The Week of July 8

The USA/Alexandria Birthday Celebration commemorates Alexandria's 256th birthday and America's 229th on 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 through 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.

The Week of July 22

Baltimore celebrates the arts at Artscape 2005, with music and dance on multiple stages, an arts and crafts fair, children's entertainers, food vendors and other activities, July 22-24 on Mount Royal Avenue between North Avenue and Preston Street, near the Lyric Opera House, the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and the Maryland Institute College of Art. Call 877-225-8466. {diam}The Virginia Scottish Games and Festival features Highland music, dancing, athletic competitions, trained dog demonstrations, a British car show and other activities July 23-24 on the grounds of Episcopal High School, Alexandria. Call 703-912-1943.


Tickets are on sale now from for a show at the 9:30 club by Pat McGee and Vertical Horizon, appearing Aug. 4. Tickets cost $25 plus service charges. Call 703-218-6500.


On Stage

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} Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company opens "The Clean House," a new play by Sarah Ruhl in which the act of cleaning house transforms two sisters' lives, with "pay-what-you-can" previews July 11-12. The run continues through Aug. 14; regular prices are $30 to $48. Call 202-393-3939.

On Screen

Opening July 8: In "Dark Water," a remake of a Japanese horror film, Dahlia Williams (Jennifer Connelly) and her daughter (Ariel Glade), both reeling from a painful divorce, move into a haunted building. {diam} "Fantastic Four," based on the comic book, is about four astronaut scientists who are genetically mutated into the Fantastic Four, including Ioan Gruffudd as the stretchable Mr. Fantastic, Jessica Alba as the invisible Sue Storm, Chris Evans as the fiery Human Torch and Michael Chiklis as the Thing. {diam} "Heights," an ensemble piece starring Chandler Williams, Glenn Close, Bess Wohl, Elizabeth Banks, James Marsden and others, is about romantic complications among five New Yorkers. {diam} In "Ma Mere," Helene (Isabelle Huppert) hears that her husband, killed in a car crash, was unfaithful, so she launches headlong into a wild life. {diam} "Undead," an Australian indie flick, is about a small Australian town that becomes a town of zombies after a shower of asteroids. {diam} In "Caterina in the Big City," a small-town Italian girl (Alice Teghil) copes with the pressures of competing cliques.

On Exhibit

These exhibitions open next week: "Vietnamese Ceramics," opening July 9 at the Freer Gallery of Art, presents ceramic works from the museum's permanent collection on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the normalization of relations between Vietnam and the United States. Call 202-633-1000 (TDD: 202-357-1729). {diam} "Walls of Heritage, Walls of Pride: African American Murals," opening July 11 at the Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture, spotlights some of the historic and contemporary murals created by African American artists across the country. Call 202-633-1000 (TDD: 202-357-1729).


Closing on stage this weekend: "Once on This Island," at the Round House Theatre in Bethesda (240-644-1100); and "Medea," by the Washington Shakespeare Company at Clark Street Playhouse (800-494-8497 or 703-418-4808).


Baltimore, we hardly knew ye -- just in time for the Washington premiere of John Waters's "Hairspray," Richard Harrington reveals the quirky character of our one-of-a-kind neighbor to the north.


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Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens celebrates its flora during the annual Waterlily and Founders Day on July 16. A 15th-century jar from Vietnam's Red River Delta features peonies and mythical animals. It's part of the "Vietnamese Ceramics" exhibit, opening July 9 at the Freer Gallery of Art. "Dark Water," opening July 8, is a horror film starring Jennifer Connelly as a single mother who moves into a haunted building with her young daughter.