The 19th-century Shakespearean actor Ira Aldridge comes to life in the latest installment of the National Portrait Gallery’s Culture in Motion series. Hosted in conjunction with the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the play Ira Aldridge: The African Roscius looks at the man’s life and explores how he was able to transcend racial divides and become one of his generation’s most acclaimed actors. The play is in the museum’s McEvoy Auditorium. Seating is limited; call 202-633-8520 to reserve a spot. 7 PM.
Tuesday, March 1
Award-winning journalist and historian Michael Lee Pope speaks at the Morrison House from 6 to 8. The talk, titled “Who Owns the Past?” looks at how differing opinions change the way we look at historical records.
Wednesday, March 2
Painter and sculptor Joel D’Orazio’s new solo show, “Listen to Me,” is at the Gallery at 1111 Pennsylvania (1111 Pennsylvania Ave., NW). There’s an opening reception for the exhibit—which features both sculpture and abstract painting—from 5:30 to 8.
Thursday, March 3
New York-based ensemble the Continuum performs at the Freer Gallery at 7:30. The program includes works by Oleg Felzer, Faradzh Karayev, Giya Kancheli, and others.
Friday, March 4
Two new exhibits—“Inspiration” by Betsy Forster, which focuses on nature, and “Surfaces” by Michele Cormier, which looks at the urban condition—are opening at the Touchstone Gallery this week. The opening reception is from 6 to 8:30.
Saturday, March 5
As part of the new exhibition “Venice: Canaletto and his Rivals” at the National Gallery of Art, lecturer Eric Denker is giving a talk on Venice’s urban environment and how its elements are represented in works of art. 12:30.
Sunday, March 6
Violinist L. Subramaniam is playing a free program of his own compositions at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater at 6. His work is known for combining elements of Eastern and Western musical traditions.