Best Of This Week

April 06, 2008

MUSIC

KEITH URBAN AND CARRIE UNDERWOOD / / 7:30 p.m., Wednesday. 1st Mariner Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St. $43-$73. 410-547-7328 or ticketmaster.com

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This is definitely a picture-perfect tour, headlined by two of country music's most beautiful people. And beyond the stylish gear and great hair, Urban and Underwood are talented artists, imbuing country with accessible pop textures. It also doesn't hurt that each has sold truckloads of albums.

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[RASHOD OLLISON]

TELEVISION

THE GREATEST SILENCE: RAPE IN THE CONGO / / 10 p.m. Tuesday. HBO

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With its unflinching commitment to daring documentaries, HBO has become the social conscience of American television. In The Greatest Silence, Emmy-Award-winning filmmaker Lisa F. Jackson chronicles a shocking pattern of attacks on women and girls that has gone on for more than a decade in the war-ravaged Democratic Republic of Congo. The film won the Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

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[DAVID ZURAWIK]

THEATER

THE WINTER'S TALE / / 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 5 p.m. Sundays, through April 27. St. Mary's Outreach Center, 3900 Roland Ave. $20-$25. 410-366-8594 or baltimoreshakespeare.org

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Although its title brings to mind snowstorms and blustery gales, The Winter's Tale really is an evocation of the rebirth and regenerative promise of spring. Half a tragedy and half a romantic comedy, this late work of the Bard's tells the story of Leontes, the King of Sicilia and his obsessive fears that his pregnant wife and best friend are having an affair. The production is being directed by Kathleen Akerley, a two-time nominee for Helen Hayes Awards, and the design will emphasize the story's storybook, fairy-tale feel. There's no word yet on how Akerley will orchestrate the Bard's single most famous stage direction: "Exit, pursued by a bear."

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[MARY CAROLE MCCAULEY]

ART

THE VOSS FAMILY, ARTISTS OF AMERICAN SPORTING LIFE / / 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Maryland Historical Society, 201 W. Monument St. $4 adults, $3 students and seniors. Opens Friday. 410-685-3750 or www. mdhs.org

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From the 1920s through the 1940s, Maryland painter Franklin B. Voss was America's premier creator of equestrian art, our homegrown version of the great British horse painter George Stubbs. Voss traveled the country to paint the most famous horseflesh of his day, producing stirring images of such noble champions as Seabiscuit, Man o' War, War Admiral and many others. The historical society show presents more than 85 works by Voss and other members of his large, artistically gifted family. If you liked the Stubbs exhibition at the Walters a few years ago, or if you just love horses, this show is for you.

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[GLENN MCNATT]

DVD

WALK HARD: THE DEWEY COX STORY / / Available Tuesday. Sony two-disc special edition. DVD: $29.96; Blu-ray: $43.95

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Grab-bag movie parodies have been bonanzas ever since that slapstick disaster epic Airplane! in 1980, yet few have matched its nonstop hilarity until Walk Hard, starring John C. Reilly as fictional rock 'n' roller Dewey Cox in an unbuttoned burlesque of musical biopics like Walk the Line. Although it failed to attract moviegoers in December, home-video fans should adopt it the way they have This Is Spinal Tap! Reilly brings a streak of comic genius to a doofus of destiny, and director Jake Kasdan displays 20-20 hyperbole as he skewers every cliche of biographical pictures, from the female characters who register only as wives or mistresses to the sidekicks who exist to make the lead singer look more heroic.

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[MICHAEL SRAGOW]

CLASSICAL

CONTINUUM / / 8 p.m. Wednesday. Fine Arts Recital Hall, UMBC, 1000 Hilltop Circle. $3-$7 (free for students). 410-752-8950, missiontix.com

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Music lovers seeking jolts of provocative fare know they can always count on Continuum. Directed by Cheryl Seltzer and Joel Sachs, this New York-based, multiple award-winning ensemble has been exploring the fertile fields of contemporary music for nearly 40 years. On Wednesday, in a visit that UMBC's director of arts and culture Tom Moore calls "our most important music event of the year," Continuum will focus on composers born in Central Asia, including Sansar Sangidorj (Mongolia), Zarina Mirshakar (Tajikistan) and Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky (Uzbekistan). Several world and U.S. premieres are on the program, which features works for various combinations of instrumental and vocal forces.

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[TIM SMITH]

WASHINGTON

26TH ANNUAL SMITHSONIAN CRAFT SHOW / / 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. April 13. National Building Museum, 401 F St. N.W., Washington. $12-$15. 888-832-9554 or smithsonian craftshow.org

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One of the nation's most prestigious juried exhibitions and sales of contemporary American craft, the show features 120 exhibitors, including master craftsmen and up-and-coming artists, chosen from 1,400 applicants by an expert panel.

Offerings include limited-edition and unique ceramic, glass, jewelry, furniture, leather, metal, mixed-media, wood, paper, basketry, decorative-fiber and wearable-art items. Visitors can also see demonstrations and hear discussions given by selected artists.

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[JENNIFER CHOI]

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