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Theater will host musical event just for kids

March 04, 2004|by ANDREA ROWLAND

andrear@herald-mail.com

The Maryland Theatre caters to kids this weekend during a concert featuring a favorite children's television personality, stories set to music and a doll's dance.

The fourth annual "Stories in Music" family concert at the theater, 13 S. Potomac St. in Hagerstown, starts at 5 p.m. Saturday, March 6. During the hour-long show, Music Director Elizabeth Schulze will lead the Maryland Symphony Orchestra through its musical interpretation of "John Henry" and "Paul Bunyan." Emmy award-winning children's show host Bob Heck will narrate the stories, which were written by composer Robert Lichtenberger of Ellicott City, Md.

Heck has served as Maryland Public Television's energetic Bob the Vid Tech since 1992, imparting short educational lessons to kids in his trademark green jacket, purple shirt and snazzy ties as host of "MPT KidWorks." Heck, who often portrays multiple characters in the same scene, has won the Capital Region Emmy Award five times. The Baltimore resident has worked as a stand-up comic, impressionist, actor, emcee and musician in theater, film and television for more than 20 years.

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Heck's upcoming appearance at The Maryland Theatre will mark his second such showing in Hagerstown. Bob the Vid Tech also delighted young audience members at the theater in April 2001, and his performance there was taped as part of a Vid Kid special called "Music To My Ears."

This year's concert also will include a performance by local dance instructor Niki Perini, who will portray the doll in "The Doll Song" from "The Tales of Hoffman" by Jacques Offenbach. Perini, Heck and members of the MSO's Youth Guild will further entertain the crowd with a rendition of "The Alphabet Song."

Prior to the concert, Food Resources Inc. will hold a food drive to benefit local families in need. The Food Resources van will be parked in front of the theater from 3 to 5 p.m. to collect nonperishable edibles and grocery store gift cards. FRI Executive Director Ruth Anne Callaham said she hopes to gather a half-ton of food from the drive. One pound of food equals a meal for a hungry child in Washington County, she said.

The Maryland Symphony Orchestra Guild and First Data Merchant Services are the main sponsors of the fourth annual family concert.

For more information, call the theater at 301-797-4000.

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