Some time after 8 p.m. on June 23, a 10-foot, inflatable beach ball painted to resemble a globe will descend from the ceiling of the James Rouse Theatre, lowered by members of Squonk Opera. As the ball drops, audience members may notice that a detailed map of Columbia adorns this miniature world.
If past experience is any guide, theatergoers will begin to bat the globe around, giving a different twist to the official city motto, "It's all here, now."
COLUMBIA: THE OPERA / / 8 p.m. June 23 / / Wilde Lake High School, Columbia / / 410-715-3089
Columbia Festival highlights
The Columbia Festival of the Arts, which opens Wednesday, runs through June 23. Here are a few highlights:
The three-day festival features live performances from musicians and dancers, as well as a craft mart, children's activities and fireworks displays on Friday and Saturday, among many other things.
Lakefest will be held at Town Center Lakefront, Wincopin Circle from 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday, noon-11 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m.-7 p.m. June 10.
This blues-rock band -- three brothers and their dad -- have traveled the world, performing with such artists as Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys and Ricky Scaggs, and were featured on the NBC show America's Got Talent.
The band kicks off the Comcast Sunset Serenade Series at 7 p.m. June 13 at Centennial Park in Ellicott City. Free.
The Spencers: Theatre of Illusion:
Promoted as "Modern Day Houdinis," the Spencers create breathtaking illusions through theatrical imagery.
The performance is at 8 p.m. June 16 at Rouse Theatre, 5460 Trumpeter Road, Columbia. Tickets are $10-$35, $5 off for students and seniors.
Featuring the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with famed jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, Yacub Addy and Odadaa. Congo Square, written by Marsalis and Ghanaian drum master Addy, combines jazz with traditional African music.
The performance will be at 7:30 p.m. June 17 at Rouse Theatre, 5460 Trumpeter Road, Columbia. Tickets are $45-65, $5 off for students and seniors.
In Opus Cactus, illusionist dance troupe MOMIX brings the desert landscapes of the American Southwest to life with lights, props, shadows and the dancers' bodies.
The performance will be at 7:30 p.m. June 20 at Rouse Theatre, 5460 Trumpeter Road, Columbia. Tickets are $20-$50, $5 off for students and seniors.
For tickets, call 800-955-5566 or go to tickets.com. For a full schedule of events, see Thursday's LIVE! Section, or go to columbiafestival.com.
[ ALLIE SEMENZA]