- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 24, 2002

Italian classics

The Venice Baroque Orchestra lets listeners get about as close as they can to hearing music from Vivaldi's era without actually building a time machine. The ensemble uses period instruments and focuses on Italian music from the 17th and 18th centuries, as well as Baroque Opera. Acclaimed violin virtuoso Giuliano Carmignola performs with the orchestra at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, F Street and New Hampshire Avenue NW. Tickets are $45. 202/467-4600.


The other Elvis

It was a quarter-century ago that Elvis Costello burst onto the rock scene with one of the best debut albums of all time "My Aim Is True." Since those days, the nerdy-looking singer-songwriter has changed genres more often than David Bowie, trying his hand at country, soul, straight-ahead pop, piano ballads, but he always seems to come back to his new wave rock roots. Hear him play songs with the Imposters at 8 p.m. Saturday at DAR Constitution Hall, 18th and D streets NW. Tickets are $25 to $42.50. 202/432-SEAT.


Improv moves

The dance group the PlayGround calls its latest work "Starting With Nothing, Going Nowhere" and the name is apt, as the work is mostly improvisational. What that means is almost anything can happen when the group's three dancers set about to explore their "spatial relationships" to one another, all set to music. See why the troupe was awarded the emerging group award at the Metro D.C. Dance Awards recently, when they perform at 8 p.m. tomorrow at Sangha Cafe and Marketplace, 117 Carroll St. NW. Tickets are $10. 301/996-3797.


Art by the book

James Joyce's "Finnegans Wake" is a dense, complex and just plain difficult book to read. But in the hands of artist Carl Lennartson, the playful elements of the novel come to life in a rather unusual way. In "Finnegans Wake," Mr. Lennartson offers 17 drawings, paintings, photographs and other mixed media works that represent the number of chapters in Joyce's work, exploring the author's symbolism and humor. Check it out from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and tomorrow and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Touchstone Gallery, 406 Seventh St. NW. Admission is free. 202/347-ARTS.


Fine violins

With instrument prices ranging from $8,800 (on the low end) to roughly $24,000 (for a cello), the "Il Marchio" (The Trademark) show in Alexandria is not for the budget spender. But one doesn't have to buy a violin (or even play one for that matter) to appreciate the skill and craftsmanship on display. The exhibition which displays violins, violas and cellos is sponsored by the city of Cremona, Italy and the violinmakers A. Stradivari, with all instruments made by top craftsmen in the country. Check it out from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. today and tomorrow and 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Brobst Violin Shop, 5584 General Washington Drive, Alexandria. It's free to browse. 703/256-0566.


Teddy's day

Because President Teddy Roosevelt was such an outdoorsman, it only seems right to celebrate his birthday in the great wide open. The Theodore Roosevelt Birthday Celebration offers family entertainment, including ranger-led walks, birdhouse-building, music and games for children, all on you guessed it Theodore Roosevelt Island. Stop by from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday on the island, between the Key and Memorial Bridges on the Potomac, accessible via the George Washington Memorial Parkway. It's free. 703/289-2500.


Dream home

The word "dream house" shouldn't be thrown around lightly, but that's really the best way to describe the National Symphony Orchestra's "Decorators' Show House." The event (which goes to benefit the orchestra) takes place again in the Houghton Mansion (site of the 1984 showcase) and features 46 rooms, including a formal dining room, library, grand ballroom, plus 14 fireplaces, terraced gardens and a swimming pool all styled by top decorators. Stop by from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and tomorrow and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 3003 Massachusetts Ave. NW. Tickets are $20. 202/416-8149.


Giddyap

Horse lovers would do well to stop by the MCI Center this week as the Washington International Horse Show offers up top-flight competition and exhibitions. There's bull riding, terrier races, pony rides, barrel races and plenty of the top horses and riders from around the world. Check it out from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. today and tomorrow and starting at 7 a.m. Saturday and Sunday at the MCI Center, 601 F St. NW. Tickets are $10 to $60. 202/432-SEAT.


Derek Simmonsen

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