LOOKING AHEAD

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.

The Week of July 23

Arena Stage brings back last season's hit, "Crowns," an upbeat musical about African American women and their relationships with their Sunday-best hats, from July 22 through Aug. 22. Tickets cost $51 to $66; call 202-488-3300. {diam} Daryl Davis, Neil Harpe & Rick Franklin and other local favorites appear at the free Bluesfest 2004 July 24 at Frying Pan Park in Herndon. Call 703-689-9535. {diam} Kabuki theater star Nakamura Kankuro and members of his troupe stage two classics of their art at "Kabuki in Washington" July 28 at the Warner Theatre, one of only three appearances in the United States to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Treaty of Peace and Amity between the United States and Japan. Tickets are $20 to $75 from Ticketmaster; call

202-397-7328.

HOT TICKETS

Tickets are on sale now for a show by Everlast, Aug. 1 at the 9:30 club. They cost $15 plus service charges from Tickets.com. Call 703-218-6500.

OPENING SOON

Stage

A touring revival of "Oliver!," the Broadway musical adaptation of Dickens's "Oliver Twist," visits Wolf Trap July 13-18. Tickets cost $34 to $60 in the Filene Center, $18 on the lawn, from Tickets.com. To order, call 703-218-6500; for information, call 703-255-1860.

Exhibit

These exhibitions open next week: "Illuminating the Word: Gospel Books in the Middle Ages," opening July 10 at the Walters Museum of Art, includes 9th- through 17th-century gospel books from the museum's collection. Call 410-547-9000. {diam} "His, Hers and Theirs: Monograms From the Wilson House Collection," opening July 13 at the Woodrow Wilson House, features about 50 pieces of monogrammed decorative art, including a rabbit's foot in a gold setting, leather wallets, a gold vase and the monogram used on Wilson's Pierce-Arrow limousine. Call 202-387-4062. {diam} "Home of the Free National Exhibit," opening July 14 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, highlights the work of student photojournalists from Chicago, Denver, New York and New Jersey. Call 202-639-1700. {diam} "On the Eve of Battle," opening July 14 at the Walters Museum of Art, showcases Japanese prints depicting the moments during which the warrior prepares himself for the fight. Call 410-547-9000.

Film

Opening Wednesday: In "King Arthur," a retelling of the Arthurian legend, Clive Owen plays the title king, while Keira Knightley plays his wife, Guinevere. Ioan Gruffudd is Lancelot.

Opening July 9: In "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy," Will Ferrell stars as the top-rated anchorman in San Diego in the '70s. When feminism marches into the newsroom in the form of ambitious newswoman Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), he has a new battle on his hands. {diam} "Bukowski: Born Into This" is a documentary about the poet and author Charles Bukowski.

{diam} "My Mother Likes Women" is a comedy about three sisters (including Leonor Watling) whose lives are thrown off-balance when their mother (Rosa Maria Sarda) has a sexual awakening. {diam} In "Sleepover," Julie (Alexa Vega) has a slumber party with her best friends, Hannah, Yancy and Farrah, the summer before freshman year of high school. It proves to be quite an adventure. Opening dates may change.

CLOSING

Closing on stage this weekend: "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater (202-467-4600, TDD: 202-416-8524); "The World Goes 'Round," at the Round House Theatre in Bethesda (240-644-1100); John Epperson's one-man show, "Lypsinka! As I Lay Lip-Synching," at Studio Theatre (202-332-3300); and "Amerika," by Scena Theatre at the Warehouse Next Door (703-684-7990).

{diam} This weekend is your last chance to visit "Revolution! Documents From the American War of Independence," at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore (410-547-9000).

NEXT FRIDAY IN WEEKEND

A little-known but key Civil War conflict was fought 140 years ago near Frederick. The Battle of Monocacy -- known as the "battle that saved Washington" -- will be remembered with reenactments, artillery demonstrations, living history demonstrations and more.

WEEKEND ONLINE

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

Arthur (Clive Owen, far right) and his Knights of the Round Table ride for the right in "King Arthur," opening Wednesday.John Epperson becomes Lypsinka at Studio Theatre through Saturday.A casket containing the "Freedom to the City of London" scroll and a solid gold bud vase will be displayed as part of "His, Hers and Theirs: Monograms From the Wilson House Collection," opening July 13 at the Woodrow Wilson House.