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Posted at 1:08 PM ET, 08/ 6/2009

Julies and Julias

By Fritz Hahn

We've got "Julie & Julia" on the mind this weekend. So much so that we're seeing those names (and variations of them) everywhere we look. But that's a good thing, since it nicely corresponds with some of the best entertainment options over the next week. We can only hope "The Time Traveler's Wife" is similarly inspirational.

Since it opened in April, the Avalon Theatre Cafe has generally stuck to the basics (sandwiches, salads, popcorn), but even it's going a little gaga for Julia Child in honor of the film. Cafe manager and Julia Child devotee Kirsten Poole will serve Child's recipes for boeuf bourguignon (the classic French stew of beef, wine, onions, bacon and mushrooms) and chocolate cake with almonds. The stew is $9, and a slice of cake is $5. The shop also sells beer, wine, pastries, quiches, Moorenko's ice cream and M.E. Swing coffee. You don't have to purchase a ticket to sup on the dishes, but if you choose to see the film you can take any of the cafe food into the theater.

Another Julia worth celebrating tonight is Julia Nixon, whose soulful, powerful voice easily led her to a Helen Hayes award in 2007 for playing the title role in Studio Theatre's musical "Caroline, or Change." In addition to performing a free show at Signature Theatre's open house Saturday afternoon at 1, she and her band are opening for Rose Royce at the Fort Dupont Concert Series Saturday night. The show marks Nixon's first appearance at the concert series in over more than 20 years -- "since my son was a baby," she says. Expect to hear songs from her 2007 solo album, "Keepin' on Track," some covers and an always-in-demand "Dreamgirls" number, a nod to her role as Effie in the musical's first run on Broadway. And definitely, she says, since Rose Royce will be there, "I'm going to have to bring the funk."

Julian Schnabel fans can check out an array of the multitalented artist's work this week and next. Schnabel the painter is on display at the Phillips and the Hirshhorn, the latter of which is displaying "Portrait of Andy Warhol" -- an oil painting on velvet -- as part of its "Strange Bodies" exhibition. You can see how Schnabel's artistic sensibilities translate to the big screen with a viewing of his 2007 movie "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" during the next Phillips After 5. The award-winning movie tells the story of Jean-Dominique Bauby, who was paralyzed after a stroke but learned to communicate using just his left eyelid.

Juliette Lewis is certainly not the first actress to get into the music game. To say she's one of the best is a bit of a backhanded compliment. (We made it through the Scarlett Johansson album. Almost.) But you can't fault her for going halfway whole hog with the rock star thing. As a frontwoman, she's a stage-stalking, hair-twirling, always-howling dynamo in the Janis Joplin mold. The bluesy, old-fashioned rock-and-roll band she fronts won't win too many points for originality, but as opening act for the Pretenders and Cat Power, she's setting the bar high when it comes to pure energy.

-- David, Julia, Anne and Stephanie

By Fritz Hahn  | August 6, 2009; 1:08 PM ET
Categories:  Events  
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