Kids steal the show at McDonald House gala


Eats: dining reviews, Hot Stuff

May 13, 2004|By Sloane Brown | Sloane Brown,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

What was it W.C. Fields once said? "Never act with children or animals. You can't win." Unless you're Baltimore's Ronald McDonald House. The house recently had its annual gala at the Marriott Waterfront Hotel, and some of the guests are still talking about how four children stole the show. They had spent time at the Ronald McDonald House with their families while being treated at Baltimore area hospitals for serious illnesses. Rachael Joyce, Montague Totten and Jade Shapiro all shared emceeing duties with former Baltimore Colt and big Ronald McDonald House supporter Joe Ehrmann. And then Tara Veigas blew the crowd away with her singing.

"They were all just tremendous," Joe said.

Meyerhoff merriment

Speaking of incredible voices, what a performance at the "Symphony Rocks!" last weekend! And we're talking about what happened after the main show of the night. It was also absolutely fab.

Incredible acrobats, aerialists and strongmen performed on the Meyerhoff stage, to music by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Then the party hit full steam with food stations from restaurants galore and a whole passel of fun and games -- all set up in the Meyerhoff lobby and in a tent outside. There was dancing, the world's largest Twister game, henna-tattoo artists, magicians and jugglers.

And there was the karaoke stage, where patrons and passers-by had their socks knocked off by singer Gina Overton. The secretary at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine's medical imaging department performed Alicia Keys' "Falling" -- and put Keys to shame. Come to think of it, Gina had the same effect on would-be karaokers. When she finished, no one else would get on stage. Who'd wanna follow an act like that?

Ray's birthday

Word is another knockout singer -- Patti LaBelle -- was the main act at Ray Lewis' birthday party last week. She and teen R&B hottie Mario performed at the private bash Ray threw for dozens of his closest friends. That shindig followed two days of more public get-togethers that raised a couple hundred grand for the Ray Lewis Foundation, which provides funds to local nonprofits aimed at helping the Baltimore area's disadvantaged youth.

There was the Ray Lewis Celebrity Auction Thursday night, and the Celebrity Bowling Tournament Friday night. All three events had a healthy sprinkling of sports and entertainment stars, including Evander Holyfield, Cecil Fielder, Deion Sanders, Michael Irvin, Shannon Sharpe, Rod Woodson, Steve McNair, Donovan McNabb, Tracy McGrady, Peter Boulware, Ed Reed, Laveranues Coles, Kyle Boller, Nick Van Exel, Adalius Thomas, Danerien McCants, Terry Jones Jr., Gary Baxter, Will Demps, Gary Baxter, Gerome Sapp, Cornell Brown, Chad Williams, Kevin Johnson, Orlando Brown, Anthony Weaver, Jaleel White (Steve Urkel from TV's Family Matters), Steve Bisciotti, Dick Cass, Mike Solwold, Lawyer Milloy, Dave Zastudil, Peter Warrick, Larry Hughes and Sharmba Mitchell.

Fame in the air?

If you're flying Southwest in or out of Baltimore Washington International Airport in the next four months, you could be a star. That's because A&E has just started shooting part of its second season of Airline at BWI. And the cable network is looking for Southwest passengers with interesting stories.

There's a local-boy-made-good at the helm. Scott Mislan graduated from Severna Park High School in 1984 and is now a big-time producer/director based in Los Angeles. You've probably seen his work. Scott has directed more than 150 national TV commercials for such companies as McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Ford and Chevrolet. He's also produced and directed two shows for the Ultimate Albums series on VH1 and done a lot of shows for Fox Kids, Fox Family and ABC Family channels.

Last season, A&E filmed Airline out of Chicago and L.A. But this year, Scott says, the network wanted to include Baltimore because, first, it wanted more action, and second, BWI is one of the highest-volume hubs for Southwest.

"It's really cool," Scott says. "I was so excited to get the job because I knew I could come home for more than just a few days, and work and see my family."

In the first week here, he says, he had one crew fly up from Louisville, following the Triple Crown trophy from the Kentucky Derby to the Preakness. When I spoke to him, he was getting ready to interview Ravens player Todd Heap and then send another crew with a group of Baltimore school kids as they travel to Birmingham, Ala., to visit the Civil Rights Museum.

The crew will be filming through the end of August. So, Scott encourages anyone who might have an interesting Southwest travel story to contact the network at Click on Airline, and e-mail them your story. Scott might send a crew on your trip with you!

To submit tips, ideas and possible items for Hot Stuff, send e-mail to or fax to 410-675-3451.

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