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The best things to do in the D.C. area the week of Jan. 19-25

Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit with a weekend of festivities, including Sunday’s Lunar New Year parade through Chinatown. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

Thursday, Jan. 19

The Reading Room at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation: A bold new festival from the Folger Theatre delivers modern twists on Shakespeare, including “Julius X,” which intertwines the assassination of Malcolm X and “The Tragedy of Julius Caesar,” and a bilingual retelling of “Hamlet” that finds the Black and Latinx prince living in New York City. The four readings include post-performance Q&A sessions with the playwrights, and the festival pass includes additional conversations, including one on “Anti-Racism and Shakespeare.” Through Saturday. $25 for all four readings; $50 for all readings, conversations and special events.

‘Behaving Boldly’ chat at the Hirshhorn: Four female directors of some of the city’s most popular museums — the National Gallery of Art, Hirshhorn, Smithsonian American Art Museum and Renwick Gallery — join in conversation about the responsibilities of museums in the 21st century, especially in an art world that has historically lacked diverse representation. 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Free with registration.

One Step Closer at DC9: The difference between “pop-punk” and “melodic hardcore” is illustrated by One Step Closer, a barely post-teenage quintet often cited as an example of the latter genre. Frontman Ryan Savitski’s vocals are mostly delivered in a raw-throated shout, although he does sing almost sweetly on “Hereafter,” the midtempo change-of-pace number on the group’s only full album, 2021’s “This Place You Know.” Usually, the music’s more lyrical moments flow from Ross Thompson’s and Colman O’Brien’s guitars, a strategy that recalls the ’80s D.C. bands sometimes typed as “emo” progenitors. According to Savitski, though, his band’s major influences are the little-known Title Fight (who hailed from the same corner of northeastern Pennsylvania as One Step Closer) and the multiplatinum Green Day. The former’s style could be described as melodic hardcore; the latter’s is definitely pop-punk. Appearing with Soul Blind and Life’s Question. 8 p.m. $18-$20.

Best Night Ever at Songbyrd: Jan. 19 would have been Mac Miller’s 31st birthday, and DJ Bri Mafia is leading the tributes to the late rapper during Best Night Ever, a celebration of his chart-topping music. 8 p.m. $12-$15.

Friday, Jan. 20

Festival of Films From Iran at the National Museum of Asian Art: Iranian films have won fans and awards across the globe for decades, though the country’s realist and humanist movies and documentaries remain little known in the United States. Uncovering recent gems and showing classics from the pre-revolutionary New Wave and Second New Wave of Iranian cinema is the job of the annual Festival of Films From Iran, now in its 27th year. This year’s festival pays tribute to two award-winning directors: Jafar Panahi, who was arrested in July and remains in detention, and Mohammad Rasoulof, also arrested last July, who was temporarily released from jail because of health concerns earlier this month. The festival takes on a hybrid format, with in-person screenings at the Freer Gallery’s Meyer Auditorium from Friday through Feb. 12 and at the AFI Silver Theatre from Jan. 28 to April 10, and a program of virtual screenings from Feb. 13-26. Free tickets for in-person events at the Meyer Auditorium and virtual screening registration are available through

Alexandria Restaurant Week: While Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week officially wraps up on Sunday, more than 70 restaurants in Alexandria are prepping for the city’s own Restaurant Week, which runs from Friday through Jan. 29. Participants, including Kismet Modern Indian and Ada’s on the River, offer prix fixe dinners at $25, $35 or $45. It’s worth browsing the flipbook of menus on the event website: Some, but not all, restaurants offer the deal for carryout as well as dining in, while others include the option of drinks or flights. Through Jan. 29. $25-$45.

D.C. Central Kitchen anniversary fundraiser: D.C. Central Kitchen is a powerful force in the local food community, offering culinary training while delivering healthy meals to schools and food deserts. To mark DCCK’s 34th anniversary, restaurants around the area are participating in a fundraiser for the organization: All proceeds from the Big Stuff Bacon Meltdown burger at Good Stuff Eatery on Capitol Hill benefit D.C. Central Kitchen, as do 50 percent from the Spicy Zelensky cocktail at Georgian restaurants Tabla and Supra, or a portion of sales from fish and chips and Narragansett beers at Hank’s Oyster Bar. A full list of specials and the dates they’re valid is available on the D.C. Central Kitchen website.

Lady Wray at the Black Cat: Even before she was grown, stardom seemed like destiny for Nicole Wray. She was a 15-year-old standout in a Portsmouth, Va., church choir when hip-hop legend Missy Elliott, who grew up in the same town, heard of Wray’s talent. Elliott showed up at Wray’s mother’s home, asked the teenager for an impromptu audition and signed Wray on the spot. In 1998, Wray released a debut solo album; a single went gold. Now a wife and mother, Wray says her transition into life’s next steps has also sharpened her writing in ways that make her more relatable than she seemed in pre-written tracks. And on an album that hints at the R&B energy of her early career and the gospel influences of her youthful days in the church choir, it feels like a full-circle moment. 8 p.m. $20.

Saturday, Jan. 21

Lunar New Year: Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit as Lunar New Year festivities kick off throughout the Washington area this weekend. The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage comes alive with traditional lion dancers and Chinese music from the Concert Chorale of Washington on Saturday. (6 p.m. Free.) There will also be a lion dance during the National Museum of Asian Art’s celebrations, part of an afternoon packed with crafts and activities, themed gallery tours led by curators, and an hour-long cooking demonstration with chefs Danny Lee and Scott Drewno of the local restaurant chain Chiko. (Noon to 4 p.m. Free.) The nonprofit Choy Wun Lion Dance Troupe leads the party outside Union Market. (2 p.m. Free.)

Mindful Drinking Fest at Selina: Washington’s first festival dedicated to alcohol-free beers, wines and cocktails has doubled in size for its second edition, with more than two dozen vendors offering tastes of their products, including local canned cocktail company Mocktail Club, Blake Lively’s Betty Buzz mixers and Two Roads’ nonalcoholic IPAs. After three hours of tasting, including mixology classes, the focus shifts to a party with a cocktail competition, DJs and dancing, demonstrating that a Saturday night can be just as fun without a buzz. Tasting from 3 to 6 p.m.; cocktail contest and after-party from 7:30 p.m. to midnight. Party $75; joint ticket for tasting and party $95. Tasting-only tickets sold out.

Booze-free drinks and shops for Dry January – and the rest of the year

Fire & Ice at the Wharf: Whiskey, shuffleboard and fire pits are on the agenda for the Wharf’s annual outdoor winter festival. Sample whiskeys from local and national distilleries while watching fire twirlers, playing wintry games, listening to a DJ and taking a turn on the ice luge. 1 to 4 p.m. Free admission; sampling tickets $15 for five whiskeys.

The Goons at the Black Cat: By the mid-1980s, the breakneck and declamatory punk of D.C. bands Bad Brains and Minor Threat seemed to have exhausted itself. But hardcore punk had become an established style, ready to be adopted by successive waves of young musicians. For example, the Goons. That band’s “Live at the Black Cat,” recorded at a February 2000 gig, is clearly protest music, even if Serge Goon’s vocals often travel too quickly for the lyrics’ targets to be deciphered. Such titles as “Nation in Distress” and “America Hates Its Youth” set the tone, and the singer’s introduction to “Ozone Alert” indicates that he was just as aggravated about pollution as about grown-ups in general. But among the reasons for the reconstituted band’s fervor is a sad one: The Goons’ original guitarist, Patrick Crean, died Dec. 27 after a lifelong struggle with cystic fibrosis recently complicated by cancer treatments. The band is selling T-shirts that bear Crean’s likeness and at the Black Cat will offer band mementos for sale. All proceeds will go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. No matter how much fun it is to roar a punky “no” at everything, sometimes constructive action can be just as satisfying. 7 p.m. $20.

Review: D.C.’s hardcore punk scene gets a jolt from its originators

American Opera Initiative at the Kennedy Center: The Washington National Opera’s American Opera Initiative is a bright spot for opera lovers looking for something beyond the usual theater-filling warhorses. The program, now in its 10th year, features concert performances of three newly commissioned one-act 20-minute operas, featuring up-and-coming artists and a chamber orchestra composed of members of the WNO Orchestra. 7 and 9 p.m. $19-$45.

Con Acento at JR’s: “Celebrating our Hispanic heritage” is the theme of this monthly drag show, hosted by Evry Pleasure. Get there early for Chata Uchis and other performers; stick around for a dance party with DJ Andre. 9:30 p.m. Free.

Oxymorrons at Songbyrd: The title of Oxymorrons’ latest EP, “Mohawks & Durags,” broadcasts what the Queens-born band is all about: smashing together seemingly disparate cultures and reminding listeners that all music is music. The band’s rap-rock hybrids owe much to the turn-of-the-millennium period when rapped lyrics, arena-ready hooks and ferocious beats were fast friends, with the addition of elements borrowed from contemporary trap and electronic music. As the name of the band’s Melanated Punk tour suggests, this bill features plenty of Black people and people of color — including Canadian punk rockers the OBGMs and Pinkshift, a Baltimore band that blasts out punk heavy with pop sensibilities — making music long associated with White suburbanites. 7 p.m. $16-$18.

Sunday, Jan. 22

Lunar New Year: The main event on D.C. calendars is the long-running Lunar New Year Parade, which marches through Chinatown on Sunday, featuring lions, marching bands, martial artists and other groups. The parade begins at Sixth and I streets NW at 2 p.m., with firecrackers at the end of the route. (1 to 4 p.m. Free.) Also on Sunday, the National Gallery of Art hosts a performance by Washington Samulnori, a group of traditional Korean percussionists. (1 p.m. Free.)

Goat yoga pajama party: Start a relaxing Sunday morning doing yoga in your pajamas — with goats. Friendly goats from Walnut Creek Farm are free to roam around the room during two hour-long yoga sessions at Faith Lutheran Church in Arlington. The goats will be wearing pajamas, and human participants are invited to do the same. 12:20 to 1:30 p.m. or 2 to 3 p.m. $40.

Monday, Jan. 23

Coquito Wars at Serenata: Coquito season isn’t over without a fight. The traditional Christmas drink, which means “little coconut,” is the star of a competition at Serenata, where local contenders serve up their own recipes. Judged by attendees and a panel of three judges, the winner takes home a trophy and $500. The two-hour competition is followed by dancing until midnight. 6:30 p.m. to midnight.

Wednesday, Jan. 25

Pulses. at Jammin’ Java: Pulses.’ “Louisiana Purchase” opens with a simple inquiry: “All right, Pulses., what are we doing?” Good question. On any song, figuring out exactly what the members of the Northern Virginia band are doing is half the fun. In the tradition of D.C. post-hardcore and math-rock bands before it, Pulses. unleashes a cacophonous attack where every element — the guitar arpeggios, walking bass lines, polyrhythms, and lyrics about video games and Twitter memes, both sung and screamed — seems to be doing its own thing. But as the auditory confusion clears, moments where cross-purposes align have the power of the Ghostbusters crossing their streams. 7:30 p.m. $15-$25.