Top 5 Publisher’s Picks for the Weekend of June 22-24

Looking for something to do this weekend?  I have been having a blast seeing shows all over town and here is what I recommend…

Top 5 Publisher’s Picks:

1. The King and I at Cockpit in Court

Cockpit in Court has been producing high-quality community theatre for 40 years!

Synopsis: It’s the 1860’s and the Western world is closing in on Thailand. Hoping to give his family the necessary knowledge to survive in this New World, the King of Thailand hires for his children a British governess, Anna. At first, Anna and the King struggle to find common ground between Thai and British attitudes. Soon though, the two opposites fall in love. Meanwhile, Tuptim and and Lun Tha have a hidden romance even though Tup Tim belongs to the King.

The cast of ‘The King and I’ at Cockpit in Court.

2. Flowers for Algernon at Elden Street Players

WATCH Award-winning director, Gloria DuGan (Wit, Doubt, Blood Brothers), returns to direct this heart-warming, beautiful story.

Synopis: Charlie Gordon is a grown man with the mind of a child, whose life changes dramatically after being chosen for an experimental surgery to increase his IQ. But when he discovers his newfound intelligence may be temporary, he begins to understand why ignorance might actually be bliss.

Professor Harold Nemur (Stuart Fischer), Matt Baughman (Charlie Gordon), Dr. Jay Strauss (Dell Pendergrast), and Burt Seldon (Steve Custer). Photo by Traci J. Brooks Photography.

3. The Normal Heart at Arena Stage

This powerful play gets an award-worthy production at Arena Stage.

READ Jennifer Perry’s review of the play.

Synopsis: Tony winner George C. Wolfe, (Angels in America) directs Larry Kramer’s Tony Award-winning Broadway production of The Normal Heart. Fueled by love, anger, hope and pride, a circle of friends struggle to contain the mysterious disease ravaging New York’s gay community. Dismissed by politicians, frustrated by doctors and fighting with each other, their differences could tear them apart – or change the world. Hailed by critics, Kramer’s masterwork is an outrageous and totally unforgettable look at sexual politics during the AIDS crisis and remains one of the theater’s most powerful evenings ever.

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Michael Berresse as Mickey Marcus and Tom Berklund as Craig Donner. Photo by Scott Suchman.

4. The Animals and Children Took to the Streets at Studio Theatre

This is a “Helen Hayes Awards Recommended” show!

READ April Forrer’s review of the play.

Synopsis: Part Charles Dickens, part Tim Burton, the Bayou is a dystopian metropolis squirming with cockroaches and unrest. With live music, witty performances, and stunning interaction between animation and live actors, acclaimed London company 1927’s show is a graphic novel burst into life.

‘The Animals and Children Took to the Streets,’ created and performed by the London-based performance company 1927 and presented as part of the Studio Theatre’s Special Events series. Photo courtesy of The Studio Theatre.

5. National Tour of Memphis at the Kennedy Center

I saw this touring company of Memphis when it came to Baltimore and really enjoyed the show.  You can check out my video of Memphis featuring two sample songs: “Colored Woman” and “Change Don’t Come Easy.”

READ Jennifer Perry’s review of the play.

Synopsis: This four-time Tony Award winner, including Best Musical, begs you to turn up the dial. Inspired by actual events, Memphis introduces a white radio DJ who wants to change the world and a black club singer who is ready for her big break.

Felicia Boswell as Felicia and the cast of MEMPHIS National Tour. Credit Photo by Paul Kolnik.

About Mark Beachy

Mark Beachy is the publisher and video producer of the MD Theatre Guide and the NY Theatre Guide.

In 1997 he wrote the play, music, and lyrics in a musical called, “’Bout Baltimore.” This musical won the WMAR TV Channel 2 and Pumpkin Theatre Baltimore Bicentennial Playwriting contest and was produced as a 1-hour television special.

He has directed over 40 productions, including shows for Pumpkin Theatre, Timonium Dinner Theatre, Howard County Center for the Arts, and the Baltimore Children's Theatre where he was the founder and producer for 7 years.

Before starting the MTG in March of 2010, Mark was the performing arts reporter for the Baltimore Examiner.

As a professional actor he has appeared on TV nationally, including on Discovery Health as "Jerry Baldwin" on I Was Dead, “Officer Nunham” on America’s Most Wanted’s Top Cops 2009 and “Alexander T. Crane” in a Japanese TV documentary about Edgar Allan Poe.