Former diner guy reflects on audience with the pope


What an exciting time to live in Maryland! As soon as the hubbub about Cal Ripken's incredible feat subsides, it will be time for Pope John Paul II's October visit.

But meeting the pope is something that Dora and Marvin Fribush -- he's a senior vice president of Investments at Paine Webber -- have already done. Marvin's one of the 125 Paine Webber elite who belong to the Chairman's Council, and one of the perks of membership was a trip to Vatican City this summer for an audience with the pope.

Now that Mr. Fribush has had time to reflect on the pope's blessing, he said it is one of the most significant events in his life.

The Fribushes live in Northwest Baltimore with their daughter. He's a grad of the University of Baltimore, a board member of the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation, and was best known as Shrevie back in the days when he was a diner guy with his pal Barry Levinson.

Sports musical

The Metropolitan Opera Guild has commissioned a family musical about sports, "Different Fields," which will premiere Feb. 7 and run for a week at the New Victory Theater in New York.

This theater is the first of the historic houses on West 42nd Street to be reclaimed and reopened as part of the redevelopment of Broadway's Times Square area.

What's even more interesting to Baltimoreans is that the show's author is Sarah Schlesinger! She co-founded, along with Baltimore-born conductor Michael Dansicker, the Pickwick Players, a children's theater company, when she was a drama teacher at the University of Maryland College Park. For more than a decade, Pickwick produced original children's musicals, with music by Dansicker and librettos by Schlesinger.

This time she's collaborating with Mike Reid, former Cincinnati Bengals star and Grammy-winning country singer-songwriter, who will write the music for "Different Fields." Earlier this year, they worked together on another musical, "The Ballad of Little Jo," which was seen in New York.

Make mine Italian

Two sets of three brothers and one cousin make up the internationally acclaimed singing group the Gypsy Kings, who performed at Pier Six last Sunday evening. They hail from an island off southern France, so they speak French but sing in Spanish, and their favorite food is Italian.

It was their manager who called Da Mimmo's in Little Italy and talked to Mary Ann Cricchio, wife of Da Mimmo's owner and chef Mimmo Cricchio, about the food. Not only did Cricchio prepare Italian antipasto, 20 of his famous veal chops and a pasta dish, but he and his family took in the show.

Maritime leaders

The Baltimore Maritime Museum has new leaders at the helm -- Alan Walden, WBAL-radio news anchor/commentator, was elected chairman of the board to succeed the late Eliot P. Hurd, who died suddenly in July. Helping Walden set the course for the museum's future are Henry Pitts, a Mercantile Bank and Trust vice president, as vice chairman; William D. Smith, president of the Canton Railroad Co., treasurer; William S. Talbott, secretary; and retired USCG Capt. Ronald Pickup, member at large.

Their fleet consists of the Coast Guard cutter Roger B. Taney, the last warship still afloat that saw action at Pearl Harbor; the submarine Torsk, which sank the last two Japanese warships in World War II; and the lightship Chesapeake, once the guardian of the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay.

All are anchored in the Inner Harbor and open for visits seven days a week.

Call for events

Last call for October, November and December events for the fall calendar. Please send by fax the pertinent information including the date, time, cost, dress code, contact name and phone number, to my attention, at (410) 783-2519. I must have this information by noon tomorrow.

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