change, you can expect the usual best-selling authors, musical performances, readings and demos, and kids activities. Full details and schedules are forthcoming. And the festival should, if all goes according to plan, return to Mt. Vernon in 2015.

John Lewis's picture
March, 13th 2014

Center Stage Announces 2014-15 Season

Baltimore magazine

Center Stage artistic director Kwame Kwei-Armah has announced next season’s lineup of plays, noting that the productions tend to focus on “a tipping point, a moment when everything changes. And it’s in those moments, when the ground seems to give way, that we find out exactly what we’re made of.”

The season opens with a revival of the Tony-winning Amadeus (Sept 10-Oct 12) and also includes the Pulitzer-winning musical Next to Normal (Oct 8-Nov 16), holiday favorite It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play (Nov 18-Dec 21), and One Night in Miami (Jan 14-Feb 15), a fictional take on the night Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, Sam Cooke, and Malcolm X met in a Miami hotel room. The theater will also stage a pair of Amy Herzog plays, After the Revolution (Apr 1-May 24) and 4000 Miles (Mar 18-May 17), both of which are Baltimore premieres.

Kwei-Armah also promised “a major new project that will be an extraordinary ending to the...

John Lewis's picture
March, 13th 2014

McDermott, Adichie Vie for Book Critics Award

Baltimore magazine

Johns Hopkins professor Alice McDermott and a former student of hers, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, are both nominated for this year’s National Book Critics Circle Award. Winners will be announced during a ceremony in New York this evening, with Javier Marias, Ruth Ozeki, and Donna Tartt also in the running for the fiction prize. Tartt’s The Goldfinch might be considered the frontrunner, but I wouldn’t be surprised if either McDermott’s Someone or Adichie’s Americanah won. You can check out my profile of McDermott in our current issue.

John Lewis's picture
February, 27th 2014

Get $25 Book of Mormon Tickets

Baltimore magazine

It’s true you can get Book of Mormon tickets for just 25 bucks. Before each performance, a limited number of tickets will be available via lottery. To be eligible, you need to print your name and the number of tickets (1 or 2) you’d like to buy on a blank card and submit it to the Hippodrome box office. Submissions will be accepted two-and-a-half hours before show time, and the drawing will be held 30 minutes later (two hours before curtain). Winners must be present for the drawing.

It's worth a shot, because the show definitely lives up to the hype. Its bawdy humor, snappy songs (some of them reminiscent of Hairspray), and overall irreverence make for an electrifying evening of musical theater. The show’s creators—South Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone—exuberantly embrace the genre, while simultaneously poking fun at its conventions and overall earnestness. And the jabs aren’t limited to musicals—they also target organized religion, homophobia, stereotyping, American exceptionalism, colonialism, racism, and...

John Lewis's picture
February, 24th 2014

Latest Local Signing—Kwame Kwei-Armah!

Baltimore magazine

Center Stage has announced that Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah’s contract has been extended through June 2018, which is the arts scene equivalent of locking up J.J. Hardy and Matt Wieters. Like those Orioles players, Kwei-Armah brings skillful intelligence and key intangibles to his position. He programs smartly, directs with bravado, writes with sensitivity and depth, and, as an ambassador for the organization, connects with the community at large. Kwei-Armah could have been a free agent at the end of this season, so we’re grateful he’ll be going deep in Baltimore for, at least, a few more years. And there’s more good news…. Managing Director Stephen Richard has signed on through June 2017.

John Lewis's picture
February, 19th 2014

Sondheim Semifinalists Announced

Baltimore magazine

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts has announced the semifinalists for this year’s Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize. The list of artists (see below) is impressive and illustrates the variety and vitality of work coming out of the local arts scene—from Neil Feather’s sculptural musical instruments to Leah Cooper’s ephemeral installations (pictured). This year’s Sondheim winner will receive $25,000.

 

Lauren Adams, Baltimore, MD

Kyle Bauer, Baltimore, MD

Stephanie Benassi, Baltimore, MD

Tommy Bobo, Baltimore, MD

Aharon Bumi, Baltimore, MD

Amanda Burnham, Baltimore, MD

Dustin Carlson, Baltimore, MD

Shannon Collis, Baltimore, MD

Jim Condron, Owings Mills, MD

Ally Silberkleit, Baltimore, MD

Leah Cooper, Baltimore, MD

Elizabeth Crisman, Baltimore, MD

Marley Dawson, Washington, DC

Kyle Tata, Baltimore, MD

Adam Farcus, Baltimore, MD

Neil Feather, Baltimore, MD

Terence Hanum, Parkville, MD

Joshua Haycraft, Washington, DC

Nora Howell, Baltimore, MD

Elena Johnston, Baltimore, MD

Benjamin...

John Lewis's picture
February, 15th 2014

Kanye's Valentine to Baltimore

Baltimore magazine

Last night's Kanye West show at the Arena may have opened as many minds as it blew. From the spiritual-journey concept and artful staging (by Vanessa Beecroft!) to the rousing set list, the two-and-a-half hour concert upped the ante for Kanye's peers, though, at this point, he doesn't seem to have any. From start to finish, it was a visual and musical feast, and, for my money, the Yeezus material won the day.

Because it was Valentine's Day, lots of folks in the audience wondered if Kim Kardashian would make an appearance, and Kanye stoked those expectations by noting she was "in the house." Thankfully, she didn't materialize, because it would have distracted from the performance art at hand.

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John Lewis's picture
February, 12th 2014

Wayne Coyne at AVAM

Baltimore magazine

Didn’t you just know that Wayne Coyne would love AVAM? The Flaming Lips frontman toured the museum with Rebecca Hoffberger yesterday and was mighty impressed by what he saw, inside and out. Coyne was particularly fond of the mosaic exterior, Alex Grey’s paintings, and a Kenny Irwin installation (Robotmas) that combines Santa Claus, lots of insects, reindeer heads coming out of toilets, artificial turf, machine parts, rows of skulls, and what looks like a tank turret painted pink. The Irwin piece looked as if it could have been straight out of Coyne’s playfully twisted imagination, and he returned to it a few times during his hour-long visit. He said that it, and a few other pieces in the show, made him feel “normal” by comparison.

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