THE MUSIC OF Tony Berry and New Money gave partygoers a good aerobic workout at the Heart Ball Saturday night. Fitness was the theme of this annual fund-raiser, and Paul Wolhman's decorations were just what the doctor ordered -- high tech with lots of neon, black lighting and cutout dance figures in neon colors. And it's really amusing to see that the Electric Slide has made such a comeback and is one of the most popular dances at area galas.
Even the guest of honor, Dr. Elijah Saunders, head of hypertension of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, spent a lot of time on the dance floor. (I thought he would have been exhausted after spending about 15 minutes introducing all the people who came to the ball because he was being honored.)
This dance is like red wine: It gets better every year, thanks to dedicated Heart Association volunteers like Leo Kessel, Michael Merson, Joanne Pollak, Dr. Enrico Veltri, William Wycoff, Brian King, Ronald Peterson, Don Reinhart and David Wolf.
And speaking of good wine, Stouffer GM Alan Villaverde donated all the wines for the more than 950 guests, which could be interpreted as an unexpected $3,500 donation to the Heart Association. The reason, and no one could believe it, was that a fire alarm went off at approximately the same time and at the same function as last year and 950 guests were evacuated, again. T'was only about 15 minutes until the all clear was sounded, but according to Villaverde, "I've been in the hotel business for 20 years and I don't think I've ever been as frustrated as I was Saturday evening when that alarm went off."
What happened? An investigation showed that the alarm was a vandalized pull station, but there was no way of knowing at the time whether it was the real thing or a vandal, so to be safe, Villaverde had to evacuate. Out of the 1,000 or so social functions held at Stouffer's, what are the odds that this would happen at the Heart Ball again?
But, not to worry, everyone went back into the ballroom and dined on Surf and Turf and danced the night away for a very good cause.
* From the Sands in Atlantic City to Hammerjacks in Baltimore, Joe Piscopo fans will have a chance to get their fill of his antics on his upcoming cross-country whirlwind tour. (Reports say that his recent HBO special played to the highest ratings in the history of the network, although the show took a thumping from many critics.)
Piscopo's a product of "Saturday Night Live," where his impersonations of Joan Rivers, David Letterman, Ted Koppel and Frank Sinatra have made his famous. (Sinatra even invited him to his 75th birthday bash!) Tickets are $10 for his Feb. 16 Hammerjacks appearance and may be reserved by calling TicketCenter or Hammerjacks' box office.
The Senator Theater is the official home of movies that premiere in Baltimore. On Monday evening, the film that so many of us watched being filmed here, "He Said, She Said," will have its world premiere. One of the stars, Kevin Bacon, will attend along with the movie's co-directors, Ken Kwapis and Marisa Silver.
If you're a star watcher, festivities are planned to begin at 6:30 p.m. with the commemorative sidewalk dedication, followed by a reception and the screening. Moviegoers are paying $50 a ticket to attend the festivities, which will benefit the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.
The ins and outs of sailing will be discussed tonight at the first HarborView/Rags seminar at the HarborView Marina and Yacht Club. Capt. Bill Eggert has joined with the new Annapolis sailing magazine, Rags, to bring us tips on sailing and sailboats on the first Tuesday of the month.
At 7 p.m. tonight, Tom Wohlgemuth, president of Chesapeake Rigging Ltd. in Annapolis, and Alex Stout, rigging consultant, will share their expertise with boaters. Call Eggert at HarborView Yacht Club for more information.