News & Politics

Where & When: What to Do This Weekend

Folks will jam like it's 1989, ears will bleed at a karaoke pool party, embarrassing adolescent stories will be exposed, and Wonderland Ballroom will turn five—all in the next few days.

The Pizza Pool
Happy Hour Finder
Best Bars with Rooftops and Patios

Thursday, August 6: Phillips After 5—the Phillips Collection’s popular after-hours event held every Thursday in August, with music, food, drinks, and gallery talks—is back! This week’s installment will showcase jazz and classical musician Maureen Mullaney. Also in the lineup is the performance show Mortified: Adolescent Angst on Stage, in which a group of people read passages from their adolescent journals. Out loud. In front of an audience. Yikes! Talk about awkward. Admission to Phillips After 5 is by donation, but tickets ($12) are required for the performance.

Folk meets bluegrass and hip-hop when the Justin Tratwick Group performs tonight as part of the Rock at the Row summer concert series at Pentagon Row (Army Navy Dr. and S. Joyce St., Arlington). The singer/songwriter has opened for Sara Bareilles, Jenny Owens Young, and Brett Dennen. The two-hour set begins at 7. Call 434-977-9234 for more information.

It’s undeniable—we’ve got a serious crush on local musician Olivia Mancini. We’ve called her one of our favorites we’ve interviewed her, and now we’re recommending her backstage show at the Black Cat. For just $8, you can hear why we’re absolutely gaga over Mancini. 8 PM.

The creepy-monster-terrorizes-city-dwellers trope gets an interesting—at turns scary and humorous—update in the 2006 Korean film The Host. The plot follows an estranged family forced to come together after one of its members is taken captive by a strange amphibian creature. The screening at the Freer Gallery’s Meyer Auditorium is free, but tickets—distributed an hour prior to the show—are required. They can also be reserved in advance $2.75. The film is part of the Asia Trash! film series. 7 PM.

Bingo gets a speedy makeover at the H Street, Northeast, sushi hangout Sticky Rice. Blingo, as the game is called, consists of six rounds of number calling at the speed of light. Okay, not quite the speed of light, but after a couple $3 beers it’ll feel like it. Numbers aren’t repeated, so we recommend paying close attention. 10 PM.

Tom Hanks isn’t exactly a favorite of ours, but it’s practically impossible not to be won over by his performance in Big—plus there’s the wonderful Elizabeth Perkins of Weeds fame. The film, about a young boy who finds himself in the body of an adult after making a wish, screens at Tingey Plaza as part of the Capitol Riverfront film festival. Food and drinks are available. The film starts at dusk (around 8:45).
Friday, August 7: Comedian Hal Sparks, known as the onetime host of E!’s The Soup, star of Queer as Folk, and frequent VH1 talkhead, will be at the Arlington Cinema ’n’ Drafthouse for a two-night standup performance. Tickets ($18) can be purchased here. 9:45 PM.

Like your seafood with a side of saxophone? Head to Johnny’s Half Shell for barbecue blue crabs and live jazz starting at 6. Call 202-737-0400 for reservations.

A lot of people have dreams of rock superstardom, but few can actually sing or play the guitar. Luckily, the US Air Guitar annual competition keeps the dream alive. Tonight, the 25 most talented air guitarists in the country gather at the 9:30 Club to compete for the championship title, a cash prize, and the chance to represent our country at the World Air Guitar Competition in Finland. The competition starts at 8; tickets ($20) can be purchased here. Make sure you cheer on local participant Chris Paxton, also known as Sanjar the Destroyer. Now, that’s a rockstar name if we ever heard one.

Does the Brat Pack ever get old? (Minus Twitter addict Demi Moore, we mean.) Pretty in Pink screens at Rossyln’s free outdoor film series tonight. Show up early for the pre-show ’80s-themed games and prizes at Gateway Park, or make it just in time for the movie, which starts around 8.

President Obama is lampooned—presumably for something other than his choice of jeans—by the Second City’s production of Barack Stars at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre. Other victims of the Chicago theater troupe’s wit? Administration officials, starting with Rahm Emanuel, of course. A late show has just been added, with tickets going for $25. For tickets or more information, click here. 11 PM.

Join the chic U Street boutique Caramel tonight as it celebrates the opening reception for an exhibit of photographs by Tony Fetters, a well-known television director whose work has been displayed up and down the East Coast. Enjoy the first chance to browse new fall merchandise as well as Champagne, appetizers, and art. The event runs from 6 to 9 PM.
Saturday, August 8: The Capitol Skyline Hotel has become the epicenter of cool and fun on Saturdays thanks to the pool parties thrown by the folks of the Web site BrightestYoungThings. Today’s party theme is Karaoke Camp, so expect some (bad) singing and perhaps even an air-guitar competition. Food and drink specials are available. Passes for the pool are $10; lockers are available and padlocks can be purchased on site. The party starts at 11. For more information, click here.

For those ’80s nostalgists who aren’t satiated by the film retrospectives going on around town, look into the State Theatre’s ’80s Retro Dance Party. The totally radical cover band the Legwarmers will perform the great jams of the decade. Obviously, dressing up in costume is encouraged. Tickets ($16) can be purchased here. 8 pm.

Amid the string of indie venues and bars on H Street, Northeast, Sova Espresso & Wine Bar has become a haven for bluegrass performers. Today, fiddler Chance McCoy performs alongside Sabra Guzman on guitar. The organizers promise a square dance and a late-night music jam following McCoy’s performance at 8. Tickets are $5.

Show your support for just-graduated starving artists at the art gallery Irvine Contemporary (1412 14th St., NW; 202-332-8767). “Introduction5,” the fifth installment of the MFA Annual exhibit, opens tonight with pieces by students from across the country, including the Maryland Institute College of Art and Savannah College of Art & Design. The opening ceremony, where artists will be on hand to discuss their work, takes place tonight from 6:30 to 9.

Indie-pop starved? Check out the psychedelic sounds of brother-and-sister duo Fiery Furnaces as well as the Baltimore-based band Wye Oak at the Black Cat’s mainstage. Tickets ($15) can be purchased here. 9 PM.

Sunday, August 9: Good Stuff Eatery’s Spike Mendelsohn is the host and theme of Capitol Skyline Hotel’s Spiked Sundays pool party. Food specials include burgers, grilled chicken, and sandwiches. Drink specials such as the Spiked Lemonade cocktail will also be available. Need an extra incentive to attend? The cast of The Real World: DC is known to attend this party every Sunday almost without fail. Passes are $10 and include a free burger. Noon.

If you’re looking for a good time minus MTV’s cast of eight strangers, head to Wonderland Ballroom in DC’s Columbia Heights. Not only are the Real Worlders not welcome here , but the bar is celebrating its fifth anniversary with drink specials and live music. The party starts at noon and runs throughout the day.

Today’s the last day that Jaromir Funke’s quirky Czech photography from the 1930s will be on display at the National Gallery of Art. If you haven’t been yet, we recommend it—this is the first time the collection has traveled outside Europe.

Sarah is the Editor-in-Chief of Washingtonian Bride & Groom, and writes about weddings, fashion, and shopping. Her work has also appeared in Refinery29, Bethesda Magazine, and Washington City Paper, among others. She is a Georgetown University graduate, lives in Columbia Heights, and you can find her on Instagram at @washbridegroom and @sarahzlot.