News & Politics

Where & When: What to Do This Weekend

Tax Day drink specials (because some of us need them), a seafood-and-beer bonanza, Record Store Day, and an awesomely bad film about avian rampage.

Thursday: Master Class, the third production in the Kennedy Center’s series of Terrence McNally plays about opera, closes this weekend. This performance is based on opera superstar Maria Callas and her time teaching at Julliard in the ’70s. It stars Tyne Daly as Callas in a performance our critic Sophie Gilbert calls “spirited, fearsome, and fun.” Tickets ($25 to $80) can be purchased here. 7:30.

It’s Tax Day, and Helix Lounge, Bar Rouge, and Topaz Bar have a special 1040 menu to celebrate (cry about?) the occasion. Featured on the menu are appetizer-and-cocktail pairings for—you guessed it—$10.40. Topaz Bar also has a deductible-cocktails deal: purchase two specialty cocktails and the third one is deducted from the bill. The specials run all day.

The Sunlight Foundation hosts a fundraising event for its Public=Online Campaign at Tabaq Bistro’s Red Room with live music from the Idaho indie rock band Finn Riggins. Tickets ($20 in advance or $25 at the door) include access to an open bar for the first hour as well as a raffle ticket. Click here for tickets and more information. The event starts at 7.

Representatives of local LGBT recreational sports teams are hosting  Jock-a-thon, an evening of recruiting and games at Town Danceboutique. In between signing up for sporting events, attendees can play rounds of beer pong and flip cup, as well as plenty of Wii games. Entry is free, but there’s a $5 charge for an all-you-can-drink beer cup. 8 PM. For a list of the participating teams, click here.

Touchstone Gallery’s “Mindscapes” exhibit opens tonight with the work of more than 45 artists. The art explores reality and how the mind works in both abstract and representational ways, using mediums such as paint, sculpture, hand-pulled prints, collages, and photographs. The opening is at ARTiculate Gallery (1100 16th St., NW; 202-261-0204) at 7:30. Click here for more information.

The Orson Welles retrospective continues throughout the month at the AFI Silver Theatre. Tonight’s film is 1947’s The Lady from Shanghai, a thriller starring Welles and Rita Hayworth that’s best remembered for its climactic conclusion set in a hall of mirrors. Tickets ($10) can be purchased here. 9:30.
Friday: File this one under “so bad it’s actually good”: Borrowing heavily from Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, James Nguyen sought to make a thriller about a town seized by avian attacks, but instead he created Birdemic: Shock and Terror. Just watch the trailer. The hilariously bad film has become a cult hit nationwide among midnight-screenings circles, and it’s at E Street Cinema tonight and Saturday. Tickets can be purchased here.

James Cameron’s (kind of overrated) epic movie Avatar premieres this Friday at the Arlington Cinema ’N’ Drafthouse. In case you missed it in theaters, this might be your last chance to see it on the big screen—and for only $5.50. Added bonus: Friday night is Wine Night at the theater, with tastings and experts from the Washington Wine Academy. The doors open at 6:15, and the movie begins at 6:45.

As part of its new Tasty Workshops, GiraMondo Wine Adventures is putting on a High Tea Tasting. Samples include nine high-end teas, pound cake, lemon bars, and chocolate-dipped strawberries. The tea party kicks off with a brief trivia game—the winner gets a box of tea—before Elise Scott, a certified US Tea Master and owner of Pearl Fine Teas, talks about the geography of teas, health benefits of the drink, and more. Tickets are $49. The event is at Alliance Francaise. 11:30 to 1. For more information and to register, click here.

Local musician Matt Hemerlein, who plays the guitar, violin, cello, and upright bass, performs at Sova Espresso & Wine on DC’s H Street, Northeast, at 9 as part of the coffeeshop’s weekend-music series. You can listen to some of his songs here.
Saturday: It’s a seafood-and-beer bonanza at Hank’s Oyster Bar, which is holding its third annual Oyster Fest. A slew of local oysters and beers are on tap at the Dupont Circle and Old Town locations throughout the day. The price of admission to this all-you-can-eat-and-drink festival is $75 per person, and reservations are required.

Taking a cue from Tim Burton, a collective of local designers are re-interpreting Lewis Carroll’s character Alice for a fashion show at the Honfleur Gallery. The “Alice in Anacostia” show starts at 7:30, and tickets ($25 general admission, $35 VIP with swag bag and guaranteed runway seat) can be purchased online at

Do your kids need something to do after Saturday-morning cartoons? Take them to lunch at Wildfire, where there’s a hands-on kids’ pizza-making class with executive chef Steven Lukis and his son Spencer at 11:30. The $10 fee covers an adult and two children, and proceeds go to Northern Virginia’s Food for Others. Call Michelle Bringham at 703-442-9110 for reservations.

Saturday is Record Store Day, a chance to recognize local independent record stores. To celebrate, exclusive vinyl and CD releases are available at certain stores, and special events are being held in cities across the country. DC’s event is a benefit concert at St. Stephen’s Church. Tickets are $10 or $5 with a Record Store Day receipt. Click here for a list of participating stores.

Sunday: Relax with a movie marathon that’ll make you feel like you’re walking in Memphis, courtesy of the American Art Museum and Portrait Gallery. At 2, get your Elvis Presley fix with 1957’s Jailhouse Rock, directed by Richard Thorpe. At 4, catch Great Balls of Fire!, starring Dennis Quaid as the rock ’n’ roll pianist Jerry Lee Lewis. Then at 6, there’s a screening of a 1971 Johnny Cash concert. Conversations with curators from the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian Rock ’n’ Soul exhibition follow the movies. The event is at the McEvoy Auditorium. Doors open 30 minutes before the program starts. Get details here.

Dino is hosting a tasting of wines from Italy’s Montalcino region in Tuscany. You’ll try a 2004 Brunello and Rossos from 2005 and 2007. Swirling and sipping starts at 5, and tickets are $40. For reservations and information, call 202-686-2966 or click here.

Dow Live Earth Run for Water is a series of six-kilometer runs held across the world to raise awareness about the world’s water crisis. The local competition is at National Harbor at 9 AM. Registration ($50) is on site from 6:30 to 8. For more information, click here.

Take a tour of the White House gardens Saturday at 10 and Sunday at 11. This event has been an annual tradition since 1972, with visitors viewing the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, the Rose Garden, the Children’s Garden, and more. Free; tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 8 AM both days at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion (15th and E sts., NW; 202-456-7041).

Staff Writer

Michael J. Gaynor has written about fake Navy SEALs, a town without cell phones, his Russian spy landlord, and many more weird and fascinating stories for the Washingtonian. He lives in DC, where his landlord is no longer a Russian spy.