Don’t miss Orioles players, John Means & Paul Fry, as they guest host at our Brews and O’s event!

SWIFTPICKS

THE BALTIMORE SUN

FILM

'This is It' :

In life, Michael Jackson was anything but subdued. So it's no surprise that his theatrical sendoff will be the biggest thing (and pretty much the only thing) at the box office this week. "High School Musical" director Kenny Ortega leads a behind-the-scenes look at the King of Pop's final days. In theaters Wednesday.

CONCERT

Jay-Z:

: Fresh off his latest album, "The Blueprint 3," the reigning king of hip-hop is on tour this fall, mostly hitting college towns, but Baltimore has also made the cut. We may have Hopkins and Towson to thank for a rare big-name show without the D.C. drive. Show starts at 8 p.m. Tuesday at 1st Mariner Arena.

Web: baltimorearena.com

BOOKS

'Ayn Rand and the World :

She Made,' by Anne Heller:

The economic meltdown and subsequent federal bailout has led to a renewed interest in Rand, a midcentury novelist who championed individualism over government control. Now Rand is the subject of two new biographies. Heller writes the better book by taking a more personal tack and exploring Rand's often-stormy personal life. In stores Tuesday.

TV

'The Botany of Desire':

Based on Michael Pollan's best-selling novel, this PBS documentary shows how plants might not be as docile as you think. Pollan focuses on apple, marijuana, tulip and potato plants and makes the case that these apparent pushovers might be using us just as much as we're using them. Airs 8 p.m. Wednesday, MPT, Channels 22 and 67.

ART

'Edgar Allan Poe::

A Baltimore Icon':

If you're looking for something classy and creepy this Halloween, the BMA has your back. The museum has dozens of works inspired by the macabre writer on display through Jan. 17.

Web: artbma.org

CONCERT

Van Morrison:

Equal parts rock legend and curmudgeon, Morrison is back on tour, revisiting his beloved album, "Astral Weeks." Drawing big crowds, his recent shows have been devoid of on-stage tantrums. It's fitting that he's on his best behavior for one of his best albums. Show starts at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Meyerhoff.

Web: ticketmaster.com

HALLOWEEN

Bruisers' Ball Monster Prom:

Leave it to the Charm City Roller Girls to host one of the city's more inspired costume parties. Celebrate Halloween in both retro prom and monster attire. (You can decide which is more frightening.) Hollowboy will provide the music, and someone will get taped to a wall. Starts at 9 p.m. Friday at the Ottobar.

Web: theotttobar.com

DVD

'Il Divo':

Even today, Italy knows how to produce a juicy political scandal, but the events dramatized in 'Il Divo' might top them all. This film follows Giulio Andreotti (Toni Servillo, below) who reigned for more than 50 years as Italy's most powerful and feared politician. Servillo's Andreotti makes Nixon look like Mother Teresa. In stores Tuesday.

THEATER

Shakescare :

The Baltimore Shakespeare Festival takes a break from the Bard to embrace its darker side. Offerings include "Beowulf," "The Poe Show" and a free performance of "Dracula," starring Michael Carleton (below). Starts at 8 p.m. Wednesday, ends Saturday at Elizabethan Stage at St. Mary's in Roland Park.

Web: baltimoreshakespeare.org

COMEDY

Jeff Dunham:

Could it be that one of America's most popular comedians is a ventriloquist? Already a hit on the Web, Jeff Dunham's irreverent puppet act has moved to TV with his own show on Comedy Central. He performs in Baltimore at 5 p.m. today at 1st Mariner Arena. His series airs 9 p.m. Thursdays.

Web: baltimorearena.com

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