Things to Do

Things to Do in DC This Week (May 6-8): The Fantastical History of Fairies, What it Means to Be Native American, and the JxJ Festival

Check out the band Book of J during the JxJ Festival, which runs from May 8 through May 26. Photograph courtesy JxJ Festival.


MUSIC Folk singer-songwriter Lissie made her debut album just nine years ago, yet her latest work is a career retrospective that goes beyond a best-of compilation. In When I’m Alone: The Piano Retrospective, Lissie has re-recorded stripped-down versions of her own compositions (plus covers of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” and the Dixie Chicks’ “Cowboy Take Me Away”), removing some of her glossy studio production in favor of more emotive takes on her own songs. She’ll perform these new works at her show on Monday at City Winery. $25-$35, 8 PM.

FILM Watch a special screening of the documentary Keepers of the Flame at the NYU Abramson Family Auditorium on L Street NW. The film follows the lives of 85,000 Irish men and women in the early 1900s who made pension claims for serving in the military. (Just over 18,000 of these claims were paid.) Following the screening, hear from a panel featuring retired Catholic University professor Timothy J. Meagher and Georgetown Associate Professor Cóilín Parsons. Free (with RSVP), 6:30 PM.


LECTURE Learn about Western architecture in a four-week course presented by Smithsonian Associates at the S. Dillon Ripley Center. Led by George Mason University associate professor Lisa Passaglia Bauman, these sessions will cover how architecture has changed over time and how to “read” architecture to learn about the civilization that built it. They start with Greco-Roman architecture and move on to the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and modern architecture’s ties to technology. Through May 28. $140, 6:45 PM.

LECTURE Dive into a fantasy world at the Profs & Pints lecture “Summoning Fairies” at La Pop. Lecturers Sara Cleto and Brittany Warman are former English instructors at Ohio State who have founded the Carterhaugh School of Folklore and the Fantastic. Follow fairies’ evolution over time (hint: they weren’t always tiny and cute) and learn about how they’ve been portrayed in literature over centuries. $12 in advance or $15 at the door, 6:30 PM.


BOOKS Author Tommy Orange’s bestselling novel There There features a wide cast of characters that examine what it means to be Native American. Orange (Cheyenne and Arapaho) will speak with Washington Post book critic Ron Charles at the National Museum of the American Indian; the discussion will be followed by a book signing. Free, 6 PM.

FESTIVAL The new JxJ Festival combines the previous Washington Jewish Film Festival and Washington Jewish Music Festival with film screenings, musical performances, and comedy through May 26. The festival kicks off with a screening of the 2018 film Redemption (5/8 & 5/21), in which a single father wrestles with returning to a rock-n-roll lifestyle to fund his daughter’s medical treatments. The festival also includes screenings of King Bibi (5/13 & 5/14), about Israeli politician Benjamin Netanyahu, and the world premiere of The Spy Behind Home Plate (5/11), a documentary about baseball player-turned-spy Moe Berg. Musical performances include roots/Yiddish band Book of J (5/9) and a performance and discussion of the new New York production Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish (5/13). Through May 26. $13.50 – $30 (for single events) or $325 (all-festival pass).