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It is written in 8-part harmony, and we are doing it in 8-part harmony. What are they going to do? Tara Vin Cast Member : That other forms of theater are still relevant. Breonna Lewis Cast Member : Katie takes talents of all different kinds. Directed by Ryan Geiger, this script of this French farce translated into English feels lost in translation in Credit: Shealyn Jae. In short, the Heritage Players website surmises the show rather nicely. He has a flat in Paris and three gorgeous stewardesses, Gloria, Gabriella, and Gretchen, all engaged to him without knowing about each other.

His live-in maid, Berthe, is the only person who knows about his deceptive life until his friend from Wisconsin, Robert, unexpectedly comes to stay. So, all three stewardesses are in town simultaneously. However, the timid Robert begins to forget which lies to tell to whom, and catastrophe looms. Be begin with our in-flight instructions and the details of the production are showered with thematic puns from our Captain. The information covered is thorough some information is duplicated from the program and runs a bit long foreshadowing some pacing issues that arise during the show.

Credit: Heritage Players. Lights up on the living room of a simple bachelor pad with a color scheme that is flat enough to help the characters in costume really pop. Sheldon enters cool, calm, and collected assuring his maid Berthe Claire Sherman that everything will be fine and bending to the wind is easier than fighting it. Their conversation flows naturally and they feel as if they have had a good, albeit unnatural, working relationship.

The place is clean, tidy and in good order though does not feel lived in. Some trim on the walls and a few practical lights could do wonders to finish the look of the apartment of the successful architect. The script calls for some out of date objectification of women, which is currently avoided or muted, but Geiger has boldly decided to stay true to the script allowing the audience the occasional laughter through awkward situation.

Claire Sherman as Berthe. As Bernard, John Sheldon struts the stage and kicks back with an easy confidence that his plan is flawless. Watching him witch between calm and collected to panicked and lost is like flipping on the light switch. His routine is initially disturbed by a surprise visit from Robert Richard Greenslit , a friend who has kept him to his word about visiting Paris. Her delivery was strong and consistent and pleasant to watch on stage. Jessie Duggan as the American stewardess Gloria entered confidently and excitedly playing to the European stereotypes of Americans.

Dressed all in red, she was certainly playing to her charms to seduce both men in order to get what she wants. Katie Sheldon played Gabriella, the Italian stewardess, is delightful to watch as she takes control of her scenes. Her chemistry with Bernard creates some shining moments throughout the show as she fights to have things go her way.

Her exasperation with Bernard and Robert is clearly evident as they usher her to the guest bedroom and the audience can empathize her defeat when arriving from the restaurant. Making a grand entrance, Gretchen Kate Crosby is the German stewardess who makes her presence known on stage. Crosby grabs this character and shows her how to handle the two guys.

We can see her wrestling with indecision throughout but is firm when she makes up her mind. The intention is certainly clear, if not a bit overstated. Speaking of clear, sound design by Stuart Kazanow was never a problem and sitting halfway back I could hear every line very nicely. Purchase tickets at the door one hour before show time or purchase them online. Every so often, a production comes around where every element works perfectly and transcends to a level of sheer theater magic.


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Christopher Rose, and Choreography by Elise Starkey. This cast and production team consistently deliver in bringing to life one of the funniest scripts in Musical Theater. Credit: Tidewater Players. Fair warning: This is the tale of a group of out-of-work steel workers who have decided to make some money by taking off all their clothes. There will be some skin, combined with language and other adult themes, that does make this production not appropriate for young audiences. However, mature teens and even the most conservative adults are unlikely to be offended, as this is not skin for the sake of skin — this is a story about loving yourself and about body acceptance.

That love shows in every detail of this production. From assembling a dynamic cast to effective staging, quick scene changes, and seamless integration of technical aspects, a strong and skilled directorial hand is evident throughout. Her vision is furthered with strong musical leadership at the hands of R. Christopher Rose. Both soloists and ensembles shine consistently in their knowledge of the music and how to deliver the music for maximum impact.

Another shining star is the choreography of Elise Starkey. Her choreography is not only eye-catching and delivered with stunning synchronicity, it also often tells the story and adds to the humor. The technical aspects are also very well-designed and effective. The lighting design by Thomas Gardner adds depth and character throughout and works perfectly in the most crucial of moments. Costume Design by Eva Grove is clever and detailed.

Like the other aspects, it highlights the two key aspects of this production: character and humor. With these things in place, the cast is set up for success, and they take that ball and run with it.

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There is truly not a weak link in the entire ensemble. The thing that works so brilliantly is that the production team and cast really got the characters and the theme of the piece. What makes this show both funny and touching is that these are real men stepping outside of their comfort zone. The characters are quirky and zany at times, but, above all else, they are real. It is only in playing these characters as real and complex and not over-the-top that this show can truly work. Starkey and her cast understand this and instead of trying to play for laughs or manipulate audience emotion, they allow themselves to be real characters who experience this story as it unfolds.

The result is that the audience laughs and cries and falls in love with the vulnerability and reality on display in front of them. The cast also melds together so well as an ensemble that is practically impossible to single out and talk about these performances as individuals. They are always working as a team, reacting and supporting as much as taking the spotlight. The supporting characters are just as real as the leads and played by some equally strong actors.

The same is true of Angie Sokolov as Pam. Audiences will also definitely remember the supporting performance of Wayne Ivusich Rev. Snyder consistently brings joy and laughter to the audience with her feisty character and solid comedic delivery, and Pastella easily has one of the best female voices in the local theater community. Pastella also has incredible chemistry with her onstage husband and creates a character who is vibrant and believable. However, at the end of the day, this show is truly about the six men who decide to bare it all.

These six men forge an incredible bond on stage that is the foundation of this show, while each creating unique and loveable characters. Austin Barnes Ethan Girard sparkles with optimism and heart. Ethan is a character that could easily be overplayed, but Barnes finds the reality in his constant belief that he can do impossible things. As Malcolm, Josh Schoff finds the balance and the lightness in his conflicted character. The onstage chemistry between Barnes and Schoff is also impressive, as they say so much through simple looks and gestures and tiny moments that slowly build.

Adding to the dynamic group of gentlemen is Steve Flickinger as Harold Nichols. Flickinger has stellar comedic timing and the most priceless facial reactions. Both men have these touching, small moments in which we see the fears and real person inside. This group of men is so unafraid to be exposed on stage — emotionally and mentally as well as physically that the audience leaves feeling like it is a group of old friends.

The cornerstone of old friends, with such a believable onstage dynamic that you feel like they must truly be old friends, are Dave Bukatinsky Mark Lloyd and Jerry Lukowski Jake Stuart. Everything that this production does well is crystallized in the amazing performances by these two gentlemen. He does an excellent job of living those moments rather than trying to chase the cheap humor.

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The audience laughs at him, but knowing that we are laughing at him also builds a deep empathy for everything that Dave struggles with. Ultimately, though, the heart of the show is its unconventional protagonist Jerry, and Stuart gives the most impressively real portrayal. There is not a single moment where it feels like he is acting or pretending.

Every line, every action, and every reaction feels real and genuine and in the moment. He creates the most believable, flawed, and loveable man, and it just feels natural. The vocals are gorgeous. The harmonies are solid. Right beneath the surface, though, is real pain and real men. We get to know them. We get to love them. In many ways, we are them. When Starkey talked in her curtain speech about the powerful and important theme of this show, she touched on something that was then brought to life for her audience.

She had it down to a science and have had readers and audiences guessing and scratching their heads for the past nine decades coming up on years in and many have adapted her novels into stage plays, including Christie herself. Credit: Artistic Synergy of Baltimore. A Murder is Announced , the novel, was first published in June of and both the novel and the play concern themselves with an announcement in the local paper of a murder to be committed at a planned birthday party at a local boarding house.

At the party, a fuse is blown momentarily, an intruder breaks in in the dark, scaring the party-goers, and when the lights come back up, the intruder is dead on the floor. Enter a patient Inspector Craddock, and you have the makings of a good old fashioned Christie mystery. Donna Zubrowski and Ashley Gerhardt. Though no Set Designer is listed in the program, the design for this production uses the intimate space wisely. One is transported to a parlor room of a small English country house with not bells and whistles which is absolutely appropriate for this piece.

Speaking of staging, Director Michael Crook and Assistant Director Lou Otero seem to have a strong vision and have executed it beautifully. Staging a murder-mystery is no small feat, one must understand the script, but also the action and has to work that out within the space he or she has. Jim Fitzpatrick and Catherine Shinaberry. Claire Levine takes on the character of Mrs.

Sweetenham, a neighbor, and though she seems stiff and scripted, she seems to understand the frailty of her character and makes a good showing.

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Zubrowski has a tight grasp on this character, but gives a rigid performance with a deliberate delivery that makes it unnatural at times, but her chemistry with her cast mates is fantastic and she plays the character adequately enough to get the point across nicely. In the same vein, Chloe Scully takes on the role of Phillipa Haymes.

Phil Vannoorbeeck takes on the role of Patrick Simmons and Ann Marie Taglavore portrays Julia Simmons, the young brother-sister team who may or may not have ulterior motives for visiting their sweet, old aunt. Both Vannoorbeeck and Taglavore give strong, confident portrayals and know their characters well. Vannoorbeeck may be playing the character a bit larger than he should, at times, but still comes off as believable and natural. Taglavore is the stronger actor, giving a smooth, natural performance and delivery are both natural and effortless.

Catherine Shinaberry and Mel Tillery. Gerhardt is comfortable in his role and has a great presence on stage with natural delivery of the dialogue and a solid take on the character. Shinaberry is aptly cast in her role of Letitia, and, though she is too soft spoken at times, making it hard to make out what she is saying, she seems to embody this character nicely and has a strong comprehension of her character.

Her delivery, in a believable Russian accent, is impressive and her energy is second to none, making for one of the strongest showings in this production. Rounding out the cast we have the sleuths, Inspector Craddock played by Jim Fitzpatrick and the loveable, famously intuitive Mrs. Marple, portrayed by Ashley Gerhardt. These two are the definite standouts in this production and pull their characters off effortlessly. Fitzpatrick is near perfect in this role and he seems to completely embody this character. His delivery is flawless and his chemistry with the rest of the ensemble is on point and it makes for a strong, faultless performance.

Gerhardt, who may be a bit young to play Mrs. Marble just yet, still gives an impeccable performance, regardless of this. She knows the character well, and she portrays her with a certain charm that makes you like her from the get. Final thought… A Murder is Announced at Artistic Synergy of Baltimore is well put-together presentation of a great Agatha Christie story with mostly solid performances and a solid vision from its Director and Assistant Director. The story is dated, but definitely not stale, and is still relatable today. For tickets, purchase them at the door or online.

Young expecting parents may have strange ways of coping with the inevitable. Some research and read every book they can get their hands on or watch every video they can find on the Internet, and some just let it happen, taking advice from those who have gone through the same experience. The trio works their way through the usual issues of expecting parents with humor and poignancy, which, in the end, is pretty much like everyone else.

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Credit: The Strand Theatre. In a few words, And Baby Makes Seven concerns itself with a trio of folks expecting a baby, but realize they have to get rid of the three imaginary children in the house before the real baby comes. Sound a little off? Well, it is, but it all comes out in the wash. Set Design by Kate Smith-Morse works just about perfectly for this piece. It is a realistic set that fits nicely with this production. Emily Hall takes the helm of this production and her Direction of this piece is superb.

As I mentioned, this theatre is an intimate space and a show like this, with only three characters, is perfect for this stage. Hall seems to have a good comprehension of the characters and she has guided this apt cast into telling this story well. Hall is to be commended for her work on this production. Moving to the performance aspect of this piece, this trio of actors work their way through this script superbly.

However, when she switched off to play the normal, everyday Ruth, she shined and portrayed her effortlessly, so, I can see this actress has an real talent. Overall, Rivera has a tight grasp on this character and gives a great showing and makes these characters endearing, making for a delightful performance. Next up, Katherine Vary takes on the role of Anna, and the imaginary child genius, Cecil.

She plays Anna, the pregnant character, with ease. She seems to have a good understanding of this character, as well as with Cecil, making him just irritating enough, but charming a the same time, which is not small feat. Her delivery is smooth and natural and, overall, she gives a strong, confident performance.

Either way, Harvey pulled this role off beautifully and confidently. Harvey was near flawless in his portrayal of this character. He made this character his own and seemed to embody him. His delivery is clear and concise and he really brings the character to life. Working in tandem with Rivera and Vary, this trio seems to naturally fit with brilliant chemistry and it just makes the characters more real and the story more believable.

In the end, I really liked these characters because they knew the kids were imaginary and knew they were pretending and nothing more, adding a realism that was needed. Paula Vogel has weaved a poignant, off-center story about a blended family and their interpretation of the world around them. It may take a moment to get into the groove with this piece, but the small three-person ensemble presents these characters beautifully and truthfully, making for a delightful evening of theatre. You may have to pay extra attention to to keep up with the characters, but the ensemble does a good job keeping everything in place.

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Follow us on Twitter and Instagram. The s. Thanks for signing up! Subscribe to our weekly eNewsletter. Plainfield, Illinois Phone: Fax: E-mail: info plainfieldpubliclibrary. Facebook Twitter Instagram Pinterest Flickr. All the Beautiful Lies by Peter Swanson Devastated when his father commits suicide days before his college graduation, Harry returns to his home in Maine, where he is baffled by the increasingly sensual attentions of a mysterious woman and his own alluring stepmother, who he comes to realize are hiding dangerous secrets.

Book Discussion Guide. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie Ten people, each with something to hide and something to fear, are invited to a isolated mansion on Indian Island by a host who, surprisingly, fails to appear. On the island they are cut off from everything but each other and the inescapable shadows of their own past lives.

One by one, the guests share the darkest secrets of their wicked pasts. And one by one, they die… Book Discussion Guide. Baker's Secret, The by Stephen Kiernan After her kind mentor is arrested because of his Jewish heritage, a young baker's apprentice in Normandy engages in discreet resistance activities, baking contraband loaves of bread for the hungry using surplus ingredients taken from occupying forces. Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson Reluctantly hired into the home of a famed reclusive writer who would recapture her lost fortunes by completing a new manuscript, Alice Whitley becomes obsessed with identifying the paternity of her employer's precocious young son.

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley The stories of ten wealthy victims of a plane crash intertwine with those of a down-on-his-luck painter and a four-year-old boy, the tragedy's only survivors, as odd coincidences surrounding the crash point to a possible conspiracy. Between The World And Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates The author presents a history of racial discrimination in the United States and a narrative of his own personal experiences of contemporary race relations, offering possible resolutions for the future. Circling the Sun by Paula McLain Raised by her father and the Kipsigis tribe in s Kenya, Beryl endures painful losses before entering a passionate love triangle and discovering her unconventional true calling.

This is a charming love story of misunderstandings, mistaken identity, and the power of food to bring two people together. When singer Daisy Jones meets Billy Dunne of the band The Six, the two rising 70s rock-and-roll artists are catapulted into stardom when a producer puts them together, a decision that is complicated by a pregnancy and the seductions of fame. Dear Mrs. Bird by A. Pearce NEW! An adventurous young woman takes a typist job to assist the war effort and lands in the employ of a renowned advice columnist before she begins secretly replying to heart-wrenching letters rejected as unsuitable.

Dinner, The by Herman Koch Meeting at a restaurant for dinner, two couples move from small talk to the shared challenge of their teenage sons' violent act that has triggered a police investigation and revealed the extent to which each family will go to protect those they love. Don't You Cry by Mary Kubica In Chicago, Esther Vaughan disappears, leaving only a haunting letter as a clue for her roommate, Quinn Collins; meanwhile, in a small Michigan harbor town, year-old dishwasher Alex Gallo is drawn to a charming mystery woman, whose allure spirals into something far more sinister.

Traces the author's experiences as a child born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, describing her participation in her family's paranoid stockpiling activities and her resolve to educate herself well enough to earn an acceptance into a prestigious university and the unfamiliar world beyond. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman Smart, warm, uplifting, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is the story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes that the only way to survive is to open your heart.

This richly imagined novel tells the story behind The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the book that inspired the iconic film, through the eyes of author L. Gentleman in Moscow, A by Amor Towles Deemed unrepentant by a Bolshevik tribunal in , Count Alexander Rostov is sentenced to house arrest in a hotel across the street from the Kremlin, where he lives in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history unfold.

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Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig Ginny is autistic, and her obsessive need to retrieve her Baby Doll from her past brutal life with a dangerous mother puts her on a collision course with her adoptive parents, their new baby, a legal system that has struggled to protect Ginny for five years, and her birth mother. Ginny's brilliant therapist unlocks one mystery, but the tension never lets up as the girl's focus on finding her Baby Doll moves them all into ever more perilous territory. Annika is an English major at the University of Illinois.


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Anxious in social situations where she finds most people's behavior confusing, she'd rather be surrounded by the order and discipline of books or the quiet solitude of playing chess. Jonathan Hoffman joined the chess club and lost his first game--and his heart--to the shy and awkward, yet brilliant and beautiful Annika.

What follows is a tumultuous yet tender love affair that withstands everything except the unforeseen tragedy that forces them apart, shattering their connection and leaving them to navigate their lives alone. Hate U Give, The by Angie Thomas After witnessing her friend's death at the hands of a police officer, Starr Carter's life is complicated when the police and a local drug lord try to intimidate her in an effort to learn what happened the night Kahlil died. Vance Shares the story of the author's family and upbringing, describing how they moved from poverty to an upwardly mobile clan that included the author, a Yale Law School graduate, while navigating the demands of middle class life and the collective demons of the past.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi Two half-sisters, unknown to each other, are born into different villages in 18th-century Ghana and experience profoundly different lives and legacies throughout subsequent generations marked by wealth, slavery, war, coal mining, the Great Migration and the realities of 20th-century Harlem. A man with a secret rare condition that has enabled him to survive for centuries moves to London to become a high-school history teacher and considers defying his protective guardians' rule against falling in love when he becomes entranced by a captivating colleague.

June by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore Learning that she is the sole heir to the fortune of a legendary Hollywood movie star, Cassie Danvers, mourning the loss of her grandmother, investigates the truth in her prim grandmother's past and discovers secrets involving blackmail, murder, betrayal, and broken hearts. One morning, Deming Guo's mother, an undocumented Chinese immigrant named Polly, goes to her job at the nail salon and never comes home. With his mother gone, eleven-year-old Deming is left with no one to care for him.

He is eventually adopted by two white college professors who move him from the Bronx to a small town upstate. Set in New York and China, the Leavers is the story of how one boy comes into his own when everything he's loved has been taken away--and how a mother learns to live with the mistakes of her past.