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Midday

Photography by Katie Simmons-Barth

Theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck stops by each Thursday with her latest review of a major stage production. This week, it's "Dorian's Closet," at Rep Stage in Columbia, Maryland.

“Dorian’s Closet” is a new musical getting its world premier at the Rep Stage, that's loosely based on the life of Dorian Corey.  She was a legendary female impersonator who yearned for fame, but who also gained notoriety for a startling discovery made after her death.

The musical chronicles Dorian’s rise in the underground club scene in New York City in the 1980s through her death in 1993. “Dorian’s Closet” is a sobering and inspirational odyssey about the drive to turn dreams into reality. Directed by Joseph Ritsch.  Book & lyrics by Richard Mailman and music by Ryan Haase; choreographed by Rachel Dolan, with Musical Direction by Stacey Antoine.

Dorian's Closet continues at Rep Stage through Sunday, May 14.

BPD

Tom's guest is Kevin Davis, the Police Commissioner of the City of Baltimore.  He oversees the eighth largest police department in the country, with an annual budget of $480 million; that’s almost 19% of the entire city budget.  The BPD is one of about 25 agencies around the country that were investigated by the Civil Rights Division of the Dept. of Justice during the Obama Administration.  Other jurisdictions included New Orleans, Cleveland, and Ferguson, MS.   

In August of 2016, the Justice Department issued a scathing report about the Baltimore Police Department that found a pattern and practice of unconstitutional stops and arrests that singled out African Americans, the use of excessive force, and other very serious allegations.  That report led to a consent decree that was agreed to on January 12th of this year, just 8 days before the Obama Administration handed power over to the Trump Administration.  

Sheri Parks/D.Watkins

Today another installment of Culture Connections with Dr. Sheri Parks of the University of Maryland. Author D. Watkins joins as we continue to reflect on the 2015 Uprising sparked by the death of Freddie Gray. D. co-hosts Undisclosed, a podcast that re-examines Freddie Gray’s death. 

Getty Images

Today a conversation with a panel of activists and community leaders as we continue to reflect on the 2015 violence and Uprising sparked by the death of Freddie Gray. Last year The Department of Justice issued a report detailing widespread misconduct and unconstitutional practices within the Baltimore Police Department. The city signed a consent decree with the DOJ and city leaders have vowed to reform the department.

Will those reforms be enough to build trust between police and communities of color? Two years after the Uprising, are residents seeing any differences in their communities? 

Sneak Peek At The Parkway with Midday

Apr 28, 2017
Maryland Film Festival

Midday host Tom Hall is joined by Jed Dietz, the Maryland Film Festival's founder and director; Ann Hornaday, Washington Post film critic and author of Talking Pictures: How to Watch Movies;  plus a panel of distinguished guests, for a special broadcast of Midday, live from the main theater of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Parkway, the new home of the Maryland Film Festival

The 19th Annual Maryland Film Festival will take place May 3rd-7th 2017. You can find the full schedule here.

Photo courtesy Baltimore Sun

Today (April 27, 2017) marks the 2nd anniversary of the 2015 Uprising, the eruption of violence in Baltimore following the funeral of Freddie Gray, the 25 year-old African American man who suffered a fatal spinal injury while being arrested by Baltimore City Police.  Those fateful days of rage – coming after two weeks of tense but largely peaceful protests -- shook Baltimore to its roots. It sparked a city-wide soul-searching that launched ambitious efforts to address the long- simmering issues affecting Baltimore’s communities of color. Yet two years later, many would say too little has been done to address the root causes of the 2015 unrest, and that the city may have let slip important opportunities for lasting change.

Photo by Stan Barouh

It's Theater Thursday on Midday, and that means our theater critic, J. Wynn Rousuck, joins Tom with her weekly review of the region's thespian offerings. This week, it's The Magic Play, the latest work of 2015 Helen Hayes Award-winner Andrew Hinderaker (Colossal). He returns to the Olney Theatre Center with another unique story combining passionate theatricality with a touch of genuine theater magic.

Brett Schneider plays a talented magician (like himself) who has won acclaim by maintaining absolute control over his performances. He has tried to do the same with his love life, but when his lover forces him toward some painful emotional reckonings, it threatens even his confidence as a magician. Hinderaker's play weaves a tale of emotional conflict and sleight-of-hand wizardry.

The Magic Play is directed by Halena Kays, with magic created by Brett Schneider.  Jim Steinmeyer serves as magic consultant.   Also in the cast are Jon Hudson Odom and Harry A. Winter.

An advisory from The Olney Theatre Center:  The Magic Play is recommended for ages 16+ for mature themes, strong language and intimate situations. It is not a magic show appropriate for children.

The Magic Play continues at the Olney Theatre Center through Sunday, May 7th.

Kids Safe Zone

Following the 2015 Uprising, everyone from politicians to activists pointed to issues of systematic racism and inequality as the cause of the unrest. Today as we reflect on the 2 years since the Uprising sparked by the death of Freddie Gray we’ll check in with two activists who lead non-profits to talk about the work they’re doing and the work the city has ahead to achieve equity. 

Ericka Alston Buck is the CEO of Maryland Community Health Initiatives Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides several services based programs in the Penn North Community, including the Kids Safe Zone and the Penn North Community Resource Center.

Photo by George David Sanchez2

Today, it’s Midday on Mid Life.  Mid Life can be a dizzying hash of juggling jobs, keeping a marriage vibrant, tending to children as they enter adulthood, and caring for parents as they enter their twilight years.  No wonder the term “midlife” so often has the word “crisis” attached to it like a tentacle.     

But our 40s, 50s and 60s can also be a time when we come into our own, forge new relationships, and discover fresh things about the world and ourselves. 

In her most recent book, Life Reimagined: The Science, Art and Opportunity of Midlifeformer NPR correspondent Barbara Bradley Hagerty takes a clear-eyed look at the challenges and joys of being old enough to know better, and young enough to enjoy the new things that life may have to offer. 

Barbara Bradley Hagerty will talk about her book Wednesday night (April 26) at the Towson Unitarian Universalist Church on Dulaney Valley Road in Lutherville.  Her talk is sponsored by a group called Well for the Journey.  The event begins at 7:30.  More details here.

University of Maryland, Baltimore County

This week, we reflect on what’s happened in Baltimore since the 2015 violence and Uprising sparked by the death of Freddie Gray while in the custody of police. Even before the national guard troops left town in April 2015, civic leaders, law enforcement officials, scholars, business people and community activists identified systemic racial and economic inequality as root causes for the unrest. These community leaders envisioned a road forward that included more employment and educational opportunities for the city's poorest residents. Has that happened? What work do we have ahead of us?

Tom is joined by Dr. Freeman Hrabowski. He's been the president of The University of Maryland Baltimore County since 1992. He’s the co-author of Beating the Odds and Overcoming the Odds and the author of Holding Fast to Dreams: Empowering Youth from the Civil Rights Crusade to STEM Achievement. In 2012 he was asked by President Obama to chair the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. 

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