Things to Do

What to Do This Weekend: March 8 to 11

Film festivals galore, a dressed-up cycling party, and the start of the DC United season.

Michael Ian Black will read from his new book at Sixth and I tonight. Photograph by Flickr user Mild Mannered Photographer.

Thursday, March 8

PARTY: For the next few weeks, Washington will celebrate the 20th annual Environmental Film Festival. It kicks off tonight with a launch party at Warner Theatre, featuring wine and beer, music by the Eric Wheeler Trio, art, and food from Zaytinya, Proof, Chef Geoff’s, Central, and more. Screenings start Tuesday. Tickets ($20) are available through Brown Paper Tickets. 6:30 PM. 

FILM (Kinda): Know every word to “We Go Together” and want everyone to know it? Head to the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse for a special sing-along screening of Grease . Even if you don’t know much beyond “go Greased Lightning,” it’s sure to be a fun time, with a costume contest, a dance-off, and more. Tickets ($12) are available through the cinema’s website. 9:55 PM.

COMEDY: Wet Hot American Summer made us recognize him, but VH1’s various I Love the. . . shows and Comedy Central’s Stella (RIP) made us fans of Michael Ian Black’s sarcastic, quirky humor. He’ll be reading and telling stories from his new book, You’re Not Doing It Right, and presumably doing a bit of standup, at Sixth and I Historic Synagogue. Tickets ($12) are available through Ticketfly. Doors open at 6 PM.


Friday, March 9

CITY PLANNING: Besides getting one of the more frustrating Metro stations named after him, Pierre Charles L’Enfant, like, designed the city or whatever. Celebrate the 221st anniversary of his arrival with an hors d’oeuvre buffet and toast at Dumbarton house at 6:30. Tickets ($30) are available through Eventbrite.

MUSIC: If you hate and/or love the liberal and/or conservative media, the Hamilton’s Journopalooza Battle of the Bands is your chance to cheer on/boo/throw tomatoes at bands made up of local scribes. Bands feature reporters from Reuters, McClatchy, the Washington Post, ABC, CNN, and more. (All journalists from The Washingtonian will be assembled safely elsewhere.) Tickets are available in advance for $20 (click here) or for $30 at the door, and proceeds go to charity. Doors open at 7 PM.

FILM: Before it was a terrible Keanu Reeves movie, the Replacements was a seminal Minneapolis punk rock group, inspiring hundreds of bands and giving thousands of parents fits. Learn more with the Black Cat’s screening of Color Me Obsessed: The Potentially True Story of the Last Best Band, The Replacements. Filmmaker Gorman Bechard will be in the house to take questions, hopefully definitively deciding whether their 1986 Saturday Night Live appearance was a huge disaster or a great success (they were banned for life for showing up drunk, tossing around their instruments, falling down on stage, and cussing at the camera). Buy tickets ($8) through Black Cat’s website. 9 PM.


Saturday, March 10

PARTY: It should be warm Saturday, so dust off your bike (if you haven’t been braving the winter weather) for the Dandies & Quaintrelles River Ride and Diamond Derby Party. Dress to impress for a casual ride along the Potomac River to Crystal City. Afterward, you’ll get to party in a parking garage altered to include a lounge, an art gallery, and, of course, a bar. Free. 2 PM.

FOOD: Pretend you’ve been transported to a luxe Italian villa with Tuscana West’s Opera Night Live. For $49.95, diners will get a five-course meal with wine pairings and an intimate opera performance.

SPORTS: Soccer is back—Saturday marks DC United’s first home game of the season (after which they won’t be back till the end of the month). Andy Najar has showed some flashes of brilliance the past two years, so let’s the hope young phenom can put the team back into the playoffs. Tickets ($23 to $52) are available through Ticketmaster. 7:30 PM.


Sunday, March 11

FILM: It’s officially film festival season: The Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries’ Korean Film Festival starts today with the screening of Foxy Festival at the Freer. The 2010 rom-com is about love, sex, and the sometimes quirky, sometimes out-there fetishes that can come up along the way. Free. 2 PM. 

MORE FILM: AFI Silver’s New African Films Festival is also in full swing. Sunday, catch either No More Selections! We Want Elections (5:10 PM), about Liberia’s 2005 presidential election, the first free election in the country for 25 years; or Imani (9:15 PM), about a child soldier who returns to the parents who couldn’t keep him from going to war. Buy tickets ($11.50) online.

MUSIC: The Intersections Festival at Atlas Performing Arts Center was fun while it lasted. It closes Sunday, but goes out with a helluva bang with DC Swing!, an LGBT big band sure to make you dance. $15 entry includes one free drink and some light snacks. Buy tickets here. 5:30 PM.