Festival features musical duo; Movies: Profits from screenings of classic films of musicals by Rodgers and Hammerstein will fight AIDS.


It's Rodgers and Hammerstein time in Baltimore. Not only does "The Sound of Music" open at the Lyric Opera House next week, but Loews movie theaters has made the classic Broadway songwriting duo the focus of their fourth annual Theatrical Film Festival to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

This year's festival kicks off on Sunday with a 2 p.m. screening of "South Pacific," starring Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza, at Loews Valley Centre Theatre, 9616 Reisterstown Road, Owings Mills.

The musical, based on a story from James Michener's "Tales of the South Pacific," celebrated its 50th anniversary in April. Part of the New York festivities included the screening of a rare 10-minute video clip, originally seen as part of a 1954 television tribute to Rodgers and Hammerstein. The clip, which features Martin and Pinza singing three songs from the Broadway show, will also be shown in Owings Mills on Sunday.

The event will begin with a raffle of Rodgers and Hammerstein items, including several pairs of tickets to "The Sound of Music," CDs, books, collectible dishes and a copy of the original published, out-of-print script.

Next up in the festival will be "The King and I," starring Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr, at 2 p.m. Oct. 3. . Festival screenings are $4. Call 410-931-4980.

'Follies' -- a benefit, too

Benefits seem to be in the air these days. This year, "A Labor of Love," the annual fund-raiser for the AIDS Alliance of Howard County, will be held on Sept. 22 at Toby's Dinner Theatre in Columbia. The evening, which begins at 6 p.m., will include a gourmet buffet dinner, with wine, followed by an 8: 15 p.m. performance of Stephen Sondheim's "Follies," the current production at Toby's.

The 1971 musical, which has a book by James Goldman, focuses on a reunion of performers from a Ziegfeld-like revue. Appropriate for the subject matter, Toby's production features several area actors who have come out of theatrical retirement, including Jean Anne Kain and veteran sports announcer Johnny Holliday.

Besides the Sept. 22 benefit, Toby Orenstein, director of the production and artistic director of the theater, is passing the hat prior to each "Follies" performance to raise additional funds for the AIDS Alliance.

"Follies" continues at Toby's Dinner Theatre, 5900 Symphony Woods Road, Columbia, through Nov. 14. Tickets to regular performances are $32-$37. Tickets to the Sept. 22 benefit are $100. A $500 donation includes two tickets and an opportunity for one participant to appear in the opening number on the night of the benefit. The donation also includes the chance to appear in another performance.

Call 410-995-1969.

Repertory Theater's here

The Repertory Theater of America, a national touring company founded in California in 1967 and most recently based in Texas, has moved its offices and rehearsal hall to downtown Baltimore. The company presents about 400 performances a year of small-cast productions throughout the lower 48 states.

With half of these performances on the East Coast, producing director Ian Gallanar decided Baltimore would be a more viable location than southern Texas, where the company was headquartered for the past 20 years.

This season's productions include Neil Simon's "Chapter Two"; Gallanar's "Bubba's Killer Sauce," an interactive murder mystery; A.R. Gurney's "Sylvia" and "Bittersuite," a musical by Michael Champagne and Elliot Weiss. The shows are performed by a repertory company consisting of three troupes of young actors.

The Repertory Theater of America performs at clubs, colleges, military bases and community centers. Call 410-752-3611.

'Don't I Know You?'

The Waldorf School, in collaboration with Towson University's theater department, will present "Don't I Know You?" by Britain's Moving Word Theatre at 7 p.m. Oct. 3, in the Stephens Hall Theater on the Towson campus.

Moving Word (formerly known as the English Eurythmy Theatre) is an international touring troupe that combines eurythmy -- a type of movement created by turn-of-the-century educator Rudolf Steiner -- with the performance arts of theater, dance and music. "Don't I Know You?", a play about marriage, reincarnation and karma, moves from modern-day Chicago to ancient Egypt and back, with various stops in between.

Tickets to "Don't I Know You?" are $15.

For more information, call 410-830-2787 or 410-367-6808.

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