- - Thursday, August 9, 2012

Pick of the Pack

Comedy: Michael McDonald

For 239 episodes, Michael McDonald was the face of “MADtv,” a sketch comedy show that ran from 1995 to 2009 on Fox and continues to exist in syndication. Mr. McDonald created the show’s single most memorable character — a squeaky-voiced powder-faced man-child named Stuart — and as the senior comic, he provided ballast for his oftentimes hit-or-miss co-stars. Considering what he did for “MADtv,” it’s something of a shame that Mr. McDonald hasn’t “blown up” the way many of his peers on “Saturday Night Live” have. (His tenure on “MADtv” overlapped with Will Ferrell’s on “SNL” for almost five years.) But that soon could change: Mr. McDonald has been cast in a forthcoming buddy-cop movie written by Paul Feig, the genius behind “Freaks and Geeks” and a writer for some of the best comedy shows of the past decade. Mr. McDonald will play the villain, which diminishes the odds that the film will catapult him to the heights of a Mr. Ferrell, a Jonah Hill or a Zach Galifianakis. Then again, it very well could. That means you should see Mr. McDonald’s “Model. Citizen.” stand-up routine now, before he sells out and moves up.

Friday through Sunday at the DC Improv, 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW

Phone: 202/296-7008

Web: www.dcimprov.com

Performance Art: Kathryn Cornelius

When she was younger, pop singer Britney Spears made news by marrying an old flame from her hometown and then, 55 hours later, having the marriage annulled. More recently, reality TV star Kim Kardashian dominated tabloids with a more calculated stunt, in which she divorced basketball player Kris Humphries after a very public 72-day marriage. This weekend, Kathryn Cornelius will up the ante for absurdly short marriages by marrying and then divorcing seven people in one day. In “Save the Date,” Miss Cornelius will select six applicants, whom she will then marry, celebrate with and divorce, one at a time. A licensed minister will conduct the ceremonies, and a licensed divorce lawyer will be waiting in the wings. Miss Cornelius’ seventh husband will be selected by a public vote of the audience. Cake and champagne will be available. Will the institution of marriage be able to survive this egregious assault? We think so.

Saturday at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, 500 17th St. NW

Phone: 202/639-1700

Web: www.corcoran.edu

For Families: Arlington County Fair

If you’re looking for a good reason to take your brood to the Arlington County Fair, consider this: Temperatures on Friday and Saturday are predicted to be the area’s coolest in more than a month. The weather seers are claiming a high of 88 on Saturday, which is warm but not scorching. If fear of heatstroke and/or melting have kept you and yours cooped indoors since June, now is your chance to get some vitamin D and have fun doing it. The fair will feature several heats of piglet racing, pony rides, small amusement rides, magic and music, and soccer and lacrosse scrimmages. If the seers are wrong and this weekend ends up hotter than Hades, the fair features barbecue and clogging indoors.

Through Sunday at Thomas Jefferson Community Center, 3501 Second St. S., Arlington, Va.

Web: arlingtoncountyfair.us

Exhibit: Women Silversmiths

Great silversmiths — or rather the ones whose names are synonymous with eBay bidding wars and museum displays — historically have been mostly men. This is because silver apprentices were mostly boys. An exhibit at the National Museum of Women in the Arts is highlighting the accomplishments of female silversmiths, who often labored in obscurity despite producing amazing (and amazingly practical) pieces of art. The exhibit’s shining smith is Hester Bateman, a British housewife who took over her husband’s silver company upon his death in 1760 and then ran it successfully for 30 years with the tools he willed her. Alas, Bateman was an anomaly even within her own family. Her daughters, Letitia and Ann, followed more feminine paths, and Bateman was succeeded by her sons in 1790. The exhibit is part of the museum’s 25th anniversary.

Through Sept. 23 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Ave. NW

Phone: 202/783-5000

Web: www.nmwa.org

Exhibit: ‘Jasper Johns: Variations on a Theme’

The paradox of Jasper Johns’ legacy is that while his pieces are affordable only for the wealthiest collectors and most well-endowed museums, his popularity helped bring fine art to the mass market. While not the first printmaker, Johns gave prints an artistic credibility that before belonged only to painting. Johns signaled the rise of a new type of artist, one who worked with existing pop-culture motifs and images, reducing the need for an “original” subject. His exhibit at the Phillips Collection features prints from the 1960s — Johns’ most coveted period — as well as work from later decades.

Through Sept. 9 at the Phillips Collection, 1600 21st St. NW

Phone: 202/387-2151

Web: www.phillipscollection.org



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