Best Of This Week

September 30, 2007

MUSIC

VH1 HIP HOP HONORS TOUR / / Tonight, doors open at 7, concert at 8:30. Rams Head Live, 20 Market Place. $35 general admission; $75 for the loft. 410-244-1131 and ramsheadlive.com

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The 2 1 / 2 -hour show features the classic hip-hop sounds of MC Lyte and Big Daddy Kane, backed by the Roots. Each performer has a connection to VH1's Hip Hop Honors show: Lyte and Kane are both former honorees and Roots' drummer and focal point, Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson, has served as the program's musical director.

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[RASHOD D. OLLISON]

FESTIVAL

STREET BEAT / / Today, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Federal Hill's Main Street. Free. historicfederalhill.org

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According to organizers, 10,000 to 15,000 people flock to Federal Hill's largest festival every year to browse booths filled with art, antiques, jewelry and crafts while 15 bands play on three stages throughout the day.

Even more exciting: Dine and drink at Federal Hill's restaurants while there.

The festival also is offering a children's area, with games and crafts.

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[TANIKA WHITE]

THEATER

THE PILLOWMAN / / 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 20; 4 p.m. Oct. 7 and 14. Mobtown Players, 3600 Clipper Mill Road, Suite 114. 410-467-3057 or mobtownplayers.com

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Chances are highly unlikely that The Pillowman will give anyone sweet dreams. Martin McDonagh's play, set in a totalitarian society, involves the interrogation of a writer whose short stories bear disturbing similarities to a series of brutal child murders.

The play won a slew of awards in the United Kingdom in 2004 and the U.S. in 2005; one reviewer wrote that the play was so disgusting, yet simultaneously so humane and so funny that half the audience left at intermission, while the other half remained riveted in their seats.

Please note that the show contains offensive language, strong subject matter and stage violence; it is not appropriate for children or for adults with queasy stomachs.

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[MARY CAROLE McCAULEY]

ART

ALTERED STATES / / Reception 3 p.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. Galerie Francoise II, 3500 Parkdale Ave., Building 1, Third Floor, Suite 20. 410-523-2787 or galeriefrancoiseesf.com.

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Painter Tonya Ingersol's meticulously crafted oil-on-wood-panel paintings depict African-American figures in commonplace but emotionally fraught settings.

Ingersol paints in a realistic style but suppresses any obvious narrative; the drama is implied rather than stated directly, and the works overall are characterized by great conceptual sophistication and dry visual irony.

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[GLENN MCNATT]

WASHINGTON

THROUGH THE EYES OF THE CONDOR / / 9.a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays. National Geographic Museum. 1145 17th St. N.W., Washington. Free. 202-857-7588 or nationalgeographic.com / museum.

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Leaning from the open doorways of helicopters and small airplanes, aerial photographer Robert B. Haas captured the colors and textures of Latin America. Haas spent more than two years in 14 countries.

Now, an exhibit of 40 images is on display until Nov. 4 in Explorers Hall at the National Geographic Museum.

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[MIKE FARRELL]

FILM

DIAL M FOR MURDER / / Wednesday, 7 p.m. Charles Theatre, 1711 N. Charles St. Free. E-mail for tickets at tickets@mdfilmfest.com or call 410-752-8083.

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If you've watched Hitchcock's killingly droll Dial M for Murder on TV or home video and wondered why, visually, it merely seemed tight and workmanlike, there's one good reason: the maestro shot it in 3-D and exploited that process and the foreground-heavy sets to bring home the claustrophobia of the imperiled heroine (Grace Kelly).

The 3-D version received only a modest release in 1954; most theaters showed it "flat." But Wednesday at the Charles, the Maryland Film Festival and Free Fall Baltimore will present Dial M for Murder in the way the movie gods, and Hitch, intended. This way, when Kelly swings a pair of scissors at an assailant, you feel you have to duck.

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[MICHAEL SRAGOW]

TELEVISION

PUSHING DAISIES / / 8 p.m. Wednesday. WMAR-TV (Channel 2).

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This whimsical ABC dramedy stars Lee Pace as a young baker (he owns a pie shop) who finds that he can bring people back from the dead just by touching them. There is only one catch: If he touches them a second time, they are forever dead.

The hero is caught in a torturous cycle of longing and frustration after he brings the love of his life back from the grave.

There is no shortage of talent here -- Barry Sonnenfeld (Men in Black) is executive producer, with Anna Friel and Chi McBride as co-stars.

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[DAVID ZURAWIK]

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