- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 26, 2004

Merriweather music fest

For one day only, the fifth annual Grassroots Music and Arts Festival is coming to the Merriweather Post Pavilion. This year’s festival features acoustic, folk and bluegrass acts, including Keller Williams and Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, along with a crafts area showcasing top artisans from around the area. The show starts at 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $42 to $65. 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Md. 202/432-SEAT.

Confessions with humor

Being able to sing about serious subjects — such as death, going to jail and growing old — with a sense of humor is what makes singer-songwriter Todd Snider stand out in a crowded field of performers. Touring in support of his newest CD, “East Nashville Skyline,” Mr. Snider plays the Birchmere tonight. Showtime is at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $16.50. 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. 202/432-SEAT.

Wolf Trap’s King

Closing out the summer season on Tuesday at Wolf Trap’s Filene Center is a new production of the five-time Tony Award-winning play “The King and I.” The production, starring Sandy Duncan, marks the return of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic to the Filene Center after a 32-year absence. Performance times vary by day through Sept. 5. Tickets are $18 to $60. 1624 Trap Road, Vienna. 703/218-6500.

State fair fun

The Maryland State Fair opens its gates tomorrow for several days of outdoor fun for the whole family. This year’s schedule includes the always-popular livestock shows and races along with performances by Sara Evans and Switchfoot. The fair runs through Sept. 6. Admission is $6 and does not include rides or food. For a complete schedule, see www.marylandstatefair.com. York and Timonium roads, Timonium, Md. 410/252-0200.

NYC troubadour

Although Jesse Harris only recently got a taste of what it is like to be a famous musician from his work with Norah Jones, this New York City troubadour has been playing music for crowds for more than a decade. Riding the wave of fanfare after Miss Jones’ debut album, Mr. Harris went back to work with his own group, Jesse Harris and Ferndinandos, and they recently released their fifth album, “While The Music Lasts.” Mr. Harris and the rest of his group will play some tracks off the new album Tuesday at Iota. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. Admission is $12. 2832 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. 703/522-8340.

Back in the day

The Maryland Renaissance Festival, beginning tomorrow, allows you to travel to a 16th-century English village where the ale and meat are plentiful and every day is a celebration. Offering food and craft booths along with daily music and medieval entertainment, the festival is a summer highlight for many people in the region. The village of Revel Grove is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on varying days through Oct. 24. Admission is $7 to $26. 800/296-7304

Fab five of comedy

Five of the District’s best comics, along with veteran comedian Matt Kazam, take the stage at the State Theatre tomorrow. They are celebrating the release of their new “Off the Record” live CD. The laughs begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12. 220 N. Washington St., Falls Church. 703/237-0400.

Up and coming

Ryan Cabrera may have boy-band good looks and songs on top-40 radio, but don’t ask this twentysomething Texan if he is thinking about choreography and backup dancers. This singer-songwriter has just released his debut album, “Take It All Away.” Fans can see him for free tomorrow at the Simon DTour Live event at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City. Mr. Cabrera’s open question-and-answer session begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by a performance at 7 p.m. 1100 S. Hayes St., Arlington. 703/415-2400.

Thomas Walter

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