Get Out: Top weekend events

Your guide to the week's best arts and entertainment

August 12, 2010

Baltimore Restaurant Week (and Baltimore County Restaurant Week) Have you longed to try one of Baltimore's fancier restaurants, but felt you couldn't afford it or had no idea what to order? Baltimore Summer Restaurant Week, starting today and running through Aug. 22, tries to address both those roadblocks by offering fixed menus at reduced prices — $35.10 for a three-course dinner, $20.10 for lunch — at 100 city restaurants, from Mount Vernon's Abacrombie Fine Foods to Fells Point's Ze Mean Bean. And this year, not wanting to be outdone, Baltimore Couty is following suit, offering the same deal on the same days at the same prices in 14 county restaurants. Information, including a list of participating restaurants: baltimorerestaurantweek.com or baltimorecountyrestaurantweek.com. For more on summer restaurant week, turn to Page --.

Baltimore Improv Festival Comics from New York, Washington, Philadelphia, Boston, even Ohio (now there's a funny state) are descending on Charm City this weekend for the fourth annual Baltimore Improv Festival. Besides nightly comedy shows, the four-day festival, which began Thursday, includes improv comedy workshops for aspiring comics of all skill levels. The nightly shows include iMusical, the Washington Improv Theater's full musical from an audience member's one-word suggestion (Saturday); Philadelphia's "Ladies & Gentlemen: Rodgers & Hammerstein are Dead" (today) and the Baltimore Improv Group's "Evan the Loyal," in which a comedic duo becomes a trio by enlisting the help of an unsuspecting audience member (Saturday). The laughs roll off the stage through Sunday at the Creative Alliance at the Patterson, 3134 Eastern Ave. Ticket prices for individual shows or package deals range from $12-$50; workshop tickets are $30 and $45. Information, including a full schedule: baltimoreimprovfestival.org or 410-276-1651

FestAfrica 2010 Baltimore's eighth annual African festival, FestAfrica 2010, offers food, vendors and a full weekend of activities. Highlights include a concert by African hip-hop and R&B artist 2 Face Idibia, a winner of awards from both MTV Europe and MTV Africa (5 p.m. Saturday); a parade of nations, led by Afro-Brazilian band Batala Washington, in which marchers are asked to display their country's flag; and dance competitions. The festival runs noon-8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in Patterson Park, at the corner of Eastern and Linwood avenues. Tickets are $5-$15. Information: 410-608-0420 or festafricausa.com

Howard County Fair The 65th annual Howard County Fair runs through Saturday, with highlights including: a 4-H livestock sale (6:15 p.m. today); chain saw carving demonstrations (1, 3, 5 and 7:30 p.m. daily); radio-controlled stock car racing (6:30 and 8 p.m. daily, plus 2, 3:30 and 5 p.m. Saturday); and concerts featuring country music from Richie Fields (7 p.m. today) and country/blues from Mindy Miller Music (7:30 and 9 p.m. Saturday). All that, plus pig races (noon, 3, 6 and 8 p.m. daily), pony rides (10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily) and a carnival midway (3 p.m.-11 p.m. today, noon-11 p.m. Saturday). Hours are 8 a.m.-11 p.m. daily; tickets are $5, $2 for seniors 62 and older, free for kids 10 and under. Information: 410-442-1022 or howardcountyfair.com. Read more about the fair on Page --.

Shelby Lynne Virginia native Shelby Lynne, who plays Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis tonight, hit the country music scene hard in 1999, winning a Grammy as best new artist (although she'd been performing for more than a decade; the Grammys aren't the world's most up-to-date awards) for her breakthrough album, "I Am Shelby Lynne." She has released five albums since then, including her heartfelt tribute to Dusty Springfield, 2008's "Just a Little Lovin'," and this year's "Tears, Lies, and Alibis." She's also made inroads as an actress, playing Johnny Cash's mother, Carrie, in 2005's "Walk the Line." Showtime at Rams Head, 33 West St., is 8:30 p.m. and tickets are $33. Information: 410-268-4545 or ramsheadonstage.com

Annapolis Art Walk Food, music and, most important, heaps of art will be the order of the night this Thursday, when 26 Annapolis-area art galleries, stretching from Chase Street to Eastport, join in the 20th annual Annapolis Art Walk. And not only will art be on display, but many of the artists themselves will be demonstrating their work, at skills including oil, watercolor, ceramics, sculpture and jewelry. The festivities run from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Information: artinannapolis.com/artwalk

"Eat Pray Love" Julia Roberts is an American woman, newly divorced, who decides that true happiness is best found in a trip around the world. Based on the super-selling memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert. Also stars Billy Crudup, Javier Bardem, James Franco and Viola Davis. Opens in theaters today. See a review on Page --.

Chris Kaltenbach

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