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. 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.
‘Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992’ at Rep Stage at Howard Community College: Anna Deavere Smith has such a distinctive way of creating theater that it’s difficult to imagine the pieces without her. She calls her series of one-person shows “On the Road: A Search for American Character,” and typical of her process is “Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992,” based on the police beating of Rodney King and the subsequent trial and riots. Howard County’s Rep Stage is doing a one-woman version of the show with D.C. actress Danielle A. Drakes filling Smith’s shoes. 8 p.m. on Friday; times vary through March 17. $35-$40.
Saturday, March 2
Mardi Gras at the Wharf: If you can’t make it down to the Big Easy, head toward the Southwest Waterfront to get your fill of costumes, floats and live music for the D.C. edition of Fat Tuesday. The parade through the Wharf starts at 3 p.m. with entertainers including stilt walkers and the Baltimore-based roots ensemble Junkyard Saints. Throughout the day, various businesses on the strip will get in on the festivities such as Tiki TNT, which will be serving special Mardi Gras-themed menu offerings. The day is capped off with a fireworks display around 5:45 p.m. 2 to 6 p.m. Free.
Texas Independence Day at Wunder Garten: Attention all Texas expats: If you want to flaunt your state pride, your home away from home on Saturday will be this NoMa beer garden. This annual fundraiser by D.C.’s University of Texas alumni organization celebrates Texas’s independence from Mexico on March 2, 1836, and includes a fajita bar from recent Tex-Mex transplant to the District, Chuy’s, as well as beer courtesy of the beloved Texas brewery Shiner. There will also be additional Lone Star state grub from the anticipated Republic Cantina (a restaurant from the team behind perpetual pop-up Republic Kolache). 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. $10-$30.
‘Girls in Power’ opening reception at A Creative D.C.: Brookland: There’s a chance you’ve seen Tenbeete Solomon’s work around town without knowing it’s hers. Solomon’s work appears under the moniker Trap Bob, and has been seen in collaboration with the Women’s March, Broccoli City Festival and Trillectro. On Saturday night, she will debut her gallery of portraits of prominent women of color as part of a three-month residency she has at the Brookland studio and arts space. 5 to 8 p.m. Free.
‘The Heiress’ at Arena Stage: “The Heiress” is an acute social diagnosis that acts just a little like a potboiler as Henry James, in his 1880 novel “Washington Square” (the basis of the play, and of the 1949 movie), dissected class and gender tensions in mid-19th century Manhattan. Those tensions may resonate more clearly now than they have for decades. Without a whisper of underlining or updating, the dynamics that define the constrained young woman’s dilemma look terribly familiar. The plot is direct: Is the awkward heiress Catherine Sloper genuinely loved by the elegant but poor suitor Morris Townsend? The characters are so deep, and the conflict is so actable, that the part of Catherine earned Olivia de Havilland a 1950 Oscar and Cherry Jones a 1995 Tony Award. 2 and 8 p.m.; times vary through March 10. Prices vary; $105 on Saturday.
‘Richard the Third’ at Sidney Harman Hall: The morgue-set “Richard the Third” at the Shakespeare Theatre Company makes no bones about how violent it’s going to be. Note the drain in the floor: By intermission, stagehands will be hosing away the blood and effluvia. Is this underworld horror show the social reflection that 2019 Washington deserves, via Shakespeare’s tragedy of amoral power run amok? Director David Muse pushes his vision to the wall, filling Sidney Harman Hall with thundering doom rock that echoes up and down Debra Booth’s epic tile and concrete morgue, a structure expertly detailed and streaked with rust and stains. So where can the performance go? Not nearly as far as that slap-in-the-face atmosphere, and for a drama as long and labyrinthine as “Richard the Third,” that’s a problem. 2 and 8 p.m.; times vary through March 10. $64-$125.
Sunday, March 3
D.C. United home opener at Audi Field: Despite a heartbreaking penalty shootout elimination in last year’s Major League Soccer playoffs, D.C. United fans are dreaming big in 2019. English star Wayne Rooney arrived midway through last season, just weeks before Audi Field opened. What could a full season of both be like, especially with key midfielder Luciano Acosta staying at Buzzard Point? The team gets a tough test on opening night, facing MLS Cup champions Atlanta United. Get to the stadium early for rooftop beers and to soak up the atmosphere. 6 p.m. $39-$195.
‘Cyrano de Bergerac’ at Synetic Theater: Vato Tsikurishvili directs this irresistibly droll and poignant production, which uses Nathan Weinberger’s adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s play. The latest in Synetic’s series of wordless adaptations of literary classics, the show frolics in jewel tones, with movement, dance, ingenious prop use and piquant stage business teasing out the story. When the original lead actor left the cast shortly before opening, director Tsikurishvili took over the title role. He has risen to the challenge: His expressive, sharply defined, funny yet woebegone Cyrano fits so seamlessly into the action, you’d never know he was a substitute actor. 2 p.m.; times vary through March 10. $15-$50.
Jacquees at the Fillmore Silver Spring: The 24-year-old singer’s debut album, “4275,” is saturated with contributions from his formative influences, including Jermaine Dupri, Donell Jones and other notable names who dominated ’90s R&B and hip-hop. “B.E.D.” is the apex of how he blends his signature motifs with more familiar stylings — the song takes the bridge from Avant’s 2003 song “Read Your Mind” and transforms into a sultry slow jam with the help of Jacquees’s velvety-smooth vocals. 8 p.m. $29.50.
Citizen Cope at the 9:30 Club: There are two things that every rock star should avoid: helicopters and heroin. This is the advice that Citizen Cope received from Carlos Santana and that inspired the title of his new album, “Helicopters and Heroin,” his first release in seven years. After taking a hiatus from music, Citizen Cope has emerged an older, wiser songwriter who surveys his surroundings more intently and critically. On the album’s rollicking fourth song, “The River,” Citizen Cope grapples with society’s lack of empathy for those in need. He elaborates on this more aggressively in “Hours on End,” a moodier ballad conveying a universal sense of discontent and unrest among Americans in a time of political turmoil. 7 p.m. Sold out.
— Hau Chu, Adele Chapin, Michael Gaynor, Fritz Hahn, Geoffrey Himes, Nelson Pressley, Stephanie Williams and Celia Wren