Rio, Mobile Alabama, New Orleans, Trinidad Tobago, Venice, Quebec City, Sydney, Belgium, Germany….Last party day before Lent. Here’s a clip from my friend Philip Day’s documentary “Inside Rio Carnival.”


The Department of Radio, TV & Film at Howard University presents

Presented by noted acting coach and teacher VERA J. KATZ
(Former students include Taraji P Henson, Debbie Allen, Phylicia Rashad, & Isaiah Washington)

THURSDAY, MARCH 10, 2011, 6:00 – 8:00 PM
School of Communications, Screening Room West
525 Bryant St., NW, Washington, DC

COST: $25.00 GENERAL ADMISSION for all attendees

Workshop participants will:
• Study acting and directing theory/techniques
• Perform in small groups and execute scene work
• Receive constructive feedback
• Have a great time!

For more info, call (202) 806-4507 or (202) 806-7927; Fax (202) 806-4844 or e-mail

Venice: Canaletto and His Rivals

National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC through May 30, 2011
Venice is on my destination list. Being there for carnival would be even sweeter. For now, there’s this exhibit of Venetian painters. The gallery also has a rare 19th century gondola on display.

Description: Venice inspired a school of competitive view painters whose achievements are among the most brilliant in 18th-century art. The exhibition celebrates the rich variety of these Venetian views, known as vedute, through some 20 masterworks by Canaletto and more than 30 by his rivals, including Michele Marieschi, Francesco Guardi, and Bernardo Bellotto. Responding to an art market fueled largely by the Grand Tour, these gifted painters depicted the famous monuments and vistas of Venice in different moods and seasons.

Who was Giovanni Antonio Canal?

Center Stage in Baltimore presents reading of stage adaptation “Jazz” based on the novel by Toni Morrison”

Thursday, March 17, 8pm through Sunday, March 20, 2011, 8pm
Center Stage, 700 North Calvert Street, Baltimore, MD

Marion McClinton has taken what I thought was a confusing novel/narrative and crafted a play as part of Center Stage’s new Play Lab. Sometimes a dramatist can identify a sustaining thread in a story. McClinton is associate artist, and veteran actor and director at Center Stage. Actors Tracie Thoms and Clayton LeBeouf will read. Center Stage has just hired a new Artistic Director, British playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah. Read more on that in the Baltimore Sun.
For information about the “Jazz” readings, call 410-332-0033. Tickets available from Center Stage at this link.

Edward Albee Festival – Arena Stage

30 plays by Edward Albee some on stage, some staged readings. Here are a few highlights:

Mon., Mar. 7, 7:30 p.m. and Tue., Mar. 8, 7:30 p.m.
Lolita (1981) Adapted from the novel by Vladimir Nabokov
Producer: Round House Theatre
Director: Blake Robison
Two acts; 120 min
Sometime professor Humbert Humbert falls in love with Lolita, the prepubescent daughter of his landlady. After marrying her mother to get close to her, “HH” pursues a passionate but conflicted relationship with the girl. Albee’s adaptation includes a narrator who speaks to HH and to the audience in the voice of an author — perhaps Nabokov, perhaps Albee himself.

Tue., Mar. 8, 6 p.m. and Wed., Mar. 9, 6 p.m.
Finding the Sun (1982)

Producer: Univ. of Maryland School of Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies
Director: Erin Bone Steele
One-act; 45 min

Short scenes of eight people at the beach and their triangles of relationship: Abigail is married to Benjamin, who’s involved with Daniel, who’s married to Cordelia, who’s …

Fri., Mar. 11, 6:30 p.m.
Box (1968) and Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung (1968)

Director: Aaron Posner
Double bill; 45 min

Two explorations of musical patterns in drama: in Box, a woman’s voice speaks in short, timed bursts about a range of ideas: building design, languages, arts and crafts, corruption, spilled milk, seagulls and the sounds of the sea. In Quotations, Chairman Mao speaks of the rise of Communism and the defeat of American capitalism; a Long-Winded Lady addresses a government minister about an incident in which she fell off the side of an ocean liner; an Old Woman recites a poem.

Fri., Mar. 11, 7:30 p.m.
The Death of Bessie Smith (1959)

Director: Irene Lewis
One-act; 45 min

A fictionalized series of scenes showing different perspectives on the events surrounding the death of jazz legend Bessie Smith. Based on what were eventually discovered to be apocryphal rumors about Bessie Smith’s death.

Go to the Arena Stage Mead Center for American Theater Albee page for a full schedule.