We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.


On what treasured memories will the children of the ’80s reflect when they attend the National Symphony Orchestra’s performance of “Play!: A Video Game Symphony?” Standing hand-in-hand with their own brats, listening to conductor Arnie Roth’s interpretation of Super Mario Bros., they’ll surely be reminded of a more innocent time—a time before Mortal Kombat and the advent of the “fatality,” a time when they weren’t too cool to play Double Dragon with their dads. Their eyes may moisten when they recall the musty TV rooms of their grade-school summers, thick with the scent of Cool Ranch Doritos after a day of toiling in the pixelated caves of Metroid, or maybe they’ll recall their first serious date and the anguish with which they poured themselves into Resident Evil after being dumped. And then they can look warmly down at their children and smile, knowing that one day they’ll head off to college—where they, too, will pass out stoned in the common room while playing PaRappa the Rapper. Let these words, from 1989’s The Wizard, eulogize this generation’s finest hours, those spent projecting their personalities onto 8-bit sprites: “I love the power glove. It’s so bad.” Bring a pocketful of quarters when the National Symphony Orchestra performs “Play!: A Video Game Symphony” at 8:30 p.m. at Wolf Trap’s Filene Center, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. $18–$42. (877) 965-3872. (Aaron Leitko)