Despite the “official start” being another another few days off, Cherry Blossom Madness (the other March Madness) has already descended and there are more than a few already in blossom throughout the Hill. The hope of staying away from roving bands sidewalk-hogging tourists is enough keep me in the neighborhood for the weekend. We’re all so anxious to soak up the sunshine it’s hard to find a reason to stay inside if the weather is promising, but these events provide some incentive.
You either love show tunes or hate them, and if you’re not groaning now the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop has the event for you. “CHAWbaret 7: Love, Loss and Latte” on Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. promises a night of music about the “thrills and spills of love, stalking and coffee.” They’re serving refreshments (cream and sugar?) and I’m waiting to see if there’s a Sondheim score about Sanka that’s off my radar. The performance, $15 in advance or $20 at the door, will benefit CHAW’s mission of building community through the arts.
The Atlas scores originality points again with a benefit screening of House Party. Yes, that’s the 1990 film featuring Kid ‘n Play and their trend-startinghaircuts. Gianni Clarkson, the company manager for Step Afrika, regular performers at the theatre, is celebrating his 30th birthday by hosting one of his “all-time favorite movies” with proceeds going to the non-profit Words, Beats, and Life. The event ($8) is for those 18 and older and starts at 8 p.m. No gifts, just laughs.
For a little more highbrow entertainment, head to the Folger. New York Times best-selling mystery writer Walter Mosely, a recipient of PEN America’s Life- time Achievement Award, will read from his work on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. The reading, part of the Pen-Faulker Foundation’s Reading Series is $15. www.folger.edu.
Ever heard a “medical” text set to music? No, it has nothing to do with health care reform, but rather the 12th century mystic, abbess and composer Hilde- gard von Bingen. Learn more and also hear selections by Boulanger, Sviridov and Joplin at Capitol Hill Chorale’s chamber concert “A Change of Tune” Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church. Tickets are $20 for general admission and free for ages 12 and under.
Everyone has their windows open now, right? This spring drive your neighbors batty with the smell of fresh bread wafting through the air rather than bbq. The Hill’s Kitchen class “Baking Bread at the Speed of You” will be offered again this Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for $45. If that’s too early to get out of bed (for cinnamon rolls, fresh donuts, and dinner rolls – who needs an alarm with that motivation?) you can sign up for “The Food of Thailand: Southern Thailand “ ($55) and learn to make Penang Curry, Massaman Curry, Tom Yam Soup and Satay. Either way, the neighbors are inviting themselves over.
Sometimes the name of an event makes it a must — and “Samurai Orchids” is such a name. Plan on a walk down the Hill to the US Botanic Garden on Wednesday, March 31st to hear Japanese orchid expert Jason Fischer explore the history and traditional culture of the Japanese fascination with their native orchids. The event is free but pre-registration required.