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Posted at 7:00 AM ET, 08/27/2010

Getting Up Guide: Summer Shakespeare, Poetry in the Park

By Alex Baldinger

What are your plans tonight? The Getting Up Guide is here to help you answer that question. Here's what's happening on Friday:

Poetry in the Park

The trailblazing political spoken-word group the Last Poets headlines D.C. Poetry in the Park at 7:30 p.m., sharing the stage with spoken-word artists and musicians including local hip-hop group the Cornel West Theory, George V. Johnson Jr., Bomani Armah, Carolyn Malachi, Sami Miranda and Los Charly's.

"A Midsummer Night's Dream"

Every year since 1990, the National Players have produced a summer Shakespeare tour in the hopes of bringing classical plays to the masses at outdoor venues. This year they're offering the fantastical action of the Bard's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" on the Root Family Stage at 8 p.m.; so pack a picnic and make a family-friendly evening of the event.

Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett is the type of performer who might fill an auditorium to capacity, bring the sold-out crowd to its feet and then, before singing the first note, greet the crowd with a disarming "If it's all right, I'd like to sing some songs for you." It's a rare mix of gravitas, charm and charisma, shared by only a select few performers today, that allows the 83-year-old Queens native to tour almost annually and yet receive a response usually reserved for more reclusive living legends: the Leonard Cohens and Barbra Streisands. Bennett's voice has aged beautifully over the years, like a fine scotch, becoming smokier and smoother in equal measure. Bennett takes the stage at 8 p.m.

-- Amy Orndorff and Alex Baldinger

By Alex Baldinger  | August 27, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
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