Typically atypical theater

Summer Fringe attendees: We hope you kept your buttons, because the 13-play fallFRINGE Festival starts Friday. Seven sell-outs from summer join six new productions for a characteristically weird lineup.

Playing for Keepsakes

The souvenir hunter of the 19th century carried a hammer and chisel, not a cash-stuffed fanny pack. Visitors routinely made off with bits of hallowed sites — Plymouth Rock, Mount Vernon, the White House. The souvenir business arose, in part, to prevent such plundering. “Souvenir Nation,” at the Smithsonian Castle, charts this transformation from genteel […]

'Bout Them Apples

For diehard Apple nerds, “Jobs,” out Friday, is vintage-hardware porn. Using the fantastic website Starring the Computer, a fastidiously maintained list of computers in movies and TV shows, we identified Apple devices that played pivotal roles in films. IIc Apple’s first portable computer (not a laptop — you had to add a display) runs the […]

A Circus With Cattitude

In “The Amazing Acro-Cats,” trained kitties roll barrels, skateboard, jump through hoops and do other distinctly un-feline things. They also take their time doing tricks and occasionally meander offstage mid-show, says Samantha Martin, trainer and “chief human.” In other words, they’re still normal cats. Martin and her 12 stars are performing in La Plata, Md., […]

These Will End in Tears

Need a good cry? An Academy Award-nominated short film is a shortcut to catharsis. With one exception, this year’s live-action and animated honorees are emotionally manipulative in the best of ways. Some are flat-out heartbreaking; others are moving or achingly sweet. See them at Landmark E Street Cinema (555 11th St. NW; 202-452-7672) from Friday […]

Haul of Presidents

What if you threw an inauguration and every president — dead ones included — came? There would be a lot of grousing (“My hair did NOT look like that”) and some hurt feelings (“THAT’s my legacy?”). To ease these bruised egos, we found locations at which to honor each commander in chief, even the lousy […]

Seen But Not Heard Of

Dear Friends of the Giant Fiberglass Pineapple Overlooking I-95: Stop writing us letters! We would love to write 270 words about your fruit, only we haven’t the time. But you raise a good point: Express will never address more than a tiny fraction of our area’s unseen sites. These apps cover what we won’t. Roadside […]

Adniti praemio dignum est

“Is this it?” asked a confused visitor to the National Museum of Language. The name implies a more magisterial setting than this low-ceilinged plot of green institutional carpet in a College Park, Md., office building. The answer, “There are a few displays across the hall,” seemed disappointing, and the man wandered away. Do not judge […]

Love of First Flights

Many a milestone was attained in the airspace over the College Park Aviation Museum. There were big, sexy victories, like the first controlled helicopter flight, in 1924. And there were quieter, personal triumphs, like Mrs. Ralph Van Deman’s. In 1909, she became the first woman airplane passenger in the U.S. “Oh, this was simply splendid,” […]

A House Undivided

Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross in 1881, which makes her use of bandages as building material only slightly less strange. This unusual touch is one reason her Glen Echo, Md., residence feels like the inside of a giant first-aid kit. Paper cut? Dig into the ceiling (don’t actually try this!) — some of […]