Monthly Archives: April 2011

Easter Sunday

I’m not sure if we got the rain that was forecast for the “sunrise service,” but the ground looked completely dry when my mom woke me up at 8am for the “early service” (9am).

The service started off relatively normal. Pastor John and his Worship Band started the service off with their usual cadre of contemporary music, but after the third song he came off stage and said something shocking for an Easter Sunday service:

“I’m sorry,” he began. “But I just don’t feel the Holy Spirit’s presence here today. Let’s pray together and hope that our Lord hears us and graces us with His presence…”

Keep in mind this is EASTER SUNDAY – arguably the most important service of the entire year, and commemorates it by saying that? Unbelievable, but that wasn’t the only gaffe he gave us in this hour-long service, but, to be fair, this was his second service of the day and he claimed to be suffering from a “lack of coffee.”

He then called the children forward for his special Easter message. However, first he had to have his wife, Barb, get the colored eggs from his office, and then proceeded with his message as normal upon her return.

“Do you know what these are,” he asked opening the first egg. “Thorns, that’s right, ‘ow.’ Do you know what the jews did with these? They made a crown out of these to humiliate him and shoved it down into his head so the blood came down his face.”

The next one he opened was the cross (which he considered largely self-explanatory), followed by the nail “which was much larger than this and was driven into his wrists to attach him to the cross. Ow.”

Fortunately, the last egg was empty so he sent Barb to get the Easter treats from his office (stickers and coloring sheets). The rest of the service continued without any other major issue… except that they nearly forgot about the last song.

Immediately after the service was a “coffee hour” (though they mainly served juice and cookies), and I picked a cup of lemonade from the counter and grabbed a plate of cookies from the table by the door and sat at a table near the end of the divider.

Shortly thereafter, Pastor John sat down across from me. He asked me how I was doing, if was enjoying Baltimore…and then asked the big question: why wasn’t my dad at the service?

Fortunately, I didn’t get a chance to answer that question as he got up and went back over to get some more coffee from the counter. I followed him shortly thereafter to refill my drink and get some more snacks from the goodies table, but I didn’t get to speak with him again.

The humidity rose considerably during the afternoon hours, we never saw the” late day thunderstorms” they forecast either, and that was a good thing since I spent much of the afternoon clearing leaves and branches from the lower portion of the backyard.

I come back inside, check my e-mail, refresh my RSS feeds and play a few games of Freecell before heading downstairs for a simple dinner. By then, it was time to go upstairs and start packing for the return trip on “Easter Monday.”

Categories: coal region, family, holidays | Leave a comment

What should replace Everyman Theatre?

I spent Saturday evening walking around the Station North “Arts & Entertainment District” for their “Second Saturdays” event in which various venues host free or reduced cost events for the public. The reason I’m writing this is because one of their flagship theatres – The Everyman – is moving to a new space across from The Hippodrome at the end of their season and it got me wondering: what should fill that venerable old performance space?

The most obvious choice would be to move another theatre company into that space – especially since there are a lot of “dive theatres” in the area (LoF\T, Single Carrot, and Strand) as well as a few “homeless” companies like Annex and Iron Crow. This is, unfortunately, the least likely scenario especially since many companies are just barely making ends meet as it is due to decreased theatre attendance.

However, the absolute best fit theatrically speaking is Spotlighters. Yes, the venerable Mount Vernon theatre has recently launched a capital campaign to raise $1.5 million to make their space ADA compliant – including wheelchair ramp and improved restrooms (trust me, they need it). Both things the current Everyman space, conveniently enough, already has – a bigger stage and slightly larger audience without losing intimacy (85 at their current space, vs. approximately 135 at Everyman). Not only that, the current Everyman space is in a highly desirable location on Charles Street in Station North (as opposed to a basement hidden in the back of an alleyway, that’s difficult if not impossible to find – especially at night).

The next most obvious option would be to put a gallery there. Yes, there are plenty of places to make pretty pictures, but most of the places that are displaying them require you order something first. I’m all for, hanging art in whatever forum will hang them, but it can difficult to approach art in this context without upsetting other customers and obstructing the wait staff.

They could also open a bar, restaurant or a retail shop in there (I hear the Baltimore FREE Store needs a new home), but I suspect that it will simply sit idly decaying until it becomes nothing but a boarded up shell of its former self like so many other buildings in the neighborhood. It would be a terrible shame – and a waste of good real estate – but I suspect that may ultimately end up being its fate.

Categories: Baltimore, editorials, entertainment, news, Station North, theatre | Leave a comment

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