Twofer tickets on sale for Broadway Week

NEW YORK - Two-for-one tickets go on sale Monday for Broadway Week, with performances of participating shows taking place Sept. 1-14.

Shows taking part in the discount promotion range from long-running hits like "The Lion King" and "Wicked" to the 2014 Tony Award winner for best musical, "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder." The list also includes several new shows that will still be in previews or are just opening, including "The Country House," with Blythe Danner, "You Can't Take It With You," with James Earl Jones, and "This is Our Youth," with Michael Cera.

Baltimore gears up for Star-Spangled events

BALTIMORE - Tall ships, a Blue Angels air show and a majestic fireworks display will be among the highlights of a weeklong celebration of the 200th anniversary of the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner.

The weeklong, multi-million-dollar celebration begins Sept. 10, and will feature musical performances by Smokey Robinson, Kristin Chenoweth and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, whose Irish rock band, O'Malley's March, is on the bill for Baltimore's biggest bash of the year.

The celebration commemorates the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Baltimore, when American troops protected Fort McHenry from British invasion.

Francis Scott Key, a Baltimore-area lawyer, had been sent onto a British vessel to negotiate the release of an American hostage when a 25-hour air strike began. But when the smoke cleared, Key saw that the American flag was still secured above the ramparts at Fort McHenry. So inspired was Key that he wrote the lyrics to what would become America's national anthem.

Fort McHenry will have on display Key's original manuscript and a portion of the original American flag, as well as the national 9/11 flag. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell will visit Fort McHenry on Sept. 14.

Associated Press