The Week of June 18

The 23rd annual Alexandria Red Cross Festival hosts exhibits, a crafts fair, children's activities, tall-ship tours, and local and national stars June 18-20 at Oronoco Bay Park on the Potomac in Alexandria. Call 703-549-8300. {diam} Dozens of performances, exhibits and other activities are part of the 2004 Columbia Festival of the Arts June 18-27 at sites throughout Columbia. Performers include Harry Connick Jr., the Indigo Girls and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Call 410-715-3044 or visit www.columbiafestival.com. {diam} The only PGA Tour event in our area, the Booz Allen Classic, formerly the Kemper Open, takes place June 21-27 at the Tournament Players Club at Avenel in Potomac. Call 301-469-3737 or visit www.boozallenclassic.com.

The Week of June 25

The National Capital Barbecue Battle presents 30 bands on three stages, cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs, food tastings and children's rides June 26-27 along Pennsylvania Avenue NW between Ninth and 14th streets. Call 202-828-3099. {diam} Baltimore celebrates the 150th anniversary of the launch of the USS Constellation with the "July 4 Sailabration" from June 27 through July 4 in the Inner Harbor, including outdoor entertainment and tours of visiting tall ships. Call 877-225-8466.

The Week of July 2

Vince Gill & Amy Grant, Robin Gibb and Barry Bostwick join the National Symphony Orchestra July 4 for "A Capitol Fourth," the annual free holiday concert on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol, followed by fireworks on the Mall. Call 202-619-7222.


Two concerts at Merriweather Post Pavilion go on sale Saturday from Ticketmaster: starting at 10, Jack Johnson and G. Love & Special Sauce, appearing Sept. 17 (all tickets $35); starting at noon, Evanescence, Seether, Three Days Grace and Breaking Benjamin, July 24 ($45 in-house, $25 on the lawn). Call 202-397-4328 or 800-551-7328 (service charges added).

{diam} Also on sale from Ticketmaster, starting Saturday at noon: a show by Moe., with Chris Robinson and Particle, July 25 at Cavalier Telephone Pavilion in Baltimore ($27.50). {diam} Tickets are on sale now from Tickets.com for Jill Scott, July 23 at the 9:30 club ($30). Call 703-218-6500 (service charges added).



"The Producers," the smash Broadway musical based on the Mel Brooks movie comedy, sets up shop in the Kennedy Center Opera House from June 23 through Aug. 22. Tickets cost $35 to $90; call 202-467-4600.


These exhibitions open next week: "Focus on the Soul: The Photographs of Lotte Jacobi," opening June 18 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, is the first major U.S. retrospective to include not only the German American photographer's well-known portraits but also her theater-based work, abstractions and documentary images. Call 202-783-5000. {diam} "World Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature," opening June 18 at the International Gallery of the Smithsonian's S. Dillon Ripley Center, features more than 1,100 very small paintings, prints, sculptures and porcelains. Call 202-357-2700. {diam} "Liquid Stone: New Architecture in Concrete," opening June 19 at the National Building Museum, focuses on current and recent projects in which concrete is used in nontraditional ways. Call 202-272-2448.

{diam} "Work and Commerce: Everyday Life in Chinese Painting," opening June 19 at the Freer Gallery of Art, includes depictions of farmers, weavers, fishermen and the like plying their trades. Call 202-357-2700. {diam} "The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards of 2004 National Exhibition," opening June 19 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, recognizes achievement in art and writing by students across the country. Call 202-639-1700. {diam} "Kerry James Marshall: One True Thing, Meditations on Black Aesthetics," opening June 20 at the Baltimore Museum of Art, explores black history, identity and culture through paintings, sculpture, photography, installation and video work. Call 410-396-7100.


Opening Wednesday: "Around the World in 80 Days," Disney's take on the Jules Verne adventure tale, stars Jackie Chan, Steve Coogan, Cecile De France and Jim Broadbent. Opening June 18: "Control Room" is a documentary that visits the al-Jazeera network during the first weeks of the Iraq war. {diam} "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story," starring Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn, is about misfits who try to save a local gym from becoming a fitness club. {diam} "Hard Goodbyes: My Father" is a Greek film about a 10-year-old and his often-absent father, who have a pact to watch the 1969 moon landing together. {diam} "Napoleon Dynamite," a comic hit at Sundance, is about a nerd in the Midwest who becomes his own kind of hero. {diam} "The Story of the Weeping Camel" combines documentary and narrative fiction techniques to tell the story of herders in the Gobi Desert who try to save the life of a newborn albino camel. {diam} Steven Spielberg's "The Terminal" stars Tom Hanks as an Eastern European visitor who finds himself stranded, and without a country, in an airport terminal. {diam} "The Trilogy: An Amazing Couple" and "The Trilogy: After the Life," are parts 2 and 3 of Lucas Belvaux's trilogy, set in France and featuring the same characters but done in three different genres. Opening dates may change.


Closing on stage this weekend:

"The Shoemaker's Remarkable Wife," by Stanislavsky Theater Studio (800-494-8497); and "Venecia" ("Venice"), in Spanish with English interpretation, by Teatro de la Luna at Gunston Arts Center (202-882-6227 or 703-548-3092).


Poetry is alive and well in the Washington area. From bookstore slams to the Miller Cabin in Rock Creek Park, we explore venues for verse.


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