Thursday, May 15: Ready for pool season? This evening marks the debut of the Splash Poolside Party, a new weekly Thursday happy hour at the Washington Plaza Hotel’s (10 Thomas Circle, NW) beautiful pool. RSVP now and $10 will get you grilled food, drinks, and DJ music. Admission is $15 at the door; 6 to 10 PM. RSVP here.
We’re always wary of bands that sound or come across as too precious, so when electropop band Cut Copy described its latest song “Lights & Music” as a “trans-galactic voyage,” we were ready to move on. Lucky for us, we didn’t. Though no cosmic voyage, the track’s good enough to have you guiltlessly shaking your head. Opening Cut Copy’s show tonight at 8 PM at the Black Cat (1811 14th St., NW) is the much-hyped band Black Kids. The show’s sold out, but we see tickets at a decent price on Craiglist. But worry not if you can’t get into the show; at 10 PM the same night, the nearby boutique Redeem (1734 14th St., NW) hosts a free party with DJs Will Eastman, members of Cut Copy, and, best of all, an open bar. RSVP here.
Music critic Sasha Frere-Jones says of Erykah Badu: “If you want to know who is at her peak, who is both of her moment and channelling so many forces that her work spills out over the edges of history and stops time, that’s Erykah Badu in 2008.” High praise indeed. Lucky for you, you can see her perform tonight at Constitution Hall (1776 D St., NW) at 7:30 PM. Tickets are still available; buy them here. The Roots open.
Friday, May 16: House of Sweden (2900 K St., NW) After Dark makes its return tonight. Anybody who went to the last House of Sweden party knows that it was a great time, but also frustrating for some; the event got so popular that many folks waited in line hours before giving up completely on entrance. The event organizers learned their lesson and capped the attendance and raised the ticket price to $20 (you can purchase here). If you go, you’ll be treated to Swedish tunes, art, cash bars, dancing, and more. Make sure to dress up in cocktail attire as requested by the organizers.
Penang Malaysian Cuisine (1837 M St., NW) hosts “Bollywood 2 Night” this evening. It’s a night of Bollywood music and films. 10 PM. $15 at the door; women get in free before 11 PM.
This weekend, some of the nation’s keenest beer aficionados will be in DC. The occasion? “Savor: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience.” Forty-eight breweries from across the country will take part in the controlled bacchanal celebrating the art and science of pairing good beer with good cuisine. Guests will be treated to a reception of 35 food tastings, each with a suggested beer pairing. Representatives from breweries will give seminars and talk up their favorite pints. Friday’s sessions go from 6:30 to 10 PM; the sessions of tastings and seminars are sold out for Saturday, but you should still call 303-447 0816, ext. 131, or check out the Web site, as extra tickets may become available. Get more details here.
Saturday, May 17: NOTE: As of today, the Dragon Boat Festival has been postponed to June 14-15. Every spring I look forward to the Dragon Boat Festival, which takes place on the Potomac River near the Thompson Boathouse (2900 Virginia Ave., NW) this Saturday. Fantastically colorful boats painted to resemble dragons—with intricate scales, ferocious dragon heads, and elegant tails—line up to sprint distances of 250 and 500 meters down the water. 8 AM to 5 PM; the event continues on Sunday.
If you haven’t checked out the glitzy National Harbor in Prince George’s County, head over to the new riverfront complex this weekend. On Saturday, May 17, and Sunday, May 18, its inaugural Food & Wine Festival offers lectures, demos, and tastings studded with local and national big-name chefs. Click here for more details.
Go Greek this weekend. It’s time for Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral’s Spring Greek Festival. There are plenty of fun activities, from live music to dancing to crafts for sale to tours of the cathedral. But I’d go for the food alone—Greek pastries, souvlaki and gyros, Greek wine and beer . . . mmm. Noon to 9 (the festival also takes place Friday and Sunday; hours are the same). Free. 36th St. and Massachusetts Ave., NW. For more information, call 202-333-4730.
I love it when event organizers can take two things that probably give all of us nightmares—in this case, the ’80s and high school—and roll them into a fun event. That ’80s Prom is hosted tonight by Lindy Promotions at the National Press Club (529 14th St., NW). They’ve got it all—a five-hour open bar, prom polaroids, best ’80s-outfits contests, live music from the band English Beat, and more. Tickets are $101; buy them here.
Sunday, May 18: Ready for some of the funniest ranting you’ll ever see? Head to tonight’s performance by standup comedian Lewis Black at the Warner Theatre. (He also performs May 15, 16, and 17. 8 PM; $59.50 to $75. Buy tickets here.
Charming, sweet, perfect-for-spring indie pop—you can get that all and a solid live performance tonight when Brooklyn band Bishop Allen plays the Black Cat (1811 14th St., NW). 8 PM; $12.
Our theater critic said the Shakespeare Theatre’s new production of Julius Caesar “has to be one of the best productions of this or any season.” Why not find out for yourself today at an afternoon matinee? 2 PM; $42 to $75.