The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

12 things to do in the D.C. area this weekend

Winter Restaurant Week season starts in the District on Friday with Montgomery County. El Sapo in Silver Spring serves Cuban fare such as rabo encendio, a braised oxtail dish. (Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post). (Deb Lindsey /For The Washington Post)

Friday, Jan. 11

Winter Restaurant Week at various Montgomery County locations: It is tempting to eat somewhere new in January, since eateries across the region are offering affordable prix-fixe menus as part of themed restaurant weeks. First up is Bethesda Magazine’s winter Restaurant Week, in which participating Montgomery County restaurants, including El Sapo in Silver Spring, will choose the number of courses offered and the corresponding price point. Through Jan. 20. Prices vary by restaurant.

[This Cuban chef knows how to get the party started]

Bowie Ball at U Street Music Hall: Three years after David Bowie’s death, fans around the world still love and celebrate the career of the brilliant and chameleon-like singer. DJ Heaven Malone, who created an event called the Bowie Ball to coincide with a Bowie exhibit at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art in 2014, is bringing the festivities to Washington in honor of Bowie’s 72nd birthday. Expect music spanning all eras of Bowie’s discography, in the form of DJ sets by Malone and Simon Pattee, and a performance by Max Goldstein of Yoko and the Oh No’s. Dress to impress: The entertainment includes a Bowie costume contest and a “glitter and glam” makeup booth for Aladdin Sane-inspired face paint. 9 p.m. $8-$10.

Brain Rapp at Songbyrd: Back in the summertime, Brain Rapp was feeling a little twitchy about turning 30 — especially because he raps. “I think aging in hip-hop is scarier,” the Maryland native says, his hair and beard flowing down past his shoulders like a young Father Time. “It happens twice as fast.” So in an attempt to slow his worries, he did what so many poets and environmental science majors before him have done: He started looking at the world from the perspective of a plant. He’s channeling this new perspective into a six-song salve against millennial anxiety titled “Bloom” — and when the recording finally lands in March, you should be able to hear the years that Brain has clocked on the local open-mic circuit, honing his flows. 8 p.m. $10-$15.

[Brain Rapp is growing up and going green]

Chuck Brown Band at City Winery: Chuck Brown died in 2012, but the Godfather of Go-Go’s memory lives on throughout the District in murals, a street name, a park and the air pumped out by car stereos. Yet the true flame of Chuck Brown and his music is kept burning by the Chuck Brown Band, led by Frank “Scooby” Sirius. The so-called Godson of Go-Go and company are the best way for Washingtonians to experience go-go the way it is meant to be — live, in concert — and where better to do that than at City Winery, an upscale venue born out of the ashes of dearly departed super-club Love. 8 p.m. $30.

“American Moor” at Anacostia Playhouse: Keith Hamilton Cobb is a tall African American actor. He gets asked two questions over and over again. Does he play basketball? And has he done “Othello” yet? Cobb doesn’t play hoops, and he hasn’t done a full production of the Shakespeare play. But he’s so passionate about the show that he has turned down casting offers that didn’t include enough rehearsal time to do justice to the drama. He has even written his own play about all the issues a black actor must wrestle with when auditioning to play the title character. That play, “American Moor,” had a brief summer run at the Anacostia Playhouse in 2015, and it returns there Friday after successful runs in Boston and at the Globe Theatre (in London) in a drastically revised version for a three-and-a-half-week stay. Through Feb. 3. $30-$40.

[One actor takes on the hazards of ‘Othello’ in his play, ‘American Moor’]

Saturday, Jan. 12

NSO in Your Neighborhood at various locations: For too many people, classical music has been experienced only when they’ve dressed up and attended an expensive performance in a concert hall. The NSO in Your Neighborhood series brings members of the National Symphony Orchestra outside the confines of the Kennedy Center for a week of performances throughout Shaw and Columbia Heights. While the concerts began earlier in the week, Saturday marks the biggest day of programming. You have a few chances to catch an afternoon performance, at venues ranging from the sanctuary at St. Stephen & the Incarnation Episcopal Church to the Wonderland Ballroom, where you can have a beer while listening to chamber music. The night ends with a full orchestral performance at the Lincoln Theatre. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Free.

Contemporary Viewpoints Festival at Dance Place: Choreographers from across Washington are on the bill during Dance Place’s new festival, which will feature four modern dance performances. Each is designed to push the boundaries of the art form. For example: Two dancers dressed in sparkling crimson tassels will become one in Britta Joy Peterson’s 20-minute duet “Vinegar Spirit,” while PrioreDance presents a world of jesters and misfits in “Cirque de Nuit.” 8 p.m. on Saturday and 4 p.m. on Sunday. $15-$30.

Nerd Nite DC at DC9: On the second Saturday of the month, the Shaw bar and concert space hosts a night where volunteers go way too in-depth on a subject of their choice. Nerd Nite DC has been a fun refuge for D.C. residents, especially those who find themselves easily caught in Wikipedia wormholes. This month’s trio of PowerPoint presentations includes talks on novelty acts in reality TV and a NASA employee presenting about “Cosmic Death Lasers.” 6:30 p.m. $10.

[Rachel Pendergrass, host of Nerd Nite DC, shares her favorite spots]

One Eight Distilling Fourth Anniversary Party at One Eight Distilling: One Eight, best known for its “District Made” spirit line, marks four years in Ivy City with DJs, free snacks and cocktails, and the release of a brand new whiskey. The latter, which is number 14 in the distillery’s irregular small-batch “Untitled” series, is a six-year-old wheated bourbon aged for a year in Bordeaux-style red wine barrels from Virginia’s acclaimed RdV Vineyards. The day includes free whoopie pies for the first 75 guests, free bottle engraving, food trucks, DJs Hydra & Elliott Ness, and an 8 p.m. toast with a free cocktail. 1 p.m. to midnight. Free.

Paint, Build, Create at Fairlington Community Center: This annual kid-oriented event tries to get the little ones engaged with science, technology, art, engineering and math activities. There will be a construction play lab and demonstrations covering toys as simple as a cup-and-string telephone, as well as slime and kaleidoscope-making stations. If you need a quick snack break, food trucks will be parked outside. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free.

Sunday, Jan. 13

Yoga and museum tour at the National Building Museum: Bummed about not being able to check out the Smithsonian museums during the shutdown? Find your inner peace at the National Building Museum, one of the museums still open in the District. Bring your mat for an all-levels yoga class situated right in the main hall, and stand tall and steady like a tree alongside the 75-foot-tall Corinthian columns. After the class, tickets include a private guided tour of the museum before it opens to the public. This is one of the last chances to see the exhibition on community policing in Washington after the 1968 riots, which closes Tuesday. 10 a.m. $20.

New Year’s Eve repeat at Baba: If you weren’t ready to end the holiday festivities, Baba has you covered. The Orthodox New Year takes place on Monday, so ring in the Julian calendar’s new year at the cozy Serbian bar beneath Clarendon’s Ambar. Tickets for the fixed-dinner menu are sold out, but a general admission ticket still gets you access to the bar area and a glass of mulled wine or rakia (a popular Balkan fruit brandy). There will also be a live band playing traditional music on the tamburica — a family of instruments similar to a lute. 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. $20; food and drink priced individually.

[At Baba, next-gen cocktails and lots of personality]

— Hau Chu, Adele Chapin, Fritz Hahn, Geoffrey Himes, Chris Kelly and Chris Richards