Top 5 weekend picks April 11

Check out Washington D.C.'s annual Cherry Blossom Festival as part of this week's Top 5 (photo by Helena Okolicsanyi).
Check out Washington D.C.'s annual Cherry Blossom Festival as part of this week's Top 5 (photo by Helena Okolicsanyi).

Every week Connect2Mason will offer five entertainment picks for your weekend. Ranging from on-campus to off-campus events, Connect2Mason's Top 5 will give you a jump start on your weekend. Here are the Top 5 picks for this weekend:

  1. Cherry Blossom Festival
    When: Now until April 14
    Where: Washington D.C. tidal basin (Smithsonian Metro stop)
    Price: Free

    After much delay, the annual Washington D.C. cherry blossoms are out in full force. Whether you've seen them before or not, there is no better time to explore the city than when the cherry blossoms are at peak. There are events going on throughout the weekend including paddle boat rentals along the Tidal Basin and the annual Cherry Blossom Parade on Saturday! Bring a picnic lunch and relax in D.C. this weekend!
  2. Blancanieves
    When: Thursday, April 11 at 8 p.m.
    Where: Johnson Center Cinema
    Price: Free with Mason ID

    Among a slew of International Week events, the screening of Spain's film "Blancanieves," an official entry for Best Forgein Language Film in the 2013 Academy Awards, is a great option. Set in the 1920s, this take on the classic Grimm Brother's fairytale "Snow White" is sure to give you a different look into this classic tale. Having already won several awards at many international film festivals, "Blancanieves" is being heralded for its cinematography and acting. Being released in May, this screening is your opportunity to see this film before it gets even more buzz.

  3. Conversation and poetry with Wole Soyinka
    When: Friday, April 12 1:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m. &  5:30–7:00 p.m. 
    Where: Dewberry Hall and the Hub Ballroom
    Price: Free

    Nobel Prize-winning poet and playwright Wole Soyinka will be holding a conversation about his work as part of this year's International Week. Having taught literature at a variety of universities since 1975, Soyinka is also the author of 20 works of drama, novels and poetry. Following his lecture, Soyinka will be reading his own poetry in an event in the Hub, followed by a Q&A.
  4. American Festival Pops Orchestra
    When: Saturday, April 13 8 p.m.–9:30 p.m.
    Where: Center for the Arts
    Price: Free with Mason ID, purchased from the Center for the Arts box office

    Celebrate the music of film with this week's unique musical experience. Conducted by Mason music professor Anthony Maiello, the American Festival Pops Orchestra features over 60 professional musicians from the Washington D.C. area offering year-round performances of popular music. It is the only orchestra in the area to do so. Featuring the works of film composers John Williams, Hans Zimmer and Danny Elfman, the orchestra will be sure to play some familiar tunes from your favorite cinematic works. Mason alumnus Vincent Oppido is returning to campus to lead a live film score recording. Since graduating from Mason, Oppido has gone on to pursue film composition in Los Angles, California. For your Saturday night, be sure to get your ticket to hear the best in film music played live!

 5.   The Hobbit

Where: Johnson Center Cinema
Price: Free with Mason ID

Didn't get a chance to see Peter Jackson's newest film on the big screen? Have no fear! This weekend the Johnson Center will be screening the prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy following Bilbo Baggins as he journeys to the Lonely Mountains. This is the first out of three parts in "The Hobbit." If you enjoyed the previous three Lord of the Rings films by Jackson, "The Hobbit" is sure to provide you with an enjoyable film experience for any fantasy lover.


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