Things to Do

The World’s Most Badass High-Wire Artist Is Coming to DC

Philippe Petit—who once traversed the Twin Towers— will appear at the National Building Museum.

Philippe Petit walking a high line in Frankfurt during the City of Frankfurt’s 1200th anniversary. Photo courtesy of Michael Kerstgens/ Collection Philippe Petit.

Philippe Petit, the high-wire performer famous for his death-defying walk between the Twin Towers of New York City’s World Trade Center in 1974, will appear at DC’s National Building Museum Thursday, March 23 and Friday, March 24. 

The 73-year-old Frenchman—the subject of Oscar-winning documentary Man on Wire—has been arrested several times for his often-illegal stunts, which also include crossing the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the towers at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. His first-ever performance in DC, called “Wonder on the Wire,” is more legit. After guests have a seated dinner below, he’ll perform across an indoor high wire about 50 feet above the museum’s Great Hall. And he’ll do it to the tune of a jazz clarinet player and guitarist.  

Philippe Petit crossing between the Twin Towers (without permission). Photograph courtesy of Jean-François Heckel/Collection Philippe Petit .

Anyone can attend the Thursday night dinner and show, which also includes cocktails and a meet-and-greet. Tickets start at $300, and proceeds will go towards the museum’s engineering-focused “Building Stories” exhibition, which opens in November. Students from Title I schools will get to attend the Friday performance.

For more information, visit here.

National Building Museum, 401 F St., NW.

Tory Basile
Editorial Fellow