Okay, this isn’t technically a free event, but we felt it was our duty to write about it anyway, as it’s an important spot on Washington’s summer cultural scene. If this post is the first to let you know that the Capital Fringe Festival kicks into full gear today, then I don’t know if you can be helped. But hey, now you know! The area’s most comprehesive aggregation of weird, hip, and all-out contemporary theater is one of a slew of festivals (of the same name) that take over cities such as Edinburgh, New York City, and Orlando. Here’s a scant handful of upcoming productions: The Woman Who Cooked Her Husband, Wiener Sausage: The Musical!, Jerry Springer: The Opera, and Three Murdered Clowns.
Beset with giddy anticipation? I thought so. Here’s the full list of shows.
If you like your humanities in smaller but still explosive doses, this Saturday the prolific poet Gary Snyder is holding a free poetry reading with a book signing to follow. It’s at 2 PM at the Freer Gallery of Art. This time, “free” is defined by Ticketmaster: a few bucks’ worth of “processing fees.” Whatever—the dude won a Pulitzer. Up to four tickets per person can be reserved at ticketmaster.com (for a service fee of $2.75 per ticket and $1.25 per order).
DC jazz junkie Joshua Bayer will have a quartet grooving at the National Gallery of Art’s sculpture garden on Friday at 5 PM. As you know, my friends, these performances are always free. The drinks are not (but crazy war stories from the craggy bartender are).
On Friday, Busboys and Poets offers back-to-back events that are as good an immersion as you can get into what this coffeeshop/restaurant/gathering place is all about. At 5:30 there’s a free screening of Camden 28, a documentary about a thwarted and betrayed group of mostly Catholics who were against the Vietnam War. Afterward, there’s the 11th Hour Poetry Slam. It’s $5 (i.e. not “free”), which features, um, slam poetry and audience-generated winners. Leave umbrellas and insecurities at the door.