Set Your Mind to All This

By Lavanya Ramanathan
Saturday, February 23, 2008

This weekend is a big one in the local galleries scene, but the intellectually minded can partake of other events to stimulate the brain as well as the eyes.

Tomorrow at Busboys and Poets in the District, the venue's race-discussion series showcases Washington Theatre Group's performance of the well-regarded "Dirt," by Austrian playwright Robert Schneider. The piece is a monologue about an illegal immigrant, an Iraqi man who, broken by racism and xenophobia, sells roses on the street. Free. 4-6 p.m. Busboys and Poets, 2021 14th St. NW. 202-387-7638.

Have you noticed the burst of graffiti artists making their way indoors lately, right onto the walls of, say, the National Portrait Gallery? Wednesday, the Washington Project for the Arts will dissect the phenomenon in "From the Streets to the Gallery," a talk led by Marc and Sara Schiller, two New York curators who founded the Wooster Collective (a group promoting and celebrating the "ephemeral" arts -- you know, the here-today, painted-over-tomorrow work born of the streets). Free (but RSVP required). 6:30-8 p.m. American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW. RSVP by e-mailing or call 202-234-7103.

And next Thursday, David Berman, a cartoonist and the force behind country-tinged indie outfit the Silver Jews, visits the Corcoran for a talk about the late artist Jeremy Blake. Berman was the inspiration for Blake's "Sodium Fox," one of the completed video portraits in the Corcoran's exhibition "Wild Choir: Cinematic Portraits by Jeremy Blake." (Blake took his life last year, after the show had been planned.) Afterward, there's a reception and viewing of the show, which closes March 2. $20; members, $15. 7 p.m. 500 17th St. NW. 202-639-1774 or visit and search the calendar of events.

Save the Date

THE SCENE: "No Scrubs": For Us It's a Lifestyle, for Others a Dance Party Next Friday at Black Cat, DJs Will Eastman of Bliss and Brian Billion will spin the songs that some of us remember as the music of our misguided youth: Bell Biv DeVoe (the trio behind the regrettable "Do Me!"), TLC (the trio behind the empowering "No Scrubs"), Marky Mark ("Good Vibrations"), Oasis ("Supersonic," anyone?). Groan all you want, but dance, too; the party raises money for Project Create, an after-school arts program for at-risk children. $7 (all ages). 9:30 p.m.-2 a.m. 1811 14th St. 202-667-7960.

ON STAGE: August Wilson's 20th Century So, Phylicia Rashad and Charles S. Dutton have dropped out, but the tickets are still selling fast for the Kennedy Center's next big endeavor (scheduled to start soon): staged readings of all 10 plays in Wilson's cycle covering the decades of the 20th century, including "Gem of the Ocean" and "Jitney." Casts will have scripts in hand but wear full costumes, and the staging includes scenery. (Note: "Fences" and "Radio Golf" are already sold out.) March 4-April 6. $65 per performance. Kennedy Center Terrace Theater, 2700 F St. NW. 202-467-4600 or for a schedule, visit

CONCERT: East Village Opera Company Opera reinterpreted by rockers. It is what it sounds like: Over the top. Bombastic. Andrew Lloyd Webberesque. The East Village Opera Company is a five-piece band performing with a string quartet and two vocalists (if you're counting, that's 11), reinterpreting Verdi, Puccini and the like, this time with guitar solos. The band plays Lisner Auditorium on March 29. $20-$40; limited $15 GWU student tickets available. 8 p.m. 730 21st St. NW. 202-397-7328.

The District


ON STAGE: Dance of Love: The Pas de Deux The Washington Ballet pays tribute to love with its latest "7x7" showcase. Seven choreographers have created seven-minute works -- all pas de deux -- exploring aspects of love. $60. Today at 4 and 8 p.m., tomorrow at 1 and 5:30 p.m., various times through March 9. Washington Ballet England Studio Theater, 3515 Wisconsin Ave. NW. 202-397-7328.

ON STAGE: Remembering Japanese Internment The Smithsonian's Asian Pacific American program hosts its Annual Day of Remembrance today at the Freer Gallery of Art, and this time it features a reading of the new play by Ken Narasaki, "Innocent When You Dream." The Day of Remembrance marks the anniversary of the order forcing Japanese Americans into internment camps during World War II. Free. 3-5:30 p.m. Meyer Auditorium, Freer Gallery of Art, Jefferson Drive and 12th Street SW. 202-633-1000.


CONCERT: St. Vincent You might not have heard of the stunning mop-top Annie Clark, who performs under the name St. Vincent, but it's likely only a matter of time. A longtime guitarist for both the Polyphonic Spree and Sufjan Stevens, Clark adopts bits of both for a swirling, orchestral sound, only to cut through it all with a voice like glass. She performs at the Rock & Roll Hotel on Tuesday night. With Foreign Born. $12. Show at 8:30 p.m. 1353 H St. NE. 202-388-7625.


THE SCENE: Teller and Aaron Posner, Telling All About "Macbeth" On Wednesday, the magician Teller (half of the duo Penn & Teller) and Posner, his partner in the upcoming staging of "Macbeth" (it opens at the Folger next week) will talk about the role of magic in the production. If you haven't gotten tickets for the all-but-sold-out show (there are some obstructed-view seats and the like; call the box office for details), this is your chance to get in on some of the action. And if you are going to the see the buzzy play, it's an opportunity to learn what goes on behind the scenes. Note that the talk isn't at the theater but at the nearby Lutheran Church of the Reformation. $25. 6 p.m. 212 East Capitol St. NE. 202-544-7077.

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