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Thursday, May 24: What’s better than a great Shakespeare performance? How about a great Shakespeare performance, for free, in a lovely outdoor setting? That’s what you get at the annual Shakespeare Free for All, which kicks off tonight at Carter Barron Amphitheatre in Rock Creek Park (16th Street and Colorado Avenue, NW). Tonight it’s a production of “Love’s Labor Lost.” 7:30 pm. Details here.
Drink and mingle among art treasures at the Corcoran exhibit “Modernism: Designing a New World 1914–1939.” The 1869 Society hosts “Cultural Cocktails,” a happy hour at the museum from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. $10; register in advance here.
Friday, May 25: The Alliance Française de Washington (2142 Wyoming Avenue, NW) has been putting on some grand cultural events lately, and it sounds like it has another winner with its inaugural monthly party, Soiree Carte Blanche. Drop by for a happy hour “à la française” with a French DJ, food and drinks, video screenings, and a chance to iPod DJ. 7 pm. $8; members $6. Reservations required. RSVP to 202-234-7911, extension 16.
AFI Silver screens Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, one of the greatest Japanese films of all time. The plot? Village farmers hire seven samurai to protect them from attackers. Though the village can only pay with food, each samurai takes on the mission for his own reasons. 8633 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring; 8:30 pm. $9.25.
Bliss is a great DJ night that’s been around a while, but I’ve noticed a bunch of new DJ nights popping up around town. Nouveau Riche is a fun dance night at DC9 (1940 9th Street, NW) that plays an incredibly eclectic (and dancy) mix of music. Show up between 9 and 10 pm for free admission and free Sparks; $8 afterwards.
Go two see two great local bands together on one bill—and even better, for charity. Georgie James and Beauty Pill play St. Stephen’s Church (1525 Newton St. NW), with proceeds going to One DC and Books for America. $8, 7 pm.