Savage United Methodist Church schedules free Easter play NORTH LAUREL/SAVAGE


Countdown to spring! Only two and a half weeks to go! This is time of year when a gardener's thoughts turn lightly to -- roto-tilling. This is my last opportunity to prune the trees before the sap runs, time to plant the spinach and the peas and potatoes.

Mind you, I never actually get any of these things done, except for pruning, but this is when all this ought to be done. In a person of less refinement and breeding, this would be procrastination. It's just that there's so much I want to do.


Keith Wahl of the Savage United Methodist Church called to announce that the church will hold a free Easter play March 27. Last year, the church presented two performances of the Easter play and had to turn away guests for lack of space. Spurred on by that success, this year the church members have added four performances, presenting it six times over Eastertide.

Two of the performances will be interpreted for the deaf.

Not only will there be more performances, but the production is more ambitious than last year. Jeanette Volmerhaussen and her husband, Bob, are rigging wiring and building scenery in the sanctuary so that there will be multiple scenes.

Ms. Volmerhaussen has never used an air brush before, but she's bravely painting all the scenery her self. Director Mark DeVault is juggling the performers, including a chorus of 25 or so children, 6 to 13 years old, for the entry into Jerusalem scene.

Ray Miles, fresh from his Christmas concert at the Savage Mill, is conducting. Call Keith Wahl, the producer, for free tickets or more information at (301) 604-4056.


Saturday was the final performance of Hammond High's winter offering, the musical "The Pajama Game." We hadn't been to a high school performance since my kid sister, Rosy, was in high school, so off we went.

It was a terrific performance. "The Pajama Game" is the usual musical bit of fluff, a boy meets, loses and wins girl plot set during a strike in a pajama factory. But the work has 16 musical numbers, a chorus line and a fantasy sequence.

It's an ambitious bit of staging requiring not only a director and assistant director, (Mary Jane Saser and Lori Esposito, respectively,) but a musical director, Sandra Nelson, and a choreographer, Stacie Lanier.

Cortney Adams and Bobby Greiner, the leads, were alternately brash and romantic, sparring in the best tradition. Shani Harris, as Gladys, the proper secretary, sizzled during the fantasy sequence in which her boyfriend imagines her unfaithful with possibly the entire population of Kansas. Paul Menard played the efficiency expert Hines as a self-aware nerd, before the term had been invented.

Heather Perkins, as Mae, the man eater, and Loren Beth Maiser, as Poopsie, the femme fatale, provided broad comic relief. The rest of the outstanding cast was Geoff Sloane, Nate Stokes, Scott Taylor, Megan Armstrong, Brian Kuhn, Nate Stokes, Matt Gates, Sarah Chopin, Jenn Haskell, Julie Schroeder, Greg Steward and Adam Straus.

The pit band also deserves recognition. The group included clarinetists Jeanne Clair, Liz Walker and Jen Yezek, flutist Larissa Sliwinski, percussionist Ben Beerman, trumpeters Terry O'Brien and Peter Laanisto, and bass player Matt Grason. Their conductor was Dick Nelson.

I realize that I'm slighting the rest of the company, and all of the stage and management crews, but a quick count of the names in the program exceeds 90. That's too many to mention by name, but thank you all for an enjoyable evening.


Pop's General Store has reopened! The remodeling complete, the tiny convenience and candy store is now about half the size it was, but is it ever brighter. The old drop ceiling has been replaced by a plaster one, the walls are freshly painted, the counter's been turned around.

But all the good stuff is still there. The coffee pot is on, the candy bins are full, the gummy worms are on the counter. All's right with the world. Stop in for a cup of coffee and the news. Pop's is at Baltimore and Commercial streets in Savage, and opens at 7 a.m.


Tomorrow is the first Saturday of the month. That means the Historical Electronics Museum at 1745 W. Nursery Road is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Come by to see and operate radar, radios, code machines and other electronic gadgets. Call (410) 765-2345 for more information.


Three- to 5-year-olds are cordially invited to a bedtime story time at the Savage Library on March 16 from 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Dress is very informal, pajamas and night gowns recommended. No reservations required. Call Laura Capano at (410) 880-5978 for more information.


The "brightly colored pieces" of Laurel artist Shari Pierce and the lithographs of Jean Quilici mark the beginning of the spring exhibits at Gallery 44, an art gallery at 10194 Baltimore National -- Pike in Ellicott City.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday. For more information, call Marian Berman at (410) 465-5200.


I've already mentioned that I'm far too refined and well bred to procrastinate. But if you call me on the phone to chat about events in your life that ought to be published, it's research, not procrastination. Call me at (301) 776-6796.

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