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Appalachia is big. It stretches from New York to Mississippi, dipping into 13 states. But Appalachia is also poor. It’s hard to reckon how the region’s rich cultural heritage could have survived into the Internet Age when one-fourth of its counties have a per capita income of $12,934 or less. Could it actually be its centuries-long folk tradition that has kept Appalachia going all these years? Find out tonight at the world premiere of Sing Down the Moon, a musical journey through the folksy stories of the Appalachian woods. Once your children receive an introduction to these regional fairy tales, or “wonder tales,” you can pack them up in the car and take them to the real world, where even President Clinton doesn’t know exactly how to address Appalachia’s woes. “We know that government can’t solve these problems alone,” he told a crowd in Hazard, Ky., last July. “But we know that we’ll never get anywhere by leaving people alone, either.” At 7:30 p.m. at George Mason University’s TheaterSpace, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. $20-$25. (703) 993-8888. (Amanda Fazzone)