Fairs Big and Small
* The giant Maryland State Fair, now in its 124th year, opens Friday and continues through Sept. 5 at the fairgrounds at 2200 York Rd. in Timonium, north of Baltimore. Livestock and horse shows begin each morning at 9, and exhibit halls open at 10. Midway rides and games open Saturdays and Sundays at 10 and weekdays at noon. The fair closes nightly at 10. Special events include hot air balloon "glows" Friday at 7:30 and Saturday at 6, the 4-H Livestock Show Friday through Sunday, pig racing and swimming, children's tractor pulls and monster trucks, and thoroughbred horse racing. Concert headliners include Gary Allan, Friday; Ted Nugent, Tuesday; and Trace Adkins, Sept. 2. Fair admission is $6 at the gate, younger than 12 free; rides are priced individually. Call 410-252-0200, or visit www.marylandstatefair.com.
* The quaintly compact 33rd annual Lucketts Fair hosts bluegrass bands, children's entertainers, a crafts fair, an "antiques alley," pony rides, fire truck rides, carnival games, a petting zoo and other family activities Saturday and Sunday from 10 to 5 at the Old Lucketts School Community Center, at 42361 Lucketts Rd., off U.S. 15 about eight miles north of Leesburg. Admission is $5, ages 5 and younger free. Call 703-771-5281 or visit www.luckettsfair.com.
Snow Not Predicted
The Air Force Concert Band and Singing Sergeants make believe it's winter at their 30th anniversary "Christmas in August" concert Friday at 8 at the Sylvan Theatre, on the Washington Monument grounds near 15th Street and Independence Avenue SW. WETA-FM personality Nicole Lacroix hosts an evening of holiday favorites from around the world, concluding with a traditional singalong. Music Director Col. Dennis M. Layendecker will conduct. Admission is free, and no tickets are required. Call 202-767-5658 or 202-426-0486.
Doo-Wop at Dusk
Rhythm 'n' blues and doo-wop masters the Legendary Orioles, the Jewels and the Memories share the bill Saturday at 7:30 at the final concert of the free outdoor series at Reston Town Center, Reston Parkway and New Dominion Drive. No tickets are needed. Call 703-912-4062.
New on Stage
* Avery Brooks stars as the murderous Moor and Patrick Page as Iago, his treacherous sidekick, in "Othello," opening Tuesday at the Shakespeare Theatre Company, 450 Seventh St. NW (Metro: Gallery Place-Chinatown, Archives-Navy Memorial). Michael Kahn directs. Performances continue through Oct. 30. Tickets cost $14.25 to $71.25. Call 202-547-1122 (TDD: 202-638-3863).
* Broadway legend Theodore Bikel joins Edward Gero, Naomi Jacobson and other local stars in "The Disputation," an account of the crisis that results when a 13th-century pope orders the rebellious King James of Aragon to convert the Jews of Spain, by Theater J at the D.C. Jewish Community Center, 1529 16th St. NW. Bikel plays Rabbi Moses Ben Nachman. Performances Wednesday, Thursday and Sept. 6 are "pay-what-you-can" previews; tickets go on sale at the box office one hour before the show. Tickets to additional previews Sept. 3 at 8 and Sept. 4 at 3 and 7:30 cost $25. The run concludes Oct. 2; regular prices are $15 to $45. To order, call BoxOffice Tickets, 800-494-8497; for information, call 202-777-3229.
'I Think She's Got It!'
Young Eliza Doolittle dances all night after she learns where the rain in Spain mainly falls, and stuffy Professor Higgins grows accustomed to her face, in a new touring production of "My Fair Lady," the Lerner & Loewe musical classic, opening Tuesday in the Filene Center at Wolf Trap Park, 1551 Trap Rd., Vienna. The schedule: Tuesday through Sept. 2 at 8, and Sept. 3-4 at 2 and 8. Tickets cost $34 to $65 in the pavilion, $18 on the lawn, from Tickets.com. To order, call 703-218-6500; for information, call 703-255-1860.
Backward in Time
The 29th annual Maryland Renaissance Festival opens Saturday and re-creates a 16th-century English village on a 25-acre site outside Crownsville. Singers, musicians, jugglers, magicians and other performers entertain continuously on 10 stages; more than 140 artisans show their pottery, jewelry, leatherwork, glass and other crafts; vendors sell smoked turkey legs, "steak on a stake," meat pies and other foods and refreshments in the spirit of the times; and mounted knights in armor compete in jousting tournaments. The fair is open from 10 to 7 Saturdays, Sundays and Labor Day through Oct. 23. Admission at the gate is $17, seniors $15, ages 7 to 15 $8 (younger free); for this opening weekend, children 11 and younger get in free. From the Beltway, follow U.S. 50 east to Route 3 north to Route 450 east, turn left at Crownsville Road and follow signs. Call 800-296-7304 or 410-266-7304, or visit www.rennfest.com.
Music in the Mountains
The Mountain Stage New Song Festival hosts day and evening acoustic concerts, demonstrations and workshops Friday through Sunday at eight sites throughout Shepherdstown, W.Va. A concert by national stars begins Friday at 8 at Frank Center on the Shepherd University campus. Finalists in the Mountain Stage competition sing there Saturday at 7:30. A festival pass costs $25 per day or $50 for the weekend, ages 14 and younger free. Sunday at 6 at Frank Center, Suzzy & Maggie Roche, Fiamma Fumana, Beth Nielsen Chapman and the Alison Brown Band headline a concert to be taped for future broadcast by the Mountain Stage radio program. Separate admission to that show is $25 at the door. Call 800-594-8499 or visit www.newsongfestival.com.
-- Compiled by Barry Barriere