Real People, Real Life

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival, the Smithsonian Institution's 39th annual celebration of folk culture around the world, opens Thursday and continues daily through July 4 (except June 28-29) on the Mall between Seventh and 14th streets, with entertainment, talks, crafts demonstrations, exhibits and specialty food vendors. Admission is free. The major themes this year are "Oman: Desert, Oasis and Sea," "Forest Service, Culture and Community," "Nuestra Musica: Music in Latino Culture" and "Food Culture U.S.A." Most activities are open daily from 11 to 5:30. Dance parties and concerts begin most evenings at 5:30. A highlight is the Ralph Rinzler Memorial Concert July 1 at 5:30, honoring the late festival director and featuring the Comanche Hymn Singers and other Native American singers and musicians. For a recorded description of daily events, call 202-633-9884. For general information, call 202-633-1000 (TDD: 202-357-1729) or visit www.folklife.si.edu.

Fun With Fungus

Pilobolus, the fun-loving dance, mime and movement troupe named after a sun-loving fungus, presents the world premiere of a work commissioned by Wolf Trap and an evening of old favorites Tuesday at 8:30 in the Filene Center at Wolf Trap Park, 1551 Trap Rd., Vienna. Tickets cost $26 to $34 in the pavilion, $10 on the lawn. To order, call Tickets.com, 703-218-6500 (service charges added). For information, call 703-255-1860. See story on Page 22.

Weekend of Jazz and Blues

Six star vocalists perform at three different shows in the annual Jazz and Blues Festival at Wolf Trap Park, 1551 Trap Rd., Vienna. Friday at 8, Al Jarreau and Cassandra Wilson share the stage; tickets cost $38 in the Filene Center, $22 on the lawn. Saturday at 8, legendary crooner Tony Bennett headlines the 34th annual Wolf Trap Gala; tickets cost $42 in-house, $25 on the lawn. Sunday at 3, Chicago blues master Buddy Guy is on a bill with Susan Tedeschi and Chris Smither; tickets bought in advance cost $32 in-house, $20 on the lawn (they are $36 and $22 at the gate Sunday). To order, call Tickets.com, 703-218-6500 (service charges added). For information, call 703-255-1860.

'Don Quixote' Lives

The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, founded by one of George Balanchine's most celebrated ballerinas, dances the world premiere of its production of "Balanchine's Don Quixote" Wednesday in the Kennedy Center Opera House (Metro: Foggy Bottom-GWU, with free shuttles). Balanchine's interpretation of the classic tale of the dreamer of impossible dreams hasn't been performed anywhere since 1978, when Farrell herself starred in the New York City Ballet production. The schedule: Wednesday through June 24 at 7:30, and June 25-26 at 1:30 and 7:30. Tickets cost $29 to $84. Call 202-467-4600 (TDD: 202-416-8524).

'Carmen,' Abridged

The Olney Theatre Center, at 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Rd. in Olney, opens "La Tragedie De Carmen" with a "pay-what-you-can" preview Tuesday at 7:30. The bargain seats go on sale an hour before the show. The intense 90-minute adaptation of the Bizet opera, sung in French with English supertitles, had a brief sold-out run last year in Olney's lab theater. Performances continue on the main stage through July 17. Regular prices are $29 to $34. Call 301-924-3400.

Festival on the Potomac

The Alexandria Red Cross sponsors its 24th annual Waterfront Festival Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 10 to 7 at Oronoco Bay Park in Alexandria, on the Potomac at the north end of Union Street. The festival, a two-day event this year, includes entertainment on two stages, educational exhibits in a health and safety pavilion, a crafts fair, amusement rides and other children's activities, a food court, tours of two visiting tall ships and fireworks. Main stage headliners are 10,000 Maniacs on Saturday and Joyce Cooling and Wayman Tisdale on Sunday. A fireworks show over the river begins Saturday at about 10:30. Admission at the gate is $10, ages 2 through 12 $5, younger free. Free shuttle buses will operate from the Eisenhower Avenue and King Street Metro stations. Call 703-549-8300 or visit www.waterfrontfestival.org.

A Present From the Post

"Nu-Soul Night" is the theme at the first of three free Weekend's Weekends concerts, sponsored by The Washington Post, Friday at 7:30 at Carter Barron Amphitheatre at 16th Street and Colorado Avenue NW in Rock Creek Park. The featured bands are Oktbrwrld, Zwei with Sol Edler and Deborah Bond & Third Logic. Free tickets will be released Friday starting at 8:30 a.m. at The Post, 1150 15th St. NW, and at noon at the Carter Barron box office. Future Weekend's Weekends shows are "Rock Night" on June 24 and "Big Band/Small Band Swing Night" on July 8.

Call 202-334-4748. See Nightwatch

on Page 5.

-- Compiled by Barry Barriere

Buddy Guy shares the bill Sunday afternoon at Wolf Trap's Jazz and Blues Festival.Los Camperos de Valles from Mexico will sing in the 2005 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, opening Thursday on the Mall. Momchil Mladenov and Sonia Rodriguez dance in the world premiere of

"Balanchine's Don Quixote" at the

Kennedy Center.