HOWARD UNIVERSITY'S CRAMPTON Auditorium will be transformed into a "carnival talk tent" tonight when nearly a dozen West Indian performers convene for the 11th annual Caribbean Comedy Festival. This year's lineup includes Trinidad and Tobago's John Agitation, Tommy Joseph, Nikky Crosby, Sprang-A-Lang and Gypsy along with Barbados's Trevor Eastman, Jamaica's Amina Blackwood-Meeks and Guyana's Ken Corsbie. These performers are storytellers as much as they are jokesters, and their sly Caribbean-style comedy relies on both innuendo and razor-sharp satire. The evening's emcees are comic singer Relator and Von Martin, host of WPFW-FM's "Caribbeana," which fosters West Indian culture not just on this carnival weekend but throughout the year.

--Alona Wartofsky

Tonight at 7 at Howard University's Crampton Auditorium, 2645 Sixth St. NW. Tickets are $20-25. 301-459-1775.


AS THE ALLMAN BROTHERS celebrate their 30th anniversary Wednesday at Merriweather Post Pavilion, Jorma Kaukonen will be one of the support acts. Born in Washington and coming of age in Chevy Chase in the late '50s, Kaukonen put his first band together with schoolmate-bassist Jack Casady; its name is forgotten, but that's not the case with the duo's next two bands--Jefferson Airplane in 1965 and Hot Tuna in 1970. The latter will be celebrating its 29th anniversary Wednesday. Meanwhile, it's year 2 for Kaukonen's Fur Peace Ranch Guitar Camp in Ohio, where students of all ages and abilities study with guest instructors, most of them hand-picked pals of the founder (or should that be finger-picked?).

--Richard Harrington

The Allman Brothers, Hot Tuna and Mary Cutrufello perform Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia. Tickets are $40.25, $25.25 for the lawn, from Protix or by phone from 1-800-955-5566.


ACCLAIMED FOR HER restoration of early film music, Gillian B. Anderson returns to the National Gallery of Art for a performance of Hugo Riesenfeld's score for "The Ten Commandments." The first of Cecil B. De Mille's two versions of the biblical epic garnered the rapturous praise of the New York Times upon its premiere in December 1923: "Coupled with the orchestration, there has been nothing on film so utterly impressive as the thundering and belching forth of one commandment after another."

--Rita Kempley

Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at the National Gallery of Art East Building, Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. 202-737-4215.


TOMORROW AND TUESDAY will see the 10th anniversary staged reading of the Black Women Playwrights' Group in a program titled "Whisper. Laugh. Shout. Tell the Story." The plays, all by local writers, will be "Greens" by Louise Gray; "Who's Crazy Here?" by Lois A. Wiley; "Benchtalk" by Debbie Minter Jackson; "The Right Kind of Magic" by Joy Jones; and "Room at the Table" by Denise Pearson Williams. Songs will also be performed from Karen L.B. Evans's new musical, "You Must Remember This."

--Lloyd Rose

Tomorrow and Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Studio Theatre, 1331 P St. NW. Tickets are $15. 202-832-7329.

CAPTION: John Agitation, a performer in the Caribbean Comedy Festival.

CAPTION: Jorma Kaukonen, who plays with the Allman Brothers Wednesday.

CAPTION: The Black Women Playwrights' Group, celebrating 10 years.