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It's music. It's dance. It's theater. CONTACT redefined what a musical could be when it first appeared on Broadway and blew everything out of the water, winning every major theater award, including four Tonys. Arriving in Atlanta for a short run MARCH 18-23, Contact features three tales of people in pursuit of love. The stories are told entirely through sensual dance and feature music by a wide range of composers, from Rodgers & Hart and Tchaikovsky to the Beach Boys and Squirrel Nut Zippers. $25-$50. Tues.-Fri. 8 p.m.; Sat. 2 and 8 p.m.; Sun. 7:30 p.m. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. 404-817-8700.
-- Jerry Portwood

Live Music
Bugle boys

The DIZZY GILLESPIE ALUMNI ALL-STARS pay tribute to the trumpet master with an international tour, which stops in Atlanta MARCH 15. The ensemble features trumpeter Jon Faddis, a close Gillespie associate, and Grammy-winning Cuban exile Paquito D'Rivera on clarinet. Filling out the group: Slide Hampton, a trombonist and founding member of Gillespie's United Nation's Orchestra; saxophonist Benny Green; bassist John Lee; and drummer Cecil Brooks III. All will be available after the performance for a post-show talk with the audience. $25-$45. 8 p.m. Rialto Center for the Performing Arts, 80 Forsyth St. 404-651-4727.
-- JP

St. Patrick's Day
Swimming in green

ST. PATRICK'S DAY comes on Monday this year -- and unfortunately, so will your hangover. MARCH 15, Buckhead is transformed into a sea of green once again for the annual ST. PATRICK'S DAY PARADE, with floats, clowns, bands, Irish dancers and other merrymakers glutting the area. Free. Parade begins at 1 p.m. Corner of East Paces Ferry Road and Maple Drive. 404-295-5242.

Amid the fray of the parade, Fado Irish Pub's BLOCK PARTY MARCH 15-17 features live bands outdoors, a mechanical bull, and Fado's take on TV's "Fear Factor" (Saturday and Sunday). $10. Sat.-Mon. 10:30 a.m.; live music 3 p.m. Fado Irish Pub, 3035 Peachtree St. 404-841-0066.

Over in Virginia-Highland, Atlanta's oldest Irish pub, Limerick Junction, presents its 16th annual ST. PATRICK'S DAY CELEBRATION MARCH 15-17, featuring Irish sing-a-longs with Ossian Gillbert and Barry Nelson (Saturday). Block party festivities out back feature live music from YOU, the Rockin' Pontoons and Kevin Lewis. $5; $2 block party only. Sat. 2 p.m. Doors open Monday at noon. Limerick Junction Pub, 822 N. Highland Ave. 404-874-7247.

A newcomer to the Patty's Day game, James Joyce Irish Pub hosts its BLUEGRASS AND IRISH ROOTS FESTIVAL MARCH 15-17, with more than 10 local acts paying homage to the bluegrass' Emerald Isle roots. Groups include Still Blue, Brushfire, Walnut Grove, Cedar Hill, Pony Express, Dappled Gray Trio and the Buddy O'Reilly Band. Oh, and don't forget, free entry if your name is Patrick. $5. Sat.-Sun. 1-11 p.m.; Mon. 4-11 p.m. James Joyce Irish Pub, 22 N. Avondale Road, Avondale. 404-296-5097.

And for those who'd rather get in touch with their Irishness in a more sober setting, there's the CHERISH THE LADIES concert MARCH 14-15. The six women who compose this traditional Irish group are known for their passionate vocals and rambunctious style. They're joined by a troupe of All-Ireland champion stepdancers. $21-$55. Fri.-Sat. 8 p.m. Atlanta Symphony Hall, 1280 Peachtree St. 404-733-5000.
-- JP

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