Midday theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck joins Tom for her weekly review of thespian doings. This week, it's the final production of Baltimore Annex Theater's 2016-17 season: The King of Howard Street is an original play based on the life of the formerly homeless Baltimore writer and housing rights advocate, Anthony Williams, who's portrayed in this production by Joshua Dixon.
For more than two decades, Williams lived in abandoned buildings up and down Howard Street. Several years ago, he began to chronicle his life story and the stories of his friends and family. Last year, Williams approached Annex Theater's Artistic Director, Evan Moritz, outside of the theater and handed him three spiral-bound notebooks filled with drawings and writings, including a draft of his autobiographical play. Inspired by Williams' story, Moritz commissioned playwright Ren Pepitone and director Roz Cauthen to bring this story to a wider audience, and they've done so with a compelling mix of dance, music, and theater.
The King of Howard Street also features performances by Nathan Couser (Insurrection: Holding History) as Saint Lewis, William's right-hand man; Desirae Butler (The Tempest) as McFly; and Jonathan Jacobs (Tempest, Master and Margarita) as Randall. The cast also includes Malcolm Anomanchi, Kristina Szilagyi, Christian Harris, Mary Travis, David Crandall (Annex Company Member), and Elaine Foster. Costumes are by Stylz, Set by Bernard Dred, Lighting by Rick Gerriets (Annex Company Member), Sound by David Crandall, and Video by Rachel Dwiggins (Cook, Thief, Wife, Lover and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman)
[Due to errors in The Annex Theater's original press release, our first post incorrectly reported the theater's address and the production's final performance date. We also mixed up the names of the theater space and the larger, multi-purpose arts venue. The correct information appears below.]
This is the first theater production in MONDO, a renovated space designed to be a neighborhood bar and mid-sized performance venue for theater, music shows, dance, and more; artist studios for individual and small arts organizations; and a meeting space. MONDO is part of the Le Mondo Project, an artist-owned and operated multi-use community hub (still under development) that Annex will soon be calling home. MONDO is located at 406 N. Howard St. Baltimore, MD.
Annex Theater's The King of Howard Street continues at MONDO through Saturday, June 3rd.