Things to Do

Summer Cocktails, a Comedy Showcase, and Black History on the Chesapeake: Things to Do in DC, July 19-21

Plus: Live music at the National Gallery of Art coming soon.

Illustration by Hannah Good.

Hey friends!

We’ve got summer cocktails, local comedy, and outdoor movies.

Learn how to make a new summer drink.

Here’s what you should check out this week:

Under the stars: Catch an outdoor screening of Wonder Woman 1984 to follow the super heroine on her world-saving journey through DC. Head to the soccer field at Marie Reed on 18th Street for a relaxing movie night far away from your couch. Monday 7/19 at 8:30 PM; Free, find out more here.

Big ideas: Atlantic writer Adam Serwer has been a critical voice to read in the time of Trump, coining a descriptor that has become a bit of a catchphrase—the cruelty is the point. In his new book, The Cruelty Is The Point: The Past, Present And Future Of Trump’s America, Serwer offers an essay collection that details how Trump rose to prominence and his lasting impact that we’ll continue to see for years to come. Serwer will be in conversation with antiracism scholar Ibram X. Kendi in this online event from Politics and Prose. Monday 7/19 at 7 PM; $5-$35, buy tickets here.

Mix it up: Learn to make your new favorite summer drink with a cocktail class from Common Good City Farm. Using fresh herbs and fruits like rosemary, basil, peaches, and more, the demo will walk through three options—Watermelon Basil Bliss, Lemon Balm Honeysuckle, and a Maple Rosemary Peach Bourbon Smash. Guests will receive a bag of produce and herbs to make their own specialty drinks at home, too. Tuesday 7/20 at 6:30 PM; $20-$40, buy tickets here.

Bay views: Historian Vince Leggett has dedicated his life to recognizing the contributions of Black folks who have worked and lived along the Chesapeake Bay. His organization, The Blacks of the Chesapeake Foundation, collects and preserves stories, artifacts, and photographs about watermen and women who have been long overlooked in maritime history. This week, Leggett will discuss his work in a virtual lecture from the Smithsonian’s Environmental Research Center. Tuesday 7/20 at 7 PM; register here.

Local laughs: After a regular stint acting in the Kennedy Center’s Shear Madness productions, Rahmein Mostafavi became a stand-up comic who now produces various comedy events around town. This week, he’ll host a yet-to-be-announced lineup of local comedians in a special showcase at the Takoma location of Busboys and Poets. Wednesday 7/21 at 7:30 PM; $10, buy tickets here.

Strings and more: Folk-soul crooner Amos Lee is coming to Wolf Trap for two evenings. He’ll play from his latest album, My New Moon, which includes his signature emotional strings and a track that he wrote about the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. Wednesday 7/21 and Thursday 7/22 at 8 PM; $42, buy tickets here.

Something new: 

Jazz is back at the National Gallery of Art—but it’ll look a little different now.
The National Gallery of Art’s summer tradition Jazz in the Sculpture Garden is making a comeback with a totally new approach starting next week. (Sangria is still included, of course.) My coworker Daniella Byck wrote about what to expect:

After the beloved DC-summer ritual took a break last year (because of Covid, what else?), a slightly different incarnation of Jazz in the Garden will soon return to the Sculpture Garden at the National Gallery of Art. The new series, Concerts in the Sculpture Garden, begins July 29.

Four bands will perform in the alfresco gallery every other Thursday from 6 PM to 8:30 PM. Unlike Jazz in the Garden’s focus on a single genre, this series will feature an eclectic mix, starting with “global psychedelia” band Bombay Rickey on July 12. In fact, only one of the acts is a jazz-focused group: Baltimore Jazz Collective, performing on August 12. The other performances will spotlight US Army Brass on August 29 and mariachi band Flor de Toloache on September 9.

The shows will be free, but tickets must be reserved in advance. Passes for the Bombay Rickey gig are already on sale, and tickets for subsequent concerts will go live two weeks prior to each event. A maximum of six tickets can be reserved in a single order. While the return of live music to the Sculpture Garden is a buoying sign of our continued emergence from the pandemic, it’s important to remember that coronavirus is still in effect—attendees without vaccinations are required to wear a mask.

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Rosa is a senior editor at Bitch Magazine. She’s written for Washingtonian and Smithsonian magazine.