- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Films with a conscience

The 12th annual Environmental Film Festival kicks off today and will screen more than 90 films over the next 10 days. Featuring work from more than 30 countries, the films cover a broad range, as varied as Asiatic black bears and community tree-planting. Screenings take place at venues all over the metropolitan area, and most are free to the public. For a festival schedule, see www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org or call 202/342-2564.

Funny man

Chris Rock has a way of getting a laugh whether he is on stage or on the big screen. He’ll be sure to do just that next week when he plays DAR Constitution Hall. “The Black Ambition Tour” plays Wednesday through Friday. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $39 to $59. 18th and D streets NW. 202/432-SEAT.

‘Burgh rock

Pittsburgh is known for its bridges and steel factories, not for its music, but the recent crop of musical acts coming out of the steel town means that may change soon. One of those acts is Shade, a five-piece rock outfit that has earned a loyal following in the ‘Burgh and is primed for domestic and international success. Shade plays DC 9 tomorrow night with the Canadian rock group the Chrome Yellow Company. The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $8. 1940 Ninth St. NW. 202/483.5000

Drawings by Dine

For more than 20 years, artist Jim Dine has dazzled critics and art lovers with his self-portraits and drawings of nature. Beginning Sunday, the National Gallery of Art will show more than 100 of Mr. Dine’s finest pieces. Also Sunday, Mr. Dine, along with curator Judith Brodie, will be on hand to discuss his career and work. The artist’s lecture begins at 2 p.m. in the East Building Auditorium. “Drawings of Jim Dine” runs through Aug. 1. Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue NW. 202/737-4215.

New name, new roster

The Fire Theft’s musical biography is as chaotic and fickle as a high school relationship. Formerly known as Sunny Day Real Estate, the Seattle emo-rock band seemed to break up and get back together at least once a month. With a new, streamlined roster, the group’s members have seemingly entered into a more adult relationship with one another. The Fire Theft opens for Saves the Day and Grandaddy on Tuesdayat the 9:30 Club. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $25. 815 V St. NW. 202/393-0930.

Start your engines

The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is all about planes, but its new Imax show, “NASCAR: The Imax Experience” is all about cars — really fast cars. The film offers a nonstop, no-holds-barred look into the world of NASCAR, and viewers get a rare opportunity to see all that it takes to brings these supercharged gas guzzlers to the track. Screenings are at 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. daily; and at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30, 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $5.50 to $8. 14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway, Chantilly. 202/357-2700.

Mozart singalong

The Cathedral Choral Society is giving everyone the chance to feel like a singing sensation when it hosts its annual “Cathedral Sings” on Tuesday at the Washington National Cathedral. This year’s score is Mozart’s “Requiem,” directed by J. Reilly Lewis. Participants can bring their own score or rent one for $1. Cost is $7 to sing or $5 to listen. Massachusetts and Wisconsin avenues NW. 202/537-5527.

Spying for beginners

Ever wonder what it takes to be a spy? Former CIA disguise experts Tony and Jonna Mendez know what it takes and are offering their expertise Monday for “Surveillance 201” at the International Spy Museum. After learning the basics, all students will have the chance to practice their skills on the streets of Washington. The class runs from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Registration is required and costs $60 to $65. 800 F St. NW. 202/393-7798.

Thomas Walter

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