The Crime Museum shines a light on the dark underbelly of society with more than 100 interactive exhibits spread across three stories and 25,000 square feet of gallery space. After resting their weary bones in an unplugged electric chair, fans of CSI can live out television fantasies at the Crime Scene Investigation exhibit, where they can learn what it takes to be a forensic scientist and watch professionals in action before trying to determine whether fellow museum-goers exhibit the traits of serial killers. The exhibit also serves as a crash course in fingerprinting, DNA testing, fraudulent-check investigation, and dental-impression and ballistics analysis. The museum devotes an entire level to the now-retired set of America’s Most Wanted, providing an adjoining exhibit where fans of the show can step into a green screen for a criminal profile or imaginary Caribbean vacation. The museum’s many permanent exhibits include A Notorious History of American Crime, about the country's felonious forefathers, and an exploration into one of the most heinous masterminds of modern times in the Ted Kaczynski: The Unabomber exhibit.
Dance Place first leapt onto the scene more than three decades ago as an educational and performing arts company that toured local schools. In the years since, it has grown into a multi-faceted operation and source of both entertainment and instruction.
Every weekend, Dance Place dazzles crowds with performances in modern dance, African Dance, performance art, and spoken word. Rather than hiring a sketch artist to doodle each dance step into a flipbook, spectators can learn the moves they see on stage by enrolling in one of Dance Place's programs, or by dropping into an adult or children's class. Dance Place has remained true to its roots through its continued support of local schools, and to this day organizes family-friendly performances, workshops, and school assemblies.
Founded by a ring of cinephiles who set out to rehab an abandoned theater just north of George Washington University, West End Cinema screens foreign, independent, and documentary films that open up new intellectual and cultural vistas. Films run the genre gamut from quirky, independent dramedies and comedramas to special live events such as Opera in Cinema or Ballet in Cinema. Sunset-orange and slate walls and recessed lighting usher guests from a glass-fronted lobby into three cozy theaters, each of which seats between 50 and 100 watchers. On the way, they'll pass an abundantly stocked concession stand, where they can harvest drinks from a full bar, baklava, and gourmet sandwiches along with additional children from the sour patch.
When the Rolling Stones wanted a chorus to sing with them during their last gig on their "50 and Counting" tour, they knew who to call: The Washington Chorus. That unexpected melding of talent is a testament to the group's stellar reputation—the Grammy-winning ensemble is noted for its ability to engage a wide range of audiences. And they've done just that for more than 50 seasons, delighting ears with a repertoire of classical masterpieces and modern compositions. Equally committed to enriching their community, the chorus performs free concerts throughout the greater D.C. area, sponsors a junior choir, and gently corrects anyone who misspells "requiem."
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Held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, The 2011 Washington Auto Show will feature more than 700 new mobile makes and models. Four-wheel fanatics can pore over concepts, production models, and prototypes from more than 30 manufacturers, including Ford, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW. Take some time out from the car catwalk to enjoy a variety of contests, entertainment, and exhibits. Events on February 1 include appearances from the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders, as well as auto-themed speed dating to transform emotional Edsels into romantic Alfa Romeos. WWE Superstars Big Show and Randy Orton will make special appearances on February 2 and 3, respectively, while all three days feature a cartoon cavalcade of Playland Mascots such as PBS heroes Clifford the Big Red Dog, WordGirl, and Robert MacNeil's hair. Additionally, visitors can check out the Advanced Technology SuperHighway exhibit, which showcases the latest breakthroughs in automobile sustainability and safety. Photography and video equipment are allowed, and ample food vendors and local restaurants ensure grumbling bellies don't drown out revving engines.