Where & When: What to Do this Weekend

Catch some hilarious improv, attend a French fete, check out DCist’s photo show, and lots more this weekend.

By: Catherine Andrews, Eliot Stein

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Thursday, March 4: Head to the Phillips Collection for its popular Phillips After 5 event. Tonight, you can explore the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit, sip wine from Veritas, and see a dance piece inspired by O’Keeffe’s works. 6:30 PM.

Have yourself some belly laughs when you attend the opening night of Washington Improv Theater’s Fighting Improv Smackdown Tournament at the Source Theater. The troupe’s teams battle it out in a March Madness-like competition to see who can take the title of best improvisers. $10; get tickets and more information here.

Get ready for this weekend’s Oscars by catching The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers at the National Archives. Nominated for an Oscar for best documentary, the movie tells the story of the Vietnam War strategist who leaked sensitive papers to the New York Times. Free. Tickets are distributed 60 minutes before the start time of the film on a first-come, first-served basis. 7 PM.

The ten-day DC Independent Film Festival kicks off today with feature films, shorts, animation, and documentaries by local and international filmmakers. At night, music acts—from jazz to rock—take the stage for the companion music festival. Some of the screenings are free, and ticketed ones cost $7 to $10; a pack of ten is $50, and all-inclusive festival passes are also available. For more information, go here.

If you can’t make it to South by Southwest, the iconic Internet-film-and-music festival that takes over Austin, Texas, every March, check out the preview party at Policy. Hosted by Brightest Young Things, Flying Dog Brewery, and Eighteenth Street Lounge—which are all hosting showcases in Austin—the event, from 6 to 8, features local acts who’ll play SXSW as well as Flying Dog’s beers. Free.
Friday, March 5: Tonight is the Grand Fête de la Francophonie at the Maison Française. This lovely French party kicks off the DC Francophonie Festival, a celebration of French-speaking countries through films, art exhibits, concerts, and more. The event features live music, food from dozens of nations, and representatives from local embassies. 7 PM. Get tickets ($50) here.

SlowFood DC is hosting workshops with urban-farm expert Will Allen at Lynchburg Grows (1339 Englewood St., Lynchburg; 434-846-5665) today and tomorrow. Allen is a 2008 recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “genius” fellowship and cofounder of the Milwaukee-based nonprofit Growing Power. The workshops include discussions on worm farming and aquaponics (using fish to grow plants), and there’ll be presentations by the Environmental Protection Agency. Friday 8 to 7:30, Saturday 8 to noon. $250 for both days. For reservations and schedules, call 434-846-5665 or e-mail michaelv@lynchburggrows.org.

Saturday, March 6: Art made accessible—that’s what the DCist Exposed Photography Show, opening tonight at the Longview Gallery, is all about. The writers behind DCist.com, a city-based blog, have encouraged a thriving community of Flickr photographers who excel at capturing the moods, locations, and people of Washington. The photo events they put on every year keep getting better. Get there early, though, as this event always gets packed. 6 PM; $5 cover .

Nine bars, including the Front Page, Mackey’s, and the Black Rooster Pub, are participating in the ninth annual Leprechaun Lap, the 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, $13 without. For advance tickets, go to lindypromo.com.

An artistic interpretation of the G-20 political summit—only in Washington, right? That’s what you’ll be able to see tonight at G-40: The Summit at Vornado in Crystal City. It’s 75,000 square feet and five floors with work by more than 500 artists who represent the New Brow genre of contemporary underground art. 5 PM; free. Get more details at Art Whino’s site.

Oscar fanatics, clear your schedule—it's time for AMC Theater's Best Picture Showcase. Beginning Saturday at 12:01AM,  AMC's Georgetown location is screening every best-picture nominee back-to-back in a 24-hour marathon. Passes to the event ($45) let you come and go and include a large popcorn with unlimited refills. Films include AVATAR 3D, A Serious Man, Up 3D, District 9, Inglorious Basterds, The Blind Side, An Education, Precious, Up in the Air, and The Hurt Locker. Click here for tickets and showtimes.   

Sunday, March 7: Roll out the red carpet: It’s time for the Oscars. Assuming you’ve caught up on all the best-picture nominees and have cast your predictions, here are some places where you can watch the event.

Brush up on your knowledge of Nordic culture as the Embassy of Sweden sponsors Vasa Ride, a bike ride in honor of the country’s famed ski race and festival Vasaloppet. Starting from the Swedish Embassy, cyclists will recreate the 56-mile race in a noncompetitive pedal through Northwest DC and Montgomery County. There are two shorter routes as well: Halv Vasa (28 miles) and Kort Vasa (14 miles). The Vasa starts at 8, the Halv Vasa at 8:30, and the Kort Vasa at 9. Registration starts at 7:30 and ends at 9:15. Bike helmets are mandatory, and the event takes place rain or shine.

Follow your sweet tooth to the Chocolate Lovers Festival Saturday and Sunday in Old Town Fairfax. The free family-friendly event features a variety of chocolate vendors selling cakes, candies, and other delectable goodies (along with many free samples). There’s also a Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast ($6 for adults, $4 for ages four to ten) and children’s fingerpainting, among other attractions. A full list of activities and location information are available on the festival’s Web site.