The Week of Aug. 26

The Maryland State Fair features livestock displays, home and garden exhibits, thoroughbred racing, carnival rides and entertainment, from Aug. 26 through Sept. 5 at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium. Call 410-252-0200. {diam} The Maryland Renaissance Festival presents entertainment, food vendors, crafts and jousting in a re-creation of a 16th-century English village, open weekends and Labor Day from Aug. 27 through Oct. 23 in Crownsville. Call 800-296-7304 or 410-266-7304.

The Week of Sept. 2

Arena Stage presents the world premiere of "Passion Play, a cycle," a political fantasy by Sarah Ruhl in which the traditional religious drama is performed in Elizabethan England, Oberammergau just before World War II, and in Spearfish, S.D., during the Vietnam War and in the present, from Sept. 2 through Oct. 16 in the Kreeger Theater. Tickets cost $41 to $60. Call 202-488-3300. {diam} The D.C. Blues Society hosts the 17th annual D.C. Blues Festival Sept. 3 at Carter Barron Amphitheatre, featuring Candye Kane, Ruby Hayes, DeConstance and other local blues divas. Call 202-962-0112. {diam} The National Symphony Orchestra marks the end of summer with a free holiday concert Sept. 4 on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Call 202-619-7222. {diam} Herndon hosts its 17th annual Labor Day Wine and Jazz Festival, with free entertainment on two stages, wine-tastings, crafts and food vendors, Sept. 5 at its municipal center. Call 703-787-7300. {diam} Studio Theatre opens its fall season with "A Number," the new play by Caryl Churchill that explores a father-son relationship, Sept. 7 through Oct. 16. Tickets cost $32 to $54. Call


The Week of Sept. 9

The Kennedy Center celebrates its 34th birthday with its 21st annual Open House, Sept. 10 (a Saturday this year), with free performances and other activities throughout the center. Call 202-467-4600 (TDD: 202-416-8524). {diam} James Moody, Ahmad Jamal and Nnenna Freelon headline the 15th annual free Rosslyn Jazz Festival, Sept. 10 in Arlington's Gateway Park. Call 703-228-1850. {diam} Musicians, dancers and storytellers perform on multiple stages, artisans sell their crafts and community organizations host information tables at the 28th annual free Takoma Park Folk Festival, Sept. 11 at Takoma Park Middle School. Call 301-589-0202.

{diam} Washington's Adams Morgan neighborhood hosts entertainment on multiple stages, exhibits and food vendors at Adams Morgan Day, Sept. 11 around 18th Street and Columbia Road NW. Call 202-232-1978.


Tickets go on sale Saturday at 10 from Ticketmaster for a concert by Rob Thomas and Antigone Rising, appearing Oct. 16 at DAR Constitution Hall. They cost $40 plus service charges. Call 202-397-7328. {diam} Tickets go on sale Monday from for the entire fall and spring season at the intimate Barns at Wolf Trap in Vienna. Highlights among scores of folk, pop, classical and other performers are the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Eileen Ivers, Karla Bonoff, David Wilcox, George Winston, Del McCoury, Schooner Fare, John Eaton, Leon Redbone, the Second City and Chicago City Limits comedy troupes, Karen Akers, Bonnie Rideout, the California Guitar Trio, Livingston Taylor and Christine Lavin. Call 703-218-6500 or visit {diam} Tickets are on sale now from for these shows at the 9:30 club: the Alejandro Escovedo Orchestra with Lenny Kaye & Jon Dee Graham, Sept. 30 ($25); and Brazilian Girls, Oct. 1 ($15). Call 703-218-6500 (service charges added).


On Stage

On stage soon, on sale now: A new production of "My Fair Lady," the Lerner & Loewe musical classic, visits Wolf Trap's Filene Center Aug. 30-Sept. 4. Tickets cost $34 to $65 in the pavilion, $18 on the lawn, from Call 703-218-6500 or 703-255-1860.

{diam} The Shakespeare Theatre Company kicks off its 2005-06 season with "Othello," starring Avery Brooks as the hot-tempered Moor and Patrick Page as treacherous Iago, Aug. 30-Oct. 30. Tickets cost $14.25 to $71.25. Call 202-547-1122. {diam} Broadway legend Theodore Bikel joins local stars in "The Disputation," an account of the conflict that resulted when a 13th-century pope ordered the king of Aragon to convert the Jews of Spain, Aug. 31-Oct. 2 by Theater J at the D.C. Jewish Community Center. Tickets cost $15 to $45. Call 800-494-8497 or 202-777-3229.

On Screen

Opening Aug. 26: "Undiscovered" explores the careers and love lives of a group of struggling Los Angeles actors, models and musicians. {diam} Divers encounter strange creatures in a network of underwater caves in "The Cave." {diam} Matt Damon and Heath Ledger play 19th-century French con men in director Terry Gilliam's comic adventure-fantasy "The Brothers Grimm."{diam} A high-school girl (Evan Rachel Wood) accuses her drama teacher (Ron Livingston) of sexual harassment in the darkly comic "Pretty Persuasion." {diam} Culture clash ensues when a Chicago art dealer meets her North Carolina in-laws in "Junebug." {diam} An aspiring Arab writer becomes smitten with a flirtatious blonde in "Lila Says." {diam} From South Korea, "Save the Green Planet" is a hybrid of science fiction, comedy, horror and drama.

On Exhibit

These exhibitions open next week: "Encouraging American Genius: Master Paintings from the Corcoran Gallery of Art," opening Aug. 27 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, showcases the museum's holdings of pre-1945 American paintings. Call 202-639-1700.

{diam} "Perspectives: Mei-Ling Hom," opening Aug. 27 at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, features an installation by a contemporary Chinese-American artist inspired by the ephemerality of clouds. Call 202-633-1000.


Closing on stage this weekend: "Hairspray," in the Kennedy Center Opera House. Call 202-467-4600 (TDD: 202-416-8524). {diam} This weekend is your last chance to visit "Boating on a River," at the Freer Gallery of Art (202-633-1000, TDD: 202-357-1729); and "Traits of Life" and "Tut Unwrapped," at National Geographic's Explorers Hall (202-857-7588).


Just when the August heat and humidity become too much, it's time to think about a trip to the mountains. We take three approaches: spa pampering; adventure-sport nirvana; and eco-tourist bliss.


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Steven Strait and Pell James portray struggling Los Angeles actors in "Undiscovered," opening Aug. 26."Fishermen" by Wu Zhen (1280-1354) is part of the "Boating on a River" exhibition closing Sunday at the Freer Gallery of Art.Karen Akers will sing during the just-announced 2005-06 season at the Barns at Wolf Trap in Vienna.