The Hippodrome Theatre offers UMB faculty, staff, and students discounted prices on tickets to its Broadway Series shows. Please visit the UMB Council for the Arts & Culture web page to see the full list of shows and tickets available for purchase.
The Hippodrome Theatre offers UMB faculty, staff, and students discounted prices on tickets to its Broadway Series shows. Please visit the UMB Council for the Arts & Culture web page to see the full list of shows and tickets available for purchase.Alice Powell Bulletin Board, For B'more, People, University LifeNovember 21, 20170 comments
Theater critic J. Wynn “Judy” Rousuck gave the insider scoop on the productions coming to the Hippodrome Theatre this season in the latest “Broadway 101” brown bag lunch series talk for members of the UMB community Sept. 27.
“The Hippodrome has really been a gateway to Broadway,” said Rousuck, a former theater critic for The Baltimore Sun who is with WYPR radio, where she can be heard every Thursday on Midday.
She told the group of 15 sitting in the historic theater near the UMB campus that all of the Hippodrome productions this season are musicals. Five of the seven shows are adaptations from movies and two are by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
The first production of the season, Love Never Dies, is a sequel to Phantom of the Opera and has never been seen in the United States, she said. It was first produced in London, where it did not do well, but later met with success in Australia. Baltimore is its first U.S. stop.
“People who see the show here will be way ahead of the curve,” Rousuck said.
After spending 23 years at The Sun, Rousuck has a wealth of dramatic stories. While discussing Love Never Dies, she recounted the time she interviewed Webber years ago, long before he “became a composing superstar but was still a very big deal,” she explained.
She had her tape recorder going, and Webber pulled out his own tape recorder at one point and told her he wanted to play her a song from a new show he was working on. The show was Cats and the song was “Memory,” sung by Barbra Streisand accompanied by the London Philharmonic.
“I came back to The Sun, and I was playing it for everybody,” she said. “I said, ‘You are going to hear this song everywhere. You are going to hear it in elevators. You are going to hear it in shopping malls.’ Little did I know.”
Other shows at the Hippodrome this season include:
Rousuck was the guest speaker at UMB’s first “Broadway 101” brown bag lunch in November 2014. The series, sponsored by UMB’s Council for the Arts & Culture, continues a relationship that dates to UMB’s donation of the Hippodrome before its rebuilding, renovation, and 2004 reopening.
The Hippodrome Foundation, which partners with the Council for the Arts & Culture on the UMB series, also is familiar to Rousuck. She works with the foundation to help introduce schoolchildren to live theater. She leads foundation programs for students, teachers, and senior citizens.
Her curriculum this year will be based on The Lion King, which is one of her favorite shows to teach, particularly because the theme is so closely connected to Shakespeare’s Hamlet and because of the ornate masks in the production.
“It’s a great show to teach in classrooms,” she said.
Her elementary school students will write a puppet show, design the puppets, and stage the show. Middle school students will write their own book that will be published, she said.
Clearly, Rousuck is passionate about turning area children on to the theater. She recounted a story of when schoolchildren filled the Hippodrome for a production of Beauty and the Beast several years ago. The students were fully engaged in the show, and when the teacup character “Chip” was transformed back into a boy and ran across the stage, the theater erupted in cheers, applause, and screams.
“It was really something different, like I have never heard in a theater anywhere. It was remarkable,” she told the UMB group. “I’ve seen a lot of things in three decades, but this was really something new.”
She said she later told her husband, “If anyone doubts the impact that theater, that art, can have on kids’ lives, they should have been there.”
Rousuck encouraged the faculty and staff in attendance to attend the shows and bring their children.
“Truly theater can change lives in all sorts of different ways, but on the most basic level it can awaken a spirit of wonder in children,” she said. “A spirit of wonder for me, as an adult, is rekindled every time the curtain rises, and I hope some of you will share that experience.”
The University offers discounted tickets to Hippodrome productions. For details, visit the Council for the Arts & Culture website.
— Betsy SteinBetsy Stein Collaboration, For B'more, People, UMB News, University LifeOctober 3, 20170 comments
The UMB Council for the Arts and Culture has partnered with the Hippodrome Theater to offer discounted tickets to students and employees for the upcoming season of the Broadway shows.
2017-2018 Hippodrome Theater Broadway Series
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the UMB Council for the Arts and Culture Hippodrome Theater Broadway Series page.Alice Powell Bulletin Board, For B'more, People, UMB News, University LifeJuly 6, 20170 comments
(Pictured above: Dean Natalie Eddington and George Ndongai)
Family and friends joined faculty, staff, and alumni of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy inside the historic Hippodrome Theatre on Sept. 9 to watch as the more than 160 members of the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) Class of 2020 donned a pharmacist’s white coat for the first time during the School’s White Coat Ceremony. A tradition in which schools of pharmacy across the country participate each year, this annual ceremony marks students’ entry into the profession as student pharmacists.
“The White Coat Ceremony is an opportunity for faculty, staff, and alumni at the School to welcome and congratulate you – our new first-year students – on the journey that you are beginning, and to validate your presence among us as student pharmacists and future colleagues,” said Natalie D. Eddington, PhD, FCP, FAAPS, dean and professor of the School, as she addressed the students. “The white coat represents your past and current leadership endeavors and achievements, as well as your commitment to deliver the best care to your future patients. Wear it with pride and remember your responsibility to provide honest and accurate information to those in your care.”
From the audience, George Ndongai reflected on his journey to reach this special day. A native of Cameroon, Ndongai was educated in both physics and accounting. However, it was not until he immigrated to the United States in 2013 that he had an opportunity to pursue his true passion – health care. “I have always known that I would rather be an expert in health care than an expert in business. Fortunately, after I arrived in the United States, I was able to gain some exposure to the pharmacy profession. I saw how much pharmacists contribute to the community and how they truly are the most accessible health care professionals. I take pride in serving others and giving back to the community, and look forward to the day when I am able to join the profession and help to improve the health of my community as a practicing pharmacist,” he said.
After accepting a position as a pharmacy technician at Eagle Pharmacy in Marriottsville, Md., Ndongai met customers Richard and Gloria Lepson, who immediately took the then 28-year-old under their mentorship. “The connection was instantaneous. I was being treated for a serious illness, and George would call me at home to see if there was anything that I needed – whether it was dropping off medications at my house or washing the dishes. Every day through my illness, he was there,” recalls Gloria Levinson.
Leveraging their relationships with family members and friends in the local area, the Lepsons worked to introduce Ndongai to the different career opportunities available to him. In 2015, Ndongai began working as a pharmacy technician at Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he met a number of pharmacists and pharmacy residents who graduated from the School of Pharmacy and sparked his interest in the School.
“After hearing stories from my colleagues about the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, I decided to check it out for myself,” says Ndongai. “I was immediately impressed when I learned that not only was the School the fourth oldest school of pharmacy in the United States, but had also recently been ranked ninth out of more than 130 schools of pharmacy across the country. I knew it would be a competitive admissions process, but that only reinforced my decision to apply. I wanted to be challenged.”
Ndongai completed the necessary prerequisite courses, applied to the School, and was notified of his acceptance just one week after his interview. “It wasn’t always easy balancing school work with my full-time job, but I remembered my goal and made the necessary sacrifices. I am not usually a very excitable person, but after learning that I had been accepted into the School of Pharmacy, I glowed with joy,” he says.
Ndogai traveled to Cameroon to celebrate his success with family and friends, but discovered that his father had been hospitalized with complications from asthma and a pulmonary embolism. Ndongai spent eight days in the hospital with his father, using some of the skills that he had learned as a pharmacy technician to help care for him. After his father succumbed to his condition, Ndongai remained in Cameroon to assist with funeral arrangements, returning to the United States just in time to begin classes as a first-year student pharmacist.
“Losing my father was the most devastating experience that I have ever had to endure, and I did not think that I would be able to bear it,” says Ndongai. “My father was my role model and best friend. He trusted me and always encouraged me in my endeavors. Although I have had a lot of support from my family and friends, I am still trying to cope with my grief.”
Gloria Lepson, who attended the ceremony with her husband to support Ndongai, added, “The White Coat Ceremony has been his first jubilant experience since his father passed. This celebration is just what he needed.”
The theme for this year’s White Coat Ceremony was professionalism, and Ndongai intently listened as Eddington continued her remarks, highlighting the importance of this critical concept. “Professionalism encompasses a variety of characteristics, including altruism, duty, honor, integrity, and respect. It is the cornerstone of who we are as pharmacists. Once you embrace professionalism, you truly become a student pharmacist,” she said.
Lucinda Maine, PhD, RPh, executive vice president and chief executive officer for the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), served as guest speaker for the event. In addition to reflecting on the history of the pharmacy profession over the last 175 years, in honor of the School’s 175th anniversary, Maine challenged students to be “difference makers” in the profession. She encouraged them not to be constrained by professional silos and to use their knowledge, abilities, and professional courage to stimulate change to improve the well-being of individual patients as well as the entire population.Malissa Carroll Education, UMB News, University Life, USGASeptember 19, 20160 comments
Join us for an exclusive look behind the red curtain. Stand on stage like you’re the star of the show and see what goes on backstage during a touring Broadway production.
This tour will be lead by a member of IATSE Local 19 – the Hippodrome’s stagehand local. Don’t miss this special event! Space is limited to 30 guests.
Tuesday, April 5 | Noon | Hippodrome Theatre
This event is not a brown bag luncheon.Nancy GordonBulletin Board, Global & Community Engagement, People, University Administration, University LifeMarch 10, 20160 comments
“Behind the Red Curtain,” the latest Broadway 101 lunchtime event organized by UMB’s Council for the Arts & Culture, began with an apology and ended with a rousing ovation Nov. 18 at the Hippodrome Theatre.
Stagehands Bruce Holtman Jr. and Chuck Lamar greeted a group of 30 faculty, staff, and students from UMB and the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) by explaining that “we’re not professional tour guides” so keep expectations in check. But more than 90 minutes later, after seeing the Hippodrome stage, “fly floor,” spotlight room, orchestra pit, and dressing rooms, just to name a few, the visitors applauded their “non-guides” for a job well done.
Standing on the stage of the Hippodrome is beyond description. (See for yourself when this Broadway 101 tour is repeated next spring.) It almost makes one want to burst forth in song like Frank Sinatra did there in his first performance with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and in 1939 with Harry James’ band. The sight lines are amazing. You can see each of the 2,300 seats.
But sharing the stage where Bob Hope, Jack Benny, Red Skelton, and Dinah Shore performed was an expected part of the tour, the third Broadway 101 event held in the past year at the Hippodrome, which UMB donated to allow for its magnificent renovation and reopening in 2004. What was unexpected was seeing what those working behind the stars do, often meeting seemingly impossible deadlines without a hitch.
“For ‘Book of Mormon’ we started loading in at 9 a.m. Monday, we worked til midnight Monday, we came back Tuesday and worked 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or so, took a dinner break and came back and did the first show,” recalled Holtman, head “fly man” at the Hippodrome and business agent for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 19. “The ‘Mormon’ traveling road crew knows the show and they rely on our ability to learn it quickly. There are seven crew departments — carpentry, sound, props, electrics, flys, etc. Each crew and each department has one or two people who know the show in and out. ‘Book of Mormon’ we had 24 people working. You just have to pick up the cues real quick.”
The “cues” come from the stage manager, who sits stage left just out of sight. There is much to do. In “Wicked,” Holtman recalls, there were 500 to 600 spot cues a show.
To understand the complexity of what the stagehands do, those standing on the stage could look straight up. Way above the actors is an amazing array of intricate rigging, an endless series of adjustable pipelike structures on which fabric, lights, and more can be hung. They hold up to 2,800 pounds each. “It’s slightly dangerous,” offered Lamar, now the head soundman at the Meyerhoff and a former Hippodrome employee who still helps out with tours, summer camps, and Hippodrome Foundation events. “But we’re extremely qualified.”
For a closer look, Holtman and Lamar took the visitors up four flights of steps to the “fly floor.” There 86 double rows of cable reside, looking like the thick rope used in tug of war. For “Book of Mormon,” one road crew member and five Hippodrome stagehands raised and lowered the batten rigging on command. “It’s a lot of hands-on labor,” said Holtman, who explained how the counterweight system is “more boring but more safe” than some others he’s seen in his 26 years behind (and above) the stage.
Earlier, the UMB guests were shown the loading site, where truckloads of sets are unloaded by hand or forklift. “‘Phantom of the Opera’ had 22 tractor-trailers,” Lamar recalled. The two-lane unloading site looks like an average garage that has been stretched to tractor-trailer length. “One piece for ‘Phantom’ was 28 feet long,” Lamar added. “The Hippodrome is well-suited for Broadway shows, but they could never do opera here. The sets are much grander.”
Less grand were the no-frills downstairs dressing rooms, with a bathroom, locker, sofa, and light-lined mirror for star No. 1 and even less fancy digs in the chorus room, where musicians performed for Billy Joel’s Broadway show “Movin’ Out” when the orchestra pit was too small. Downstairs is also home to a laundry room (three washers and three dryers), a wig and hair room, a makeup room (“Shrek spent a few hours a day there being painted green,” Lamar recalls), an equipment room, a kitchen, and more.
Several floors above, the spotlight room, which is above the last row of balcony seats, provided a hands-on experience for those willing to climb the steel built-in ladder to get there.
Throughout, Holtman and Lamar entertained the visitors with stories, observations, and tidbits like:
Both stagehands showed a love for their craft and for the Hippodrome.
“‘The Lion King’ played here for 14 weeks one time, but every night was different,” said Holtman.
The UMB guests left the Hippodrome impressed by what they saw. “It gives me an appreciation for why tickets to a show cost so much,” said Lindsay Alger, MD, medical director of labor and delivery at the School of Medicine. “There are so many people involved.”
“Encore,” said Arnold Hoffman of UMMC when the curtain came down for the last time. “This is so much more than I expected. You guys [Holtman and Lamar] did a fabulous job!”
— Chris ZangChris Zang Collaboration, Education, People, UMB News, University LifeNovember 19, 20150 comments
Lee Slobotkin and Liana Hunt took time out of their busy schedules as members of the touring cast of Wicked to delight a crowd from UMB in the latest Broadway 101 lunch-and-learn at the Hippodrome Theatre.
Slobotkin plays Boq — “I’m the munchkin” — and said being in Baltimore for a four-week run was a homecoming of sorts. “I’m from Philadelphia and I used to come to Baltimore with my father, who’s a TV producer for the Phillies, for their series with the Orioles. I love it here.”
Both he and Hunt, who plays Nessarose – “the girl in the chair” — love the Hippodrome. “We came from the Fox Theatre in Atlanta where the audience was miles away,” said Hunt, who recalled making gestures when she spoke there so those in the back knew who was speaking. “Here when we did the sound check it was like, ‘Wow, we’re standing on top of the people.’ It feels totally different.”
Slobotkin agreed. “I love this theater, it’s absolutely stunning. What a gorgeous space.”
One of the longest-running and most popular musicals of all time, Wicked depicts two iconic Wizard of Oz characters’ unlikely friendship, quarrels, and evolutions into Glinda the Good and the much-maligned Wicked Witch of the West. Slobotkin and Hunt, who are in their 20s, said being in such a prized cast this early in life was a dream come true.
“It’s like a fairy tale,” admitted Slobotkin, who recently signed his fourth contract with the show after previous roles in Hello Dolly! and Peter Pan. “This was the show that I saw at age 12 that made me want to become an actor.”
Another subtle hint was when he dressed up as the Tin Man as a 4-year-old to celebrate the Jewish festival of Purim, where children often wear biblical costumes. “It’s my destiny,” he said smiling.
Hunt, whose previous roles include Sophie in Mamma Mia and Katherine Plumber in Newsies, also recalls “hilarious photos of me as a child sitting under a green light at talent shows” doing her best Wicked portrayal.
Broadway 101 is offered by the University’s Council for the Arts & Culture. The 30-some UMB people who attended the meet-and-greet on the third floor of the Hippodrome on April 22 had plenty of questions about the behind-the-scenes lives of actors.
Hunt, who hails from Vermont, admitted she’s homeless, having subletted her apartment in New York when she joined the tour. “I live at the Baltimore Harbor Hotel,” she laughed.
Slobotkin, who described acting as “two suitcases and a dream,” is sharing a house in Fells Point. He says the best idea is “to know someone in the city where you’re playing, stay with them, and pocket the stipend.”
For Hunt, carrying a hotplate, pan, spatula, dishes, and blender in her luggage is a must. Slobotkin, who wears heavy makeup in the show, has found that coconut oil, baby wipes, and sonic facial treatments are essential to good skin health.
They both raved about the food in Baltimore, naming Woodberry Kitchen, Charm City Cakes, Sabatino’s, Cinghiale, Faidley’s Crabcakes, Rusty Scupper, and others.
Do you have to watch your weight? “We can diet in Dayton,” Slobotkin said of their next stop.
Check out upcoming Council for the Arts & Culture events.
by Chris Zang
Photo by Sarah Pick: Liana Hunt and Lee Slobotkin at the Hippodrome TheatreChris ZangPeople, University LifeApril 24, 20150 comments
Looking for an apartment, discounted theatre tickets, a babysitter? Have something to sell? Here’s your virtual bulletin board.
Nature Camps, Inc. is hiring! Located in Monkton, Maryland, camp sessions are from June 15-Aug. 8. Campers are ages 5-16.
Staff Openings in these areas and more:
Check out Nature Camps’ paid internships and summer employment offerings.
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Call 410-296-1271.The ElmBulletin Board, University LifeApril 24, 20152 comments
About 30 members of the University community kicked off the brown bag series “Broadway 101” at the Hippodrome Theatre Nov. 12. J. Wynn “Judy” Rousuck, longtime theater critic at The Baltimore Sun who now is featured on WYPR’s Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast, regaled the audience with behind-the-scenes stories.
“I reviewed more than 3,000 plays in my 23 years as The Sun’s theater critic, which works out to maybe three to five per week,” said Rousuck, who left the newspaper in 2007. With WYPR she’s “only” seeing maybe 75 plays a year, though the theater lover says she often fills open dates in her schedule by dragging her husband, Alan Fink, to a show.
“He’s spent a lot of time in the dark with me surrounded by hundreds of people,” Rousuck joked.
Rousuck’s humor and reminiscences entertained the UMB gathering. She spoke of attending the Tony Awards with John Waters and producer Margo Lion during the heyday of Hairspray, a show that Rousuck wrote a three-year series about for The Sun.
She recalled taking actor Richard Chamberlain, star of hits ranging from Dr. Kildare to The Thorn Birds, on a tour of Baltimore, starting at Café Hon. When he said he liked “sparkly things,” Rousuck knew their next stop would be a hit — the Christmas lights on 34th Street.
Some stars have proven more elusive than others. It took “from four to eight years” for Rousuck to land an interview with legendary composer Stephen Sondheim. A photo he liked taken by a Sun photographer at that interview has made him more accessible to Rousuck since then.
An instructor with Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth, Rousuck also discussed the nuances of being a theater critic, such as taking notes in the dark and the need to sit close enough to see the actors’ faces.
“I know of no greater joy than encouraging theater audiences,” said Rousuck. Asked about unfavorable reviews, she said, “My job isn’t keeping people away from the theater … but I can recommend another show they might like better.”
UMB’s “Broadway 101” brown bag series is a partnership with the Hippodrome Foundation. Keep an eye on The Elm for future events.Christian ZangFor B'more, People, University LifeNovember 13, 20140 comments
Bring your lunch and listen as theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck tells the “stories behind the stories” in her fascinating talk about reviewing and covering theater for more than three decades – attending the Tony Awards with John Waters and “Hairspray” producer Margo Lion; visiting Baltimore’s Christmas block with Richard Chamberlain; and, at long last, interviewing Stephen Sondheim. She will also discuss what a theater critic looks for in a production. And, she’ll offer a preview of the rest of the Hippodrome’s 2014-2015 season.
The event will be held on at The Hippodrome Theatre, 12 N. Eutaw St., on Wednesday, Nov. 12 from noon to 1 p.m. This event is free and open to all UMB students, faculty, and staff – but space is limited and registration is required.
If you would like to pre-order lunch from the Hipp Café, call 410-539-7925 to place your order.
J. Wynn Rousuck was a staff writer for The Baltimore Sun for 33 years and the Sun’s theater critic for 23 years. In addition to reviewing more than 3,000 plays for the Sun, her feature coverage included an extensive series chronicling the development of the Broadway musical, “Hairspray.” She is currently the theater critic on WYPR’s “Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast.”
Ms. Rousuck was a faculty member at the Tony Award-winning Eugene O’Neill Theater Center for two decades. She is a former National Endowment for the Humanities Journalism Fellow, and she spent a year as a visiting student at Brown University, under the mentorship of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Paula Vogel.
In addition to her work with the Hippodrome Foundation, Ms. Rousuck is an instructor with Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth. Past teaching credits include Goucher College and the NEA Journalism Institute in Theater at the University of Southern California. She is a member of the Artistic Advisory Committee of Young Audiences of Maryland.
Register today for the Broadway 101 Brown Bag Lunch!Holly BaierFor B'more, Global & Community Engagement, University LifeNovember 3, 20140 comments
The University of Maryland, Baltimore is offering great discounted tickets to employees for the upcoming season of fantastic Broadway shows!
2014-2015 Hippodrome Broadway Series:
Once, Sept. 9 to 14
I Love Lucy on Stage, Oct. 14 to 26, 2014
Newsies, Dec. 2 to 7, 2014
Annie, Jan. 20 to Feb. 1, 2015
Chicago, Mar. 3 to 8, 2015
Wicked, April 1 to 26, 2015
Dirty Dancing, May 12 to 24, 2015
Pippin, June 23 to 28, 2015
Moscow Ballet’s Russian Nutcracker, Dec. 19 and 20, 2014
Oder your 2014-2015 season tickets here!
Use the pass code: UMDEMP
Order your Wicked and Nutcracker tickets here!
Pass Code: UMDEMP2
Learn more about the Hippodrome’s upcoming shows.Holly BaierBulletin Board, For B'more, UMB News, University LifeAugust 7, 20141 comment
Located at 17 N. Eutaw St., Forno Restaurant & Wine Bar is offering a 10 percent discount to anyone with a UMB ID!
They are open every day for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dinner is available from 4 p.m. until midnight.
Check out their menu!The ElmFor B'more, UMB News, University LifeMarch 25, 20141 comment