Win some funny money


LAUGH IN: Producers of the television show "America's Funniest People" are scheduled to be in town this week to search for Crabtown's most humorous inhabitants.

(We suggested they start with those rip-roaring City Council members.)

If you think you're funny, and you have an interesting or unusual act that you haven't seen on the show before, listen up. Open auditions will be held Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Harborplace Amphitheater, Saturday (the same hours) at the White Marsh Mall and on April 7 from noon until 5 p.m. at the Mall in Columbia.

What can you do? Anything, as long as it's not harmful. "You can even tell a straight joke as long as it's clean," producer Maggie Auth told us.

The show airs Sunday nights at 8:30. Each week the audience selects the funniest person on the show for a first prize of a whopping $10,000! Nothing funny about that.

PARTY CRASHER: Larry Katz, who hosts a show about wrestling on WCBM-AM and does movie reviews, elbowed his way into a nifty Oscar night celebration Monday.

Katz, who was in Los Angeles to cover "Wrestlemania," moseyed across the street to the fashionable Spago restaurant, where Hollywood agent Swifty Lazar was hosting his annual Oscar bash for the rich and famous.

"I ran into Barry Levinson there," Katz laughed. Imagine that.

ORIOLES MANAGER Frank Robinson will be featured on Thursday's broadcast of "The Cosby Show." In the episode, Robinson plays Bill Cosby's bowling buddy. . . .

The Fontanne Gallery at Lynn's on Washington Boulevard is showing an exhibition of the work of N. T. Mame, which opens Thursday at 7 p.m. A graduate of the Maryland Institute, the artist has been described as the "Grandma Moses of the Mapplethorpe Generation."

She was discovered by Lynn's owners, Ann and Fleet McKenzie, last year. This is her second show there.

A CONCRETE IDEA: Baltimore Harbor Endowment is asking what's rougher than Fells Point on a Saturday night, more personal than caller ID and weighs more than a basket of crabs? Why a brick engraved with your name, of course, which will be placed in Baltimore's waterfront promenade. The tax-deductible price of $50 will buy a personal brick, but you must place your order by April 5.

So far, local notables such as Nick Brown, Tony Hawkins, Joel Lee, Libby Rouse, Ted Rouse and Skip Brown have pitched in for the cause. Call 732-8155.

THE WOMEN'S COMMITTEE of the Walters Art Gallery is hosting its second "Art Blooms at the Walters" Tuesday and Wednesday.

The festivities will include lectures by designers Rita St. Clair; David Scheid, U.S. Botanic Garden director; and floral designer Don Vanderbrook.

For ticket info, call 547-9000, Ext. 305. . . .

Kena Shoval, wife of Zalman Shoval, Israel's new ambassador to the United States, made her first official visit to Baltimore last week to attend a luncheon for the Maryland Women's Division for Israel Bonds. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend was keynote speaker.

WINING AND DINING: Warren Winiarski, proprietor of Stag's Leap Wine Cellars of Napa, Calif., and Eric and Lee Miller, owners of the Chaddsford Winery in Pennsylvania, will conduct a wine tasting on April 19 on behalf of Young Audiences of Maryland.

The event will take place at Gaines-McHale Antiques and the Knight-Gomez Gallery in Federal Hill, with food provided by the Brass Elephant. Tickets are $30 and can be reserved by calling 837-7577.

FINALLY, a bevy of familiar faces turned out for the Becker Group's Christmas House grand opening Wednesday, hosted by the ever-genial Gordon Becker.

A little early (or late!) to be celebrating Christmas, you say? Not for this creative bunch, who work year-round thinking up clever yuletide promotions for shopping malls throughout the United States.

Sascha outdid herself with the eats, as we munched and schmoozed our way through the throng of invitees. Some we spied? Artist Tom Everhart, excited about his coming art exhibit in Japan; WMAR-TV GM Arnie Kleiner and wife, Carole; NTC developer Mort Sarubin; PR whiz Paula Rome; and the newly created PR team of Lynda O'Dea and Marsha Becker, who are busily planning some coming events, including the Preakness.

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