Best Of This Week

August 03, 2008

Classical

Fiesta: . Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela; Gustavo Dudamel, conductor. Released on the Deutsche Grammophon label. Retail price about $17. Available from various retail and online stores.

One way to deal with all the heat at this time of year is to just crank up the air conditioning and chill. Another is to pour on even more heat.

For a particularly steamy dose of the latter treatment, check out Fiesta, the newest CD by the sensational Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra and its high-wattage conductor Gustavo Dudamel.

This live recording of Latin-American music gets the temperature rising from the first percussive rumblings of Sensemaya by Mexico's Silvestre Revueltas. Richly pictorial pieces by Venezuela's Inocente Carreno, Antonio Esteves and Evencio Castellanos generate plenty of expressive warmth as Dudamel draws brilliant playing from his young musicians.

And just try to sit still during the Malambo from the Estancia ballet by Argentina's Alberto Ginastera. Ditto for the sole North American item, the Mambo from Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story, a calling card of this uplifting, bravura-packed orchestra.

Tim Smith

DVD

The Counterfeiters: Sony; DVD, $28.96; Blu-ray $38.96; Available Tuesday

Austrian writer-director Stefan Ruzowitzky's The Counterfeiters, like The Lives of Others , is the rare Academy Award-winner that actually deserves its best foreign film Oscar. Based on a real-life story, this picture starts small but becomes a miniature epic of overreach and moral drift. The anti-hero, Salomon "Sally" Sorowitsch (Karl Markovics), is the world's best counterfeiter. When the Nazis throw him into the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, he gets the chance to achieve a goal long thought impossible: Creating a perfect copy of the U.S. dollar bill. Sally mostly saves - from the Nazis, and from themselves - the diverse designers, photographers, artists and printers in his group. Yet he supervises the forgeries so well that he may enable the Nazis to make good on a plan to devalue Allied currency. The Counterfeiters is more than the tale of a craftsman's pride overtaking his ethics. Sally's normal ethics amount to demanding prompt payment for his services. The movie is really about the value and the danger of improvising one's existence day by day. It generates two-tiered suspense: will Sally survive? And will he survive with honor? This movie has the power of a one-two punch.

Michael Sragow

POP

Gladys Knight: 7:30 tonight at the Pier Six Concert Pavilion, 731 Eastern Ave. Tickets are $55-$85 and are available through Ticketmaster by calling 410-547-7328 or going to ticketmas ter.com.

After more than 50 years of performing, Gladys Knight, one of pop's more underrated vocalists, still looks and sounds great.

That grits-and-honey voice that charged such classics as "I Heard it Through the Grapevine," "I've Got to Use My Imagination" and her signature "Midnight Train to Georgia" remains a warm, powerful instrument.

On her latest album, Before Me, she expertly imbues evergreens from the American Songbook with her earthy, gospel-rich sound.

Rashod D. Ollison

TV

China Inside Out: Bob Woodruff Reports: 10 p.m. Wednesday. WMAR (Chaannel 2).

ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff started his journalism career in China, where he was teaching law to Chinese students in 1989.

When the uprising in Tiananmen Square broke out, he offered his skills as a translator to American network producers and became "addicted" to the business of news.

On the eve of the Beijing Olympics, Woodruff returns to China to report on several of the global business relationships that the Chinese government has entered in recent years, sending its economy into overdrive while the American business engine sputters. American dependence on China is also explored.

David Zurawik

Leisure

Greenberg's Train and Toy Show : 10 a.m.-4 p.m. today. Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Road, Timonium. $7 for adults and free for kids younger than 11. 630-279-4087 or greenbergshows.com

Endulge in your model railroading and toy train collecting hobbies or start a new hobby. Greenberg's Train and Toy show was founded in 1976 for serious collectors and enthusiasts. The show will feature operating models and dealers who sell trains and collectable toys. There will be hands-on exhibits and demonstrations.

Meredith Cohn

Theater

Urinetown: The Musical: 3 p.m. today at Community College of Baltimore County, Essex Campus. $28-$32.

Presented by Cockpit in Court, this award-winning musical comedy centers on a town experiencing a long and devastating drought.

Private toilets are banned and one company is selling access to the public ones.

The story is about greed, corruption and revolution.

Meredith Cohn

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.