A young woman arrives in the big city. She meets a wealthy, mysterious man with the last name Grey, who introduces her to his private world. Heartbreak and emotional self-awareness ensue. Amor Towles’ 2011 debut novel, Rules of Civility, lacks the dungeon and humpy prose of 50 Shades of Grey, but the two books aren’t so different—both explore how much a woman is supposed to be bowled over by a man’s money and status. MORE >> (Mark Athitakis)

Towles discusses and signs his book at 7 p.m. at Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. politics-prose.com. (202) 364-1919.


Adding something extra to their weekly crab boilArt and Soul will host a viewing party tonight to watch chef Art Smith compete in Top Chef Masters. The show airs at 10 p.m., but stop by at 9 p.m. to hang with the Bravo star himself. There will be complimentary bar snacks with additional small bites for $5 as well as $4 draft beer and $7 cocktails and wines. To sample Art and Soul’s cooking before the competition, come early for the crustacean specials—like $21 for three crabs—and happy hour, both of which start at 5:30 p.m. Art and Soul, 415 New Jersey Ave. NW; (202) 393-7777 ; artandsouldc.com (Stephanie Haven)


U.K. IDM producer—-yes, IDM—-Gold Panda brings his genre-searching self to town, along with Shigeto, Beacon, and Nature Rage. (9 p.m., U Street Music Hall, $12-$15.)

Today in Georgetown, catch a free reading of theatrical scenes by women playwrights. The program, presented by Georgetown University’s Davis Performing Arts Center and the Women and Theatre Program of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, is called “History Matters/Back to the Future,” and will feature actresses Kathleen Chalfant, Maryann Plunkett, and Tamara Tunie. 7:30 p.m. at Georgetown University’s Gonda Theatre (inside the Davis Performing Arts Center), 37th and O streets NW. Free.

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