The Big Three

October 05, 2006

THEATER

TO BE OR NOT TO BE . . . FUNNY

If your thirst for Shakespeare is great but your time is short, drop by the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival, where, beginning tomorrow, you can take in all of the Bard's 37 plays in less than two hours.

This fast-forward approach comes in the form of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), a comic romp written by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield (founders of the Reduced Shakespeare Company).

Under Tony Tsendeas' direction, actors James Kinstle, Bolton Marsh and Ben Kingsland will indulge in everything from rap to slapstick, with a few satirical stabs at current events thrown in just for good measure.

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The Baltimore Shakespeare Festival performs at the Elizabethan Stage at St. Mary's, 3900 Roland Ave. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 5 p.m. Sundays, with matinees at 10 a.m. Oct. 11, 12, 19, 25 and 26, through Oct. 29. Tickets are $25. Call 410-366-8596 or go to baltimoreshakespeare.org.

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[J. WYNN ROUSUCK]

FESTIVAL

WEEKEND OFFERS TASTE OF GERMANY

Come for the schnitzel and the bratwurst, the oompah and polka music and the German crafts, but stay for the Gemutlichkeit (fellowship and friendliness) at the 37th annual Maryland Oktoberfest. The weekend event, taking place at the Fifth Regiment Armory, features continuous live German music, dancing, authentic crafts and goods for sale, an array of foods and desserts, German beers, wines and more.

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Oktoberfest runs noon-11 p.m. Saturday and noon-8 p.m. Sunday at the Fifth Regiment Armory, Howard and 29th Division streets. Admission $6; free for age 11 and younger. Call 410-522-4144 or go to www.md-germans.org.

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[LORI SEARS]

MUSIC

MUSICIANS, DJS CONVERGE ON DRUID HILL PARK

So you're a music buff, eh? And maybe a summer of concerts wasn't enough for you. Maybe the Virgin Festival just whetted your musical appetite. So maybe you need to visit the Baltimore Music Conference on Saturday at Druid Hill Park.

The event -- hardly a "conference," but rather a festival -- features about 80 performers, from rock and funk bands to swing dancers to hip-hop DJs, all live on nine stages. The event showcases new, unsigned, local, national and international artists looking to gain some exposure in Charm City.

The day's lineup is scheduled to include local band Payola Reserve (pictured), Honeychuck, the Perfect Poor, DJ Clark Kent, Charm City Swing and many others. And in addition to the nonstop music, visitors can enjoy food and drinks, learn about local venues and nightclubs, purchase music merchandise and more.

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The Baltimore Music Conference runs noon-9 p.m. Saturday at Druid Hill Park. Tickets are $10; $5 students and seniors. Go to bmcon.org.

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[LORI SEARS]

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