Baltimore Jewish Film Festival
If the recent Academy Awards have temporarily sated your appetite for hype, you might enjoy some films off the beaten red carpet. The 14th annual Baltimore Jewish Film Festival, which opens at 8:30 p.m. Saturday and runs throughout the month, will introduce seven films never before seen in the Baltimore area. (Two are documentaries.) The lineup includes movies from Israel, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, France, Belgium, Hungary and the United States. The films are: I Am Alive and I Love You(above), based on a true story (8:30 p.m. Saturday); The Optimists, about the survival of Bulgaria's Jewish community during the Holocaust (7:30 p.m. Tuesday); Time of Favor, a political thriller (7 p.m. April 14); Hamele, which deals with marrying outside the Jewish religion (8:45 p.m. April 20); The Komediant, about the Jewish-American equivalent of the Von Trapp family (3 p.m. April 21); Spring of Life, about efforts by the Nazis to breed an Aryan master race (7:30 p.m. April 25); and Just Looking, a coming-of-age comedy directed by Jason Alexander of Seinfeld fame (8:45 p.m. April 27). Screenings will be at the Gordon Center for Performing Arts, 3506 Gwynnbrook Ave., Owings Mills. Tickets cost $7. For information, call 410-542-4900.
AT THE BALTIMORE ARENA
It's one of the great love stories of all time -- a romance between a sharecropper's son and his blues guitar. The legendary B.B. King will strum his "Lucille" for one night only at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Baltimore Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St. King has dominated the blues scene for more than three decades, since appearances on The Tonight Show in 1969 and The Ed Sullivan Show in 1971 first brought him to the attention -- and acclaim -- of mainstream America. He has won virtually every major award given to a musician, including seven Grammy Awards, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Joining King in the spotlight will be another B.B. -- Bobby "Blue" Bland -- and Clarence Carter. Tickets cost $40-$45 and can be bought by calling 410-347-2010 or 410-481-SEAT or by visiting www.ticketmaster.com.
"What happens to a dream deferred?" the writer Langston Hughes famously asked. A central figure in the Harlem Renaissance, Hughes used his poetry, essays, plays and novels to attack racial and social injustice. One hundred years after his birth, Hughes' eloquent -- and elegant -- verse finally is getting its due. Experience it for yourself at 6:30 p.m. today during a centennial celebration at the Enoch Pratt Central Library, 400 Cathedral St., that will feature a free performance by Word Beat. Baritone Charles Williams and percussionist Tom Teasley combine rhythm and melody with writings by Hughes and former South African president Nelson Mandela, and with spirituals once sung by slaves, into a tapestry of meaning and sound. For information, call 410-396-5430.
Holocaust Remembrance Day
For those who attend Baltimore's service marking Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, local Holocaust survivors will provide a living link to the tragedy that claimed 6 million lives. Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley also are expected to attend the annual service, which will include a candle-lighting ceremony, a procession and recital of the memorial prayer. The free, community-wide observance begins at 2 p.m. Sunday at the War Memorial Building, Lexington and Gay streets. Call 410-542-4850.
Timber-racing season begins
Saturday's steeplechase races at Atlanta Hall Farm might just be an idyllic way to spend a weekend afternoon in Maryland in the spring: After a picnic in the country, you can watch sleek horses soar over jumps. The gates open at 11 a.m. at the farm on Pocock Road west of Jarrettsville Pike in Monkton. Six races, some over an obstacle course and some on flat ground, will begin at 11:30 a.m., and will launch the timber-racing season. Visitors can bring their own food or buy pit beef sandwiches and beverages during the races. Admission: $25 per car. Call 410-771-4601.
Open Studio tour
Can't wait three more long months until Artscape? You can beat the crowds, get a peek at new creations from more than 100 area studios, and hobnob with the artists this weekend during School 33's 14th annual Open Studio tour. There's a free reception and party Friday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at School 33 Art Center, 1427 Light St. Studios south of North Avenue will be open Saturday from noon to 5 p.m., while studios north of North Avenue will be open the same hours on Sunday. Perhaps the easiest way to hit the most spots is to take the Big Bus Tour, led by School 33's director, Peter Dubeau, and Baltimore artist Kevin Wolff. The cost for the bus tour is $15 each day for adults, and $10 each day for children younger than 12. Call 410-396-4641.
The 3 Ring Spring Fling