Things to Do

Where & When: What to Do This Weekend

New plays, concerts from a jazz legend and a satirical country act, even more cherry blossoms, and the circus

Thursday, April 7
MUSIC: Hear the sounds of “Acoustic Africa” at Lisner Auditorium in a concert featuring Malian singer/guitarist Habib Koit with Oliver Mtukudzi of Zimbabwe and Afel Bocoum, also from Mali. Buy tickets ($25 to $45) at Ticketmaster. 8 PM.

DANCE: Current Sushi is throwing a party in honor of Season Six of America’s Best Dance Crew. From 10 PM to 2 AM, there’ll be sets by local DJs and a performance by the dance troupe Kickrocks. RSVP to; no cover.

BENEFIT: Policy is hosting a fundraiser for the Red Cross relief efforts in Japan. Your $50 ticket buys two hours of an open bar, Japanese appetizers, and an auction. 8 to midnight; buy tickets at EventBrite.

BOOKS: Poet-in-residence and founder of Busboys and Poets’ Nine on the Ninth poetry-reading series, Derrick Weston Brown, is back at his old stomping grounds with a signing and discussion of his new book, Wisdom Teeth. 6:30; free.

Friday, April 8
MUSIC: Singer/songwriter William Fitzsimmons has been compared to Iron & Wine and Bon Iver. He’s playing tonight at Jammin’ Java; 8 PM. Buy tickets ($17) at the venue’s Web site.

ART: The exhibit “Wesselmann Draws” opens at the Kreeger Museum. The pop artist was a contemporary of Lichtenstein and Warhol, and many of the 108 drawings that make up the exhibit have never been displayed before. Admission is $10. Through July 30.

SHOPPING: Sip a drink or two while you find the perfect spring sundress at Rue 14’s Celebrate Spring event. From 6 to 9, listen to tunes from U.S. Royalty’s John Thornley, and take home a free gift with purchase. No cover.

MUSIC: The Austin Lounge Lizards prove that country music is about more than pickup trucks. Their satirical songs—such as “Teenage Immigrant Welfare Mothers on Drugs”—take aim at blaming others for societal ills and have a funky, bluegrass sound. Catch the group at Hill Country BBQ at 10; get tickets ($10) at the door.

Converse’s Get Out the Garage Music Tour features the band the Whigs, known for its alt-rock and country-tinged sound. Also playing is Beast Make Bomb, winner of the Get Out of the Garage contest. At the 9:30 Club; 7 PM. Purchase tickets ($15) at Ticket Fly.

Saturday, April 9
THEATER: National Pastime, a nostalgic musical about a radio station that invents and broadcasts the “games” of a fictional baseball team, opens tonight at the Keegan Theatre. The show runs through May 15; get tickets ($40) at Vendini.

Factory 499’s Magnificent Waste opens tonight at Flashpoint Theater. The play focuses on the themes of art, celebrity, and the fast-paced modern world. Through May 8. Tonight’s performance is pay-what-you-can; buy tickets ($20) at Ovation Tix.

JAZZ: Cuban jazz legend and Grammy-winning trumpeter Arturo Sandoval is at the Strathmore. Buy tickets ($20 to $55) at Strathmore’s site; 8 PM.

PARTY: Celebrate the anniversary of man’s first venture into space at Artisphere’s Out of This World party. Expect burlesque dancers, jazz musicians, an art exhibit, and a “lunar dance party,” plus guests are encouraged to dress the part of cosmonaut and alien. 9 PM; buy tickets ($20) at Brown Paper Tickets or at the door ($25).

FESTIVAL: Have out-of-town visitors? Head to the National Cherry Blossom Parade and the Sakura Maturi Japanese Street Festival (tickets are $5 at EventBrite) to take in the cherry blossoms plus food, an Ichiban beer garden, and a variety of cultural activities, such as martial arts and dance. Check out our Cherry Blossom Guide for less crowded places to see the blossoms plus places to eat and drink.

Sunday, April 10
BALLET: See the classic ballet that inspired the hit movie Black Swan at George Mason Center for the Arts when the Russian National Ballet Theatre presents Swan Lake. 8 PM; purchase tickets ($27 to $54) at the center’s Web site.

CIRCUS: Consider a day trip to Baltimore to take in the latest acrobatic/dance/musical production from Cirque du Soleil, Totem. Using the evolution of man as inspiration, expect to see foot juggling, giant turtles, mad scientists, and more. Through May 1 at Grand Chapiteau at the Westport Waterfront (1000 Lancaster St.); buy tickets ($55 to $350) at Cirque du Soleil’s Web site.

Learn more about the Irish playwright Enda Walsh, whose work is currently being celebrated at the Studio Theatre. Today’s seminar, led by Studio Theatre’s literary director and dramaturg, will offer an in-depth discussion of his 15 plays, influences, and career. 12:30; free.

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