Up Front

UP FRONT

April 02, 2006

Keeping Africa close

Sure, we can all find the unmistakable shape of Africa on the map, but when it comes to pointing out Ethiopia or Botswana, the confidence, for many, goes out the window.

Fandex: Africa by Alex Katis ($9.95) makes it easier to understand the continent's geography with a portable mini-encyclopedia that covers all 52 countries, from Algeria to Zimbabwe.

TONI BRAXTON IN CONCERT / / TOMORROW / / Performance by the R&B singer and Maryland native (right), 8 p.m. at the Lyric Opera House, 140 W. Mount Royal Ave. $36-$53. 410-547-SEAT or ticketmaster.com.

NOW THROUGH APRIL 30

August Wilson's Radio Golf / / The playwright's final work, and last of his examination of African-American life in the 20th century, runs through April 30 at Center Stage, Pearlstone Theater, 700 N. Calvert St. $10-$65. 410-332-0033 or centerstage.org.

TODAY

Ragtime: The Musical / / The show, based on E.L. Doctorow's novel, is presented by Morgan State University Fine Arts Department and runs at 3 p.m. at the school's Murphy Fine Arts Center, 2201 Argonne Drive. $10-$20. 443-885-4443.

TOMORROW

Open mike / / Teens ages 13 to 18 can explore creative writing, slam poetry and more, 6:30 p.m. at the Catonsville Library, 1100 Frederick Road. Free. 410-887-0951 or bcplonline.org.

TUESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY

Civil Rights on stage / / Stars Stephanie Mills and Melba Moore headline If This Hat Could Talk, a play that celebrates the people and the achievements during the movement, takes the stage at the Lyric Opera House, 140 W. Mount Royal Ave. Times vary. $25-$45.50. 410-547-SEAT or ticketmaster.com.

WEDNESDAY

Reading by R.B. Jones / / The Baltimore Times columnist reads from his trilogy of anti-war poetry books, 6:30 p.m. at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Poe Room, 400 Cathedral St. Free. 410-396-5430 or www.epfl.net.

THURSDAY

BluesWorks performs / / Judy and Paul Watson and guitarist / singer Mike Baytop present the music and storiesof famous blues artists, 6:30 p.m. at the Light Street Branch Library, 1251 Light St. Free. 410-396-1096 or www.epfl.net.

FRIDAY

Lea Gilmore / / The jazz vocalist sings and lectures on black women's roles in blues music, 7 p.m. at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, 830 E. Pratt St. $10-$12. 443-263-1800 or africanamerican culture.org.

SATURDAY

Literary festival / / Visit the Enoch Pratt Free Library for City Lit Festival III, celebrating the literary arts in Baltimore with author readings, poetry workshops, panel discussions, book exhibits, open mike activities, kids' programs and more, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Central Library, 400 Cathedral St. Headlining the event will be author and hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina, the subject of the film Hotel Rwanda. There will be a showing of the Oscar-nominated movie before the author's talk. Free. 410-396-5430 or www.epfl.net.

Kids on the Hill film. Young people from the Reservoir Hill area show a claymation / animation documentary they created, noon-3 p.m. at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, 830 E. Pratt St. Questions with the filmmakers after the showing. Free with museum admission. 443-263-1800 or africanamericanculture.org.

April 10

R. Kelly. The R&B singer takes the stage, 8 p.m. at the Lyric Opera House, 140 W. Mount Royal Ave. $48-$66. 410-547-SEAT or ticketmaster.com.

April 15

Praise Dance Recital. Dancers from various worship groups perform, 3 p.m.-5 p.m. at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, 830 E. Pratt St. Free with museum admission. 443-263-1800 or africanamericanculture.org.

April 19

Poetry lecture. Dr. Jeffrey Lamar Coleman presents a lecture on "Pride and Protest: Poetry of the American Civil Rights Movement," 6:30 p.m. at the Pennsylvania Avenue Branch Library, 1531 W. North Ave. Coleman explores the impact of the movement on American writers. Free. 410-396-0399 or www.epfl.net.

April 23

Gospel Hip Hop. Contemporary gospel artist Kirk Franklin takes the stage along with Mary Mary 7:30 p.m. at the 1st Mariner Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St., $39.50 and $42.50. 410-347-2020 or ticketmaster.com.

April 28 through 30

"Hip-Hop to da Head." Kwikstep, Rokafella, Buttafly, Stretch and the rest of the members of Full Circle lock, pop, breakdance and uprock at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Family Theater, 2700 F St. N.W., Washington. Times vary. $15. 800-444-1324 or kennedy-center.org.

April 29

Hip-hop workshop. Learn funky moves with Afro-Latin hip-hop dance company Full Circle, 3 p.m. at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Atrium, 2700 F St. N.W., Washington. $15. 800-444-1324 or kennedy-center.org.

April 27 through May 6

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