LOOKING AHEAD

The Week of Nov. 12

Explore the hottest new equipment, learn about local and national resorts, and catch "Impact," the latest Warren Miller ski action film, at the 17th annual National Ski and Snowboard Expo Nov. 12-14 at Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly. Admission is $10 at the door, ages under 8 free; call 703-912-9332. {diam} A wildlife and nature art fair, the World Championship Goose Calling Contest and the World Championship Live Duck Calling Contest are highlights of the 34th annual Waterfowl Festival Nov. 12-14 throughout Easton, Md., on the Eastern Shore. Call 410-822-4567.

The Week of Nov. 19

About 185 artists and artisans selected from more than 1,000 applicants will display their creations at the 17th annual Washington Craft Show Nov. 19-21 at the Washington Convention Center. Admission is $12, seniors $10, under 12 free. Call 202-249-3000.

{diam} The Washington Chorus begins its 40th season with Bach's Mass in B Minor Nov. 21 in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets cost $19 to $53; call 202-467-4600 or 202-342-6221. {diam} The 11th annual Symphony of Lights, a 1.4-mile drive-through holiday lighting display, opens Nov. 22 and continues nightly through Jan. 2 in Symphony Woods, adjacent to Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia. The event benefits Howard County General Hospital. Admission is $15 per car. Call 410-740-7666. {diam} The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago dances "The Nutcracker" Nov. 24-28 in the Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets cost $29 to $99; call 202-467-4600.

The Week of Nov. 26

The Kennedy Center unveils "Willy Wonka," a new musical based on the Roald Dahl children's classic, in the Theater Lab from Nov. 26 through Dec. 26. Tickets cost $14; call 202-467-4600.

HOT TICKETS

The National Park Service will distribute 2,800 free tickets to the Dec. 2 Christmas Pageant of Peace Tree Lighting Ceremony starting Saturday at 8 a.m. at the Ellipse Visitor Center, 15th and E streets NW. The limit is four tickets per person. Call 202-208-1631. {diam} Tickets go on sale Friday at 10 from Ticketmaster for Sesame Street Live's "Elmo's Coloring Book," visiting Patriot Center on the George Mason University campus for seven shows Dec. 9-12. Tickets cost $13 to $23 plus service charges. Call 202-397-7328 or 410-547-7328.

{diam} Also on sale Friday at 10: a concert by B.B. King, Bobby Blue Bland and Clarence Carter, Jan. 16 at DAR Constitution Hall. Tickets cost $56 plus service charges. {diam}Two holiday shows by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra go on sale Saturday at 10 from Ticketmaster. Performances are Dec. 14 at 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore ($32.50 and $42.50) and Dec. 15 at Patriot Center ($34.50 and $44.50). Call 202-397-7328 or

410-547-7328 (service charges added).

OPENING SOON

Stage

On stage soon, on sale now: Arena Stage presents Oscar Wilde's comic masterpiece "The Importance of Being Earnest," in its Fichandler Theater from Nov. 12 through Dec. 26. Tickets cost $40 to $59; call 202-488-3300. {diam} American Century Theater stages "Paradise Lost," Clifford Odets's portrait of middle-class city dwellers struggling to survive the Depression, at Gunston Arts Center from Nov. 18 through Dec. 18. Tickets cost $18 to $26; 703-553-8782. {diam} The Keegan Theatre raises the curtain on its new home, the Old Town Theater in Alexandria, with "True West," Sam Shepard's take on brotherly rivalry, from Nov. 18 through Dec. 18. Tickets cost $25; call 703-527-6000. {diam}Actorrapper Will Power plays seven characters in his one-man show "Flow" from Nov. 19 through Dec. 5 at Studio Theatre. Tickets cost $25 to $48; call 202-332-3300. {diam}"Movin' Out," the Broadway musical choreographed by Twyla Tharp with songs by Billy Joel, lands at the National Theatre from Nov. 19 through Dec. 19. Tickets cost $41.25 to $86.25; call 800-447-7400.

Exhibit

These exhibitions open next week: On Nov. 12, the National Archives launches "Public Vaults," a new permanent exhibition designed to give visitors the sensation of going behind the scenes at the Archives by presenting a combination of actual documents, interactive exhibits and immersive displays. Call 202-501-5000. {diam} "Six Centuries of Prints and Drawings: Recent Acquisitions," opening Nov. 14 at the National Gallery of Art, West Building, includes a 15th-century German drawing along with etchings by contemporary artist Glenn Ligon. Call 202-737-4215 (TDD: 202-842-6176). {diam} "Treasures," opening Nov. 17 at the National Museum of African Art, contributes to the museum's ongoing celebration of its 25th birthday with a display -- in a newly renovated gallery -- of masterpieces of African art drawn from the permanent collection and from important private collections. Call 202-633-1000 (TDD: 202-357-1729).

{diam} "Letterwriting in Renaissance England," opening Nov. 18 at the Folger Shakespeare Library, focuses on the social contexts and material condition of writing, sending and receiving letters from the early 16th to the early 18th centuries. Call 202-544-7077.

Film

Opening Wednesday: "The Polar Express," an animated adaptation of the children's book, is about a little boy who doubts the existence of Santa Claus. Opening Nov. 12: In "After the Sunset," Pierce Brosnan plays a master thief drawn out of retirement. {diam} Johnny Depp stars as J.M. Barrie, creator of "Peter Pan," in "Finding Neverland," a fictional account of Barrie's journey to create the storybook. It also features Kate Winslet, Julie Christie, Radha Mitchell and Dustin Hoffman. {diam} That doll will never die: "Seed of Chucky," the fifth film in the never-ending series, brings back the dirt-talking, murderous doll. {diam} "Tarnation" is Jonathan Caouette's video diary of his life since age 11, an emotionally harrowing portrait of his dysfunctional family and mentally ill mother. Opening dates may change.

CLOSING

Closing on stage this weekend: "Blithe Spirit," at the Olney Theatre. Call 301-924-3400.

NEXT FRIDAY IN WEEKEND

Do you crave a creative outlet but lack the facilities? Weekend has some suggestions for places to pursue your craft. Community centers and open art studios offer affordable options for amateur ceramicists, photographers and more -- and just in time for the holidays.

WEEKEND ONLINE

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

Johnny Depp, right, and Kate Winslet star in Marc Forster's "Finding Neverland."Georgia O'Keeffe's 1916 watercolor "Blue Hill No. 1" is part of "Six Centuries of Prints and Drawings: Recent Acquisitions," opening Nov. 14 at the National Gallery of Art.Billy Joel appears at a curtain call during the Broadway run of "Movin' Out," opening Nov. 19 at the National Theatre.