Best Of This Week

May 25, 2008

TELEVISION

THE D.C. SNIPER'S WIFE: A BARBARA KOPPLE FILM / / 9 p.m. Saturday. TruTV.

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Barbara Kopple, who twice won Academy Awards for socially conscious documentaries in Harlan County USA (1976) and American Dream (1990), takes viewers back to 2002 and the fear that gripped suburban Maryland and Virginia during a string of Beltway and Interstate killings.

Her entree to the story is Mildred Muhammad, the ex-wife of John Allen Muhammad. He, along with a young accomplice, was convicted of the serial killings.

Muhammad's home life, including a transformation that his wife says took hold of him after he returned from the Gulf War, is examined through videos, photos and interviews with the couple's children.

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[DAVID ZURAWIK]

POP MUSIC

JAMES TAYLOR / / 8 p.m. Saturday. Pier Six Concert Pavilion, 731 Eastern Ave. $72. 410-547-7328 or ticketmaster.com.

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One of the most beloved singer-songwriters in pop, James Taylor first rose to prominence in the 1970s as part of a wave of sensitive male singer-songwriters that included Jackson Browne, John Denver and Cat Stevens. His classics -- particularly "Fire and Rain" and "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight" -- have been done over the years by the likes of Bobby Womack, the Isley Brothers and Natalie Cole. The singer-musician's sound has mellowed nicely. Taylor's latest release is One Man Band, a stripped-down live CD / DVD set that features 20 of his classics, all superbly rendered.

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[RASHOD D. OLLISON]

ART

AFGHAN TREASURES / / 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Free. National Gallery of Art, Seventh Street and Constitution Avenue Northwest, Washington. 202-737-4215 or nga.gov.

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In 2004, a trove of 2,000-year-old objects long thought to have been lost or stolen during Afghanistan's decades-long civil unrest was rediscovered intact in a vault hidden beneath the Presidential Palace in Kabul. The objects, which included bronze and stone sculptures, golden vessels, intricately carved ivories, painted glass and gold jewelry, testified to Afghanistan's strategic location astride the ancient trade routes known as the Silk Road, which stretched from Asia to the Mediterranean Sea.

The National Gallery of Art show Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul features 225 objects from the era, many of which have never been exhibited in the United States and which are now the property of the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul. The exhibition also features daily showings of a short film narrated by Afghan writer Khalid Hosseini, author of the best-selling novels The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, about the rediscovery and excavation of the artworks; a longer version of the film will be shown at selected times throughout the summer, starting July 1.

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[GLENN MCNATT]

DVD

WHAT WOULD JESUS BUY? / / Available Tuesday. Hart Sharp Video. $24.95

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Celebrate Christmas right after Memorial Day with What Would Jesus Buy?, a documentary in the style of a freewheeling performance film. It crackles with the humorous effrontery of its subject, performance artist Bill Talen. In his guise as Reverend Billy, the bleached-blond leader of the Church of Stop Shopping, he preaches against the forces of American consumerism, especially during the holidays, with a grass-roots theatrical esprit. Talen's Reverend Billy brings an Elmer Gantry-like hyperbole and grit, and satiric improvisations, to the overblown antics of TV evangelists, then puts it all to a good cause: salvaging Yuletide's soul from salesmanship.

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[MICHAEL SRAGOW]

LEISURE

ANNUAL GREEK FESTIVAL / / 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 1 p.m.-7 p.m. Sunday. Saints Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church, 2747 Riva Road, Annapolis. Free admission. 410-573-2072 or schgochurch.org.

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It's all Greek in Annapolis for three days. The annual Hellenic festival features a smorgasbord of Greek cuisine, including moussaka, dolmades, baklava and gyros.

Vendors will also sell Greek wine, jewelry, crafts and books. The program also features a raffle, Greek and Cypriot folk dance performances by the church's award-winning youth dance groups and live music.

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[JENNIFER CHOI]

CLASSICAL

GREATER BALTIMORE YOUTH ORCHESTRA / / 4 p.m. today. Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St. $10-$20 at the door. gbyo.com.

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The Greater Baltimore Youth Orchestra fulfills a vital function in the region, giving students invaluable experience and preparation for a potential life of music. The organization's season finale this afternoon offers a wide range of repertoire, including Vivaldi, Wagner and the movies -- an excerpt from John Corigliano's score to Altered States. Jason Love conducts the full orchestra, MaryAnn Poling the string ensemble.

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