- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Dance legend

Merce Cunningham was considered an innovative dancer when he got his start in 1939. Now, at 87, Mr. Cunningham choreographs dance programs through the use of an inventive new computer program, “Danceforms,” which he helped design. His namesake dance company performs three of his works, “Fabrications,” “Views on Stage” and “Sounddance,” this weekend at the Kennedy Center. Performances are at 8 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday . Tickets are $21 to $50. F Street and New Hampshire Avenue Northwest. 202/467-4600

Back again

Matt Nathanson returns to his musical roots with his new record and spring tour. The new release, “At the Point,” was recorded at a small acoustic venue early last year and features all of his hits stripped down to his confessional vocals, a 12-string guitar and a cello. The spring tour, which opens Monday at Jammin’ Java, sees Mr. Nathanson returning to the same intimate venues where he got his start. Showtimes are 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Tickets $15. 227 Maple Ave., Vienna. 703/255-1566.

18th-century spy

Besides being the man behind the post office and that little thing called electricity, Benjamin Franklin was also a master of intrigue. As a founder of the Committee on Secret Correspondence, the U.S. spy agency during the Revolutionary War, Franklin worked with secret writing and other forms of trickery. James Srodes, author of “Franklin: The Essential Founding Father,” and Thomas B. Allen, author of “George Washington: Spymaster,” discuss this almost unknown side of Franklin at the International Spy Museum on Wednesday. “The Secret History of History, Benjamin Franklin: Master of Intrigue” starts at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 to $15. 800 F St., NW. 202/393-7798.

Straight up classical

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra continues its “Symphony with a Twist” series tomorrow night at the Music Center at Strathmore, with “What Dreams Are Made Of.” Conductor Andrew Constantine leads the orchestra through works by Sibelius, Stravinsky and Michael Daughtery. As it has with other “Twist” performances, Strathmore opens its lobby early at 6:30 p.m. for pre-concert live jazz, light fare and martinis. Showtime is 8 p.m. 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. 301/581-5100.

Bring Fido

It is all about the pets this weekend at the Dulles Expo Center for the annual Super Pet Expo. From petting zoos to seminars and leashes to adoptions, the three-day pet extravaganza has something for every Fido fan. All pets on a leash are welcome. Showtimes are 4 to 9 p.m. tomorrow, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 to $10. 4368 Chantilly Shopping Center, Chantilly. 301/230-9040.

Bloomin’ rides

Walking around the Tidal Basin during the peak of the Cherry Blossom Festival can be a slow-moving experience. Pick up the pace with “Blossoms by Bike,” a two-hour guided tour for cyclists that takes riders through West Potomac Park, past the Jefferson Memorial, Hains Point and farther. The tours start at 3 p.m. during the week and at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on weekends. Cost is $30 for adults and $20 for children 12 and under, a price that includes bike rental, helmet, water and snack. Tours run through April 9. Meet at the Bike the Sites kiosk, Pennsylvania Avenue and 12th Street Northwest. Reserve at www.bikethesites.com or call 202/842-2453.

Inside the fence

See the White House lawn and gardens from inside the fence on Saturday and Sunday for the annual White House Spring Garden Tour. Visitors can view the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, the Rose Garden, the Children’s Garden and the South Lawn. A free timed ticket is required for all visitors (including children) and will be available starting at 8 a.m. both on Saturday and Sunday at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion (15th and E streets, Northwest). One ticket per person; first come, first served. For more information call 202/208-1632.

Thomas Walter

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