Coming to the new Playwrights Theatre of Baltimore in May: the world premiere of "All Dressed Up And Nowhere To Go," a comedy by Catherine Filloux. Here's a synopsis: "Filloux's play, transpiring over the course of a snowbound night at a Buffalo, N.Y., motel, examines a chance encounter between the world of cross-dressing and the world of the Amish." I know it sounds predictable -- yet another play about the age-old struggle for identity and acceptance -- but I'll take a chance with a ticket to this one.
To know the unknown
Sharp-eyed readers Mary Pat Massarelli and Marcia Simonetta spotted an interesting classified in The Sun last Friday: "ANYONE knowing the whereabouts of Bryson White whose last known address is unknown, please contact. . . ."
A sour note
You're Michael Harrison, the dashing general director of the Baltimore Opera. Your company is performing "La Boheme" at the Lyric. It's Wednesday, the national day of mourning for Richard M. Nixon. At 7:30 p.m., just before the curtain, you walk on stage to welcome your patrons and remind them about the coming opera season and the importance of paying for ticket subscriptions in a timely manner. Question: Do you acknowledge Nixon's death and ask the audience for a moment of silence? Or do you just skip the whole thing? With good intentions -- the Nixon funeral was under way precisely when "Boheme" was set to start -- and a good amount of bravura, Harrison opted for the former. But as soon as he did, he was heckled loudly and profanely by a man -- I'm guessing he was a tenor -- sitting a few rows beyond the orchestra. (How would you like to have spent the evening next to that guy?) Then, after an astoundingly brief moment of silence -- I'm guessing it was the length of a hemidemisemiquaver -- Harrison dashed off stage. As for
"Boheme," it certainly is a sturdy work. Little seems to hurt it -- not a cruel heckler with a bitter memory, not even a so-so Rodolfo.
Chew that man out
Not only is tobacco-chewing bad for the chewer's health, its secondary effects can be harmful as well, at least aesthetically. (What I mean is, y'all gotta be in the right mood to see a man spittin' chaw. Last time I seen it was during a prayer meetin' with bunch of guys, and a fella name Scott kept splutterin' in a cup, but nobody paid no nevermind. If you're a woman, well, you can have your whole system shocked by a fella expectoratin' puce juice all over the place.) Just the other day, a woman from Parkville described a disturbing scene on a light rail train. "This really cute guy got on the train," she said. "And I mean real cute. He had a nice suit on. He was carrying a briefcase and an empty bottle of Pepsi. Every few seconds, he'd lift the bottle to his mouth and spit brown tobacco juice into it. And sometimes he'd get the juice on his hands and he'd be wiping it all over the back of the seats. It was one of the most repulsive things I've ever seen. He got off at Falls Road." (That figures. The Falls Road stop is right near a WaWa.)
Do shoppers get popcorn?
While searching for nostalgic visions around Baltimore, you might see the movie marquee on Route 40, near Westview, and && mistake it for the original sign for the Edmondson Drive-In once located at that site. Alas, there is now a Home Depot where the drive-in used to be. So what gives here? Home Depot has, in fact, removed the original drive-in marquee. However, the company commissioned and installed a replica of it, hoping to pay homage to the old drive-in and do some cute advertising by using movie titles that relate to items on sale. (I'm a sucker for cute, aren't you?) The sign currently reads: "Special Showing, The Lawnmower Man." (Home Depot is selling lots of lawn mowers this time of year, see, and there's a cyberpunk cult film called "Lawnmower Man," get it?) This has tremendous possibilities for Home Depot. I'm imagining the coming attractions and specials: "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," "The Bad Seed," "Edward Scissorhands," "Soylent Green (is people, is peep-pull!)" and the Hitchcock thriller "Rear Double-Hung Window."
Cheese it, the recipe cops!
As we all know, Velveeta has many uses, from trout bait to cheap sauces for trashy delights. Photographs that accompany recipes -- on calendars, in magazines -- will often depict some yellow glop on chicken or broccoli, and I just know there are people who, upon seeing these photographs, immediately think
"Velveeta." For them, any dish that is yellow and runny or yellow and gloppy must include the cheesy substitute. (At a "gourmet gala" held in a Baltimore hotel four years ago, a "celebrity chef" actually grated Velveeta onto shrimp and called the result "scallops au fromage.") I mention all this because two readers, Rita Gifford and Cindy Lang, responded to a recent column in which I mentioned how Velveeta would trash up a hollandaise. Both women say that a hollandaise sauce would never include Velveeta because a hollandaise recipe doesn't call for cheese. "Actually, hollandaise is made of butter, eggs, lemon juice and cayenne pepper," Ms. Lang tells me. "The sauce containing cheese is called Mornay and starts as a basic bechamel." Well, aren't we the culinarily purist! Listen, folks, if you've been using Velveeta in a sauce and calling it hollandaise, fine. Enjoy the bliss.