The Rat Report

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Welcome to the RAT REPORT, a  reoccurring feature at The Bad Oracle.  This is where I round up, report, gossip, tattle and rat on what’s going on with the Baltimore small theater scene.   If you’ve got something you want me to include in a future RAT REPORT, e-mail me at emailthebadoracle@gmail.com subject RAT REPORT.

  • Awww…this is sad.  On May 1st, Mobtown Players at Meadow Mill got flooded out in the torrential downpour/overflow of the Jones Falls (that was the day that the fucking apocalypse came to Baltimore, streets fell in, it was crazy, Mayday indeed).   I’ve been hearing rumors that Mobtown has been struggling to hang onto the space, but this might be the final nail in the coffin.  RIP, I guess.
  • On happier note and speaking of Mobtown, longtime Baltimore playwright and fixture on the scene Brent Englar (who notably produces the Mobtown Playwright’s Group readings) got engaged to his lady friend over Christmas – man, it’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these.  Mazel tov, you crazy kids.
  • ‘Tis the season for troubled shows.  Amadeus over at Fells Point Corner theater lost an actor during tech week (and according to director Barry Feinstein had lost more people prior to that) and someone also dropped out of The Spanish Tragedy.  Sweeney Todd at Stillpointe barely happened as director Ryan Haase sent a frantic SOS about a week before the show saying they were out of money and needed donations of equipment to continue.  All part of the frantic nature of small theater.  Donate where you can, thx.
  • More lost Baltimore venues:  The Gold Bar, primarily a music venue, has announced that they will be closing, saying:   “In the short time we’ve been open, we’ve enjoyed great success as a venue and bar… it’s unfortunate that the owners don’t share our vision for the space and that they don’t seem to realize what talented and reputable employees they have.”   The Parlor, a great little venue that opened up in the old Red Emma’s space for a blink and you’ll miss it moment is also unfortunately no more, closing for good in early March “for reasons out of our control“.  And Tatu, the hip sushi joint in Powerplant that hosted acts from Deviated Theatre and DNA Theatre has also closed in it’s current format.  Not good.
  • Baltimore small theater critic J. Twiggar of Aisle Pass has announced his retirement, saying: “I would love to keep this blog open, but I’m planning on taking a break from seeing any plays in the foreseeable future… I’ve always hated staying in one place for long periods of time, and after five years in this city – it is time to move on.”   He adds: “…frankly reviewing theatre in Baltimore has brought me far more disappointment than “enjoyment” over the past two years – and it’s time that stopped.”  Yeah, sounds like.
  • Blind Side Eye Item-  I hear that there is a certain theater around town that will not publish nor encourage Bad Oracle reviews because they sniffily “do not publish private blogs” and are veeeerrryyy concerned about the site’s potty mouth.  Let the clutching of the pearls commence!
  • AUDITIONS, KIDS-  Kind of a light time of year.  Spotlighters is scheduling readings for In a Yellow Wood, e-mail info@spotlighters.org for a time.  Colonial Players is auditioning for Rocket Man beginning Saturday June 28th 1pm-4pm.  Here’s info.
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One comment

  • I know I’m just a dudette that knows nothing of the tribulations of independent theater, but I really think the “active population” of people that *would* come to plays/musicals/operettas if they knew about them has to be bigger than we’re getting. I see a lot of the same faces at shows. You know how I got into going to theater? I picked up a card for the Mobtown players at some coffee shop just after I moved here. That show was just ok, but it got me thinking about other theater in town, and sometime later, same deal, I found a card for a play at FPCT in another coffee shope near Hopkins. I often check both of those places to see if there are any more flyers/cards but there aren’t, usually. I know advertising is a big ‘ole pain and expense, but sometimes the old-fashioned ways are the best — take flyers and cards around town, especially to the hippy/transplant areas, and get yourself some fresh faces.

    Heck, if they just handed me a stack at the end of shows, I’d take them around to my usual haunts if they wanted.

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