HIGHLY RECOMMENDEDCity Paper critic John Barry headed down to Washington, D.C. last week to catch the current production at the Shakespeare Theatre Company and fired off an e-mail to us raving: "Shakespeare Theatre's deliriously Balkanized King Lear, starring a riveting Stacy Keach, is, simply stated, one you'll remember for a long time. And it's worth the one-hour drive there and back." This Robert Falls-directed version of the Bard's great tragedy runs through July 26. Visit shakespearetheatre.org for more details.
ARTSCAPE 2009Baltimore's annual city-wide arts event is only three weeks away, and this year's installment includes a healthy amount of dance, street performances, and other dramatic arts, such as "The Play's the Thing" series at Theatre Project. And who knows what kind of performance tom foolery may be found on the Rebecca Nagle-curated midway this year. Visit artscape.org and click on "performances" to check out this year's line-ups.
OPENINGS The Strand Theater continues its sharp Friends and Neighbors Festival with Kerra Holtgren and Paul Weinberg's Call Me Penelope, a song-and-dance portrait of a jazz diva's rise, fall, and rise again, directed by Weinberg; it opens July 3 and runs through July 5. Ain't Misbehavin', a musical revue/tribute to Thomas "Fats" Waller--the American jazz musician who played a mean stride piano and wrote such standards as "Honeysuckle Rose"--opens July 8 at the Olney Theatre Center; it runs through Aug. 2. Quilters: The Musical opens July 2 at the Annapolis Summer Garden Theater.
CLOSING The Audrey Herman Spotlighters Theatre's winning production of Bryony Lavery's Frozen, directed by Michael Spellman and featuring a strong performance from Debbie Bennett (pictured) concludes its run this weekend with July 3 and 4 evening performances at 8 p.m. and a 2 p.m. matinee July 5. Theatre Hopkins' production of The Light in the Piazza ends it runs this weekend with 8 p.m. performances July 3 and 4 and a 2 p.m. matinee July 5.