✔ Pick of the Pack
Concert: International Young Artist Piano Competition
With the Olympics in action, Washingtonians may be wondering where they can locally watch supertalented young people conduct amazing feats of strength and agility. Conveniently enough, they can get their fix at the International Young Artist Piano Competition. Unlike the Olympics, the competition has already been held, so it's unlikely you'll see any musical face-plants (a la Russia's Anastasia Grishina), or watch a losing pianist refuse to leave the stage (as was the case with South Korean fencer Shin A-lam). But you will hear amazing music — Beethoven, Chopin, perhaps some Shostakovich — performed by the best pint-sized pianists America has to offer.
Free performance Aug. 9 at the Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. NW
Film: 'The Man Who Never Was'
A funny thing has happened to spy movies over the past two decades, and you can see it in the Jason Bourne, "Mission: Impossible," and James Bond franchises. Essentially, they're no longer about spycraft. Instead, we get 90 minutes of fireworks accompanied by campy conspiratorial plots. 1956's "The Man Who Never Was" is an antiquated antidote to such brain-dead blow-'em-ups. Loosely based on historical events, the movie recreates the Allies' efforts to deceive the Axis into thinking that the Mediterranean invasion would take place in Greece, not Sicily. How did the Allies execute this ruse? With a dead body and a briefcase full of phony documents, which were dumped together in the waters off the coast of Spain. Upon being discovered, the body of the fictional Maj. William Martin, R.M. manages to deceive the combined intelligence apparatuses of the Axis powers.
Aug. 6 and 7 at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring, Md.
Film: 'Deep Impact'
As part of the District's bid to be like New York, developers are now calling the neighborhood that is just north of Capitol Hill and Union Station "NoMa," which is gobbledeygook for "North of Massachusetts Avenue." As part of its rebranding attempt, the neighborhood is hosting all kinds of fun things, including a film festival dedicated to movies about the end of the world. (Did we say fun?) This week's entry in NoMa Summer Screen is "Deep Impact," the grittier, Aerosmith-free cousin of 1998's "Armageddon." Lacking Steven Tyler's raspy crooning and Bruce Willis' smug mug, "Deep Impact" made less of one in theaters that year, but it's a far more fascinating asteroid flick in that it focuses not on averting apocalypse but on riding it out.
Aug. 8 at Loree Grand Field, 2nd and L Streets NE
Miscellany: Minigolf at the National Building Museum
It may not be free like its neighbors downtown, but the National Building Museum sure knows how to play to the groundlings. The vaunted establishment recently invited architects to design minigolf holes "inspired by an actual building, bridge, landscape, or monument," or even a made-up one. The museum then translated these designs into an actual golf course, which visitors can — wait for it! — actually play on. But the fun doesn't end there: The museum will be asking visitors to name their favorite course elements, and then rewarding the most popular designer. The National Building Museum is officially the most fun repository of pretty things in D.C.
Through Labor Day at the National Building Museum, 401 F Street NW
Comic book nerds have the San Diego Comic-Con, political hangers-on have the RNC and DNC conventions. What do Lego lovers have? BrickFair. Hardly the weirdest of special interest conventions, BrickFair is where adults and children alike can congregate to share their unabashed enthusiasm for building scaled-down Taj Mahals and re-creating pivotal scenes from "The Princess Bride." Modelers will display their best pieces, and vendors will be selling all kinds of Lego paraphernalia, from special edition kits to tchotchkes and key chains. All ages welcome.
Aug. 4 and 5 at the Dulles Expo Center, 4320 Chantilly Center, Chantilly