TO BE HONEST, we're putting this one in the paper to make the American Film Institute stop sending us film cans. We've gotten four so far! Enough with the film cans with the handouts inside, guys. We surrender--here's your plug: The 17th Annual European Union Film Showcase features 14 U.S. premieres of European films. It opened Friday and runs through Nov. 14. The highlights include "Rosetta," which won the Palme D'Or at this year's Cannes International Film Festival, Werner Herzog's film "My Best Fiend," about actor Klaus Kinski, Marco Bellocchio's "The Nanny," Patricia Rozema's sprightly version of "Mansfield Park" and the acclaimed Finnish film "Juda."

--Stephen Hunter

At the American Film Institute, the Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. NW, through Nov. 14. For a schedule, call 202-785-4600 or visit the Web site, Tickets are $7. For reservations, call 202-785-4601.


TWO UPCOMING READINGS: Local playwright Paulette Laufer's newest "Leaving Shakespeare, Grabbing Lucy" at Signature Theatre and Sylvia Regan's "Morning Star," sponsored by Horizons Theatre, both tomorrow night.

--Lloyd Rose

Both free events are Monday at 8 p.m. Signature Theatre, 3806 S. Four Mile Run Dr., Arlington (703-820-9771). The Horizons reading is at the Little Cafe, 2049 Wilson Blvd., Arlington (703-243-8550).


"GANDHARA: EAST WEST PASSAGES" reunites choreographer Dana Tai Soon Burgess, sculptor John Dreyfuss and lighting designer Jennifer Tipton in a work exploring Alexander the Great's transformational experiences in Asia. The three artists last collaborated on "Helix," an abstract work centering on Burgess dancing solo with a movable Dreyfuss sculpture. "Gandhara" explodes the concept: There are 11 dancers, director Mary Hall Surface has been brought in as director-dramaturg, and--for perhaps the first time in the dance world--several aerospace firms pitched in, aiding in the engineering of Dreyfuss's new sculpture. "Helix," which has been refigured as a duet, will also be on the program.

--Sarah Kaufman

At the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m. and next Sunday at 2 p.m. $25. 202-467-4600.


ALEX BLACHLY FOUNDED the 14-voice ensemble Pomerium in New York in 1972. The original purpose was to perform the sacred vocal repertoire of the Renaissance. The group has grown increasingly prominent over the years, with some well-received recordings on the Deutsche Grammophon label giving it worldwide exposure. Pomerium returns to its original mandate on Saturday evening, performing works from the 16th-century choir books of the Sistine Chapel. The program includes the best-known and most loved of these pieces, Allegri's haunting and unearthly "Miserere."

--Philip Kennicott

At Dumbarton United Methodist Church, 3133 Dumbarton St. NW. Saturday at 8 p.m. $28. 202-965-2000.


WYNTON MARSALIS ISN'T THE ONLY trumpet virtuoso leading a repertory-based big band connected to a prestigious, classically oriented New York arts center. Witness Jon Faddis, musical director for the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, which performs Friday at George Mason University's Center for the Arts. The 18-piece orchestra, which has won kudos for its swinging sound and tight ensemble work, will open a new series, "American Echoes," with a program devoted to the music of Thelonious Monk.

--Richard Harrington

At the George Mason University Center for the Arts, Braddock Road and Route 123, Fairfax. Friday at 8 p.m. $25-$35. 703-218-6500.