The Week of Oct. 22

The White House hosts its annual Fall Garden Tour Oct. 23 from 10 to 4 and Oct. 24 from noon to 4 (the mansion itself will not be open). Tickets -- one per person -- will be distributed each morning at 7:30 at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion. Call 202-208-1631. {diam} Mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves stars as the vengeful gypsy Azucena in the Washington National Opera's production of "Il Trovatore," Verdi's tragic tale of a kidnapped baby, political archenemies and long-lost brothers, in the Kennedy Center Opera House from Oct. 23 through Nov. 13. Tickets cost $45 to $290; call 202-295-2400 or 202-467-4600. {diam} The Cathedral Choral Society opens its season with Verdi's "Requiem" Oct. 24 at Washington National Cathedral. Tickets cost $20 to $55; call 202-537-5527. {diam} Dan Aykroyd, Candice Bergen, Chevy Chase, Tina Fey, Steve Martin, Conan O'Brien, Paul Simon, Christopher Walken, Sens. Christopher Dodd and John McCain, and other familiar names are scheduled to pay tribute to veteran comedy writer and producer Lorne Michaels, creator of "Saturday Night Live," as he receives the Mark Twain Prize at the seventh annual Kennedy Center Celebration of American Humor Oct. 25 in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets cost $25 to $75; call 202-467-4600. {diam} The 46th annual Washington International Horse Show, an Olympic-level equestrian competition, gallops into MCI Center Oct. 26-31. Tickets cost $15 to $60 plus service charges from Ticketmaster; call 202-397-7328.

The Week of Oct. 29

Sharp-tongued comedian Wanda Sykes shares her view of the world Oct. 29 at Lisner Auditorium. Tickets cost $35.50 plus service charges from Ticketmaster; call 202-397-7328.

The Week of Nov. 5

The colorful, energetic Virsky Ukrainian National Dance Company brings its gravity-defying leaps and spins to Baltimore's Lyric Opera House Nov. 5 ($32 to $42; call 866-597-4200), and the Kennedy Center Concert Hall Nov. 6 ($25 to $65; call 202-467-4600). {diam} Artistic director and tenor Placido Domingo stars as a rich landowner in the revolutionary atmosphere of mid-19th-century Spain in Torroba's "Luisa Fernanda," in the Kennedy Center Opera House Nov. 6-19. Tickets cost $45 to $290; call 202-295-2400 or 202-467-4600. {diam} The Choral Arts Society of Washington opens its 40th anniversary season Nov. 7 with Orff's "Carmina Burana" and the world premiere of Brent Michael Davids's "We the People." Tickets cost $17 to $50; call 202-244-3669.


Tickets are on sale now from Tickets.com for these 9:30 club shows: Marilyn Manson, appearing Nov. 20 ($40); and Chick Corea, Nov. 24 ($25). Call

703-218-6500 (service charges added).



On stage soon, on sale now: Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company opens the world premiere of Craig Wright's "Grace," a tragicomedy set in Florida involving a born-again Christian couple and a quirky exterminator, with "pay-what-you-can" previews Oct. 25-27 at the Warehouse Theater. The run continues through Dec. 19; regular prices are $24 to $42. To order, call 800-494-8497. For information, call 202-393-3939.

{diam} Signature Theatre stages the world premiere of "The Highest Yellow," a musical inspired by an 1888 encounter between Vincent van Gogh and a young French doctor, from Oct. 26 through Dec. 12. Tickets cost $30 to $47. To order, call 703-218-6500; for information, call 703-820-9771.


These exhibitions open next week: "Anatolian Impressions: Artists Prints From the Istanbul Studio of Master Tekcan," opening Oct. 22 at the Meridian International Center, features original prints from one of Turkey's best-known artists. Call 202-667-6800.

{diam} "Common Ground: Discovering Community in 150 Years of Art," opening Oct. 23 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, highlights the diverse collection of Julia Norrell, who owns works by such artists as Ansel Adams, Howard Finster, Jacob Lawrence and Carrie Mae Weems. Call 202-639-1700.


Opening Oct. 22: "DIG!" is a documentary about the rivalry between two lead singers: Anton Newcombe of the Brian Jonestown Massacre and Courtney Taylor of the Dandy Warhols. {diam} In "The Grudge," Sarah Michelle Gellar plays an American nurse living and working in Tokyo, who is exposed to a mysterious supernatural curse. {diam} "Head in the Clouds," set in 1930s England, Paris and Spain, is about a free spirit (Charlize Theron) whose lust for life brings her into personal relationships with an Irish teacher (Stuart Townsend) and a refugee from the Spanish Civil War (Penelope Cruz). {diam} In "Surviving Christmas," Ben Affleck plays a man who goes home for the holidays, only to find his family doesn't live there anymore. {diam}"Vera Drake," written and directed by Mike Leigh, is about a sweet-natured British housewife (Imelda Staunton), who takes care of her family, a few neighbors and women who have gotten themselves "into trouble." Opening dates may change.


Closing on stage this weekend: "On Golden Pond," at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater (202-467-4600); "M. Butterfly," in the Arena Stage Fichandler Theater (202-488-3300); "The Elephant Man," by Catalyst Theatre at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (800-494-8497 or 202-547-6839); "The Subject," by Charter Theatre at Warehouse Second Stage (202-333-7009); "Host and Guest," by Synetic Theater at the Rosslyn Spectrum (703-824-8060); "Jesus Christ Superstar," by Open Circle Theater at the Clark Street Playhouse (800-494-8497 or 240-683-8934); "Desire," by Trumpet Vine Theater at Theater on the Run (703-912-1649); "Uncle Vanya," at Baltimore's Everyman Theater (410-752-2208). {diam} This weekend is your last chance to visit "Caliphs and Kings: The Art and Influence of Islamic Spain," at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery (202-633-1000, TDD: 202-357-1729); and "Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race," at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (202-488-0400).


They can be spotted in tearooms or on trail rides: laughing ladies dressed to the nines in bright purple and red attire. Just who are these exuberant women and why are they having so much fun? Learn all about the Red Hat Society and find out if you qualify to be a member.


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Theora Hamblett's "Two Trees With Blowing Leaves" is part of "Common Ground: Discovering Community in 150 Years of Art," opening Oct. 23 at the Corcoran. Steve Martin, left, will help honor Lorne Michaels Oct. 25 at the Kennedy Center Celebration of American Humor. Charlize Theron plays a free spirit in 1930s Europe in

"Head in the Clouds," opening Oct. 22.