18 Things To Do In And Around D.C. : DCist


This weekend, show a little love for local musicians, neighborhoods, cultural groups, and more with outdoor music, a Greek festival, political plays, and more.

FRIDAY MAY 19

JAZZ IN THE GARDEN: It’s the first night of Jazz in the Garden. Grab your blanket, your picnic basket, and a few friends, then come stake out your spot. This D.C. summer tradition is now in its 17th season, bringing folks together for music, sculptural art, and, of course, sangria. Brazilian bluegrass band Matuto will perform the free outdoor concert, keeping that end-of-the-week energy high with its signature blend of Brazilian and Appalachian music. (National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, 5-8:30 p.m. FREE)

HEALTHCARE DRAMA: Joe is a blue-collar guy from a red state, and he votes and chooses his news sources accordingly. But when his wife gets sick, and his insurance doesn’t fully cover her treatment, Joe has to confront his political views and where they align with the healthcare system. Written before the Affordable Care Act was implemented, Mercy Killers could serve as a sobering reminder of what we stand to lose as the American Heath Care Act advances to the Senate. Presented by Taffety Punk Theatre Company, the one-man-show opens tonight and will be produced in repertory with Side Effects, which opens Saturday night and is also about healthcare. (Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 8 p.m. $15)

HOMETOWN TALENT: Need a little variety in your life? Come check out local talent at The Capital City Showcase, which features a lineup of D.C.-area musicians, comedians, singer-songwriters, and more. Rahmein Mostafavi will dominate the comedy component, which also includes jokes by Elahe Izadi and Jon Yeager. Cassie Urbany will kick things up with folksy country music, and rock trio Caustic Casanova will headline. (IOTA Club & Café, 8:30 p.m. $12)

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Eat your fill of spanakopita and other Greek delicacies at St. Sophia’s annual festival. (Photo by Tinkurlab)

SATURDAY MAY 20

TRANS PRIDE: Celebrate Capital Trans Pride Day with community members and allies. This family-friendly educational event will include panel discussions, workshops, lunch with Gavin Grimm, a film screening, networking happy hour, and more. Showcase your spirit while learning about important topics such as navigating the complicated world of health insurance, engaging in safe sex, managing your transition, and knowing your rights. (Studio Theatre, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. FREE)

PROTEST PLAY: Retreat underground for one of the last performances of Alliance for New Music-Theatre’s Protest. Written by former Czech President Vaclav Havel, the political play is set in a society that locks up dissidents and spies on its citizens. While one man tries to free a jailed musician, another aims to create real change. The subterranean staging of this work is an appropriate choice, as it was originally performed in apartments and other nontraditional spaces. Protest closes tomorrow. (Dupont Underground, 3 p.m. & 8 p.m. $35)

PICKLE POPCORN: Nu, did you hear the Washington Jewish Film Festival is back? B’emet! The 27th edition of this annual festival opened this week, bringing shorts and 63 feature-length films to local venues through May 28th. Check out DCist’s guide or read through the full schedule and see what appeals to you. (Various locations, 12-9:15 p.m. $13-20)

GYROS: Opa! The Saint Sophia Annual Greek Festival is this weekend. Eat delicious spanakopita, mousaka, stuffed grape leaves, baklava, and more with a glass of Greek wine. Browse the marketplace and dance as local musicians play on. (Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral, noon-10 p.m. FREE)

AH CHIHUAHUA: You know what’s even better than tiny ducks? Tiny dogs. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo muy tarde with the Running of the Chihuahuas VI. There will be food trucks, cold beer, live music, and a big screen to watch the little puppers. All dogs are welcome. (The Wharf, 1-5 p.m. FREE)

PARTY IN THE PARK: Celebrate the work and resilience of D.C.-based immigrant and refugee rights organizations at Spring Forward. Organized by Meso Creso, the family friendly affair will feature yoga, workshops, crafts, and learning sessions. (Malcolm X Park, 2-9 p.m. FREE)

BUBBLES AND BLUEGRASS: The Adams Morgan Summer Concert Series continues with a performance by old-timey bluegrass band Hollertown. There will be hula hoops and bubbles for the kids, and you can snag a wristband for discounts at neighborhood businesses. (Adams Morgan, 5-7 p.m. FREE)

BRASIL & CHILL: Somebody pass me a caipirinha. The heat is rising in Washington, so you might as well embrace it. Transport yourself to the favelas of Rio de Janeiro with Baile De Favela, a rooftop dance party. Dance to Brazilian pop and samba, grab a cold beverage, and replenish your energy with barbeque. (Local 16, 4:30-10:30 p.m. $15)

SHIPPING UP TO SILVER SPRING: Sing drunken lullabies at The Fillmore, as 20-year-old Celtic punk rock band Flogging Molly takes to the stage. Known for fast rhythms with a traditional Irish twist, the group doesn’t shy away from political messages. Hear what they have to say and sing along if you know the words—chances are a good portion of the audience will…loudly. The White Buffalo and Dylan Walshe will open the show. (The Fillmore, 8 p.m. $35)

AFTERPARTY: The Halcyon Awards honor innovators and creators in arts, business, and policy. After Halcyon recognizes the contributions and achievements of Chef José Andrés, Ben & Jerry’s founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, and Congressman John Delaney, it’s party time. The Neon Speakeasy will follow the gala, as fashionable folks dance to a set by DJ Remedy and enjoy an open bar. (Union Station, 10 p.m. $100)

More: Smart Phone Filmmaking Workshop, SerbFest DC

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Madame Butterfly features stunning visuals. (Cory Weaver)

SUNDAY MAY 21

OPERA: Puccini’s heartbreaking classic about a young geisha who makes the ultimate sacrifice for love is on stage at The Kennedy Center, but not for long. A co-production of Opera Omaha and San Francisco Opera, the Washington National Opera’s Madame Butterfly features a bold, colorful set and costumes, and a cast that critics love. The production closes this Sunday, with a free artist talk following the matinee. Are you under 30? MyTix discounted seats are available for $35. (The Kennedy Center, 2-4:30 p.m. $25-300)

GUACAMOLE: You already know guac is extra, but this Sunday it’s for a good cause. The 2nd Annual DC Guac Off will pit local avocado aficionados against one another in a delicious fight for the winner’s circle. Every penny of the entrance fee goes to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and the restaurant is offering drink specials for attendees. Wash all that green goodness down with a $4 beer or $5 margarita, and pat yourself on the back for doing a good deed. (Tortilla Coast, 2-4 p.m. $10)

ROOTS: Enjoy outdoor music and dancing as the American Roots Concert Series presents the Revelers. The group blends “swamp-pop,” Cajun, country, blues, and zydeco for a musical gumbo that couldn’t come from anywhere else but Southwest Louisiana. (Hill Center DC, 4-6 p.m. FREE)

SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESS: Eastern Market Main Street invites you to enjoy a night out in the historic Eastern Market North Hall. There will be live music, drinks, and small bites provided by neighborhood restaurants Acqua Al 2, Hank’s Oyster Bar, Joselito, Radici, Prego Deli, and Tortilla Café. (Eastern Market, 6-9 p.m. $20)

IMPROV: The Upright Citizens Brigade Touring Company is bringing its troupe of very funny people to D.C. These professional improv comedians create hilarious scenarios on the spot that are unscripted and unexpected—like President Trump’s tweets. Couldn’t we all use a good laugh? (Sixth & I, 7 p.m. $20-25)

More: Taste of Arlington, OverEasy Tea Dance – May!

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