Things to Do

Things to Do in DC This Weekend (August 24-27): The 17th Street Festival, Bands Against Islamophobia, and a Musical About Bessie Smith.

Mosaic Theatre’s production of The Devil’s Music: The Life & Blues of Bessie Smith runs through September 24 at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. Photograph by Chris Banks.


THEATER Mosaic Theatre’s third season launches with The Devil’s Music: The Life & Blues of Bessie Smith at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. This hit off-Broadway musical celebration of blues singer Bessie Smith re-imagines her final evening after she and her band are turned away by a white-only theatre. The performance features many of Smith’s hits, such as “I Ain’t Got Nobody”, “The St. Louis Blues”, and “”Tain’t Nobody’s Biz-Ness if I Do.” Tickets $20-$65. (Thursday is “Pay What You Can.”) Through September 24.

FILM Strathmore hosts an outdoor film festival from Thursday through Saturday nights to benefit the National Institutes of Health Children’s Charities. The screenings include Moana (Thursday), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Friday), and The Lego Batman Movie (Saturday). Free, 7:30 PM.


MUSEUMS The Renwick Gallery’s latest installation, Parallax Gap, features the recreations of famous ceilings suspended above the museum’s Grand Salon. Two curators, Abraham Thomas and Helen Bechtel, will discuss the development and installation process of this stunning new work. Free, noon.

COMEDY The DC Improv celebrates its 25th anniversary with a “Next Wave” series, where some of the venues favorite headliners recommend rising stars of the future. This weekend, the Improv features Michael Yo, who is also a correspondent on Extra and E! News. He comes to the Improv recommended by his podcasting partner and frequent Chelsea Lately panelist Jo Koy. Tickets $20, 7:30 PM and 9:45 PM, Friday and Saturday.


FESTIVAL The 17th Street Festival celebrates the diversity of restaurants and retailers between P and R streets. Browse the wares of over 100 vendors and 50 artists, and watch entertainment including bands and dance troupes. There’s also a kids zone with a moon bounce and games. There won’t be food vendors in the street, but a $10 festival pass will give discounts to participating restaurants and bars during the festival. Noon to 6 PM.

BEER & FOOD DC’s Beer Week events conclude at Old Ebbitt Grill with the fifth-annual beer-and-food extravaganza BREWHAHA. The event features two beers each from nine local breweries (plus Michigan’s Bell’s Brewery) and food from ten local restaurants, including All Purpose, Rebellion, and Hazel. Tickets $75, 8 PM.


RECORDS Right Proper’s Brookland Production House hosts a record fair with vinyl from Songbyrd Cafe and Red Onion Records. Browse the albums, drink Right Proper’s beer, and tie-dye a Right Proper T-shirt. Free entry, 11 AM to 5 PM.

MUSIC Three bands perform a benefit show at the Black Cat’s Backstage as part of the Philia: Artists Rise Against Islamophobia music and arts collaboration project, which strives to bring awareness to the growing problem of Islamophobia. The concert includes post-rock band Drop Electric, Small Leaks Sink Ships, and We Were Black Clouds. Proceeds go to Unity Productions Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to counter bigotry. Tickets $15, 7:30 PM.