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Baseball’s Return Adds to The Fun In D.C.

Moving to Washington, D.C., no longer means leaving Major League Baseball behind.

With the expected relocation of the Expos to D.C., Washingtonians can take part in the all-American pastime starting with the yet-to-be-renamed franchise’s first home game scheduled for Tax Day.

The former Montreal Expos will play the Arizona Diamondbacks at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in a three-game weekend set April 15 to 17.

The relocation of the team to D.C. in the 2005 season marks the return of MLB to the city after the demise of the Washington Senators 33 years ago.

Sports buffs do not have to wait until April for entertainment. They can attend sporting events at the MCI Center, the home of the NBA’s Wizards, the NHL’s Capitals, the WNBA’s Mystics and the Georgetown University Hoyas. Wizards games are scheduled from Nov. 6 to April 15. The venue also features concerts and other performances. For tickets, call Ticketmaster at (202) 397-SEAT.

Annual Events

Along with a new baseball team, spring will bring festivals to D.C.

An open area of parklands and monuments, the National Mall is “a stage for national expressions of remembrance, observance and protest,” according to its Web site. The annual National Cherry Blossom Festival will take place from March 26 to April 11. The festival celebrates the gift of the 3,000 cherry trees that surround the Tidal Basin from Tokyo to Washington in 1912.

Filmfest DC, an international film festival that takes place throughout the District, will be held from April 20 to May 1. The Washington, D.C., Film Society, a nonprofit organization dedicated to “an appreciation of quality mainstream, international and independent films,” hosts the festival, which aims to “ensure that more people have access to more films.”

Taste of DC, an outdoor food and music festival held on Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, features food from more than 40 local restaurants and entertainment on three stages. Next year’s festival will take place May 28-30. Call (202) 789-7002 for more information.

Performing Arts

In addition to sporting events and festivals, performing arts venues are abundant in D.C.

Dedicated to becoming the nation’s premier classic theater, the Shakespeare Theatre in Penn Quarter presents plays by William Shakespeare and other classical playwrights. It will present Alfred de Musset’s “Lorenzaccio” from Jan. 18 to March 6, Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” from March 22 to May 22, and Oscar Wilde’s “Lady Windermere’s Fan” from June 7 to July 31. For tickets, call (202) 547-1122.

If you still can’t get enough of Shakespeare, visit the Folger Theatre, a part of the Folger Shakespeare Library on Capitol Hill, which is devoted to Shakespeare’s life and times. The theatre will present Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” from Jan. 12 to Feb. 2, and David Garrick and George Colman’s “The Clandestine Marriage” from April 15 to May 22. Call (202) 544-7077 for tickets.

Located three blocks from the White House, the National Theatre has been called the “Theater of Presidents.” The theater will feature the new Disney on Broadway musical “On the Record” from Jan. 18-30 and an encore presentation of the musical “Mama Mia!” from May 17 to June 26. Call (202) 628-6161 for tickets.

Ford’s Theatre, the infamous location where John Wilkes Booth shot President Abraham Lincoln in 1865, was restored and reopened in 1968. The theater will feature “A Christmas Story: A Ghost Story of Christmas” from Nov. 23 to Jan. 2, followed by political satirist Mark Russell in “Mark Russell: Comedy, Music, Bribery, and Conspiracy” from Jan. 18-23. Russell’s performances will be followed by the plays “The Member of the Wedding” from Feb. 4-27 and “Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” from March 18 to May 1. For tickets, call (202) 347-4833.

The Catalyst Theater Co. near Capitol Hill’s Eastern Market produces plays that “reflect a moment of remarkable change in the world view of the culture from which they were written,” according to its Web site. The company will present “cloud 9” from Jan. 13 to Feb. 19 and “shkspr prjct,” which is adapted from Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” from May 5 to June 11. Call (800) 494-TIXS for tickets.

The nonprofit Arena Stage produces plays that “reveal all that is passionate, exuberant, deep and dangerous in the American spirit,” according to its Web site. The theater is wrapping up its production of “Anna in the Tropics,” which continues through Nov. 21, and is also staging “The Importance of Being Earnest” through Dec. 26. Upcoming shows include “Intimations for Saxophone” from Jan. 21 to Feb. 27, “The Goat or who is Sylvia?” from March 4 to April 17, “The Piano Lesson” from April 1 to May 15, and “Anna Christie” from May 6 to June 19.

Located next to the Potomac River in Foggy Bottom, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts presents a variety of plays, dance performances and concerts. Among the upcoming performances at the Kennedy Center are the Tony Award-winning musical “Thoroughly Modern Millie” from Dec. 7-26, Shakespeare’s classic comedy “As You Like It” from March 4-20, and the Tony Award-winning comedy “Mister Roberts” from March 12 to April 3. The Kirov Ballet will present “Cinderella” at the Kennedy Center from Jan. 11-16. The American Ballet Theatre will produce “Giselle” from Feb. 2-6 and “Swan Lake” from Feb. 8-13. The Washington Ballet will perform “Romeo and Juliet” from April 13-17. Call (202) 467-4600 for tickets.

Designated “The National Opera” by Congress, the Washington National Opera performs at the Kennedy Center Opera House under the leadership of its general director, Plácido Domingo. The Opera will present “Democracy” from Jan. 28-30, “The Maid of Orleans” from March 26-April 11, “Die Zauberflöte” from April 2-17, “Tosca” from May 6-31 and “Samson Et Dalila” from May 14 to June 4. Call (202) 295-2400 for tickets.

For a comedic view of your work environment, see the Capitol Steps in their weekly performances Friday and Saturday nights at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. A troupe of current and former Congressional staffers, the Capitol Steps “take a humorous look” at government events and personalities. For tickets, call Ticketmaster at (202) 397-SEAT.

It’s Showtime

If you are in the mood for a movie, the nearby AMC Union Station 9 plays recent releases. For movie times and tickets, call (703) 998-4266.

There are two more theaters that have recently opened near the Capitol. Regal Gallery Place Stadium 14 premiered next to the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail station in October. Call (202) 393-2121. Just a few blocks away, the Landmark E Street Theaters brings independent movies to the heart of D.C. Call (202) 452-7672.

Then there’s the Library of Congress’ own Mary Pickford Theater, which recently reopened its doors after renovations. Located in the James Madison Building, the Pickford shows a variety of free films from the Library’s vast film archives. Call (202) 707-5677.

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