HarborView preview fete proves to be engaging fun


WHOEVER SAYS there's nothing to do in Baltimore oughta just tag along on our beat some merry night for a rethink of that cynical notion. Take Wednesday night, for instance.

First, we trotted off to the grand opening preview bash of the HarborView Marina and Yacht Club, the new inner harbor complex that it seems everybody's been yapping about for eons.

Then, we spun our wheels due west for a nifty art show opening of works by local artists Sigrid Trumpy and Greg Houston and renovation celebration at the 8x10 Club on Cross Street, followed by dinner at Sisson's next door.

After that, we wound down the evening (sure, we did) by dancing the night away at the International Pavilion with members of the Russian vaudeville troupe Buffo, after their smashing opening performance (which has been likened to "Saturday Night Live" "when they were really on") for the Theatre Project's 20th anniversary season next door. Nothing to do, our (aching) foot! Read on.

FIRST OFF, among the 1,300 or so guests on hand for the HarborView affair, staged in tents overlooking the marina, we have to pleasantly admit there were more fresh faces (as in unfamiliar) than we've ever laid our Eyes on.

We got to meet head honchos such as Richard Swernow and wife Rae -- he's president of the development and she's a size 2; Ralph and Judy Tasman -- he's another bigwig with the company; and Sal Manfre and wife Janet -- his firm, Porter Brothers, is general contractor for the project's first phase. Ed Heymann, PR chief for W.R. Grace and Co., dropped by with wife Marian, who works for HarborView.

Familiar faces included noted restaurateur Connie Crabtree, whose Pier 500 Restaurant will open next month, and the "Marrying Captain," Bill Eggert, who'll manage the marina and was his usual charming (and handsome) self.

One unexpected twist to the affair came when Ed Giannasca, project manager for HarborView, used the occasion to propose to his girlfriend, Suzanne Clark, who seemed in absolute shock when he presented her with an engagement ring on a tray before the voluminous crowd!

NET RESULTS: Baltimore's own tennis star, Pam Shriver announced plans for the fifth annual First National Bank Tennis Festival (which she chairs) this week from the Baltimore Arena, the new location for the tournament that is slated for Nov. 27.

The popular sports event, with proceeds benefiting charitable children's concerns, kicks off with a black-tie gala Nov. 26 at the B&O; Railroad Museum and concludes with a best of three sets tennis match between teen sensations Jennifer Capriati and Monica Seles.

Tickets to the gala can be reserved by calling 296-2929. You may be interested to know that honorary co-chairs for the festival are those, ah, love birds, Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

STAGE-DOOR OPENERS: The University of Maryland a Baltimore is presenting a Baltimore premiere of Kathryn Grody in "A Mom's Life" on Sept. 23 at 3 p.m. in Westminster Hall. Grody is currently starring in the movie "The Lemon Sisters" with Diane Keaton, and was featured in Bill Murray's recent film, "Quick Change."

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased by calling Nancy Tabor at 328-8035.

IN THE OVEN: The Women's Committee of the Walters Art Gallery is presenting the "Art of Cooking 1990" with "Healthful Foods for the New Decade," featuring Paula Wolfert, author of "Cooking of Southwest France" and contributor to Bon Appetit magazine, and Edward Giobbi, author of "Italian Family Cooking."

Six demonstrations will take place in the period of Oct. 2-4, and if you'd like to take part, call 547-9000, Ext. 305.

Meanwhile, tickets to the March of Dimes "Gourmet Gala" Oct. 5 at the Hyatt Regency are moving at a brisk pace, but they're still available if you call 752-7990.

Some of the lineup for this year's fun-filled soiree includes Clarisse Mechanic and astrologer Jeane Dixon, Clarence "Du" Burns and Paula Branch, WBAL-TV's Jayne Miller and Tom Tasselmeyer, and yours truly, aided (abetted) by the "Boomer."

Back Wednesday!

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