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TUESDAY

If you remember anything from The Commitments, Roddy Doyle’s 1987 tale of Dubliners who escape the bleak realities of ’80s Ireland by forming a Motown cover band, it should be the sincerity with which the young soul singers recite that immortal line “I’m black and I’m proud!” In Oh, Play That Thing, the second volume in “The Last Roundup” series, Doyle steps back some years to give us one more Irishman in mad love with the Negro sound. On the run from what seems to be every bastard on the planet, ex-IRA assassin Henry Smart finds his way to Chicago, where he steps into a bar one night and gets hit by jazz for the first time. “It was furious, happy, and lethal,” says Smart. “This was free and wordless and the man with the trumpet was driving it forward without ever looking back.” That man turns out to be Louis Armstrong, his newest partner in crime. Doyle reads from his work at 7:30 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. (Paul Morton)