Best Of This Week

September 09, 2007

TELEVISION

ALIVE DAY MEMORIES: HOME FROM IRAQ / / 10:30 tonight. HBO

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James Gandolfini quickly finds meaningful life after The Sopranos as executive producer and interviewer for this stirring documentary on a new generation of veterans trying to adjust after being wounded in Iraq.

The term "alive day" refers to the day that the soldiers and Marines survived life-threatening injuries in the war. Gandolfini helps 10 men and women recount that day and the directions their lives have taken since.

The images are graphic -- including insurgent video of bomb blasts. The words are heartbreaking, brave, sarcastic, searing, angry and proud.

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[DAVID ZURAWIK]

FILM

CHICAGO 10 / / Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. Falvey Hall at MICA's Brown Center, 1301 Mount Royal Ave. $10. 410-223-2300

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No other American documentary-maker under 40 -- no youngish American moviemaker of any kind -- boasts as intriguing a resume as Brett Morgen, who will host the screening of his latest one-of-a-kind picture, Chicago 10, at MICA's Falvey Hall on Tuesday.

Morgen uses a mixture of motion-capture animation and period footage to revitalize the trial of the Chicago 8, who were charged with conspiracy and an "intent to incite" riots in the Windy City during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. (Morgen includes defense attorneys William Kunstler and Leonard Weinglass as part of his "Chicago 10.")

Chicago 10 marks Morgen's solo directing debut. As a portrait of the greatest show trial on earth in the Vietnam era, Chicago 10 may prove an ideal mixture of grit and glitz.

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[MICHAEL SRAGOW]

ART

JUDY CHICAGO: JEWISH IDENTITY / / Noon-4 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. Jewish Museum of Maryland, 15 Lloyd St. $5. 410-732-6400 or jewishmuseummd.org

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Best known for her pioneering feminist work The Dinner Party, which became an icon of the women's movement of the 1970s, artist Judy Chicago's show pays homage to her secular Jewish upbringing during the 1940s and '50s as the daughter of a Marxist postal worker-labor organizer and his wife, both of whom were descended from a long line of Eastern European rabbis. The show, on loan from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, examines how Chicago's Jewish identity has shaped her work and inspired her aspirations for peace, understanding and tolerance among the world's people.

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[GLENN MCNATT]

THEATER

THE WEDDING SINGER / / 8 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays; 2 p.m., 8 p.m. Saturdays; 1 p.m., 6:30 p.m. Sundays. Through Sept. 23. $25-$70. The France-Merrick Performing Arts Center, 12 N. Eutaw St. 410-547-7328 or france-merrickpac.com.

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A new national tour of The Wedding Singer, the first and perhaps best-known of the '80s tribute musicals, shimmies into the Hippodrome Tuesday for a two-week run. Bringing back the days of big hair, the mullet, upturned collars and the positive side of greed are Merritt David Janes as wedding singer Robbie Hart (the role originally created on film by Adam Sandler) and Erin Elizabeth Coors as butter-fingered waitress Julia Sullivan (the Drew Barrymore role). How totally rad.

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[MARY CAROLE MCCAULEY]

MUSIC

MACY GRAY / / 8 pm. Thursday. Lyric Opera House, 140 W. Mount Royal Ave. $30-$60. 410-547-SEAT or ticketmaster.com

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With her woozy, scratchy vocals, Macy Gray became an immediate pop sensation defying categorization with such hits as the Grammy-winning "I Try" and "Why Didn't You Call Me." After two aesthetically wobbly albums, she released in March the assured Big, an album that places her one-of-kind voice in a grand, pop-R&B context. And it works. On her tour, she's joined by the flavorful funk band, Brand New Heavies.

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[RASHOD D. OLLISON]

FASHION

GIELLA CUSTOM BLEND COSMETICS / / About Faces Day Spa and Salons locations: Wednesday, 110 West Timonium Road, Timonium, 410-560-6600; Thursday, The Shops At Kenilworth, Towson, 410-828-8666; and Friday, 1809 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville. 410-602-0888. Call for appointments; prices vary.

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Giella Poblocki, creator of GIELLA Custom Blend Cosmetics -- which specializes in mixing personalized makeup for individual clients, based on their hair, eye and skin color -- will come from New York to help Baltimoreans replace their sweet spring colors with rich fall ones. Poblocki will mix almost any makeup component for women, including lipsticks, moisturizers, bronzers and foundations.

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[TANIKA WHITE]

LEISURE

MARYLAND WINE FESTIVAL / / 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday. $20 for adults; $5 for children; free for children 7 and under. Carroll County Farm Museum, 500 S. Center St., Westminster. 410-386-3880 or www.maryland wine.com / mdwinefest

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