Real People, Real Life

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival, the Smithsonian Institution's 38th annual celebration of folk culture, begins Wednesday and continues through July 4 (except June 28-29) on the Mall between Ninth and 14th streets NW, with entertainment, talks, crafts demonstrations, exhibits and food vendors. The major themes this year are "Haiti: Freedom and Creativity From the Mountains to the Sea," "Water Ways: Mid-Atlantic Maritime Communities" and "Nuestra Musica: Music in Latino Culture." Most activities are open daily from 11 to 5:30. Dance parties and concerts continue some evenings until 9. A highlight is the June 25 Ralph Rinzler Memorial Concert, honoring the late festival director. Call 202-633-1000 (TDD: 202-357-1729) or visit www.folklife.si.edu.

Festival on the River

The Alexandria Red Cross sponsors its 23rd annual Waterfront Festival Friday from 6 to 11, Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 10 to 7 at Oronoco Bay Park in Alexandria, on the Potomac at the north end of Union Street. The weekend includes entertainment on two stages, educational exhibits, a crafts fair, children's activities, a food court and tours of three visiting tall ships. Evening headliners are "The International Rock Show" Friday at 9, with Joe Molland of Badfinger, Chris Slade of AC/DC and other musicians; and "Superstar Voices of Classic Rock" Saturday at 8:30, with Pete Rivera of Rare Earth, Alex Ligertwood of Santana and others. Adult admission at the gate is $15 Friday, $7 Saturday before 6 and $15 later, and $7 all day Sunday. Ages 2 through 12 are $5 at all times (younger children free). Free shuttle buses will operate from the Eisenhower Avenue and King Street Metro stations. Call 703-549-8300 or visit www.waterfrontfestival.org.

Celebrating a Culture

Entertainment on two stages, educational exhibits, a children's corner, arts and crafts vendors, and a food court are all part of the African American Heritage Festival at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. The festival will be open Friday from 3 to 10, Saturday from 11 to 10 and Sunday from noon to 8. Headliners are Ashford & Simpson, Friday at 7:30, followed at 9 by Gerald Levert; LL Cool J, Saturday at 8:30; and Frankie Beverly & Maze, Sunday at 8:15. Admission is free; paid parking will be available. Call 410-318-8286 or visit www.aahf.org.

Blockbusters, New and Old

* "The Producers," the smash Broadway musical adapted from the classic 1968 Mel Brooks film comedy about two

scheming theatrical producers who hope to get rich by selling shares in a surefire flop ("Springtime for Hitler"), opens Wednesday in the Kennedy Center Opera House (Metro: Foggy Bottom-GWU, with free shuttles). The show won a record-breaking 12 2001 Tony Awards. Performances continue through Aug. 22. Tickets cost $40 to $85. Call 202-467-4600 (TDD: 202-416-8524).

* A new touring production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!" begins a four-day run Thursday in the Filene Center at Wolf Trap Park, 1551 Trap Rd., Vienna. The celebration of frontier life in the Oklahoma Territory first opened on Broadway in 1943 and ran for more than 2,200 performances. The schedule: Thursday and June 25 at 8, and June 26-27 at 2 and 8. Seats in the pavilion cost $34 to $60; lawn tickets are $18. To order, call Tickets.com, 703-218-6500; for information, call 703-255-1860. See story on Page 27.

Columbia Throws a Party

Dozens of performances, exhibits and other activities are part of the 2004 Columbia Festival of the Arts, continuing through June 27 at sites throughout Columbia. Harry Connick Jr. and the Indigo Girls will perform at Merriweather Post Pavilion. The lineup in the Rouse Theatre includes Beausoleil Avec Michael Doucet and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band; Ladysmith Black Mambazo with Vusi Mahlasela; Modern Man and Four Bitchin' Babes; the Momix dance troupe; and the Shangri-La Chinese Acrobats. Ticket prices vary; the Lakefest June 25-26 at Lake Kittamaqundi is free. Call 410-715-3089 or visit www.columbiafestival.com.

A Present From The Post

Three venerable vocal groups perform at "Doo Wop Night," the first of three free Weekend's Weekends concerts sponsored by The Washington Post, Friday at 7:30 at Carter Barron Amphitheatre, 16th Street and Colorado Avenue NW. The Legendary Orioles, the Swallows and Pookie Hudson & the Spaniels had their first hits in the early '50s and have been singing ever since. A "Latin Night" June 25 features Son de Aqui, Orquesta La Romana and the Latin Jazz All-Stars. The Eric Felten Orchestra and the Tom Cunningham Orchestra face off July 9 in a "Battle of the Big Bands." Free tickets for Weekend's Weekends concerts are released on performance days at noon at the Carter Barron box office, and at 8:30 a.m. at The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW. Call 202-334-4748. See story on Page 6.

Men Wield Clubs in Potomac

Defending champion Rory Sabbatini, joined by John Daly, Fred Funk, Justin Leonard and more than 150 other pro golfers will compete in the Booz Allen Classic, the only Washington area stop on the PGA tour, opening Monday and continuing through June 27 at the Tournament Players Club at Avenel, 10000 Oaklyn Dr., Potomac. Practice rounds begin Monday at 8 a.m. and Tuesday at 7:30; tickets cost $10. A youth clinic starts at 3:30 Tuesday. Tournament play begins at about 7 a.m. Wednesday through June 25, and at about 8:30 June 26-27. Single-day admission Wednesday through June 27 is $50 in the pavilion, $35 on the grounds, with all-week packages available. On-site parking is free. Free shuttle buses will run Saturday and Sunday starting at 8 from the Marriott headquarters parking lot at Fernwood Road and Rock Spring Drive in Bethesda. For tickets, call Ticketmaster, 202-397-7328 (service charges added). For information, call 301-469-3737 or visit www.boozallenclassic.com.

Boats on the Bay

* The Chesapeake Bay chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society is hosting the 17th annual Antique and Classic Boat Festival Friday from 11 to 5, Saturday from 9 to 5 and Sunday from 9 to 2 at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, on Mills Street off Route 33 in St. Michael's on Maryland's Eastern Shore. More than 120 boats from the 1920s through the '60s, ranging from 15 to 50 feet long, will be displayed. There will also be wooden boat-building demonstrations, a crafts fair, entertainment and food vendors. Admission is $11, seniors $10, ages 6 to 17 $6, younger free. Call 410-745-2916.

* The Maritime Heritage Festival celebrates all things nautical with boat displays, hands-on workshops and demonstrations Saturday from 10 to 6 on the waterfront in Historic St. Mary's City, Md., on Route 5 in St. Mary's County. Admission is $7, seniors and students $6, ages 6 to 12 $3.50, younger free. Call 240-895-4990.

-- Compiled by Barry Barriere

Beaded works by Haitian artists will be on view during the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.Charley Izabella King is Ulla in "The Producers."