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Rousuck's Review: "Dreamgirls" and "Fires in the Mirror" at Center Stage

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BILL GEENEN
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The company of ArtsCentric’s production of “Dreamgirls,” being presented at Baltimore's Center Stage through Dec 19. (Photo by Bill Geenen/Center Stage)

And lastly on today's edition of Midday on the Arts, our theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck joins Tom for another of her weekly reviews of the region's thespian offerings. This week, she has reviews of two plays now running concurrently at Baltimore Center Stage.

The first is ArtsCentric's ambitious production of Dreamgirls, the 1980s hit Broadway musical about a trio of young female singers aspiring to success. The sprawling cast is directed by Artscentric's founder and artistic director, Kevin S. McAllister. Musical Supervision is by Cedric D. Lyles, with choreograophy by Shalyce Hemby.

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Khanisha Foster (shown above) and Cloteal L. Horne are the two actors alternating solo performances embodying Anna Deavere Smith’s iconic 26-character tour-de-force in "Fires in the Mirror" (Center Stage photo by J. Fannon)

The second play is the Center Stage production of Fires in the Mirror, playwright Anna Deavere Smith's powerful, one-woman evocation of the strife between Black and Jewish communities that erupted in New York City in the summer of 1991. The Center Stage production is directed by Nicole Brewer. (Tom Hall spoke about Fires with Nicole Brewer, Center Stage Artistic Director Stephanie Ybarra and playwright Anna Deavere Smith, along with two scholars here on Midday earlier this month). The play is being presented in partnership with the Long Wharf Theater in New Haven, Connecticut.

Theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck joins us today on Zoom.

Both productions are running at Baltimore Center Stage until December 19. For ticketing information for Dreamgirls, click here. For Fires in the Mirror, 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.
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