This'll make you all warm and fuzzy: Baltimore Gas & Electric, which last week announced a merger with Potomac Electric and the movement of its corporate headquarters out of downtown Baltimore, has pledged $50,000 to help fund the Downtown Partnership's "latest business retention and growth initiatives." In press release, a BGE veep is quoted as saying, "This award illustrates BGE's steadfast commitment to the prosperity of downtown Baltimore." YEAH, well . . . And check this out: The Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland, facing complaints that its tele-marketers use high-pressure sales pitches to recruit new dues-paying members, is offering an award to recognize companies that treat their customers and employees ethically. Must be part of the BBB's "reorganization."
Bogie in 'Halloween'
So why did this columnist pay $4.75 (and $2.63 for a medium Diet Coke) to see "Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers," Friday afternoon at the Sony cinema in Timonium?
A. He thought Jamie Lee Curtis might be in it.
B. The fifth sequel to a slasher film is always the best one.
C. He thinks Donald Pleasance was a master Thespian.
D. Some kid from Baltimore has a role in it.
Bingo on D! The kid's name is Bogart, too. Keith Bogart, son of the savvy Ruth Bogart-Gans of Bolton Hill. Keith grew up here, had his first paid acting job (at age 11) at Center Stage and attended Park School. He's now in his 20s, lives in Los Angeles, working in television and film. He had a role in "Party of Five," a Fox drama, last year. "Halloween" is his first major movie -- "major" in that Miramax released it to 1,500 screens nationwide. Keith plays Tim Strode, son of an obnoxious real estate agent who moves his family into a house he cannot sell -- the house where the whole "Halloween" series started in 1978, when the psychotic Michael Myers was just a little boy with a big knife. Of course, dad never tells his kin they're living in Michael's favorite bed and breakfast. (And no one in the town of Haddonfield ever mentions it, either.) So, of course, crazy Michael, the serial killer who will not die, comes for a visit, and he kills and kills and kills. He butchers Tim's mom out by the clothesline, then grabs dad in the basement and holds him against exposed electrical wires until his head just 'splodes! Calling this movie awful is to praise it. We never get to see Jamie Lee. (She was in the original "Halloween," which was actually excellent, directed by John Carpenter.) Keith Bogart, however, manages to have a sex scene before going to the shower. (No, Michael doesn't slash him in the shower; that would be so derivative!) I walked out after Keith got the knife. Couldn't take it anymore. Besides, I wanted to hear Marcia Clark's closing in the O. J. Simpson case.
On the radio
Great move by WOLB-AM (1010) to air closing arguments in the Simpson case, live from L.A. (and with promotional cut-ins by Johnnie Cochran.) I'll bet Cathy Hughes' Radio One station had some impressive ratings. . . . Dead heads and lovers of vintage vinyl, please note: WRNR-FM's second annual rock 'n' roll flea market is Saturday, Oct. 14, at Earleigh Heights Hall.
Silent flick; Hold the rosemary
Young filmmaker Robbie Chafitz brings his silent comedy, "Flickers," to the Walters this Friday, then to the Orpheum in Fells Points for a run Oct. 9 through 15. . . . Longest lunchtime line in Hollins Market is for Chuckie's fried chicken, and it's well worth the wait. (But somebody tell the executive chef to lay off the rosemary in the stewed turkey wings.) . . . Fader's, seller of fine cigars, is supplying Max's on Broadway. Six bucks on a Thursday night gets you a premium cigar -- this week it's Licenciados presidente -- and a beer of your choice.
Unreal sign; Buying and selling
Nancy Murphy, former state senator from Baltimore County, reports a zenlike sign in the parking lot of an Arbutus real estate firm: "Reality Parking Only." Says Nan: "You can just stop there and get it together." . . . Dennis Miedusiewski (on the sale of his parents' bar, American Joe's, to a new owner): "The two best days for the owner of a boat or a bar -- the day you buy it and the day you sell it."
Save the tapes
Time again for the Renaissance Institute's big class project -- to collect cash register tapes from Giant, Safeway and Metro and redeem them for classroom computers for a Baltimore public school with the greatest need and the best student attendance. Last year, community elders associated with the institute collected nearly $1 million in tapes, many of them from the parents and grandparents of kids attending suburban schools already outfitted with up-to-date computers. The beneficiary was the Carter G. Woodson Elementary School in Cherry Hill. This year, if you want to contribute, send your receipts to:
Save the Tapes, Renaissance Institute, College of Notre Dame of Maryland, 4701 N. Charles St., Baltimore 21210-2476.