In February 1964, the Beatles came to the District of Columbia to perform their very first U.S. concert at the Washington Coliseum in Northeast, officially kicking off the "British Invasion" of the United States and, of course, the group's unprecedented rise to international fame. This weekend, Sir Paul McCartney returns to the city that played an important role in his career for a concert at Nationals Park. His "Out There!" tour, which has taken him around the world since May, includes songs from his entire 50-year career, from the Beatles' early days to Wings, his 1970s band with his first wife Linda, to his successful solo career. Arrive early for a pre-show tailgate party with live music and food and drink specials. Friday, 8 p.m. at Nationals Park, 1500 South Capitol St. SE. Web: washington.nationals.mlb.com or tickets.com.
Bastille Day Street Party
While we have our cultural differences, the United States and France are strong allies — and our capital cities share a strong resemblance. It's clear that Pierre L'Enfant, the French-born architect who served as a military engineer during the American Revolution, had Paris in mind when he designed the plan for our capital city after the war. Though he was fired before he finished, Monsieur L'Enfant's concepts remain in our grassy plazas and grand marble memorials. It's fitting, then, that a week after our own Independence Day festivities we celebrate France's independence at the Adams Morgan bistro named for the visionary designer. On Saturday, L'Enfant Cafe will host its annual Bastille Day street party, featuring cancan and burlesque dancers and the famous French maid relay race, in which revelers in costume race to fill champagne glasses with spoonfuls of water. King Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette are also expected to attend the party, which culminates with a curbside masquerade ball. Saturday at L'Enfant Cafe, 2000 18th St. NW. 202/319-1800. Web: lenfantcafe.com.
Revolutionary War Family Day
Last weekend, we celebrated Independence Day with barbecues and fireworks. This weekend, take a moment to remember the U.S. Marines who began fighting for our freedom during the American Revolution — and continue to fight for our freedom around the world today. On Saturday, the National Museum of the Marine Corps will host a day dedicated to Colonial America and to the earliest Marines, a force authorized by the Continental Congress in 1775 as a naval infantry. Enjoy games and crafts from the period, and visit the museum's American Revolution gallery to learn about the Marines' sacrifices from the 1700s through the Civil War. In addition to five other historical galleries, the museum has three temporary exhibits, including photos by Stephen Dupont, a photojournalist who was embedded with Marines in Afghanistan in 2009. Saturday at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, 18900 Jefferson Davis Highway, Triangle, Va. 877/635-1775. Web: usmcmuseum.com.
Sir Paul McCartney may be getting all the attention for his concert at Nationals Park on Friday, but another iconic British pop group will perform in town this weekend, too. If a stadium swaying to "Yesterday" isn't your cup of Earl Grey, head to the more intimate 9:30 Club on Saturday to see Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, better known as OMD. The British new wave group was formed in 1978 and had numerous hits through the 1980s, including "Enola Gay," "Electricity," and "If You Leave," the song in the famous final scene of the 1986 film "Pretty in Pink." After a break in the 1990s, the cult-favorite synth-pop group re-formed in 2006 and released new music, including their 12th album, "English Electric," in April. Diamond Rings, an electro-pop musician from Toronto, will open the show. Saturday at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. 877/435-9849. Web: 930.com.
Cirque du Soleil's 'Quidam'
For 29 years, Cirque du Soleil has taken the idea of the circus to a whole new level with its astonishing acrobatics and fantasy-world sets and storylines. Founded by Guy Laliberte, the famous Canadian stilt-walker and fire-eater turned space tourist, the acrobatic empire has performed 19 different shows on every continent except Antarctica. Next week, Cirque du Soleil will raise the big top for one of the franchise's longest-running shows, "Quidam," which premiered in Montreal in 1996. With a cast of 52 acrobats and performers, the show follows the story of a sad young girl named Zoe. Though her parents and others ignore her, she finds solace in the imaginary world of Quidam, where the inhabitants help her proclaim her individuality. "Quidam" opens Wednesday at the Patriot Center at George Mason University — and snap up your tickets as soon as you can, because there will only be seven performances. Through July 21 at the Patriot Center, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. 703/933-3000. Web: cirquedusoleil.com/quidam or ticketmaster.com.