A serenade for classy Anne Bancroft

Ann Bancroft is a class act. Just ask anyone who comes in contact with this glamorous-looking woman, who is here

shooting scenes for the Jodie Foster movie "Home for the Holidays."


One of the latest close encounters with Bancroft happened to Russ Margo, who entertains guests in in the lounge of Da Mimmo's restaurant in Little Italy, five nights a week. Russ tells me that one night he heard that the actress was having dinner upstairs and soon would come down to have her photo taken with Marianne and Mimmo Cricchio, the restaurant owners.

With that bit of advance notice, Margo, an avid fan of Bancroft's husband, filmmaker Mel Brooks, had time to input into his keyboard memory the whole arrangement from the cocktail lounge scene from Brooks' classic film, "High Anxiety." So when Bancroft walked in, Margo began singing the song and at just the right moment, the keyboard took over and he began "schmaltzing" her and the other patrons.


She loved it and told him that her husband, Mel, might be in town soon and if so, she'd love for him to catch Margo's act. As she was leaving the restaurant, she was overheard to say, "My goodness, what a delight. I never expected all this excitement."

To which her dinner companion replied, "Well . . . that's Baltimore."

The Four Seasons Hotel in Washington is filled with film types interested in seeing the works of winners of the prestigious CINE Eagle Awards being shown at the 37th annual CINE Showcase that started yesterday and continues today. This is an international competition featuring works from dozens of countries and has, in the past, showcased early works of industry luminaries like Steven Spielberg.

Congratulations are in order for Baltimore native Jonathan Cordish, who was selected to receive a CINE for "Lost Mojave," a short film that he wrote and directed. The film, produced last year as Cordish's final project while in the master's program at the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television, was financed by a school grant.

Cordish, whose dad, David is a Baltimore developer, is currently president of Seventh Art Releasing, a Los Angeles-based independent distribution company.

An evening of fine wines, food and conversation will be offered at a premier wine tasting at the Omni Inner Harbor Hotel on March 7. Thanks to the Napa Valley Vintners Association, who included Baltimore in its Fifth Annual United States Market Tour and selected the Walters Art Gallery to benefit from the evening.

If you love good wine, you're invited to join vintners from the 40 or so winemakers and vineyard owners in the Napa Valley, from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

I'm told bottles of rare wines will be among those offered in the silent auction. Tickets, $40, must be purchased in advance by calling The Walters, (410) 547-9000, ext. 313.


Doesn't "A Picnic in Monet's Garden," sound wonderful? That's the theme of the Wednesday night fund-raiser for the Chesapeake Habitat for Humanity, 7 p.m.-10 p.m., in the cow palace at the Timonium Fairgrounds.

You can enjoy picnic fare and wine, bid on silent auction items from Martha Stewart, Paul Newman, Mike Deveraux and Oprah Winfrey, or just plus browse through the Maryland Home and Flower Show exhibits. Chesapeake Habitat for Humanity is dedicated to building housing for lower income families. Tickets are $25 and proceeds will help the group with its current project of rehabbing homes near Memorial Stadium. Call (410) 435-0082 for information.

Jeanette Brachthaeuser and Maria Zimmerman are co-chairs of the Junior League of Annapolis 15th Annual Carousel Thrift Sale tomorrow. The doors of the Medford National Guard Armory on Hudson Street open for this giant rummage sale at 9 a.m. and close at 3 p.m. I am told that the armory will be transformed into an instant department store and will feature new and used merchandise, from clothing to sporting goods to electronic to antiques.

Admission is free and proceeds go to the League's family support programs.