Things to Do

What to Do This Weekend: January 2 to 5

Bluegrass brunch, a Dutch-themed Phillips After 5, and “Flashdance” at the Kennedy Center.

Check out the van Gogh exhibition “Repetitions” during the Dutch-themed Phillips After 5 on Thursday. Photograph of “Madame Roulin Rocking the Cradle” courtesy of Helen Birch Bartlett Memorial Collection/Art Institute of Chicago. Photograph of “Lullaby: Madame Augustine Roulin Rocking a Cradle” courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Thursday, January 2

THEATER: You’ve probably caught Will Ferrell as Buddy, the orphaned elf who leaves Santa’s workshop to find himself. Now you can see Elf onstage (for just a couple more days, before he’s gone ’til next Christmas) at the Kennedy Center. The musical version features songs by Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin, who were nominated for a Tony for their work on The Wedding Singer. And sure, Christmas is over, but you probably have enough residual holiday cheer to go around. Tickets ($45 to $150) are available online. 7:30 PM.

ART: The first Phillips After 5 of the year kicks off with a night dedicated to the Dutch, in honor of the museum’s current Vincent van Gogh exhibition, “Repetitions.” Brows the exhibition, take pictures in a van Gogh-inspired photo booth, learn a bit of basic Dutch, and catch screenings of three (very) short Dutch films. There’ll also be a cash bar and a Dutch deejay. Make a reservation ($12) online. 5 to 8:30 PM.

Friday, January 3

TV SHOWS: Black Cat is doubling down on its nerdiness with its brand new Cylon Happy Hour. If you know what a Cylon is, you’re probably already on board. If you don’t, you can learn with the epic first two episodes of Battlestar Galactica, which are essentially movies in their own right. Free. 9 PM.

ELVIS: Elvis Presley’s birthday isn’t until next week, but Gala Theatre is celebrating early with Elvis’s Birthday Fight Club, a mix of competitive burlesque, outrageous commentary, and onstage battles between Elvis impersonators and vaguely Elvis-themed things like Commodius, Elvis’s toilet. You’ll just have to check it out for yourself. Tickets ($16) are available online. 8 PM.

Saturday, January 4

MUSIC: For almost 40 years, DC’s own Tom Principato has been one of the world’s best blues guitarists. He returns for a free hometown show at the Kennedy Center, where he’ll shred through the roots-rock, blues, funk, and Latin tunes he’s become world-renowned for. Free. 6 PM.

COMEDY: Six local comedians hit the stage at State Theatre for its every-once-in-a-while standup comedy night. At a price like this, you’re bound to get your money’s worth. $5. 8 PM.

FILM: Black Cat screens Baltimore filmmaker John Waters’s acclaimed masterpiece, I Am Divine, which follows Harris Glenn Milstead, a drag queen from Waters’s hometown, as he struggles with gender identity, poverty, and body image during his transformation from outcast to one of the area’s best-known drag queens. Tickets ($10) are available online. 9 PM.

Sunday, January 5

MUSIC: Jammin’ Java starts off the first brunch Sunday of the year with its Bluegrass Matinee, featuring two local bands. Hickory Grove hail from Virginia and have been nominated for a Wammie, while Smoke n’ Mangos, a relatively new band out of Poolesville, have already played the Merriweather Post Pavilion stop of the Warped Tour. Tickets ($10) are available online. 1:30 PM.

THEATER: Based on the movie of the same name, Flashdance—now celebrating its 30th anniversary—has made it to the stage in musical form. It features familiar songs from the movie such as “What a Feeling,” “Maniac,” “I Love Rock and Roll,” and “Manhunt,” along with 16 new tunes. The musical will be at the Kennedy Center until the middle of the month. Tickets ($45 to $150) are available online. 1:30 and 7:30 PM.

Know of something cool going on around town? E-mail Jason Koebler at, or find him on Twitter.