- - Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pick of the Pack

Exhibit: ‘Titanoboa’

In 2007, researchers at the University of Florida were sorting through a collection of fossils gathered from a coal mine in the Cerrejon region of Colombia when they came across a piece of vertebra so large that they initially thought it belonged to a prehistoric crocodile. Turns out, it belonged to a snake that the researchers now call Titanoboa. At more than 40 feet long and weighing roughly 2,500 pounds, Titanoboa, an ancestor of the boa constrictor and anaconda, is the largest snake species known to have existed. The “Titanoboa” exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History features video interviews about the discovery - which researchers are comparing to finding Tyrannosaurus rex - as well as illustrations. But the real terror - and that is the best word - is the lifelike reconstruction of Titanoboa swallowing a crocodile. Seeing it gave this museum visitor chills.

Through Jan. 6 at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, 10th Street and Constitution Avenue Northwest.

Phone: 202/633-1000

Web: www.mnh.si.edu

Comedy: Wolf Trap’s 25th anniversary Evening of Comedy

Comedian David Sayh got his big break in 1977 while he was performing at a small New York club for amateur comics. Sitting in the audience that night was Johnny Carson. After the gig, the iconic late-night host invited Mr. Sayh to perform on the “Tonight Show.” Mr. Sayh got a standing ovation during that first appearance and was brought back on stage for a curtain call. His later performances on the “Tonight Show” weren’t received as enthusiastically - on his worst night, he followed Richard Pryor, who reportedly had to bend over backward to get more than a few chuckles from an exceptionally stony Carson audience. Now in his 50s, Mr. Sayh bills himself as “Clean Standup Comedian David Sayh.” The lack of sex jokes and swearing doesn’t make him any less funny than his peers. He will perform alongside Kevin Meaney and Rachel Feinstein at Wolf Trap’s 25th annual comedy night.

Saturday at the Barns at Wolf Trap, 1645 Trap Road, Vienna, Va.

Phone: 703/255-1900

Web: www.wolftrap.org

Race: Running of the Chihuahuas

Nobody does mass spectacle quite like the Tibetans, drag queens, anti-war activists, pro-lifers, union backers and grass-roots groups parading through the District. Add to that the Running of the Chihuahuas. The qualifying and championship races are free to watch. The fee to enter a dog is $20, and the races are open to Chihuahuas and Chihuahua mixes. (Barcelona or Pamplona, this is not.) The winning dog gets $150 and a trophy. Afterward, spectators, pooches and owners alike are invited to meet at Cantina Marina for a post-race party.

Saturday at 7th Street Landing Park, Seventh and Water streets Southwest.

Web: www.ontaponline.com/race

Children’s event: Drawn to Dogs

Summer is going to the dogs at the Strathmore Center. Through June, the Maryland concert hall and museum will display an exhibit of dog-related art, including an opening reception at which pet owners can bring their pooches. As part of the exhibit, the Strathmore invites children ages 6 to 11 to learn how to draw dogs modeled on presidential pets “using oil pastels, watercolor and wax resist techniques.”

Saturday at the Strathmore Mansion, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda, Md.

Phone: 301/581-5109

Web: www.strathmore.org

Exhibit: ‘Memoirs of a Graffiti Writer’s Jail Time in Virginia’

In 2004, graffiti artist Mickael Broth got caught and was sentenced to 10 months in jail for public vandalism. While behind bars, Mr. Broth kept up with his art. Those 10 months produced not just pieces of art - which Mr. Broth made by soaking M&Ms in water and then using cotton swabs to paint with the candies’ colors - but also provided the seed for a memoir about incarceration.

Through May 13 at Artisphere’s Works in Progress Gallery, 1101 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, Va.

Phone: 703/875-1100

Web: www.artisphere.com