Metro Weekly

Small Business Boosters: D.C.’s Main Streets

D.C.'s Main Streets program has proven an effective ally for helping entrepreneurs set up shop

Shaw Main Street Photography by Todd Franson

Businesses on Shaw Main Street – Photography by Todd Franson

For Alex Padro, the upside-down “L”-shaped portion running north from 1800 block of 7th Street NW, then east down the 600 block of T Street NW to the Howard Theatre, is the crown jewel of the Shaw neighborhood and a prime example of what revitalizing an area can do.

“If I had to pick a block where everything’s gone right, that would be the block,” he says.

Padro, the executive director of Shaw Main Streets, says all but two spaces on that strip of real estate have been renovated, and recent years have seen the advent of eateries like Uprising Muffin, Eat the Rich, Southern Efficiency and Mockingbird Hill, as well as the revamping of older businesses like Wanda’s on Seventh Salon & Spa, which, after a temporary hiatus, was able to return to the neighborhood in a newly-renovated building on the spot of its original inception. Padro says those two blocks have had the most “dramatic transformation” of any commercial corridor in Shaw Main Streets’ service area.

Founded in 2002, D.C.’s Main Streets program is based on the model developed by the National Main Street Center to assist downtown revitalization efforts in major U.S. cities. The Main Streets program is accredited under the umbrella of the D.C. Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) that is intended to foster retail investment by providing the support, training and resources needed to help small businesses thrive. Main Streets organizations, which exist in five different cities across the country, largely focus on the revitalization and historic preservation of major commercial corridors, and the promotion of the businesses that settle there.

In the District, there are currently eight recognized Main Streets programs along several major commercial corridors: in addition to Shaw, there’s also Barracks Row, along 8th Street SE; Congress Heights, in Ward 8; Deanwood Heights, in Ward 7; Dupont Circle; H Street NE; the North Capitol Street corridor; and Rhode Island Avenue NE. All Main Streets programs are run by a paid executive director — who helps administer grant money from the city to carry out the organization’s activities — and an all-volunteer support staff.

According to Ted Archer, chief of staff at DSLBD, there have been other Main Streets programs that have since disbanded, either because the people involved wanted to re-evaluate their efforts, or felt that Main Streets “was not the correct revitalization tool for them at that precise time.” According to Padro, some since-disbanded Main Streets programs included one near 14th and U Streets NW, one on Upper 14th Street, and another further up Georgia Avenue NW in what was known as the “Gateway” Main Streets.

Since helping found Shaw Main Streets in 2003, and becoming the nonprofit’s executive director in 2004, Padro, who also serves as an ANC commissioner, has served as a cheerleader and advocate of luring small businesses to set up shop in Shaw, which has several qualities that made it appealing.

“The neighborhood was historically a commercial district, especially along 7th and 9th Streets, the O Street Market, the Howard Theatre, those were all assets that were underperforming, or, in some cases, had been boarded up for decades,” Padro says. “We had a lot of empty lots where significant development could take place. Those were all opportunities to fill the gaps and bring businesses in where none had been in a really long time.”

Padro and Shaw Main Streets set to work, focusing on cleaning up the neighborhood — Main Streets also manages the city’s Clean & Safe program for the Shaw neighborhood, which focuses on trash collection, planting trees, and cleaning up graffiti — as well as providing small businesses with technical assistance or advice for obtaining various building and operating permits, and marketing the neighborhood as a destination, both for residents and visitors to the city. As Shaw increasingly became the latest neighborhood affected by D.C.’s development boom, particularly following the construction of the nearby Convention Center, Shaw Main Streets worked to attract more than 150 new businesses while finding ways to retain existing ones, even as real estate prices and rents in the up-and-coming neighborhood quickly escalated.

Advertisement
Visit The Metro Weekly Store

“Folks used to have to go to 14th Street or Chinatown to go to the theater, or go to an art gallery, or to go out to dinner. We didn’t have any independent coffee shops, or even a Starbucks,” Padro says of the neighborhood’s change. “It was really all about neighbors working together to try to attract the types of businesses that they wanted to spend their money in, and that they wanted to have jobs in.”

Padro says he would “absolutely” encourage other neighborhoods with major commercial thruways to adopt a Main Streets or other similar program focusing on small business growth and neighborhood revitalization, both externally and financially.

“I would encourage Mayor Bowser to expand the program to other commercial corridors that haven’t made the amount of progress that’s possible with a Main Streets group,” he says.

Of course, Shaw is not the only neighborhood experiencing boom times. Kyle Wood, executive director of Rhode Island Avenue Main Streets, says the program has been successful in helping businesses settle in the Eckington, Brookland and Woodridge neighborhoods. Rhode Island Avenue Main Streets has helped several businesses pay for facade improvements, and has helped others with marketing strategies to promote themselves. While Woodridge, in particular, is still in need of a dry cleaners, a pet food store, and a sit-down restaurant, the eastern end of Rhode Island Avenue has already attracted a coffee shop, a local grocery store, and even an art studio and gallery. There are plans for a new bistro, specializing in Mediterranean food, set to open in the spring of 2015, in the 2200 block of Rhode Island Avenue NE, in the space formerly occupied by Lace Nightclub.

“Businesses are coming to the area because they see interesting things happening here,” Wood says.

Many small business owners assisted by the various Main Streets organizations have nothing but praise for the program.

Philip Sambol, the general manager of Good Food Market, says that the Rhode Island Avenue Main Streets program has been extremely helpful in spreading word about the market, which fills a gap that was created when a former Safeway closed, leaving the Woodridge neighborhood without a viable grocery store. Sambol credits Rhode Island Avenue Main Streets with helping Good Food Market get a sign, make improvements to its exterior facade, and pay for additional security measures.

Meanwhile, across town, Sean Reydi — co-owner of Simon Vintage, a furniture and homegoods store on 9th Street NW — says that Shaw Main Streets most recently helped him and his partner obtain money to secure a sign for their business that cost nearly $7,000. It has previously helped Simon Vintage with its marketing strategy, including obtaining an advertisement on the side of a city bus. Shaw Main Streets has also introduced Reydi and his partner to other businesses so they can offer special discounts or promotions. Reydi also says that Simon Vintage has been able to expand its customer base through events like the Art All Night festival, in which Shaw Main Streets, partnering with the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, highlights various works of art, which allowed art lovers to stop by the shop and get special discounts.

“From 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., we had a non-stop flow of people,” Reydi says of this year’s festival. He says that when Simon Vintage’s lease is up in a year, he and his partner will have to think very hard about relocating.

“We’ve debated whether we should buy closer to our home neighborhood,” he said. “But one of the detractions is not having a Shaw Main Streets to help us. It makes us think twice about ever moving.”

Feed Your Email
News, Reviews, Contests, Coverboy, Discounts and More!

Metro Weekly's Emails are a great way to stay up-to-date with everything you want to know -- and more!

Email

Metro Weekly Discount Tickets & Offers!

Ghosts of Georgetown Walking Tour -- A Haunted Trek Through DC

at The Old Stone House, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, March 25
Sat, April 01
Sat, April 08
+ 5 more dates
Sat, March 25
Sat, April 01
Sat, April 08
Sat, April 15
Sat, April 22
Sat, April 29
Sat, May 06
Sat, May 13
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $29
OFFER PRICE: $14.50

DC By Foot presents a walking tour featuring the Ghosts of Georgetown. Among the historic streets, manicured gardens and Victorian row houses of one of Washington, D.C.'s finest neighborhoods lie deep... [more+]

DC By Foot presents a walking tour featuring the Ghosts of Georgetown. Among the historic streets, manicured gardens and Victorian row houses of one of Washington, D.C.'s finest neighborhoods lie deep, dark secrets about a forgotten past. Come along to hear about the ghosts and spirits that still haunt the nation's capital ... if you dare. You'll hear a historian's take on all of the curses, eerie coincidences and hauntings that make up the darker side of days gone by in this pre-Revolutionary town. [less-]

Silent Disco Dance Party: Groove to the Music You Choose

at The Embassy Row Hotel, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, March 25
Sat, April 01
Sat, April 08
FULL PRICE: $16
OFFER PRICE: $8

Join in the most unique and memorable dance party in town at the Embassy Row Hotel in the heart of Washington, D.C.'s Dupont Circle neighborhood. Hit the dance floor as you choose from among three liv... [more+]

Join in the most unique and memorable dance party in town at the Embassy Row Hotel in the heart of Washington, D.C.'s Dupont Circle neighborhood. Hit the dance floor as you choose from among three live DJs playing everything from electro dance beats to throwback tunes to Deep House and Top 40 on your wireless headphones. Your selection lights up your headphones in a corresponding color, so you can synch up with others moving to the same music. Each ticket includes admission for one and headset rental. [less-]

"Hexagon 2017: Let Freedom ZING!" Musical Comedy Revue Pokes Fun at Politics

at Woodrow Wilson High School Auditorium, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, March 25
Fri, March 31
FULL PRICE: $30
OFFER PRICE: $15

Hexagon continues into its 62nd season, singing, taunting and dancing their way through this political year. With "Let Freedom ZING!", D.C.'s own politics-loving musical comedy troupe is back and read... [more+]

Hexagon continues into its 62nd season, singing, taunting and dancing their way through this political year. With "Let Freedom ZING!", D.C.'s own politics-loving musical comedy troupe is back and ready to skewer politicians of all stripes. Everyone is fair game for roasting in their lineup of satirical songs, skits and dances, from tap to a Rockette-like kick line. Expect them to dump on Trump, burn Bernie and crack on every candidate in between when the all-volunteer ensemble takes the stage at Woodrow Wilson High School Auditorium. Proceeds from "Let Freedom ZING!" will benefit Artstream!, which brings individuals with disabilities creative and performance opportunities to help them gain confidence. [less-]

"Fickle": Fresh Adaptation of 18th-Century French Farce

at Olney Theatre Center - Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab, Olney
OFFER DATES:
Sat, March 25
FULL PRICE: $70
OFFER PRICE: $35

In this world premiere, up-and-coming playwright Meg Miroshnik adapts the 18th-century French comedy "Double Inconstancy" with some zany and anachronistic 21st-century touches. "Fickle: A Fancy French... [more+]

In this world premiere, up-and-coming playwright Meg Miroshnik adapts the 18th-century French comedy "Double Inconstancy" with some zany and anachronistic 21st-century touches. "Fickle: A Fancy French Farce" centers on lowly peasant Harlequin, who is heartbroken when his fiancée is kidnapped by a scheming Prince. One of the Prince's underlings befriends Harlequin and hatches a plan to separate the Prince from his newly captured lover -- and what ensues is a freewheeling comic romp involving disguises, palace intrigue and improbable romance. Be one of the first to see "Fickle: A Fancy French Farce" when it comes to the Olney Theatre Center in Washington, D.C. [less-]

Comedian Chris Redd ("Empire, Popstar, Comedy Bang! Bang!")

at Drafthouse Comedy Theater, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, March 25
Sat, March 25
FULL PRICE: $20
OFFER PRICE: $10

Chris Redd may have started his career wanting to be a hip-hop artist, but his knack for stand-up and sketch comedy pulled him in a different direction -- a win for anyone lucky enough to see him perf... [more+]

Chris Redd may have started his career wanting to be a hip-hop artist, but his knack for stand-up and sketch comedy pulled him in a different direction -- a win for anyone lucky enough to see him perform. However, Redd was able to show off both his musical and comedy abilities in Judd Apatow's "Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping" as a rival to Andy Samburg's character. He's also been a regular on Fox's "Empire" and worked with Tina Fey on the ABC pilot "Family Fortune". When he's not cracking audiences up on the big and small screen, Redd's touring the country and charming them live. See him now at the Drafthouse Comedy Theater in Washington D.C. [less-]

"Pygmalion": Classic Comedy That Inspired "My Fair Lady"

at Kensington Town Hall, Kensington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, March 25
Sun, March 26
Fri, March 31
+ 4 more dates
Sat, March 25
Sun, March 26
Fri, March 31
Sat, April 01
Sat, April 01
Sun, April 02
Fri, April 07
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $22
OFFER PRICE: $11

A casual bet between Professor Henry Higgins and a friend sets the snobbish professor on a path that will change his life forever. Higgins bets he can take a grubby Cockney flower girl and transform h... [more+]

A casual bet between Professor Henry Higgins and a friend sets the snobbish professor on a path that will change his life forever. Higgins bets he can take a grubby Cockney flower girl and transform her into a lady that can fit in at any upper crust party. But Higgins doesn't count on his "creation" having a mind of her own. George Bernard Shaw's most popular play, "Pygmalion", is perhaps more widely known as the inspiration for the musical "My Fair Lady". This witty tale from the master playwright both delighted and scandalized audiences in 1912, and this fresh interpretation at the Kensington Town Hall remains a great battle-of-the-sexes and social-class comedy. [less-]

"Steel Magnolias": Southern Humor, Heartbreak & Female Bonding

at The Washington County Playhouse Dinner Theater and Children's Theater , Hagerstown
OFFER DATES:
Sat, March 25
Fri, March 31
Sat, April 01
+ 5 more dates
Sat, March 25
Fri, March 31
Sat, April 01
Sun, April 02
Fri, April 07
Sat, April 08
Fri, April 21
Sat, April 22
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $44 - $48
OFFER PRICE: $10 - $22

The bittersweet Southern comedy "Steel Magnolias" takes place in Truvy Jones' beauty salon, where three generations of outspoken Southern women regularly gather to laugh, cry and celebrate the events ... [more+]

The bittersweet Southern comedy "Steel Magnolias" takes place in Truvy Jones' beauty salon, where three generations of outspoken Southern women regularly gather to laugh, cry and celebrate the events of their lives. But their world is rocked when M'Lynn's diabetic daughter gets pregnant, which could prove fatal -- and the ladies' inner strength and love for one another is put to the ultimate test. Based on the playwright's own upbringing, the touching and funny play was adapted into a popular film starring Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine and Julia Roberts. Now, this Washington County Playhouse Dinner Theater production of "Steel Magnolias" brings all the camaraderie, humor and poignancy of this enduring show to Hagerstown. [less-]

"The Tarantino Soundtrack": Music From His Films Performed Live

at Howard Theatre, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, March 25
FULL PRICE: $15
OFFER PRICE: $7.50

In both gruesome and ebullient scenes, Quentin Tarantino uses music to strike a nerve. A masterful, musical director, Tarantino put a profound punctuation in his films with John Travolta and Uma Thurm... [more+]

In both gruesome and ebullient scenes, Quentin Tarantino uses music to strike a nerve. A masterful, musical director, Tarantino put a profound punctuation in his films with John Travolta and Uma Thurman dancing the twist to Chuck Berry in "Pulp Fiction" or Pam Grier strutting through the airport to Bobby Womack's "Across 110th Street." And the horrifying ear scene in "Reservoir Dogs" forever changed our emotional response to "Little Green Bag." Remove these songs from the film and you'll leave holes the size of the one in Marvin's face. Even if you've never watched his films, you'll hear a ton of great music from incredible vocalists backed by a nine-piece funk band during "The Tarantino Soundtrack" live at the Howard Theatre in D.C. [less-]

"The Night Alive": Poignant, Stunning Drama by Conor McPherson

at Atlas Performing Arts Center, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, March 25
Sat, March 25
Sun, March 26
+ 9 more dates
Sat, March 25
Sat, March 25
Sun, March 26
Thu, March 30
Fri, March 31
Sat, April 01
Sun, April 02
Thu, April 06
Fri, April 07
Sat, April 08
Sat, April 08
Sun, April 09
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $35 - $40
OFFER PRICE: $17.50 - $20

In "The Night Alive", Tommy is a down-on-his-luck Irish bloke who finds that his one good deed will not go unpunished. A slovenly sort who's taken up residence in his uncle's Dublin house, Tommy and h... [more+]

In "The Night Alive", Tommy is a down-on-his-luck Irish bloke who finds that his one good deed will not go unpunished. A slovenly sort who's taken up residence in his uncle's Dublin house, Tommy and his best friend Doc have eked out an existence running odd jobs and plotting get-rich-quick schemes. But when he returns one night after rescuing battered and bloodied prostitute Aimee, his spontaneous act of decency brings about a glimmer of new possibilities, even as echoes from the past and the looming specter of death threaten to take it all away. Warm, wistfully funny and magical in spite of its meager surroundings, Irish playwright Conor McPherson's "The Night Alive" observes the small moments of grace that illuminate our lives and deliver us from the darkness. Experience it now at the Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington, D.C. [less-]

"Coolatully": US Premiere of Award-Winning Irish Drama, From Solas Nua

at Mead Theatre Lab, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, March 25
Sat, March 25
FULL PRICE: $38
OFFER PRICE: $19

Kilian was once Coolatully's pride and joy, a champion on the hurling field who showed great promise. But now there are so many emigrating from his small Irish village of Coolatully, they can't even s... [more+]

Kilian was once Coolatully's pride and joy, a champion on the hurling field who showed great promise. But now there are so many emigrating from his small Irish village of Coolatully, they can't even scrounge together a hurling team. As Kilian's friends leave Ireland behind in the hopes for better opportunities overseas (including his friend Eilish, a nurse who's already booked her passage to Sydney), Kilian must confront the demons of the past and decide whether to stay or go forever. Winner of the Papatango New Writing Prize, "Coolatully" now makes its U.S. premiere in this Solas Nua production coming to Mead Theatre Lab in D.C. [less-]

"What Every Girl Should Know" & "Dry Land" -- Two D.C. Premieres in Repertory

at Silver Spring Black Box Theatre, Silver Spring
OFFER DATES:
Sat, March 25
Sun, March 26
Wed, March 29
+ 2 more dates
Sat, March 25
Sun, March 26
Wed, March 29
Fri, March 31
Sat, April 01
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $30 - $35
OFFER PRICE: $15 - $17.50

Set in 1914, four teenage girls discover their sexuality and personal power by creating their own make-believe world (complete with birth control activist Margaret Sanger as their patron saint) in Mon... [more+]

Set in 1914, four teenage girls discover their sexuality and personal power by creating their own make-believe world (complete with birth control activist Margaret Sanger as their patron saint) in Monica Byrne's "What Every Girl Should Know". In the play, the girls discover their fantasy begins to crumble when a baby comes into the picture. Held in repertory with Ruby Rae Spiegal's "Dry Land", these two plays make their D.C. premieres at the Silver Spring Black Box Theatre. [less-]

Actor-Comedian Kyle Dunnigan ("Inside Amy Schumer", "Reno 911!")

at Arlington Cinema 'N' Drafthouse, Arlington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, March 25
FULL PRICE: $20
OFFER PRICE: $10

He's shared his witty observations on everything from too-human-sounding automated robot voices to his creepily close relationship with his mother (whom he's taken to filming in a series of hilarious ... [more+]

He's shared his witty observations on everything from too-human-sounding automated robot voices to his creepily close relationship with his mother (whom he's taken to filming in a series of hilarious Instagram posts) on nearly every late night show in existence. Now comedian Kyle Dunnigan brings his brilliant musings to the Arlington Cinema 'N' Drafthouse. The down-to-earth comedy star has steadily gained a sizable online presence, with over 6 million views and counting on his YouTube channel (where he often appears as his bespectacled, demented alter ego Craig) and success with his hit Earwolf Network podcast "Professor Blastoff" with fellow comedian Tig Notaro. A co-star and writer for Comedy Central's "Inside Amy Schumer", Dunnigan has appeared on "Late Night With Seth Meyers", "Jimmy Kimmel Live", "Reno 911!" and his own Comedy Central special. [less-]

Tour Beautiful & Historic Washington, D.C. Neighborhoods on Foot

at Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, March 25
Sat, April 01
Sat, April 08
+ 6 more dates
Sat, March 25
Sat, April 01
Sat, April 08
Sat, April 15
Sat, April 22
Sat, April 29
Sat, May 06
Sat, May 13
Sat, May 20
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $29
OFFER PRICE: $14.50

Washington, D.C. has some of the richest history of any city in America -- home to museums and monuments, architectural marvels and quaint neighborhoods that trace their roots back through 200 years o... [more+]

Washington, D.C. has some of the richest history of any city in America -- home to museums and monuments, architectural marvels and quaint neighborhoods that trace their roots back through 200 years of urban development. D.C. By Foot offers guided walking tours of neighborhoods like Georgetown and Old Town Alexandria, as well as themed tours focusing on pivotal moments in the city's history, that allow you to experience the culture of our nation's capital up close and personal. [less-]

"Well" Examines Mothers, Daughters, Sickness and Health

at 1st Stage Theater, Tysons
OFFER DATES:
Sat, March 25
Sun, March 26
FULL PRICE: $30
OFFER PRICE: $15

"This play is not about my mother and me." So begins this autobiographical play by Lisa Kron, the Tony Award-winning writer and lyricist best known for her Broadway hit "Fun Home". Despite Kron's clai... [more+]

"This play is not about my mother and me." So begins this autobiographical play by Lisa Kron, the Tony Award-winning writer and lyricist best known for her Broadway hit "Fun Home". Despite Kron's claim at the beginning of the play, "Well" delves deep into the relationship between Kron and her chronically ill, semi-invalid mother. As Kron tries to share stories from her upbringing with the audience, her mother and other characters from her past routinely break character to correct Lisa's version of events and chat with her mother about her life. This tragicomic, self-referential journey is coming to the 1st Stage Theater in Tysons. [less-]

"Mnemonic": Innovative Drama About Memory and Migration

at Anacostia Playhouse, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, March 25
Sun, March 26
Thu, March 30
+ 7 more dates
Sat, March 25
Sun, March 26
Thu, March 30
Fri, March 31
Sat, April 01
Sun, April 02
Thu, April 06
Fri, April 07
Sat, April 08
Sun, April 09
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $40
OFFER PRICE: $20

You can't tell the story of humans without telling the story of migration -- and the new play "Mnemonic" does just that. Featuring innovative design, contemporary technology and striking visuals, this... [more+]

You can't tell the story of humans without telling the story of migration -- and the new play "Mnemonic" does just that. Featuring innovative design, contemporary technology and striking visuals, this Theater Alliance production will explore interconnectedness in a world where people are constantly moving. See it when it takes the stage of The Anacostia Playhouse in Washington, D.C. [less-]

Harper Lee's Powerful Novel Takes Flight On Stage

at James Lee Community Center, Falls Church
OFFER DATES:
Sat, March 25
Thu, March 30
Fri, March 31
+ 5 more dates
Sat, March 25
Thu, March 30
Fri, March 31
Sat, April 01
Sun, April 02
Thu, April 06
Fri, April 07
Sat, April 08
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $20
OFFER PRICE: $8 - $10

Few perspectives on American society have been as perceptive or as poignant as that of young Scout Finch, the heroine of Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "To Kill a Mockingbird". Adapted for ... [more+]

Few perspectives on American society have been as perceptive or as poignant as that of young Scout Finch, the heroine of Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "To Kill a Mockingbird". Adapted for the stage by Christopher Sergel ("Winesburg, Ohio"), this moving play follows Scout's journey as her father Atticus defends a black man framed for a crime he did not commit. As the trial progresses, Scout and her brother Jem witness their community divided over issues of racism and justice. The Providence Players brings this powerful story to the James Lee Community Center in Falls Church. [less-]

"The Select": Elevator Repair Service's Thrilling Riff on "The Sun Also Rises"

at Lansburgh Theatre, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, March 25
Sat, March 25
Thu, March 30
+ 3 more dates
Sat, March 25
Sat, March 25
Thu, March 30
Fri, March 31
Sat, April 01
Sat, April 01
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $71 - $108
OFFER PRICE: $35.50 - $54

A stage littered with liquor bottles and café chairs transforms from a Parisian bistro to the banks of the Irati River in Spain. A bar table roars to life and charges a matador. Championed by "The Ne... [more+]

A stage littered with liquor bottles and café chairs transforms from a Parisian bistro to the banks of the Irati River in Spain. A bar table roars to life and charges a matador. Championed by "The New York Times" as "a lively riff on Hemingway's first and greatest novel," "The Select (The Sun Also Rises)"'s innovative staging reimagines the 1926 roman à clef via a fusion of artistic forms. As the story winds its way through France and Spain and lands in the heart of the Festival of San Fermín in Pamplona, Hemingway's narrator carries the heavy burdens of a war injury and his inability to have the woman he desires -- a woman whose romantic escapades he follows with bemused but painful fatalism. Don't miss this genre-defying work by acclaimed theatre ensemble Elevator Repair Service when it takes over D.C.'s Lansburgh Theatre. [less-]

Cherry Blossom Walking Tour: "Blossom Secrets Stroll"

at DC Metro Area, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, March 25
Sun, March 26
FULL PRICE: $20
OFFER PRICE: $10

How did 3,000 Japanese cherry trees make their way to America's capital? You'll the answer on this fun and informative walking tour during the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The annual cherry bloss... [more+]

How did 3,000 Japanese cherry trees make their way to America's capital? You'll the answer on this fun and informative walking tour during the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The annual cherry blossom display in Washington, D.C. is guaranteed to dazzle your senses. People travel from all over the world to see the trees when their blooms burst forth with magnificent beauty each spring. But have you ever wondered why the trees are planted along the Tidal Basin? Why cherry trees? Whose idea were they, anyway? Hear the stories and secrets behind these delicate and breathtaking blossoms, as well as the visionary who imagined the display and more details of the area, during this two-hour guided walking tour featuring not only the cherry trees, but also fascinating anecdotes about the nation's capital. [less-]

"Parade": Powerful Musical Based on Real-Life Murder

at Keegan Theatre, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, March 25
Thu, March 30
Fri, April 07
+ 2 more dates
Sat, March 25
Thu, March 30
Fri, April 07
Thu, April 13
Fri, April 14
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $55
OFFER PRICE: $35

Alfred Uhry's Tony Award-winning "Parade" dramatizes the racially-charged trial of Leo Frank, a Jewish factory manager wrongly accused of brutally raping and murdering a 13-year-old worker under his c... [more+]

Alfred Uhry's Tony Award-winning "Parade" dramatizes the racially-charged trial of Leo Frank, a Jewish factory manager wrongly accused of brutally raping and murdering a 13-year-old worker under his charge. As press whips the public into an outraged frenzy, Frank's only hope lies in a brave crusade for justice led by the Southern wife he never understood, among a people that never understood him. This transformational story -- based on an actual case -- is part murder mystery and part social commentary about a country whose behavior is often at odds with its declarations of equality. Experience this powerful musical at the Keegan Theatre in Washington DC. [less-]

Politics & Pints Capitol Hill Walking Tour

at US Capitol Building, Washington
OFFER DATES:
Sat, March 25
Sun, March 26
Mon, March 27
+ 3 more dates
Sat, March 25
Sun, March 26
Mon, March 27
Wed, March 29
Thu, March 30
Fri, March 31
[less-]
FULL PRICE: $30
OFFER PRICE: $15

On the Politics & Pints Capitol Hill Tour, you'll explore the historic Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Discover the birthplace of American government while seeing iconic landmarks and le... [more+]

On the Politics & Pints Capitol Hill Tour, you'll explore the historic Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Discover the birthplace of American government while seeing iconic landmarks and learning fascinating history on this two-hour walking tour. Cap it all off by grabbing a drink in the city's oldest commercial district. [less-]

 

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com