8 things to do in the D.C. area on the long weekend of Jan. 17-20

January 16

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


"Fifty Shades! The Musical,"  a parody of the book "Fifty Shades of Grey," lands at the Warner.  I (Photo by Timothy Wright/For the Washington Post)

Friday-Monday: Several events in town will honor the legacy of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. this weekend. Make a stop at the National Portrait Gallery's "One Life: Martin Luther King Jr." exhibition, or take in the sounds of Howard University's Afro Blue jazz ensemble's tribute on Sunday.  Check out our list of top events here.

Friday-April 13: The National Museum of Women in the Arts honors feminist artist Judy Chicago on her 75th birthday. "Circa '75: Judy Chicago" features thirteen works from the 1970s that show Chicago's use of abstract shapes and spaces to portray a woman's point of view during the rise of the feminist movement. The exhibition opens at the National Museum of Women in the Arts on Friday.

Friday-Saturday: Once E.L. James's S&M-tinged bodice-ripper "Fifty Shades of Grey" rocketed to the top of the New York Times bestseller list, it was only a matter of time before the novel got its own musical, complete with an exclamation point. This weekend it arrives. "Fifty Shades! The Musical" is a  parody that's received a warm reception from Edinburgh to New York and Chicago to San Francisco. Baby Wants Candy, the improv troupe that gave us Rachel Dratch, is responsible for this adaptation, which depicts the book's hunky protagonist, Christian Grey, as chubby and boisterous. And we thought casting Charlie Hunnam was controversial. The show lands at the Warner Theatre for shows Friday and Saturday.  Tickets are $32.50-$52.50.

Saturday: The moment has arrived for the legions of Panda Cam watchers:  Bao Bao makes her public debut Saturday, all roly-poly, fuzzy and prone to tumbles. It's the biggest moment for the National Zoo since panda cub Tai Shan was introduced to the public in 2005. This time, however, there are no timed-entry tickets required; visitors can visit the precocious bear-tyke on a first-come, first-served basis, with extended hours the first few days.  The zoo's panda habitat will be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday through Monday, and from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. beginning Tuesday. As always with the zoo, admission is free.

Saturday: 14th Street will get a DJ-focused bar -- not a restaurant -- on Saturday when the intimate bar called Den of Thieves officially replaces the Vietnamese-themed restaurant Hanoi House on Saturday, with Thievery Corporation's Eric Hilton christening the new DJ booth himself. Check out the new(ish) hotspot Saturday.

Sunday: Daniel Lopatin, who performs as Oneohtrix Point Never, composes the experimental sort of music that will recall "Blade Runner" with hints "The Office." The 31-year-old avant-gardist employed software to mimic the sounds of church organs and choirs for his latest album; he performs his weird magic at the Atlas Performing Arts Center on Sunday. Read: Giving fake sounds a real quality: Oneohotrix Point Never

Sunday:  Funk 4 The Dream, a dance party featuring Afrika Bambaataa and a roster of DJs has become an annual tradition at U Street Music Hall the night before Martin Luther King Day. The hip-hop pioneer headlines a bill with De La Soul's DJ Maseo, the Fort Knox Five and others at 10 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door.

Monday: On the heels of their first studio album of original recordings in an astonishing 25 years, the Gipsy Kings land at the Birchmere to perform songs from that album, "Savor Flamenco," with all the zest that has made them international superstars. Read a review of the album here; tickets for the show are $127.50 and include a digital version of the album.

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