The mixed-media box constructions, quilts and digitally manipulated photographs of artist Amalia Amaki draw heavily on African American blues singers for their inspiration. On Friday the National Museum of Women in the Arts opens "Amalia Amaki: Boxes, Buttons and the Blues" and "Women in Blues and Jazz," an ancillary exhibition featuring photographic portraits of some of the female performers who have provided fodder for Amaki's playful work. Call 202-783-5000.

-- Michael O'Sullivan


Director Doug Liman brings the same edgy sensibility and high energy he brought to "Swingers," "Go" and "The Bourne Identity" to "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," a darkly comic action film about husband-and-wife assassins (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie) who have been ordered to kill each other. See review on Page 33.

-- Michael O'Sullivan


In the years immediately following guitarist Danny Gatton's death in 1994, the surviving members of his trio -- bassist John Previti and drummer Timm Biery -- teamed with guitarist Rick Whitehead and served up a similarly fiery, genre-defying repertoire. After nine years apart, they've reunited as Triplicity and make their debut Monday at Iota. Call 703-522-8340.

-- Richard Harrington


Cynthia Word's name is apt. A dancer and choreographer, she frequently imbues her works with spoken word or movement phrases akin to dramatic storytelling. Saturday and Sunday at American University's Greenberg Theater, Word/Dance/Theater showcases excerpts from the dancemaker's "States of Mind," exploring "death stories" and the life cycle, and "My Mother's Gate," an earth-centered meditation. Call 202-885-2587.

-- Lisa Traiger

"Holiday Sweets" is in the show of works by Amalia Amaki at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.