The Big Three

March 09, 2006

OPERA

'DEAD MAN WALKING'

Operas don't get more relevant or provocative than Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking. Based on Sister Helen Prejean's best-selling book and with a potent libretto by Terrence McNally, the piece from 2000 takes the audience deep into the thorny issue of capital punishment, touching just about every side along the way.

A combination of taut drama (with some welcome humor) and an accessible score (with some richly melodic music) have made this one of the most popular works of American music-theater in decades. It has been staged all over the country and, increasingly, abroad.

The Baltimore Opera Company production promises a standout cast, including the originator of the title role, baritone John Packard as Joseph De Rocher; mezzo-soprano Theodora Hanslowe as Sister Helen; and soprano Diana Soviero as De Rocher's mother. Patrick Summers conducts.

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Performances are 8:15 p.m. Saturday and March 17, 7:30 p.m. March 15 and 3 p.m. March 19 at the Lyric Opera House, 140 W. Mount Royal Ave. Tickets are $40 to $132. Call 410-727-6000 or visit baltimore opera.com.

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[TIM SMITH]

EVENT

ST. PADDY'S DAY PARADE AND RUN

Don your brightest green and come out for the St. Patrick's Day Parade and Shamrock 5K Run, both starting in Mount Vernon Sunday. The parade kicks off at 2 p.m. from Charles and Mulberry streets, heads south on Charles Street, east on Pratt Street, then concludes at Pratt Street and Market Place. A reviewing stand will be near Pratt and Light streets. This is the 50th year for the parade, which is presented by 11 Irish organizations in the city.

The Shamrock 5K Run begins at 1:15 p.m. at Charles and Franklin streets, travels south on Charles Street to Conway Street to Light Street to Key Highway, then back to Light Street to Pratt Street and finally to Market Place. A post-race party at Market Place and Water Street will have light refreshments and an awards ceremony.

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The parade begins at 2 p.m. at Charles and Mulberry streets, while the run begins at 1:15 p.m. at Charles and Franklin streets, Sunday. The parade is free. The run costs $35 for participants, but registration is limited on race day. For information on the race, call 410-308-1870 or visit charm cityrun.com. For parade information, visit irishparade.net or saintpatricksday parade.com / baltimore.

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[LORI SEARS]

PERFORMANCE

IT'S THE FLYING K'S

You could say the Flying Karamazov Brothers are good with their hands. The four men, who happen to not be brothers, airborne or Russian, are master jugglers who have been performing since 1973. And they're bringing their new show, Life: A Guide for the Perplexed, to the Music Center at Strathmore tonight.

Pavel (Roderick Kimball), Dmitri (Paul Magid), Ivan (Howard Jay Patterson) and Alexei (Mark Ettinger) can, in fact, juggle nearly anything, from knives to skateboards, although they tend to favor clubs and balls. The humorous show, full of music, dancing and lots of juggling, features a segment called "The Gamble," in which Dmitri bets the crowd that he can juggle three awkward items brought in by audience members.

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The show is at 8 p.m. today at the Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $15-$40. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.

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[LORI SEARS]

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