Things to Do

Where & When: What to Do This Weekend

A surreal Irish musical, red-hot dance, and arm wrestling for charity

Thursday, September 30
What do a mad scientist, 1940s Dublin, and showgirls have in common? You can see them all in Solas Nua’s first musical, Improbable Frequency. During intermission, burlesque dancers will perform, and attendees who dress in ’40s garb have the chance to win free drinks. It’s held at 111 K Street, Northeast, and runs through October 24; tickets ($25) are available here.

Take a trip back in time with a free screening of American Graffiti at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s McEvoy Auditorium. Staring Harrison Ford and directed by George Lucas, this 1973 film is a coming-of-age classic. 6:30; seating is on a first come, first served basis.

Celebrate the end of AIADC’s Architecture Week at the Closing Night Party and Design Awards Celebration. Fittingly, the party is at the eco-chic addition to the Jones Day law firm designed by Sir Richard Rogers, and there’ll be cocktails and an eight-piece band. For tickets ($100 for non-AIADC members; $50 for members), register here. 6:30 to 9.

The latest installment of the Phillip’s Collection’s Intersections series opens tonight. Jae Ko, working exclusively with paper, created the exhibition “Force of Nature” using rolls of craft paper to reflect the beauty and power of the natural world. On display through February 20; admission to the Phillips Collection is $12.

Friday, October 1
The VSA Playwright Discovery Evening explores the complex relationship between art and ability. This year’s event features The Marionette Effect at the Kennedy Center. Winner of the 2010 Playwright Discovery Award, the one-act work was written by 17-year-old Laura Hogikyan and tells the story of a young musician who suffers a stroke. Also on stage is Jack From Above by Jack Hofsiss, which is about his experiences following a diving accident. 7:30. Free. For reservations, which are required, call 202-628-2800.

Charlie Dale has created his own United Nations with his exhibit “Just Flags.” Each of the colorful, thought-provoking flags represents a fictional country. Rosemary Luckett’s “Altered Terrain” combines images of bear heads and sardine cans in sculpture and mixed-media drawings. Both collections open tonight at Touchstone Gallery. 6 to 8:30.

Bowen McCauley Dance is “Red, Hot, and Fabulous” after 15 years. The group is celebrating with an anniversary performance at the Signature Theatre featuring highlights of its best productions over the years and the company’s latest work, Time and Clouds. 8 PM. Tickets ($50) are available here.

Saturday, October 2
Watch and cheer as Plunder Women and Holly Gofightly get down and dirty and tangle . . . wrists. No, it’s not a XXX movie, it’s DC Ladies Arm Wrestling. Head over to the American Legion Post 8 (224 D St., SE), and pay a $5 cover to see this mix of wrestling, roller-derby, and off-track betting. All proceeds from betting go to charity, and the best bettor gets a prize. 7:30.

Pick up a hand-stitched sculpture, a star-spangled headband, or some herbal-infused bath products at the annual Crafty Bastards fair. There’ll also be food, live entertainment, and Cut the Craft sessions, where the artists share their secrets and expertise. 10 to 5 at the Marie Reed Learning Center (18th St. and Wyoming Ave., NW). Free.

Indulge all your senses at the Workhouse Arts Center during the Art, Wine and All That Jazz Festival. More than 125 jazz musicians will perform, speakers will deliver lectures on art and wine, and the festival offers children’s activities to leave parents free to sip and talk. 11 to 5. Events range from free to $100. Tickets are available here.

Try a “Taste of Bethesda” at the 21st annual festival. More than 50 local restaurants are contributing food samples, so it’s the perfect day to loosen your belt buckle and try Guinness-barbecue wings from Rí Rá Irish Pub, paella and gazpacho from Jaleo, and cookies on a stick from Cookies by Design. Free admission; sampling tickets are $5 for four. 11 to 4. For a complete list of participating restaurants, click here.

Sunday, October 3
The Turkish Festival 2010 brings a bazaar to Washington with 25 vendors, live music, food, and an attempt at setting the Guinness World Record for the longest shish-kebab. Want to see what your future holds? Sip a Turkish coffee and have a fortune teller read the grinds. Pennsylvania Avenue, between 12th and 14th streets, Northwest. 11 to 7. Free.

Paul Richard has been a Washington Post art critic and art-world insider for the past 40 years. He’s sharing some of his adventures and advice in a free lecture, “What I Saw,” at the National Gallery of Art. 2 PM.

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