TELEVISIONElvis: 'The Untold Story'Elvis lives -- at least...

WEEKEND PICKS

January 09, 1993|By David Zurawik MOVIES 'Chaplin'

TELEVISION

Elvis: 'The Untold Story'

Elvis lives -- at least in NBC's "Elvis and the Colonel: The Untold Story," at 9 tomorrow night on WMAR (Channel 2). The story is told by an Elvis character who appears at key points in the film to share his Memphis-style remembrance of things past. Mainly what's recounted is Big E's relationship with Col. Tom Parker, the man who managed Presley's career with an iron hand. Beau Bridges is fascinating in a loopy kind of way as Parker. The Elvis stuff is so bad it's good. "Chaplin" is a big-budget look at the man behind one of the world's most beloved movie characters, the Little Tramp. A lot of money has been spent on the film and Robert Downey Jr. is sometimes amazing in the title role. But I wish the director had been moved to pay more attention to Chaplin the clown-genius than Chaplin the political martyr. After all, he wasn't exactly Steve Biko. **. PG-13.

Stephen Hunter

THEATER

A lovely 'Garden'

The production of "The Secret Garden" currently at Washington's Kennedy Center is the rare road show that surpasses the Broadway original. The plot, based on Frances Hodgson Burnett's beloved children's novel, has been weeded and pruned, and the result is a "Garden" in which everything blooms -- librettist Marsha Norman's story of rebirth and renewal as well as composer Lucy Simon's lush score and designer Heidi Landesman's Victorian Valentine sets. Weekend performances are today and tomorrow at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets are $27.50- $55. Call (800) 444-1324.

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J. Wynn Rousuck

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