"Emerald City" is the largely autobiographical account of Australian screenwriter David Williamson's triumph over temptation. The script is long on talk and short on action, but hTC Williamson -- whose credits include "Gallipoli" and "The Year of Living Dangerously" -- writes with wit and intelligence, and Theatre Hopkins' production does justice to both. Performances are at 8:30 p.m. today and 2:15 p.m. tomorrow in the Merrick Barn on the Johns Hopkins University campus. Tickets are $7.50 and $10. Call (410) 516-7159. "A Midnight Clear" is a young man's meditation on the horrors of war. It follows a platoon of high-IQ American GIs in the Ardennes in late 1944 who hope only to survive honorably by engineering a fake skirmish with some equally weary Germans. Of course, it goes tragically wrong. A strong, if somewhat over-sentimentalized film, from the former actor Keith Gordon. Best thing is the cast of beardless warriors, played by Arye Gross, Ethan Hawk and Kevin Dillon. Opens today at Loews Yorkridge. Rated R. **.
Most rock stars merely simplify the blues, boiling it down to a set of lyrical cliches and easily recognized mannerisms. But Eric Clapton has always tried to take his music a step closer to the honesty of the great bluesmen. And seldom has he come closer than with "Tears in Heaven," a song inspired by the death of his son that reiterates none of the expected blues mannerisms, yet cuts straight to the music's emotional core. Perhaps that's why his Capital Centre concert tomorrow sold out within hours, making it the hottest ticket of the pre-summer concert season. Show time is 8 p.m. Call (410) 792-7490.