LOOKING AHEAD

The Week of March 21

The Smithsonian's annual Kite Festival, with competitions in design, performance and other categories, March 22 at 10 (rain date March 23) on the Mall between Fourth and Seventh streets NW. Call 202-619-7222 or 202-357-2700 (TDD: 202-357-1729). * The National Cherry Blossom Festival showcases music, sports events and other activities March 22 through April 7, with the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade and Sakura Matsuri Street Festival on April 5. Call 202-547-1500 or 202-619-7222, or visit www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org * Top men and women and pairs figure skaters compete in the 2003 World Figure Skating Championships March 24-30 at MCI Center, 601 F St. NW. Practice sesssions start March 21 at the Washington Convention Center and the MCI Center. Call 202-432-7328.

The Week of March 28

The Washington Opera presents Mozart's "Don Giovanni" March 29 through April 6 at DAR Constitution Hall. Call 202-295-2400 or 800-876-7372.

The Week of April 4

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performs April 9-21 at the D.C. Armory. Call 202-432-7328.

Hot Tickets Tickets go on sale this weekend from Ticketmaster for these upcoming concerts: starting Friday at 10, America's Smooth Jazz Fest, with the Crusaders, Brian Culbertson, George Benson, Boney James and many others, May 31 and June 1 at Merriweather Post Pavilion ($54 and $69.50 in-house, $19.50 on the lawn); starting Saturday at 10, Fleetwood Mac, May 9 at MCI Center ($49.50, $78 and $128); starting Saturday at noon, Ozzfest 2003, with Ozzy Osbourne, Korn, Disturbed, Marilyn Manson and more, Aug. 22 at Nissan Pavilion ($74 and $134 in-house, $39.75 lawn); starting Saturday at 11, Foo Fighters and Transplants, April 30 at Patriot Center ($30). Call 202-432-7328 or 800-551-7328 (service charges added). * Tickets go on sale Friday at 5 from Telecharge for a concert by Annie Lennox, April 15 at the National Theatre. They cost $65, $85 and $100 plus service charges; call 800-447-7400.

OPENING SOON

Stage On stage soon, on sale now: The Shakespeare Theatre stages "Richard III," Shakespeare's saga of a bent and brutal king, from March 25 through May 18. Tickets cost $16 to $66; call 202-547-1122 (TDD: 202-638-3863). * Michael Learned stars in "Elizabeth the Queen," Maxwell Anderson's 1930 portrayal of the stormy relationship between Queen Elizabeth I and the Earl of Essex, at the Folger Theatre from March 22 through May 4. Tickets cost $33 to $46; call 202-544-7077. * Edward Albee depicts an older couple's intrusive attention to a younger couple and their new baby in "The Play About the Baby," from March 26 through May 4 at Studio Theatre. Tickets cost $30.25 to $44.25; call 202-332-3300.

Exhibition

These exhibitions open next week: "Elizabeth I, Then and Now," opening March 21 at the Folger Shakespeare Library, marks the 400th anniversary of the end of the British monarch's reign with an exhibition of manuscripts, books, portraits and other items from the Elizabethan period. Call 202-544-7077. * "A Passion for Plants: Contemporary Art From the Sherwood Collection," opening March 27 at the National Museum of Natural History, features botanical watercolors and paintings from collector Shirley Sherwood. Call 202-357-2700 (TDD: 202-357-1729). * "Of Our Time: 2002 GSA Design Awards," opening March 27 at the National Building Museum, includes models, drawings and photographs of design projects honored by the General Services Administration's Design Excellence Program. Call 202-272-2448.

Film Opening March 21: In "Boat Trip," Cuba Gooding Jr. and Horatio Sanz play two lovelorn friends who unwittingly embark on a gay cruise to meet women. With Vivica A. Fox. * In Lawrence Kasdan's "Dreamcatcher," four friends find themselves on the camping trip from hell. Stars Morgan Freeman, Jason Lee and Tom Sizemore. * "Piglet's Big Movie" is Disney's animated feature about the Winnie the Pooh character Piglet, who must save his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood from extinction with the help of the Books of Memories. * Thomas Riedelsheimer's "Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working With Time" follows renowned environmental artist Andy Goldsworthy as he creates his intricate site-specific sculptures in southwest Scotland. * "View From the Top," a comedy, stars Gwyneth Paltrow as a small-town woman who strives to reach her goal of becoming a flight attendant. Includes an all-star lineup: Mark Ruffalo, Mike Myers, Rob Lowe, Candice Bergen and Christina Applegate. Opening dates subject to change.

CLOSING Closing on stage this weekend: the International Ballet Festival, with the Kirov Ballet, Miami City Ballet and Adam Cooper and Company, in the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater (202-467-4600, TDD: 202-416-8524); "Grease," at the Warner Theatre (202-783-4000 or 202-432-7328); "Cervantes: The Interludes," by Gala Hispanic Theatre at the Warehouse Theatre (202-234-7174); "Coyote Woman," by Cherry Red Productions at Warehouse Next Door (202-298-9077); The Sixth International Festival of Hispanic Theater, by Teatro de la Luna at Gunston Arts Center (202-882-6227 or 703-548-3092); and "Slaughter City," by Theater Alliance at H Street Playhouse (800-494-8497 or 202-396-2125). * This weekend is your last chance to visit "In and Out of Focus: Images From Central Africa, 1885-1960," at the National Museum of African Art (202-357-2700, TDD: 202-357-1729); "Journeys of the Spirits," at the Smithsonian's Arts and Industries Building (202-357-2700, TDD: 202-357-1729); "Biodiversity 911: Saving Life on Earth," at the National Geographic Society's Explorers Hall (202-857-7588); and "Freedom: A History of the U.S.," at Decatur House (202-842-0920).

NEXT FRIDAY IN WEEKEND Meet Chad Poist. He stays up 'til dawn, goes to work at noon and thrives on a social network of scores of friends and acquaintances. Spend a weekend with one young, unencumbered and very active Washingtonian.

WEEKEND ONLINE

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

The Smithsonian Kite Festival will fill the sky above the Mall on March 22.Michelle Kwan will compete in the 2003 World Figure Skating Championships March 24-30 at MCI Center.Candice Bergen, left, and Gwyneth Paltrow star in the comedy "View From the Top."