2. Everyone knows the first luxury to go in a recession is caricature portraits, but you can indulge yourself by heading to Sova's free opening reception for “People: Portraits by Elizabeth Graeber and Laura Shema” Thursday from 7 to 11. Art aficionados can meet the two illustrators under a groovy soundtrack by DJ Chris Klang and Matthew Hemerlein, watch them in action during a live portrait session, and sip microbrews priced at less than $5. If only there were a petting zoo and prizes, this would be the best county fair ever!
3. Linger at Midtown Loft after its daily free beer happy hour from 5 to 6 to catch the Battle of the Bands Thursday starting at 8. The evening features performances by four Washington bands (The D.R. amA. Kings, Rome in a Day, Citizen, and 23RAINYDAYS) who’ll compete for a chance to perform at an upcoming benefit concert at the 9:30 Club. The event is free, and you must be 21 or older to enter.
4. Wash away your Friday the 13th jitters with a free Winter Beer Tasting at Total Wine in Springfield (6801 Bland St.) starting at 5. The evening’s featured beers come courtesy of Dogfish, whose Chicory Stout and Worldwide Stout are anything but ordinary.
5. Witness a side of Iraq seldom explored by the mainstream media this week during the final days of FotoWeekDC. The free exhibit, “Iraqi Voices,” features work from ten renowned photographers and aims to put Americans face to face with the many personalities that comprise the war-torn country. The exhibit is located at 3307 M Street, Northwest, and is open Thursday and Friday 11 to 7, Saturday 10 to 8.
6. Catch up with Toto, the Tin Man, and that Cowardly Lion with a free screening of The Wizard of Oz at the National Archives Saturday at noon. Though it was released 70 years ago, the film’s protagonist, Dorothy, still appears alarmingly youthful. We’re not one to gossip, but if we were, we’d say that tornado didn’t blow away her Botox.
7. Need some new moves to take to the dance floor this weekend? Grab a pen and pad, hike up your Wrangler jeans, and head to Eastern Market Saturday from 3 to 4:30 for its monthly Family Square Dance lesson. Accompanied by live music from the Capitol Hillbillies, an experienced caller will demonstrate the dance moves. Admission: $5. Being the hottest hillbilly in Adams Morgan: priceless.
8. Done detoxing from the Bentzen Ball and ready to laugh your face off again? Scribble your best one-liners, round-up your friends, and hit the Laugh Riot at the Bethesda Hyatt (7400 Wisconsin Ave.) Saturday from 8 to 10 for a comedy show. There’s a $25 cash prize for the audience member with the best joke. Admission is $10.
9. Ready your woolens, knickers, brooks, and baskets because Washington’s first Tweed Ride is peddling through town Sunday at 11. Starting from Eighth and H streets, Northeast, a make-shift photo studio will capture those appearing on especially fashionable vintage bikes and in dapper attire. The ride finishes at Marvin on U Street, Northwest, where $10 gets you a raffle ticket and a drink coupon. There’ll be awards for the Most Dapper Dandy, Most Quizzical Quaintrelle, Most Steadfast Steed, and Most Astonishing Accessory. The event goes until 7, and riders and walkers can register ($2) on location before the event starts.
10. Since the dawn of time, three questions have puzzled mankind: Where do we come from? Where are we going? And is Neil Hamburger America’s funnyman or the world’s worst comedian? Whether you’re laughing at him or with him, the standup jokester is bringing his brand of self-deprecating, downtrodden humor to the Black Cat Sunday at 9. Tickets are $10.