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The best things to do in the D.C. area the week of May 12-18

Catch the return of a popular drive-in movie series and the European Union Open House

Heng Nhoung and Katherine Han at the Union Market Drive-In, pictured in 2019. The series returns Friday night with a showing of “Space Jam.” (Marlena Sloss/The Washington Post)
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Thursday, May 12

JxJ Festival at various locations: This annual D.C. festival showcases Jewish culture through films, musical performances and chats with artists. The marquee opening event is a showing of “Rose,” a 2021 French film about a devoted wife who must begin life anew as a widow, at Edlavitch DCJCC. Other highlights of JxJ — which runs until May 22 — include Ethiopian funk from Gili Yalo Duo (May 18) and a concert from Eleanor Reissa with Paul Shapiro’s Ribs & Brisket, who will play music from the series “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (May 21). Various times through May 22. $30-$225.

Haus of Bambi’s “Pantheon” and Blaus at Capo Deli: D.C. is generally a drag-friendly city, with drag brunches dotting weekend calendars in addition to the typical club performances throughout the week. Haus of Bambi, a collection of drag performers, has teamed up with Dance Place to take over the not-so-secret bar behind the counter at Shaw’s Capo Deli. The “Pantheon” performance will celebrate the ceremony and ritual of the long-standing LGBTQ tradition. If you don’t want the night to end, you can keep it going at the speakeasy starting at 9 p.m. with a dance party with tunes from DJs including Lemz. 8 p.m. $10-$15 (for both performance and dance party).

Friday, May 13

Reserve tickets for Jazz in the Garden: The National Gallery of Art’s Jazz in the Garden concert series was canceled in 2020 and held only one of its scheduled concerts in 2021. But it is making its big comeback in the museum’s Sculpture Garden on May 20 and will run on Friday evenings through July 22. However, if you’ve spent years kicking back around the fountain with friends and a pitcher of sangria, you should be aware that attending a concert will be slightly different than in the pre-pandemic years. For example, if you want to see jazz violinist Nataly Merezhuk on opening night, you should get online before noon May 13 to reserve tickets. Noon. Free.

Six things to know about Jazz in the Garden, which returns May 20

Union Market Drive-In: Pop-up drive-in theaters became a phenomenon during the pandemic, offering a socially distanced alternative to watching movies on your couch. Union Market has been offering a modern-day drive-in since 2013, letting customers watch from cars in its parking lot or the patio area outside the northeast food hall. This year’s series, held on the second Friday of the month from May to October, is heavy on nostalgic favorites, beginning with “Space Jam” on Friday. There are 175 parking spaces available for each screening; tickets are not required for those who bring lawn chairs or blankets and sit outside the market. 7:30 p.m., then the second Friday of the month through Oct. 1. $20 per car; free for pedestrians.

“Inland Empire” at AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center: It’s probably not super helpful to try to explain what “Inland Empire” is about. The 2006 film from director David Lynch works in dream logic — there are literal talking rabbits in what seems like a sitcom, an unsettling stranger who speaks in parables and an exquisite performance from Laura Dern. Oh, and it’s three hours long. The movie has become something of a forgotten masterpiece for film buffs since it had a limited run in theaters and is hard to find on physical media. But for one week, AFI Silver will screen a new restoration of the 76-year-old director’s last movie to date. Proof of vaccination or negative coronavirus test required for admittance. Showtimes vary through May 12. $10-$13.

Hologram at Slash Run: One reason Hologram’s “No Longer Human” feels like the most visceral hardcore album to drop from these dark pandemic skies: It reminds us that time ticks differently inside the privacy of our skulls. This is profoundly lonely, hyper-percussive hardcore punk delivered at varying neural speeds, all of it composed and performed by one brain — D.C. vocalist-guitarist-bassist-drummer Brendan Reichhardt, formerly of Kombat and Closet Christ, among other groups — in what ultimately amounts to “my worst feelings manifested,” Reichhardt says. “I’m not trying to convey anything; I just have to get it out. ‘I have to yell about this right now.’ … It all feels very nebulous to me, so I just let it happen.” 9 p.m. $12.

Hologram is mapping out a new hardcore head space

Lingua Ignota at Capital Turnaround: It can be hard to trace where exactly Lingua Ignota summons her fiery incantations from. Kristin Hayter has been making music under the moniker for five years, and you could point to her Catholic upbringing to explain the elaborate baroque organ roars that underpin her metal-inflected howls. On her latest album, fittingly titled “Sinner Get Ready,” you can hear Appalachian string instruments join the choir of atmospheric doom. And when you hear Hayter belt out tender yet intense pleas for some sort of deliverance, you begin to understand that she’s digging deep into the pit of her soul to conjure what she calls “survivor anthems” — from Hayter’s own experience as a domestic violence survivor. It’s then that these songs take shape for what they are to Hayter: salvation. 8 p.m. $29.50.

Lobby Boy at the Pocket: Harrisonburg, Va., is mostly known as the home of James Madison University — and the half-remembered parties from students on that campus. But since 1996, the mountainous college town has fostered an independent music community through the school’s radio station and its festival, Macrock. One of the latest and finest bands to emerge from that scene is Lobby Boy. The pop quintet released its debut album, “Pretty Songs/Pursuits of Personhood,” in April. It’s easy to see why Lobby Boy has caught on since the album is chock full of satisfyingly bright, danceable and funky tunes propelled by synths and a dreamy mosaic of modulated voices. 8 p.m. $15. Proof of vaccination required for admittance.

4 concerts to catch in the D.C. area over the next several days

Saturday, May 14

European Union Open House at various locations: The European Union’s Open House, which launched in 2007, is the older of the two embassy days in D.C. It operates much the same as last week’s Around the World, only with a tighter geographic focus. Each country plays to its cultural strengths: Croatia offers tastes of its wine and talks up its scenic role in “Game of Thrones”; Hungary has a meet-and-greet with vizsla dogs; Finland, ranked as the world’s happiest country, promises to show “the building blocks of a happy, ordinary day in Finland” through nature, food and music. Lines are often longest at France and Germany’s joint celebration, held this year at the German Embassy on Reservoir Road NW, but with the always-popular British Embassy no longer participating, it will be interesting to see which countries attract the most visitors. The smart money is on Ireland, which is opening the ambassador’s residence for tours for the first time, or Sweden, with its rooftop deck on the Georgetown waterfront and exhibits covering women’s economic empowerment and art by Indigenous people. Note: Masks are required inside the embassies. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free.

Embassy tours, Jazz in the Garden and other May highlights are back

Maryland Craft Beer Festival at Carroll Creek Linear Park: The easiest way to explore Maryland’s craft beer scene without putting thousands of miles on your car, the Maryland Craft Beer Festival brings more than 60 breweries together for an afternoon on the banks of Carroll Creek in downtown Frederick. While big names like Union, Denizens and Flying Dog are all pouring, the reason to go is to sample breweries you don’t see everywhere, such as Sapwood Cellars and Nepenthe. Beyond beer, the day features music on multiple stages, a fleet of food trucks and a vendor market. VIP tickets add early entry for 90 minutes of extra drinking time. Noon to 5 p.m. $45-$65; $15 designated drivers; kids 12 and younger enter free.

New Japan Pro-Wrestling Capital Collision at Entertainment and Sports Arena: Founded 50 years ago by wrestling legend Antonio Inoki, New Japan Pro-Wrestling had a resurgence more than a decade ago and became one of the world’s leading promotions. As opposed to the “sports entertainment” style of professional wrestling presented by industry powerhouse WWE, NJPW showcases “strong style,” a mix of technical grappling, submission holds and martial arts strikes that is presented more like a sport. 7 p.m. $35-$45.

Jay White steps up as New Japan Pro-Wrestling looks to expand

“Carmen” at the Kennedy Center: Mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard’s career highlights include winning multiple Grammys and appearing on such stages as the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden and the Vienna State Opera. She’ll mark a first at the Kennedy Center when she makes her debut in the role of Carmen during the Washington National Opera’s production of Georges Bizet’s masterpiece. This tragic and fiery love story is directed by Francesca Zambello and conducted by Evan Rogister, with Michael Fabiano as Don José. Note: As of Sunday, the Kennedy Center will no longer require proof of vaccination. Masks will still be required during performances. Through May 28. $25-$299.

Sunday, May 15

Books in Bloom at Color Burst Park: For six years, this book festival in Columbia, Md., has delivered a well-curated lineup of authors and writers in an intimate outdoor setting. Talks will take place across three stages this year and feature former Post journalist Carl Bernstein (“Chasing History: A Kid In The Newsroom”), Post contributing opinion columnist John Paul Brammer (“¡Hola Papi!”) and Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md.). 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free.

Go Go Artists United at City Winery: There’s never a bad excuse to get a go-go showcase started, but it’s rare these days to get to see a handful of legendary bands under one roof. Go-go groups including Backyard Band and the Chuck Brown Band (with “special guests to be announced”) will be keeping people moving and spirits up during this benefit concert for Malachai Johns, a concert promoter and staple of the go-go community, to help with his cancer treatment. 8 p.m. $35.

Asian Festival on Main in Old Town Fairfax City: May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and you can head to Old Town Fairfax City for a street festival celebrating the cultures under that large umbrella. There will be your typical array of food vendors and trucks alongside activities for kids including origami lessons as well as the live painting of a mural from the artist Henley. Noon to 6 p.m. Free.

“Don Carlo” at the Music Center at Strathmore: Maryland Lyric Opera will present two performances of Verdi’s doomed-in-any-language (but here served in Italian) “Don Carlo.” Louis Salemno will lead the MDLO Orchestra and Chorus in a concert staging with enhanced visuals. A strong cast features tenor Arturo Chacón-Cruz in the lead role, soprano Elaine Alvarez singing Elisabetta, basso profondo Andrea Silvestrelli as King Filippo, bass-baritone Mark Delavan as Rodrigo, mezzo-soprano Catherine Martin as Princess Eboli and bass Kenneth Kellogg as the Grand Inquisitor. 2 p.m.; also May 13 at 7:30 p.m. $10-$150.

A late-spring harvest of classical concerts; or, 10 preludes to summer

Monday, May 16

Ethan Iverson with the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra at Atlas Performing Arts Center: Pianist Ethan Iverson has been at the vanguard of jazz for more than two decades. Iverson’s work in the Bad Plus as well as with other collaborators, including saxophonist Mark Turner, have made the 49-year-old musician worth following every step of the way. On Monday, he’ll be performing his dedication to a legendary artist, “Bud Powell in the 21st Century,” which was commissioned by the famed Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy, and adding a local touch by playing it alongside D.C.'s Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra. 8 p.m. $15-$25.

Tuesday, May 17

“John Proctor Is the Villain” at Studio Theatre: There are many ways to adapt an old play for a new era. You can restage Shakespeare’s “Richard III,” for example, in Mussolini’s Rome or Nixon’s Washington. You can rewrite an 18th-century script in modern dialogue, as Theater J recently did with “Nathan the Wise.” Or you can do what Kimberly Belflower is doing with the professional premiere of her play “John Proctor Is the Villain,” now at the Studio Theatre: You can reconsider Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” by imagining a 2018 high school class discussing the 1953 play. Through June 12. $50-$95.

Studio Theatre’s ‘John Proctor Is the Villain’ rethinks ‘The Crucible’

Kwame Onwuachi book reading at Sixth & I: Nigerian jollof, jambalaya, baby back ribs and red velvet cake are among the more than 125 recipes in James Beard Award-winning chef Kwame Onwuachi’s cookbook, “My America: Recipes From a Young Black Chef.” Onwuachi will talk about his new release during an in-person appearance at Sixth & I, chatting about his family’s history with food, his travels and his career (Onwuachi cooked at such D.C. restaurants as the now-closed Kith and Kin and appeared as a contestant and judge on Bravo’s reality competition “Top Chef”). Proof of vaccination required for admittance. 7 p.m. $12 for a virtual ticket, $18 for an in-person ticket and $42 for either a live or a virtual ticket with a signed cookbook.

Wednesday, May 18

“There’s Always the Hudson” at Woolly Mammoth Theatre: Paola Lázaro appreciates a good revenge fantasy as much as anyone. Who hasn’t been wronged, asks the playwright, or felt the catharsis when someone on the screen or stage exacts triumphant revenge? But that’s not what Lázaro wanted to do with her latest play, the revenge-themed “There’s Always the Hudson,” having its world premiere at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. The show isn’t a revenge fantasy; it’s revenge reality. The two protagonists, Lola and Toussaint (known as T), are friends from a sexual-abuse survivors’ support group, but they are so despairing that they agree to jump off the George Washington Bridge at 4:30 the next morning. Before they make the leap, though, they’re going to confront everyone who’s ever done them wrong. This sounds like the perfect setup for a revenge fantasy. What follows is anything but. Through June 5. $29-$64.

In Paola Lázaro’s new play, revenge isn’t so sweet

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