It’s a new year, but before hopping on the resolution bandwagon, consider this idea: Have more fun in 2013.
Make this the year you hear world-class music, win your Oscars pool and bite into an airy artisanal pastry. Make this the year you see the cherry blossoms at peak bloom and revel in inaugural festivities.
From awards season to the first flutter of spring, the next few months have much to offer anyone willing to brave the cold weather. Here are 18 events worth committing to through March.
DOUGHNUT MANIA Cupcakeries have had their day. So what will be next to satiate the region’s collective sweet tooth? Doughnuts. This month, two new doughnut outposts, Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken and GBD, open in Metro Center and Dupont Circle, respectively. The gourmet answer to Krispy Kreme, these specialty shops churn out fried puffy circles and squares in flavors such as creme brulee, Brooklyn Blackout, maple bacon and panettone. Hungry yet? Neither location has given a precise opening date yet, so keep your eyes peeled to the Going Out Guide blog for updates. Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken, 1308 G St. NW. www.astrodoughnuts.com. GBD, 1323 Connecticut Ave. NW. www.gbdchickendoughnuts.com.
SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK! 40TH ANNIVERSARY SING-ALONG Whether your favorite “Schoolhouse Rock!” episode was “Conjunction Junction” or “I’m Just a Bill,” this ubiquitous educational series has been winning over fans for 40 years. Your family will know the words when the show’s songwriter and former musical director Bob Dorough teams with local kids’ band Rocknoceros for a sing-along birthday bash. At 6 p.m. Kennedy Center, Millennium Stage, 2700 F St. NW. 202-467-4600. www.kennedy-center.org. Free.
JESSICA CHASTAIN MOVIES First, on Jan. 11 comes the Washington premiere of “Zero Dark Thirty,” the Kathryn Bigelow film in which Chastain plays a CIA operative leading the Osama bin Laden manhunt. The film already has earned Chastain a Golden Globe award nomination for best actress; the film also received a nod for best picture and is almost certain to be a contender come Oscar season. Then, on Jan. 18 comes “Mama,” a Guillermo del Toro horror flick about a couple (Chastain and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) who decide to raise two little girls who spent five years alone in a deep, dark forest. For local theater listings and showtimes, visit www.goingoutguide.com.
LALAH HATHAWAY The daughter of soul legend Donny Hathaway, this musical heiress has carried on her father’s legacy while forging her own path as an artist. Her latest album, “Where It All Begins,” showcases Hathaway’s buoyant neo-soul style, and more recently her silky vocals pop up on Robert Glasper’s acclaimed album “Black Radio.” The soul princess performs at the historic Howard Theatre not far from Howard University, where her father studied music. At 8 p.m. The Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW. 202-803-2899. www.thehowardtheatre.com. $55 in advance, $60 day of the show.
INAUGURATION WEEKEND Washington will likely be significantly less crowded than it was for President Obama’s first inauguration in 2009, but consider that a good thing. Choose from a plethora of big-ticket parties and balls going on during the weekend of Jan. 19-21, or opt for the affordable “I Don’t Have a Super-PAC to Buy me a Ticket to the Inaugural Ball” ball at Glen Echo Park’s Spanish Ballroom. Inauguration overlaps with Martin Luther King Jr. Day, so don’t miss the free “Let Freedom Ring” concert featuring Smokey Robinson at the Kennedy Center on Jan. 20. For a full list of inauguration happenings, visit www.washingtonpost.com/gog/
LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO This famed South African vocal ensemble first gained worldwide recognition singing with Paul Simon on his landmark 1986 album “Graceland.” Since then, the group has witnessed the end of apartheid, released dozens of albums and accompanied Nelson Mandela to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. These cultural ambassadors bring their soulful harmonies and hopeful message to Strathmore. At 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. 301-581-5100. www.strathmore.org. $25-$65.
‘GOOD PEOPLE’ The “Southie” neighborhood of Boston has served as the backdrop for a host of movies in recent years, most of them starring some combination of Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio. Theatrical representations of the neighborhood are less common, but David Lindsay-Abaire’s 2011 play about a single mother living with her disabled daughter is a notable exception. The play’s D.C. debut features actress Johanna Day in the lead role. You may recognize Day from previous Arena shows “The Quality of Life” and “The Rainmaker.” Arena Stage, 1101 Sixth St. SW. 202-488-3300. www.arenastage.org. $40-$85.
AVICII: SUPER GLOW In the past couple of years, this Swedish DJ and producer has amassed a global following with his punchy melodies and pulsating house beats. Avicii’s appearance at the Sweetlife Festival last April confirmed how successful he can be in getting Washingtonians out on the dance floor. He also earned a Grammy nomination for best dance recording for his irresistibly catchy single “Levels,” which audiences at the D.C. Armory are almost certain to hear. At 8 p.m. D.C. Armory, 2001 E. Capitol St. SE. 202-397-7328. www.ticketmaster.com. $27.50-$97.50.
NEW CORCORAN EXHIBITS In 2012, the Corcoran Gallery of Art faced a tough decision: Find a way to finance millions of dollars worth of renovations to the museum’s historic building or move, possibly out of the District. Celebrate the museum’s decision to stay put by patronizing two new exhibits. On Feb. 9, a display of promotional images of early Hollywood stars and Andy Warhol portraits explores how photographers have conceived of fame over time. Then, on Feb. 23, comes “Pump Me Up,” a fittingly D.C.-centric show about the city’s graffiti and street art during the rise of the go-go, punk and hardcore music scenes in the 1980s. Corcoran Gallery of Art, 500 17th St. NW. 202-639-1700. www.corcoran.org. $10, $8 for students and seniors, free for children 12 and younger.
NORDIC COOL 2013 FESTIVAL This year, get ready for an intoxicating taste of a perennially hip corner of the Earth. More than 700 artists from such countries as Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Iceland and Greenland share theater, music, dance, visual arts and food from their homelands. A chip off the iceberg of eclectic offerings: An Icelandic interpretation of Kafka’s “Metamorphosis”; Norway’s National Theatre performing “Hedda Gabler”; a Brooklyn/Reykjavik hybrid jazz trio; traditional indigenous songs; and a forum on climate change. Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. NW. 202-467-4600. www.kennedy-center.org. Prices vary.
‘THE TEMPEST’ Synetic Theater’s wild acrobatics and physical expressiveness take on this story of power, sorcery and a violent torrent in what is sure to be the spectacle of the season. In addition to co-founder Irina Tsikurishvili’s eye-popping choreography, the radical set design for Prospero’s island features a stage swirling with water similar to 2010’s “King Arthur.” If getting wet isn’t for you, opt for seats a few rows back, because these Herculean dancers will be splashing up a beautiful storm for this “Silent Shakespeare” production. Synetic Theater, 1800 S. Bell St., Arlington. 800-494-8497. www.synetictheater.org. $35-$55, $5 off for seniors/military, $15-$20 for students.
WASHINGTON, D.C. INTERNATIONAL DESIGN FESTIVAL If 20th-century design brought us the modernist mantra “form over function,” how will 21st-century designers make their mark? Artisphere explores this question during three months of programming anchored by a 4,000 square-foot cornerstone exhibition on innovations in product design since the turn of the century. Time your visit to coincide with a forum on women in design (March 2), a screening of the documentary on Italian designers Lella and Massimo Vignelli (March 15) and a panel on American design (April 20). Artisphere, 1101 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. 703-875-1100. www.artisphere.com. Free.
‘FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF’ Round up your buddies, snag the keys to the Ferrari and play hooky from whatever you had planned. This John Hughes masterpiece is considered one of the most hilarious movies of the 1980s. The Frederick-based Flying Dog Brewery serves craft brews for happy hour in the lobby beginning at 6:30 p.m., and beers are available during the show as well. This is an ideal night for casual fun with friends. Screening at 7:30 p.m. Weinberg Center for the Arts, 20 W. Patrick St., Frederick. 301-600-2828. www.weinbergcenter.org. $7, $5 students and seniors.
ENVIRONMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL IN THE NATION’S CAPITAL Have you ever gazed at the mighty Anacostia and wondered what kinds of mystical creatures or, perhaps, pollution might be living in those waters? Learn what the river has to offer at the 21st annual Environmental Film Festival. This year’s special focus is on rivers and how they impact human civilization. Documentaries explore the world’s hidden river networks, the Los Angeles River and, on March 17 at the National Museum of American History, the Anacostia. Various locations. www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org. Most screenings are free; special event prices vary.
PINK After more than a decade in the pop stratosphere, this diva never fails to crank out hits. Her latest, “The Truth About Love,” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and is a bevy of delightfully angsty, head-bopping songs about fighting for love (“Try”) and walking home after a debaucherous night (“Walk of Shame”). At 7:30 p.m. Verizon Center, 601 F St. NW. 202-628-3200. www.verizoncenter.com. $39.50-$99.50.
NATIONAL CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL Those who ventured to the Tidal Basin last year for the National Cherry Blossom Festival may have missed out on the blossoms entirely. Peak bloom arrived two weeks earlier than usual, and those resplendent pink flowers came and went with the rain. Here’s hoping the blossoms hang on a little longer this year to provide that stunning backdrop for this celebration of Japanese art and culture. Various locations around Washington. www.nationalcherry
blossomfestival.org. Most events are free.
23-Feb. 23, 2014
OUTWIN BOOCHEVER PORTRAIT COMPETITION 2013 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 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 March 23, the museum will announce the finalists and big winner. Open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. National Portrait Gallery, Eighth and F streets NW. 202-633-1000. www.portraitcompetition.si.edu. Free.
2013 NCAA EAST REGIONAL The Verizon Center is no stranger to hosting NCAA tournament games. The last time the District hosted the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight, in 2006, George Mason upset the Connecticut Huskies to advance to the Final Four in one of the most memorable games in recent tournament history. Sorry Georgetown fans, the Hoyas aren’t allowed to play in their home venue. But, you’re in perfect position to see some of the best basketball March Madness has to offer, and the winner of Saturday’s game is bound for the Final Four. Verizon Center, 601 F St. NW. 202-628-3200. www.verizoncenter.com.