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Tracie Thoms nearly sold out

That smart, vibrant actress Tracie Thoms (left) is doing an appearance as "Special Guest Cabaret Artist in Residence" with students from her alma mater, the Baltimore School for the Arts, in "Sparks" Thursday night at 7:30 pm, at the Cabaret at Germano's (300 S. High Street). Call (410)752-4515 for reservations. She recently stole the show in Chris Rock's engaged and engaging documentary "Good Hair" (now on DVD), a good-humored exploration of the meaning and impact of female hairstyles in the African-American community. It offered the regular on "Cold Case" a chance to do something she hasn't done before on-screen: to be spontaneous in her own character. Rock made her the main spokeswoman for African-American women staying "natural" with their hair. And it was a good fit: At her best, Thoms is the Ms. Natural of performers. (And when it comes to making a personal documentary without puffing yourself up into a populist Don Quixote, Chris Rock could teach Morgan Spurlock and Michael Moore a thing or two.)

(AP photo by Francois Mori)

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