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Rousuck's Review: "Men On Boats" at Center Stage

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Photo copyright Teresa Castracane
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It's Thursday and time again for theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck, who joins us each week with her reviews of the Maryland stage.  Today, we hear her take on Baltimore Center Stage's new production of Men On Boats.

The 2015 play by Jaclyn Backhaus, directed at Center Stage by Jenny Koons, is based on the published journals of John Wesley Powell, who led an 1869 expedition down the Green and Colorado Rivers into the then-unknown geological wonders of the Grand Canyon.  In Backhaus' comedic retelling of the historic wild-water journey, Powell's all-white-male expeditionary team is played by a gender-nonconforming ensemble of color, featuring Ceci Fernandez as John Wesley Powell, Kai Heath as Hall, and Haruna Lee as Old Shady, among the cast of ten.  Scenic design credits go to Stephanie Osin Cohen.

Men On Boats continues at Baltimore Center Stage through Sunday, December 22.  For location and ticket information, click here.

The special Baltimore Center Stage benefit event discussed by Tom and Judy --  a special celebrity reading/discussion of Thornton Wilder's revered but rarely produced classic, The Long Christmas Dinner -- happens on Monday, December 16 at 7pm at Baltimore Center Stage.  The cast and discussants will include R. Eric Thomas, the Barrymore Award-winning playwright, humorist and Elle Magazine contributor; Tracie Thoms, an acclaimed actor known for her performances in Rent, The Devil Wears Prada, and Cold Case; and Paula Vogel, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of How I Learned to Drive and a Tony Award nominee for Indecent.  For event & ticket information, click here.

Because of NPR's special live coverage Thursday of the House Judiciary Committee's mark-up of the Articles of Impeachment, this week's theater review could not be broadcast live, so we are posting it as an online-only feature, available here and on Midday's regular podcast. 

J. Wynn Rousuck has been reviewing theater for WYPR's Midday (and previously, Maryland Morning) since 2007. Prior to that, she was the theater critic of The Baltimore Sun, where she reviewed more than 3,000 plays over the course of 23 years. Her feature coverage for The Sun included a comprehensive series chronicling the development of the Tony Award-winning musical, “Hairspray.” Judy got her start at The Cleveland Press and at Cleveland’s fine arts radio station, WCLV. Her broadcasting experience also includes a year as an on-air theater critic for Maryland Public Television.
Host, Midday (M-F 12:00-1:00)
Rob is Midday's senior producer.