Meet Meatball

October, 2017
Volume 5, Issue 4

Dear Reader,

Meatball the dog

He may be my favorite actor…

Appearing in Baltimore Center Stage‘s newest production, Shakespeare in Love, meet Meatball, the Chihuahua!

Don’t let that face fool you -Meatball is a Serious Method Actor.

Meatball plays the role of Spot, and if you remember from the Oscar-winning movie starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Spot appears in two scenes: in the first, he performs tricks before Queen Elizabeth I as part of her favorite play, The Two Gentleman of Verona.

I won’t give away the second scene, as it is a moment of intense action – Meatball will need to summon his mighty strength to convince the audience he is up to the challenge!

But I think he’s up for it.

From the first moment he padded on stage, Meatball won my heart. I think you should see this production, if only to see Meatball, but then of course, being Center Stage, there are about a dozen other exemplary actors whose performances can’t be missed.

The play itself spotlights “Will” Shakespeare (the bard himself) as he falls in love with his muse, Viola, and at the same time writes Romeo and Juliet. It’s funny, it’s uplifting, and it’s just about the perfect way to begin the holiday season.

Check out this interview with the director, Blake Robinson:

Shakespeare in Love interview
Video courtesy Center Stage

I just hope Meatball gets paid in dog treats!

Shakespeare in Love takes place now through November 26 at Baltimore Center Stage, with a Meet the Actors night, a Family Day (including lunch), and even a happy hour discussion about the use of drag in Shakespearean performances – click through for the 25% discount! Click here for the complete list of performance dates and times.

Center Stage is located at 700 N. Calvert Street in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood.


Zen In the City


Buddha at the Moment of Victory, Thai, late 15th century, 54.2775

The Walters Art Museum’s show-stopping Asian Art collection is back on view after a three-year hiatus. In that timeframe, its galleries underwent needed structural repairs, and priceless artworks were conserved. The resulting new, three-floor exhibition literally exudes serenity, making it worth a visit anytime you’re in the area.

The exhibition begins on the 3rd floor; find it by walking through the Renaissance and Baroque galleries and then turn left. You’ll enter a room of breathtaking Japanese ceramics, backlit by the Washington Monument.

Take the winding staircase down into another world–a world of centuries-old art from India, the Himalayas, and East and Southeast Asia. The figures on view, made of gold, lacquer, sandstone and ivory, were once vital parts of community ceremonies and give off seriously “good vibrations”; in fact, the space was so tranquil that the group of journalists I toured it with simply didn’t want to leave!

Mt Vernon views

Exhibition Curator Dr. Amy Landau designed moments of reflection within the galleries by using atmospheric lighting and muted background colors, which allows each singular object to sing. Take in the bronze statue, Buddha at the Moment of Victory (pictured at top), and notice his right hand touching the earth. See how his eyes are downcast and the quiet smile playing on his lips. His chest is broad, and filled with prana, the sacred life force–you can almost feel his exhalation.

In true Walters fashion, this museum-going experience appeals to all senses–from the sounds of a gong softly playing in one corner to a video loop of a vibrant ritual worship involving Hindu deities, to the plush seating arrangements positioned for prime viewing.

“When the Hackerman House closed in 2014 for building improvements, it gave us an opportunity to take a fresh look at the Asian art collections,” says Julia Marciari-Alexander, Andrea B. and John H. Laporte Director. “I am thrilled to unveil a re-envisioning of Arts of Asia that offers more engaging ways to experience our amazing collections.”

Parvati Nursing Ganesha, India (Jaipur), Rajput, 19th Century, W.871

I especially liked how the Walters has responded to contemporary interest in pluralism, the idea of gathering together ideas from various groups into a state of coexistence. Audience response was positive to similar arrangements presented in Pearls on a String, and so in this exhibition, Curator Landau incorporated Buddhist, Islamic and Christian artist views of each other’s iconography, often with spectacular results.

The tiny watercolor (at right), created in India in the 19th century, features a representation of the familiar Christian image of Madonna and Child; only here the Hindu goddess Parvati is featured, along with her son, Ganesha. It’s fantastic.

Arts of Asia is on view permanently, with new works rotated every few months. Admission to the Walters Art Museum is always free. It’s located at 600 N. Charles Street in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood. For more information, call 410-547-9000 or visit their website.


November Events in Mount Vernon



Baltimore School For the Arts
712 Cathedral Street | 443-642-5167 | Website


Chamber Chorus and String Orchestra

FREE CONCERT: Chamber Chorus & String Orchestra Concert at Grace United Methodist
Sunday, Nov 5 | 3-4 PM

Join us at Grace United Methodist Church, 5407 N. Charles Street, for a free concert.

Part I: Simple Symphony for String Orchestra, Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)

Part II: Serenade in C Major, Op. 48, Peter Ilich Tschaikovsky (1840-1893)


Part III: Adore te Devote, Mark Hardy (b.1970)

Part IV: Requiem op. 9, Maurice Durufle (1902-1986)

Click here for more information.

Opera Scenes

FREE CONCERT: Opera Scenes at Grace United Methodist
Sunday, Nov 19 | 3 PM

Opera Scenes is on the road this year! Join us at Grace United Methodist Church, 5407 N. Charles Street, to see our students perform favorite scenes from famous operas. This is a free concert.

Click here for more information.


Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
1212 Cathedral Street | 410-783-8000 | Website


The Wizard of Oz

Movie with Orchestra:
The Wizard of Oz

Saturday, Nov 4 | 3 PM
The Meyerhoff

Scott Terrell, Conductor

Experience the OscarĀ®-winning classic The Wizard of Oz on a giant HD screen as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performs the score live. Adventure down the Yellow Brick Road with beloved songs such as “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “We’re Off to See the Wizard.” All rights reserved.

Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.


Center Stage
700 North Calvert Street | 410-332-0033 | Website


Center Stage's Annual Open House

FREE: Center Stage’s Annual Open House
Saturday, Nov 4 | 10 AM-2 PM

Center Stage’s annual free, family-friendly open house is back on Saturday, November 4 from 10 am to 2 pm.

Theatregoers of all ages can peek backstage at the beautifully renovated building, enjoying live demonstrations and visiting the scenic, props, and costume shops.

Activities Include:

  • Check out the brand-new Morgenthaler Costume Shop
  • Tour the Props and Scene Shops
  • Watch a live rehearsal of Lookingglass Alice
  • View stage Combat Demonstrations
  • Play Theater Games
  • Make Arts and Crafts
  • Enjoy free Face Painting, Clowns, Mimes, and Bubbles
  • Raffles for Prizes

Did I mention it’s free?!

There’s no need to RSVP – for more information visit Center Stage’s website or call 410-332-0033.


Enoch Pratt Free Library
400 Cathedral Street | 410-396-5430 | Website


Writers LIVE: Katherine Reynolds Chaddock, Uncompromising Activist: Richard Greener, First Black Graduate of Harvard College
Tuesday, Nov 14 | 6:30 PM
Central Library, African American Department

Lawrence P. Jackson

Richard Theodore Greener (1844-1922) was a renowned black activist and scholar. He was the first black graduate of Harvard College, the first black faculty member at a southern white college, and the first black U.S. diplomat to a white country, serving in Vladivostok, Russia. Yet he died in obscurity, his name barely remembered.

Because he was light-skinned and at ease among whites, Grenner’s black friends and colleagues sometimes wrongfully accused him of trying to “pass.” While he was overseas on a diplomatic mission, Greener’s wife and five children did just that. They stayed in New York City, changed their names, and vanished into white society. Greener never saw them again.

Katherine Reynolds Chaddock’s Uncompromising Activist is a long overdue biography about a man, fascinating in his own right, who also exemplified America’s discomfiting perspectives on race.

Katherine Reynolds Chaddock is distinguished professor emerita of education at the University of South Carolina. She is the author of The Multi-Talented Mr. Erskine: Shaping Mass Culture through Great Books and Fine Music and Visions and Vanities: John Andrew Rice of Black Mountain College.

Writers LIVE programs are supported in part by The Miss Howard Hubbard Adult Programming Fund.

Click here for more information.


Maryland Historical Society
201 W. Monument Street | Phone 410-685-3750 | Website


Structure and Perspective: David Brewster Explores Maryland's Social Landscape


Now on Vew: Structure and Perspective: David Brewster Explores Maryland’s Social Landscape
Special Curator’s Tour: Wednesday, Nov 1 | 6:30 PM

This installation brings together commissioned works by Maryland-born artist David Brewster with objects from the MdHS collection. This marrying of old with new, contemporary with “antique,” creates a dialogue that will inspire thought-provoking discussions of how the objects of the past remain relevant to today’s ever-changing social landscape. It will also highlight Brewster’s often challenging perspective on the modern world, one that looks to the overlooked or unseen.

Brewster’s commissioned works focus on challenging and complex themes like gender, race, urban decay, suburban sprawl, environmental conditions, and the political tensions in American today. Many objects within the Maryland Historical Society’s collection are relevant to the themes Brewster examines in the ever-changing social landscape of today’s Maryland.

Click here to reserve tickets to the Special Curator’s Tour.


Maryland Humanities
108 West Centre Street | 410-685-0095 | Website


One Maryland One Book – Book Discussion
Saturday, Oct 28 | 1-2 PM
Enoch Pratt Free Library – Cherry Hill Branch

Purple Hibiscus

Join us for a discussion of Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Fifteen-year-old Kambili and her older brother Jaja lead a privileged life in Enugu, Nigeria. They live in beautiful house, with a caring family, and attend an exclusive missionary school. They’re completely shielded from the troubles of the world. Yet, as Kambili reveals in her tender-voiced account, things are less perfect than they appear. Although her Papa is generous and well respected, he is fanatically religious and tyrannical at home–a home that is silent and suffocating. As the country begins to fall apart under a military coup, Kambili and Jaja are sent to their aunt, a university professor outside the city, where they discover a life beyond the confines of their father’s authority. Books cram the shelves, curry and nutmeg permeate the air, and their cousins’ laughter rings throughout the house. When they return home, tensions within the family escalate, and Kambili must find the strength to keep her loved ones together. Purple Hibiscus is an exquisite novel about the emotional turmoil of adolescence, the powerful bonds of family, and the bright promise of freedom.

For more information, visit this link.


Peabody Institute
1 East Mount Vernon Place | Phone: 410-234-4500 | Website


Peabody Wind Ensemble

Peabody Wind Ensemble
Saturday, Nov 4 | 7:30 PM
Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall

Harlan D. Parker, Conductor
Abhinn Malhotra, Assistant Conductor

Viet Cuong: Sound and Smoke
Peter Graham: Harrison’s Dream
James Barnes: Third Symphony, Op. 89, “The Tragic”

This free performance will be held in the Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall at 1 E. Mount Vernon Pl., Baltimore, MD 21202. Reservations are required.

Click here for more information or to reserve tickets.

The Elixir of Love

Peabody Opera Theatre presents The Elixir of Love (L’elisir d’amore)
Nov 15-18 | 7:30 PM
Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall

by Gaetano Donizetti
Sponsored by Claire and Allan Jensen

One of Donizetti’s most beloved scores, this charming comedy of a young man’s pursuit of love will be re-imagined on a college campus in the early 1960s.

Click on your preferred date to reserve your tickets:
Wednesday, Nov 15 | 7:30 PM
Thursday, Nov 16 | 7:30 PM
Friday, Nov 17 | 7:30 PM
Saturday, Nov 18 | 7:30 PM

This free performance will be held in the Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall at 1 E. Mount Vernon Pl., Baltimore, MD 21202. Reservations are required.

Until next month,

Laura Rodini
Executive Director, The Mount Vernon Cultural District

The Mount Vernon Cultural District Is
A Proud Partner of Downtown Partnership of Baltimore and Visit Baltimore

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