- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Arrive early

Singer-songwriter Matt Nathanson has spent much of the past two years touring with a band, but now he’s back to the good ol’ days when it was just he, a 12-string guitar, and a catalog of love songs that leave most women dreaming and their boyfriends jealous of his talent. Mr. Nathanson opens for Tori Amos on Wednesday at the Warner Theatre, and he is not an opening act you’ll want to skip. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $42. 13th and E streets NW. 202/397-SEAT.

Skating superstars

The skates are laced, the blades are sharpened and the sequined outfits will shimmer under the spotlights tomorrow, when Champions on Ice hits the MCI Center rink. The Emmy-winning production features some of today’s best figure skaters, including Michelle Kwan and Elvis Stojko. The skating begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 to $95. Seventh and F streets NW. 202/397-SEAT.

The British are coming

This weekend, two celebrated choirs from England cross the Atlantic for the Cathedral Choral Society’s annual British Choir Festival. The music begins tomorrow at 6 p.m., when the Choir of Salisbury Cathedral sings Evensong at Christ Church Episcopal Parish in Kensington (free-will offering). On Saturday at 7:30 p.m., the Salisbury choir performs at St. Columba’s Episcopal Church in the District ($25). On Sunday, the New College Oxford choir performs at Washington National Cathedral at 4 p.m. ($20 to $55).

Parisian rock

When songs from your first album make it onto an Oscar-winning movie soundtrack (“Lost in Translation”), you are off to a good start. Such is the case for Parisian rockers Phoenix, whose newest release, “Alphabetical,” is slowly climbing the music charts and may even outdo the band’s debut success. Phoenix plays the 9:30 Club tonight with Dogs Die in Hot Cars and Longview. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15. 815 V St. NW. 202/393-0930.

Opera magic

For the next three months, the Kennedy Center Opera House hosts — opera. Currently up, and running through April 11, is the Washington National Opera’s production of Tchaikovsky’s “The Maid of Orleans.” On Saturday, the Washington National Opera will open its second production of the season, Mozart’s “Die Zauberflote,” or “The Magic Flute,” to run through April 17. Performance nights and times vary. Tickets are $45 to $290. F Street and New Hampshire Avenue NW. 202/467-4600.

Success by the millions

Chris Tomlin’s songs don’t make it to top-40 radio. Hailed as “one of the era’s top songwriters for the church,” Mr. Tomlin writes songs that are sung by millions of churchgoers worldwide. He plays the 1st Mariner Arena on Sunday with Steven Curtis Chapman. Tickets are $20 to $35. Showtime is 7 p.m. 201 W. Baltimore St., Baltimore. 202/397-SEAT.

Jazz legend

From classical to bebop and Afro-Cuban to ballads, trumpeter Arturo Sandoval plays it all. Trained by Dizzy Gillespie and respected worldwide, Mr. Sandoval has won countless awards, and he comes to the Music Center at Strathmore on Sunday for one night of unforgettable music. Showtime is 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 to $50. 5301 Tuckerman Lane, Bethesda. 202/785-WPAS.

Junk-out

Plastic bottles, Styrofoam, food wrappers, coffee cups: They festoon the shores of the vital Potomac River and its tributaries. But Saturday is everyone’s chance to clear out the junk. The Alice Ferguson Foundation is looking for thousands of volunteers for the 17th Annual Potomac River Watershed Clean Up, from 9 a.m. to noon at locations all over the area. Volunteer at www.potomaccleanup.org, or call 301/292-5665.

— Thomas Walter

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