You may have already heard of the tunnels hidden beneath Dupont Circle, the 75,000-square-foot space built in 1949 as an underground streetcar station. It's been largely uninhabited for decades, but in July, Dupont Underground plans to change that. They're hoping to transform those dusty passages into a cultural destination, packed with gallery and concert space.
There's still time to explore the tunnels mostly as they are. On May 30, Atlas Obscura, a travel guide site dedicated to exploring unexpected places, celebrates the world's weird, hidden wonders with Obscura Day, a worldwide bash involving 150 events in 39 states and 25 countries. For the occasion, Dupont Underground leads three guided walking tours, giving visitors a sense of the space's history and future.
THURSDAY, MAY 28
Dance: Watch A Streetcar Named Desire at The Kennedy Center where the Scottish Ballet offers its rendition of Tennessee Williams’ famed play, which is celebrating its 65th anniversary. The performance, recommended for those 16 and older, marks the dance company’s first visit to the Washington venue. $30 to $108, 7:30 PM.
TALK: Fight Club fans, get ready to learn more about Tyler Durden, the character played by Brad Pitt in the 1999 film. (Which is based on a 1996 novel by the same name.) The book's author Chuck Palahniuk comes to Sixth & I for an evening including a Q&A, games, and more. The $35 admission fee includes one signed copy of his latest, Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread. 7 PM.
1. AFI Docs
Multiple Venues, June 17-21
After a year with no full-time director, AFI Docs hired Michael Lumpkin, who arrives at a key time: The festival recently shifted most screenings from Silver Spring to DC, with more documentaries chosen for their potential impact on policymakers. But it’s not just about targeting wonks. “You have to know your audience,” he says. —Benjamin Freed
TUESDAY, MAY 26
PLAY: There’s fun for the whole family at the Capital Fair at RFK. Enjoy rides, games, food, and more. The event, ending on May 31, opens at 5 PM on weeknights and noon on Saturday and Sunday. $3 entrance fee, plus additional for rides.
COMEDY: Don’t settle for tuning in to Comedy Central for your dose of Amy Schumer. Head to DAR Constitution Hall where the former Last Comic Standing contestant will offer up her unique brand of risqué humor. The Inside Amy Schumer star visits DC for one night only. Tickets are running low and are available on StubHub. 7:30 PM.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 27
DRINK: Thirsty? RFD is ready to remedy that with a beer-tasting that includes at least 12 breweries--DC Brau, 3 Stars Brewing Company, and others. The so-called "Strong Ale Tasting" takes place in the bar's back room on 7th Street, NW. Not into those beers? Order one of more than 300 bottles offered there. 6 PM, $40.
THEATER: Atlas Theater premieres a new, dark comedy about a woman who prematurely fulfills her role in a suicide pact, leaving her friends to rummage through her belongings. The Welders: happiness (and other reasons to die) stars Melissa Flaim, Elan Zafir, Carlos Saldana, Miyuki Williams, and Graham Pilato. The production runs through June 13. 8 PM, $20.
THURSDAY, MAY 21
TALK: Boardwalk Empire viewers have a chance to learn more about the Prohibition-era drama. Nelson Johnson--author of the book that inspired the show--joins show stars Edward McGinty, Jr., Gretchen Mol, and Lesley Robson-Foster to discuss how the series transitioned from a best-selling book to the small screen. Series creator Terence Winter leads the discussion at the William G. McGowan Theater. A book signing follows the panel. Free, 7 PM.
THEATER: Using real letters from soldiers and their family members as inspiration, If All the Sky Were Paper offers a unique look at the war experience. The Andrew Carroll production recalls correspondence from every US conflict in history. Carroll, a DC-based author, will be signing copies of his books, War Letters and Behind the Lines, following Thursday night’s performance at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Proceeds benefit the Kennedy Center Education Fund. $29, 7:30 PM.
FRIDAY, MAY 22
ART: The National Portrait Gallery’s new exhibit--Eye Pop: The Celebrity Gaze--opens Friday and offers visitors a unique view into celebrity portraits. The exhibit features photographs and various artists’ renditions of famous entertainers, entrepreneurs, and athletes, such as Katy Perry, Brad Pitt, Kelly Slater, and more. Free, 11:30 AM to 7 PM.
MUSEUMS: The Newseum honors the nation’s veterans with a new exhibit about how the media covered the Vietnam War. Reporting Vietnam commemorates the 50th anniversary of the conflict, using music, news reports, artifacts, and more than 100 images, including Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs. The exhibit continues through the summer. $22.95, 9 AM to 5 PM.
SATURDAY, MAY 23
MUSIC: Crooner Eric Roberson performs at the Birchmere. The Grammy Award nominee and Howard University graduate combines house, soul, R&B, jazz, and rock into a unique, ecletic sound. $39.50, 7:30 PM.
DANCE: Party like it’s 1989 at The Fillmore in Silver Spring. The New Romance--an 80s tribute band--hosts the "Ultimate ‘80s Prom." From Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Simple Minds to Prince and Michael Jackson, the group brings the 80s to life again, performing classic hits with unparalleled enthusiasm and energy. $19, 8 PM.
SUNDAY, MAY 24
MUSIC: Wolf Trap launches its 2015 summer season with a Memorial Day tribute featuring the United States Marine Band. The performance ends with a bang--a show of fireworks that will light up the sky. Gates open at 6:30 PM. The show begins at 8 PM. Fireworks start around 9:30 PM. Free.
MUSIC: Future brings his lyrical talents to Echostage as part of his "Monster vs. Beast Mode" tour. The rapper has recently been sharing gossip headlines with singer Ciara, with whom he has a son, but he still hasn't announced with which guests he'll be sharing the stage. $48.40, 9 PM.
MONDAY, MAY 18
ART: Stop by Tysons this week and fill out a survey designed by artist Julia Vogl. From May 18 to 24, she'll be popping up at more than 22 locations in the area and asking participants to answer a few questions about culture, community, and art. Those answers will later form part of a public art installation in Tysons, debuting on June 25.
FILM: The GI Film Festival opens Monday, featuring films about veterans and the military world. Running through Sunday, the festival includes a lineup of more than 60 films, including Kajaki--a British war movie by the same producer behind The King's Speech--and an advance screening of Melissa McCarthy's Spy.
TUESDAY, MAY 19
MUSIC: TV on the Radio isn't afraid of experimentation. The quartet opens its latest album, Seeds, with a sound inspired by one of the band member's cat, who happens to have a penchant for chasing marbles. That sense of whimsy has come to define the band--and it's exactly what you can expect at their performance at Echostage on Tuesday. $40, 7 PM.
THEATER: House of Cards creator Beau Willimon, US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and Glamour Editor-in-Chief Cindi Leive come together at the Warner Theatre on Tuesday to speak at a performance of Slut: The Play. The production, written and acted in by teenagers, tells the tale of a community's reaction to a sexual assault. $20, 7 PM.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 20
TALK: Natasha Lyonne might be best known for playing Jessica in American Pie and the sex-crazed Nicky Nichols on Orange is the New Black, but she'll be in DC this week to do something quite different: talk with a rabbi. The actress comes to Sixth & I to discuss storytelling, Jewish culture, and spirituality. Stick around after the talk for cream cheese cupcakes and Kahlúa spiked Vietnamese iced coffee. $15, 7 PM.
BOOKS: Cindy Williams--who played Shirley Feeney on the TV show Laverne & Shirley--visits Busboys and Poets Takoma to chat about her new memoir, Shirley: I Jest! Williams apparently has some serious dirt on the likes of Jim Morrison, Penny Marshall, and Lucille Ball. Free, 6:30 PM.
THURSDAY, MAY 14
MUSEUMS: This four-day bash is all about letting your inner nerd out. Smithsonian Magazine's The Future Is Here Festival kicks off with a screening of Back to the Future at the Warner Bros. Theatre with a very big perk: The film's DeLorean will be parked outside. The screening costs $25 and goes from 6 to 9 PM, but for access to other speakers and events--which includes a peek at what they're calling "the world's first real hover board"--you've got to fork over $250.
EMBASSIES: Try more than 20 wines at the Embassy of Argentina. It's all for a good cause: The embassy is hosting this fundraiser to build a school in an indigenous Guaraní community in northern Argentina. And, yes, there will also be food. $55, 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM.
MONDAY, MAY 11
OPERA: Check out the Washington National Opera's production of Rossini's Cinderella at the Kennedy Center. The three-hour opera features over the top, colorful costumes--yellow and pink wigs included. And tonight's ticket holders get an added perk: There'll be a free Q&A after the show. 7 PM, $25 to $300.
DRINK: Kick off the week with free booze. Stop by the Park at 14th tonight from 6:30 to 8:30 PM for a Ciroc party, featuring an open bar and appetizers. There's more: Party-goers get three tokens in order to vote in a cocktail competition pitting 20 DC bartenders against each other.
TUESDAY, MAY 12
EAT: Two restaurants come together for a cause. At chef Seng Luangrath's Thip Khao, try food made by neighboring chef Deth Khaiaphone of Doi Moi, who offers a special three-course dinner: green mango salad, curry vermicelli noodle soup, and yellow mung bean cake. This pop-up noodle shop benefits Legacies of War, an advocacy group for the impact of Vietnam War-era conflict in Laos. 6 PM, $30.
THEATER: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead opens on Tuesday at the Folger Theatre. The tragicomedy by Tony Award-winning playwright Tom Stoppard runs through June 21. And if it's anything like the blooper video above, it's sure to be a compelling show. 7:30 PM, $30 to $75.
MUSIC: Tennis--the Denver-based, husband-and-wife band--started writing music when they were living on a sailboat a few years ago. Now they're selling out shows everywhere from Hollywood to Brooklyn--and have what might just be the coolest band website ever. Watch them perform at U Steet Music Hall at 7 PM. $18.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 13
EAT: At this event at the National Museum of American History's Warner Bros. Theater, you can learn about the history of American sushi. And you get to do it by watching sushi-making demonstrations and sampling sake, Japanese snacks, soy sauce, and, of course, Sapporo beer. 6 PM, $40.
MUSIC: Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams teams up with the US Air Force Band for Sila: The Breath of the World--music inspired by nature. At this outdoor show at Meridian Hill Park, the performance features only brass and percussion. Upcoming shows vary; woodwinds, strings, and voices will be at Constitution Gardens on May 15 and the full ensemble will be at the Jefferson Memorial on May 16. Free.
THURSDAY, MAY 7
THEATER: There are so many oddly fascinating parts to The Tramp's New World, a new play at the Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint. First, it's a one-man play. Second, it's based on a never-produced screenplay by Pulitzer Prize-winner James Agee and tells the tale of Charlie Chaplin's famous "Tramp" character, who's the single survivor of an atomic blast. And there's more: The play combines all that with physical comedy and silent film. $15, 8 PM.
MUSIC: Ohio native Griffin House has toured with John Mellencamp and the Cranberries, but this singer/songwriter has enough talent to carry his own show. Hearing his songs, you'd never guess he picked up a guitar for the first time when he was 18 years old--or that he supposedly cranked out his first album in just five days. Check him out at the Hamilton at 7:30 PM. $15 to $22.
FRIDAY, MAY 8
COMEDY: Loni Love has made appearances on The Tonight Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and Chelsea Lately, where she was a roundtable panelist. Now she's got her own gig. She's a co-host of The Real, a daytime talk show on Fox. Catch up with Love at the DC Improv, where she'll perform from May 7 to 9. 8 and 10:30 PM. $22.
DRINK: This one is a who's who of DC drinking. At this Smithsonian at 8 event, you can try drink samples from Port City Brewing Company, DC Brau, Atlas Brew Works, Green Hat Gin, and Catoctin Creek Distilling Company--all at the "Instagram-worthy" location of the Carnegie Library. $40, 8 to 11 PM.
SATURDAY, MAY 9
DRINK: Think of this as a convention for beer and cider, because that's exactly what it is. The DC Craft Beer Festival features 150 beers, ciders, and meads from about 75 breweries. For $55, you get to try it all, plus you get a tasting glass and access to informative seminars, which is why you're going in the first place, right? 2 or 7 PM entry.
CULTURE: Did you miss the World Embassy Tour last week? Don't fret. On Saturday, you get access to the European Union embassies from 10 AM to 4 PM. Just about every embassy is offering food--and it looks like there'll be copious beer or wine at stops like Spain, Austria, Belgium, and Croatia. Free.
SUNDAY, MAY 10
MUSIC: If you're in the mood for a road trip, check out Prince's "Rally 4 Peace" concert at the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, where the audience is encouraged to wear gray as a tribute to Freddie Gray. ($22 to $497, 8 PM) If you're sticking around town, check out Hayden at the Black Cat. $12 to $15, 7:30 PM.
EAT: Is your mom into sumo wrestling? Take her out for dinner to Daikaya, where you can eat shishito peppers and beef tongue skewers while watching Japan's Grand Sumo Tournament from May 10 to 24. On the menu, there'll also be special sumo-inspired specials, including a variety of chankonabe ($18)--the soup sumo wrestlers eat to gain weight.
MONDAY, MAY 4
FILM: Munch on fancy popcorn and enjoy wine flights at Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar, while watching Somm, the documentary about four wine nerds as they prepare for the famously difficult Master Sommelier exam. After the movie, several DC sommeliers will compete in a blind wine tasting. $30, 6 to 10 PM.
MUSIC: Grey's Anatomy fans might recognize Matthew Mayfield's songs "First in Line" and "Better"--both of which were featured on the show. Watch the Birmingham native perform tonight at Hill Country. $10 to $12, 9 PM.
TUESDAY, MAY 5
THEATER: Following their mother's death, four sisters come together to make a family quilt. But when they start reading their mom's will, things take a turn. Check out this new play--called the Blood Quilt--at Arena Stage. $45 to $80, noon.
MUSIC: Listen to Sufjan Stevens's whispery voice at DAR Constitution Hall, where the Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter performs songs from his new album, Carrie & Lowell. $38, 7 PM.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 6
SEMINAR: Bread seminars are the best kind of seminars. Bread Furst's Mark Furstenberg leads a seminar and tasting hosted by Smithsonian Associates at the S. Dillon Ripley Center, where he'll chat about the history of bread, baking tips, and his passion for baking. $30, 6:45 to 8:45 PM.
BOOKS: Another event organized by Smithsonian Associates: Brad Garrett of Everybody Loves Raymond fame hosts a lecture at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. He'll also be signing copies of his book, When the Balls Drop. $20, 6:45 to 8:15 PM.
FILM: The Maryland Film Festival debuts on Wednesday and runs through May 10. Opening night at the MICA Brown Center is devoted entirely to short films, including ESPN's documentary on the "bad boy of bowling," Pete Weber. Bonus: Opening night tickets also get you access to the afterparty. $75, 8 to 11 PM.