Creative Crafts

About 185 artists and artisans selected from more than 1,000 applicants will display their museum-quality sculpture, glass, ceramics, furniture and other creations at the 17th annual Washington Craft Show Friday from 10 to 8, Saturday from 10 to 6 and Sunday from 11 to 5 at the Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Pl. NW (Metro: Mount Vernon Square-Convention Center). Admission is $12, seniors $11, under 12 free. Call 202-249-3000 or www.craftsamericashows.com.

Everyone Loves a Parade

* Montgomery County kicks off the holiday season with its annual Thanksgiving Parade Saturday at 10 in downtown Silver Spring. More than 100 units -- including the Washington Redskins Marching Band, high school bands, 50-foot helium balloons, mounted police and antique cars -- will travel from Georgia and Sligo avenues along Wayne Avenue, Fenton Street and Ellsworth Avenue past the reviewing stand at Silver Plaza and on to Colesville Road. Call 301-565-7300.

* Nickelodeon cartoon characters SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star lead the Baltimore Thanksgiving Parade, starting Saturday at 11 at Pratt and Eutaw streets. Marching bands, dancers, floats and other units will travel east along Pratt past a reviewing stand at Light Street and on to President Street. Call 877-225-8466.

Passion and Prayer

* Soledad Barrio is the star of Noche Flamenca, the troupe of dancers, singers and guitarists who will bring traditional Spanish flamenco to Lisner Auditorium, 730 21st St. NW, Friday and Saturday at 8. Tickets cost $25 to $35 from Ticketmaster. To order, call 202-397-7328; for information, call 202-994-6800.

* The Washington Chorus opens its 44th season with J.S. Bach's Mass in B Minor Sunday at 3 in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Robert Shafer conducts. Tickets cost $19 to $53; call 202-467-4600.

Joffrey Dances 'Nutcracker'

The Joffrey Ballet brings a little girl's Christmas dreams to life in "The Nutcracker," opening Wednesday and continuing through Nov. 28 in the Kennedy Center Opera House (Metro: Foggy Bottom-GWU, with free shuttles). The schedule: Wednesday at 7:30 and Nov. 26-28 at 1:30 and 7:30. Tickets cost $29 to $99. Call 202-467-4600 (TDD: 202-416-8524).

A Stage Is Born

Studio Theatre, at 14th and P streets NW, unveils its brand-new theater complex Saturday with tours, talks and a pay-what-you-can performance of "Flow," in which rapper-playwright and hip-hop artist Will Power plays a homeless man, a teenage girl and five other characters accompanied by DJ Moni's musical mix. Free tours of the new theater, with music and refreshments, will be conducted from 10:30 to 1. "Flow" begins at 2:30 (the bargain seats go on sale at 12:30), and will be followed at 3:30 by a talk with Power. At 4:30, after the ticketed performance of Chekhov's "Ivanov," a panel of experts will discuss Russian arts and culture. Call 202-332-3300.

Opera Notes

* The Virginia Opera sings "The Merry Widow," Franz Lehar's comic story of a wealthy widow and her eager suitors in turn-of-the-century Paris, Friday at 8 and Sunday at 2 in the Center for the Arts Concert Hall at George Mason University, 4400 University Dr., Fairfax. Tickets cost $44 to $84 from Tickets.com. To order, call 703-218-6500 (service charges added); for information, call 703-993-8888.

* In a "Look-In" performance designed to make opera accessible to elementary school-aged children and their families, the Washington National Opera is presenting excerpts from "Luisa Fernanda" Saturday at 11:30 in the Kennedy Center Opera House. General director and star tenor Placido Domingo will introduce the one-hour program, which will also include behind-the-curtain demonstrations of stagecraft and special effects, and he will conduct the orchestra. WJLA-TV news anchor Maureen Bunyan will narrate. Youth and student tickets cost $10; tickets for adults are $15 to $35. Call

202-295-2400 or visit www.dc-opera.org.

Olivia Sings With BSO

Multi-Grammy winner Olivia Newton-John, perhaps most fondly remembered as John Travolta's high school sweetheart in "Grease," sings hits from four decades in "superpops" concerts with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Friday at 8, Saturday at 8 and Sunday at 3 at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore. Tickets cost $30 to $81; call

410-783-8000 or 800-442-1198.

New and Old on Stage

* "Movin' Out," the hit Broadway musical "dance play" choreographed by Twyla Tharp to more than two dozen songs by Billy Joel, is moving into the National Theatre through Dec. 19. The story follows a group of friends from their high school graduation in the '60s to their reunion two decades later. Tickets cost $41.25 to $86.25 plus service charges. The National is at 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW (Metro: Metro Center). To order, call Telecharge, 800-447-7400; for information, call 202-628-6161. See story on Page 24.

* Joe Sears and Jaston Williams play the men, women, boys and girls -- all of them -- in Tuna, Tex., as the mythical little town prepares for the holidays in "A Tuna Christmas," now on its 15th anniversary tour, Friday at 8, Saturday at 2 and 8, and Sunday at 2 and 7 at the Warner Theatre, 13th and E streets NW (Metro: Metro Center). Tickets cost $30.50 to $44.50 from Ticketmaster. To order, call 202-397-7328 (service charges added); for information, call 202-783-4000.

-- Compiled by Barry Barriere

This glass "Chalice" by Stephan Cox is on display at the Washington Craft Show.Soledad Barrio dances with Noche Flamenca.