Above & Beyond

Spring Arts 2014: Comedy, Readings, Discussions, Spoken Word, Multimedia, Tastings, Tours, Etc.

You may know John Waters best as a wacky, beloved Baltimore filmmaker, but these days he’s spending more time on the standup circuit — which is why you’ll find him in this, Metro Weekly‘s et cetera arts category. Waters, who appears at The Birchmere in May, is in good company this season: Lily Tomlin at Strathmore, Lewis Black at the Warner and Loni Love at the DC Improv are just three of our favorites. But it’s not all fun and games in “Above and Beyond,” which includes lectures, cooking demonstrations, even off-the-beaten-runway drag shows. From several discussions about serious global issues at the University of Maryland’s Clarice Smith Center, to a book signing with Twitter co-founder Biz Stone at Sixth and I, to storytelling event after storytelling event, you’ll find all the live talk and action you could possibly want this side of Baltimore, Hon.

You may know John Waters best as a wacky, beloved Baltimore filmmaker, but these days he’s spending more time on the standup circuit — which is why you’ll find him in this, Metro Weekly‘s et cetera arts category. Waters, who appears at The Birchmere in May, is in good company this season: Lily Tomlin at Strathmore, Lewis Black at the Warner and Loni Love at the DC Improv are just three of our favorites. But it’s not all fun and games in “Above and Beyond,” which includes lectures, cooking demonstrations, even off-the-beaten-runway drag shows. From several discussions about serious global issues at the University of Maryland’s Clarice Smith Center, to a book signing with Twitter co-founder Biz Stone at Sixth and I, to storytelling event after storytelling event, you’ll find all the live talk and action you could possibly want this side of Baltimore, Hon.

THE ALDEN

McLean Community Center
1234 Ingleside Ave.
McLean, Va.
703-790-0123
aldentheatre.org

· Code 20: Proceed To Improv – A free monthly coffeehouse-style night of improve and open mike (4/10, 5/8)
· Midday Movie Musicals: The Producers – Free screenings of the Alden staff’s favorite movie musicals (4/16)
· Charlie Chaplin 125th Birthday Celebration (4/16)
·  Midday Movie Musicals: Meet Me In St. Louis – Free screenings of the Alden staff’s favorite movie musicals (5/28)

ARLINGTON CINEMA N’ DRAFTHOUSE

2903 Columbia Pike
Arlington
703-486-2345
arlingtondrafthouse.com

· ThreeGuysOn presents The Final Draft — Hosts of popular podcast present this comedy show every Friday night
·  Porkchop Volcano — This short-form improv troupe offers a show of rapid-fire laughs based on audience suggestions (3/15, 3/29)
·  Open Mic Stand-Up Comedy — Every Saturday night in the Green Room
·  Cool Cow Comedy Showcase — Every Thursday night in the Green Room
· Randolph Terrance (3/21-22)
·  Rachel Bloom – Named a comic to watch by both Time Out LA and Backstagemagazine (3/21-22)
· Comedian Mitch Fatel Live (3/28-29)

BARNS AT WOLF TRAP

1645 Trap Road
Vienna
703-255-1900
wolf-trap.org

· The Second City – Happily Ever Laughter(4/18-19)
· 27th Annual Evening of Comedy — Murray “The Unknown Comic” Langston, Brett Leake and Dave Goldstein are part of this year’s lineup (5/2-3)

BLACK CAT

1811 14th St. NW
202-667-4490
blackcatdc.com

· Dr. Who Happy Hour — One free episode of Dr. Who and drink specials (3/14, and every Friday)
· And I Am Not Lying – A night of storytelling, comedy and burlesque. (3/15)
· Breadcrumb Trail – A Slint Documentary screening followed by a Q&A with director Lance Bangs (3/16)
· Cabin Fever Burlesque(3/21)
· Gay/Bash! – A queer night of rock & pop gems w/DJs Joshua and Dean (3/22)
· Joe Mande -#Bitchface Mini World Tour (3/25)
· Awesome Con-Cert! – Andrew W.K. offers a solo set at a show from D.C.’s comic-con, also featuring Adam Warrock and Rare Candy (4/19)

BLACK FOX LOUNGE

1723 Connecti cut Ave. NW
blackfoxlounge.com

· La-Ti-Do — Regie Cabico and Don Mike Mendoza host this spoken word & musical theater show every Monday night (3/17)
·  The Academy of Washington – A night of drag in the lounge (5/18)

THE BIRCHMERE

3701 Mount Vernon Ave.
Alexandria
703-549-7500
birchmere.com

· Kathleen Madigan – Madigan Again: The comedian makes her annual stop at the Birchmere (3/21, 3/23)
· John Hodgman – “I Stole Your Dad” is the latest standup show by this droll comic and The Daily Showalum (5/15)
· John Waters – The famous Baltimore filmmaker offers a night of his “This Filthy World” standup (5/16)

BUSBOYS AND POETS

2021 14th St. NW
202-387-POET
busboysandpoets.com

· Sunday Kind of Love Open Mic Poetry — Featuring emerging and established poets in an open-mike segment
· Tuesday Night Open Mic Poetry — Wide-ranging topics and speakers for two hours every Tuesday, hosted by Pages Matam
· SPARKLE Queer Open Mic — Queer-friendly, queer-focused reading series the first Sunday of the month, hosted by Regie Cabico and Danielle Evennou (4/6)

CLARICE SMITH PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

University of Maryland
College Park
301-405-ARTS
claricesmithcenter.umd.edu

· Anthony Romero — One of Time‘s “Most Influential Hispanics in America,” the gay Romero, head of the American Civil Liberties Union, stops by for a talk as part of the Arts & Humanities Dean’s Lecture Series (4/16)
· Creative Dialogue: Fast Food, Slow Food and Food Justice: Global Policies Creating Global Hunger – WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi hosts a panel discussion about both the local and global issues surrounding public policy and food (4/21)
· Creative Dialogue: Homer’s Iliad: An Anti-War Manifesto?- Could the oldest surviving work of European literature be considered anti-war? That’s the focus of this discussion moderated by WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi and including actor Denis O’Hare, who stars in a production of the one-man show at the Clarice Smith Center (5/1)

DAR CONSTITUTION HALL

1776 D St. NW
202-628-1776
dar.org/conthall/

· Capital Comedy Festival - Bruce Bruce, Earthquake, Dominique, Arnez J and Gary Owen appear (3/15)

DC IMPROV

1140 Connecticut Ave. NW
202-296-7008
dcimprov.com

· Flip Orley — Billed as America’s premier comic hypnotist (3/13-17)
· Pablo Francisco (3/20-23)
·  DC Improv Comedy School Comics — A night of improv comedy starring the house-grown troupe (3/21)
· John Heffron (3/27-30)
· Judah Friedlander (4/3-6)
· Kyle Kinane (4/10-13)
·  Dean Edwards (4/17-19)
· Bill Bellamy (4/24-26)
· Russell Howard (5/1)
· Kevin Nealon (5/2-4)
· Frank Caliendo (5/8-10)
· Aaron Karo (5/14)
· Aries Spears (5/15-18)
· Kevin Pollak (5/23-25)
· Michael McDonald (5/30-6/1)
· Loni Love – The gay favorite full-figured comedian, one of the best regulars on Chelsea Lately(6/13-15)
·  Mick Foley (6/19)
·  Steve Rannazzisi (6/20-22)
· Bobby Slayton (6/26-29)
· John Witherspoon (7/10-13)
· Jack Johannsen (8/7-10)
· Dan Cummins (8/28-31) LaVell Crawford -Probably the biggest (literally) funny man in the business (9/5-7)

FILMFEST DC

The Washington, DC International Film Festival
202-274-5782
filmfestdc.org

Filmfest DC is back for a 28th year — though also probably its final, according to recent press. The program, still to be fully announced, will include 80 features, documentaries and shorts from all over the world (4/17-27, various venues)

FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY

201 East Capitol St. SE
202-544-7077
folger.edu

· The Voice of Women in American Poetry: Hailey Leithauser and Shara McCallum - Poets reflect on the poetry of Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Alexander as well as read from their own works (3/24)
· Shakespeare’s Birthday Lecture 2014: Brian Cummings — University of York professor discusses the problem of writing the biography of Shakespeare (4/3) 
· Shakespeare’s Birthday Open House
 — Jugglers, jesters, musicians and actors all re-create the time and stories of Shakespeare for this party, complete with a birthday cake and tour of the reading rooms (4/6)
· The Literary Legacy of Seamus Heaney – Folger pays tribute to the man once called “the most important Irish poet since W.B. Yeats” a year after his passing (4/7)
· The 34th Annual PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Ceremony — America’s largest peer-juried literary prize (5/4)
· James Shapiro – A reading and reception for new bookShakespeare in America: An Anthology from the Revolution to Now (5/12)

FORD’S THEATRE

511 10th St. NW
202-397-7328
ticketmaster.com

· History on Foot Walking Tour — “Investigation: Detective McDevitt” follows a detective investigating the Lincoln assassination (Runs through October)

HILL CENTER

Old Navy Hospital
921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE
202-549-4172
HillCenterDC.org

· Mark Haskell: Hot Oven Baking: Way Beyond Pizza – A hands-on baking lesson about the Mediterranean root dishes that eventually led to the pizza (3/15)
· Why Can’t I Sleep? - Dr. Francisco Hoyos, medical director of the Sleep Center at Providence Hospital, is the featured speaker and presenter, including techniques for getting a good night’s sleep (3/17)
· Talk of the Hill with Bill Press: Amie Parnes and Jonathan Allen - Authors of HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton (3/20)
· Documentary Fridays: Cowboys & Outlaws – The Real Billy The Kid - Featuring a post-screening discussion and Q&A with director Pip Gilmour (4/11)
· Stephen Grant and John Andrews: Collecting Shakespeare: The Story of Henry and Emily Folger – A signing and conversation about the first biography of the Folgers (4/13)
· The Life of a Poet: Edward Hirsch The Washington Post‘s Ron Charles moderates a discussion with this poet, who’s also president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in New York (4/23)
· Rebecca Mead: My Life in Middlemarch The Atlantic‘sHanna Rosin moderates this discussion with New Yorker staff writer Rebecca Mead about her new book (4/25)
· Historic Cooking and Baking with Amanda Moniz: Presidential Parties – This professional historian and former pastry chef offers a hands-on history class about First Family foods (4/26, 4/30)
·  John R. Wennersten: The Historic Waterfront of Washington, D.C. - A discussion and signing of this new book (4/29)
· Film Screening: The New Black – Co-presented by ITVS Community Cinema, this documentary tells the story of how the African-American community is grappling with the gay rights issue in light of marriage equality and the fight over civil rights (5/20)
·  Urban Foraging: Finding Wild Food in Your Own Backyard – Traditional Foodways’ Bill Schindler offers foraging treks around Capitol Hill and a cooking class (6/7)

THE HOWARD THEATRE

620 T St. NW
202-588-5595
thehowardtheatre.com

· Funny-In-Stilettos: A Diverse All-Female Comedy Tour — Cocoa Brown, Shep Kelly, Dana Fleitman and Ayanna Dookie perform on this tour presented by Queen Aishah (3/19)
· Paul Mooney (5/8)

LYRIC OPERA HOUSE

140 West Mount Royal Ave.
Baltimore
410-547-SEAT
lyricoperahouse.com

· Mike Birbiglia – A night of standup from this veteran, still basking in the glow from 2012’s Sleepwalk With Me, the film adaptation of his one-man show that was a hit at Sundance (4/4)
· Jean Robertson - Speaker heard daily on Sirius/XM Radio’s Family Comedy Channels (4/6)
· Scooby Doo! Live Musical Mysteries (4/12)
· Sommore – The first female host of BET’s Comicview performs on her hopefully named Standing Ovation Tour (5/10)
·  The Tenderloins – The truTV Impractical Jokers Tour offers interactive comedy and improv, plus never-before-seen videos inspired by the hit TV show (6/13)
· Kathleen Madigan - Longtime comedian tours in support of Madigan Again, which iTunes named one of the Best Comedy Albums of 2013 (7/10)

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC LIVE!

Grosvenor Auditorium
NGS Headquarters
1600 M St. NW
202-857-7700
nglive.org

· Where The Wild Things Live – Photographer Vincent J. Musi shares his forays into the world of pets, from common to rare (3/14)
· St. Patrick’s Day Concert – The band Runa offers a mix of traditional and contemporary Celtic sounds (3/17)
· Vanished: The Search for Michael Rockefeller – Carl Hoffman reveals the truth behind Rockefeller’s 1961 disappearance in his book Savage Harvest (3/19)
· FameLab: Exploring Earth and Beyond – National Geographic Explorer and cave diver Kenny Broad is your host as aspiring young scientists compete to become science’s next star (4/5)
· Jet Set Pets with Kelly E. Carter — A cocktail event featuring the author discussing traveling with canines in conversation with Gary Weitzman of WAMU’s Animal House (4/9)

RAM’S HEAD ON STAGE

33 West St.
Annapolis
410-268-4545
ramsheadonstage.com

· Rita Rudner - Gentle-voiced comedian who can shock like the brassiest and toughest gals around (3/21)

SIXTH & I HISTORIC SYNAGOGUE

600 I St. NW
202-408-3100
sixthandi.org

· Daniel Jones Love Illuminated: Exploring Life’s Most Mystifying Subject – With the Help of 50,000 Strangersfeatures observations from the editor of The New York Times‘ “Modern Love” column (3/20)
· Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal and Sarah Shourd - authors of Three Americans Imprisoned in Iran (3/24)
· Todd Barry- Comedian and actor known for his decidedly low-key stage persona (5/8)
· Biz Stone – The co-founder of Twitter shares stories on the power of creativity in Things A Little Bird Told Me: Confessions of A Creative Mind (4/2)
· Carla Hall – D.C. native and co-host of ABC’s The Chew and former Top Chefcontestant talks about the international flavors of comfort food in her latest cookbook (4/7)
· Barbara Ehrenreich Nickel and Dimed author offers reflections in her latest, Living with a Wild God: A Nonbeliever’s Search for the Truth about Everything (4/10)
· James and Deborah Fallows (4/16)
·  Mark Leibovich (4/30)

SPEAKEASYDC

240-888-9751
speakeasydc.com

Local, non-competitive storytelling powerhouse, with upcoming shows: 

· Tales of the Unleavened - Passover-themed stories (3/30, Tikvat Israel Synagogue, Rockville)
· Cats Out of the Bag - Stories about slips of the tongue, spilling the beans and gossip (4/8, Town Danceboutique)
· After-School Special – A call for stories by and about educators in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week (5/7, Atlas)
· Close Call – Stories about near misses and narrow escapes (5/13, Town)
· Born This Way – Stories about queer culture (6/8, Human Rights Campaign Headquarters)
· You Just Don’t Understand – Stories about generation and gender gaps (6/10, Town)
· SpeakEasyDC’s Story Showdown - An interactive storytelling game show with games adapted from The Price Is Right (6/27-28, Dance Place)
· Happy Accidents – Stories about unexpected outcomes (7/8, Town)

THE STATE THEATRE

220 North Washington St.
Falls Church
703-237-0300
thestatetheatre.com

· $5 Comedy Night (3/15)
· Gilded Lily Burlesque presents Limelight Cabaret (3/21)
· Matt Kazam featuring Tim Miller and Marc Stern - A night of comedy led by Kazam, as heard on SiriusXM Radio 106.7 The Fan (4/11)

STORY LEAGUE

storyleague.org

· A competitive storytelling organization with the following upcoming shows: Story League All-Stars: Tournament 7 (3/14, U Street Music Hall)
· “Sticky” Story Contest — Storytellers will have seven minutes to tell a true, personal on the theme of “sticky” – whatever it means to the storyteller — with judges picking a winner (3/27, Busboys & Poets)
· “Saucy” Story Contest (4/16, Busboys & Poets)
· “Shady” Story Contest (5/21, Busboys & Poets)
· “Stinky” Story Contest (6/18, Busboys & Poets)
· Story League All-Stars: Tournament 8 (6/27, U Hall)

STRATHMORE

5301 Tuckerman Lane
North Bethesda
301-581-5100
strathmore.org

· Lily Tomlin – One of America’s foremost comedians returns to the area for a night of standup (3/28, Music Center)
·  Cirque Ziva – Strathmore presents this circus, offering eye-popping fun for the whole family, prior to an expected Broadway run (4/9, Music Center)
· Beyond Text and Line: A Discussion on the Art of Comic Books – In conjunction with its A Shared UniverseThe Art of Comic Books, Strathmore offers a panel discussion moderated by Greg McElhatton of the Small Press Expo, Wizard andiComics.com (4/27, Mansion)
· Mother’s Day Brunch – Treat your mother to a majestic brunch at Strathmore, if you can get tickets to this quick-to-sell-out annual tradition (5/11)
· Historic Home Tour- Another quick-to-sell-out tradition is a monthly guided tour for adults illuminating the history, architecture and personal stories of the Mansion at Strathmore (6/13)

WARNER THEATRE

513 13th St. NW
202-397-SEAT
warnertheatre.com

· Max Jobrani – A night of comedy from this Iranian-American actor and comedian, part of the “Axis of Evil” comedy group (3/28)
· Lewis Black — The acerbic one, best known for his “Back in Black” segment from The Daily Show, returns for another hometown string of shows on “The Rant is Due” tour (4/10-11)
· Brian Regan (4/25-26)
· Eddie Izzard – The British comic actor, whom John Cleese once called the “Lost Python” (5/1-2)
· John Pinette (6/22)
· We Will Rock You — British comedian Ben Elton’s musical revue featuring Queen’s rock standards (6/3-7)

WOLF TRAP

1645 Trap Road
Vienna
703-255-1900
wolf-trap.org

· A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor – The old-timey public radio celebrity once again kicks off the season at Wolf Trap’s gorgeous amphitheater, the Filene Center (5/23-24)
· Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (6/7-8)
· Wolf Trap’s 25th Annual Louisiana Swamp Romp — Re-creating the exuberant New Orleans spirit alongside mouthwatering Cajun food (6/14)
·  Sing-A-Long Grease (6/21)
· Sing-A-Long Sound of Music (8/23)

This week’s Out On the Town appears online at metroweekly.com/arts_entertainment/oott/

Doug Rule is a theater critic and contributing editor for Metro Weekly.

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Our daily emails are personally curated by our editors and feature a wide range of news, features, reviews and interviews. Don't miss out on any of our award-winning content -- from news to arts, cars to tech, food to fitness, we've got it all!

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