THE HOTTEST SEAT IN TOWN With the recent announcement that the Baltimore Opera Company is filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, effectively ending a company that started in 1950, this week's sold-out debut performance of the Baltimore Concert Opera is fabulous news. Co-founded by out-of-work members of the Baltimore Opera Co., Baltimore Concert Opera's Don Giovanni takes over the intimate Grand Ballroom of the Garrett-Jacobs Mansion March 25 in a more intensely personal approach: The opera will be sung with only piano accompaniment--"sans opulence," as the BCO web site notes--complete with pre-performance hors d'ouevres and an introductory lecture. Sold out, but waiting list spots are still available as of publication.
VARIATIONS PROJECT AUDITIONS Run of the Mill Theater's latest Variations Project--the theme this year is "hope"--holds auditions March 21 at Load of Fun Studios from noon-5 p.m. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an audition.
FROM STAGE TO SCREEN TO STAGE If you didn't grow up theater-going and watched movies on TV in the 1980s, it was easy to assume Neil Simon was just this guy who wrote unoffensively witty movies--such as California Suite, with Jane Fonda, Alan Alda, and Richard Pryor. Turns out Simon wrote originally for Broadway, and this weekend the Heritage Players provide the opportunity to catch a stage version of California Suite, opening March 19--the "pay what you can" night--at the Rice Auditorium of the Spring Grove Hospital Center; it runs through March 29.
Stephen Sondheim's much-loved, widely toured, and frequently revived musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street--about a pie maker and the barber who supplies her with fillings--is one of those productions that is more fun when seen on an intimate stage. The Audrey Herman Spotlighters Theatre open this tasty treat March 20 with Andrea Bush as Mrs. Lovett and Carlos del Valle as the titular barber.
LET THE MEMORY LIVE AGAIN Do you ever get the feeling that somewhere, on some stage, Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats is being performed? Sometimes it feels like the Law & Order of the traveling musicals. A current touring version stops in at the Hippodrome Theatre March 24, the first of its six-night run.