Best Music

1. Under the Streetlamp: Quartet from Chicago cast of "Jersey Boys" revives doo-wop, Motown, rock 'n' roll, and vocal favorites from the 1950s and 1960s.

Where: Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda

When: 8 p.m. Saturday

Info: $28 to $58; 301-581-5100;

2. Maurizio Pollini: The Italian piano virtuoso performs works by Chopin and Debussy.

Where: Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda

When: 4 p.m. Sunday

Info: $38 to $78; 301-581-5100;

3. Cameron Carpenter: The flamboyant organist plays great organ repertoire to popular numbers and his own compositions.

Where: Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda

When: 8 p.m. Friday

Info: $25 to $40; 301-581-5100;

4. The New Orleans Bingo! Show: The diverse evening featuring the Preservation Hall Jazz Band includes black-and-white silent films, aerialists, dancers, clowns and comedy.

Where: Kennedy Center Concert Hall, 2700 F St. NW

When: 8:30 p.m. Saturday

Info: $20 to $48; 202-467-4600; 800-444-1324;

5. Hugh Masekela: The Washington Performing Arts Society presents the trumpeter/composer/singer from South Africa for an evening of exceptional music.

Where: George Washington University, Lisner Auditorium, 730 21st St. NW

When: 8 p.m. Friday

Info: $30 to $40; 202-785-9727;

Best Theater

1. "Hello, Dolly!": Based on "The Matchmaker" by Thornton Wilder, "Hello, Dolly!" tells the story of Dolly Gallagher Levi, a matchmaker who has been hired to arrange a marriage for the widowed half-millionaire Horace Vandergelder. Dolly, however, has other plans.

Where: Ford's Theater, 511 10th St. NW

When: Through May 18

Info: Tickets start at $18; 202-347-4833;

2. "Coriolanus": Shakespeare's tale of the mighty hero who earns the name "Coriolanus" for his triumphs. However, his inflexible contempt for popular rule causes him to be condemned as a traitor and sent into exile. Desiring revenge against the Romans who banished him, he befriends his archenemy to launch an assault on his beloved city.

Where: Shakespeare Theatre Company, Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F St. NW

When: Through June 2

Info: $43 to $105; 202-547-1122;

3. "Mary T. & Lizzy K.": As one woman's skilled hands work overtime, the other's reality continues to slip ever further from her grasp. Old wounds and new recriminations explode in this riveting drama about loss, love and the importance of promises in Abe Lincoln's White House.

Where: Arena Stage, 1101 Sixth St. SW

When: Through April 28

Info: $40 to $85; 202-488-3300;

4. "Andy and the Shadows": The son of two Holocaust survivors, the engaged Andy Glickstein feels he doesn't deserve to get married since he hasn't suffered enough in his life. Andy's incessant search for his tragic ecstasy compels him to film a movie detailing his mother's experiences and his father's Zionist heroism, but to no avail.

Where: Theater J, 1529 16th St. SW

When: Through May 5

Info: $35 to $70; 800-494-8497;

5. "Neville's Island": This comedy follows four out-of-shape, middle-age businessmen who are sent off on a team-building exercise in England's Lake District and succeed in being the first people ever to get shipwrecked inland on a tiny island. As night falls, they find their corporate know-how leaves them ill-equipped for survival -- from both the elements and each other.

Where: Olney Theatre Center, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md.

When: Through April 28

Info: $31 to $63.50; 202-518-9400; 301-924-3400;

Best Outdoors

1. National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade: One of D.C.'s largest spectator events, the parade features vibrant costumes and blossom-inspired decor. Giant colorful helium balloons, elaborate floats, marching bands from across the country and performers burst down Constitution Avenue in a grand spectacle of music and showmanship seen only once a year.

Where: Constitution Avenue between Seventh and 17th streets NW

When: 10 a.m. to noon Saturday

Info: $20 grandstand seating, parade route free; 800-745-3000;

2. Beyond the Tidal Basin: Introducing Other Great Flowering Cherry Trees: This annual self-guided tour exposes visitors to a wide range of flowering cherries and the scientific work done by the National Arboretum to preserve and improve flowering cherries. More than 30 stops, marked by roadside signs and corresponding numbers on a brochure map, identify different species and cultivars of flowering cherries.

Where: National Arboretum, 24th and R streets NE

When: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Sunday

Info: Free;

3. Sakura Matsuri -- Japanese Street Fair: Enjoy the family-friendly atmosphere of the largest Japanese cultural festival in the United States, featuring food, arts and culture, merchandise, and traditional and J-Pop performances on four stages, including martial arts demonstrations.

Where: 12th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW

When: 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday

Info: $5;

4. Lantern Making Family Day: The Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District will be hosting its third annual National Cherry Blossom Festival Lantern Making Family Day. Lantern making for both kids and adults will be at 10 a.m. and noon, with both sessions followed by a parade through the Yards Park.

Where: The Yards Park, 10 Water St. SE

When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday

Info: Free; 202-465-7080;

5. Monuments by Moonlight Cruise: A spectacular, mesmerizing hourlong cruise along the illuminated monuments and Kennedy Center aboard a modern, heated cruise boat, with panoramic windows and indoor/outdoor decks. Beverages available for purchase.

Where: Washington Harbor, 3100 K St. SW

When: Through Saturday

Info: $26 for adults, $14 for children; 301-765-0750;

Best Gatherings

1. "Kimono Exhibit": The themes this year are nature motifs used in Japanese textiles focusing on the dyeing and weaving techniques to create the kimono and the meaning of the symbols used.

Where: Mandarin Oriental, 1330 Maryland Ave. SW

When: Through April 25

Info: Free; 301-806-0337;

2. "Cherry Blossom Youth Art Contest and Community Art Show": Each year, a creative theme is developed, and contest entries are judged by a panel assembled by the festival. Winners in age-specific categories and one overall winner are selected, and are recognized publicly and awarded prizes.

Where: Union Station, 50 Massachusetts Ave. NE

When: Through Sunday

Info: Free;

3. Marie Arana: Bolivar: American Liberator. In her latest book, the novelist and literary critic turns her diverse skills to biography, recounting the heroic life and epic achievements of Simon Bolivar (1783-1830). Arana's prodigious research considers her subject's many facets, from military strategist to diplomat to writer.

Where: Politics and Prose Bookstore, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Info: Free; 202-364-1919;

4. "Earth Month at Union Station Washington D.C.": Earth Month will feature a film festival, a farmers' market, alternative energy demonstrations, a green fashion show and a science fair with local schools. There will also be programmed activities, entertainment, discussion panels, contests, games, giveaways and much more throughout the month, with a full day of special events and entertainment on Earth Day, Monday, April 22.

Where: Union Station, 50 Massachusetts Ave. NE

When: Through April 30

Info: Free;

5. "60 Minute Cherry Blossom Cruises": Short on Time? Take a 60-minute cruise and enjoy the blossoms in just an hour.

Where: Washington Marina, 1300 Maine Ave. SW

When: Through Sunday

Info: $40;

Best Family

1. "Peeper Prowl": Hop on over and join the fun as you learn about and search for these tiny tree frogs and other amphibians. For families with children age 5 and up. Register children and adults, children must be accompanied by a registered adult. For more information, call 703-228-6535.

Where: Meet at Long Branch Nature Center, 625 S. Carlin Springs Road, Arlington

When: 7 to 8:15 p.m. Saturday

Info: $5; registration necessary: 703-228-4747; program No. 632953-E

2. "The Magic Finger": Lucy is an influential 8-year-old with a passion for righting wrongs and a "magic" index finger that doles out justice. When Lucy sees something she thinks is unfair, she points her magic finger at the problem and it causes all sorts of mischief.

Where: Imagination Stage, 4908 Auburn Ave., Bethesda

When: Through April 14

Info: $12; 301-280-1660;

3. "James and the Giant Peach": Young orphan James Trotter is sent to live with his two wicked aunts on a hillside by the sea. Life with Aunts Sponge and Spiker, who make James wait on them hand and foot, is lonely and sad. James' luck begins to change when he is given a mysterious bag of crocodile tongues believed to bring marvelous and magical things. And do they ever! Best for ages 4 to 10.

Where: Imagination Stage, 4908 Auburn Ave., Bethesda

When: Through April 14

Info: $12; 301-280-1660;

4. Fun with Geocaching: Gear up for spring with this exciting activity. Geocaching combines old-fashioned treasure hunting with modern technology. You'll learn the basics on how to participate in this great activity for all ages as you search for some of the caches in the park. Bring your GPS device if you have one. For families with children age 6 and older. For more information, call 703-228-6535.

Where: Gulf Branch Nature Center, 3608 N. Military Road, Arlington

When: 10 a.m. to noon Saturday

Info: $5; registration necessary: 703-228-4747; program No. 632853-I

5. "Notable Nature: Signs of Spring": The whole family is invited to Gulf Branch for a lesson in nature journaling. You'll begin by constructing your own nature journal, then heading out to reconnect and record nature's wonders, focusing on signs of spring. For more information, call 703-228-3403.

Where: Meet at Gulf Branch Nature Center, 3608 N. Military Road, Arlington

When: 3 to 4 p.m. Sunday

Info: Free; registration necessary: 703-228-4747; program No. 632853-L

Best Brainfood

1. "American Ballet Theatre": The ABT continues to astonish the young and old with "Le Corsaire," Petipa's tale of dashing pirates and kidnapped maidens, and a mixed repertory program.

Where: Kennedy Center Opera House, 2700 F St. NW

When: Through Sunday

Info: $25 to $109; 202-467-4600;

2. "Tamagawa University Taiko Drumming and Dance Troupe": Thundering taiko drumming meets traditional Japanese dance as nearly 30 drummers and dancers from Tamagawa University take the stage for a special performance on the National Mall. The group is led and choreographed by Kabuki dance master Isaburoh Hanayagi, who began his career at the age of 3.

Where: Freer Gallery of Art, north entrance, 1050 Independence Ave. SW (rain location: Sackler, International Gallery)

When: Noon Friday

Info: Free;

3. 10-minute play competition: Five plays from the national finalists of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Ten-Minute Play Award.

Where: Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, 2700 F St. NW

When: 6 p.m. Wednesday

Info: Free; 202-467-4600;

4. Arts of Japan: Edo Aviary and Poetic License: Continuing a celebration of important Freer holdings in Edo period art, complementary but distinct installations examine two themes of these Japanese works. Edo Aviary (Gallery 6) traces how depictions of birds were influenced by natural history painting in the Edo period (1615-1868). Great attention was given to physical accuracy, but the tendency to lend birds anthropomorphic qualities also came to the fore.

Where: Freer Gallery of Art, 1050 Independence Ave. SW

When: Through Aug. 4

Info: Free;

5. "Monty Python's Spamalot": The Tony Award-winning musical is back to taunt D.C. this spring as the national tour makes a final stop at the National Theatre. Based on the classic comedy film "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" and written by original Python Eric Idle, "Spamalot" follows the wacky Knights of the Round Table on their quest for the Holy Grail.

Where: National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

When: Through April 14

Info: $65 to $145; 202-628-6161;

Best Galleries

1. Nam June Paik: Global Visionary: This comprehensive, 67-piece survey of the Korean-born "father of video art" is drawn from Paik's personal archive (acquired by the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 2009) with contributions from numerous other public and private sources.

Where: The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Eighth and F streets NW

When: Through Aug. 11

Info: Free; 202-633-1000;

2. Timothy Thompson: Gathering Space: This site-specific installation dominates Hamiltonian's 1,800-square-foot space with its imposing structure of nylon fabric and fiberglass rods.

Where: Hamiltonian Gallery, 1353 U St. NW

When: Through May 4

Info: Free; 202-332-1116;

3. Color Causality: Action and Reaction: Vivid, multilayered new paintings by Malta-born, Jordan-raised Shaub Rabah, whose canvases always reward leisurely contemplation.

Where: Susan Calloway Fine Arts, 1543 Wisconsin Ave. NW

When: Through May 4

Info: Free; 202-965-4601;

4. Fair Focus: This pop-up exhibition features new pieces from Rosemary Feit Covey, Julia Fernandez-Pol and Osi Audu, among other top local lights.

Where: Gallery B, 7700 Wisconsin Ave., Suite E

When: Through April 27

Info: Free; 202-627-2787;

5. Fashioning the New Woman, 1890-1925: This study of how sartorial trends mirrored the opening of previously out-of-reach societal and economic roles to women during the Progressive Era makes an eloquent cast that the adage, "Clothes make the (wo)man," may have more literal truth than we'd suspected.

Where: Daughters of the American Revolution Museum, 1776 D St. NW

When: Through Aug. 31

Info: Free;