- - Thursday, March 29, 2012

In 2003, singer and comedian Wayne Brady needed to repair his reputation. His problem was not that he was a bad boy, but that he was not bad enough. So he went on Dave Chappelle’s sketch comedy show. The episode began with Mr. Chappelle asking a fortune teller, “Why do white people like Wayne Brady?” And the fortune teller replying, “White people like Wayne Brady because he makes Bryant Gumbel look like Malcolm X.” A later sketch saw sweet-cheeked Mr. Brady playing a violent and manipulative gun-wielding pimp. The real secret behind Mr. Brady’s ability to break racial barriers is not that he’s tame (an ugly stereotype regardless of whose riffing on it), but that he’s talented. Accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Brady will sing the best of Sam Cooke and Sammy Davis Jr. A fitting program, considering that Cooke and Davis’ much-deserved mainstream appeal is not so different from Brady’s. Friday and Saturday at the Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. NW. Phone: 202/467-4600. Web: www.kennedy-center.org/

Family event Faberge Egg Festival

Last year, parents in Colorado Springs invaded the city’s annual Easter egg hunt, ruining everything and leading organizers to cancel this year’s event. The reason for the interference, said one parent, was simple: “I promised my kid an Easter egg hunt and I’d want to give him an even edge.” Clearly, the true meaning of Easter has gone by the wayside. Assuming you want your children to know the true meaning of Easter, get them to a church. If you’re fine with maintaining the charming egg association, but want to avoid awakening your worst helicopter-parent instincts, take your children to Hillwood’s Faberge Egg Family Festival. There, they can paint eggs in grand Faberge style, listen to storyteller Arianna Ross divulge the egg’s aristocratic history, play Russian folk games, listen to Russian folk music, and meet a Tsar Nicholas II impersonator. Sunday at the Hillwood Estate, Museum and Garden, 4155 Linnean Ave. NW. Phone: 202/686.5807. Web: www.hillwoodmuseum.org/

Memorial reading Anthony Shadid

Reporter Anthony Shadid survived a gunshot wound, bombing raids and traveling across the Middle East during two tumultuous decades, only to die in February in Syria of an asthma attack triggered by horse hair. “War is hell,” William Tecumseh Sherman said after pillaging Atlanta. Shadid’s death goes to show that it’s also absurd. His death was followed shortly by the release of a book of his essays, “House of Stone,” all of which are thoughtful and authoritative. Politics & Prose’s tribute event is slated for the night Shadid was to be speaking there. His friends and colleagues will be in attendance to share stories. Friday at Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Phone: 202/364-1919. Web: www.politics-prose.com/

Exhibit DCist Exposed

Now in its sixth year, “DCist Exposed” seeks to democratize the privilege of having one’s artwork nailed to someone else’s wall for two weeks. In this case, the photographers don’t necessarily need to be professional photographers. The only requisite is that their pictures be of and about the city. DCist and Long View Gallery received more than 650 submissions to the contest this year, which have been narrowed to 40 exceptional shots. Through Sunday at the Long View Gallery, 1234 Ninth St. NW. Phone: 202/232-4788. Web: www.longviewgallerydc.com/

Film ‘After the Revolution’

“After the Revolution” documents a short-lived political fantasy held by East German socialists in 1989: That the collapse of the oppressive German Democratic Republic did not necessarily have to be followed by unification with West Germany. In fact, these socialists saw the failure of East Germany as a sign that a utopia was right around the corner. “After the Revolution” features previously unreleased footage of three activists’ attempts to push East Germany closer to the socialist ideal, and away from the political systems of much freer West Germany. Monday at Goethe Institut, 812 Seventh St. NW. Phone: 202/289-1200. Web: www.goethe.de/