Free this week: get an in-process glimpse of actress/playwright Heather Raffo’s new libretto and stuff yourself on Middle Eastern delicacies.
Heather Raffo, best known for her acclaimed solo performance piece, “9 Parts of Desire,” is working on a libretto about the human and social impacts of the Iraq war for a new chamber opera commissioned by City Opera Vancouver. Georgetown and Arena Stage put on a public reading of the libretto-in-development with Raffo and other local actors. A discussion with Raffo and a reception follow the reading.
Ukrainian pianist Anna Shelest made her orchestral debut at the tender age of 12 to wide acclaim, with a performance of Rachmaninoff’s “First Piano Concerto.” Since then, she has played all over the world, but this will be her first time on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage.
Try your hand at the National Portrait Gallery’s multimedia trivia game, a series of 20 questions about the history of invention in the United States hosted by the museum’s Alli Jessing. DJ Maskell spins at the happy hour, and food and beverages are available for purchase in the Courtyard Cafe.
Local artist Thomas Burkett’s first ever solo show examines the damming, diverting and polluting of one of the earth’s most precious resources, water. Meet the artist and be among the first to see this body of work at a catered opening reception.
Blank Space SE opens a week-long exhibition showcasing a selection of behind-the-scenes and still photography from local film productions by seven area photographers. Cotton’s Gourmet provides treats and light refreshments.
The 23rd Annual DC Blues Festival at the Carter Barron Amphitheatre features an extensive bill, including players from the D.C. Blues Society Band, Preston Shannon, Grady Champion, Anthony “Swamp Dog” Clark, Nadine Rae and the Allstars and others. The festival also promises vocal and instrumental workshops and an instrument petting zoo for the kids.
If you find yourself craving some kebab this weekend, be sure to head to the 18th Annual Middle Eastern Food Festival, a weekend affair that promises heaping portions of stuffed grape leaves, baklava and even roast lamb (food is for purchase). In addition to stuffing yourself on food and drink, there will also be music, dancing and vendors.
Tickets to Abbey Road on the River, the annual Beatles tribute and music festival at National Harbor, can run anywhere from $15 for a single event to $199.95 for the entire weekend. But on Thursday at 5 p.m., you can get a preview in a free concert. Hear Scottish band Itchycoo Park, Old Brown Show from the Netherlands, All You Need Is Love from Canada and the Newbees from Cincinnati, among other bands. They’ll all be playing tunes from the Beatles’ extensive catalogue. After the concert, head to Bobby McKey’s on Fleet Street for a reception and more live music at 10:15 p.m.