Theater: 'Time Stands Still'
Media coverage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan sometimes has been as much about journalists as soldiers. In 2006, ABC's Bob Woodruff was nearly killed when shrapnel from a roadside bomb in Iraq tore through his brain. In 2010, New York Times photographer Joao Silva stepped on a mine while embedded with troops in Afghanistan. As grace would have it, Mr. Woodruff and Mr. Silva are both still able to do journalism. That, however, doesn't mean the recovery process was simple or easy. Mr. Silva lost both of his legs and had to learn to walk with prostheses; Mr. Woodruff, in an interview with USA Today two years after the explosion, was not able to remember the name of the device that changes the channels on a TV ("remote control"). What happens after the hospital is the subject of Donald Margulies' "Time Stands Still." First performed on Broadway in early 2010 with a cast that featured Laura Linney, Brian d'Arcy James, Eric Bogosian and Alicia Silverstone, "Time Stands Still" tells the story of Sarah Goodwin, a female war photographer who returns to a fraught marriage after suffering an injury that left her scarred and limping. Her recovery, however, is complicated by the emotional gulf between her and her partner, a war journalist who suffered a mental breakdown and fled Iraq shortly before Ms. Goodwin was injured, and the reappearance in her life of an old flame. Through Feb. 12 at Studio Theatre, 1501 14th St. NW. Phone: 202/332-3300. Web: www.studiotheatre.org
Movie: 'The Return of the King'
Legions of nerds swooned and toppled over when they heard that Peter Jackson was going to be involved with "The Hobbit," J.R.R. Tolkien's prequel (if you will) to the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, an adaptation of which Mr. Jackson directed. The making of "The Hobbit" ended up being as hellish as the titular character's trip through Middle Earth. The original director, Guillermo del Toro, jumped ship; a union strike shut down filming; and Mr. Jackson, who took over directing duties from Mr. del Toro, ended up in the hospital owing to stress. While the film doesn't open until December, it is never too early to revisit the "Rings" trilogy, rife with mythology and allusions to "The Hobbit," in order to prime the pump. And heck, why not watch them out of order, starting with the most action-packed of the three films? To that end, the Black Cat will be screening the third in the trilogy - "The Return of the King" - for free this week. "Costumes are welcome." Jan. 23 at the Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. Phone: 202/ 667-7960. Web: www.blackcatdc.com
Exhibit: 'The Exceptional Everyday'
In partnering with the Norwegian Embassy, the Corcoran hoped to open American eyes to the ingenuity and playfulness of 10 of Norway's best industrial designers. The standout piece in the exhibit is Kristine Bjaadal's "Underfull Tablecloth," which appears at first to be just a normal tablecloth. But when a glass of red wine is spilled over the fabric - as sometimes happens - something odd occurs: Instead of seeing a giant stain spread across the cloth, scores of butterflies made of highly absorbent fabric appear, while the rest of the tablecloth remains white. Ms. Bjaadal has said she designs products that can turn a "negative situation into something positive and beautiful," and it is this theme that infuses "The Exceptional Everyday." Through Jan. 22 at the Corcoran, 500 17th St. NW. Phone: 202/639-1700. Web: www.corcoran.edu
Contest: H Street Karaoke Championship
The full-tilt narcissism inspired by the document-everything era (or perhaps the narcissism came first?) has created some interesting cultural byproducts: Everyone's a photographer; everyone's a foodie; everyone has a really important story to tell. Also? Karaoke has replaced kickball as the thing you used to do because you enjoyed it, but you now do it so you can post it on your Facebook timeline. If that sounds like you, the hippest corridor in D.C. - H Street Northeast - is hosting its fourth annual karaoke contest. The show is free, while $6 gets you a pound of PBR and "a shot of crap whiskey." That sounds like a great Facebook post, if not a reasonably good time.Jan. 26 at the Rock and Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. Phone: 202/388-7625. Web: www.rockandrollhoteldc.com
Festival: Children's Theater Festival
Your kids may not be able to appreciate a night at the Shakespeare Theatre Co.'s Harman Center for the Arts, but that doesn't mean they're too young for the theater. They just need something their "speed." Arlington's Spectrum Theatre offers a day of bilingual theater performances by and for children. The first and last show of the day is "Hansel and Gretel." In between the two performances (which are at noon and 4 p.m.), Spectrum will stage music and dance performances by house troupes "Ballet Folklorico Ko'eti" and "Las Lunitas," as well as a drum circle. Jan. 21 at Spectrum Theatre, 1611 N. Kent St., Arlington. Phone: 703/522-6628. Web: www.arlingtonarts.org/