The Week of Sept. 16

Concerts, agricultural exhibitions and midway rides are highlights of the Great Frederick Fair Sept. 16-24 at the Frederick County Fairgrounds in Frederick. Call 301-663-5895. {diam} The Arts on Foot Festival presents indoor and outdoor performances, art exhibitions and other activities Sept. 17 in Washington's Pennsylvania Quarter neighborhood. Call 202-482-7271. {diam} Children's performers from around the world entertain on multiple stages at the International Children's Festival Sept. 17-18 at Wolf Trap Park in Vienna. Call 703-642-0862 or 703-255-1860. {diam} Mount Vernon hosts its annual 18th-Century Craft Fair, with crafts displays and demonstrations by artisans in Colonial attire, Sept. 17-18. Call 703-780-2000. {diam} Sample Maryland wines and local food specialties and enjoy a crafts fair and entertainment at the Maryland Wine Festival Sept. 17-18 at the Carroll County Farm Museum in Westminster. Call 410-876-2667 or 800-654-4645.

{diam} The Washington National Opera opens its 50th anniversary season with Verdi's "I Vespri Siciliani," a bloody tale of Sicilian resistance to French oppression, Sept. 17 through Oct. 4 in the Kennedy Center Opera House. Placido Domingo will conduct the orchestra. Tickets cost $45 to $290. Call 202-295-2400. {diam} Tour embassies and historic sites at the 21st annual Kalorama House and Embassy Tour Sept. 18 in Washington's Embassy Row neighborhood. Call 202-387-4062. {diam} Fiesta Musical is a celebration of Latin American culture with music, dance and traditional foods Sept. 18 at the National Zoo. Call 202-673-4821.

The Week of Sept. 23

Authors read their books and sign them, and bookstores and publishers display their wares, at the Baltimore Book Festival Sept. 23-25 outdoors at Mount Vernon Place, in the 600 block of North Charles Street. Call 877-225-8466. {diam} The Library of Congress presents talks and other events by 80 authors at the National Book Festival Sept. 24 outdoors on the Mall. Call 888-714-4696.

The Week of Sept. 30

The annual Fall for Fairfax fair hosts family entertainment, exhibits, children's activities and food vendors Oct. 1 at Fairfax County Government Center. Call 703-324-3247. {diam} The annual Taste of Bethesda features samples from area restaurants, entertainment on multiple stages and other activities Oct. 1 in downtown Bethesda. Call 301-215-6660.

{diam} Art on the Avenue is a multicultural arts festival, with exhibits, music and food vendors, Oct. 1 along Mount Vernon Avenue in Alexandria. Call 703-683-3100. {diam} The Manassas Fall Jubilee includes entertainment, a crafts fair, exhibits, food vendors and children's activities Oct. 1 throughout Old Town Manassas. Call 703-361-6599. {diam} Comcast Family Toon Day features family-

oriented performances, strolling cartoon characters, rides and other activities Oct. 2 outdoors at Strathmore in North Bethesda. Admission is free, but tickets are required. Call

301-581-5100 or visit

www.strathmore.org.

HOT TICKETS

Tickets go on sale Friday at 10 from Ticketmaster for a concert by Def Leppard and Bryan Adams, appearing Oct. 14 at Nissan Pavilion. They cost $23.50 to $49.50 in-house, $20 on the lawn. Call 202-397-7328 (service charges added). {diam}Tickets go on sale Saturday at 10 from Ticketmaster for a concert by Audioslave Oct. 26 at George Mason University's Patriot Center. They cost $40.50. {diam} Tickets go on sale Sunday at 10 from Ticketmaster for "The Incredibles Magic Kingdom Adventure," this year's edition of "Disney on Ice," skating into Patriot Center Oct. 19-23. They cost $15 to $60. {diam} Tickets go on sale Sunday from Telecharge for the final national tour of "Les Miserables," stopping at the National Theatre from Dec. 7 through Jan. 21. Tickets cost $36.25 to $83.25 plus service charges. Call

800-447-7400.

OPENING SOON

On Stage

Synetic Theater stages its unique adaptation in words and movement of Bram Stoker's "Dracula" from Sept. 16 through Oct. 23 at the Rosslyn Spectrum in Arlington (after a short run this weekend at the Kennedy Center). Spectrum tickets cost $15 to $30. Call 703-824-8060.

On Screen

Opening Sept. 16: "The Baxter" is a romantic comedy with Michael Showalter as a young man whose life gets upturned when his fiancee (Elizabeth Banks) is distracted by the sudden reappearance of her high school boyfriend (Justin Theroux). {diam} A family's Mediterranean seaside vacation leads to various romantic entanglements in the musical comedy "Cote d'Azur." {diam} The thriller "Cry Wolf" follows a group of teenagers who create a serial-killer tale that turns frighteningly real. {diam} Reese Witherspoon stars in the romantic comedy "Just Like Heaven" as a ghost in love with the man (Mark Ruffalo) living in her former apartment. {diam} "G" is a hip-hop-infused take on "The Great Gatsby," starring Richard T. Jones, Andre Royo and Blair Underwood. {diam} Nicolas Cage is a Ukrainian immigrant who turns to gunrunning in "Lord of War," a drama from writer-director Andrew Niccol ("Gattaca").

{diam} "Proof," based on the hit Broadway play, stars Gwyneth Paltrow as a woman struggling with her father's (Anthony Hopkins) legacy of mathematical genius and mental illness. {diam} In the horror flick "Venom," a madman pursues a group of teenagers in a Louisiana swamp. Opening dates may change.

On Exhibit

The following exhibitions open next week: "Modernism in American Silver: 20th-Century Design," opening Sept.16 at the Renwick Gallery, charts the design history of modern American production-line silver from 1925 to 2000. Call 202-633-1000 (TDD: 202-357-1729). {diam}"Hello Gorgeous! Fashion, Beauty and the Jewish American Ideal," opening Sept. 18 at the Jewish Museum of Maryland, illustrates how Jews adapted, ignored, overcame and reshaped ideals of beauty. Call 410-732-6400. {diam}Two exhibitions open Sept. 18 at the National Gallery of Art West Building: "Monumental Sculpture From Renaissance Florence: Ghiberti, Nanni di Banco and Verrocchio at Orsanmichele" celebrates the restoration of three monumental masterpieces of Italian Renaissance sculpture, while "Pieter Claesz: Master of Haarlem Still Life" showcases the work of a 17th-century Dutch painter. Call 202-737-4215 (TDD: 202-842-6176).

CLOSING

Closing on stage this weekend: "The Miracle Worker," at the Olney Theatre. Call 301-924-3400. {diam} This weekend is your last chance to visit "The Essence of Line: French Drawings From Ingres to Degas," a joint exhibition by the Baltimore Museum of Art and Baltimore's Walters Art Museum (410-396-7100 or 410-547-9000); "Visual Music," at the Hirshhorn Museum (202-633-1000, TDD: 202-357-1729); "Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition," at the Maryland Science Center (410-685-5225); and "Caravan Kingdoms: Yemen and the Ancient Incense Trade," at the Sackler Gallery (202-633-1000, TDD: 202-357-1729).

NEXT FRIDAY IN WEEKEND

New music, experimental music, improvised music, extreme music, noise -- all sit outside the mainstream, embracing myriad sounds and approaches, from modern classical and electronica to laptop compositions, turntable installations and invented instruments that sometimes prove as much a challenge to their creators as to audiences. We'll tell you where to find these adventurous sounds, including information on several upcoming festivals.

WEEKEND ONLINE

To check out Weekend on the Web, go to www.washingtonpost.com/weekend.

"Les Miserables" will visit the National Theatre from Dec. 7 through Jan. 21. Tickets go on sale Sunday. Anthony Hopkins and Gwyneth Paltrow star as a brilliant mathematician and his daughter in "Proof," opening Sept. 16. Ghiberti's "Saint Matthew" is part of an exhibit opening Sept. 18 at the National Gallery of Art.