Direct Current festival, March 5-19
Don’t think too hard about the theme of the Kennedy Center’s inaugural two-week Direct Current festival. It crosses several disciplines, including dance, film, theater, jazz, electronica and indie music. “The Kennedy Center hasn’t had a festival of new art like this,” says Mason Bates, the institution’s composer-in-residence, who helped spearhead the idea. “It’s about bringing stuff in that people haven’t encountered.” When Bates says “new art,” that can mean more modern works (such as Taylor Mac’s ambitious stage show “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music”) or older pieces presented alongside newer ones in inventive ways (Bates’ classical-meets-electronica rave “Mercury Soul”). Times and prices vary. — Rudi Greenberg
‘My Dad Wrote a Porno’ at Warner Theatre , March 6
What would you do if you found out that your father had written racy adult novels under the pen name Rocky Flintstone? If you’re British filmmaker and writer Jamie Morton, you turn your dad’s cringe-inducing prose into a hilarious podcast, with the help of BBC DJ Alice Levine and writer James Cooper. (Fans include actress Daisy Ridley, who appeared on one episode.) After more than 100 million downloads, Morton and company are performing readings across America. 8 p.m. $39.50. — Fritz Hahn
20th anniversary of ‘The Big Lebowski,’ March 6-11
It’s been 20 years since cinemagoers were introduced to Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski, a fan of bowling, White Russians and Persian rugs. A cult classic, “The Big Lebowski” has entered the Library of Congress’ historic National Film Registry. On the film’s anniversary, Alamo Drafthouse hosts a special “Movie Party,” giving out props, such as inflatable crowbars, and offering pre-movie bowling. Reliable Tavern in Petworth is also screening the movie, with a costume contest and drink specials. If you don’t want to mix vodka, Kaluha and cream on a school night, the AFI Silver Theatre is hosting a weekend of screenings from March 9 to 11. Times and prices vary. — F.H.
Crosshairs Garage Races in Crystal City , March 7-April 4
Picture the parking garage race scene in “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift” with bicycles instead of cars, add a dash of “Fight Club,” and you’ve got the five-week Crosshairs race series. Every Wednesday night, experienced cyclocross racers and determined novices pedal their way through a 10-turn course set in an empty underground parking garage in Crystal City. Races are divided by experience level and sex, and the final week includes special competitions for fixed-gear and bike-share bikes. Spectators can get refreshments from food trucks and a cash bar. Wednesdays from 6 to 9 p.m. $15 per race for participants, free for spectators. — F.H.
New African Film Festival at the AFI Silver, March 8-18
Featuring 27 films from 20 countries, the 14th annual festival opens Thursday at the AFI Silver with a screening of “I Am Not A Witch.” The feature filmmaking debut of Zambian-Welsh actress-turned-director Rungano Nyoni is a genre-bending feminist tale of a 9-year-old girl accused of witchcraft, and was one of the most buzzed-about films at last year’s Cannes Film Festival. General admission to screenings, which run through March 18, is $13. — Michael O’Sullivan
The Wiz at Ford’s Theatre, March 9-May 12
Twist of fate: In 2009, “In the Heights” director Thomas Kail, choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler and music director Alex Lacamoire helmed a concert version of the all-black “Wizard of Oz” musical “The Wiz.” for New York City’s “Encores!” concert series. Now “In the Heights” is the second musical in the Kennedy Center’s new “Encores!”-style Broadway Center Stage concert series. The seven “Heights” concerts, from March 21-25, are sold out, while a new full production of “The Wiz” — a seven-time Tony winner in 1975 — eases down the road at Ford’s Theatre from March 9-May 12. — Nelson Pressley
Romeo Santos at Eagle Bank Arena, March 10
If you’re going to one arena concert this month, make it Romeo Santos. The singer mixes reggaeton beats with the whispery vocals of bachata. Like Justin Timberlake, who’s performing at Capital One Arena on March 18, Santos burst onto the scene as a lead singer in a boy band (the New York bachata troupe Aventura), then launched a solo career that has propelled him to super stardom as one of Latin pop’s biggest names. Wear comfortable shoes: No one stays seated when Santos hits the stage. 8 p.m. $89-$159. — Emily Codik
Tiffany Haddish at Warner Theatre, March 10
Tiffany Haddish’s breakout performance in last year’s “Girls Trip” finally brought the comedian the attention she deserved. Her #sheready tour covers everything from her time in foster care to the success that took her more than a decade to achieve. 7 and 10 p.m. Sold out. — Kristen Page-Kirby
Take a glimpse at the future of dance as the Washington Ballet presents a program of three newly commissioned works. Set to live music, this performance features pieces from emerging choreographers who’ve danced in such companies as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the American Ballet Theatre. In “Three World Premieres,” the choreographers explore their own history and experiences as dancers. Times vary. $25-$118. — A.C.
National Cherry Blossom Festival, March 20-April 15
The National Cherry Blossom Festival includes free daily performances at the Tidal Basin, a huge parade down Constitution Avenue (April 14) and a taiko drum takeover (March 25). New this year: Petalpalooza, an all-day celebration at the Wharf with interactive art installations and outdoor concerts, and culminating in a fireworks display (April 7). Visit the festival’s website for more details. — Sadie Dingfelder
Baseball fans with long memories might consider this a grudge match between the Washington Nationals and the Washington Senators: Washington’s original American League franchise was moved to Minnesota after the 1960 season. For everyone else, it’s the only chance to see a noncompetitive preseason game at Nationals Park this season, and a first look at the team’s offseason acquisitions, including manager Dave Martinez. 4:05 p.m. $6.76-$349. — F.H.
Mari Andrew at Sixth and I , March 29
Mari Andrew’s achingly vulnerable and completely relatable watercolor illustrations about relationships, heartbreak and the struggles of urban life have earned her almost 750,000 Instagram followers. Andrew lived in D.C. for years, which inspired art about the city’s dating scene. Though she has moved to New York, she’s coming back to celebrate the launch of her first book, “Am I There Yet?: The Loop-de-Loop, Zigzagging Journey to Adulthood.” 7 p.m. $15 general admission; $27-$37 includes a copy of the book. — F.H.
Awesome Con at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, March 30-April 1
A celebration of all kinds of pop culture, Awesome Con is rolling into its sixth year with an impressive roster of celebrities and creators — former Marvel editor in chief Stan Lee will be there, as will Cress Williams of “Black Lightning,” and Charisma Carpenter of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” fame. If you aren’t much for standing in line for photo ops, hit the massive exhibit hall and get all your cosplay shopping for the year done in one fell swoop. Daily, $35-$50; three-day weekend pass $75. — S.D.
Burning Man at the Renwick, March 30-Jan. 21
The counterculture art of Burning Man is getting the Smithsonian treatment. “No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man” will take over the Renwick Gallery building and spill out onto the street, with sculptures displayed in the surrounding Golden Triangle Business Improvement District. It sounds like the next best thing to heading into the Nevada desert for the actual festival, and you’ll have plenty of time to see it — it’s closing in two phases, running through Sept. 16 and Jan. 21, 2019. — A.C.
Brent Cobb at DC9, March 31
There’s something warm and endearing about the southern, rural sounds on Brent Cobb’s major label debut, “Shine On Rainy Day.” The album was released in 2016, but Cobb has had no problem staying busy ever since: He spent last year opening for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill as well as Chris Stapleton’s “All American Road Show” tour, which was recently extended through November. Now, as he preps some anticipated new music, Cobb is taking a little time to headline a few smaller venues. This is your chance to get up close and personal with him before he’s headlining his own arenas. 10 p.m. $15. — Briana Younger