BSO does Broadway Broadway and Verdi loom big this weekend. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra plays Broadway hits at 8:15 tonight in the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. New York conductor Paul Gemignani and soprano Carolann Page (who sang Pat Nixon in John Adams' opera "Nixon in China") make BSO debuts in Sondheim, Bernstein and other music. Tickets are $14-$37. Call 783-8000. And at 4 p.m. tomorrow, T. Herbert Dimmock directs The Handel Choir in the Verdi choral masterpiece, the Manzoni Requiem, at Kraushaar Auditorium, Goucher College. Tickets are $6, $12 and $15. Call Telecharge at 625-1400.
A delightful version of the timeless musical "Damn Yankees" is on stage at the Harlequin Dinner Theatre. The play -- with words and music by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross -- features such memorable song and dance numbers as "You Gotta Have Heart," "Two Lost Souls" and "Whatever Lola Wants" (sung seductively by Gabrielle Dunmyer). Jesse Foreman is a riot as a modern day Lucifer who dazzles a middle-aged baseball fan with the promise of youth and fame. 1330 East Gude Drive, Rockville. Dinner: 6:30 p.m., show 8:30 p.m. Tickets: $34.95. Call (301) 340-8515.
At the Pearly Gates
Albert Brooks wrote and directed ''Defending Your Life,'' a pleasing mixture of comedy and pathos. In the film, Mr. Brooks plays an ad man who dies and discovers that he is in Judgment City, where he must defend his earthly existence if he is to make it to the next heavenly level. Meryl Streep co-stars as the woman he meets in the hereafter, and she has never been more vivacious or charming. Rip Torn is the ad man's defender, and Lee Grant is the prosecutor. Rating: PG. *** ''Memphis Belle'' is a World War II film in which a B-17 bomber crew hopes to survive its 25th mission. Matthew Modine and Eric Stoltz are in the cast and though we are flying over fairly familiar territory here, the film is both exciting and touching. The actors use some expressions that weren't yet coined, but in all other areas -- including the film's animation -- the film manages to be right on target. Language: PG-13. ***
Tanks for the memories
Whitney Houston did it on cable last week from Norfolk, and a bunch of other musical stars did it Wednesday on CBS from Maryland's own Andrew's Air Force base. But leave it to Bob Hope to provide his own turn-the-tables welcome for U.S. troops from the Persian Gulf. At 9:30 tonight on NBC (Channel 2), the GI-favorite comedian who went to Saudi Arabia for a Christmas concert puts on a show for troops invited to his Palm Springs home. Taped last weekend, the program includes many guests appearances, among them Patti Labelle, James Stewart and Brooke Shields.