Arts Desk

ToDo ToDay: The Grownest and the Sexiest

Once upon a time in D.C., if you heard someone over 40 saying they were “going to a go-go,” you might’ve assumed that person was just singing a little Smokey Robinson. With the notable exception of Chuck Brown performances, go-go shows weren’t especially hospitable to 35-and-over fans in the early 1990s. It seemed that while go-go bands aged, their fanbases stayed locked into the 18-to-25 demographic. So, after a milestone birthday of 30 or 40, the average go-go fan stopped wanting to party with youngsters every week, and resigned himself or herself to experiencing the genre in recorded form or at the occasional age-appropriate cabaret. This was before Maiesha and the Hip Huggers. The band, fronted by Maiesha Rashad, played a one-off ’70s-themed go-go show in the late ’90s that was so popular it began doing regular gigs, packing shows with go-go fans in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond, who wanted to hear the Jackson 5, Chaka Khan, and Earth Wind & Fire blended with a go-go sound. The “grown and sexy” subgenre Maiesha and Co. created is commonplace now, but the group—which includes Ju Ju House, Sugar Bear, and Sweet Cherie Mitchell—has decided to reunite for one night only, just to remind everyone that, of all of the bands on that circuit, they’re still the grownest and the sexiest. Maiesha and the Hip Huggers perform with Sugar Bear and JuJu at 8 p.m. at the Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW. $25. thehowardtheatre.com. (202) 803-2899. (Sarah Godfrey)

More Friday

Boston's Quilt plays gentle, noodling psych-pop for latter-day fans of The Incredible String Band. With Young Magic and D.C.'s excellent The Tender Thrill. At 10 p.m. at Comet Ping Pong, 5037 Connecticut Ave. NW. (202) 364-0404. $10.

Saturday

There’s a punk-rock appeal to Strong!, the 2012 full-length documentary about Olympic weightlifter Cheryl Haworth: It’s about a large, powerful woman who doesn’t seem to give a shit about body types. But the film shines when it peers underneath Haworth’s skin. The competitor, while tough enough for the job, is still sensitive to the attention it attracts. While she endures the rigorous process of trying to qualify for the Olympics, it’s touching to witness her anxiety as she battles a surge of societal pressure. “Being big, it definitely has its advantages,” says Haworth, “but there’s no such thing, in this culture, as being big and strong and completely accepted as a woman.” Oddly edited weightlifting scenes tend to suck momentum out of the documentary’s narrative, but they don’t make Haworth’s story any less intriguing. The film shows at 5 p.m. at Busboys & Poets, 2021 14th St. NW. Free.busboysandpoets.com. (202) 387-7638. (Christopher Heller)

Sunday

It’s often forgotten that Johann Sebastian Bach didn’t become a famous composer until nearly a century after his death. He wasn’t a total nobody while alive like, say, Charles Ives, an insurance salesman turned posthumous genius. But in his day, he was J.S. Bach, famous church organist. The works he composed for the instrument, while seminal, aren’t as widely performed today as are his vocal cantatas and string concertos because, well, who besides churches has an organ lying around? The deeply devout Lutheran probably would have preferred a house of worship over a concert hall as a venue for his music, which is what has made Georgetown’s Grace Church a fitting host of the Bach Festival for 19 years running. Tonight’s opening concert includes Bach’s fourth cello suite and his silly “Coffee Cantata” performed by a trio of singers. And, of course, there will be plenty of organ. The festival runs today through July 6 at Grace Church, 1041 Wisconsin Ave. NW. $20 suggested donation per concert. gracedc.org. (202) 333-7100. (Mike Paarlberg)

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