"Matinee" is wonderful fun. It's set in 1962 as fabled movie legend Lawrence Woolsey (the gigantic John Goodman) is premiering his classic "Mant!" (half man, half ant, all terror!) in sleepy Key West, Fla, using every gimmick known to man or beast. It's hard to get anybody's attention, however, because the world seems inclined to end in fire . . . the Cuban Missile Crisis. "Matinee" follows as the ever-energetic Woolsey tries to whip up attention, and the grown-ups and kids of Key West try to decide which is more important, "Mant" or the end of civilization. Goodman is terrific. PG. ***. If you like diversity, you will probably love tonight's program by the Concert Artists of Baltimore. Music director Edward Polochick is conducting Honegger's great Symphony No. 4, Rossini's overture to the "Italian Girl in Algiers," Saint-Saens' Piano Concerto No. 2 and a group of Renaissance madrigals and motets. The Saint-Saens is the most dazzlingly witty piece ever written for piano and orchestra and one can expect the soloist -- Baltimore's David Buechner -- to play it brilliantly. Tickets for the 8 p.m. concert in Friedberg Hall of the Peabody Conservatory are $17.50 ($12.50 for seniors, students). (410) 764-7351.
As its inaugural production, Baltimore's newest theater company, AXIS Theatre, has chosen Constance Congdon's dark comedy, "Tales of the Lost Formicans." A series of scenes that alternate between a suburban family and the extraterrestrials observing them, the play is a kind of quirky cross between "Donna Reed" and "Star Trek." And it appears to be an excellent example of the outrageous but thoughtful fare we can look forward to seeing at this bold little theater tucked away in Meadow Mill, 3600 Clipper Mill Road. Show times: today at 8 p.m. and tomorrow at 2 p.m. Tickets: $10-$12. (410) 243-5237.