ACTING LOCALLY A July 28 e-mail from the Audrey Herman Spotlighters Theatre announced that the long-running community theater was recently "selected for the 2009 Best of Baltimore Award in the Theatres category by the U.S. Commerce Association (USCA)," but Curtain Time has to confess that it isn't sure what that means. According to the e-mail--reproduced almost verbatim over at digital theater portal baltimore.broadwayworld.com--the "USCA 'Best of Local Business' Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country," but little can be found about the awards over at us-ca.org (motto: "supporting local business is good business"). Not trying to be naysayers here at all, but a cursory bit of poking around turned up a July 7 post at the Better Business Bureau cautioning local businesses about the so-called "awards" sponsored by the Washington-based organization, about which even the BBB had trouble finding much information, about the organization or its awards, which may be part of a financial scam. So instead of offering Spotlighters a congratulations on a vanity awards program, we'd like to encourage people to show their support for the local business of local arts by attending the Mount Vernon-based theater's current production of Hamlet, which ends Aug. 9, with productions Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Visit spotlighters.org for more details.
OPENING Open Space, a newish arts space in Reisterstown, opens its Summer Playwright's Festival Aug. 7 at its Hanover Road location; the performances run through Aug. 16. The Jewish Theatre Workshop opens Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice Aug. 6 at the Jewish Community Center (5700 Park Heights Ave.); it runs through Aug. 11.
BALTIMORE PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL Robin Rouse's Dancing Without You, the fourth production in this 28th BPF season, opens Aug. 7 at the Barn, building B, on the CCBC Catonsville Campus. Rikki Howie directs this drama about a woman growing up in the absence of her father.
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