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Rousuck's Review: Coates's "Between The World" On HBO; Kennedy Fest At Round House

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HBO Productions
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Midday theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck joins Tom with a look at a couple of new streaming-arts endeavors helping to entertain and inspire us as the raging COVID-19 pandemic keeps most of the nation's theaters and movie houses dark.

She leads off with a review of HBO's new all-star adaptation of writer Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me, the testimonial he published in 2015 about the realities of being Black in America and growing up in Baltimore, written as a letter to his son.  Based on a 2018 adaptation and staging of the book at New York's Apollo Theater, the HBO special combines elements of the Apollo production and dramatic readings from Coates’ book, with documentary footage from the author's home life, archival footage, and animation. It premiered on HBO November 21st and is now streaming on demand. For more information on the HBO Special, click here...

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Credit RoundHouse Theater
Adrienne Kennedy is an award-winning American playwright.

Judy also spotlights a four-play virtual festival of works by acclaimed African-American playwright Adrienne Kennedy, produced and streamed by Round House Theater in Bethesda, Maryland.  The first play, which began streaming Nov. 14, is Kennedy’s newest work for the stage, a two-person show about an interracial relationship in the 1940s. The next play, co-written with Kennedy’s son, is a semi-autobiographical account of the family’s experience with police brutality and has a cast of 12. It began streaming on Nov. 22. For more information on Round House's The Work of Adrienne Kennedy: Inspiration and Influence, click here.  
Streaming performances will be available for ticketed viewing through February 2021.

Also, since there was barely time to mention it on the broadcast, we want to note it again here:  tonight at 7pm, Baltimore's historic Hippodrome Theater hosts a live, virtual celebration of its 106th anniversary. For more information on the event, click here.

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.