Best Things to Do in the DC Area 3/23-3/26: RiverRun Festival, “Angels in America” play, and Bethesda Film Fest

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Plus, a cherry blossom kite festival.

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Blossom Kite Festival. Photograph courtesy of National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Happy Thursday, everyone!

You can check out the opening of a new play at Arena Stage, or celebrate the Earth with live performances at the Kennedy Center’s river-inspired cultural festival this weekend.

Best Things to Do This Weekend

  1. RiverRun Festival. The Kennedy Center is paying homage to the world’s rivers with a month-long cultural festival that includes jazz, soul, ice percussionists, tango, and more. The RiverRun Festival brings international artists, musicians, dancers, filmmakers, and authors to DC for live performances and art exhibitions that highlight nature’s impact on the planet and art (through April 22, prices vary, Kennedy Center).
  2. “Angels in America” play. Experience the 30th anniversary revival of Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning Angels in America, Part One: Millennium at Arena Stage. The moving drama about two couples battling with illness, fear, and identity is directed by János Szász (Fri through April 23, $56+, Southwest DC).
  3. Bethesda Film Fest. Filmmakers G. Chesler, Penny Lee, and Adele Schmidt have selected seven local films to be presented at the 11th annual Bethesda Film Fest. Moviegoers can watch short documentaries at Imagination Stage that touch on the themes of nature, Black business, human rights, and community (Fri-Sat, $15, Bethesda).
  4. SheRocks. The SheRocks celebration of women in business and the arts returns for its 10th year. Capital Turnaround will host a lineup of business workshops and talks featuring motivating conversations from women creatives and entrepreneurs, a pampering massage party, brunch, art installations, a film screening, food, and more festivities (Fri-Sat, $35+, Southeast DC).
  5. Blossom Kite Festival. Spring into some family-friendly fun at the Washington Monument Grounds this weekend. You can bring your own kite, purchase a kite at the event, or use a free kite kit to decorate your own and join in on the flying activities at the Blossom Kite Festival. Guests can also enjoy live traditional Japanese drumming, view a showcase of traditional Edo-style kites by Mr. Mikio Toki, and experience demos by the local Wings Over Washington Kite Club (Sun, free, National Mall).


RiverRun Illustration by Edwin Fontánez from On This Beautiful Island.

Want More Things to Do?

Budget-friendly. Sit in on an 11th Street Bridge Park panel about building a more equitable city (Thurs, free, virtual).

Arts and culture. Spy Museum historian Dr. Andrew Hammond talks with author Benny Morris about the secret agent who inspired James Bond (Fri, free, virtual). Learn about handmade Peruvian items from master weaver Nilda Callañaupa and browse the textile market at Eaton House (Sun, free, Downtown). Celebrate Women’s History Month and meet Black women artists at Zawadi African Gallery and Boutique (Sat, free, U Street). Learn how to take a great photos on your iPhone at Apple Carnegie Library with local photographer Angela Pan (Sun, free, Northwest DC). Watch a documentary screening of Ina Vanguard Style at Eaton DC and meet Iration Steppas and Original Bass Foundation to learn about the sound system culture (Fri, $25, Downtown). Explore the newest installation of paintings and mixed-media sculptures at the Rubell Museum’s “What’s Going On” exhibit (ongoing Wed-Sun, $15, free for DC residents, Southwest DC). Learn about air-plant care and terrarium assembly at this succulent workshop (Thurs, $26, Alexandria).

History and community. Learn about the history of disenfranchisement, disability rights, and Black women experiences during enslavement from local scholars at the DC History Conference (Thurs-Sat, free, Northwest DC). Fashion historian John Tiffany discusses the style of the 1920s jazz age (Thurs, free, Northwest DC). Attend a symposium centered on the legacy and career of Abraham Lincoln (Sat, free, Ford’s Theatre).

Theater and shows. Choose the funniest joke at The Womb comedy workshop (Thurs, $20+, Takoma Park). French high-wire artist Philippe Petit will perform 50 feet above the Great Hall at the National Building Museum; there will be dinner, cocktails, and jazz (Thurs-Fri, $300, donations welcome for family performance, Northwest DC). Experience a theatrical adaptation and reimagining of The Little Mermaid in Sometimes the Rain, Sometimes the Sea at Rorschach Theatre (Fri through April 16, $5+, H Street Corridor). Nomad Dancers and Raqs el Hob portray the story of  Middle East and Central Asia migrants at Atlas Performing Arts Center (Sat, $32, H Street Corridor).

Music and concerts. Opera star Angel Blue performs with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (Fri-Sun, $35+, Baltimore, Bethesda). The Washington Chorus hosts a mix and mingle networking event with live performances at Busboys and Poets (Thurs, free, but registration required, Cardozo). Pianist Francesca Hurst performs a classical music recital (Thurs, free, Catholic University of America).

Bites and beverages. Hotel Zena is hosting a tasting of drinks from women distillers, wine makers, and brewers (Sat, $45+, Northwest DC). District Bridges is throwing a neon party; there will be food, a DJ, and open bar (Thurs, $35+, Northwest DC).

Sports. Cheer on DC’s women’s soccer team at the Washington Spirit season opener (Sun, $25+, Audi Field). DC United is having a cherry blossom-themed match and giving away sunglasses to fans (Sat, $27+, Audi Field). Check out the the Washington Capitals’ Title IX-inspired warm-up jerseys at Women in Hockey Night (Thurs, $19+, Capital One Arena).

Things to do with kids. Kids can decorate hats, play games, and enjoy snacks at a Mad Hatter Tea Party (Sat, free, Hyattsville). Take photos with the Easter bunny at Prince George’s mall (Sat through April 8, $32+, Hyattsville). Celebrate Maryland Day with children’s activities, water-taxi rides, food trucks, and more fun (Sat, free, Colton’s Point).

Get involved. Join fellow neighbors in a cleanup of Anacostia Park to help keep trash out of the river (Sat, free, Anacostia). Run or walk the ScopeItOut 5K to fundraise during colorectal cancer awareness month (Sun, free for patients and survivors, $35, Downtown, virtual).

If you enjoyed these events, please don’t forget to share this post with a friend on social media, and sign-up for our newsletter for more things to do.

Briana A. Thomas is a local journalist, historian, and tour guide who specializes in the research of D.C. history and culture. She is the author of the Black history book, Black Broadway in Washington, D.C., a story that was first published in Washingtonian in 2016.

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