Seen and Heard: Happenings Around Town


Seen and Heard: Happenings Around Town

Welcome to the Seen and Heard blog! Here you will find information for arts and entertainment news and events. Want to know what is happening at local clubs, museums, theaters and cultural centers? Check back here daily and follow WTOP Entertainment on Twitter: @WTOPEnt

    Redskins WR Jackson to emcee comedy night in Bethesda Thursday

    WASHINGTON -- Want to meet new Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson? Check out the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club tonight, where Jackson will host a night of comedy.

    The event begins at 7 p.m., with tickets ranging from $25-$45. The lineup for the evening includes Red Grant, Huggy LowDown, Chris Paul, Chris Thomas and Tony Woods.

    Jackson will use the platform to help fight bullying, a campaign he has devoted time and effort to through his foundation.

    For more on how to get tickets for tonight's event, visit
    Jeff Bridges serenades Alexandria

    WASHINGTON - The Dude is coming to Virginia. 

    Jeff Bridges and the Abiders will play at The Birchmere Aug. 31. Tickets go on sale Wednesday at noon and start at $89.50. Click here to purchase. 

    Bridges has been playing with the band since 2011, and will co-host this year's Austin City Limits with songstress Sheryl Crow.

    Watch Bridges and John Fogerty perform the Creedence Clearwater Revival classic "Looking Out My Back Door" below: 

    John Fogerty & Jeff Bridges - Looking out my back door
    by decadasderockandroll via YouTube

    Morrissey reschedules local shows

    WASHINGTON -- Were you excited about seeing the Moz tonight in Baltimore or Wednesday in D.C.

    Unfortunately you will now have to wait until June 24 and 25 for said show now that Morrissey has rescheduled both dates "at the advice of his medical team."

    Morrissey canceled a show in Atlanta last week  and rescheduled an Atlantic City concert after promoters said, “Morrissey and the touring crew have come down with a virus,” according to media reports

    From 9:30 Club:

    Weekend Best Bets
    By Mary DePompa

    Saturday and Sunday: 


    • BowieFest at Allen Pond features family friendly activities, rides, entertainment, art
      & crafts, food and more. For info
    • Rock the Pink Volleyball Festival, at Occoquan Regional Park in Lorton, is a flagship event to raise money for breast cancer research that features outdoor volleyball with games, vendors, DJs and more! For info
    • 20th Annual Manassas Heritage Railway Festival, in historic downtown Manassas, features a family celebration of railroad history with vendors, entertainment, music and a train ride to Clifton with a Frozen Princess. For info

    Saturday Night:

    • IOTA Cafe presents indie rock with Sirsy and Air Traffic Controller. For info


    Sunday Night:

    'House of Cards' to hold Season 3 casting call in Md.

    This image released by Netflix shows Kevin Spacey as Francis Underwood, left, and Robin Wright as Clair Underwood in a scene from "House of Cards." (AP Photo/Netflix, Nathaniel E. Bell, File) 
    WASHINGTON --  "House of Cards" fans in the area could have a chance to star in the show's third season.

    The Netflix political drama is looking to fill roles during an open casting call at the Bel Air Armory, 41 North Main St. in Bel Air, on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    The Emmy-winning show is looking for "all types, ages, sizes and ethnicities" for union and non-union extras and day player roles.

    Those interested in auditioning should come dressed in a "D.C. political look," bring a headshot/resume and a photo of them in "D.C. black-tie attire."

    There will be a separate line for SAG/AFTRA members. Also, those who have already submitted resumes to be in the third season do not need to attend.


    Pharrell apologizes for wearing headdress on cover

    WASHINGTON -- Not everyone is happy about the headdress Pharrell is wearing on the cover of Elle UK's July issue.

    The cover shows Pharrell in an American feather headdress.

    The Doug Inglish photographed shoot is drawing controversy and the Native American community is sounding off about his fashion choice.

    Many people took to Twitter to express their anger.

    Read more and see the picutre on and read Pharrell's apology.

    'Games of Thrones' book 8 on the way?

    "Game of Thrones" fans may have one more book to add to their reading list.

    Author George R.R. Martin's editor Anne Lesley Groell hinted at the possibility of more than seven books during a question and answer session on Suvudu Universe, according to USA TODAY. 

    The plan now is seven books for seven kingdoms, Groell says.

    "There are really technically eight kingdoms, all having to do with who has annexed what when Aegon the Conqueror landed in Westeros. So, maybe eight books for Seven Kingdoms would be okay," Groell wrote.

    Groell said that even she doesn't know when the sixth book will come out.
  • Weekend Best Bets: Jewish Music Festival, ROAMfest '14 

    Mary dePompa, WTOP News

    All Weekend:

    • Herndon Festival is great family fun with rides, vendors, music and a kids zone. For info 
    • 33rd annual Vintage Virginia Wine and Food Festival at Bull Run Park boasts the Commonwealth’s best in wine, food and music with chef demos, food trucks and kids activities. For info 
    • Western Maryland Blues Fest in Hagerstown celebrates one of America’s most enduring musical forms all weekend. For info 
    • Washington Folk Festival held annually at Glen Echo Park offers diversity in traditional music for the family with musicians, storytellers, dancers and craftspeople all for free. For info 
    • Washington Green Festival at the Convention Center is a vibrant dynamic marketplace with demonstrations and activities for all to learn to how to live, work, play and design green. For info 
    • UniverSoul Circus at Capital Plaza in Maryland has various shows and times all weekend. Family packs available. For info 

    Saturday, May 31:

    • Springfield Days Festival at South Run Park,Virginia,  is a community celebration with a PetFest, car show and a screening of "Frozen." For info 
    • Cheverly Day at Cheverly Town Park, Maryland, is great family fun with games, music, vendors and fireworks at dusk. For info 
    • Maritime Model Expo at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michael's is a day of demonstrations and exhibits, live music, family activities and more. For info 
    • Annapolis Greek Festival celebrate the culture with the family through traditional music, dance and food. For info 

    Saturday Night:

    • The Howard Theatre hosts the reggae stylings of Tarrus Riley. For info 
    • Hill Country BBQ Live presents Austin’s own Graham Wilkinson. For info 
    • Rams Head in Annapolis presents the classic rock sound of UK’s World Party.
      For info 
    • The Lincoln Theatre presents the alt-rock of the Eels with Chelsea Wolfe. For info 
    • Gypsy Sally’s offers the gospel stylings of The Lee Boys with the Watt Brothers. For info 
    • Bethesda Blues & Jazz featuring D.C.’s own Tom Principato Band with Horns. For info 

    Sunday, June 1:

    • First Sunday Arts Festival in downtown Annapolis is a family-friendly street
      festival, art market, craft fair with entertainment all rolled into one. 
      For info 
    • Strawberry Jubilee in Bluemont, Virginia, is great old fashioned family fun with music, farm contests, pie eating contest and diaper derby. For info

    Sunday Night:

    • Washington Jewish Music Festival begins at D.C.’s Jewish Community Center with an acoustic evening featuring Matisyahu. For info
    • The Birchmere hosts ROAMfest '14, featuring kids between the ages of 10 and 16 performing old and new songs. For info 
    • Rams Head Annapolis presents Kristian Bush of Sugarland with Ashley Forrest. For info 
    • Jammin' Java hosts a night of pop with Against the Current with King the Kid, Once Upon a Time and Just Another Scene. For info 
    • The Hamilton Live presents the alt-rock of Spanish Gold with Northern Faces. For info 
    • The State Theatre presents the premiere Rush tribute band, Blame It On Canada. For info 
    • Bethesda Blues & Jazz host on of Billboard’s most influential vocal groups in
      pop music history,
      The Flamingos. For info 
    • Gypsy Sally’s present CMA song of the year winner, Gretchen Peters. For
    • Sixth and i, NW hosts singer-songwriter Tom Gross. For info 
  • GWAR launches Indiegogo campaign to open new restaurant

    WASHINGTON -- Richmond-based shock rockers GWAR have a new trick up their intergalactic sleeves.
    In effort to recruit more faithful followers, the band is raising funds to open a new restaurant, GWARbar. 

    Surviving members -- lead singer Dave Brockie died earlier this year -- hope to raise $50,000 via Indiegogo for the new venture. 

    From the band:

    "With the untimely passing of our leader, Dave Brockie, we are more determined than ever to make one of his last dreams a reality, the creation of the GWARbar! GWAR has joined forces with Travis Croxton, Richmond's restaurateur of the year 2013, to do just that. Michael Derks, better known as BalSac the Jaws 'o Death, will be using his 30+ years of restaurant experience to create a menu and cocktail program unlike any other in Richmond and all of the artist of GWAR will be contributing their talents to bring into existence a dinning environment that will make each meal an adventure."

    The eatery will be located in Richmond's historic Jackson Ward, the band says. Money raised will be used to build a smoke house, buy a meat grinder and transform the restaurant "into a fantasy land of food and beverage."

    Click here to visit the Indiegogo campaign.

    gwar bar
    by bo habb via YouTube

  • Pre-sale tickets available tomorrow for 'Jesus Christ Superstar'

    WASHINGTON -- "Jesus Christ Superstar" is coming to D.C.'s Warner Theatre Aug. 7, but fans who can't wait to see former Sex Pistol Johnny "Rotten" Lydon play King Herod can buy their pre-sale tickets tomorrow. 

    Regular sales start June 6 at 10 a.m. Tickets are $37.50 to $127.50, not including venue fees. 

    This tour features some standout performers from the worlds of rock, R&B and pop.

    From the promoters:

    "Brandon BoydGrammy nominated lead vocalist of rock band Incubus, is confirmed for the role of ‘Judas Iscariot’, Grammy nominated *NSYNC vocalist, JC Chasez, will play ‘Pontius Pilate’, Grammy Award winner and member of Destiny’s Child, Michelle Williams, will take the female lead as ‘Mary Magdalene’, English singer-songwriter and lead singer in Public Image Ltd. (PiL) and Sex Pistols, John Rotten Lydonwill play ‘King Herod’ and introducing British actor and singer, Ben Forster, who won England’s ITV Superstar competition in 2012 and played the lead role in the UK and Australian arena tours.

    King Herod: Jesus Christ Superstar
    by teledhelwen via YouTube

  • Los Angeles-based animation company heads to D.C.

    WASHINGTON -- An animation company is ditching Los Angeles and relocating to D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray announced Tuesday. 

    Pigmental Studios -- whose animators have worked with studios such as Disney, Dreamworks and Pixar -- will create content for film, TV, online and video games. About 12 employees will relocate to the area, but the company is slated to hire 50 more employees by 2016, the mayor's office says.

    “D.C.’s vibrant and cultural environment is an ideal location for inspiring and stimulating our seasoned artists,” Pigmental Studios' Marina Martins says in a statement.

     “We look forward to building a group that could interact, support and complement the independent adventurous spirit that exists in D.C.

    Watch a teaser for Pigmental's first feature film, "Kong," which is slated to be released in 2016:

    Kong 2016 Movie Teaser
    by Variety via YouTube

  • Courtesy Merriweather Post Pavilion/Will Cocks

    Merriweather Post Pavilion is getting a makeover

    COLUMBIA, Md. -- Howard County Executive Ken Ulman announced a $19 million plan Monday for improvements to the outdoor concert venue in Columbia.

    The renovations planned over five years are set to begin after the current concert season. They include new seating, a raised roof around the main stage, new restrooms and concessions, new artist dressing rooms and even a new stage.

    County officials say the plan leverages more than $30 million in funding by expediting the transfer of the venue to the Downtown Columbia Arts and Culture Commission.

    Read the full story here

  • GI Film Festival brings David Arquette, Gary Sinise to D.C., Alexandria

    WASHINGTON -- Hollywood comes to D.C. for the eighth annual GI Film Festival, which kicks off Monday with the world premiere of Civil War drama "Field of Lost Shoes" starring Jason Isaacs, David Arquette and Tom Skerritt as Gen. Ulysess S. Grant.

    Known as "Sundance for the troops," the film fest features 56 movies, red carpet soirees and exclusive events throughout the region

    The week-long celebration "covers every aspect of military triumph and struggle, from the Civil War to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan." Films address issues for returning veterans like PTSD and unemployment .

    Click here to see screening times and for a list of events:

  • Carrie Fisher mostly mum about 'Star Wars' return

    Carrie Fisher is excited about her "Star Wars" return, even if she can't say much about it.

    The 57-year-old actress said she would "get in trouble" for discussing "Star Wars: Episode VII." Fisher appeared at a party Wednesday celebrating her mother, Debbie Reynolds, whose collection of Hollywood memorabilia is up for auction this weekend.

    Production begins this month on Disney's "Star Wars" film by director J.J. Abrams. Fisher said it's "trippy" to make a sequel 35 years later. Fisher's last Millennium Falcon voyage was 1983's "Return of the Jedi."Read more here.

    "Return of the Jedi" Slave Leia Scene - Special Edition
    by Bellosh101 via YouTube
  • Brad Pitt may or may not be on season 2 of 'True Detective'

    WASHINGTON -- Fans wondering what would happen to "True Detective" without Matthew 
    McConaughey and Woody Harrelson need not worry. Help is on the way. Maybe. 

    MovieWeb reports that Brad Pitt is reportedly in talks with the show's producers, even though HBO has not officially renewed it for a second season yet. 

    It would be Pitt's first TV role since he made a special appearance on "Friends" in 2001.

    Read more here.

    Watch Rust wax poetic, if not a little mean, about religion in the Deep South:

    True Detective - Rust talks about Religion ("What's the IQ of these people?") {Full Scene} [HD]
    by ProOmgHeadshot via YouTube

  • Kennedy Center to stream performance on YouTube

    WASHINGTON -- The Kennedy Center is presenting a one time only "celebration of art and technology" via YouTube. 

    Stars such as John Legend, Lindsey Stirling, Les Twins, Playing for Change, Scott Bradlee & Postmodern Jukebox, and Mike Relm will be filmed while performing at the Opera House. The show will then be uploaded to the Kennedy Center's YouTube channel. 

    The concert starts at at 7:30 p.m. May 28:

  • Capital Wheel set to open May 23

    WASHINGTON -- Prepare thyself for a new holiday ritual. The Capital Wheel in National Harbor is opening just in time for Memorial Day weekend. 

    Some fun facts about the attraction:

    Size: 180 Feet Tall (diameter of wheel is 165 feet) Visible from the Top of the Observation 
    Wheel: Washington Monument, U.S. Capitol, Alexandria, Prince George’s County 
    Number of Climate-Controlled Gondolas: 42 (including 1 VIP Gondola) 
    Maximum Number of Passengers: 336 (8 per Gondola) 
    Price (estimated): $15 per ride (VIP Gondola will cost more) 
    Hours of Operation (estimated): 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., year-round 
    Ride Speed: 1.5 rotations per minute 
    Lighting: 1.6 million LED lights, fully programmable, with a spectrum of 16.7 million colors 
    Concessions: Wolfgang Puck Catering will operate concessions.

    The Observation Wheel will be available for private party rental.

  • Black Keys tickets for D.C., Baltimore dates on sale next week

    WASHINGTON -- Ohio darlings The Black Keys are heading out for a North American tour this fall in support of their forthcoming album "Turn Blue," which hits shelves May 13

    The tour kicks off in Columbus, Ohio, but will swing by the Verizon Center in D.C. Sept. 25 and Baltimore Arena Dec. 4. They will play Richmond Dec. 5. 

    From the news release:

    "Pre-sale tickets will be available beginning Tuesday, May 13 at 10:00 a.m. local time to all fans pre-ordering the album at and to Citi® cardmembers in the U.S. through Citi’s Private Pass® Program ( Tickets go on-sale to the general public starting Friday, May 16 at 10:00 a.m. local time."

     Courtesy Live Nation

  • 'Nashville' actor Charles Esten to perform Wednesday at Union Station

    WASHINGTON -- Calling all "Nashville" fans!

    Actor and singer Charles Esten, who plays Deacon Claybourne on the ABC show, will perform at Union Station's East Hall at 6 p.m. Wednesday. 

    It's part of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's conference "Leading The Way To a World Without Blood Cancers". Esten's 14-year-old daughter was diagnosed with leukemia when she was 2 years old. 

    The performance is free and open to the public:

  • Opera in the Outfield kicks off this weekend at Nationals Park

    WASHINGTON -- The stadium isn't just for baseball games anymore. 

    This Saturday, Nationals Park will be transformed into an opera hall with a live broadcast of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "The Magic Flute," which is being performed at the Kennedy Center.

    The simulcast is free and starts at 7 p.m. Seating is available in the stands, but access to the outfield is limited to first come, first served. Gates open at 5 p.m.

    Click here for more details. 

    The cast of "The Magic Flute." (Courtesy Kennedy Center/Scott Suchman) 

  • Oprah considers buying L.A. Clippers 

    WASHINGTON -- Oprah Winfrey is considering joining David Geffen and Larry Ellison in a bid to purchase the Los Angeles Clippers, CBS News reports.

    She is among a number of potential buyers for the team after owner Donald Sterling was banned from the NBA for making racist comments. 

    Read more here.

  • Monday Night RAW heads to Verizon Center

    See your favorite WWE superstars June 23 at the Verizon Center in Northwest D.C. 

    John Cena, Randy Orton, Sheamus, Daniel Bryan, The Shield, The Wyatt Family and The Big Show will take the ring at 7:30 p.m. Tickets go on sale Saturday, May 3 , at 10 a.m. 

    Check out WWE online for more ticket info.

  • USA Science Festival Expo kicks off this weekend

    WASHINGTON -- Scientists, futurists, authors and technology fans will gather this weekend at the third annual USA Science and Engineering Convention Expo Saturday and Sunday at the Convention Center in Northwest D.C.  

    The weekend will be filled with interactive exhibits, guest speakers and live demos. 

    Celebrities scheduled to appear include basketball legend Kareen Abdul-Jabbar,  Mike Rowe of “Dirty Jobs” (Discovery Channel), Bill Nye the Science Guy, Grammy Award-Winners They Might Be Giants, Miss California Crystal Lee, Illusionist Apollo Robbins, Chris Hackett of “Stuck with Hackett” (Science Channel) and "Super Woman of Big-Wave Surfing" Maya Gabeira.

    Click here for a complete schedule and ticket information. 

  • National Theatre to bring 'Newsies,' 'Pippin'

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- The National Theatre is planning four Washington premieres for its 2014-2015 season of Broadway shows.

    The theater announced Monday that the Tony Award-winning productions of "Pippin" and "Newsies" will play multiple-week engagements. The season will also feature the start of the North American tour of "Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story on Stage."

    The theater also will host the Washington premiere of "Donny and Marie: Christmas at the National" with Donny and Marie Osmond.

    The season also includes "Chicago the Musical" and the return of Dame Edna Everage in "Dame Edna and Barry Humphries' The Final Farewell Tour."

    Read the full story here.

    Newsies: King of New York
    by rook88 via YouTube

  • Kevin Spacey at the Avalon

    WASHINGTON -- Frank Underwood fans rejoice. Kevin Spacey will be appearing in D.C. for a one-night only event at the Avalon Theatre in Northwest. 

    The Oscar-winning actor will be introducing and talking about his new film "Now: In the Wings of a World Stage," which follows the "House of Cards" star and director Sam Mendes as they take their stage production of "Richard III" around the world. 

    Tickets are only $20 for the May 1 event. Click here for more information. See a trailer for the film below:

    NOW: In the Wings on a World Stage (Official Trailer)
    by Kevin Spacey via YouTube

  • Best. View. Ever. Tickets to go on sale for reopening Washington Monument

    WASHINGTON -- After $15 million in repairs and a shutdown of some 32 months, the Washington Monument is reopening May 13 — and you can start reserving your tickets Wednesday.

    The National Park Service will make tickets available on a first come, first served basis starting at 8:30 a.m.,  according to NBC4 and The Associated Press. Tickets are available at the Washington Monument Lodge, on 15th Street, between Madison and Jefferson drives. Tour tickets are also available online at  the National Park Service's reservation page, beginning Wednesday at 10 a.m.

    Read more here.

  • 'West Side Story' returns to D.C. for final run 

    WASHINGTON -- "West Side Story" is returning to its theatrical home in D.C. this summer after nearly 60 years. 

    The American musical premiered at the National Theatre in 1957 before heading to Broadway. It comes to the District June 3 through 8 before stopping its run indefinitely. 

    Tickets start at $48 and are now on sale. Click here for more information. 

    West Side Story - Touring Production, 2013-2014 - ATG Tickets
    by ATGTickets via YouTube

  • Weekend Best Bets:
    By Mary DePompa

    All Weekend:

    • The National Cherry Blossom Festival is DC’s greatest Springtime Celebration with numerous activities all around town throughout the weekend, including the parade and Japanese Street Festival, for info
    • Patriot Center presents the greatest show on earth, Ringling Brothers: Built to AmazeVarious times all weekend, for info
    • Kennedy Center Family Theatre presents, One Mic. Fresh Noise: A Mashup of Youth Voices - Game ON! Hip-hop theatre work created the middle school students and performed by adults. Various times this weekend, for info
    • Smithsonian Craft Show at the National Building Museum is an all weekend event with dazzling exhibitions in creativity, innovation and technical mastery. Multi-day passes available with lectures, parties, auctions and more, for info
    • Fell’s Point in Baltimore it’s the annual Privateer Festival with ships and a full scale invasion of living history with music, arts, crafts, kid’s activities, food and libations. For info
    • The Bay Bridge Boat Show is an event with fun for the whole family with demo boat rides, music, bbq, with a Chesapeake Bay research vessel available for tours, for info

    Saturday 4/12:

    Saturday night:

    Sunday 4/13:

    Sunday night:

  • Portrait of Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland by Harold
    E. Edgerton
     (Courtesy National Portrait Gallery)

    Mickey Rooney portrait on display at National Portrait Gallery

    WASHINGTON -- A portrait of late comedian Mickey Rooney, who died earlier this week at the age of 93, is on view indefinitely at the National Portrait Gallery

    The portrait shows Rooney and frequent co-star Judy Garland in 1939. It will be displayed in a first-floor space reserved for honoring prominent people who have recently died, the museum says. 

    Click here for more information. 

  • Student artists display works at Corcoran 

    WASHINGTON -- See the next generation of artists Thursday at the Corcoran College of Art during a special exhibit  showcasing "the brilliance and promise of its students."

    "NEXT at the Corcoran" features pieces from each degree program, including photography, graphic design and new media. There will also be artist talks and ongoing viewings from now though May. 

    Click here for more information. 

    Watch a teaser from last year's exhibit below:

    NEXT at the Corcoran: Class of 2013
    by Corcoran Gallery of A... via YouTube

  • Led Zeppelin - Live at the Royal Albert Hall 1970 (Full Concert)
    by Rhidalgo789 via YouTube

    'Led Zeppelin Played Here' announces local screenings 

    WASHINGTON -- If you missed out on seeing the band onstage in its heyday, now is your chance to relive those rock 'n' roll moments thanks to a local documentary. 

    "Led Zeppelin Played Here" asks the still unanswered question: Did the band play in Wheaton, Md., Jan. 20, 1969?

    From the filmmakers:

    "1969. Man lands on the moon. Half a million strong at Woodstock. Sesame Street makes its debut…. and Led Zeppelin perform in the gym of the Wheaton Youth Center on Georgia Avenue in front of 50 confused teenagers. Or did they? Filmmaker Jeff Krulik offers a preview screening of his take on an enduring local legend, on the very night this concert was alleged to have taken place, January 20, 1969, during the first Presidential Inauguration of Richard Nixon."

    See the film May 9 at College Park Arts Exchange and June 1 at the DC Record Fair at Artisphere. Click here for more information. 
  • Are you a Paul Newman fan? Head to the National Theatre Monday evening for a free screening of "Somebody Up There Likes Me" :
  • Flashmob takes over Columbia Heights this weekend        

    WASHINGTON -- Yes, it's only Monday, but it's never too early to plan ahead for the weekend. This Sunday, prepare to dance the afternoon away as part of a flashmob that will descend on Columbia Heights. 

    Meet in Mount Pleasant at Past Tense yoga studio on the corner of Park Road and Mount Pleasant Street at 1 p.m. The horde will move east towards the Columbia Heights fountain and dance to Sara Bareilles' "Brave." A video of the choreography will be posted soon, but check out the event's Facebook page in the meantime. 

    Sara Bareilles - Brave
    by SaraBareillesVEVO via YouTube

  • National Building Museum will a-maze you

    WASHINGTON -- Pardon the pun, but we couldn't help it. A giant maze is coming to the National Building Museum

    It will be 18 feet tall, and 61 feet by 61 feet wide. The plywood structure will feature twists and turns for visitors to meander through on the ground floor, while providing an aerial view of the structure from the second floor. 

    This project is being constructed in partnership with the BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, who was inspired by "ancient labyrinths, garden and hedge mazes of 17th and 18th-century Europe, and modern American corn mazes."  

    The "BIG Maze" will be on display July 4 through Sept. 1 and is part of the museum's Summer Block Party. Click here for info and see pictures below:

    Courtesy National Building Museum 

    Courtesy National Building Museum  

  • Celebrate Shakespeare's 450th birthday this weekend in Middleburg

    WASHINGTON -- Middleburg, Va. is making much ado about William Shakespeare's 450th birthday with a weekend celebration in honor of the famous bard. 

    Starting Friday night, the artsy town is turning into Stratford -upon-Avon with "Shakespeare in the 'Burg." Festivities kick off with a showing of "Shakespeare in Love" at the Hill School. Tickets are $25. Screening starts at 6:30 p.m. 

    Watch a trailer of the movie below:

    Shakespeare in Love Official Trailer #1 - Tom Wilkinson Movie (1998) HD
    by Movieclips Classic Tr... via YouTube

    Catch a performance Saturday night of "The Merry Wives of Windsor,"which was special ordered by Queen Elizabeth I. "Henry IV Part 1" will be performed Sunday afternoon by the American Shakespeare Center

    The weekend will also feature acting and writing workshops, plus Renaissance-inspired food and drink.

    See a full list of events here.
  • Love "Anchorman?" Check out the AnchorVan 

    Make way for the AnchorVan, a "news and food truck" on the road to promote the extended version and DVD release of "Anchorman 2".  The van promises interactive fun and free samples of Champ's Famous Whammy Chicken. 

    Check out today's schedule in D.C.: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Newseum, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at M St. and Wisconsin Avenue NW in Georgetown and 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Verizon Center for before the Wizards game. Info here

  • Is SXSW too big for its britches? 

    WASHINGTON -- Big changes could be coming to South by Southwest after city officials take a closer look at the popular music and culture festival.

    This year marked SXSW's biggest and most chaotic -- four people were killed when a driver plowed into concert-goers and fights were recorded and disseminated on social media.

    The Austin City Council unanimously approved a resolution Thursday to review the impact SXSW is having on the local community. Everything from security to traffic will be scrutinized.

    “This item is not about trying to limit or make SXSW go away,” Councilmember
    Mike Martinez told KXAN.

    “In my mind this is about preserving SXSW. It’s part of what made Austin so
    special and so attractive, but we do see that there are improvements that can be

    Read more here

  • Happening Tonight: Thursday, March 27

    Humanitini: DC Speak explores the District's culture through its unique language. A panel of linguistics examine how DC Speak developed and how it contributes to building a sense of community in Washington. From 6:30 to 8:30 at the The Coupe in Columbia Heights. Info here

    The Hirshhorn's spring film series kicks off tonight with "The Weather War," a Swedish documentary "about man’s attempts to control the weather and harness it for his own purposes." The free screening starts at 8 p.m. Info here

    Interested in something a little racey? Try the Chippendales on for size. The boys take over The Fillmore stage by storm. Show starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are $25 to $35. Info here

    Arlington Artists Alliance
    members Elise Ritter and Linda Maldonado are featured this month in Gallery Underground's Special Exhibition Space.
    They explore the mysteries of jewel-toned colored light playing on surfaces in "Illuminations." Info here

    And for animal lovers:

  • Today at Arlington Public Library at Columbia Pike from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Screening is free:

  • Happening Tonight: Wednesday, March 26

    March Madness takes over Bethesda Row with a month-long martini competition. Ten restaurants -- including American Tap Room, Assaggi, Cafe Deluxe, Jaleo, Lebanese Taverna and Redwood -- are competing for best of Bethesda Row-tini. Info here

    Guitarist and former Genesis member Steve Hackett brings his latest album, "Genesis Revisited II," to the Lincoln Theatre in Northwest D.C. Doors at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $45. Info here

    Former Entertainment Weekly editor Mark Harris talks about his new book "Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War," which focuses on the works of five directors who documented World War II firsthand. Harris reads excerpts from the book and takes questions at Politics & Prose in Northwest D.C. Reading starts at 7 p.m. Info here

    “Hamlet . . . the rest is silence,” Shakespeare’s tragedy is staged without words at Arlington's Synetic Theater. Info here

    Make your own book at the Corcoran Happy Hour. Supplies, wine and snacks will be provided in price of admission. Tickets are $35. Bookmaking starts at 6:30 p.m. Email Erin Higgins to register. Info here
  • Update: GWAR singer's death now investigated as drug-related

    WASHINGTON -- Drugs might have played a role in the death of GWAR frontman Dave Brockie.

    CBS 6 WTVR reports the shock rocker was found unconscious on his couch by Brockie's roommate Sunday evening.

    Based on evidence gathered in the singer's Richmond home, his death is now being investigated as drug-related.

    It could take up to six weeks or more for toxicology reports to be processed, officials say.

  • In need of Friday night plans? Check out the U.S. premiere of "The Adventures of Robin Hood!" The show runs through April 6.

    And speaking of the Kennedy Center, comedians Dana Carvey and Dennis Miller will swing by the Concert Hall stage July 12, 2014 at 8 p.m. Tickets go on sale March 28 and start at $39. Visit the Kennedy Center online to buy tickets.

  • Best Bets: Cherry blossom fest, Ringling Bros., ShamrockFest
    Mary dePompa, WTOP News

    All Weekend

    • Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey: Built to Amaze - Verizon Center various times this weekend. Info here
    • National Building Museum begins the Cherry Blossom Festival Family Days - Two days of hands-on activities and dynamic performances, all part of the
      annual celebration honoring the gift of trees.
      Info here
    • The Patriot Center presents  Michael Jackson’s Immortal World Tour by Cirque Du Soliel. Info here
    • The Environment Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital with various films and viewings all weekend. Info here
    • The Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival at the Maryland State Fairgrounds with music, food and
      fun advanced tickets have already closed.
      Now it's first come, first served at
      the door Friday and Saturday.
      Info here
    • Super Pet Expo at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, features all you need to
      know with entertainment, prizes and rescue adoptions. Pets are welcome!
      Info here
    • The Fredericksburg Home and Garden Show at the Expo Center features the latest trends,
      great displays and advice from top professionals, featuring WTOP’s own Mike McGrath!
      Info here

    Saturday, March 22

    • RFK - ShamrockFest 2014 - Rock the green with 30 bands, seven stages and an Irish village. All ages welcome. Info here
    • Maryland Day in historic St. Mary’s City. Free admission to family fun with crafts,
      kite flying and a scavenger hunt!
      Info here
    • H2O Summit in Silver Spring is an environmental, family fun field day with music,
      hands on activities and more!
      Info here
    • JamFest Cheer and Dance at the Washington Convention Center- An energetic spectacle for all ages. Info here
    • 4th Annual Oyster Roast and Sock Burning at the Annapolis Maritime Museum features
      music, food and family fun!
      Info here
    • Family Fun Fest at Bowie Baysox Stadium features free rides, games, music and more! Info here
    • Virginia Touch-A-Truck day for kids in Dominion High School in
      Sterling Va.
      See the trucks up close and even get in the driver’s seat.
      Info here
    • Lisner Auditorium - Special Benefit “Stands for the Troops” features The Bacon Brothers. Info here
    • Hamilton Live - From Austin Texas the Wheeler Brothers. Info here
    • The Lincoln Theatre presents an acapella challenge  as the Alexandria Harmonizers presents ACA Challenge. Info here
    • Rock and Roll Hotel - From Arizona, indie rockers Lydia. Info here
    • Gypsy Sally’s - Classic rock of The Nighthawks. Info here
    • Jammin Java - Seattle’s own Noah Gunderson singer-songwriter accompanied by his sister, Abby. Info here
    • Weinberg Center for the Arts in Frederick, Md., has some of D.C.’s best musicians
      perform the legends in the
      Southern Soul Tribute.
      Info here
    • Rams Head Maryland Live Casino - It’s the legendary smooth jazz of Art Sherrod.
      Info here
    Sunday, March 23

    • Grow Your Own Health Festival in Fairfax with workshops, exhibitors, demonstrations
      for a healthier you.
      Features a pop-up food court. Kids under 16 are
      Info here
    • Maryland Day - Four Rivers: The Heritage area of Annapolis for family fun and
      interactive, educational activities.
      Info here
    • Jammin Java - Bluegrass matinee with Deadmen’s Hollow and Gold Top Country Ramblers. Info here

    • 9:30 - Athens, Ga. roots rockers Drive-By Truckers. Info here
    • Blues Alley - Offers two shows from Tonight Show bandleader Kevin Eubanks. Info here
    • The Birchmere hosts the incomparable comedy of Kathleen Madigan's “ Madigan Again” tour. Info here
    • Bethesda Blues & Jazz presents acclaimed jazz bassist and son of actor Clint Eastwood, Kyle Eastwood. Info here
    • IOTA Cafe - Songwriter’s night featuring Molly Hagen. Info here

  • Along with the National Cherry Blossom Festival starting this weekend, art galleries are rolling out new exhibits to kick off the season.

    Head to the 39th Street Gallery in Brentwood, Md. for the Friday night opening of "Natural World," an intimate look at life with HIV. The mixed media project by artist Eric Rhein features a memorial to people he has lost to the disease. Info here.

    Friday is closing night of "SELECT 2014," Washington Project for the Arts 33rd annual art auction exhibition at Artisphere in Rosslyn. It includes works by 111 emerging and established artists in a variety of media. The closing art gala will be held Saturday, and will feature a silent auction of more than 150 art works by top contemporary artists, dinner, open bar and live DJ's. Tickets start at $325. Info here.

    More from East City Art:

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