A writer, editor and communications professional for her entire career, Giordana Segneri is now the manager of college communications at the University of Baltimore in UB Midtown. She has lived in Baltimore--and enjoyed its rich, vibrant arts and culture scene--for the past five years, following a three-year sojourn in Italy, where she dedicated herself to traveling unexplored territory (preferably by motorcycle) and then writing about it. Her work has been published in Baltimore magazine, The (South Florida) Sun Sentinel, mental_floss magazine, Complete Woman, Sophisticate's Hairstyle Guides, Knot Magazine, University of Baltimore Magazine, CMA Today, TravelGirl and various local newspapers and online magazines.
BWW Reviews: Green Day's AMERICAN IDIOT Rocks the Hippodrome But Lacks Story
May 8, 2013
Green Day lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong, who wrote this rock opera's lyrics, and his punk rock band that created its unstoppably vibrant music weren't going for "comfortable." They were aiming, along with co-creator and director Michael Mayer (who picked up a Tony for his direction of Spring Awakening), to offer a musical production that breaks ground for its in-your-face punk rock approach to storytelling and its entirely unapologetic tale of sex, drugs and (punk) rock n' roll. And while there's lots of all of the above-and all very well done-there's not so much in the way of a plot with any depth.
BWW Interviews: SUNRIZE and Shine: One-Woman Musical Gives Baltimore a Great Show, April 26
April 16, 2013
She's all legs, has a blazing bouffant hairdo and an incredible pair of lungs. For one night only, Sunrize Highway shines on stage in Sunrize: The Musical at Creative Alliance, Friday, April 26. Highway (also known as Joseph Ritsch, associate artistic director at Baltimore's Iron Crow Theatre Co.) pays homage to the great divas of contemporary musical theater, dappling it all with "whimsical reflections, winsome musings, sage advice and insightful showbiz stories." Special guests from Baltimore's boylesque, drag king and vaudeville scenes will open the performance.
BWW Reviews: Iron Crow's SLIPPING Celebrates Self-Realization and Hope
April 7, 2013
Raw. Unadulterated. Unfiltered. Rich and ragged. Daniel Talbott's Slipping explores the jagged corners of adolescence-the ones that usually go unexplored or are polished smooth by the propriety of adulthood-and brings with it some light and, eventually, a good deal of hope. Unblinkingly, it faces the reality of survival, because that's what it is, in a society that still has a long way to go toward accepting queer youth, or queer anything. It unveils the deep scars, the blood and bruises, the barren wastelands of denial and disgust. But it also celebrates the tenderness of self-realization and wide-eyed discovery.
BWW Reviews: What a Feeling From Hippodrome's FLASHDANCE - THE MUSICAL
February 13, 2013
Now, 30 years (three decades!) later, Flashdance--The Musical is back to remind us of the raw spirit, sparkly promise and (possibly drug-enhanced) energy of that bubble gum-laden, neon-hued era when innocence was much more innocent and people actually believed that dancing could save the world. Except this, the original U.S. national touring production (note that it has not yet made it to Broadway), has toned down the horrific '80s fashion faux pas and added a bit more 21st-century sophistication.
BWW Reviews: THE BUBBLY BLACK GIRL SHEDS HER CHAMELEON SKIN Takes Us On a Soulful Ride at the Strand
February 10, 2013
While the musical production-a collaborative effort between the Strand Theater Co. and StillPointe Theatre Initiative-tackles such weighty issues as racism, sexism, feminism and even terrorism, it is by no means a somber performance; to the contrary, it is jubilant, joyous, soulful and energizing, and the enormous (at least for this space), 12-actor cast shakes, shimmies and grooves along to the music of a five-piece live band through Childs' delightful lyrics and hilarious script, reminding us (and perhaps reminding herself) not to take things too seriously.
BWW Reviews: You've Never Seen Such a Sight In Your Life as The Vagabond Players' THE MOUSETRAP
January 7, 2013
I went through a fairly intense Agatha Christie phase before I hit double digits. I read her mysteries rabidly, watched all the old movies and even, thanks to a mother who was happy to feed both my whodunit and theater-going habits, saw The Mousetrap in London's West End at the ripe old age of 10. I even remember the Laura Ashley dress I wore to the show. I did not, however, remember the ending, which made for a blissfully ignorant repeat performance on my part as I sat in the audience at The Vagabond Players for its rendition of one of Dame Christie's finest.
BWW Reviews: The Strand's INEXCUSABLE FANTASIES Delivers Outrageous Hilarity With No Excuses
November 11, 2012
The joy of watching a playwright perform her own piece comes from the insight and the passion she brings to it. Especially when the playwright perceives the performance-the entire production, really-as "a chance to make fun of myself," as Susan McCully describes Inexcusable Fantasies, her whip-smart romp through absurdly outrageous queer scenarios that everyone knows should be daydreamed and neither seen nor heard.
BWW Reviews: FOR THAT WHICH RETURNS Quite Literally Up in the Air
November 3, 2012
Through a series of vignettes, For That Which Returns (performed at Baltimore Theatre Project) explores the constantly shifting relationship of mother and daughter, unraveling how their reliance on and need for each other never wane despite their roles often flip-flopping as they age.
BWW Reviews: BAD PANDA Goes Beyond Black and White at Iron Crow
October 14, 2012
As the last two pandas on earth, Gwo Gwo and Marion intrinsically know their task is to repopulate their species, but when mating season rolls around, they encounter a small hitch: Chester the crocodile has got his eyes on Gwo Gwo, who-despite all his practicing-can't seem to get a hang of baby-panda creation and finds himself increasingly distracted by that sly and charming croc.
BWW Reviews: Iron Crow's THE TYPOGRAPHER'S DREAM Sweetly Examines Modern Reality
June 3, 2012
A typographer, a geographer and a stenographer sit down at a bar. There's no punch line to be found in Iron Crow Theatre Co.'s production of Adam Bock's The Typographer's Dream, but rather an unveiling of personalities and of how so often what we do is inseparable from who we are.
BWW Reviews: Get Up Close and Personal with DOLLY at Spotlighters Theatre
April 30, 2012
There's nothing more personal than theater in the round, especially when it's on such an intimate scale as that at Spotlighters Theatre where there's a maximum of three rows of seating on each side. And it seems a fitting way to get to know Dolly Gallagher Levi, star of Hello, Dolly!, since her greatest joy is getting to know you-in the hopes of making a little money off of what she's figured out.
BWW Reviews: Iron Crow Theatre’s THE SOLDIER DREAMS Wages War on Death Through Joy and Dancing
April 16, 2012
In his notes about the play, director Steven J. Satta-Fleming writes that The Soldier Dreams "is no more a play about AIDS than The Wizard of Oz is the story of a cyclone," and it's interesting how AIDS and homosexuality, while important catalysts, are both omnipresent and barely there in this beautiful, sad, hilarious, heartwarming offering that Iron Crow Theatre doesn't just produce but conquers.
BWW Reviews: GODSPELL at Notre Dame is a Joyous Occasion
February 27, 2012
With Godspell enjoying a renaissance in popularity following its recent revival on Broadway, it seems everyone wants in on the fun. And that's the beauty of Godspell-it's an occasion to rejoice, to delight in the irreverent retelling of the parables in the Gospel according to Matthew, to feel good about faith-whether you share this particular set of tenets or not-and, well, to jump around in your seat and rock out along with Jesus.
BWW Reviews: A SKULL IN CONNEMARA Digs Up Dark Humor at Centerstage
February 7, 2012
The far flung often breeds the bizarre, and Martin McDonagh's deliciously dark A Skull in Connemara capitalizes on its setting in the wild west of Ireland to weave a contemporary tale that's at once peculiar, touching and hilarious. Centerstage's offering brings together a remarkably even cast of four top-notch, talented actors, all making their debut at the theater and bringing to life the strange story of a motley crew who keep each other company in their misery.
BWW Reviews: The ICEMAN Never Quite Makes It
January 30, 2012
Eugene O'Neill lived a strange and somewhat sad life during the first half of the 20th century, and despite the playwright being exceptionally lauded for his written works (he was the first American ever to win the Nobel Prize in Literature), O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh, running at the Fells Point Corner Theatre, is no less strange and sad than its author's reality.
BWW Reviews: The Vagabond Players’ ARSENIC AND OLD LACE Is Good for a Laugh
January 9, 2012
It's been said that laughter is the best medicine, and in some cases, it may even be the best antidote. The Vagabond Players' Arsenic and Old Lace brings a 70-plus-year-old script involving the manifestations of insanity in an established Brooklyn family gracefully and hilariously into the 21st century.
BWW Reviews: GLITTER AND SPEW Lacks Luster and Intrigue
December 12, 2011
With a title like Glitter and Spew, you'd think this three-act play would be highly energetic-ebullient, even-and dazzlingly polished. During a holiday entertainment season trimmed with endless renditions of The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol, the production is the Strand Theater Co.'s attempt to provide an alternative to December stage fodder that's become saccharine and trite. Disappointingly, it falls flat, and the barely one-hour performance deals in dullness rather than the glitz of glitter.
BWW Reviews: Such Sport! THE LITTLE DOG LAUGHED and So Will You
November 28, 2011
While this production borrows its title from a childish poem, it should by no means be mistaken for children's entertainment, and in fact, an early scene's full-frontal male nudity audibly takes the full house at Fells Point Corner Theatre by surprise. But the adult content shares quite a few themes with the nursery rhymes and fables that underscore our childhood: It's all about the pursuit of happiness and how our success or failure in that quest hinges on our decisions.
BWW Reviews: The Vagabond Players' GODSPELL Brings Audience Under Its Spell
October 31, 2011
The Vagabond Players opened Godspell Oct. 14, nearly simultaneously with the Broadway revival's preview, which leads up to an official Nov. 7 debut (the Vagabond Players have stated, in fact, their gratefulness for not having the rights to the production pulled). In the Vags' intimate, historic space, the production takes on a very participatory quality that-in its hugeness-breaks right through the fourth wall and draws the audience in.
BWW Reviews: ANNA BELLA EEMA Shines Wild and Beautiful at the Strand
October 17, 2011
Anna Bella Eema would be a terribly depressing story were it not infused with such intense, infectious energy-so much so that it tumbles off the thrust stage and threatens to swallow whole the tiny, black-box space that's home to the Strand Theater Co. This energy is wild, untamed and mildly spiritual, a perfect echo of the characters that Obie Award-winning playwright Lisa D'Amour has so carefully crafted, exploring the murky corners of their personalities by allowing them to narrate their own obscure histories.
BWW Reviews: @THE_MOMENT Comically Captures Life in 2011
September 19, 2011
The set for Salt Luck Arts' five-act @The_Moment: #5shortplaysonlifein2011 is simple to begin with and gets no more complicated as the performance progresses. This is a plus, since the stage is small and the ensemble cast's acting is good enough-very good enough, actually-to require little in terms of props or scenery to convey the theme coursing through the five one-act shorts: the idiosyncrasies of our very-connected-yet-somehow-not-connected-at-all life in the '10s.