Sunday, July 15, 2007


YOU'LL LAUGH! YOU'LL CRY! You'll hit yourself in the face with a two-by-four while inadvertently hitting someone else with a chocolate cream pie!

The 5th Annual Slapsticon Silent Comedy Film Festival is afoot and sliding on a banana peel to a theater near you -- if you're anywhere near Arlington. This year's fest will feature the July 20 "re-premiere" of a lost silent classic: "Spuds" (1927), starring Larry Semon, considered by many connoisseurs to be an overlooked genius of the silent era. Also on offer at the four-day festival: Laurel and Hardy's "Way Out West" (1937), a retrospective dedicated to Harry Langdon (including the 1924 Mack Sennett comedy "The Hansom Cabman"), and a tribute to the Jewish comedian Max Davidson. All silent films will be accompanied by pianists Philip Carli and Ben Model.

-- Ann Hornaday

At Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre, 1611 N. Kent St., Arlington, July 10 through July 22. Admission is $30 per day or $99 for a four-day pass. Call 703-228-1850 or visit


VERMEER. REMBRANDT. VAN GOGH. Washington gets all the greats. And now, at long last, the Group of Seven! Group of how many? I hear you ask. Seven, of course, as any Canadian schoolkid could tell you. North of the border, the Group is up there with the biggest names in European art. When it was founded in the 1920s, the Group became Canada's first certified avant-garde, and its seven members were the first artists to make determinedly Canadian art about the distinctly Canadian landscape. So what if their style was cribbed from Vuillard, Seurat and other stars of modern art in 1890s Paris? The Seven took their canoes onto Canada's lakes and rivers, and Frenchified and modernized the nature that they found there. A show on loan to the Canadian Embassy from the McMichael Collection near Toronto -- a kind of shrine to the Seven -- gives Americans a taste of the hybrid results. Don't miss it, eh?

-- Blake Gopnik

"Our Home and Native Land: The McMichael Collection in Washington" is in the art gallery of the Canadian Embassy, 501 Pennsylvania Ave. at Fourth Street NW, through the end of the year. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Free.


THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND has had the splendid audacity to name its International Piano Competition after the late American pianist William Kapell (1922-1953), who dazzled the world with his playing before his death in a plane crash. This week there are two solo recitals that look especially promising: The American composer Philip Glass will play a program of his own music on Wednesday (and it's already sold out), with the pianist Anne-Marie McDermott offering six sonatas by Haydn and Beethoven the following night. And don't forget to look into all the events surrounding the competition.

-- Tim Page

At the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland at College Park. $30. 301-405-2787 or visit

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