Swiftpicks: 10 things not to miss from A&E editor Tim Swift

December 14, 2008|By Tim Swift


The Stoop Holiday Hoopla:

The Stoop Storytelling Series gets supersized this week with a bigger venue and broader show. While this holiday jamboree will be less intimate than previous Stoops, the upside is that you can actually get a ticket. Previous shows quickly sold out. Speakers include Ace of Cakes' Mary Alice Yeskey (above) and Mayor Sheila Dixon. The hoopla starts at 7 p.m. tomorrow at the Meyerhoff.

For more: stoopstorytelling.com


Ra Ra Riot:

This is great time to catch these "under-the-radar" rockers. The mellow band is polished enough to put on a great show, but not so popular to sell every one out. The band's successful debut (The Rhumb Line) has it running in the same circles as indie powerhouse Death Cab for Cutie. So enjoy Riot's relativity obscurity while it lasts. Show starts at 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Ottobar.

For more: : theotttobar.com


'A Christmas Tale' :

Leave it to the French to deliver a refreshing holiday movie devoid of sappiness and slapstick. Catherine Deneuve (above) stars as a saucy matriarch whose illness reunites her estranged and nutty clan - just in time for Christmas. Her brood includes Mathieu Amalric (the villain from the latest Bond flick) as the delightfully unhinged black sheep of the family. Now in theaters.


'Storytellers: ':

Paperwork, a fairly new city gallery, expands its horizons this month, displaying the work of not only Baltimore artists, but also showing pieces from New Yorkers and Philadelphians. As the title suggests, the exhibition, featuring works on paper, paintings and video, is all about narratives. On display 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays through Jan. 30 at the Paperwork Gallery.

For more: paperworkgallery.com


'Generation Kill':

This bawdy Iraq war series never found a huge audience on HBO. But the slick and fast-paced production is worth a look on DVD. While it was hamstrung by our apathy of all-things Iraq, it's more a commentary on America's latest generation of grunts, not the war itself. In stores Tuesday.


'Sonic Unleashed':

Poor Sonic the Hedgehog. He's been having a bad couple of years. His past few video game outings have been dreadful, so his handlers at Sega knew it was time for a turnaround. While Unleashed isn't a slam-dunk comeback for the furball, it returns the classic character to his speedy, centripetal roots. Out on Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.


Big*Box Reuse:

With more and more retailers like Office Depot shuttering stores, this quirky coffee-table book is more relevant than ever. Author Julia Christensen answers the intriguing question of what happens after the once-gleaming superstore closes. What we get is unexpected and sometimes surreal: a day care center, an indoor racetrack and even a Spam Museum. Now in stores.


Commencement Exhibition:

A fresh batch of students from the Maryland Institute College of Art graduates Friday to move on to bigger and better projects. But before the artists do, you can catch their final works as idealistic students. Through Friday, the art - including a painting by Martin Kurtz (below) - will be on display at various galleries on the MICA campus.

For more: mica.edu


'Folie a Deux' by Fall Out Boy:

Fall Out Boy's lead singer, Pete Wentz, is more identified with being Mr. Ashlee Simpson than being an actual musician. So it's easy to forget that his band is a very respectable purveyor of pop rock. The band's fifth album boasts some radio-friendly singles, such as "I Don't Care," but also some surprises - guest acts include Lil Wayne and Elvis Costello. In stores Tuesday.


'A Christmas Carol':

When you see the previews, this production does look a bit cheesy, but I do have a soft spot for Scrooge - whether he be George C. Scott or Scrooge McDuck. The Nebraska Theatre Caravan takes on Dickens' classic tale with plenty of dry ice and upbeat yuletide show tunes. Show starts 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Lyric Opera House.

For more: lyricoperahouse.com

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