Orioles FanFest, a new offering at Center Stage, a dip into the frigid Chesapeake and more of the best in Baltimore's arts and entertainment scene this week

Orioles FanFest

A welcome harbinger of spring (oh, for the soothing sound of bat on ball) that offers the chance to stock up on Orioles gear, hear from the players and front-office personnel, see what the vendors have to offer, let the kids try out a workshop or two, maybe collect a few autographs. Best of all, there’s the chance to hang out with a few thousand of your best baseball friends. And remember: just over two months to Opening Day. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday (opens at 10 a.m. for season ticket plan holders) at the Baltimore Convention Center, 1 W. Pratt St. $6-$12. orioles.com.

Polar Bear Plunge

A few thousand people will be happily placing their sanity in question by jumping into the frigid Chesapeake Bay. But, hey, at least it’s for a good cause, raising money for Special Olympics Maryland. The big plunges are set for 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, with a pee-wee and family plunge set for 11 a.m. Other plunges, for school and corporate groups and police, go off Thursday and Friday. There’ll also be live music (performed inside the heated Rams Head Ice Lodge) Friday and Saturday, from groups including Loose Ties, Hot Tub Limo, Foreplay, Here’s to the Night and Vinyl Rhino. Sandy Point State Park, off U.S. 50 just west of the Bay Bridge. $75 in pledges to join in the fun. somd.org.

Shen Yun

Centuries of Chinese art, dance and culture, live on stage at the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center at the Hippodrome, 12 N. Eutaw St. 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. next Sunday. $91.50-$194. france-merrickpac.com.

‘Cloud 9’

Feminist playwright Caryl Churchill’s 1978 satire, partially set in Victorian-era colonial Africa (and with a dose of time travel thrown in for good measure), delves into issues of gender politics and sexual oppression by poking fun “at nearly every permutation of human sexuality.” Presented by Iron Crow Theatre. 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Feb. 2-3, 2 p.m. Saturday and Feb 3, 5:30 p.m. next Sunday and Feb. 4, 7 p.m. Feb 1 at Baltimore Theatre Project, 45 W. Preston St. $15-$30. ironcrowtheatre.org.

‘Skeleton Crew’

Four workers at a barely surviving Detroit auto plant struggle to keep it together in this drama from playwright Dominique Morisseau (“Detroit ’67”), presented as part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival. Opens Thursday and runs through March 4 (in previews through Jan. 31) at Baltimore Center Stage, 700 N. Calvert St. $39-$74. centerstage.org.

Baltimore Boat Show

If it has to do with being on the water, you’ll find it here: scores of dealers offering hundreds of boats and boat-related items, plus educational seminars, workshops, even the chance for some virtual-reality boating. Ahoy, mates, and all that. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. next Sunday at the Baltimore Convention Center, 1 W. Pratt St. $14, free for kids 12 and under with paying adult. baltimoreboatshow.com.

Mwenso & The Shakers

Says frontman Michael Mwenso, “You’re getting a generation of holistic musicians who love Louis Armstrong just as much as Woody Shaw, Sidney Bechet as much as Ornette Coleman." Now if that doesn’t sound like the recipe for a good time … 8 p.m. Friday at the Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave. in Highlandtown. $15-$21. creativealliance.org.

Author Talks @ the Lewis: ‘Cooking Gene’ with Michael Twitty

The author of “The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South” will not only talk about and sign copies of his book, but there’ll be samples of African-American cookery, as well. Yum. 1 p.m. Saturday at the Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, 830 E. Pratt St. $6-$8 museum admission, free for kids 6 and under. lewismuseum.org.

African Children’s Choir

A program of children’s songs, spirituals and gospel numbers, performed by a choir of children ages 7-10. Beautiful stuff. 7 p.m. Wednesday at St. Matthew Roman Catholic Church, 5401 Loch Raven Blvd. Free, donations encouraged. africanchildrenschoir.com.

‘The Godfather: Part II’

The continuing saga of the Corleone family traces both Don Vito Corleone’s arrival in America and his son Michael’s expansion of the family business into Las Vegas. The Best Picture Oscar winner for 1974, with memorable star turns from Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro (for which he won his first Oscar) and Diane Keaton. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at The Senator, 5904 York Road. $9-$10. thesenatortheatre.com.

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