RESERVE YOUR tickets today for "The Nutcracker," presented by the Columbia Figure Skating Club on Dec. 12 and 19 at Columbia Ice Rink, 5876 Thunder Hill Road.
Those who hesitate will miss seeing the spectacular show; the club's performances are sold out every year.
The production has become a Columbia tradition. And one-quarter of the cast of 100 skaters -- plus artistic director Pat Muth -- are east Columbians.
It's a family affair, too.
Among the skaters from our neighborhood are Amanda, Amy, Alicia and Chuck Buckler, Stephanie, Mark Jr. and Mark Mangus and Jennifer, Sarah, Chris and Jane Thorne.
So are the families of Brendan and Brianna Kitchelt and Shana and Jason Weisberg.
Also among the east Columbians are skaters Amy Adler, Ariel Andrew, Nina Charity, Lisa Headen, Melissa Ivester, Allison Moody, Alexandra North, Ryann Pfeferstein, Sydney Sogler, Pat Stephens and Jessica Straub.
Eighty-five percent of the cast are children, and "The Nutcracker" on ice is an opportunity for families to see accomplished skaters, some of whom have competed in south Atlantic regional, eastern regional and national events.
Publicity chair Meryl Eddy said that an added incentive for the skaters is that their performances are recognized by the U.S. Figure Skating Association.
Two performances -- at 4: 45 p.m. and 6 p.m. -- will be held each Saturday.
Tickets, which cost $6: 410-461-9948.
Neighbor in 'Nutcracker'
Margaret Lockhart is dancing with the National Ballet Company in "The Nutcracker."
Margaret, an eighth-grader at Owen Brown Middle School, has been studying the Cecchetti method of classical ballet for nine years in Columbia and Washington.
Elaine McHale Seidman is her instructor at Backstage Dance Studio in Columbia, and Pamela Moore -- artistic director of the National Ballet -- is her instructor at National's Crofton studio.
Margaret's parents are Virginia and Stephen Lockhart.
Performances will be held in mid-December at Prince George's Community College for student audiences from schools in Howard, Montgomery, Baltimore, Queen Anne's and Anne Arundel counties.
East Columbian Shirley Johannesen Levine shares her talents with students, too.
Using puppets, mime and music, the puppeteer invited audience participation in her performances, "Colorful Characters Come Alive with Puppets and Poems," at Phelps Luck Elementary School this month.
Levine and Carol Lowe are neighbors, and the idea for the performances was a joint effort.
Professionally, Lowe is a tutor with Fundamentals First and enjoys working with children.
She and Levine created the puppets. Lowe is the pianist for the shows.
Levine's performances for primary students include a marionette dancer the size of a 3- or 4-year-old, a 7 1/2 -foot dragon and puppets made from "easy to find," or recycled, items.
Presentations for the upper elementary grades include Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "Paul Revere's Ride" and Lewis Carroll's "The Jabberwocky."
Levine is part of the Artist-in-Education Program of the Maryland State Arts Council.
She received the 1998 Frederick Douglass Award for "Outstanding and Innovative Programs in Communications" from the Maryland Council of Teachers of English Language Arts.
The east Columbia 50+ center has canceled its Black & White Ball, scheduled Dec. 10.
A "Jingle Jangle" holiday party is planned from 11 a.m. to p.m. Dec. 15 at the center.
Music and door prizes are planned. The cost is $1.
A Hanukkah party is planned from 10: 30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 14.
Children from Bet Yeladim nursery school will sing. Potato pancakes will be served with lunch.
Reservations are requested. The cost is $1 plus a lunch donation.
The deadline for prepaid reservations for the Columbia Teen Center trip to the "Sweetest Place on Earth" is Monday .
Director Bobbi Whyte reports that the center-sponsored trip to Hershey, Pa., is an overnight (Dec. 5 and 6) for young people ages 11-14 that includes the Chocolate World Tour, Holiday Candy Lane and Zoo America.
The cost is $65 for residents; $78 for others. Meals are not included.
Campaign for reading, needy
Reading specialist Nancy Mendoza reports that Thunder Hill Elementary School students -- kindergarten through fifth grade -- successfullycompleted their Read For A Need incentive program.
The need was blankets for people in need.
When the children finished a book, they brought a form with their name, their parents' signatures and the book title for class records.
Then they drew a picture related to something in the book.
The picture was affixed to a "book square" on a blanket.
The school supplied three blankets; Colosseum Gym and Fitness -- an education partner of the school -- donated three; and Oakland Mills Village Center donated one.
During an assembly, the two children from each class who had read the most books presented their blankets to Kathy DiMoto of the Grassroots Crisis Center.
Allison Winslow's artwork is on display at retail stores throughout the United States.
When Allison, who now attends Hammond Middle School, was in third grade at Guilford Elementary School, her design was a winner in Save the Children Federation's art competition.
This year, the Salant Tie Manufacturing. Co., a sponsor of the competition, decided to use Allison's computer art design on its ties.
Allison will receive a $500 savings bond, and a percentage of sales will be donated to Save the Children.
Pub Date: 11/24/98