Where & When: What to Do This Weekend

A drunken spelling-bee competition, wine and Scotch tastings, Journopalooza, and pantlessness—of course.

By: Emily Leaman, Julyssa Lopez, Alejandro Salinas, Eliot Stein

Thursday, January 7: Think fast! Washington Improv Theater is holding free “Intro to Improv” workshops this week (and tonight at 7) for those who’d like to test the waters of the improvisational world. The last two hours. As the theater puts it, “Improv helps you get out of those bad situations and into awesome ones.” It also shows you speaking and acting skills for daily life. Register here.

Cue up Kool and the Gang’s “Ladies Night” and head to Midtown Loft, which offers women half-price drafts, bottled beer, and rail drinks from 5 until midnight.

This week’s Phillips After 5, an after-hours event at the Phillips Collection that combines gallery talks, live entertainment, and food every Thursday throughout the month of August, features a sneak preview of Round House Theatre’s Permanent Collection, a play that takes a behind-the-scenes look at museum politics. Pianist Allyn Johnson will provide the night’s musical entertainment, and Man Ray’s photographs will be discussed.

Show up decked in plaid at H Street Country Club and you’ll get to play mini-golf for a discounted price (just $4), as part of the restaurant’s Preppy & Plaid night. Get there early enough and you’ll also be able to take advantage of the happy-hour specials (5 to 7) which include $5 Pimm’s Cup.
Friday, January 8: The Washington Antiques Show, at American University’s Katzen Arts Center, raises funds for families and children through the nonprofit Thrift Shop Charities. The show brings together more than 44 antiques dealers who sell everything from furniture to vintage jewelry. This year’s theme is Flights of Fancy. Tickets are $15 for a one-day pass and $25 for a three-day pass. Children under 12 are free. Friday and Saturday 11 to 8, Sunday 11 to 5.

Why are so many journalists in bands? A friend says it’s because both professions “involve a suspension of actually having to mature.” Well, we’re not sure about that, but either way we’re excited for Journopalooza, a battle of media-member-filled bands, tonight at 8 pm. The concert at the National Press Club includes four groups made up of folks from the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and more. $25 in advance, $30 at the door; get tickets here. All proceeds to go the Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders, and the National Press Club training programs.

Drunken Jenga and Not Dead Yet may be history, but the folks at the Rock & Roll Hotel have come up with another entertaining way to drink yourself stupid: Buzzed Spelling Bee, which is exactly what it sounds like. The first 20 people to start a tab in the upstairs bar after 7 are automatically entered in a spelling competition in which each round is preceded by a beer-and-shot combo ($6). First prize is a $60 bar tab.

From the gays behind the popular Mixtape and Taint parties, RAW is a monthly dance party that bills itself as a night of “sleaze set to a disco beat” at the Green Lantern. Leather, glam, and retro gay attire is highly encouraged. 9:30 pm.

Fridays are not all about the beer at the Arlington Cinema ’n’ Drafthouse, which, along with the Washington Wine Academy, hosts Wine Nights at the Movies. Prior to the show, patrons are treated to a tasting (tickets are $2) under the guidance of a wine expert. Tonight’s film is the Ricky Gervais vehicle The Invention of Lying. Wine Night starts at 6:15; the movie is at 7:30.
Saturday, January 9:
Cory Oberndorfer seems to be an aficionado of mixing childlike details in his made-for-adult shows. His newest show, at the Fridge (Rear Alley, 516 Eighth St., SE; 202-664-4151) is meant to show what happens when grownups lose their innocence—but he still uses pictures and icons from his childhood. The opening reception begins at 8 and includes performances by Diabetik and other musicians. For more info, click here.

Up for a midday drink or ten? Scotch lovers should leave their keys at home and sign up for the single-malt-Scotch tasting at DC Coast. Participants will learn about the history and production of Scotch from beverage director Scott Clime while tasting ten whiskeys and single malts. The tasting runs from 1 to 3, and lunch will be provided. To reserve your space and for more information, call 202-408-0201.

Fancy yourself a performer? Crack, a local performance group with a penchant for the outrageous and unconventional, is hosting auditions at Town Danceboutique. All auditions will be videotaped; performers must provide their own music, if necessary for their audition piece. The event is open to the public. 3 pm.

Cult classics are kept alive at E Street Cinema’s Midnight Madness movie series, which runs every Friday and Saturday. Tonight’s film is 1970’s beloved and bizarre The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Tickets are $10.

Speaking of the past, give duckpin bowling a try at the White Oak Duckpin Bowling Lanes (11207 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring). Saturday nights mean cosmic bowling which, in turn, means heart-pounding jams, disco lights, and—wait for it—a fog machine. $13 per person. Cosmic bowling runs from 10:30 pm to 1 AM.
Sunday, January 10:
As part of the Iranian Film Festival, the Freer and Sackler Galleries present A Man Who Ate His Cherries, which follows Iranian factory worker Reza and his wife, Zari, who, after struggling economically, wants a divorce. Directed by Payman Haghani, the 77-minute film starts at 2 in the Freer Gallery’s Meyer Auditorium. Tickets, limited to two per person, will be distributed one hour before the show starts.

Flash mob fanatics and—considering the weather—masochists, this one’s for you: No Pants Metro Ride is back for a second year. Participants will gather at C Street Park, on the corner of Seventh Street and Maryland Avenue, near the L’Enfant Plaza Metro station, at 3. An after-party will be held at Cobalt.

The more judicious individual might instead consider partaking in Sidamo Coffee & Tea’s traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony, held every Sunday at 2 at the H Street establishment. In addition to the delicious coffee, Sidamo also has a small menu of sandwiches and salads.