CIVIL WAR DAYS
Whether you're a Civil War buff or just interested in Maryland history, you'll want to visit Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine or Hampton National Historic Site this weekend for the annual Civil War Days. Visitors can see a huge Union encampment, observe cannon-firing demonstrations, watch a tattoo ceremony (7 p.m. Saturday at the fort), hear a concert by the 2nd South Carolina String Band (2 p.m. Sunday at Hampton) and learn about Maryland's role in the war, including why citizens were arrested for singing "Maryland, My Maryland" and how Union soldiers imposed martial law in Baltimore City and County.
The event begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Baltimore Civil War Museum, 601 S. President St., with a commemoration of the Pratt Street riot of April 16, 1861. Also on Saturday, the Maryland Historical Society presents guided tours of the route taken by the rioters, beginning at 11 a.m. from the President Street Station.
Civil War Days run 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, 2400 E. Fort Ave., and Hampton National Historic Site, 535 Hampton Lane, Towson. Fort admission is $7 for ages 16 and older; free for ages 15 and younger. Hampton admission is free. Call 410-962-4290 for details on the fort's activities or 410-823-1309 for information on Hampton's activities. Call 410-385-5188 for information on the Baltimore Civil War Museum event or 410-685-3750 for the Maryland Historical Society's tour information.
BRAHMS AT SHRIVER HALL
Gil Shaham and Friends -- more like an extended family, really -- will perform an all-Brahms program for the Shriver Hall Concert Series tomorrow, before hitting Carnegie Hall on Saturday. Shaham, the brilliantly gifted violinist, will be joined by his wife, Adele Anthony, a fine violinist herself, and his sister, the excellent pianist Orli Shaham.
Still more top-flight artists are participating as well, among them mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung (in songs with viola and piano accompaniment) and clarinetist Paul Neubauer (in the exquisite Clarinet Quintet). Some of the most beautiful and engaging works Brahms ever wrote, and some of today's most talented players -- sounds like just the ticket.
The concert is at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at Shriver Hall, Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles St. Tickets are $39, $19 for students. Call 410-516-7164 or go to shriverconcerts.org.
THEATER SHAKESPEARE IN WASHINGTON
Power and politics frequently take center stage in Washington, and the latest candidate on the stump is a Roman general from the 5th century B.C. -- Coriolanus, title character in the Royal Shakespeare Company production that opens tonight at the Kennedy Center. The concluding production in the RSC's five-year Kennedy Center residency, Coriolanus is part of the Shakespeare in Washington festival.
William Houston -- whose lead roles at the RSC have included Prince Hal in Henry IV, parts 1 and 2, and Troilus in Troilus and Cressida -- portrays Coriolanus, a politician whose arrogance ends in tragedy. Janet Suzman, nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of Empress Alexandra in the 1971 movie Nicholas and Alexandra, plays his mother, Volumnia. Direction is by RSC chief associate director Gregory Doran
Showtimes at the Kennedy Center are 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, with matinees at 1:30 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and Thursdays (including this afternoon's final preview), through May 6. Tickets are $25-$78. Call 888-444-1324 or visit kennedy-center.org.