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It’s every journalist’s favorite day of the year, when we get to watch clickbait chasers fall all over themselves to report on the craziest of the cray, just to be told they’ve been punked.

But here at City Paper, we’re diligent enough, savvy enough, dare we say smart enough to separate fact from foolishness. Here, from worst to best, the results of our hard-hitting investigation into this year’s April Fools’ jokes from local arts venues.

The Washington Ballet

This venerable cultural institution tweeted that its longtime artistic director, Septime Webre, would be taking a lead role in its upcoming production. We did some sleuthing, and it turns out he’s NOT!


Arena Stage

On Facebook today, Arena Stage announced a new production and interactive audience participation scheme:

“OLIVER! is getting an exciting ‘TWIST.’ Arena Stage is proud to announce a thrilling immersive pre-show and intermission experience for our upcoming production of Oliver! Audiences beware, actual professional pickpockets will be working the Mead Center lobby during the holiday run, pinching pretty pennies from unsuspecting pocketbooks.

A portion of the stolen funds will go to support a great cause—-Arena’s education and community programming. Audiences are encouraged to get in the spirit of the occasion and bring lots of extra cash. Beta-testing earlier this season during ‘The Shoplifters’ went very well, so we know this interactive twist will have audiences calling out for ‘More!'”

After a little digging, City Paper has discovered that Arena will NOT BE HOSTING PICKPOCKETS IN ITS LOBBY!

The Hirshhorn

Contemporary art nerds must have been thrilled by the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden’s Facebook unveiling of its newest acquisition: the planet Earth.

“The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden announced Wednesday that it has welcomed the Earth into its collection. The acquisition culminates months of negotiations involving the world’s leading scientists, political figures, diplomats, and registrars.

The Museum has chosen to allow the Earth to remain on exhibition in its current orbit. ‘It was a sticking point with the art handlers. They did not want to be responsible for relocating the planet. The thing is pretty fragile,” said the Museum’s incoming head of collection management. “But the real elephant in the room is conservation. The Earth is an artwork with a mind-boggling amount of inherent vice. We’ve put our best people on it, but we’re still looking for a conservator with a specialty in volcanology.'”

Points for the photo illustration that looks straight out of the Onion and the subtle commentary on climate change, but you can’t fool us, Hirshhorn! We know the museum’s collection does NOT INCLUDE ENTIRE PLANETS.

The Air and Space Museum

YouTube video

Oodles of props go to the Air and Space Museum, whose unparalleled dedication to this day of jest is evident in the adorable video its employees produced about Wonder Woman‘s invisible jet, now on view in the museum’s Milestones of Flight Hall. From an accompanying press release:

“The trick for the National Air and Space Museum was to display the plane in its jet formation. The plane has only been displayed publically in the propeller configuration. The new design was made possible by the plane’s shape shifting properties. Although The Museum of Flight staff was concerned about this formation change, they worked with our conservation staff so that the shift was safe and temporary. Once the shift took place the jet underwent a total review by our conservation department and appears to be in remarkable shape…

The jet is well ahead of its time. It used stealth technologies in the 1950s long before the Lockheed YF-12A and the SR-71 Blackbird were introduced. The engines on this plane allowed Wonder Woman to travel through space. Keep in mind that NASA’s North American X-15 took the United States to the edge of space in the 1960s, but it was Amazonian technology that had Wonder Woman traveling into deep space in the 1950s.”

The emperor has no clothes, Air and Space. We can’t see the jet because it is NOT ACTUALLY HANGING IN THE MUSEUM.

Better luck next year, jokesters!

April Fool photo via Shutterstock