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


To few, a very few, is given to keep the childhood sense of magic universe, where animals talk, people change and objects move of their own volition. Theodore Geisel is three months short of 84. But Dr. Seuss, born of Geisel's nimble brain in the mid-'20s, still keeps childhood's sense of wonder. "Dr. Seuss From Then to Now," a show of 300 original pencil, ink, crayon and watercolor drawings and paintings on view through Jan. 17 at the Baltimore Museum of Art, is evidence that Geisel's forever-young other self has kept those intimations of mysteries that most people lose along with their wisdom teeth.


The National Symphony will give a youth concert Tuesday evening and a pops concert, featuring the National Tap Dance Company of Canada, Friday and Saturday nights at the Kennedy Center.

On a somewhat smaller scale, the Hesperus ensemble will also have a busy week, performing music of colonial America Thursday night at the National Portrait Gallery and medieval, Renaissance and Appalachian music Saturday afternoon at Anderson House.

The National Gallery Orchestra, George Manos conducting, will give a traditional Viennese-style New Year concert tonight, featuring the work of Lehar, Nicolai and various people named Strauss.

Lunch hour concerts this week will include pianist Barbro Dahlman, Wednesday at the Lisner Auditorium, and the Friday Morning Music Club, Friday at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church.

Also worth noting: violinist Margaret Batjer, today at the Phillips Collection, and the flute-violin duo of Beverly and David Rajnes, Saturday night at the Corcoran Gallery.


The Wright Bros., a troupe of five new-age vaudevillians based in New England, bring their program of mime, juggling, acrobatics and storytelling to Baltimore's Theatre Project for a two-week run starting Wednesday evening.

Perlo/Bloom & Company premieres a new solo, "Flight of Time," by artistic director Carla Perlo, with music by Steve Bloom and Mike Vargas of CRUX, as well as other works by Perlo, Deborah Riley and Lesa McLaughlin, in a new program at Dance Place, Friday through Sunday.


In "Broadcast News," the writer-producer-director James L. Brooks takes us inside what looks to be the most exciting world ever. The film is about the private lives of the men and women in front of and behind the cameras at a network news bureau in Washington, and it gives us the exhilarating feeling that we're being let in on big secrets. As it turns out, big secrets aren't revealed, but the film is so ingratiatingly high-spirited, and the performances by William Hurt, Holly Hunter and Albert Brooks are so full of sass and vigor, that in the long run it doesn't really matter.


Fiddler Vassar Clements is best known in bluegrass and country music circles, but he's just as comfortable in a jazz setting, as his recordings with Stephane Grappelli show. He's at Blues Alley on Wednesday.

Guitarist Danny Gatton is another musician who can't be tied down to one style, but on Wednesday, he'll join pickin' pal Pete Kennedy in the reconstituted Redneck Jazz at the Birchmere.


Today is your last chance to catch "Self Torture & Strenuous Exercise" and "The Fairy Garden" (at the Round House), two loopy, surreal comedies by Harry Kondoleon about traumatic personal relationships. "Harvey" (at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre) also gets its last performance today. Meanwhile, Moss Hart's valentine to temperamental theater folk, "Light Up the Sky," continues its merry course (at Arena).