“Ella Fitzgerald: First Lady of Song,” museum curator Dwight Blocker Bowers and Fran Morris Rosman, executive director of the Ella Fitzgerald Foundation, discuss the blues singer’s legacy. Noon-1:30 p.m., National Museum of American History, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. 202-633-1000.
Book discussion, Tracye Lynn McQuirter discusses her “By Any Greens Necessary: A Revolutionary Guide for Black Women Who Want to Eat Great, Get Healthy, Lose Weight and Look Phat.” 1 p.m., Mary McLeod Bethune Council House, 1318 Vermont Ave. NW. Free. 202-673-2402.
Connecticut Avenue Streetscape Project, open house, the District Department of Transportation presents preliminary construction drawings for the next phase of the project; the public is welcome to view the drawings, talk to DDOT officials and provide input on the drawings. 3-5 p.m., Golden Triangle Business Improvement District Office, Suite 260, 1120 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. 202-463-3400.
Birdwatching for children, for age 4 and older, a National Park Service ranger invites children to decorate their own “binoculars,” then leads them outdoors to look at birds. 4 p.m., Rock Creek Park Nature Center, 5200 Glover Rd. NW. Free. 202-895-6070.
Mary Cassatt portrait talk, Cara Fama discusses the painter and printmaker. 6 p.m., National Portrait Gallery, Eighth and F streets NW. Free. 202-633-1000.
“Creature From the Black Lagoon,” 1954 film about a humanoid monster. 6:30 p.m., Smithsonian American Art Museum, McEvoy Auditorium, Eighth and F streets NW. Free. 202-633-1000.
“Remembering Lena Horne,” discussed by Susan Lacy, executive producer and creator of the “American Masters” PBS series; Gail Lumet Buckley, Horne’s daughter; curator Dwight Bowers; and jazz producer Richard Golden; followed by a screening of “Lena Horne: In Her Own Voice.” 6:30-9 p.m., National Portrait Gallery, Kogod Courtyard, Eighth and F streets NW. Free. 202-633-1000.
“Rhymes ’n’ Rhythms,” jazz trombonist Samuel Blaser and pianist Bobby Avey accompany poet Emily Belli as she reads her works and those of other Swiss poets, sponsored by Smithsonian Associates. 7 p.m., Embassy of Switzerland, 2900 Cathedral Ave. NW. $20. 202-633-3030.
“Shear Madness,” a comedy-mystery set in present-day Georgetown; with audience participation in helping to solve a mock murder. 8 p.m. weekdays, 6 and 9 p.m. Saturdays, 3 and 7 p.m. Sundays, Kennedy Center, Theater Lab, Terrace Lab, 2700 F St. NW. $42. 202-467-4600.
Nanotechnology, the “NanoDays 2011” festival features construction of a giant model of a carbon nanotube; Northeastern University’s Heather Clark discussing her work on nano glucose sensors; professors and students from the University of Maryland’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Center and representatives from Nanotec-USA showing nano-based processes and products; and experiments. Sponsored by the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation and the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday-Sunday, National Museum of American History, first floor, Spark!Lab, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. 202-633-1000.
Spring blossoms floral design workshop, floral designer Adrienne Summers teaches how to create an arrangement in a vase using spring flowers; materials provided. 10:30 a.m.-noon, Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, 4155 Linnean Ave. NW. $45. 202-686-5807.
Guided Tidal Basin bike ride, about three hours, led by a National Park Service ranger, with stops to discuss cherry blossoms and more. Take a bike and water. Helmet required. 1-4 p.m., Thomas Jefferson Memorial, 900 Ohio Dr. SW. Free. Richard Ayad, 202-438-3456.
Classical pianist John Kamitsuka, a performance of a Schubert piano sonata. 1:15 p.m., Georgetown University, McNeir Hall, 37th and O streets NW. Free. 202-687-3838.
“Doktor Kaboom,” for age 7 and older, David Epley uses comedy while demonstrating experiments. 7:30 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m., 1:30 and 5 p.m. Saturdays, Saturday and April 9, 1:30 and 4 p.m. April 10, Kennedy Center, Family Theater, 2700 F St. NW. $18. 202-467-4600.
Faure’s “Requiem,” the Christ Church Cathedral Choir and the National Cathedral’s Cathedra ensemble perform the requiem and works by John Taverner, Thomas Tallis and others. 7:30 p.m., Washington National Cathedral, Wisconsin and Massachusetts avenues NW. $25-$45. 202-537-2228 or tickets.cathedral.org/public/show.asp.
Mendelssohn piano trio recital, the chamber music ensemble performs works by Beethoven, Haydn and Schubert; followed by a reception. 7:30 p.m., Embassy of Austria, 3524 International Ct. NW. $50. 202-895-6776 or www.embassyseries.org/195.html?ee_id-195.
Author readings, Ron Rash, author of “One Foot in Eden” and “Burning Bright,” and Dorothy Allison, author of “Bastard Out of Carolina,” read from their works. 7:30 p.m., Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol St. SE. $15. 202-544-7077.
American University jazz music, American University Jazz Orchestra performs works by Charles Mingus, Dizzy Gillespie, Ernie Wilkins and Tommy Newsom; followed by the American University Jazz Workshop, with a performance of pieces by Duke Ellington and John Coltrane. 8 p.m., American University, Katzen Arts Center, Abramson Family Recital Hall, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW. $10; seniors, $5. 202-885-2787.
“The Sandbox” staged reading, Arena Stage actors read Edward Albee’s 1959 one-act play. 10:30 p.m., Arena Stage, 1101 Sixth St. SW. Free reserved tickets. 202-488-3300 or www.arenastage.org.
Run at the mall, a National Park Service ranger leads a 3.5-mile run at the mall, with stops at memorials to discuss them. Take water, meet inside the circle of flags. 8 a.m., Washington Monument, 15th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. Call ranger Susan Martin, 202-437-1888.
“Boogie Woogie Bow-Wows: The Canine Dance Theater,” Lynn Franklin and her poodle Sam and Joan Rose with her miniature longhair dachshund Tucket perform a musical romp with the dogs riding on a skateboard and jumping through hoops. 9:30 and 11 a.m., National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Free ticket, one per person, distributed 30 minutes before each show. 202-783-3372.
Elizabethan garden tours, docents lead tours of the library’s knot garden, which features plants mentioned in Shakespeare’s works and herbs that were popular during his era. 10 and 11 a.m., Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Free. 202-544-7077.
“Magnolia Study Day,” Andrew Bunting, president of Magnolia Society International, leads a tour of the arboretum’s extensive magnolia collection, discusses growth habits of the plant and ways to use the different varieties in a landscape; lunch will be served. 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m., U.S. National Arboretum, 3501 New York Ave. NE. $39, registration required. 202-245-4521.
Botanic Garden walk, volunteer Susan Olling leads a stroll among the mid-Atlantic region trees and shrubs and discusses which ones grow well in this area; sunscreen, protective clothing and water recommended. 1 p.m., U.S. Botanic Garden, National Garden Lawn Terrace, 100 Maryland Ave. SW. Free. 202-225-1116.
Gustav Mahler’s music, scholar Saul Lilianstein discusses Mahler’s compositions and plays recordings of parts of his Symphony No. 4 and the “Adagietto” from Symphony No. 5. 1 p.m., Kennedy Center, Theater Lab, 2700 F St. NW. $15. 202-467-4600.
Japanese kimono lecture and demonstration, Paul MacLardy, co-author of the book “Kimono: Vanishing Tradition,” discusses the history of the garment, its textiles and symbols and demonstrates the art of kimono dressing with a professional kimono dresser. 2 p.m., Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, 4155 Linnean Ave. NW. $20. 202-686-5807.
“Dance Sampler,” works by choreographers Wayles Haynes, Nancy Havlik, Diana Movius, Meghan Pilling, Orit Sherman and Jane Franklin Dance. 5 and 8 p.m., Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Mellon Rehearsal Hall, 641 D St. NW. $25; in advance, $20. 703-933-1111 or www.janefranklin.com.
Beethoven’s Septet in E-flat major, performed by members of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra. 6 p.m., Kennedy Center, Millennium Stage, 2700 F St. NW. Free. 202-467-4600.
Toots Thielemans and Kenny Werner, harmonica player Thielemans and pianist Werner perform. 7:30 p.m., Kennedy Center, Terrace Theater, 2700 F St. NW. $45. 202-467-4600.
Dakshina-Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company, performance. 8 p.m. Saturday, 7 p.m. Sunday, Dance Place, 3225 Eighth St. NE. $22; seniors and students, $17; 17 and younger, $8. 202-269-1600.
Trio Solisti at Dumbarton, performance of Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition,” Piazzolla’s “Four Seasons of Buenos Aires” and other works. 8 p.m., Dumbarton United Methodist Church, 3133 Dumbarton Ave. NW. $33; students and seniors, $29. 202-965-2000 or www.dumbartonconcerts.org.
Stile Antico choral program, the British early music vocal ensemble performs an a cappella program, sponsored by Folger Consort. 8 p.m., Lutheran Church of the Reformation, 212 East Capitol St. NE. $35-$50. 202-544-7077.
Cooking talk, Joan Nathan discusses recipes from her book “Quiches, Kugels and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France,” 11 a.m.-noon; fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, cheese, fruit pies, bread, fresh pasta, cut flowers, potted plants, soap and herbal products sold by more than 30 farmers and other vendors. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Sundays, Dupont Circle FreshFarm Market, 20th and Q streets NW. 202-362-8889 or www.freshfarmmarket.org.
Cathedral angel artwork tour, for age 10 and older, docents discuss angels depicted in stained glass, needlepoint, wood and stone. 1:30 p.m. Sunday, 3 p.m. Next Thursday, Washington National Cathedral, Wisconsin and Massachusetts avenues NW. $5. 202-537-6200 or www.nationalcathedral.org.
“Heroes and Villains: In Miniatures, Marble and Movies,” Mary Beard, University of Cambridge professor of classics, discusses images of Roman emperors and more. 2 p.m., National Gallery of Art, East Building, Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. 202-737-4215.
“Creating Diversity in Flowering Cherries,” Margaret Pooler, a National Arboretum research geneticist, discusses how flowering cherry trees have become Washington’s celebrated symbol of spring and how arboretum scientists have created new varieties of flowering cherries with improved size, shape and color. 3 p.m., U.S. National Arboretum, 3501 New York Ave. NE. Free. 202-245-2726.
Jazz by vocalist Nnenna Freelon and Afro Blue, concert opens Howard University’s Fourth Annual Jazz Week. 3 p.m., Howard University, 2400 Sixth St. NW. $15; seniors and students with ID, $10; age 11 and younger, $5. 202-806-7097.
Opera Lafayette performing Handel’s “Acis and Galatea,” the 1718 chamber version of Ovid’s tale of metamorphosis, starring tenor Thomas Michael Allen and soprano Rosa Lamoreaux, sung in English. 4 p.m., Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. $15-$25. 202-399-7993 or www.atlasarts.org.
Washington Chorus performance, music by Elena Ruehr, with text by Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes and Louise Gluck. 5 p.m., National Presbyterian Church, 4101 Nebraska Ave. NW. $25-$40. 202-342-6221 or www.thewashingtonchorus.org.
Jeremy Filsell organ recital, performance of Marcel Dupre’s symphonic poem “Le Chemin de la Croix,” interspersed with poetry by Paul Claudel. 5:15 p.m., Washington National Cathedral, Wisconsin and Massachusetts avenues NW. Suggested donation, $10. 202-537-6200 or www.nationalcathedral.org.
Inscape Chamber Music Project, works by Olivier Messiaen, latecomers not admitted. 6:30 p.m., National Gallery of Art, West Building Garden Court, 600 Constitution Ave. NW. Free. 202-842-6941.
Botanic Garden lunchtime tour, museum volunteers lead a tour of plants and discuss what manila folders, Chanel No. 5, vanilla and fossil fuels have in common; plus discussion of possible breakthroughs in medicinal plant research. Noon-1 p.m., U.S. Botanic Garden, Conservatory Garden Court, 100 Maryland Ave. SW. Free. 202-225-8333.
Jazz symposium, John Hasse, curator of American Music at the National Museum of American History, leads a program on jazz. 1-3 p.m., Howard University, 2400 Sixth St. NW. Free. 202-806-7097 or www.jazzathowarduniversity.org.
“In the Midst of the Malestream,” Helke Sander’s 2005 documentary about how single women with a desire to have children helped start the women’s movement in Germany, in German with English subtitles. 6:30 p.m., Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh St. NW. $7; seniors and students, $4. 202-289-1200.
“The Legacy of Billie Holiday,” Jessica Boykin-Settles discusses the blues singer’s life and contributions to jazz. 10 a.m., Howard University, Lulu Vere Childers Recital Hall, 2400 Sixth St. NW. Free. 202-806-7097 or www.jazzathowarduniversity.org.
“The City Kid and the Suburb Kid,” for ages 3-5, a museum staff member reads Deb Pilutti’s book about two kids who swap their city and suburban locales for a day. 10:30 and 11:30 a.m., National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. Free. 202-272-2448.
Museum quilting program, volunteers from the Annapolis Quilt Guild demonstrate quilting techniques and show related tools from the museum’s textile collection. 11 a.m., National Museum of American History, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. 202-633-1000.
“Lincoln and His Admirals,” historian Craig L. Symonds discusses his book about the days before the firing on Fort Sumter and the start of the Civil War. Noon, National Archives, McGowan Theater, Constitution Avenue and Ninth Street NW. Free. 202-357-5000.
Washington Bach Consort, J. Reilly Lewis leads a performance of a cantata; organist Carol Feather Martin performs. 12:10 p.m., Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G St. NW. Suggested donation, $5. 202-347-2635, Ext. 18.
“Cherry Blossom Tea,” a traditional tea with sandwiches, scones, desserts and Japanese tea blends, followed by a stroll through the gardens. 1 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday, Tudor Place, 1644 31st St. NW. $25. 202-965-0400.
Gerry Mulligan’s music, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Ensemble performs a musical tribute to the jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, composer and arranger. 1 p.m., Howard University, Lulu Vere Childers Recital Hall, 2400 Sixth St. NW. Free. 202-806-7097 or www.jazzathowarduniversity.org.
“Hildreth Meiere: American Art Deco Muralist,” curator Catherine Coleman Brawer discusses the muralist’s development, in conjunction with the exhibit “Walls Speak: The Narrative Art of Hildreth Meiere”; arrive early for a viewing. 6:30 p.m., National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. $20; students, $12. 202-272-2448.
Fessenden Ensemble: “Romantic Interlude,” a performance of works by Grieg and Schumann, followed by a reception with the musicians. 7:30 p.m., St. Columba’s Episcopal Church, 4201 Albemarle St. NW. $30; students, free. 202-362-2390.
“Mad Science and Dr. Jekyll,” for ages 6-16, an interactive show about scientific concepts, sponsored by Discovery Theater. 10:15 and 11:30 a.m., National Museum of Natural History, 10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. $6; ages 2-16, $5; 1 and younger, $3. 202-633-8700 or www.discoverytheater.org.
Life after the Civil War, David Hardin discusses his book “After the War: The Lives and Images of Major Civil War Figures After the Shooting Stopped.” Noon, National Archives, Constitution Avenue and Ninth Street NW. Free. 202-357-5000.
Choral concert, soloists from the St. John’s church choir perform Ivor Davies’s “Prayers From the Ark” and other works. 12:10 p.m., St. John’s Episcopal Church, Lafayette Square, 1525 H St. NW. Free. 202-347-8766.
Jazz musician Joe Evans book discussion, Evans and co-author Christopher Brooks discuss their book about Evans’s career, “Follow Your Heart: Moving With the Giants of Jazz, Swing, and Rhythm and Blues.” 6 p.m., National Portrait Gallery, Eighth and F streets NW. Free. 202-633-1000.
FBI and global terrorism, Garrett Graff discusses his book “The Threat Matrix: The FBI at War in the Age of Global Terror.” 6:30 p.m., International Spy Museum, 800 F St. NW. $12.50. 202-393-7798.
Midori in concert, the Japanese violinist performs works by Haydn, Schubert, Martinu and Dvorak with pianist Jonathan Biss, violist Nobuko Imai and cellist Antoine Lederlin. 7:30 p.m., Kennedy Center, Terrace Theater, 2700 F St. NW. $55. 202-467-4600.
“Quiet Days of August,” Pantelis Voulgaris’s film about three lonely people in Athens, in Greek with English subtitles. 8 p.m., Avalon Theatre, 5612 Connecticut Ave. NW. $11; students, $9; seniors, $8.25. 202-966-6000.
“Values and Diplomacy: A Conversation With Former Secretaries of State,” panel discussion with Madeleine Albright, James Baker and Colin Powell on the challenges of addressing diverse cultural values and religious beliefs in diplomacy while protecting U.S. interests globally. 6:30 p.m., Washington National Cathedral, Wisconsin and Massachusetts avenues NW. $5-$10. 202-537-6200 or tickets.cathedral.org/public/show.asp.
Architect talk, Jan Gehl discusses his desire to make U.S. cities more conducive to walking and biking. 6:30 p.m., National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. $20; students, free; registration required. 202-272-2448.
“Life From Scratch,” Melissa Ford discusses her novel about a divorced woman who becomes a celebrity when she begins to blog about her miserable life. 7:30 p.m., D.C. Jewish Community Center, 1529 16th St. NW. $11; seniors, $9. 202-777-3251 or www.washingtondcjcc.org/authorsoutloud.
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