Festivals, concerts, exhibits and things to do in the Washington area


The Ford’s Theatre Legacy Commissions: A First Look at Ford’s Theatre: In 2020, Ford’s Theatre announced the Ford’s Theatre Legacy Commissions, partnering with playwrights of color to highlight “underrepresented stories and forgotten or unknown heroes.” This weekend, the theater hosts readings of the first three plays to come out of the project: Pearl Cleage’s “Something Moving: A Meditation on Maynard,” about the election of Maynard Jackson, Atlanta’s first Black mayor; Rickerby Hinds’s “Blackbox,” which uses magic, poetry and rap to tell the story of Henry “Box” Brown; and Dominic Taylor’s “Young and Just,” about African American biologists Ernest Everett Just and Roger Arliner Young. The schedule includes post-show discussions with playwrights and other events. Through Saturday. Free; reservations required.

Phillips After 5: ‘I Heart Art’ at the Phillips Collection: Meet a new gallery-going buddy at the February edition of the Phillips Collection’s after-hours party. This month features activities inspired by Valentine’s Day, including something called “speed friending” (as opposed to speed dating). You’ll also be able to make a friendship bracelet, enjoy something sweet from Dupont Circle shop Chocolate House and listen to tunes from D.C. dream-pop band Color Palette. The museum’s special exhibit on view, “An Italian Impressionist in Paris: Giuseppe De Nittis,” is equally romantic, thanks to paintings of picturesque gardens in the City of Love. 5 to 8:30 p.m. $20.

Celebrate Valentine’s (or Galentine’s) Day with these special events

‘Time’ screening and book talk at Busboys and Poets: “Time,” the 2020 documentary that earned an Oscar nomination and numerous critics’ awards for its intimate portrait of Sibil Fox, a woman who spent more than two decades fighting to have her husband released from prison, has been turned into a book. After a screening of “Time,” Fox and Rob Richardson participate in a book talk and moderated discussion at the flagship Busboys and Poets on 14th Street NW. 6 p.m. Free; reservation required.

Black Wines Matter at National Union Building: This class takes a closer look (and taste) at Black-owned and -produced wines. Sample six wines — some of which can be purchased and taken home — and a portion of the proceeds benefits the Veraison Project, a nonprofit that promotes diversity and equity in the wine industry. 7 p.m. $49.

Air Force Band Jazz Heritage concert at Northern Virginia Community College — Alexandria: The Air Force’s swinging ensemble kicks off its annual Jazz Heritage series, which coincides with the start of Black History Month, with this performance at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall featuring four-time Grammy winner Gordon Goodwin. The composer and saxophonist is the leader of Big Phat Band, an 18-piece big band jazz orchestra. 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Free with reservation.

Cecily Brown at Glenstone: Once celebrated among the generation of “Young British Artists,” a group of late-1980s grads from Goldsmiths’ College and the Royal College of Art that included Damien Hirst, painter Cecily Brown makes large, heroic pictures that straddle the line between abstraction and figuration. One such work — a 2016 triptych that’s more than 9 feet tall and 33 feet long that’s called “A Day! Help! Help! Another Day!” and is inspired by classical paintings of shipwrecks — is newly on view at Glenstone. Tickets can be reserved in advance, but Glenstone also allows “guaranteed entry” for some visitors, including students and veterans, and passengers who arrive at the museum on Ride On bus 301. Open Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free.

Port City Brewing Company anniversary weekend: Port City Brewing celebrates its 12th anniversary by releasing a beer from 2013: Colossal Two, a rich, smoky imperial porter clocking in at 9 percent ABV. The Alexandria taproom is open on Friday and Saturday, with live music and food trucks, and Colossal Two on tap as well as in bottles to take home. Friday and Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. Free.

Starkbierzeit at Silver Branch Brewing Company: Silver Spring’s Silver Branch Brewing is trying to shake off the winter chill with Starkbierzeit, a two-day German festival dedicated to strong beer. Revelers will have the chance to sample Branchinator, the brewery’s take on the traditional malty doppelbock-style beer. Friday is more of a happy hour, with a naturally carbonated version of Branchinator served on cask, while Saturday brings music, a costume contest and other fun. Buy a $10 “beer bundle” in advance to get a beer with a commemorative dimple mug. Friday from 3 to 10 p.m., Saturday from noon to 11 p.m. Free admission.

15th anniversary celebration at the Park at 14th: Since 2007, the Park at 14th has been an anchor of D.C. nightlife, welcoming movie stars, athletes, musicians, politicians — and regular folks who just want to enjoy the downtown club’s warm, upscale ambiance and party-pleasing DJs on Saturday nights. This weekend, the Park marks its 15th anniversary with a blowout party, including an open bar from 5 to 9 p.m. for anyone who RSVPs. Get there early — the Park can be crowded on a normal night — and dress to impress, because the club’s dress code, which includes a “no T-shirts” rule, will be in effect. 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. Free with RSVP.

Après Ski at Wunder Garten: The crew at Wunder Garten loves a good theme. Recent happenings at the NoMa beer garden have included five weekends of Oktoberfest, a weeks-long World Cup celebration with embassy viewing parties, and the annual month-long Winterfest with crafting and ugly sweaters. Next up: Après Ski, an invitation to spend February sitting around fire pits, sipping spiked hot chocolate and raging at dance parties. (Vuarnet ski goggles optional.) This weekend’s kickoff events include an “All-out ’90s Dance Party” on Friday; a Saturday afternoon bourbon tasting (2 to 5 p.m.), followed by live music (4 to 7) and the “Drunk In Love Beyoncé Dance Party” (8 p.m.); and Sunday’s Yappy Hour (noon to 3 p.m.) with prizes for the dog with the best winter outfit. Through Feb. 26. Times vary. Free.

Count Gore de Vol presents ‘The Shining’ at AFI Silver: Scary-movie fans of a certain age may remember “Creature Feature,” a weekly Saturday night program on Channel 20 in the 1970s and ’80s. Low-budget vampire Count Gore de Vol — a.k.a. Dick Dyszel — hosted screenings of “Night of the Living Dead” and “The Brain That Wouldn’t Die,” camping up the Halloween vibes around commercial breaks. This year marks the 50th anniversary of “Creature Feature,” and the Count is celebrating at the AFI Silver Theatre with retrospective clips, interactive games, special guests and a viewing of “The Shining.” 6:30 p.m. $10-$15.

‘Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner’ at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company: British playwright Jasmine Lee-Jones was only 20 years old when she made her debut at London’s Royal Court Theatre with “Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner.” If it isn’t obvious from the title, the show is a comedy — and one in which Twitter figures prominently. Main character Cleo writes a viral thread about cultural appropriation and a certain Kardashian-adjacent makeup mogul, and what happens next is depicted in both the IRL world and the Twittersphere. Of note: Shows this Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday are “pay what you will” performances, with tickets starting at $1 through Woolly Mammoth’s website. Through March 3. Pay-what-you-will to $73.

That’s So Vintage at Auto Shop: This vintage market brings 15 local vendors, including items from the bricks-and-mortar Phosphene Studio in Fredericksburg, to a space near Union Market. Other sellers offer products like colored glassware, home decor, vinyl and clothing. There will be wines, spirit-free drinks and small bites available for purchase while local musicians perform. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Yu Su at Flash: Born in Kaifeng, China, a city on the shore of the Yellow River, Yu Su grew up on classical music and karaoke. It wasn’t until she moved to Canada to attend college that she first heard the wide range of sounds under the electronic music umbrella. Since then, the classically trained pianist has ventured to connect Eastern and Western influences and sounds in her music. Her debut album, “Yellow River Blue,” bounds between ambient, dub and house music, with propulsive percussion and synthesizers that generate gauzy textures and warm percolations, with a reverberating depth that feels three-dimensional. 10 p.m. $30.

4 concerts to catch in the D.C. area over the next several days

NSO Music for Young Audiences: Beauty and the Beat at the Kennedy Center: National Symphony Orchestra principal second violinist Marissa Regni and NSO assistant principal timpanist/percussionist Scott Christian perform a show geared toward kids in the Family Theater. This 45-minute program explores the combining of melodic and rhythmic instruments, and one hour before its start, there is a hands-on activity that lets children get up close with instruments they’ll see onstage. Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.; Sunday at 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. $20.

Winter Bird Walks at Tregaron: Tucked between Woodley Park and Cleveland Park, the Tregaron Conservancy is a vital landscape for both humans and wildlife. Join birder Sam Krause for a birdwatching walk through the former estate every Saturday morning in February to learn more about the park’s avian residents and visitors. Binoculars are recommended. 8:30 to 10 a.m. Free; registration required.

Six Nations viewing parties at Tight Five Pub: Rugby’s annual Six Nations tournament showcases some of the finest teams in the sport — Ireland and France are ranked first and second in the world, respectively — in a festive and partisan atmosphere. Tight Five, the rugby-focused bar that replaced Smoke & Barrel in Adams Morgan last summer, is marking its first Six Nations by opening early for every game: Wales faces Ireland at 9:15 a.m. Saturday, followed by England and Scotland at 11:45 a.m. On Sunday, it’s France against Italy at 10 a.m. Buy a pint of Guinness between 9 and 11 a.m. Saturday to receive a free, custom-engraved Guinness pint glass. Through March 18. Times vary. Free admission.

Silent headphone party at Secret Lounge: Dueling DJs spin tracks on three channels for a clubbing experience in total silence. Guests can rent a pair of headphones and tune into beats while colored LED lights show which station is playing. Lower the volume or take the headphones off to chat with other guests at this party for ages 21 and up. 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. $13-$20.

‘Living the Dream … Singing the Dream’ at the Kennedy Center: Choral Arts offers its 35th annual choral tribute to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., co-presented by Washington Performing Arts. NBC4 anchor Shawn Yancy hosts this year’s program, featuring D.C. gospel titan Ralph Alan Herndon; the Washington Performing Arts Men, Women and Children of the Gospel choirs (led by artistic directors Michele Fowlin and Theodore Thorpe III); and Choral Arts, led by recently appointed artistic director Jace Kaholokula Saplan. A packed program offers spirituals and gospel mainstays from artists including André J. Thomas, Melvin Bryant Jr. and Evelyn Simpson-Curenton, plus a handful of Herndon’s own arrangements. As a centerpiece, the Rev. John Adams will receive the 2023 Choral Arts Humanitarian Award. 7 p.m. $25-$75.

A classical music to-do list for Black History Month in D.C.

Galentine’s Day Love Letters at Shop Made in DC: Local boutique Shop Made in DC’s Georgetown location hosts a Galentine’s Day craft night in honor of female friendship, with all the supplies you need to make heart-shaped cards. You’ll learn watercolor techniques, thanks to instruction from artist and calligrapher Rachel Heiss, and after playing around with paint, she’ll teach hand-lettering skills so you can write pretty notes inside. (This class is also held at Shop Made in DC’s Union Market location on Feb. 8.) 3 to 5 p.m. $39.

‘Electric Circus’ at 20 at the Kennedy Center: Two decades after Common’s “Electric Circus” earned critical praise for pushing the boundaries of hip-hop, infusing songs with rock, electronica and neo-soul, Common and frequent collaborator Bilal sit down with journalist Marcus J. Moore to discuss the making of a classic album. 7:30 p.m. $49-$75.

Kaash Paige at Union Stage: Dallas-born singer-songwriter Kaash Paige makes woozy R&B full of gentle, scale-climbing melodies and sings about the kind of self-discovery that comes in tandem with the breakups and makeups of young love. The 22-year-old first bubbled up on “Love Songs,” a true-to-title ballad about cocoa butter kisses and favorite orange sweaters. Her projects since have added more colors to her palette, but she’s best on similarly spaced-out songs like “Euphoria,” alongside fellow Texans Travis Scott and Don Toliver. As she sings “drownin’ in euphoria” inside an armor of Auto-Tune, it’s hard not to imagine the song playing on the same-named HBO hit that’s also obsessed with the tribulations of young adults. 8 p.m. $25.

State of the Union viewing parties: State of the Union viewing parties remain a great Washington tradition. In a happy coincidence, the president’s address falls on the same night as Shaw’s Tavern’s Taco Tuesday, which means plates of three tacos for $10 and $8 margaritas (or $28 pitchers) beginning at 5 p.m., before the main event at 9 p.m. Reservations are suggested but not required. Just down Pennsylvania Avenue SE from the Capitol, Fight Club is showing the speech on projection screens, with happy hour running from 8 p.m. to close. Among the drink specials: the 15th Time’s the Charm, a tequila sunrise inspired by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif). Reservations are suggested. The Red Derby’s long-running viewing party coincides with Tendie Tuesday — half-price chicken tenders and fries platters — and $6 local beers, including Right Proper’s Senate lager and DC Brau’s Corruption IPA and Public pale ale. It’s tough to beat the around-the-clock happy hour, which includes $3.50 rail tequila and whiskey shots and a $3.50 mystery canned beer.

Queer Trivia at Dew Drop Inn: The Brookland bar, which shares owners with Wonderland Ballroom, is hosting a LGBTQ+ trivia night for “all things nerdy and gay,” led by drag queens. 7 p.m. Free.

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