Our picks for the top five events happening in town this weekend. “Cats” is in full swing, “Fences” opens at Virginia Rep and ChinaFest celebrates the Year of the Metal Rat at the VMFA.


This touring version of “Cats” with new lighting and new choreography.


Through Sunday

Make your memories of the iconic show that was the longest-running musical in Broadway history until “Phantom of the Opera” came along — with new lighting and new choreography for a new generation. Times vary at Altria Theater, 6 N. Laurel St. $39.50-$98.50. etix.com or (800) 514-3849.




Opening Friday

The Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning drama tells the story of Troy Maxson, a sanitation worker in the 1950s. Once a star in the Negro leagues, Troy wanted to play in the majors but couldn’t because of the color of his skin. Now, years later, Troy is still grappling with the loss of that dream and dealing with his son who wants his own chance to play ball. Preview Thursday; times vary at Virginia Rep, November Theatre, 114 W. Broad St. $36-$54. (804) 282-2620 or va-rep.org. Through March 1.

Cold War Kids

Cold War Kids

Cold War Kids


Modern rockers Cold War Kids come to town with their hits such as “First” and “Hang Me Up to Dry.” They’re touring in support of their latest, “New Age Norms 1.” 8 p.m. at The National, 708 E. Broad St. $23-$25. thenationalva.com or (888) 929-7849.

RVA Environmental Film Festival

Starts Friday

Over 15 films tackling timely environmental issues, such as plastics, sustainable foods and the plight of bald eagles. “Bird of Prey” at the Byrd Theatre and “Drowning in Plastic” at the University of Richmond’s Robins School of Business, just to name a few, will be screened. Venues and times vary. Free. https://rvaeff.org.


The reactions to a dragon dance were varied at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The RYSE Lion Dance Troupe at VCU performed a traditional dragon dance during the China Fest Year of the Fire Rooster celebration of the Chinese new year. The dance brings good luck. Feb. 12, 2017



Celebrate the Year of the Metal Rat at ChinaFest by making rat masks, trying calligraphy and, of course, watching the traditional Lion Dance. Also featuring kung fu performances, dance groups and Wushu, a modern Chinese martial art. 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 200 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd. Free. vmfa.museum or (804) 340-1400.

— Colleen Curran_

Colleen Curran covers arts and entertainment for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. She writes the weekly column Top Five Weekend Events.

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