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Tuning in: On TV this week.

By M.S. Mason / August 5, 2005



Sunday

Slings and Arrows (Sundance, 8-9 p.m.) This irresistible Canadian comic-drama series draws from various stage and screen genres to skewer the business of the arts. The fictitious New Burbage Theatre Festival has sold its soul just to stay in the black. Right after a polished (yet spiritless) opening night, the festival's founder and artistic director dies tragically - and then returns to haunt his former partner and successor. Will art or business triumph? A dash of Six Feet Under's mordant wit only helps underscore the show's unique drolleries. Mature content and language.

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Monday

Cook, Dixon, and Young in Concert (PBS, 8-10 p.m.) Victor Cook, Roderick Dixon, and Thomas Young blend and weave soul-stirring music from show tunes, opera, gospel, jazz, blues, hip-hop, and hymnody with smooth-as-glass showmanship and lots of joy. Life affirming as it is, the show praises God, African-American music, New York, and the brotherhood of man. From a Motown medley to Verdi's "Celeste Aida" to the exquisite "I Need You to Survive," this show moves silkily into the heart.

Thursday

Born Into Brothels (Cinemax On Demand, followed Aug. 16 with première on Cinemax, 7-9 p.m.) The Academy Award-winning documentary reveals as much about the creative human spirit as it does about the miseries that can beat it down. Filmmakers gave still cameras to some of Calcutta's most despised street children - the children of prostitutes. And a handful of these showed exceptional talent and interest. There is great hope expressed here as well as great frustration - it isn't always easy to accomplish good, but the effort is always worth it no matter the results. Harsh language and adult subject matter, but no explicit sexual content.

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