- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Soliloquies on stage

The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra blends the music of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn with Shakespeare’s words for Sunday’s “Such Sweet Thunder” performance at the Kennedy Center. The show begins at 8 p.m. in the Concert Hall. Tickets range from $20 to $45. F Street and New Hampshire Avenue Northwest. 202/467-4600.

Lions, tigers and jazz

Gourmet food, live entertainment, dancing and plenty of fine wine are on the agenda for tonight’s annual Zoofari gala at the National Zoo. This year’s theme, “Savanna Soiree,” focuses on the zoo’s African animals. The silent auction offers prizes ranging from luxury vacations to behind-the-scene zoo tours. Zoofari runs from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Tickets range from $125 to $175. 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. 202/633-4800.

High spirits

Historic Congressional Cemetery has been the final resting place for Washington’s elite for 200 years, and on Saturday it hosts a Bicentennial Heritage Festival that includes guided tours, historical impersonators, a dandy presentation of 19th-century coffin hardware and — who knows? — maybe a few apparitions. Festival hours are 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 1801 E St. Southeast. Admission is free. 202/543-0539.

Bring the beat back

Hip hop comes full circle tomorrow5/18 night when Darin Atwater and his Soulful Symphony perform the world premiere of “Paint Factory,” Mr. Atwater?s newest work, at the Music Center at Strathmore. A product of Northwest Washington, Mr. Atwater has conducted throughout the world but he has returned, a little north of home, to premiere his latest work. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets range from $15 to $55. 5301 Tuckerman Lane, Bethesda. 301/581-5100.

Uncorked

Enjoy a glass of Virginia wine or tour George Washington’s home by candlelight this weekend at the annual Mount Vernon Spring Wine Festival and Sunset Tour. Sixteen wineries will be on hand to distribute their finest bottles by the glass, and the Dixie Power Trio will fill the air with smooth jazz sounds. The festival begins tomorrow and runs through Sunday. The gates open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $30. South end of George Washington Memorial Parkway, Alexandria. 202/397-SEAT.

Costello at the club

Elvis Costello continues his nationwide club tour this week with a show tomorrow night at the 9:30 Club. The bespectacled one is hitting the road with his backup band The Imposters in support of two new compilations albums of previous work, B-sides and rarities from throughout his career. Tickets are $75. Doors open at 8 p.m. 815 V St. NW. 202/393-0930.

Stefani solo

Gwen Stefani made headlines on the pop-rock charts when she fronted the Southern California ska quartet No Doubt. Now solo, Miss Stefani has continued to dominate the airwaves with two platinum-selling albums and energetic live shows like the one tonight at Nissan Pavilion. Lady Sovereign and Akon open the show. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $25 to $69.50. 7800 Cellar Door Drive, Bristow, Va. 202/397-SEAT.

Military on display

Watch the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds’ precision flying. Check out the skydiving Golden Knights, the U.S. Army parachute team. See hardware and demos from every military branch at this weekend’s Joint Services Open House at Andrews Air Force Base. Tomorrow the expo is open only to Department of Defense personnel and school-sponsored children. The public gets in — free — on Saturday and Sunday. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. There’s no parking at the base; patrons are encouraged to take Metro to Branch Avenue or park at FedEx Field and take the free shuttles from both locations. 301/981-4424.

Out of Uganda

See life through the eyes of Ugandan refugees from rebel insurgencies with the National Geographic Museum’s new exhibit, “Photo Camp 2006: Uganda.” The exhibit, which opens today, features 60 photographs taken by refugees ages 12 to 20 who attended workshops hosted by National Geographic photographers. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. 1145 17th St., NW. 202/857-7588.

Thomas Walter

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