Baltimore native and Metropolitan Opera star Spiro Malas was indeed a most happy fella Wednesday evening. Malas, who has received rave reviews for his performance as Tony Esposito in the Broadway revival of Frank Loesser's hit musical, "The Most Happy Fella," was performing while his mother, Lillian Malas, was in the audience.
Health reasons had kept her away for 1 1/2 years, but she was finally able to go to New York to hear her baby boy sing. Mrs. Malas, who helped found Baltimore's Greek restaurant and crab house Duffy's and who still oversees the making of the crab cakes, was accompanied by her daughter, Mary Aiello, and granddaughter, Cheryl Ann.
After an inspired performance, Spiro took his family to Mama Leone's for dinner, where they were joined by old friend Louis Zorich, star of the television show "Brooklyn Bridge" and the husband of Olympia Dukakis, and Spiro's uncle, Jimmy Malavazos, an operatic singing waiter at New York City's Bianca Margarita Restaurant.
Former ruggers Bruce Stein, Russell Clark, Billy Franke, Matt McGlone and Nancy Urbanus scored big with those attending the recent reunion of the Towson State Rugby men and women %% football club.
These organizers thought of everything for the returning ruggers: Some took in an Orioles game, others played in a match between the old guys and TSU players, and everyone went to the spring fling picnic at the Parkton farm of the family of former rugby player Mike Leonard.
One gal, who hadn't been to a spring fling in 10 years, laughed as she described the change of scenery -- now the party animals arrive with playpens, children and bottles of milk.
The Orioles organization invited its all-star Designated Hitter(DHers) to the all-star game in San Diego, and five couples accepted. (When the DHers came into existence in 1979, they sold season ticket packages to 1,600 people, and they now sell to more than 24,000.)
Those who managed to make the "thanks for the great job" trip were Bill "Baseball" Jones and his wife, Maureen; John Hennessey and wife, Sylvia; Eamonn McGeady and his wife, Betsy; Gordon Kennard and his wife, Dolly; and Joan McGill and her husband, Pete.
I'm told that Matt Dryer, who works for the O's, and Wendy Warner helped make the trip a success. Besides taking in the baseball game, participants played golf on several courses.
Around town: What's on your August calendar? How would you like to host an English-speaking French student for the month? LEC, a non-profit organization that has been sending French students to foreign countries since 1972, needs several host families in the Baltimore-Washington area. All the American family needs to provide is room, board and friendship. Stacey Byer is the local contact, and you may call her at (410) 730-4137 . . .
The Cross Street Market's popularity has grown since the new stadium opened. So much so that security guards have been hired.
One guard was surprised recently when he arrived at the market at 4 a.m. and a woman in a black hat and dress jumped out of a stretch limo and asked, "Where's the cheese man? I'd like to buy some cheese."
'Twas a little early for former banker Ed Bier, who left the world of banking to open the Cross Street Market Cheese Company 11 years ago. However, he did say that if the unknown lady in black would like to come back, he'll be there . . .
WBAL radio morning show host Dave Durian will continue to do his morning radio show when he rejoins the WBAL-TV 11 News Team. Beginning Aug. 10, he'll co-anchor the weekly noon news with Liz O'Neill, and then anchor Channel 11's Saturday morning news . . .
Sara Lowen, former Baltimore Magazine associate editor, says she's the one who was replaced at the mag by Lois Perschetz after the magazine was purchased by ESS Ventures. But she's not unhappy; she's now a senior editor at another ESS mag, Mid-Atlantic Country . . .
Last call: If your organization has plans for a fall function, please fax or mail me the details as soon as possible. I plan to use as many as I can for a Labor Day column. All releases should be sent to my attention, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278, or fax them to me at (410) 783-2519.