WASHINGTON – After a holiday hiatus, the WTOP entertainment guide is finally back and ready to kick off the new year with events galore. This weekend, “Red” comes to D.C., dragons take over Rockville and kids become spies.
Art and theater aficionados get a special treat this season. The Tony Award winning play “Red” has finally made its way to D.C., and opens up tonight at the Arena Stage. The stunning production depicts Russian-American painter Mark Rothko as he struggles with fame, mortality and creating an iconic piece. Shows are quickly selling out, and run through March 4 in the Kreeger Theater. Tickets can be purchased online or call 202-488-3300.
In honor of Benjamin Franklin’s birthday this week, America Eats Tavern — celebrity chef Jose Andres’ American themed pop-up restaurant — is offering a special three-course menu for lunch and dinner now through Feb. 10. A select wine list features bottles for $35 or less. The prix fix menu is a lead up to a new exhibit opening at the National Archives Feb. 10. “Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World” takes a look at the founding father, mad scientist and tireless entrepreneur and his many contributions to the country.
Another great American has a new exhibit at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and it’s not what you would expect. “Annie Leibovitz: Pilgrimage” features none of the celebrity-filled spreads from Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone that have come to epitomize her photography. Instead, the show, which opens Friday and runs through May 20, features photos taken by Leibovitz simply because the subject moved her. Sweeping landscapes and interior design dominate the show. Call 202-633-7970 for more information.
Celebrate the Lunar New Year (also known as the Chinese New Year ) with a parade and festival Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Rockville Town Square. The free event features street performers, live music, martial arts, lion dancers and a giant 18-person golden dragon, which is probably enough of a reason to go.
Arlington’s Teatro de la Luna is hosting a Children’s Theater Festival Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Spectrum Theatre at Artisphere. The day features bilingual activities such as singing, painting and drawing, plus two performances of “Hansel and Gretel” and even lunch time entertainment. Tickets are $10 to $15 for 4 to 12-year-olds, and free for children 3 and younger.
The Teatro is also offering a pre-Valentine’s Day evening of romance. Saturday night, enjoy a “Noche de Boleros” (Night of Ballads) with song, dance, wine and Latin American snacks. The evening begins at 7 p.m. at the NRECA Conference Center. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased online or by calling 703-548-3092.
On Sunday, budding spies and the parents who love them can check out the International Spy Museum’s 2012 Spy Fest. Kids pick disguises, analyze handwriting, snap photos with covert gadgets and learn all about what it means to be an agent. The event goes from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and costs $10. Call 202-393-7798 for more information.