The Elvis invasion was a hit, as it is every year

HOT STUFF

Eats: dining reviews, Hot Stuff

December 09, 2004|By Sloane Brown | Sloane Brown,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

It was an Elvis-o-rama at Baltimore's Lithuanian Hall last weekend. The 11th annual Night of 100 Elvises -- two nights, actually -- was another sold-out success. Everywhere you looked, you'd see another version of the King. More than 50 Elvis impersonators and tribute artists performed nonstop on three stages Friday and Saturday nights.

"This is one of my favorite events, because of the way people react [to all of us performers]," tribute artist Danny Bissell noted.

"What makes this event so unique is that it's for the Johns Hopkins Children's Center. And all the [performers] have donated their time to be here," added singer Wayne Rippy, just before he hit the stage in his rhinestone jumpsuit.

A highlight came when event committee members Anita and Sam Rozenel presented event founder Carole Carroll with a "Doctorate of Elvis." If she hasn't earned that degree, we don't know who has!

Greek-Americans

Move over, My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Here comes Pizza Palace. This new flick -- a "coming-of-age story about growing up Greek-American in Baltimore" -- premiered at the Senator last week. Guest Gayle Economos says the movie and VIP parties were sold out.

"Everyone Greek-American was there," she says, "and half of them were also in the film."

Some of those she spotted -- Jeanne and Nick Tsakalos with son Michael, Georgia Vavas, the Rev. Constantine Moralis, Melanie Sabelhaus, Spyros Stavarakas, Dr. Constantine Lyketsos, Ernie Rafailides, Steve Mavronis and Anna Halikias. And let's not forget Maryland Film Office director Jack Gerbes and Department of Business and Economic Development chief Aris Melisseratos.

The whole shebang benefited the Copper Ridge Institute, which conducts research and education about caring for people with Alzheimer's and other memory-impairing disorders.

The movie was written by local Kyriakos Marudas and directed by Rod Lopez. Gayle says Rod has submitted it for consideration in the Sundance Film Festival, and he is looking for a distribution deal.

Improving literacy

The first party was held recently for the Center for Summer Learning, which operates programs to improve literacy skills of kids from Baltimore low-income families. About 150 people attended the dinner reception at Hopkins' Glass Pavilion -- among them, Marian Wright Edelman, the Children's Defense Fund founder/president.

Board member Dan King says the center has helped more than 5,000 inner-city kids bridge the learning gap and has trained more than 400 student teachers.

It was one of those former student teachers who really made the night memorable for Dan. Now a teacher at Barclay Elementary, Pablo Koropecky was presented with an award for overall leadership. Dan says Pablo's parents, Orest and Maria Koropecky, were there, in tears when Pablo accepted his award and paid tribute to their values and how they raised him.

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