Where & When: What to Do This Weekend

Bhangra beats, a sketching extravaganza, and a blues legend keep things creative this weekend.

By: Sarah Zlotnick, Rachel Tepper, Michael Gaynor

Thursday, July 15
Belt out ABBA with the best of them at Pix on the Plaza, the Ronald Reagan Building’s free outdoor movie fest. Mamma Mia!, the 2008 musical staring Meryl Streep and a somewhat tone-deaf Pierce Brosnan, starts at 9, but pre-film karaoke kicks off at 6. Click here for more information.

Washington museum parties have gotten increasingly cool, as the Smithsonian institutions light up the Mall. Bhangra tracks spun by DJ Rehka will pulse through the Freer Gallery tonight during Asia After Dark, an after-hours opportunity to take in art, sip speciality cocktails, and watch the Lalkaare Sheran De dance troupe’s awesome Bhangra routines. 6:30 to 10:30; $18 online, $20 at the door. Details are here.

The Capital Club’s annual Sinatra Soiree takes over the National Building Museum tonight. Don your classiest cocktail dress and swing the night away. 8:30 PM to 1 AM; $75 to $85. Click here for tickets.

Free drinks for your e-mail address? Yes, please! Sign up for the What’s the Deal listserv and you’ll receive two free Svedka clementine vodka drinks at the Mighty Pint (1831 M St., NW; 202-466-3010), a new Dupont Circle bar that has taken over the old Madhatter space. 6 to 8 PM; click here for more information.  

Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar hosts its monthly Bandanas Video Dance Party this week. The event features classic rock and soul music combined with a VeeJay’s “way wack video presentation.” 9 PM. Free.

Local band Little Bigheart & the Wilderbeast, who we profiled this week in our Local Listens column, will play with groove-rock band Midnight Wine at the Rock & Roll Hotel tonight. Doors open 8 PM, show is at 9; $10. Click here for tickets.  

Friday, July 16
Fatback returns to the 9:30 Club with a supersized version of its monthly funk-and-soul dance party. Friday night’s installment, Very Big Fatback, will feature the usual suspects plus go-go band Art of Funk and funk-and-disco artist George Smallwood. Fatback DJs will keep you moving between performances. 9 PM; $10.

Georgetown Gallery gaze may be the newest addition to the Washington arts-walk scene, but it’s quickly become one of our favorites. As you stroll up and down Wisconsin Avenue, be sure to hit Poppy for the latest in modern-minimalist jewelry, and the Claude Taylor Gallery for bright—and affordable—travel photos. Go here to find more participating venues, and check out the event’s Facebook page for last minute updates. 5 to 8 PM.   

Not sure what to make of a “comic hypnotist”? Neither are we—which is precisely why we hope to snag tickets to Flip Orley’s performance at DC Improv tonight. 8 PM; $15. Click here for tickets.

Fringe out on Friday! If you haven’t checked out a Capital Fringe Festival play yet, we strongly urge you to do so—the independent production company sponsors all sorts of quirky shows you won’t regularly see on the DC theater circuit. Get your improvised a cappella fix with iSchool Musical, or for something a bit more risqué, check out Chlamydia dell’Arte: A Sex-Ed Burlesque, in which two Philly natives and self-proclaimed “bawdy broads” teach sex-ed through burlesque. Showtimes and prices vary; click here for a complete rundown of tonight’s lineup.

If you’re channel surfing tonight, click over to TLC for the premiere of the latest Washington-based reality show, DC Cupcakes. The six-episode program follows the adventures of sisters Sophie LaMontagne and Katherine Kallinis, the owners of Georgetown Cupcake. Tonight’s show airs at 10. Check out our preview here.

With a danceable beat and words every college kid can relate to, “After Hours” might be the best homage to late nights out recorded in the last five years. Hear We Are Scientists perform the hit—originally featured on the Nick and Nora’s Ultimate Playlist soundtrack—tonight at the Black Cat. 9 PM; $18.  

Saturday, July 17
Searching for a creative outlet? Sketch Crawl DC is calling on artists to sketch sites across the Washington area. Hosted by disgruntled-employee-themed blog I Hate My 9 to 5 and Bored of Trade illustrator Elizabeth Graeber, the crawl includes spots along the Washington Monument, Dupont Circle, and the Sculpture Garden. Participants are asked to bring their own drawing supplies and tweet about their journey. Click here to register and find out the full schedule. 11 AM to 8 PM. Free.

Local hip-hop troupe DCypher Dance holds court at the Atlas Performing Arts Center on H Street, Northeast, with the last concert of its 2009/2010 season. The group, whose innovative hip-hop and fusion moves earned it a Metro DC Dance Award nomination in 2008, will be joined onstage by Grammy nominee Christyles Bacon. Tickets ($25) are available here. 8 PM.

Bring the kids to the Reston Community Center for a concert by Rocknoceros. In both 2008 and 2009, the trio won the Washington Area Music Association’s Children’s Artist of the Year award. 11 AM. Free.

Sunday, July 18
Blues legend B.B. King, known for his grueling devotion to touring, comes to Wolf Trap tonight. King is joined by the progeny of another iconic musician: Lukas Nelson, son of Willie. Tickets ($25 to 75) are available here. 8 PM.

Today’s your last chance to enjoy Makiykumanta, the free National Museum of the American Indian festival showcasing Peruvian culture. Today’s events include an Andean music performance, a textile workshop, and a master class on carved gourds. Check out the full schedule here. 10 AM to 5:30 PM.

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