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Where & When: What to Do This Weekend

A Purim happy hour, cheap sliders, the ballet, and some early St. Paddy’s Day festivities are all in this weekend’s nightlife roundup.

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Thursday, March 5: Itching to check out a concert this week? We recommend the Black Lips at the Black Cat tonight. You’ll love the band’s bluesy, blissed-out psychedelic garage/folk rock. Openers Gentleman Jesse and His Men rock as well. $13 in advance, $15 day of show. Doors open at 8 PM.

Thinking of going out to dinner tonight? Eat at a restaurant taking part in Dining Out for Life, and you’ll do some good, too. More than 150 places are participating, and they’ll donate some or all of their sales to Food & Friends, which delivers meals to those living with cancer, HIV, and other illnesses.

Urban Chic, one of our favorite local boutiques, turns the big 5 today. Celebrate at the store from 5 to 8 PM with Champagne, gift cards, and a 15-percent discount on all merchandise.

The Alliance Française and the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue—two of our favorite nightlife venues over the last couple years—are teaming up for a French-inspired Purim happy hour from 6 to 9 PM. There’ll be a DJ, iPod battles, a real French mime (yay?), prizes, and drinks. Plus, local rockers Bellman Barker will be playing a set UPDATE: Bellman Barker had to cancel their appearance. $12; buy tickets at

The New York City Ballet’s appearances are always a treat. On the program from March 4 through 8 are dances at the Kennedy Center by Christopher Wheeldon, Peter Martins, and the ballet’s founder, George Balanchine. Jerome Robbins and Twyla Tharp’s “Brahms/Handel”—a light, satirical collaboration between the two greatest choreographers to combine modern dance, pop, and ballet—is also on the bill. For tickets ($29 to $99), call 202-467-4600 or visit

Friday, March 6: Instead of dinner and a movie for your Friday-night date, how about a movie and a party instead? Head to the AFI Silver Theatre for a screening of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, then stick around for an after-party thrown by The movie’s at 9:15, and the party starts at 11. More details here.

Interested in learning more about the green fairy that’s taking the United States by storm? Morton’s the Steakhouse in Reston presents Absinthe: The Green Hour. Guests are invited to learn about the history of the drink, help make and taste absinthe cocktails, and sample hors d’oeuvres, including absinthe oysters Rockefeller, crab-stuffed mushrooms, sliced tenderloin on crostini, and miniature prime cheeseburgers. The tasting, which costs $45, starts at 6. Call 703-796-0128 for reservations.

Today’s date is March 6, 2009—also known as 3-6-9, the shorthand Matchbox uses to promote its delicious sliders, ordered in quantities of three, six, or nine. To coincide with today’s date, the restaurant will be offering each of its sliders for $1. That’s quite a deal. We’re sure it’ll get super-crowded, so try going on an off hour or really, really early.

A true sign of spring? Rita’s Water Ice is reopening today. You can pick up some of its deliciousness at two locations: 2318 Rhode Island Avenue, Northeast, or 1781 Florida Avenue, Northwest.

Saturday, March 7: Celebrate Naomh Pádraig (or Saint Patrick, for the Yanks) by attending Alexandria’s 28th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. It kicks off at 12:30 at the intersection of King and West streets and proceeds down King to Fairfax Street.

Nine bars, including the Front Page, Mackey’s, and—our personal favorite—Recessions (don’t hate), are participating in the Leprechaun Lap, the annual pub crawl held in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. All bars will have food and drink specials from 1 to 9. The price to be part of this debauchery? Ten dollars with two cans of food (which will be donated to the Manna Food Center), $13 without. For advance tickets at a discounted price, go to

Love to knit or want to learn? From noon to 1:30 today, first-time and experienced knitters are invited to Stitch DC’s sock-knitting class. The cost is $55 plus materials. For more information, call 202-333-5648.

The National Gallery of Art screens the Japanese film Cruel Story of Youth in the East Building auditorium. The movie, released in 1960, follows the exploits of a thrill-seeking teenager and a university student. 4 PM.

Sunday, March 8: In Douglas Carter Beane’s Hollywood satire at the Signature Theatre, The Little Dog Laughed, a closeted gay actor and his agent tussle over the effect that playing a gay character onscreen will have on his career. The play closes today. For tickets ($56 and $81), call Ticketmaster at 703-573-7328.

Arabesque, the international festival celebrating the music, dance, and theater of Arab countries, continues through next week at the Kennedy Center. Today’s activities include a series of panels with Arab writers and poets as well as a concert by Egyptian jazz pianist Fathy Salama at 7:30. For tickets and more information, click here.

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