Monday, Feb. 25
Snail of Approval awards party at Urbana Dining & Drinks: It’s easy to sing the praises of Washington’s food scene, so here’s a chance to toast some new standbys and reliable staples. The Slow Food DC organization highlights restaurants that not only serve tasty food but also commit to environmentally friendly and affordable eats. This year’s recipients of the “Snail of Approval” award include the veggie-minded Chaia Tacos, a favorite of Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema. A ticket to the festivities gets you an hour of open bar time and a specialty cocktail courtesy of another 2019 honoree, Ivy City’s One Eight Distilling. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. $40-$45.
Tuesday, Feb. 26
‘Zilia Sánchez: Soy Isla (I Am an Island)’ at the Phillips Collection: The show, which includes about 65 works, follows Cuban-born artist Zilia Sánchez from her idyllic childhood in Cuba to a brief sojourn in New York, and, finally, her establishment as an influential artist in Puerto Rico. Sánchez, who was born in 1926, learned to paint beside her father, who painted as a hobby. She later attended Havana’s premier art school and got good marks, though she chafed under the rigid instruction typical of the time. “If I go to class and see it’s about drawing an apple . . . I go home and eat the apple and paint a picture of what I want,” she says in a short film that accompanies the exhibit. Through May 19. Free-$12.
William Basinski at U Street Music Hall: On his forthcoming release “On Time Out of Time,” composer William Basinski samples the sound of two black holes colliding, creating more energy than all the stars in the universe and a rift in space-time. The collision was 1.3 billion years ago, but Basinski’s connection to the stars goes back to his childhood. His father was a mathematician and engineer who worked on the early space program for General Electric. Basinski remembers being at a Houston church as a young boy when his father whispered to him to touch the man in front of him. When he refused, the elder Basinski took young William’s hand and poked the man in the butt. That man was Neil Armstrong, and, as Basinski jokes, “I planted my flag.” 7:30 p.m. $20-$25.
‘Finding Neverland’ at the National Theatre: A bit of pixie dust will blow into National Theatre when the traveling version of Broadway’s “Finding Neverland” begins its run in Washington. Based on the 2004 film of the same name, this is a “Behind the Music”-style story of Peter Pan, imagining how writer J.M. Barrie dreamed up the classic tale, based on his relationship with a widow and her four rambunctious boys. A shaggy dog and a version of Captain Hook make their way into “Finding Neverland,” naturally. Through March 3. $54-$114, subject to change.
‘Vanity Fair’ at the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Lansburgh Theatre: It says something about Kate Hamill’s sensibility that her current stage adaptation of William Thackeray’s sprawling 19th-century satire “Vanity Fair” was partly inspired by bad audience behavior as she watched a production of “Hamlet.” Hamill has slightly tweaked her script for the “Vanity Fair” production that starts Tuesday at the Shakespeare Theatre Company, with new director Jessica Stone and a fresh cast of merely seven. Through March 31. $44-$125.
Wednesday, Feb. 27
‘Shaft’ at the National Gallery of Art: If you missed the excellent exhibition of the printed works of photographer Gordon Parks at the National Gallery of Art, there’s still a chance to catch a couple of his iconic films in the East Building auditorium. His most widely seen work was 1971’s “Shaft,” which centered on the private detective John Shaft and influenced an entire genre of blaxploitation films that followed its release. 12:30 p.m. Free.
Thursday, Feb. 28
Champion Sound Band at the Kennedy Center: Music sometimes ends up radiating the essence of the room in which it was made — and that certainly appears to be the case with Champion Sound Band, a sensitive soul-jazz sextet that rehearses every Monday night in a warm, tastefully lit cubby hole of a basement in Petworth. “But really, it’s our relationships with each other that makes it so intimate,” says vocalist Anastasia Antoinette. “We don’t just like each other. We love each other.” 6 p.m. Free.
Mundy at Dangerously Delicious Pies: The band Mundy describes its act as “space-glam punk with a new-wave soul.” Appropriately, the D.C. band cites Cyndi Lauper, David Bowie and Prince among its influences — artists with whom frontperson Mundy Spears shares a flair for the dramatic. Spears’s powerful and supple voice soars above palm-muted riffs, synthesizer squeals and straight-ahead beats, on songs about everything from deflecting shade thrown their way to androgynous androids of the near-future. Catch the band’s well-regarded, high-energy live show at Dangerously Delicious Pies’ upstairs music venue, which has quickly become a must-visit for D.C. concertgoers. 7 p.m. $10.
Des Demonas at Comet Ping Pong: Jazz genius Cecil Taylor once described the piano as “an 88-key drum.” Bang on it and melody comes out. Maybe that explains the tuneful womp of Des Demonas, a quintet of D.C. punk heavies, three of whom approach their responsibilities like drummers. The band’s superb self-titled album, released in 2017, feels brawny and stylish across a variety of rhythms, all of which grow out of the quintet’s democratic brain-sync. 9 p.m. $12.
Friday, March 1
Women’s Month at Anxo: In honor of Women’s History Month, local ciderhouse Anxo is celebrating the women of cider, beer and spirits. All month long, the Truxton Circle bar is pouring products that are made or owned by women, including two that fall close to home: Anxo’s female staff members collaborated on a cider with Vermont’s Eden Cider and a Brut IPA with Silver Spring’s Denizens Brewing. (Both Eden and Denizens were co-founded by women.) Through March 31. Prices and times vary.
Cole Escola at the 9:30 Club: Comedian Cole Escola has a lot of wigs. “I have maybe 30 or 35 — they live in doughnut boxes because they’re the right size,” he says. Escola has deployed a hefty portion of those wigs for his one-man show, “Help! I’m Stuck!,” which comes to the 9:30 Club on March 1. He’s a master of the quirky character, donning those hairpieces to portray such creations as Jessup Collins, an extremely tanned “lifestyle guru” sendup; Rep. Elaine Grayson, a distracted politician attempting to cover up a scheduling error and the Goblin Commuter of Hoboken, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. 6 p.m. $20.
Francophonie Festival at various locations: Spend March doing things en français during the annual Francophonie Cultural Festival, which began in 2001 and celebrates the culture of French speakers across the globe. Each year, more than 40 embassies and partners collaborate on this month-long series of events across Washington. In the past, the festival’s calendar has included French poetry readings, museum tours in French, screenings of films from such countries as Morocco and Switzerland, all culminating with a grande fête with music and food. Through March 31.
— Adele Chapin, Hau Chu, Sadie Dingfelder, Michael Gaynor, Fritz Hahn, Chris Kelly and Chris Richards