Things to Do

Cook with a Chef, the Real History of Bridgerton, and a Talk with Ethan Hawke: Things to Do in DC, February 18-21

Plus: Debriefing the Serena-Naomi match.

Illustration by Hannah Good.

Hi everyone!

We’ve got a cooking class, a Bridgerton talk, and a chat with Ethan Hawke.

Toni Morrison would have been 90 today.

Here’s what you should check out this weekend:

Big news in the universe: Remember when we talked about exploring life on Mars? Space nerds can watch the NASA livestream of Perseverance, the roving robot, landing on the red planet today. Learn about why this is a dangerous Mars landing and read up on what to know before you watch with this explainer from Smithsonian magazine. Thursday 2/18 at 2:15 PM; Free, watch it here.

Happy birthday: Today would have been Toni Morrison’s 90th birthday. (Fun fact: It’s also Audre Lorde’s birthday.) Hear about the groundbreaking novelist’s insightful portrayals of Black families from writer Michele Simms-Burton, a founding member of The Toni Morrison Society, in an online talk from the DC Public Library. Thursday 2/18 at 6 PM; Free, learn more here.

Art talk: The Smithsonian American Art Museum is hosting a series of talks around the exhibit “¡Printing the Revolution! The Rise and Impact of Chicano Graphics, 1965 to Now.” Today, hear creatives from the exhibit—poster artist Malaquias Montoya, activist/artist Favianna Rodriguez, and printmaker Moses Ros-Suárez—discuss Blackness, Latinidad, and civil rights art in “From Black and Brown Solidarity to Afro-Latinidad.” Thursday 2/18 at 6:30 PM; Free, register here.

“What’s it like to go back to work?”: NPR’s show Embedded is releasing a four-part deep dive into the aftermath of the Capital Gazette shooting in 2018. For two years, NPR reporters followed the lives of the survivors who had to go back to the newsroom where the attack happened and cover the prosecution of the gunman who killed their coworkers. Listen to the first episode here.

Wherefore art thou: Watch a digital production of Romeo and Juliet from the Kennedy Center. In this version from famed British choreographer Matthew Bourne the star-crossed lovers meet in a modern “Verona Institute” where “‘difficult’ young people are mysteriously confined by a society that seeks to divide and crush their youthful spirit and individuality.” Can’t relate! Friday 2/19 through Sunday 2/21; $10, buy tickets here.

Reality bites: Ethan Hawke wrote a novel about a tormented young man who struggles through his sex-and-alcohol-fueled post-divorce life and ultimately finds redemption through the theater. The actor will speak about the new book, A Bright Ray of Darkness, with Kiley Reid, author of Such a Fun Age, in a virtual event from Politics and Prose. Saturday 2/20 at 7 PM; $29-$35 (book included), buy tickets here.

Chef’s kiss: Cook with Masseria and Officina chef Nick Stefanelli in a new class from Chefstreams. Stefanelli will walk you through a multi-course meal of Roman-style artichokes and crispy skin trout (yum). Sunday 2/21 at 6 PM; $40, buy tickets here.

Still thinking about the Duke: If you, like many of us, got swept up in the gossipy, sexy world of Bridgerton, you can fuel that obsession with a new online talk from Profs and Pints, “Romance in Bridgerton’s Regency Era.” British history expert Julie Taddeo, who teaches at the University of Maryland at College Park, will walk through the cultural and historical context of the show, the significance of color-conscious casting, and that scene in the bedroom when Daphne went too far. Sunday 2/21 at 7 PM; $12, buy tickets here.

Watch and learn: The Smithsonian’s virtual Mother Tongue Film Festival kicks off this weekend, featuring 10 short and feature-length films about the importance and diversity of language. See Waikiki, which is “Hawai‘i’s first Native-written and -directed feature”; Teko Haxy (Being Imperfect), about the relationship between an indigenous filmmaker and a Brazilian anthropologist; Tote (Grandfather), which focuses on a granddaughter’s Spanish-Tzotzil conversations with her family, and more. The festival will also feature Q&As and director talks. Sunday 2/21 through May 2021; Free, learn more here.

What I’m watching: 

The greatest.
I am not a tennis person, but last night’s match between Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka made me feel like I could be one. I can’t really keep up with the scoring system, so I didn’t totally understand the drama as it unfolded but I can tell you that it was a great game to watch. The GOAT, of course, was vying for that magical 24th Grand Slam title. Naomi Osaka, an absolute rockstar and upcoming prodigy, had a shaky start but found her groove and eventually beat her idol (not for the first time!). A lot of fans joked that it was tough because they were rooting for both athletes to win.

At the end of the match, Osaka did a quick interview and talked about having fun on the court and when she was asked how she managed to anticipate Williams’s serves, she laughed and said, “I was just guessing!” It’s that kind of humility that led one person on Twitter to describe Osaka as “a kitten who eats people.” (If you want to read more about Osaka, I recommend this 2019 profile by Soraya McDonald at the Undefeated, in which she talks about beating Williams the first time.) Serena Williams’s farewell was emotional—she waved to a standing ovation and later wrote on Instagram: “Today was not an ideal outcome or performance but it happens… I am so honored to be able to play in front of you all […] I love you. I love you. I love you. I adore you.”

Thanks for reading! Tell me what you’re up to at home by dropping me a line at rcartagena@washingtonian.com.

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.