Pretty and witty and bright
So you missed the opening of the Library of Congress’ golden-anniversary tribute to an American musical icon. Never fear: “West Side Story: Birth of a Classic” runs through the spring. See it now. Treasures on view include composer Leonard Bernstein’s annotated copy of “Romeo and Juliet,” the Bardic inspiration for the story, and a facsimile of a Stephen Sondheim lyric sketch for the song “Somewhere.” It’s in the foyer of the Performing Arts Reading Room, LM 113, James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Through March 29. Free. 202/707-4604.
Take a walk
Absorb the history of the District’s neighborhoods Saturday as Cultural Tourism DC leads 45 free walking tours through 18 neighborhoods from Georgetown to Adams Morgan to Anacostia. The walks are part of the fall edition of Walking Town DC, and they’re all free. For times and locations, see walkingtowndc.org.
For the fourth straight year, the Dance DC Festival will set toes to tapping tomorrow to Sunday with its citywide celebration, a multicultural potpourri that tries to cover all the world’s dance traditions. Find free performances and workshops by a cornucopia of dance groups at venues from the Kennedy Center and Dance Place to Eastern Market and the Arc. Call 202/724-5613, see dancedcfestival.org or find a full schedule on page M9.
A grand opening
She’s the first woman to head a major American orchestra, and when Marin Alsop picks up the baton at the Music Center at Strathmore this evening for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s season opener, she’ll show us why. On the bill is an intriguing mix: Mahler’s gigantic “5th Symphony” and the contemporary American composer John Adams’ “Fearful Symmetry,” a techno-tone poem loosely based on William Blake’s “The Tyger.” 10701 Rockville Pike, Rockville. The music starts at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $44 to $84. 301/581-5100.
Dylan and Costello
The Merriweather Post Pavilion will give the ole heads of popular music what they want tomorrow night as singer-songwriters Bob Dylan and Elvis Costello reinvent the past with musical hits and audience favorites. 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Md. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. The show starts at 7 p.m. $40 to $125. 410/547-SEAT.
Master of landscape
Such a simple title, such a big show: The National Gallery’s “J.M.W. Turner,” opening Monday, is the most comprehensive survey ever presented in this country of the work by the artist whom Alfred Lord Tennyson called “The Shakespeare of landscape.” It includes 146 oil paintings and works on paper, among them the 1812 masterpiece “Snow Storm: Hannibal and His Army Crossing the Alps,” to be shown in this country for the first time. Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue NW. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Through Jan. 6. Free. 202/737-4215.
Reading is fundamental
Whether you read for fun or just information, stroll along the Mall Saturday during the National Book Festival. You’ll find Librarian of Congress James Billington, 70 authors, illustrators and poets, a crew of professional basketball players and just possibly the event’s host, first lady Laura Bush. They’ll all be celebrating literacy with talks, book signings, computer set-ups and special activities for the youngsters. Between Seventh and 14th streets NW. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. rain or shine. Free. See loc.gov/bookfest. For a broader view, see page M12.
— Queshonda Moore