It's time, once again, for the shutdown showdown morass we've all grown to know and loathe, which means anyone associated with Capitol Hill will likely be on high alert all week.
What better way to cope with the craziness than to check out some local happenings that have nothing to do with fiscal debates?
Václav Havel Lives
The late Václav Havel was one cool dude. An avant-garde playwright and poet who was an imprisoned political dissident in Cold War Czechoslovakia, he went on to lead his country through the Velvet Revolution, helped bring down the Iron Curtain, got elected president and set the stage for the peaceful dissolution of his country into two republics, then became president of the Czech Republic. He died almost two years ago. The Atlas Performing Arts Center is staging the Alliance for New Music-Theatre's double bill of his plays "Antiwords" and "Unveiling." Just so you know: They're weird, but pretty cool. Tuesday and Wednesday at 8 p.m. at 1333 H St NE in the Atlas's Paul Sprenger Theatre. Tickets are $30 for general admission, $20 for students, educators and seniors. To purchase tickets, go here.
Baseball in Washington
Frederic Frommer talks about his new book, "You Gotta Have Heart," a history of baseball in Washington that looks at the whole megillah, from 1859 to 2012. CBS newsman Bob Schieffer will lead the discussion at Hill Center DC on Thursday. There's a lot to discuss, from the early days of play to a World Series championship, Negro League ball, losing the Senators to both Minnesota and Texas, the uber-drama surrounding the Montreal Expos' relocation here and last year's playoff run. From 7 p.m.-9 p.m. at 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Free. To register, go here.
Bell (Hip) Hopping
That bass you're going to be hearing coming from the eastern side of Capitol Hill on Sept. 28-29 will be hip-hop extravaganza Rock the Bells, which has already been setting up for days on the grounds of RFK Stadium. The old school/new school lineup is pretty impressive and features veterans of the game like KRS-One, Big Daddy Kane and Wu-Tang Clan (who will bring alongside a hologram version of the late Old Dirty Bastard) as well as newbies like Kid Cudi and local boy done good Wale. Tickets range from $128 to $338. To purchase, go here. Prices go up at the door.