A ritual sock-burning, cocktails at Artini, comedy madness and more weekend picks

The weekend’s best in movies, music and nightlife:

Thursday-April 13: "Voodoo Macbeth" was Orson Welles's pot-stirring, 1936 adaptation of Shakespeare's captivating Scottish thriller -- pot-stirring because Welles set it not in Scotland, but in Haiti with an all-black cast. NoVa's American Century Theater takes an altogether new tack, setting Wells's Haitian production back in Scotland, but in the future, with Christian marines. Confused? So are we, but "Macbeth" and "Orson Wells" are two nouns we can get behind, and buzzy director Kathleen Akerley is sure to add steam to this production..

(Linda Davidson-The Washington Post)

Friday: The Black Cat's forays into the world of burlesque are becoming more frequent, and more popular, if the two recent sold-out "Dr. Who"-themed shows are anything to go by. This week, the Cat welcomes New York's Brown Girls Burlesque troupe for the first time. Don't miss the performance by Jeez Loueez, who was named Miss Viva Las Vegas at last year's burlesque competition in Sin City. (The St. Louis resident doesn't make it to D.C. often.)

Saturday: 

Every March, Annapolis welcomes spring with a curious ritual: A bonfire stoked by socks, a ritual that means Top-Sider season is just around the corner. This year, the ceremony takes place during the Annapolis Maritime Museum's annual oyster roast, which is a party in itself. Admission includes unlimited raw, roasted and steamed oysters, live music, admission to the museum's exhibits and a chance to enter the oyster shucking competition. Barbecue, burgers, beer and wine will be available for purchase.

The sixth annual Artini, the Corcoran’s perennially popular cocktail party, has sold out all of its VIP tickets, but you can still get general admission tickets (for a not-cheap $125)  to taste the arty concoctions of a new group of “it” bartenders, including the Gibson’s Frank Jones, the Passenger’s Alex Bookless and Bandolero’s Taha Ismail.

The teams behind the Capital City Showcase and District Comedy have been whittling down comedians in bracket-style competitions at Blue Banana, RFD and Fire Station 1 all month; Saturday at the DCAC in Adams Morgan, six finalists battle for your laughs and the prize in the March Madness of Comedy finals. Grab a date and a beer and settle in for some of the fun alt-comics this city is cranking out.

Longtime keyboard player Kjartan Sveinsson recently left the Icelandic avant-garde band Sigur Rós, but the group nevertheless hit the road this winter with new material that departs from its ambient sound. After several sold-out European dates, the band is bringing its moody soundscapes and always eye-popping visuals to George Mason’s Patriot Center.

Every three years, the National Portrait Gallery awards $25,000 and a portrait commission for the museum's permanent collection to one artist selected from thousands of entries. This year, judges of the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition chose 48 portraits made from such unconventional materials as glitter, thread and rice to go on display and to advance to the next round. At the exhibit opening Saturday, the museum will announce the finalists and big winner.

Saturday and Sunday:

The weather may not be cooperating in full just yet, but the National Cherry Blossom Festival is underway. This weekend's events include a pair of Family Days at the National Building Museum, a Japanese Culture Day at the Library of Congress and a kite-making workshop at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

At this point, getting in to the White House Easter egg roll is effectively a pipe dream. (But who wants to fight the crowds and security and sequestration politics, anyway?) At Hillwood's Faberge Egg Festival, kids won't need to jostle to marvel at the museum's glitzy Faberge ovoids before rolling eggs on the lawn and making their own creations in the Russian tradition. For a more bucolic Easter egg hunt, Great Country Farms tucks 7,000 eggs into its pastures, along with a marshmallow harvest and S'mores roast, hayrides and a chance to visit with the farm's baby animals.

Lavanya Ramanathan is a features reporter for Style.
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