Best Of This Week

November 25, 2007

HOLIDAY

KENNEDY KRIEGER'S FESTIVAL OF TREES -- 10 a.m.-6 p.m. today. Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Road, Timonium. $5-$10; free for children 4 and younger. 443-923-7300 or festivaloftrees.kennedykriege r.org.

This is the last day of the annual fundraiser for the Kennedy Krieger Institute, which works to help children with developmental disabili ties. The holiday extravaganza includes live performances and many other events.

On view are 500 decorated trees that will get you in the holiday spir it. Get a start on your holiday shopping with 100 craft vendors. En joy watching the trains move along 500 feet of track in the train garden display. And Santa and his reindeer will be there, too.

[KARLAYNE PARKER]

THEATER

BALTIMORE: THE OPERA -- 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 3 p.m. Sun day, through Dec. 9. Theatre Project, 45 W. Preston St. $10-$20. 410-752-8558 or theatreproject.org. Squonk Opera takes the stage to celebrate nearly 300 years of Balti more's history in a whimsical 90-minute production. Take in a mon tage of Charm City culture as you watch local dancers and record ed interviews with Baltimore-area notables such as Ruby Glover, who died last month of a stroke. From hons to puppets to rock-and-roll, the show is sure to give you Baltimore as you've never seen it.

[KATY O'DONNELL]

FILM

LAWRENCE OF ARABIA -- 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. daily through Thursday. The Senator Theatre, 5904 York Road. $9. 410-435-8338.

Director David Lean's restored Lawrence of Arabia, playing at the Senator this week in all its 70 mm glory, thrills the senses and awakens underused portions of a viewer's brain.

Peter O'Toole's Lawrence - sensitive, brooding, capricious and bru tal - is one of the few convincing film portrayals of an eccentric genius, or any genius.

And Lean and his cinematographer, Freddie Young, make Lawrence's vision of a new Arab nation arising from the desert seductively con crete. They give us landscapes filled with harsh, perilous beauties and seductive portents. Every mirage, shadow or burst of sun regis ters as an omen or a puzzle in a movie that remains an infinite fascination.

[MICHAEL SRAGOW]

FASHION

SHOPPING & CHAMPAGNE -- 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Thursday. Topaz Hotel, 1733 N St. N.W., Washington. dcstylemag.com.

DC Style magazine, always one to showcase some of the finest in fashion, furniture and other fabulousness from the nation's capi tal, is providing an opportunity for its readers to browse the best of the best.

Participants will check out fashions, accessories and holiday gifts at the stylish Topaz Hotel while enjoying cocktails and desserts. The first 150 attendees will receive a goody bag. There also will be a charity raffle benefiting Martha's Table, a center for homeless adults and children.

[TANIKA WHITE]

TELEVISION

AVATAR: DAY OF THE BLACK SUN -- 8 p.m. Friday. Nickelodeon.

One of the kids' channel's top shows, Avatar: The Last Airbender, ends its fall run Friday with this hourlong special. Under the cover of a solar eclipse that weakens his enemies, Aang and his friends prepare a bold invasion plan to take down the evil Fire Lord.

The meticulously crafted animated series - in its third season - cen ters on Aang the Avatar, who must maintain the balance of power among the Water Tribes, Earth Kingdom, Fire Nation and Air Nomads. Although Avatar evokes the look of the popular but often shoddy Manga genre, the show stands out with its engaging plots and fleshed-out characters.

[TIM SWIFT]

ART

GRACE HARTIGAN -- 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, Thursday through Jan. 5. C. Grimaldis Gallery, 523 N. Charles St. Free. 410-539-1080 or cgrimaldisgallery.com.

The Baltimore-based master exhibits recent paintings accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog of the show in celebration of C. Grim aldis Gallery's 30th anniversary. Gallery owner Costas Grimaldis has championed Hartigan, who made her reputation as an Abstract-Expressionist painter in New York in the 1950s, for nearly all that time. The exhibition of Hartigan's handsome canvases, executed in her signature style that combines all-over abstraction with figura tive forms from history, literature and myth, promises to be one of the highlights of Baltimore's fall arts season. The opening recep tion is 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Thursday.

[GLENN MCNATT]

CLASSICAL

BACH'S B MINOR MASS -- 8 p.m. Saturday. Gordon Center for Perform ing Arts, 3506 Gwynnbrook Ave., Owings Mills. $20-$28. 410-625-3525 or cabalto.org.

If a giant meteor were on a crash course with Earth and you could only save one piece of classical music before the catastrophic im pact, what would it be? An awful lot of folks wouldn't need more than a nanosecond to respond: the B minor Mass by Johann Sebas tian Bach. Edward Polochick leads his Concert Artists of Baltimore this week in a performance of the work, which serves as a summa tion of Bach's incomparable art - really, of all Western music up to that time - and a foundation for all that was to come.

The Lutheran composer doesn't just create a kind of ecumenical statement here (the text wasn't completely kosher for Catholics or Lutherans in his day). More profoundly, Bach speaks through this Mass to, of and for all humanity.

[TIM SMITH]

POP

DAVE KOZ & FRIENDS CHRISTMAS TOUR -- 8 p.m. Monday. Hippodrome The atre at France-Merrick Performing Arts Center, 12 N. Eutaw St. $45-$68. 410-547-7328 or ticketmaster.com.

Smooth jazz sax man Dave Koz breezes through town with his musi cal friends to celebrate the holidays in song. He will be joined by fellow smooth jazz star Wayman Tisdale, '80s R&B singer-guitarist Jonathan Butler and former American Idol finalist Kimberley Locke.

[RASHOD D. OLLISON]

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