LOOKING AHEAD

The Week of Sept. 3

More than 550 exhibitors from around the world show their collections at the 24th annual Baltimore Summer Antiques Fair Sept. 3-5 at the Baltimore Convention Center. Call 410-649-7396. {diam} Joey DeFrancesco headlines the 14th annual free, all-day Rosslyn Jazz Festival Sept. 4 at Gateway Park in Arlington. Call 703-228-1850.{diam} More than 25 Washington area theaters present free readings, open rehearsals, panel discussions and other events during the third annual Page to Stage New Play Festival Sept. 4-6 at the Kennedy Center. Free tickets will be distributed 30 minutes before each event. Call 202-467-4600. {diam} The National Symphony Orchestra stages its annual free Labor Day pops concert Sept. 5 on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Call 202-619-7222 or 202-467-4600. {diam} The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland kicks off its fall season with three shows by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company Sept. 8-10 in the Kay Theatre. Part of the program each evening will be determined by an onstage roll of the dice. Tickets are $35, students $7. Call 301-405-2787.

The Week of Sept. 10

World-class riders compete in the 17th annual Columbia Classic Grand Prix Sept. 11 at Howard Community College in Columbia. Call 410-772-4450. {diam} F. Murray Abraham stars in a staged reading of "Nathan the Wise," Theater of the First Amendment's portrait of Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities living together under Saladin's rule during the Crusades, Sept. 11 at George Mason University's Center of the Arts. Tickets cost $25 from Tickets.com. To order, call 703-218-6500; for information, call 703-993-8888. {diam} More than 150 artists and artisans show their sculptures, paintings, photography and other works at the Alexandria Festival of the Arts Sept. 11-12 along King Street in Old Town. Call 703-838-4200. {diam} The National Council of Negro Women hosts the 19th annual Black Family Reunion, the annual celebration of the African American family, Sept. 11-12 on the Mall, with entertainment, exhibits, an arts and crafts marketplace and food vendors. Call 202-737-0120. {diam} The Washington National Opera opens its 49th season with "Andrea Chenier," Umberto Giordano's tale of love and vengeance during the French Revolution, from Sept. 11 through Oct. 2 in the Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets cost $45 to $290; call 202-295-2400 or 202-467-4600. {diam} The Kennedy Center celebrates the arts at its annual Open House Sept. 12, with free concerts and other entertainment on multiple indoor and outdoor stages. Call 202-467-4600 (TDD: 202-416-8524). {diam} Cirque du Soleil stages its latest touring extravaganza, "Varekai," from Sept. 16 through Oct. 24 at a new location this year: the grounds of RFK Stadium. Tickets cost $55 to $75, with student and senior discounts, from Admission Network; call 800-678-5440.

The Week of Sept. 17

The Washington National Opera sings "Billy Budd," Benjamin Britten's adaptation of the Herman Melville classic, from Sept. 18 through Oct. 3 in the Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets cost $45 to $290; call 202-295-2400 or 202-467-4600. {diam} The Washington Performing Arts Society begins its 2004-05 season with a recital by star soprano Kathleen Battle, singing folk songs, spirituals, Latin American jazz and other traditional music, Sept. 20 in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets cost $35 to $90; call 202-467-4600. {diam} The Big Apple Circus pitches its little big top at Dulles Town Center from Sept. 23 through Oct. 11 for "Picturesque," its 27th season show. Tickets cost $15 to $44 from Ticketmaster. Call 202-397-7328.

HOT TICKETS

Tickets go on sale from Ticketmaster this weekend for these shows: starting Friday at 10, Diamanda Galas, appearing Oct. 14 at Lisner Auditorium ($30), and Joe Satriani, Oct. 15 at Baltimore's Hippodrome Theatre ($35 and $40); starting Friday at noon, Les Claypool, Buckethead, Brain and Bernie Worrell, Sept. 28 at Nation ($22.50); starting Saturday at 10, comedian Wanda Sykes, Oct. 29 at Lisner Auditorium ($35.50) and Jan. 7 at Baltimore's Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall ($32.50); also starting Saturday at 10, Wilco, Sept. 28 at the Meyerhoff ($35), and the Beastie Boys, Oct. 8 at Patriot Center on the George Mason University campus ($42). Call 202-397-7328 or 800-551-7328 (service charges added). {diam} On sale now from Ticketmaster: shows by Solomon Burke, Sept. 9 at the Birchmere ($30 in advance, $35 day of show) and Kimberley Locke, Oct. 4 at the Birchmere ($20 in advance, $25 day of show).

OPENING SOON

Stage

On stage soon, on sale now: Synetic Theater restages "Hotel and Guest," its adaptation of an epic Georgian poem about two men who befriend each other despite the mutual hatred of their two cultures, at the Rosslyn Spectrum from Sept. 3 through Oct. 16. Tickets cost $29 to $39; call 703-824-8060. {diam} Floyd King is a quirky Russian widower who writes letters to himself purportedly from Lenin, Stalin, Queen Elizabeth II and other folks he doesn't really know in "The Russian National Postal Service," at Studio Theatre from Sept. 8 through Oct. 24. Tickets cost $25 to $48; call 202-332-3300. {diam} A lawyer hires an illegal immigrant nanny in "Living Out," Lisa Loomer's comic look at race, class and global politics, at Round House Theatre from Sept. 8 through Oct. 10. Tickets cost $10 to $45; call 240-644-1100. {diam} American Century Theater opens its 10th season with William Saroyan's "The Time of Your Life" at the Gunston Arts Center from Sept. 9 through Oct. 9. Tickets cost $18 to $26; call 703-553-8782. {diam} Scena Theatre presents "Ivona, Princess of Burgundy," playwright Witold Gombrowicz's portrait of decadent aristocrats, at the Warehouse Theater from Sept. 9 through Oct. 3. Tickets cost $15 to $25; call 703-684-7990.

Exhibit

These exhibitions open next week: "From Haven to Home," opening Sept. 9 at the Library of Congress, documents Jewish settlement in the New World. Call 202-707-4604. {diam} "Ralph Bunche: African American/Global Citizen," opening Sept. 9 at the National Museum of American History, celebrates political scientist, scholar, diplomat and activist Ralph Bunche, who was the first African American to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Call 202-357-2700 (TDD: 202-357-1729).

Film

Opening Wednesday: Reese Witherspoon stars as social climber Becky Sharp in director Mira Nair's "Vanity Fair." Opening Sept. 3: "Wicker Park" stars Josh Hartnett as a man obsessed with a woman who may be his long-lost love. {diam} In "The Cookout," an athlete who has just signed with a pro basketball team tries to throw a down-home barbecue for his old and new friends.

{diam} "Bang Rajan" tells the tale of a Siamese village that, in 1765, took on the advancing Burmese army. {diam} Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead and the Band share a train as they tour in support of a 1970 concert in the documentary "Festival Express." {diam} A movie actor seeks revenge on the celebrity photographer who has been hounding him in "Paparazzi." {diam} The highest-grossing Korean film ever made, "Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War" is the story of two brothers who join the South Korean army after the Korean War begins.

CLOSING

Closing on stage this weekend: "Crowns," in the Arena Stage Kreeger Theater. Call 202-488-3300 (TDD: 202-484-0247). {diam} This weekend is your last chance to visit "Picasso: Surrealism and the War Years," at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Call 410-396-7100.

NEXT FRIDAY IN WEEKEND

In Virginia's Mathews County, veterans and novices alike can find a place on the water thanks to 200 miles of shoreline, nearly a score of public launches and the 90-mile Mathews Blueways Water Trail.

WEEKEND ONLINE

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

Audience members meet the Goshen Hounds during the Columbia Classic Grand Prix, on Sept. 11 this year.This 1930 portrait is on display in "Ralph Bunche: African American/Global Citizen" at the National Museum of American History. Queen Latifah takes charge at a star athlete's backyard barbecue in "The Cookout," opening Sept. 3.