The magic show in question was Catch Me, in the Maison Biltmore in Adams Morgan, which I'd always wanted to visit. The premise: two magicians battle it out in a tournament to be crowned the best in Washington. I do think it is excessively priced (though they have discounts on Goldstar), and I was sad that no alcohol was available, but I haven't enjoyed a show this much in ages. The magicians were charming and entertaining - and talented. A diverse, engaged crowd interacted with glee as they performed the sorts of tricks you don't actually get to enjoy all that often. Magic shows aren't really a thing anymore - or they weren't til now. Their next show is February 28th.
We saw Whiplash at the West End Cinema, about the relationship between a boy who wants to be the best drummer in the world, and his very tough mentor. It was excellent, if tense... And we went to the Kennedy Center to see Gigi, which is on til February 12th. The story may be insubstantial, but this was what I'd call a sumptuous performance. None of the actors really dazzled, the entire plot is about a girl getting together with a boy (with almost no impediments), but the singing was lovely, the look of the thing was a Parisian delight, and I found the chorus particularly good at setting the ambience. I enjoyed it quite a lot.
As for art, we cycled over to the Sackler Gallery, bizarrely for the first time ever, to see The Traveler's Eye: Scenes of Asia. This was a small but sweet exhibit of various artwork depicting Asian countries, brought back by travelers to these exotic parts. I felt that a bit of more vigorous curation could have done wonders for engaging me in it, but I quite enjoyed walking through it. I popped my head into most of the rest of the Sackler, and the Freer Galleries, which was all quite pleasant.
Our gay cavorting this week included attending the Capital Pride 2015 launch event at Malmaison, which was okay but less fun things to do than last year, and the launch of GLINT, the new initiative linking LGBT diplomats in embassies across Washington at Number Nine, which was amazingly busy.
Of course the best event of the week was our Burns Night party. Hooray for Robert Burns!
The coolest-sounding things coming up in the next week
Wed Jan 28th - The place to be tonight is Malmaison for the 5th Annual Eurochannel short films tour. Your $15 gets you a glass of wine and an array of European short films on the theme 'From Women, with Love.' The films start at 7pm; doors from 5:30.
Thu Jan 29th - Time to see some world class theatre, courtesy of National Theatre Live at Sidney Harman Hall. Tonight: Of Mice and Men. Or else there's a cool event involving watching SpeakeasyShorts films while eating and chatting called Reel Talk, by ReCreative Spaces. If I wasn't going to Of Mice and Men, I'd be going to this! Or else go down to SIxth and I for Emily Spivak talking about her book, Worn Stories, where she's gathered clothing-inspired stories from around the world. Or if you're really not convinced, why not go play new STEM-themed games at the Science Museum.
Fri Jan 30th - Peter Carey's talking about his new book, Amnesia, at Politics and Prose. Or get over to the Atlas Performing Arts Center to see Tim Lee. Science comedy is getting big in Washington these days, and we hear he's hilarious. It was sold out when we tried to go last year. Get your tickets. NB Check Goldstar for discount tickets. Or go hear awkward sex stories from NYC storytellers.
Sat Jan 31st - I had been planning on going to Life Sucks (or the Present Ridiculous) at Theatre J, but then I had a conflict, i.e. my friend was having a birthday gathering at roller derby. So I've switched my tickets, but you should go as it's getting great reviews (it's on til Feb 15th). But I've always wanted to go to Roller Derby. If you have too, this is your moment.
Sun Feb 1st - Tim Lee science comedy is on again today.
Mon Feb 2nd - Go learn how to make sushi at Masa14.
Tue Feb 3rd - Celebrate the intersection of theatre and poetry with some Brits at Folger Theatre.
Wed Feb 4th - Perfect Liars Club is of course sold out, but there are a few tickets to be acquired on the door. They'll go on sale around 6pm. Remember, tickets for March go on sale on Thu February 5th at 1pm!