The Week of Feb. 21

More than 800 artists and artisans display their wares during the American Craft Council Baltimore Winter Show Feb. 21-23 at the Baltimore Convention Center, 1 W. Pratt St., Baltimore. Call 410-583-5401.

* The Washington Opera inaugurates a year of performances at DAR Constitution Hall with "Aida" Feb. 22-March 11. Call 202-295-2400. * Free motor coach and walking tours of "Two Hundred Years of Black History in the U.S. Capital" during the annual International Tourist Guide Day, sponsored by the Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington and other organizations, Feb. 22 starting at 9 a.m. at the National Building Museum. Call 202-298-9425.

The Week of Feb. 28

The Alexandria St. Patrick's Day Parade features floats, bands, Irish dancers and other units, March 1 through the streets of Old Town Alexandria. Call 703-237-2199. * The National Capital Boat Show showcases fishing boats, ski boats, runabouts, motor yachts and personal watercraft and displays by vendors of related products and services, March 6-9 at Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly. Call 703-378-0910 or 804-288-5653.

The Week of March 7

The Kennedy Center AmericArtes Festival celebrates the cultures of Mexico and the Andean countries March 4 through April 13 with concerts, exhibits and other programs. Call 202-467-4600 (TDD: 202-416-8524). * Join renowned chefs and vintners from the Pacific Northwest, including Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, March 7-9 for a Celebration of Food and Wine at the Harbor Court Hotel, 550 Light St., Baltimore. Reservations required. Call 410-234-0550, ext. 3549.



On stage soon, on sale now: Lanford Wilson's "Book of Days" portrays a small town caught up in a swirl after the mysterious death of a prominent citizen, in the Arena Stage Fichandler Theater from Feb. 21 through March 30. Tickets cost $35 to $53. Call 202-488-3300.

* Neena Beber explores the limits of friendship in "Jump/Cut," a co-production by Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and Theater J at the D.C. Jewish Community Center from Feb. 24 through March 30. Tickets cost $21 to $34; call 800-494-8497.


These exhibitions open next week: "Creative Space: Fifty Years of Robert Blackburn's Printmaking Workshop," opening Feb. 26 at the Library of Congress, features graphic work by Romare Bearden, Faith Ringgold and others. Call 202-707-4604. * "Gregor Piatigorsky: Virtuoso as Collector," opening Feb. 26 at the Baltimore Museum of Art, is a sampling of art from the collection of the famed cellist. Call 410-396-7100. * "Gerhard Richter: Forty Years of Painting," opening Feb. 27 at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, examines the career (so far) of one of contemporary art's most intriguing practitioners. Call 202-357-2700 (TDD: 202-357-1729).

Film Opening Feb. 21: In "Dark Blue," a thriller set in L.A. around the time of Rodney King's beating, veteran detective Eldon Perry (Kurt Russell) tutors rookie Bobby Keough (Scott Speedman) in the realities of police intimidation and corruption. * "Gods and Generals," starring Robert Duvall (as Robert E. Lee), Mira Sorvino and Jeff Daniels, charts the early years of the Civil War and how the campaigns unfolded from Manassas to the battle of Fredericksburg. * In "The Life of David Gale," Kevin Spacey, a capital punishment opponent sentenced to die for murder, appeals to a reporter (Kate Winslet) to save his life. * In the comedy "Old School," three former college buddies, dissatisfied with their current lives, start their own off-campus frat house. Stars Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn and Juliette Lewis. Opening dates subject to change.

CLOSING Closing on stage this weekend: "Rent," at the Warner Theatre (202-783-4000 or 202-432-7328); "The Unexpected Man," by the Washington Stage Guild (240-582-0050); "Runaway Home," at Studio Theatre (202-332-3300); "The Italian Lesson and Other Divertissements," at Rep Stage in Columbia (410-772-4900); and "Light Up the Sky," at Baltimore's Everyman Theatre (410-752-2208). * This weekend is your last chance to visit "Me, Myself and Infrastructure: Private Lives and Public Works in America," at the National Building Museum (202-272-2448); "Exploring the Great Outdoors: Sports and Recreation in Original Illustrations From Children's Books," at Meridian International Center (202-939-5568); "The Classical Tradition in Anatolian Carpets," at the Textile Museum (202-667-0441); and "Tom Miller: Changing Spaces," at the Baltimore Museum of Art (410-396-7100).

NEXT FRIDAY IN WEEKEND Star struck? Find out how and where to learn your way around the night sky with the area's amateur astronomers.


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

Bo Brinkman, left, and Robert Duvall in the Civil War epic "Gods and Generals."Theresa Carson's silver and gold bracelet is on sale at the American Craft Council Winter Show in Baltimore Feb. 21-23.

"Mustang Squadron" is displayed in "Gerhard Richter: Forty Years of Painting," opening Feb. 27 at the Hirshhorn Museum.