The Signal
3:44 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Baltimore banjo history, Understanding Joy, The Rucksack, The Memo, and Sabatinos' Peachy Dixon

A look at the twisted history of the banjo, a documentary about problem gambling, an ode to an Iraq War veteran’s rucksack, Single Carrot’s production of Vaclav Havel’s “The Memo,” and a Stoop story from Sabatino’s waitress Peachy Dixon

Banjo historians Pete Ross, Bob Winans, and Greg Adams, with a collection of mid-nineteenth-century banjos
Banjo historians Pete Ross, Bob Winans, and Greg Adams, with a collection of mid-nineteenth-century banjos
  A new exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Industry highlights the city’s important place in American music history.  The first commercially produced banjos were built here in the 1840s at a shop on Baltimore Street, and they sold fast.  But why the sudden demand?  Aaron Henkin shares the story.
    Filmmakers Susan Hannah Hadary and John Anglim have created, Understanding Joy, a documentary about one woman’s gambling addiction.  “Joy” lost her home, her car, and her family.  She also stole 700,000 dollars from her employer. Producers Hadary and Anglim join the Signal’s Lisa Morgan to talk about the film.
    In his short story, “The Things They Carried,” author Tim O’Brien catalogues the objects certain members of a platoon of American soldiers carried with them in Vietnam – items physical and emotional, military and personal, practical and sentimental. University of Baltimore MFA student Lisa Van Wormer follows in the literary tradition, recounting the contents of her rucksack when she served in Iraq. 
 
Stephen Nunns directs a rehearsal of Single Carrot's "The Memo"
Stephen Nunns directs a rehearsal of Single Carrot's "The Memo"
  50 years ago, Haclav Havel wrote the satirical play, “The Memorandum.”  The Czech playwright was a young dissident at the time, and his farce about office politics was a sly satire of communist bureaucracy.  50 years later, Baltimore’s Single Carrot Theatre is producing an English translation of the play, and Aaron Henkin brings us a preview.
 
Peachy Dixon tells her story at The Stoop
Peachy Dixon tells her story at The Stoop
  Here’s a beautiful little slice of Baltimore life, as told by “Peachy” Dixon, who waited tables for 40 years at Sabatino’s in Little Italy.  Peachy shared this anecdote in front of a live audience at the Stoop Storytelling Series.

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