If you are suction-cupped to the Mall museums, you may consider trying to get undone and crossing the bridges of the Potomac to catch a worthwhile show, "In Common: Arlington County Observed," at the Arlington Arts Center through March 6. A District artist (Judy Byron) and poet (Chasen Gaver) have created in words and drawings the bubbling melting pot that is Arlington today. The 11 huge drawings surround you like neighbors at a block party -- the people and places, fears and futures of this changing community.
The National Symphony, Mstislav Rostropovich conducting, will feature soloists from the orchestra in this week's program. Members of the orchestra will also be featured in chamber music of Stravinsky, Rossini and Schubert tomorrow night at the Jewish Community Center in Rockville.
The World Bank's lunchtime Mozart Festival, one of the most popular musical events in downtown Washington, will begin at 1 p.m. Monday in the World Bank auditorium with the Manchester String Quartet and will continue with soprano Ute Jahr on Tuesday; pianist Raymond Jackson, Wednesday; cellist Evelyn Elsing, Thursday; and the Capitol Woodwind Quintet, Friday.
There will also be a (somewhat belated) celebration of Mozart's birthday Saturday night in the University of Maryland's Center of Adult Education, featuring his very early and seldom performed opera, "Bastien und Bastienne."
The Cleveland Orchestra, conducted by Christoph von Dohnanyi, will perform music of Dvorak, Mussorgsky and Philip Glass tonight at the Kennedy Center.
The Beaux Arts Trio returns to the Library of Congress Friday night with music of Haydn, Beethoven and Mendelssohn. Other noteworthy chamber music this week will include: the U.S. Marine Corps Chamber Ensemble, this afternoon at the Library of Congress; pianist Arthur Greene, today at the Phillips Collection; the Trio Mexico, tomorrow night in the Terrace Theater; the Music Connection, tomorrow night at the National Woman's Democratic Club; violinist Sung-Ju Lee, Tuesday night in the Terrace Theater; violinist Lily Kramer, Saturday night at the Corcoran Gallery; and Hesperus, Saturday night at Gaston Hall.
Vocal music of the week: the Washington Savoyards in "The Gondoliers," this afternoon at the Duke Ellington School; soprano Dawn Upshaw, this afternoon at the Jewish Community Center in Rockville; baritone Charles Williams with the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, Catherine Overhauser conducting, this afternoon at T.C. Williams High School; and baritone Spyros Sakkas with the National Gallery Orchestra, George Manos conducting, this evening at the National Gallery.
A week of intriguing diversity brings New York's Sarah Skaggs in a program of four solos at Dance Place this afternoon; Martha Clarke's multimedia dance theater piece "The Garden of Earthly Delights," the predecessor of her "Vienna: Lusthaus," inspired by paintings of Hieronymus Bosch, with music by Richard Peaslee, in four performances at the Warner Theatre Thursday through Saturday; "A Celebration of Washington Dance," a second dance program in the Kennedy Center's "Washington, Front and Center" series, this one showcasing work by choreographers Lloyd Whitmore, Tish Carter and Pola Nirenska at the Terrace Theater Friday night; a program of traditional African dance and music by the Washington-based troupe Odadaa!, at the Publick Playhouse Friday and Saturday; and "Ohio Reunion," a program by Dance Place alumni: choreographers Jefferson James, Cathy Paine, Linda Gold, Diane Grumet and Jan Van Dyke, Saturday and Sunday at Dance Place.
Independent filmmaker David Burton Morris looks at male sexism and the double standard in "Patti Rocks," an offbeat, low-budget sequel to "Loose Ends," which made it onto several 10-best lists in 1975. "Patti" picks up the same blue-collar protagonists -- played by the same actors -- 12 years later. Billy and his buddy Eddie are on their way to see Billy's pregnant mistress, hoping to talk her into getting rid of the baby. They joke and fantasize about women so explicitly that the movie was originally rated X for its scabrous language. But, says Morris, the dialogue sets up the macho boys' climactic encounter with the strong, secure heroine Patti Rocks. It's an interesting film with a surprising point of view, but recommended only for those with a stomach for the filthiest (justifiably) slang.
Saxophonist Gato Barbieri has made some of the fieriest Latin American contributions to contemporary jazz. He's at Blues Alley Tuesday through Sunday.
Ray Davies and the Kinks are about the only worthwhile survivors from the original British Invasion and reports out of England have them sounding better than they have in recent years. At Constitution Hall on Wednesday.
Two masters of divergent styles of guitar: acoustic picker Arlen Roth at the Roxy, rocker Joe Satriani at the Bayou, both on Wednesday.
The end of the world is imminent and the characters in Samuel Beckett's "Endgame" are the leftovers of humanity. That such a bleak vision of things should also prove robustly comic is the miracle of the play, which is being given a vigorous production by the Scena Theatre (at Source Theatre's Mainstage).