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Toy Piano, Anne Thomas, Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald, and “Charlotte”

Toy piano composer David Smooke, Anne Thomas at The Stoop, “An Evening with Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald,” and the short film “Charlotte”

When you ask David Smooke what he plays, he smiles at you, and he says humbly, “I play a little piano.”  Smooke is Chair of the Music Theory Department at Peabody Conservatory, and his instrument of choice is something you might find in the toy aisle.  Producer Aaron Henkin paid a visit to Smooke’s home to hear him play ‘a little piano,’ and he brings us this profile.


Here’s a little story to quell the ire of any traveler who ever suffered an injustice at the hands of the airline industry.  Anne Thomas told this tale to a live audience at Centerstage on March 31st as part of the Stoop Storytelling Series.

Anne Thomas at The Stoop


The Fitzgeralds, smiling for the camera

Thursday evening, April 10th, The University of Baltimore will host a celebration of one of the most iconic couples of the Jazz Age. An Evening with Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald will feature readings of The Great Gatsby and Tender is the Night, personal letters, a short story by Zelda, and observations about the couple by Ernest Hemingway and E. L. Doctorow.   UB professor Jonathan Shorr is organizing the event, and he and some of the participants discuss the show with The Signal’s Lisa Morgan. 

A Night with Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald


Zayden Bates, Angel Kristi Williams, and Brianna Cormier at the WYPR studios

A Los Angeles film crew has been shooting a new movie here in Baltimore, but you’ll be forgiven if you didn’t notice.  There was no high-profile fanfare, no celebrity sightings, none of the usual Hollywood buzz – just a small, dedicated team, shooting on a modest budget with a cast that stars two teenage girls.  Charlotteis the name of the short film, and the writer / director is Angel Kristi Williams.  Williams and her two young stars drop in with producer Aaron Henkin

filmmaker Angel Kristi Williams and her stars discuss "Charlotte"

Aaron creates and produces original radio programs and podcasts for WYPR. His current project is The Maryland Curiosity Bureau. Aaron's neighborhood documentary series, Out of the Blocks, earned the 2018 national Edward R Murrow Award. His past work includes the long-running weekly cultural program, The Signal, and the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings series, Tapestry of the Times. Aaron's stories have aired nationally on NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered.
Lisa Morgan covered the local arts community as co-creator and host of WYPR’s award-winning program The Signal from 2004 to 2015. She has created and produced many programs for WYPR, including news stories, features, commentaries, and audio documentaries. She taught audio production at Goucher College and has done voice-over work for a variety of clients. The Weekly Reader is her latest project.