On this week’s agenda: a LEGO festival for kids and adults, a pub crawl to kick off Oktoberfest, and whimsical comedy from Aparna Nancherla. The MLK Jr. Memorial Library celebrates Banned Book Week, and the Folger Consort remembers lute ayres from Shakespeare’s day. Enjoy yourselves, and as always, check Groupon for even more great things to do in DC. Brick Fest Live LEGO Fan Festival at Maryland State Fairgrounds Lutherville-Timonium | Through September 21 As children age up, so do the creations they build with LEGO bricks. At Brick Fest Live LEGO Fan Festival, adults and kids engage in a shared love of all things LEGO by building new creations and showing off ornate sculptures. You can also snag custom LEGO accessories, including sci-fi weapons scaled to a LEGO minifig's grasp. (2200 York Rd., Lutherville-Timonium, MD; $22; buy tickets here) District Oktoberfest at RFD Chinatown | September 20–21 To kick off a month of celebrating Bavarian culture, bar RFD is hosting a tour of Chinatown watering holes where participants guzzle a 12-ounce pour of each establishment's Oktoberfest speciality. The eight-hour beerathon will drop in at bars such as Iron Horse Tap Room, Penn Social, Jackpot, and Rocket Bar, and all locations will have specials in addition to their included beers. (810 7th St. NW; $25; buy tickets here) Aparna Nancherla at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage Foggy Bottom | Monday, September 22, at 6 p.m. One of the 2013 New Faces at Just for Laughs, Aparna Nancherla brings her brand of whimsical, absurdist, and smart comedy to the Kennedy Center's Theater Lab. A DC native, Nancherla has recently made a name for herself performing standup on Conan and writing and corresponding for FX's Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell. (2700 F St. NW; free) Banned Books Week and Uncensored: The Art Exhibit at Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library Chinatown | Through September 27 The MLK Memorial Library salutes banned books with its new exhibit, Uncensored: The Art Exhibit. The collection showcases paintings, videos, and performance art that explore the concept of censorship. Programming also includes literary crafts for kids in the Children's Room, and a screening of To Kill A Mockingbird (Monday, September 22) to honor the once-banned book of the same title. (901 G St. NW; free) Courting Elizabeth: Music and Patronage in Shakespeare's England at Folger Elizabethan Theatre Capitol Hill | Friday, September 26, 8 p.m. Strumming viols and a lute, the Folger Consort will perform five dances by Elizabethan lutenist John Dowland, who counted the King of Denmark and the Earl of Essex among his patrons. Also on the program: lute ayres and select lyra viol pieces by Scottish composer Tobias Hume. (201 E. Capitol St. SE; $37; buy tickets here) Photo courtesy of Brick Fest LiveRead More
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On this week’s agenda: a beer festival with the band !!!, flamenco music in the Sculpture Garden, a kid-size signing of the Constitution, the return of Lil Boosie, and a seriously transformative circus. Enjoy yourselves, and as always, check Groupon for even more great things to do in DC. Third Annual Snallygaster Beer Festival at The Yards The Yards | Saturday, September 13 This year's fest features more than 250 craft brews from around the globe, including autumn seasonals, cask ales, assorted barrel-aged beers, and craft cans. The beers will pair nicely with gourmet treats from local purveyors such as Red Hook Lobster Pound, Lemongrass Truck, Red Apron Butchery, and Takorean. Live music from dance-punk outfit !!! and local electro-pop artist Brett completes the festival trifecta. (1st St. SE and N St. SE; $35; buy tickets here) Ricardo Marlow and Ensemble at the National Gallery of Art National Mall | Sunday, September 14 Amid the leaves and statues of the Sculpture Garden, classical guitarist Ricardo Marlow will honor Hispanic Heritage Month with a performance of his signature flamenco melodies. Marlow's striking, percussive style is ideal for dancing, and will be amplified even further by the seductive strings of his accompanying ensemble. (700 Constitution Ave. NW; free) Constitution Day Family Activities at Boeing Learning Center Federal Triangle | Wednesday, September 17 Parents and kids can channel the penmanship of the Founding Fathers by reenacting the signing of the Constitution a mere 227 years later. The National Archives and Records Administration will provide quill pens for children to apply their own John Hancocks (or, in this case, George Washingtons) on replicas of the great document. Crafts and costumes will also be on hand to add to the colonial festivities. (700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW; free) Lil' Boosie at Echostage Langdon Park | Friday, September 19, at 9 p.m. Fresh from his release from Louisiana State Penitentiary, the rapper who perked ears with hits like "Give Me That" and "Better Believe It" is back with a new single ("Show Da World") and a new outlook on life. On this tour, expect him to get back to business, turning new phrases in preparation for his forthcoming album. (2135 Queens Chapel Rd. NE; $65; buy tickets here) Big Apple Circus's Metamorphosis at Dulles Town Center Sterling | Thursday, September 18, and Friday, September 19 New York's legendary circus troupe returns to bewitch crowds through trapeze artistry, torch juggling, contortion, and gymnastic feats performed on horses. The show is called Metamorphosis, and the acrobats take this theme seriously; many death-defying tricks and stunts focus on transformation, such as turning balls into flames. (21100 Dulles Town Circle, Suite 194, Sterling, Virginia; $35; buy tickets here) Photos courtesy of Big Apple Circus, Snallygaster, and the National Gallery of Art.Read More
On this week’s agenda: the Maryland Seafood Festival, a Chinese film festival, DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist's tribute to Afrika Bambaataa, lamb meet-and-greets on Old MacDonald’s Farm, and The Fray at the National Zoo. Enjoy yourselves, and as always, check Groupon for even more great things to do in DC. Maryland Seafood Festival at Sandy Point State Park Annapolis | Saturday, September 6, and Sunday, September 7 The spirit of Chesapeake Bay inhabits this seaside festival, adding a little extra flavor to the crab cakes, oysters, and local craft beers served throughout. If you're not too full after the corn-on-the-cob-eating contest, check out local art and live music from regional bands including blues act Kelly Bell Band and rockers Bad with Names. (1100 E. College Pkwy., Annapolis, MD; $20; buy tickets here) Second Biennial DC Chinese Film Festival at Freer Gallery of Art National Mall | Through Sunday, September 7 Panel discussions and special events accompany screenings of films from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and other Chinese communities across the globe. Our pick? Oscar-nominated The Missing Picture, which plays on Sunday and recounts the search for memories and innocence lost during the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror over Cambodia. (1050 Independence Ave. SW; free) DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist: Renegades of Rhythm Tour at the Fillmore Silver Spring Silver Spring | Monday, September 8 Instrumental hip-hop pioneer DJ Shadow and Jurassic 5 turntablist Cut Chemist dig deep into Afrika Bambaataa’s personal record collection in celebration of Universal Zulu Nation's 40th anniversary. The duo will explore the farthest reaches of the father of electro funk's library, intermingling genres ranging from breakbeat and hip-hop to disco and electro house. (8656 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring, MD; $21; buy tickets here) Old MacDonald's Farm at StageCoach Theatre's Outdoor Stage Leesburg | Through September 14 In Old MacDonald's Farm, the StageCoach Theatre Company uses music and laughter to tell the story of a shy lamb who struggles to make friends with other wildlife. The show is part of StageCoach Theatre for Young Audiences, a season of original productions by local playwrights designed to help families connect with the performing arts. (20850 Oatlands Plantation Ln., Leesburg, VA; free) Rock-N-Roar with The Fray at the National Zoo Woodley Park | Friday, September 12 One night each year, the lions, elephants, and pandas of the National Zoo invite human animals over for a music-filled night of dancing and drinks. This year, Grammy-nominated pop-rockers The Fray will entertain crowds with their hits ''Over My Head (Cable Car),'' ''How to Save a Life,'' and tracks from their latest album, Helios. Friends of the National Zoo will also host animal demonstrations throughout the night. (3001 Connecticut Ave. NW; $55; buy tickets here) Photos courtesy of Maryland Seafood Festival, Cut Chemist, and the Smithsonian National ZooRead More