- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Shopping around

Christmas shopping starts early this year with this weekend’s Museum Shop Around at the Mansion at Strathmore. More than 14 boutique gift shops representing the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the National Building Museum, Washington National Cathedral and others, will participate. The spree starts today at 10 a.m. and runs until 8 p.m. tonight. Other shopping hours are: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8. 10701 Rockville Pike, N. Bethesda. 301/581-5160.

Opera on the Mall

Don’t have the spare cash to see the Washington National Opera’s production of “Madama Butterfly” at the Kennedy Center? On Sunday, you can see the entire production for free on the Mall. The opera will simulcast Puccini’s work to an 18-by-32-foot video screen near the Capitol. No tickets are required. Just bring a blanket or chair. Showtime is 2 p.m. 202/295-2400.

Double dose

The 9:30 Club hosts a double dose of new music on Monday. The new punk rock act +44, originated by two former members of Blink 182, plays the first show at 6:30 p.m. The quartet will play new tunes from its album “When Your Heart Stop Beating,” which hits store shelves Tuesday morning. Tickets are $20. The second show features British electronic songstress Imogen Heap, supporting her album “Goodnight and Go,” released in April. Second-show doors open at 10 p.m., with tickets at $25. 815 V St. NW. 202/393-0930.

One-man band

Singer-songwriter Ari Hest’s just-released EP, aptly named “The Green Room Sessions,” was recorded by Mr. Hest in his Brooklyn apartment — in the green room — with just his laptop computer, a microphone and a few instruments. The multitalented musician played all of the instruments and provided all vocals and will do it again on Tuesday at Jammin’ Java. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $15. 227 Maple Ave., Vienna. 703/255-1566.

Rock ‘n’ roll theater

Panic! at the Disco hails from Las Vegas, so it’s no wonder its music and live shows have been labeled “theatrical rock.” The quartet’s first single, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies,” debuted in the Billboard Top 20; its video for the debut track is one of the most-viewed videos on YouTube. Panic! comes to the Patriot Center on Saturday with Bloc Party and Jack’s Mannequin. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $35. 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. 202/307-SEAT.

Mapping the Chesapeake

Capt. John Smith did more than help found Jamestown; he was one of the first men to explore and map the Chesapeake Bay in 1608. The National Geographic Museum celebrates the upcoming 400th anniversary with a new exhibit, “Echoes of 1608: John Smith’s Voyages on the Chesapeake,” and National Geographic Live! hosts a presentation tonight with Drew McMullen and Chris Cerino, two organizers of a project that will try to relive the 121-day Chesapeake Bay journey beginning next May. The NGLive! presentation starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $14 to $17. The exhibit is on display through Jan. 7. Admission to the museum is free. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. 1145 17th St. NW. 202/857-7588.

The Russians are coming

It’s a weekend of Russian highlights at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall for conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya. He leads the National Symphony Orchestra tonight and tomorrow at 7 p.m. as Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg performs Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, then takes up the baton again on Saturday at 8 p.m. with Yo-Yo Ma in Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1. Tickets range from $20 to $80. F Street and New Hampshire Avenue Northwest. 202/467-4600.

Blue suede Saturday

It’s “Elvis Saturday” at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company: Dress as an all-shook-up Elvis on Saturday night for the 8 p.m. show of the loony British comedy “Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis” and pay only $15 for the performance — a ticket that ordinarily goes for $22 to $52. The “best” Elvis will win tickets and other merchandise. The special “Elvis tickets” go on sale at 6 p.m. 641 D St. NW. 202/393-3939.

Thomas Walter

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