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DC, MD, VA Events: WETA Around Town February 15 - 17

Looking for something to do this weekend in DC, Maryland, and Virginia?  Check out our selection of anti-gravity splendor, heroic music, and honest Presidential fun right in your own backyard!

 

 
 
 
If you love magic tricks, go to Artisphere this weekend for the ultimate mind-bending spectacle.  The production LEO: The Anti-Gravity Show, directed by Daniel Briére, uses acrobatic performance and video projection to create illusions that will test your perception of reality and leave you wondering which way is up.  The show, reminiscent of Cirque de Soleil, is sure to entertain children and adults alike.  LEO has won awards internationally and has gone on to mesmerize the rest of the world. 
 
Friday and Saturday at 8pm
Cost: $30 for adults / $25 for kids and students
Artisphere 1101 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington VA 22209
 
 
A weekend dedicated to remembering some of the most important people in our nation’s history only comes once a year, so why not celebrate with some family fun and entertainment?  Kick off your Presidents' Day weekend with Presidents' Family Day at the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum.  Enjoy performances by the Federal City Brass Band, build with Lincoln Logs, create a White House china pattern, and meet George and Martha Washington, along with Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln.  You can even dress up like George Washington and get your photo taken, take pictures with presidential figures, and more!
 
Saturday, 11:30am-3pm
Cost: Free
American Art Museum, National Portrait Gallery    Eighth and F Streets NW, Washington, DC 20001
 
 
What could be better than enjoying a concert while supporting veterans and their families?  This Sunday, The Code of Support Foundation and many other nonprofits present VETStravaganza, a free event to raise awareness for the Chamber of Commerce's "Hiring Our Heroes" program.  Performers include country music artists Mark Wills and David Kroll, along with military ensembles like the West Point Cadet Glee Club, the West Point Alumni Glee Club and others.  Enjoy a variety of talented musicians while celebrating our troops and President’s Day weekend all at once.
 
Sunday, 3pm
Cost: Free, tickets required (reserve them at www.lisner.org or by phone at 202- 994-6851)
George Washington University, Lisner Auditorium    21st and H streets NW, Washington, D.C.
 
 
 
Ever wanted to put yourself in the shoes of the President of the United States?  This weekend Ford’s Theatre celebrates Presidents’ Day with a variety of special programs.  Attend performances of “One Destiny,” a play about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, investigate the Ford’s Theatre Museum and partake in Ranger Talks from the National Park Service.  Several other programs include stories from master storyteller, Jon Spelman and a performance from the Ford’s Theatre Youth Leaders Ensemble.  Last but not least, a special one-night performance from Mark Twain Award winner and political satirist Mark Russell will also be in the mix of events for those who want to end their Presidents’ Day with a little political humor. Still need convincing?  Take a tour with WETA Around Town’s Trey Graham, as he shows us the beauty and uniqueness of the historical landmark that is, Ford's Theatre. 
 
Monday, campus open 9am – 5pm; performance at 7pm
Cost: Daytime programs free; performance tickets range from $20 - $64. 
Ford’s Theatre    511 Tenth St. NW, Washington, DC
 
 
By the way, scrambling for a last-minute Valentine’s Day date idea? This is the second-to-last weekend of Ai Wei Wei: According to What? at the Hirshhorn. It’s a breath-taking multimedia show. See what our critics had to say about it. 
 
Looking for something less contemporary? Bring your Valentine to Roads of Arabia at Sackler Gallery for some ancient beauty. It’s only there through February 24. Our critics have a few words about it, too.

 
 
Select films opening today:
 
Directed by Richard LaGravenese, this tale adds Southern legend and dark family secrets to the mysterious love story of long-time local Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich) and new girl Lena (Alice Englert). Like Jeremy Irons and Emma Thompson? They’re in this, too. 
 
 
Here’s another tale about love in the South, this time directed by Lasse Hallström. Katie (Julianne Hough) lands in Southport, North Carolina, falls in love with a widower (Josh Duhamel), and faces the dark past she was hoping to forget.
 

 

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DC, MD, VA Events: WETA Around Town February 8 - 10

Looking for something to do this weekend in DC, Maryland, and Virginia? Check out our selection of Afghani-American music, Valentine crafting with an Asian twist, and Civil War storytelling right in your own backyard.

 
 
 
With so much competition surrounding originality, many of us hope to find that one talent in life that makes us different from others.  For Afghan/Italian American musician and multi-media artist Ariana Delawari, finding her greatest talents came naturally.  
 
After graduating from the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, Delawari began working as an actress, musician, director and photographer.  As if that weren’t enough, she soon started work on her feature length documentary, “We Came Home,” a compilation of her family’s life story and the making of her album, “Lion of Panjshir.”  Delawari directed the album with filmmaker David Lynch, who went on to release it on his record label.  In 2012, “We Came Home” won Best International Documentary at the São Paulo International Film Festival.  But don’t think accomplishing these two milestones means Delawari’s taking a break: She recently finished her second album and will be releasing it soon.
 
Want to hear what this multimedia wonder’s produced?  Come to the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center this Friday where the multi-talented Ariana Delawari will be showcasing her original interpretations of Afghani music.
Friday, 6pm
Cost: Free
Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center 2700 F Street, NW Washington, DC
 
 
 
Love may be universal, but it may look a little different on paper.  This Saturday, the Sackler Gallery hosts the free event “In Every Language Love,” where the whole family can learn about Asian art influenced by love.  You will also have the opportunity to create your own unique Valentine using printing blocks with Asian symbols and characters.  The best Valentines are the ones that say “I love you”—regardless of the language!
Saturday, 1pm-4pm
Cost: Free
Sackler Gallery 1050 Independence Ave SW Washington, DC 20560
 
 
Join actors from major DC theatres and the award-winning band Dead Men’s Hollow for a unique musical and literary evening of Civil War songs and letters.  Dead Men’s Hollow will perform Civil War songs, both oldies and new interpretations, while actors read letters and diary entries written by nurses, civilians, and soldiers, as well as Generals Lee and Pickett.  You’ll even get to hear what a black soldier had to tell his enslaved daughter during the War.  Finish off the evening with a coffee and dessert reception following the performance.
Saturday, at 7pm
Cost: $10
The Athenaeum 201 Prince Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
 
 
Select films opening today:
 
Directed by Seth Gordon, this comedy follows the meek businessman Sandy (Jason Bateman) as he tracks down the seemingly sweet con artist (Melissa McCarthy) who’s stolen his identity.
 
 
 
In this drama directed by Steven Soderbergh, Emily (Rooney Mara) and Jonathan (Jude Law) are a New York power couple whose lives fall apart when Emily’s new prescription drug curses her with surprising side effects.
 
 

 

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DC, MD, VA Events: WETA Around Town February 1 - 3

Looking for something to do this weekend in DC, Maryland, and Virginia? Check out our selection of multiple musical events right in your own backyard!

Click here to watch videos of events and watch trailers of the movies!

 

Cure your travel bug with music.

Journey to the East and back to the West again this weekend with the China National Symphony Orchestra, as it performs a variety of orchestral works from China and around the world. Celebrated for spreading symphony awareness in their homeland, the China National Symphony Orchestra is back in the United States for the first time since their debut tour in 2006. The orchestra will be performing twice in our area this weekend.

Friday, 8pm – Music Center at Strathmore
Saturday, 8pm – George Mason University’s Center for the Arts

 

5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD 20852
Cost: Tickets $25-$65 (Stars Price $22.50-$58.50)
 
4400 University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030
Cost: $30, $52, $60. 1 Free Student Ticket Available with Mason ID

 

 

[Not] Out of the Blue Jam Session!

Grab your guitars, fiddles, and harmonicas and head on over to the O Street Museum for a live bluegrass jam session!  Musicians and groupies of all ages are invited to show off their musical (and dancing…) skills alongside professional musicians in the business.  Now’s your chance to live your bluegrass dream…are you in?  

Sunday, February 3, 11am-2pm Register Online
Cost: Donations accepted
O Street Museum    2020 O St. NW, Washington, DC, 20036

 

 

A Turkish Experience!

Looking for a fun Saturday for the whole family, filled with shadow puppets and vibrant art?  The Textile Museum celebrates its fourth-annual mid-winter festival  with an in-depth look at the arts and artisans of Turkey.

Since the time of the Ottoman Empire, shadow puppets have been used as a source of storytelling in Turkey.  In celebration, the Cresent Moon Karagoz Shadow Puppet Theater will be putting on four performances for visitors followed by a lesson on how to marble paper with Tugba Musurlu.  You will also be able to take a closer look at their current exhibition, The Sultan’s Garden: the Blossoming of Ottoman Art.  If that’s not enough, enjoy a cup of warm Turkish apple tea and cookies before venturing back out into the cold.

Saturday,12-4pm
Free; no reservations required.
The Textile Museum    2320 S Street, NW  Washington, DC

 

 

Select films opening today:

BULLET TO THE HEAD          (MPAA Rating)

Based on the French graphic novel by Alexis Nolent, BULLET TO THE HEAD, directed by Walter Hill, stars Sylvester Stallone as a hitman and Sung Kang as a young Washington detective who team up in the name of revenge when both of their partners are murdered in New Orleans.

 

WARM BODIES         (PG-13)

This is a classic case of boy meets girl, except that the boy, Nicholas Hoult, is a zombie who rescues the girl, Teresa Palmer, from what would’ve been a deadly attack. WARM BODIES, directed by Jonathan Levine (50/50, THE WACKNESS, ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE), also stars Analeigh Tipton, Rob Corddry, Dave Franco, and Academy Award winner John Malkovich.

 

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DC, MD, VA Events: WETA Around Town December 14 - 16

Looking for something to do this weekend in DC, Maryland, and Virginia? Check out our selection of cultural events right in your own backyard!

 

Be inspired by art in Bethesda

The second Friday of the month can only mean one thing: art lovers will descend upon Bethesda for the Art Walk taking place at seven galleries and studios.  Enjoy free refreshments and a chance to discover original artwork by local, regional and national artists.  If you need to rest your legs between galleries, the free Bethesda Circulator bus run continuously with stops within a few blocks from each art space.

Friday, 6pm-9pm

Cost: Free

Various locations in Downtown Bethesda, MD

Click here for more information!

 

 

An Ideal Afternoon for Your Family

If you’re looking for a casual Sunday afternoon, stroll on over to Dumbarton House for The Picnic Theatre’s holiday encore performance of An Ideal Husband. 

Sunday, 2pm

The Dumbarton House

2715 Q Street NW, Washington, DC

Cost: $12 ($15 at the door)

Click here for tickets and more information!

 

Select films opening today:

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY

From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes the first installment of a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien.  The three films tell a continuous story set in Middle-earth 60 years before THE LORD OF THE RINGS, which Jackson and his filmmaking team brought to the big screen in the blockbuster trilogy that culminated with the Oscar®-winning THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING.

 

HYDE PARK ON HUDSON  (R)

In June 1939 the King and Queen of England (Samuel West and Olivia Colman) were invited to stay overnight at President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's (Bill Murray) country estate Hyde Park in upstate New York (actually, it's his mother's—he just lives there). This was the first-ever visit of a reigning English monarch to America. With Britain facing imminent war with Germany, the Royals are desperately looking to FDR for support. But international affairs must be juggled with the complexities of FDR's domestic establishment, as wife Eleanor (Olivia Williams), mother, and mistresses all conspire to make the royal weekend an unforgettable one. Seen through the eyes of Daisy (Laura Linney), Franklin's neighbor and intimate, the weekend will produce not only a special relationship between two great nations, but, for Daisy—and through her, for us all—a deeper understanding of the mysteries of love and friendship.

Check out the WETA Around Town Reveiw on our YouTube page!

 

ANY DAY NOW                   (NR)

Set in the 1970s, this drama is about Rudy (Alan Cumming), a drag queen whose outrageous exterior hides a lonely but lovable interior. Going to the apartment next door to complain about noise, he finds Marco (Isaac Leyva), a mentally handicapped teenager, abandoned by his mother who has been arrested for prostitution and drugs. Rudy reluctantly and temporarily takes care of Marco, but soon finds himself wanting to turn his guardianship into something more permanent. Meanwhile, Rudy meets attractive, straight-arrow, closeted Paul (Garrett Dillahunt), who attends his show and likes what he sees. Paul works in the DA's office, which comes in handy when Rudy gets into a fight with social services over Marco. As Rudy and Paul are drawn together and become a couple, they seek to adopt Marco, but meet with prejudice and overwhelming obstacles.

 

THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE   (NR)

In 1989, five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem were arrested for brutally beating and raping a white woman in New York City's Central Park. The policed announced to a press hungry for sensational crime stories that the young men had been part of a gang of teenagers who were out "wilding," assaulting joggers and bicyclists that evening. The ensuing media frenzy was met with a public outcry for justice. New York Mayor Ed Koch called it the "crime of the century" and it remains to date one of the biggest media stories of our time. Each of the five suspects spent 6 to 13 years in prison before a shocking confession from a serial rapist and DNA evidence proved their innocence. Set against a backdrop of a decaying city beset by violence and racial tension, THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE tells the story of how five lives were upended by the rush to judgment by police, a sensationalist media and a devastating miscarriage of justice. Written and directed by Ken Burns (The Civil War, Prohibition, Jazz, Baseball), David McMahon and Sarah Burns.

Watch the trailer here!

 

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DC, MD, VA Events: WETA Around Town November 21 - 25

Looking for something to do this weekend in DC, Maryland, and Virginia? Check out our selection of cinematic, poetic and turkey-rific events right in your own backyard!

Shake it, Butterball!

After you’ve feasted like a Pilgrim, it’s hard not to feel sluggish.  Get your energy back by putting on your dancing shoes and heading over to the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage for a Thanksgiving Day Swing Dance Party with Doc Scantlin’s Palmettos.  Self-conscious about your two left feet?  Gottaswing will host free dance lessons at 5pm, giving you a whole hour to shape up before the performance begins.

Thursday, 6-7:30pm

The Kennedy Center    2700 F Street NW Washington, DC

Cost: Free

Click here for more information! 

 

There’s nothing like a great meal followed by a great movie!

You already took a gamble on the dinner table seating arrangement at Thanksgiving; why take a gamble on your movie choice for the evening?  Stuff yourself, get into the car, and then plop down for a cinematic classic, with THE WIZARD OF OZ and THE GODFATHER, both playing at the AFI Silver Theater.  You’ll get all of your guests out of the house and into a state-of-the-art theater designed by renowned architect John Eberson in 1938.

The Godfather: Friday, 4pm; Saturday, 4pm; Sunday, 8pm

Wizard of Oz: Thursday, 7pm; Friday, 11 am & 7:30pm; Saturday, 11am & 10:15pm; Sunday, 10:45am

AFI Silver Theatre    8633 Colesville Rd. Silver Spring, MD

Cost: All tickets $11.50 unless otherwise noted.

Click here for more information! 

 

The Tragic Ending of Edgar Allan Poe

If the cheer and wholesomeness of Thanksgiving is too much to bear, hit up the last weekend of Centerstage’s THE COMPLETELY FICTONAL-UTTERLY TRUE-FINAL STRANGE TALE OF EDGAR ALLEN POE.  This full-stage production, directed by Curt Columbus and starring local actor Bruce Nelson, explores Poe’s final days in Baltimore before his mysterious death.  At the very least, the play will probably make you feel better about your own family drama!

Friday, 8pm

Saturday, 2pm & 8pm

Sunday, 2pm & 7:30pm

Centerstage: State Theater of Maryland    700 North Calvert Street Baltimore, MD

Cost: Starting at $15; prices vary

Purchase tickets here! 

 

Films opening Wednesday:

Rise of the Guardians      (PG)

RISE OF THE GUARDIANS is an epic and magical adventure that tells the story of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman, and Jack Frost – legendary characters with previously unknown extraordinary abilities. When an evil spirit known as Pitch lays down the gauntlet to take over the world, the immortal Guardians must join forces to protect the hopes, beliefs and imagination of children everywhere.

 

Red Dawn    (PG-13)

In RED DAWN, a city in Washington state awakens to the surreal sight of foreign paratroopers dropping from the sky – shockingly, the U.S. has been invaded and their hometown is the initial target. Quickly and without warning, the citizens find themselves prisoners and their town under enemy occupation. Determined to fight back, a group of young patriots seek refuge in the surrounding woods, training and reorganizing themselves into a guerilla group of fighters. Taking inspiration from their high school mascot, they call themselves the Wolverines, banding together to protect one another, liberate their town from its captors, and take back their freedom.

 

Life of Pi

Yann Martel’s bestselling fantasy adventure novel,  LIFE OF PI, has made it to the big screen in a new film directed by Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon).  The story follows Pi, a teenage boy who finds himself trapped on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger.   His quest for survival turns from the physical to the spiritual. 

 

 

Films opening Friday:

Hitchcock    (PG-13)

HITCHCOCK is a love story about one of the most influential filmmakers of the last century, Alfred Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins), and his wife and partner, Alma Reville (Helen Mirren). The film takes place during the making of Hitchcock's seminal movie PSYCHO. Directed by Sacha Gervasi (ANVIL: THE STORY OF ANVIL),Hitchcock also stars Scarlett Johansson, Toni Collette, Danny Huston and Jessica Biel.

 

Tristana         (PG)

Luis Buñuel's late-period masterpiece, TRISTANA is a study of power shifts in an obsessive relationship. Re-teaming Buñuel and Catherine Deneuve soon after their memorable collaboration in BELLE DE JOUR, TRISTANA co-stars frequent Buñuel alter ego Fernando Rey (VIRIDIANA, THE DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE). Rey plays Don Lope, a mephistophelean, anti-clerical socialist and outmoded master of social graces, who seduces his innocent and beautiful young ward Tristana (Deneuve), becoming her lover/father figure. She eventually leaves him for a handsome young artist (played by Italian heartthrob Franco Nero), but returns in the end for revenge, having changed from naïve waif to hardened cynic. For many years the film only existed in sadly-faded prints; now digitally restored, it can be seen in its full glory. 

 

LAST CHANCE!

DYING CITY at Signature Theatre closes Sunday evening: