Cops rob punch line from 'Star Wars'

This Just In...

February 14, 1997|By DAN RODRICKS

The scene: York Road, in front of the Senator Theatre, Tuesday night, a little after 10. Another sold-out screening of "Star Wars." The crowd empties onto the light-bright sidewalk and moves down the road to the parking lot behind Staples. A police cruiser, with two young officers in the front, crawls along with the human traffic. One of the cops picks up a microphone and, through the cruiser's loudspeaker, does his best Darth Vader: "Luke, I am your father. I am your father, Luke."

Big laughs in the night, according to Susan Caro and Steve Quinn, who were there. (Of course, a trilogy novice - if one exists - might want to nail this guy for violation of City Ordinance 11-14: Giving away the ultimate punch line from "The Empire Strikes Back.")

Ashes to ashes

Here's a strange one: On AshWednesday - "Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return" - Tom Darchicourt, a home improvement contractor, calls me in distress. He can't believe what he found on a bulk trash removal job at a recently vacated rowhouse in Southeast Baltimore: Two cans of human ashes. With name plates. The real thing.

"It's always struck me as odd the way people leave important things behind when they move out of a house," Darchicourt said. "I've always been amazed at the lack of reverence for family history, the way people will leave behind a child's report card or a photograph album. That report card, that album - that's something that goes from cherished family history one day to trash the next."

Hired to clean out the rowhouse on Lehigh Street, Darchicourt discovered the two cans of ashes under basement steps, along with a wedding album. "And, based on the [See Rodricks, 5b] names on the wedding announcements, it was the album of the two people in the cans," he said. "We're talking about somebody's mom and dad. I left them [the cans] on the washer." Everything else he threw away.

There's always 'Tomorrow'

If you didn't get to see "Annie" at the Mechanic, cheer up. A costumer tells me of at least three local productions in the Greater Patapsco Drainage Basin this spring. Does that make you smile, or what? I Sign on Reisterstown United Methodist: "Come in for a free faith lift." I Sometime, when you're looking for a lovely elegiac Italian film, get the video of "Three Brothers (Tre Fratelli)," by Francesco Rosi (1982), which has a wonderful performance by an actor named Charles Vanel, who was 89 when he made the film. (Video Americain has it.) I If you prefer something Irish - and spiritual, beautiful and sad - reach for a film called "Into the West." I Overheard at Yung's, the Guilford Avenue carryout that features spicy dishes from a certain Chinese province: "I need an order of that Saskatchewan chicken." I Overheard on talk radio: "You take chicken breast, right? And you pound it till it's tender, right? Then you put crab meat all over the top of it, right? And then you broil it. I'm tellin' ya: It tastes just like flounder!"

Tape plea registered

The Renaissance Institute's annual class project - to collect cash register tapes from Giant, Safeway, Super Fresh and Metro and redeem them for classroom computers for a city school with the greatest need and the best student attendance - is headed into its final weeks with contributions down significantly from last year. (The Giant strike might have been a factor.)

Renaissance has selected Mother Seton Academy, middle school for poor, high-risk children in Fells Point, as the recipient of this year's tapes. "We were most impressed by how much that school has been able to do with so little," says Norma Long, director of Renaissance. Deadline for contributions is March 1. Send receipts to:

Save the Tapes, Renaissance Institute, College of Notre Dame of Maryland, 4701 N. Charles St., Baltimore 21210-2476.

Squash this pest

With so many other good films out there, something tells me I might miss "The Pest," said to be John Leguizamo's "breakout" film. (Unfortunately for Leguizamo, not many film-goers "broke in" to see it last weekend. It was 12th nationally with a $1.8 million box office.) The film's humor is said to be based in gastrointestinal distress, race-baiting and gay bashing, all most unfortunate because Leguizamo, the professional Latino, is supposedly capable of greater, smarter work. So far, he's best known as "the one who looked most like a woman" in "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar."

But before the movies he was getting raves for over-the-top one-man shows on stage, including his award-winning "Mambo Mouth," a blast at Hispanic machismo. It took some doing to get the rights, but Forum Theater will stage "Mambo Mouth" this month and next at its place in Pigtown, with Bill Toscano directing D.C. actor Peter K. Mendez. Baltimore graffiti artists will be splashing the set this weekend. Run starts Feb. 27.

Romantic suggestions

Suggestions for Valentine's Day romance from Sascha, Baltimore caterer and seduction consultant: "Have champagne and caviar while watching the sunset from Federal Hill; slurp oysters at Lexington Market; fill your beloved's car with red balloons; alternately nibble artichoke hearts and each other; paint each other's toenails red; dip strawberries in hot chocolate and feed to each other while watching 'Like Water for Chocolate'; press your lips to paper and fax your lover a kiss; grab a couple of beers and smooch near the Patterson Park pagoda."

Pub Date: 2/14/97

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