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Where & When: What to Do This Weekend

Air guitar, indie films, embassy tours, shopping sprees, and the search for the best taco in Washington

Thursday, May 12
Choose between ten films screening tonight at various locations around the National Mall. “Film Forward,” sponsored by the Sundance Institute, is a chance to catch independent and international films, like Afghan Star, about a pop singing competition, or last year’s Winter’s Bone. For a complete list and to buy tickets ($10) visit the Web site. All film start between 6 and 6:30 PM.

THEATER: See a production of Tom Stoppard’s rarely staged play, Night and Day, at Artisphere. It depicts a civil war in Africa through the lens of a newspaper strike and a British expatriate’s wife. 7:30 PM; get tickets ($50) at Artisphere’s site.

HEALTH: Pick up tips for living a healthier life at the free Wellness Expo on the roof of Crystal Square (1515 Jefferson Davis Hwy., Arlington). Local vendors will showcase health, fitness, and wellness opportunities in the area. There will also be a DJ and appetizers. 5 to 8 PM; free.

DJ: U Street Music Hall hosts the Electric Cabaret dance party, featuring the sounds of Akufen, Solomon Sanchez, and Measax. 9 PM; admission is $10 at the door.

Friday, May 13
The Trey McIntyre Project, an innovative, Idaho-based ballet company, is performing at Sidney Harman Hall at 8 PM. Several pieces in their repertoire are set to music by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Also May 14 at 2 and 8 PM; get tickets ($22 to $75) here.

FASHION: Jewelry designer Dana Ayanna Greaves is unveiling the latest collection of her line, Artaya during a weekend trunk show at Bloomingdale’s in Chevy Chase. The brightly colored, moderately priced line will be shown from 11 AM to 7 PM each day and the designer will be on hand to answer questions.

MUSIC: Tonight is the start of yet another free, outdoor concert series. The Yards Park is hosting musical acts ranging from salsa to Motown every Friday from 6 to 8 PM. There will also be a beer garden and children’s activities. Tonight, catch a performance by blues band Kelly Bell.

CONTEST: Dust off your air guitar and show off your moves at the Solid Metal Air Guitar Contest at Solly’s U Street Tavern. In honor of Friday the 13th, only heavy metal songs will be allowed. The throwdown starts at 8 PM, but DC Brau will be providing happy hour specials from 5 to 8. 

Saturday, May 14
Indulge at the National Harbor Food & Wine Festival, featuring an “all you care to taste” selection of 150 wines, beers, and spirits, plus cigar rolling demos and live music. Also Sunday, May 15; get tickets ($35 to $150) at the event’s site.

FESTIVAL: The Bethesda Fine Arts Festival features more than 100 artists from around the US and Canada selling everything from ceramics to photography to clothing and jewelry. There will also be live music, food vendors, and activities for children. Held along Del Ray, Auburn, and Norfolk Avenues in downtown Bethesda; free.

BENEFIT: Support the Arlington Arts Center at their Annual Art Bash. DC artists will participate in a “live art competition” using supplies found in a preschool classroom, plus there’ll be a silent auction, open bar, an art show, and live music. 8 to 11 PM; buy tickets ($50) here.

FESTIVAL: Thirty-four embassies are opening their doors for Passport DC’s Around the World tour. From Botswana to Bangledesh, Haiti to Kazahstan, get a taste of the culture of various nations with food, history lessons, and performances. 10 AM to 4 PM; free. Visit the Web site for a complete list of participating embassies and shuttle bus schedule.

SHOPPING: Treat yourself, give to good causes, and support local businesses at Old Town Alexandria’s Boutique Charity Day. Twenty-nine local stores have each picked a charity and are hosting an event or promotion to benefit their cause. Visit the boutique district’s Web site for a complete list of stores.

Sunday, May 15
The Literary Hill BookFest at Eastern Market celebrates authors from Capitol Hill, including Spike Mendelsohn ( The Good Stuff Cookbook) and the Washington Post’s Gene Weingarten ( The Fiddler in the Subway). 11 to 3; free.

MUSIC: The Fiesta Asia Festival is hosting a night of jazz to benefit earthquake relief in Japan. Catch performances from local jazz and bossa nova artists at Twins Jazz from 3 to 7 PM. A $20 donation is requested.

ART: Today is the last day to catch “Bravos: Groundbreaking Spanish Design” at American University’s Katzen Arts Center. The exhibit features the work of 21 young, contemporary Spanish designers and artists. Pieces range from a practical Tyvek chair to a flower vase created from tar. The gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 AM to 4 PM; free.

FOOD: The DC Taco Experiment is taking place today at the Rock and Roll Hotel. Watch and eat as amateur chefs compete to see who can create the best taco dish. Get tickets ($10) at Ticket Fly or at the door ($15). A portion of the proceeds will go to the Capital Area Food Bank.

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