But the itinerary for the past two years has not featured a famous headliner to entertain parents and alumni during the weekend celebration. Even without a University-wide event, these D.C. shows and activities can make your Colonials Weekend worth it, with events to keep your group entertained all weekend long.
If you need a laugh, you can continue with the comedic tradition to entertain your family at events around D.C. The Bentzen Ball Comedy Festival offers a diverse lineup throughout the weekend. Curated by comedian Tig Notaro, the event will feature A-list comedians like HBO stars Amanda Seales, from “Insecure,” and Phoebe Robinson, from “2 Dope Queens.” For a cheap $25, older folks can relate to the show “#Adulting,” with comedians Michelle Banteau and Jordan Carlos as they discuss growing up with guests like Notaro and Seales on Friday at 5:30 p.m.
If you are willing to pay for markup resale tickets, Notaro also has a headlining stand-up event at the Lincoln Theatre on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Known as the fabulous hairstylist from “Queer Eye,” Jonathan Van Ness will also play three shows at the same venue between Saturday and Sunday, recording his weekly podcast “Getting Curious” in front of a live audience.
If you prefer a single act to a festival, drop by the DAR Constitution Hall to see Trevor Noah’s “Loud & Clear” comedy tour in action. The host of “The Daily Show” performs two weekends in D.C. this month, with his final sets on Saturday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $63.
If you want to tune out with some music and dance, you can explore the District or stay right on campus. If your parents arrive early and can drop $60 per ticket, stop by for a unique music experience at The Anthem this Thursday jamming to a hardcore variety of dad rock with ’80s star Nick Cave, opening with the slow and romantic sounds of Cigarettes After Sex.
If you’re looking for less moody musical fare, check out pop artist Tori Kelly on Sunday at Warner Theatre for radio-friendly, acoustic pop melodies with tickets as low as $28.
If you want to check out the art of one of the dance department’s prominent instructors, catch Dana Tai Soon Burgess’ performance titled “Silhouettes” at the National Portrait Gallery from Saturday to Oct. 30 at 6:30 p.m. The free dance piece is part of Burgess’ tenure as the Portrait Gallery’s first resident choreographer, where he creates dance pieces that coincide with new exhibits.
If you want to immerse yourself in Colonial culture, GW’s slate of events features some gems for both parents and alumni. Throughout the weekend, the “Classes Without Quizzes” lectures held at the Marvin Center and on the Mount Vernon Campus let parents and alumni return to the student’s desk, with free 50-minute seminars from 10 professors.
These studies will prepare you for Friday night, when guests can feel the school spirit at the Colonials Weekend Kickoff Party in University Yard from 7 to 9 p.m. After the outdoor fun with games, live music and food, attend the signature GDub Madness basketball rally at the Smith Center and score a first look at the men’s and women’s basketball teams for the sports fans in your family.
After a long night of buff and blue, you can re-energize at Taste of GW where parents can try the student favorites from GW-owned and managed restaurants. But the sampling doesn’t stop until the weekend concludes with the annual Jazz Brunch at University Yard on Sunday from 9 to 11 a.m. that costs $20 for adults and $12 for kids 12 or younger.