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Your guide to the week's best arts and entertainment

February 04, 2011

'Jersey Boys' The 50-year career of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons — the biggest group in rock and roll, at least until The Beatles came along — is chronicled, celebrated and otherwise revisited in this exuberant Tony Award-winning musical. Actors playing each of the four original members — Valli, Tommy DeVito, Bob Gaudio and Nick Massi — take turns telling the band's story, as it rises from obscurity to massive popularity, followed by dissension, infighting, and then acceptance and rediscovery (the trajectory of pretty-much every rock band, come to think of it). And it's all backed by such classic songs as "Sherry," "Walk Like a Man" and "Big Man In Town." If nothing else, won't it be nice to revel in a New Jersey story that's neither "The Sopranos" nor "Jersey Shore"? Runs through Feb. 27 at the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center at the Hippodrome, 12 N. Eutaw St. Performances are at 8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, with matinees at 2 p.m. Saturdays and 1 p.m. Sundays (with an extra 2 p.m. show Feb. 24 and no evening performance Feb. 27).Tickets are $25-$80. Information: 410-547-7328 or For more on "Jersey Boys," turn to Page 14.

Baltimore Fire tour On. Feb. 7 and 8, 1904, fire raged through much of downtown Baltimore, destroying more than 1,500 buildings (including the offices of The Baltimore Sun), charring some 140 acres and causing more than $150 million in damage. The conflagration was a huge national story; cameramen sent by Thomas Edison were on hand to film much of the fire's aftermath. Devastated but hardly discouraged, the city came back strong, rebuilding and enforcing more stringent fire codes. To mark the Great Baltimore Fire's anniversary, the Fire Museum of Maryland's annual Great Baltimore Fire of 1904 Museum and Bus Tour begins with a slide show at the museum, moves on to a bus tour of much the affected area and concludes with a return visit to the museum, where many photographs and artifacts are on display. The tour begins at 1 p.m. Sunday at the museum, 1301 York Road in Lutherville. Tickets are $45 ($40 for museum members). Information: 410-321-7500 or

Tiny trains Model trains of all sizes and vintages will be on display and up for sale at this weekend's Great Scale Model Train Show and Railroad Marketplace. The show includes more than 800 vendor tables, dozens of displays and demonstrations, even a consignment table for those who have just an item or two to sell. Runs 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, 2200 York Road. Tickets are $9 Saturday (good for both days), $8 Sunday; kids under 15 get in free. Information:

'Concert for Hope' Area bands Mr. Wilson, Gypsy Dawg, Hippy Sheiks and Stone Deaf will be on stage Saturday at Towson's Recher Theatre for the fifth annual "Concert for Hope," a benefit for Hopewell Cancer Support organized by John Miller and Jim Wolff. And if the music isn't enough for you, there's a live auction scheduled, with themed packages on "Baltimore Sports," "Music Lovers" and "Utah Ski and Sundance Giveaway." The event begins with an open-bar reception at 6 p.m., with the concert scheduled for 7 p.m.-1 a.m. at the Recher, 512 York Road. The auction is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. Tickets, priced at $30, may be purchased through or by calling 410-832-2719.

Opera-mania Theatre Project continues its infatuation with opera with a collaboration of three area companies: American Opera Theatre, Handel Choir of Baltimore and Peabody Chamber Opera. The happy result is this weekend's double bill. "Gonzales Cantata" puts to music text from the congressional hearings and resignation speech of former Bush-era Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, with all female parts sung by men and the lone female part (Sen. Dianne Feinstein) being sung by a man. "Dido+Aeneas" tells of the tragic love of Dido, the Carthage queen, and the Trojan hero Aeneas. Performances are set for 8 p.m. today, Saturday and Feb. 11, 5 p.m. Feb. 13, at Theatre Project, 45 W. Preston St. Tickets are $20-$30. Information: 410-752-8558 or

'The Roommate' Minka Kelly is a college student who finds herself with a dorm mate from hell when Rebecca (Leighton Meester) walks through the door in this chiller from director Christian E. Christiansen. (Any similarity between this film and 1992's "Single White Female' is surely coincidental.) Opens in theaters today.

—Chris Kaltenbach

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