9 things to do in the D.C. area on the weekend of Aug.15-17

August 14

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

Friday: The weekend brings the second and last of The Washington Post’s free summer outdoor concerts at Carter Barron Amphitheatre: Neo-Soul Night will feature performances by headliner Black Alley -- a D.C. act that blends go-go and gospel, to name just a few of the genres it taps --  with opening acts Lysette Titi and Wes Felton.  The show is free and tickets are not distributed in advance. Gates open at 7 p.m. to the first 3,700 people, and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. For details, visit the Carter Barron site.

Friday: Hank’s Oyster Bar in Capitol Hill really embraced the "Top Gun" theme of its new cocktail menu last week, accompanying the launch with flight suits, aviators and a screening of the movie that packed out the popular bar. It was such a success, Hank's on the Hill is doing "Top Gun" all over again with a sequel of a cocktail menu. The movie starts at 10; if you'd rather not do the flight suits but still want the cocktails, the drink menu is available through Saturday night.

Friday though Aug. 21: The West End Cinema is kicking off a tribute to the late Robin Williams this weekend, screening some of the actor's most serious films and beloved roles. Beginning Friday, the theater will show "Good Will Hunting," "The Birdcage" and "The Fisher King" daily through Aug. 21. For showtimes and tickets, visit West End Cinema's site.


Robin Williams (L) and Matt Damon appeared in the 1997 film "Good Will Hunting,' screening at West End Cinema. (Photo by George Kraychyk/REUTERS)

Friday-Sept. 14:  Rorschach Theatre stages "She Kills Monsters," Qui Nguyen’s comedic play about a teacher who gets pulled into the world of Dungeons & Dragons after the sudden death of her little sister, a onetime gamer. The production kicks off at the Atlas Performing Arts Center on Friday. Tickets are $30.

Friday-Sunday: Screen on the Green is done for the season, and a handful of other outdoor movies are soon wrapping up. But this week brings one late-season entry, the ever-so-brief Comcast Outdoor Film Festival in Montgomery County, which kicks off Friday and runs through Sunday. The festival, which for years was held near the Strathmore grounds, moved last year to the Board of Education lot in Rockville --  a move that has also allowed the fest to become a drive-in style screening that's perfect for date nights and families alike. Friday is "The Lego Movie"; Saturday is "Gravity"; and Sunday is "Hunger Games: Catching Fire." The free screenings open at 5 p.m. and movies begin at dusk.

Sunday: In a new program aimed at the 20- and 30-something set, the Kennedy Center has been hosting some of the comedy world's brightest, edgiest stars, from "Daily Show" correspondent Michael Che to Sara Schaefer, for free shows each month. This weekend, Kyle Dunnigan, a Comedy Central staple and co-host of the podcast "Professor Blastoff" performs at the center free; local comedian Jenn Tisdale opens. The show begins at 6 p.m.; be sure to get there early for good seats, as the comedy shows are held in the center's theaters and fill quickly. This one will be held in the Terrace Theater.

Sunday-Aug. 24:  Washington’s beer scene is getting better every year, and the same can be said of D.C. Beer Week. Tap takeovers, tasting sessions, a beer-themed river cruise and even a beer-focused crab feast will take place at sudsy spots throughout the region, with plenty of events slated for Sunday.  Some events require advance tickets, which can be purchased at www.dcbeerweek.net. Read more: Start planning now for D.C. Beer Week.

Sunday: SynchroSwim takes performance art and chucks it in the pool — with floaties, if need be. The Washington Project for the Arts’ annual synchronized-swimming performance-art competition invites water-based teams to stage quick routines that address subjects as serious as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill or as lighthearted as the music of Van Halen. The splashy choreography starts at 5 p.m. Sunday at the Capitol Skyline Hotel; admission is free, but be sure to get there early for the best view. The event is an annual tradition, and regularly fills the Skyline poolside.


At the inaugural SynchroSwim in 2009, artsy teams such as We Are Science dove into the pool to create watery scenes like synchronized swimmers. But not. (Max Cook)

Sunday: Almost a year after Arcade Fire released its divisive, disco-infused fourth record, “Reflektor,” the band is making its way to Washington for one of the last handful of dates on its epic tour. The album represented a move away from Arcade Fire’s singalong rock anthems, but fans who have missed the band on previous sold-out visits should still expect to hear plenty of old favorites at the Verizon Center show, which features openers Dan Deacon and Antibalas. Tickets are $30.50-$70.50.

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