Things to Do

Things to Do in DC This Weekend (November 15-18): Belgian Beer Tasting, Outdoor Ice Skating, and Baltimore’s Old Movie Theaters

“Stage show at the Hippodrome, 1940s” is part of the National Building Museum exhibit “Flickering Treasures: Rediscovering Baltimore’s Forgotten Movie Theaters,” which opens November 17. Image courtesy of M. Robert Rappaport.


THEATER If you needed another reminder that the holidays are right around the corner, Ford’s Theatre’s annual production of A Christmas Carol opens on Thursday. Transform with Ebenezer Scrooge as he talks with the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. Recommended for ages 5 and older. Through December 30. $32-$105.

BOOKS Author Joan Morgan will speak about her book She Begat This: 20 Years of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater. This in-depth analysis of Lauryn Hill’s first album explores its long-term impact and influence on pop culture. Morgan will be in conversation with writers Kierna Mayo and Demetria Lucas; an afterparty will be DJed by Beverly Bond of Black Girls Rock. $35, 7:30 PM.

OUR PARTY Drink up at Washingtonian‘s seventh annual Whiskey & Fine Spirits Festival at Dock 5. It features live music and sips of premium whiskey, scotch, bourbon, vodka, gin, tequila, and more from a variety of distillers, including local favorites like Cotton & Reed and District Distilling Co. And we’ll be there, too. Get tickets here (they will also be available at the door).


BEER Belgian and Belgian-style beers are quite popular, because of their centuries-long tradition and because their flavor profile tends to stay away from the bitterness that can be off-putting to a novice beer-drinker. Smithsonian Associates has teamed up with Philadelphia’s legendary Monk’s Café on a presentation about Belgian Beer at the S. Dillon Ripley Center. Become a Belgian brew connoisseur following this conversation between Belgian beer expert Charles “Chuck” Cook (who has visited over 175 of Belgium’s breweries) and Monk’s owner Tom Peters, aka the “Godfather of Belgian Beer.” The evening will also include a tasting of a collaboration between Monk’s and Brussels brewery Brasserie de la Senne, plus a more traditional saison. $50, 6:45 PM.

FILM Obsessed with cat videos? Catch the 2018 CatVideoFest at AFI Silver, where filmmaker Will Braden has collected 85 viral cat videos into a 70-minute reel—yes, it’ll be over an hour of AWWWs. Staff from local organization Alley Cat Allies will be at AFI at each screening so you can learn how to help the cats in your neighborhood. Through November 18. $8-$13.

CONTESTS The competitive fighting game tournament Red Bull Conquest is hosting its finals, featuring champs from 15 cities and online, at the Entertainment and Sports Arena this weekend. Players will compete in the titles Street Fighter® V: Arcade Edition, TEKKEN 7, and Guilty Gear Xrd REV2. Friday is the “Last Chance Qualifier” (LCQ) to determine the final three spots in the Conquest Finals to represent Washington, DC; Saturday narrows the pool down to the top 8, and the champion will be crowned on Sunday. Through November 18. LCQ competitor tickets: $20; spectator tickets: $15 (single day) – $25 (three-day pass).

MEMORIALS Retired Air Force combat photographer Stacy Pearsall will speak on Friday night at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial. Pearsall has also founded the Veterans Portrait Project (VPP), where she’s taken portraits of almost 7,000 veterans in 27 states; see Pearsall’s photographs of women veterans and hear her speak about her experience as a combat photographer and her motivation to start the VPP. Free (RSVP requested), 6 PM.


MUSEUMS The National Building Museum takes a look at the silver screen in its new exhibit, “Flickering Treasures: Rediscovering Baltimore’s Forgotten Movie Theaters.” Through architectural fragments and a series of photographs by Baltimore Sun photojournalist Amy Davis, it explores the moviegoing experience in Baltimore over the last 100 years. There was a boom in theater construction after the turn of the 20th century, but the pastime declined after World War II, and landmark theaters such as the Hippodrome have since been restored (but no longer screen movies). The exhibit also features stories from Baltimore residents about their neighborhood theaters and how they have changed over the past few decades. Through October 14. $10.

MUSEUMS The National Museum of the American Indian continues its celebration of Native American Heritage Month with a two-day Hopi Tribal Festival. The Hopi tribe, located in northeastern Arizona, will lead artist demonstrations, perform music and dance, and share the history of the Hopi Code Talkers. Through November 18. 10 AM – 5 PM.


OPERA Washington Concert Opera presents a US premiere of the late French composer Charles Gounod’s Sapho at Lisner Auditorium. Gounod’s first opera, Sapho tells the story of complex love affairs during the Greek Olympics, all tied together by the life and suicide of poet Sappho. $40-$110, 6 PM.

FILM The National Gallery of Art is highlighting the work of mid-century Italian filmmaker Luchino Visconti with a film series that runs through December 16. On Sunday, the NGA is showing Visconti’s first color film, 1954’s Senso, a historical drama about a love story between an Austrian and Italian during the third Italian war of independence and the Risorgimento movement. Free, 4 PM.

ICE Skate outdoors at the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden Ice Rink starting this weekend. Hop in on the open skating times or sign up for classes if you’re shaky on your feet. Several different types of skating classes are offered, from beginners lessons for young skaters with no experience to adults lessons to hockey-specific classes for aspiring players. Through March 10. Note that the rink is closed when it is colder than 20°F or when it rains. $9 for two 45-minute sessions; skate rentals are $4.