Valentine’s Day, Puppy Bowl parties and other events in the D.C. area


Fundraiser for Turkish earthquake relief efforts at Meze: Through Friday, Adams Morgan mainstay Meze is donating 100 percent of its sales to relief efforts in Turkey and encouraging guests to make donations through the American Turkish Association of Washington, D.C. If you haven’t visited Meze in a while — it’s been on the 18th Street strip for more than two decades — this is an opportunity to revisit. Through Friday.

A2B at the Eaton Workshop: The Eaton’s A2B series, which finds musicians, DJs and journalists playing and discussing records that hold deep personal meaning, examines “Black history and future through music” in the hotel’s library throughout February. Sessions include filmmaker and former Post journalist Chris Jenkins covering Public Enemy’s “Fear of a Black Planet” on Feb. 9 and Panama Jackson of TheGrio delving into Erykah Badu’s “Mama’s Gun” on Feb. 16. Thursdays through Feb. 23. 7 to 9 p.m. Free; RSVP required.

Guide to the best Black History Month events around Washington

The Grandsons at Hank Dietle’s Tavern: Mardi Gras parades have started picking up in New Orleans, and D.C. is increasingly joining the fun, too. The revitalized Hank Dietle’s Tavern in Rockville welcomes local Americana/R&B faves the Grandsons, whose Mardi Gras show includes songs by Professor Longhair, the Neville Brothers, Allen Toussaint and “some zydeco for the real Carnival enthusiasts.” The show starts at 8; show up at happy hour (5:30 p.m.) for an early set from honky-tonk pianist Bill Starks. 8 p.m. $10.

Mardi Pardi at Crazy Aunt Helen’s: There’s more Mardi Gras action over on Capitol Hill, where the state societies of Mississippi and Alabama — nonprofit groups dedicated to promoting the culture of their home states — are joining forces for a night of drinks and dancing to brass band music. 6 to 9 p.m. $20 for nonmembers.

Movie Nights at the Embassy of Haiti: For one weekend, the Haitian Embassy on Embassy Row is focused on a different kind of diplomacy. Over three nights, the embassy, alongside the Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance and the Caribbean Heritage Association, hosts screenings of three films featuring Haitian stories and stars. Friday at 7 p.m., it’s the award-winning “Toussaint Louverture,” a 2012 movie about the leader of the Haitian Revolution, known as the Father of Haiti. Saturday brings a sold-out screening of “Jean-Michel Basquiat, L’Afrique au Coeur,” a documentary about the New York-born artist of Haitian and Puerto Rican descent. On Sunday, it’s a matinee of the thriller “Rattlesnakes” at 3 p.m. Free; RSVP required.

‘I Dream a World: Selections from Brian Lanker’s Portraits of Remarkable Black Women’ at the National Portrait Gallery: Just in time for Black History Month and Women’s History Month, the National Portrait Gallery unveils the second half of a two-part exhibition of black-and-white images taken by Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Brian Lanker. (Part one opened last July.) Among the notable women featured in part two are choreographer Katherine Dunham, activist Dorothy Height, tennis star Althea Gibson and actress Cicely Tyson. Through Sept. 10. Free.

Love Thy Beer at Silver Spring Civic Building: Malty winter brews take center stage at this annual beer festival organized by the Brewers Association of Maryland. The beer choice is apt, since the event occurs during the cold and dreary month of February. Two dozen craft breweries from throughout the Free State — including Flying Dog, Mad Science, Denizens and Black Flag — are each bringing a pair of beers to the festivities in Silver Spring, and the rule is that one must be a winter seasonal. Be sure to sample widely: Attendees get to vote for the “Cupid’s Curse” beer they love the most. The evening also includes snacks, with music from local rootsy rockers Justin Trawick and the Common Good. Spring for the $75 Cupid’s Curse pass to get early admission — and an extra hour of beer — before the party officially begins. 6 to 10 p.m. $65-$75; $20 for designated drivers.

‘The High Ground’ at Arena Stage: When playwright Nathan Alan Davis first learned of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, he was shocked that, in all his years of schooling, he’d never heard of this attack by a White mob, which killed an unknown number of people and devastated Tulsa’s all-Black neighborhood of Greenwood. The tragedy inspired Davis’s play “The High Ground,” which makes its world premiere at Arena Stage starring Phillip James Brannon, who appeared in “Macbeth” on Broadway last spring. This time-traveling love story opens in modern-day Tulsa, as characters grapple with the repercussions of the massacre that occurred more than a century ago. Through April 2. $72-$125.

Singles Happy Hour at Madam’s Organ: There’s no better time than the week before Valentine’s Day for procrastinators to couple up. The Adams Morgan bar is offering discounts and Valentine’s-themed cocktail specials during this mixer, which includes speed dating, live music and on-site matchmakers to help you make that introduction. 6 to 9 p.m. $10.

Capitol Hill Dessert Tour: Restaurants around Eastern Market and Barracks Row compete for the title of best dessert in this multiple-day deal. Purchase a ticket to try otherwise-free desserts at 19 participating locations — get New Orleans-style beignets at As You Are, pear biscuit tarts at Crazy Aunt Helen’s or zeppole doughnuts at La Collina. When the “tour” ends, ticket holders can vote for their favorites. Note that a ticket will get you one dessert at each location and that participants have to dine in — no to-go or takeout dishes allowed. Through Feb. 19. $29.

Frederick Douglass Birthday Celebration at Capital Turnaround: Cedar Hill, the historic mansion that Frederick Douglass called home, remains closed for renovations, so the annual birthday party for the Lion of Anacostia is moving to the former streetcar barn across from the Navy Yard. The program includes period music from the Jubilee Voices of the Washington Revels, DC Strings, speeches from the student winners of the Frederick Douglass Oratorical Contest and a discussion about which city Douglass really considered his home. 2 p.m. Free.

Native Cinema Showcase: ‘Encanto’ at the National Museum of the American Indian: Families who can’t get enough of the magical residents of Casa Madrigal can head to this free screening on the Mall as part of the National Museum of the American Indian’s Native Cinema Showcase. Arrive early: Admission is first-come, first-served. (Thankfully, the interactive ImagiNations Activity Center opens at 10 a.m.). 2 to 4 p.m. Free.

Mortified Live Valentine’s Day podcast at the Black Cat: For more than two decades, Mortified has been helping adults spin adolescent secrets into comedy gold. Volunteers bravely mount the stage to share their teenage diary entries about broken hearts, read the overwrought letters written to crushes and recite that cringeworthy love poem. It’s cathartic, funny and great entertainment all at once. This event is being recorded for a future “Mortified” podcast. 8 p.m. $25.

‘Sucker for Love’ at the Lincoln Theatre: D.C. storytelling institution Story District presents its popular Valentine’s Day show — packed with honest-to-God tales of heartbreak, true love and awkward first dates — for the 15th year. In this year’s edition, held at Lincoln Theatre, seven storytellers dish on topics including an imaginary relationship, “dating while gray” and a tale of revenge. 8 to 9:30 p.m. $35-$45.

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

Cupid’s Undie Run at Union Stage: It’s going to be brisk jogging outside in your underwear in February, but any chills are for a good cause: Each year, the quirky Cupid’s Undie Run raises money to fight the genetic disorder neurofibromatosis. Those 21 and up can register and show up in their undies (keep it PG-13) for a daytime dance party at Union Stage, followed by an easygoing run of about a mile and then a post-run party. Raise $250 or more to receive a pair of undies and open bar access. Noon to 4 p.m. $45.

Puppy Bowl viewing parties: Admit it: Watching Patrick Mahomes vs. Jalen Hurts might be exciting, but it won’t be as much fun — or have as many viewers oohing and aahing — as Puppy Bowl XIX, which airs on Animal Planet on Sunday afternoon. This year’s battle between Team Ruff and Team Fluff features 122 puppies representing shelters in 34 states, and, naturally, there are dog-friendly viewing parties across the area.

In D.C., Dacha’s Shaw beer garden is teaming with District Dogs for a fundraiser for the Humane Rescue Alliance. Make a donation to the organization and your four-legged friend receives a free puppuccino or (nonalcoholic) dog beer. For humans, vodka drinks are $5 all day. 1 to 3 p.m. Free.

The weekly Yappy Hour at NoMa’s Wunder Garten has a tailgate theme, and the nearby Duncan Dog Hotel hosts a “best trick” contest with prizes. Pour It Up, an all-Rihanna dance party celebrating her Super Bowl halftime performances, kicks off at 3. 1 to 4 p.m. Free.

Bark Social, a large outdoor dog park-cum-bar in North Bethesda’s Pike & Rose development, has planned a party with food and drinks for canines and humans, games, and “social media-worthy moments,” as well as adoptable dogs from the Little Black Dog Rescue Group. Corgi owners can sign up in advance for races taking place throughout the afternoon. Noon to 4 p.m. Free; dogs must be registered, with proof of vaccinations in advance.

Alexandria’s Barkhaus, which combines indoor and outdoor dog play areas with a restaurant and bar, is joining forces with Homeward Trails Animal Rescue for a viewing party and adoption event, complete with photo backdrops. Specials include $15 beer-and-a-brat combos for people, in addition to $1 dog beers. 2 to 4 p.m. Free; dogs must be registered, with proof of vaccinations in advance.

Super Bowl viewing parties: If you’re not a fan of the two teams playing in the big game, the best way to approach Super Bowl Sunday is to find a bar that offers more than just football. And expect crowds wherever you go, even if you have tickets.

Of all the specials we’ve seen at D.C. bars, these stand out: Shelter, the outstanding beer bar at the Roost, offers bottomless pours of its 50 draft beers and unlimited pizza from neighboring Slice Joint for $60 from 6 to 10 p.m. (Sister bar Owen’s Tavern in North Bethesda has a similar deal for $54.)

Jack Rose is moving the party to its bottle-lined saloon, rather than its rooftop, and $65 tickets include a selection of bottomless beers; unlimited bourbon punch; a sampler with short rib tacos, buffalo chicken dip and other snacks; and a bourbon tasting that includes offerings from Elijah Craig and Henry McKenna. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Last Call gave out free food during World Cup matches, and the Union Market bar did a pretty good job of keeping crowds happy. Let’s see how it does with a different kind of football: Starting at 6 p.m., Last Call promises a free spread with buffalo and honey garlic wings and nachos with fixings. The bartenders get an earlier start, with drink specials beginning at 4, including $4 Miller Lite drafts, $15 High Life buckets, and $9 margaritas and palomas.

Those into city-vs.-city menu challenges should head for Ghostburger, where a Kansas City burger containing a half pound of burnt ends, provolone and pickles is up against the Philly burger, which tops a smash burger with roast pork, garlic rabe, cheese and garlic mayo. Fight Club has two challenges during its viewing party: a take on Kansas City’s Ice Water cocktail (gin, vodka, triple sec, Sprite and lime) and a house version of Philadelphia’s City Wide beer-and-a-shot special. The kitchen is sending out “Philly-Style Steak and Cheese” and a Kansas City CB, with burnt ends, cheesy corn and coleslaw on open-faced Texas toast.

And if you’re rooting for the Chiefs at BlackFinn downtown or the Eagles at Sign of the Whale? Get there before doors open, if you can.

‘Bridesmaids’ at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema: There are two very different movie screenings at local Alamo theaters the weekend before Valentine’s Day. You and your partner (or rom-com-loving bestie) can enjoy “You’ve Got Mail” with a full brunch menu on Saturday afternoon, but Sunday’s interactive screening of “Bridesmaids” sounds like much more fun. This is one of Alamo’s “Movie Parties,” which means there are costumes (veils) and props (lemons) for all attendees and themed cocktails served at the bar. Bring your own matching bouquets. Noon at both the Bryant Street and Crystal City theaters. $16.

After Emancipation walking tours in Rock Creek Park: National Park Service rangers lead this two-mile tour exploring sites associated with formerly enslaved people who lived and worked on land that’s now part of Rock Creek Park, including Sarah Whitby, whose now-vanished house was excavated by archaeologists. The walk begins near Picnic Grove 28, and no reservations are required. Feb. 12 and 18 at 10 a.m. Free.

Kimbra at 9:30 Club: Where do you go after you’ve been featured on one of the biggest pop songs ever? New Zealand singer Kimbra Lee Johnson’s impressive discography since singing on Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” over 10 years ago is the answer to that question. She’s released four albums since that diamond-certified song, with the latest, “A Reckoning,” dropping in January. Johnson’s version of pop has always pulled from R&B and electronica influences. That’s still true, but this time hip-hop and trap beats enter the picture and mold Johnson’s darker, moodier approach. On the penultimate “Personal Space,” Johnson’s voice gets breathy, her whispers bleeding into the production. “I need my place to retrace / All the lines we’ve been drawing / On each other’s lives and plans,” she sings about feeling suffocated by a lover. It’s a song with far-out synths and glitchy beats, but Johnson sounds perfectly clear. 7 p.m. $30.

Julia Wolf at Union Stage: On “Good Thing We Stayed,” Julia Wolf spends a lot of time reflecting. Throughout the album, which arrived in January, Wolf parses the past by mulling how others used to treat her and how she felt about herself. She’s in a better, higher place now — her buzzy online momentum turning into a burgeoning career. Her 20/20 hindsight perspective on her path to the present is served over mostly hip-hop-ish beats. “All those nights I knew who I was / And my premonition right,” Wolf sweetly sings as her voice approaches a whistle tone on the opener, “Now.” The song has a laid-back production with simple 808s and allows Wolf’s detail-oriented lyrics to shine. On “Dracula,” her layered vocals and a bouncy, background strumming give the song an R&B feel. She spends the first verse running through details of her earlier youth — mentioning her Fila kicks and gym bleachers. When the chorus arrives, she sings, “I call you Dracula / Cause most of you people can’t even look in the mirror,” this time about people she knew then and now. From her perch, Wolf knows things change, but she also knows how much they stay the same. 8 p.m. $15-$30.

Beyoncé vs Rihanna Valentine’s Dance Party at 9:30 Club: Whether you’re “Crazy in Love,” “Drunk on Love” or just feeling “Single Ladies,” you’ll spend the night moving on 9:30 Club’s dance floor, thanks to DJ Craig Boarman, the selector behind the club’s popular “Madonna Britney Gaga” throw-downs. 8 p.m. $15.

‘A Broadway Valentine’ at Sixth & I: For a show tunes Valentine’s Day soundtrack on the actual holiday, star vocalist Jessica Vosk makes her D.C. debut with a cabaret-style show called “A Broadway Valentine” at Sixth & I. Presented by Washington Performing Arts, Vosk performs pop hits and Broadway classics. You’ll see why she was able to ditch her Wall Street career in favor of musical theater, working her way to leading lady status as Elphaba in “Wicked” on Broadway, among other roles. 7 p.m. $45.

Chad America’s Valentine’s Day Rock & Roll Dance Party at the Black Cat: Since 1999, this gathering at the Black Cat has been the option for couples and singles who’d rather spend the evening drinking longnecks, playing pinball, and listening to ’50s and ’60s rockabilly and R&B courtesy of DJ Mad Squirrel than worrying about hearts and flowers or hanging out in well-lit bars. 7 p.m. Free.

Lover’s Rock at Wild Days: A lineup of talented local singers provides a dose of soulful and nourishing R&B at the Eaton’s rooftop bar. The showcase is headlined by up-and-coming vocalist Melan — “whether you want to dance or cry, Melan is here for you,” The Post noted back in September — with sets by Ruqqiyah and Odd Mojo. Red and pink attire is encouraged. 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. Free; RSVP requested.

Romance writers’ panel at One More Page: Love is in the air for these four local authors, and not just on Valentine’s Day. USA Today best-selling authors Mindy Klasky (“The B Word”) and Sharon Wray (“Love’s Last Kiss”) are joined by Pru Warren and Meg Napier to discuss their books, writing and upcoming projects. 7 p.m. Free with registration.

American Ballet Theatre’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’: This rendition of one of Shakespeare’s most beloved works arrives at the Kennedy Center’s Opera House just before the Valentine’s Day excitement wears off. Choreographed by the revered Kenneth MacMillan, former artistic director and principal choreographer for the Royal Ballet in London, the program dives into themes of forbidden love and familial bonds. Through Feb. 19. $49-$169.

‘The Love Jones Cafe’ at Karma: Sit back with a cocktail and listen to live R&B and spoken word poetry performances at this event hosted by WKYS’s Chey Parker. There’s also a dating panel with the hosts of podcast “Real Love Scenario.” 7 to 11 p.m. $10-$20.

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