Thursday, April 21
ART: "Directions: Grazia Toderia" opens today at the Hirshhorn. The contemporary Italian artist specializes in large-scale video projections taken from military and satellite footage. Patrons will have a chance to meet Toderia tonight at 6:45; free. Through September 5.
DRINKS: Spring cleaning? Donate your unwanted handbags, belts, and jewelry to Dress For Success during a happy hour at BlackFinn. The organization provides business clothing and accessories to disadvantaged women entering the workforce. 8 to 10; there'll be appetizers and discounted drinks. Another happy hour taking place tonight is Bar Louie's annual tater-tot-eating contest. Beat last year's record of two pounds, ten ounces in six minutes and win a $50 gift certificate and free tots for a year. 8 PM; no entry fee.
LECTURE: Hear Leandro Pisano, the director of Italy's Interferenze Festival, discuss the intersection of new media, sustainability, and food at "The Food Side of Sound Aesthetics." It's part of the "Box Smashers" series at Artisphere. 7 PM; pay-what-you-can. Attendees can also stop by the open rehearsal of Washington Shakespeare Company's Tennessee Continuum, a collection of lesser-known one-acts from Tennessee Williams. 6 to 8 PM; free.
BENEFIT: Fathom Creative is hosting an art show featuring works from residents of the N Street Village, a community of homeless and low-income women. 6 to 8 PM; $25 suggested donation. Appetizers and drinks will be served. RSVP at Event Brite.
Friday, April 22
DRINKS: Wine goes green at the Butcher's Block market in Old Town. Taste a number of environmentally friendly and biodynamic wines from 6 to 8 PM.
THEATER: Opening tonight at Arena Stage is the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Ruined. Written by Lynn Nottage, it brings to life a brothel in war-torn Congo and is based on actual interviews with women in Africa. Through June 5; buy tickets at Arena's Web site.
DANCE: See the "Essential Graham" at the intimate Alden Theatre. The production celebrates the company's 85th anniversary with numerous works from the revered choreographer. 8 PM; buy tickets at Ovation Tix.
FASHION: Celebrate the planet with an Earth Day fashion show at Carbon. The clothing is from New York-based Auralis Studios, which uses only organic, recycled, sustainable, and natural fabrics, and accessories are from Filili, which makes one-of-a-kind pieces out of wire and recycled fabrics. 6 PM; buy tickets ($25, includes a glass of wine) at Event Brite.
JAZZ: It's the final day of the Big Band Jam: Jazz on the Mall, bringing together the best of high-school, college, and military jazz bands. They're performing on the Mall and being judged by the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. Free; for a complete schedule, visit the event's Web site.
Saturday, April 23
FILM: Dumbstruck by TV writer Mark Goffman—his credits include The West Wing—is a documentary that follows five up-and-comers as they try and make it in the world of professional ventriloquists. It's showing at E Street Cinema April 22 through 28; tonight's screening is followed by a Q&A with Goffman and the film's producer, his wife Lindsay. Buy tickets ($10) at Landmark's Web site.
DANCE: The dance troupe Step Afrika! is offering a free lesson on the art of "stepping," a fast, percussive style of dance. Following the 10 AM workshop is a demonstration ($10) and there'll be a full length concert at 7:30 PM ($25). At National Geographic's Grosvenor Auditorium; buy tickets at the Web site.
PARTY: It's all Kylie, all night at DC9. DJs Shea Van Horn and Aaron Riggins are hosting the "All You Can Eat" dance party featuring all the music of pop princess Kylie Minogue, starting at 10 PM. $5 cover.
ART: See the work of the next generation of great artists at "NEXT at the Corcoran: BFA Class of 2011." The final projects of students in fine art, photography, and design will be on display, and visitors can listen in on thesis-critique discussions. Through May 22; free.
Sunday, April 24
THEATER: It's the last weekend to catch Theater J's production of Photograph 51. The play dramatizes the race to uncover the structure of DNA and gives credit and the spotlight to Rosalind Franklin, the only woman on the team. Buy tickets at the theater's site.
EXHIBIT: It's also the last day to view "Orchids: A View From the East" at the Museum of Natural History. There are more than 300 flowers of 50 variations on display, many of which are rarely seen. Free.