One thing Veep has excelled at this season is timeliness, from its North Korea plot points to its Rain Man/Nate Silver-esque numbers guys. In last night’s episode, “The Vic Allen Dinner,” Selina went to a charitable dinner not entirely unlike last week’s White House Correspondents’ Association dinner where there were no awkward celebrity appearances but attendees were expected to do enormously uncomfortable things to entertain the crowd. Initially she was going to sing a song written by Mike and Dan, but after Kent ruined her week she targeted him instead with a catchy ditty called “50 Ways to Win in Denver.” So it wasn’t quite Obama singing Al Green, but we’ll give her points for trying.
Reddit and Tumblr: “Take these meaningless syllables with you and just get out!” screeches Selina at Jonah after the team analyzes Selina’s new viral online presence as a meme. The flattering situation room picture was scrapped because POTUS thought he looked jowly, so now the world thinks Selina stares at her BlackBerry during very important hostage rescue missions, or at the crucifixion of Christ, or at the 2004 tsunami, but on the plus side, it’s very Texts from Hillary.
Observational skills: Dan may be a lot of things (and a douchebag is one of them), but he doesn’t miss a trick, noticing Sue’s high neckline, flats, and Corner Bakery coffee cup and deducing she’s been to one of the K Street lobbying shops on a job interview. Sue is faintly terrifying this season, so good luck to whoever decides to lure her away.
Parenting: “Who the hell was religious as a teenager? Smoke some weed, for chrissakes.”
Beatboxing: Chung is back, and he’s surprisingly good at beatboxing, or as Selina puts it, “just spitting.”
DC Coast/Gary: You know what happens to most executive branch staffers who hate their low-paid jobs? Nothing. No one takes them out to lunch, no one offers them a raise, and no one gifts them a new man bag with hundreds of inside pockets to store their boss’s eye drops and Tampax. They just keep going to work every day and stifle their misery with cheap vodka and Lexapro. So you win, Gary—and so do you, DC Coast, for getting free advertising.
Monday, May 6
STORYTELLING: Four storytellers take the mike at Science Club’s brand new series, Perfect Liars Club. The catch? One of the stories is completely made up. See if you can spot the one with his or her pants on fire. And if you can pass a polygraph with no sweat, sign up to tell a story of your own. $5. 7 PM.
Tuesday, May 7
COMEDY: Clarendon’s Iota Club & Cafe brought you the 9, an every-once-in-a-while concert series featuring nine short sets from nine different singer/songwriters. Now it’s hoping the same formula works with standup comedy. Each of nine touring and local comics will do two quick sets, perfect for those of you with ADD. $10. 8 PM.
Wednesday, May 8
BIKE: People are freaking out (with good reason) about the upcoming Daft Punk album. If that’s your scene, meet up at Dupont Circle for the Robot Ride, a night of two-wheeled mischief themed for the electronic music duo. You and more than 300 other people will go on a four-ish-mile bike ride through the city as a deejay gets pulled around in a pedicab blasting Daft Punk. Things end up at the Brixton, where you can ditch your wheels and start dancing. Free. 7:30 PM.
Thursday, May 9
GATSBY: After months of waiting, Baz Luhrmann’s take on The Great Gatsby is finally ready for public consumption. Before you check out a midnight screening, don your best Roaring Twenties outfit and head to Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club to check out Doc Scantlin and his band play swing and cabaret in celebration of the movie’s release. Tickets ($20) are available online. 8 PM.
Know of something cool going on around town? E-mail Jason Koebler at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find him on Twitter.
The toxic stew of long-buried family secrets, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, barbed endearments, and bourbon that festers in Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities—currently having its local premiere at Arena Stage—is the kind of grim but enthralling mix that makes for gut-punching theater, in which the “indentured servitude of having a family” is put under a microscopic lens. As Arundhati Roy once put it, the trouble with families is that, “like invidious doctors, they [know] just where it hurts.”
As Shonda Rhimes shows are wont to do, Scandal is picking up the pace (which I didn’t even think was possible) as the season draws to a close. We get new development about the mole—sort of—but the main event this week, of course, is the fireworks between El Prez and Olivia and FLOTUS’s subsequent explosion. To the recap.
After Olivia gets released from the hospital, El Prez decides to have her followed—by his old Navy buddy, Jake Ballard, a.k.a. the guy Olivia slept with that one time before he gave her a concussion. AWKward. When he shows up at her apartment, she phones El Prez and tells him, “Call off your puppy.” He refuses, and tells her FLOTUS moved across the street. “You don’t want to talk about how my wife moved out and I’m alone at the White House?” he asks, while surrounded by staff. Guess it’s not a secret anymore. She hangs up, frustrated, and Ballard gets a call from El Prez telling him to stay put. Scott Foley looks way sunburned in this episode—not a plot point, just saying.
Meanwhile, Cyrus is practically spontaneously combusting as he shuffles between the two petulant children who are the First Couple, begging first one and then the other to reconsider. El Prez tells him he can’t indulge a tantrum and FLOTUS will fold eventually. FLOTUS, meanwhile, wants an apology and some commitment in 36 hours, or else she’ll go on national TV and tell the world about her husband’s cheatin’ ways. Cyrus is so distracted by all this drama that when Ira Glass Lite comes to his office to say he got offered a job as an anchor for BNC, Cyrus acquiesces without even thinking.
Meanwhile the Dream Team—with the help of Jerk Jeremy—are reviewing the footage from the storage facility where Huck was attacked. Huck comes in, still in rough shape, and immediately IDs the baseball cap guy as Charlie. When Olivia arrives at HQ, tailed by Ballard, whom she won’t let inside, they reveal what they found out. “We think Cyrus Bean may be the mole,” they tell her. Olivia is horrified, pointing out she’s known him for a very long time and he’s one of her best friends (most of the time). Before they accuse him, Il Papa says, they need proof—especially since “the last guy we accused ended up dead.” Just then she gets a call from El Prez, who tells her to come to the White House. She refuses, to which he says he’ll just come to her and say hello to the whole team. So she goes to the White House, Ballard in tow, and goes into the Oval Office, slamming the door in Ballard’s face. She asks El Prez what he wants, and he says, “You.” Olivia points out she told him they were over, and he says, “I am never going to be over you.” Then in another one of those fantastic Il Papa speeches Kerry Washington is so good at, she tells him, “Please stop getting my hopes up. I am not a toy you can play with when you’re bored or lonely or horny. I am not a fantasy. If you want me, earn me. Until then, we are done.” She storms out. Ballard is all curious, but she tells him nothing.
Huck is taking point on the Charlie investigation. He knows Charlie likes breakfast pastries, so Quinn and JJ go to the best bakery in town, and Quinn manages to find out from the cashier that he goes in every Thursday to buy a dozen cannoli. In a subtle, funny cut, the next scene shows the Dream Team chowing down on said cannoli while they discuss the case. Where’s Charlie in all this? Oh, just hanging out in Ballard’s apartment, drinking Ballard’s soda and watching the tape of Ballard and Olivia having sex. He calls Cyrus and tells him, “I think we have all the proof we need.”
Well, the second trailer for White House Down is out, and apparently it’s a comedy starring Jamie Foxx as an Urkel-like President who fumbles with rocket launchers and has to put on his glasses before he can fire a gun and Channing Tatum as a dumb but lovable tough guy forced to keep Urkel alive despite his own awkwardness.
In other news, this is EXACTLY the same movie as Olympus Has Fallen. Planes flying super low over Pennsylvania Avenue? Yup. Child trapped inside the White House by terrorists? Yup. Iconic monuments that disintegrate before our very eyes? You betcha. As Washingtonians, we could take it personally that Hollywood keeps trying to destroy us in the most explosive way possible, or we could just identify with the Secret Service agent who sniggers when Maggie Gyllenhaal reveals Channing Tatum’s character barely made a C average in college. Like THAT’ll get you a low-paying but prestigious federal job, Magic Mike. Watch the trailer and tell us: Will you go see this movie?
The Kreeger Museum inaugurates its newly installed reflecting pool May 1 with “Inventions,” an exhibition of sculpture by local artist John L. Dreyfuss. Dreyfuss explores concepts of form and space, incorporating design elements from aeronautical and architectural structures. Ongoing.
The National Museum of Women in the Arts collaborates with the Italian Embassy to present “Bice Lazzari: Signature Line,” an exhibition featuring work by the 20th-century Italian abstract artist. May 10 through September 22.
Opening at the National Gallery May 12 is “Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes,” an exhibit dedicated to the groundbreaking early 20th-century dance troupe. From 1909 to 1929 the group collaborated with artists and designers including Picasso, Matisse, and Coco Chanel on its lavish, inventive productions. Through September 2.
At the Hirshhorn Museum, “Jennie C. Jones: Higher Resonance” explores the career of the 45-year-old artist who won the prestigious 2012 Wein Prize for her collages, paintings, and installations forging connections between visual art and music. The show includes “Higher Resonance,” a sound installation that adapts the Hirshhorn’s circular architecture to play with acoustics. May 16 through October 27.
Boris Chaliapin illustrated 413 Time covers, including portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Thelonious Monk, Martin Luther King Jr., and John F. Kennedy. Twenty-six from the National Portrait Gallery’s collection are on display in “Mr. Time: Portraits by Boris Chaliapin.” May 17 through January 5.
The National Gallery celebrates the 150th anniversary of Edvard Munch’s birth by presenting 20 works by the artist in the West Building. May 19 through July 28.
“Sylvan Sounds: Freer, Dewing, and Japan” looks at how Freer Gallery founder Charles Lang Freer was inspired to collect Japanese art thanks to the works of tonalist American painters such as Thomas Dewing, known for his Impressionist-like landscapes. The exhibition displays works by Dewing alongside Japanese prints and scrolls. May 28 through May 28, 2014.
That maraca ringtone reminder that just went off on our iPhone means it’s time for our favorite holiday celebrating bartenders who can pour a tasty lime-and-tequila beverage. Okay, yes, Cinco de Mayo has more of a backstory—but let’s skip the history lecture and map out the route for the this weekend’s Tour de Margarita. Here’s where the fiesta is going full force throughout the District.
Happy hour lasts Friday through Sunday with specials such as $4 Tecates, PBRs, and Espolon shots and $6 margaritas. No need to rush through lunch or dinner—all weekend long, “crazy corn,” pork, or chicken tacos and Mexican Pizza are just $5.
It’s a circus over on U Street Sunday from noon to 8 as the Brixton debuts its Circus de Mayo with $4 Coronas, $6 Hornitos sno-cones, $7 frozen Sauza margaritas, and cotton candy. We hear there’s going to be a dunk tank on the patio, too.
Casa Oaxaca & Guajillo
Celebrations started on Wednesday and continue through Sunday with $7 margaritas—find a passionfruit-jalapeño flavor on Thursday and a tropical guanabana flavor on Friday. Don’t worry, the restaurant will still offer its signature drinks, such as the MargaChela—a baby Corona inside a house margarita—and the Orangita Picate, a fresh orange juice margarita with chile piquin. During happy hour (3 to 6 PM), house margaritas are $5 and Coronas are $4. Saturday and Sunday brunch is offered from 11 to 3; reserve a spot through OpenTable.
This Latin-inspired venue offers an assortment of Mexican street food, including chicken tamales, mole-glazed pork ribs, Mexican hot dogs, and warm cinnamon-dusted churros, for $5 each. As you sample your way through the menu, sip one of the $5 margaritas to cleanse your palate. Stop by from 3 PM until close Friday through Sunday to celebrate.
This Logan Circle spot celebrates throughout May with two special margaritas. The Speedy, which features house-infused jalapeño tequila, is $7.50, and the Sparkling Fiesta, topped off with sparkling wine, is $9.
“I know you better than you know yourself,” said Claudia/Grannie to Elizabeth in last night’s season finale of The Americans. “And you don’t know me at all.” It’s been easy to doubt Grannie over the course of the season, given her prickly affect, her habit of stalking people, her odd love for arcade games and breakfast meetings, and the time she kidnapped and tortured Philip and Elizabeth (oh, yeah, that). But as the season finale revealed, she’s actually been a loyal supervisor to the Jenningses all along, voicing her own doubts to her KGB contact (revealed to be Arkady) about the validity of a meeting with the Colonel and taking matters into her own hands when her friend General Zhukov was killed by the CIA.
One of the reasons Grannie is so effective as an agent is her motherly demeanor, which allowed her to con her way into the suspicious CIA agent’s house before slashing his jugular with terrifying efficiency. “Victor Zhukov was my friend,” she told him. “We met in Stalingrad in 1942. The first time I saw him he was standing over two dead Nazis.” As speeches go, this one was Tarantino-Type-A-tastic. Philip and Elizabeth might have requested Grannie’s reassignment, forcing her to fill out 27 different forms (bureaucracy killed the Cold War, apparently), but we have to hope as viewers that she’ll be back next season.
With Grannie, and with each of the other female characters, one of the things The Americans has suggested in a remarkably subtle fashion is how much more independence women seem to have east of the Iron Curtain. Compare Martha languishing as an FBI secretary with Nina rapidly ascending up the KGB chain of command, or Elizabeth and Philip working alongside each other as partners with the alienation between Stan and Sandra. The finale crystallized all this when it showed Nina wearing an apron in the studio and washing dishes as she pondered her new exfiltrated American life—a world away from the power suits she sports in the Rezidentura.
Since Scandal debuted last April, Shonda Rhimes’s show has just continued to get buzzier and buzzier. The actors (and fans) routinely live-tweet the details of every episode, and Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn were the undisputed stars of Saturday’s ABC News party for the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. (Sadly, try as we might, we couldn’t get a single spoiler out of either of them.) So as its second season begins to wrap up, we thought we’d take a look back at the twisty journey the show has taken—and some significant plot points that got dropped along the way.
Amanda Tanner: One of the central conflicts in the first season: El Prez sleeping with his aide. Sort of makes it hard to root for Fitz and Olivia’s epic love when you remember she’s not his only extramarital affair.
“Sweet baby”: And on that note . . .
apparently this was enough of a thing El Prez used to do that
Shonda named the pilot for it—but we’ve never heard him call
Olivia anything but her
name or variations thereof.
Poor, dead Gideon: Last week, Quinn waxed nostalgic about her shattered life as Lindsey Dwyer and her murdered boyfriend Jesse. But what about her OTHER murdered boyfriend, intrepid cub reporter Gideon, who suffered a slow and painful death by scissors on the floor of his own apartment?
Stephen: Hey, remember the British guy who served as Olivia’s right-hand man and had a penchant for sleeping with coroners in morgues? Yeah, us neither.
VP Sally: Whither El Prez’s crazy-right-wing, fundamentalist Vice President? On an extended “diplomatic trip,” perhaps? Because if she were anywhere within the vicinity of the White House while FLOTUS was moving across the street, you can guarantee she’d be out for blood.
Thursday, May 2
VARIETY: As the Dunes tends to do, it’s pushing the envelope again tonight, with a hybrid comedy/get-freaky dance night. Standup comics Jamel Johnson and Adam Friedland will loosen you up, and the balkan-influenced Black Masala and trippy the North Country help you get down. $5. 7 PM.
COMEDY: U Street’s Tabaq has an open-mike comedy happy hour hosted by Homegrown Hilarity, a local standup trio. Free. 8 PM.
DANCE: U Street Music Hall Hosts Helicopter Showdown, Antiserum, and Clicks & Whistles—three groups/deejays that basically mash up every type of electronic dance music I’ve ever heard. Go if you like lotsa bass. Tickets ($17) are available online. 10 PM.
Friday, May 3
BARBECUE: Hill Country moves a couple of blocks down and takes over the lawn of the National Building museum for a night of barbecue and roots rock. Get full details in our earlier post. Free. 4 PM.
BIKE PARTY: Just because lots of bikers act like they’re Lance Armstrong during the day doesn’t mean they can’t clean things up at night. The Washington Area Bicyclist Association hosts its fanciest event of the year, BikeFest, at Eastern Market. The party will feature casino games, live swing music, food and drink, a bike-building contest, and a silent auction. Tickets ($55) are available online. 8 PM.
BURLESQUE: People in DC either really like burlesque or really like Firefly and Serenity— “Whedonism,” a Joss Whedon burlesque tribute show, has already sold out its first performance. Grab your tickets to the late show before they’re gone and dress up as your favorite character from the “Whedonverse” for the costume contest. Tickets ($10) are available online. 11:30 PM.