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Stage: theater, music, dance

April 07, 2005

A family affair

If you're tired of high-tech special effects, if you've overdosed on glitz, then maybe it's time to take a look at The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players, performing at the Theatre Project tonight through Sunday. The three-member family collects slides at yard sales and thrift shops, then creates original pop songs based on the images.

Dad Jason, plays guitar and keyboards and sings; 11-year-old Rachel plays drums and sings; and Mom Tina operates the slide projector. The Theatre Project calls it "an alternative family bonding experience."

Also on the bill is a performance by Baltimore's St. Veronica's Youth Steel Orchestra, whose members are city youth who learned to play steel drums as part of a program to instill positive attitudes and ideals. The group has performed throughout the East Coast, as well as in Trinidad and Tobago.

Showtimes at the Theatre Project, 45 W. Preston St., are 8 p.m. tonight through Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $20, general admission; $10 for children 14 and younger. For more information, call 410-752-8558.

-- J. Wynn Rousuck

Back for Mahler

Yuri Temirkanov is back in town this week to lead the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, reason enough to check out the Meyerhoff. The fact that he is conducting a work by Mahler makes it even more of a draw. Temirkanov's affinity for the sound and emotion of Mahler's musical language rivals that of the conductor's affinity for music from his native Russia.

From the evocative sleigh bells at the start to the endearing finale, with a soprano soloist describing the joys of heaven from a child's perspective, Mahler's Symphony No. 4 is one of his most endearing creations. Also on the program is Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4. Joining the BSO will be pianist Elisso Virsaladze and soprano Twyla Robinson.

Performances are at 8 tonight and tomorrow, 3 p.m. Sunday at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St. Also, 8 p.m. Saturday at the Music Center at Strathmore in north Bethesda. Tickets are $27 to $75. Call 410-783-8000.

-- Tim Smith

Sacred Music

If Giuseppe Verdi had never written all of those incomparable operas -- La Traviata, Rigoletto, Il Trovatore, Aida, Otello, and so many more -- and had instead composed only his monumental Requiem, he would still rank among the greatest composers.

In a way, his grand operas are in this drama-rich work for chorus, soloists and orchestra; there certainly is a very theatrical side to this setting of the ancient Latin Mass for the dead. But this is also very much a piece of sacred music, a profound reflection on the terror and mystery of death. More importantly, it transcends all denominational boundaries. The text may be specific, but the richness and power of the music give the words universal impact.

On Saturday, Tom Hall leads the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, Temple University Concert Choir and the Arlington Symphony Orchestra in a performance of this masterwork.

The concert is at 8 p.m. at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St. Tickets are $20 to $55. Call 410-523-7070.

-- Tim Smith

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