Best Of This Week

October 07, 2007

FREE FALL

SHE NEVER LOST A PASSENGER / / 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, 830 E. Pratt St. Free. 410-727-6000 or baltimoreopera.com.

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Vikki Jones stars as Harriet Tubman in this one-act Baltimore Opera Company production directed by James Harp and featuring a 25-child chorus. The opera, honoring Tubman, explores her travails in guiding 300 fugitive slaves to safety and freedom in the North.

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[ANNE TALLENT]

ART

ALL FAITHS BEAUTIFUL / / 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Highway. $12 adults, $8 students and seniors. 410-244-1900 or avam.org.

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The museum's new, year-long exhibition explores the meaning of faith and the different ways it has been expressed through the work of "outsider" or visionary artists. At a time when religious intolerance is again in the news, it offers the hope that people everywhere will learn to recognize the oneness of the human family through the diversity of our beliefs.

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[GLENN MCNATT]

TELEVISION

WOMEN'S MURDER CLUB / / 9 p.m. Friday. WMAR-TV (Channel 2).

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Based on the James Patterson crime novels, this new ABC drama stars Angie Harmon (Law & Order) as Lindsay Boxer, a San Francisco police detective for whom gender plays an all-important crime-solving role.

Boxer is the driving force behind an informal, women-only group of professionals who catch bad guys. Her three partners: an assistant DA, a medical examiner and a reporter.

There is one guy behind the scenes who does matter: Executive producer Scott Winant (My So-Called Life) directed a winning pilot.

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[DAVID ZURAWIK]

WASHINGTON

CELEBRATING AMERICA'S GARDENS / / 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Today. U.S. Botanic Garden, 100 Maryland Ave. S.W., Washington. Free. 202-225-8333.

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View 20 botanic gardens from around the nation in two exhibits at the U.S. Botanic Garden: A Sense of Place and Green Today Growing Tomorrows.

Gardens in A Sense of Place are from Clermont, Ky.; Norfolk, Va.; Chapel Hill, N.C.; Denver, Colo.; Hawaii and other communities throughout the U.S.

Gardens in Green Today Growing Tomorrows are from St. Louis; Chicago; Coral Gables, Fla.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Asheville, N.C. and other communities.

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[KARLAYNE PARKER]

POP

BOYZ II MEN / / 8 p.m. Friday. Rams Head Live, 20 Market Place. $22 advance, $25 day of the show. 410-244-8856 or ramsheadlive.com.

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Although Boyz II Men have been commercially quiet for a while, they still remain one of the most successful vocal groups of all time. Throughout the '90s, the Philly unit racked up multi-platinum hit ballads including "End of the Road" and "I'll Make Love to You." The hits may have stopped, but the guys are still performing.

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[RASHOD D. OLLISON]

FILM

OFFICE SPACE / / 9:30 p.m. Friday, 10 p.m. Saturday. AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $8.50. 301-495-6700 or afi.com / silver.

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Mike Judge, the creator of Beavis and Butt-Head and King of the Hill, wrote and directed this 1999 cult comedy, a hilarious knockdown of corporate culture. Ron Livingston stars as a software engineer who drifts through his day in a state of agitated apathy. His girlfriend makes him go to a hypnotherapist, who puts him into deep relaxation and then promptly keels over from a heart attack.

In his new serene condition, Livingston is able to achieve his dream of doing next to nothing. Questioned about his habits, he admits he does only "about 15 minutes of real, actual work" in a given week; overnight his frankness makes him, in the terminology of the personnel manager, "a straight shooter with upper management written all over him." No wonder it's become a recurring attraction at the DC Labor FilmFest.

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[MICHAEL SRAGOW]

THEATER

A SHAYNA MAIDEL / / 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays-Thursdays; 8 p.m. Fridays; 2:30 p.m., 8 p.m. Saturdays; 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Through Nov. 4. Howard Community College's Horowitz Center, 10901 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia. 410-772-4900 or www.repstage.org.

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Set in Brooklyn in 1946, Barbara Lebow's play examines a family's ability to heal itself in the wake of the Holocaust. Two sisters meet and discuss events some 15 years in the past, when their family was split by World War II. The father and one daughter fled Poland and made it to safety in New York, while the mother and another daughter ran afoul of the Nazis.

A Shayna Maidel made its debut in New York in 1987 and was praised by critics for its sensitive portrait of a family devastated by war.

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[MARY CAROLE McCAULEY]

MUSIC

PRO MUSICA RARA / / 3:30 p.m. today. Towson University Center for the Arts, Recital Hall, Osler and Cross Campus drives. $10-$25. 410-704-2787.

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Pro Musica Rara opens its season with a family affair -- works by Johann Sebastian Bach and his four sons. This ensemble, devoted to early music played on period instruments, performs in an intimate space ideal for catching the subtleties of those instruments. Today's roster of artists includes cellist and Pro Musica director Allen Whear, violinist Madeline Adkins, flutist Sara Nichols and harpsichordist Amy Rosser.

Next month, Pro Musica focuses on Mozart. A January program will feature a face-off between Bach and Telemann. Boccherini gets attention in March, Beethoven in May.

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[TIM SMITH]

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