Friday, August 29, 2014


The Ultimate Star-Spangled Event

Shodekeh Remixes National Anthem

Renowned Beat Box Artist Interprets the Star-Spangled Banner With Baltimore Boom Bap Society, Embody and Classical Revolution

WHEN: September 14, 2014, 5 PM
WHERE: Reginald F. Lewis Museum, near Baltimore's Inner Harbor at the corner of Pratt and President Streets in Baltimore, Maryland

Two hundred years to the day that Francis Scott Key wrote The Star-Spangled Banner, renowned beat box artist Shodekeh leads a new interpretation of the National Anthem that fuses hip hop, beat box, and classical music. Three musical groups convened by Shodekeh, representing the vocal arts, classical music, and hip hop, come together one for an electrifying performance. Their new interpretation speaks to our ever-evolving country and the diversity of voices within it.

Listen to a preview here:

Shodekeh collaborates with Baltimore Boom Bap Society, a group that performs improvised hip hop; Embody, a group of vocal artists ranging from throat singers to opera lyricists; and Classical Revolution, a collection of classically-trained musicians who perform classical music in unexpected places.

Beginning at 5:30 PM, participants will walk from one site within the museum to the next to hear each group perform. The performances are based on untold stories about The Star-Spangled Banner. Frederick Douglass, for example, was a violinist in his free time and reportedly played the song. Another untold story is Ethel Ennis’ a capella performance of the anthem at President Nixon’s inauguration. Her choice to sing unaccompanied was a first and was her way to de-politicize the song.

“It is my hope that these untold stories will unlock how people view the song, the flag, and their relationship to the country," says Shodekeh. In total, fifteen untold stories will be referenced, in honor of the fifteen stars in the original Star-Spangled Banner flag. The performance will crescendo as Embody, Classical Revolution, and the Baltimore Boom Bap Society unite for a finale performance in the museum theater.

A Statement of Rebellion and Reconciliation

“There’s a standard, default culture regarding the National Anthem, and I wanted to veer away from that and focus on a culturally alternative version of the song and its legacy,” Shodekeh says.

There’s a history of musicians interpreting the National Anthem with a new lens.  Jimi Hendrix's performance at Woodstock in 1969, for instance, was met at first with hostility. The transformation of the Hendrix interpretation from shocking and condemned, to legendary and accepted, is almost as significant as the performance itself. In the 1940s, Boston police asked that Igor Stravinsky not perform his arrangement of the anthem because his changes were considered too radical.

The anthem itself is a re-interpretation of an English drinking song. “It was common practice in early American music to take an existing tune and add new words to it,” says mezzo soprano Alana Kolb of Embody. “In the Civil War, both sides would take folk songs that were traditional and apply new words to them. It was meant to show dominance and be provocative,” says Blair Skinner, a violinist with Classical Revolution.

The musicians hope that audience members come away inspired to explore their own relationship to the flag and our country. Perhaps “their perceptions will be shifted,” says DJDubble8, co-founder of Baltimore Boom Bap Society. “The National Anthem Remix performance, in many ways connects our past, present and future,” says Dr. Skipp Sanders, Executive Director of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum. “By looking at the history behind Francis Scott Key’s Star-Spangled Banner, we are shedding light on the unheard voices that make up of the fabric of our nation. By performing the song in 2014 with all of the creativity that the three groups will bring to it, we promote togetherness and unity: behind one song are many voices and many personal interpretations of it. This performance speaks to the future, as well. There’s still a lot of racial healing to do in this country, as we have recently seen in the news. However, regardless of our backgrounds, we’re all American.”

About the Artists

Baltimore Boom Bap Society is conceived as a forum for experimentation and collaboration between hip-hop artists, while placing hip-hop in dialogue with other forms of music. Co-producers Wendel Patrick & DJ Dubble8 invite special guests to perform with them in diverse combinations, to explore a hybrid of free improvisation and beat-based composition. Visit their Facebook page.

Classical Revolution Baltimore is a collective of musicians that work to promote public art, and engage new audiences in classical music in Baltimore City. They organize free performances in unlikely venues and neighborhoods. Since its inception in 2011, Classical Revolution Baltimore has convened more than 75 performances in Station North, West Baltimore and Mount Vernon, and led a workshop with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s OrchKids, to name a few. For more information visit:

Directed by Dominic Shodekeh Talifero, known simply as Shodekeh, Embody focuses on the vocal arts in all its different forms used, including opera singing, throat singing, beatboxing and vocal percussion. Shodekeh’s groundbreaking performances have been featured in The New York Times and the Washington Post. Visit their Facebook page.



Shedding Light On ‘Untold Stories’

The performance is in conjunction with the exhibition For Whom It Stands: the Flag and the American People. The inspiration for the exhibition is Grace Wisher, the thirteen-year old African American girl who contributed to the creation of the Star-Spangled Banner. During the War of 1812, flag maker Mary Pickersgill sewed the original Star-Spangled Banner flag in a house next to the Reginald F. Lewis Museum. While Pickersgill's story is well-known, Wisher's largely forgotten role serves as a basis for the musicians to share other stories about the flag, so that they, too, are not forgotten.

Critical Praise

Baltimore Magazine has named ‘For Whom It Stands’ its 2014 Best of Baltimore winner in the category of Best Historical Exhibition. ‘For Whom It Stands’ has also received acclaim from USA Today, which featured it among its ‘Top Must-See Summer Exhibits’ in the nation.

About the Reginald F. Lewis Museum

The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture is Baltimore's premier facility highlighting the history and accomplishments of African Americans with a special focus on Maryland's African American community. A Smithsonian affiliate, the museum is the East Coast's largest African American museum, occupying an 82,000 square-foot facility with ample permanent and special exhibition space, interactive learning environments, auditorium, resource center, oral history recording studio, museum shop, café, classrooms, meeting rooms, outside terrace and reception areas. The museum is located near Baltimore's Inner Harbor at the corner of Pratt and President Streets. The museum is also accessible on Baltimore's Charm City Circulator Orange and Green Routes. For more information, please call 443-263-1800 or visit

The exhibition and programs have been financed in part with State Funds from the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission, an instrumentality of the State of Maryland. However, the contents and opinions do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission.


Whether you love to DANCE, love GOOD FOOD, or want to bring home new ARTWORK at incredible prices-   —this party is for you! The best part? You can attend the full evening affair that includes a seated dinner by Water for Chocolate (click here to see the menu, your taste buds will thank you!) or you can join us later in the evening for the After Party that includes OPEN BAR, LIVE MUSIC & dancing and the silent auction.

At the Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave., Baltimore
Purchase Tickets Today!

Visit our Facebook page to see just a few of the gorgeous ceramics that you'll have the opportunity to bid on!

A special thanks to our sponsors:


Save on Colossal, featured in the Washington Post -Olneys smashmouth  drama Colossal tackles football, disability and sexuality. Read it here.  Save on AWAKE AND SING! The play the LA Times says, continue[s] to speak to the turbulent longing in our national soul.

Use the Code Fall20 online or call the Box Office at 301-924-3400 to receive $20 Off Regular Adult-Priced Tickets!*

One Play Can Change Your Life. COLOSSAL - A National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere begins Wednesday.


Hope. Sacrifice. Family. Clifford Odets' AWAKE AND SING! opens September 24.


Art square ad1ART
The Tony award winning comedy written Yasmina Reza and translated by Christopher Hampton
This witty contemporary play is directed by Howard Berkowitz.

WHEN: September 5 through September 28; Friday and Saturday at 8:00 PM; Sunday at 2:00 PM
WHERE: Vagabond Players, 806 S. Broadway, Baltimore
TICKETS: $17-$20
Tickets can be purchased online at or at the door; special rates for groups available on line.
Friday night performances feature special pricing of $10 for students and $15 for everyone else. Plus, new this year, there is a $10 Thursday on Broadway! Performance on September 25.
The Vagabond Theatre is easily accessible to patrons.

Art guys miffedThe friendship among three men is turned upside down when one of them purchases an expensive piece of art. The disagreement over the merits of the painting all but comes to blows as each man finds his own vision of good art does not match with either of the others. The ensuing debate is all-out funny.

The outstanding cast of veteran actors Mark Scharf, Steven Shriner and Eric C. Stein shines in this explosively smart and hilarious production. (Above L-R: Mark Scharf, Eric C. stein and Steven Shriner)

Art poster by Sherrione Brown
Photography by Tom Lauer

Thursday, August 28, 2014



WHEN: Saturday, September 6, 7 PM & 9 PM
Creative Alliance at The Patterson, 3134 Eastern Ave., Baltimore, MD 21224
TICKETS: $25, $20 mbrs.
Presented in partnership with Jazzway 6004

Iconic singer and actress Eartha Kitt (right)  took risk —alienating many with her criticism of the Vietnam War. Rene Marie is a true fellow iconoclast who, after swearing she would never do a tribute album, has found the perfect subject in Eartha. Vocalist, actress, writer Marie shares Eartha’s unrestrained sensuality and her hugely charismatic stage presence. Tonight, with a crack band behind her (Kevin Bales—Piano, Elias Bailey—Bass, Quentin Baxter—Drums), the former Jehovah’s Witness, who left a husband who refused to allow her to sing, embraces her freedom!

After starting her vocal career at the age of 40, Marie experienced a whirlwind of success rarely seen in the jazz world, winning over critics; receiving awards such as the Best International Jazz Vocal CD (besting Cassandra Wilson and Joni Mitchell) by France’s Academie Du Jazz; gracing the Billboard charts multiple times; and becoming a headliner at major international festivals. Never before has there been a vocal recording tipping the hat to the divine Ms. Kitt and her fiery, sensual, and clever interpretations of songs. René is the just the right artist to conceive of this historic project. She brings her incredible range of vocal ability, her emotional resonance, and her strong independent streak to this powerful tribute.

“Marie proves herself masterful as the scenery changes. Whether she’s seducing you with ‘Peel Me A Grape’ or declaring her autonomy in the title cut, this is her show…one of the year’s best jazz vocal albums.” —DownBeat Magazine on Rene Marie’s “Evil Little Me: A Tribute to Eartha Kitt”

It’s wonderful that such a talented artist like René Marie has recorded the first tribute album to my mother, helping to keep her memory and spirit alive. These classic songs deserve to be heard and loved by all generations.”  —Kitt Shapiro, Eartha’s daughter

"I'd Rather Be Burned as a Witch" YouTube Video



You are invited to

Bambino & Vino Night: A TOAST 2 DEREK JETER

WHEN: Sept. 12, 5 – 6:45 PM (7:05 Orioles game to follow)
Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum, 216 Emory St., Baltimore
TICKETS: $50.02*

baseball-glove.jpgYou are invited to sign up for our first ever "Bambino and Vino Night.” Try some wine and meet our next-door neighbor, The Corner & Bistro Wine Bar, then join us at Camden Yards as the O's take on Derek Jeter and the Yankees for his last trip to Baltimore.

Tickets include wine and the menu listed below provided by the Corner Bistro & Wine Bar, as well as Upper Reserve Seats at the 7:05 PM Orioles-Yankees game at Camden Yards.

*Already have game seats? Tickets are $35.02 for the wine event only.


Sparkling Brut
Cabernet Sauvignon

Gourmet Cheese Plate
Bistro Crab Dip
Shrimp Scampi & Red Wine Meatballs

RSVP to John Hein at 410.727.1539 x3051 or via email at

Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum & Sports Legends Museum |
216 Emory Street
Baltimore, MD 21230

The Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation is an independent, 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to perpetuating Maryland's storied sports heritage.

Copyright © 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


By Peter Shaffer
Directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah

WHEN: Sep 10 –  Oct 12
WHERE: Centerstage, 700 N. Calvert St., Baltimore
Box Office: 410.332.0033

In 18th century Vienna, Royal Court Composer Antonio Salieri is the toast of the town until a young prodigy by the name of Mozart arrives on the scene. Music and madness swell as Salieri vows revenge in this epic new revival of the Tony Award-winning drama.

See Amadeus and MORE with a Center Stage Full Season Membership. For as little as $162, you'll guarantee yourself a seat to all seven plays in the 14/15 Season at the best savings, and receive great benefits.





WHEN: Saturday, Aug 30,  3 – 6 PM
WHERE: Spotlighters Theatre, 817 Saint Paul Street - Baltimore, MD 21202
Performance dates:   November 21 - December 21, 2014,  Fri & Sat – 8 PM, Sun – 2 PM  (Thur 12/11 -  8 PM)
Rehearsals: early September - tentative schedule Mon, Tue, Wed & Thur - 7-10 PM - final schedule once casting is complete.



  • Be prepared to read sides with other actors (you may be asked to wait, to read with others)
  • Be prepared to improv various scenes from the play
  • Bring all rehearsal and performance conflicts to auditions.
  • No appointments
  • NON-Union / NON-Paid

Additional info at

Synopsis: (1940s) Sheridan Whiteside, having dined at the home of the Stanleys, slips on their doorstep, breaking his hip. A tumultuous six weeks of confinement follow. The Stanley living room is monopolized by the irascible invalid; ex-convicts are invited to meals; and transatlantic calls bring a $784 phone bill. The arrival of strange gifts from his friends further destroys domestic tranquility. It would take a stoical housewife to harbor penguins in her library, an octopus in her cellar, and 10,000 cockroaches in her kitchen. Throw in famous guests from Hollywood and a sudden romance, what more can happen?  Just tons of laughs in the 1939 classic!

Large cast show, with many roles doubled or tripled—16 actors playing 29 roles!  Skill at creating multiple characters needed. Presented by arrangement with Dramatists Play Service.


  • Mrs Daisy Stanley: female 40-60 y/o - Mr. Ernest W. Stanley’s wife. She constantly tries to placate her husband. She is a good hostess.  Rarely speaks her own mind, unless she just has to!
  • Mr Ernest W. Stanley:  male 40-60 y/o - He is a wealthy factory owner. He tends to be stuffy.  Very much the man of the house, whose word is the law - until ....
  • Sheldon Whiteside:  male, 40-60 y/o - An obnoxious, but famous, writer, critic and radio host. He is overbearing and demanding.
  • Maggie Cutler:  female 25-30 y/o - Maggie is Whiteside’s secretary. She has a businesslike demeanor.  She does everything for him, and until now, he has totally monopolized her time.  She falls in love with Bert Jefferson.
  • Ms Preen:  female 25-55 - Whiteside’s nurse. She tends to be stressed and unhappy.  Strong comedic and sarcastic skills needed.  Lots of physical comedy.
  • Bert Jefferson:  male 30-40 y/o - He owns the town newspaper. He is an easy going man, but can be assertive.  He falls in love with Maggie, but is seduced by Lorraine!
  • John:  male,  45-60 y/o -  the Stanley’s butler. He has been their butler for quite some time.
  • Sara:  female 45-60 y/o -  is the Stanley’s housekeeper. She has worked with them for quite some time.
  • Richard Stanley:  male 18-22 y/o - Ernest and Daisy’s son. He is a photographer who yearns to travel.
  • June Stanley:  female, 16-20 y/o - Ernest and Daisy’s daughter. She is in love with Sandy, a labor organizer at her father’s factory.
  • Lorraine Sheridan/Harriet Stanley/Neighbor Lady:   female 25-30 y/o; strong character actor, must be able to create different characters on stage.
    - Lorraine: female 25-30 - Lorraine is a movie star. She is trying to get married for money, so she is a bit of a gold digger.  Very much a man magnet!
    - Harriet:  female 40-45 y/o - Harriet is Mr. Stanley's sister. She has a creepy personality.  Character is based on Lizzie Borden, always wears a veil and dresses in black.
  • - Neighbor Lady: female 45-55 - High Society friend of Daisy a local busy-body.  Very frumpy and a fan of Sheldon Whiteside.
  • Sandy/Dr. Bradley/Prof Metz/Detective:  male 20-35 y/o; strong character actor, able to create very different characters.
    - Sandy: male 20-25 - Youthful visionary, big & strong -  a union organizer, trying to unionize Mr Stanley's factory, and in love with June, Stanley's daughter.  
    - Dr Bradley: male 45-55 - Dr. Bradley is the town doctor. He aspires to be a writer. (50-60 y/o)
    - Prof Metz: male 45-55 - The professor is a nerdy entomologist, a friend of Whiteside, who drops in. (40-50 y/o)
    - Detective: male 45-55 - Brings Richard and June back home after they try to run away.  (40-50 y/o)
  • Beverly Carlton/Prisoner1:  male, 35-55 y/o
    - Beverly Carlton:  an actor, songwriter, and plays the piano. Character is based on Noel Coward.  Over the top!  Ego as big as a Buick! 
    - Prisoner 1:  one of the three murderers Whiteside invited to dine at the Stanley's!
  • Westcott/Prisoner2/Deputy1: male  30-50 y/o 
    - Westcott:   the head radioman, handling Whiteside's live radio broadcast from the Stanley's living room.
    - Prisoner 2:  one of the three murderers White invited to dine at the Stanley's
    - Deputy 1: one of the two Deputies that Stanley has called to remove Mr Whiteside.
  • RadioMan/Prisoner3/Deputy2: male 30-50 y/o
    - Radio Man:  radio technician assisting with broadcast
    - Prisoner3: one of the three murderers White invited to dine at the Stanley's
    - Deputy 2: one of the two Deputies that Stanley has called to remove Mr Whiteside.
  • Banjo/PrisonGuard: male 35-55 y/o; physical comedy for Banjo
    - Banjo:  a comedic actor in the style of Groucho Marx and Jimmy Durante, who drops in to visit Whiteside.
    - Prison Guard:   Guarding the three murderers that Whiteside invited to dine at the Stanley's


The World Is Not Flat
Woody Sullender / Kevin Davis / Shana Palmer

WHEN: August 29th, 8:30 doors / 9:00 PM Show
WHERE: Red Room, 425 E 31st Street, Baltimore MD

The Red Room is excited to present a unique evening of video, sound and performance/installation works that explore the shape-shifting relationships between sound, object, and physical space. Each artist in the program shapes their work by revealing the multiplicities that exist within visual/aural knowledge, perception, history and self.

The evening will start with a short video program by Baltimore-based Shana Palmer featuring recent work. Following will be a solo cello performance by composer/ improviser Kevin Davis. The night will close with a performance/installation by NYC based sound artist and improviser Woody Sullender. Woody will present a new performance installation where tranducers are used to transform simple sculptural objects into speakers which in turn are used to present a sound/object concert.

Artist Bios

Shana Palmer, video program (Baltimore)
Shana Palmer is an artist, musician, curator and performer currently residing in Baltimore, MD. The experience of growing up in a remote area of the Arizona desert has influenced Shana's practice both sonically and visually. Her works explore the mythical, uninhabitable and liminal spaces, blurring the lines between abstract, narrative and symbolic structures. Shana's practice of performance, video, installation and painting has lead to exhibitions and performances both nationally and internationally. She received her BFA at Massachusetts College of Art, Boston MA, and her MFA at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where she currently lectures.

Kevin Davis, solo cello (Charlottesville)
Kevin Davis is an improviser, composer and cellist. From Appalachian Tennessee, he studied music composition from the University of Memphis. After a period of post-graduate study in art in Memphis and Boston, he began working in the experimental music scenes of Chicago, New York and Istanbul, recording and touring in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in composition and computer technologies at the University of Virginia. Kevin’s recent solo cello performances investigate strategies for extending an improvised music vocabulary. Through the breaking down of the physical components of cello playing and focusing on liminal physical states, open musical structures are brought into confrontation with the unstable properties present in motion, gesture, and sound.

Woody Sullender, performance/installation (NYC)
Woody Sullender is an artist based in Brooklyn, NY. His recent work examines the social construction of the music performance space and how it reinforces specific rituals and modernist ideologies of listening. By minor interventions and reconfigurations in existing spaces, not only can these rituals of listening be ruptured but larger notions of social relations can be explored.

Cutting his teeth in the Chicago free improvisation community, Sullender was previously recognized as a pre-eminent experimental banjo improvisor, exploring a range of identity politics while playing with and against the cultural baggage of the instrument. With technical advising from STEIM and Harvestworks, he developed an "electro-acoustic banjo", rupturing its rustic identity. Sullender has worked with pioneering electronic composers such as Pauline Oliveros and Maryanne Amacher (incorporating his banjo recordings into Amacher's "TEO! A sonic sculpture" which won the Golden Nica prize at the 2005 Ars Electronica festival). He has performed internationally at venues such as the Kitchen (with Sergei Tcherepnin), Issue Project Room, the River to River Festival, SculptureCenter (NYC), Abrons Art Center, Les Instants Chavirés, GartenKultur Musikfestival, Chicago Cultural Center, DNK-Amsterdam (with Seamus Cater), and many others. Among other activites, he teaches new media at various New York institutions, co-edits the music/sound publication Ear | Wave | Event (with Bill Dietz), and occasionally can be heard on the airwaves at WFMU.