Things to Do

New Go-Go, a Black Cat Show, and the Eisenhower Memorial: Things to Do in Washington, September 17-20

Plus: Comic book trivia and saying goodbye to some popular DC bars.

Illustration by Hannah Good.

Happy almost Friday!

We’ve got concerts, puppet theater, and a new memorial.

Me, grateful for a Snoop Dogg-Rare Essence collab.

Here’s what you should check out this weekend:

You’ll like Ike: The long-awaited Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial is opening to the public on Friday. The Frank Gehry-designed work will live in a new public park across the street from the National Air and Space Museum. See the work honoring the 34th US president through Washingtonian photographer Evy Mages’s photo essay.

Dinner with Cory Booker?: The New Jersey senator is joining Busboys and Poets owner Andy Shallal in a Zoom dinner event. You can order the meal online (but that’s not required) and tune in to hear the conversation. Friday 9/18 at 6 PM; Free, RSVP here.

Live from the Black Cat: The venue is celebrating its 27th birthday with a livestreamed show featuring Algiers, Ted Leo, David Combs, and more performing on the Black Cat stage. Friday 9/18 at 9 PM; Free, watch the live show on YouTube.

Snoop scoop: Go-go legends Rare Essence are celebrating their 45th anniversary with a virtual show—and a new song with Snoop Dogg. See some behind-the-scenes footage from their music video shoot here, then tune in this weekend for the groove. Saturday 9/19 at 7 PM; $5, buy tickets here.

Outdoor theater: GIANT PUPPETS ARE COMING TO THE MALL. Seriously though, a traveling puppet theater troupe will be performing at the outdoor Sylvan Theater. CulturalDC partnered with the Vermont-based Bread and Puppet Theater nonprofit for a weekend of life-sized puppet, stilt walkers, paper mache creatures, and more in the “Insurrection + Resurrection Service Circus.” Saturday 9/19 at 6 PM and Sunday 9/20 at 2PM; Free, RSVP here.

Trivia: How well do you know DC….Comics? Fantom Comics, the Dupont-based shop, has been hosting its Zoom trivia every month. This weekend, wrangle four friends for a nerdy competition. Saturday 9/19 at 7 PM. $5 per player, register here by Friday 9/18.

Opening the opera house: The Kennedy Center announced its first in-person performance yesterday. There will be a series of concerts with a live audience seated onstage in a completely transformed opera house. Read more here.

Order in for the holidays: My coworker Daniella Byck put together a roundup of great restaurants where you can find feasts celebrating Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur around town.

Spooky szn: What will a haunted house look like in a pandemic? We asked around to find out. (I’d think going into a crowded building is scary enough…). In related news, trick or treating will not be banned in Alexandria, but like other cities in the country, we’re all waiting for guidance from the CDC.

The new Joe Biden: Jim Carrey will play Joe Biden in the upcoming season of SNL. Take a laugh break to see what previous impersonations of Biden were like when the role was played by Jason Sudeikis, Woody Harrelson, John Mulaney, and, back in the day, Kevin Nealon.

In the news this week: 

Covid-19 has forced many businesses and restaurants around the city to close down, and the impact has continued to transform DC. This week Ian and Eric Hilton announced they would close seven of their bars that were once major nightlife hubs: American Ice Company, The Brixton, Echo Park, El Rey, The Gibson, Marvin, and Players Club. Food editor Jessica Sidman wrote about how this closure is gut-punch to DC’s bar scene.

Mourning the loss of Players Club and other great DC bars.

Scores of 20-something Washingtonians flocked to those spots for strong drinks, first dates, birthdays, and happy hours. I remember bonding with some of my first Washingtonian friends over mason jar drinks at American Ice Company before we headed to a Pop-Up Magazine show at the Lincoln Theatre. Feeling very cool myself, I used to bring folks to the Gibson so that we could fill in those little drink cards to indicate the flavors we liked before watching the bartenders magically whip up perfect custom cocktails. (I was always confused about the upstairs versus the downstairs, though—and I sometimes forgot to make reservations.) On one of those unclear nights, I accidentally took us to Marvin when I was trying to find the inconspicuous speakeasy next door…but we stayed for a dance. I only went to the Brixton once, for less than 10 minutes. I waited in the line longer than I stayed inside because it was very late on a weekend and even before Covid I couldn’t handle that crowd. I still never won a game at Players Club.

Another coworker of mine, Mimi Montgomery, gathered some funny tidbits and tales from Washingtonians on Twitter about their most memorable—read: sloppy—nights. Reading the brief, funny anecdotes feels like getting closure with a shared community. Plus, I didn’t know Cyndi Lauper stopped by the Gibson once, too!

Thanks for reading! Tell me what you’re up to at home by dropping me a line at

Web Producer/Writer

Rosa joined Washingtonian in 2016 after graduating from Mount Holyoke College. She covers arts and culture for the magazine. She’s written about anti-racism efforts at Woolly Mammoth Theatre, dinosaurs in the revamped fossil hall at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum, and the horrors of taking a digital detox. When she can, she performs with her family’s Puerto Rican folkloric music ensemble based in Jersey City. She lives in Adams Morgan.