The Washington Post critics choose theirfavorite shows of the week.


Temperatures may be low, but the Corcoran's hot show, "Hispanic Art in the United States: Thirty Contemporary Painters and Sculptors," will likely warm up even the most frozen. With its electric colors, sweeping brushstrokes and Latin themes, the energy here is scalding. But hurry, the show closes today. To cool down, saunter through the elegant works of "Louis Maurice de Monvel: Master of the French Picture Book," also at the Corcoran, through Jan. 31.


The ghosts of William Schwenck Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan have almost taken over the Kennedy Center, with a brilliant "HMS Pinafore" on deck nearly every evening in the Opera House and an imaginative, superbly sung "Ruddigore" haunting the Eisenhower Theater in rotation with "L'Amico Fritz" and "L'Italiana in Algeri." Our operatic cup nearly runneth over, but for a slight change of pace one of our most vivid operatic personalities, basso Franc ois Loup, will give a solo recital (his first in this hemisphere) with pianist Randolph Mauldin, tonight in the Eisenhower.

Giuseppe Sinopoli will be the conductor and violinist Salvatore Accardo the soloist in this week's National Symphony Orchestra program. The music will include Mahler's First Symphony and Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto. Other orchestras performing this week include: the Philadelphia Orchestra, tomorrow night at the Kennedy Center; the Fairfax Symphony, Saturday night at Fairfax High School; the D.C. Youth Orchestra, Sunday night at Calvin Coolidge High School, and the Air Force Sinfonietta, Wednesday noon at the Library of Congress.

Pianists of the week: Raymond Jackson, today at the Lyceum in Alexandria and at the Levine School of Music on Friday night; Raquel Boldorini, today at the Phillips Collection; Jose Ramos-Santana, tonight at the National Gallery; Claudio Richerme, Tuesday night at the Brazilian-American Cultural Institute; Carla Hubner, Tuesday night at Mount Vernon College; Ruth Laredo, with the American Chamber Players, Saturday night and next Sunday at the Jewish Community Center in Rockville.

Also worth noting: the Vienna Choir Boys, today at the Kennedy Center; music for flute and harp, Wednesday night at the OAS; the music of Irving Berlin, Friday night at Strathmore Hall; music for guitar and piano, Friday night at Gaston Hall; the Washington Chamber Society, Friday night at Montgomery College in Rockville; the Belgrade State Folk Ensemble, Friday night at the Kennedy Center; and Musica Antiqua, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon at Mount Vernon College.


The New England vaudeville troupe The Wright Bros. continues its run at Baltimore's Theatre Project today and tonight, resuming Wednesday through Sunday.

Perlo/Bloom & Company perform a new program at Dance Place this afternoon.

"Metamorphosis" is the title of a multimedia tribute by area dance troupes and other groups to the late Jack Guidone, at Marvin Theatre Friday and Saturday nights.

At Dance Place Saturday and Sunday, Eva Anderson's Baltimore Dance Theatre presents a program that includes works by Anderson and other choreographers.


Christine Lahti and two young Canadian actresses play the central characters in Bill Forsyth's exquisite adaptation of Marilynne Robinson's novel "Housekeeping." Forsyth, who directed "Local Hero" and "Gregory's Girl," translates Robinson's poetic narrative into a mystical metaphor of impermanence. The Scottish director finds the comedy hidden in Robinson's quirky, quixotic characters and the visual magic of the Pacific Northwest in her piercingly clear language. Set along an icy mountain lake in Fingerbone, Idaho, this poignant drama concerns two orphan girls, raised by a succession of elderly relatives until their late mother's sister comes home. Lahti, an Oscar nominee for "Swing Shift," is intriguing as this eccentric wanderer who settles down to care for her nieces (Sara Walker and Andrea Burchill). At first, they are thrilled with their aunt, who reminds them of their mother, but they are soon embarrassed when she starts napping in the town park and hanging out with local hobos. The two girls develop vastly different ways of relating to this thoroughly original woman -- but both methods spring from the same fear of an ever-changing world.


Big band music isn't just ghost bands and old charts played by young musicians: Witness Toshiko Akiyoshi, whose powerful compositions and incisive arrangements are on view Monday at Blues Alley.

Three Washington favorites -- Marshall Crenshaw, Marti Jones and Don Dixon -- join voices and talents at the Warner on Saturday.

Twenty years after "Tom Dooley" ignited the folk revival, original Kingston Trio members Nick Reynolds and Dave Guard get together with John Stewart (who joined in 1961) for an anniversary performance at Lisner Auditorium Saturday. They'll be joined by Schooner Fare, Buskin & Batteau, Christine Lavin and Pete Kennedy in a benefit for the World Folk Music Association.