What to Do This Weekend: March 21 to 24
Drink painting-inspired cocktails at Artini and party at the French Embassy—twice.
Thursday, March 21
ART: We know you’ve been Googling weird stuff on your phone, trying to settle bets about whether or not Kristen Stewart is actually in the timeless classic The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (she is). The artists behind Search Warrant, a new installation at Artisphere, walked around DC and asked strangers to show them their cell phone search history, knowing most of them would be completely bizarre. The results are paired with videos and photos of their searchers, so you can silently judge them. The installation opens with a party tonight, featuring live music and a cash bar. Free. 7 PM.
MUSIC: Fresh off shows at SXSW, English grunge-pop band Swim Deep and local garage rockers Shark Week must be riding high. Given their names, we assume Shark Week is the bane of Swim Deep’s existence, but they’ll play nice with a special show in the lobby of the Warner Theatre. Tickets ($10) are available online. 8 PM.
Friday, March 22
EMBASSY PARTY: For a short period there, France had a bit of an empire going (merci, Napoleon). As a result, its influence is still seen in lots of countries, such as Switzerland, Belgium, Algeria, and Canada. To remember its glory days (or because it’s just a fun thing to do), the French embassy is throwing the Grande Fete de la Francophonie, a huge party featuring art, culture, music, and cuisine from countries where France has had an influence. After 10, things get a bit crazy as a dance floor opens up. Tickets ($38) are available online. 7 PM.
DRINKS: After a couple weeks of preview nights, eight of DC’s top mixologists meet at the Corcoran to see who can pour the most creative, delicious martini. The catch? It has to be inspired by a famous work of art, hence the Artini name. Besides martinis, hors d’oeuvres will be served, and Alive and Able will supply the music. Tickets ($125) are available online. 8:30 PM.
NEW BARS: You might be interested in The Ghost of Piramida, the new documentary by Danish band Efterklang. The doc, which has gotten good reviews, is about the band’s trip to an abandoned Russian mining town and has been screened at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam—but even if you’re not into that, the screening gives you a chance to check out Black Whiskey, the new whiskey bar from the guys behind Kushi, before it opens to the public. Free. 7 and 9 PM.
Saturday, March 23
FILM: The first ever Bethesda Film Fest is at Imagination Stage Saturday and features five documentaries made by local filmmakers. Afterwards, each filmmaker will be around to discuss his or her work. Advance tickets are sold out, but there may be some available at the door. $10. 8 PM.
COMEDY: A lot of the talent at DC’s open-mike nights is cringeworthy, but there are definitely some undiscovered comics worth seeing. Case in point: the March Madness of Comedy. Three dozen comics have been competing at open-mike nights around DC for a spot in the finals at the DC Arts Center. A champion will be crowned this weekend. $20 at the door. 10 PM.
DANCE: Head back to the French Embassy for a bit of a different scene—Make the Girl Dance, a ridiculous electronic dance music duo from Paris, invades the embassy and will turn it into a sweaty, all-night dance party. Tickets ($15) are available online. 11 PM.
BURLESQUE: Bier Baron is getting in on the burlesque game with “Viva!,” featuring dancer Viva Deconcini and her rock-and-roll band. Other dancers will include Paco Fish, Marla Meringue, Sunny Sighed, and Short Staxx—is it weird they all have names relating to food? $10. 9 PM.
Sunday, March 24
BEER: Soon enough, the Nats will be back. But until then, there are worse uses for a baseball stadium than a beer festival. A couple dozen local and national brewers, including Allagash, Dogfish Head, Sierra Nevada, Bell’s, Magic Hat, and Great Lakes, will bring their latest and greatest pours to the DC Beer Festival. All the beer is free; food is extra. Tickets ($40) are available online. 1 to 4 PM and 6 to 9 PM.
FANCY BALL (KINDA): Toss on your finest Canadian tuxedo for the Blue Jeans Ball at Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, which benefits the Capital Area Food Bank. Spike Mendelsohn oversees things, and the night features signature cocktails, tastings from restaurants such as Ris, Epic Smokehouse, Chef Geoff’s, and Sangam, and live music. Tickets ($150 and up) are available online. 6 PM.
READING: Five authors and poets bring some of their latest works (or things they’re still working on) to Big Hunt for the Three Tents Reading Series—you’ll be among the first to hear the new works read aloud. This month’s authors include New York Times-lauded poet Matthew Zapruder and James Gendron. Free. 6 PM.
Know of something cool going on around town? E-mail Jason Koebler at email@example.com, or find him on Twitter.