11 things to do in the D.C. area on the weekend of June 28-30

June 27, 2013

The weekend’s best in nightlife, music and art. For even more, check out Nightlife Agenda.


"30 Rock" ended this winter, but Tracy Jordan -- er, Tracy Morgan -- is keeping busy with a tour that brings him to the Warner Theatre on Saturday. (Photo by: Art Streiber/NBC)

Through July 7: Highlights from the first weekend of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival include Friday's 6 p.m. concert with the Seldom Scene; Saturday's mid-day hurdy-gurdy performances and recitations of Transylvanian songs; and Sunday's 4 p.m. procession of elaborate church hats.

Friday: It's hot. Prescient timing on the part of the National Symphony Orchestra, which will bring the temperature down Friday at Wolf Trap with its ice-cold performance, "Frozen Planet in Concert," set to footage from the BBC's "Frozen Planet" documentaries. Expect ample footage of waddling penguins, lumbering killer whales and the bleak vastness of the Arctic tundra, which sounds pretty nice on a sticky summer night.

Friday: If you haven’t made it to Suburbia, the grassy pop-up bar outside Union Market, you have two more weekends to check it out. After that, the bar – built into a converted 1960s Airstream trailer – is hitting the road. Here’s your excuse to visit: The Going Out Guide is hosting a Friday happy hour at the spot. Join us from 5 to 9 p.m. for $5 frozen cocktails, a variety of canned beer ($3-$5) and picnic foods hot off the grill. Challenge your friends to badminton or corn hole, or just kick your shoes off and relax in an Adirondack chair.

Friday: The Hirshhorn is months away from the next After Hours party, but it hasn't forgotten about how much you like hanging out in museums at night. This Friday, to mark the opening of its new show, "Peter Coffin: Here & There,"  the museum is opening from 7-10 p.m. and bringing bars into its spacious courtyard, all to preview the exhibit before it opens. The best part? Admission is free.

Friday-Jan. 5: Standouts in "A Democracy of Images," the new exhibit plucked from the collection of Smithsonian American Art Museum, include works by Diane Arbus, Annie Leibovitz and Timothy H. O'Sullivan. The show examines the evolution of photography with examples of portraits, wild landscapes, city skylines and more.

Friday: Don’t Block the Box, the laid-back, Friday-night comedy showcase at Wonderland Ballroom, inevitably draws Columbia Heights' young, after-work set, most of whom haven't been in town long enough to know Aparna Nancherla. An oddball comic whose greatest charms are faux naivete and a face that seems as malleable as putty, Nancherla toiled in low-ceilinged D.C. clubs before making a big move to Los Angeles a few years ago. Her return Friday marks her first local show in some time. The show starts at 7 p.m., and is $3.

Friday: Ska, rocksteady, dancehall and dub fans know that Marx Cafe’s monthly Soundclash is the area’s finest old-school reggae party. Grab a special rum punch and toast 11 years of classic Jamaican tunes at this week’s anniversary bash.

Saturday: His controversial LL Cool J collaboration, “Accidental Racist,” aside, country singer Brad Paisley’s latest album is a sharp, wise commentary on the state of American country music and its complex relationship to our nation’s fraught racial and social history. The best butt in country music will bring songs from “Wheelhouse” plus older favorites to Juffy Lube Live at 7 p.m. (Washington Post Express)

Saturday: Of course Tracy Morgan has titled his "Excuse My French" tour, which lands at the Warner on Saturday, after an apology -- he's spent the past few years apologizing for comedic boundary-crossing. But there will be no need for a "je suis désolé," one hopes, during this tour, which mines his personal life, divorce and fame for material. Don't expect the cheerful bluster of his "30 Rock" character, Tracy Jordan, a fictionalized version of himself. Morgan says this tour is about his fans getting to know the real him.

Through Saturday:  The exhibit "Koen VanMechelen: Leaving Paradise" brought two live chickens -- Red Jungle Fowl to be precise -- into Connersmith to live, artfully, for nearly two months. If you haven't seen the exhibit, now's your chance: The show closes Saturday.

Sunday: Lighting bugs have been putting on a glittering show this summer, and the fifth annual Firefly Festival celebrates the fascinating little critters. The fest transforms Arlington's Fort C.F. Smith park into a kid-friendly spectacle, with picnicking, arts and crafts, games and, of course, lightning bugs.

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Fritz Hahn | June 27, 2013