Thursday, August 27: The popular Shakespeare Free-for-All kicks off tonight at Sidney Harman Hall. The Taming of the Shrew—the play that inspired the 1999 teen movie 10 Things I Hate About You—takes the stage at 8 PM. Tickets are available at the box office starting at 6. Can’t make it tonight? No worries—the complete schedule is available here.
The Phillips Collection throws another of its fun Phillips After Five events this evening. Wine and light appetizers will be available courtesy of Veritas and Geppetto Catering. Also, the 1935 film Bride of Frankenstein will be screened. Admission is by donation.
Pay homage to the late writer/film director John Hughes and get in the back-to-school mood with a free screening of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off at the John Hughes Memorial Film Series 8 PM tonight at Asylum.
Friday, August 28: Dining out for Restaurant Week this weekend? We’ve got you covered. Here are Restaurant Week menus, Restaurant Week extensions, and Todd Kliman’s guide to Restaurant Week. After you’ve dined, come back and leave your impressions here or tell us on Twitter (@bestbitesblog).
Harriet Tubman elementary school (3101 13th St., NW) hosts the third annual Columbia Heights Day. Enjoy live music, belly dancers, free yoga, martial-arts and capoeira demonstrations, a cupcake-eating contest (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to participate), a petting zoo, and more—all free. 10 to 7. Visit columbiaheightsday.org for more information.
Washington has a ton of great ’80s dance parties, but what about those who are just dying to shake their thing to Nirvana and Ace of Base? If that’s you, head to the 9:30 Club tonight for No Scrubs: A ’90s dance party. For just $10, you can listen to all the fine tunes of that decade and dance all night. 9 PM.
No one we’ve ever met has regretted attending a Flaming Lips show. The spectacle put on by the indie-rock group is an amazing one: confetti, crowd-surfing in an inflated ball, dancers, lights, and soaring music. If that sounds like a good way to spend your Friday night, head out to the Merriweather Post Pavilion, where tickets are still available for the Lips’ show at 7:30. Tickets are $30 or $40; buy them here.
The fun hipster-fashion magazine Panda Head is celebrating its fifth issue and one-year anniversary with a grand party at Comet Ping Pong tonight. Several great local bands (Fffever, Laughing Man, US Royalty, and New Rock Church of Fire) will play plus there’ll be DJs and drink specials. And it’s all free! 10 PM.
Saturday, August 29: The annual Maryland Renaissance Festival kicks off today. Hosted in a recreated 16th-century English village called Revel Grove, the festival includes costumed villagers who man pubs, stages, food booths, and more than 130 craft shops. You can get into character, too—there’s a booth for adults and children to rent costumes. Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors over age 61, and $8 for kids ages 7 to 15; children under age 7 are free.
Today’s the last chance to get free Summer Saturday admission to the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Check out the lovely William Eggleston photography exhibit. The museum is open Saturday 10 to 5.
If you like rockabilly, there’s no other place to be tonight except for the Quarry House Tavern in Silver Spring. That’s because it’s hosting the second anniversary party for the Rockabilly Saturdays. The party will be hopping with eight bands, who get started at 5. $5.
These United States might just be the most prolific band in Washington right now—they’ve just released their (excellent) third album in 18 months. Everything Touches Everything finds the band perfecting and polishing the folky, gritty, sound it’s explored in previous recordings. Check it out for yourself when they headline the Black Cat this Saturday night; we guarantee you’ll enjoy the rollicking live show. $12 at the door; 9 PM.
Sunday, August 30: Work on your tan, perfect your breaststroke, and laugh at Will Ferrell passing out in a pool at the Spike'd Sundays screening of Old School at the Capitol Skyline Hotel. The weekly pool party starts at noon ($10 cover) and a ticket gets you a free hamburger or veggie burger and admission to the film at 8:15.
Spend a lazy summer Sunday (one of our last!) by listening to reggae in the city. The Reggae Summer Fest takes place starting at 12:30 at 900 Ninth Street, Northwest, and features artist such as Marcia Griffiths, Cocoa Tea, and I-Wayne. Tickets are $45 to $75 and can be purchased here.