Things to Do

New Plays, an Arepa-Making Class, and Cherry Blossoms: Things to Do in DC, March 29-31

Plus: Binging The Morning Show.

Illustration by Hannah Good.

Happy Monday!

We’ve got new theater, an arepa-making class, and museum reopenings.

Try a cooking class.

Here’s what you should check out this week:

On location: DC theatermaker Psalmayene 24 wrote and composed a new virtual play for Arena Stage that will debut this week as part of the theater’s three-part musical series Arena Riffs. Billed as a “pandemic-era hip-hop musical,” the piece focuses on the events of last summer, with songs about Black Lives Matter protests, grief, justice, and mental health. The production was filmed in a snowy Rock Creek Park and parts of Southwest DC. Premieres Wednesday 3/31 (available to stream any time afterwards); Free, register here.

Chat with a curator: Tune into a conversation about the history of women’s rights protests and civil disobedience in an online event from the Trust for the National Mall, “Herstory on America’s Civic Stage.” Hear from National Museum of American History curator Lisa Kathleen Graddy, who recently worked on “The First Ladies” exhibit, and Planet Word curator Rebecca Roberts, whose past work has covered DC’s suffrage movement. Wednesday 3/31 at 5 PM; Free, register here.

Yummm: Celebrate César Chávez’s birthday this week with a “¡Sí Se Puede…Cocinar!” cooking class from DC’s Immigrant Food chef Mile Montezuma. She’ll walk through how to make arepas (you’ll receive a delivery kit of ingredients) in this celebration of Chávez’s life, with proceeds going to support immigrant rights group CARECEN. Thursday 4/1 at 6 PM, $50, buy tickets here.

In sight: Two area museums are reopening to accept (masked) visitors indoors—Glenstone and the National Building Museum. The sculpture-focused institution will start a gradual reopening on April 8 with a major Faith Ringgold exhibit; the latter plans to open a day later, April 9, with the new “Gun Violence Memorial Project,” and other offerings.

Speaking of museums: Do you think we need a museum to memorialize the past year? Could we possibly see something like the 9/11 Memorial Museum, but for the Covid-19 pandemic? We asked some experts.

Adventure time: H Street’s Rorschach Theatre has melded an interactive play with a scavenger hunt-like storytelling journey in its multi-chapter, months-long piece Distance Frequencies. Participants receive a package every month with a collection of props, artifacts, and instructions to follow. Then, they head to various locations around DC to explore each chapter of a part-historical, part-fictional mystery play that spans a century. Audiences have explored chapters on U Street and at the Titanic Memorial, for example, immersing themselves in the story with guided audio files and scene-specific knicknacks. Rorschach plans for the final chapter to conclude with a live, outdoor performance in late July and folks can join any time before June to have time to experience all seven chapters and visit each location beforehand. $150 for the full production, find out more here.

Peep this: Easter is coming up, so of course we’ve got recommendations on where to find family-friendly egg hunts and holiday festivals. (Psst: Just a reminder we also have suggestions on where you can get great meals for Easter and Passover around town.)

Spring has sprung: If you’re already making plans to drink in the sunshine, the Columbia Room is right behind ya. They’re launching an outdoor Spritz Garden dedicated to the Aperol Spritz and its varieties. Find out more here.

Walk around: Peak bloom is here y’all, it’s official. ???

What I’m watching: 

True.
It’s been a while since I got wrapped up in a binge watch, but this past weekend I sped through The Morning Show. I’m late to start, I know, but for those of you who haven’t seen it: It kicks off with a storyline we’ve all heard before—Man in Power has a history of sexual misconduct and assault (though the audience is mostly kept in the dark about the specifics of the multiple allegations). His abhorrent behavior is exposed and he’s just been fired. Who knew what? Who overlooked it? Chaos ensues at the network with backstabbing, gossiping, blame games, secret affairs, and more. Jennifer Aniston was a powerhouse, Steve Carrell played a sinisterly realistic dad-type/predatory media guy, and Reese Witherspoon kept putting her foot in her mouth like some idealistic idiot who magically manages to avoid getting fired. Carrell was striking, nailing the role of a charming, narcissistic, paternal figure whose inability to understand the depth of his violence holds a mirror up to “nice guy” abusers (remember Promising Young Women?) who insist that they’ve done nothing wrong. The fact that his character sometimes echoes Carrell’s Michael Scott feels intentional and accurate.

I thought the ensemble was strong. I was really psyched to see Gugu Mbatha-Raw, whom I adored in Belle (2013), in the mix here as a skilled talent booker on the show with a haunting backstory that unfolds in the first season. Billy Crudup is excellent as a wild card news division head who lives for the drama, just like all of us watching at home, even when it’s a crazy stunt on national TV. Many critics, hilariously, agreed that it was not such a great show altogether, but it was hard to look away. It’s a fast-paced, addictive, smart, and darkly fun ride. Have you seen it? Let me know your thoughts.

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.