- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 6, 2002

Chilling crooner
Anyone who saw the film "Panic Room" can be forgiven if the sight of Dwight Yoakam evokes a scare. The country music star/actor gave a chilling performance in that Jodie Foster pic, adding yet another milestone to what has been a rather unconventional career. See him in his more traditional role as honky-tonk crooner when the gates open at 2 p.m. Saturday for the Neon Circus and Wild West Show (starring Brooks and Dunn) at Nissan Pavilion at Stone Ridge, just off Interstate 66 in Prince William County. Tickets are $21.50 to $63.25. 202/432-SEAT.

Brain boosting
It is possible to increase your brain power, according to author Richard Restak. In his book "Mozart's Brain and the Fighter Pilot: Unleashing Your Brain's Potential," Mr. Restak (a neuropsychiatrist and clinical professor of neurology) shows how people can keep their brains active through puzzles, reading and even learning to play an instrument. Find out more when he speaks at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Writer's Center, 4508 Walsh St., Bethesda. Admission is $3 to $5. 301/654-8664.

Cosmic wonder
Billy Haley and the Comets announced roughly 50 years ago that they planned to "rock around the clock," and the Comets haven't let up since. Though Mr. Haley died in 1981, his band has continued to perform, led by Al Rappa, a Comet since 1956. Polish up your dance moves at a free lesson at 8:30 p.m. before dancing from 9 to midnight Saturday at the Clarendon Ballroom, 3185 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. Tickets are $20 to $25. 703/359-9882.

Heavenly images
The images from the Hubble telescope have often been so striking and beautiful that it's surprising that more artists haven't drawn on them for inspiration. In her exhibit "The Dynamic Universe," artist Margaret Alleva uses those images as the starting point for her abstract, colorful interpretations of space, galaxies, planets and stars. One look and it's possible to see how beautiful the chaos of life can be. See her works from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Foundry Gallery, Nine Hillyer Court NW. Admission is free. 202/387-0203.

Preserve and protect
Jacqueline Kennedy is well known for many things, but historic preservation may not the first thing that leaps to mind. In "An Eye to the Future, a Voice for the Past," Washington Walks highlights her efforts to preserve Lafayette Square and gives a history of the area at the same time. Her effect on the area can be clearly seen in the Octagon and the Stephen Decatur House, both homes that were restored thanks to the efforts of the famous first lady. Learn more at 2 p.m. Saturday as part of this unique walking tour. Tickets are $15. Call 202/484-1565 for reservations and meeting location.

Lively music
Composer Augusta Read Thomas could be said to practice what she preaches. She says she loves music that "is alive and jumps off the page and out of the instrument," and her piece "Eagle at Sunrise" fits that profile. The seven-minute work is a dramatic piece symbolizing the American dream and features an energetic cello part that remains in the upper register. Hear this work and several others when the Ying Quartet plays at 7 p.m. Sunday at the National Gallery of Art, West Building, East Garden Court, Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Admission is free. 202/737-4215.

Under the sea
Hans Christian Andersen's tales for children are so popular that it's hard not to find an ongoing production of one of them at any time in the city. Closing out this weekend is "The Little Mermaid," his story about a young mermaid who changes into a real person to find true love, a story released as a film by Disney more than a decade ago. See this new stage version at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre, 125 S. Old Glebe Road, Arlington. Tickets are $7 to $10. 703/548-1154.

Joyful dance
This weekend's Joy of Motion Dance concert is like a who's who of talented local companies. For instance, there's the mix of east and west with Dana Tai Soon Burgess and Company, the innovative modern style of Cross Currents Dance Company and the talented young dancers behind Soles of Steel. See them, along with seven other troupes, at 8 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday at Joy of Motion Dance Center, 5207 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Tickets are $12 to $15. 202/362-3042.

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