WCBM Life Style

Jan 01, 2013 -- 12:00am





1 - Chris Tucker - Lyric
1-2 - Disney on Ice, Royal Farms Arena
1-2 - Pumpkin Chucking - Clark's Elioak Farm - Ellicott City
1-9 - 'Richard II' - Chesapeake Shakespeare Company
1-9 - 'Memphis' - Tobys Dinner Theatre
1-16 - 'Grounded' - Everyman Theatre 
1-16 - 'Next to Normal' - Center Stage
1-30 - For Whom it Stands: The Flag and the American People - Reginald Lewis Museum
1-30 - Civil War 150th Anniversary - B & O Railroad Museum
1-30 - The Visionary Experience - American Visionary Arts Museum 
2 - Charm City Fringe Fest - the best of underground music
7 & 9  - Madama Butterfly - Lyric
7-9 - Irish Festival - Md Fairgrounds
7-8 - Greek Food & Cultural Festival - Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 24 W. Preston
7-8 - Kevin Nealon - Magooby's Joke House
8 - Shark Sprint - 10k across the bay
13 - Aretha Franklin - Lyric 
14-15 - Annapolis Symphony - Md Hall for Creative Arts
14-16 - Waterfowl Festival - Easton
14-30 - The Polar Express - Aquarium
14-30 - 'Seminar' - Fells Pt Corner Theatre
15-16 - Alpaca & Fleece Festival - Howard Ct Fairgrounds
20 - Evening with John Waters - The Senator
21-30 - Inner Harbor Ice Skating - McKeldin Square
22 - Trace Adkins - Lyric
23 - American Wing Grand Re-opening - Balto Museum of Art
27 - Gobble Cobble Turkey Trot - President Street
27-30 - Christmas Village - West Shore Park
28-30 - Classical Mystery Tour - Meyerhoff Hall
28-30 - Festival of Trees - Md Fairgrounds





      Fall Movies
     It must be said, and has been said by people other than me, the summer was not a good season for movies.  Box office receipts were down from last summer.  Hollywood is hoping for an autumn rebound.  Early signs have been good.
     Let's begin with the Bill Murray comedy, and some moments not so funny, St. Vincent.  Believe me, on the surface he looks and acts nothing like a saint. But the new to the block kid next door thinks he is.  He has just moved in with his mom, played by Melisa McCarthy, in a subtle role. Murray gets to be a paid baby sitter and proceeds to take him to a bar and race track.   
     They develop an unlikely friendship.  Who wouldn't like someone who takes them to bars and to the track.  Well for one thing, his mom isn't crazy about it. The film works because of Murray.  I recommend it.
     Something far removed from a comedy is John Wick, with Keanu Reeves as the antihero, man of a few words, retired hit man.  He comes out of retirement when three thugs invade his house and kill his dog, a dog given to him by his deceased wife.  
     To be sure there is plenty of action, bullets, dead bodies and car stunts. It is not a subtle film.  Honestly, though some scenes bordered on the absurd, I did enjoy it.  I will say I do think this is a flick for guys.  Rated R.
     Now we're going to war with Brad Pitt in Fury.  Set in Germany during World War 2, Pitt is the commander of a five man crew in a tank called Fury.  They are sent on numerous missions.  So you can expect lots of gore.  I do think Pitt is a better actor than he gets credit for.  The budget was $80 million.  Rated R.
    Next up is a film where we might have Oscar bids when the time comes.  The film is The Judge with Robert Downey Jr and Robert Duvall.  Set in rural Indiana, Downey is a high priced Chicago lawyer who returns home when his mother dies.  His dad, the judge, was been accused of a serious crime so he decides to represent him.  It should be noted father and son haven't spoken in years.
    The film is heavy on dialogue, which isn't a bad thing.  It is a bit long, but it's good enough that you wont notice.  Rated R.
     Finally we have Gone Girl, with Ben Affleck with his best performance in years.  This is a tense thriller about a husband accused of murdering his wife.  Along the way there are numerous twists and turns to keep your attention.  I liked this one and it is doing well.  Also in the cast are Tyler Perry and Billy Bob Thornton, in his best performance in years.  Rated R.    






     We're going to take a trip out to western Maryland and the fall is an excellent time to do that.  Our destination is Cumberland.  From Baltimore, depending on traffic, it's about a three hour trip.  Our first

stop is the Western Maryland Railroad (13 Canal Street).  I took the 90 minute ride from Cumberland to Frostburg.   The railroad cars are comfortable and provide great views with their big windows.  When you arrive in Frostburg

I suggest you take a walk in town.  You have about 90 minutes before the train departs.

     Admittedly it wont take too long to check out the shops on the main street.  But I think you would enjoy stopping in the Hotel Gunter, a historic hotel with a glorious grand staircase.  Also, check out the pictures on the

walls.  It will teach you about the history of the hotel and town.  The main street is only about 100 yards from the station.  If you don't want to walk, hang out in the station or drop by a gift shop close by.  Walking to Frostburg

University requires a longer walk, but you do have the time.  If you get tired in town a shuttle will pick you up. 

     This trip runs Thursday through Sunday, but that can change as the seasons change.  There are other opportunites to ride the rails.  Also offered is a dinner train and something called the Maryland Junction Express.

For the Frostburg trip tickets vary with seat location.  The average price ranges from $33.00 to $60.00.  The dinner trains are a bit higher.  By the way, you might inquire about the Murder Mystery trains.  For information

301-759-4400 or to go

     There are of course other things to do in and around town.  If you like the outdoors there's Dan's Mountain State Park, Green Ridge State Forest and Rocky Gap State Park, the location of a casino.  If you plan

on camping check out the Allegany County Fairgrounds, C & O Canal National Park and Hidden Springs Campgrounds.  If hiking is your thing visit Great Allegany Passage, Rocky Gap and Green Ridge State Forest.

Other places to consider would be Tri-State Zoological Park, Alpacas at River's Edge Farm, the Historical Society, C & O Canal National Historic Park and Museum, Canal Place Heritage Area, George Washinton's

Headquarters or the Gulf War Memorial.

     If you're planning an overnight, there are many choices.  A few of them would be the Cumberland Motel, 9 Decatur Guest House & Hostel, Fairfield Inn & Suites and the Mountain View Motel.  Lodging that is located

downtown and close to just about eveything is the Cumberland Inn & Spa (120 Greene Street).  There are 13 rooms all with a different look.  You can relax in the room or in the lounge, with a TV, snacks and reading

material.  Rates vary with the season but I think $109.00 to $119.00 is close to average. (240-362-7111

     The easiest way to reach Cumberland is 70 to 68.  The town makes for a very good getaway destination.  And let me say again, western Maryland is an ideal location for autumn foliage.  Keep in mind their season

is two to three weeeks ahead of ours in the central and eastern part of the state.  For more information on Allegany County go

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