- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 27, 2001

Diamond in the rough
Neil Diamond started cracking into the Billboard Top 20 back in the '60s and has been a top concert draw pretty much ever since. While his singles no longer can compete with Britney Spears', that hasn't stopped the pop singer from cranking out best-selling albums. See the legendary singer-songwriter at 8 p.m. Sunday at the MCI Center, 601 F St. NW. Tickets are $37.50-$67.50. 202/432-SEAT.

Sunny days
For a generation of children, the familiar opening credits to the public television sensation "Sesame Street" are ingrained in the minds. Now, as many of them have grown up and started having children, they have a chance to pass on their love for the Cookie Monster, the Count and, of course, Big Bird, to the next generation. In "Everyone Makes Music," all the familiar characters are there in a live musical production that takes place at 10:30 a.m., 2 and 5:30 p.m. Saturday and 1 and 4:30 p.m. Sunday at Baltimore Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St., Baltimore. Tickets are $10-$14. 202/432-SEAT.

Home on the range
While most people think of cowboys as John Wayne-style gunfighters stuck in another time and place, the reality is many still exist today. Their lives aren't nearly as romantic as Westerns make them look, though, which is why "Gathering Remnants: A Tribute to the Working Cowboy" is so powerful. Photographer Kendall Nelson traveled through ranches in Nevada, Idaho, Texas and other parts of the United States finding out just how difficult life is for these American icons. See her photos on display from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday at Kathleen Ewing Gallery, 1609 Connecticut Ave. NW. It's free. 202/328-0955.

Classic fanfare
When disaster struck the United States, it was the courage of ordinary people that stood out like a beacon for the rest of the country. Appropriately enough, the Arlington Symphony is opening its new season with Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man." Hear the symphony with violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Schlesinger Concert Hall, 3001 N. Beauregard St., Alexandria. Tickets are $10-$50. 703/528-1817.

Pulling the strings
The tale is simple enough a brother and sister stumble upon a witch's house after being lost in the woods but this isn't an ordinary version of "Hansel and Gretel." The Puppet Co. Playhouse translates the popular Humperdinck children's opera to marionettes, with special effects and stirring music that make this more than just a simple fairy tale. See the production at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Glen Echo Park's Spanish Ballroom, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo. Tickets are $5. 301/320-6668.

Literary genius
Dave Eggars was only 22 when both his parents died from cancer and he was left to raise his 8-year old brother, Toph. Rather than become overwhelmed by life, he instead carried on and documented the unusual, often comical struggles they faced in his critically acclaimed book "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius." Hear Mr. Eggars discuss his life and book at 8 p.m. Saturday at Centerstage, 2310 Colts Neck Road, Reston. Not recommended for children under 18. Tickets are $10. 703/476-1111.

Homes and gardens
If you thought Old Town Alexandria was pretty on the outside, wait until you see inside some of the area's finest homes. For the past 60 years, the Old Town Alexandria Home Tours have been letting visitors see a glimpse of classic decorating in houses that are not ordinarily open to the public eye. Take part in the tour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Call ahead for meeting location and a list of sites. Tickets are $25. 703/548-7663.

Love and dance
With dance piece titles like "Nine Love Songs and a Bucket of Tears," it's not too hard to figure out the subject matter behind the Rincones Dance Theater's latest show. The troupe brings its modern dance style to life through pieces focusing on courtship, heartache and the trials of life (complete with some of Patsy Cline's sad tunes). See them at 8 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday at Dance Place, 3225 Eighth St. NE. Tickets are $6-$16. 202/269-1600.

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