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In painter Johannes Vermeer’s “Woman in Blue Reading a Letter,” a young woman is so caught up in the contents of her correspondence that she seems oblivious to everything around her. It leaves the viewer craning to see what’s written on the page in her hand. You can guess for yourself at the National Gallery, where the painting, on loan from Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, is on view for the first time in 20 years. Vermeer and his fellow Dutch masters, like Rembrandt, were known for their luminous paint—now, this mysterious woman’s blue dress shimmers like it must have 350 years ago. Read more >>> The exhibition is on view Mondays through Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the National Gallery of Art, 6th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. (202) 737-4215. nga.gov. (Anya van Wagtendonk)


Grilled cheese bar GCDC is serving up a specialty sandwich from Sept. 21 to 25 in celebration of Pope Francis’ visit to the District. As a nod to the pope’s Argentinian roots, The Pontiff sandwiches marinated ribeye and provolone with a chimichurri sauce between slices of ciabatta for $10 during lunch hours or $14 in the evening with a choice of side. GCDC, 1730 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. (202) 393-4232. grilledcheesedc.com. (Tatiana Cirisano)


California-based songwriter Mikal Cronin takes the stage at U Street Music Hall tonight in support of his latest album, MCIII. He’s joined by fellow moody musicians Calvin Love and the Cairo Gang. 7 p.m. at 1115 U St. NW. $15.

The Bellfuries, a country rock band out of Austin, performs at DC9 with Jessica Lee Wilkes, a rock and R&B vocalist based in Kentucky. 9 p.m. at 1940 9th St. NW. $10–$12.

The Swedish heavy metal band Ghost kicks off its U.S. tour tonight at the Fillmore. Unlike the religious figure who arrives in D.C. this afternoon, these musicians wear regalia indicating their worship of Satan. 8:30 p.m. at 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $25.

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