Fri. If you want some laughs this weekend then Ralphie May at the Improv (202-296-7008) is a good bet. May, who was one of the finalists on the first season of "Last Comic Standing" (that fake game of hide-and-seek was funny stuff), is performing there through Sunday. . . . The big show of the week is Usher and Kanye West at MCI Center (202-397-7328). Usher's show is a spectacle, with lots of high-energy dancing and singing. And every lady in the house will be wishing she's the one who gets time on the couch he's been using during an onstage routine with a lucky fan. And West's opening set has been getting strong reviews as well.

Sat. Dischord's El Guapo is playing its electro-art punk at the Warehouse Theater (202-783-3933). . . . Chuck Brown, the "Godfather of Go-Go," does a tribute to the late Eva Cassidy as one of the performers at the opening celebration of the Bowie Center for the Performing Arts. Others on the bill include Broadway's Leslie Uggams, jazz performer Gregg Karukas, guitarist Paul Reed Smith and bluesman Peter Lancaster. The emcee for the event is Kathie Lee Gifford. (Visit www.bowieartscenter.com or call 301-805-0288 between 4 and 8 p.m.) . . . Doc Martin is at Five (202-331-7123). One of the leading figures on the West Coast dance scene, he's a DJ who mixes and matches styles based on his audience's vibe. . . . Dieselboy, a fine DJ and his "The Dungeon Master's Guide" proves it, is spinning at Sonar (410-327-8333).

Sun. If you were a faithful viewer (I admit that I was) of television's "American Idol" series, you've got a chance to see your favorites live as the show's tour comes to MCI Center (202-397-7328). You can hear this season's winner, Fantasia (who reportedly will be working with Missy Elliott and possibly P. Diddy on upcoming recordings), runner-up Diana DeGarmo, Camile Velasco, Amy Adams, George Huff, Jasmine Trias, Jennifer Hudson, John Stevens, LaToya London and, recently added to the tour, Tamyra Gray, who got her start in a previous season and has gone on to act ("Boston Public") and record. . . . Amy Rigby writes smart, funny pop. Take the line from "Are We Ever Gonna Have Sex Again?": "Whatever happened to babe and stud / Too much KFC and Bud." Hear her chronicles of working-class women, parenthood and day-to-day life at Iota (703-522-8340).

-- Curt Fields