- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 21, 2002

Go fly a kite
The National Cherry Blossom Festival begins this weekend with one of the Smithsonian Institution's best-loved events, the kite festival. Plenty of people will be sending their creations up into the atmosphere, decorated according to the chosen patriotic theme, "Let Freedom Fly." Check out the colorful competition from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, including a mass kite ascension at noon, on the Mall near the Washington Monument, 16th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. It's free. 202/357-3030.

Allstar blues
The North Mississippi Allstars injected a shot of youthful punk energy into Southern blues rock two years ago with a debut album of covers of songs by Mississippi Fred McDowell and R.L. Burnside. On its sophomore release, "Phantom 51," the trio is back with a mostly original set of songs that continues to mix the roots rock of the Allman Brothers Band with the swagger of Southern blues. Hear the band in action at 9 p.m. Saturday at the State Theatre, 220 N. Washington St., Falls Church. Tickets are $17. 703/237-0300.

Snapshots of rock
When Neil Young first sat down to record with Crosby, Stills and Nash, photographer Jim Marshall was there. When Jimi Hendrix raised his hand in a victory sign during a sound check at the Monterey Pop Festival, Mr. Marshall was there. The self-styled outlaw photographer has captured everyone from Bob Dylan to Johnny Cash over a long, storied career. See his shots of these artists and more in "Not Fade Away," his first exhibit of photographs in the District, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at Govinda Gallery, 1227 34th St. NW. Admission is free. 202/333-1180.

Forgotten dream
Everett Dance Theatre is not just another dance troupe. The ensemble combines elements of theater and visual arts, along with every dance style from tap to breakdancing, to tell its tale of the forgotten side of the American dream. Based on three years of research, "Somewhere in the Dream" uses spoken-word commentary, humor and even acrobatics to deliver the stories of groups often missed by American history. See the company in action at 8 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday at Dance Place, 3225 Eighth St. NE. Tickets are $6 to $16. 202/269-1600.

Rhymes with Handel
It's not uncommon to hear new classical music at D.C. venues, but to hear 22 world premieres and two U.S. premieres all in one night (from the same source) is out of the ordinary. Prolific composer and pianist Alan Mandel, joined by soprano Hyunah Yu, tenor Chad Freeburg and baritone Brian Ming Chu, brings an evening's worth of new music that reflects his love of both classical works and ragtime. Listen in at 5 p.m. Sunday at the Phillips Collection, 1600 21st St. NW. It's free. 202/387-2151.

Direct theater
The young members of Spoken Resistance come together in an open laboratory setting to bounce ideas off one another and create intelligent performances that reflect their diverse backgrounds and beliefs. The result can be seen at "Don't Ask for Directions," a night of poetry, monologues and social commentary told through its members' personal stories. See the group with poet Leticia Hernandez-Linares at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Josephine Butler Parks Center, 2437 15th St. NW. Tickets are $5 to $10. 202/526-4417.

Green festival
Whether you're a devoted environmentalist or simply a lover of the outdoors, the 10th annual Environmental Film Festival should offer something of interest. The festival features more than 100 documentary, animated, children's and feature films on subjects ranging from toxic substances in Mexico and Nevada to tributes to the natural world. Screenings take place at various times and locations in the area, and many are free. Call 202/342-2564 or visit www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org for full details.

Frog's-eye view
It's one thing to talk about saving the rain forest, but when a young girl magically shrinks to the size of a frog, she gets a firsthand view of conservation. That's the story behind "The Treemendous Journey," a one-hour story for children told by the all-female theater troupe Mortal Coil. Check it out at 1 and 3 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday at the Kennedy Center's Theater Lab, F Street and New Hampshire Avenue NW. Tickets are $12. 202/467-4600.
Derek Simmonsen

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