Goodbye, Summer

* Summer comes to an unofficial end Sunday at 8 when the National Symphony Orchestra stages its annual free Labor Day weekend pops concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol (Metro: Capitol South). Emil de Cou will conduct "A Salute to Veterans of World War II," with music by Irving Berlin, Aaron Copland and other composers. WETA personality Dan DeVany will narrate Copland's "Lincoln Portrait." No tickets are needed. Call 202-619-7222 or 202-467-4600.

* J. Ernest Green conducts the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra in a free "Summer's End" concert Monday at 6 at Quiet Waters Park, at 600 Quiet Waters Park Rd., off Hillsmere Drive in Annapolis. The program includes Bernstein's Overture to "Candide," Bizet's "Carmen" Suite and other light classics. The Rob Levit Jazz Trio will entertain early arrivals starting at 4:30. No tickets are required. Call 410-269-1132 or 410-222-1777.

New on Stage

* Synetic Theater is restaging "Host and Guest,"

Roland Reed's chilling adaptation of an epic Georgian poem about two strangers who befriend each other despite the mutual hatreds of their Muslim and Christian cultures, through Oct. 16 at the Rosslyn Spectrum, 1611 N. Kent St., Arlington (Metro: Rosslyn). The show, a blend of text,

music and movement, was roundly praised after its 2002 premiere. Tickets cost $29 to $39; call 703-824-8060.

* An L.A. entertainment lawyer (Holly Twyford) hires an illegal immigrant nanny (Joselin Reyes) in "Living Out," Lisa Loomer's comic look at race, class and global politics, opening Wednesday at Round House Theatre, in Bethesda at East West Highway and Waverly Street (Metro: Bethesda). "Pay-what-you-can" performances are scheduled Wednesday at 7:30 and Sept. 11 at 3; tickets go on sale at the box office 30 minutes before the show. The run continues through Oct. 10; regular prices are $10 to $45. Call 240-644-1100.

Free Sounds Around Town

* The DC Blues Society hosts its 16th annual free D.C. Blues Festival Saturday from 1 to 9 at Carter Barron Amphitheatre, in Rock Creek Park at 16th Street and Colorado Avenue NW. The show is dedicated to the memory of late local bluesman Nap Turner. "Pinetop" Perkins, who once played piano for the Muddy Waters Band, recorded for Sun Records in the '50s and still makes music at age 91, is the headliner. He hits the stage at about 8. The lineup also features the Nighthawks, Big Jesse Yawn, the Junkyard Saints, Linwood Taylor, Melanie Mason and Clarence Turner. No tickets are needed. Call 202-962-0112 or 202-426-0486.

* Keyboard player Joey DeFrancesco headlines the 14th annual free Rosslyn Jazz Festival Saturday from 1 to 6 at Gateway Park, Lee Highway and North Lynn Street, Arlington (Metro: Rosslyn). The Carl Filipiak Group, Stephanie Nakasian & the Hod O'Brien Trio and Paul Hawkins & La Jazz are also on the bill. No tickets are needed. Call 703-228-1850.

Fair Days in Prince George's

The Prince George's County Fair, the oldest operating fair in Maryland, opens Thursday from 4 to 10 and continues Sept. 10 from 5 to midnight, Sept. 11 from 11 a.m. to midnight and Sept. 12 from 11 to 8 at the Prince George's Equestrian Center, 14900 Pennsylvania Ave., Upper Marlboro. The fair includes agricultural exhibits and livestock displays, 4-H competitions, live entertainment, a petting farm, pie-eating contests, carnival rides and games, and other activities. A beautiful baby contest starts Thursday at 6, a fireworks show begins Sept. 10 at 9, and a Rod & Custom car show starts Sept. 11 at 11. Admission is $5, ages 6 to 16 $4, younger free. Call 301-952-0270.

A New Season Begins

The Kennedy Center is kicking off its 34th season with its third annual Prelude Festival. A wide range of free and bargain-priced music, theater, film and dance events are scheduled through Sept. 26. Especially notable this week:

* From Saturday through Monday, the Page-to-Stage New Play Festival hosts free staged readings, open rehearsals, panel discussions and other activities by two dozen local theater companies. A play by Joyce Carol Oates performed by Theatre J and a musical from Signature Theatre about an encounter between Vincent van Gogh and a young country doctor are among the highlights. See schedule on Page 18.

* The Americartes Festival: Espiritu de Puerto Rico spotlights Puerto Rican artists through Sept. 26. Salsa master Gilberto Santa Rosa sings in the Concert Hall Tuesday at 8; tickets are $20 to $50. Pop star Ednita Nazario performs Wednesday at 7:30 and 9:30 in the Terrace Theater; tickets are $25.

* Reigakusha, a Japanese gagaku orchestra, performs traditional music of the imperial court and contemporary works Thursday at 7:30 in the Terrace. Tickets are $20.

The Metro station nearest the Kennedy Center is Foggy Bottom-GWU, with free shuttles. Call 202-467-4600 (TDD: 202-416-8524) or visit

-- Compiled by Barry Barriere

The Prince George's County Fair opens Thursday in Upper Marlboro."Pinetop" Perkins and Melanie Mason visit the D.C. Blues Festival.