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.

The Week of July 9

The Contemporary American Theater Festival stages four new plays during its 14th season in Shepherdstown, W.Va., from July 9 through Aug. 1: "Homeland Security," which begins with the detention at O'Hare Airport of a couple returning from an overseas vacation; "Rounding Third," a comedy about two mismatched coaches of a Little League team; "Flag Day," the world premiere of Lee Blessing's satirical exploration of race relations; and "The Rose of Corazon: A Texas Songplay," the world premiere of a new musical about the life of a World War I war bride. Single tickets cost $28 to $33, with student, senior and package discounts. Call 800-999-2283. {diam} The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra celebrates the City of Alexandria's 255th birthday and America's 228th with the USA/Alexandria Birthday Celebration, a concert including Tchaikovsky's "1812" Overture with cannon followed by fireworks, July 10 at Oronoco Bay Park. Call 703-883-4686.

The Week of July 16

Alexandria hosts "Alexandria Salutes! A USO Weekend," a tribute to the World War II generation, July 16-18 with a swing dance at the Torpedo Factory, a music festival in Market Square and other activities. Call 888-738-2764. {diam} Baltimore's celebration of the arts, Artscape 2004, hosts music and dance on multiple stages, an arts and crafts fair, children's entertainers, food vendors and other activities July 16-18 in the city's "Cultural Corridor" near the Lyric Opera House, the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and the Maryland Institute College of Art. Call 877-225-8466.


Tickets go on sale this weekend from Ticketmaster for these upcoming shows: starting Friday at 10, Al Jarreau and Oleta Adams, appearing Aug. 21 at the Warner Theatre ($60); starting Saturday at noon, Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson, Aug. 12 at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, Md. ($46); and the O'Jays, the Temptations, the Four Tops and the Whispers, Aug. 6 at the Cavalier Telephone Pavilion at Pier Six in Baltimore ($65.75 in-house, $35.75 lawn). Call 202-397-7328 or 800-551-7328 (service charges added). {diam} Tickets are on sale now from Tickets.com for these shows at the 9:30 club: Everlast, Aug. 1 ($15); Bebel Gilberto, Aug. 13 ($25). Call 703-218-6500 (service charges added).



On stage soon, on sale now: "Copenhagen," the winner of the 2000 Tony Award for best play, a speculation about a secret meeting between German physicist Werner Heisenberg and Danish physicist Niels Bohr early in World War II, at the Olney Theatre Center from July 7 through Aug. 8. Tickets cost $31 to $36; call 301-924-3400.


These exhibitions open next week. "Over One, Under One, and Much More," opening July 2 at the Textile Museum, explores some of the wide variety of patterns produced around the world through the simple textile-making technique known as plain weave. Call 202-667-0441. {diam} "Luxury and Luminosity: Visual Culture and the Ming Court," opening July 3 at the Freer Gallery of Art, places the well-known, imperially commissioned, cobalt-decorated porcelains of the Ming dynasty in the larger context of other court arts of the period. Call 202-357-2700 (TDD: 202-357-1729). {diam} Previously on view in a temporary 2001 exhibition, several impressive works of Hindu and Buddhist art from a private local collection enter the permanent collection of the Walters Art Museum as "Art From India, Nepal and Tibet: The John and Berthe Ford Collection" opens July 3. Call 410-547-9000.


Opening Wednesday: "Spider-Man 2" marks the return of Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man. In this sequel, he faces Doc Ock (Alfred Molina). Opening July 2:

"America's Heart and Soul" is a tribute to some unusual Americans at work and play. {diam} "Before Sunset" is Richard Linklater's sequel to his 1995 romance, "Before Sunrise." Once again, it features Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. {diam} "The Clearing" stars Robert Redford as an executive who is kidnapped. Helen Mirren is his traumatized wife, and Willem Dafoe's the kidnapper.

{diam} The life, loves and work of American composer Cole Porter are celebrated in "De-Lovely," which stars Kevin Kline as Porter and Ashley Judd as his wife.

{diam} In "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead," a former gangster, played by Clive Owen, comes out of hiding to investigate the death of his brother. Charlotte Rampling plays his old girlfriend. It's directed by Mike Hodges, who made "Croupier." {diam} "Strayed," a French film, is about a group of people who make a makeshift home while hiding from the Nazis. It stars Emmanuelle Beart.

Opening dates may change.


Closing on stage this weekend: "Orpheus Descending," in the Arena Stage Kreeger Theater (202-488-3300, TDD: 202-484-0247); "Oklahoma!," in the Filene Center at Wolf Trap Park (703-218-6500 or 703-255-1860); "The Cripple of Inishmaan," at the Studio Theatre (202-332-3300); "Necessary Targets," at the Olney Theatre Center (301-924-3400);

"A Monday Night With Bess and Tess," by African Continuum Theatre Company at the H Street Playhouse (800-494-8497); and "Candombe! Tango Negro," in Spanish with English interpretation, by GALA Hispanic Theatre at the Warehouse Theater (202-234-7174).

{diam} This weekend is your last chance to visit "Expressions 2004," at the Corcoran Gallery of Art (202-639-1700); and "Ancient Threads, Newly Woven: Recent Art From China's Silk Road," at Meridian International Center (202-667-6800).


Southern Maryland is rich in history, and with Calvert County celebrating its 350th birthday, it's a great place to visit on Independence Day weekend.


To check out Weekend online, go to www.washingtonpost.com/weekend.

Tobey Maguire returns as the gravity-defying crusader in "Spider-Man 2," opening Wednesday. A cushion from "Over One, Under One, and Much More," opening July 2 at the Textile Museum.Amy Grant and the NSO celebrate "A Capitol Fourth."