`Halley's Comet'

Veteran actor John Amos stars as an 87-year-old man who recalls his experiences in the turbulent 20th century in the one-man play "Halley's Comet," performed Saturday at 2 and 8 at the Publick Playhouse, 5445 Landover Rd., Cheverly. Tickets are $22 and $18; students, children and seniors get a $2 discount. Call 301/277-1710 (TDD: 301/277-0312).

Beat Visions

The words of poet Allen Ginsberg are showcased in "Beat Visions and Beatitudes: A Critical Encounter With Allen Ginsberg," a fusion of jazz, poetry and theater that features recording artist Kurt Elling, a jazz quartet and Steppenwolf Theatre Company actors Martha Plimpton and Tom Hopper, Friday at 7:30 in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Tickets are $20. On Monday at 6, the Kurt Elling Quartet will present a free concert on the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage. Call 202/467-4600 (TDD: 202/416-8524).

Old Journeys, New Discovery

The National Geographic Society's Explorers Hall is home to two new exhibitions:

* A life-sized cast of the skeleton and smaller models of a new species of plant-eating dinosaur, a giant that stood 15 feet at the hip and once lived in what is now the Sahara, go on display Saturday in Explorers Hall. Both an adult and baby dinosaur are in the exhibit.

* Explorer Ernest Shackleton's epic 1914 expedition to Antarctica turned into a harrowing saga when Shackleton, his ship Endurance and crew became trapped in the polar ice for more than two years. "The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition," opening Tuesday at the National Geographic Society's Explorers Hall and continuing through Feb. 6, tells their story through film, artifacts, photographs and multimedia displays.

The National Geographic Society is at 17th and M streets NW (Metro: Farragut North). Admission is free. Explorers Hall is open Monday through Saturday from 9 to 5, Sunday from 10 to 5. Call 202/857-7588.

Women on the Mail Route

Meet actresses portraying pilot Amelia Earhart and stagecoach driver Calamity Jane and hear their first-person accounts of exploring new frontiers and the role of the postal service in the one-hour program "Women in the Mail Frontiers," presented Saturday at 11 at the National Postal Museum, 2 Massachusetts Ave. NE (Metro: Union Station). Earhart is portrayed by Ann Birney and Calamity Jane by Joyce Thierer, from the Ride into History acting company. Admission is free. Call 202/357-2991.

`A Tuna Christmas'

"A Tuna Christmas," a holiday comedy set in the mythical little town of Tuna, Tex., whose entire citizenry is portrayed by Joe Sears and Jaston Williams, opens Tuesday and runs through Nov. 28 at the Warner Theatre, 13th and E streets NW (Metro: Metro Center, Federal Triangle). Shows are Tuesdays through Fridays at 8, Saturdays at 2 and 8 and Sundays at 2 and 7, plus a 2 p.m. matinee on Nov. 26. Tickets are $25 to $42.50 from Ticketmaster, 202/432-7328 (service charges); for information, 202/783-4000.

Night of the Authors

David Ignatius, David Maraniss, Diane Rehm, Richard Cohen, Dusko Doder, Phyllis Richman, Elizabeth Drew, Don Knotts and Annie Proulx are among more than 100 featured authors when the National Press Club holds its 22nd annual Book Fair and Author's Night on Thursday from 6 to 8:30. The fair takes place on the 13th floor of the club at 14th and F streets NW (Metro: Federal Triangle, Metro Center). Visitors can meet the authors, buy their books and get copies autographed. Admission is $3. Call 202/662-7523.

Ho-Hos Alert

Weekend's annual calendar of holiday activities appears Dec. 3. If you would like us to include your holiday concert, parade or other event, send your notice by Nov. 19 to Ho-Hos, Weekend, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, DC 20071. Please include a description of the event, dates, times, an exact address, a telephone number (with area code) we can print and admission fees. Craft shows and religious services will not be included.

OUR PICKS

Film

Susan Sarandon is the eccentric mother who moves to Beverly Hills. Natalie Portman's the sullen teenage daughter who doesn't want to follow. Strong performances from both, as well as warmly assured direction from Wayne Wang, ensure that "Anywhere But Here" goes beyond the "chick flick" zone. Not that there's anything wrong with "chick flicks." It's just that guys might like this movie, too. See review on Page 47.

-- Desson Howe

Nightlife

It's simple -- if you've never seen George Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars live, your life has a void that must be filled. Everyone should experience an evening with the masters of the good groove at least once. See them Friday at Baltimore's Recher Theater (410/337-7178) and Saturday at the 9:30 club (202/ 393-0930)

-- Curt Fields

Exhibition

On Sunday from noon to 5, Annie Adjchavanich stages another of her infamous, multi-artist $100 Art Sales at Chief Ike's Mambo Room, (1725 Columbia Rd. NW; 202/332-2211). For a couple of years now, the local photographer/impresario has been bringing affordable art to the masses.

-- Michael O'Sullivan

REST OF THE BEST

Everything Ducky

The 29th annual Waterfowl Festival celebrates ducks and geese in photographs, paintings, sculpture, carvings and other media, with music, duck- and goose-calling contests and other activities, Friday through Sunday at numerous locations in Easton, Md. More than 400 wildlife artists and artisans will exhibit their works. The festival is on Friday and Saturday from 10 to 6 and Sunday from 10 to 5. Admission is $10 for one day and $20 for all three days; children 14 and younger are free. Take U.S. 50 east to Easton and turn right on the Route 322/Easton Bypass to the Lowes and J.C. Penney parking lots, or turn right on Dutchman's Lane to marked parking areas. Free shuttle buses will run from those lots to all exhibit areas. Call 410/822-4567.

Music for the Millennium

* The Metropolitan Chorus presents a concert titled "Last Hurrah for the 20th Century," featuring selections from "Treemonisha," by Scott Joplin; "Mass in G Minor," by R. Vaughan Williams; "Hymn to St. Cecilia," by Benjamin Britten; and "Symphony of Psalms," by Igor Stravinsky, Friday at 7:30 at the First Presbyterian Church, 601 N. Vermont St., Arlington. Tickets are $12, $10 for seniors, students and military. Call 703/836-4822.

* The American University Symphony Orchestra presents "Music for a New Millennium," featuring works by Copland, Tchaikovsky, Faure and Shostakovich, Saturday at 7:30 and Nov. 20 at 7 at the Kay Spiritual Life Center on the campus at 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW. Tickets are $7, $5 students and seniors. Call 202/885-2787.

Museum Shop Around

Shop for your holiday gifts from a selection of merchandise from the shops of the Audubon Society, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Hillwood Museum and Gardens, the Smithsonian's Freer and Sackler galleries, the Maryland Historical Society and other area museums at the Museum Shop Around, Friday through Sunday from 10 to 5 at Strathmore Hall Arts Center, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda (Metro: Grosvenor). Admission is $6 (no strollers); call 301/530-0540.

In Harmony

The Alexandria Harmonizers barbershop chorus presents its annual Fall Extravaganza, featuring the a cappella vocal group Rockapella, Friday and Saturday at 8 at T.C. Williams High School, 3330 King St., Alexandria. Tickets are $17.50 to $40. Call 703/922-0962.