AFTER WITNESSING WHAT Juliette Lewis did to Robert De Niro's finger in the 1991 fright flick "Cape Fear" -- I, for one, still feel icky -- you gotta wonder how cinema's creepiest coquette handles a microphone. The 31-year-old actress recently indulged her inner David Lee Roth and formed a band, Juliette & the Licks, touring in support of their debut album ". . . Like a Bolt of Lightning." The group is reportedly all about silly rock-god poses, hair-flying ax solos and for-those-about-to-howl vocals from the band's famous lead singer. Fair warning: Lewis has been hinting that one of these nights she's gonna doff the spandex and -- uh-oh -- rock out with her top out. If you've seen the 1995 actioner "Strange Days," you know Lewis isn't exactly shy about showing skin.
-- Sean Daly
At Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. $10. Call 202-667-7960 or visit www.blackcatdc.com.
AARON COPLAND (1900-90) MADE an indelible impression on our music, not only with works of deliberate Americana such as "Appalachian Spring," "Rodeo" and "Billy the Kid" but also with the bold, idiosyncratic modernism of the Piano Variations, the Septet and the early "Organ" Symphony. Like Beethoven, he wrote only one full-scale opera, but "The Tender Land" (1954) is a worthy offering. Inspired by James Agee's book "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men" and its Walker Evans photographs of Depression-era American sharecroppers, Copland and his librettist, Erik Johns, fashioned a simple story that might have come from the pages of Willa Cather. The music is sweet, vital, straightforwardly melodic yet highly sophisticated. This week you will have a rare chance to hear and see this American classic at Catholic University. Michael Scarola will direct, with music direction by Kate Tamarkin.
-- Tim Page
At Ward Recital Hall at Catholic University, 620 Michigan Ave. NE. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and next Sunday at 8 p.m. $5-$20. Call 202-319-5414 or visit music.cua.edu.
EVEN PEOPLE WHO CONSIDER themselves knowledgeable about Japanese art might sometimes feel a bit at sea in "Dream Worlds: Modern Japanese Prints and Paintings From the Robert O. Muller Collection," a new show at the Smithsonian's Sackler Gallery. It includes works made later than many famous masterpieces of Japanese art, but before Japan had fully joined the mainstream of international contemporary culture. On Tuesday James Ulak, the Sackler's deputy director and curator of Japanese art, leads a free tour of the show and discusses the gallery's acquisition of the Muller Collection. Ulak's tour should help viewers get their bearings.
-- Blake Gopnik
At the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, 1050 Independence Ave. SW. Tuesday at noon. Free. Call 202-633-4880 or visit www.asia.si.edu.
IT'S A MEASURE of how generally short-lived modern dance companies are that five seasons can be considered a big enough chunk of time to warrant a retrospective. In "From Alpha to Omega -- a Five-Year Retrospective of Solo Dance," the talented young choreographer Nejla Y. Yatkin performs what she considers the three best works she's created since she established herself here. In "Echoes of Hope for Those Still on the Ground," the Berlin native draws on words by German poet Rainer Maria Rilke in portraying birth and the aging process. "After" explores loss and resolution, and "Journey to the One" deals with surviving heartbreak.
-- Sarah Kaufman
At Dance Place, 3225 Eighth St. NE. Saturday at 8 p.m. and next Sunday at 4 p.m. $6-$18. Call 202-269-1600 or visit www.danceplace.org.