PUBLICK PLAYHOUSE PG’s HIDDEN TREASURE
Most people trying to avoid the traffic backups on the BWI Parkway barely notice the Publick Playhouse at the intersection of 202 and 450 Annapolis Road and blow by this unique theater with the Art Deco marquee and tons of free parking behind it.
I’ve seen Ruby Dee perform there, but last weekend I was invited to attend a ‘World Dance Showcase’ and was blown away by the colorful diversity and performance from just about every corner of the world including Africa!
It was the Egyptian Sufi dancer Mohamed Ali, who delivered the most astounding one-man performance wearing a 45 pound outfit with multiple parachute pants-like conical skirts called tanoura festooned with lights and psychedelic colors, while constantly spinning at dizzying speeds for almost 15 minutes!
Other outstanding performances were delivered by a group of Bolivian ‘CAPORALES’ in golden uniforms celebrating the miner’s patron saint The Virgin of Socavon. From East Asia, the Golden Universe Dance group from China performed the mesmerizing ‘Boat Song’; the Kalanidhi dancers from nearby Bethesda performed a celebratory dance of classic culture of India.
And to wrap up the show, Halau Nohana Hawaiian dancers with two separate groups of woman hula dancers, and all-male spear-fighting warriors filled the stage with color and movement. The Publick Playhouse is part of the MNCPPC Parks & Recreation department that serves both Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, which does a terrible job of marketing their performances, but is well worth a GOOGLE search.