Best Of This Week

May 18, 2008

FESTIVALS

GET WIFF IT / / 10 a.m.-6 p.m. today. Reedbird Park, 201 Reedbird Ave. Free. 410-962-7070 or getwiffit.com.

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Get your fill of Wiffle ball at this tournament and fun fest, which features pro demonstrations, vendors, food and drinks for sale, live music, face painting, games, contests and more.

Watch as high school, college, adult and professional teams compete to win their division tournament games. You can also listen to local performers Jade Fox, Pasadena and Pikesvillain and test your luck with a variety of interactive games.

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[JENNIFER CHOI]

CLASSICAL

BALTIMORE CHAMBER ORCHESTRA / / 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Kraushaar Auditorium, Goucher College, 1021 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson. $35 (students free). 410-704-2787 or thebco.org.

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Call it a case of strangely coincidental, intriguingly ironic casting. Long before the controversial firing of radio talk-show host Marc Steiner by the management of WYPR-FM, Steiner had been engaged by the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra to fill one of the speaking parts in Igor Stravinsky's 1918 theatrical work, L'histoire du soldat (The Soldier's Tale). His role in this little drama: the Devil.

Joining the Peabody Award-winning Steiner will be another local radio personality, WBJC-FM's Jonathan Palevsky, as the Soldier; and Henry Fogel, president of the League of American Orchestras, as the Narrator. Based on a Russian folk tale, the Faustian story finds a soldier selling his fiddle to the Devil in exchange for the prospect of wealth and pleasure. One of the morals of the tale: "No one can have it all; that is forbidden."

Markand Thakar will conduct Stravinsky's colorful, edgy score on this season-finale program, which also includes Haydn's final symphony.

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[TIM SMITH]

THEATER

ART / / 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays; 8 p.m. Fridays; 2 p.m., 8 p.m. Saturdays; 2 p.m., 7 p.m. Sundays. Through June 29 at Everyman Theatre, 1727 N. Charles St. $16-$35. 410-752-2208 or everymantheatre.org.

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Yazmin Reza captured the 1998 Tony Award for best play for her tersely named Art. The drama is a witty, intriguing meditation on a 15-year friendship between three men that unravels after one of them spends an immense sum on a modern painting of white lines on a white background.

The painting might be a blank canvas -- but Yvan, Serge and Marc -- all of who have intense and different responses to the artwork -- definitely are not.

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[MARY CAROLE MCCAULEY]

DVD

NATIONAL TREASURE 2 -- BOOK OF SECRETS / / Walt Disney Video. Available Tuesday. Two-disc collector's edition, $34.99; single-disc edition, $29.99

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No Raiders of the Lost Ark imitation has been more enjoyable or successful than the first National Treasure movie, partly because Nicolas Cage's "treasure protector" Ben Gates isn't just a Harrison Ford wannabe but a combination Indiana Jones and Sherlock Holmes. As he discovers the secrets behind historical artifacts, he mixes up "Eureka!" and "Gotcha!" moments, bringing gusto and killer instincts to guesswork and deduction.

This sequel, centering on Lincoln's assassination, isn't as loose or inspired as the original, but it features a couple of good scenes between Cage and Bruce Greenwood, who gives an unnamed U.S. president some of the charisma of Greenwood's JFK in Thirteen Days (2000). Greenwood understands the hopefulness and humor of depicting a chief executive today as a man of curiosity and wit; everything he does has a sparkle to it.

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[MICHAEL SRAGOW]

POP MUSIC

KRS-ONE / / 8 p.m. Thursday. Sonar Lounge, 407 E. Saratoga St. $18. 410-547-7328 or ticket master.com.

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As the leader of Boogie Down Productions in the 1980s, KRS-One (born Kris Parker) became one of the most influential figures in hip-hop. His music, which he famously dubbed "edutainment," was lyrically progressive, pioneering the "conscious rap" sub-genre.

Today, as one of the elder statesmen of hip-hop, he remains vocal about the positive and negative changes in the culture. His latest effort -- last year's Hip Hop Lives, a ho-hum duet album with Marley Marl -- didn't do much to make him relevant in today's rap realm. But KRS-One's legendary status in hip-hop remains uncontested.

Slated to perform with KRS-One are Salim & the Music Lovers, Unreal and Knotsworth.

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[RASHOD D. OLLISON]

TELEVISION

TV ONE ON ONE / / 9 tonight. TV One.

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Comedian and actress Mo'Nique sits down with host Cathy Hughes to talk about her showbiz journey from an open-mike night at a comedy club in Baltimore to a network TV series and feature-film roles in Hollywood.

It was Oprah Winfrey, she says, who inspired her during a class field trip to the studio of the Baltimore TV show Winfrey was then hosting at WJZ.

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