John Pinette This big guy with a Boston accent uses his size as fodder for fat jokes. His comedy credentials include being named Stand-Up Comedian of the Year by the American Comedy Awards in 1999 and appearances on “The Tonight Show,” “The View” and “Seinfeld.” He’s also toured with Frank Sinatra and acted in the films “Duets,” “Dear God” and “Junior.” For age 18 and older. Thursday at 8 p.m., Friday-Saturday at 8 and 10:30 p.m., Sunday at 8 p.m. DC Improv, 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW. 202-296-7008. www.dcimprov.com. $22-$25.
Mavis Staples The new Clyde’s offshoot restaurant/performance venue will usually host smaller acts (with smaller ticket prices), but for its grand opening, it booked an R&B powerhouse. Staples got her start in the ’50s with her family band and won a Grammy last year for her album “You Are Not Alone.” With Eric Scott. 8 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. 202-787-1000. www.thehamiltondc.com. $100.
Rudresh Mahanthappa Blues Alley’s week-long Indian Jazz Series concludes with this alto saxophonist and composer who fuses Western and Indian sounds. He’s been named Alto Saxophonist of the Year for the past three years by the Jazz Journalists Association and won the 2011 DownBeat Critics Poll in the alto saxophone category. Thursday-Friday at 8 and 10 p.m. Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW (rear). 202-337-4141. www.bluesalley.com. $22.
“Elephant Room” In a new comedy by Steve Cuiffo, Trey Lyford and Geoff Sobelle, three magician-types get together to talk about their personal lives. Opens Friday at 8 p.m., continues Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 and 7:30 p.m., Tuesday-Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Through Feb. 26. Arena Stage, 1101 Sixth St. SW. 202-488-3300. www.arenastage.org. $40.
Jucifer The married metal duo from Athens, Ga., is constantly on tour and uses 15 speaker cabinets at once. With Borracho. Doors open at 9 p.m. Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. 202-667-7960. www.blackcatdc.com. $12.
“Annie Leibovitz: Pilgrimage” The famed portrait photographer’s new exhibition departs from her 40-year tradition. More than 70 photos shot over the past three years depict locations that inspire the photographer, from the roaring spray of Niagara Falls to the homes of dead celebrities. Opens Friday. Through May 20. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Eighth and F streets NW. 202-633-1000. www.americanart.si.edu. Free.
Mid-Winter Family Festival The museum’s finest linens will be on display in conjunction with the exhibit “Weaving Abstraction: Kuba Textiles and the Woven Art of Central Africa.” The Anacostia Community Museum co-hosts this third annual event featuring dancing, crafts and storytelling. Noon. Textile Museum, 2320 S St. NW. 202-667-0441. www.textilemuseum.org. Free.
“Laughter on the 23rd Floor” Keegan Theatre performs Neil Simon’s play, based on his experience as a TV writer, somewhat like a ’50s version of “30 Rock.” Opens Saturday at 8 p.m., continues Sunday at 3 p.m., Monday at 8 p.m. Through Feb. 18. Church Street Theater, 1742 Church St. NW. 703-892-0202. www.keegantheatre.com. $35, seniors and students $30.
“Truth Be Told” Alight Dance Theater blends dance, physical theater, scripted text and videotaped “true” confessions as a send-up of reality shows in this world premiere choreographed by Angella Foster. The program includes new works by Monica Warrenand guest artist Wayles Haynes. Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 4 p.m. Dance Place, 3225 Eighth St. NE. 202-269-1600. www.danceplace.org. $22; seniors, teachers and artists $17; college students $10; age 17 and younger $8.
Ozomatli The Los Angeles band melds Latin music with hip-hop and world beats, making these Grammy winners the perfect choice for the State Department to send as cultural ambassadors to Asia, Africa, South America and the Middle East. With Chopteeth AfroFunk Big Band. Doors open at 9 p.m. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. 202-265-0930. www.930.com. $25.
Spy Fest 2012 Visitors can try out their spy skills and see experts demonstrate how to beat lie detectors, break coded messages, read satellite images and move like a ninja. For age 7 and older. 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. International Spy Museum, 800 F St. NW. 202-393-7798. www.spymuseum.org. $10; registration required.
Dance for the Dying The Alexandria band plays dance and rock music as part of the acoustic series Luce Unplugged. Art talk at 1:30 p.m., concert at 2 p.m. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Eighth and F streets NW. 202-633-1000. www.americanart.si.edu. Free.
“Mariinsky Ballet: Les Saisons Russes” The St. Petersburg ballet company returns with a three-part program choreographed by Michel Fokine set to music by Chopin (“Chopiniana”), Rimsky-Korsakov (“Scheherazade”) and Stravinsky (“The Firebird”). Thursday-Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m., closes Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Kennedy Center, Opera House, 2700 F St. NW. 202-467-4600. www.kennedy-center.org. $29-$150.
“Barber and Barberillo” The In Series presents a double bill of short operas: “Little Barber of Lavapies” by Francisco A. Barbieri and Samuel Barber’s “A Hand of Bridge.” Friday at 8 p.m., closes Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Source, 1835 14th St. NW. 202-204-7800. 866-811-4111. www.sourcedc.org. $40, seniors $36, students $20.
“The Graphic and Fine Art of Poland’s Jerzy Janiszewski: The Artist Whose Graphic Design Changed History” The famous anti-communist Solidarity logo from 1980 is displayed with other works, including collage assemblages made from cigarette packaging and train ticket stubs. Closes Sunday. Charles Krause/Reporting Fine Art, 1300 13th St. NW, Suite 105. 202-638-3612. www.charleskrausereporting.com. Free.
Joshua Bell The renowned virtuoso violinist has sold millions of records and once played incognito outside a Metro station as part of a social experiment conducted by Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten. For this concert, presented by the Washington Performing Arts Society, he’ll be joined by pianist Sam Haywood. 8 p.m. Kennedy Center, Concert Hall, 2700 F St. NW. 202-467-4600. www.kennedy-center.org. $45-$115.
Twin Sister The New York band plays sleepy, synthy tunes. With Ava Luna and Bike Trip. 8:30 p.m. Rock & Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. 202-388-7625. www.rockandrollhoteldc.com. $12.
Leigh Stein The author discusses her first novel, “The Fallback Plan,” about a recent college grad who moves back in with her parents and takes a babysitting job. 7 p.m. Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. 202-364-1919. www.politics-prose.com. Free.
“Into the Wild” Abstract painter Paula Lantz recently traveled to Botswana, South Africa and Zambia, where she drew inspiration from the wild and natural. Her canvases splashed with color, however, leave much to the viewer’s interpretation. Through Jan. 29. Touchstone, 901 New York Ave. NW. 202-347-2787. www.touchstonegallery.com. Free.
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3The new Clyde’s offshoot restaurant/performance venue will usually host smaller acts (with smaller ticket prices), but for Thursday’s grand opening, it booked the R&B powerhouse Mavis Staples. She got her start in the ’50s with her family band and won a Grammy last year for her album “You Are Not Alone.” With Eric Scott. 8 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. 202-787-1000. www.thehamiltondc.com. $100.