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Debbie Allen    
Debbie Allen (pictured), the woman who taught us that "Fame" takes work, haaaaard work, mixes her talent for dance, drama and direction in "Soul Possessed." This original musical tells the story of a woman caught in the middle of a love triangle. Helping Allen bring "Soul" to the stage are R&B stars Patti LaBelle and James Ingram and trumpeter Arturo Sandoval. Tickets for the Kennedy Center debut are $20 to $65; call 800/444-1324. . . . Local independent filmmakers and videographers Allison Sheedy, Eric Cheevers, Mary Billyou and Jason Farrell screen their work at "Optical Options." Take time to explore the mothership, "Options '99," the ninth biennial exhibition of work by emerging artists, at the Washington Project for the Arts/Corcoran's off-site downtown gallery, projectspace. The multi-media showcase begins at 8 p.m. . . . Something different for a slow Thursday night: a scribbling of local poets featuring J. Wesley Clark, Maggie Polizos and Jonathan Wall at the Ram's Head Tavern. Local bluesman Dean Rosenthal and his Resophonics pump the audio breaks at the Annapolis Poetry Festival. Words fly at 8:30 p.m. Call 410/268-4545 for more information. . . . From its hard-edged, horn-laden debut album, through a slew of swing-tinged pop hits, Squeeze's songs were always well crafted and well performed. Songs like "Cool for Cats" and "Up the Junction" smack of Blur and Oasis at their best, with catchy hooks and amusing, heavily accented vocals. If Squeeze pulls from its entire repertoire, it'll probably even be worth having to hear "Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)," for the 27,000 time. Tickets to hear Squeeze pop into Nation are $27.

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Friday: Scheduled to open: Spike Jonze directs "Being John Malkovich," a dark comedy about a puppeteer (John Cusack) who discovers the ability to enter the mind of John Malkovich (played by same) for 15 minutes at a time. Also features Cameron Diaz and Catherine Keener. Geoffrey Rush and Peter Gallagher star in "House on Haunted Hill," a horror flick in which five strangers get $1 million each if they can survive one night in that scary house. It's a remake of William Castle's 1958 classic. Milla Jovovich ("The Fifth Element") plays the Maid of Orleans in "The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc," director Luc Besson's treatment of the French savior, victim and saint. Also in the cast: John Malkovich, Dustin Hoffman and Faye Dunaway. Horrormeister Wes Craven treads a different path in "Music of the Heart," about East Harlem violin teacher Roberta Guaspari, played by Meryl Streep. The movie's based on an Oscar-winning documentary. Openings are subject to change.

Saturday: Previews of "Hamlet" begin at the Folger Elizabethan Theatre tonight at 8. Tickets are $24 and $27. . . . There's no better time to dance than at a Halloween costume ball that benefits a good cause. The Thrive Halloween Masquerade at the Canadian Embassy boasts live music by a Canadian band, hors d'oeuvres, an open bar, live and silent auctions. Costumes are preferred; otherwise black-tie. Prizes will be awarded for the best costume and the most creative mask. Tickets are $60; call 202/244-7900. . . . Olney Theatre Center for Arts celebrates the 50th birthday of Arthur Miller's tragic play "Death of a Salesman." Traber Burns portrays Willy Loman in the classic parable about the death of the American Dream. Call 301/924-3400 for tickets to the 2 p.m. matinee. . . . "Black Jack" is the story of a brilliant rogue surgeon who uncovers an international plot to create a secret species of superhumans. Where live action fails, Japanese animation rules. Geared for an adult audience, this cartoon is part of the Freer Gallery's Masters of Anime. Admission is free. All tickets will be distributed one hour prior to the 2 p.m. screening.

Sunday: D.C. Society of Young Professionals Annual Halloween Party takes place at Relish Restaurant and Bar at 8 p.m. Costumes are encouraged as are donations of canned food. Come with a can, take $1 off the $10 admission; call 202/686-6085. . . . More than 90 dealers sell antiques and collectibles at the outdoor Columbia Antiques Market. Bargains fly between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. . . . Not since the King Tut show has the District been offered works of ancient art as shiveringly fabulous. Check out the treasures from "The Golden Age of Chinese Archaeology" at the National Gallery of Art.

For more events, more details, see the Weekend Planner.

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Monday, November 1
In "A Room of One's Own," Virginia Woolf marvels that financial independence "unveiled the sky to me, and substituted for the large and imposing figure of a gentleman, which Milton recommended for my perpetual adoration, a view of the open sky." Women's unimpeded view of their surroundings has preoccupied psychotherapist Helen Kornblum for more than 20 years, during which time she's built a collection of photographs by Berenice Abbott, Diane Arbus, Dorothea Lange, Tina Modotti, Ruth Orkin, Cindy Sherman, Flor Garduno , Carrie Mae Weems and Nan Goldin, among others. She's lent work by more than 80 women photographers for "The Defining Eye," at the National Museum of Women in the Arts through Jan. 9. Kornblum discusses the politics and aesthetics behind her collecting, at the Corcoran Gallery of Art at 7 p.m. – Virginia Vitzthum

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Tuesday, November 2
Every once in a while it's as invigorating as it is comforting to revisit the standards: to remember how big a movie screen should be, to eat a hamburger that is more than a meal. Tonight and tomorrow evening Bryan Ferry can be your guide. Once the handsome front man of Roxy Music, Ferry is panache incarnate. His newest project reacquaints the smooth British crooner with the torch songs his profile suggests he was born to sing. Although his new album takes its name from the title track, "As Time Goes By," its loveliest moment is "Falling in Love Again." High praise indeed. Witness Ferry and his orchestra trip the light fantastic at the 9:30 club, and forgive him excluding his original material. Tickets are $40; call 202/432-SEAT. Afterward head to Politiki for a golden Singapore sling and free pool.

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For more choices, click here for a master list of everything happening this week. For more of a look ahead, try the Weekend Section's 1999 Calendar. You can get listings for movies and other entertainment events from the front page of each Style Live section. To get more specific, try the search box at right. Start by selecting a type of event from the pull-down menu, then optionally choose a geographical area and a date. If you hit "Search Now" without selecting anything, you'll get a list of all events in our database, ordered by closing date.

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