- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 11, 2002

Hearing voices
Dayton, Ohio, may never be the rock capital of the world, but it can at least claim one great band: Guided by Voices. The group, under the leadership of songwriter Robert Pollard, has been around since the mid-'80s, cultivating an eager fan base for its unique blend of lo-fi, jangly rock and literate lyrics. The band has returned to respected indie label Matador Records for its latest release, "Universal Truths and Cycles," and the result is one of the best albums of its career. Hear some of the new tunes when the band plays at 9 p.m. Saturday at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $17.50. 202/393-0930.

Book it

At this weekend's "Once Upon a Story" book festival, children will have the chance to not only hear poetry, but experience it. In "Dancing Off the Page," some of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' best-loved poems are brought to life in an interactive program for children. It's just one of many events, including talks with author-illustrators, that kick off the Capital Children Museum's summer reading program. Children should come dressed as their favorite literary characters to win bookmarks and other literary prizes. The kickoff runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, with performances of "Dancing Off the Page" at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Museum, 800 Third St. NE. Admission is $5 to $7. 202/675-4120.

Britain's best

It's fitting that the National Symphony Orchestra's "Rule, Britannia" program should feature William Walton's "Belshazzar's Feast." The work is one of the most dynamic modern orchestral pieces out of Britain, telling the story of Babylonian King Belshazzar through a combination of dynamic brass and percussion, and a strong choral section. The Choral Arts Society of Washington and the Cathedral Choral Society join the NSO (under the direction of Leonard Slatkin) to perform the work and others at 8:15 p.m. Saturday at Wolf Trap's Filene Center, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $16 to $34. 703/218-6500.

Jump, jive and wail

Not only can you brush up on your swing-dance moves this weekend, but you can help out charity at the same time. The Chevy Chase Ballroom hosts a night of dance in support of the St. Jude's Runners' participation in the annual Marine Corps Marathon, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the hospital. A dance lesson takes place at 8:30 p.m. before the main event with swing band Bad Influence at 9 p.m. tomorrow at the Ballroom, 5207 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Tickets are $12. 703/359-9882.

Beach blanket art

If the summer heat is too much, try stopping for a moment at the Spectrum Gallery in Georgetown to get a piece of the beach without the sun. In "The Beach at 29th," artists Jill Cantrill, Lee Casey and Suzanne Quinlan combine their talents for a theme show that brings out the beauty of the waterfront. The result is a colorful mix of abstract and realistic beach paintings, along with stark black and white photographs, that capture the sand and surf in all its various guises. Check it out from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Gallery, 1132 29th St. NW. It's free. 202/333-0954.

White House days

Photographer Stanley Tretick, who died in 1999 at the age of 77, captured everything from breaking news to the movie industry in his varied career, but his photographs of President Kennedy and his family remain among his best images. In "Stanley Tretick: The Kennedy Years," the photographer's images of the first family are on display, including his famous shot of a young John Jr. playing under his father's desk. See it from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, 500 17th St. NW. Admission is $1 to $5. 202/639-1700.

Vive la France

Now that America's Independence Day celebrations are over, it's time to join the French (our allies in the Revolutionary War) in celebrating the end of their monarchy on Bastille Day (officially Sunday). A French festival takes place from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday at Hillwood Museum and Gardens, 4155 Linnean Ave. NW. Admission is $5 to $18. 202/686-6807. Also worth checking out is the Bastille Day celebration from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday at Alliance Francaise, 2142 Wyoming Ave. NW. Tickets are $32 to $39. 202/234-7911. Last, but not least, is the popular "waiter races" and festival from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow in downtown D.C. at 1201 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. It's free for spectators. 202/269-5600.
Derek Simmonsen

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