People tend to remember the late Ana Mendieta (1948-85) as much for the tragic circumstances of her death -- in a mysterious fall from her 34th-floor Greenwich Village apartment -- as for her art. The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden's "Ana Mendieta: Earth Body, Sculpture and Performance 1972-1985" aims to reverse that by directing our attention to the lasting impact of her challenging, often ephemeral work. Call 202-633-1000 (TDD: 202-357-1729). See review on Page 49.

-- Michael O'Sullivan


Imelda Staunton delivers a powerful, nuanced performance in "Vera Drake," Mike Leigh's drama about a woman's behind-the-scenes commitment to young girls in desperate straits. See review on Page 33.

-- Desson Thomson


Rosie Flores is the special guest star in "By the Hand of the Father," Alejandro Escovedo's story of the Mexican immigrant experience told through the eyes of fathers who led their families to America, as Escovedo's father did. The multimedia work incorporates drama, spoken word and songs by the Tejano alt-rocker as well as video and still photos. Created by Theresa Chavez, Eric Gutierrez and Rose Portillo, and produced by L.A.'s About Productions, the show comes to George Mason University's Center for the Arts on Monday for one performance only. Call 703-218-6500.

-- Richard Harrington


Two strangers cross paths at a cafe where love and other trials unravel as a live jazz combo plays. This is the premise for local dancer-choreographer Melissa Saint Amour's adventurous "Meet Me at the Cafe," an intriguing evening of dance theater at Joy of Motion's Jack Guidone Theater Saturday and Sunday. Call


-- Lisa Traiger

"Untitled (Facial Cosmetic Variations)," by Ana Mendieta, is in an exhibition of her works at the Hirshhorn Museum.