Halau Ho’omau I ka Wai Ola O Hawai’i! Find out what that means at the National Theatre’s Hawaiian Celebration, a night dedicated to the 50th state’s 50th birthday. Dancers, directed by Suz and Manu Ikaika, will perform both ancient and modern hula routines to Hawaiian music and chants. The show starts at 6 in the Helen Hayes Gallery, and free tickets are available 30 minutes before the show on a first-come, first-served basis.
Tuesday, October 27
A staple Washington event, the High Heel Race takes place in DC’s Dupont Circle the Tuesday before Halloween. Spectators gather on 17th Street between P and S streets, Northwest, to watch drag queens and other participants show off their outrageous outfits and teach onlookers a thing or two about running in heels. The race kicks off at 9, but bring your camera around 6—racers usually gather early for photo ops.
Wednesday, October 28
Poets Barbara Goldberg and Brian Brodeur come together at the Kensington Row Bookshop (3786 Howard Ave., Kensington; 301-949-9416) for a reading. Goldberg has published four books, coedited two anthologies, and won two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships. Brodeur, a resident of Fairfax, has authored Other Latitudes and So the Night Cannot Go Without Us and runs the blog How a Poem Happens. The event starts at 7 and is followed by an open reading in which attendees can present one poem no longer than a page.
Thursday, October 29
William T. Wiley, a mixed-media artist with a penchant for pinball, is giving visitors to the Smithsonian American Art Museum an opportunity to play his Punball: Only One Earth game. It’s been on view at the museum since October 2, but the museum is allowing visitors who stop in between 5:30 and 6:30 to play the machine for a limit of five minutes. Visitors should meet in the G Street lobby.
Friday, October 30
Felipe Cruz of the Charles Darwin Foundation spent years as a naturalist guide in his native Galapagos Islands. In conjunction with the Embassy of Ecuador and the Galapagos Conservancy, he’ll share information on the biodiversity and environmental attributes of the islands. He’ll also discuss the effects of tourism on the area. The lecture begins at 6 at the National Museum of Natural History’s Baird Auditorium and is followed by a reception.
Saturday, October 31
Amid this week’s Halloween hoopla, the Torpedo Factory Art Center is dedicating a day to Mexico’s Día de los Muertos with its Ofrenda Art for the Dead event. At 3, the celebration starts with an art reception featuring work done in the Día de los Muertos tradition. At 7, the party moves to Market Square (301 King St., Alexandria) for a parade, and guests are encouraged to participate with costumes and noisemakers. The parade circles back to the art center at 7:45 for a masked ball—guests can bring ofrendas, personal items to offer those who have passed away.
Sunday, November 1
Calligraphy and Iranian music—two different topics, right? Not so. In a lecture and musical demonstration, Persian classical musician Bahman Panahi explains their relationship. Panahi, a trained calligrapher who has led discussions and given concerts in North Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, lectures at 3 in the Sackler Gallery.