Once a vital part of the arts and entertainment community known as Black Broadway, Howard Theatre was not immune to the trouble that gripped the city over the years, but after two years of renovations, it's back, and News4's Jim Vance dropped by for a sneak peek. Watch Part 2 Friday, April 13, on News4 at 6 p.m.
What are you doing this weekend? We offer you a starting point:
FRIDAY, APRIL 13:
Have a geek-tastic night out with director Morgan Spurlock, for the opening of the documentary "Comic-Con Episode IV: Fan's Hope" at West End Cinema (2301 M St. NW). 7 p.m.; $11.
Join funny lady Wanda Sykes during reopening week at the Howard Theatre (620 T St. NW). 8 p.m.; $95 for general admission tables; $125 for boxes.
Enjoy "A Taste of Iceland" at RIS (2275 L St. NW). We're sure that means dinner will be chilly, but beautiful. The restaurant will feature a special four-course menu with inspirations from the cool Icelandic custom-made cocktail, the Reykjavik 101.
SATURDAY, APRIL 14:
The blossoms are gone, but two of the biggest Cherry Blossom Festival events are this weekend. The parade features Katie Couric, Alex Trebec and Kristy Yamaguchi, plus cultural acts, dancers, martial artists and, of course, giant balloons. The Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival overlaps the parade, with 25+ food vendors, two Japanese beer gardens, sake tastings and demos from 200+ martial artists. Parade 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; standing room free; seats $20. Festival 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; $5 adults; free for kids.
D.C. performance artists young and old will join up for the Occupy GALA at GALA Hispanic Theatre (3333 14th St. NW) for an evening of music, poetry and visual arts in response to current political and social issues. Notable artists in attendance include Rumisonko, Quique Avilés, B Stanley and music group Machetres. Scheduled performances will be preceded by puppets and drumming outside the theatre. 8 p.m.; $15.
Comedian Wanda Sykes takes the stage for a second night at the Howard Theatre (620 T St. NW), but she's followed this time by hip-hop artist Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def). But no, you don't just get to pay once, so choose wisely. Wanda Sykes 8 p.m.; $95 for general admission tables; $125 for boxes. Yasiin Bey 11:30 p.m.; $45 in advance; $50 day of show.
SUNDAY, APRIL 15:
Movies from the U.S., Iran and Canada are debuting at FilmFestDC: "The Island President," "Facing Mirrors" and "RasTa: A Soul's Journey." "The Island President" tells the story of the Maldives, one of the lowest-lying countries in the world, made up of 1,200 islands. As a result of climate change, the existence of the Maldives is threatened by rising sea levels. The film follows President Mohamed Nasheed as he sets out to influence other world leaders to help save his country. This film will be featured at the Landmark E Street Cinema (555 11th St. NW). 2 p.m.; $11.
All aboard! Cheesetique (2411 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria, Va.) is hosting a Mediterranean cruise-inspired wine class. "Cruise" through Spain, France and Italy while learning about and tasting regional wines. There will be eight Mediterranean wines offered and six regional cheese pairings. 7 p.m.; $45.
D.C. Design House is an annual showcase of the area's top designers to benefit the Children's National Medical Center. This year the host house (4951 Rockwood Parkway NW) will feature 23 designed spaces, and six boutiques will be selling items on the lower level to raise money. Boutiques include Fran Spaeder, Posh! and For Ewe among others. Noon-5 p.m.; $20.