Review: Sex With Strangers at Fells Point Corner Theatre

By Jason Crawford Samios-Uy

Running Time: 2 hours with one 15-minute intermission

In the world of billions of people, two sometimes come together whether by chance or a little planning and sparks fly. You only get one chance at a first impression and sometimes you find that the one you love is the one you hated at first sight. I’ve heard we’re drawn to people who help us grow and learn so, in a way, we are drawn to people we need. Sometimes we get what we need honestly and, in the real world, we sometimes get what we need with a little “arranging,” whether we like to admit it or not. In Fells Point Corner Theatre’s latest production, Sex With Strangers by Laura Eason, Directed by Patrick Gorirossi, gives us a glimpse into a somewhat dysfunctional relationship between an older woman and younger man who both need something from the other whether they know it or not.

Matthew Lindsay Payne and Kathyrne Daniels in Sex With Strangers. Credit: David Iden

Sex With Strangers, in a nutshell, concerns a twenty-something blogger, Ethan who finds his writing hero, the older Olivia, in a secluded cabin and they realize they both want what the other has already. A flirty attraction turns to an intimate relationship and they slowly move closer to what each wants from each other. However, through twist and turns, each must go through some self-realization and the sleazy side of climbing the ladder (or falling off the ladder) as each reinvents him and herself to attain their ambitions.

The story, itself, is a good story, very relatable, and can be set in any era. The characters are fleshed out and I found myself liking one over the other then making a complete 180° turn by the end. The dialogue is natural and authentic with no major plot holes or, any plot holes at all. It’s an easy story to follow and the ending, which I won’t give away, of course, leaves the audience thinking, which is always the hallmark of a good, well-told story.

Fells Point Corner Theatre, with its more traditional space, never disappoints when it comes to their sets and David Shoemaker’s Set Design is no different. He knows the space well and uses it wisely, giving us an authentic space for this piece. Everything is strategically placed and natural putting the audience in the scenes making the production more engaging. It’s a simple design, but absolutely appropriate and, from the audience, I feel like I’m looking through the window into a living room of a secluded cabin or a New York City apartment. Kudos to Shoemaker for his impeccable design.

Patrick Gorirossi takes the helm of this production and his Direction and staging is superb and engaging. Having a two-person cast can be challenging but Gorirossi manages to keep the action moving and it’s clear he has a good grasp on the material and the movement on stage is authentic and natural. His casting is top-notch and the production is polished and paced perfectly. Kudos to Gorirossi on a job well done.

Kathryne Daniels as Olivia. Credit: David Iden

Moving on to the performance aspect of this production, it’s worth noting that the two-person cast of Kathryne Daniels as Olivia and Matthew Lindsay Payne as Ethan couldn’t have been cast more perfectly. They both embody this characters completely and have a great comprehension of the text. Neither are merely going through the motions, but are feeling what their characters are feeling and their choices fit the piece flawlessly.

Matthew Lindsay Payne as Ethan. Credit: David Iden

Though it was a bit of a stretch to believe Daniels is a woman in her early forties, she plays the character splendidly. Her transition from obscure, self-doubting writer to confident and ambitious novelist is seamless and occurs naturally. The writing accomplishes this well already, but Daniels brings it to life. Her natural and purposeful delivery makes her performance believable and she has a strong stage presence that works well for this piece. The chemistry she has with Payne is quite good and makes for a solid and refined performance.

Payne, too, gives and honest and solid performance as the twenty-something brash and no-holds-barred blogger who is “plugged in” 90% of the day. He handles his character’s change from beginning to end delicately and smoothly making for a brilliant performance. His comprehension of this character and his conflicts is apparent and his presence is strong making for a terrific performance, overall.

Final thought… Sex with Strangers is a moving, poignant piece that makes one think about relationships and what we need and/or want out of them. It’s also about learning to trust people and learning, sometimes the hard way, about what it is to be betrayed. The production is unassuming but strong and the performances are on point filled with skill and a solid chemistry. The modern setting makes it relatable and the characters and story are timeless making for a show that will be relevant for years to come and makes for a charming, thoughtful evening of theatre. Get your tickets because you don’t want to miss this one.

This is what I thought of this production of Sex with Strangers.… what do you think?

Sex with Strangers will play through October 7 at Fells Point Corner Theatre, 251 S Ann Street, Baltimore, MD 21231. For tickets, call 410-276-7837 or purchase them online.

Review: The Quickening at Fells Point Corner Theatre with The Collaborative Theatre

By Jason Crawford Samios-Uy

Running Time: Approx. 2 hours with one intermission

It’s late, you’re safely tucked away in bed… you hear a noise. Is the house settling? The cat looking for a treat? An uninvited critter in the kitchen?… or something more sinister? These are the types of things that can keep you up at night and a good ghost story can have the same effect. Fells Point Corner Theatre’s (in collaboration with The Collaborative Theatre Co.) latest offering, the World Premiere of The Quickening by Mark Scharf, Directed by Ann Turiano, gives us an original ghost story that, with a few jump-scares and cleverly placed effects, will not only raise your pulse and possibly keep you up at night, but also make you think about what happens when we close our eyes for the last time.

Amanda Spellman as Beth and David Shoemaker as Matt. Credit: Shealyn Jae Photography

As stated, The Quickening, is a good old-fashioned ghost story set in present day. The story revolves around Beth, a young pregnant woman in a new neighborhood in a new town who knows the new house she lives in is more than meets the eye. She befriends her neighbor, Philomena (better known as Phil), a logical thinker with an open mind. Matt, Beth’s husband is a Civil War reenactor (a confederate soldier, no less), who believes most of the trouble has to do with Beth’s “condition” and how it effects the way she thinks. Meanwhile, Rosemary, Beth’s mother has come to help prepare for the baby and reveals a family secret that explains some of the strange goings on at the new house. Along with this explanation and a little research by Phil, the real story of the home unfolds with frightening conclusions that makes us question life, death, and the afterlife, if one believes it so.

Cassandra Dutt’s Set Design is phenomenal and uses the space wisely. Her use of levels to present different rooms and locations is wise and her attention to detail is top-notch. The Fells Point Corner Theatre stage is an intimate space but, with such a natural, authentic design, Dutt has managed to bring us into the living space of this young family which makes the audience feel closer to the action, adding to the experience.

Technical aspects for a horror story or ghost story on stage can be tricky and teeter on the line of corny but, working in tandem with Set Design, I’d be amiss not to mention that the Lighting Design by Tabetha White and Sound Design by Devyn Deguzman which is absolutely stellar giving life to this story. White sets the scenes and changes moods with her sometimes subtle, sometimes drastic change in lighting to invoke both calmness and a frenzy with lighting effects. Deguzman, too, adds value to this production with the “bumps in the night” sounds and disembodied voices that go hand-in-hand with ghost stories and would fall flat without them. Both White and Deguzman are to be applauded for their work on this piece.

Ann Turiano, who is no stranger to the stage, on or off, takes the helm of this production and her Direction is exceptional. Bringing a brand new piece to the stage can be a daunting task, but Turiano seems to have taken it in stride with a clear-cut vision and great comprehension of the material. Her handling of this new work is impressive in both staging and overall concept. It’s a modern setting with an intricate story but Turiano has given us a polished, well-presented production that shows and tell the audience a story simply without the bells and whistles but with just the right amount of effects and concentrating more on character and dialogue. It’s also worth saying her casting is on point for this piece. Kudos to Turiano for a job well done.

Marianne Gazzola Angelella as Rosemary. Credit: Shealyn Jae Photography

Award winning Baltimore playwright Mark Scharf has crafted a lovely story that is more about questioning faith, life, and death rather than a simple horror story. The scares are there and the creepiness factor is definitely apparent throughout, but his dialogue is well-thought out and well-researched. A few obligatory mentions of Baltimore seem a bit out of place, but there are only a few and do not hinder the production from moving forward. His in depth explanation of theories of physics and Catholic dogma are on point and actually teach a few things. The script did feel rushed at times – for instance, I would have preferred the realization and acceptance of what was going on in the house to be a little more gradual. It’s as if the characters simply accept the strange goings on with a few objects moving on their own and a strange little boy lurking about. However, that being said, I completely understand, for the sake of time, things need to be cut and the action still moved along smoothly and the story was told completely. Overall, this is an outstanding showing and I’m looking forward to seeing more of Scharf’s work in the future.

Moving on to the performance aspect of this production, we are treated to a strong, small ensemble who brings these characters to life with great authenticity and emotion making for beautiful performances all around. To begin, Mariane Gazzola Angelella takes on the role of Rosemary, the clairvoyant mother of Beth and Amanda Spellman tackles the multi-faceted role of Beth, the tortured and targeted occupant of the house.

Debbie Bennett as Philomena (Phil). Credit: Shealyn Jae Photography

Angelella is perfectly suited for her role as Rosemary, a good ol’ Bawlmer girl, who desperately wants to help her daughter through a tough time. Angelella even produced a good Baltimore accent but those born and raised can easily pick up that it is not a natural accent, but… it’s a hard accent to crack so, all in all, she does a superb job. Her character work is notable, as well, and she seems to have a good grasp on Rosemary, keep the character consistent throughout exuding the emotion of a parent of a child who is hurting in one way or another. Along the same lines, Spellman is excellent as the Beth and plays her to the hilt. Her chemistry with her cast mates adds a realness and natural air to her performance and she, too, has a good comprehension of this character and trials. Though she sounded a bit scripted, at times, overall, she gives a strong, confident performance that is a joy to watch.

A highlight of this production is David Shoemaker as Matt Wells, the doting, logical husband of Beth (and completely outnumbered male). Shoemaker is no stranger to the stage and his natural abilities shine through in his gestures delivery of his dialogue, adding an absolute authenticity to the character. It’s clear he understands his character and his performance helps the audience understand him, as well. He is certainly one to watch in this production.

Last, but certainly not least, Debbie Bennett takes on the role of Philomena (Phil), the kindly neighbor who befriends and helps the family even though her logical side is conflicting with her faithful side and she is the standout in this particular production. This character is the most complex of all the characters because of this conflict and Bennett presents it superbly. Her delivery and portrayal of the character is sincere which adds to her performance. This character seems to be the bridge between the supernatural and the natural in this piece, putting a lot of responsibility on Bennet, but she carries it well and does not falter. I’m looking forward to seeing more performances from this actress.

Final thought… The Quickening at Fells Point Corner Theatre is a scary (or horror) story that is presented in a very well put-together, well thought-out production. The script flows nicely, though at time seems a bit rushed, but overall, is a good story filled with intelligent, natural dialogue and diligent research. Be forewarned, there are a couple of jump scares but the effects are absolutely brilliant. The performances are admirable and the technical aspect is outstanding. Creating characters and bringing a piece to life for the first time can be difficult, but this team has done it beautifully. The entire cast, crew, and playwright are to be commended for their efforts and this is not a production you want miss this season.

This is what I thought of Fells Point Corner Theatre and The Collaborative Theatre Co.’s production of The Quickening… What did you think? Please feel free to leave a comment!

The Quickening will play through July 1 at Fells Point Corner Theatre, 251 S Ann Street, Baltimore, MD. For more information log on to fpct.org, or purchase tickets online.

Email us at backstagebaltimore@gmail.com

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Review: 10x10x10 at Fells Point Corner Theatre

By Mike Zellhofer

Top row (From left to write): Tom Piccin, Dana Woodson, Dickey Wilson, Jon Meeker, Holly Gibbs, Parker, Dianne Hood and David Shoemaker.
Bottom Row: Natalie Dent and Barbara Madison Hauck. Credit: Shealyn Jae Photography

If you are searching for a hidden gem, then search no more, and get out to Fells Point Corner Theatre’s 10X10x10. This is a wonderful evening of ten plays, written by local playwrights, ten minutes in length, and performed by ten actors. You get to vote for your top three and the winner receives the “Audience Selection Award”.

Let me address a few administrative issues. This being the third year of the competition, I expect that some things are still being worked out and new ideas being tried, but here is my input:

  • The website states that the cash prize is $150. “That’s 10 TIMES the price of admission!” However, the price of admission is $19 opening weekend and Sunday’s and $24 on Fridays and Saturdays. So, let’s make the cash prize $250 and call it even.
  • It was nice to have the bios of the playwrights hanging in the lobby. However, if you are going to include bios for the actors in the program, then extend the same courtesy to the playwrights. After all it is a playwrighting competition.
  • I feel that if you are going to host a play writing competition, then the voting should be based on the merit of the plays themselves. This can best be done with a read through, with the director reading stage directions. No sets, no lighting, no sound, no costumes. As much as they added to the enjoyment of the evening, they took away from the spirit of the competition.
  • Give more information in the program, i.e. history of the competition, past winners, number of submissions, dates for next year, etc. I took time to speak to a staff member, but not every audience member has that luxury.
  • Have an opening night event with light refreshment prior to the show, and a talk back with the actors and playwrights at the end of the night.

David Shoemaker (Left) and Holly Gibbs (Right) in “WHILE IN A PARALLEL DIMENSION
CLOTHES HANGERS CONSPIRE” written by R.A. Pauli and directed by Andrew Porter with ast. dir. by Sarah Burton. Credit: Shealyn Jae Photography

Since this is a competition, I feel that it would be unfair to review, reveal my selections, or give my opinion of the plays themselves. Suffice it for me to say that every play was entertaining, well written and that the playwrights brought the “A” game. I’m sure that review over 100 submissions from over 70 authors, and selecting only ten, could not have been an easy task for the committee.

One thing is for sure, you will enjoy an evening of fine entertainment. The ideas that this group of playwrights have penned will have you laughing, crying, scratching your head and wondering. I was so grateful that I was able to see genius come to life.

Barbara Madison Hauck in “Crito,” directed by Meghan Stanton and written by Alice Stanley. Credit: Shealyn Jae Photography

Mark Scharf – The Last Ten

Alice Stanley- Crito

MJ Perrin- Open Mic

Rich Espey- In Memory of Mrs.Mary Brown

Rufus Dawlings- Mr. Shells Gets Shipped East for Beef

Daniel Collins- What’s the Point

Jennifer Harrison- Shrimp at the Radisson

Richard Pauli -While in a Parallel Dimension

DC Cathro- The Fine Art of Critiquing the Hang of the Shoe

Tatiana Nya Ford- Hello, baby. I miss you.

Tom Piccin (left) and Jon Meeker (Right) in “What’s the Point?” Written by Dan Collins directed by Andrew Porter. Shealyn Jae Photography

The evening would not have been complete without the talents of Dana Woodson, Dickey Wilson, Parker Damm, Dianne Hood, Natalie Dent, Holly Gibbs, Jon Meeker, Tom Piccin, David Shoemaker, and Barbara Madison Hauck. I don’t exaggerate when I say that this cast oozes talent. Their ability to play multiple characters in multiple plays, and to do it as different as night and day is simple astonishing. Pay close attention to the fun loving, huggable Natalie Dent as she makes the transition from Dax to the young woman in Ms. Ford’s production. What she brings to the stage in those two

Natalie Dent in “Hello, baby. I miss you.” Directed by Christen Cromwell and written Tatiana Nya Ford. Credit: Shealyn Jae Photography

contrasting plays alone, should be studied by all freshman theatre majors.

Another major stand out for me was Tom Piccin. His confidence and commanding stage presence leave you hanging on his every word and at the end wanting for more. Yet he plays his roles with such a subtleness, deriving his allure from his fellow actors by letting them have their moments. A few times I thought that I was watching Kevin Pollak, and in both of his plays I kept waiting for Rod Serling to come on stage saying, “You’re traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That’s the signpost up ahead – your next stop, …”

So, if you are ready for some good, home grown theatre, with interesting stories and amazing actors, head to Fells Point Corner Theatre now through May 6th, and let me know what you thought of 10x10x10.

This is what Mike Zellhofer thought of 10x10x10 at Fells Point Corner Theatre. What did you think?

10x10x10 will play through May 6 at Fells Point Corner Theatre, 251 S Ann Street, Baltimore, MD. For more information log on to fpct.org, or purchase tickets online.

Email us at backstagebaltimore@gmail.com

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Press Release: Fells Point Corner Theatre proudly presents on our Godfrey Stage Gertrude Stein and a Companion By Win Wells


For Immediate Release:
Fells Point Corner Theatre proudly presents on our Godfrey Stage Gertrude Stein and a Companion By Win Wells, Directed by Anne Hammontree
Gertrude Stein and a Companion by Win Wells is the bittersweet telling of the love and lives of celebrated writer Gertrude Stein and her life partner Alice Toklas. Winner of Best Play at the Edinburgh Festival, Sydney Theatre Festival, and Vita Award for Best Play in South Africa, this two woman show spans decades and takes on multiple figures in the ladies’ world, from reporters and German soldiers to Hemingway and Picasso.
“The evening is a joy…Brisk, fun and literate.” – ​Gannett Newspapers
“The interplay gives the piece a spark beyond the page. It takes this very specific story and peels of its layers, revealing a fascinating study in human relations, in marriage, in the science of compromise and the art of enduring love.” – ​Chicago Reader
Director Anne Hammontree, along with the talented Marianne Angelella and Andrea Bush, bring Gertrude Stein and a Companion to life. Fells Point Corner Theatre is excited to share this imaginative exploration of love and time, written in homage of Alice’s biting wit, Gertrude’s poetry, and their colorful world that sparked the movement of Modern Art.
Admission: $19 for Sundays, $24 for Fridays/Saturdays.
Dates: Opens Friday March 2nd, 2018 and runs through Sunday, March 25th, 2018
Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. There will be a Saturday Matinee on March 10th.
*There will also be a Pay What You Can Thursday performance on March 1st, which will be an open dress rehearsal.*

Review: I Hate Hamlet at Fells Point Corner Theatre

By Jason Crawford Samios-Uy

Running Time: Approx. 2 hours with one intermission
As a reviewer, I have the opportunity and honor of seeing the same show at different venues and sometimes I hate the show (not to be confused with the performances) and sometimes I love the show (again, not to be confused with the performances) but it’s rare that I hate the show at one venue but love it at another. However, this is exactly what happened with Fells Point Corner Theatre’s latest offering, I Hate Hamlet by Paul Rudnick, Directed by Mark Franceschini, with Set Design by Christopher Flint. Not my favorite piece of theatre, Fells Point Corner Theatre’s production has changed my opinions and it’s a production I suggest you experience if you get the chance.

(l-r) Gabe Fremuth, Abigail Wright, Kimberley Lynne, and Zarah Rautell. Credit: Shealyn Jae


I Hate Hamlet is about a young television actor, Andrew Rally, who rents the great John Barrymore’s old apartment in New York City as he prepares for the title role in Hamlet for Shakespeare in the Park. The only problem is, Andrew hates Hamlet. With the support of his aging agent, his upbeat, excited girlfriend, a shifty director-friend from L.A., and, oddly enough, his real estate agent, he tries to decide if this is the role for him. It’s then that the ghost of the aforementioned great John Barrymore comes for a visit to help Andrew discover he is good enough and even better than what people (and he, himself) gives him credit for. It’s a good story with a good message of self-worth that plays nicely.
Set Design by Christopher Flint is excellent with levels and an attention to detail. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, it’s quite functional working quite well with the blocking of this piece. Since the set is a major aspect of this show, being the former home of the legendary John Barrymore, it’s important to get it right and Flint has done just that with his choice of furniture pieces to his ornamentations and classic style. For a small (not micro, but small) space, Flint has used his space wisely and has created an appropriate setting for this production.
Mark Franceschini is at the helm of this production and he has hit the nail on the head. His casting is outstanding and his comprehension of the text is apparent. Franceschini understands the witty humor involved in the text and guides his already apt cast in delivering it appropriately. The action keeps moving and the characters are authentic making for a delightful piece of theatre.
Though a Costume Designer is not named in the program, it’s worth mentioning the Costume Design as it was realistic and well thought-out adding value to the production.
Moving on to the performance aspect of I Hate Hamlet, this small ensemble of six really knocks it out of the ballpark. They work well together with good chemistry and seem to have a good grasp of their characters.

Steven Shriner as John Barrymore and J Prunell Hargrove as Gary Peter Lefkowitz. Credit: Shealyn Jae


J. Purnell Hargrove takes on the role of Gary Peter Lefkowitz, the sleazy L.A. directory trying to get Andrew back on to television, and does an admirable job with the role. Though, at times, he’s a bit too much and in your face for the intimate space, Purnell seems to understand the kind of man this character is and plays it with gusto. I will say, the touchy-feely-ness he portrays with Gabe Fremuth gets a little too creepy. Whether it’s an actor or director choice, I totally get the whole “sleazy” aspect, and it totally works for the character but… sometimes, less is more.
Zarah Rautell takes on the role of real estate agent-turned-friend, Felicia Dantine. Rautell fits this role like a glove. Her comedic timing is spot on and she seems to embody this rough around the edges type character. The balance of edginess and tenderness she finds and portrays in this character is impressive.
Lillian Troy, the very German and elderly agent to Andrew, is played by Kimberley Lynne and this performance is on point. She has the German accent down pat and her gestures and delivery of her lines are totally authentic. She, too, has terrific comedic timing and knows her character well.
Next up is Abigail Wright as Deidre McDavey, the somewhat naïve, but kind and optimistic actress-girlfriend to Andrew. Wright is an absolute joy to watch in this production. Her upbeat, energized performance adds so much to this production and her delivery is spot on. I’d seen this character performed a very different way in a very different production but Wright has this on in the bag. Her energy alone, as she hops across the stage (and the furniture) gives a certain needed “oomph” to the entire production. I’m looking forward to seeing more from this actress.
Andrew Rally, the television actor on whom this entire story is revolved, is played diligently and aptly by Gabe Fremuth, who embodies this character with a lack of self-confidence. He finds a good balance of fake confidence and vulnerability that makes this character endearing and has you rooting for him. He has a good look for the role and gives a strong, confident performance, comfortable with the text and the character. He has a great chemistry with his cast and does well with this character.

(l-r) Gabe Fremuth, Abigail Wright, and Steven Shriner. Credit: Shealyn Jae


Rounding out the ensemble is the incomparable standout of this production, Steven Shriner, who tackles the complex but common sense role of John Barrymore, who some consider was the best Hamlet to hit the stage. Shriner pulls this role off beautifully and is totally believable as the ghost of Barrymore. His comedic timing is second to none and he seems to have a complete comprehension of this character and the story of I Hate Hamlet. He is confident and comfortable on stage and delivers his lines clearly with purpose. He mixes this character with humor and poignancy and his balance of both is superb. He is certainly one to watch in this particular production.
Final thought… I Hate Hamlet is a humorous, but serious look at and partly analyzes one of Shakespeare’s most famous and popular plays in an easy, understandable way but, through this Shakespearean tragedy, also teaches us a little about ourselves and what we’re capable of doing in today’s modern world when we think the odds are against us. The story moves along nicely and the performances are strong and confident with a sturdy, impressive set and a fantastic costume design that makes for an exquisitely delightful evening of theatre.
This is what I thought of Fells Point Corner Theatre’s production of I Hate Hamlet… What did you think? Please feel free to leave a comment!
I Hate Hamlet will play through October 1 at Fells Point Corner Theatre, 251 S Ann Street, Baltimore, MD. For tickets, call 410-669-0220 or purchase them online
Email us at backstagebaltimore@gmail.com
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PRESS RELEASE: The Woman in Black adapted by Stephen Mallatratt from the book by Susan Hill Directed by Patrick Gorirossi


For immediate release:
Fells Point Corner Theatre proudly presents on our Godfrey Stage

The Woman in Black

adapted by Stephen Mallatratt

from the book by Susan Hill

Directed by Patrick Gorirossi

A London lawyer, looking to lay his demons to rest, hires a young actor to help him tell his story of fright and peril. Adapted from the novel of the same name, The Woman in Black has enjoyed a continuous run on London’s West End since its premiere in 1987, proving itself to be a tale of true terror!
“A real theatrical spine chiller…A truly nerve shredding experience.”
 -The Daily Mail
“Provides a pleasurable ripple of fear down one’s spine and an uncomfortable lurch in the pit of one’s stomach.”
Time out New York

Directed by Patrick Gorirossi and featuring the talents of Sean Coe and Grayson Owen, Woman in Black is a thrilling theatrical experience for regular theatre goers and everyone who loves a good scare.

Admission: $19 for Sundays, $24 for Fridays/Saturdays. 
Opens Friday October 13th, 2017 and runs through Sunday, November 5th, 2017
Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m.  Two Saturday matinees at 2pm on October 21st and October 28th.
There is a special Halloween Performance.
*There will also be a Pay What You Can Thursday performance on September 7th, which will be an open dress rehearsal.*

PRESS RELEASE: Kicking off FPCT's 30th Season with… I HATE HAMLET by Paul Rudnick SEPTEMBER 8th, 2017

I Hate Hamlet FPCT

BUY TICKETS

I Hate Hamlet by Paul Rudnick
September 8, 2017 – October 1st, 2017
Directed by Mark C. Franceschini
An up-and-coming young television star is offered every actor’s dream role: playing Hamlet onstage. There’s just one complication… he HATES Hamlet. With the return of John Barrymore’s ghost, intoxicated and in full costume to reclaim his legendary role, the two embark on a wildly funny duel over women, art, success, duty, television, and yes, even the apartment where Barrymore once lived!
CAST: Gabe Fremuth, Abbie Wright, J Purrnell Hargrove, Zarah Rautell, Kimberley Lynne and Steven Shriner as the ghost of John Barrymore.

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“fast-mouthed and funny…It has the old-fashioned Broadway virtues of brightness without pretensions and sentimentality without morals.” 
– Village Voice
“…unapologetically silly and at times hilarious…affectionately amusing about the theatre…”
– NY Times

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Opens Friday, September 8th and runs through
Sunday, October 1st, 2017
Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m.
Two Saturday Matinees at 2:00pm on
*September 16th and September 23rd*

Pay What You Can: Thursday September 7th – Preview and P.W.Y.C. at 8:00pm

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Fells Point Corner Theatre
Announces our 2017 – 2018 Season:

#UnfinishedBusiness
The past is an inviting but dangerous place. When we are haunted by the ghosts of our past, we attribute their torment to the deeds they’ve left undone. Benevolent or otherwise, these spirits employ the living to serve in their endeavor for rest… or unrest.
For our 30th season, Fells Point Corner Theatre invites audiences to experience the bewildering world of the beyond. On our stage, we will seek the answers, cross the boundaries, and blur the lines between life and the afterlife. Join us in the fall of 2017 as we embark on our 2017-2018 season of#UnfinishedBusiness.


Season Subscriptions are on Sale Now!

Subscribe and Save with FPCT

Save over 20% when you buy a season subscription
for the one time price of $130.00
(A package of 1 ticket to each of our 7 season shows)
AND enjoy exclusive subscriber offers through out the season

PRESS RELEASE: Fells Point Corner Theatre proudly presents on our Godfrey Stage I Hate Hamlet By Paul Rudnick Directed by Mark C. Franceschini

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
poster_ihatehamlet

Fells Point Corner Theatre proudly presents on our Godfrey Stage
I Hate Hamlet
By Paul Rudnick
Directed by Mark C. Franceschini

An up-and-coming young television star is offered every actor’s dream role: playing Hamlet onstage. There’s just one complication… he HATES Hamlet. With the return of John Barrymore’s ghost, intoxicated and in full costume to reclaim his infamous role, the two embark on a wildly funny duel over women, art, success, duty, television, and yes, even the apartment where Barrymore once lived!

“Fast-mouthed​ ​and​ ​funny…It​ ​has​ ​the​ ​old-fashioned​ ​Broadway​ ​virtues​ ​of
brightness​ ​without​ ​pretensions​ ​and​ ​sentimentality​ ​without​ ​morals.” -​ ​Village Voice

“…unapologetically​ ​silly​ ​and​ ​at​ ​times​ ​hilarious…af ectionately​ ​amusing
about​ ​the​ ​theatre…” -​ ​NY Times

Directed by Mark C. Franceschini and featuring the talents of Gabe Fremuth, Steven Shriner, Abigail Wright, J Purrnell Hargrove, Zarah Rautell and Kimberley Lynne, I Hate Hamlet is a story about the pressures of fame and sheer insanity of this thing we call theatre.

Admission:​ ​$15​ ​for​ ​Sundays,​ ​$20​ ​for​ ​Fridays/Saturdays.

Dates: Opens Friday September 8, 2017 and runs through Sunday, October 1st, 2017
Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. Two Saturday matinees
at 2pm on September 16th and September 23rd.

*There will also be a Pay What You Can Thursday performance on September 7th, which will be
an open dress rehearsal.*

Fells Point Corner Theatre is located at 251​ ​South​ ​Ann​ ​Street, Baltimore​ ,​MD​ ​21231

Review: [Title of Show] at Fells Point Corner Theatre

By Jason Crawford Samios-Uy

Running Time: 1 hours and 55 minutes with no intermission
With the arts scene booming in Baltimore, some who are not in the “the know” enjoy (or don’t enjoy) the final product of months of auditions, casting, rehearsals, finding designers, and sometimes even writing but sometimes folks wonder what it takes to get a show from page to stage. Fells Point Corner Theatre‘s latest offering, [Title of Show] by Jeff Bowen and Hunter Bell, with Direction by Kristen Cooley, Music Direction by Mandee Ferrier Roberts, and Choreographed by Tom Wyatt.
[Title of Show] actually covers its own creation and it’s journey from a blank page to the New York Musical Theatre Festival, all the way up to it’s Off Broadway run. Much of the material is based on true events and people, including writers, Jeff Bowen and Hunter Bell, so much so that they used the real names of the folks involved. It explains the process and the changes and compromises that must be made and even the possible change in the people involved.
Set Design by Bush Greenbeck is simple but he uses his space wisely and his use of levels and revolves keeps the action moving and interesting. Primarily a unit set with set pieces, Greenbeck’s design fits this piece nicely and move the piece along.

Owen O’Leary as Jeff and Lauren Stuart as Heidi. Credit: Tessa Soloway


Choreography by Tom Wyatt is charming and the cast seems to have a good grasp of it and they are tight and well-rehearsed. There’s not a lot going on so you won’t see any big dance numbers, but with four characters, that would be going a bit overboard, anyway, but the choreography that is present is appropriate and adds value to the production.
Music Direction by Mandee Ferrier Roberts, who is also a character in the show, as the sole instrumenalist, is superb. I want to take a moment to say that the vocal work in this piece is outstanding. The four actors are in key and in harmony every step of the way. The whole piece has a very subdued sound having only piano accompaniment as backup, but the music shines through because of stellar performances. Mandee Ferrier Roberts is the usual accompanist, but I had the pleasure of experiencing Homeretta Ayala’s performance and it’s as if she had been performing with them from day one. Overall, the music is what makes this piece, but then again, it should… it’s a musical! Kudos to Roberts for a job well done.
Kristen Cooley, a wonderful fixture in Baltimore theatre, takes the helm of this production an makes her vision and love for this piece apparent. With an easy seat and good casting, she keeps this show moving and interesting. This is a unique show in that it’s not really a show within a show, but a show about its own creation, but Cooley seems to have a good comprehension of the script and and presents it clearly and with authenticity making for an enjoyable evening of theatre.

Owen O’Leary as Jeff and Izaak Michael as Hunter. Credit: Tessa Soloway


Moving into the performance aspect of this production, Owen O’Leary takes on the role of the more cautious, subdued Jeff and Izaak Michael tackles the role of the more exuberant and frantic Hunter. Both of these actors really do get their characters but, whether or not it is a directorial choice, both seem a bit too scripted throughout the entire piece. The singing… top notch, but the acting seems a bit forced. The script is a bit trite at times, as well, so that doesn’t help, either. This isn’t to say these gentlemen didn’t do an admirable job in these roles. Vocally, they are strong and have a pleasant, clean sound and they are both confident and seem comfortable on the stage, giving commendable performances.
The highlights of this production are the female counterparts, Heidi and Susan played by Lauren Stuart and Casey Dutt, respectively. These two actors are powerhouses and give superb and confident performances. Dutt has a natural flare and shines in her featured number “Die, Vampire, Die!” and Stuart gives a poignant, heartfelt performance of her featured number “A Way Back to Then” toward the end of the show. Both have great chemistry with each other and with O’Leary and Michael, making them a delight to watch.
Final thought… [Title of Show] at Fells Point Corner Theatre might not be my cup of tea as I see the script as a little trite and though the song selections are fitting and easy on the ear, they’re not ones that left an impression on me or had me humming as I left the theatre. However, it is a fun romp that delves into the subject of creating theatre, more specifically, musical theatre and all the good and not so good things that go into it. The production itself is simple, but the voices are absolutely top notch and the portrayal of the four characters by the actors give the lackluster script a good boost. With bouncy songs, a committed cast (and accompanist), and a composer/lyricist from right here in Baltimore, [Title of Show] is not the usual fare we get from Fells Point Corner Theatre but it’s refreshing to see they’re broadening their horizons and adding a musical to their season. If you’ve ever wondered how a musical is written, this show is a pretty good representation of the process and worth a look if you’re around town.
This is what I thought of Fells Point Corner Theater’s production of [Title of Show]… What did you think? Please feel free to leave a comment!
[Title of Show] will play through May 28 at Fells Point Corner Theatre, 251 S Ann Street, Baltimore, MD. For tickets, call 410-669-0220 or purchase them online.
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Review: 10x10x10 at Fells Point Corner Theatre

By Jason Crawford Samios-Uy

Running Time: 2 hours and 15 minutes with one intermission
Having never experienced a short-play event before, I had my reservations. I was hoping I wouldn’t have to sit through short play after short play of pretentious writing, actors too damned serious for their own good, and an evening of writers trying to push the envelope and shock so much that it’s no longer entertaining. HOWEVER, that’s not at all what I experienced at Fells Point Corner Theatre’s latest presentation, their annual 10x10x10, a series of original 10-minute plays by Baltimore authors, in their intimate upstairs Skokal Theatre.

Thom Sinn, Francis Cabatac, and Steve Barroga. Credit: Tessa Sollway


This year, the audience gets to experience an outstanding line up of plays. All of the pieces are strong and send good messages in creative and unique ways. We start off the evening with Hologram by Utkarsh Rajawat which is a session with… you guessed it, a hologram (impressively performed by Betse Lyons) full of fun facts and trivia you might find important to your life but even holograms have feelings, right? Then we get into the funny Kings of the World by Kate Danley that speaks to the idea of change and gives us a peek into a local, seemingly rural bar in a dusty Southern or Midwestern town where two regulars venture into new territory but possibly realize sometimes the traditional is a good, safe thing. The next short consists of the largest cast of the evening, The Second Episode of Dyke Tracy by Dian “MJ” Perrin, and is a fun take on the old fashioned detective stories which impressively has a complete arc in 10 minutes! The actors are dedicated to their roles and the humor shines through in this one. Then the Act I ends with Meridian Trench by Rufus Drawlings which is a confusing, frantic tale of a homeless, dirt-eating woman who is taken in by a dubious gentleman in the park. The material in this last piece of Act I seems a bit pretentious and all over the place, but with that said, the performances from the actors, Crystal Sewell and Francis Cabatac, is superb.

Steve Barroga in Making Time. Credit: Tessa Sollway


Act II begins with the supernatural Dog Years by Peter Davis which is well-wrtten and performed and tells a story of a lost soul and a stranger who wants to make an interesting deal. Then keeping with the supernatural feel, Closing the Door by Nicholas Morrison is a contemporary and fresh look at the Greek Gods and Goddesses and how they handle humans and death. It’s a clever and entertaining piece with a good balance of humor and drama. Next up is Addict Named Hal by Alice Stanley, performed by David Shoemaker. It’s a cautionary tale that peeks into the life of a once recovering addict and the decisions he’s made while he tells us his story as if we are in a Narcotics Anonymous meeting. This piece has a very natural performance from Shoemaker who embodies this character entirely. Nearing the end of the evening we experience Making Time by Mark Scharf which is absolutely one of the standouts in these plays. It’s a touching story of two strangers at a bus stop who make a human connection and realize our journeys may be different, but we’re all heading to the same final destination. This is a powerful piece and is exquisitely performed by Helenmary Ball and Steve Barroga making for a moving and entertaining 10 minutes. Ending the evening is Rising, Rising by Rich Espey which is a quirky tale of transformation and change. Not really my cup of tea, it seems a little absurd at times but that’s probably what Espey is going for. With that said, it’s an interesting commentary on change and the resistance of change to finally giving in and accepting. Mia Robinson and Thom Sinn are dedicated and give strong, confident performances in this piece.

Betse Lyons in Hologram. Credit: Tessa Sollway


Overall, the entire ensemble is strong. They are confident and grasp the pieces they are performing and each give an impressive performances in multiple and vastly different pieces and characters. Kudos to the entire ensemble of this year’s 10x10x10.
The Directors, ustin Lawson Isett, Christen Cromwell, Ben Kleymeyer, Peter Davis, and Alice Stanley do stellar jobs with these pieces as they seem to understand each piece and character and tell the stories clearly and concisely with a steady and even tempo.
Also worth mentioning is the technical side of this production. Light Design and Sound Design by Charles Danforth III and Andrew Porter, respectively, help set the mood for each of the plays and adds value each and, I’ve got to say, the running crew for this production (many of whom were cast members, as well) is on point! The changes between each piece took only seconds, moving the evening along nicely and keeping a good pace.
Final thought… 10x10x10 at Fells Point Corner Theatre is a very well put-together production of 10 plays that can stand on their own and have been well thought out and well written. Some are stronger than others, but it’s a matter of taste, really. Fells Point Corner Theatre has managed to group together 10 short plays that work well together and share the same theme (matching Fells Point Corner Theatre’s them of 2017 – #RescueMe). The plays run the gambit of feels from witty humor to poignant drama. It’s a great showcase of local Baltimore talent both on stage and on the page. It’s also good to just support local theatre, so, get your tickets while they last because this is definitely an event you want to experience this season.
Line up of Plays:
Hologram by Utkarsh Rajawat
Kings of the World by Kate Danley
The Second Episode of Dyke Tracy by Dian “MJ” Perrin
Meridian Trench by Ben Kleymeyer
Dog Years by Peter Davis
Closing the Door by Nicholas Morrison
Addict Named Hal by Alice Stanley
Making Time by Mark Scharf
Rising, Rising by Rich Espey
This is what I thought of Fells Point Corner Theatre’s production of 10x10x10… What did you think? Please feel free to leave a comment!
10x10x10 will play through April 16 at Fells Point Corner Theatre, 251 S Ann Street, Baltimore, MD. For more information log on to fpct.org, or purchase tickets online.
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