Director’s Note

When I first read The Baltimore Waltz many years ago, I found it to be profoundly funny while still maintaining an underlying deep sadness, and it occurred to me how rarely a play can do both of those things. Despite the notion that it tells a story about a topic that doesn’t seem to be rife for comedy, the playwright manages to approach it from a perspective that gives us permission to laugh while it sets us up for a surprising resolution — even though the play keeps dropping hints about what’s to come at the end. What I didn’t realize at the time of that first reading was how many references it contained to such a variety of classic movies. Pulling apart the individual scenes and exploring them with this excellent cast made me dig deeper and provided so many more facets to the way that Paula Vogel crafted this personal journey she took to cope with the loss of her brother. I had nearly been involved with a production of this play over a decade ago, but the timing didn’t work out. I feel especially grateful to Max and Alika for the opportunity to explore this amazing script in this intimate space and share with Dragon audiences the clever, hilarious, and heartbreaking story of Carl and Anna.

— Troy Johnson, director