Editors' pick

Millennium Stage - The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

9/4

Loud Boyz

At the Millennium Stage.
9/26

Violinst Machiko Ozawa and Pianist Carlos Avila

The musicians perform as part of the S&R Foundation Fall Overtures Series. At the Millennium Stage.
10/6 - 10/7

Chandini Darby: The Stories That Bind Us

A work inspired by family connection and reflection. At the Millennium Stage.
10/9 - 10/10

Robert J. Priore: Speak Easy

Dancer and choreographer Priore presents an original contemporary dance work about the various stages of love. At the Millennium Stage.
11/17

Tamaki Kawakubo and Friends

The all-Gershwin program is presented as part of the S&R Foundation Fall Overtures Series. At the Millennium Stage.
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Editorial Review

If there's another place on Earth where you can see a different live performance 364 nights a year for free, we haven't heard of it. The Kennedy Center wanted to open its doors to new audiences -- and new talent -- and succeeded beyond anyone's expectations with the Millennium Stage, where artists of all backgrounds and talents showcase their creative energy on a specially built platform in the Grand Foyer.

The stage lights up nightly at 6 and offers entertainment for patrons waiting for the opera or "Shear Madness," tourists passing through and folks who traveled to Foggy Bottom especially to take advantage of the hour-long show. On any given month there's a mix of classical music, jazz, storytelling, song and dance. Audience members might even catch Leonard Slatkin conducting a small ensemble from the National Symphony Orchestra, or jazz master Billy Taylor with his trio. Some months feature themes such as "Music in the Movies."

As a perk of office, members of Congress can nominate performers from their state to perform on the stage. You, too, can add the Kennedy Center to your resume: Local auditions are held one weekend a year in the spring. Don't be shy -- classical guitar, a cappella tunes, harmonica, folk songs and fiddles, anything goes.

-- Nicole Lewis