12 Of Our Favorite Events in D.C. This Week

By: Mimi Montgomery

Photo by Eric P.


CELLO, THERE: Check out renowned cellist Astrid Schween tonight at Dumbarton Oaks. The soloist, chamber artist, teacher, and member of the Juilliard String Quartet will be playing works by Debussy, Beethoven, and Rachmaninoff, and will be accompanied by a pianist. (Dumbarton Oaks, 8 p.m., $54)

JEWISH KING LEAR: Jacob Gordin’s “The Jewish King Lear” transports the Shakespearean drama to 19th-century Russia, but still touches on the seminal topics of family, duty, and tradition even in a new environment. Shakespeare Theatre Company and Theater J’s Yiddish Theater Lab partnered together to bring the play to life, and it’s considered one of the best from the “Golden Age” of Yiddish theater. (Lansburgh Theatre, 7:30 p.m., FREE)

CAMPY HORROR: The Washington Psychotronic Film Society will be screening a series of films tonight at Smoke & Barrel. On the docket are “The Gift of Winter” and “Witch’s Night Out,” two animated shorts, as well as “My Mom’s A Werewolf,” about…well, a mom that becomes a werewolf. The event is described as “mature subject matter for immature adults,” so go in with a sense of adventure. (Smoke & Barrel, 7 p.m., FREE)

MORE: Rise & Rhyme (Busboys and Poets, 9:30 – 11 a.m., $5), Curling & Cocktails (The Wharf, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m., FREE)

Photo by Eric P.


TRAVEL TALKS: Travelling on your New Year’s Resolutions list? Seasoned travellers Mike and Anne Howard are the authors of National Geographic’s “Ultimate Journeys for Two,” and will be speaking at the the Smithsonian Associates tonight. They’ll fill you in on the best times to travel to certain places, how to score the lowest prices, and give you all the inside scoops on travelling off the beaten path. (Smithsonian Associates, 6:45 p.m., $30 member, $45 non-member)

DO THE HUSTLE: The fifth season of the Nerds in NoMa discussion series kicks off tonight with “My Side Hustle, My Self.” Learn how to get that side gig started or turn your after-hours cashflow into your main job. The panel will include the likes of Holley Simmons, The Lemon Collective D.C. co-founder, Maggie Winters, the Pop Wed Co. co-founder, and more. There will be drinks and snacks, too! (NoMa Business Improvement District, 6 – 8 p.m., FREE)

PASSION PIT: Dance it out at the 9:30 Club with Passion Pit tonight. The band released its latest album, “Tremendous Sea of Love,” last year, but there’s a pretty good chance it’ll play some of the poppy, dance-inspired hits it’s best-known for. The California-based duo slenderbodies will be opening for the group, too, so make sure to get there a bit early. (9:30 Club, 7 p.m., $45)

MORE: January Distiller Dinner (Brookland’s Finest Bar & Kitchen, 5 p.m., fixed price), Prosciutto Tasting Event (Pitango Gelato, 12 noon – 1 p.m., FREE), Drinking and Nude Drawing (Colony Club, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m., $18), Trumped: Stories About Last-Minute Defeats & Victories (Town Danceboutique, $19.50), Geeks Who Drink Trivia (Ventnor Sports Cafe, 8 -10 p.m., FREE), Uncorking Real Estate (BUREAU, 5 p.m., FREE), The October Sessions (Tryst, 8 – 10 p.m., FREE), Vacant to Vibrant D.C. (Reeves Center Municipal Building, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., FREE, registration required)

Photo by John Cochran


IT’S TIME: It’s an age-old saying: Timing is everything. But what if there’s an actual science behind it? Author Daniel Pink will be in town to talk about his book, “When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing” with NPR correspondent Shankar Vedantam. Check it out, and maybe you’ll feel like time is on your side after all. (Sixth & I, 7 – 8 p.m., $15 – $35)

FOLKTALES: Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Maria Tatar will be discussing their book “The Annotated African American Folktales” tonight at the National Archives. The duo takes you through a deep tradition of storytelling, from trickster tales to stories from Africa, the Caribbean, and beyond. A book signing will follow the talk, as well. (National Archives Building, 7 – 8:30 p.m., FREE)

MORE: Create Your Own Handmade Ceramic Planter (The Lemon Collective, 7 – 9:30 p.m., $65), OSHUN (Union Stage, 7:30 p.m., $15 – $25), Young Planetarium (Rock Creek Park Nature Center & Planetarium, 4 p.m., FREE)

Photo by Josh


ART TALK: Artist Diana Al-Hadid will be at The Phillips Collection as part of its Conversations with Artists series. The sculptor creates pieces out of materials like cardboard, resin, plywood, and plastic, and is inspired by Arabic oral traditions, Biblical and mythological stories, Gothic architecture, and much more. Come for the talk, then stick around and check out the museum’s impressive collection. (The Phillips Collection, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m., $12, free for students and members)

AFTER-HOURS POETRY: The National Gallery of Art hosts its after-hours event tonight with Split This Rock. The progressive poetry organization will be in the house for an evening of readings, performances, and even a chance to get up there and share your words yourself. (National Gallery of Art, 6 – 9 p.m., FREE, registration required)

GIVE A SPEECH: Becoming a presidential speechwriter at age 24 can seem an impossible feat, but David Litt did it. The former Obama speechwriter will be at WeWork tonight to discuss his time in the previous administration and give tips for captivating an audience with a compelling voice. He’ll also be signing copies of his book, “Thanks Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years.” (WeWork White House, 7 – 10 p.m., FREE, registration required)

A NIGHT AT THE THEATER: Thornton Wilder’s time-bending play “The Skin of Our Teeth” opens tonight in a pay-what-you-can preview at Constellation Theatre Company. It centers around a seemingly-normal family – that is, until you realize they’ve been around quite a while. They’ve lived through the Ice Age, the father invented the wheel, and their pets are a baby dinosaur and wooly mammoth. Catch the 1943 Pulitzer Prize winner in town through Feb. 11. (Constellation Theatre Company, 8:30 p.m., pay what you can)

MORE: Snowshoeing Basics (REI – M Street, 6:30 – 8 p.m., FREE), Wine & Design (Smithsonian National Postal Museum, 5 – 7 p.m., $11.50), Antibalas (The Hamilton, 7:30 p.m., $20 – $25), The Firestone Walker XXI Anniversary Party (Churchkey, 4 – 11 p.m., FREE), Washington Capitals v. Carolina Hurricanes (Capital One Arena, 7 – 9:30 p.m., $16 – $522), Megan Davies (Union Stage, 8 p.m., $15), Faith and Feminism: Celia Wexler and Simone Campbell (East City Bookshop, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m., FREE), Wayne Jonas: How Healing Works (Politics and Prose at The Wharf, 7 – 8 p.m., FREE)

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