Metro Weekly

Out on the Town: D.C. arts and entertainment highlights: May 18-24

Film, Stage, Music, Dance, Readings, Exhibits, Food, and more.

Arabian Nights at Constellation, Photo: Daniel Schwartz

FILM

DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL
Apparently enough people watched the first three films in this series to generate a small profit. Not enough for the main cast to stick around for a fourth film, mind you, so there’s an entirely new group of actors on board to … ummm … write diaries? We have no idea what these films are about. David Bowers directs Jason Drucker, Owen Asztalos, Charlie Wright, Alicia Silverstone and Tom Everett Scott. Opens Friday, May 19. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (Rhuaridh Marr)

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2
★★★½
Guardians maintains the scrappy, jokesy, lovable nature that made the first film such a huge success — and such a breath of fresh air compared with the slightly stale, formulaic nature of Marvel’s other franchises. With its bold colors, brilliant soundtrack and wonderful array of performances, it was a necessary jolt of adrenaline to the cinematic superhero canon. But three years and a bigger budget later, the originality has diminished. What’s here isn’t fresh, though it’s still very palatable. Now playing. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (Rhuaridh Marr)

PARIS CAN WAIT
Eleanor Coppola, Francis Ford Coppola’s wife, makes her narrative feature debut at 81 with a film inspired by her life, starring Diane Lane as Coppola and Alec Baldwin as her barely seen husband. Opens Friday, May 19. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com.

TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME
The American Film Institute offers a 25th anniversary screening of the “prequel” motion picture to cult TV series Twin Peaks, tied to the new season debut on Showtime on Sunday, May 21. It’s screening as one of the first films in a two-month “Directed by David Lynch” retrospective. Titles still to come include Blue Velvet, Wild At Heart, and Mulholland Drive — widely considered Lynch’s cinematic masterpiece. Friday, May 19, at 1:30 and 9:15 p.m., Monday, May 22, at 9 p.m., and Wednesday, May 24, at 9:30 p.m. AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. General admission is $10 for matinee, or $13. Call 301-495-6720 or visit afi.com/Silver.

WASHINGTON JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL
Now in its 27th year, the festival presents traditional film screenings as well as related cultural and educational programs at six different theaters. Six films at this year’s festival are “Rated LGBTQ,” exploring sexuality, gender and identity on screen: Cabaret, the hit 1972 adaptation of the stage musical classic starring Joel Grey and Liza Minnelli, which screens Sunday, May 21, at 7:30 p.m., at the Edlavitch DCJCC, and Saturday, May 27, at 12:30 p.m., at AFI Silver Theatre; Family Commitments, an outrageously quirky comedy about a Jewish-Arab same-sex wedding, in its Mid-Atlantic Premiere Saturday, May 20, at 8:45 p.m. at Landmark E Street Cinema, and Saturday, May 27, at 6:30 p.m., at Edlavitch DCJCC; In Between, Maysaloun Hamoud’s remarkable feature debut about three Arab-Israeli women sharing an apartment in the vibrant heart of Tel Aviv and struggling with contemporary and traditional pressures, which screens Wednesday, May 24, at 8:15 p.m., at Landmark E Street Cinema, and Sunday, May 28, at 1:45 p.m., at AFI Silver Theatre; The Freedom to Marry, a riveting ride through history with Evan Wolfson and Mary Bonauto, who led the push for one of the most successful civil rights campaigns in modern history, screening on Sunday, May 21, at 5:15 p.m. at AFI Silver Theatre, and Wednesday, May 24, at 7:15 p.m., at Edlavitch DCJCC; The Guys Next Door, a lyrical documentary about the bonds between a straight family and their gay neighbors, screening Sunday, May 21, at 6 p.m., at Landmark Bethesda Row Cinema, and Monday, May 22, at 6:15 p.m., at Landmark E Street Cinema; and Uncle Howard, a paean and an elegy to Aaron Brookner’s uncle and the film he made about his friend William S. Burroughs before his premature AIDS-related death, screening on Sunday, May 21, at 4:15 p.m., at Landmark Bethesda Row Cinema, and Monday, May 22, at 8:45 p.m., at Landmark E Street Cinema. Festival runs to Sunday, May 28. Tickets are $14.95 for regular screenings. Visit wjff.org.

STAGE

ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP
Aladdin and princess Adora must outsmart an evil wizard who wants the genie in the lamp for his own schemes. A production for all ages — but particularly children — directed by Roberta Gasbarre. The play is based on Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp by James Norris. Closes Sunday, May 21. Adventure Theatre MTC, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo. Call 301-634-2270 or visit adventuretheatre-mtc.org.

BUILDING THE WALL
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan (The Kentucky Cycle, All The Way) imagines a future where President Trump is able to persevere with his plans to barricade the southern U.S. border. Building The Wall focuses on a historian interviewing the supervisor of a private prison as he awaits sentencing for carrying out a policy that has escalated into a violent and chaotic mess, with millions of undocumented immigrants rounded up and detained in overflowing private prisons and makeshift incarceration camps. Michael Dove directs Forum Theatre’s production, part of a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere. Opens Thursday, May 18, at 8 p.m. To May 27. Silver Spring Black Box Theatre, 8641 Colesville Road. Call 301-588-8279 or visit forum-theatre.org.

HIR
Shana Cooper directs Taylor Mac’s audacious, uproarious black comedy billed as “a kitchen-sink drama covered in glitter.” The story focuses on an Iraqi war veteran who returns to his childhood home and discovers that his family has transformed, from a formerly timid mother out to subvert the patriarchy, to a sister who is now a genderqueer anarchist, to a father who now wears clown makeup. Emily Townley and Mitch Hebert are part of the cast. Previews start Wednesday, May 24, at 8 p.m. Runs to June 18. Woolly Mammoth, 641 D St. NW. Call 202-393-3939 or visit woollymammoth.net.

IN THE HEIGHTS
The U.S. Spanish-language premiere of Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first Broadway hit sizzles with the kind of urban energy you would expect from its setting in Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood. Performed in Spanish with English surtitles. Extended in a sold-out run to May 28. GALA Theatre, 3333 14th St. NW. Tickets are $40 to $60. Call 202-234-7174 or visit galatheatre.org.

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s rock opera about Jesus gets a “sleek, modern” makeover in a Signature Theatre production helmed by Joe Calarco and starring Nicholas Edwards. The cast includes Signature standouts Natascia Diaz as Mary, Sherri L. Edelen as King Herod, and Bobby Smith as Pontius Pilate. To July 2. Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit sigtheatre.org.

LAURA BUSH KILLED A GUY
Billed as a smart, surreal and surprising reexamination of the Bush years, upstart local theater collective Klunch offers a world premiere written by its artistic director Ian Allen. John Vreeke directs rising local actress Lisa Hodsoll in a one-woman show that imagines the former First Lady ruminating on killing a guy in 1963 and reminiscing about her Texas childhood and married life with George W. To June 4. Caos on F, 923 F St. NW. Tickets are $25 to $35. Call 202-215-6993 or visit theklunch.com.

MACBETH
The provocative Tony-nominated director Liesl Tommy (Eclipsed) helms a production of the Bard’s exploration of murderous ambition, fiendish equivocation, and a love of terrifying intimacy. Shakespeare Theatre Company regular Jesse J. Perez takes on the titular role alongside Nikkole Salter as Lady MacBeth. With Naomi Jacobson, Tim Getman and David Bishins. To May 28. Sidney Harman Hall, Harman Center for the Arts, 610 F St. NW. Call 202-547-1122 or visit shakespearetheatre.org.

MASTER CLASS
Ilona Dulaski stars in Terrence McNally’s love letter to opera great Maria Callas in a new production at Virginia’s MetroStage. Ayana Reed is the Second Soprano (Sharon), a role made famous by Audra McDonald, and Joseph Walsh plays Accompanist while serving as music director. Emily Honzel, Ayana Reed, Daniel Noone and Michael Sharp round out the cast. Nick Olcott directs. To June 11. MetroStage, 1201 North Royal St., Alexandria. Tickets are $55 to $60. Call 800-494-8497 or visit metrostage.org.

OUTSIDE MULLINGAR
Keegan Theatre harkens back to its Irish roots with a comedy by John Patrick Shanley that poses the question, is it ever too late to take a chance on love? The focus is on neighbors whose families have been squabbling for years over a patch of land in rural Ireland. Mark A. Rhea directs Rena Cherry Brown, Susan Marie Rhea, Brandon McCoy, and Kevin Adams. To May 28. Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church St. NW. Tickets are $35 to $45. Call 202-265-3768 or visit keegantheatre.com.

RAGTIME
★★★½
Ford’s Theatre’s new production, directed by Peter Flynn, shows the 20-year old, Tony-winning musical to be a capable workhorse that won’t necessarily set minds and hearts racing, but is sure to please. Flynn steers the titanic song machine towards an incisive, relevant interpretation, while contending with a book by playwright Terrence McNally that reduces E.L. Doctorow’s expansive novel to a CliffsNotes reading of an epic. Fortunately, Ragtime boasts some great songs by composer Stephen Flaherty and lyricist Lynn Ahrens. A large part of the success derives from the wonderful chemistry between Jonathan Atkinson’s silky-voiced immigrant artist Tateh and Tracy Lynn Olivera as Mother of a moneyed New Rochelle family. Backing up the performances, every aspect of stagecraft — from the lighting and sound design to the hair and makeup — resonates as soundly as the subject matter. Wade Laboissonniere’s costumes are especially ravishing, and do a fantastic job of identifying each character with their respective tribe and milieu — a quality beautifully complemented by Michael Bobbitt’s peppy choreography. Closes Saturday, May 20. Ford’s Theatre, 511 10th St. NW. Call 800-982-2787 or visit fords.org. (AH)

SMART PEOPLE
★★
Thoroughly over-egging the batter, Lydia R. Diamond’s Smart People is too much of a good thing. If the premise — the throwing of a highly-educated mix of races and genders into one another’s romantic paths — has potential, the execution does not. Written as a series of vignettes building to a contrived PC pseudo-crisis (at least for the two males), the play is an inch deep and a mile wide. Put simply, these characters don’t interact, they merely trigger one another into endless spirals of heavy-handed socio-gender-racial self-analysis and accusation. If there is the odd subtle moment in which perceptions are interestingly addressed, there are far more in which the messaging is scrawled in primary colors (pun fully intended). It’s the kind of PC cudgeling that makes two hours of Vin Diesel’s xXx: Return of Xander Cage, with its multi-cultural assassin brigade, look liked blessed relief. To May 21. Kreeger Theater in the Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Call 202-488-3300 or visit arenastage.org. (Kate Wingfield)

THE ARABIAN NIGHTS
Ten years ago, Constellation Theatre Company launched its first season with a production of Mary Zimmerman’s entrancing adaptation of The Arabian Nights. Now, Founding Artistic Director Allison Arkell Stockman closes out the 10th anniversary season by revisiting the company’s roots and reimagining the show, once again with live music by Tom Teasley. Veronica del Cerro leads the ensemble as famed storyteller Scheherazade. To June 4. Source, 1835 14th St. NW. Tickets $20 to $45. Call 202-204-7741 or visit constellationtheatre.org.

THE FATHER
Ted Van Griethuysen stars as an 80-year-old man whose world starts unraveling in an original and moving play from Florian Zeller, one of France’s most prolific contemporary playwrights, translated by two-time Tony Award winner Christopher Hampton. The Father won a Moliere Award, the French equivalent of the Tony, in 2014. Kate Eastwood Norris, Caroline Dubberly, Erika Rose, Manny Buckley, and Daniel Harray also star. David Muse directs. To June 18. Studio Theatre, 14th & P Streets NW. Call 202-332-3300 or visit studiotheatre.org.

THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME
Synetic Theater’s Founding Artistic Director Paata Tsikurishvili brings his mind-bending, cinematic style to Victor Hugo’s gothic, heartbreaking epic — relayed, like many Synetic productions, in wordless fashion, stripped of Hugo’s dialogue. Vato Tsikurishvili is Quasimodo, Phillip Fletcher is Frollo, and Irina Kavsadze is Esmeralda. In previews. To June 11. Synetic Theater, 1800 South Bell St., Arlington. Tickets are $35 to $60. Call 800-494-8497 or visit synetictheater.org.

THE TEMPEST
Maryland’s Port Tobacco Players offers a community theater production of Shakespeare’s final work, adding gender-swapping to put women in a place of power and give the show a different, increasingly relevant feel. Rachel Wallace stepped up to direct the romantic comedy, full of magic, music and mayhem, in memory of Jim Kleyle, who died a month after being selected for the task. Closes Sunday, May 21. Port Tobacco Players, 508 Charles St., La Plata, Md. Tickets are $15 to $18. Call 301-932-6819 or visit ptplayers.com.

TIMON OF ATHENS
Sparing no expense on lavish parties, expensive gifts and charity, the abundantly generous Timon suffers a downturn of fortune and friendship in Shakespeare’s tragic satire. Director Robert Richmond sets the action in modern times, where technology has taken over and high finance takes place online. Ian Merrill Peakes stars in the final production of Folger Theatre’s 25th anniversary season. To June 11. Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $35 to $75. Call 202-544-7077 or visit folger.edu.

ULYSSES ON BOTTLES
The culmination of its second season, Mosaic Theater Company presents the 2017 Voices From a Changing Middle East Festival in the 50th year since the Six Day War and the start of the Occupation. The festival launches with Israeli playwright Gilad Evron’s poetic and poignant allegory about an Israeli-Arab ex-teacher’s attempts to sail into Gaza on a raft made of plastic bottles. Serge Seiden directs Michael Kevin Darnall as Ulysses, an anonymous schoolteacher locked in an Israeli prison for a fanciful attempt to smuggle Russian literature to the children of Gaza, and Matthew Boston as an attorney assigned to defend him. Sarah Marshall, Elizabeth Pierotti and Chris Genebach round out the ensemble cast of Ulysses on Bottles, as translated by Evan Fallenberg. Pay-What-You-Can Preview is Thursday, May 18, at 8 p.m. Opens Monday, May 22, at 7:30 p.m. To June 11. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $20 to $60. Call 202-399-7993 or visit mosaictheater.org.

MUSIC

AMERICAN YOUTH PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
Talented young musicians from the organization’s competitive Chamber Ensemble Program perform at the Kennedy Center under the guidance of the Ensemble da Camera of Washington, the AYPO ensemble-in-residence. Clarinetist Claire Eichhorn, pianist Anna Balakerskaia and, violinist/violist Ricardo Cyncynates coach each group of students and lead public master classes throughout the season. Monday, May 22, at 6 p.m. Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. Free. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

AUDRA MCDONALD
Already showered with more Tonys than any other actress in Broadway history — and she’s only 46! — McDonald comes to Strathmore to show off the range of productions she’s been in, from The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess to Ragtime to Master Class to, most recently, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, the Billie Holiday tribute she’ll revive in London’s West End this summer. Also known from her work on TV, principally as a lead character on ABC’s Private Practice, McDonald long ago adopted a Twitter handle that reflects her staunch support for marriage equality — @AudraEqualityMC. “Certainly, I’m a child, a product of what came because of civil rights,” she told Metro Weekly. “Without civil rights I certainly wouldn’t have been able to do half the things I’ve done. And so I feel it’s just my duty to do whatever I can to help push it along to get marriage equality for everybody.” Friday, May 26, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $45 to $105. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.

BON IVER
Bon Iver has always sounded like the soundtrack to a northern winter. The band, the brainchild of Justin Vernon, invokes cold, quiet expanses and snowbound wilderness. In a sea of talented folk artists, Vernon’s falsetto stands out as distinct, packed with emotion and uniquely affecting. Bon Iver’s sighing, haunting songs have long been treated as perfect background music, the sort you might listen to while studying, or hear playing at an inoffensive volume in a half-crowded Starbucks. But there has always been a colder, darker element as well, a starkness that reflects the project’s origins in a snowed-in cabin. Bon Iver’s songs are known to return frequently to themes of loneliness and heartbreak, and on their third full-length album, last year’s 22, A Million, Vernon takes those nagging feelings and brings them forward, giving us all of the chill and very little softness or comfort. Wednesday, May 24, at 8 p.m. Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Md. Tickets are $46 to $75. Call 800-551-SEAT or visit merriweathermusic.com. (Sean Maunier)

FIFTH HARMONY
Dubbed “America’s most popular girl group” by Rolling Stone, the former X Factor contestants come to Wolf Trap to perform from their catchy repertoire of hits including “Work From Home,” “Worth It” and “That’s My Girl.” Saturday, May 27, at 8 p.m. The Filene Center at Wolf Trap, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $35 to $65. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit wolftrap.org.

LENA SEIKALY
A former Strathmore Artist-in-Residence, the local alto singer has won lots of praise in the past few years, with Duke Ellington’s biographer John Hasse touting her as “a major league young talent in jazz.” She returns with her band to D.C.’s top jazz club for another tribute to the “First Lady of Song,” aka Ella Fitzgerald. Tuesday, May 23, at 8 and 10 p.m. Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Tickets are $22, plus $12 minimum purchase. Call 202-337-4141 or visit bluesalley.com.

LP
With shades of Gwen Stefani, this lesbian singer/songwriter to Rihanna and Christina Aguilera has been generating long-overdue buzz of her own with her most recent two albums and prominent play on Orange Is The New Black. The 9:30 Club presents an intimate concert with opening acts Josiah and the Bonnevilles and Lauren Ruth Ward. Sunday, May 28, at 6 p.m. U Street Music Hall, 1115A U St. NW. Tickets are $15. Call 202-588-1880 or visit ustreetmusichall.com.

NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT
Now in its 28th year, this concert on the U.S. Capitol grounds, airing live on PBS, features the National Symphony Orchestra led by Jack Everly performing patriotic classics. Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds) and Gary Sinise (CSI: New York) co-host for the 12th year, and Colin L. Powell also returns for a special tribute to our men and women in uniform. Other featured performers this year include Laurence Fishburne, Renee Fleming, Vanessa Williams, Auli’i Cravalho, Scotty McCreery, Five for Fighting, John Ortiz, Christopher Jackson, Ana Ortiz, Ronan Tynan and Russell Watson. Sunday, May 29, at 8 p.m. U.S. Capitol Building, West Lawn. Free. Call 202-467-4600 or visit pbs.org/memorialdayconcert.

NATIONAL PHILHARMONIC
Piotr Gajewski leads the orchestra, the National Philharmonic Chorale, the Strathmore Children’s Chorus and soloists in Carl Orff’s rousing masterpiece Carmina Burana featuring one of the most versatile musical pieces in the entire Western canon. You know the one, the opening section “O Fortuna,” which has been the soundtrack for movies, ads, video games and sports and other social events. Saturday, May 20, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $48 to $86. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.

PREAKNESS INFIELDFEST: SAM HUNT, ZEDD
Before the 142nd running of the Preakness Stakes comes music, this year headlined by one of Nashville’s newest superstars, Sam Hunt, and young German electronic-dance music producer Zedd on the Mug Stage. The smaller DeKuyper Stage will feature Baltimore’s own Good Charlotte and the Nashville duos Locash and High Valley. Saturday, May 20. Starting at 7 a.m. Pimlico Race Course, 5201 Park Heights Ave., Baltimore. Tickets are $100 in advance, or $110 day-of, or $155 for access to new The Mug & Vine Lounge with separate bar, private restrooms and picnic lounge. Call 877-206-8042 or visit preakness.com.

SIMONE BARON
As part of its 2017 Artist-in-Residence mentoring program, Strathmore offers solo concerts of its up-and-coming artists. Next up is a hybrid jazz/classical vocalist and accordion player who is reimagining the possibilities of her instrument and collaborating with everyone from dancers to puppeteers to visual artists. Baron currently performs in a chamber/jazz ensemble with fellow Strathmore AIR participant Ethan Foote. Wednesday, May 24, at 7:30 p.m. The Mansion at Strathmore, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Tickets are $17. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.

DANCE

CHOREOGRAPHIC INSTITUTE DANCE LOFT ON 14
Artistic Director Vladimir Angelov and Operations Director Diana Movius, co-founders of Dance Loft on 14, end the venue’s inaugural year with a thesis dance concert of four world premiers from 2016-2017 choreographers Nancy Flores-Tirado (Apotheotik), Therese Gahl (Spectra), Shira Klinger (Dis)(onnect) and Asami Seki (Bare Soul) featuring 30 professional and local performers. The first performance on Saturday, May 20, at 6 p.m., is followed by a short graduation ceremony and reception for the “Icon Smart” Class of 2017. Also Sunday, May 21, at 7 p.m. Dance Loft on 14 Theater, 4618 14th St. NW 2nd Floor. Tickets are $15 to $20. Call 202-621-3670 or visit danceloft14.org.

EIKO OTAKE
A Body in Places incorporates both performative and non-performative elements as it explores non-traditional venues and responds to the innate characteristics of each specific place. At the core of each variant is Otake alone on a colorful futon, projecting and exploring solitude, gaze, fragility and intimacy. A MacArthur Genius Grant winner with her performance partner Takashi Koma Otake, the New York-based Japanese artist comes to D.C. via Dance Place to perform her solo work twice outside. Saturday, May 20, at 11 a.m. Farmer’s Market on the Arts Walk at Monroe Street Market, 716 Monroe St. NE. Also Saturday, May 20, at 7 p.m. 3225 8th St. NE, concluding in Dance Place’s Cafritz Foundation Theater, followed by “A Body in Fukushima” lecture and photo demonstration. Free. Call 202-269-1600 or visit danceplace.org.

FRONTIER
The Washington Ballet premieres a commission by choreographer Ethan Stiefel, featuring music by Adam Crystal performed by the Washington Ballet Orchestra conducted by Martin West. Inspired by President John F. Kennedy and his aspirations for America to be a leader of artistic, cultural and intellectual excellence, Stiefel’s work is performed as part of a JFK Centennial Celebration program also including works by Antony Tudor and Sir Frederick Ashton. Thursday, May 25, and Friday, May 26, at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, May 27, at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $25 to $140. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

JANE FRANKLIN DANCE
Named in honor of its late board president, the Charlotte Hollister Annual Gala is the spring fundraiser for this suburban Virginia-based company featuring performances by company dancers with live original music by guitarist and banjoist Mark Sylvester. Includes silent auction, light supper and wine tasting. Sunday, May 21, at 6 p.m. Arlington Arts Center, 3550 Wilson Blvd. Tickets are $70 through Saturday, May 20, $80 at the door, or $100 for VIP including first access to Silent Auction. Call 703-933-1111 or visit janefranklin.com.

COMEDY

UPRIGHT CITIZENS BRIGADE
Like the funniest extroverts at the party, the improv troupe Upright Citizens Brigade, from New York and Los Angeles, riffs on D.C. and audience-members alike. The brigade has many famous alumni, including Amy Poehler and Ed Helms. Sunday, May 21, at 7 p.m. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $20 in advance, or $25 day-of show. Call 202-408-3100 or visit sixthandi.org.

READING & DISCUSSION

JEFFREY GOLDBERG, ABDULLAH ANTEPLI
“Jews and Muslims in America: Political Challenges and Moral Opportunities” is this year’s focus at Sixth and I through its annual offering “The Ten: An Alternative Shavuot Experience.” Atlantic Editor-in-Chief Jeffrey Goldberg and Imam Abdullah Antepli discuss Jewish-Muslim relationships today and consider new solutions to difficult topics while studying ancient texts together. Monday, May 22, at 6:30 p.m. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $15 in advance, or $18 day-of event. Call 202-408-3100 or visit sixthandi.org.

PETER DORAN
Breaking Rockefeller is an incredible tale of how ambitious oil rivals Marcus Samuel, Jr., and Henri Deterding joined forces to topple the Standard Oil empire in the late 19th Century. Doran, a vice president for research at the Center for European Policy Analysis in Washington, is also responsible for the “History of Oil” podcast. Tuesday, May 23, at 6:30 p.m. Kramerbooks, 1517 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-387-1400 or visit kramers.com.

RICHARD DAWKINS
World-renowned evolutionary biologist and bestselling author discusses science, secularism and current events in this Center for Inquiry presented conversation with fellow evolutionary biologist and author Jerry Coyne. Wednesday, May 27, at 7 p.m. GW Lisner, The George Washington University, 730 21st St. NW. Tickets are $29. Call 202-994-6851 or visit lisner.org.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG
A rare opportunity to catch the comedy and acting legend in an intimate setting for her thought-provoking commentary including a Q&A with the audience. From The Color Purple and Ghost to The View today, Goldberg has shown her versatility as an actress, comedian and talk show host and is part of the elite group of artists who have won Grammy, Oscar, Golden Globe, Emmy and Tony Awards. Saturday, May 27, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $65 to $130. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.

EXHIBITS

AN AMERICAN DIPLOMAT IN 1820S RUSSIA
Friends and Fashion paints a captivating picture of diplomatic life in early 19th century St. Petersburg, based on an album of watercolors assembled by the family of politician and statesman Henry Middleton. The collection was acquired by Hillwood in 2004 and conserved in 2015, but this marks the first time the fascinating set is presented in its entirety. To June 11. Hillwood Estate, 4155 Linnean Ave. NW. Suggested donation is $12. Call 202-686-5807 or visit HillwoodMuseum.org.

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. Closes Monday, May 22. Kennedy Center Hall of Nations. Free. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

KHANH LE: WHILE WE WAIT
Cultural DC presents works by a D.C. interdisciplinary artist motivated by Syrian refugees and immigration issues to develop a mixed-media photography series reflecting on his personal experiences waiting with his Vietnamese family for permission to immigrate to the U.S. in the late ’80s. The resulting works are a mix of abstract and identity-based art. On display through June 3. Flashpoint [Gallery], 916 G St. NW. Tickets are free. Call 202-315-1310 or visit flashpointdc.org. An Artist Talk will be held on Sunday, May 21, at 1:30 p.m., on the Third Floor of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th and F Streets NW.

MARCIA COPPEL: CONNECT/DISCONNECT 2
A former speech pathologist, Coppel was inspired for her new series of paintings by a sign she saw at an outdoor cafe in Mexico, “Talk to Each Other. We don’t have Wi-Fi.” Some of the whimsical, colorful works in the show feature people talking to each other in cafes and at the beach, others are in their own worlds, floating in the air as well as sitting under umbrellas, and some are seated in a group with no interaction. Meet the Artist event Saturday, May 20, from 1 to 3 p.m. On exhibit through May 28. Gallery B in Touchstone Gallery, 901 New York Ave. NW Call 202-347-2787 or visit touchstonegallery.com.

MARTI JONES DIXON: VALLEY OF THE DOLLS
Though she never became a major star, Dixon was signed to two different major labels, A&M and RCA, in the ’80s. She has long since returned to her first love: visual art. Miss Pixie’s — the quirky 14th Street vintage furniture store — presents a new series by Dixon, inspired by Jacqueline Susann’s 1966 bestseller and the cult film it spawned a year later. On display through May 31. Miss Pixie’s, 1626 14th St. NW. Call 202-232-8171 or visit misspixies.com.

ONE LIFE: BABE RUTH
The National Portrait Gallery presents the first exhibition in its “One Life” series devoted to a baseball star. Featuring more than 30 objects, including prints and photographs of Ruth in addition to personal memorabilia and selected artifacts of advertising that he endorsed, this exhibition looks at the legend of Babe Ruth and his legacy as one of the first sports superstars to become a marketable brand all to himself. Closes Sunday, May 21. National Portrait Gallery, 8th and F Streets. NW. Call 202-633-8300 or visit npg.si.edu.

YUMMM! THE HISTORY, FANTASY AND FUTURE OF FOOD
One of the quirkiest museums around celebrates its 21st birthday with a playful visual feast featuring works by 34 artists focused on humankind’s relationship with food. Food-centric paintings, sculptures, embroideries, installations, and films are part of this exploration of the serious creative vision needed to reinvent how a planet of an estimated 9.6 billion people will eat in the year 2050. Runs to Sept. 3, 2017. American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Highway. Baltimore. Tickets are $15.95. Call 410-244-1900 or visit avam.org.

FOOD AND DRINK

NOPA KITCHEN+BAR: $70 WEEKEND DINNER FOR TWO MENU
Across from the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Penn Quarter, this 160-seat American brasserie, part of the same family as Rasika, Bibiana and the Oval Room, should already be on your shortlist for brunch. On Sundays between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., each diner can choose between an appetizer and entree or sandwich, as well as a special mimosa or bloody Mary, for $28 to $30 each (or $38 with bottomless classic mimosas). Now Executive Chef Matt Kuhn is working to get Nopa on your radar earlier in the weekend as well, with a new dinner menu focused on composed dishes designed for couples, whether lovers or close friends, reasonably priced at $70 for two, before tax and tip. Though the menu changes weekly, regular options include: Nopa Spring Mixed Grill, with bites of quail, fennel sausage, ribeye, red prawns and grilled asparagus, plus garlic custard and ramp salsa verde; Crispy Chesapeake Soft Shell Crabs, three jumbo crustaceans served with Old Bay sweet corn and crab succotash, smoked new potatoes and pickled ramps; and the standout Maine Lobster Bake, a whole lobster with Old Bay-seasoned kielbasa, local clams and red prawns, and sides of roasted sweet corn, pee-wee potatoes and “smoked tomato butter.” Available exclusively on Fridays and Saturdays during dinner service, 5 to 11 p.m., subject to availability. Nopa Kitchen+Bar, 800 F St. NW. Call 202-347-4667 or visit nopadc.com.

ABOVE & BEYOND

NORTHERN VIRGINIA FINE ARTS FESTIVAL
More than 200 artists from around the nation will take part in this 26th annual event drawing over 30,000 people and organized by the Greater Reston Arts Center. In addition to artworks in a variety of media, from painting to photography to jewelry, the festival also includes performances and family art-making activities. Saturday, May 20, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, May 21, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Reston Town Center, 11900 Market St. Reston. Suggested donation of $5 provides festival program with dining certificates inside. Call 703-471-9242 or visit restonarts.org.

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