9 things to do in the D.C. area on the weekend of March 13-16

The weekend’s best in nightlife, music and art. For even more, including more St. Patrick's Day events, check out Nightlife Agenda and this week's Nightlife column.


The cast of Keegan Theater's "Hair," which opens Saturday at Keegan. (Photo by Colin Smith)

Thursday: After the twee brilliance of "Moonrise Kingdom," is it any wonder we're beyond excited for the latest Wes Anderson opus, "The Grand Budapest Hotel"? The film, which explores the inner workings of a sprawling hotel in the fictional town of Zubrowka just before wartime, begins screening tonight at some local theaters, with a broader opening Friday. Read: Ann Hornaday reviews "The Grand Budapest Hotel."

Friday: It's hard to go anywhere in the District and not find yourself being stared down by the work of D.C. street artist Kelly Towles, whose larger-than-life paintings -- often featuring childlike, eyeball-less figures -- have sprung up on buildings such as the one at 12th and W streets NW; on Gordy's pickle jars and D.C. Brau beer bottles; and in restaurants including Mike Isabella's G Sandwich. But commercial work keeps the man busy, so his exhibition opening this weekend is his first gallery outing in years. "The Death of Ulysses," for which Towles took inspiration from pop culture and dusty old literature, opens at Hierarchy (1841 Columbia Rd. NW) Friday with a reception from 7 p.m.-midnight. RSVP here.

Saturday: The easiest way to cross the city Saturday morning might actually be on foot, as dozens of road closures are planned for the Rock 'N' Roll USA Marathon. As thousands of runners pound the pavement, spectators will be able to rock out to the sounds of bands stationed at most mile markers along the course. The race begins at 7:30 a.m. on Constitution Avenue, and the finish line festival outside RFK Stadium features a performance by indie-folk rockers the Head and the Heart, from 10:45 a.m. to noon. Find the map of the route here.

Saturday: In the Church Street Theater downtown, a different kind of spring is blooming: the psychedelic flower-power of the Keegan Theatre production of the musical "Hair."  The opus of the Age of Aquarius -- which debuted on Broadway in 1968 as a sexed-up, rock-and-roll reflection of the everything-goes mores of '60s youth -- "Hair" is in the midst of a renaissance. As with the original “Hair,” the cast will appear fully nude onstage, so leave the kids, and your inhibitions, at home. The show runs through April 20 at Keegan's Church Street space (1742 Church St. NW); tickets are $37-$42.

Saturday: Lindy Promotions’ annual Shamrock and Shenanigans at Rumors is basically a college party with an Irish theme. In addition to Irish music by Baltimore’s Shamrogues, there are green beads, beat-the-clock drink specials with those renowned Irish beers Coors Light and Blue Moon ($1.17 and $2.17 each from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.), and contests for “Best Irish Outfit” and “Best Irish Accent.” Let’s hope an Irish person wins the latter. Doors open at 11 a.m.; the cover charge starts at $5 and will increase throughout the day.

Saturday: Fifteen Clarendon bars are participating in the Shamrock Crawl, which offers food and drink specials from 2 to 9 p.m. Your $15 cover charge ($20 at the door) includes a refillable mug and access to Arlington Rooftop Bar and Grill, Spider Kelly’s, Bracket Room and Whitlow’s, among others.

Sunday-March 24: U Street Music Hall celebrates four years beneath U Street NW with nine nights of parties, beginning Sunday. Kicking off U Hall Anniversary Week: A set by a DJ duo, cryptically listed as >>>> >>>>, specializing in house; we trust electronic dance music fans won't want to miss it. Other highlights include a rager of a Moombahton Massive with Nadastrom and Sabo on Wednesday; a special Bliss dance party with U Hall co-founder Will Eastman on March 22; and a team of drum-and-bass DJs from London's renowned Hospital Records, headed by Danny Byrd, on March 23.  Set times and cover charges vary.

 Sunday:Halcyon,” the  second full-length album from Brit dance chanteuse Ellie Goulding, was released in fall 2012 but didn’t peak on the British charts until January, 65 weeks later. That long crawl to the top has been typical of her gradual but steady rise in the pop-music world.  Americans know the singer from her electro hit "Burn"'; expect that and more at the ravey Echostage, where the Goulding (whose much-parsed relationships include one with dubstep superstar Skrillex) performs Sunday.

Sunday: If you've already visited the Hirshhorn's exhibition "Damage Control: Art and Destruction Since 1950," you already know that it's the video and film works in the exhibition that are the stunners, in some cases exploring the then-newish medium of video art just as the world faced the scary realities of nuclear proliferation, land grabs and the Cold War.  Sunday brings a chance to see seven of multimedia works pulled together for "Damage Control" in a two-part screening in the museum's auditorium. The free screenings,  at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., include films by Doug Aitken, Ant Farm and Superflex.  See the full schedule here.

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Fritz Hahn · March 13, 2014

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