I LOVE TO BE FED and entertained, so I think dinner theaters are great. Longfellow Elementary School has improved the concept by moving it up a few hours and producing the Longfellow Lunch Theater.
The theater's second season premieres Friday under the direction of music teacher Nancy Terrill. Round tables will be wheeled across the hall from the cafeteria to the music room and spread with tablecloths, creating "a more intimate setting" for the invited guests, Ms. Terrill said.
About 40 students, staff members and parents will eat lunch and be entertained by third- , fourth- and fifth-graders who passed an audition and have rehearsed with Ms. Terrill.
Friday's performers include the instrumental trio of Elise Feldman, Laura Zimmerman and Caitlin McGing; magicians David Gers and Tim Ahn; pianist Daniel Ahn; and a song and dance interpretation by Megan Royden and Dierdre Martin.
Dancers Cynthia Jacinthe, Chanel Kelly, Brittany Bell, Shannine Bright, Kia Burt, Whitney Blissett and Tiyana Johnson will perform a number they choreographed.
Lunch theater performances will be held about once a month for the rest of the school year, Ms. Terrill said.
Some merchants at the Dorsey's Search Village Center went above and beyond the call of community relations Friday when they returned -- a couple of hours after closing time and in a soaking rain -- to hand out goodies to neighborhood children trick-or-treating.
The village Halloween party included a 7:30 p.m. trip to the
shopping center and, despite the deluge, plenty of umbrella- wielding parents were escorting little witches and Power Rangers from store to store.
Most establishments were still open, and employees cheerfully handed out candy. Outside the locked and darkened Heavenly Ham store, employee Heather Jacobs huddled under the awning, giving out treats and smiles.
At Parcel Plus, owner Jed Castelbaum stood outside with bags of goodies well after closing.
A royal family
Albert "Red" Heffner returned home to Town Center last week after spending a month in England with his daughter Lady Carla Carlisle; her husband, Sir Kenneth Carlisle; and their 6-year-old son, Sam.
Mr. Heffner's son-in-law has been a member of Parliament since 1979 and was knighted last year in honor of his service to the government. Lady Carla is an internationally known writer on travel, food and wine.
Mr. Heffner spent time at the family's flat in London and at Wyken, their 16th-century Suffolk estate of gardens, farms and a prize-winning vineyard.
Mr. Heffner finds his daughter's new title amusing.
"It's hard to take it too seriously when you've changed her diaper," he said.
Grandson Sam, who visits Columbia regularly, is a fan of McDonald's and the Teen-age Mutant Ninja Turtles, who he has pronounced "brilliant."
Students at Clemens Crossing Elementary School were thrilled Thursday by the sight of the entire Atholton High School marching band stepping briskly down Quarterstaff Road in full uniform and turning in at the elementary school parking lot.
The Atholton band's performance was one highlight in a day full of special events at the elementary school's Autumnfest, said Bev Lawall, PTA coordinator for the annual event.
Students spent the day outdoors under a dazzling autumn sun, moving from one activity to another, Ms. Lawall said.
A Civil War re-enactment, a performance by an opera singer, Native American dancers and decoy carving were among the activities offered in addition to the more traditional pumpkin painting and scarecrow making with Principal Jacqueline Lazarewicz and Assistant Principal Tony Yount.
Wayne Waite, a Clemens Crossing parent, loaned a section of his "Castle Challenge" for the day's team building games. Mr. Waite has created activities with a medieval theme for local Cub Scouts.
Parent Susie Wertz oversaw the donation of 100 apple and pumpkin pies for the day's culminating "Pie with Pals" feast.
Gloria Konick, the school's media assistant, recruited the day's speakers.
With the subject of covenant compliance a hot topic in Hickory Ridge, the village board is devoting a good chunk of Monday night's meeting to a discussion of the rules and how best to enforce them.
Leave complaints about a specific property at home, board members ask. But they do urge residents to share their opinions on enforcement philosophy.
The discussion begins at 8 p.m. at the Hawthorn Neighborhood Center.
'Wilde and Wonderful'
Bravo! is the catchy name of the consortium of area artisans holding a one-day sale of gifts from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 11 at Slayton House in Wilde Lake.
The group took its formerly private event public two years ago, and continues this season with the "Wilde and Wonderful" show and sale.
Items for sale will include tableware, jewelry, pottery, baskets, clothing and furniture, with prices starting at about $10, said Mary Kay Sigaty, the Wilde Lake resident coordinating the event.
About 25 artisans will participate, said Ms. Sigaty, who creates jewelry of glass, gold and silver.
Jewelry maker Joanie Scofield, who also lives in Wilde Lake, is another participant.
Admission is free, and refreshments will be served.
Donations made by Bravo! artisans benefit the Slayton House program to display artwork created in local schools.