Things to Do

Wine Tasting, Word Trivia, and a Morbid Play: Things to Do in DC, June 14-16

Plus: What happened at Pride over the weekend.

Illustration by Hannah Good.

Hi folks!

We’ve got vocab trivia, indigenous history, and a morbid play.

Time for a wine tasting.

Here’s what you should check out this week:

Mortal thinking: Playwright Young Jean Lee confronts death with a side of rock n’ roll in her work, We’re Gonna Die. Now a streaming production from Round House Theatre, the filmed play is a one-woman show with live performances by DC indie group the Chance Club. Lee pulled from her own experiences and traumas to write the morbid-yet-entertaining piece, which stars Regina Aquino and was directed by Paige Hernandez. Monday 6/14 through July 11; $32.50, buy tickets here.

Walking in their footsteps: Hear about indigenous history in the DC area from Elizabeth Rule, who runs George Washington University’s Center for Indigenous Politics and Policy. In the Smithsonian Associates online talk “Mapping Indigenous DC,” Rule will share the sites she’s identified as important to the story of indigenous communities, including Piscataway and Anacostan peoples. Hear about Congressional Cemetery’s Lummi Nation Totem Poles and learn why landmarks like the Dumbarton Bridge and the US Marine Corps War Memorial hold significant history. Monday 6/14 at 6:45 PM; $20-$25, buy tickets here.

Vocab quiz: English-language enthusiasts, buckle up and test your skills at a Word Nerd Trivia Night from Planet Word. The monthly virtual trivia event has various themes; June’s installment focuses on children’s books. You can compete solo or get a team together. Tuesday 6/15 at 6:30 PM; $5 per player, register here (must sign up by 5 PM on Monday 6/14).

What everyone’s talking about: Last Friday was the eagerly anticipated release of In the Heights, the movie version of the hit musical that Lin-Manuel Miranda got to Broadway before Hamilton. (The work has a DC connection too—in 2017 I previewed the world premiere of the musical’s all-Spanish version at GALA Hispanic Theatre.) Also new is In the Heights: Finding Home, a book about the making of that play, which was written by Quiara Alegría Hudes with music and lyrics by Miranda. Politics and Prose is hosting a virtual book launch featuring the co-authors Miranda, Hudes, and Jeremy McCarter with America Ferrera as a special guest. Tuesday 6/15 at 8 PM; $41-$66 (book included), buy tickets here.

Sip with a somm: Tail Up Goat’s Bill Jensen has been offering virtual wine tastings and other fun events throughout the pandemic; now he’s bringing back in-person classes. In “Flying Blind,” attendees will sample four wines (two reds, two whites) and enjoy a multiple-course dinner at Reveler’s Hour. Wednesday 6/16 at 6:30 PM; $95 per person, buy tickets here.

A new venue: This fall, Tysons will get a new entertainment hub with Capital One Hall. The space—planned for concerts, comedy, and other performing arts—will include theaters and a sculpture garden, as well as bocce courts. Find out more here.

Upcoming fun: The annual Citi Open tennis tournament, held in Rock Creek Park, will return to DC this summer with a restricted number of fans allowed. Though it’s unclear which big stars might compete, previous players include Coco Gauff and Hyattsville Frances Tiafoe. Find out more here.

Another vax incentive: The Nationals are giving away free ballgame tickets on Tuesday night as part of an effort encouraging folks to get vaccinated. Head to Nats Park for the shot and stay afterwards for the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Find out more here.

Let’s debrief: 

At Pride this past weekend. Photograph by Evy Mages

DC celebrated Pride this weekend with an all-out parade with pre-pandemic crowd numbers and even an appearance from Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, the nation’s preeminent wife guy, Doug Emhoff. But beneath the surge of rainbow flags and revelry, there was an extremely disturbing incident at Nellie’s Sports Bar on Saturday. A viral video apparently showed a security guard dragging a Black woman down the stairs by her hair. WUSA 9 identified her as 22-year-old Keisha Young from Maryland. The following day, protesters showed up outside the bar to call out the egregious act and demand accountability. The news around the altercation is still developing and the bar said it’s doing its own investigation, but many folks see the damage done, some specifically criticizing the Black Lives Matter sign that Nellie’s still has up.

Another Pride-related moment that I want to mark here, too, was the five-year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting. On June 12, 2016, during the Orlando club’s Latin Night celebration, 49 queer people were shot and killed and 53 were injured in one of the deadliest attacks in US history. It was a night that touched many of us in queer communities—personally, it pushed me to come out publicly in light of losing so many Black and Latinx queer people. In particular, the Puerto Rican community in Orlando (and beyond) was shaken: 23 of the victims were Puerto Rican. Pulse might soon become a national memorial, per Biden’s recent statement. To this day, I can’t think about it without crying. The violence that we face is real and persistent, so I ask everyone—but specifically straight people—to keep that in mind when you’re buying rainbow overalls at Target or sipping mimosas at your next drag brunch. We’re here, we’re queer, and we deserve to exist, to love, to find happiness and live without fear.

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.