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Things to Do Archive

Arms and the Man: Shakespeare Edition

William Shakespeare was celebrated during his lifetime as a leading poet and dramatist. But by 1596, the Bard sought something more to cement his standing among the Elizabethan upper crust: A family coat of arms.

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Degas/Cassatt Exhibit Leaves Quite an Impression

Sometimes, the story behind a great painting is literally found behind the painting. Consider Mary Cassatt’s 1878 impressionist gem “Little Girl in a Blue Armchair.”

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Sackler Gallery's Whistler Exhibit Shows an Artist in Transition

One of the season’s biggest art shows features more than 80 works of a French-trained American working in London, arrayed in a gallery normally devoted to Asian art.

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Smithsonian's Kiyochika Exhibit Illuminates a Bygone Tokyo

The scenes of late 19th century Tokyo capture a city on the rise, with multistory brick buildings, gas lighting, telegraph poles, railroads and warships cruising the surrounding rivers.

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In Garry Winogrand Exhibit, a Completed Body of American Work

Few museum exhibits offer an occasion to actually complete an artist’s body of work. But a retrospective of the legendary street photographer Garry Winogrand now at the National Gallery of Art offers a rare exception by displaying haunting, unconventional portraits of mid-20th-century America — many of which weren’t developed or known to exist before his death in 1984.

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D.C. Site Shows Lincoln in a Human Light

The United States observes Abraham Lincoln’s 205th birthday on Wednesday, and after years of celebrating the 16th president’s heroic accomplishments, the Lincoln Cottage is showing a more human side of the man from Springfield, Ill.

Iran's Epic Poem Continues to Resonate With New Translation

Hamid Rahmanian was convinced the modern Western world was missing something big about Iran.

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'The Dying Gaul': Dignity With a Mustache

The last time the celebrated Roman sculpture known as “The Dying Gaul” left Italy was in 1797, when Napoleonic forces carted it off as a war prize with every intention of keeping it in France.

Library of Congress Hosts 'A Celebration of Mexico'

The sepia-toned footage contains rare glimpses of Mexico from a vanished era: Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata entering Mexico City with a throng of troops, a pile of burned corpses, a child in folk dress celebrating the country’s independence, an artillery platoon preparing to fight counter-revolutionaries.

Film Series on Immigration Policy Is a Tapestry of Politics, Policy and Personalities

NEW YORK — “How Democracy Works Now” is “War and Peace” for wonks.

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'Parkland': Film About JFK's Slaying Turns Logistics Into Art Form

“Parkland,” Peter Landesman’s new film about the immediate aftermath of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, starts off like the greatest episode of “ER” and ends like a Samuel Beckett play. It’s both a thriller that tells a familiar chapter of history in an incredibly original way and a tragedy of immensely personal dimensions.

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At Atlas Brew Works, the Taps Are Flowing

It would be easy for a new brewery in Washington, D.C., to feel the weight of expectations, given how much this town likes its craft beer. But the team behind Atlas Brew Works doesn’t need to carry the weight of the world on its shoulders. Those involved say they feel if they keep putting out quality beer, the local scene will embrace their nascent operation.

National Book Festival Finds Perfect Audience in D.C.'s Literary Set

Authors, poets and scholars — even former members of Congress — will travel once again to one of the nation’s most well-read areas this weekend.

'Follow the Leader' Filmmaker Saw 9/11 as Touchstone Moment for Youth

American filmmaker Jonathan Goodman Levitt had been returning to the United States each summer from London to teach high-school and college classes when, 12 years ago, he encountered a vastly different crop of students.

Strangers, Then Intimates on a Train at Capital Fringe

Capital Fringe is well under way in its eighth year in Washington, D.C. While the two-and-a-half-week theater festival doesn’t have the draw of its New York counterpart, it still brings a great deal of artistic talent to the area and a chance to showcase independent productions to a wide-ranging audience. Over an 18-day period in 18 venues, 130 different shows will provide 738 performances. One of those shows is “Last Train to Nibroc.”

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A Drive-In Movie Reaches for the Future

If the drive-in movie theater survives as a viable commercial cinema venue, it will be in large part because of the pluck of people like Jim Kopp, a retired Library of Congress logistics manager who runs the Family Drive-In in Stephens City, Va.

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Naval Museum Brings Light to War of 1812 Artifacts

It’s called a Chambers swivel gun and it’s a nasty piece of work, capable of firing 175 rounds in two minutes using a series of charges that work like a Roman candle and can’t be extinguished once ignited.

In 'The Real Thing,' a Real Clash Between Work and Life

How many lovers and families struggle to remain connected and whole, even as they fall victim to great, passionate, all-consuming love affairs? And of these great affairs, how many of us carry on with that most insidious of mistresses: our career?

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Janis Joplin, Older and Wiser at Arena Stage

If you’re looking for a dark, heartbreaking tale about a talented young woman sacrificed too young to a hardcore junk habit, “One Night With Janis Joplin,” which is scheduled to return to Arena Stage on Friday, will not be that show.

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Is Deconstructing a Play the Same as Trashing It?

In Tom Stoppard’s 1982 play “The Real Thing,” the character Henry, a successful playwright, says that it is nearly impossible for him to write about love with any level of profundity. It comes out juvenile or rude, even boring.

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