Thursday, July 9: The Capital Fringe Festival kicks off today with a series of performances at the Goethe-Institut. Over the course of three weeks, there are more than 100 shows—some good, some interesting, some just plain awful. For information about individual shows and ticket prices, check out the festival’s Web site here.
Fort Reno is one of our favorite outdoor summer concert series, and Imperial China, with its angular guitar rock, is one of our favorite local up-and-coming bands, so we heartily recommend checking out both tonight at 7:15. Also on the bill: the Key Blanks and FFFever. Free.
Who can resist ’80s movies? How about free ’80s movies outside? You’ll get that tonight with a screening of The Breakfast Club at the Capitol Riverfront’s film series. Movies start around 8:45 at Tingey Plaza (100 Tingey St., SE). Find out about more free film series here.
Head to the National Zoo from 6:30 to 8 tonight for the kickoff of its free family-friendly concert series, Sunset Serenades. Musical acts from nearly every genre perform on a stage on the zoo’s Lion/Tiger Hill. Tonight is the psychedelic-blues band GHZ. You can bring a picnic or purchase snacks at the Mane Restaurant.
Friday, July 10: The Made in Hong Kong Film Festival kicks off today with a 7 PM showing of Sparrow, the comedic tale of a group of Cantonese pickpockets whose slick ways unravel when a beautiful stranger enters their midst. English subtitles will ensure you’re privy to the jokes, but that won’t matter—the achingly beautiful set design, evocative of a Hong Kong long past, may keep you from noticing the dialogue altogether. Freer Gallery’s Meyer Auditorium. Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis an hour before the show. Limit of two tickets per person. Call 202-633-4880 for more information.
The Washington Post is putting on free concerts this summer at Carter Barron Amphitheatre. Tonight at 7:30 is the “neo-soul” night, with acts such as Fertile Ground and Tamika Jones. Up to four free tickets are available at the Carter Barron box office or at the Washington Post building (1150 15th St., NW).
The DC Hip-Hop Theater Festival continues today and throughout the weekend. Check out the full schedule of events here.
Invite 30 Facebook “friends” you’ve never met to the Black Cat’s B.A.R.F. (Be a Real Friend) Party. There’s no cover, and music is always a perfect conversation starter. 8 PM.
Saturday, July 11: Up for some free opera? Tonight at 6 at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, students who have just completed the Washington National Opera Institute, an intensive three-week training program, will sing selections in English from well-known operas.
If you missed out on patriotic celebrations and fireworks last weekend, head to Alexandria tonight. The city is celebrating its 260th birthday with fireworks, live music, cake, and lots more. The celebration gets started around 4; fireworks will go off around dusk. Oronoco Bay Park (Union and Madison sts.).
The exhibit “Maya Lin: Systematic Landscapes” at the Corcoran closes this Sunday. If you haven’t seen the exhibit yet, hustle over on Saturday, where admission is free (as it is all Saturdays through the summer). The Corcoran is open 10 to 5 on Saturdays.
Sunday, July 12: Avant-garde-food fans will appreciate the Capital Fringe Festival’s Tactile Dinner. Part meal, part performance art, this “futurist degustation” features seven courses for the ears, eyes, nose, palate, and fingertips. Diners will be loaned “tactilist” pajamas for the evening, which takes place at the Arthur S. Flemming Center (1426 Ninth St., NW). Performances are scheduled for 3, 6:15, and 8. The event also runs July 11 at 7 and 9:15, July 13 at 7:30, and July 19 at 4 and 7:30. To buy tickets ($15), click here. You can get more information by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Head to the Mongolian Naadam Festival in Arlington today for a taste of something different. The event celebrates all aspects of Mongolian culture, from food to throat singing to wrestling. It’s noon to 6 in the Barcroft Sports and Fitness Center and Park. Free.