Bach, Handel share stage
If J. S. Bach had written his "Christmas Oratorio" with an English instead of a German text, Handel's "Messiah" would have some real competition in the Christmas choral sweepstakes of the English-speaking world. The Baltimore Choral Arts Society and its music director, Tom Hall, perform the choral masterpieces of the 18th century with real distinction, and one looks forward to the performance of the first three sections of Bach's great work tomorrow afternoon at 3 in Kraushaar Auditorium on the Goucher College campus. Tickets are $7, $17 and $20. For more information, call (410) 523-7070. "Forever Plaid" is an endearingly square, just-for-fun revue in which a fictitious quartet called the Four Plaids resurrects the music of such 1950s guy groups as the Four Lads, the Four Freshmen, the Four Aces -- well, you get the idea. The show, which opened the season at the Mechanic Theatre, features such hokey touches as a 3-minute, 11-second rendition of "The Ed Sullivan Show." But nowadays, when pop stars publish books of fantasies unprintable in a family newspaper, it's refreshing to remember a time when appearing on "Ed Sullivan" was fantasy enough. Weekend show times are at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. today and at 3 p.m. tomorrow. Tickets: $20-$40. (410) 625-1400.