- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 20, 2008

Rolling in Easter

Two storied spring events have marked Washington’s Easter Mondays since beyond living memory: the annual White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn, a tradition since 1878, and the African-American Family Celebration at the National Zoo, started in the early 1890s because black children were not allowed to participate in the White House egg roll (a ban lifted in the 1950s). This year’s parties, free as always, take place on March 24. See the listings in Etc. For complete details, see www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2008/02/20080225-12.html and nationalzoo.si.edu.

Sacred strains

Easter at Washington National Cathedral: What better time, what better place to hear two of the country’s most accomplished organists? Cathedral organists Scott Dettra and Christopher Jacobson tickle the ivories on the cathedral’s 10,650-pipe organ in a special holiday concert at 5 p.m. March 23. And it’s free. See Classical Music.

Ten thousand men

The Harvard Glee Club comes to the auditorium in the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Concourse at 4 p.m. March 23, singing glee club favorites — like the fight song, “Ten Thousand Men of Harvard” — and music composed for the club’s 150th anniversary. It’s free. Just don’t ask for “The Whiffenpoof Song.” See Classical Music.

Chicago comes to Washington

Let’s be clear: Chicago City Limits, which bills itself as New York’s longest-running comedy revue for its 25-year streak, actually did grow out of Chicago’s Second City troupe in 1977. Now it heads for Washington and The Barns at Wolf Trap, where it does two nights of improv on March 21 and 22. See Comedy.

Best of the world’s music

Born in Benin, raised in Brooklyn, a four-time Grammy nominee and the 2008 winner for Best Contemporary World Music Album (“Djin Djin”), Angelique Kidjo blends jazz, funk, salsa, reggae and rumba with the souk and makossa of Morocco and Cameroon. She arrives at Strathmore’s Music Center on March 26 for an 8 p.m. show. See Pop Music.

George Washington’s gardener

Meet William Spence. No, not the real William Spence, who arrived from Scotland in 1797 to become George Washington’s gardener at Mount Vernon. Visitors to the estate this weekend will find a Spence re-enactor as the ribbon is cut on the newly restored Gardener’s House. On view: the furnished three-room first floor and objects discovered during restoration. The grand opening is at 11 a.m. March 21; “Mr. Spence” will also greet visitors from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 22 and 23. See Museums.

High-powered reading

Oni Faida Lampley’s award-winning play “Mixed Babies,” about five black teenage girls coming to consciousness in the Oklahoma City of the 1970s, gets a celebrity reading at the Atlas Performing Arts Center at 8 p.m. March 24, all to raise funds for the African Continuum Theatre Company. Host for the evening is TV news anchor Jim Vance; readers include Ysaye M. Barnwell of Sweet Honey in the Rock; TV news anchor J.C. Hayward; D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton; and actress Jewell Robinson. See Stage.

Dance at the edge

He’s the winner of a MacArthur “Genius” award, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg for dancer and choreographer Bill T. Jones, acclaimed for the originality and precision of his work. The Harlem-based Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, which Mr. Jones founded in 1982 with his late partner, pulls in to the Concert Hall at George Mason University Center for the Arts at 8 p.m. March 22 with the full-length “Chapel/Chapter.” See Dance.

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