A certain uninvited guest by the name of Isabel crashed several fund-raisers last weekend. But leave it to us Mur-landers not to let anyone or anything ruin a good party.
"Do the ideas of chainsaws and decorating go well together?' asks Historic Ellicott City executive director Janet Kusterer. Chainsaws were what was used to cut away trees Isabel kicked onto the road leading up to the group's 19th Decorator Show House, Valhalla in Marriottsville. The original kickoff preview party was postponed from Thursday, Sept. 18, to the following Monday night. But wouldn't you know it. ...
"We barely got the ribbon cut when the rains started again," Janet says as she laughs. "We're in the catering tent, which then started leaking. And just when the party was supposed to end around 9:30, the power went out." Janet says everyone had a great time anyway.
Meanwhile, Living Class-rooms Foundation pulled a quick switch with its annual Maritime Magic shindig. Instead of throwing the bash at its open air Inner Harbor East campus, the gang, with the help of big Living Classrooms booster Brian Billick, moved the Friday night party to M&T Bank Stadium. Spokesperson Amy Getz says about 1,200 people came, some probably because a lack of power at home made them want to go someplace and have fun. And have fun was what everyone did -- dancing to the Bonerama, the Radiators and the Iguanas -- raising a little heck and more than $210,000 in the process.
Sunday, the Abilities Network had its Afternoon of Polo plan-ned at Ladew Fields in Monkton. But the ground was so wet from Izzy that it would have been too dangerous for the horses to play the game. That didn't stop about 325 folks from showing up and turning the afternoon into a lovely garden party -- and collecting more than $30,000 for the Network.
However, Isabel did prove to be a real party pooper for a couple of parties. Women Entrepre-neurs of Baltimore rescheduled its annual "Taste of WEB," in which local women chefs prepare all sorts of delights, from Friday, Sept. 19, to Friday, October 10. Same place, Evergreen Carriage House. Same time, 6-10 p.m. Same phone number for $50 tickets, 410-727-4921.
And then there was the big Hairspray performance and post-show blowout planned for that Thursday night for the benefit of AIDS Action Baltimore. As the winds whipped up, the Mechanic Theatre canceled that night's show. So, the party that would've been held at the Hippo afterward was also shut down. AIDS Action's Jeffrey Grabelle says the group is offering refunds for those who send their tickets back. But there's a silver lining to this one, too. Lots of those benefit ticket holders are just telling the AIDS Action folks to keep the money as a donation, including the money that would have gone to the theater. Now, that deserves a standing ovation!
Speaking of Hairspray, opening night was a big success. And so was the post-show cast party at Ruth's Chris Steak House and the Havana Club. Cast members like Bruce Vilanch, mingled with loads of local folks -- Scott Lindy, Adrian Harpool, Jim Dolan, Roger Demick, Vincent De Paul, Steve DeCastro, Bill Hopkinson, Mary Sue McCarthy -- just to name a few. And we haven't touched on all the "kids" who were on the old Buddy Deane Show, on which Hairspray is based. Charlie LoPresto pointed out some of his fellow "Deaners," like Mary Fischer Cooke, Lola Jones, Sue Bennett Costello, Anne Boyer, Vicki DeFeo Burley, Concetta Comi Sankonis, Linda Warehime Snyder, Mary Lou Raines Barber and Billy Schaffer. And then we lost count.
Oh, and then there was Hairspray originator John Waters and his merry band of men and women: Pat Moran, Vince Peranio, Delores DeLuxe, Bob Adams, John's parents. Now, how could a party like that be anything but great?
A week earlier, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Cen-ter held its benefit pre-show party and performance of Hair-spray.
About 300 folks came, including Johns Hopkins Health Sys-tems president Ron Peterson, Bayview chief Gregory Schaffer and JH Medicine top honcho Dr. Edward Miller.
Three couples demonstrated some of the dances that were popular on the Buddy Deane Show to the crowd. The whole she-bang garnered some $100,000 for Bayview.
Oct. 2: "A Vintage Evening at Oregon Ridge." Benefits CASA of Baltimore County. Wine tasting, martini bar, heavy hors d'oeuvres, live music. Oregon Ridge Lodge, 13401 Beaver Dam Road, Hunt Valley. 6 p.m. Tickets $45. Call 410-828-0515.
Oct: 3: "Golden Blessings of Old Age / Out of the Mouths of Babes Exhibition Preview Party." Benefits American Vi-sionary Art Museum. Live music, performance by Sixty Karats, view new exhibition. AVAM, 800 Key Highway. 7 p.m. Tickets $10 at door. Call 410-244-1900.
Oct. 3: "11th Annual Edition of the Harbor Gala." Benefits Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Open bar, hors d'oeuvres, seated dinner, live music, dancing, casino-style games, Monopoly theme. Marriott Waterfront Ho-tel, 700 Aliceanna St. 7 p.m. Tickets $225. Call 410-628-0795.