Thursday, March 31
“Ella Fitzgerald: First Lady of Song,” museum curator Dwight Blocker Bowers and Fran Morris Rosman, executive director of the Ella Fitzgerald Foundation, discuss the blues singer’s legacy. Noon-1:30 p.m., National Museum of American History, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. 202-633-1000.
Book discussion, Tracye Lynn McQuirter discusses her “By Any Greens Necessary: A Revolutionary Guide for Black Women Who Want to Eat Great, Get Healthy, Lose Weight and Look Phat.” 1 p.m., Mary McLeod Bethune Council House, 1318 Vermont Ave. NW. Free. 202-673-2402.
Connecticut Avenue Streetscape Project, open house, the District Department of Transportation presents preliminary construction drawings for the next phase of the project; the public is welcome to view the drawings, talk to DDOT officials and provide input on the drawings. 3-5 p.m., Golden Triangle Business Improvement District Office, Suite 260, 1120 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. 202-463-3400.
Birdwatching for children, for age 4 and older, a National Park Service ranger invites children to decorate their own “binoculars,” then leads them outdoors to look at birds. 4 p.m., Rock Creek Park Nature Center, 5200 Glover Rd. NW. Free. 202-895-6070.
Mary Cassatt portrait talk, Cara Fama discusses the painter and printmaker. 6 p.m., National Portrait Gallery, Eighth and F streets NW. Free. 202-633-1000.
“Creature From the Black Lagoon,” 1954 film about a humanoid monster. 6:30 p.m., Smithsonian American Art Museum, McEvoy Auditorium, Eighth and F streets NW. Free. 202-633-1000.
“Remembering Lena Horne,” discussed by Susan Lacy, executive producer and creator of the “American Masters” PBS series; Gail Lumet Buckley, Horne’s daughter; curator Dwight Bowers; and jazz producer Richard Golden; followed by a screening of “Lena Horne: In Her Own Voice.” 6:30-9 p.m., National Portrait Gallery, Kogod Courtyard, Eighth and F streets NW. Free. 202-633-1000.
“Rhymes ’n’ Rhythms,” jazz trombonist Samuel Blaser and pianist Bobby Avey accompany poet Emily Belli as she reads her works and those of other Swiss poets, sponsored by Smithsonian Associates. 7 p.m., Embassy of Switzerland, 2900 Cathedral Ave. NW. $20. 202-633-3030.
“Shear Madness,” a comedy-mystery set in present-day Georgetown; with audience participation in helping to solve a mock murder. 8 p.m. weekdays, 6 and 9 p.m. Saturdays, 3 and 7 p.m. Sundays, Kennedy Center, Theater Lab, Terrace Lab, 2700 F St. NW. $42. 202-467-4600.
Friday, April 1
Nanotechnology, the “NanoDays 2011” festival features construction of a giant model of a carbon nanotube; Northeastern University’s Heather Clark discussing her work on nano glucose sensors; professors and students from the University of Maryland’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Center and representatives from Nanotec-USA showing nano-based processes and products; and experiments. Sponsored by the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation and the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday-Sunday, National Museum of American History, first floor, Spark!Lab, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. 202-633-1000.
Spring blossoms floral design workshop, floral designer Adrienne Summers teaches how to create an arrangement in a vase using spring flowers; materials provided. 10:30 a.m.-noon, Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, 4155 Linnean Ave. NW. $45. 202-686-5807.
Guided Tidal Basin bike ride, about three hours, led by a National Park Service ranger, with stops to discuss cherry blossoms and more. Take a bike and water. Helmet required. 1-4 p.m., Thomas Jefferson Memorial, 900 Ohio Dr. SW. Free. Richard Ayad, 202-438-3456.
Classical pianist John Kamitsuka, a performance of a Schubert piano sonata. 1:15 p.m., Georgetown University, McNeir Hall, 37th and O streets NW. Free. 202-687-3838.
“Doktor Kaboom,” for age 7 and older, David Epley uses comedy while demonstrating experiments. 7:30 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m., 1:30 and 5 p.m. Saturdays, Saturday and April 9, 1:30 and 4 p.m. April 10, Kennedy Center, Family Theater, 2700 F St. NW. $18. 202-467-4600.
Faure’s “Requiem,” the Christ Church Cathedral Choir and the National Cathedral’s Cathedra ensemble perform the requiem and works by John Taverner, Thomas Tallis and others. 7:30 p.m., Washington National Cathedral, Wisconsin and Massachusetts avenues NW. $25-$45. 202-537-2228 or tickets.cathedral.org/public/show.asp.
Mendelssohn piano trio recital, the chamber music ensemble performs works by Beethoven, Haydn and Schubert; followed by a reception. 7:30 p.m., Embassy of Austria, 3524 International Ct. NW. $50. 202-895-6776 or www.embassyseries.org/195.html?ee_id-195.
Author readings, Ron Rash, author of “One Foot in Eden” and “Burning Bright,” and Dorothy Allison, author of “Bastard Out of Carolina,” read from their works. 7:30 p.m., Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol St. SE. $15. 202-544-7077.