THEATERBreathtaking experienceWhen "Les Miserables" came...

WEEKEND PICKS

April 18, 1992|By J. Wynn Rousuck

THEATER

Breathtaking experience

When "Les Miserables" came to the Mechanic Theatre two years ago, it looked and sounded better than any show ever had there. Now this musical adaptation of Victor Hugo's 19th century epic novel has returned, and although a few of the performances don't shine as brightly, the overall effect is as breathtaking as ever. Weekend show times are today at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and tomorrow at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are scarce, but a few are still available. Prices are $43.50-$48.50. Call (410) 625-1400. "Mining the Museum" is Fred Wilson's fascinating, trailblazing installation that takes up the entire temporary exhibition floor at the Maryland Historical Society. Drawing on the society's entire, wide-ranging collection, Wilson has used everything from paintings to pikes, from a sedan chair to a whipping post, from duck decoys to broadsheets seeking runaway slaves, to create a work about the African-American and American Indian experience in Maryland, and how the historical society's collection does and doesn't reflect that experience. A joint project of the society and the Museum for Contemporary Arts, this is like nothing that has ever been seen before and it must be seen -- by everyone. It runs through May 30. Call (410) 685-3750.

John Dorsey

MOVIES

'City of Joy'

Based on a novel by Dominique Lapierre, "City of Joy" is about a disillusioned young doctor finding himself in the human flotsam and jetsam of the Third World. Patrick Swayze, frisky as a jack rabbit, plays Dr. Max Lowe, a Houston surgeon, who gives up on medicine when one of his young patients dies on the operating table. When Swayze does the touchy-feely routine it makes you want to laugh. But Swayze, no matter how irritating, indeed makes an appropriate surgical probe into Calcutta's City of Joy -- the only part of the earth that the meek have inherited.

Stephen Hunter Jerry Seinfeld is not yet the household name that Roseanne Barr or Bill Cosby is. But he's the hottest stand-up comic working in series TV this year. The audience for "Seinfeld," the show, is up 30 percent from a year ago. And Seinfeld, the comedian, gets his first shot as guest host of "Saturday Night Live," tonight at 11:30 on WMAR-TV (Channel 2). Seinfeld and SNL sound like a perfect marriage. And Annie Lennox as the musical guest ain't bad, either.

David Zurawik

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