Thursday, November 8, 2001

Honoring the troops
Pay tribute to America’s troops serving now and to those who served in the past by attending one of several Veterans Day observances in the area. At Arlington National Cemetery (Memorial Drive, Arlington), a musical salute, wreathlaying and procession of colors takes place, hosted by Anthony J. Principi, secretary of Veterans Affairs. It begins at 10:30 a.m. Sunday and it’s free. Call 703/557-0613 for more information. Over at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (Bacon Drive and Constitution Avenue NW and French Drive SW) a memorial ceremony featuring country singer Lee Greenwood takes place at 1 p.m. Sunday. More than 5,000 veterans and their families are expected. It’s free. Call 202/426-6841 for more information.

Labor of love
For Tchaikovsky, writing symphonies was not about simply throwing notes together, but expressing heartfelt emotions through music. In one of his best works, the Symphony No. 4 in F Minor, the composer turned personal tragedy (a failed marriage and suicide attempt) into wild bursts of brass, percussion and strings. Hear the symphony and other works when the National Symphony Orchestra performs it with violinist Anne Akiko Meyers at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall, F Street and New Hampshire Avenue NW. Tickets are $19 to $69. 202/467-4600.

Space invader
When pilot and author Antoine de Saint-Exupery wrote “The Little Prince” in the last year of his life, he probably had no idea that the simple, yet heavily symbolic, fable would become his best known creation. The story about a visitor who comes to Earth from his asteroid home in the sky has been translated into dozens of languages, been made into a film and has even seen life as an animated series. See the Classika Theatre tackle this famous children’s tale at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Village at Shirlington, 4041 S. 28th St., Arlington. Tickets are $12 to $15. 703/824-6200.

United dance
Bayanihan, the Philippine National Dance Company, is about more than just dance. Its name comes from a Filipino tradition of working together for the common good, and with a troupe of 40 performers, teamwork is essential. In addition to showing off traditional Filipino dance, the group also presents tribal history, music and culture for audiences. See the group at 8 p.m. Saturday at the George Mason University Center for the Arts, at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Tickets are $20 to $40. 703/218-6500.

Early shopping
The wind is starting to get cold, and that’s a sure sign that packed malls full of holiday shoppers are soon to follow. Beat the rush by picking up unique crafts at some of the area’s best Christmas markets. Stop by the Hungarian Christmas Bazaar from 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Bethesda Women’s Club, 5500 Sonoma Road, Bethesda. It’s free. Call 202/362-4940 for more information. Also check out the Northern Virginia Christmas Market, running from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Capital Expo and Conference Center, 4368 Chantilly Shopping Center, Chantilly. Admission is $5 to $6. Call 757/417-7771 for more information.

Glass houses
Glass may be a harder medium to convey emotion through than, say, paint on canvas, but in the hands of Joel Philip Myers it all looks so natural. His “Contiguous Fragments” series features colorful, perfectly formed glass sculptures that serve as a counterpoint to his “Black and White Series,” which uses dark shades and stark shapes to convey the horrors of war. See a sample of his best work from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Maurine Littleton Gallery, 1667 Wisconsin Ave. NW. It’s free. 202/333-9307.

Platinum man
Popular rhythm and blues singer Luther Vandross sure knows how to make a good record. After all, his recent self-titled album went gold immediately and has quickly become the tender crooner’s 15th platinum album, led by the success of the singles “Take You Out” and “Can Heaven Wait.” Hear his romantic ballads at 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at DAR Constitution Hall, 18th and D streets NW. Tickets are $60.50-$70.50. 202/432-SEAT.

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