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Museum exhibits, gallery shows, and events. By Tanya Pai
“Milky Way Over Second Beach” by Joe LeFevre is part of the Natural History Museum's “Wilderness Forever: Celebrating 50 Years of Protecting America’s Wilderness.”


“From Neoclassicism to Futurism: Italian Prints and Drawings 1800-1925” at the National Gallery of Art comprises some 80 prints, drawings, and more showcasing the contributions of Italians to modern art. September 1 through February 1. 

Also at the National Gallery“Modern American Drawings and Prints From the Kainen Collection”—the last in a series of three formed by the bequest of Ruth Cole Kainen—includes works from the first seven dec­ades of the 20th century. Highlights include a drip painting by Pollock and a work on newspaper by de Kooning. September 1 through February 1. 

In “Nasta’Liq: The Genius of Persian Calligraphy,” the Sackler Gallery looks at nasta’liq, a calligraphic script that developed in 14th-century Iran and eventually evolved into an art form. September 3 through March 22. 

To mark the anniversary of 1964’s Wilderness Act, the Natural History Museum presents “Wilderness Forever: Celebrating 50 Years of Protecting America’s Wilderness,” a collection of 50 large-scale photographs by professionals, amateurs, and students celebrating American landscapes. September 3 until 2015. 

“Emilie Brzezinski: The Lure of the Forest” at the Kreeger Museum showcases forms hand-sawed and chiseled from tree trunks, created by the Swiss-born sculptor (mother of Morning Joe cohost Mika Brzezinski). September 16 through December 27.

At the National Museum of African Art beginning September 17 is “Chief S.O. Alonge: Photographer to the Royal Court of Benin,” which delves into the history of Nigerian photography with works by Chief Solomon Osagie Alonge, one of Nigeria’s premier early photographers. 

“Captain Linnaeus Tripe: Photographer of India and Burma, 1852-1860” is the first major exhibit of works by this East India Company photographer, and includes images of architecture, landscapes, and geological formations in mid-19th-century India and what is now Myanmar, as well as in England. September 21 through January 4 at the National Gallery

“Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations” at the National Museum of the American Indian is an exploration of Native American tribes’ relationship with the US government from Colonial times through today. September 21 through August 2018. 

The last of the baby boomers will turn 50 by the end of this year. To mark the milestone, the Newseum collaborated with photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders on the 19 portraits of notable members of the generation that make up “The Boomer List,” including musician Billy Joel, designer Tommy Hilfiger, and novelist Amy Tan. $22.95; September 26 through July 5.

With a 2013 acquisition of 54 pieces, the American Art Museum has one of the largest public collections of pieces by James Castle, an artist whose drawings, assemblages, handmade books, and other works are made even more remarkable by the fact that he was born deaf and was illiterate throughout his life. See them all in “Untitled: The Art of James Castle,” on view September 26 through February 1.

At the Phillips Collection September 27 through January 11 is “Neo-Impressionism and the Dream of Realities,” which includes works by Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, Theo van Rysselberghe, and more.


Gallery Plan B has the fourth solo show by Sheep Jones, featuring works with her typical motifs of birds, vegetables, and shed-like buildings. September 6 through October 12. 

September 10 through October 6, Art League takes a look at contemporary realism with a show juried by Dorothy Moss of the National Portrait Gallery. 

Neptune Fine Art puts on “Raya Bodnarchuk: Bronze Sculpture,” a showcase of the modernist American’s works. September 12 through October 4. 

CulturalDC presents “Emily Francisco: Something Slightly Familiar,” an interactive audio-visual exhibit featuring looped videos, motion-activated sounds, and other components. Aft Flashpoint September 12 through October 11. 

Beginning September 12, the Robert Brown Gallery presents paintings, sculptures, and more by five South African artists. Through October 4. 

At Lorton’s Workhouse Arts Center September 12 through October 19 is “Earth and Fire,” an exhibit of ceramics from nine countries, including Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Workhouse also showcases artists from closer to home in “40 Years of Potomac Valley Watercolorists,” September 13 through October 25. 


This month’s Phillips After 5 happens September 4 and celebrates “the art of slowing down” with music from the Marshall Keys quartet, food from Blue Duck Tavern, and more. 

The National Museum of Women in the Arts hosts its monthly free community day on September 7. 

The King Street Art Festival returns September 13 and 14, turning Alexandria’s main drag into open-air galleries featuring works by around 200 artists. 

The 2014 Nuit Blanche, September 27, expands outside of Shaw to include Dupont Circle, North Capitol, H Street, Northeast, and Congress 

During the Smithsonian’s annual Museum Day Live, on September 27, get free admission to the Crime Museum, the National Building Museum, and other participating institutions. See the website for the full list. 

Posted at 01:00 PM/ET, 09/03/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
See a graphic novel come to life, the world-premiere comedy The Shoplifters, and much more. By Tanya Pai
Driving Miss Daisy is at Ford's Theatre beginning September 26. Photograph by Scott Suchman.


Shakespeare Theatre Company hosts the Isango Ensemble, a South African troupe, for its take on the Bard’s epic poem Venus and Adonis, performed in three African languages as well as English and incorporating traditional music and dance. September 13 through 20 in the Lansburgh Theatre. 

At Artisphere September 20 and 21 is The Intergalactic Nemesis: Robot Planet Rising, a “live-action graphic novel.” The production involves projecting more than 1,250 comic-book panels on a large screen as three actors play the few dozen characters, a Foley artist provides sound effects, and a pianist accompanies the action. 

Ford’s Theatre presents the Pulitzer Prize-winning Driving Miss Daisy, which explores the friendship between an elderly white Southern woman and her black chauffeur. Nancy Robinette and Craig Wallace star. September 26 through October 26. 

Starting September 3 is Colossal, Andrew Hinderaker’s story of a college football player paralyzed from the waist down in a game accident who must come to terms with his new reality with the help of his football squad. The play is structured like a football match, with four quarters and a halftime show. Tim Riggins will unfortunately not be making an appearance. Through September 28 at Olney Theatre

At 1st Stage September 12 through October 11 is Take Me Out, a comedy about a charismatic, all-American baseball star whose reveal of his sexual orientation sends ripples throughout the country. 

Awake and Sing!, Clifford Odets’s 1935 drama, centers on a Jewish family trying to maintain their bond while keeping themselves afloat in the Depression-era Bronx. September 24 through October 19 at Olney Theatre

To mark its upcoming tenth anniversary, Taffety Punk stages a revised version of its first production, The Devil in His Own Words, which weaves together depictions of the devil in literature over several centuries. September 12 through October 4. 

September 20 through October 11 at American Century Theater is The Seven-Year Itch, the story of a languid New York summer immortalized by Marilyn Monroe and a strategically placed subway grate. 

Round House Theatre producing artistic director Ryan Rilette directs Fool for Love, Sam Shepard’s tale of love, hate, and betrayal in the Old West. September 3 through 27. 

Theater Alliance presents Spark, a world premiere by Caridad Svich about three sisters in the United States attempting to maintain their family ties and their livelihoods in the aftermath of a contemporary war. September 4 through 28. 

Belleville, by Amy Herzog (4000 Miles), is the story of Abby and Zack, an outwardly perfect couple whose balance is thrown off when Abby discovers some seemingly inconsequential facts about her partner. September 3 through October 12 at Studio Theatre

Woolly Mammoth’s Marie Antoinette, directed by Yury Urnov, looks at the French queen through a present-day lens, considering the modern obsessions with celebrity, politics, and image. September 15 through October 12. 

September 17 through November 2 at MetroStage is Three Sistahs, a musical based on Chekhov’s Three Sisters, featuring gospel, R&B, funk, and folk music by William Hubbard. 

Shakespeare's Globe presents King Lear, starring Joseph Marcell—a.k.a. Geoffrey the butler from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air—as the ill-fated king who divides his estate among his three daughters, to disastrous results. September 5 through 21 at Folger Theatre

Morris Panych’s world-premiere comedy The Shoplifters centers on a battle of wills between Alma, a senior citizen who’s gotten quite used to five-finger discounts, and the rookie security guard who catches her in the act. September 5 through October 19 at Arena Stage.

Dog and Pony DC puts on Toast, a “participatory-performance-meets-science-fair” that looks at developments in technology and their impact on society. September 11 through October 18 at seven venues around Washington; see the website for full details. 

E.B. White’s beloved children’s book Stuart Little, about an adventurous mouse born to human parents, gets an adaptation by Joseph Robinette at Adventure Theatre. September 19 through October 26.

The touring production of the Broadway revival of Evita comes to the Kennedy Center September 30 through October 19, starring Caroline Bowman as Argentina’s First Lady. 


Dirty Dancing closes September 14 at National Theatre

Gidion’s Knot plays at Herndon’s NextStop Theatre through September 14. Read our review

Scena Theater’s Molly and Shining City close September 21 at Atlas Arts Center. Read our review of Molly

Rorschach Theatre’s She Kills Monsters closes at Atlas Arts Center on September 14. 

Sunday in the Park With George closes September 21 at Signature Theatre

Posted at 12:30 PM/ET, 09/02/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Pet Happy Hour at Logan Tavern, InTheCapital's DC Fest, and comedy at the Brixton. By Jason Koebler
Bring your pet to happy hour on Wednesday. Photograph via Shutterstock.

Tuesday, September 2

COMEDY: Members of Congress probably deserve the roasting they get. They'll be getting some more of it tonight at Tuesdays With Funnie at the Brixton, in which a series of standup comics bash (in mostly lighthearted fashion) one particular person or set of people. This week, "Congress" will be played by comedian Dylan Meyer, the rest will be doing the roasting. Free. 8 PM.

Wednesday, September 3

IMPROV: Just when it seems to be getting good, improv comedy games tend to stop (you've got to end on a high note). But what happens when you take a couple ideas and turn them into a full(ish) play? That's what the folks at Lets Press Play do, turning out "longform" improv for you to laugh along with. A more standard improv troupe, the Rich and the Richer, and standup comedy from Jon Chesebro start off the night. $8. 7:30 PM.

HAPPY HOUR: New Belgium and Brightest Young Things presents the Pet Happy Hour at Logan Tavern, which is exactly what it sounds like. Bring your dog, cat, ferret, or alligator (do not bring your alligator) to the bar and sip on $5 New Belgium Snapshot Wheat beers during the party. Free. 6 PM.

Thursday, September 4

PARTY: The Half Street Fairgrounds (that's the huge area outside Nationals Park) is hosting InTheCapital's DC Fest, featuring live music, corn hole, a bunch of food trucks, the drinks you're used to from the space (first one is included with your admission), and groups like HailO, TopGolf, and WeddingWire telling you what they're all about. $18 ($65 for open bar). 5:30 PM.

Know of something cool going on around town? E-mail Jason Koebler at, or find him on Twitter.

Posted at 10:25 AM/ET, 09/02/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
John Mulaney talks about how the school's improv group helped launch his career. By Shane Mettlen
The cast of John Mulaney’s sitcom: Elliott Gould, Zack Pearlman, Nasim Pedrad, Mulaney, Martin Short, and Seaton Smith. Photograph by Matthias Clamer/FOX.

In August 2000, John Mulaney, a Catholic kid from Chicago, arrived at Georgetown, and a week later he was accepted into the school’s fledgling improv group, cast by fellow comedian Nick Kroll. He would soon follow Kroll to New York, sleeping on the elder comic’s couch while he hit open-mike nights. That trail led him to an Emmy-winning stint writing for Saturday Night Live—and to Mulaney, a sitcom debuting October 5 on Fox. Besides Kroll and Mulaney, Georgetown has become a breeding ground for off-kilter, quick-witted comics: Mike Birbiglia, Funny or Die’s Owen Burke, comedy writer Brian Donovan, and Parks and Recreation’s Alison Becker. Mulaney, now 32, talks about Georgetown as a comedy spawning ground.

Why do you think Georgetown’s improv group has been such a career launcher?

When I was there, it kind of felt like the only game in town, at a school that didn’t have a ton of theater. They’ve since built a huge performing-arts center we’d have loved to have. But it was just a very funny group of people—I’m surprised more people I did improv with didn’t go into comedy.

So with little else in the way of performers, you were the outsiders?

In retrospect, we were pretty much just left alone. We sold tickets—the money covered us and the children’s theater; we didn’t have to ask for grants. If I had gone to an NYU or an Emerson that had a lot of performing arts, it would have been very different.

Did that self-sufficiency carry into your career?

It definitely helped doing standup early on. We would do shows at the coffee shop at Georgetown’s Lauinger Library and have to set up chairs, so in New York it seemed natural to just walk into a bar and ask to do a show. There’s the idea that if you want to do a TV show, you have to make one—you can’t wait for someone else.

How does Washington compare as a comedy town?

DC Improv is really good, and in the past few years the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse has turned out to be an awesome venue. When you have two central hubs like that, a lot of young comedians can get stage time, and that’s what makes a comedy town.

This article appears in the September 2014 issue of Washingtonian.

Posted at 10:00 AM/ET, 08/29/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
We caught up with the actor and musician before his performance with the Abiders at Birchmere on Sunday. By Tanya Pai
Actor Jeff Bridges shows off his musical chops at the Birchmere. Photograph of Bridges Courtesy of The Birchmere.

Jeff Bridges wears many hats.

He’s an actor, with roles reaching back to the 1950s, and an Oscar winner for his turn as alcoholic country singer Otis “Bad” Blake in Crazy Heart. He’s a musician who has two albums under his belt—he and his band, the Abiders, bring their country rock to the Birchmere August 31 with his daughter, singer/songwriter Jessie Bridges. Still, to many he’ll always be Jeff “the Dude” Lebowski, the slacker bowling enthusiast in The Big Lebowski, which has such a cult following that it’s spawned an annual Lebowski Fest. Here’s a conversation with Bridges.

People mostly know you as an actor. Has that perception changed since Crazy Heart?

I hope so. I hope they find me an interesting artist in the musical vein. People do tend to pigeonhole folks, so I guess I expect a bit of that, but I’m hoping people are open-minded.

What are the differences between playing music as yourself versus as a character?

When you’re doing a movie, you’re always playing a character, and for me the beginning place for a character is myself, so I think about aspects of myself I might use. T Bone Burnett, one of the producers of Crazy Heart, made a list of all the music Bad might be listening to growing up in Fort Worth—it had Hank Williams and Merle Haggard and all those guys, but also Dylan and the Beatles and Ornette Coleman, the great jazz sax man—so you take all those elements and stir them around and see what pops out. [Crazy Heart songwriter and performer] Stephen Bruton was with me every day, keeping me limber on the guitar and giving tips on making that character authentic, because Stephen really lived that life. T Bone turned me on to vocal coaches and just practicing—practice improves whatever you do.

Was this year the first time you performed at Lebowski Fest?

We’d done that before. It was really fun. After the performance, watching the movie—it’s one of my favorites, so to be in a room with all these people who felt the same way was wonderful.

What line from The Big Lebowski do people quote to you most often?

I get “The Dude abides” most, but I like “Well, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.”

Between your movie The Giver in August, the tour, and a planned live album, do you find it hard to have a balance?

Balance is always a challenge—not only with those things but also with my family and other projects. But I try to have as much joy in whatever I’m doing as I can. My mom would send me off to work with that advice. She’d say, “Remember—have fun and don’t take it too seriously.” I still use that. It kinda calms me down.

The Abiders play at the Birchmere on August 31. Purchase tickets ($89.50) on Birchmere's website.

This article appears in the August 2014 issue of Washingtonian.

Posted at 11:22 AM/ET, 08/28/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Celebrate the end of summer at a pool party, meet your favorite authors at the National Book Festival, or take part in a treasure hunt along the Anacostia. By Jason Koebler
Head to the Convention Center for the National Book Festival on Saturday. Photograph via Shutterstock.

Thursday, August 28

PARTY: It’s the last Thursday of the vacation part of summer (yesterday was the last Wednesday, and so-on-and-so-forth), which means Chinese Disco is throwing a Last Thursday of Summer School party, naturally. There’ll be specials on beer buckets and growlers, and you’re encouraged to wear your most bro-tastic outfit, or whatever the equivalent of that is for women. Free. 8 PM.

MUSIC: Summer is ending but Hill Country’s Backyard Barbecues live on. This week, the local funk-soul revival group Higher Hands will perform, the National Building museum will be open, and there’ll be lots of barbecue and Shiner beers, as usual. Free. Doors open at 4 PM, show starts at 5:30 PM.

Friday, August 29

JAZZ: This weekend, there’s a lot of lasts. Even though it’ll probably be warm for a while longer, this is the last Jazz in the Garden of the summer, meaning it’s the last time you can drink sangria amongst a bunch of beautiful art. The series is closing out the summer with Dixie Power Trio, who combines different types of creole music, including zydeco, Cajun, and Louisiana funk. Free. 5 PM.

COMEDY: Most successful comics are jaded, miserable old people (sorry, but it’s true). Well, at Black Cat’s Comic Youth, you’ll get to see the area’s best under-21 comedians, who, let’s be fair, might be miserable and jaded, but they certainly aren’t old. And you probably haven’t ever heard of them before, so you can switch it up a bit from the standard ol’ open mics, at least. $10. 9 PM.

PODCASTS: The Circus Life is local singer songwriter Justin Trawick’s podcast and variety show. To celebrate its first anniversary, Trawick is hosting a live taping at Gypsy Sally’s, featuring musical performances, discussion, and the general anything-goes atmosphere listeners of his show have come to expect. $10. 7 PM.

COMEDY: Don’t Block the Box is back at Wonderland, featuring four local comedians. The best thing about this whole evening is it doesn’t take itself all that seriously: After the comedy, the whole thing devolves (evolves? depends on your perspective) into an all-night sweaty dance party. $3. 7:30 PM.

DANCE: 9:30 Club is hosting its fifth annual Michael Jackson dance party, which features five deejays spinning, you guessed it, music from the King of Pop. $15. 9 PM.

Saturday, August 30

BOOKS: The Library of Congress’ National Book Festival is sadly moving to the convention center (after being on the National Mall for more than a decade) this year, and it’s only one day long, which is a bummer all around. But the Library of Congress’ signature event will still be worth checking out—there’ll be dozens of authors, many of whom you know and love. There’ll also be a poetry slam and other literary and book—related things. Free. 8 AM to 8 PM.

DANCE: Black Cat hosts Eighties Mayhem, which is a pretty descriptive name, as far as dance parties go. Deejays Steve EP, Killa K, Krasy McNasty, and Missguided spin 80s music (duh) on the main stage. Wear your leg warmers. $10. 9:30 PM.

BLUES: The Carter Barron Amphitheater hosts the 26th annual DC Blues Festival, which features six bands, an “instrument petting shop,” some instrument-specific lessons, and places for the kids to hang out and learn about the genre. Free. 12 PM to 7:30 PM.

BARBECUE: The Smokeout features all-you-can-smoke hookah, all your barbecue favorites, southern hip hop music, and lots of drinks. The specific location is only being given out to people who buy tickets, but its organizer tells me it’s at a venue in Hyattsville. $15. 3 PM.

SCAVENGER HUNT: WABA hosts the Anacostia River Treasure Hunt, a bike scavenger hunt that rewards costumes, silliness, and safe riding, of course. Free. 10 AM.

Read More

Posted at 09:20 AM/ET, 08/28/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
George O’Brien’s one-woman show offers a look at a relatively unknown historical figure. By Missy Frederick
Danielle Davy in the one-woman show Molly at Scena Theater. Photograph by Jae Yi Photography.

Meet Molly. She’s a hard woman to root for, and a hard woman to relate to, and the audience has to spend quite a bit of time with her during George O’Brien’s world-premiere play, named for the character who had a real place in Irish history.

To put it bluntly, Molly can be a struggle. The one-woman show from Scena Theatre stars Danielle Davy, who plays the secret mistress to J.M. Synge, an influential Irish playwright who died at age 37 and left her behind. Molly’s in mourning, dressed all in black. lamenting the life that could have been—had Synge lived, had Synge embraced her publicly, and other what-ifs. 

Those unfamiliar with Synge’s work and influence won’t get much of a crash course from Molly—the work is much more about who he was as a man, and how he treated his mistress. It’s also about disapproving mothers, the social and societal conflicts between Catholics and Protestants, and how the ill-fated relationship consumes her life and self-worth (at least up to this point). 

The play ran about 20 minutes past its projected 75 minute running time on press night, and pacing is an general issue for the play, which chugs along slowly. Molly’s speeches, taken from her diary, meander and wane into bitterness. The character’s most shocking revelation, which comes near the end of the show, is staged in a way that feels jarring and out of character, and does little to raise the stakes for the audience. (Without giving away too much, let’s just say what passes as a a steamy affair was very different during that time and place.) Robert McNamara stages the show in a fairly straightforward manner: A black-box set is broken up every several minutes with grainy photos that show the historical figures and places (for example the Abbey Theatre, of which Synge was a cofounder) that were significant to the play.

Davy brings a steadfast conviction to her role. It takes some time to get used to the rhythm of her heavy Irish accent, which further distances her performance from the audience. She’s a convincing and capable performer, but she doesn’t really make Molly a riveting figure to watch. One-person shows are inherently a challenge to pull off—dynamic material and a wholly charismatic performance are both needed to ensure their success. Neither element is fully there in Molly.

Molly is at the Atlas Performing Arts Center through September 21. Running time is estimated at around 75 minutes without an intermission, but can run longer. Tickets ($25) are available through the theater’s website

Find Missy Frederick on Twitter at @bylinemjf

Posted at 02:33 PM/ET, 08/27/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Only one DC-set series took home an award this year. By Tanya Pai
Not even a bad haircut can keep the Veep down. Image courtesy of HBO.

Despite this year’s Emmys being held uncharacteristically on a Monday, the awards show had plenty of memorable moments: Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Bryan Cranston snogging, Billy Crystal’s tribute to Robin Williams, Weird Al’s very Weird Al-esque performance. What it didn’t have was much recognition for Washington-set TV shows. Though Veep, House of Cards, Homeland, and Scandal were all nominated, at the end of the night only Julia Louis-Dreyfus had a gold statuette to take home, for the third year in a row—along with, we imagine, some Cranston germs. 

This is a marked change from last year, which saw two wins each for Veep, Homeland, and The Kennedy Center Honors, as well as three for House of Cards and one each for Scandal and Political Animals. Washington-related shows fared a bit better at the Creative Arts Emmys on the 16th: Scandal’s Joe Morton snagged an award for Best Guest Actor in a Drama Series, and the real-life POTUS even got a sort-of nod, thanks to his appearance in an episode of Between Two Ferns With Zach Galafinakis. Keep reading for the Washington winners from both ceremonies as well as the nominees, and see the full list of Emmy winners online



Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Julia Louis-Dreyfus


Between Two Ferns With Zach Galafinakis: “President Barack Obama”
Outstanding Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program

The Blacklist
Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Drama Series, Miniseries, or Movie

House of Cards
Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One Hour): “Chapter 14”

JFK: The American Experience
Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series: Joe Morton


Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama: Mandy Patinkin
Outstanding Actress in a Drama: Claire Danes

House of Cards
Outstanding Drama
Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series: “Chapter 14” (Carl Franklin)
Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series: “Chapter 14” (Beau Willimon)
Outstanding Actress in a Drama: Robin Wright
Outstanding Actor in a Drama: Kevin Spacey

The Kennedy Center Honors 
Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special: Louis J. Horvitz

Killing Kennedy
Outstanding Made-for-TV Movie

Outstanding Actress in a Drama: Kerry Washington

Outstanding Comedy
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy: Anna Chlumsky
Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series: “Special Relationship” (Simon Blackwell, Tony Roche, and Armando Iannucci)
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy: Tony Hale

Posted at 12:54 PM/ET, 08/26/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Movies at Dodge City and unlimited vino at Slate Wine Bar. By Jason Koebler
For its second birthday, Slate Wine Bar pours unlimited vino all night. Image via Shutterstock.

Monday, August 25

FILM: Dodge City has one of the most underrated backyards in the city, and it’s the perfect place to catch an outdoor movie, especially if you can’t put up with the crowds of Screen on the Green. Grab a seat at a table and catch Weekend at Bernie’s and What About Bob? Miller High Life and whiskey shots are $5 all night, there’ll be free popcorn, and chili cheese dogs will be served until the bar closes. Happy hour runs 6 to 9, as well. Free. 8 PM.

Tuesday, August 26

SING: Like singing in front of people but aren’t totally comfortable with being the center of attention? Head to Stetson’s for People’s Choir, a sing-along night in which everyone at the bar participates. If there’s not a ’70s sitcom where this happens, I would be shocked. This week’s theme is “gone wild,” meaning all of the songs will be about animals, by bands with animal names, or otherwise tangentially related to animals. Free. 8 PM.

Wednesday, August 27

VARIETY: The Wonderland Circus variety show is back after what seems like a long hiatus (though it’s possible I just missed it happening last month). As usual, you’ll get a whole mix of artists and performers, including a couple of comedians, a musical group (the Uptown Boys Choir), and a burlesque dancer. Free. 8:30 PM.

Thursday, August 28

WINE: Slate Wine Bar is turning two, and, like any toddler, it’s acting a bit irrationally: For just $30, you’ll get unlimited tastes of eight different types of wine, along with happy hour food specials all night. Let’s just hope you have an understanding boss who’ll let you come in a bit late Friday morning. Tickets ($30) are available online. 6 PM onward. 

Know of something cool going on around town? E-mail Jason Koebler at, or find him on Twitter

Posted at 09:52 AM/ET, 08/25/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The national park presents an evening dedicated to the Pacific Northwest as part of the Face of America project. By Tanya Pai
Pacific Northwest Ballet dancer Elle Macy embodies one element of Wolf Trap’s Face of America event. Photograph courtesy of Wolf Trap.

Sixteen years ago, Wolf Trap conceived a project to celebrate its identity as the only national park dedicated to performing arts as well as the natural environments represented by the parks. The Face of America had its first performance in 2000 and has since highlighted six regions, from southern Florida to Yosemite to Hawaii. On August 27, it spotlights the Pacific Northwest with an event featuring Oregon Ballet Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and the Seattle indie rockers Band of Horses.

“At root, it’s about the amazing dance and music that come out of a gorgeous area,” says Wolf Trap’s Barbara Parker. “National parks were set aside to preserve cultural and geographical treasures unique to our country, and we want to celebrate them through our language, the performing arts.”

The evening consists of an Oregon Ballet Theatre performance choreographed by Trey McIntyre to music by the band Fleet Foxes (also from Seattle) and a world premiere from Pacific Northwest Ballet set to songs by the electronic outfit Chromatics. In the background and between performances are filmed segments featuring dancers shot on location in that part of the country.

Seattle-natives Band of Horses is another element to Wolf Trap's Face of America event. Photograph courtesy of Wolf Trap.

“One day we had them in two feet of snow, then a rainforest, then a pebble beach the next day,” Parker says. “There’s so much connection between art and nature, and this gave the dancers a chance to get to the heart of that.” Pacific Northwest Ballet dancer Andrew Bartee choreographed the films. Between performances, Band of Horses plays an acoustic set.

“If you don’t love dance, you can sit and listen to amazing music,” says Parker. “If you don’t love the music, you can see amazing dance. If you don’t like either, you can see this spectacular film that won’t appear anywhere else. There are so many elements that until you’re sitting in the seat, the full impact isn’t going to hit you—but when it does, it’s going to blow you away.”

Purchase tickets ($10 to $44) at

Find Tanya Pai on Twitter at @tanyapai.

Posted at 02:45 PM/ET, 08/22/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()