Malevich, 1878-1935," the surprising retrospective on view at the National Gallery of Art, is a show shaped like a triangle pointing to the heavens. It's a journey to the peak, and a kind of mystic quest.
His paintings range in subject from the most mundane to the most exalted. He shows us the paring of thick toenails, the polishing of floors, peasants in the fields -- and what he called "the infinite." Malevich -- the first to paint a wholly non-objective picture -- changed the history of art. CLASSICAL Justus Frantz will be the soloist with Mstislav Rostropovich conducting Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor in this week's National Symphony Orchestra concerts. The program will also feature Shostakovich's Fourth Symphony. The week's other major orchestral event will be a concert by the Philadelphia Orchestra tomorrow evening, with Riccardo Muti conducting and violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg as soloist.
The Washington Concert Opera will perform Donizetti's "Lucrezia Borgia" to a capacity audience today at the Lisner Auditorium.
Tuesday will be soprano night on local campuses, with Elizabeth Kirkpatrick singing at Mount Vernon College with pianist Carla Hubner and poet Jean Nordhaus, while George Mason University offers the first in a series of free vocal programs in the Harris Theatre: soprano Rosalind Gnatt singing Schubert, Brahms, Wagner, Strauss and Mahler with pianist William Huckaby. They will be joined by mezzo-soprano Willow Johnson and soprano Sally Martin (who will give recitals at GMU later in the season) for the Act 3 Trio from "Der Rosenkavalier."
The United States Air Force Band will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a gala concert Friday night in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.
The DeReggi Inter-Arts Ensemble will give the world premiere of a dance opera, "The Secret World," Saturday and next Sunday at the French Embassy.
Also worth noting: Artists to End Hunger, featuring violinist Jody Gatwood, soprano Susan Bender, flutist Kathleen Trahan and pianist Maribeth Gowen, Thursday night at Wesley Theological Seminary; the Shir Chadash Chorale, today at Washington Cathedral; soprano Rosa Vento, today at the Phillips Collection; the Castle Trio, tonight at the National Museum of American History; National Musical Arts, tonight at the National Academy of Sciences. DANCE For the first time in the United States in almost 20 years: The Royal Cambodian Dancers at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater on Tuesday and Wednesday; and Thursday through Sunday at the Terrace Theater, the Urban Bush Women present "Praise House," a new work commissioned by the Washington Performing Arts Society to celebrate its 25th anniversary season. FILM Jeff Goldblum is a paragon of gawky charm and awkward vulnerabilities in "The Tall Guy," a British-made romp with the comic gusto of "A Fish Called Wanda." This tall guy is a fish out of water, an outsized American Gulliver striding Cleese-clumsy among London's swifter-thinking Lilliputians. He's the china shop bull, not stamping the teacups but attempting to sip from them daintily, pinky curled. POP MUSIC Dorothy Donegan is the wild, wild woman of the jazz piano, with enough history to give her playing rare weight and substance: at Blues Alley tomorrow.
Emmylou Harris, Schooner Fare, Charlie Byrd and Pete Kennedy, Allen Damron, Fat City and Donal Leace -- local artists past and present -- gather together to raise funds to fight cystic fibrosis: Wednesday at Merriweather Post Pavilion.
Baltimore's Harper Brothers gonna work it out Thursday through Sunday at Blues Alley, while saxophonist Bobby Watson and Horizon hold forth at One Step Down Friday and Saturday.
Atlanta's Pylon, reconstituted and gregarious as ever, is at the 9:30 on Friday.
Ray and Cilla Fisher, who have championed the traditional folk styles of Scotland, make a rare Washington appearance Friday at the WES Auditorium.
Gritty Southern soul-funk will be the main course as Betty Wright, Denise Lasalle, Little Milton and Latimore rock staid Constitution Hall on Friday.
Senegal's exquisite Youssou N'Dour shares the bill with South African expatriate trumpeter Hugh Masekela Saturday at Constitution Hall. THEATER For "Richard III," the Shakespeare Theatre at the Folger's season opener, Artistic Director Michael Kahn has devised a rollicking spectacle -- replete with lusty knifings, hearty kicks to the groin and a few deft tosses of a severed head -- in which three hours scramble by like three minutes. It is also visually arresting, witha prisonlike set, evoking a kind of architectural tyranny, designed by Derek McLane, and ominously glinting costumes by Merrily Murray-Walsh. The sheer vigor of the production and Stacy Keach's masterly portrayal of the villainous Duke of Gloucester excuse a multitude of mostly minor sins.