- - Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pick of the Pack

For moms: ‘Bad Mommy Moments’

Whoever said being a mom isn’t as difficult, terrifying and fulfilling as any other full-time job likely has never been one. America’s moms face a daily onslaught of politicized accusations (that they’re setting back the clock on women’s progress), unsolicited advice (try this parenting technique, or that one), and harrowing trend stories (of their children being in danger). And those are just the things they hear from complete strangers. Meanwhile, not a day goes by that the average mom (whoever she is) doesn’t face an onslaught of self-criticism brought about by a blow-up or mishap with her kid or her spouse. For a reprieve from all of the above, and some solidarity with other mothers, there’s SpeakEasy DC’s “Bad Mommy Moments: A Storytelling Play Date for Moms.” In the comfort of the Silver Spring Arts and Culture Center, D.C.-area moms can hear a group of fellow travelers tell their own horror stories, bloopers and redeeming moments.

Saturday at Silver Spring Arts and Culture Center, 7995 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, Md.

Phone: 240/888-9751

Web: www.speakeasydc.com

Comedy: Godfrey

Stand-up comic Godfrey — nee Godfrey C. Danchimah Jr. — got his start at Chicago’s Just for Laughs. “I did my first few shows here,” Godfrey once told an interviewer, “and they were like, ‘Don’t ever come back.’ ” But as with so many other performers who initially were discouraged by more seasoned pros (Harrison Ford and Clint Eastwood both were famously told they didn’t have futures in the acting business), Godfrey has gone on to bigger and better things. His stand-up landed him a role in Ben Stiller’s cult classic “Zoolander,” in which Godfrey played a black-faced version of Mr. Stiller, and a walk-on spot as an accountant on “30 Rock,” in which he did perhaps the best Bill Cosby impression ever. If you missed it, fear not: Godfrey’s Cosby is a standard part of his act.

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

Phone: 202/296-7008

Web: www.dcimprov.com

Lecture: Fire and Ice

Owing to recent events in Japan and Mexico, earthquakes are the apocalyptic fear du jour. But not too long ago, it was the volcano, with its ability to black out the sun and blanket entire towns with ash and lava, that made us clutch our loved ones close. Despite the dearth of news alerts about eruptions, planetary geologist Jim Zimbelman continues to research volcanoes, as well as glaciers, which — like lava — preserve hundreds of thousands of years of data. Mr. Zimbelman will discuss both natural phenomena in his lecture at the Smithsonian.

Wednesday at the S. Dillon Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Drive SW

Phone: 202/633-3030

Web: residentassociates.org

Book talk: ‘Engines of Change: A History of the American Dream in 15 Cars’

The Most Important Invention is a specious contest with an almost infinite number of entrants. Is it air conditioning? Penicillin? Mosquito netting? Sliced bread? The Internet? In “Engines of Change,” Paul Ingrassia makes a great case for the automobile — 15 of them, to be exact. The evolution of the American landscape, after all, charts pretty closely with the evolution of the car. It gave us the suburbs, the road trip and NASCAR; changed how and where we work; how politicians campaign; how cities police themselves. If what we’ve driven — the Model T, the Mustang — tells us where we’ve been, what we’re driving now — the (gulp) Prius — very well could tell us where we’re going.

Mr. Ingrassia speaks May 12 at the Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

Phone: 888/639-7386

Web: www.newseum.org

Musical: ‘1776’

The movie “1776,” based on Peter Stone’s play of the same name, should be required viewing for every young person in America, as there is no more enjoyable primer on the founding of America. Your second-best option for indoctrinating a child into the cult of Constitutionalism is to take them to see a live-staging of “1776” at Ford’s Theatre. The production packs several years of history into two very lively hours and will forever abolish in your child’s mind the idea that good policy can only be arrived at by sacrificing principle on the altar of bipartisanship.

Through May 19 at Ford’s Theatre, 511 10th St. NW

Phone: 202/347-4833

Web: www.fords.org



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