Thursday: A reading of Yasmina Reza’s play Art, which examines different perspectives on what constitutes art, is at the Phillips Collection as part of its popular after-hours event, Phillips After 5, held the first Thursday of every month from 5 to 8:30. Click here for more information.
Capital Fringe is back in action! The popular independent theater festival kicks off with a free preview of more than 20 performances at the Baldachhino Gypsy Tent Bar (607 New York Ave., NW) from 8 to 10:30. CakeLove is providing free cake in celebration of the festival’s fifth anniversary.
The Canal Park Outdoor Underdog film screening series begins tonight with To Kill a Mockingbird. The movie begins at 8:45, but come early for big-screen Wii, trivia, and a HooperNatural hula-hoop performance. Second and M and streets, Southeast—one block from the Navy Yard Metro.
Get an early start on patriotic spirit with a performance by the Navy Brass Band Quartet at Rockville Town Square Plaza for the Concerts on the Square series. The band’s newest chamber group performs works from the 16th through 20th centuries and several compositions composed by its members. Free; 6 to 8.
Washington’s first self-serve beer station has arrived! Meridian Pint (3400 11th St., NW), a rugged Columbia Heights bar, opens tonight with taps built right into six-person booths. Ladies and gentlemen, the end of ridiculous bar lines is officially in place.
I’ll trade you two free drinks for one e-mail address. . . . From 6 to 8 PM, the group-discount Web site What’s the Deal is offering two complimentary Ketel One vodka drinks at Old Glory Bar-B-Que for anyone on its listserv. Sign up here to get in on the free fun.
Friday: Who doesn’t love a good pub crawl? Ring in the weekend with discounted beers and Absolut cocktails during the Midtown Liberty Bar Tour of the Farragut North area. From 5 to midnight, deals include $3 Blue Moons and $4 rail drinks at bars such as Bread & Brew, the Front Page, the Mighty Pint, Madhatter, the Black Rooster, and Singapore Bistro. Walkup registration is from 5 to 10 at Mackey’s Pub and costs $10 with a donation of two canned goods to the Manna Food Center. Discounted advance tickets ($8) are available here.
Palace of Wonders on H Street, Northeast, hosts Dr. Zanzibar’s Olde City Sideshow. Get ready for burlesque, vaudeville comedy sketches, and wonky sideshow tricks in a space filled with objects weirder than the performers. 10 PM; $10.
Bust out the neon Spandex and bring back the shoulder pads: Erin Meyers—aka DJ Lil E—gets the Backstage at the Black Cat moving with Right Round, an ’80s alt-pop dance party. We can already hear the synth. 9:30; $7 at the door.
The Smithsonian Folklife Festival continues on the Mall with tons of awesome outdoor food and music events. Our picks for today: Mexican dance traditions (noon), Bangladeshi-American cooking in the Tea House (1:15), and—for the museum nerds we know are out there—Smithsonian Jeopardy at 11:45. Free. For locations and more information, click here.
Raise your hand if you want to learn to moonwalk! We kid you not, Joy of Motion Dance Center offers a Michael Jackson choreography class from 7 to 9 tonight. Learn the moves to “Bad,” “Beat It,” “Smooth Criminal,” and more. Penny loafers and sequined gloves optional. $25 in advance (recommended), $30 on-site. Call 202-399-6763 extension 142 for tickets.
Saturday: California alt-rockers Delta Spirit bring easy summer jams to the 9:30 club tonight with harmonica-heavy Ezra Furman and the Harpoons (check out “Take Off Your Sunglasses”) and the Romany Rye. 8 PM; $15.
How convenient: This week’s installment of free Summer Saturdays at the Corcoran Gallery of Art coincides with the opening of the Chuck Close exhibit. Learn all about the American artist’s labor-intensive creative process (a single print can take up to two years to complete) from 10 to 5. We walked through the exhibit earlier this week with the artist— check out the gallery preview here.
Bring your lasso to BrightestYoungThings’ cowboy-themed pool party at the Capitol Skyline Hotel. In honor of Independence Day, the party is described as “balls-out Americana.” That means cowboy hats, chaps, and water guns. Expect a fair amount of debauchery courtesy of drink specials, hamburger-eating and lassoing contests, and an inflatable mechanical bull. $15; 11:45 AM.
The Gipsy Kings take the stage at Wolf Trap with their unique blend of flamenco, jazz guitar, and rhythms from Latin America, Cuba, Jamaica, and the Middle East. Tickets ($42 in-house and $25 lawn) are available here. 8 PM.
Tonight’s your last chance to catch a performance of David Mamet’s American Buffalo at the Studio Theatre. After an extended run following rave reviews, the curtain is falling for the last time. Catch either the 2 PM matinee ($56) or the evening show at 8 ($63). Buy tickets online here.
Sunday: Last year’s massively successful Spike’d Sundays at the Capitol Skyline Hotel’s rooftop pool are back with DJs, food and drink specials, and of course, lots of splashing. Top Chef-alum-turned-Washington-burger-guru Spike Mendelsohn mans the grill, and Flounder from DC101 is on the turntable. Admission ($15) includes a free burger. 10 to 6.
Sou’Wester celebrates July Fourth with an all-day pig roast on the front lawn of the Mandarin Oriental hotel. On the menu are grilled burgers, house-made bratwurst, pork-confit sandwiches, and of course, roasted baby pig. After dinner, take in the hotel’s great view of the downtown fireworks display. The price is $75 a person; call 202-787-6068 to reserve your spot; 5 to 7.
Independence Day is more than just burgers and fireworks: Rediscover the meaning behind July Fourth at the National Archives’ annual reading of the Declaration of Independence. A bunch of powdered-wig-wearing reenactors channeling Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Ned Hector will perform the reading and will be in the rotunda afterward for a meet-and-greet. The reading begins at 10; check the full schedule of events here.
Check out our rundown of Independence Day fun here for restaurant deals, getaways, firework spectaculars, and more.
Heading to the Mall for fireworks? Equinox restaurant is packing boxed dinners for diners looking to avoid the hot-dog-cart line. Choose from slow-cooked Tamworth pork barbecue sandwiches, Martin’s Farm Angus-beef burgers, panini with grilled heirloom tomatoes and mozzarella, and more. Boxes start at $9.
Head to the Bullpen for the Capitol Entertainment Group’s sixth annual Party on the Potomac. Admission ($70 for ladies, $85 for gents, and $100 for late sales) includes a seven-hour open bar, ballpark fare, and live music courtesy of Slim Pickins, Judo Chop, Jimi Smooth, and HitTime. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Trey Lefler Memorial Scholarship Fund. Click here to reserve your ticket; 4 to 11.