Free & Easy: Reggae jams, Israeli folk and stargazing

May 12, 2013

The constellation of Fornax as photographed by the Hubble space telescope in 2012. C.M. Crockett Park features a star gazing night on Saturday. (AFP PHOTO/NASA/ESA)

The Going Out Gurus recommend free things to do for every day of the week:

MONDAY

‘A Constellation of Vital Phenomena’

D.C.-born author Anthony Marra so impressed Washington Post book critic Ron Charles with his debut, “A Constellation of Vital Phenomena,” set in a war-torn Chechen village, that Charles called it “a flash in the heavens that makes you look up and believe in miracles.” Marra visits his home town Monday to discuss his acclaimed novel.

7 p.m. Politics & Prose Bookstore, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. 202-364-1919. www.politics-prose.com.

TUESDAY

Reggae Jam

The British Pub celebrates Kingston every Tuesday with “One Love Jam Down,” a weekly reggae jam session. Local roots reggae band the Archives, originally organized by Thievery Corporation’s Eric Hilton (one of the Brixton’s owners), performs each week with a different guest vocalist.

9 p.m. The Brixton, 901 U St. NW. 202-560-5045. www.brixtondc.com.

WEDNESDAY

‘Bama Bones: A Black Southerner Talks Place and Creativity’

In a mid-day lecture, Trudier Harris, a professor of English at the University of Alabama, discusses how her home state of Alabama has consistently influenced her writing. The professor and cultural critic has written extensively about the experience of segregation in the South, and her talk is part of the American Women Writers’ National Museum’s attempt to showcase authors from all 50 states.

Noon. McLendon Room, National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW. 202-662-7522. www.americanwomenwritersnationalmuseum.org.

THURSDAY

‘The Bitter Tea of General Yen’

This 1933 classic by Sicilian-American director Frank Capra follows an American missionary in Shanghai trying to save a group of orphans. Megan Davis, the missionary played by Barbara Stanwyck, gets caught in a civil war battle but is saved by a warlord. The unlikely pair fall in love despite a precarious situation.

7:30 p.m. Library of Congress Packard Campus, 19053 Mount Pony Rd., Culpeper. 202-707-0851. www.loc.gov.

FRIDAY

U.S. Army Orchestra

The U.S. Army’s band is always top-notch, but for this concert, members perform alongside the winners of the orchestra’s “Young Artist Competition,” making it even more interesting. Though the performance is on base, it’s still free and open to the public.

7:30 p.m. Fort Myer, Brucker Hall, 400 McNair Rd., Arlington. 703-696-3399. www.usarmyband.com.

SATURDAY

Star Gazing

Politicians aren’t the only stars around Washington. If weather permits, head outside the beltway to Midland and check out a few constellations, galaxies and other planets on this public night at C.M. Crockett Park. Bring your own gear if you have it, but telescopes and binoculars will be provided, along with volunteers to help you navigate the cosmos.

6 p.m. C.M. Crockett Park, 10066 Rogues Road, Midland. 540-788-4867. www.novac.com.

SUNDAY

Israel Street Festival

Sure, there’s a street market, Israeli dancers and a self-defense demonstration by Krav Maga. But what you’ll really want to experience is the music. The Shuk bring both traditional and contemporary Middle Eastern folk to Fairfax, while Jerusalem-born singer Hadar Binyamin performs R&B and soul.

Noon. Fairfax Corner, 4100 Monument Drive, Fairfax. 703-537-3064. www.jccnv.org.

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Fritz Hahn | May 10, 2013