Best Music

The Kennedy Center

2700 F St. NW

202-467-4600; 800-444-1324;

National Symphony Orchestra: Hugh Wolff conducts works by Albert and Dvorak; Emanuel Ax performs Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 2; in the Concert Hall.

When: 7 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Info: $10 to $85

NSO Pops: An evening with Chris Botti; the jazz trumpeter joins Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke and the orchestra for pop, jazz and classical music; in the Concert Hall.

When: 7 p.m. April 18, 8 p.m. April 19 and 20

Info: $20 to $85

National Symphony Orchestra: Jaap van Zweden conducts works by Wagenaar, Tchaikovsky and the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1 featuring Andreas Haefliger; in the Concert Hall.

When: 7 p.m. April 25, 8 p.m. April 27

Info: $10 to $85

National Symphony Orchestra: Christoph Eschenbach conducts Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5 and Elgar's Concerto in E minor for cello and orchestra performed by Alisa Wellerstein.

When: 7 p.m. May 2, 8 p.m. May 4

Info: $10 to $85

National Symphony Orchestra: Christoph Eschenbach previews the NSO's Spring for Music program at Carnegie Hall with "A Tribute to Slava," featuring works by Russian composers Shostakovich, Schnittke and Shchedrin; in the Concert Hall.

When: 8 p.m. May 3

Info: $10 to $85

Washington National Opera: The company's first production of "Show Boat," by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II, hits in the Opera House.

When: May 4 to 26

Info: $25 to $270

Kennedy Center Spring Gala: Lerner & Loewe's "My Fair Lady in Concert" features Laura Michelle Kelly, Jonathan Pryce, Cloris Leachman, Michael York and others; in the Concert Hall.

When: 8 p.m. May 5

Info: $49 to $175

The Washington Ballet: "Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises" is staged in the Eisenhower Theater.

When: 7:30 p.m. May 8 to 12, 1:30 p.m. May 11 and 12

Info: $25 to $125

The Choral Arts Society of Washington: "Broadway's Show-Stoppers" with Brian Stokes Mitchell; in the Concert Hall.

When: 5 p.m. May 12

Info: $29 to $85

NSO Pops: Steven Reineke conducts "The Wizard and I," the musical journey of composer Stephen Schwartz.

When: 7 p.m. May 16, 8 p.m. May 17 and 18

Info: $20 to $85

National Symphony Orchestra: Composer John Adams conducts his "City Noir," Respighi's "Fontane di Roma" and Ravel's Piano Concerto in G major performed by Jeremy Denk; in the Concert Hall.

When: 7 p.m. May 30, 8 p.m. May 31 and June 1

Info: $19 to $85

George Mason University Center for the Arts

4400 University Drive, Fairfax


Russian National Ballet Theatre performs "Giselle."

When: 8 p.m. April 6

Info: $27 to $54

American Festival Pops Orchestra: Conductor Anthony Maiello and film score composer Vincent Oppido, former GMU student, present "Cinema Magic," scores from favorite films.

When: 8 p.m. April 13

Info: $24 to $48

Keyboard Conversations: "Listen to the Dance": Pianist Jeffrey Siegel discusses and plays music inspired by dance.

When: 7 p.m. April 14

Info: $19 to $38

Virginia Opera: Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro" directed by Lillian Groag.

When: 8 p.m. April 19, 2 p.m. April 21

Info: $44 to $98

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo: The all-male ballet company blends technical prowess with comedy.

When: 8 p.m. May 4

Info: $24 to $48

George Mason University Hylton Performing Arts Center

10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas


Russian National Ballet Theatre: "Romeo and Juliet" and "Chopiniana"

When: 8 p.m. April 12

Info: $38 to $54

Dr. Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys: The legendary bluegrass artist and his band play bluegrass, old-time and mountain music the way it is meant to be preserved; in the Merchant Hall.

When: 8 p.m. May 4

Info: $38 to $54

Lila Downs: The Mexican-American singer and her band celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a festive concert.

When: 7 p.m. May 5

Info: $28 to $44

The Barns at Wolf Trap

1635 Trap Road, Vienna


Al Di Meola and Gonzalo Rubalcaba: Di Meola, multiple winner of Guitar Player's Best Jazz Guitarist award, joins the Cuban Grammy-winning pianist for an exciting evening of jazz fusion.

When: 8 p.m. April 4

Info: $40

Peter Kolkay: The Discovery Series presents the virtuoso bassoonist as a Wolf Trap debut artist performing works by Saint-Saens, Barber, Poulenc, Dutilleux, Moravec and Lalliet, with pianist Alexandra Nguyen and oboist Deirdre Chadwick.

When: 8 p.m. April 5

Info: $35

HAPA: The traditional Polynesian sound mixed with pop and world beat influences.

When: 7:30 p.m. April 6 and 7

Info: $25

Melissa Manchester: The Grammy winner performs her hit songs and numbers from her newest album, "Playlist."

When: 8 p.m. April 18

Info: $35

Andrea Marcovicci: The remarkable cabaret star sings timeless classics.

When: 7:30 p.m. April 20

Info: $27

Joe Sample: The pianist, composer and founding member of the Jazz Crusaders performs solo.

When: 8 p.m. April 24

Info: $40

John McCutcheon: The singer/songwriter tells heartfelt stories with his folk ballads.

When: 8 p.m. April 25

Info: $22.

- Emily Cary

Best Music

Strathmore's rites of spring

The Music Center at Strathmore, located at 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, is home to the National Philharmonic Orchestra and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra on the road. For availability, ticket information and free pre-concert lectures, visit or call 301-581-5101.

The National Philharmonic

Tickets: 301-581-5100


The Melodies of Brahms

When: 8 p.m. May 4, 3 p.m. May 5

Featuring: Mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves, conductor Piotr Gajewski

Wagner 200th Anniversary Celebration

When: 8 p.m. June 1

Featuring: Selections from each of Richard Wagner's 10 best-known operas are presented to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the composer's birth. Highlights include "Prelude to the Flying Dutchman," an opera about redemption through love; "Ride of the Valkyries" from "Die Walkure," heard in many popular movies and commercials.

Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana"

When: 8 p.m. June 8, 3 p.m. June 9

Featuring: Orff's "Carmina Burana" blends secular medieval texts with seductive melodies and spellbinding rhythms to create an unforgettable concert.

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

Tickets: 877-BSO-1444


Wagner: A Composer Fit for a King -- Off the Cuff

When: 8:15 p.m. April 19

Featuring: Writer and director Didi Balle. The relationship between a composer and his benefactor can be complicated. But none seemingly more complicated than that of Wagner and King Ludwig II. Lies and heartache riddle this story against the backdrop of the creation of Wagner's thrilling "Ring Cycle."

Time for Three

When: 8 p.m. May 2

Featuring: Zachary DePue and Nicolas Kendall on violin, and Ranaan Meyer on double bass. From bluegrass to jazz, from folk to classical, Time for Three has an energy you can feel. Hear them groove in Jennifer Higdon's Concerto 4-3, composed especially for them.

Chaplin's Masterpiece: "Modern Times"

When: 8 p.m. May 11

Featuring: Conductor Marin Alsop. Following the successes of the BSO's presentations of "The Gold Rush" and "City Lights," Alsop and the BSO return to pay tribute to Charlie Chaplin. Chaplin's 1936 film "Modern Times" is a brilliant, biting satire on the mechanical age. The BSO accompanies this cinematic masterpiece, performing Chaplin's own original score.

"Romeo and Juliet"

When: 8 p.m. May 25

Featuring: Conductor Carlos Kalmar and Jean-Philippe Collard on piano. Kalmar conducts the great moments from Prokofiev's intoxicating and impassioned ballet "Romeo and Juliet." Also featured is pianist Jean-Philippe Collard, known for masterful interpretation of Saint-Saens' works, in the rarely performed Third Piano Concerto.

The Magic of Motown

When: 8 p.m. May 30

Featuring: Conductor Jack Everly, vocalists Spectrum and Radiance. "Get Ready" to feel the groove with the cool sounds of Motown presented live by two of today's most talented vocal quartets. Relive the magic of the timeless, soulful sounds of the Temptations, the Supremes, the Four Tops, Aretha Franklin and more with theatrical panache and inspired arrangements.

"West Side Story"

When: 8 p.m. June 13

Featuring: Conductor Marin Alsop. The music of "West Side Story" live in concert. Alsop and the BSO accompany the Oscar-winning motion picture, performing all of Leonard Bernstein's romantic, rumble-filled score.

- Marie Gullard

Best Theater

1. "Wallenstein": This play follows the famous German Gen. Albrecht von Wallenstein at the height of his power during the Thirty Years' War. Leading Europe's most powerful army, Wallenstein must decide whether to stay loyal to his king and lose his power or to betray his country for greater gain.

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

When: Through June 2

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

2. "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;

3. "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;

4. "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;

5. "The Mountaintop": This play explores the life of Dr. Martin Luther King on the eve of his assassination. By Katori Hall; directed by Robert O'Hara.

Where: Arena Stage, 1101 Sixth St. SW

When: Through May 12

Info: Tickets start at $40; 202-488-3300;

6. "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. NW

When: Through May 5

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

7. "Neville's Island": This comedy follows four out-of-shape, middle-aged 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

When: Through April 28

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

8. "Ghost Writer": A writer dies, but his typist continues to take dictation, causing great consternation among his wife, his publisher and his fans.

Where: Metro Stage, 1201 N. Royal St., Alexandria

When: April 25 through June 2

Info: $25 to $55; 703-548-9044;

9. "Other Desert Cities": After a long absence, Brooke Wyeth returns to her politically conservative parents' Palm Springs enclave to spend the holidays with them. But the warm desert air turns chilly when news of her upcoming memoir threatens to revive the most painful chapter of the family's history.

Where: Arena Stage, 1101 Sixth St. SW

When: April 26 through May 26

Info: $55 to $100; 202-488-3300;

10. "The Full Monty": A number of unemployed steelworkers are desperately seeking employment and a paycheck to support their families until they come up with a bold way to make some quick cash. As they work through their self-consciousness, they come to discover that not only are they stronger as a group, but the strength they find in each other gives them the individual courage to face their demons by baring it all.

Where: The Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church St. NW

When: May 4 to June 1

Info: $30 to $35; 703-892-0202;

11. "The Three Musketeers": "All for one and one for all" springs onto the stage with Synetic's fiery, bombastic ensemble of lovers and fighters as they fence, wine, dance and fling their wit across the stage in the ultimate cross between physical and romantic comedy.

Where: Synetic Theater, 1800 S. Bell St., Arlington

When: May 9 through June 9

Info: $35 to $55; 800-494-8497;

12. "A Winter's Tale": Traveling through time, visiting the austere court at Sicilia and the bright sea shore of Bohemia, two generations transcend torment and obsession. "The Winter's Tale" is a compassionate and dazzling saga that tells the tale of King Leontes, who is overcome with jealousy when he believes his pregnant wife and his best friend are lovers.

Where: Shakespeare Theatre Company, Lansburgh Theatre, 450 Seventh St. NW

When: May 9 through June 23

Info: $55 to $95; 202-547-1122;

13. "Company": On his 35th birthday, Bobby, a commitment-phobic bachelor, searches for the answers to love and life in New York City. While enjoying the company of some lovely ladies, he observes both the joys and pitfalls of marriage from his five quirky couple friends. But is he ready? Only Bobby can find the answer in this witty and piercing examination of matrimony.

Where: Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington

When: May 21 to June 30

Info: $50 to $60; 703-820-9771;

14. "The Guardsman": Finn Wittrock, Sarah Wayne Callies and Shuler Hensley star in this Kennedy Center production of Ferenc Molnar's play, directed by Gregory Mosher and featuring a new translation by Richard Nelson.

Where: Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater, 2700 F St. NW

When: May 25 through June 23

Info: $54 to $95; 202-467-4600; 800-444-1324;

15. "Stupid F--king Bird": By Aaron Posner, "sort of adapted" from Anton Chekhov's "The Seagull." An aspiring young theater director struggles to get out from under the shadow of his mother, Emma, a famous actress. Meanwhile, his young muse, Nina, falls for Emma's lover, Doyle, and everyone discovers just how disappointing love, art and growing up can be.

Where: Woolly Mammoth Theatre, 641 D St. NW

When: May 27 through June 23

Info: $35 to $40; 202-289-2443;

- Barbara Mackay

Best Galleries

1. "Freya Grand: Minding the Landscape": Grand's haunting landscape paintings were inspired by her visits to Peru, Ecuador, Scotland and Ireland.

Where: National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Ave. NW

When: Through May 5

Info: $10 adults, $8 students and seniors 60-plus, free for age 18 and under; 202-783-7996;

2. "DCist Exposed": This seventh annual curated show of outstanding work by contributors to the popular and influential blog DCist's Flickr pool offers unique perspectives of the Capital City.

Where: Long View Gallery, 1234 9th St. NW

When: Through Sunday

Info: Free;

3. "Black Box: Democracia": Ser y Druar ("To Be and to Last") is a provocative new multimedia exhibition from Pablo Espana and Ivan Lopez's Madrid-based collective Democracia.

Where: Hirshorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Seventh Street and Independence Avenue SW

When: Through May 19

Info: Free; 202-633-4674;

4. "Decipering Stars" at Randall Scott Projects: Mesmerizing new acrylics by the New York-based painter Michael Bevilacqua.

Where: Randall Scott Projects, 1326 H St. NE, second floor

When: Through April 13

Info: Free; 202-417-4872;

5. "Everyday Gods & Goddesses" at the Art League Gallery: Linda Lawler's whimsical oil portraits reimagine members of her friends and family and mythical deities.

Where: The Art League Gallery, the Torpedo Factory, 105 N. Union St., Alexandria

When: Through May 6

Info: Free; 703-683-1780;

- Chris Klimek