A fine marriage
Movies "Once Around" will remind some of "Terms of Endearment," and for good reason. Like the older film, the new movie is an adroit mixture of comedy and tragedy. You'll laugh a lot, and you'll cry a little too. Holly Hunter is the young woman who marries an older man her family has trouble accepting. Richard Dreyfuss is the older man, and Danny Aiello is the father of the bride. Some critics have seen the film as an ethnic comedy, but it really isn't. It is comedy that relates to all. Language, sex. Rating: R. **** Thoughtful viewers know Sunday morning network TV can be a rich source of news and public affairs programming. Beginning tomorrow, Maryland Public Television (channels 22 and 67 locally) joins the intellectual crowd with a 90-minute package of programs. To continue weekly, at 11:30 a.m. comes a repeat of the previous Friday's "Washington Week in Review;" at noon is "The McLaughlin Group" and at 12:30 is a repeat of Friday's "Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser." (The program changes were made too late to be included in MPT's February viewers guide.)
On a roll at the Lyric
Spectacular roller skating and singing by a first-rate Broadway-caliber cast combine with a breathtaking light show to make Andrew Lloyd Webber's train fable, "Starlight Express," an outstanding theatrical event at the Lyric Opera House. The performance is packed with excellent songs and production numbers. Be sure to catch the fantastic light show curtain call at the end. Dawn Marie Church is just one of the many talented cast members. 8 p.m. 140 W. Mt. Royal Ave. Tickets: $42.50/ $35/$25. Call 625-1400. If you're in the mood for a good, contemporary Western, try "Young Guns II," another chapter in the fictitious life of Billy the Kid. The 1990 film is an exciting follow-up to the 1988 movie in which Billy and co-riders leave a trail of blood through the Southwest. In the sequel, Billy and friends give us more of the same as they try to escape lawman Pat Garrett and cattle barons while heading for Mexico. Language, sex, violence. Rating: R. ***
Ernest F. Imhoff The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra had two Polish premieres last night at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall: conductor Kazimierz Kord and composer Karol Szymanowski's Violin Concerto No. 1. But it was two familiar Baltimore hands on a 1685 Stradivarius that bound the debuts into a dazzling package.
BSO principal violinist Herbert Greenberg played the ghostlike impressionist work with a deft touch and eerie sounds. He showed the violin's high melody floating like a raven, darting like a swallow and vibrating like a hummingbird, all motion even when stationary.
Greenberg's was a fine flight of fancy, especially one breathtaking two-minute solo. He showed a mastery of tempo and tone in the 25-minute piece, in which he had few rests. The applause was warm.
It's a work, however, that requires several listenings at the least for full appreciation. Szymanowski's concerto seemed at times lyrical, feverish, dreamlike, even mystical, the product of a man influenced at first by German Romantics but later by Debussy, Scriabin, Oriental philosophy and other forces.
Kord, the music director of the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, seemed entranced in leading the BSO in the 1916 work of his countryman Szymanowski. The BSO players, particularly in some woodwind passages and a flood of strings, backed Greenberg ably.
Franz Schubert's "Symphony No. 8 in B Minor" (The "Unfinished"), as close to the heart of the standard repertory as Szymanowski is distant, was given a flowing reading by the orchestra. Mihaly Virizlay and Chang Woo Lee, principal and assistant principal cellos, were in the forefront of some key passages.
May another eight years not go by before the return of this symphony -- for its beauty and so that concertgoers will be certain when the two-movement gem ends. They weren't so sure last night.
Modest Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition," fashioned by Maurice Ravel into a 10-movement orchestral work, was the second half of the program, too late for review here. The fifth Favorites series concert is repeated at 8:15 p.m. tonight and at 3 p.m. tomorrow.