Due to an editing error, Sunday Arts item referred incorrectly to San Francisco Ballet artistic director Helgi Tomasson as a woman. (Published 09/21/1999)


THE LEGACY OF COUNTRY MUSIC LEGEND HANK WILLIAMS will be discussed, then illuminated in performance next weekend when the Smithsonian hosts a two-day tribute. On Friday night, Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, Kathy Mattea and Kim Richey will perform at Lisner Auditorium, celebrating Williams's genre-defining legacy by performing his material and showing his influence on their own music. On Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., there will be a Williams seminar featuring country music scholars (including official biographer Colin Escott), critics, fellow musicians and Williams family members.

--Richard Harrington

At the Lisner Auditorium, 730 21st St. NW. Friday at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 general admission, $25 for Smithsonian Resident Associates, $22.50 for seniors and $18 for full-time students with ID.

At the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Seventh Street and Independence Avenue SW. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. General admission for the seminar (which includes concert tickets) is $130, $85 for Smithsonian Residents Associates and $35 for students. The first 400 registrants will receive complimentary copies of the new double CD reissue, "Hank Williams Live at the Grand Ole Opry." 202-357-3030.


IN 1969 THE PATRIOTIC, UPBEAT MUSICAL "1776" beat out "Hair" and "Zorba" to win the Tony Award for best musical. With a book by Peter Stone ("Titanic") and music by Sherman Edwards, "1776" presents the quandaries of the Founding Fathers, who all happen to know how to sing on key. There's one more performance this afternoon.

--Nicole Lewis

At the George Mason University Center for the Arts, Braddock Road and Route 123, Fairfax. Today at 2 p.m. $35-$45. 703-218-6500.


WHEN THE 65 BELLS buried with the Marquis Yi of Zeng were cast in the fifth century B.C., they included inscriptions telling why and when they were made and, more important, information about pitch and placement in the set. So the magnificent Chinese bells on display as part of the National Gallery of Art's "The Golden Age of Chinese Archaeology" exhibit can indeed come to life. The bells are, in fact, replicas of the originals, but very high-quality replicas cast with all the expertise of modern metallurgy. The bells will be played this weekend, with music selected from a broad historical range, including some speculative works from the pre-notation era contemporaneous with the instrument.

--Philip Kennicott

At the National Gallery of Art East Building, Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Sunday at noon and 3 p.m. Free. 202-737-4215.


MYTHOLOGY, MARTIAL ARTS AND METAPHYSICS meet in the cyber-punk thriller "The Matrix," starring Keanu Reeves as the man in the machine, a computer hacker destined to save the world. Though they don't know it, humankind has literally become trapped in the web of a cabal of sentient supercomputers that have claimed the planet as their own. Laurence Fishburne, as the leader of the resistance, recruits "the chosen one," then prepares him for the formidable battle.

--Rita Kempley

At George Mason University's Johnson Center Cinema, Braddock Road and Route 123, Fairfax. Thursday at 6 and 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. $5 (includes free popcorn). 703-993-8888.


JEROME ROBBINS WAS ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL American-born choreographers, but the breadth of his legacy has rarely been witnessed outside his home town of New York. A demanding taskmaster, he allowed few companies other than the New York City Ballet (where he produced most of his work) to perform his compositions. One of those few is the San Francisco Ballet, under the direction of former NYCB principal dancer Helgi Tomasson, who was among Robbins's favorite dancers. Her company opens its week-long engagement here with an evening of Robbins ballets--the menacing "Cage," the tender "In the Night," "Glass Pieces" (to music by Philip Glass) and "A Suite of Dances." On the weekend, the company performs in another vein entirely in Tomasson's new staging of the 19th-century romantic ballet "Giselle."

--Sarah Kaufman

At the Kennedy Center Opera House. Robbins program Tuesday through Thursday at 8 p.m.; "Giselle" Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. 202-467-4600.