James Beard Award-winning chef Vikram Sunderam’s newest dining concept reflecting the modern-day cuisine of his native India makes for a similarly satisfying and noteworthy experience as his original Rasika. A degree above fast-casual, Bindaas focuses on the kind of food one might find on the streets and in the food markets of Mumbai, yet offered in a more relaxed and refined environment. With this second outpost, the intimate Cleveland Park gem becomes a much bigger and more noticeable jewel in a younger, hipper, and more diverse part of town. Impressive dishes include “Roadside Sandwich” burgers made from either chicken or seasonal vegetables and served on a pao bun with chutney and a delicious and filling Chicken Curry with tomatoes, garam masala and saffron rice. Bindaas also features a full bar with wine, beer and creative cocktails made with spirits from local distilleries, including Green Hat Gin and Cotton & Reed Rum. Don’t even think of going without trying the Tamarind soda, house-made with honey, ginger, clove, nutmeg and sumac. Located at 2000 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Call 202-516-4326 or visit bindaasdc.com.
The Color Purple — Photo: Matthew Murphy
THE COLOR PURPLE
In addition to Hamilton, the Kennedy Center is playing host to the other big winner from the 70th Annual Tony Awards in 2016, the adaptation by Marsha Norman and composer/lyricists Stephen Bray, Brenda Russell, and Allee Willis that won as Best Musical Revival. Now to Aug. 26. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $69 to $149. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
ABBA concert – Photo: Ron Elkman
ABBA – THE CONCERT
“The best ABBA tribute band in the world,” touts the Official ABBA Fan Club. Featuring two original members of the Swedish pop group’s rhythm section, “ABBA – The Concert” is about as close as we may ever get to a performance by the actual band, recent buzz about reuniting for one hologram-enhanced simulcast notwithstanding. Sunday, Aug. 12, at 8 p.m. The Filene Center at Wolf Trap, 1551 Trap Rd., Vienna. Tickets are $30 to $60. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit wolftrap.org.
Afro Cuban All Stars
JUAN DE MARCOS & THE AFRO-CUBAN ALL STARS
A remarkable ensemble of expatriate Cuban musicians led by Juan de Marcos Gonzalez, the Afro-Cuban All Stars is devoted to the full range of Cuban music. It’s one of the best live bands around, given the passion and quality to the musicianship, as documented in the classic Wim Wenders’s documentary Buena Vista Social Club. That film helped make stars out of some of the band’s original players, including the late Ruben Gonzalez and Ibrahim Ferrer. They return for another steamy summer Saturday night romp at the Hamilton. Saturday, Aug. 4, at 8 p.m. 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $25 to $35. Call 202-787-1000 or visit thehamiltondc.com.
Summer Spirit Festival: Nas
SUMMER SPIRIT FESTIVAL
Billed as a “one-stop shop for a soulful good time,” this two-day festival returns to Merriweather Post Pavilion with performances by soul and hip-hop royalty. The first day, Saturday, Aug. 4, features Erykah Badu, Nas, Method Man & Redman, Lion Babe, Rapsody, Bilal, Phony PPL, and Bryan J, while Sunday, Aug. 5, offers The Roots, Anderson .Paak & the Free Nationals, Daniel Caesar, Backyard Band, Lizzo, Raheem DeVaughn, Masego, Ms. Kim & Scooby, and DJ Quicksilva. Performances begin at 2 p.m. both days. 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Md. Tickets, per day or for a Weekend Pass, range from $60 to $250. Call 800-551-SEAT or visit merriweathermusic.com.
The kooky, lovable Philips has been standing up for decades and has even earned plaudits from the likes of Jay Leno as “the best joke writer in America.” Even if you don’t recognize the quirky name, you’ve no doubt heard Philips’s distinctive voice in a ton of animated TV shows, including Slacker Cats, Doctor Katz, and Adventure Time. Friday, Aug. 3, at 8 and 10 p.m., and Saturday, Aug. 4, at 7 and 9 p.m. Drafthouse Comedy, 1100 13th St. NW. Tickets are $20. Call 202-750-6411 or visit drafthousecomedy.com.
Heavy Metal: CHARBONNEL — Train end, 8 x 10 in
HEAVY METAL: WOMEN TO WATCH 2018
The fifth installment in a triennial exhibition series presented at the National Museum of Women in the Arts showcases 20 contemporary artists working in metal to create a wide variety of objects, including sculpture, jewelry, and conceptual forms. Inspired by NMWA’s collection of silverwork crafted by British and Irish women in the 18th and 19th centuries, Heavy Metal, displaying more than 50 works of art, seeks to further disrupt the predominantly masculine narrative that surrounds metalworking despite women’s consistent presence the field for centuries. Now to Sept. 16. 1250 New York Ave NW. Admission is $10. Call 202-783-5000 or visit nmwa.org.
Classic Cher at MGM National Harbor
With “Classic Cher” at the Theater at MGM National Harbor, you’ll fall under the diva’s spell instantly, from the moment the purple velvet curtains pull back on a stage fit for an Arabian fairytale. Soon enough, the 70-year-old pop icon, in Queen of Sheba garb, descends from the heavens on a gold-framed aerial platform, singing her truth a la “Woman’s World.” That No. 1 hit on the Billboard dance chart from 2013 is the newest in an 18-song setlist spanning an impressive fifty years. It’s a showcase of awe-inspiring staging and state-of-the-art light and projection designs in general. It’s also a showcase of Cher and her decades-long, multi-genre, multi-award-winning career as one of the very best and most personable entertainers in the business. The indomitable, forever-goodbying sensation returns for a run billed as her “Final Shows” in the venue. Saturday, Aug. 4, Sunday, Aug. 5, Tuesday, Aug. 7, Thursday, Aug. 9, Saturday, Aug. 11, and Sunday, Aug. 12, at 8 p.m. 7100 Oxon Hill Rd., Md. Call 301-971-5000 or visit mgmnationalharbor.com. (Doug Rule)
Whatsa Typewriter: Samuel-Dixon
A Maryland artist primarily known for his work as a watercolorist who has been described as an American Abstract Impressionist, Samuel Dixon was selected for inclusion in this year’s juried group exhibition at the Hill Center Galleries. Dixon’s entry is “Typing I,” a watercolor fine art print, captured from his typewriter series “Faded Images.” (Fun fact: the painting served as the inspiration for this week’s OutWrite cover.) Portrait artist Annette Polan, professor emerita of the Corcoran College of Art + Design at The George Washington University, served as the exhibition juror, culling through 670 artworks from more than 140 artists. Now to Sept. 22. Hill Center Galleries in the Old Naval Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Call 202-549-4172 or visit HillCenterDC.org. A larger assortment of Dixon’s works is currently on display at Gallery 50 Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. For information, call 302-227-2050.
Home Rule — Mid-City Sidewalk Salk
MID CITY DOG DAYS SIDEWALK FESTIVAL
What started 19 years ago as a collaboration between Home Rule and a handful of neighboring businesses on 14th Street has blossomed into one of D.C.’s most popular outdoor events, featuring over 100 merchants in a 25-block radius encompassing the neighborhoods of Logan Circle, 14 Street, the U Street Corridor, and Shaw. Home Rule, Miss Pixie’s Furnishings & Whatnot, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, Room & Board, Urban Essentials, and Flowers on 14th are among the many merchants participating the event, which also offers free admission to the African American Civil War Museum, pet-related promotions and adoption opportunities at City Paws, and dining specials from the many bustling venues on what some have taken to calling D.C.’s Restaurant Row, including Barcelona Wine Bar, Cork Wine Bar, Etto, Rice, and Sette Osteria. It all launches with a Kick Off Party Friday, Aug. 3, from 6 to 8 p.m. Miss Pixie’s, 1626 14th St. NW. Dog Days runs all day Saturday, Aug. 5, and Sunday, Aug. 6. Visit dogdaysdc.com.
Filmmaker Will Braden (Le Chat Noir) assembled a 70-minute program that’s a fancy feast for cat lovers, chock-full of cat videos both popular and new and undiscovered. CatVideoFest, co-presented with the Bethesda-based, globally focused nonprofit Alley Cat Allies, also doubles as a networking event for feline fans. The AFI Silver Theatre co-presents an encore screening of CatVideoFest 2017 on Friday, Aug. 10, as part of the free outdoor film series at the nearby Sonny’s Green. Stella’s Popkern will be on hand with snacks, and patrons are welcome to bring their own blankets and low-rise chairs. Every Friday evening at sundown, around 8 p.m., to Aug. 31. (This Friday’s film is Isle of Dogs.) Off the parking lot of the Blairs Shopping Center, 1290 East-West Highway. Call 301-495-6720 or visit afi.com/Silver.
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Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @ruleonwriting.