The Week of July 1

Commemorate Independence Day on July 4 with the National Independence Day Parade along Constitution Avenue NW and an evening concert by the National Symphony Orchestra and guest artists on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, followed by fireworks over the Washington Monument grounds. Call 202-619-7222.

{diam} The Kirov Ballet dances Petipa's "Le Corsaire," a swashbuckling tale of pirates and passion, July 5-10 in the Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets cost $47 to $112. Call 202-467-4600 (TDD: 202-416-8524).

The Week of July 8

The Contemporary American Theater Festival, now in its 15th season, presents four new American plays in rotating repertory July 8-31 at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, W.Va. Tickets cost $28 to $33, with package discounts. Call 304-876-3473. {diam}The USA/Alexandria Birthday Celebration commemorates Alexandria's 256th birthday and America's 229th July 9 with a free concert by the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, including Tchaikovsky's "1812" Overture with cannon, followed by fireworks over the Potomac at Oronoco Bay Park. Call 703-883-4686. {diam} Champion skateboarders and cyclists show their moves at Tony Hawk's Boom Boom Huckjam July 11 at MCI Center. Tickets cost $12.50 to $85 plus service charges from Ticketmaster. Call 202-397-7328. {diam} "Hairspray," the Tony Award-winning musical return to 1960s Baltimore, is on stage July 13-Aug. 21 in the Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $35 to $93. Call 202-467-4600.

The Week of July 15

See free family feature films nine nights in a row at Movies Under the Moon July 15-23 on the Robinson field at George Mason University in Fairfax. Vendor sales benefit local charities. Call 703-323-6333 or visit {diam} Explore more than 75 varieties of blooming lilies and lotuses at the annual Waterlily and Founders Day July 16 at Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens. Call 202-426-6905.

{diam} Cathy Rigby stars in "Peter Pan" July 19-24 at Wolf Trap's Filene Center. Tickets cost $34 to $65 in-house, $18 on the lawn from To order, call 703-218-6500 (service charges added); for information, 703-255-1860.


Tickets go on sale this weekend from Ticketmaster for these upcoming shows: starting Friday at 10, Teena Marie, appearing Aug. 6 at DAR Constitution Hall ($65); starting Friday at noon, System of a Down, the Mars Volta and Bad Acid Trip, Aug. 22 at 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore ($34.50 to $45); starting Saturday at 10, Chayanne, Alejandro Fernandez and Marc Anthony, Sept. 10 at Nissan Pavilion ( $39.50 to $125 in-house, $30 lawn), and White Stripes and the Shins, Sept. 27 at Merriweather Post Pavilion ($40 in-house, $25 lawn); starting Saturday at noon, comedians Paul Scheer, Sherrod Small and Jessi Klein, July 15 at the State Theatre ($17.50). Call 202-397-7328 (service charges added). {diam} These 9:30 club shows are on sale now from David Gray, Aug. 6 ($35); Lucinda Williams, Aug. 7 ($35). Call 703-218-6500 (service charges added).


On Stage

Arena Stage brings back "Crowns," its musical celebration of African American women and their Sunday-best hats, in the Kreeger Theater from July 5 through Aug. 7. Tickets cost $54 to $69. Call 202-488-3300.

On Screen

Opening Wednesday: Tom Cruise stars in Steven Spielberg's "War of the Worlds," in which he and his fellow earthlings prepare to withstand the might of some menacing, invading aliens. It's based on the H.G. Wells novel. Opening July 1: In the Italian film "Caterina in the Big City," high school student Caterina (Alice Teghil) moves from a small town in Tuscany to the city and a new school, where she joins a new circle of girls and falls in love with an Australian boy (Zach Wallen).

{diam} French director Francois Ozon's "5X2" portrays the relationship of a couple in five scenes, shown in reverse order. {diam} Martin Lawrence stars in "Rebound" as a high-strung college basketball coach who's fired after a public meltdown and is forced to accept a job as a middle school coach. {diam} "March of the Penguins" is Luc Jaquet's documentary about a 13-month trek across the Antarctic with a colony of penguins. {diam} In "Me and You and Everyone We Know," an aspiring artist-cabdriver and a down-and-out single father of two meet while on their jobs. Opening dates may change.

On Exhibit

These exhibitions open next week: In the first of three installments, "Beautiful Losers: Contemporary Art and Street Culture" opens July 1 at Baltimore's Contemporary Museum with an exhibition of painting, sculpture and installation art featuring the work of R. Crumb, Keith Haring and others. Call 410-783-5720.

{diam} "Gods and Empire: Huari Ceremonial Textiles," opening July 1 at the Textile Museum, spotlights tapestry-woven objects from a culture that flourished during the 7th and 8th centuries near the modern city of Ayacucho, Peru. Call 202-667-0441. {diam} "Current Evince: Selected Prints by William T. Wiley From the Smithsonian American Art Museum," opening July 2 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, is a display of the contemporary artist's layered, text-laced art. Call 202-639-1700. {diam} "Winslow Homer in the National Gallery of Art," opening July 3 at the National Gallery of Art's East Building, includes paintings, drawings, watercolors and prints from the museum's collection. Call 202-737-4215 (TDD: 202-842-6176).


Closing on stage this weekend: "Terrorism," at Studio Theatre (202-332-3300); "Behold!," by Rorschach Theatre at Calvary Methodist Church (800-494-8497 or 202-452-5538); "Jason and the Argonauts," by Synetic Theater at the Rosslyn Spectrum (703-824-8060); and "Headsman's Holiday," by Theater Alliance at H Street Playhouse (800-494-8497 or 202-396-2125). {diam} This weekend is your last chance to visit "The 48th Corcoran Biennial: Closer to Home," at the Corcoran Gallery of Art (202-639-1700); "Luxury and Luminosity: Visual Culture and the Ming Court," at the Freer Gallery of Art (202-633-1000, TDD: 202-357-1729).


The Fourth of July is all about freedom: freedom to join the masses on the Mall for the big fireworks display; to stay home to wave sparklers from the roof of your condo; or to catch a small-town parade. We celebrate the dissent that makes America great with our annual guide to the area's many and varied Independence Day offerings.


To check out Weekend online, go to

"The Dinner Horn (Blowing the Horn at Seaside)" is part of "Winslow Homer in the National Gallery of Art," an exhibition opening July 3 in the East Building.Skateboard superstar Tony Hawk and his Boom Boom Huckjam tour will roll into MCI Center July 11.Martin Lawrence, as coach Roy McCormick, gives advice to his toughest player, Big Mac (Tara Correa), in "Rebound."