Benefit Features Cirque du Soleil

Tickets are on sale through Sunday for a Cirque du Soleil benefit performance of "Varekai" at 8 p.m. Sept. 23 at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium.

Proceeds will benefit the Childhelp USA Children's Center of Virginia, a nonprofit organization involved in the treatment and prevention of child abuse in the Washington area.

"Varekai," which means "wherever" in the Romany language of the gypsies, is a tribute to the nomadic spirit of circus artists. The performance is the story of a young man who parachutes into a magical forest and begins an extraordinary adventure.

Tickets can be ordered by calling the Childhelp USA Children's Center of Virginia office in Fairfax County at 703-208-1500 or by visiting www.childhelpusa.org/virginia. Tickets are $100 each; $20 of each ticket is tax-deductible.

Annual Book Event at GMU

Short story author Tobias Wolff and fiction writer Joyce Carol Oates head a list of more than 100 authors scheduled to attend George Mason University's annual Fall for the Book event Sept. 18 through 23 at the Fairfax campus.

Wolff and Oates will receive the Fairfax Prize for lifetime achievement in literature.

More than 70 readings, talks and performances have been scheduled. Other participants will include Pulitzer Prize winners Edward P. Jones and Roger Wilkins, Orange Prize winner Valerie Martin, Kafka Prize winner Joyce Hackett and bestselling novelists Jill McCorkle, Kim Stanley Robinson and John Weisman.

In addition, there will be a reenactment of the courtroom scene from "To Kill a Mockingbird" and a series of events revolving around the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education decision.

Children's activities will include authors of books for young adults, an appearance by Ronald McDonald, magic shows, puppets, a bookmobile and yoga for kids.

For more information, visit www.fallforthebook.org.

McLean Orchestra Hosting Golf Tourney

The annual McLean Orchestra Golden Baton Golf Classic will be held Aug. 30 at the Tournament Players Club at Avenel in Potomac.

Participants will play a round of golf and have a light lunch, beginning at noon. The shotgun format tournament starts at 1 p.m. A dinner and awards banquet will be held in the clubhouse afterward.

Proceeds will benefit the programs and activities offered by the orchestra.

For more information, call 703-893-7400.

Reston Chorale to Hold Auditions

The Reston Chorale will hold auditions from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 30 and 31 at the Reston Community Center at Hunter's Woods.

The group, which consists of a mixed-voice chorus of more than 120 singers, will begin its 2004-05 season Dec. 4 with a program of holiday music ranging from spirituals to modern arrangements of traditional holiday carols and other seasonal songs. Included in this performance will be a commissioned work, "Velvet Shoes," by local composer Scott Solak.

On March 19 and 20, the Reston Chorale Pops Concert will showcase music by American composer Harold Arlen and will include chorale-based soloists and ensembles.

The season will conclude May 21 with a concert featuring Joseph Haydn's "Mass in Time of War" and Igor Stravinsky's "Symphony of Psalms."

The community center is at 2310 Colts Neck Rd. For information, call 703-834-0079 or visit www.restonchorale.org.

-- Compiled by DIANE MATTINGLY and STEPHEN C. FEHR

Author Joyce Carol Oates is scheduled to take part in GMU's Fall for the Book event.