Metro Weekly

Out On the Town: Washington, D.C. Arts & Entertainment picks for April 13-20

Highlights for Film, Stage, Music, Dance, Art and more

Midwestern Gothic – Photo: Margot Schulman

 

FILM

FILMFEST DC
Now in its 31st year, the Washington, DC International Film Festival presents more than 60 features, documentaries and shorts from around the world in categories including comedy (“The Lighter Side”), crime and thrillers (“Trust No One”), music (“Rhythms On & Off the Screen”) and thought-provoking documentaries on themes of “Division & Debate” and “Justice Matters.” The festival opens with Lucas Belvaux’s This Is Our Land, a timely tale about the appeal of populism to inhabitants of a mining town in Northern France, where a candidate for mayor of a far-right political party learns she’s merely a puppet for those spouting nationalism and isolationism. Opening Night is Thursday, April 20, at 7 p.m. AMC Mazza Gallerie, 5300 Wisconsin Ave. NW. FilmFest DC runs to April 30 at various venues. Call 202-274-5782 or visit filmfestdc.org for the full schedule and more information.

THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS
The eighth film in the Fast and the Furious franchise is proof that guns and cars trump story, directing, scriptwriting, acting, cinematography, common sense, good taste …. Opens Friday, April 14. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (Rhuaridh Marr)

WHY BE GOOD?
In honor of Jazz Appreciation Month, the Atlas Performing Arts Center offers a screening of a silent comedy full of dancing, wooing gentlemen and a thoroughly modern woman played by Colleen Moore, an actress who popularized the famous bobbed haircut of the roaring twenties. Composer and pianist Andrew Earle Simpson offers original live music accompaniment. Sunday, April 23, at 3 p.m. Lab Theatre II, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $20 and include free popcorn. Call 202-399-7993 or visit atlasarts.org.

STAGE

A RAISIN IN THE SUN
A family yearns for a better life far from the cramped confines of their Chicago tenement. Tazewell Thompson directs Arena Stage’s in-the-round production of Lorraine Hansberry’s groundbreaking 1959 classic with a cast of mostly local actors led by Will Cobbs, Dawn Ursula, Joy Jones and powerhouse Lizan Mitchell as the family matriarch. To May 7. Fichandler Stage in the Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Tickets are $51 to $66. Call 202-488-3300 or visit arenastage.org.

BLOOD KNOT/A HUMAN BEING DIED THAT NIGHT
Athol Fugard’s seminal masterpiece returns more than 50 years after its debut, as part of Mosaic’s “South Africa: Then & Now” series, which includes the D.C. premiere of A Human Being Died That Night. Both chamber plays feature a black and white character in constant, heated dialogue. Joy Zinoman helms Fugard’s intimate parable about a brotherhood bound by blood but separated by color. Meanwhile, New York-based director Logan Vaughn tackles Nicholas Wright’s 2013 adaptation of a memoir by psychologist Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, exploring the ongoing quest for truth and reconciliation in South Africa. Both plays in rep to April 30. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $40 to $60. Call 202-399-7993 or visit mosaictheater.org.

BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS
Theater J bills Neil Simon’s semi-autobiographical play about a Depression-era family trying to laugh through tears “a perfect escape from today’s never-ending news cycle.” The company’s Adam Immerwahr also calls it a worthy introduction to American theater for young theatergoers who graduated from Disney musicals but aren’t quite ready for Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller. Four local teen actors take on the lead roles, joined by adults Lise Bruneau, Michael Glenn and Susan Rome, in a production directed by Matt Torney. To May 7. The Aaron and Cecile Goldman Theater, Edlavitch DCJCC, 1529 16th St. NW. Call 202-777-3210 or visit theaterj.org.

CHICAGO
Grammy-winning R&B chanteuse Brandy is Roxie Hart in the latest national touring production of Kander & Ebb’s six-time Tony-winning sensation, now the longest-running American musical in Broadway history. Terra C. MacLeod, Brent Barrett, Paul Vogt, Roz Ryan, and C. Newcomer add further razzle dazzle. Closes Sunday, April 16. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $49 to $159. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

.DOT:: A ROTOPLASTIC BALLET
Described as a “rap robot puppet spectacle,” the latest show from Pointless Theatre features its signature puppets and original rap music produced and performed live by “nerDCore” artist Navi and two-time Helen Hayes-nominated composer Mike Winch. The play addresses the struggles of assimilation and obsoletion within a changing power system. The puppeteers are Becca Ballinger, Frank Cevarich, Madeline Key, Sydney Lo, Sadie Leigh Rothman, Matthew Sparacino, Matthew Strote, and Scott Whalen. Now to May 6. Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint, 916 G St. NW. Tickets are $18 to $30. Call 202-315-1310 or visit flashpointdc.org.

DRYLAND
A timely and unflinching play about abortion, female friendship and resiliency from one of America’s most exciting young playwrights, Ruby Rae Spiegel. Forum Theatre presents Dryland, directed by Amber McGinnis, in repertory with What Every Girl Should Know (see separate entry), two dramas led by all-female creative and design teams. Closes Saturday, April 15. Silver Spring Black Box Theatre, 8641 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Call 301-588-8279 or visit forum-theatre.org.

HENRY V
We Happy Few Productions offers a fresh spin on the Shakespeare classic offering a look at the soldier as told through the stories of those around him. Kerry McGee directs a cast starring Kernan McGowan as Henry but also including Josh Adams, Wyckham Avery, Riley Bartlebaugh, Raven Bonniwell, Natasha Gallop, Niusha Nawab, and Robert Pike. Now to April 29. Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 7th St. SE. Tickets $5 to $15. Call 202-547-6839 or visit chaw.org.

KING LEAR
To celebrate its 10th anniversary, professional audio theater company Lean & Hungry offers its first fully staged production, Shakespeare’s deeply moving epic about a powerful, aging leader suffering from dementia, featuring an emphasis on language and sound to encourage use of imagination. The cast includes Jessica Leflow, Sarah Anne Sillers, G Michael Harris, John Stange and Kevin Finkelstein, the company’s associate artistic director. To April 23. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $20. Call 202-399-7993 or visit atlasarts.org.

LOS OTROS
Baltimore’s Everyman Theatre presents a timely reworking of what has been called “an unusual kind of musical” by composer Michael John LaChiusa (The Wild Party) and writer Ellen Fitzhugh (Grind). Infused with compassionate, cross-cultural understanding, Los Otros features two Californians who reflect on profound moments from the past in which their individual experiences, as a white woman and a Latino, are linked by a collective sense of “otherness.” Broadway vets Judy McLane (Mamma Mia!) and Philip Hernandez (Kiss of the Spider Woman) relate the tales through a series of vignettes, in a production helmed by Noah Himmelstein, with Jon Kalbfleisch leading a live on-stage instrumental ensemble. A semi-autobiographical work, Los Otros is said to be inspiring, energetic and emotionally charged in its exploration of issues such as cultural/sexual identity and interconnectedness, as well as love, risk and revelation. To April 23. Everyman Theatre, 315 West Fayette St. Tickets are $43 to $64. Baltimore. Call 410-752-2208 or visit everymantheatre.org.

MIDWESTERN GOTHIC
A new, darkly funny musical thriller about a young woman who longs to escape her little town in the middle of nowhere. Signature Theatre promises writer Royce Vavrek and lyricist/composer Josh Schmidt’s work will provoke, shock and entertain in equal measure, describing it as “Fargo meets Misery.” It also includes a warning noting that Midwestern Gothic is intended for adults over 18 and that the performance includes “live gunshots, theatrical haze, depictions of drug use and smoking (herbal scent).” Matthew Gardiner directs a cast including Timothy J. Alex, Sherri Edelen, Morgan Keene, Sam Ludwig, Bobby Smith, Stephen Gregory Smith, and Rachel Zampelli. Pride Nights are April 21 and April 28. Runs to April 30. Ark Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Tickets are $40 to $99. Call 703-820-9771 or visit signature-theatre.org.

NO SISTERS
★★★★

THREE SISTERS
★★★½
Studio Theatre, in collaboration with multimedia production company New Neighborhood, offers theatergoers a unique opportunity to experience drama both on and “offstage,” with their productions of Three Sisters and Aaron Posner’s new Chekhov-inspired riff, No Sisters. The two shows are running not only in repertory, but are performed simultaneously, with several members of the cast of Chekhov’s play dashing in their offstage moments from one Studio theater to appear onstage in a different theater, as the same characters, but in Posner’s clever riff on the play, described as a hangout “in a weird-ass existential Chekhovian green room.” You might opt to undertake just one leg of this ambitious “choose-your-own-adventure” trip through the tangled lives and loves of the Prózorovs, but the most rewarding path is to experience both. To April 23. In separate auditoriums at Studio Theatre, 1501 14th St. NW. Tickets for Three Sisters are $20 to $69, and tickets for No Sisters are $20 to $45. Call 202-332-3300, or visit studiotheatre.org. (Andre Hereford)

OR,
Next up in an acclaimed season full of local theater stars, Round House Theatre presents Holly Twyford, Gregory Linington and Erin Weaver in a playful farce about an up-and-coming playwright tasked with completing her first commission by dawn. Madcap antics abound in Liz Duffy Adams’ unconventional Restoration-era comedy directed by Aaron Posner. In previews, opening Monday, April 17, at 7:30 p.m. to May 7. Round House Theatre, 4545 East-West Highway, Bethesda. Tickets are $50 to $60. Call 240-644-1100 or visit roundhousetheatre.org.

PARADE
★★★★
The period musical by Jason Robert Brown (music) and Alfred Uhry (book) trains a fairly narrow focus on the feelings and tragic fate of Leo Frank (Michael Innocenti), a Texas-born, Brooklyn-raised Jew living in Atlanta at the turn of the 20th century. Leo was arrested and tried — in a Fulton County courthouse and across newspaper front pages — for the gruesome 1913 murder of 13-year old Mary Phagan. Parade is not a happy-go-lucky “let’s take Grandma out for Mother’s Day play.” Rather, Brown and Uhry’s 1999 Tony winner encompasses a world of post-Reconstruction-era concerns, from anti-semitism and mob justice to child labor. Harrowing. Extended to April 15. Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church St. NW. Tickets are $45 to $55. Call 202-265-3768 or visit keegantheatre.com. (AH)

RAGTIME
Based on the sprawling novel by E.L. Doctorow, with book, music and lyrics by Terrence McNally, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, the Tony-winning musical Ragtime depicts three families striving for the American dream at the turn of the 20th century. It’s an epic musical, made all the more so by the all-star D.C. cast that director Peter Flynn (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) managed to assemble, led by Kevin McAllister, Tracy Lynn Olivera, Nova Y. Payton and Jonathan Atkinson. Talk about an American dream. To May 20. Ford’s Theatre, 511 10th St. NW. Call 800-982-2787 or visit fords.org.

THE MAGIC PLAY
Olney Theatre offers the latest from playwright Andrew Hinderaker (Colossal) about in a story about a magician losing control of his life. Halena Kays directs Brett Schneider, Jon Hudson Odom and Harry A. Winter. In previews. Opens Saturday, April 15, at 8 p.m. Olney Theatre Center, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Call 301-924-3400 or visit olneytheatre.org.

TWISTED MELODIES
Kelvin Roston Jr. portrays Donny Hathaway in a powerful, one-man musical homage to a soulful legend. Hathaway is probably best known for his ’70s-era duets with Roberta Flack. Twisted Melodies is billed as an immersive and crushing play about the muses that inspired Hathaway and the paranoid schizophrenia that tormented him. Closes Sunday, April 16. Baltimore Center Stage, 700 North Calvert St. Tickets are $22 to $64. Call 410-332-0033 or visit centerstage.org.

WHAT EVERY GIRL SHOULD KNOW
Forum Theatre presents Monica Byrne’s drama about four teen girls in a 1914 New York reformatory who adopt birth control activist Margaret Sanger as their secret patron saint and build a communal fantasy life that grows increasingly real. Jenna Duncan directs the all-female drama running in repertory with Dryland (see separate entry). To April 15. Silver Spring Black Box Theatre, 8641 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Call 301-588-8279 or visit forum-theatre.org.

MUSIC

AFRO BLUE
Founded in 2002, Howard University’s a cappella ensemble reached the top four of NBC’s The Sing-Off. The “vocal big band” kicks off the last week of April with two shows at Georgetown’s legendary jazz venue. Monday, April 24, at 8 and 10 p.m. Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Tickets are $27, plus $12 minimum purchase. Call 202-337-4141 or visit bluesalley.com.

ARI SHAPIRO
After stepping down as director of the Washington Ballet, Septime Webre has moved into the role of presenter of unexpected yet unmissable events for the most discerningly avant-garde of culture connoisseurs. John Waters and Joey Arias are still to come in the debut season of Webre’s Halcyon Stage, which next presents NPR’s All Things Considered host Shapiro in a cabaret that expands on his side gig singing with Pink Martini. Homeward features songs of upheaval, patriotism and home inspired by Shapiro’s experiences as a roving reporter around the globe. A Meet-the-Artist Reception follows. Saturday, April 22. Doors at 8 p.m. Halcyon House, 3400 Prospect St. NW. Tickets are $60. Call 202-298-5956 or visit halcyonhouse.org.

BRANDY CLARK & CHARLIE WORSHAM
Billboard has called them two of Nashville’s “best-kept secrets,” and it only takes one spin through their repertoires to agree wholeheartedly with that assessment. By now, any self-respecting queer country fan should know the name Brandy Clark, the prominent lesbian songwriter with a penchant for sharp melodies and witty, subtle lyrics reflecting the times, whether writing for herself or others, including Miranda Lambert (“Mama’s Broken Heart”) and Kacey Musgraves (“Follow Your Arrow”). “My songs are kind of dark comedy, a lot of them,” she told Metro Weekly in 2014. “Tough subject matter but really delivered a little bit tongue in cheek.” She’s joined for a double-bill concert by her Warner Bros. labelmate Charlie Worsham, known for intelligent and well-crafted mainstream-esque tunes — including the horn-rich stomper “Cut Your Groove.” Sunday, April 23, at 7:30 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $49.50. Call 202-787-1000 or visit thehamiltondc.com.

BROADWAY SINGS BEYONCE & BRUNO MARS
Four Broadway performers, Corey Mach (Wicked), Sydney Morton (Evita), Jelani Remy (The Lion King) and Natalie Weiss (Wicked), team up for a series focused on flipping the music of pop icons to create new, unique arrangements and orchestrations backed by a full jazz band. The next traveling show from this New York-based outfit helmed by lead performer Mach features Broadway-transformed hits by Queen Bey and Bruno Mars — from “Single Ladies” to “Grenade.” Joshua Stephen Kartes leads the band in a one-night-only concert in D.C. Saturday, April 15, at 8 p.m. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $25 in advance, or $28 day-of show. Call 202-408-3100 or visit broadwaysingsconcert.com.

FAYE BUTLER
Helen Hayes Award-winning performing powerhouse takes a break from stealing shows in ensemble work — most recently as Mrs. Lovett in Olney Theatre’s magnificent Sweeney Todd — for an intimate solo cabaret of sexy, edgy songs by Nina Simone, Etta James, Aretha Franklin, and others. Saturday, April 15, at 8:30 p.m., with a Meet-the-Artist Reception starting at 9:30 p.m. Halcyon House, 3400 Prospect St. NW. Tickets are $60. Call 202-298-5956 or visit halcyonhouse.org.

GAY MEN’S CHORUS: GOD SAVE THE QUEENS
The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington’s a cappella ensembles Potomac Fever and Rock Creek Singers present a concert saluting British rock royalty, from the Beatles to Queen, George Michael to Adele. Expect to hear music from the American King and Queen of Pop as well — Michael Jackson and Madonna. Saturday, April 15, at 4 and 8 p.m. The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $45. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit wolftrap.org.

KENNEDY CENTER TRIBUTE TO PETE SEEGER
The late iconic American folk singer-songwriter gets the star-studded treatment in an event at the Kennedy Center, co-presented by the Grammy Museum and part of JFKC: A Centennial Celebration of John F. Kennedy, which will be recorded for broadcast. “Pete Seeger and the Power of Song: Tribute to a Folk Legend” features Rosanne Cash with John Leventhal, Judy Collins, Peter Yarrow, and Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul & Mary, David Amram, Luther Dickinson, Woody’s granddaughter Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion, Kaia Kater, the Last Internationale, Robert McGuinn of the Byrds, Tom Paxton, Tony Trischka with Carmen Cusack, and Josh White Jr. Saturday, April 15, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $39 to $129. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

LEELA JAMES
A few years ago this gritty, big-voiced R&B singer Leela James released Loving You More …In The Spirit of Etta James. Certainly if any contemporary singer most conjures thoughts of the late Etta, it’s the same-surnamed — though unrelated — Leela. She deserves to be more popular, but as it is she’s one of R&B’s best-kept secrets. She tours in support of Did It For Love, performing on the Undeniable Tour 2017 with British artist Daley. Friday, April 14, at 8 p.m. Warner Theatre, 513 13th St. NW. Call 202-783-4000 or visit warnertheatredc.com.

NATIONAL PHILHARMONIC
Celebrated cellist Zuill Bailey performs Max Bruch’s Kol Nidrei, variations on two themes of Jewish origin, and “Schelomo” from Ernest Bloch’s Jewish Cycle in a program led by Piotr Gajewski and performance of Mussorgsky’s colorful Pictures at an Exhibition. Saturday, April 22, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 23, at 3 p.m Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $34 to $78. Call 301-581-5100 or visit nationalphilharmonic.org.

NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, SERGEY KHACHATRYAN
The Armenian Khachatryan joins to perform Beethoven’s once-underappreciated masterpiece Violin Concerto. Cristian Macelaru leads a program also featuring three works inspired by water: Vltava by Smetana, The Oceanides by Sibelius, and Liquid Interface, an electronica-influenced piece from Kennedy Center Composer-in-Residence Mason Bates. Thursday, April 20, at 7 p.m., and Saturday April 22, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $15 to $99. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

THE CHORAL ARTS SOCIETY
Scott Tucker leads The Choral Arts Society in a world-premiere commission from Jake Runestad, plus Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Requiem and Ave Verum Corpus as well as Johann Sebastian Bach’s Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen. Featuring soloists soprano Yuanming Song, mezzo soprano Allegra De Vita, tenor Matthew Loyal Smith and bass Wei Wu. Sunday, April 23, at 5 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $15 to $69. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

TODD MARCUS QUARTET
Known for avant-garde and free-jazz rhythms, Marcus, a Baltimore-based Egyptian-American, plays bass clarinet and leads his quartet in a jazz program rich with Middle Eastern influences as part of a Jazz Appreciation Month series. Thursday, April 20, at 7:30 p.m. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $20 to $32. Call 202-399-7993 or visit atlasarts.org.

TODRICK HALL
A former Top 13 finalist on American Idol and now a YouTube star, Hall returns to D.C. after a starring turn on Broadway in Kinky Boots. Hall spins through his visual album Straight Outta Oz, a bold, captivating hour-long set featuring 17 songs and videos in which he sings and raps about his life in an homage to The Wizard of Oz. Hall enlists nearly 20 performers to reenact the musical tale live. Tuesday, April 18, and Wednesday, April 19, at 8 p.m. Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW. Tickets are $35 to $40, or $100 for a “VIP Emerald City Pass” including a Meet & Greet. Call 202-588-5595 or visit thehowardtheatre.com.

WICKED JEZABEL
Pauline Anson-Dross’ popular lesbian all-covers party-rock band Wicked Jezabel has been rocking — as well as raising money for various good causes — all over the region for a decade now, originally under the name The Outskirts of Town. Friday, April 21, JV’s Restaurant, 6666 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church. Call 703-241-9504 or visit wickedjezabel.com.

DANCE

BALLET ACROSS AMERICA
Two of the biggest superstars in ballet, Misty Copeland and Justin Peck, curate two distinct programs celebrating innovation and diversity in American ballet, as well as the centennial of John F. Kennedy. The Opening Night Celebration features New York City Ballet dancer Sara Mearns as host, plus performances by American Ballet Theatre dancers Stella Abrera and Marcelo Gomes and an appearance by Ben Folds, accompanying the Nashville Ballet in a performance set to his Concerto, on Monday, April 17, at 7:30 p.m. Copeland’s program, featuring performances by the Nashville Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet and the Black Iris Project, runs Wednesday, April 19, Thursday, April 20, and Friday, April 21, at 7:30 p.m. Peck’s program, featuring the L.A. Dance Project, Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion and the Joffrey Ballet, is Saturday, April 22, at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 23, at 1:30 p.m. The Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra accompanies all performances. Tickets are $29 to $149. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

BLACK TO SILVER: A BLACK LGBT EXPERIENCE
Dissonance Dance Theatre presents the fifth annual event examining the experiences and issues in the gay black community. This year’s focus is Take My Hand, Before I Go, a narrative of a young gay man and his rite of passage into adulthood. Shedding light on the simple but complex notions of dating, casual encounter and acceptance, Dissonance dancers perform the piece to the music of Jardin, Janet Jackson, Lykke Li, Rose Royce, Ibeyi and Leona Lewis. Saturday, April 22, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 23, at 7 p.m. The Jack Guidone Theater at Joy of Motion Dance Center, 5207 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Tickets are $18 in advance, or $25 at the door. Call 202-362-3042 or visit ddtdc.org.

RENNIE HARRIS PUREMOVEMENT
Lifted is a new work by the leading hip-hop ambassador and choreographer, exploring the topics of morality, spirituality and community, loosely based on Oliver Twist. The work is inspired by the organic spiritual tapestry of house music, or a style of dance that is often referred to as going to “church.” Saturday, April 22, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 23, at 7 p.m. Dance Place, 3225 8th St. NE. Tickets are $25 in advance, or $30 at the door. Call 202-269-1600 or visit danceplace.org.

COMEDY

DAVID SEDARIS
Everybody’s favorite gay modern-day humorist returns to Strathmore to offer a preview of his next book, Theft By Finding, to be released next month. Thursday, April 13, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $35 to $75. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.

MAZ JOBRANI
The Iranian-American comedian and actor, who can currently be seen in the CBS sitcom Superior Donuts, offers two shows at the Kennedy Center that will be filmed for his first original Netflix special. Saturday, April 15, at 7 and 9 p.m. Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $39 to $129. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

SARAH SILVERMAN
Silverman is the stand-up equivalent of a shock jock, not for the faint of heart or easily offended, but the focus is on the jaw-droppingly funny things she says and how she says them. Saturday April 22, at 8 p.m. Theater at MGM National Harbor, 7100 Oxon Hill Road, Oxon Hill, Md. Tickets are $59.50 to $85. Call 844-346-4664 or visit mgmnationalharbor.com.

WASHINGTON IMPROV THEATER: FIST 2017
The Fighting Improv Smackdown Tournament is an elimination tournament in which audiences vote to decide which team of improvers advance to the championship. Runs to final round on April 15. Source, 1835 14th St. NW. Tickets start at $12 to $25. Call 202-204-7760 or visit witdc.org.

READINGS

DAVID A. NICHOLS
Ike and McCarthy: Dwight Eisenhower’s Secret Campaign against Joseph McCarthy reveals how the 34th president masterminded the downfall of the anti-Communist demagogue Senator Joseph McCarthy, based on previously unavailable or overlooked documents. Nichols, an Eisenhower expert and former professor and academic dean at Southwestern College, will sign copies of the book afterwards. Friday, April 21, at 12 p.m. William G. McGowan Theater in the National Archives Museum, Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets NW. Free. Call 202-357-5000 or visit archives.gov/nae.

JANE HIRSHFIELD
As part of its O.B. Hardison Poetry Series, the Folger Library welcomes a reading by Jane Hirshfield, author of two books of essays and eight collections of poetry, including the recently published The Beauty. A post-reading conversation will be moderated by poet and Folger Poetry Board member Mary-Sherman Willis. Monday, April 17, at 7:30 p.m. Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $15. Call 202-544-7077 or visit folger.edu.

MARITA GOLDEN, NATALIE HOPKINSON
A well-placed description or attention to the details of a street, city or town can evoke powerful memories and a sense of attachment. In “Landscapes, Love, and Memory: How Authors Use Place,” two local writers will discuss the importance of place and setting in their work. Golden (A Long Distance Life) is the co-founder of the African-American writers resource center Hurston/Wright Foundation, while Hopkinson (Go-Go Live) is a former Washington Post culture critic and a professor at Howard University. Saturday, April 15, at 12 p.m. The Historical Society of Washington, D.C., at the Carnegie Library, 801 K St. NW. Call 202-393-1420 or visit dchistory.org.

MICHAEL WITMORE: THE WONDER OF WILL
The Folger Shakespeare Library Director delivers the annual Shakespeare Anniversary Lecture, closing a year-long celebration of the 400th anniversary of the Bard. Monday, April 24, at 7 p.m. Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Free with reservations. Call 202-544-7077 or visit folger.edu.

THE STOOP: THE OUTSIDERS
Stories about being a freak, geek or “the other” are the focus of the next edition of Baltimore’s monthly storytelling organization. The stories are preceded by cocktails and live music from Fractal Cat and followed by a screening of Francis Ford Coppola’s 1983 coming-of-age drama The Outsiders starring Matt Dillon, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Diane Lane, Emilio Estevez, and Tom Cruise. Tuesday, April 18, at 7 p.m. The Senator Theatre, 5904 York Rd., Baltimore. Tickets are $20. Call 410-323-4424 or visit stoopstorytelling.com.

EXHIBITS

JUN KANEKO
In conjunction with its spring production of Madama Butterfly, the Washington National Opera presents ceramic sculptures by the Japanese-American visual artist and painter, who also served as the production’s set and costume designer. The installation includes pieces from two of Kaneko’s sculpture series: Heads, large, neutral forms that are instantly recognizable as human yet loaded with a vast array of traditions and associations, and Dangos, or mound-like, freestanding works that have been molded into an intriguing family of different shapes reflecting a wide range of expression. Opens Monday, April 17. Runs through May 22. Kennedy Center Hall of Nations. Free. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

MARYLAND FEDERATION OF ART
Gallery B, the art gallery run by the Bethesda Urban Partnership, presents an exhibition of member artists of the Annapolis-based federation and juried by the namesake of Georgetown’s Susan Calloway Fine Arts. Calloway’s juried show features a diverse range of artworks, including sculpture, woodturning, glass, painting, photography, and mixed media. A total of 53 artists are represented, including Elaine Cafritz, David Diaz, Kay Fuller, Lee Goodwin, James Steven McDonald, Mike McSorley, Arpitha Parthasarathy, William Peirce, Alex Tolstoy, Gil Ugiansky, and Andrew Wohl. Public reception is Friday, April 14, from 6 to 8 p.m. Through April 29. Gallery B, 7700 Wisconsin Ave., Suite E, Bethesda. Call 301-215-7990 or visit bethesda.org/bethesda/gallery-b.

QUEER INTERIORS
Through an initiative commissioning installations and public programs related to its broad Imagining Home exhibit, the Baltimore Museum of Art brought together video and film artist Rahne Alexander and interdisciplinary artist/organizer Jaimes Mayhew with Chase Brexton Health Care’s LGBT Health Resource Center. Queer Interiors features a larger-than-life bed and furnishings, personal artifacts and a multimedia wall display known as the Baltimore LGBTQI+ Home Movie Quilt, which pays homage to Baltimore album quilts and the AIDS Memorial Quilt by presenting a growing, crowd-sourced portrait of the city’s queer communities. Through Aug. 31, 2017. The Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Dr. Baltimore. Call 443-573-1700 or visit artbma.org.

THE GREAT INKA ROAD: ENGINEERING AN EMPIRE
One of the monumental engineering achievements in history, the Great Inka Road is a network of more than 20,000 miles, crossing mountains and tropical lowlands, rivers and deserts, linking the Inca capital Cusco with the farthest reaches of its empire — and it still serves Andean communities today in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile. This exhibition explores the legacy of the Inka Empire and technological feat of the road, recognized by the United Nations as a World Heritage site in 2014. Through April 2018. National Museum of the American Indian, Independence Avenue at 4th Street SW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit nmai.si.edu.

TRANSITIONS
A dozen works by Russell Simmons, Daniel T. Brookings, Akili Ron Anderson, T.H. Gomillion, Francine Haskins, Michael Platt, Nanno Smith, and Gloria C. Kirk are on display at the Kimpton Carlyle Hotel Dupont Circle, part of the collective, Black Artists of DC. Curated by Julie Ratner of Directions in Art. On display through Friday, April 21. 1731 New Hampshire Ave. NW. Call 202-234-3200 or visit carlylehoteldc.com.

FOOD

HANK’S DUPONT: 10TH ANNUAL OYSTER FEST
“We wanted to do something for the community to bring people together,” Hank’s founder Jamie Leeds says about the origins of Oyster Fest, now in its 10th year at her original Dupont Circle location. “We thought we’d provide all-you-can-eat oysters, drink beer and just have a good time.” The prospect of copious amounts of premium draft beer, fresh, fried and BBQ’d bivalves, popcorn shrimp and Old Bay fries has become such a draw, the line starts forming at breakfast and doesn’t let up until hours into the whole shucking sensation. Saturday, April 22, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hank’s Oyster Bar – Dupont, 1624 Q St. NW. Tickets are $80 for all-you-can-eat oysters and draft beer. Call 202-462-4265. Visit hanksoysterbar.com.

THE GRILL ROOM: TAX RELIEF WINE SPECIAL
Starting on Tax Day and lasting up to May Day, the restaurant facing the C&0 Canal in the luxury Georgetown hotel Rosewood is offering a discounted price on Télégramme by Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe, a standout wine from Chateauneuf du Pape. This Southern Rhone region has a unique history of taxation that helped set the standard of winemaking throughout France, leading to the Appellation d’origine Contrôlée, or AOC. Normally priced at $25 a glass and $98 a bottle, the Télégramme, with notes of fresh red and black cherries, strawberry, black pepper, black raspberry and spice, will be discounted to $15 a glass and $60 a bottle during the special promotion. That makes it a perfect complement to the Grill Room’s hand-cut, bone-in, artisanal meats and locally sourced seasonal produce particularly for any foodie and red wine enthusiast with a tax refund to spend. Begins Tuesday, April 18. Available during lunch and dinner through the end of April. The Grill Room, 1050 31st St. NW. Call 202-617-2424 or visit rosewoodhotels.com/en/washington-dc.

THE TOP OF THE HAY: EASTER BUFFET
Of the many options for Easter, few scream Washington quite like dining at the Hay-Adams, located across Lafayette Square from the White House. The historic hotel’s restaurant offers an Easter Brunch priced at $120 per person, with a glass of Taittinger upon arrival and a buffet curated by executive chef Nicholas Legret featuring holiday classics, seasonal delicacies and a carving station. Think Maine Lobster Salad with grapefruit, avocado, cucumber and citrus vinaigrette, Heirloom Fingerling Potato Salad with duck prosciutto, pickled mustard seed and chervil, Braised Organic Chicken Coq Au Vin with white mushrooms and pearl onions, Virginia Lamb Cutlets with fava beans, baby heirloom carrot and rosemary jus, and Slow Roasted Virginia Ham with confit pee-wee potatoes and thyme-scented natural jus. Pastry chef Josh Short will offer confections including an apricot almond brown butter tart, Rainbow Farms carrot cake, Belgian chocolate noir cake, lemon-ginger mousse, and homemade peeps and chocolate bunnies. Easter Brunch Buffet offered Sunday, April 16, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. The Top of the Hay, 800 16th St. NW. Call 202-638-6600 or visit hayadams.com.

ABOVE & BEYOND

ARTOMATIC
Now in its 11th incarnation, the all-access arts event has returned to Crystal City, where more than 600 visual artists, musicians, filmmakers and performers will be engaged in a 100,000 square-foot space over the next month. Artomatic handiworks for sale range from diamonds-in-the-rough to the kind of art only an artist could love. A literary program and art workshops, including live model drawing and demos, are also on tap throughout the event’s run. Through May 6. Vornado/Charles E. Smith, 1800 South Bell St., Arlington. Free. Visit artomatic.org.

EVENTS DC CHERRY BLAST!
As part of the final weekend of the National Cherry Blossoms Festival, Events DC presents a Tokyo nightlife-inspired event featuring sumo wrestling with audience participation, origami by DC Fray, live art by No Kings Collective, live-screen printing designed by Soul & Ink, and a video game lounge with 10 stations of Nintendo and Sony Classics. Also on tap is traditional pan-Asian street food from local ramen masters Hiro Mitsui (Uzu at Conbini Cafe) and Katsuya Fukushima (Daikaya, Haikan), Seng Luangrath (Thip Khao), Tim Ma (Kyirisian), and Huy Nguyen (Pho Wheelz), as well as a Night Market with samples of Suntory Whisky Toki, Hibiki Japanese Whisky, Kirin Beer, and sake. Also music from DJ Mel. Of course, the main attraction for serious foodies is the upgrade to a VIP Tea Room offering an exclusive first taste of Spoken English, the next restaurant concept from Erik Bruner-Yang (Maketto), as well as specialty handcrafted cocktails by Gina Chersevani. Friday, April 14, from 7 to 11 p.m. Dock 5 at Union Market, 1309 5th St. NE. Tickets are $69 to $89 all-inclusive including open bar, or $125 with VIP Tea Room Call 800-680-9095 or visit eventsdccherryblast.com.

LA-TI-DO
Started by Regie Cabico and DonMike Mendoza, La-Ti-Do is a variety show of music, spoken word, storytelling and comedy. Cabico and Mendoza co-host the next round, with a focus on “Political Music, Young Performers and Anya Randall Nebel.” Also expect participants from La-Ti-Do’s organizational partner, the women-focused theater troupe Pinky Swear Productions. Pianist Taylor Rambo accompanies. Monday, April 17, at 8 p.m. Bistro Bistro, 1727 Connecticut Ave. NW. General admission is $15, or $10 if you dine at the restaurant before the show. Call 202-328-1640 or visit latidodc.wix.com/latidodc.

QUEER AS FOLK
The Library of Congress continues its month-long Bibliodiscotheque multidisciplinary series celebrating the legacy of disco by screening the original U.K. series depicting club culture at the turn of the 21st century. Not to be confused with its American remake, Russell T. Davies’ Queer as Folk was set in Manchester in 1999 and 2000 and aired just 10 episodes — compared to the five seasons of Showtime’s adaptation. The Library of Congress screens the full series in an all-day, 7.5-hour marathon. Saturday, April 15, at 10 a.m. Mary Pickford Theater, 3rd Floor of James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free, but tickets required. Call 202-707-5502 or visit loc.gov/concerts/disco.

SHAKESPEARE’S BIRTHDAY OPEN HOUSE
Jugglers and jesters join other theatrical performers and musicians in celebrating the bard’s big day, complete with cake. Celebrants can also stroll around the building and the Elizabethan garden. Sunday, April 23, from noon to 4 p.m. Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Free. Call 202-544-7077 or visit folger.edu.

Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly.