Brain Food
1. A Busboys and Poets Event -- Open Mic!: For two hours audiences can expect a diverse chorus of voices and a vast array of professional spoken-word performers, open mic rookies, musicians and a different host every week. Expect to be moved, expect a packed house, expect the unexpected, but above all come with an open mind and ear. Wristbands for Tuesday go on sale at the bookstore at 10 that morning.

Where: Langston Room, Busboys and Poets, 14th and V streets NW

When: 9 to 11 p.m. Tuesday

Info: $4;

2. "The Cloak Room": Welsh playwright Tracy Harris excavates the psyche of Mansel, a reclusive hoarder of coats whose collection binds him to their long-lost owners.

Where: Redrum and the Bedroom at Fort Fringe, 612 L St. NW

When: 9:30 p.m. Saturday

Info: $15; 866-811-4111;

3. "The Perfect Finish: Special Desserts for Every Occasion": From chocolate chip cookies to orange-scented olive oil cakes with fleur de sel, this dessert cookbook is both down-to-earth and spectacular. Bill Yosses, executive pastry chef at the White House, and Melissa Clark, a noted New York Times food columnist, explain the techniques and itemize the equipment needed to create confections suitable for every occasion.

Where: Politics and Prose Bookstore, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Info: Free; 202-364-1919;

4. "Stories from the Sea: Sea Dogs, Buccaneers, and Corsairs -- Piracy Then and Now": Virginia Lunsford, associate professor of history at the United States Naval Academy, presents a history of piracy, from its "Golden Age" in the 17th and 18th centuries to today. Advance reservations requested.

Where: The Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 E. Capitol St. SE

When: Doors open at 7 p.m. Tuesday, talk begins at 7:30 p.m.; exhibition viewing of "Lost at Sea" immediately following

Info: Free; 202-675-0326;

5. Interwoven: Two consecutive nights of performance art, movies and discussions will make you look at textiles in a whole new way. On Friday, New York-based fashion collective threeASFOUR, whose designers hail from Lebanon, Israel and Tajikistan, will collaborate on a performance highlighting their ethereal and sculptural approach to textile design. The Saturday program will feature a new site-specific work by Copenhagen-based duo Henrik Vibskov & Andreas Emenius.

Where: Textile Museum, 2320 S St. NW

When: 8 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Info: $5 suggested donation; 202-667-0441;

1. Sunset Serenades: Every summer people flock to the National Zoo's Lion/Tiger Hill for summer concerts. Performances range from jazz and folk to blues and rock 'n roll. Bring a picnic or purchase food and drinks from zoo vendors. Thursday: the Steve Scott Project.

Where: The National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW

When: 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday; through Aug. 5

Info: Free; 202-633-4480;

2. Spraygrounds: Enjoy the new hours for Arlington County Parks and Recreation's Spraygrounds, the program that lets kids cool off all day long and into the evening.

Where: Drew Playground, Hayes Park and Lyon Village Park

When: Noon to 8 p.m. weekends; see Web site for new weekday hours

Info: Free;

3. "Dragon Feathers": For children 4 and younger, the Puppet Company Playhouse presents a 30-minute show as part of its Tiny Tots program.

Where: The Puppet Company Playhouse, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo

When: 10 a.m. Saturday

Info: $5; 301-634-5380;

4. Sketching Nature: Join Arlington Regional Naturalist Melanie LeForce to learn about Colonial naturalists and try your hand at sketching leaves and trees. Then go outside to explore, identify trees and field sketch with pencils and charcoal. Information: 703-228-6535. For children 8 to 12.

Where: Meet at Long Branch Nature Center, 625 S. Carlin Springs Road, Arlington

When: 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday

Info: Free; registration necessary at 703-228-4747; program 643620-04

5. "Franzini Family Science Service": Professor Franzini and Lippo the Clown lead an action-packed show about gravity, inertia, circular motion, air pressure and balance -- with the help of hula hoops, umbrellas, balls, cigar boxes, balloons and Rosie, the scientifically trained wonder dog. The show is wild and wacky (and just a tiny bit educational). Ages 5 to 12.

Where: Ripley Center, Discovery Theatre, 1100 Jefferson Drive SW

When: 10:15 and 11:30 a.m. July 27 to 30

Info: $4 to $6; 202-633-6060;

1. One Life: Echoes of Elvis: If you were alive in 1977, the widespread public grief over the loss of Michael Jackson last summer probably reminded you a little of how it felt when Elvis Presley died. This exhibit features interpretive portraits of Elvis from all phases of his 24-year career, including pieces by Donald Patterson, Howard Finster and William Eggleston, among others.

Where: National Portrait Gallery, Eighth and F streets NW

When: Through Aug. 29

Info: Free; 202-633-1000;

2. Lists: To-Dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts and Other Artists' Enumerations: Picasso's handwritten instructions for the 1913 Armory Show and Alexander Calder's personal address book are but two highlights of this oddly compelling compilation of personal ephemera that once belonged to great artists from the Smithsonian's collection.

Where: Lawrence A. Flesischman Gallery, Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture, Eighth and F streets NW

When: Through Sept. 27

Info: Free; 202-462-1601;

3. House of the Americas Turns 100: Paul Philippe Cret and the Architecture of Dialogue: When is a building not just a building? This exhibition on the history of the Organization of American States' headquarters makes you wonder to what extent blueprints have shown us the layout of human events.

Where: Art Museum of the Americas, 201 18th St. NW

When: Through Aug. 29

Info: Free;

4. Private Practice: Bad Ideas, Dead Ends and Guilty Pleasures: Sculptor David Page generated the premise of and contributes work to this bold exhibit, wherein Katherine Mann, Christian Benefiel, Michael Enn Sirvet and other practitioners share pieces the ultimate realization of which they believe eluded them. Are they right?

Where: Hamiltonian Gallery, 1353 U St. NW

When: Through Aug. 17

Info: Free

5. Good Things Come in Small Packages: From the Collection of Elisabeth French: One of the city's most discerning collectors shares her bounty.

Where: The American University Museum, 4400 Massachusetts Ave.

When: Through Aug. 15

Info: Free; 202-885-1300;

1. Sizzlin' Summer Cabaret: Catch the last weekend of Signature Theater's cabaret celebration. This year's performance series includes Broadway, folk, jazz and rock standards.

Where: Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington

When: 8 p.m. Thursday, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Info: $20; 703-820-9771;

2. Variety & Vagabond Amusements: A veritable parade of carnie-like performers ... a sword swallower, clown, magician, even a machete-wielding juggler have made their way into the little big top at Fort Fringe under the banner of "Variety & Vagabond Amusements."

Where: The Baldacchino at Fort Fringe, 607 New York Ave. NW

When: 9 p.m. Friday, 2:30 p.m. Saturday

Info: Free; 866-811-4111;

3. Cinema al Fresco aka Staycation Series: This week: "Only You": A schoolteacher believes she's destined to spend her life with a man named "Damon Bradley." Just days before she is to marry a man she doesn't love, she receives a phone call from her fiance's friend, who is named Damon Bradley. Bradley is on his way to Venice, and Faith decides to spend her Labor Day weekend pursuing her dream man.

Where: Atlas Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE

When: Series runs at 8 p.m. Saturdays through Sept. 4

Info: $6; 202-399-7993;

4. "Letters to Clio -- Part II, Margarita": Argentina. 1976. A girl vanishes. A mother searches for truth. A country crumbles. Based on firsthand interviews, this touching story follows one woman through the perils of brutal dictatorship as she discovers that one voice truly can make a difference.

Where: Redrum and the Bedroom, 612 l St. NW

When: 10 p.m. Thursday, 1:15 p.m. Saturday

Info: $15; 866-811-4111;

5. "Pushing Boundaries": 1950s "I Love Lucy" housewife morphs into a national ERA activist. Belly-flopping into a sea of change, she finds her voice. Laugh with Ellouise as she shares her unlikely, but true, story. A behind-the-scenes peek at 1970s women's history presented by Ellouise Schoettler.

Where: Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh St. NW

When: 2 p.m. Saturday

Info: $15; 866-811-4111;


Stars: Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor

Director: Phillip Noyce

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action

Running Time: 99 minutes

As a CIA officer, Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) swore an oath to duty, honor and country. Her loyalty will be tested when a defector accuses her of being a Russian spy. Salt goes on the run, using all her skills and years of experience as a covert operative to elude capture. Salt's efforts to prove her innocence only serve to cast doubt on her motives, as the hunt to uncover the truth behind her identity continues and the question remains: "Who is Salt?"

1. Around the World with Joshua Bell and the NSO: Emil de Cou conducts violinist Bell and the orchestra in Bruch's "Scottish Fantasy," Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, Gershwin's "Cuban Overture" and Respighi's "Roman Festivals."

Where: Wolf Trap Filene Center

When: 8:15 p.m. Thursday

Info: $32 to $52 in-house, $20 lawn; 877-965-3872;

2. A Rodgers and Hammerstein Celebration: Emil de Cou conducts the National Symphony Orchestra, the Washington Chorus (Julian Wachner, music director) and guest soloists in Broadway hit songs by the composer and lyricist.

Where: Wolf Trap Filene Center

When: 8:15 p.m. Friday

Info: $32 to $52 in-house, $20 lawn; 877-965-3872;

3. The Beach Boys: The iconic Rock and Roll Hall of Fame group shares four decades of "Good Vibrations" during a nostalgic afternoon in the woods.

Where: Wolf Trap Filene Center

When: 2 p.m. Sunday

Info: $38 in-house, $25 lawn; 877-965-3872;

4. Eddie From Ohio: Virginia's own folk and pop rock favorites are joined by Dar Williams for an evening of melodic memories.

Where: Wolf Trap Filene Center

When: 8 p.m. Saturday

Info: $35 in-house, $25 lawn; 877-965-3872;

5. Opera International: The Organization of Chinese American Women presents a semistaged version of Verdi's "La Traviata" featuring soprano Jessica Stecklein, tenor Yingxi Zhang and baritone Chen-ye Yuan.

Where: Music Center at Strathmore

When: 4 p.m. Sunday

Info: $20 to $50;

1. Arlington Celebrates Arlington: See the final weekend of Arlington County's series of films and television shows featuring Arlington residents or filmed in Arlington.

Where: Lubber Run Amphitheatre, 200 N. Columbus St., Arlington

When: 8:30 p.m. Friday: "Mission: Impossible III (filmed in Arlington); Saturday: "Shark Tale" (featuring the voice of Arlingtonian Katie Couric).

Info: Free; 703-228-6966;

2. "Seabiscuit": Thursday night Capitol Riverfront BID's summer outdoor movies, shown on the giant 35-foot screen at the future site of Canal Park. Last year, more than 300 people attended the Best of the '80s movies. Hula hoop classes, trivia and Wii are available. Bring blankets and chairs. Dangerously Delicious Pies and Sauca trucks on-site.

Where: Canal Park, 200 M St. SE

When: 8:45 p.m. Thursday; 7:45 until movie: hoop jams (see Web site for details)

Info: Free; 202-465-7093;

3. Moonlight Cruise: The town of Chesapeake Beach hosts a cruise on the Chesapeake Bay aboard the Lady Hooker. Appetizers included, drinks available for sale.

Where: Rod N Reel, 4165 Mears Ave., Chesapeake Beach, Md.

When: 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday

Info: $25; 301-855-4265

4. Movies on the Potomac: Family Sundays: Movies at sunset on the National Harbor waterfront.

Where: National Harbor, Waterfront Street, Oxon Hill, Md.

When: "Gremlins" shows Sunday; Movies on the Potomac runs through Sept. 26

Info: Free, lawn chairs recommended; 877-628-5427;

5. "National Garden": Visit the many gardens that make up the National Garden, which provides "living laboratories" for environmental, horticultural and botanical education in a contemplative setting. The major features of the National Garden are the Rose Garden, the Butterfly Garden, the Lawn Terrace, the First Ladies' Water Garden, the Regional Garden and an outdoor amphitheater.

Where: United States Botanic Gardens Conservatory, 100 Maryland Ave. SW

When: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; through Sept. 6

Info: Free;

1. "Noises Off": Michael Frayn's hilarious comedy uses the concept of a "play within a play" to show how the cast's and crew's offstage antics and personalities affect the onstage performance.

Where: Keegan Theatre, Church Street Theatre, 1742 Church St. NW

When: 8 p.m. Thursday to Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday; through Aug. 22

Info: $25 to $30; 703-892-0202;

2. "Serenading Louie": Lanford Wilson's engrossing look at marriage in the jungles of suburbia explores its compromises, stresses, disappointments and rewards.

Where: American Century Theater, Theater II, Gunston Arts Center, 2700 S. Lang St., Arlington

When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; thereafter 8 p.m. Thursday to Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; through Aug. 21

Info: $29-$32; 703-998-4555;

3. "Fringe Youth-Led Producers": An original performance written and performed by Fringe's own youth-led program. In collaboration with Sasha Bruce Youthwork and Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington D.C.'s Ophelia Egypt Program Center.

Where: The Point, 1013 Seventh St. NW

When: 7 p.m. Thursday

Info: $15; 866-811-4111

4. "Passing Strange": This musical follows a rock musician on his quest for authenticity. From singer-songwriter and performance artist Stew comes a new kind of musical.

Where: The Studio Theatre, 1501 14th St. NW

When: Through Aug. 8

Info: $33 to $43; 202-232-7267;

5. Capital Fringe Festival: The fifth annual festival features theater, music, dance, poetry and clowning.

Where: Fort Fringe, 607 New York Ave. NW; festival takes place at various venues throughout D.C.

When: Through Sunday

Info: $15 (with purchase of $5 button); 866-811-4111;