Short of the horses themselves, this may be the most beautiful thing about the Preakness, as more than a dozen hot-air balloons float their way into the Howard County sky. You can come and look (it's especially photogenic after dusk, when the balloons are all lit up), and for an extra fee, even ride in one (trust us, the view can't be beat). Includes food, a beer and wine garden, a kids' zone and live music. 4 p.m.-9 p.m. May 11, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. May 12, plus early-morning viewing and balloon rides from 6:15 a.m.-9 a.m. May 11-12, 6:15 a.m.-8 a.m. May 13. Balloon rides are $20 (tethered) and $225 (untethered). Howard County Fairgrounds, 2210 Fairgrounds Road, West Friendship. preaknessballoonfestival.com.
Maryland Film Festival closing night
Baltimore's 20th annual celebration of all things cinematic closes with the shot-in-Baltimore "All Square," starring Michael Kelly ("Netflix's "House of Cards") as a small-time bookie who finds a potential gold mine in betting on his young charge's Little League baseball games. "Skillfully portray[s] a very real part of America that rarely makes it to the screen," writes MFF Director Jed Dietz. Kelly, screenwriter Timothy Brady and other cast members, including Isiah Whitlock Jr. of "The Wire," will be on hand. 7:15 p.m. May 6 at the Niarchos Foundation Parkway, 5 W. North Ave. $50 (includes admission to the closing-night party across the street). mdfilmfest.com.
Cylburn Arboretum, 4915 Greenspring Ave., marks its 50th annual celebration of spring, a perfect opportunity to round up all those plants you need to beautify your lawn. Includes flowers and native plants, garden lectures, experts for consultations, garden decor, crafts and food trucks, even a live bird exhibit. 8 a.m.-2 p.m. May 12. Free, $10 for on-site parking. For $50, you can attend May 11's anniversary party and preview from 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m. cylburn.org.
A mysterious (and deadly) goo, a couple of moronic morticians and some longstanding grudges lead to all kinds of murder, mayhem and mysterious goings-on in this latest from the Baltimore Rock Opera Society (BROS). Rated R, so be warned. 8 p.m. May 11-12, with additional performances set for May 18-19 and 25-27, plus June 1-3, at Zion Lutheran Church, 400 E. Lexington St. $20-$100. baltimorerockopera.org.
Sophocles' Greek tragedy of order, honor and the folly of displeasing the gods, as adapted for the modern stage by the Theatrical Mining Company. 3 p.m. May 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 and 27 at the Downtown Cultural Arts Center, 401 N. Howard St. $10, free for students and seniors. theatricalmining.org.
Movie with Orchestra: 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'
Indiana Jones fights to keep the powerful Ark of the Covenant out of the Nazis' clutches, as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performs John Williams' Oscar-nominated score live. 8 p.m. May 11-12, 3 p.m. May 13 at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St. $30-$99. (Also 8 p.m. May 10 at the Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane in North Bethesda, $35-$99.) bsomusic.org.
Peabody Dance Festival
Billed as a "community celebration of movement," which sounds both spirited and inspirational. 7:30 p.m. May 10 at Friedberg Concert Hall, 1 E. Mount Vernon Place. Free. peabody.jhu.edu.
The New York-based social justice activist discusses (and signs copies of) her book "Lighting the Fires of Freedom: African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement," which features interviews with nine women who helped push the movement forward. 6:30 p.m. May 9 at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, 400 Cathedral St. Free. prattlibrary.org.
'The Book of Joseph'
A man clears out his parents' attic and finds a cache of World War II-era letters from family back in Poland, sent to his father, an emigrant to the United States desperately trying to avoid deportation while just as desperately trying to help the rest of his family escape the Nazis. Based on "Every Day Lasts a Year: A Jewish Family's Correspondence From Poland," by Baltimorean Richard Hollander. Opens May 9 and runs through June 10 at Everyman Theatre, 315 W. Fayette St. $25-$65. everymantheatre.org.
Bebe Neuwirth: Stories with Piano
Whether through "Cheers" and "Madam Secretary" on television, "Chicago" or "Damn Yankees" on Broadway, or Barry Levinson's "Liberty Heights" on the big screen, Bebe Neuwirth has never met a role she didn't shine in. Come hear her in an evening of story songs – "some narrative, some impressionistic, some improvisational." 8 p.m. May 10 at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, 7401 Park Heights Ave. $65-$215. baltimorehebrew.org.