An animated classic
"Fantasia," first released in 1940, has finally been distributed as a cassette by the Disney Studios, which didn't make a profit on the film when it was first released but have done quite well with it since then. The animated film includes eight classical compositions which are illustrated by Disney images that include fairies, dancing hippopotamuses and Mickey Mouse, who plays "The Sorcerer's Apprentice." Stravinski, Ponchielli and Schubert are among the composers represented in the film. No rating. ****
A compelling version of John Steinbeck's Depression-era work "The Grapes of Wrath" is on stage at the Spotlighters Theatre. Incisively directed by Barry Feinstein, the 30-member cast vividly brings to life the struggles of the Joad family and other migrants trying to survive in desperately hard times. Outstanding in this overall fine cast is Audrey Herman as the stoic Ma Joad, Bill Grauer as Pa Joad and William Runnebaum as their idealistic son. 817 St. Paul St. Tickets: $8. Call (410) 752-1225.
Winifred Walsh Among the higher-profile orchestras and choruses in the area, it's possible to overlook the DcCamera Singers. But this ensemble of singers and musicians and its music director, Ernest Liotti, have been earning high praise for intelligent performances of interesting programs. Their season-opening concert in the Alumni Chapel of Loyola College tomorrow at 3 p.m. should be no exception -- a program of music for organ, strings and voices that includes Bach's Cantata No. 31 and brief masses by Mozart and Haydn. In the previous two years of its existence, the DaCamera Singers have also championed new works -- particularly by Maryland composers. This concert will also feature the East Coast premiere of Peabody Conservatory faculty member Thomas Benjamin's "Unto the Hills." Tickets are $6. Call (410) 532-5024 or (410) 727-0742.
A cut above
"The Butcher's Wife" is the kind of comedy the French and the English were making a few decades ago. This small, thoroughly charming film stars Demi Moore as a clairvoyant who changes the lives of the people she meets in Greenwich Village. Jeff Daniels is the local psychiatrist who tires of hearing that all his patients have been counseled by the newcomer, and Mary Steenburgen is a choir director who wants to be a singer in a club. Language. Rating: PG-13.
Lou Cedrone A good melody may be its own reward, but more often it's the presentation that puts the song across. That's one reason to catch Toad the Wet Sprocket at Max's On Broadway tomorrow night at 9, for this low-key quartet understands the finer points of vocal harmony or when to add color to an arrangement by moving from guitar to mandolin. And the other reason? Good melodies, of course. Tickets are $7. For information, call 675-MAXS.