Top 5 Shows of The Week

1. An Enemy of the People at CENTERSTAGE

“Kwame Kwei-Armah directs this outstanding production…This well acted, thought-provoking play should not be missed.”
-April Forrer, MD Theatre Guide

READ April Forrer’s review.

Synopsis: Dr. Stockmann has discovered that the new baths built in his town are infected with a deadly disease and instructs the town to repair or close the baths. The Mayor, who is Dr. Stockmann’s brother, does not believe the report and refuses to close the baths because it will cause the financial ruin of the town.

Kevin Kilner, Wilbur Edwin Henry, and Dion Graham. Photo by Richard Anderson.

2. One Night with Janis Joplin at Arena Stage

“…a night you’ll long remember.” -Robert Michael Oliver, MD Theatre Guide

READ Robert Michael Oliver’s review.

Synopsis: With a voice like whiskey and a laugh like pure joy, Janis Joplin took the music scene by storm. Simultaneously rough and vulnerable, Joplin was dubbed the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, proving music wasn’t just a man’s world anymore. Packed with classics (“Piece of My Heart,” “Summertime,” “Mercedes Benz”) the show also shines the spotlight on trailblazers who influenced Janis like Bessie Smith, Etta James and Aretha Franklin. Now, in a new musical event featuring more than a dozen singers and band members, playwright-director Randy Johnson creates “a compelling portrait of an artist” (Culturemob) through the words, inspiration and music of one of America’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll originals.

Mary Bridget Davies as Janis Joplin. Photo by Janet Macoska.

3. Avenue Q at Red Branch Theatre Company

” It is sheer joy with an uplifting message that is carried out by an award-winning director and talented cast and crew.”
-Steve Charing, MD Theatre Guide

READ Steve Charing’ review.

Advisory:  This show contains profanity, puppet nudity, and adult subject matter and is not appropriate for children.

Synopsis: Avenue Q is a laugh-out-loud musical that tells the timeless story of a recent college grad named Princeton who moves into a shabby New York apartment all the way out on Avenue Q. There, he meets Kate (the girl next door), Rod (the Republican), Trekkie, Lucy, and other colorful types who help Princeton finally discover his purpose in life.

‘Avenue Q’ Cast with Jeff Marx.
Photo courtesy of Red Branch Theatre Company.

4. Holly Down in Heaven at Forum Theatre

“…a magnificent journey into the psychological landscape of a teenage girl, done with insight and humor.”
-Robert Michael Oliver, MD Theatre Guide

READ Robert Michael Oliver’s review.

Synopsis: When Holly, a brilliant fifteen-year-old born-again Christian, becomes pregnant, she banishes herself to the basement and confides only in her dolls — particularly a psychiatrist puppet who closely resembles Carol Channing. Her only human contacts are an indulgent father, a clumsy ex-boyfriend, and a new tutor … who just might be able to out-smart her. Hilarious and poignant, this world-premiere comedy explores birth, faith, and life outside of heaven.

Maya Jackson as Holly and Vanessa Strickland as Dr. McNuthin. Photo: Ryan Maxwell,

5. Virginia Opera’s The Pearl Fishers at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts

Most famous for composing Carmen, enjoy this opportunity to see a production of Georges Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers.

READ Mark Beachy’s review.

WATCH Mark Beachy’s interview with David Pershall from The Pearl Fishers.

Synopsis: Georges Bizet’s classic tale of forbidden love unfolds on an island fishing village, cloaked in mystique. Pearl fishermen Zurga and Nadir, are old friends who swore an oath to never pursue the beautiful Leila, with whom they are both in love. In preparation for a fishing trip, an anonymous veiled virgin arrives to pray for the fleet’s safety. When the two men learn of the virgin’s true identity, they become locked in a bitter love triangle that tests the bonds of friendship and loyalty.

The cast of ‘The Pearl Fishers.’ Photo by David A Beloff.

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.