LOOKING AHEAD

The Week of Oct. 15

The 62nd annual International Gold Cup steeplechase race takes place Oct. 16 at Great Meadow in The Plains, Va. Call 540/347-2612.

l The Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz holds its International Jazz Piano Competition, Oct. 16-17 at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. On Oct. 16 at 11 a.m., 12 jazz pianists will perform. Seating is free and on a first-come basis. On Oct. 17 at 7:30, the institute presents a jazz gala, which includes the competition finals. Tickets are $20;

call 202/357-3030 or 202/364-7272. l The Shenandoah Valley Hot Air Balloon Festival features wine tastings, horse show jumping demonstrations, a rock climbing wall, miniature horses, country music, an antique car show and hot air balloon launches, Oct. 16-17 at Historic Long Branch in Millwood, Va. Call 888/558-5567.

l Enjoy one-man plays about Benjamin Franklin and Theodore Roosevelt, listen to storyteller John Spelman and his tales from American rural and urban traditions, take part in a Safari Hunt and create your own portrait at the National Portrait Gallery's Open House on Oct. 17. Admission and all activities are free. Call 202/357-2700 (TDD: 202/357-1729). l More than 800 Revolutionary War and French & Indian War reenactors, concerts by U.S. military bands, a performance by the U.S. Army Fife and Drum Corps ("The Old Guard") and other activities are featured in the program "George Washington: Citizen Soldier," Oct. 16-17 at Mount

Vernon. Call 703/780-2000. l The National Wildlife Visitor Center, part of the Patuxent Research Refuge in Laurel, celebrates National Wildlife Refuge Week on Oct. 16 with presentations of live hawks, turtles, waterfowl and snakes; children's arts and crafts and puppet shows and wildlife tours. Call 301/497-5760 (TDD: 301/497-5779). l More than 500 vintage vehicles will be on display at Rockville's annual Antique and Classic Car Show, Oct. 16 at Rockville Civic Center Park. Call 301/309-3334.

The Week of Oct. 22

Thousands of runners will take part in the Marine Corps Marathon on Oct. 24. The race starts at the Iwo Jima memorial around 8:30 a.m. and follows a course that crosses into the District and passes all the major monuments before ending back at the memorial. Race registration is closed. Call 703/784-2225. l The Washington International Horse Show features hundreds of horses, Oct. 24-31 at USAirways Arena. Call 301/840-0281. l

More than 150,000 books, CDs, records, cassettes, sheet music and art are on sale at Goodwill's Used Book Sale, Oct. 21-26 at the Washington Convention Center. Call 202/636-4225.

The Week of Oct. 29

Disney on Ice celebrates 75 years of Disney magic, Oct. 27-31 at MCI Center. Call 202/432-7328.

HOT TIX

Tickets are going on sale this weekend from Ticketmaster for several upcoming concerts.

Starting Friday at 10, B.B. King and Bobby "Blue" Bland, appearing Dec. 9 at DAR Constitution Hall; tickets cost $35. l On sale Saturday: starting at 10, 311, Nov. 6 at Nation ($21); starting at 11, Sting, Nov. 12 at DAR Constitution Hall ($75 and $50); starting at noon, Live, Nov. 20 at George Washington University's Smith Center ($25). Call 202/432-7328 or 800/551-7328 (service charges will be added).

OPENING SOON

Film

Movies opening Oct. 15: Blue-collar pugilists Brad Pitt and Edward Norton take fisticuffs to

a new, dark level in Fight Club, directed by David Fincher of "Seven." l In The Grandfather, a

nominee for last year's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, Fernando Fernan-Gomez plays a

patriarch who returns to his home town in 1900s Spain. l Bruce Willis and Michelle Pfeiffer play

a married couple trying to deal with a trial separation in The Story of Us, a romantic comedy

by Rob Reiner, who also co-stars. l And Sugar Town is director Allison Anders's fictional look

at today's music scene, starring Ally Sheedy, Rosanna Arquette and John Taylor of Duran

Duran. Opening dates are subject to change.

Stage

Two dance productions are visiting the Kennedy Center next weekend: In "Suzanne Farrell Stages the Masters of 20th Century Ballet," the star ballerina offers insights into works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins and Maurice Bejart, Oct. 21 through 24 in the Terrace Theater ($25).

l The Washington premiere of "Vers la flamme," based on stories by Anton Chekhov, by the Martha Clarke company, runs Oct. 21-23 in the Eisenhower Theater ($22 to $35). Call 202/467-4600 or 800/444-1324 (TDD: 202/416-8524).

Exhibit

These exhibitions open next week: "ChildArt 2000," opening Oct. 15 at the Capital Children's

Museum, features more than 80 works of art by children from around the world. l "Treasures From the Royal Tombs of Ur," opening Oct. 17 at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, focuses on 150 artifacts unearthed by British archaeologist C. Leonard Woolley in the 1920s and '30s from the ancient Sumerian city-state of Ur in what is now southern Iraq. l Also on Oct. 17, the National Gallery of Art debuts "Brassai: The Eye of Paris," a traveling retrospective of the works of the late photographer, known for his early 1930s scenes of Paris at night. l "Life of the People: Realist Prints and Drawings From the Ben and Beatrice Goldstein Collection, 1912-1948," opening Oct. 20 at the Library of Congress, is a selection of graphic art focusing on the working man collected by the late garment manufacturer/labor advocate Ben Goldstein and his wife.

CLOSINGS

This weekend is your last chance to catch: "Spirit: A Journey in Dance, Drums and Song," a tribute to Native American culture, at the National Theatre ($25 to $65; 800/447-7400 or 202/628-6161); "Bello & Friends," this year's production by the Big Apple Circus, under the little big top at Dulles Town Center ($12 to $40; 703/218-6500); "George, Don't Do That!," an evening of music and comedy inspired by British comedienne Joyce Grenfell, by Interact Theatre Company in the Arena Stage Old Vat Room ($25 to $30; 703/218-6500); "Translations," Brian Friel's glimpse of Ireland in 1833, by the Rep Stage Company at Howard Community College ($12 to $19; 410/772-4900); "Rossum's Universal Robots," a 1920 play about mechanical robots who rise up against their human creators, by Fraudulent Productions at D.C. Arts Center ($10 to $15; 202/462-7833); and "Nude With Violin," Noel Coward's comedy built around a deceased artist, greedy relatives and a cunning valet, at Baltimore's Everyman Theatre ($15; 410/752-2208). l This weekend is your last chance to see these closing exhibitions: "Closing: The Life and Death of an American Factory: Photographs by Bill Bamberger," at the National Museum of American History (202/357-2700, TDD: 202/357-1729); and "Undersea Exploration" and "Cuba," at the National Geographic Society (202/

857-7588).

NEXT WEEK IN WEEKEND

Despite the drought, fall foliage will be as colorful as ever. We tell you where the best views are.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

To search for upcoming events, check out Style Live, the entertainment guide of The Washington Post's Web site: www.washingtonpost.com.