OUR PICKS

Music

The Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra brings its tight polyrhythmic groove to the Black Cat Saturday. Featuring more than a dozen members, the group invokes and salutes the spirit of Fela Kuti stylistically and, sometimes, with outright cover songs. Give'em a crowd to work with and they'll make it move until it's hot in there. Call 202-667-7960.

-- Curt Fields

Film Fernando Meirelles's "City of God" is a brilliantly staged, "GoodFellas"-style saga of teenage drug dealers and gangsters in the impoverished dangerous Brazilian township known as Cidade de Deus.

And in "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind," Sam Rockwell gives a bravura performance as Chuck Barris, a creator of "The Gong Show" and, supposedly, a CIA operative.

-- Desson Howe Exhibition Artist Elizabeth Holtry, whose disturbing paintings of birds against luridly colored backgrounds suggest John James Audubon on acid, is exhibiting her work with the surreally organic sculpture of Tina Carroll and Joel Gaydos in "Curious Nature," an exhibition at the Watkins Gallery of American University. An artist's reception will take place Sunday from 3 to 5. Call 202-885-1670.

-- Michael O'Sullivan

Theater

Two terrific solo shows: British actor/writer Steven Berkoff holds forth with wit, great physicality and a touch of raunch on "Shakespeare's Villains: A Masterclass in Evil" at Studio Theatre through Feb. 2. Call 202-332-3300. New York actress/playwright Leslie Ayvazian ("Nine Armenians") is at MetroStage through Feb. 9 with "High Dive," a hilarious PG-rated account of disastrous but loving family vacations. Call 703-218-6500.

-- Jane Horwitz

Dance Sometimes performance artist Celeste Miller passes a plate of Oreos around for the audience. Friday through Sunday, Miller along with Liz Lerman Dance Exchange associate artistic director Peter DiMuro revamp the Dance Place studio/theater into an interactive restaurant/performance piece. "Transformational Diner" serves up dance, poetry and installed art along with poignant and hilarious shared human experiences. Call 202-269-1600.

-- Lisa Traiger

Celeste Miller and the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange perform this weekend.