Things to Do

Things to Do in DC This Weekend (January 2-6): A Music and Gaming Festival, Stouts at ChurchKey, and a Birthday Party for Elvis

MAGFest celebrates music and gaming from January 3 to 6 at the Gaylord National Resort. Photo by Steve VanSickle.


BOOKS If a career change is on your New Year’s resolution list, get some inspiration from Sara Bliss. Her new book, Take the Leap: Change Your Career, Change Your Life, chronicles the stories of over sixty people who made drastic career changes, such as switching from an attorney to a surf instructor or from a realtor to a chef. At Politics and Prose, Bliss will chat with Tess Finnegan, a former trial attorney who now owns and runs a flower shop in Cleveland Park. Free, 7 PM.

MUSIC If you haven’t traveled to see one of the Misfits’ reunion shows, you’ll have to settle for seeing the band’s members piecemeal, as a full reunion show does not seem to be in the cards for DC just yet. Guitarist Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein, who performs with a band under the name Doyle, will play at Jammin’ Java; the horror punk/metal band is reminiscent of the Misfits, but don’t expect to hear any Misfits tunes live—Doyle’s recent set lists have pulled from his band’s two solo albums. $16 (in advance) or $20 (day of), 7 PM.


CONVENTION The annual MAGFest (“Music And Gaming”) runs this weekend at the Gaylord National Resort at National Harbor. The four-day, 24-hour-per-day event celebrates video game music plus the community around gaming of all kinds. There will be consoles, arcades, tabletop games, and live music that ranges from video game covers to DJs remixing gaming tunes. Stroll through the museum of classic computers and gaming systems or pop into the panels to hear from video game creators and gaming journalists. Through January 6. $75 for a weekend pass.

MUSEUMS The Phillips Collection embraces the Scandinavian idea of “hygge” (“coziness”) with its “Phillips After 5” event this month, which features mulled wine, crafts, and Swedish films. Ease into the new year with this hands-on approach to an after-work happy hour. $12, 5 PM.


ELVIS The GALA Hispanic Theatre celebrates Elvis Presley’s early January birthday with its ninth annual “Elvis’ Birthday Fight Club.” Hosted by “The King” and sidekick Kittie Glitter, the event will feature seven cartoonish and action-packed match-ups interspersed with burlesque dance routines. The fights are always a secret until the night of the show, but previous matchups have been both absurd (My Little Pony vs. Leatherface) and punny (Queen’s Freddie Mercury vs the Queen of England). Throughout the show, audience members can win prizes like a Velvet Elvis painting. Through January 5. 21+. $25-$35.

COMEDY One part stand-up comic and one part motivational speaker, Jackie Fabulous strives to uplift working women with her funny anecdotes. She’ll likely chat about her past career as a lawyer and share stories for the laughs (and the empowerment). She will perform this weekend at the Bier Baron. Through January 5. $20.


BEER Some of the biggest stouts are released in the winter, and ChurchKey is celebrating the release of Perennial Artisan Ales’ spiced stout Abraxas with five different variants on draft or bottle pour—plus plenty of other Perennial beers. The standard Abraxas is a sweet stout with cocoa nibs, vanilla beans, cinnamon, and ancho chili peppers; ChurchKey will have three different vintages (2018, 2017, and 2014) to show how the beer ages, as well as the coffee and vanilla bean versions. They will also have a barrel-aged witbier, a saison, and a sour brown ale from Perennial on draft. Free to attend (beer prices vary), 11:30 AM.

THEATRE The Shakespeare Theatre is screening two performances recorded live from the National Theatre on Saturday. First is a screening of Antony & Cleopatra, directed by the STC’s incoming Artistic Director, Simon Godwin. This tragedy follows Mark Antony and Cleopatra’s love story in the midst of war, after the fall of Caesar. Later in the evening, catch The Madness of George III, written by Alan Bennett. The play follows King George III’s mental decline in the 1780s and the scramble for power among the members of his court. Antony & Cleopatra: $20, 2 PM (also screens on January 12). The Madness of George III: $20, 8 PM (also screens on January 13).


BOOKS Head to Kramers for a book discussion and dinner: the “Bring Your Own Book Club” is a club for women that explores storytelling over dinner. This month’s selection is Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming; next month’s book will be picked at dinner. Ticket price includes an entree, dessert, and glass of wine. $35, 4 PM.

FILM In conjunction with its Rodarte exhibit, the National Museum of Women in the Arts is hosting a screening of the 2017 film Woodshock, the directorial debut of Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the fashion designers who founded the brand. Starring Kirsten Dunst, it follows a woman who copes with grief and guilt by turning to hallucinogenic drugs. Some of the costumes from Woodshock are on display in the Rodarte exhibit. Free, 2:15 PM.

LAST CALL: Here’s what’s closing this weekend

“Titanic: the Untold Story” closes 1/1 at National Geographic.

“Sense of Humor” closes 1/6 at National Gallery of Art.*

“Trevor Paglen: Sites Unseen” closes 1/6 at Smithsonian American Art Museum.*

*Hours might depend on the government shutdown.