Best Of This Week

September 23, 2007

POP

BRANDI CARLILE -- 7 p.m. Saturday. Rams Head Live, 20 Market Place. $20.50. 410-244-1131 or ramsheadlive.com

The talented folk-rock singer-songwriter from Seattle has a full voice and evocative storytelling that belie her 23 years. Her dreamy major label debut, The Story (released earlier this year), was produced by the great T-Bone Burnett and has been steadily generating buzz for the artist.

[RASHOD D. OLLISON]

TELEVISION

HEROES -- 9 p.m. tomorrow. WBAL (Channel 11)

Ordinary people with extraordinary powers trying to save the world - that was the premise of the most successful new series on network TV last year. Now it's back for Season 2, with one of the most diverse and engaging casts ever seen on television.

With blogs, online novels, young demographics and downloads to every mobile device imaginable, this is the future of network TV - if, indeed, the old medium has one.

My favorite character, Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka), a time-traveling Japanese businessman, is not only back for Season 2, he will be joined on the NBC Monday night lineup by a time-traveling newspaper reporter in Journeyman tomorrow night at 10.

[DAVID ZURAWIK]

CLASSICAL

MUSIC WASHINGTON CONCERT OPERA -- 6 p.m. today. Lisner Auditorium, George Washington University, 21st and H streets Northwest, Washington. $30-$90. 202-364-5826, concertopera.org

One indication of tenor Lawrence Brownlee's exceptional talent came in 2006, when he received the Marian Anderson Award and the Richard Tucker Award, the first artist to win both of these high-profile honors in the same year.

If you haven't yet sampled Brownlee's combination of vibrant tone and technical finesse, Washington Concert Opera offers a great opportunity today. He'll sing the role of Arturo in Bellini's melodyfest, I Puritani, with the dynamic Sarah Coburn as Elvira. Anthony Walker conducts.

[TIM SMITH]

THEATER

ANNA IN THE TROPICS -- 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 21. Fell's Point Corner Theatre, 251 S. Ann St. $17. 410-276-7837

Anna in the Tropics, a drama written by Nilo Cruz, won the Pulitzer Prize and tells the story of a 1929 cigar-rolling factory and how a new lector, Juan Julian, affects its workers. Julian reads the novel Anna Karenina to the rollers, and life soon mirrors literature as a web of love, loss and jealousy unfolds throughout the Ybor City factory in Florida. The cast includes Mark Poremba, Carolyn White, Richard Peck and Jaye Nicole.

[AARON CHESTER]

FILM

WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR? -- 6:30 p.m. Friday. Anita C. Leight Estuary Center, 700 Otter Point Road, Abingdon. Free, but reservations required. 410-612-1688 or 410-879-2000, Ext. 1688

Once upon a time, GM came up with a beautiful electric vehicle. Remember when Peter O'Toole in Lawrence of Arabia said he loved the desert because "it's clean"? That's how you feel about the sight of GM's EV1 floating down California highways. Silent, swift and sleek, it has a seductive purity as well as a common-sense economy. Launched in the mid-'90s, defunct by 2003, it had enough zip and sufficient fuel mileage capacity even for a California commute.

The spine of Chris Paine's documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? comes from his ability to sell the vehicle in ways that GM never tried. Along the way, he lays out the inertia and profiteering that riddles the auto and oil industries, the shortsightedness of bureaucrats, the inadequacy of competing technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells, and the passive corruption and compromise even of "good" politicians.

[MICHAEL SRAGOW]

WASHINGTON

MY TRIP TO AL-QAEDA -- 4 p.m. today, 7:30 p.m. Monday and Wednesday. $35. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F St. N.W., Washington. 202-467-4600 or kennedy-center.org

Pulitzer-Prize winner Lawrence Wright performs in a personal narrative based on his nonfiction best-seller, The Looming Tower. The play, under the helm of acclaimed director Gregory Mosher, first was performed at the New Yorker arts festival last fall. It brings to life the varied personalities involved in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and explores the toll taken on America's civil liberties.

The New York Times described the show as "engaging," while National Public Radio found it to be "an emotional journey."

[MARY CAROLE MCCAULEY]

BOOKS

BALTIMORE BOOK FESTIVAL -- 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday & Sunday. Mount Vernon Place, 600 block N. Charles St. Free. 1-877-BALTIMORE or baltimorebookfestival.com

This year's festival will feature Bravo designer Tim Gunn, Gilligan's Island star Tina Louise, cookbook author and former White House chef Walter Scheib in a weekend celebration of the literary arts.

In addition local and national authors, there will be jazz, blues, soul and reggae musical performances throughout the weekend.

[LIZ ATWOOD]

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