An afternoon of living history, lectures and kids’ activities to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of one of the country's first, and greatest, civil rights crusaders. At 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg distinguished professor Lawrence Jackson will present “Mapping Douglass,” a lecture and digital presentation on Douglass and his journey from slavery to freedom and advocacy, followed at 3 p.m. by "Frederick Douglass' America," a lecture from Harvard University professor John Stauffer. Living history presentations are set for 1:30 and 3:30 p.m., with kids’ programs, featuring a drawing workshop with London Ladd (“Frederick's Journey: The Life of Frederick Douglass”), scheduled for noon and 2 p.m. At the Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, 830 E. Pratt St. Free. lewismuseum.org.
Motor Trend International Auto Show
If it’s got gears, four wheels and a drive shaft, you’ll find it here — Charm City’s annual showcase for everything the auto industry has to offer. You can test drive the latest models, check out high-end supercars that’ll set you back hundreds of thousands of dollars (sorry, no test-driving these babies), see some car models still in development, even let the kids drive mini-cars around a test track. Noon-9 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. next Sunday at the Baltimore Convention Center, 1 W. Pratt St. $8-$12, free for kids 12 and under. autoshowbaltimore.com.
Celebrate a quarter-century of imaginative-fiction fandom — that covers both fantasy and sci-fi, as well as horror and superheroes — with guest appearances from actors Matt Frewer (“Max Headroom,” “Orphan Black”) and Nana Visitor (“Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”), plus Hugo-winning author Timothy Zahn and Marvel Comics’ Peter David and Glenn Greenberg. That’s in addition to all the panels, video games, movies, vendors and tons of other cool stuff. 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. next Sunday at the Hunt Valley Inn, 245 Shawan Road. $25-$92 for the whole weekend (free for kids under 6), $15-$62 per day. farpointcon.com.
An evening with one of the world’s premier ventriloquists, and the chance to find out what Peanut, Achmed the terrorist, Walter the curmudgeon, Bubba J and José Jalapeño on a Stick are up to. 5 p.m. Saturday at Royal Farms Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St. $54.50-$66.50. royalfarmsarena.com.
Reflections: Intimate Portraits of Iconic African Americans
Photographer Terrence A. Reese (TAR) took pictures of men and women in their personal spaces, producing portraits that uniquely reflect their persona. Includes photos of the Nicholas Brothers, Cathy Hughes, Gordon Parks and others. Through Aug. 12 at the Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, 830 E. Pratt St. $6-$8 museum admission, free for kids 6 and under. lewismuseum.org.
The women of Everyman Theatre’s Resident Acting Company present a reading of Lynn Nottage's Pulitzer-winning play set in a working-class community buckling under the weight of layoffs and picket lines. 7 p.m. (preceded by cocktails at 6) Monday at Everyman, 315 W. Fayette St. $20. everymantheatre.org.
‘Sex at the Zoo’
It’s all about animal love (in the best possible way), as the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore offers humans the chance to mark Valentine’s Day by hearing about how the critters do it. Accentuated by an open bar with beer, wine and soft drinks, plus hors d’oeuvres, desserts and live jazz. 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Saturday at the zoo’s Mansion House, 1876 Mansion House Drive. $80, $150 per couple. marylandzoo.org.
Biographer David Blight, author of the forthcoming (September) “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom,” will speak about writing his book, as well as Douglass’ life and thought. 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Maryland Historical Society, 201 W. Monument St. Free. mdhs.org.
The State Ballet Theatre of Russia Presents ‘The Sleeping Beauty’
More than 50 of Russia’s premier dancers, under the direction of Nikolay Anokhin, present this balletic interpretation of the Grimm fairy tale. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center at the Hippodrome, 12 N. Eutaw St. $61.50-$83.50. france-merrickpac.com.
Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s two-act opera is based in part on the lives of two Holocaust survivors, the Polish dissident Krystyna Zywulska (1914-1993) and the gay German Jew, Gad Beck (1923-2012). Presented by the Peabody Chamber Opera. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 3 p.m. next Sunday at Theatre Project, 45 W. Preston St. $10-$25. theatreproject.org.