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

The Baltimore Sun


David Sedaris:

The wickedly funny David Sedaris, whose tales of midget guitar teachers and licking light switches have earned him a cultlike following, is on the road again. The best-selling author will visit 34 cities this fall, testing new material that could end up in his next book. The crowds will even have a chance to ask him questions. He speaks at 8 tonight at the Meyerhoff.

For more: ticketmaster.com


'The Visitor':

Richard Jenkins stars as a disaffected professor whose life is reshaped after discovering immigrant squatters in his little-used New York flat. This gripping film had a long run at both the Charles and Landmark theaters this summer. A sleeper hit in theaters, The Visitor - with ample time to win over Academy voters on DVD - could become a dark horse for an Oscar nomination. In stores Tuesday.


'Kath & Kim':

Like the characters themselves, NBC's new comedy Kath & Kim is far from perfect. Molly Shannon and Selma Blair are a hoot as an ultra-tacky mother-daughter duo, but the show needs a jolt of energy. Yet after numerous attempts, it's the closest American TV has come to capturing the self-centered humor of the classic Brit series Absolutely Fabulous. Airs at 8:30 p.m. Thursday on WBAL, Channel 11.


'Christo & Jeanne-Claude::

Over the River':

Check out Christo and Jeanne-Claude's latest project years before it actually happens. The couple - who famously turned Central Park saffron - plan to span a river in Colorado with miles of fabric. The show at the Phillips Collection in D.C. is more sneak peek than art exhibit, but fans of The Gates may not want to wait until 2012. Opens Saturday.

For more: phillipscollection.org



This week, mystery writers will descend on Baltimore for their annual convention. Among the highlights: Charlaine Harris, whose novels inspired the new HBO series True Blood, will sign books and greet fans at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Inner Harbor Barnes and Noble.

For more: charmedtodeath.com


Girl Talk:

Many of you probably won't catch the Girl Talk concert this week (shows in Baltimore and D.C. are sold out), but you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. DJ Gregg Gillis has been generating buzz, mashing up existing hits to create a frantic new sound. Yes, it's probably illegal, but for now we can enjoy an ADD wonderland for music lovers.



Who knew Bill Maher had finesse? With his new documentary, the often-controversial and outspoken comic pokes fun at organized religion. But he stops short of being overly nasty. And while he's the one who gets preachy at the end, there are enough laughs early to counteract the Jerry Springer-esque "final thought." Now in theaters.


'Life on Mars' :

With Harvey Keitel, ABC's Life on Mars boasts one of the best casts of the new season. And Jason O'Mara makes a compelling lead as Sam Tyler, a detective who is thrust into the '70s after a car accident. This week's opener is a bit ungainly, but the actors make it worth watching. Airs at 10:01 p.m. Thursday on WMAR, Channel 2.



This Simpsons-inspired MacBeth may be one of the most unique takes on the Bard ever. Using more than 50 voices from the hit cartoon, Rick Miller retains most of the play's text, with extras. "Is this a dagger which I see before me, or a pizza? Mmmm, pizzaaa." Opens 8 p.m. Wednesday at D.C.'s Woolly Mammoth Theatre.

For more: woollymammoth.net



Catch New York's Metropolitan Opera without the train ride as more local movie theaters screen the company's offerings. The new season starts Saturday with Strauss' Salome. With a nude scene and heady ending, the biblical opera is not for the bashful. Starts at 1 p.m. at the Lyric and four other theaters.

For more: metopera.org

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