Otherwise it's been a busy week. I went to Capital City Showcase's free comedy night at the Brixton where they 'roast' a chosen topic... in this case, the Brixton itself. Mockery soon turned to the original Brixton, in London, UK. And when it became clear that few of the comedians had done their homework on my hometown, I took to Twitter to jokily voice my discontent at the mischaracterization of my fair city. One thing led to another and I was made to put my money where my mouth was. Or rather put my impromptu first ever comedy performance where my Tweets were... What fun!
Just one theatre trip this week - to Sideshow at the Kennedy Center. I didn't quite know what to expect from this musical about conjoined twins... but it was actually charming and excellent. Lovely performances. Nice songs. Engaging plot. Great look and ambience. I shed a tear. One of the nicest new musicals I've seen in a while. I recommend going to see it if you like this sort of thing - plus we got cheap tickets on the Goldstar app.
This week was a cinema extravaganza. Starting with a trip to the Angelika Pop-Up cinema behind Union Market (in the same building as Dolcezza ice cream factory and coffeeshop... just saying...). My goodness, the Angelika Pop-Up cinema is an absolute delight! It's just what you want in an art house cinema. Fab decor with big vintage movie posters on black walls. Delightfully hipster array of delicious snack items and beverages. Excellent popcorn. Three screens. And a proper, attractive, comfortable and cool bar area where you can hang out with said pretentious snack items and beverages and read fashion books. I love it. The only real flaw that it's so far from my house. After some delicious Korean tacos at Union Market, we headed over to see Snowpiercer. I hasten to add that the movie itself was not the main driver: we wanted to see the cinema. But after ten minutes of abject terror during which this horrifying movie about a dystopian future filled us with nightmares, we ran out and the very sweet staff let us switch to see Chef instead. Which as you know, we'd already seen, but its charming cheeriness acted as a much-needed wuss balm to the trauma we'd just experienced at Snowpiercer. Also this weekend we saw They Came Together at the the West End Cinema, a charming and entertaining pastiche on the romantic comedy genre. Personally, I feel they could have taken the knowing mockery a bit further, but it was enjoyable. And finally, we rounded off the weekend with Jersey Boys at the AMC in Georgetown, which, though a bit long, provided a rollicking good time - I left with a grin on my face.
But July 4th weekend was, as promised, about getting out of town, and we managed three day trips. First, we went hiking in Prince William Forest Park. For some reason, despite this being a mere 45 minute drive from central DC, I'd never even heard of it, til it was mentioned by the Washingtonian. It doesn't have big views but the scenery and hike itself were both some of my favorites in the whole area. Heartily recommended! Then we drove to Fort Royal for our first US tubing adventure. The scenery was lovely as we floated down the Shennandoah River, along with about a thousand drunk but courteous college students. I would have liked some more rapids, but in general, what a lovely day. And we didn't even get too sunburned. Finally, we went to Harpers Ferry, and after a little lunch in the quaint town, we drove up to the Visitors Centre and did the Murphy Farm hike - our first hike with cannons and other civil war items. Interesting and fun. Frankly, after that weekend, I'm exhausted!
We watched the fireworks from a friend's roof in Columbia Heights, which is the best spot I've found so far for the fireworks: lots of different official and unofficial displays to be enjoyed from every angle. And the opportunity to try Maple on 11th Street - I really enjoyed their gnocchi, and their fennel salad, though the tonic they used in their G&T was less delicious. It's embarrassing and just a bit weird how my lovely wife and I have become tonic snobs in this country!
So all in all, an excellent week.
What's coming up this week
It's all about the Capital Fringe Festival this week, ladies and gentlemen!
Perfect Liars Club is on the 10th, 13th, 19th and 20th July, so make sure you get your tickets here. We've already been selected as a pick this week by the Washingtonian, District Insider, and Bisnow, and are hoping it's going to be a smash hit!
But you should absorb the whole Fringe experience. Tonight there is a free Fringe preview party at the Baldacchino Tent Bar,607 New York Avenue NW: essentially the buzzy, arty, atmospheric epicentre of Fringey fun. With prosecco on tap. There will be very short exerpts of 20 different Fringe shows, plus live music. It'll be a great way to get in the Fringe mood. We'll be there from 7:30. And on Thursday there will be an opening night party for the Fringe in the same location. We're all planning to head there right after our show (it's a 5-minute walk from our venue, the Goethe Institut), and we'll be there around 8. Perfect Liars Club and an opening night party: what could be a better way to kick off the Fringe.
There are loads of cool-looking shows at Capital Fringe. Check out the full program. We'll be seeing shows and writing picks and reviews etc throughout the next two weeks, so watch this space!
Tuesday 8th July: It's both the Fringe preview night AND SpeakeasyDC has a story night with a theme of happy accidents - take your pick or squeeze in both! They're just a mile apart, and the preview party goes on til the wee hours.
Wednesday 9th July: why not go to Dumbarton House for their Jane Austen free outdoor film festival. first up is Emma, around 8:30pm.
Thursday 10th July: Make sure you're at the opening night of Perfect Liars Club at 6:30, then onwards to the Fringe opening night party. The perfect start to the Fringe Festival.
Friday 11th July: SpeakeasyDC are doing a storytelling/improv mashup at Source Theatre.
Sunday 13th July: At 10:30am you can take part in or cheer on A Day at the Races - a Brompton (British folding bicycle) derby, complete with tweed and suchlike acoutrements. Then at 6:30pm come to Perfect Liars Club for a completely different, completely awesome show.