To Mom, With Art

By Lavanya Ramanathan
Thursday, May 8, 2008

We have a mother who for Mother's Day does not want brunch; she wants her daughter to marry -- anyone, and soon. Your mother would probably settle for, like, a card, or simply seeing your bright and shiny face this Sunday.

If Mom or Grandma is in the area, you could try taking her to Mother's Day Brunch at the National Museum of the Women in the Arts, where the the monthly brunch is extended for the occasion; it features eggs, omelets, French toast and waffles cooked to order and other brunch fare for $25. Or you can just eat somewhere else; admission to the museum's exhibitions, including "Paula Rego," is free this Sunday even for those who don't do brunch. (Admission is regularly $10 for adults.) Reservations remain for the 1:30 and 2 p.m. seatings. National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Ave. NW. Reservations required; call 202-628-1068.

Saturday and Sunday at Mount Vernon, the gardens are in bloom, and Mom can meet Martha Washington (okay, a reenactor), listen to live 18th-century-style music, play Colonial games and just hang out when the estate throws its Spring Garden Party. $13; seniors, $12; ages 6-11, $6; 5 and younger, free. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. today and tomorrow. Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy., south of Alexandria. 703-780-2000.

It's totally free to take your mom to see the avant-garde jewelry show at the Renwick Gallery. The show, " Ornament as Art ," with more than 300 items from the collection of former art dealer Helen Williams Drutt, features exactly the kind of jewelry she wouldn't wear, but it is awfully interesting: One necklace from silk and paint looks like a Pollock you can wear; another of wood has a monsterlike creature, complete with teeth, as its pendant. Free. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily through July 6. Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery, Pennsylvania Avenue and 17th Street NW. 202-633-2850.

Save the Date

FILM: Best of the 48-Hour Film Project The eighth edition of this D.C.-born event just wrapped production and the results are being screened at the AFI Silver Theatre this week. More than 100 teams were assigned characters, props and a line of dialogue to work into a film, no matter what genre they drew out of a hat -- and, oh yeah, they had 48 hours to film, edit and otherwise complete a mini-movie between four and seven minutes long. Now, you could sit through all of the movies, but those with short attention spans should hit the "Best of" screenings May 29 at the AFI. Those films are the ones that will go on to compete against the movies made in other cities. $9.75. May 29 at 7 and 9:30 p.m. AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring. 301-495-6720.

CONCERT: Virgin Festival This music fest is growing up, now going into year 3 and showing no signs of shrinking or going away. The two-day concert returns in August this year (it's Aug. 9-10) and continues to feature a diverse bill of well-established -- read: practically classic-rock -- acts (the Foo Fighters, Nine Inch Nails, Stone Temple Pilots) and bigger indie bands (Swell Season, Cat Power, Bloc Party, the Black Keys), along with dance and DJs (Underworld, Moby). And this year, there's even hip-hop from the likes of Kanye West and Lil Wayne. Tickets recently went on sale at $97.50 for each day; $175 for two-day admission; VIP passes are $250 and $450 (they include cocktails, chair massages, real bathrooms and lots of other luxuries that are not very rock-and-roll, people). Pimlico Race Course, 5201 Park Heights Ave., Baltimore. 202-397-7328. For a full schedule, visit

ON STAGE: Free-For-All Returns Every year for almost 20 years, the Shakespeare Theatre Company restages one of the season's productions outdoors, in a park, free of charge -- really, how Shakespeare should be experienced (with picnic basket in tow). And, well, that time is almost upon us. This year, the theater reprises last summer's "Hamlet," which featured actors in modern dress and a Hamlet who was as neurotic as he was lovely to look at. The shows begin May 22 in Rock Creek Park's Carter Barron Amphitheatre, and theatergoers have to get their tickets (up to four) the day of the show at The Washington Post, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Sidney Harman Hall, the Carter Barron box office or online at The play runs May 22-25 and May 27-June 1 at 7:30 each night. Carter Barron Amphitheatre, 4850 Colorado Ave. NW (16th Street and Colorado Avenue). For details about ticketing, visit

The District


ON STAGE: "Crumble (Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake)" We've heard good things about Catalyst Theater's dark, oddball comedy about a girl whose fantasies of J.T. help her cope with the death of her father, the increasing despondency of her mother and the slowly crumbling family apartment. Tonight and tomorrow, the 7:30 p.m. shows are pay-what-you-can at the door (the line starts about 7 p.m.), with proceeds benefiting Eastern Market rebuilding efforts. But seriously, tickets are regularly $10, so you can always afford to go another night instead. Various times through June 7. Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 Seventh St. SE. 800-494-8497.


THE SCENE: Artomatic You don't have to like the art. Frankly, with friends and drinks and performances nightly (including, yes, fire dancers Friday night), you barely even have to look at art to get something out of Artomatic, an unjuried show in which anyone with a few bucks and the dedication to take part in this home-rule event can hang their creations (more than 700 visual artists have signed up). This year, the five-week event is in NoMa, that nebulous Northeast Washington neighborhood around the New York Avenue Metro station and North Capitol Street. As usual, it's likely to be quite the scene. Free. Noon-2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, noon-10 p.m. Sundays and 5-10 p.m. Wednesdays-Thursdays through June 15. Capitol Plaza I, First and M streets NE. For a full schedule of events and details, visit

EXHIBIT: Washington National Cathedral, Illuminated Beginning tomorrow, the cathedral will mark its centennial year and its mission of encouraging reconciliation and peace by enlisting Swiss light artist Gerry Hofstetter to bathe the south and west sides of the cathedral in images of Earth, abstract sunbursts, people and other scenes for three nights. Have a picnic, hang out and check out the 15-plus images projected on the two sides as part of the project, called "Lighting to Unite: Lighting the Nation, Uniting the World." Free. Sunset to midnight each night. (A concert is set for 7 p.m. Saturday.) Washington National Cathedral, Wisconsin and Massachusetts avenues NW. 202-537-2934.

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