THEATERDickens for adults In case you thought...


Dickens for adults In case you thought "A Christmas Carol" was all syrupy sentimentality, pay a visit to the Spotlighters Theatre, 817 St. Paul St., where New Century Theater is reprising its 1990 production of "Scrooge." This stage version of Leslie Bricusse's 1970 movie musical is proof positive that Dickens is not just for kids. Mark Redfield plays the gnarled, malevolent title character; Bob Tull is the understanding but overworked Bob Cratchit; and Brian P. Chetelat, who also directed, is a Bacchus-like Spirit of Christmas Present. The final two shows are tonight at 8:30 and tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $7 and $8. Call (410) 752-1225.



An elaborate heist


Lou Cedrone

Take a look at "Hudson Hawk." Bruce Willis, the current whipping boy of the critics, stars. Both he and the film were blasted when it opened in theaters, but it has laughs. It's also daring in form. Willis, who plays a cat burglar forced to perform one last job, mixes song and dance with elaborate heist, and in its better moments the film is enjoyable as comedy with music. Don't, however, look for any plot. Just enjoy the laughs and the songs. Language, violence. Rating: R. **

Baltimore's Barry Levinson does it again with "Bugsy," a super gangster film about the last few years in the life of Bugsy Siegel, the mobster who terrorized Hollywood in the early '40s. Warren Beatty, who plays Siegel, isn't exactly right for the role, but he still does a good job. Annette Bening is Virginia Hill, the starlet Siegel loved and in whose home he was shot to death. Ben Kingsley plays Meyer Lansky, another big-time mobster. Rating: R. (language, violence, sex). *** Wrathchild America, which plays at Hammerjacks tonight, has grown enormously over the last few years, developing from a straight-up thrash act to a band whose best moments are as intricate and inventive as anything in Metallica's songbook. Besides, what better way the blow off the frustrations of holiday shopping than a night in the mosh pit? Tickets are $5, and the doors open at 9 p.m. Call (410) 659-7625 for details.


Promising concert

David Zurawik

The weekend before Christmas is one of the weakest of the year for TV programming. But there are a couple of promising concerts -- depending on your musical tastes. "Kenny Rogers: A Holiday Special" airs at 7 tonight on MPT (Channels 22 and 67). The songs range from "The Gambler" to "White Christmas." Then at 9 on WJZ (Channel 13), there's "Two Rooms: A Tribute to Elton John and Bernie Taupin." Guests include Eric Clapton, Phil Collins and the Who. Nobody sings "White Christmas" on this one.