Howard & Lex: The Way We Roll

Posted on March 21st, 2012 by

Gentlemen, perhaps you’ve heard your mother or grandmother talk about how wonderful it was to use their charge card, enjoy lunch in the tea room, and then have all of their newly acquired purchases delivered to their home.

Ladies, do you remember putting on your white gloves and taking the street car downtown to go shopping at Hutzler’s, Hochschild Kohn & Co, Stewarts or the May Company?

2000.148.2 Hutzler’s Charge Card

Did you miss Enterprising Emporiums, the Jewish Museum of Maryland’s exhibition celebrating Baltimore’s Jewish owned department stores?


– Or maybe wish that we’d put it back on display?

Did Deb Weiner’s blog post about saving Read’s Drug Store and the Superblock fire up your activist spirit and inspire you to stage your own sit-in

—or join the Occupy Baltimore movement? 

Do you read Gil Sandler’s articles and wish you could experience those by-gone days for yourself?

Did you know that Frank Sinatra has a very important connection to Baltimore?

Is Faidley’s crabs or Berger’s Bakery your favorite stall at Lexington Market?

Have you ever wanted to just jump up and join the Mayor’s Christmas Parade? Or the St. Patty’s Day Parade?Or the Columbus Day Parade?

You can experience all of this and so much more this Saturday & Sunday and next, March 24 & 25, March 30 and April 1!

Fluid Movement will be presenting their roller show Howard &Lex: The Way We Roll at 3 PM on March 24, 25, 30 & April 1 at 228 W. Lexington Street (the old Stewart’s building, now used by Catholic Relief Services). Tickets are $5 and available at The show runs about 1 hour and it will be followed by a free walking tour of the West Side presented by Baltimore Heritage Inc.

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Mobtown Murder Mystery!

Posted on July 27th, 2011 by

A blog post by Senior Collections Manager Jobi Zink.

This weekend it reached over 105 degrees in Baltimore. While many people chose to stay inside where it was air conditioned, a number of JMM staff (or their husbands) and interns (past & present) spent their time at the Druid Hill Park pool performing in Fluid Movement’s 2011 water ballet, Mobtown Murder Mystery.

JMM’s Jobi, Sara, Elena, Rachel, Rachel & Morgan relax between shows.

Nope, we don’t do synchronized swimming under water with our feet in the air.

We leave the real synchronized swimming to the York Synchronettes who came down to do a pre-show performance for us.

So then what is a water ballet? Think of a musical play. You know how all of a sudden the entire cast spontaneously bursts into a song and everyone magically knows the words? Well, instead of singing, we’re swimming.

In Mobtown Gail and Mike are out for an evening stroll, when suddenly, they aren’t alone!


The Gangsters have Mike surrounded in their circle…

And things go on from there.  Gail ends up at a club called the Boom Boom Room where flirty girls (and guys) perform a USO inspired number.

Big Momma Boom Boom and the Waves

The scene ends with a live rendition of “Davey’s Little Dinghy.”  I’ve had this song stuck in my head all weekend, so when I came to work today I started checking out some of our photos of old timey bathing suits.

Tintype of Moses Daniel in a bathing costume in the studios of Rau & Kidd in Atlantic City, n.d. (1983.69.6)

Black and white photograph of Isadore Mount and Barnet Freedman in bathing suits at Wieland photography studio on the Atlantic City boardwalk, c. 1910. (1989.211.6.22)

Could one of these men be Davey?

Then I remembered this wonderful wool bathing costume, complete with wool stockings!

Bathing suit made of knitted wool, and matching black and red cotton stockings with the red woven into a lacey design down the 1916-1920. Red with black v-neck, and black felt appliqued pierced design over left chest area. Two buttons on left shoulder of undetermined material. Bathing suit belonged to donor's mother, Esther Selma Benjamin Bernstein, c. 1916-1920 (1991.188.1)

Matching stockings.

Suddenly, performing a perfect pinwheel while wearing purple and chartreuse doesn’t seem that outlandish.

Perhaps Gail Force attended the Sorority Guild Fashion show before selecting her costume?


Black and white photograph of Aileen Klein and Elsie Stein in bathing suits from Sorority Guild Fashion Show "Old and New" (2000.4.10)

Apparently the Gangster scene isn’t alone in wearing coats over their bathing suits.

1931-1939 Eleanor Levy wearing bathing cap, bathing suit and coat, c. 1939 (2002.79.518)


Photograph: group of young girls in bathing suits; nd. 1993.37.26

If you recognize anyone in this picture, please contact me. Maybe they want to join next year’s show?

Lining up around the edge of the pool is pretty common at the water ballet, too.


Black and white photograph of Bais Yaakov Camp, n.d. The photograph shoes the right corner of the pool where ten boys stand in the water, along the edge of the corner. One boy sits on the edge of the right side. A chain link fence covered with dark sheets runs across the photograph in the background. Trees and the top of a large A-frame tent can be seen behind the fence. (2000.57.25)

In Mobtown Murder Mystery the “sparkly and ironic” cast faces a type of “discrimination” from Sam Hoe, who believes that the pool should be used for lap swimming rather than water ballet. In reality, Jews were frequently banned from public pools.

Black and white photograph of a sign outside of the Meadowbrook Swimming Club. The sign reads: "Privileges of the Swimming Pool Are Extended Only to Approved Gentiles The Meadowbrook Swimming Club." The photograph shows the walkway up to the pool as well as what is presumably the clubhouse in the background. (1995.201.001)

A group of seven men from the Jewish Laymen's Institute in a swimming pool. Front row, left to right: Jerry Dennenberg, Frank Sigelman, Buddy Sigelman, unidentified. Back row, left to right: unidentified, unidentified, unidentified (1992.202.78)

Don’t worry! You can still see Mobtown Murder Mystery this weekend at Patterson Park Pool. Show times are Saturday July 30 at 6 PM and Sunday July 31 at 5 & 7. For more information go to

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Total Workout!

Posted on April 1st, 2011 by

A Blog post by Sr. Collections Manager Jobi Zink

Nope, I am not asking you to join my Butts & Guts class at the gym (though you should!) I’m inviting you to the latest Fluid Movement roller skating play on wheels! It’s happening this weekend only at the Hampden Rec Center – Saturday at 7 & 9 PM and Sunday at 5 & 7.

Tickets will NOT be sold at the door; buy them on-line at or at Atomic Books

Things have changed since you’ve last gone to a birthday party at Skateland! We’re talking choreography here and costumes. And much more fun than going around in that big boring oval!! It’s just about the best $10 you could spend this weekend.  Buy your tickets online here or in person here, just make sure to buy them before the show!

Molly Ruthenberg on skates and Noreen Kerbel (no skates) helping Chad Kerbel roller skate in a gymnasium as part of the JCC Roller Days, 1979. 2006.013.844

If you are new to Fluid Movement, let me fill you in. Known for their water ballets and roller skating shows, Fluid Movement is a Baltimore-based performance art group that juxtaposes complex subject matter with delightful and unexpected mediums. For example, TOTAL WORKOUT is kind of a mash-up of the Schwartzenegger classic Total Recall and Jane Fonda workouts with sexy Bond-style spies and Led Zepplin lovin’ Vikings traveling through time.

Jane Fonda would be proud to see our authentic 80s workout garb. Photo © Bill Adams

Jane Fonda would be proud to see our authentic 80s workout garb. Photo © Bill Adams


This year I am directing the mighty Viking scene with Lauren Joost (who happens to work at the Baltimore Museum of Art). It’s been a great partnership—Lauren is amazing with the costumes (she’s sewn everything for our scene) and I get to use my aerobics background to shape the choreography.

That’s me in the front with co-director Lauren Joost. Photo © Bill Adams

Directing is a little bit like Intern Wrangling (my summer job at the JMM)—part coaching, part collaborating, part laying down the law. Our scene is a combination of veteran performers and first timers and it’s been great to watch everyone’s creativity and personality help shape the scene.

I wonder if we can find out who this kid was—I’d like to ask him to join our next show! 2006.013.847

The cast has been practicing since February. Each scene meets separately to work on their routine as well as costuming and props. When a scheduling conflict came up for rehearsal space, the JMM served as a skate-free space for the Bond girls to work. A few weeks ago we started meeting together to work on the finale, and last week we ran a tech rehearsal with the full cast. It was our first time seeing everything in order. There is something magical that happens – a combination of energy, lunacy, hard work and glitter– to bring the show together!

Bond Girls rehearsed at the JMM after hours. Maybe they’d help lure in the crowds with daytime rehearsal. Photo © Bill Adams

I’d like to thank Melissa Martens, former JMM Curator and founding member of Fluid Movement, for “swirling me into the mix” of Fluid Movement in 1999. She dragged me to very first water ballet “Water Shorts” (which she helped choreograph) and I have been hooked ever since!


A rare picture of Melissa in costume for the Cirque De L’Amour water ballet in 2001.

And so has the JMM: Avi has served on the board (his summers in Vermont seem to prevent him from swimming but he gets to just about every show); staff members Lauren Silberman (now at AAM), Rachel Kassman & Elena Rosemond-Hoerr; summer interns Katie Avery, Melina Avery, Rachael Gilman & Sara Patenaude; exhibition handy man Mark Ward, and husbands Jonathan Willis and Eric Zink have all performed!

Hope to see you at the show!


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