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Critics' Calls

AFRICAN-AMERICAN ART _ Bernice Steinbaum, SoHo gallery owner who was curator for a show of African-American artists now at Stein Gallery, lectures on the subject at the Tampa Museum of Art, 601 Doyle Carlton Drive, at 2 p.m. Sunday. The show, along with a companion exhibit by Ray Gill, Oliver Parson, Deborah Rodriguez and Eddie West, all of the Tampa area, runs through Wednesday at Stein Gallery, 3105 Bay to Bay Blvd., Tampa. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat. The gallery is free; the lecture at the museum is $3.MELBY, BROWN, ROSS _ Lee Scarfone Gallery at the University of Tampa exhibits a balanced show with lighted sculptures by Rick Melby, manipulated photographs by Connie Brown and soft-colored ceramics by Ed Ross. Their works appear through March 2 at the gallery behind the orange gate on campus at Brevard and North B Street. Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. and 1-4 p.m. Sat.. Free. Call Tampa 253-3333, ext. 217.

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POP MUSIC/ERIC SNIDER

MURRAY _ Canadian singer Anne Murray (photo, left) makes country-tinged pop that's sweet and nondescript, devoid of beer-soaked grit heard in the best country. That's probably why Murray is perfect for Ruth Eckerd Hall, where she plays Sunday at 8 p.m. And wouldn't you know: It's sold out.

THOMPSON _ Unheralded country legend Hank Thompson has long straddled honky-tonk and western swing. He was a prominent country hitmaker in the '40s, '50s and '60s. Now 64 and a recent inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Thompson makes a rare bay area concert appearance at Joyland (11225 US 19 S, Clearwater) tonight at 10 and midnight. Tickets are $10, available through Ticketmaster (service charge) or Joyland.

JAZZ/Russell Stamets

JAZZ FEST AT USF _ The University of South Florida Suncoast Jazz Festival kicks off Thursday with an 8 p.m. concert featuring tenor sax player Bob Berg and guitarist Mike Stern and their big band in Theater I on USF's Tampa campus. The festival also includes The Mingus Dynasty on March 2. Tickets to these two events are $12 each, and are available by calling 974-2323.

TELEVISION/JANIS D. FROELICH

NASTY, NASTY _ Since when do real men like to be called boys? When a cop show needs a gimmick, that's when. NBC's new series Nasty Boys is about tough-guy cops, based on a real-life police unit in Las Vegas. Wearing Ninja-style hoods, these Boys don't mess around with vice. Airing Friday at 9 p.m. on WFLA-Ch. 8.

MOVIES/HAL LIPPER

TRUE LOVE _ Donna wants pastel bridesmaid gowns and matching sky-blue mashed potatoes for the wedding dinner. Michael wants to hang out with the fellas on their wedding night. Nancy Savoca's spritely paced feature debut chronicles the nuptials of two warring sweethearts whose dream is to own half a duplex in the Bronx. True Love, the Grand Prize winner at the recent United States Film Festival, opens today at the Clearwater Mall 5 in Clearwater.

HIGH HOPES _ Mike Leigh satirizes Thatcherite England through the misadventures of a single London family. This wise, rueful social comedy opens today and runs one week at the Beach Theater in St. Petersburg Beach.

EMMA'S SHADOW _ The Tampa Theater presents a fairy tale for adults: the story of a lonely 11-year-old girl who stages her own kidnapping and the man who finds her, befriends her and gives her the love she has been lacking. Emma's Shadow, winner of the Grand Prix de la Jeunesse at the Cannes Film Festival and best picture in its native Denmark, plays tonight through Sunday, Feb. 28 and March 1.

MY LEFT FOOT _ He was the runt of the litter, the 10th of 13 children, his body twisted and spastic with cerebral palsy. Yet poverty, indifference and a crippling disorder didn't deter Christy Brown. He became one of Ireland's most celebrated modern-day writers and painters. Daniel Day-Lewis portrays Brown, a courageous thinker prone to drunken fits of rage, in all his self-contradictory glory. Jim Sheridan's My Left Foot, nominated for five Academy Awards including best picture, actor, director and screenplay adaptation, opens today in Tampa Bay area theaters.

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