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My Beautiful Darkened World
Highwood Theater
Silver Spring, MD
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My Beautiful Darkened World
Doctors could not stop the shingles virus from invading Alina's eye and making almost any light unbearable.  Confined to a darkened room for months, she discovered a surprising source of inspiration and humor.

This is the story shared by Alice Lipowicz in her new original musical, My Beautiful Darkened World: A Musical Journey from Illness to Inspiration (or How I Lost 15 Pounds on the Shingles Diet).

Lipowicz wrote the songs by drawing on her own experience with being ill from shingles in 2016. She, along with pianist Paul Rosenberg and singer/actor Laura Brown, will be performing the musical as an unusual and vibrant theatrical cabaret event. The Sunday matinee is a Shingles Awareness event with a Question & Answer session about shingles after the performance.

I started writing songs to distract myself while ill, Lipowicz says. But I later became driven to share what I learned from my experience with shingles and to raise awareness about this disease.

A portion of the ticket sales will go toward shingles awareness efforts, including the website and Facebook page, and the @ShinglesAware Twitter account.

Lipowicz is a longtime DC journalist, writer, dancer and performer who recently was a member of the Wonderbar musical improvisation comedy group of Laugh Index Theatre in DC. She also has performed in DC's Artomatic and with the Burning Feet Dance Company in St. Louis, Missouri.

Rosenberg is an accomplished jazz pianist who performs with the Door #3 musical improv troupe and with the Takoms Station Jam Station. Brown is a performer with Door #3 and with the Precipice Theatre improv group.

Lipowicz and Rosenberg were in the process of developing another musical when Lipowicz was struck with shingles in 2016.

Anyone who has had chicken pox can contract shingles.  The virus usually stays dormant for decades, but in some people it becomes reactivated as shingles for reasons that are not well understood.  About a third of the U.S. population will experience shingles at some point in their lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Shingles is associated with aging and reduced immunity. Half the new cases of shingles each year in the United States are in people over 60, and the other half in people under 60.

"Can a musical about shingles be funny? I was inspired to try. Even when I was in pain I still want to write songs that entertain," Lipowicz says. At the same time, she expresses some of her fears and frustration with the shingles symptoms, with the difficulties in getting a diagnosis, and with friends who do not understand the disease very well.

For more information, please visit
Based on a true story.
A portion of the ticket sales will go toward shingles awareness efforts.


Highwood Theater (View)
914 Silver Spring Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20910
United States


Arts > Performance
Arts > Theatre
Music > Singer/Songwriter

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!


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