Party On, Space Cadets

It's like St. Patrick's Day for space. Celebrate a little-known scientific holiday with a party that's... from another planet. Betcha didn't see that one coming.

Countdown to Yuri's Night commemorates the historic first manned space flight, made by Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin on April 12, 1961. This year will mark 50 years since that flight. Yay, math. It's one of those things that made space travel possible, after all.

The celebration takes place this Saturday, April 9 starting at 8 p.m. at the Artisphere in Rosslyn (1101 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, Va.). Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. And the door is pretty much where it starts and stops being a "normal" event.

A variety show -- think "Star Trek" meets "The Love Boat" -- will be hosted by Kittie Glitter as Captain Ballcrusher. Miss Saturn, a New York-based neo-vaudeville and comedy performer, will be there to entertain along with other burlesque artists.

It's at the Artisphere, so there will be art; 18 artists are exhibiting work centered on the theme of man's journey into space. (The exhibit itself runs beyond the party -- through April 30 in the MEZZ Gallery.)

The "out of this world" theme continues into the events music, including surf-rockers The Atomic Mosquitos. Eastern Standard Time, called one of D.C.'s best bands by the Washington Post, will also be there, playing jazz-inspired ska.

We can't think of a better way to celebrate this holiday we've never heard of than with some entertainment we couldn't even dream of.

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