Monday, March 20, 2017

Paula Vogel’s “The Baltimore Waltz” at the Magic Theatre, S.F. through April 16

With “The Baltimore Waltz,” playwright Paula Vogel takes the audience on an imaginary, satirical journey with schoolteacher Anna and her brother Carl as they escape to Europe. Spurred by Anna’s diagnosis of the fictitious and fatal acquired toilet disease, (ATD), the pair set out in search of a cure and on a sexually adventurous romp through Paris, Amsterdam, Munich and Vienna. 

In reality, the two never take the trip and the setting is actually a Baltimore hospital room where Carl is dying. The play is a poignant tribute to Vogel’s brother Carl, who invited her on an excursion to Europe, which she was unable to take with him. She didn’t know at the time that her brother was HIV-positive. A year after his death in 1988 from AIDS-related complications, Vogel wrote the play while at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire.

Playwright Paula Vogel. Photo courtesy of Magic Theatre.

“The Baltimore Waltz,” directed by Jonathan Moscone. March 22-April 16. $50-$85. Magic Theatre, Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture, 2 Marina Blvd., Building D, S.F. (415) 441-8822,

-Stephanie Wright Hession

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