The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

The best things to do in the D.C. area the week of Aug. 11-17

The Lake Anne Cardboard Boat Regatta, held in Reston on Saturday, requires competitors to build a full-size, person-powered boat from cardboard, papier-mâché, duct tape and glue before racing on the water. (Charlotte Geary)

Thursday, Aug. 11

Ted Leo, the Owners and Koshari at Fort Reno: Fort Reno’s four-week outdoor concert season wraps up with a trio of familiar names: the Owners, a punk band formed during the pandemic by Black Cat owners Dante and Catherine Ferrando with longtime club staffers Laura Harris and Al Budd; Koshari, which released “The Deep Divide,” a collection of swirling, feedback-soaked indie rock, in April, more than 20 years after the band’s debut album; and Ted Leo, whose work with Chisel, the Pharmacists and the Both needs no introduction. As always, picnics and kids are welcome, and alcohol and glass bottles are not. 7 to 9:30 p.m. Free.

DCBX Fiesta in the Park at Franklin Square: Ahead of DCBX, the wildly popular 14-year-old bachata dance festival being held in D.C. at the end of August, organizers are offering free public “pop-up fiestas” in Franklin Square. In addition to music from DJ B.A.D Frankie, the event includes dance lessons, a demonstration, and a competition to win tickets to DCBX. 7 p.m. Free.

‘Wall-E’ at the Library of Congress: Apologies to fans of Cockney chimney sweeps, chalk artists and bow-tie-wearing penguins: The rained-out screening of “Mary Poppins” has been postponed until the summer of 2023. Instead, the Library of Congress is hosting an outdoor viewing party for “Wall-E,” the Academy Award-winning animated movie that the library calls “an incredible blend of animation, science fiction, ecological cautionary tale, and a charming robot love story.” The film begins at sunset on the library’s southeast lawn, at the corner of Independence Avenue and Second Street SE. No reservations are required, but come early for the prime seats in the grass. 8 p.m. Free.

Friday, Aug. 12

‘Dirty Dancing’ at Union Market: Thirty-five years after its theatrical release, “Dirty Dancing” is still drawing adoring crowds and inspiring transatlantic pilgrimages. Every parking space is already sold at Union Market’s monthly drive-in screening, but pedestrians are still welcome to grab the makings of a picnic, find space in the Suburbia beer garden outside and watch the film projected on the market’s wall. A confession: The Post didn’t love “Dirty Dancing” at the time. “As a study of counterculture, Baby’s coming of age, the last gasp of Kennedy’s Camelot, class differences or a message about standing up for your friends, ‘Dancing’ is rather lightweight — coming off like those TV dramas where some kid learns that making the team or being popular ain’t everything,” wrote critic Desson Howe. Movie begins at 8:45 p.m. Free.

Michael W. Twitty at the Smithsonian Associates: In a 2016 Washington Post profile, culinary historian and James Beard Award-winning author Michael W. Twitty described himself as “four time blessed” (“large of body, gay, African American and Jewish”). Those latter two blessings have guided Twitty’s career, weaving African American and Jewish food traditions into a colorful fabric. His new book, “Koshersoul” — familiar as his Twitter handle — explores how the cuisine of both cultures has been shaped by migrations and the global diaspora. He discusses his work and experiences with University of Maryland professor Psyche Williams-Forson at the Smithsonian’s Ripley Center. Both in-person and Zoom viewing options are available. 6:45 to 8 p.m. $20-$25.

After-hours at the National Museum of Asian Art: Hong Kong Style: The latest edition of the late-night events at the Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler galleries takes its cues from the ongoing Made in Hong Kong Film Festival. The centerpiece is an outdoor screening of Jackie Chan’s 1978 kung fu comedy classic “Drunken Master,” with music scored live by DJ 2-Tone Jones. Vendors, including Columbia Heights restaurant Queen’s English and pop-up cocktail purveyor Please Bring Chips, sell food and drinks in front of the museum, where martial arts demonstrations are held, while indoor galleries are open with curator talks. 5 to 9:30 p.m. Free.

Hiatus Kaiyote at Fillmore Silver Spring: Hiatus Kaiyote has defined its genre of music as “future soul.” The Australian band’s instrument and production choices feel fresh and free from traditional boundaries, while lead singer Nai Palm’s stirring and unparalleled voice brings plenty of soul. Kaiyote’s second album, “Choose Your Weapon,” came out in 2015 with a loud and multilayered bang. The group made fearless choices and grabbed inspiration from many places but still made the occasional whiplash enjoyable. “Mood Valiant” was released in 2021 and finds the band in an even braver place than before. The song “Chivalry Is Not Dead” features Nai Palm’s voice floating atop the junkyard-sounding production: “We could get lost in our lust,” she sings while listeners get lost in her sultry vowels. On “All the Words We Don’t Say,” she sings the title over and over again in the chorus and sounds more far away than usual. But before listeners can yearn for her to come closer, warm drums and intricate, electric strumming fill the space. Hiatus Kaiyote has never had trouble taking up space. 8 p.m. $40.

Lee Bains and the Glory Fires at Comet Ping Pong: Lee Bains and the Glory Fires are known for their Southern punk rock bangers. But in contrast with their usual righteous rage, their latest album also includes country-adjacent ballads and dad rock — if your dad is an anti-capitalist preacher on unionized resistance and anti-racism. Released in early August, “Old-Time Folks” is a more produced, sometimes slowed-down effort that offers a glimmer of hope for those looking at the state of American democracy and wondering how to right wrongs. “Something that I’ve found myself running into is a sense of despair and feeling like things are getting worse and not better,” Bains says. “One of the things I did was learn about times in history where people did fight and win.” 10 p.m. $15.

The Glory Fires revisit a Southern past to inspire the present

Saturday, Aug. 13

Lake Anne Cardboard Boat Regatta: Think you could MacGyver a full-size boat out of cardboard, duct tape, papier-mâché and wood glue? That’s the challenge at the Lake Anne Cardboard Boat Regatta, sponsored by the Reston Museum, which returns after a two-year hiatus. Teams construct a person-powered cardboard watercraft, then paddle across the waters of Lake Anne. Head to the Lake Anne Village Center to cheer on the costumed competitors, and stick around for a performance by local band Turtle Recall after the race. We recommend stopping by the waterfront Lake Anne Brew House, whose Reston Red was named the best amber ale in the state at the recent Virginia Craft Beer Cup. 2 p.m. Free.

¡Viva Cultura! Festival at Gateway Park: A festival showcasing Latino culture takes over Rosslyn’s Gateway Park for a day of food, music and family activities. ¡Viva Cultura!, organized by the nonprofit Center for Assistance to Families, has a broad focus, with salsa bands and DJs; performances by dance ensembles representing Peru, El Salvador and Puerto Rico; vendors offering birria tacos, arepas and other treats; and a marketplace of clothing, jewelry and gifts. Children can play games and have their faces painted. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free.

‘Jazz in the Park’ at Fort Dupont: The 50th anniversary celebrations of the beloved Fort Dupont Summer Concert Series continue with a night of jazz and R&B. Local favorites Spur of the Moment, featuring Alyson Williams; vocalist Anissa “Twinky” Hargrove; and smooth jazz pianist (and Grammy-nominated producer) Chris “Big Dog” Davis are all on the bill. Bring lawn chairs and picnics. Gates open at 5:30 p.m.; the music begins at 7. Free.

Summer Bird Walk at the Tregaron Conservancy: The 14-acre Tregaron Conservancy between Woodley Park and Cleveland Park provides humans with a gorgeous green swath of nature. Birds, apparently, like the meadows and tree canopy, too: More than 100 species of birds have been spotted on the former estate. Join birder Sam Krause on a 90-minute walk through the grounds, listening and looking for feathered visitors. Binoculars are recommended. Can’t make it this week? More dates are planned for September. 8 to 9:30 a.m. Free; donations accepted.

SausageFest at Wunder Garten: Inspired by the beer gardens of Germany, Wunder Garten holds yearly Oktoberfests and lesser-known Frühlingsfests — but what does it do when it runs out of German festivals to celebrate? It creates an Americanized one to add into the annual rotation. SausageFest highlights the DMV’s local breweries, including D.C.’s Right Proper and Virginia’s Devils Backbone, alongside a variety of sausages by CaliBurger’s food truck. (There will even be a meatless option.) The two-day festival at the NoMa bar also features live music by Chasing Autumn on Saturday and Driven to Clarity on Sunday, both at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday beginning at noon. Free.

The Zolas at the Black Cat: The Zolas’ 2021 album “Come Back to Life” opens with echoing, faraway voices and sounds reminiscent of old-school video games. The effect is that the song “Violence on This Planet” feels like it’s arriving from a different planet. That otherworldly feeling is a consistent musical theme throughout the project that leans more into the psychedelic than the indie Canadian band has before. A song like “I Feel the Transition,” with its lush production and occasionally rowdy drums, benefits greatly from some electronic sound effects. So when founding member and lead singer Zachary Gray sings, “Today’s like a shooting star, no coming back to where we are,” it fits. But that doesn’t mean the band doesn’t find a way to anchor its songs’ stories. The song “PrEP,” Gray told the Vancouver Sun, was inspired by a Reddit thread of older gay men recounting their experiences with the AIDS epidemic. Gray sings heart-wrenching lyrics like, “Remember all those years we kept our black suits by the door / Like a soldier every week / Which friend will I be dressing for,” while the durable drumming complements his moving vocal performance. The Zolas are reminding us the horrors of our own planet are worse than anything we could imagine about space. 8 p.m. $20.

Noxeema Jackson featuring Clarisa Kimskii at DC9: Returning to the D.C. nightlife scene after three years in Berlin, Clarisa Kimskii found D.C.’s tightknit dance community to be nurturing and supportive. And after years of being dominated by house music and drum and bass, the city’s underground was finally embracing techno, her preferred flavor of electronic dance music. Coming out as trans has also given Kimskii an appreciation for queer spaces in a way that’s different from when she identified as a bisexual man. Playing the first anniversary party for Noxeema Jackson — a D.C. event series centered on people who identify as queer, trans, Black, Indigenous and people of color (QTBIPOC) — allows Kimskii, who is half Korean, to celebrate her entire identity. “I read something recently from Derrick Carter, who said that he’s always thought of himself as more evolutionary than revolutionary,” Kimskii said of the Chicago house music legend. “That really struck a chord with me, because I’ve operated the same way.” 10:30 p.m. $12-$15.

Interview: Clarisa Kimskii shook up her whole life; now she goes with the flow

NMAAHC Hip-Hop Block Party: Tickets for the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s free block party are long gone, but the museum plans to stream the event through its website. Tune in for virtual performances by D Smoke, DJ Spinderella, the Halluci Nation, Mumu Fresh, J.Period and a showcase of DMV artists curated by DJ Heat. 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. Free.

British Invasion at Silver Branch Brewing: Silver Branch is best known for its skill with German and Czech beer styles, such as the Glass Castle Pilsener and Umlaut Love Kolsch, but the Silver Spring brewery has a taste for beers across Europe. This celebration of British styles includes ales served through nitro taps or hand-pulled through a cask engine without extraneous carbonation. The kitchen sends out fish and chips for the afternoon, while DJs Mad Squirrel and Laura Lopez drop a soundtrack of Britpop and British Invasion classics from 6 p.m. on. 3 p.m. Free. Beers priced individually.

Sunday, Aug. 14

The Electric Cool-Aid Frozen Test: Over the last week, even the briefest trip outside has felt like stepping into a large, stifling sauna with the “moist” setting turned up to 11. If you’re craving an icy, refreshing drink, you’re not alone — and Electric Cool-Aid has just the solution. This weekend brings the Shaw cocktail garden’s second frozen cocktail competition, with bartenders from Silver Lyan, Tiki on 18th and other hot spots serving their icy inventions. The winner is crowned based on votes from the public as well as a panel of judges. 2 p.m. $8 per individual cocktail; $16 for three-ounce tastes of all six drinks.

Pretty Boi Drag Show at Union Stage: D.C.-based drag king group Pretty Boi was selling out seats and drawing on mustaches for four years before the pandemic turned its live events into virtual ones. Two years later, after online “Drag King 101” workshops and other covid-safe events, the group is presenting its first live show since early 2020. “Your Bois Are Back” is an all-ages, ASL-interpreted event at Union Stage, featuring masculine-presenting drag performers embodying male gender stereotypes in song, dance and other acts. The standard ticket will get you first-come, first-served standing room space, and a VIP ticket includes early access for seating and a goody bag of Pretty Boi Drag merch. 3 p.m. $25-$40.

Monday, Aug. 15

WWE Monday Night Raw at Capital One: For the first time in two years, WWE’s Monday Night Raw returns to Capital One Arena for an over-the-top recording of one of its flagship shows. The evening features U.S. champion Bobby Lashley as he faces off against recently recovered “the Miz” (Mike Mizanin), who tore his ACL in a match last year, as well as fan favorites like Raw women’s champion Bianca Belair and Alexa Bliss. This North American tour is the latest in the show’s 25-year run. 7:30 p.m. $20-$125.

Tuesday, Aug. 16

‘The Color Purple’ at Signature Theatre: Whether it’s a book, movie or musical, “The Color Purple” racks up awards. Signature Theatre’s big show for the late summer and fall is the musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, which earned 11 Tony nominations. The stirring show sets this classic, epic tale of friendship and empowerment among Southern Black women to a soundtrack featuring jazz, gospel, blues and ragtime. Through Oct. 9. $40-$108.

Blk Odyssy at Songbyrd: Singer Juwan Elcock and guitarist Alejandro Rios make up the soulful duo Blk Odyssy. They released “Blk Vintage: The Reprise” in June — building on their 2021 debut album, “Blk Vintage,” by adding new features and songs. “Let me stick this funk in your veins,” Elcock promises on the second track, “Funkentology.” It’s a slower jam, with Elcock’s vocals tiptoeing elegantly throughout. His mesmerizing cadence is key to connecting Blk Odyssy’s funk-based sound with its darker storytelling turns. The last song, “Drinking Good” featuring Eimaral Sol, is striking. Here, Elcock drinks with one hand and contemplates his brother’s death at the hands of the police with the other. He closes the first verse describing a bloodstain he won’t forget before starting the chorus with, “I’m drinking good / Face it you’re wasted.” Then there are more upbeat musical moments such as on “Ghost Ride” featuring Mereba, which has a catchy chorus and undeniable production. Still, lyrics like “But why is it so that the world doesn’t know / That all my brothers drowning slow in the watеr” stand out among textured production. Blk Odyssy continues to pierce through the funk. 7 p.m. $15-$20.

Summerfest Cornhole Series at Tysons Corner Center: If you’re looking for a weekend backyard BBQ vibe on a Tuesday night, Tysons Corner Center has you covered. As part of its Summerfest series, this week brings the seventh and final installment of the mall’s cornhole competition. It’s open to all ages and skill levels, and if you don’t have a partner, you can be matched with someone when the tournament begins. If cornhole’s not your thing, check back every Tuesday through the end of September for bingo and ping-pong tournaments. 6 to 8 p.m. Free.

Snallygaster Sightings at ChurchKey: The Snallygaster beer festival is just under two months away, but the Neighborhood Restaurant Group is already teasing its signature event. New York’s Root + Branch Brewing is the first confirmed brewery of more than 150 participants, and though its products aren’t readily available in D.C., four hazy pale ales and IPAs are coming from Long Island to the taps at ChurchKey. 4 p.m. Free admission; beers priced individually.

Wednesday, Aug. 17

Arlington County Fair: A midway with a Ferris wheel, giant slides and stands selling deep-fried Oreos. Pie-eating and pizza-eating contests. Competitions for the best jellies, quilts, vegetables and floral arrangements. The Arlington County Fair has many of the trappings of a traditional county fair, with one essential difference: It’s accessible by public transportation. The jam-packed schedule includes a night market, a traveling exhibit from Richmond’s Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, goat yoga and bingo night. Families can check out music and magicians, and adults can head to the craft beer garden. Through Aug. 21. Free; rides cost extra.

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