Hopping down to the harbor The Easter Bunny will take...

BEST BETS

March 28, 2002|By Written by Mary Carole McCauley

Hopping down to the harbor

The Easter Bunny will take time out of his busy schedule of hiding eggs and delivering candy to visit Baltimore Sunday during the free annual Inner Harbor Easter Celebration at the Harborplace Amphitheatre. The event, which is sponsored by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts, takes place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (The Big Bunny will hop though Harborplace and the Gallery from noon to 4 p.m.) Performers at the amphitheater include the Saint Veronica's Youth Steel Orchestra from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and the Greg Thompkins Band, a jazz group, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Call 877-BALTIMORE.

Peking Acrobats

Kids, don't try this at home. At 3 p.m. Saturday, the Peking Acrobats bring their patented feet juggling, bowl balancing and pagoda of teetering chairs to the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St. Starting in 1952, this elite group of gymnasts, jugglers, cyclists and tumblers began displaying their graceful athleticism, strength and spectacle. Audiences were spellbound 50 years ago -- and still are today. Tickets cost $18-$40 for adults and $9-$40 for children ages 6-12. Call 410-783-8000.

Paula Poundstone at Senator

Comedy fans or the merely curious may want to check out Paula Poundstone's appearance tonight at the Senator Theatre. The comic, best known for her stand-up routine and appearances on the television game show To Tell the Truth, is performing a benefit for Health Care for the Homeless at 7 p.m. at the theater, 5904 York Road. Poundstone began performing at open-mike events in 1979, and a decade later won the American Comedy Award for best female stand-up. Audience members may wonder if her recent, high-profile conviction on child endangerment charges and court-ordered counseling for alcoholism will provide material for her routine. It's all grist for the mill. Tickets cost $35 and include unlimited popcorn and soda. Call 410-837-5533.

Museum's Masquerade Ball

Get out your dancing shoes -- the Great Blacks in Wax Museum is presenting its annual Masquerade Ball Saturday. Guests are encouraged to wear historical costumes, African-heritage attire or semi-formal dress. There will be prizes for the three best costumes, including a fur-hat care package and a night's stay at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore. Enjoy a full dinner menu, cash bar, door prizes and dancing to music provided by the Brian Spencer Group and DJ Big Jim Station of WEAA-FM. 8 p.m. to midnight at the Forum, 4210 Primrose Ave. Tickets: $50 per person, $90 per couple. Call 410-563-7809.

Boney James at the Meyerhoff

Consider yourselves warned: Fans describe Boney James' sensuous blend of funk, R&B and jazz as "baby-making music." Tuesday at 8 p.m., the saxophonist, keyboardist, producer and songwriter brings his act to the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St. "People are always telling me how they use [the music] as an aphrodisiac," James says in a press release. "Hey, it's a beautiful thing." James' most recent album is Ride. It's his eighth and the third consecutive disc to strike gold. Not bad for a former pizza deliveryman. Tickets, which cost $24.50, $32.50 and $40, can be bought at all TicketMaster locations and by calling 410-481-SEAT.

'Cats' comes to the Lyric

A mere 18 months after closing an 18-year run on Broadway, America's favorite felines have begun another of their nine lives. Cats, Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical version of Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats (a book of children's verse by T.S. Eliot), will have an eight-performance run at the Lyric Opera House from Tuesday through April 7. The musical is notable for its most famous song, "Memory," and for its imaginative costumes and staging. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets cost $26-$56 and can be bought at the Lyric box office, 140 W. Mount Royal Ave., at any TicketMaster outlet, or by calling 410-481-SEAT.

'Mamma Mia!' It's ABBA

Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols reportedly was an ABBA fan, and so was Elvis Costello. And so, it seems, are a generation of aging yuppies who once thought they didn't want to hear Dancing Queen ever again. Mamma Mia! opens tonight at the National Theatre in Washington, and advance ticket sales were so strong that four extra weeks of performances already have been added. The musical nominally has a plot featuring a feisty, single mom in her 40s and her daughter, who dreams of romance, but it's really just an excuse to showcase 28 songs by the 1970s Swedish pop group. Admit it: Deep down inside, you really want to hum along to Knowing Me, Knowing You. Performances are 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays and 7:30 p.m. Sundays at the theater, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. Through June 8. Tickets cost $35 to $75, plus handling charges. Call 800-447-7400 or visit www.telecharge.com.

Passover performance

Demonstrating once again that there's a silver lining to every dark cloud, the Jewish Museum of Maryland is presenting a family program Sunday that stresses the positive side of the 10 great plagues that afflicted ancient Egypt. The program is in honor of the feast of Passover, which celebrates the exodus of the Jewish people from slavery. (The plagues played an instrumental role in freeing the captives.) Visitors will re-create the plagues -- including frogs, locusts and darkness -- through creative-art projects at interactive stations. The afternoon will culminate in a performance showcasing participants' creations. The program takes place from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the museum, 15 Lloyd St. Admission: $5 per family for members of the Jewish Museum; $8 per family for nonmembers. Call 410-732-6400 or visit www.jewishmuseummd.org.

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