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Critics' Calls

FILM / Hal Lipper

STEPPING OUT _ Slow boats from China get here faster than this Liza Minnelli flick. Released last year to mixed reviews, this adaptation of Richard Harris' Broadway play casts Minnelli as the coach of a class of middle-age dancers rehearsing for a charity event. Lewis Gilbert (Shirley Valentine) directs this song-and-dance comedy making its Florida premiere at the Movies at Largo. See page 7 for a review.

1,000 PIECES OF GOLD _ Rosaline Chao, best known as the botanist on Star Trek _ The Next Generation, plays a real-life Chinese woman who battled racism and sexism as a mail-order bride in frontier American. Although 1,000 Pieces of Gold is hampered by its tiny budget, it nevertheless is an absorbing account of one woman's dignified triumph in a foreign land. Catch it at the Beach Theater in St. Petersburg Beach. Review, page 10.

ANTONIA AND JANE _ Antonia McGill and Jane Hartman are lifelong friends who love and loathe one another. They share the same therapist _ unbeknownst to either _ and lunch together once a year. Each jealously suspects the other is happier. That provides for a fine comedy and a wealth of insight into friendship and the obstacles women encounter in modern society. Director Beeban Kidron's bittersweet BBC feature continues at the Movies at Largo.

POP MUSIC Eric Snider

BURDON _ One of the '60s British Invasion's, grittiest, bluesiest singers, Eric Burdon notched several hits with the Animals and later hooked up with War for the quirky funk of Spill the Wine. Burdon, along with the Brian Auger Band, will play the State Theater at 9 tonight. Tickets are $15, available through Ticketmaster (which will add a service charge) or the theater box office.

ARNOLD _ With a deep, mellifluous voice and folksy stage manner, Eddy Arnold has never lost his place as one of America's favorite country-style crooners. He plays Ruth Eckerd Hall at 8 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets are $24 and $19, available through the Eckerd Hall box office.

HUMPERDINCK _ The British pop singer no longer notches hits, but keeps busy playing the performing arts hall circuit. Engelbert Humperdinck performs at Eckerd Hall next Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $26 and $29.

TV / Janis D. Froelich

THE 34TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS _ This is the mother of all music award TV shows. So non-singer Whoopi Goldberg is host. The Grammys dominate the CBS dial from 8-11 p.m. Tuesday, locally on WTVT-Ch. 13.

JALEEL WHITE SPECIAL _ Nerdy Steve Urkel on TV's Family Matters lands his own TV special, with a little help from his friends. Guests include: Shari Belafonte, Nell Carter, Kid 'n Play, Little Richard, Vanessa Williams and Flip Wilson. ABC offers the squeaky-voiced kid Saturday at 8 p.m., WTSP-Ch. 10 and WWSB-Ch. 40.

OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES _ Let the games end! CBS' weekend wrap-up is skating in our direction. Sunday's highlight is the gold hockey bout, airing at 9 a.m. on WTVT-Ch. 13. For a hockey tournament recap, tune in at 4:30 p.m. Closing ceremonies and review of the games begin at 8 p.m.

THEATER / John Fleming

SURVIVOR _ In a Stageworks production, Adele Leas plays a woman who impersonates her late husband in order to survive hard times in Germany in Man to Man by Manfred Karge. Performances are tonight and tomorrow night at 8 and Sunday at 5 p.m. at the Loft; tickets are $6-$12; call 251-8984 in Tampa.

RESTORATION _ The Man of Mode, written by Sir George Etherege in 1676, was the Asolo Theater's inaugural production in 1960. A revival of this five-act comedy of manners opens Wednesday at 8 p.m. and runs through March 21; tickets are $12-$30; call 351-8000 in Sarasota.

MUSIC / John Fleming

LUDWIG _ To wrap up the Beethoven festival's roll call of symphonic works, the Florida Orchestra plays the Ninth Symphony (Chorale), with the Master Chorale and soloists, in concerts today and Saturday at Mahaffey Theater, Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall and Monday at Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center; each concert is at 8 p.m. Call 447-4210 in Pinellas, 286-2403 in Hillsborough.

LUDWIG II _ The festival's final event is a performance by the USF Faculty Chamber Players, featuring vocalist Warren Jaworski in the song cycle An die ferne Geliebte, Op. 98. Also on the agenda are a clarinet trio, cello sonata and other works. The concert is Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Octagon Art Center, Clearwater; tickets are $5.

ROMANTIC OPERA _ Martha by Friedrich von Flotow opens a six-performance run Saturday evening at 8 at the Sarasota Opera House; tickets are $15-$35; call 953-7030 in Sarasota.

ART / Mary Ann Marger

ART IN BOOK FORM _ Books that are works of art in themselves is the theme of the Ringling School of Art and Design's show, opening with a reception from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday at Selby Gallery on campus. Judith Hoffberg, an authority on artists' books, will conduct a gallery talk Monday at 7 p.m. in the gallery. The show runs through March 28 during hours 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Events and the gallery are free. Ringling School of Art and Design, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way, one block east of 2700 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; 359-7563 or (800) 255-7695.

SCHOLASTIC ART _ The 1992 Burdines Scholastic Art Awards Exhibition opens to the public Sunday at the Tampa Museum of Art. On display are 163 works by students in grades 7 through 12. They were selected from 1,100 entries from 31 Florida counties in the Gulf Coast Region. Free. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday-Saturday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday; and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday through March 8. The Tampa Museum of Art is at 601 Doyle Carlton Drive, Tampa; phone 223-8130.