WHEN MEL GIBSON DIRECTED "The Passion of the Christ," it was lauded by fans for its blend of graphic realism and lurid melodrama. But for many filmgoers and critics, the life of Jesus Christ was captured best in the spare, pared-down narrative of "The Gospel According to St. Matthew," Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini's 1964 dramatization that portrayed Christ (played by Enrique Irazoqui) as the ultimate speaker of truth to power.

Coincidentally, both films were made in Italy's Basilicata district and its capital of Matera. "The Gospel According to St. Matthew" will be shown today at the National Gallery of Art as part of the museum's series "Filmmaking in Southern Italy," which through Oct. 23 will pay tribute to a region that has provided evocative locations for some of the country's most important filmmakers.

-- Ann Hornaday

At the National Gallery's East Building Auditorium, Fourth Street at Constitution Avenue NW. Today at 4:30 p.m. Free. Call 202-842-6799 or visit


THE UPROARIOUS Kiki & Herb drag themselves back to the District (and we do mean drag) for "Kiki & Herb: The Resurrection Tour." Woolly Mammoth serves as host to Kenny Mellman and Justin Bond, who in turn serve up their glam soup of satire, song and well-meaning invective. The clamor for tickets has compelled Woolly to add a sixth show. Book now!

-- Peter Marks

At Woolly Mammoth Theatre, 641 D St. NW. Thursday at 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday at 8 and 10:30 p.m.; Sunday at 7 p.m. $36-$48. Ages 16 and up. For more information, call 202-393-3939 or visit


RICHARD STRAUSS'S extraordinarily fresh and beautiful "bucolic tragedy" "Daphne" is rarely staged -- small wonder, since the final scene of this one-act opera calls upon the heroine to turn herself into a tree. Whatever dramatic challenges the work may present are eliminated when it is performed in concert, as it will be Tuesday night at the Kennedy Center. Soprano Renee Fleming has made this neglected work one of her specialties (a recording is on the way) and Semyon Bychkov will conduct the WDR Symphony Orchestra of Cologne. The two enormously challenging tenor roles will be sung by Johan Botha and Roberto Sacca.

-- Tim Page

In the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Tuesday night at 8. $25-$150. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


YOU WOULDN'T EXPECT a work titled "Pinata" to be meditative and angst-laden. No, true to its title, the work that Brian Brooks Moving Company performs next weekend is a playful piece, full of color and fistfuls of confetti tossed by the dancers. Their feather- and lace-festooned costumes take their cues from flamenco attire. The Brooklyn-based Brooks matches this extravagant, decorative flair with his trademark high physicality. No word on whether there's also candy.

-- Sarah Kaufman

At the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland, Route 193 and Stadium Drive, College Park. Friday and Saturday at 8. $7-$30. Call 301-405-2787 or visit