The Washington Post critics choose their favorite shows of the week.


"Roger Brown," now at the Hirshhorn, is a bracing midcareer retrospective of this midwestern artist. Two things give Brown's best paintings their considerable wallop. One is their sheer beauty, the way the colors seem to glow as if from hidden lights, a glow that's reinforced by the power and correctness of their designs. But something else is going on in Brown's strongest pictures -- a layering of memories and complicated references to other sorts of art.


Superb master tapper "Cookie" Cook is featured in a performance at the Smithsonian's Baird Auditorium tonight, under the heading "Fancy Feet: An Evening with Charles Cook and Friends" (the friends are Susan Goldbetter and Lynn Cataldo of New York's Circuit Theatre group).

Assane Konte/KanKouran performs a program of traditional African dance and music at Dance Place tonight.

The San Francisco Ballet, appearing in the Washington area under Helgi Tomasson's artistic direction for the first time, performs at Wolf Trap Thursday through Saturday evenings.

"In & Out (Of Town)" is the label for a program at Dance Place Friday through Sunday featuring works by Deborah Riley and guest choreographers Beth Davis, Amy Chavasse-Dupree, Veta Goler, Nancy Nasworthy and Kathy Wildberger.


Yves Montand gives the finest performance of his career and Daniel Auteuil wins a French Oscar for his meaty role in "Jean de Florette," first chapter in a two-part adaptation of Marcel Pagnol's novel of fin de sie`cle Provence. Gerard Depardieu, in a variation on his role in "The Return of Martin Guerre," plays a naive Parisian who tries to make a go of farming when he inherits property in a remote mountain village near Marseilles. With the silent complicity of the villagers, the patriarch of a once-proud family (Montand) and his slow-witted nephew (Auteuil) divert the spring that irrigates Jean's land. They plot to break the urbanite and buy the farm at a low price. It works, but Jean's daughter Manon will avenge her family in "Manon des Sources," premiering at the Key in late November.


Master vocalist and master pianist: Ella Fitzgerald and Oscar Peterson share honors at Wolf Trap tonight.

Black and white rappers appear together, if not forever, at least at the Capital Centre tonight, when Run-DMC and the Beastie Boys show they can overcome a bad raputation.

The latest young talent to emerge from Wynton Marsalis' Quintet is New Orleans pianist Marcus Roberts, who's at Blues Alley on Monday.

You can have your songwriters by the half dozen at the Kennedy Center on Thursday in a showcase that brings together Jesses Winchester and Colin Young, Holly Near, Jonathan Edwards, Karla Bonoff and Claudia Schmidt. Or you can opt for the solo route with Neil Young over at Merriweather Post Pavilion, where he'll perform with Crazy Horse (their Patriot Center concert last fall was one of the season's highlights). Or you can take a chance with 10,000 Maniacs, whose inspired folk-rock is available at the 9:30.

On Friday, one of Nashville's best-kept secrets, singer-songwriter Mickey Newberry, is at the Birchmere with Texas pals Guy Clark and Alex Harvey. Maybe he'll even celebrate Elvis by doing his best-known work, "Trilogy."

Yo! Tina Turner is looking to burn up the stage at Merriweather Post Pavilion Saturday and Sunday. Please leave your "I Like Ike" buttons at home.


Today's your last chance to catch "As Is," Studio Theatre's longest-running play, New and Arena's heart-melting "The Immigrant," though Playwrights' Theatre's elegant "A Sondheim Evening" has been extended for one last week. Potomac Theater Project has made an impressive debut with a double-bill of political theater: Daniel Berrigan's "The Trial of the Catonsville Nine" alternates with "No End of Blame" at Castle Arts Center. And the Big Apple Circus pulls up its stakes after today's performances. This year's model -- a charming one-ring affair under a bright big top -- puts more emphasis on intimacy than on spectacle. But the traditional circus sights, sounds -- and smells -- are still included, too.