Top 5 Shows of The Week

1. The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe at Imagination Stage

Imagination Stage teams up with The Washington Ballet to create a magical piece of theatre for the entire family.

Synopsis: Told through a dazzling fusion of dance, acting, and puppetry, our story begins when Lucy, Edmund, Susan, and Peter are sent off to the countryside to avoid the Blitz. Lucy discovers a magical wardrobe that leads them into the fantastical world of Narnia. The four siblings become embroiled in an epic battle between the White Witch and the great lion Aslan. It’s an epic adventure with terrible betrayals, great battles, heroic deeds, and noble kings and queens!

Maugrim the Wolf (Dylan Keane) and the White Witch’s minions taunt Aslan, the Lion in ‘The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe.’ Photo by Scott Suchman.

2. Steel Magnolias at Cockpit in Court

In conjunction with its 40th Anniversary, Cockpit in Court Summer Theatre presents Steel Magnolias, one of the most heart-wrenching plays of contemporary American theatre.

READ Matt Winer’s review of the play.

Synopsis: Playwright Robert Harling’s depiction of six women in crises presents an intimate and moving portrait of the friendships that women sustain and the friendships that sustain them.

Back: Holly Gibbs (Shelby), Laura Weiss (Annelle), Janis Whelan (Truvy), Joan Crooks (M’Lynn). Front: Carol Evans (Ouiser) and Harriette Bush Clark (Clairee). Photo courtesy of Cockpit in Court.

3. The New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players presents The Pirates of Penznace at Wolf Trap

Head to the swashbuckling high seas as Gilbert & Sullivan’s most popular comic opera comes to Wolf Trap, featuring hit songs that include “Poor Wandering One” and “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General.”

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Synopsis: In this classic musical theater piece, Frederic, a young man who was mistakenly apprenticed to pirates as a child, swears to dedicate himself to the extermination of piracy. Due to a hilariously absurd technicality, however, his February 29th birthday threatens to keep him tied to the pirates for life.

‘The Pirates of Penznace’

4. Sleuth at Olney Theatre Center

Sleuth is a 1970 play written by Anthony Shaffer. Shaffer said the play was partially inspired by one of his friends, composer Stephen Sondheim, whose intense interest in games-playing is mirrored by the character of Wyke.

READ Steve Charing’s review of the play.

READ Elliot Lanes’ ‘A Quick 5′ interview with Jeffries Thaiss.

Synopsis: When a wealthy mystery novelist invites his wife’s lover to his elegant and isolated country estate, a bizarre game of cat and mouse begins, which spirals into a complex duel of wits and power plays.

Bob Ari and Jeffries Thaiss star in ‘Sleuth’ at Olney Theatre Center. Photo by Sonie Matthew.

5. The Merry Wives of Windsor at Shakespeare Theatre Company

Many critics consider Merry Wives to be one of Shakespeare’s weaker plays, but I encourage you to watch this production and decide for yourself.

READ Morgan Halvorsen’s review of the play.

Synopsis: A bawdy and riotous romp, The Merry Wives of Windsor stars the most beloved comic characters of Shakespeare’s Henry IV. Falstaff, an impoverished knight, decides to simultaneously pursue two of the town’s wealthy wives. This eventually leads to chaos for Windsor and repeated embarrassment for Falstaff.

Floyd King as Hugh Evans, Veanne Cox as Margaret Page, Tom Story as Doctor Caius, Caralyn Kozlowski as Alice Ford and Kurt Rhoads as Page in the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production of ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor,’ directed by Stephen Rayne. Photo by Scott Suchman.

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.