I knew it was going to be happening. I’d read (and posted) about Look Both Ways: Street Art Across America, a week-long series of free pop-up performances and events taking place around DC today through next weekend. I just didn’t know exactly what to expect.
And it was probably better that way. Because the mini-extravaganza that we caught at Eastern Market earlier today was one of the wackiest, most wonderful things I have ever seen in the many, many years I’ve been going there.
It was a performance by Mucca Pazza, described as “a collection of shameless band nerds wielding instruments of incongruous traditions, sometimes in competition, often in cooperation.” (You really have to see it to understand it.) The show they put on right out on the sidewalk in front of Port City Java was fantastic — eccentric, energetic, and downright hilarious. The crowd, young and old, was captivated. And when I looked around, every face held some kind of amused expression, from tickled surprise to full-on laughter.
This show was just one of a few roaming spectacles at the Market today as part of LOOK OUT! Lunchtime Invasion, the bigger series’ daily showcase of street performances. They will be taking place in a couple of locations around the city this week, so check the schedule to see where you can catch one, and I strongly recommend you do. Besides the acts being entertaining and unique, their seeming spontaneous emergence in everyday situations makes viewing one feel auspicious, like you were in just the right place at the right time to be part of the impromptu party.
Along with the Lunchtime Invasions, there will be “Street to Stage” performances every evening at 6pm on the Millennium Stage (including tonight), LOOK UP! Night Street Fair on Friday from 8-10pm, and “Street Arts in the Park” on Saturday from 12-6pm.
We may just go for an encore tonight.