There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
How many military units could earn the nickname “the Ladies from Hell”? That’s what the World War I-era Germans called the Highland regiment of the Black Watch. This corps of drummers and pipers has served in battles since 1745 and is a fully operational battalion of the British army. All of its members are trained machine gunners; in 1994, the Black Watch took first place in a competition among infantry battalions. Today, the most dangerous things these soldiers will wield are those ear-splitting pipes—and some pretty treacherous attire. Highly decorated soldiers, indeed: These men wear ostrich-feather bonnets, lace-trimmed doublets, sashes with badges, dirks (Highland daggers) in their belts, sporrans (that purselike thing at crotch level) varying in style according to military rank, and Royal Stewart tartan kilts. Don’t ask what’s worn under their kilts, or you’re likely to meet the business end of a dirk—or, worse, a bad joke: One standard Scots response to this question is “Nothing’s worn, ma’am; it’s all in working order.” Silliness aside, a pipe and drum corps can be a grand thing, and I bet you won’t be thinking of Monty Python for more than a few seconds when you see this noble group assemble at 4 p.m at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. $20-$75. (202) 467-4600. (Pamela Murray Winters)