Thursday, June 12: The semifinals of the Drafthouse Comedy Challenge, a local competition at the Arlington Cinema ’n’ Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike, Arlington; 703-486-2345) kick off tonight, with four local comedians duking it out for laughs onstage. Next Thursday, four more will compete before two are chosen for the final on June 20. Tickets are $10; 8:30 PM.
Can’t get a date? Buy one! Start tonight at the DC Date Auction, held by a group raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as part of its annual fundraising drive. The date auction (which includes players from DC United—ooh la la!) is at Lotus Lounge (1420 K St., NW) at 7 PM; $10. Check out all the auctionees at dcdateauction.blogspot.com.
Friday, June 13: Project Runway winner Christian Siriano will be the guest host at tonight’s official Pride Party for guys at Town (2009 Eighth St., NW). Dress your best because he’ll be strolling around the club handing out hot-mess fashion citations to those he thinks are less than pleasing sartorially. There will also be lots of dancing, DJs, and drag shows. Entrance costs $10 before 11, $15 afterwards.
Celebrate the start of Capital Pride weekend with a screening of the 1964 film Strait-Jacket at the Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens (4155 Linnean Ave., NW; 202-686-5807). The film stars gay idol Joan Crawford as an ax-wielding madwoman. As Siriano would say: Fierce! There will be a picnic spread and a Joan Crawford look-alike contest. Doors open at 6, and the movie starts at sunset. Tickets are $15 and $10 for children. To reserve a spot, call 202-686-5807.
Saturday, June 14: Baltimore’s annual Hon Fest celebrates that certain kitschy, ’60s, beehived-hairdoed local gal who (thanks in part to John Waters) made our neighbor city kinda famous. Frankly, we can’t think of any better reason to don an outrageous vintage frock and head north for a day or two of carnivallike fun. Get schedules and directions here.
Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte may, in fact, be superheroes, but Kung Fu Panda schooled them on the art of ass-kickery this past weekend with a gross of more than $60 million. So while females viewers may be “the next great hope for Hollywood,” we can’t forget the power of the dude. And what does the dude like? Kung-fu, apparently. Luckily for us dudes, National Geographic Live! is having a daylong kung-fu film festival this Saturday. “Kung-Fu Cinema: Masters of Shaolin” will screen three kung-fu classics: Shaolin Temple, Executioners From Shaolin, and The 36th Chamber of Shaolin. Read on for details.
One of Northern Virginia’s largest outdoor food festivals, Reston’s Taste of the Town, at Reston Town Center (11921 Freedom Dr.), offers samples from area eateries, live music, a beer-and-wine garden, and kid-friendly activities and games. Admission and parking are free, but tastings start at $1. Noon to 10:30.
What started as a small annual picnic has grown into the Alexandria Waterfront Festival, a weekend of fun to benefit Alexandria’s chapter of the American Red Cross. June 14 and 15, Oronoco Bay Park in Old Town will fill with amusement rides, docked ships to tour, and tents for crafts such as Father’s Day card making. Entertainment both days includes the popular band Virginia Coalition, whose three members met in high school in Alexandria. Admission $15; one child free with each paying adult; each additional child $5; under age three free. 701 N. Lee St., Alexandria; 703-549-8300; waterfrontfestival.org.
Sunday, June 15: It’s Father’s Day today. Lacking ideas for what to do for dear old Dad? Check out our guide to Father’s Day for foodies.
Craving art? Head to the “Richard Misrach: On the Beach” exhibit at the National Gallery of Art’s West Building (Sixth St. and Constitution Ave., NW). The photographs—some as large as six by ten feet—of the beach and Pacific Ocean seem inviting, but closer observation reveals a disturbing message. In 19 images Misrach started taking just after September 11, 2001, there’s no horizon, no sky—just sea and people. The title of the exhibit refers to Nevil Shute’s 1957 novel, On the Beach, about a nuclear holocaust. The large-scale photographs are stunning and mesmerizing—you could stare at them for hours. On Sundays, the gallery is open from 11 to 6.
Swedish (by way of Argentina) folk crooner José González is back in town with a show at the 9:30 Club. Unfamiliar with his album In Our Nature until after he’d played at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, we’re making it a point to see him live. You should, too. Get tickets ($25) here.