- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 19, 2002

Overlooked alternative
During the early '90s, alt-rocker Juliana Hatfield was often touted as the "next big thing," a singer-songwriter who wrote catchy, confessional tunes. A decade after her solo debut, those dreams of mainstream stardom have faded, but a recent retrospective of her work "Gold Stars," shows why her cult following has continued to be strong. Fans can catch her for an intimate afternoon show at 3 p.m. Saturday at Iota Club and Cafe, 2832 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. Tickets are $15. 703/522-8340.

Healing laughter
Comedian Robert Schimmel has been making people laugh since Rodney Dangerfield gave him his big break in the mid-1980s. Now, the popular comic has a more serious mission to spread cancer awareness. A recent cancer survivor who lost a son to the disease, Mr. Schimmel is asking people to bring donations of CDs and audio books to his shows, as he found music libraries to be an important part of his own recovery. He performs his standup at 8:30 p.m. tonight through Sunday, with extra shows at 10:30 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday at the D.C. Improv, 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW. Those interested in donating CDs to the cause can bring them to a drop box at the Improv. Tickets for the shows are $12 to $15. 202/296-7008.

Art in action
Ever wonder how artists manage to capture reality so well on the canvas? Now's the chance to find out when more than 20 local painters set up shop around downtown Annapolis to try to render the waterfront on their easels, as part of Paint Annapolis 2002. Artists will be working from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday around downtown (maps will be handed out at the City Dock), with a reception to follow at 7 p.m. at the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, 801 Chase St., Annapolis. It's free. 410/263-6532.

Orchestral adventure
If the next installment of the "Lord of the Rings" film trilogy seems too far off, then get a Hobbit fix through the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra's opening concert. The orchestra tackles composer Howard Shore's score for the "Lord of the Rings," as well as Strauss' dramatic "Thus Spake Zarathustra" and two works by Sibelius, as part of its "Legend and Lore" evening. Hear it all at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Schlesinger Concert Hall, West Braddock Road and North Beauregard Street, Alexandria. Tickets are $30-$60. 703/573-SEAT.

European snapshots
For the late photographer Fred J. Maroon, 1950 was a very important year. Relatively fresh from the military, and a recent college grad, Mr. Maroon was hired by Life magazine and began taking photographs for the publication while studying in Paris. The results are captured in "Sorrow and Splendor: Images of Europe, 1950-1951," which shows the effects of the war on people and is a good collection of his early works. See his photographs on display from noon to 5 p.m. today through Saturday at Kathleen Ewing Gallery, 1609 Connecticut Ave. NW. Admission is free. 202/328-0955.

Exploring nature
Youngsters are often wary of things dubbed "educational," but Brookside Garden's "Discovering Habitats" program should keep youngsters busy with hands-on activities as they learn. The program takes the younger set through the workings of everything from desert plants to tropical rainforests, with arts, crafts and other activities designed to be both fun and informative. It all happens between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday at Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton. It's free. 301/962-1400.

The other Potter
While the Harry Potter books have yet to stand the test of time (they've only been out for a few years), the "Tales of Beatrix Potter" have been around for several generations and continue to draw in readers. The Puppet Co. Playhouse celebrates these popular tales by bringing familiar characters, such as Jamima Puddleduck and Jeremy Fisher, to life through a puppet production led by Christopher Hudert. Bring the young ones to see it at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Playhouse in Glen Echo Park, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo. Tickets are $6. 301/320-6668.

Foot fest
The Arts on Foot Festival this weekend makes it easy to sample some of the best of the D.C. arts scene. For example, the National Theatre offers shows for children, there's a costume sale at Ford's Theatre, chef cooking demonstrations, an open rehearsal at Warehouse Theater and plenty of galleries will open their doors. Check it out (on foot) from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday along Pennsylvania Avenue NW (between 4th and 14th streets), with other events in the same downtown area. It's free. 202/482-7271.
Derek Simmonsen

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