Things to Do

Things to Do in DC This Week (September 17-19): A British Tea Spy, Appalachian Beer at ChurchKey, and a Jean Dujardin Film

Simon Stephens’s play “Heisenberg” runs at Signature Theatre from September 18 through November 11. Photo by Christopher Mueller.


BOOKS In the 1840s, Scottish botanist Robert Fortune went undercover as a rich Chinese man (yep) to learn the secrets of the Chinese tea industry and report back to Britain with important intel, like the difference between green and black teas. Author Sarah Rose has documented Fortune’s mission and learnings in For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World’s Favorite Drink and Changed History. Rose will tell Fortune’s story at the Spy Museum; visitors can also taste both black and green teas from Pearl Fine Teas. $20, 6:30 PM.

LECTURE American University professor Allan J. Lichtman will speak at the next “Profs & Pints” lecture at the Bier Baron. Lichtman, author of The Case for Impeachment, will talk about the history of voting in America and the states’ role in the right to vote, from voter ID laws to registration requirements and the disenfranchising of felons. $12 in advance or $15 at the door.


THEATRE Signature Theatre presents Tony Award-winning playwright Simon Stephens’s Heisenberg, a two-character play about a chance encounter at a London train station. A reserved older man finds himself hotly pursued by an adventurous (and significantly younger) American woman. As the two figure out their connection, they also unload and unfurl their experiences (and baggage) of loss and loneliness. Through November 11. $40-$89.

FILM The Avalon is moving its French Cinémathèque programming to a Tuesday for this week with a screening of 2018’s Return of the Hero, starring Oscar winner Jean Dujardin. The film pits two con artists against one another—Dujardin, who returns from war pretending to be a hero, and actress Mélanie Laurent, who spent the wartime ghostwriting Dujardin’s letters chronicling war conquests and ultimate death. $12.50, 8 PM.


BEER North Carolina brewery Fonta Flora sources ingredients from local farmers in and around the Appalachian mountains to create beers that reflect their local community. ChurchKey will celebrate this brewery with 9 of their beers on draft, including two versions of “kvass” style beers (a once-extinct style made typically from rye bread). Free to attend, 4 PM.

FILM The Austrian-German documentary Free Lunch Society delves into the idea of a “universal basic income.” After the film screens at the Austrian Embassy, there will be a panel discussion featuring filmmaker/economist Christian Tod, World Bank economist Ugo Gentilini, and Nathanael Goldberg, program director for the nonprofit Innovations for Poverty Action. Free (with registration), 7 PM.