''The Godfather III'' has the same texture, intensity and passion as the two "Godfather" films that preceded it. At times the action is a bit melodramatic, but the film never bores, particularly the finale, which takes place at the Palermo Opera House -- the action in the loges matches the activity on stage. Al Pacino, right, continues as Michael Corleone, who is now a legitimate businessman. His past, however, catches up with him. The cast includes Diane Keaton, George Hamilton and Andy Garcia. Violence, language. Rating: R. *** "The Nutcracker" will be performed by the Soviet Donetsk Ballet at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. today and 2 p.m. tomorrow at the Lyric Opera House, 140 W. Mount Royal Ave. Tickets: $17.00 to $29.00. Call 685-5086, or to charge, 481-6000. And Wednesday at 8:30 p.m.
The Yale Glee Club and Out of the Blue, an undergraduate a cappella singing group from Yale University, will sing at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in Kraushaar Auditorium at Goucher College. Fenno Heath, in his 38th year as director, will conduct the club in works by Brahms, Buckner, Vaughan-Williams and Cole Porter. Out of the Blue will sing popular, jazz and traditional songs. Tickets are $12 and $6 for students. Call 494-8388 for tickets or 363-0195
ERNEST IMHOFF The television adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's "Brideshead Revisited" was one of public TV's most popular dramas ever. Thus, a new Waugh work premiering on PBS' "Masterpiece Theatre" this weekend is worth a look. Michael Maloney, left, stars in "Scoop" (at 9, channels 22 and 67), a satirical, semi-autobiographical account of a quiet newspaper writer in England, content to chronicle nature subjects, who is suddenly sent to turbulent Africa as a foreign correspondent.
STEVE MCKERROW ''My Blue Heaven'' didn't do that well in the theaters, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth seeing. In fact, in many regards the film may look even better on the small screen. Steve Martin plays Vinnie, a man given a new identity as part of the federal Witness Protection Program. Rick Moranis is the FBI agent who tries to see that Vinnie behaves himself. A thoroughly delightful farce. Language, violence, Rating: PG-13. ***
LOU CEDRONE Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. is presenting an outstanding version of "Our Town," Thornton Wilder's classic that teaches the importance of living for the "now." Directed by Douglas C. Wager, this gentle play features veteran actor Robert Prosky in a superb performance as the stage manager. Christina Moore, right, and David Aaron Baker play young lovers struggling to achieve cherished dreams. 8 p.m., 6th Street and Maine Ave., S.W. Tickets: $32, $26. Call (202) 488-3300.