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To Dec. 19

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Despite all the hullabaloo surrounding the fin de siecle and—oh, don’t make me say it—Y2K, there are actually a few bright lights shining their intellectual incandescence into the void populated by the likes of Sting, Foghat, and whoever else is throwing a millennium-inspired jam. Chilean poet Pablo Neruda’s posthumously published piece, “Dos Mil,” is the centerpiece of Neruda: 2000, a musical presentation being proffered up by the GALA Hispanic Theatre. Although the production’s title may smack of some Vegas-style extravaganza, Neruda: 2000 should prove to be one of the more inspiring and worthwhile events born of the desire to welcome the new millennium. Neruda’s musical and otherwordly poetry is suitable fodder for this undertaking, engineered by Chilean composer and guitarist Miguel Cordova, who crafted original music for it. “Dos Mil” celebrates the onset of a new century and the promise it embodies, yet it also underscores the need for prudence in the face of unchecked technology and other dubious human developments. Neruda’s poetry manipulates language in startling ways, so the people at GALA have their work cut out for them. But anyone honoring a man like Neruda at a time when others are busy perpetuating the machine that he warned of deserves a chance. At 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 4 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, to Friday, Dec. 19, at GALA Hispanic Theatre, 1625 Park Road NW. $20-$22. (202) 234-7174. (John Davis)