LOOKING AHEAD

The Week of Dec. 27

Olympic pairs champions Jamie Sale and David Pelletier and Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze, Olympic men's champion Alexei Yagudin and other ice skating stars perform at the Smucker's Stars on Ice Dec. 29 at MCI Center. Call 202-432-7328. * Fabian Barnes's Dance Institute of Washington and guest artists celebrate the "Spirit of Kwanzaa" Dec. 28-29 in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Call 202-467-4600 (TDD: 202-416-8524). * Several big New Year's Eve celebrations are scheduled throughout the area. "First Night Annapolis" has more than 200 family performances at indoor and outdoor sites throughout downtown Annapolis and fireworks at midnight; call 410-268-8553. "First Night Alexandria" features family entertainment and other activities throughout Old Town Alexandria and fireworks at midnight; call 703-838-4200, Ext. 210. "First Night Leesburg" will offer indoor and outdoor entertainment and other family activities throughout Leesburg's historic district; call 800-752-6118. Baltimore's "New Year's Eve Spectacular" has free entertainment and family activities in Baltimore's Inner Harbor and fireworks at midnight; call 410-837-4636. Falls Church Watch Night welcomes the new year with music, dance, magicians, puppet shows and other entertainment around Broad and Washington streets; call 703-532-0884. * Javon Johnson's "Runaway Home," a play about an African American mother who feels trapped by the circumstances of her life, is at Studio Theatre Jan. 1 through Feb. 16. Call 202-332-3300.

The Week of Jan. 3

Jennifer Maisel's new comedy "The Last Seder," about what ensues when four daughters return home for a last Passover meal ready to move their memory-addled father into a nursing facility, is performed by Theater J Jan. 8 through Feb. 9 at the District of Columbia Jewish Community Center, 1529 16th St. NW. Call 800-494-7497. * The Kennedy Center's Imagination Celebration series presents Philadanco, a powerful modern dance ensemble with adventurous choreography, in performances for the whole family Jan. 3-5 in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Call 202-467-4600 (TDD: 202-416-8524). * The 19th annual Fishing Expo & Boat Show is Jan. 9-12 at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium. Call 410-838-8687. * The Boys Choir of Harlem performs Jan. 8 in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Call 202-467-4600 (TDD: 202-416-8524).

The Week of Jan. 10

The Choral Arts Society of Washington presents A Choral Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 12 in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Call 202-467-4600 (TDD: 202-416-8524).

Hot Tickets Tickets go on sale Sunday at 11 a.m. from Ticketmaster for a concert by Liza Minnelli, appearing Feb. 18 at MCI Center. They cost $42.50, $62.50 and $82.50 plus service charges; call 202-432-7328.

OPENING SOON

Film Opening Christmas Day: In Steven Spielberg's "Catch Me If You Can," Leonardo DiCaprio's an elusive con artist and Tom Hanks is the man determined to track him down. * "The Lion King -- IMAX" is the really big (IMAX) screen version of Walt Disney's animated hit.

* Roberto Benigni, creator and star of "Life Is Beautiful," plays the puppet who wants to become human in "Pinocchio." * In "Rabbit Proof Fence," three aboriginal girls, forcibly taken from their families in 1931 to be domestic servants, find their way home hundreds of miles away, using a border fence as their guide.

* "Shanghai Ghetto" is a documentary about Jews in Shanghai who set up a village after escaping Germany. * Pedro Almodovar's "Talk to Her" is about two men who are in love with two women -- who both happen to be in a coma. * Opening Dec. 27: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renee Zellweger and Richard Gere star in "Chicago," the movie version of the successful Broadway musical. Opening dates subject to change.

CLOSING Closing on stage this weekend: "Host and Guest," by Stanislavsky Theater Studio's Synetic Theater (202-265-3748); Scena Theatre's production of a play by Mark Ravenhill, at the Warehouse Theatre (703-684-7990); "After Dark," by Actors Theatre at 1409 Playbill Cafe (800-494-8497 or 202-319-1919); "Icarus," by Trumpet Vine Theater at Theatre on the Run (703-912-1649); "No Foreigners Beyond This Point," at Baltimore's Center Stage (410-481-6500 or 410-332-0033); and Edward Albee's "A Delicate Balance," at Baltimore's Everyman Theatre (410-752-2208).

NEXT FRIDAY IN WEEKEND

It's our annual look back at the year that was. Our critics choose 2002's best in movies, music and art. Plus, Desson Howe presents his much-anticipated 10 worst movies list.

WEEKEND ONLINE

To check out Weekend online, go to www.washingtonpost.com/weekend. There you'll find a variety of features, including an archive of Eric Brace's Nightwatch columns, Eve Zibart's Fare Minded columns, guides to some area events and, of course, stories and reviews from the current issue.

The First Night Annapolis celebration fills the streets with New Year's Eve revelers. Fabian Barnes's Dance Institute of Washington celebrates the "Spirit of Kwanzaa" Dec. 28-29 in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Leonardo DiCaprio plays an elusive con artist being hunted by Tom Hanks in Steven Spielberg's "Catch Me If You Can."