BEST OF THIS WEEK

THE BALTIMORE SUN

POP MUSIC

LIZZ WRIGHT / / 7 p.m. Friday. Rams Head Tavern, 33 West St., Annapolis. $35. Call 410-268-4545 or go to ramsheadtavern.com.

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Lizz Wright, one of the best singer-songwriters to arrive on the pop scene in years, has showcased her luxuriant vocals and poetic lyrics over three strong albums: Salt (2003), Dreaming Wide Awake (2005) and The Orchard, released last month. The latter is probably her most assured effort, an intense, sensuous tapestry of folk, jazz, gospel and the blues. It's really a shame that Lizz Wright isn't a major star by now.

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[RASHOD D. OLLISON]

DVD

NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN / / Miramax / / $29.99

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When Hannibal Lecter entered pop culture in Thomas Harris' 1981 novel Red Dragon, a friend said that though she read the book, she couldn't keep it in the house with her. Some viewers may have the same reaction to putting Javier Bardem's Anton Chigurh on their video shelves. No Country for Old Men is still playing in theaters, and movie lovers should catch it on the big screen if possible. But collectors who've seen it will want to purchase the DVD, out Tuesday. It's the rare contemporary thriller that repays reviewing. Like Bardem, the Coen Brothers earned their Oscars (for writing, directing and best picture). They simultaneously hew to the hard line of Cormac McCarthy's novel and stay open to the volatile complexities of the characters and the West Texas atmosphere.

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[MICHAEL SRAGOW]

CLASSICAL

CELEBRATION OF WOMEN COMPOSERS / / 2 p.m. today at Marikle Chapel, College of Notre Dame of Maryland, 4701 N. Charles St. Free. Call 410-532-5386 or go to ndm.edu.

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This afternoon's Sister Theresine Memorial Concert at the College of Notre Dame provides a fine salute to National Women's History Month, not to mention a worthy way to remember a powerful musical presence in this area. Sister Mary Theresine Staab, who died at 91 in 1997, was a force to be reckoned with -- remarkably knowledgeable about music and many other fields; famed for a stern exterior, but eager to share a good laugh. The Baltimore native ran the music department at Notre Dame for more than four decades. This concert by soprano Kathryn Harris and multiple Grammy-nominated pianist Allison Brewster Franzetti will focus on music for voice and piano by eminent women composers, including Fanny Mendelssohn, Clara Schumann and Libby Larsen.

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[TIM SMITH]

TELEVISION

CANTERBURY'S LAW / / 8 p.m. tomorrow. WBFF-TV (Channel 45)

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Maybe prime time doesn't need another legal drama, but it is always nice to see as talented a performer as Julianna Margulies returning to weekly series television.

Margulies, an Emmy Award winner, plays Rhode Island defense attorney Elizabeth Canterbury in this new Fox drama. Her forte: controversial cases and unpopular defendants. In the pilot, she defends a man accused of murdering a child.

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[DAVID ZURAWIK]

HOME

48TH ANNUAL WASHINGTON HOME & GARDEN SHOW / / 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. March 16. Admission is $10; $5 for children 6-12; free for children 5 and younger with paying adult. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place, N.W., Washington. Call 703-823-7960 or go to washingtonhomeandgardenshow.com.

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More than 20 full-sized landscaped gardens, including a hobby garden with a working railroad, a golfer's garden with a putting green and an entertainment garden with a high-tech outdoor kitchen, are featured in the show. Displays also include waterfalls, cooling ponds, brooks and special floral designs. Expert architects, remodelers, designers and builders will give advice and talk about the latest trends and techniques. Vendors from 41 states and abroad will sell a wide variety of garden-related items at discount prices at the Garden Marketplace.

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[JENNIFER CHOI]

FILM

ROPE / / noon Saturday / The Charles Theatre, 1711 N. Charles St. / $6 / Call 410-727-3456 or go to thecharles.com.

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Alfred Hitchcock based one of his most unusual and disturbing films on a 1929 Patrick Hamilton play inspired by the Nathan Leopold / Richard Loeb case in which two brilliant teenagers killed an innocent 14-year-old for the intellectual thrill of it all.

In Hitchcock's 1948 movie, Leopold and Loeb are known as Brandon (John Dall) and Philip (Farley Granger), a couple of Manhattan dandies; their victim, David, is another member of their social set.

Rope is no whodunit -- the murder is the first thing we see after the credits. The killers dump the corpse into a chest that, minutes after the killing, becomes the centerpiece of a dinner party. In effect, Hitchcock puts us in Brandon's shoes, letting us soak up adrenaline while icily evaluating disaster.

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[MICHAEL SRAGOW]

THEATER

LOW LIFE / / 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday. $7-$30. The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Route 193 and Stadium Drive, College Park. Call 301-405-2878 or go to claricesmithcenter.umd.edu.

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Warning -- these are not your grandmother's puppets. Puppets live alongside people in this series of vignettes inspired by the short stories of Charles Bukowski, the so-called poet laureate of Skid Row. In the Low Life Cafe, a man dances a duet with a glass, the action hero plumber puppet dies behind the bar and a tiny detective messes up a case. Behind these gin-soaked antics are the two Brits who comprise the London-based Blind Summit Theatre: director and performer Mark Downs and Nick Barnes, who designed and made the Bunraku-style puppets.

This appearance is a U.S. premiere and the group's only professional U.S. appearance. The public is also invited to attend a free lecture at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in which the duo will discuss making puppet plays for adults.

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[MARY CAROLE MCCAULEY]

ART

AFRICAN ART AT THE BMA / / 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive. Free. Call 443-573-1700 or go to artbma.org.

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Opening Wednesday, the last of three installments in the BMA's Meditations on African Art series highlights the use of pattern in textiles, carved ivories, painted shields and body adornment. Nigerian contemporary artist Mary Evans' site-specific video montages, patterned murals and works on paper will also be on view.

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[GLENN MCNATT]

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