Things to Do

Things to Do in DC This Week (April 30 – May 2): The Washington Jewish Film Festival, a Play Adaptation of 1984, and a Bird-Related Crime Story

The film Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me kicks off the 2018 Washington Jewish Film Festival, which runs from May 2 to May 13. Film still courtesy Washington Jewish Film Festival.

MONDAY, APRIL 30

THEATRE Scena Theatre’s production of George Orwell’s 1984 delves deeply into the author’s take on totalitarianism and “Big Brother” in its runs at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. This drama set in a fascist society in a state of perpetual war was both ahead of its time and still eerily relevant today. Through May 27. $10-$45.

FILM/MUSIC Best known as the frontman of Switchfoot, singer/songwriter Jon Foreman performs solo now. He once played 25 shows in 24 hours in the city of San Diego, with venues ranging from a children’s hospital to a Mexican restaurant. While he won’t be taking on that challenge here, see the film documenting this diverse day, 25 in 24, screening at the Miracle Theatre, where Foreman will also perform his music live. $25, 7 PM.

TUESDAY, MAY 1

BOOKS The National Postal Museum and the American Philatelic Society will host the launch of the new book, Stamp of the Century, which tells the story of the most famous stamp-related error: the Inverted Jenny. The 24-cent stamp was printed to commemorate the launch of airmail service in 1918, but a technology glitch led to some of the stamps being printed upside-down. Authors Kellen Diamanti and Deborah Fisher will lead discuss their book at the museum, which includes interviews with collectors who own copies of the stamp today and experts who have spent a lifetime studying it. (The authors will also lead the “History After Hours” lecture on Wednesday night.) The event coincides with the opening of “Postmen of the Skies,” a new exhibit celebrating the 100-year anniversary of airmail service. Tuesday book signing: noon. Wednesday “History After Hours” program: 6 PM. Exhibit: Through May 27, 2019.

BOOKS In 2009, an American student at London’s Royal Academy of Music stole nearly 300 rare bird skins from the British Natural History Museum, plucked their feathers, and sold them to an underground community of Victorian avid salmon fly-tiers. Kirk Wallace Johnson has documented this bizarre crime in his new book, The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century. Wallace will discuss the story at the National Museum of Natural History. Free to attend (advanced registration required), 6:45 PM.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 2

FILM The 28th annual Washington Jewish Film Festival includes 57 feature-length and 23 short films from 27 countries to showcase the diversity of Jewish life worldwide. The opening night film, Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me, is a biographical documentary on the entertainer. Later in the festival, documentarian Roberta Grossman will be honored with the WJFF Visionary Award, and a screening of her 2018 film, Seeing Allred, will be followed by a discussion of the #MeToo movement. Films are screened at theaters across the area. Through May 13. $15.53 for individual films or $175 for an all-festival pass.

THEATRE After a popular run last year, Mosaic Theater presents an encore run of its play Hooded, or Being Black for Dummies at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. This comedy about growing up black in America follows a street-savvy teenager who takes a sheltered student under his wing to teach him about navigating the modern world. Through June 3. $35-$65 (May 2 is Pay-What-You-Can).

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