- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 6, 2003

Lord Flatley
"Riverdance" set the world aflame after its world premiere in Dublin in 1995. Now the show's cousin, and sister in the modern mode of Irish dancing, has returned to Washington. Michael Flatley's "Lord of the Dance," a high-energy blend of traditional and contemporary Celtic music and dance, steps its way to the Warner Theatre, 13th and E streets NW. Performances are at 8 p.m. today, tomorrow and Saturday, at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and at 7 p.m. Sunday. You don't want to miss this classic tale of good versus evil set amidst the background of a passionate love story. It's worth the $30.50 to $69. 202/432-SEAT.

Girls just wanna have fun
Cyndi Lauper is still rockin' 20 years after her debut solo album "She's So Unusual," which rocketed her to fame and won a plethora of awards. All those '80s fans who want to croon down memory lane and also enjoy more contemporary hits such as "Shine" should head over to the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets are $35. 202/393-0930.

All in the family
Nat Benchley, grandson to the late humorist and actor Robert Benchley, graces the stage in a homage to his beloved ancestor. "Benchley Despite Himself" probes the life and work, including "The Treasurer's Report," of one of the country's premier wits. The laughs start today at Theater on the Run, 3700 S. Four Mile Run Drive, Arlington. Performances are at 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday until March 1. Tickets are $17-$24. 703/553-8782.

All that jazz
LaVerne Butler's debut album, "Blues in the City," drove her to the top of the Gavin Jazz Charts shortly after its release, and she already made waves at the Kennedy Center last fall. Now you can hear this diva's soulful blues at the National Academy of Sciences, 2101 Constitution Ave. NW for free. So stop by at 4 p.m. Sunday. 202/334-2436. B

Black and white
Tomorrow night's film screening at the National Museum of African Art examines the life and work of famed black photographers Morgan and Marvin Smith and Roy DeCarava to mark Black History Month. "M & M Smith: For Posterity's Sake" and "Conversations with Roy DeCarava" will show for free at 7 p.m. in the museum's lecture hall, 950 Independence Ave. SW. 202/357-2700.

District can-can
By some stroke of good fortune have the flashing lights of Montmarte and the painters in the streets moved to Washington? Not quite, but Le Neon Theatre has done its best to capture the creativity of the famous city of love in its "Paris on the Potomac" celebration. The blowout kicks off tomorrow at 8 p.m. with a pay-what-you-can presentation of two staged readings: "Painting with Light" and "Duet." The festival goes on with the continual staging of French plays on Saturday and Sunday through Feb. 16 at the Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre, 1611 Kent St., Arlington. Food, music, dance, juggling and other cabaret acts in the lobby will complete that je ne sais quoi. Tickets are $12 to $18, but youth under 17 get in free when accompanied by a paying adult. 703/243-6366.

Me gusta
Teatro de Luna's Festival of Hispanic Theater, "Theater and Exile," explores the theme of identity in an eclectic variety of dramas and comedies this year. The festival kicks off at 8 p.m. tomorrow with the black comedy "The Curve," and the theatrical celebration continues until March 15. Performances will be in Spanish, but luckily for those who were sleeping during high school Espanol, most performances include simultaneous English interpretation. Performances take place at either Gunston Arts Center Theater Two, 2700 S. Lang St., Arlington; or the Instituto de Mexico, 2829 16th St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $25. 202/882-6227.

Year of the sheep
Chinatown comes alive to ring in the Chinese New Year on Sunday. The festivities begin at 2 p.m. and take place on H street NW, between Fifth and Ninth streets. There won't be tigers or bears, but you'll see a lion, as well as dragons and goats, in this colorful parade. Chinese folk dances will be performed. 202/638-1041.

In the light
Life is all about perspective. And now the chance to explore others' perspectives of the Washington National Cathedral has arisen via the exhibit "Seeing the Light: Reflections of the Spiritual." Professional and amateur photographers captured their personal experiences of peace and contemplation, inspiration and joy, and simplicity and grandeur in this 150-photo exhibit. And we could all use a little more of that. So stop by Massachusetts and Wisconsin avenues NW, before June 30. The cathedral is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. There is no admission charge, but donations are welcome. 202/537-6200.

Stephanie K. Taylor

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