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The series of original monologues looks at the conflict through the eyes of the disenfranchised. By Tanya Pai
“Our War,” directed by Anita Maynard-Losh, examines the Civil War via monologues by 25 writers. Photograph courtesy of Arena Stage.

A century and a half after the Civil War, most Americans know the basics: Bull Run, Appomattox, the Emancipation Proclamation. But finding a personal connection is another matter.

As a step in that direction, Our War—at Arena Stage October 21 through November 9—presents original monologues about the conflict by 25 playwrights, including Pulitzer Prize winners Lynn Nottage and David Lindsay-Abaire, which the theater commissioned as part of its involvement in the National Civil War Project. (The “theatrical dance piece” Healing Wars, staged in June, also stemmed from the collaboration.)

Director Anita Maynard-Losh and her Arena colleagues looked for contributors with a variety of ages and backgrounds. Most other accounts, she says, are from the perspective of “people in charge of the country at the time—white men. With a collection of playwrights that is more than half women and a great majority people of color, we get quite different points of view.”

To add another layer, 25 notable Washingtonians—including PBS NewsHour co-anchor Judy Woodruff, radio host Diane Rehm, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—will read a monologue of their choosing during selected performances.

While some of the pieces have a historical setting, many focus on ripples that reverberate today—“explorations of what it means to be an American and the repercussions of institutional racism,” Maynard-Losh says. The Civil War “leaves us trying to make impossible connections. We have this urge to understand something that’s so much bigger than anything we’ve experienced.”

Meshing the disparate voices and styles presented a challenge for the director: “All these pieces need to be going somewhere, so where do they end up? It’s not until I see how the actors interpret the pieces and hear them all strung together that I understand what the emotional and intellectual impact is.”

Our War potentially serves as a kind of theatrical Rorschach test, with each audience member seeing something different—but Maynard-Losh’s hope is more modest: “I would be really happy if people come away thinking, ‘Oh, I thought this was an absolute truth about the Civil War, and now I see it’s actually an opinion a lot of people share—but not everyone.’ ”

Tickets ($40 to $50) at arenastage.org.


This article appears in the October 2014 issue of Washingtonian.

Posted at 12:00 PM/ET, 10/21/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
A Mad Men party at Room and Board and plenty of pumpkin-themed activities. By Jason Koebler
Head to NoMa on Thursday for a pumpkin-carving party. Image via Shutterstock.

Monday, October 20

PUMPKINS: You may have smashed a pumpkin—or listened to the Smashing Pumpkins—but have you ever gotten smashed by a pumpkin? That’s the plan tonight at City Tap House, which has purchased a 250-pound pumpkin, which will be hollowed out, filled with beer, and tapped like a keg. Besides that, seven of the spot’s taps will be dedicated to pumpkin beers; check it out. 5 PM.

Tuesday, October 21

PARTY: DC WISE is hosting a Mad Men party (even though it’s not coming back until the spring) at Room and Board. There’ll be fancy ’60s-themed cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and a silent auction. Put on your best period costume and pretend you’re Don Draper for the night. Just remember, though: Don Draper is kinda a jerk. Tickets ($55) are available online. 6 PM.

Wednesday, October 22

ART: Last week’s Art Buzz got postponed for some reason, but the past’s loss is the present’s gain: Head to the rooftop at the Embassy Row Hotel for the Rooftop Soiree, a fancy party featuring nice cocktails, wine, and beer, art (duh), and music. Hope for nice weather and one last time on a rooftop before we’re caught in winter’s grasp. Tickets ($10) are available online. 6 PM.

Thursday, October 23

PUMPKIN CARVING: The NoMa pumpkin patch hosts a pumpkin-carving party this week. If you get there early-ish, you’ll get a free pumpkin and carving tools. There’s also a petting zoo, a live bluegrass band, food from Union Kitchen, a candy scavenger hunt, and booze. Free. 4 to 7 PM.

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

Posted at 10:20 AM/ET, 10/20/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The Broken Lizard comedian talks pre-show steaks, losing audiences to Kevin Hart, and how he’d protect Obama from Ebola. By Tanya Pai
See Kevin Heffernan (left) and Steve Lemme at Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse this weekend. Photograph courtesy of Arlington Cinema.

When Super Troopers came out in 2001, its particular brand of slapstick slacker humor propelled it to instant classic status. Thirteen years later, it remains eminently quotable—and responsible for many of those memorable lines is Kevin Heffernan, who played mustachioed liter’a cola fan Farva in the film. Heffernan is one of the original members of the Broken Lizard comedy troupe, which started as a college sketch group and went on to make Super Troopers, as well as Beerfest and Club Dread. He’s also appeared in several other movies and TV shows, including Veep, Workaholics, and How I Met Your Mother (as Ted Mosby’s porn-star alter-ego).

Heffernan is in town this weekend to perform three shows at Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse with fellow Broken Lizard member Steve Lemme, with whom he has a podcast, a web series, and a Netflix special. We caught Heffernan by phone as he was museum-hopping with his kids to ask about Super Troopers 2, weird fan interactions, and his memories of DC.

Tell me a bit about your show.

It’s a two-man show I do with Steve Lemme. A couple years ago we started doing some standup shows; we wanted to mix it up, and we knew there were fans of our movies out there that we didn’t interact with a whole lot, so it was fun to go out. So we just started doing standup shows, and we’d never really done it before, so it was a lot of fun. We don’t do it full-time, but we’ll go out and do these shows. We each do a traditional set of standup, and then there’s some audience participation stuff, we’ll bring people out of crowd, and then also we’ll tell stories from the makings of our movies, like behind-the-scenes stories.

What would be surprising about the show for someone who’s never seen it before?

The thing people are surprised about a lot of times is that we do this. A lot of people know us from the movies, but they don’t know us from standup, so I think doing standup is a different animal for people who are fans of ours. We’re trying to make it accessible to everybody, so if you’re not a huge fan of the movies, we still do tons of stuff that’s not related to the movies.

You and Steve have worked together on so many different things—how does that affect how you go about putting a show together?

We’ve definitely learned what works between us. It’s mostly us making fun of each other. Knowing each other for so long, we’ve gotten very good at making fun of each other, which I think is the big part of a show.

How do you prepare for a show?

Steve and I will normally go eat a steak, and we’ll sit at dinner and run through our show. It’s kind of funny because waiters will walk up and they’re not sure what they’ve walked in on—it’ll be just the two of us, it looks like we’re a couple arguing at the dinner table.

Do you know where you’re going to get that steak in DC?

Oh, I don’t know yet; we need to decide where to go. We use it as an excuse to get away from our kids.

How old are they?

I have an 11-year-old, a 9, and a 6. My wife is here too—she’s a doctor, and she’s at a conference here, so we tied it all together. I do some shows, she goes to the conference, and then we go monument sight-seeing. It’s all the stuff you’re used to living here.

Do you remember the worst show you’ve ever done?

We’ve had a couple of those [laughs]. I remember one time we did a show at Hobart College [in New York]; it was part of a freshman orientation. So it was like a series of orientation lectures and then us—a sexual harassment lecture, then a couple other lectures, and then we were gonna come up and tell jokes. And it didn’t quite go over well.

Do you think people just didn’t realize it was okay to laugh at that point after all the sexual harassment talk?

I think people were just tired of it. They wanted to leave.

Then we had another show in Tampa, a double bill with Kevin Hart, and I don’t know what the reason was, but he went first. So it was in a college gym—there were probably 4,000 kids there—and Kevin did his set and finished, and then I’d say about 3,000 of the people stood up and walked out. And so we went on and did our show, and the sound of 3,000 people walking out of an arena is deafening. We laugh about that to this day, having 3,000 people walk out on you.

How did the rest of the show go?

I think it was okay—we took the last thousand people in this giant arena and made them come as close to the stage as they could get.

They were probably all pretty stoked about that.

They were happy. You could tell that the people left were fans.

What would you say has been your biggest professional accomplishment thus far?

Probably getting Super Troopers made. That was certainly the turning point. We’d spent many years trying to get it made, and we had a feeling it would be successful; it was just a matter of getting it done. So finally we got it done, and brought it to the Sundance Film Festival and sold it, and I think that was the big moment for us, when things kind of shifted.

And are the rumors of a Super Troopers sequel true?

It’s gonna happen. I think the rumors are all swirling around when. We’ve written the written script and have the deal set with Fox Studios, so now it’s just a matter of putting the rest of the pieces together. The plan is hopefully in early 2015—if all goes according to plan, my hope is we’ll do it then. But we’re still putting all the pieces together, there’s still a few question marks, but everyone’s really gung-ho to get it done.

What’s the line people quote at you the most when they see you on the street?

Oh, yeah. People yell—and that’s the funny thing about our shows, is that’s how we get heckled. People will yell out not, “You suck,” but they’ll yell quotes from our movies. But the ones I get are—wait, I don’t know what’s printable—but they’ll call me a chicken f**ker. I get that a lot. A LOT. And then I do a joke in there about my favorite restaurant Shenanigans, and people will throw that at me a lot. And a lot of people will walk up with their cell phone and ask me to leave their outgoing voicemail message.

Do you do it when they ask?

Yeah, why not, right?

What’s the weirdest fan interaction you’ve ever had?

We were just talking about one the other day. We did a show in Minneapolis, and we had a lot of friends who came, and they all came backstage. So it was a group of people, friends of friends, whatever. And after show we all went out, we went to three, four, different bars, catching up. So it got down to end of night, maybe 1 or 2 in the morning, and there were six or seven of us left, and one was a guy that we didn’t really know. So at that point we said, “Who are you friends with?” And he’s like, “I’m just a guy who snuck backstage during the show,” and he hung out with us for four hours as if he was a friend of one of these other people. Usually you’ll get a guy who’ll do that and call his buddies, and be like “I’m at this bar, come hang out,” but this guy went all the way to the end of the night by himself. He seemed like a normal guy; I guess he just wanted to hang out by himself.

Do you guys still keep in touch?

We send each other Christmas cards.

Are you big on interacting with fans over social media?

We try. You have to be diligent; you have to be faithful to keeping that up. I think Lemme and I go in waves, and then it breaks down after a while. But we try. It’s interesting because in last three, four, five years that we’ve been doing standup shows, it’s changed—you used to go into a town and do local morning radio shows, and that was the way to reach the crowd, and now it’s definitely social media, so you really do have to try to get yourself out there.

Do you remember the first time you visited DC?

I came a bunch of times as a kid. I grew up in Connecticut, and we have friends of family who live in Virginia, so I came when I was probably seven or eight. We did it all—the monuments, the Smithsonian, all that stuff. I loved it. I thought it was great. We would just go around and take funny pictures with my parents, posing at different statues.

Is this the first time for your kids?

It is—we live in California now, so we were like, “Ah, let’s bring ’em!” And now they’re lovin’ it. We’re at Air and Space as we speak, so they’re liking that.

Who’s your favorite fictional president?

I definitely like Michael Douglas in American President. Wait, that’s boring. Who was the president in that Mike Judge movie, where everyone gets really dumb? It was Terry Crews, right?

You mean Idiocracy?

Idiocracy, right. Wasn’t it Terry Crews? It was a big, scary black dude.

That sounds like Terry Crews. [Ed. note: It was.] So why American President?

I just really like that movie. I’m a Rob Reiner fan.

That movie was interesting because it’s strange to think of a sitting President going on dates.

Yeah, he was a dog. He was dating people in the White House. He was a single dad!

If you were going to meet the real President, what’s one piece of advice you’d give him?

Well, we went by the White House yesterday, and I thought maybe we’d catch a glimpse of him. I heard he’s staying in town to deal with the Ebola crisis—so my advice would be for him to wear gloves.

Kevin Heffernan and Steve Lemme perform Friday and Saturday at Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse. Tickets ($25) are available online.

Posted at 01:00 PM/ET, 10/17/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
An A-to-Z booze tasting, a ’90s party at Chief Ike’s, and the Hirshhorn After Hours. By Jason Koebler
Check out the Hirshhorn's new look and exhibits during its After Hours party on Friday. Photograph by Cathy Carver.

Thursday, October 16

PHILANTHROPY: Want to donate to a good cause but afraid of doing the Ice Bucket Challenge in chilly weather? Head to Georgetown Piano Bar’s grand-opening party, where you can benefit ALS research by drinking rather than dumping ice on your head. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres will be served, and 100 percent of proceeds from certain drinks benefit the local chapter of the ALS Association. Bring along your challenge videos to share with everyone. Free. 5 PM.

BEER: Ashburn’s Old Ox Brewery, which doesn’t have a whole lot of history since it was only founded in June, will be at the Heurich House tonight for its History and Hops night. The history part comes from touring the house itself, where one of DC’s most successful brewers lived. Old Ox will serve a session IPA, a Belgian Golden Ale, and a Rye Porter. Tickets ($30) are available online. 6:30 PM.

LITERATURE: Hillyer Art Space is getting into the Halloween spirit with readings from Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart and The Raven. If you read, you’ll get a Kramerbooks T-shirt or pint glass, and if you wear a costume, you’re eligible to win a prize. Bonus points if you can turn yourself into an 1800s-esque headless person. Free. 6:30 PM.

Friday, October 17

FILM: Union Market’s drive-in movie this week is Rushmore, the Wes Anderson movie that really kick-started his (and Jason Schwartzman’s) career. It’s weird by normal movie standards, but for Anderson, it’s held up as one of his best (and least eccentric) movies. $10 per car; free otherwise. 8 PM.

MUSEUM: The Hirshhorn stays open late tonight for its monthly After Hours party. This month, it debuts its new exhibitions, “Days of Endless Time” and “At the Hub of Things: New Views of the Collection” (see our preview for more), as well as its newly renovated third floor. There will also be a performance by Zola Jesus, booze, and film screenings. Tickets ($25) are available online. 8 PM.

PARTY: Chief Ike’s Mambo Room is throwing a ’90s party that has all sorts of things going on with the number nine. Drinks are 90 cents between 8 and 10 PM, there’ll be ’90s music, games, and fashion, and the best themed costume wins $90. Free. 8 PM.

Saturday, October 18

MIMOSAS: Beer-soaked bar crawls are so passé. Class things up with a bit of bubbly at the DC Mimosa March, which stops by all the usual Dupont Circle watering holes—except this time for mimosas, obviously. Admission gets you six of them, and there’ll also be specials on food and extra cocktails. Tickets ($50) are available online. Noon to 8 PM.

WINE: The Rosslyn Pop-Up Space is hosting the A-Z of Beer + Wine, in which you’ll be able to learn your ABCs in the booziest way possible: by sampling a beer or wine from every letter of the alphabet. Your admission gets you 26 samples of beer or wine (one for every letter, duh), and small bites from Spain’s awesome sandwich import 100 Montaditos and Heavy Seas. Tickets ($36.50) are available online. 3:30 and 7:30 PM.

BEER: Even if you don’t brew your own beer, you can hang out with and support the people who do at the DC Homebrewers barbecue fundraiser. There’ll be a home-brewing demonstration and barbecue (duh), plus you can try beers from Sierra Nevada, Stone, and Boulevard. Proceeds benefit the organization’s educational programming. Free to attend, or $10 for a barbecue ticket. 1 PM.

Sunday, October 19

FILM: The Naval Heritage Center’s Burke Theatre is hosting all sorts of shorts screenings as part of Docs In Progress. Things get started with Our Teachers, which, unsurprisingly, follows three DC teachers as they pass down their knowledge. At 3:30, you’ll catch documentaries about DC’s changing neighborhoods; at 6, there are screenings of Inside/Out and High Hopes; and at 8, you can watch The Bayou, about DC’s long-gone, lamented music venue. Tickets ($15) are available online. See website for showtimes.

SCARY THINGS: Just a couple weeks left to check out DC Dead, Fringe’s interactive haunted house/theater-esque thing. It’s a spooky dart game zombie hunt through Fort Fringe, and from everything I’ve heard, it’s very fun. Tickets ($35) are available online. 7 to 11 PM.

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

Posted at 11:40 AM/ET, 10/16/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The new exhibit examines the culture and history behind the food industry. By Tanya Pai
The Aztec marketplace, part of the exhibit “Food: Our Global Kitchen” at National Geographic. Photograph by American Museum of Natural History/D. Finnin.

Nowadays, when even neighborhood grocery stores can offer an eye-popping variety of foods, including ancient grains and exotic produce, it’s easy to forget it all has to come from somewhere.

The National Geographic Museum turns the spotlight on that idea in “Food: Our Global Kitchen,” which examines the way food—producing it, distributing it, consuming it—anchors every culture.

The exhibit, organized with New York’s American Museum of Natural History and running October 16 through February 22, delves into how what we eat “connects us across geographic barriers,” says Kathryn Keane, vice president for exhibitions for the National Geographic Society.

Visitors travel through history with interactive exhibits exploring the early days of farming and cultivation, the food trade (including a replica of a 16th-century Aztec marketplace), and utensils and grocery-shopping habits in various regions. There’s even a “test kitchen,” cosponsored by Whole Foods, that teaches how certain edibles were prepared—and provides samples.

A discussion of the food industry’s past wouldn’t be complete without a look at its future and the increasingly relevant topics of world hunger and dwindling natural resources.

“There’s a lot of talk about conservation and how the planet’s population is expanding at a rapid rate,” says Keane. “This is an opportunity to learn about the different places and economies that go into supporting the food supply. We tend to forget the importance of farming, but in many ways it’s the most important economy there is.”

The opening of the exhibit—encompassing programs, lectures, and films that look at subjects such as food photography and sustainable dinners—coincides with World Food Day, which aims to raise awareness of global hunger.

The museum is also hosting a free Harvest Day on October 25 with vendors, live music, and tastings. Across all of the exhibits and activities, the goal is the same: to make people reconsider a subject both vital to life and easy to take for granted.

Purchase tickets ($11) at National Geographic's website.

This article appears in the October 2014 issue of Washingtonian. Find Tanya Pai on Twitter at @tanyapai.

Posted at 10:20 AM/ET, 10/14/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Mellow Mushroom’s third birthday party and the White House neighborhood Fall Fest. By Jason Koebler
Head to Mellow Mushroom on Thursday for $3 beers in honor of its third birthday. Photograph by Kyle Gustafson.

Monday, October 13

MUSEUMS: You probably don’t spend all that much time hanging out near the White House for fun, but today you might want to: It’s the beginning of the White House neighborhood Fall Fest, where places like the Octagon Museum, Renwick House, and DAR Museum host special events all day. The activities vary by venue, but you’ll find things like special arts talks, film screenings, and arts and crafts events if you poke around a bit. Free. All day.

Tuesday, October 14

FOOD: Yelp is throwing a Jet Set Fete at the Grand Hyatt—the company has invited some of the city’s best restaurants, bars, and museums/performers to show off the best they’ve got. It’s like a staycation, except the international flair comes to you. The list of participating restaurants runs the gamut from casual to ultra-fancy, and includes Casa Oaxaca, Cakelove, Ruth’s Chris, Founding Farmers, and &Pizza. $10 donation. 9 PM.

Wednesday, October 15

STORIES: Head to the 14th Street Busboys and Poets to hear storytellers share their best creepy tales. If this is a usual Story League event, they’ll be more about horrifying hair days and awkward dates than, say, ghostly hauntings. Whoever tells the funniest story gets $150, so while you might hear stuff that’ll keep you up at night, it might be because you’re still laughing. Tickets ($12) are available online. 9 PM.

Thursday, October 16

BEER: I don’t know what’s more surprising—that Mellow Mushroom has already been in town for three years, or that it hasn’t been here forever. It’s just a perfect fit in Adams Morgan, isn’t it? In any case, the pizza place is serving $3 beers all night to celebrate. Knowing the bar’s draft list, that’s a great deal. All day.

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

Posted at 10:50 AM/ET, 10/13/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
A zombie bar crawl in Chinatown, ’90s-themed burlesque, and the return of Union Market’s drive-in movies. By Jason Koebler
What's sexier than a scrunchie? Find out at Bier Baron's '90s-themed burlesque show. Image via Shutterstock.

Thursday, October 9

FASHION: GQ stylists will be at the Lord and Taylor in Chevy Chase this evening to help you polish up your personal fashion sense. There’ll be a deejay, food, and cocktails, and the first 100 people will get a free gift of some sort. Free. 5 to 9 PM.

HAUNTED THINGS: Capital Fringe’s new DC DEAD zombie game opens tonight, and it sounds incredible. It’s part interactive game, part haunted house, part theater performance—you hang out in Fort Fringe, are given a bunch of “neurotoxin darts,” and are asked to shoot zombies with them. So, yeah, it’s like a horror movie, live in person. Tickets ($35) are available online. 7 PM.

Friday, October 10

MOVIES: Union Market’s drive-in movie series is back after a couple-week hiatus from the summer. It’s once again a short run, with four movies each Friday until the end of the month. Things get started this week with Monsters University; the DC Rollergirls will be around to deliver food like you’re at an old-school drive-in, and Timber Pizza Company food truck serves slices all night. $10 per car; free otherwise. 6 PM.

EARTH: National Geographic hosts DJ Spooky, an author, composer, and (obviously) deejay, at an event called Arctic Rhythms. Basically, it’s a musical performance with a backdrop of videos and images taken in the Arctic designed to remind you about all the wonders of the world. Tickets ($30) are available online. 7:30 PM.

THE FUTURE: Ever worry that the music you’re listening to and the things you’re doing just aren’t futuristic enough? Genre X at Black Cat has you covered, featuring deejays with names like Ayescold, Native Sun, and FXWRK. This is how we will all spell in the future. Free. 10 PM.

Saturday, October 11

FESTIVALS: It’s Columbia Heights Day this weekend, and though it’s not quite as big of an event as H Street Festival or Adams Morgan Day, it’s a pretty good time. Most of the neighborhood’s businesses will be out and about (or on the sidewalk in front of their stores and restaurants), and there’ll be a dunk tank, face painters, and an eating contest, with an outdoor screening of E.T. to finish off the night. Free. 10 AM to 7 PM.

BAR CRAWL: Thanks to The Walking Dead, zombie madness now continues pretty much year-round, but it seems especially appropriate in October. Head to Chinatown for a zombie bar crawl to celebrate the return of the show—you’ll get one free beer just for going, or three if you come as a zombie (the choice here is clear). The crawl starts at Penn Social and hits Jackpot, Fado, and RFD; each spot will feature $3 beers and $4 rails. Tickets ($25) are available online. 3 PM.

VARIETY SHOW: The Capital City Showcase is at Wonderland Ballroom this month, which is a wonderful place to be on a Saturday night. See four local comedians, a musician, and a hip-hop artist perform. Tickets ($10) are available online. 7:30 PM.

BURLESQUE: Flannel, Pogs, and scrunchies are back in at Like, Whatever, a ’90s-themed burlesque show at Bier Baron. It’s only a matter of time until literally everything gets turned into a burlesque show, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise. But it does sound pretty cool! Saved by the Bell characters will, of course, make an appearance. Tickets ($12) are available online. 10 PM.

DANCE: It’s the last ever Moon/Bounce Dancing Affair at Black Cat. Head there one more time to reminisce about all the times the deejays there have supplied us with ’90s hip-hop, pop, and other once guilty pleasures we long ago stopped feeling guilty about. $7. 10 PM.

Sunday, October 12

FOOD: More than 40 restaurants will be participating in this year’s Taste of DC event on Pennsylvania Avenue. There’ll also be live performances, the World Chili Eating Championship (!) featuring Ben’s Chili Bowl chili, and more than 50 specialty and craft beers. Tickets ($10) are available online. Noon to 7 PM.

FILM: West End Cinema hosts the Reel Independent Film Festival, featuring, as you might expect, lots of independent movies. On Sunday, there are two “blocks”—the early one features Breaking the Rules, a documentary about pollination, and Ofir, a documentary about the founding of the first wildlife law enforcement team in Africa and the sad events that spurred it. Later on, you’ll get Underground Sound, about a musician who plays on the New York City subway; Chasing Refuge, about how suicide grips a family; and Astray, about a runaway teenager. Tickets ($10 per block) are available online. 2 and 7 PM.

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

Posted at 11:00 AM/ET, 10/09/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Halloween movies at Dodge City and a tater-tot-eating contest at Bar Louie. By Jason Koebler
Think you have what it takes to be a tot-eating champion? Image via Shutterstock.

Monday, October 6

MOVIES: Dodge City hosts Halloween Movie Mondays all this month, which kicks off with a special episode of Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid of the Dark?, followed by screenings of Halloweentown and Halloween. You can score High Life/whiskey shot combos for $6 and rail drinks for $5, and snack on house-made sloppy joes, chili-cheese dogs, popcorn, and free candy all night. Sounds very healthy. Free. 8 PM.

Tuesday, October 7

STARTUPS: It’s easy to get swept up in the startup hype, but GoodWorld, operating out of the 1776 tech incubator, seems like a pretty good bet. GoodWorld focuses on making it easier for people to donate to nonprofits and charities, and to celebrate the launch of the startup, William Thoet, chairman of the ALS Association, will talk about the success of the Ice Bucket Challenge, and others will be discussing how to be successful on social media and all that jazz. There’ll be light bites and drinks. Free. 6:30 PM.

Wednesday, October 8

VARIETY SHOW: The Capital City Showcase’s Wonderland Circus is at, well Wonderland in Colombia Heights. This month’s variety show features musician Nina Heart, three comedians, and a burlesque dancer. $5. 8:30 PM.

BIKE: It’s getting chilly out, but it’s still tolerable enough for a DC Bike Party. This month, the theme is, appropriately, the Riding Dead—dress up like a zombie or other spooky costume and get ready for a seven-mile ride with you and several hundred of your closest friends. The ride will end at the Pinch, where the Originators DC will play a free show. Free. 7:30 PM.

Thursday, October 9

EAT: Bar Louie hosts Rock the Tot, its annual tater-tot-eating contest. There will be a relay race, in which four-person teams try to eat a pound of tater tots as fast as they can; there’s also a solo competition, which involves participants seeing how many tots they can take down in a three-minute span. If you finish in the top five, you’ll score a trip to Cleveland to participate in the national competition, where you could win free tots for life. Who wouldn’t want that? Free. 7:30 PM.

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

Posted at 10:45 AM/ET, 10/06/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Game of Thrones burlesque, Oktoberfest with Capitol City Brewing Company, and a flip cup tournament for a cause. By Jason Koebler
Drink pumpkin beer to your heart's content at Capitol City Brewing Company's Oktoberfest on Saturday. Image via Shutterstock.

Thursday, October 2

FOOD: Forks are for losers, am I right? That’s the general thought behind F*ck Forks, a dining event in which top chefs from around the city serve up foods you have to eat either with your hands or with a spoon. (I’m not sure what the policy on sporks is.) Anyway, you’ll have chefs and mixologists from Toki Underground, Cava Mezze, Roofer’s Union, Jack Rose, Hank’s Oyster Bar, and more making the food and drinks. There’ll also be live graffiti, burlesque, goodie bags, and lots of music. Tickets ($80) are available online. 6 PM.

MARKETS: The Monroe Street Market in Brookland opens tonight. There’ll be performances by the Lloyd Dobler Effect and Catholic University performers and food and drinks from &pizza, Brookland Pint, Busboys and Poets, and Potbelly. Free. 5 PM.

COMEDY: The big thing going on this weekend is Brightest Young Things’ Bentzen Ball comedy festival, during which DC will become perhaps the funniest it has ever been. Check out our guide to all the weekend’s events to find out what not to miss, and get a special discount code for $5 off the closing-night show. 

Friday, October 3

PUMPKINS: Black Squirrel hosts the Smashing Pumpkin Beer Fest, where you can score pumpkin beer from 15 of the bar’s 57 tap lines. Also on the menu? Roasted pumpkin soup, pumpkin sloppy joes, pumpkin veggie burgers, pumpkin mac and cheese, pumpkin pie, pumpkin ice cream floats, PUMPKIN EVERYTHING. Free. 5 PM.

BURLESQUE: Bier Baron is here to tell you Burlesque Is Coming. As if Game of Thrones didn’t bare enough skin on its own, here’s the official (probably not official) burlesque take on the show and the books, featuring dragon mothers and royalty and warriors and all that stuff you guys love so much. Tickets ($20) are available online. 7 and 10 PM

ART + BEER: Alexandria’s Torpedo Factory hosts Art on Tap, in which seven paintings by Art League instructors are paired with seven local craft brews, and local restaurants create complimentary appetizers inspired by the pairings. Local bands Shark Week and Greenland provide the tunes. Tickets ($45) are available online. 7 PM. 

Saturday, October 4

DRINK: Capitol City Brewing Company is hosting its 15th annual Oktoberfest at the Village in Shirlington—you can try three Oktoberfest beers from the brewery (and lots more from 65 other breweries), listen to live folk music, and eat German and/or non-German food to your heart’s content. Admission gets you ten drink tastes, with additional tickets costing a buck each. $30. Noon to 7 PM. 

DRINK: Time to bring your college drinking game skills out of hibernation—I know you’ve still got them—and compete in the Blondes vs. Brunettes coed flip cup tournament. Your entry fee pays for beer while you’re playing, and after you’re out, there’ll be beer and burger specials at Town Tavern. Proceeds go to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association. $20. 2 PM.

ART: The (e)merge Art Festival is going on at the Capitol Skyline Hotel all weekend. Dozens of artists take over the hotel (and the hotel rooms on certain floors) to show off their works, meaning you can snap up relatively inexpensive art from up-and-comers while wandering the hotel and the pool area as you please. Tickets ($15) are available online. Noon to 7 (also Friday and Sunday). 

Sunday, October 5

FILM: The DC Palestinian Film & Arts Festival happens this weekend, and things wrap up Sunday with three film screenings and a closing festival featuring live music, food, and drinks. The star of the show here is Between Two Lovers, a panel of women artists hosted by Journal of Palestine Studies managing editor Nehad Khader, with two short films to break up the action. The discussion will explore how Palestinian art has changed over the years and how, specifically, that’s related to women’s rights in the area. Events are $10 each. All day.

DANCE: Animal Collective takes over U Street Music Hall with a string of deejay sets at the venue. This time, Geologist and Deakin spin whatever they want, and you’ll listen and dance to it. What better way to pretend you don’t have to go to work tomorrow? Tickets ($10) are available online. 10 PM.

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

Posted at 10:27 AM/ET, 10/02/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Talk First Lady fashion with Tim Gunn and check out the (e)merge Art Fair kickoff party. By Jason Koebler
Check out work by local artists at the (e)merge Art Fair, kicking off Thursday at the Capitol Skyline Hotel. The piece shown above is by Hedieh Ilchi.

Monday, September 29

DRINK: Chefs from Mason Dixie, Mandu, Buttercream Bakeshop, Beuchert’s Saloon, Brabo, Sona Creamery, Lost Society, and Tico will be at the Gryphon’s Chefs Behind Bars event tonight, at which they’ll make custom cocktails instead of food. Admission gets you a drink from each chef and food from the Gryphon—proceeds benefit No Kid Hungry. Tickets ($40) are available online. 6 PM.

Tuesday, September 30

ADVICE: The Washington Post’s premier advice columnist, Carolyn Hax, will be at the Museum of Natural History to answer all your health and genetics questions at the closing ceremony of the “Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code” exhibition (which, if you haven’t seen it already, is well worth the trip). Hax will be joined by NIH genetic counselor Barbara Biesecker and Johns Hopkins geneticist David Valle. Free. 6:45 PM.

FASHION: Over at the National Archives, Project Runway’s Tim Gunn is hosting “First Ladies’ Fashion,” a panel on how presidential wives’ style has changed throughout the years. Free. 7 PM.

Wednesday, October 1

COMEDY: Brightest Young Things’ annual Bentzen Ball comedy festival happens this weekend, and kicks things off with an amazing lineup of funny people at the Lincoln Theatre. See Tig Notaro, Jeff Garlin, Drunk History’s Kyle Kinane, Last Comic Standing’s Ben Kronberg, and Kate Berlant from IFC’s Comedy Drop. Tickets ($30) are available online. 7 PM.

Thursday, October 2

ART: The annual (e)merge Art Fair opens at Capitol Skyline Hotel with a concert by the pool featuring live music, deejays, and lots of drinks. For two hours, you’ll get to explore the fair, which is DC’s (much smaller) answer to Miami’s Art Basel. Hotel rooms will be converted into galleries; last time, the basement was taken over, too. Tickets ($45) are available online. 7 PM.

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

Posted at 10:15 AM/ET, 09/29/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()