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Hats off to Stephen Schwartz for penning some of musical theater’s best-loved hits of the past 40 years. From Pippin’s welcoming “Join Us” to every aspiring diva’s favorite song to belt,Wicked’s “Defying Gravity,” his songs have achieved such a level of cultural permanence that you’ve probably heard them even if you’re not a Broadway regular. While he’s remembered first as a stage composer, he fell in with the Disney crowd in the mid-‘90s and wrote memorable lyrics for songs from Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Enchanted. If you’ve ever sung with all the voices of the mountain or painted with all the colors of the wind, it’s him you’re thanking. Enjoy his songs in a pared-down context, without any fear of evil witches or tone-deaf cultural appropriation. Read more >>> The show runs Feb. 20 to 28 at the Catholic University of America’s Ward Recital Hall, 620 Michigan Ave. NE. $5–$30. (571) 527-2159. norulestheatre.org. (Caroline Jones)
Want to learn more about salt? Mark Bitterman, the author of Salted and Salt Block Cooking, will lead a Smithsonian seminar about the history of salt called “Turning Salt into Gold” on Saturday. The event includes tastings of six artisan-made salts and lasts from 1 to 5 p.m. General admission tickets are $75 and available here. (Smithsonian Associates members pay $65.) S. Dillion Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Dr. SW. (202) 633-3030. smithsonianassociates.org. (Jessica Sidman)
OH AND ALSO
Friday: The Smithsonian American Art Museum opens its exhibition of works by D.C.-based outsider artist Mingering Mike. Tonight, Mike will appear in costume to discuss his work with curator Leslie Umberger and writer Tom Patterson. Read more in our Spring Arts Guide. 6:30 p.m. at 8th and F streets NW. Free.
Friday: Bill Morrison‘s documentary The Great Flood, which examines the impact of the 1927 Mississippi River flood, receives a new soundtrack courtesy of jazz guitarist Bill Frisell and his quartet at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater. 7:30 p.m. at 2700 F St. NW. $32.
Friday: Local post-punk outfit Two Inch Astronaut plays Comet Ping Pong with prog rockers Alarms & Controls and a new local rock act, French Horror. 10 p.m. at 5037 Connecticut Ave. NW. $12.
Saturday: The white-collar 9-to-5 job is regularly portrayed as a conventional part of most Westernized societies. But without context, the idea seems arbitrary, even absurd. This subtext comes across in Jamie Uys’ South African comedy The Gods Must Be Crazy and Godfrey Reggio’s visual poem Koyaanisqatsi, and it’s the theme of local artist Ben Tolman’s latest show at Flashpoint, “Civilized.” Tolman, an American University graduate, finds inspiration in how modern life, with all its repetitive motions, ultimately limits us. Read more >>> The exhibition is on view Wednesdays through Saturdays noon to 6 p.m., to March 28, at Flashpoint Gallery, 916 G St. NW. Free. (202) 315-1305. culturaldc.org. (Tim Regan)
Saturday: The women behind the comedy blog “Betches Love This” present a night of stand-up that highlights the essential elements of being a “betch” at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. 8 p.m. at 600 I St. NW. $20–$22.
Saturday: Folk artist Dom Flemons, a founding member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, performs a solo show at Artisphere. 8 p.m. at 1101 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. $18.
Sunday: Now that Cuba is more accessible to Americans, it may be easier for us to understand life on the island—not from photos of the Castro brothers or Hemingway’s fond reminiscences of mojitos that flowed like water, but from contemporary Cubans who’ve spent their entire lives there. One such group of Cubans who tell the stories of their homeland is the Malpaso Dance Company, which formed in 2013 and combines elements of modern dance with the Latin styles that developed on the island. Read more >>> Malpaso Dance Company performs at 7 p.m. at Dance Place, 3225 8th St. NE. $15–$30. (202) 269-1600. danceplace.org. (Caroline Jones)
Sunday: Local literary magazine Barrelhouse welcomes readers from Chicago’s Curbside Splendor and Atlanta’s Publishing Genius at its regular showcase at Petworth Citizen. 8 p.m. at 829 Upshur St. NW. Free.
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