INVITATIONS ARE IN the mail promising "Non-stop Pop, Bop and Hop . . . 'til you Drop" for this year's Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's Gala slated Sept. 7.
The big news is that the gala will have a dazzling new look and location as it's being staged at the Gallery at Harborplace and the Stouffer Harborplace Hotel. The event, under the leadership of co-chairs Michael Sullivan, CEO of Merry Go Round Enterprises, and his wife Jeanne, is expected to raise more than $300,000 for the orchestra. Tickets are $100 and $300: Call 783-8016.
STAR GAZING: Actor James Earl Jones, who stars in the TV show "Gabriel's Fire," made the rounds of Baltimore's hot spots this week hooking up with home-grown stars including Cal Ripken Jr. and Artie Donovan for a television commercial for C&P Yellow Pages. . . . Actor Robert Vaughn, who starred in "The Man from U.N.C.L.E," was in town this week to shoot a TV commercial for Harrah's Casino in Atlantic City to air this fall.
GOOD SPORTS: Local attorney and nationally known sports agent Ron Shapiro appeared on the National Press Club's "Morning Newsmakers" program this week in Washington. . . . Pikesville's big news is that Charles Levine is out at the Pimlico Restaurant and Al and Reta Davis are back, along with the original menu. Happy hour is also back, featuring the always happy singer-songwriter Russ Margo.
TABLE-HOPPING: Chef Alex DeLesantos is doing wonders with the menu at the Water Street Exchange downtown. . . . In Fells Point, Chuck Doering is putting the finishing touches on the newly expanded John Stevens Ltd., which will include an outdoor dining area and -- get this -- waitresses! Wonders never cease. . . . Meantime, Johnny Dee, who owns the Lounge in Towson, is readying for the links tomorrow for his first Johnny Dee Ladies' and Men's Golf Tournament at the Sparrows Point Country Club to benefit the Grant-a-Wish Foundation.
HONORABLE MEN-TION: BG&E's George McGowan and civic leader Walter Sondheim will be receiving honorary degrees this Thursday at the Villa Julie College commencement.
THE ST. FRANCES ACADEMY, which was the first black Catholic inner-city high school in the United States, is holding a fund-raising dinner tomorrow night at Martin's West honoring local attorney Alleck Resnick and mayoral candidate Clarence "Du" Burns and chaired by parking lot magnate Allen Quille. The keynote speaker will be Harry Schwarz, who's the new South African ambassador to the United States. Call 837-5310.
RADIO ACTIVITY: Jennifer Grimm and the gang at country music station WPOC-FM hosted an elegant get-together for clients and friends the other night at the Peabody Court Conservatory. Special guest entertainer was national recording star and former Cincinnati Bengal Mike Reid, who charmed all with his piano playing, singing and humor.
HELLO, GOODBY: Advertising writer and director Jeff Goodby, who's done spots for Royal Viking Lines, New Yorker magazine and others, will speak at a luncheon Tuesday sponsored by the Advertising Association of Baltimore. Call Chic Davis at 727-1578 for ticket information. . . . Local filmmaker Gerry Levin and artist Effie Gerney are much in demand on the West Coast -- he in production of new NBC shows and she at galleries in Palm Springs. La La Land's gain could be our loss. . . . ABC News correspondent Carole Simpson will be honored as Woman of the Year at the Ad Club's luncheon on June 4 at the Hyatt. Call 750-2977 for tickets.
EYE-OPENERS: An opening reception for the Museum for Contemporary Arts will be held today from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., premiering "Photo Manifesto," co-curated by George Ciscle. It's located in the former Greyhound terminal on Centre Street.
QUICK STUFF: WJZ-TV's Bob Turk will be celebrity auctioneer today for the Baltimore Association for Retarded Citizens' Fourth Annual Preakness Auction and Champagne Brunch today in Cross Keys' Hollyday Room. . . . The Allegro's Don Davis and Vernon Liphart are hosting their Second Annual Benefit Brunch to benefit HERO and the Chase Brexton Clinic today at the Conservatory Restaurant in Peabody Court.