Weekend Now

Weekend Staff
The Washington Post Weekend Section
Friday, May 12, 2006; 11:00 AM

The staff of Weekend , The Washington Post's weekly entertainment guide, covers what's happening in the Washington area. We'll field your questions on everything in the section from performances and new DVDs to weekend getaways and kids' activities. We write about all kinds of fun things to do and we're happy to talk to you about it.

The Weekend staff was online Friday, May 12, at 11 a.m. ET to take your questions and comments.

In this week's Weekend section, look for the "Summer Movie Guide" by Post film critic Ann Hornaday. Plus, interviews with Ice Cube (coming to the 9:30 club), who has his first album since 2000, and Edward Norton, star of "Down in the Valley," opening in theaters May 12. Also in Weekend, the week's top events, music reviews, new DVDs, video games and tips on exercising with baby.

Read about the staff of the Weekend section.

A transcript follows.


Curt Fields: Hello everyone and welcome to Weekend's weekly chat. If you were with us for the debut last week, welcome back. If not, where were you? I'm Curt Fields and I'll be your host for the morning. Also chatting today are Weekend editor Joyce Jones, Scott Vogel, Jenny Abella, Richard Harrington, Michael O'Sullivan, Ellen McCarthy, Eve Zibart, Christina Talcott, Twila Waddy.

We can chat about which upcoming summer movies will likely put the 'bust' in blockbuster and which ones are must-sees. Also, Ice Cube has returned to touring, Mamapalooza is at Jammin' Java, Edward Norton had a lot to say to us, and a host of other entertaining topics are in today's Weekend.

So jump in. Is there a movie that you can't wait to see? Let us hear from you.


Rockville, Md.: When is Shakespeare Free for All this year? What play are they doing?

Scott Vogel: Shakespeare Free for All -- one of the great annual free art events in town, I must say -- is happening from May 25 to June 4 this year, and as always is at the Carter Barron Amphitheatre. This year's play is "Pericles," which, if you're a Bard fan, you know is one of the more difficult plays to pull off in production. Nevertheless, when it was first mounted, in 2004, director Mary Zimmerman's "Pericles" received critical raves; I'd be surprised if that wasn't the case with this remounting. Here's a link link for more info.


Bethesda, Md.: I moved here about a year ago and I cannot believe how scant the visual arts coverage for art galleries in The Post is!

Weekend does a great job with the mini-reviews of movies and mini-reviews of theatres.

Why not have a section with mini-reviews of gallery shows as most other cities' major newspapers do (and not just the listings)?

Michael O'Sullivan: Check out today's Weekend section. You'll find two art reviews, both on the short side, of non-museum shows by area artists--one in a non-commercial gallery in Alexandria and the other in a commercial gallery in Bethesda. As for next week, I plan on reviewing exhibitions at two downtown DC commercial galleries. I try to keep the mix of what I write about varied and lively: big shows and small shows; museums, galleries and alternative spaces. I agree with the implication of this question, that there is a overabundance of stuff to choose from. But it's what makes the job--and, I think, the way we cover the art scene--interesting.


Washington, D.C.: I'm wondering if a decent nightclub exists that offers dancing and that is a smoke-free establishment? Is there such a place in D.C. --that you'd dare approach? I think Montgomery County is about as far as we'd go -- we're not looking for a preppy hangout or a pub (all that comes to mind when I think of Bethesda). We want to dance! And not a sketchy place, or one for teens either. And not the Irish jig -- or belly dancing -- or techno. We're looking for '80s, new wave, current music, or indie. Perhaps this is too tall of an order?

Ellen McCarthy: This question will be a lot easier to answer in about eight months when all of DC goes smoke free. But please don't wait that long for your night out...head to Clarendon Ballroom in Arlingon. It's totally nonsmoking and always a good time. They usually have bands on Thursday nights and dance music on Fridays (plus salsa on Mondays, if you prefer that to the jig). What else?

Eve Zibart: South Beach in Bethesda has a DJ on weekends, and I think a couple of others in the neighborhood do after dining hours....If you would be interested in trying swing dance sometime, check the schedule at the Glen Echo Ballroom; also watch for the swing dance schedules; there are often listings in Silver Spring and College Park. (Not the same, but might be fun for a change.)

Eve Zibart: remember, all MoCo is smoke free now, so anywhere with music will fit that bill...


West Falls Church, Va.: Howdy, podnas! I am having a barbecue party in the next few weeks but am considering having it catered, as I don't want to make a mess and/or subject my guests to possible food poisoning due to my limited barbecue knowledge. Question: what's the best barbecue in town and do they cater? Thanks!

Eve Zibart: It might depend on where you are and whether you mean actually "cooking" on site or just supplying you with ribs and meat and stuff. What are you actually looking for?


Washington, D.C.: So what's Ice Cube really like?

Richard Harrington: An intriguing character, to say the least. I've interviewed him in person several times (this go-round was by phone as he was on the road) and found him to be thoughtful, articulate and always thinking ahead. He's owned up to the controversial aspects of his work as a rapper without apologizing or repudiating them, contextualizing them from his experience. Like many rappers, there's more to Ice Cube than the obvious and you could see that from the beginning of his acting career in "Boyz N the Hood," where he went far beyond the cliches usually attached to such a role and showed the emotional and psychological turmoil of his character. I don't quite buy him as an action star--"XXX" was probably a lot more fun for Ice Cube than the viewer--but he's taped into a populist zeitgeist with the "Friday," "Barbershop" and "Are We There Yet?" films and the "Black.White." series on FX. In person, he's quite friendly though he's also got THE EYEBROW. Ice Cube's like the drama/comedy mask--all he has to do is furrow the brow to become quite ferocious, but he can also flip it to hilarious effect. Hey, he's a Gemini!


Potomac, Md.: Can we get more art reviews?

"On Exhibit" usually has one large or two joined reviews, but there are usually multiple movie and multiple theatre reviews ...

So can we have more art reviews in Weekend?

Style section now only does about 24 "Galleries" column a year ... so we're really starving for something to read about our local galleries!

Please ...

Joyce Jones: Michael O'Sullivan (who will most likely join me on this answer) does an exceptional job of covering a very large art scene. Since he began covering art for the section, Weekend has done more features on galleries than ever before. But speaking as the person who has to try to come up with a representative mix of all the entertainment options out there, I have to say that we try to divvy our space based on the popularity (and thus reader interest) in different topics. I listen to reader feedback, like what you're giving me now. And I also look at research into how people in this area spend their leisure time. Movies are a big draw and our coverage reflects that. We try to give both theater/dance and art exhibits a relatively equal shake though we structure the coverage differently. The mini art reviews idea is a good one, but our space constraints make it difficult to add a lengthy feature like that. Though week to week our section varies a little in size, over the course of a year it averages to a set amount of non-ad space each week. That's all we have to work with; we can't just go as big as we want. If that were the case, we would be twice as big each week.

Michael O'Sullivan: I know it can be frustrating. I have a list on my computer of somewhere between 100 and 200 art spaces (commercial galleries, nonprofits, alternative exhibition spaces, universities, embassies). That's not even counting the museums. And don't get me started on Baltimore, which has a very lively art scene, and whose boundaries with the DC art community are very porous. We try to distribute our coverage fairly, but given a limited amount of space--and the fact that I am, despite rumors, merely human--it's going to be impossible to make everyone happy.


Washington, D.C.: Does it bother Richard Harrington to sometimes not be in agreement with other movie critics about a film, i.e., Poseidon?

Richard Harrington: It does not bother Richard Harrington, partly because Richard Harrington seldom reviews movies any more but mostly because Washington Post film critics are pretty sharp and usually make a good case even when Richard Harrington might not be in agreement.


Silver Spring, Md.: Eve, heard you talking about the beach yesterday on WTWP, any new restaurants catch your eye (or tastebuds)while you were there?

Eve Zibart: Actually, there's a lot of changeover (and more coming--a half-dozen restaurants in Rehoboth are for sale or have already sold.) There's a new sushi bar on Rehoboth Avenue called Japonica with a long good-looking menu (that makes about four in town); and a local-ish bar called Fins with good oysters. Finbar, an Irish upscale pub next to Dogfish Head, has just opened; nice menu but untried. Summer House was bought by the Big Fish Grill folks and much upscaled (and prettied up.) Espuma's still great. Galaxy 66 is the one I mentioned in Ocean City, and the expanded Liquid Assets. The Chalkboard Cafe in Sea Colony (where the Big Easy used to be) got nice buzz. Sedona still fine. Hear nice things about a place just opening on 26 called the Oak Arbor, with a big wine list; but haven't eaten there yet. Jules in OC...enough to start?


Olney, Md.: What's up with Tom Hanks' hair in Da Vinci Code? And is Superman smelling like a disappointment?

Jenny Abella: Ah, the McVinci 'do. Does anyone know what's up with that phenomenon? Anyone? Here's hoping the movie will be better. "Superman" is directed by Bryan Singer, who directed the first two installments of the "X-Men" series (loved 'em!), so that's a promising sign.


West Falls Church, Va.: Thanks for your quick reply, Eve. I want to do absolutely no cooking for this barbecue event. I do not feel like I need to impress these people in any way.

Eve Zibart: Call around to Capital Q on the Hill, O'Brien's in Rockville, Old Glory in Georgetown, Rocklands (which has a branch in Clarendon)and the Urban BBQ people and get some quotes. I think any of those would be fine.


Afternoon Tea?: This is probably a question best answered by Eve ... my sister is coming into town this week and we have a tradition of going to afternoon tea: complete with scones and sandwiches. We were disappointed by the Mayflower and have done the Four Seasons in Georgetown. We need to keep it Metro-accessible and not bank-breaking if possible (around $20-25/person) Any suggestions?

Eve Zibart: Call the Hay-Adams or the Willard Hotel; think they're both into it these days. Also might try the Ritz-Carlton. And the Grand Hyatt used to, but I don't know whether they've begun again since the renovation.


Fairfax, Va.: With the kids out of school soon, what movies are coming out this summer to keep them entertained?

Twila Waddy: Hi. A good family movie that is out right now is "Akeelah and the Bee". If you are interested in animated movies "Over the Hedge" is out this month and "Cars" in June. If you have older kids the "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man' Chest'is out in July.


Silver Spring, Md.: Hello. I hear that the Hirshhorn Museum on the National Mall is having extended hours tonight. How late will the museum be open? Also, how often do they extend their hours. Thanks.

Michael O'Sullivan: The museum is open tonight for an after-hours event from 8 to 11. You can see the "Hiroshi Sugimoto" show, which is fantastic, before it closes Sunday, and preview a brand new installation by artist Jim Lambie featuring vinyl tape stuck to the museum's lobby floor. Lambie will also be deejaying, and there's a cash bar.

The museum does these after-hours every so often, but with no set schedule. Not too long ago, they stayed open all night for a special event.


Washington, D.C.: Sorry, I meant Stephen Hunter. Does it bother him when other critics like something and he doesn't and vice versa? Does he mind being in the minority?

Curt Fields: Well, we can't really speak for Hunter. But I suspect if he were around he'd say something along the lines of his reviews are his opinions and that he's merely telling readers what he personally thought of a movie.

As an editor I've found that most critics I've dealt with -- the good ones anyway -- don't care what other critics thought.


Barbecue: Oh, honestly, W. Falls Church! Red Hot and Blue is right down the street from you at Annandale and Hillwood. Check it out.

Eve Zibart: I'd still recommend the locals.


Arlington, Va.: Michael, I always find the gallery experience a little intimidating, as if they're looking at me with a "he's not really going to buy anything is he?" attitude. I like Torpedo Factory. Are there other places you suggest that don't mind someone wandering in just to look?

Michael O'Sullivan: I know what you mean, but in truth, almost none of the galleries mind people just coming in to look. If it still bothers you--and I know that look-for-the-checkbook-bulge you're talking about--try visiting the galleries during openings or artist talks, when there are lots of gawkers. The Galleries of Dupont Circle stay open late on the first Friday of every month, and other pockets of galleries (like ones in the Logan Circle neighborhood) also band together to have coordinated openings when you can see several shows in one night, and then maybe go out to dinner afterwards.


Washington, D.C.: I'm liking the lineup at Wolf Trap this summer but don't -- living in the city -- I have a car to get out there. Besides making friends drive, is there another way to get all the way out there?

Twila Waddy: Hi. You can take the Metro to the West Falls Church stop and then hop on the Wolf Trap Metro Shuttle Bus Express. More details can be found at this link


Southwest D.C.: Do you guys have a good idea for a cheap date this weekend? I mean a place to go, not a person!!

Ellen McCarthy: DC is a great town for cheap dates. There's something very fun about being at the Zoo as an adult, so if you haven't stopped by in a while, you should try that. Or you can hit of those 100 - 200 art spaces Michael mentioned. Tonight there's jazz in the sculpture garden of the National Gallery of Art. And you might think about spending a couple hours walking the very romantic gardens of the Franciscan Monastary in Brookland. And look for more summer date ideas from Weekend in a couple weeks....


Washington, D.C.: New in town and interested in getting out of town for some wine festivals. Is there a peak time for wine festivals or do they happen all summer? Can you suggest one I might go to?

Eve Zibart: There are festivals all summer of various sizes and all over the place. One of the largest is the two-day Washington Wine Expo at the Omni Shoreham, which will be June 24-25--the Post helps sponsor it--with 300 or so wineries. But there are smaller ones, and "regional" ones in Virginia and Maryland all the time. A little farther out, many of the resorts such as the Homestead and Nemacolin have food and wine festivals. And sometimes they're associated with other festivities, such as horse races. Both Maryland and Virginia have extensive winery associations with newsletters and email updates; if you surf a little I'm sure you can find all you want.


Bethesda, Md.: Is it just me or does Edward Norton seem kind of full of himself?

Michael O'Sullivan: He really doesn't come across that way in a lengthy conversation. I hear what you're saying, but he struck me as a very thoughtful and actually pretty self-deprecating guy. If we had more space to convey his deep ambivalence about celebrity activism, I think that would have come across better. And he does have almost two decades of experience working on the issue of affordable housing. It's not like he's just some Johnny-come-lately spokesmodel who just discovered the subject.


Washington, D.C.: A couple new to town and my husband and I are heading to Al Crostino for dinner Saturday night, and we want to introduce them to some good Jazz. Anything interesting on the Jazz Concert front in the U Street area this weekend?

Richard Harrington: Trombonist Reggie Watkins, currently musical director and arranger for Maynard Ferguson's Big Bop Nouveau (at Blues Alley through Sunday), will double dip at Twin's Jazz (1344 U St.,202-234-0072) Friday and Saturday nights. And over at Twins Lounge (5516 Colorado Ave.,202-882-2523) Ronnie Mathews, a veteran pianist who's played with Kenny Dorham, Max Roach, Freddie Hubbard, and Art Blakey,is doing a tribute to fellow pianist John Hicks. On Friday, Jaques "Saxman" Johnson (father of bassist Meshell NedgeOcello)is at the Bohemian Caverns (2001 11th St;202-299-0801), which on Saturday hosts the Young Lions trio, with Allyn Johnson on assorted keyboards.


Movies: Looking forward to the SilverDocs festival in June?

Also -- any idea on when Nick Cave's "The Proposition" is coming to D.C.?

Christine Talcott: I'm definitely looking forward to Silverdocs! This year it's June 13-18; they'll announce the complete lineup next week. What I know so far: Al Gore's the keynote speaker, which I'm betting will be a can't-miss. Martin Scorsese is scheduled to accept an award at the Charles Guggenheim Symposium, and there are showcases on global health and South Africa. Plus, crossword puzzlers will get a chance to see "Wordplay" before it opens in theaters June 23.

Oh, and "The Proposition" opens May 26.


Michael O'Sullivan: I wanted to add this short item that ran in Newsweek in late April on the subject of Tom Hanks' "Da Vinci Code" hair:


Nothing is going to stop the movie of "The Da Vinci Code" from being an unqualified success--except maybe Tom Hanks's terrible hairdo. Sounds silly, right? But Hollywood, like high school, is a silly place, and folks never pass up a chance to play their favorite parlor game: trying to put a dent in a rival movie's prospects by quietly trashing it. For "Da Vinci," they've zeroed in on the flowing mane of hair that Hanks, 49, chose for his role in Ron Howard's screen adaptation. "In Hollywood, it's not enough that I win. You have to lose," says one studio executive who didn't want be identified discussing a competitor's project. "People are really trying to sabotage each other. It's not a sport anymore. It's a science." (Of course, when asked about Hanks's hair, this source didn't blink: "I loathe it. It looks greasy.") Columbia, the studio releasing "Da Vinci," declined to comment, but in a NEWSWEEK interview last winter, Hanks was jocular on the subject:"Let's just say I got positive feedback from the chicks in Ron's office."


Twila Waddy: For the person who asked about movies, you can also check out the Weekend's section summer movie guide at this link for a complete list of films coming out.


Joyce Jones: Thought I'd chime in on the kids' movies coming out this summer. As a mom of twin 4-year-olds, I have high hopes for "Over the Hedge." It's about how these forest creatures react to suburban sprawl moving in on their territory (how topical for our area!). The creatures are voiced by Bruce Willis, Gary Shandling, Steve Carell, Wanda Sykes (see an interview with Wanda in next Friday's Weekend) and William Shatner. It opens Friday, May 19. Believe it or not, the preschool grapevine has our girls psyched about "Pirates of the Caribbean." They begged to see the first one and liked it. No nightmares. We just make it really clear to them that it's all make believe. I have to agree with their affinity for Johnny Depp. (They liked Willy Wonka too.)


Eve Zibart: PS about the Mall; the great "Hokusai" exhibit has a last chance viewing until 9 tonight at the Sackler.


Washington, D.C.: 100 to 200 art galleries and spaces? WOW!

I didn't know that there were that many!

That's more galleries than theatres!

I join the chorus and want to know why we can't have more reviews?

Or better still: HOW can we better find out about these galleries and what's showing where and who's showing. etc.??? Is there a site that lists all of them or discusses them?


Michael O'Sullivan: The Post's Web site does a very good job of listing galleries and museums. I don't know of any list, anywhere, that is encyclopedic--except the one in my address book.


Arlington, Va.: I hear the argument for less art reviews based on space but how does that jive when movies get reviewed by multiple critics during the same week? Movies are very popular but could you not publish just one review? Or make the second one very short and insert an art review?

I've frequently seen the same movie reviewed in Style and Weekend. Will one or the other not make due?

Lastly, are alternative dance/theater spaces really that more popular than art galleries/museums?

Joyce Jones: Starting last September, movies no longer get reviewed by multiple critics during the same week. We're living in a one-movie, one-critic world. If you see the same movie twice, it is usually a bigger movie and the review is by the same author, longer in Style, short in Weekend. Style reviews the movies they choose; Weekend reviews all movies that are opening, as we have for at least a decade.

I don't really know whether theater/dance spaces are more popular than galleries/museums. In my earlier answer I said that we try to give those two topics relatively equal treatment.


Crystal City, Va.: I just checked the National Gallery's Web site. Jazz in the Sculpture Garden doesn't start until May 26.

Ellen McCarthy: Oh geeze, thanks for catching that. Guess I'm just getting excited. So mark your calendars...


Alexandria, Va.: Is anyone else performing with Cube this weekend?

Richard Harrington: his Westside Connection partner WC, as well as Tha Dogg Pound and Clipse


Reston, Va.: Tarara Winery out near Leesburg has a lot of "festivals" planned all summer long and their wine is tasty too.

Eve Zibart: Yes, I think once you get the list of wineries, you can work your way around. But I assumed the question was about multi-wine tastings. Either way, it's fun; usually music at the single-vineyard fests.


Christine Talcott: Here's the's list of area galleries. I also found this site which has links to galleries' websites.


Michael O'Sullivan: Just to add to Joyce's suggestions for kid's movies: 4-year-old William Shatner fans should also like the actor in "The Wild" (now in theaters). He plays a wildebeest.


Arlington, Va.: I asked the earlier question about multiple critics reviewing the same movie. I apologize for not knowing about the new-ish policy. I cancelled my subscription because of the lack of art reviews and that my paper was stolen about 3 days a week sometime last summer.

Good thing there are plenty of art blogs in the area!

Thanks for the quick answer.

Joyce Jones: Sorry to hear about the paper thief. Hope you'll give us another chance.


Washington, D.C.: What are the people in Weekend doing this weekend?

Christine Talcott: I'm going out tonight with some friends, maybe for salsa dancing. Tomorrow I'm planning to catch the Dada exhibit at the National Gallery before going to Eastern Market. And Mom has requested a Mother's Day dinner of takeout Indian eaten in the backyard.

Twila Waddy: I plan on going to the Bethesda Fine Arts Festival this weekend. I went last year and it was great. There will be more than 130 artists there. More information can be found at this link on the event. It will happening both Saturday and Sunday.

Eve Zibart: Actually, since Mother's Day is the busiest day in the restaurant business, I'll be taking a busman's holiday and cooking for myself, sitting on the front porch and thinking peaceful thoughts. Happy Weekend, all!


Curt Fields: Well folks, we may not have completely solved the mysteries of BBQ or Tom Hanks' hairdo, but we had fun chatting with you. Come back next Friday at 11. And bring a friend! (Now there's a cheap date idea.)


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