"Nick and Nora," the Broadway musical once slated for a...

UP and DOWN with Baltimore

December 26, 1991|By Mike Bowler

"Nick and Nora," the Broadway musical once slated for a tryout in Baltimore, bombed miserably and closed Dec. 15 after only a few performances. Maybe it should have previewed in Baltimore. The New York Times' Alex Witchel reported last Friday that "Nick and Nora" director and librettist Arthur Laurents had insisted that the show was "too sophisticated" for Baltimoreans.

Witchel quoted producer Terry Allen Kramer: "Arthur said they [Baltimoreans] would never understand the humor, and when I heard that, I thought, 'They'll never get any work done if we go to Baltimore. That will always be the excuse.'"

As it turned out, to save money the show previewed only in New York, so we'll never know.

Laurents, by the way, is said to have skipped town after he saw the reviews in the New York press. Maybe he's holed up in Baltimore, here among the unsophisticates.

Symphony magazine, the national trade publication for th orchestra industry, carries a glowing article in its January-February issue about the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's "Live, Gifted and Black" concert Nov. 9.

Written by Catherine French, chief executive officer of the American Symphony Orchestra League, the article describes how the concert came about and how the Meyerhoff was "transformed...from a culture palace to a community center." The BSO, writes French, "believed in the power of music to touch the human spirit, so [it] offered [its] best music and [its] best artists. They didn't stop being a symphony orchestra; they shared the wonder of being a symphony orchestra. No wonder the community responded."

Johns Hopkins University still leads all of the nation's college and universities in federal spending on research and development, according to the Souther Regional Education Board. In fiscal year 1989, the last year for which figures are compiled, Hopkins spent $648 million, up 43 percent from 1986. Second place was Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which spent $287 million, and in 65th place was the University of Maryland at Baltimore, $76 million.

A footnote is necessary. Well more than half of Hopkins; spending applies to the university's Applied Physics Laboratory near Laurel. Unlike other universities, Hopkins lumps APL spending, most or it on military research, with that of the rest of its operations.

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