Things to Do

Things to Do in DC This Week (May 13-15): Common, a Cyber-Punk Richard III, and Rom Coms

Catch Synetic Theater’s cyber-punk wordless adaptation of “Richard III” from May 15 through June 16. Photograph courtesy Synetic Theater.


BOOKS Rapper/actor Common has racked up awards for his music—in addition to several Grammys, he won an Emmy for the song he penned for the documentary 13th as well as both an Oscar and Golden Globe for his collaboration with John Legend on the film Glory. At the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater Common will perform his music and read from his new memoir, Let Love Have the Last Word. $45-$75, 8 PM.

BOOKS Chef Kwame Onwuachi’s memoir, Notes from a Young Black Chef, intersperses stories from his career with recipes that highlight his blend of African and Southern culinary styles. Currently the executive chef at Kith and Kin, Onwuachi founded a catering company in his 20s, competed on Top Chef, and recently won the 2019 James Beard Award for Rising Star Chef. In the book, he also touches on his struggles, including facing racism as one of the few African American chefs in fine dining and dealing with the abrupt closure of his first restaurant after just a few months in operation. Onwuachi will speak at Politics and Prose at the Wharf. Free, 7 PM.


LECTURE The Goethe-Institut Washington is hosting a panel discussion, “The Intersection of Popular Culture and the Fine Arts,” which will explore how several art forms have progressed from popular to elite. Learn how jazz grew into high art and how disposable newsprint comics evolved into complex narratives. The event, presented in partnership with the Bertelsmann Foundation for The Elite and the Popular in the Arts, will also feature a discussion between Princeton scholar Jan-Werner Muller and George Washington University art historian Bibiana Obler. Free (with registration), 5:30 PM.

FILM Actress/writer/producer Naomi McDougall Jones will screen her new feature film Bite Me at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. This wacky romantic comedy follows a vampire who falls for the IRS agent who audits her. Like Jones’s earlier works, the film has an almost-all female creative team. After the screening, stick around for a Q&A and a “Joyful Vampire Ball” (costumes welcomed!). $25, 7 PM.


THEATER Synetic Theater takes on another wordless Shakespeare play with its cyber-punk adaptation of Richard III. This production takes on Richard III’s Machiavellian rise to the throne “highlighting the terrifying extremes made possible through the abuse of modern technology.” Recommended for ages 16 and up. Through June 16. $35-$65.

CRAFTS The Renwick Gallery is hosting another post-work Handi-hour for those who want to get their arts and crafts on. This month’s installment embraces spring (and May flowers) with teaching paper-flower making. Create a wreath, crown, or centerpiece of paper flowers and enjoy beer from Denizens Brewing, plus live music from Chasing Autumn. Must be 21 or older. $25, 5:30 PM.

THEATER Mosaic Theater’s newest production, Sooner/Later, runs for the next month at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. This comedy follows a single mom who starts to date again—and the guy at the coffee shop who observes all of her failed dates. Through June 16. $10-$65 (5/15 is pay-what-you-can).