The Emmanuel Messianic Congregation is offering one of the more interesting presentations of the new year, a musical comedy called, "It Happened in Shushan."
The play, based upon biblical events in the Book of Esther, was written by Clarksville resident, Steffi Rubin.
"It is in celebration of the Jewish holiday known as Purim," says Steffi's husband, Barry Rubin, who helped organize the event.
"Purim is a bright point in Jewish history, and is traditionally celebrated through festivals, carnivals and parties. We thought a musical comedy would be an original way to tell one of the most interesting stories in Jewish history."
The story takes place in Shushan, the ancient Persian capital city of Elam, located on the Persian Gulf in what is now western Iran. It tells the tale of a corrupt Persian official named Haman, who plans a massacre of the Jews who live in the kingdom.
Fortunately, the plot is uncovered by Mordecai, a cousin of Queen Esther. She is a beautiful Jewish woman married to the Persian king, Ahasuerus, also known as Xerxes.
The massacre is averted when Esther reports the plot to her husband, who immediately orders the hanging of Haman for his treachery.
Cast members include Dawn Karpov, as Queen Esther; Sheldon Mazelis, as Haman; David Negley, as King Ahasuerus; and Gary Karpov, as Mordecai.
"It Happened in Shushan" will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Covenant Baptist Church, 5901 Cedar Fern Court, off Cedar Lane in Hickory Ridge.
Admission is free. For additional information, call 531-2093.
Thirty-six students from West Columbia schools have been selected to join various All-State band, chorus, orchestra and jazz ensembles.
They are scheduled to perform at the annual Maryland Music Educators convention March 4-6 at the Ocean City Convention Center.
Atholton High School will be represented by Konrad Aschenback, Brian Barth, Ellen Barth, Sara Glazer, Mere Goldstein, Corey Hill, Dave Klink, Jun Kim, Scott Mauriello, Maria Nychis, Mark Pacifico, Deepak Ramapriyan, Adrian Terry and Alison Webb.
Members selected from Wilde Lake High School include: Rachael Abrams, Brian Bassett, Dan Bendor, Kathy Dalton, Dylan Gentile, Scott Jefferson, Dale Jensen, Matthew McDaniel, Tobias Morrison, Gavin Philipp, Dana Romenesko, Amy Sheff, Matthew Stevens, James Toler, Christina Turney and Andy Zimdars.
Other Howard students chosen for the All-Star band include William Davis and Nicole Turney of Harper's Choice Middle School, and Stephanie Arnold, Stephanie Bassett, Martin Grossman and Christopher Hemerlein of Wilde Lake Middle School.
Two sure signs of spring: the Baltimore Orioles have headed south to begin spring training, and Columbia area baseball and softball leagues have begun registration for their spring leagues.
The Columbia Youth Baseball Association is registering for T- ball (ages 5-6), baseball (ages 13-18), and girls softball (ages 7-15).
Applications will also be accepted for baseball (ages 7-12), but because of problems securing an adequate number of playing fields, names will be held on a waiting list pending notification.
Registration forms are available at Marvin's Sports City in Columbia Mall.
For additional CYBA information, call: (baseball) 730-1881 or (softball) 381-6411.
The Atholton Youth Recreation Association's Columbia Reds are looking for players for their 14-and-up teams, which play in the Baltimore Metro League.
Tryouts will be held Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon and March 5 at the Columbia Reds warehouse on Alexander Bell Drive in Gateway Industrial Park.
For additional information, call Glen Deuchler at 465-7064, or John Brewer at 730-1491.
The AYRA Girls Softball Association is accepting registrations for the spring softball leagues for girls, ages 6 to 14.
For additional information, call Anne Lee at 301-498-0792.
Just so us older folks don't feel left out of the fun, the Columbia Inter-Village Co-Rec Softball League is seeking players of all ages (between 18-99), and especially couples and women, to represent their villages in slow-pitch, non-competitive softball games.
The league plays in the Columbia area on Sunday afternoons from May to August.
The purpose of the league is to socialize and have fun. Everyone plays, regardless of their athletic skills.
The registration fee is $10 per person, or $15 per couple.
For more information, call Skip McAfee at 730-5847.
The Central Branch of Howard County Library will sponsor an afternoon of storytelling from 3 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. Saturday.
Original storyteller Craig Anthony Bannister will be present to weave an aural tapestry of unforgetable, wonderfully vivid tales of the black American experience.
This enlightening family program is recommended for children ages 5 and up. Parents are also invited.
Because of limited space, pre-registration is required and may be done in person, or by calling Children's Librarian, Jo Puckett, at 313-7880.
Don't forget "Wilde Bingo Night" rescheduled at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Slayton House in Wilde Lake Village Green.
Bring Grandma, Grandpa and all the kids and enjoy a fun-filled evening of bingo and prizes.