The heart of the Corcoran Gallery of Art's permanent collection -- pre-1945 American painting -- gets the star treatment beginning Saturday, when "Encouraging American Genius: Master Paintings From the Corcoran Gallery of Art" goes on view. The show, which features such knockouts as Frederic Church's 1857 "Niagara" and Albert Bierstadt's 1876-77 "Mount Corcoran," is up through Jan. 2. Call 202-639-1700.

-- Michael O'Sullivan


In "Junebug," Amy Adams gives a hilarious and touching performance as a pregnant southern woman, whose flighty yet grounded character anchors the dramatic comedy about culture clash from first-time filmmaker Phil Morrison. See review on Page 33.

-- Michael O'Sullivan


Cool like dat: In the spirit of '50s meetings of beat poetry and jazz, and the pioneering Afrocentric raps of the Last Poets in the '60s, Spoken Word in the Park offers a new fusion of poetry and music at Carter Barron Amphitheatre Friday in conjunction with locally based Genesis Poets Music Inc. A number of artists -- including actor Malcolm-Jamal Warner, New York's Bro. Earl and local poets 13 of Nazareth, Charneice Fox and Tim'm West will perform as saxophonist Steven Burdick and his band provide music. The free show starts at 7:30. Call 202-426-0486.

-- Richard Harrington


Meisha Bosma has been making waves on the local dance scene lately. This coming season BosmaDance -- which performs both her work and repertory pieces by local and international guest artists -- will be all over the region. To catch this emerging company, visit the Jack Guidone Theater in Friendship Heights this weekend, where works by Bosma, Kelly Bond-Wallis and Israeli choreographers Amir Kolben and Ofra Idel-Lipshitz will be featured. Call 202-362-3042.

-- Lisa Traiger

American painting is the focus at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.