Metro Weekly

Out on the Town: D.C. Arts and Entertainment — February 8-14

Everything arts and entertainment this week in D.C. and beyond!

A Fantastic Woman

FILM

A FANTASTIC WOMAN

In the funny, suspenseful, intense, and truthful A Fantastic Woman, unassuming waitress Marina finds herself dealing with a nightmare of a situation: Wrapping up her deceased lover’s final affairs and confronting his family and associates all without any legal proof of her relationship to the man. And her predicament is made exponentially harder by the fact that she’s transgender. Portrayed by magnetic trans actress Daniela Vega, Marina must fight as much for her right to exist as for her right to the life she shared with her dead lover, Orlando (Francisco Reyes). Chilean director Sebastián Lelio’s film, nominated in the Best Foreign Language Film category at this Oscar’s, which came in at No. 6 on Metro Weekly‘s list of 2017’s Best Films, and builds organically to a catharsis of anger and honesty that will have audiences cheering for Marina. Opens Friday, Feb. 9. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (Andre Hereford)

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME

Eighth on Metro Weekly’s Best of 2017 list, director Luca Guadagnino’s sumptuous Italian love story would be exceptional just for the electric connection that Oscar-nominated star Timothée Chalamet establishes with every member of the cast he meets, particularly his love interest, played by Armie Hammer. What really sets the film apart is the design, care, and craft employed to create a world so fertile with hope and knowledge that an audience can trust that even pain will bear the fruit of wisdom. It’s a beautiful trip to a lazy ’80s summer of long afternoon lunches and hot evening swims, where mom and dad encourage a kid to seize the day. Nominated for four Oscars including Best Picture and Best Actor for Chalamet, who absolutely seizes his moment at the head of this year’s class of breakout acts. Now playing. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (AH)

FIFTY SHADES FREED

Another Valentine’s Day means more BDSM-lite on the big screen, with the third and final installment in the trilogy based on E.L. James’s popular series of books, Fifty Shades of Grey. Nearly everyone returns, from director James Foley to stars Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, now playing newlyweds adjusting not only to married life but also to dom Christian Grey’s wealthy lifestyle and controlling nature. Marcia Gay Harden, Rita Ora, Luke Grimes, and Victor Rasuk also return. Opens Friday, Feb. 10. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com.

FOXTROT

The Washington Jewish Film Festival presents the latest critical reflection on military culture from Israeli filmmaker Samuel Maoz. Foxtrot examines both the strength and the absurdity of military service from multiple points of view, and relates a terrible tragedy at its heart with many moments of mordant humor, irony, and sincere emotional connection, in addition to beautiful cinematography. Tuesday, Feb. 13, at 7:30 p.m. The Aaron and Cecile Goodman Theater, 1529 16th St. NW. Tickets are $13.50 for each film. Call 202-777-3247 or visit wjff.org.

LA BOHEME, WITH LIVE MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT

This year’s Valentine’s Day-themed offering in Atlas’ “Silent Film Series” charts the same famous fraught bohemian love story between an avant-garde writer and a poor seamstress that fueled both Giacomo Puccini’s 1896 opera and, exactly 100 years later, Jonathan Larson’s hit Broadway musical Rent. King Vidor’s 1926 film features two silent era stars: John Gilbert as Rudolphe and Lillian Gish as Mimi. Composer and pianist Andrew Earle Simpson, also a music professor at Catholic University, performs an original score composed for the silent romance. Sunday, Feb. 11, at 4 p.m. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $18 to $20. Call 202-399-7993 or visit atlasarts.org.

LAWRENCE OF ARABIA

The Library of Congress continues its tribute to Columbia Pictures’ centennial year by screening classics from its repertoire. Few were as successful or as grand in scope as David Lean’s nearly four-hour epic from 1962, which garnered seven Oscars, including best picture, director, cinematography, and score. Based on the exploits of T. E. Lawrence during World War I leading the Arab revolt against the Turks, Peter O’Toole plays the title role with a supporting cast including Omar Sharif, Anthony Quinn, and Alec Guiness. Saturday, Feb. 10, at 7:30 p.m. Packard Campus Theater, 19053 Mount Pony Rd. Culpeper, Va. Free, first-come, first served. Call 202-707-9994 or visit loc.gov/avconservation.

OSCAR NOMINATED SHORT FILMS 2018: ANIMATION

Landmark Theatres once again shows all the shorts in contention at the upcoming 90th Academy Awards, grouped into categories. Among the five animated nominees, probably the most widely known is Dave Mullins’ Pixar-produced Lou: This six-minute work, about a kindergarten’s mysterious lost and found box, screened last summer alongside Cars 3. A second American entry is Glen Keane’s Dear Basketball, an ode to the game written and narrated by retired hoopster Kobe Bryant, with music by John Williams. France is also represented twice, with Garden Party, a work by the Illogic Collective of animators following a couple of amphibians wandering around a deserted house, and Negative Space, Ru Kuwahata and Max Porter’s nostalgic look at a complicated relationship between a father and son. The fifth and final nominee is Revolting Rhymes, a two-episode, 28-minute film by Jakob Schuh and Jan Lachauer featuring famed fantasy writer Roald Dahl’s reinterpretations and parodies of five classic fairy tales, as narrated by Dominic West. At Landmark, three additional films that didn’t get a nod will be screened: Lost Property Office from Australia, Weeds from America, and Achoo from Canada. Opens Friday, Feb. 9. Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672 or visit landmarktheatres.com.

OSCAR NOMINATED SHORT FILMS 2018: LIVE ACTION

The U.S. accounts for two nominations in this year’s live action nominees, the documentaries DeKalb Elementary by Reed Van Dyk and My Nephew Emmett by Kevin Wilson, Jr. Also up for top honor and screening as part of a special program at Landmark’s E Street Cinema: The Silent Child by Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton and from the UK, The Eleven O’Clock by Derin Seale and Josh Lawson from Australia, and Watu Wrote/All of Us by Katja Benrath and Tobias Rosen of Germany. Opens Friday, Feb. 9. 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672 or visit landmarktheatres.com.

TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT

Lauren Bacall was only 19 when she was plucked from the fashion world to make her auspicious film debut in this 1944 wartime romance by Howard Hawks. A fitting Valentine’s Day offering, To Have and Have Not is regarded as the film in which a sultry, alluring Bacall not only seduced her future husband, co-star Humphrey Bogart, but the rest of America as well. Jules Furthman and William Faulkner strayed far beyond Ernest Hemingway’s original novel in adapting a screenplay to drastically boost Bacall’s role and frame the tale as a love story — bolstered by the real-life romance and natural chemistry of its leads. Part of the weekly Landmark Capital Classics series. Screens Wednesday, Feb. 14, at 1:30, 4:30, and 7:30 p.m., at the West End Cinema, 2301 M St. NW. Happy hour from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 to $12.50. Call 202-534-1907 or visit landmarktheatres.com.

PETER RABBIT

James Corden is the voice of the animated bunny who faces off against his nemeses, the anti-bunny, cantankerous father-and-son duo the McGregors — brought to life by Sam Neill and Domhnall Gleeson in Will Gluck’s animated action comedy based on Beatrix Potter’s classic tale. In the film, the opposing forces compete to curry favor with Bea, Rose Byrne’s animal lover next door. Daisy Ridley, Margot Robbie, Elizabeth Debicki, and Matt Lucas voice other members of Rabbit’s family, with Sia as the hedgehog Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle. Opens Friday, Feb. 9. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com.

Handbagged — Photo: Kaley Etzkorn

STAGE

4,380 NIGHTS

Playwright Annalisa Dias offers a critique of power, humanity, and what it means to be an American in her examination of the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center and our post 9/11 world. The title refers to the length of time — translating to a deplorable 12 years — that Malik Djamal Ahmad Essaid has been held without charge at Guantanamo, in a play that explores the effects of his detention. Kathleen Akerley directs Ahmad Kamal as El Kaim, plus Michael John Casey, Rex Daugherty, and Lynette Rathnam in this Signature Theatre production. To Feb. 18. Ark Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit sigtheatre.org.

#LAFOTO: A SELFIE AFFAIR

Two families are changed forever when a selfie is sent to one person but shared by another in Gustavo Ott’s timely play, in a world-premiere production by GALA Hispanic Theatre. Performed in Spanish with English surtitles projected above the stage. Abel Lopez directs a cast including Luz Nicolas, Carlos Castillo, Karen Morales, Jose Gonzalez, Samantha Rios, and Maria Peyramaure. To Feb. 28. GALA Theatre at Tivoli Square, 3333 14th St. NW. Tickets are $30 to $45. Call 202-234-7174 or visit galatheatre.org.

CABARET RISING: ONE NATION UNDER GROUND

Partly inspired by New York’s Sleep No More and nurtured via earlier works at Capital Fringe, TBD’s variation on devised, participatory immersive theater involves audience members choosing an alliance, exploring and uncovering puzzles, and impacting the plot in a co-created storyline with mainstage cabaret performers. After a premiere production last fall at the Blind Whino SW Arts Club supported by CulturalDC, TBD and its Artistic Director and Creator Strother Gaines offers another production with exaggerated overtones of real-life politics today. This time around, the basis for the show is that the democratic resistance is under siege and has retreated to the Dupont Underground — which is less of a safe haven than expected, with grifters and ghosts lurking about. Who will lead the movement to safety above ground — and the show to a satisfying end? This isn’t theater as usual. Opens Friday, Feb. 9. To March 11. 1500 19th St. NW. Tickets are $55 to $75. Visit tbdimmersive.com.

CABARET RISING: ONE NATION UNDER GROUND

Partly inspired by New York’s Sleep No More and nurtured via earlier works at Capital Fringe, TBD’s variation on devised, participatory immersive theater involves audience members choosing an alliance, exploring and uncovering puzzles, and impacting the plot in a co-created storyline with mainstage cabaret performers. After a premiere production last fall at the Blind Whino SW Arts Club supported by CulturalDC, TBD and its Artistic Director and Creator Strother Gaines offers another production with exaggerated overtones of real-life politics today. This time around, the basis for the show is that the democratic resistance is under siege and has retreated to the Dupont Underground — which is less of a safe haven than expected, with grifters and ghosts lurking about. Who will lead the movement to safety above ground — and the show to a satisfying end? This isn’t theater as usual. Opens Friday, Feb. 9. To March 11. 1500 19th St. NW. Tickets are $55 to $75. Visit tbdimmersive.com.

CHARACTER BUILDING

Martin Blank has adapted talks that Booker T. Washington gave his students at Tuskegee University, sharing his wisdom for people of any age or race about how to have a productive life. The founding artistic director of Theater J, Blank now leads the American Ensemble Theater, which produces this one-man show starring Greg Burgess as Washington, with accompaniment by pianist and music director Scott Farquhar, both of the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company. A tribute to Black History Month, the production doubles as a benefit for the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop and its tuition assistance program for low-income and homeless children to make art. Saturdays, Feb. 10, Feb. 17, and Feb. 24, at 1 p.m. CHAW, 545 7th St. SE. Tickets are Pay-What-You-Will. Call 202-547-6839 or visit americanensemble.org.

CHESS

To balance out the steady stream of national touring productions in its current season, the Kennedy Center has launched Broadway Center Stage. A few noteworthy musicals will be presented in a semi-staged concert format and with short runs of less than a week. First out of the gate is a new production of the complex rock opera that Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson first developed, with lyricist/writer Tim Rice, in 1984 — more than a decade before the men from ABBA latched on to the far simpler and more successful idea of creating the jukebox joint Mamma Mia! Broadway star Raúl Esparza (Company) plays American chess champion Freddie and Ramin Karimloo (Anastasia) is his rival Russian grandmaster Anatoly Sergievsky in a production helmed by Tony Award-winning director Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening) — and with a new book by Hollywood scribe Danny Strong (The Butler) that significantly revamps Rice’s problematic original. The incredible Tony-winning actress Karen Olivo (West Side Story) completes the Cold War drama’s love triangle as Florence, a Hungarian refugee torn between the two men as they prepare for the tournament of their lives. The large cast also includes another Tony winner, Ruthie Ann Miles (The King and I), plus Bradley Dean, Sean Allan Krill, and Bryce Pinkham in supporting roles. Opens Wednesday, Feb. 14. To Feb. 18. Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $69 to $199. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

FAMILIAR

Two years after it had an extended run Off Broadway, this timely play about immigration and assimilation from Tony-nominated Danai Gurira (Eclipsed) gets renewed attention via Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and the Women’s Voices Theater Festival. Theater J’s Adam Immerwahr, a longtime collaborator of Gurira’s, helms a new production starring Kim Sullivan and Inga Ballard as Zimbabwean immigrants in Minnesota preparing for the wedding of their eldest American-born daughter (Shannon Dorsey). Now to March 4. 641 D St. NW. Call 202-393-3939 or visit woollymammoth.net.

HAMLET

Hamlet is a monumental role for any actor, and a few years after personifying Barbra Streisand in the one-man tour-de-force Buyer & Cellar, Michael Urie returns to the Shakespeare Theatre Company to take on the troubled Danish prince, one of the hallmarks of Western literature. If anyone knows Urie is up to such a serious, dramatic challenge, it’s Michael Kahn, who directs his former Juilliard student in a production that includes Robert Joy, Madeleine Potter, Keith Baxter, and Oyin Oladejo as Ophelia. Extended to March 4. Harman Hall, 610 F St. NW. Call 202-547-1122 or visit shakespearetheatre.org.

HANDBAGGED

Playwright Moira Buffini imagines what might have been said during Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s private meetings in an Olivier Award-winning British comedy now making its American premiere. The show’s original director Indhu Rubasingham has crossed the pond for a Round House Theatre production that comes as the Maryland company’s contribution to the Women’s Voices Theater Festival. Kate Fahy, Jennifer Mendenhall, Beth Hylton, and Susan Lynskey portray older and younger versions of the incredibly powerful women who had, to say the least, a complicated relationship. Meanwhile, Cody LeRoy Wilson and John Lescault take on various minimal supporting roles as the men in their lives. Extended to March 3. 4545 East-West Highway, Bethesda. Call 240-644-1100 or visit roundhousetheatre.org.

I HATE HAMLET

Paul Rudnick is best known for penning the notable early “comedy about AIDS” Jeffrey. But two years prior, Rudnick wrote a comedy in which regular nightly visits from the drunken ghost of John Barrymore only adds to the pressure a young TV actor feels from everyone else to play the role he dreads more than any other. Leading a six-person cast of volunteers is Thomas Bowers and Thom Eric Sinn, sparring as the two very different actors in a sendup of art, culture, and the acting profession. Opens Friday, Feb. 9. To March 4. Spotlighters Theatre, 817 St. Paul St., Baltimore. Tickets are $20 to $22. Call 410-752-1225 or visit spotlighters.org.

IMOGEN

An adaptation of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline by local artist Charlie Marie McGrath, Imogen is noteworthy as one of the first productions of the second Women’s Voices Theater Festival. McGrath, a directing fellow at the Shakespeare Theatre Company, has reimagined Shakespeare’s original adventure with Princess Imogen examining her expectations when the fairytale strays from the tried and true. Also, because it’s from Pointless Theatre Company, you can expect puppets. Closes Sunday, Feb. 11. Dance Loft on 14 Theater, 4618 14th St. NW, 2nd Floor. Tickets are $30. Call 202-621-3670 or visit pointlesstheatre.com.

IN SEARCH OF MY FATHER…WALKIN’ TALKIN’ BILL HAWKINS

A one-man show tracing a bittersweet journey of self-discovery, writer/performer W. Allen Taylor portrays a wide-range of colorful characters in addition to sharing personal stories and memories. As it happens, the father he never got the chance to know was the first black DJ in Cleveland. Director Ellen Sebastian Chang helped the Bay Area-based Taylor hone a show that pays posthumous tribute to his father by celebrating the rich cultural legacy of black radio, with inclusion of standout tracks from his father’s era. Taylor, who has performed the work all over for more than a decade now, brings it to D.C. for a run presented by the Atlas Performing Arts Center. Closes Saturday, Feb. 10. Lab Theatre II, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $20 to $35. Call 202-399-7993 or visit atlasarts.org.

LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S BAR & GRILL

Virginia’s Creative Cauldron is the latest company to put its spin on one of today’s most popularly produced shows, a celebration of one of the greatest jazz singers of all time. Matt Conner directs Helen Hayes Award winner Iyona Blake (Caroline, or Change) in Lanie Robertson’s play with music recreating one of Billie Holiday’s final performances, four months before her death. Mark Meadows accompanies Blake as Holiday’s pianist. In previews. Opens Saturday, Feb. 10. To March 4. ArtSpace Falls Church, 410 South Maple Ave. in Falls Church. Tickets are $20 to $30. Call 703-436-9948 or visit creativecauldron.org.

LIGHT YEARS

Robbie Schaefer of folk band Eddie from Ohio premieres a deeply personal tale about immigration, music, and an unshakable bond between father and son, through thick and thin. Eric Schaeffer directs the new musical featuring music, lyrics, and book by the musician, who also stars as himself, with assist from Signature Theatre standouts Bobby Smith, Natascia Diaz, Luke Smith, John Sygar, and Kara-Tameika Watkins. Opens Wednesday, Feb. 14. To March 4. Signature Theatre’s Max Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit sigtheatre.org.

LOVE IS A BLUE TICK HOUND

Subtitled And Other Remedies for the Common Ache, this collection of 20-minute, one-act plays by local playwright Audrey Cefaly, offers four intimate duets bearing witness to all the many facets of love. Starring Lee Conderacci, Tatania Nya Ford, Donna Ibale, Lauren Jackson, Justin Johnson, Carolyn Koch, Betse Lyons, and Mike Smith. Opens Friday, Feb. 9. To Feb. 17. Trinidad Theatre at Capital Fringe, 1358 Florida Ave. NE. Tickets are $25 to $28. Call 202-737-7230 or visit capitalfringe.org.

NO WORD IN GUYANESE FOR ME

After an earlier staged reading, the LGBTQ-focused Rainbow Theatre Project opted to mount a full production of a GLAAD Award-winning play about a gay Muslim’s journey to reconcile her faith and her sexuality. Ashley K. Nicholas portrays Hanna in Wendy Graf’s one-woman show, directed by Julia Hurley as part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival, relating experiences growing up in the Caribbean nation of Guyana and coming of age, and eventually coming out, in 9/11-era New York. Opens Thursday, Feb. 8. To March 4. District of Columbia Arts Center, 2438 18th St. NW. Tickets are $35. Call 202-462-7833 or visit rainbowtheatreproject.org.

SEE ROCK CITY

Having staged Last Train to Nibroc last season, Washington Stage Guild offers the second in Arlene Hutton’s “Nibroc Trilogy,” following a couple in the aftermath of World War II and beyond. Lexi Langs and Wood Van Meter return as May and Raleigh, and we see them at home in Kentucky with their very different mothers, who have plenty of ideas for how they should proceed with their lives. Closes Sunday, Feb. 11. Undercroft Theatre of Mount Vernon United Methodist Church, 900 Massachusetts Ave. NW. Tickets are $50 to $60. Call 240-582-0050 or visit stageguild.org.

SKELETON CREW

Dominique Morisseau’s timely drama is set in Detroit during last decade’s Great Recession and vividly portrays the modern labor struggle in a changing America, revealing the real people on the factory line. Nicole A. Watson directs Brittany Bellizeare, Stephanie Berry, Sekou Laidlow, and Gabriel Lawrence in this contribution to the Women’s Voices Theater Festival. To March 4. 700 North Calvert St., Baltimore. Call 410-332-0033 or visit centerstage.org.

SOMETHING ROTTEN

The fictitious Bottom brothers (Rob McClure and Josh Grisetti) set out to write the world’s very first musical in an attempt to finally one-up their astoundingly successful contemporary William Shakespeare. Adam Pascal (Rent) stars as the Bard in the touring production of 2015’s Tony-nominated musical by brothers Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick, with a book co-written by John O’Farrell. Directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw (Mean GirlsThe Book of Mormon), New York Magazine referred to the romp as “The Producers Spamalot The Book of Mormon squared!” To Feb. 18. National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Call 202-628-6161 or visit thenationaldc.org.

SOVEREIGNTY

As its contribution to the Women’s Voices Theater Festival, Arena Stage offers a world premiere of Mary Kathryn Nagle’s exploration into the state of Native American affairs. Focused particularly on Washington’s historical treatment of the Cherokee Nation and the present-day consequences, as examined through the work of a young Cherokee lawyer fighting for her people while confronting the ghosts of her grandfathers. To Feb. 18. Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Call 202-488-3300 or visit arenastage.org.

THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH

Thornton Wilder’s other Pulitzer Prize-winning play, less well-known than Our Town, is an epic saga, dating to 1943, that was far ahead of its time in mixing farce, burlesque, satire and absurdism. Who better than Constellation Theatre Company to bring that to life in the 21st century? Mary Hall Surface directs an ensemble cast acting out the time-traveling tragicomedy about the Eternal Family, led by a couple who have been married 5,000 years, with a baby dinosaur and a woolly mammoth saved from extinction as family pets. To Feb. 18. Source Theatre, 1835 14th St. NW. Tickets are $25 to $55. Call 202-204-7741 or visit constellationtheatre.org.

THE TRIAL

Two unidentified agents from an unspecified agency arrest a man for an unspecified crime in Kafka’s century-old work, given an underground interpretation by Paata Tsikurishvili, the founding artistic director of Synetic Theater. Shu-nan Chu leads the cast as Josef K, with support from Synetic company members Tori Bertocci, Kathy Gordon, and Ryan Tumulty, plus Chris Willumsen, Thomas Beheler, and Lee Liebeskind. To Feb. 18. Synetic Theater, 1800 South Bell St., Arlington. Call 800-494-8497 or visit synetictheater.org.

THE WAY OF THE WORLD

Theresa Rebeck (TV’s Smash) loosely adapts William Congreve’s 17th-century comedy of manners by exposing the foibles of the one-percenters. Presented by Folger Theatre as part of the Women’s Voices Theatre Festival, The Way of the World is set in the modern-day Hamptons and stars noted Broadway actress Kristine Nielsen (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike). Closes Sunday, Feb. 11. 201 East Capitol St. SE. Call 202-544-7077 or visit folger.edu.

THE WOLVES

As its contribution to the Women’s Voices Theater Festival, Studio Theatre commissioned this play from Sarah DeLappe following a pack of 16-year-old girls who are the stars of their school’s soccer team. Marti Lyons directs a work about the “contact sport of adolescence” as told from the female perspective. “I wanted to see a portrait of teenage girls as human beings,” DeLappe says. “As complicated, nuanced, very idiosyncratic people who weren’t just girlfriends or sex objects or manic pixie dream girls but who were athletes and daughters and students and scholars and people who were trying actively to figure out who they were in this changing world around them.” To March 4. Studio Theatre, 14th & P Streets NW. Call 202-332-3300 or visit studiotheatre.org.

UNNECESSARY FARCE

In a cheap motel room, an embezzling mayor is supposed to meet with his female accountant, while in the room next door, two undercover cops wait to catch the meeting on videotape. Confusion ensues in Paul Slade Smith’s farce, directed by Ray Ficca in a D.C. premiere featuring Jon Townson, Noah Shaefer, Mario Baldessari, Karen Novack, Emily Levey, Jenna Lawrence, and Christopher Herring. Closes Saturday, Feb. 10. Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church St. NW. Tickets are $35 to $45. Call 202-265-3768 or visit keegantheatre.com.

Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington DC: Youth Invasion

MUSIC

ALICE SMITH & BILAL: FOR LOVERS ONLY

Soul-pop singer-songwriter Alice Smith is understated, sophisticated and every bit as vocally talented as fellow four-octave ranger Christina Aguilera — except her music is better. Case in point is her most recent album, the astonishing She, which charts the ups and downs and ins and outs of love, even just friendship, with musical twists and lyrical turns as sharp and surprising as they come. Smith returns to her hometown of D.C. in a double-bill concert at the Kennedy Center with Bilal, the Grammy-winning neo-soul pioneer from Philadelphia. Saturday, Feb. 10, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $29 to $69. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

ARLO GUTHRIE RE:GENERATION TOUR

The 70-year-old son of folk’s founding father, Woody Guthrie returns to the area for two performances with the famous family’s next generation, or at least two of his progeny. There’s son Abe Guthrie, who plays in Arlo’s backing band along with Terry A La Berry, Bobby Sweet, and Darren Todd. And there’s youngest daughter Sarah Lee Guthrie, the tour’s opening act. Saturday, Feb. 17, and Sunday, Feb. 18, at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $65. Call 703-549-7500 or visit birchmere.com.

BRIAN GANZ WITH NATIONAL PHILHARMONIC: CHOPIN FAVORITES

The renowned pianist continues his journey through the complete works of Fryderyk Chopin — an “Extreme Chopin Quest” — that would make him the first to perform every note the composer wrote for piano, more than 250 pieces in all. Next up is the Valentine’s-themed program “Hidden Gems & All Time Favorites” juxtaposing some of the Romantic master’s most popular — the “Minute” Waltz, the acclaimed “Heroic” Polonaise in A-flat major — with some of his least-known works, from the unfinished Canon in F Minor to the Spanish-inspired Bolero Op. 19, which Ganz calls “probably the best work of Chopin that few people know.” Saturday, Feb. 10, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $28 to $88. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.

GMCW’S GENOUT CHORUS: YOUTH INVASION

The 20-member ensemble of the Gay Men’s Chorus, representing 15 area schools, performs its second annual “Youth Invasion” concert featuring soloists and small ensembles in addition to the entire chorus. Also joining GenOut is the local ensemble MusicianShip Washington Youth Chorus. Led by GenOut’s director C. Paul Heins, the program features affirmative songs from Broadway and beyond, including anthems from Billy Elliot and Dear Evan Hansen, such as “I Am What I Am,” “Beautiful,” “Be Like the Bird,” and “Shut Up and Dance.” Saturday, Feb. 10, at 8 p.m. Lang Theatre in the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $20 to $35. Call 202-399-7993 or visit gmcw.org.

IMANI-GRACE COOPER

The Hill Center presents a special Valentine’s Day concert over complimentary bubbly with a recent graduate of the Howard University jazz program, part of a new series, Street Scenes, focusing on new music composed by emerging D.C. jazz artists. Aside from her solo career, Cooper is currently collaborating with the JOGO band, an outgrowth of go-go and the D.C. style’s godfather Chuck Brown. Wednesday, Feb. 14, at 7 p.m., with a post-concert wine reception with Cooper. Hill Center, Old Navy Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Tickets are $18 in advance, or $20 day-of. Call 202-549-4172 or visit HillCenterDC.org.

LIVING THE DREAM…SINGING THE DREAM

Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday and federal holiday may have already passed, but you can sing his praises at any time. On Sunday, Feb. 11, Washington Performing Arts will do just that with an annual choral tribute. Men, women and children of the WPA Gospel Choirs team up with the Choral Arts Society of Washington — 300 voices strong — to perform in honor of King. Sunday, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $25 to $70. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

MARCIA BALL

East Texas blues meets southwest Louisiana swamp rock in the music of this Grammy-nominated pianist and singer-songwriter, who offers tastes of roadhouse rock, jump blues, R&B, soul, and zydeco. Ball is also a regular attraction at celebrated area concert venues from the Hamilton to the Birchmere to the Barns at Wolf Trap, where she returns for a pre-Valentine show. Friday, Feb. 9, at 8 p.m. 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $35 to $45. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit wolftrap.org.

MARY GAUTHIER

In a career spanning over two decades, the lesbian country/folk artist has had her songs covered by everyone from Jimmy Buffett (“Wheel Inside The Wheel”) and Blake Shelton (“I Drink”) to Bettye LaVette (“Worthy”) and Candi Staton (“Mercy Now”). A native of New Orleans now based in Nashville, Gauthier returns to the area for an intimate concert supporting her powerful new concept album Rifles & Rosary Beads, a collection of 11 deeply personal songs that she co-wrote with U.S. veterans and their families. Saturday, Feb. 10. Doors at 6:30 p.m. Jammin Java, 227 Maple Ave. E. Vienna. Tickets are $20 to $22. Call 703-255-3747 or visit jamminjava.com. Also Sunday, Feb. 11, at 12:30 p.m. Ram’s Head On Stage, 33 West St., Annapolis. Tickets are $25. Call 410-268-4545 or visit ramsheadonstage.com.

NSO POPS: WEST SIDE STORY IN CONCERT

Steven Reineke, the National Symphony’s principal pops conductor, and Francesca Zambello, the Washington National Opera’s artistic director, lead a performance of Leonard Bernstein’s monumental musical, a modernized take on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, featuring the full orchestra and more than 20 performers from Broadway and D.C., including members of WNO’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program. The lead soloists are Corey Cott (Newsies), Solea Pfeiffer (Hamilton), Krysta Rodriguez (Smash), and Joel Perez (Fun Home). Wednesday, Feb. 14, Friday, Feb. 16, and Saturday, Feb. 17, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $24 to $125. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

NEW ORCHESTRA OF WASHINGTON: CARMINA BURANA

Carl Orff’s dramatic classic gets a modern twist with an arrangement for two pianos and five percussionists, the latest concert presented by the small chamber group led by the husband-and-wife team of artistic director Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez and executive director and pianist Grace Cho. The Washington Master Chorale, the Children’s Choir of Washington, and Six Degree Singers join to perform Carmina Burana as the centerpiece of a program that also includes a rarely heard masterwork, George Crumb’s Selections from American Song Books featuring vocalist Lena Seikaly accompanied by four percussionists and prepared piano. Saturday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m. Live! at 10th and G, 945 G ST. NW. Also Sunday, Feb. 11, at 3 p.m. Westmoreland Unitarian Christian Church, 1 Westmoreland Circle NW. Bethesda. Tickets are $15 to $30. Call 240-235-5088 or visit neworchestraofwashington.org.

Tedeschi Trucks Band

TEDESCHI TRUCKS BAND

It’s a crowded stage whenever the headline act is this Jacksonville, Florida-based blues/rock supergroup, with a large, 12-member ensemble formed from the merger of bands led by married couple Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi. It’ll be crowded all around at the Warner Theatre this weekend and next, when the Birchmere and Live Nation present a four-night run that is close to selling out. Tickets remain for only the Friday night shows, Feb. 9, and Feb. 16, at 8 p.m. Warner Theatre, 513 13th St. NW. Call 202-783-4000 or visit warnertheatredc.com.

THE BLACK COMPOSERS CONCERT

An annual celebration of music by composers of African descent in styles as varied as classical to jazz to gospel, this year’s free concert from the James Weldon Johnson Community School of the Arts features, among others, local contemporary composer Andrew Smith of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. The list of performers includes pianists Karen Egypt, Jeffrey Corry, and Kevin Egypt, flutist Ceylon Mitchell II, sopranos Shonda Devine and Angela Moore, tenors Anthony Ballard and Brandon Lockhart, and the Sam Bonds Chorale. Co-sponsored by the Dunbar Alumni Federation. Saturday, Feb. 10, at 3 p.m. The Theatre at Dunbar Senior High School, 101 N St. NW. Free, though donations are welcome. Call 202-698-3762 or visit daf-dc.org.

THE GERSHWIN BIG BAND: AMERICAN RHAPSODY

Michael Andrew, touted as “the next Harry Connick, Jr.” by the New York Post, leads the band in a program of iconic American music by — who else? — George Gershwin. Saturday, Feb. 17, at 8 p.m. The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $45. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit wolftrap.org.

THE THEATRE SONGS OF LEONARD BERNSTEIN

Pauline Grossman directs a free concert celebrating Leonard Bernstein and featuring singers from the Catholic University of America Music Theatre Division, in collaboration with Arena Stage. N. Thomas Pedersen will accompany the performers at this free Millennium Stage program, part of the Kennedy Center’s Bernstein at 100 series, highlighting the legend’s rich contributions to the musical canon, which ranges from Candide to Our Town to West Side Story. It all comes on the eve of concerts by the National Symphony performing Bernstein’s updated take on Romeo & Juliet in a concert presentation (see separate entry). Monday, Feb. 12, at 6 p.m. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

UASUF GUEYE

A series of concerts featuring the sonically diverse 2018 class of Artists in Residence at Strathmore continues with a D.C. native who has devoted his life to being a cultural ambassador of African music and culture. Whether on drums and percussion, or the banjo-precursor the ngoni, or manding guitar, the skilled multi-instrumentalist performs both traditional music as well as original compositions combining West African rhythms with bluesy themes and jazzy riffs. Wednesday, Feb. 14, and Wednesday, Feb. 28, 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.

VICTORY HALL OPERA: MARGINALIA

The young Virginia troupe, founded and led by singers, continues its third season with a new commission from Matt Boehler, a gay alum of the Wolf Trap Opera Company as well as a Victory Hall Opera ensemble member. Marginalia is a song cycle exploring the notes, objects and messages left behind in books and based on the University of Virginia Library’s “Book Traces Project.” Soloists at this concert in an intimate venue on the University of Virginia campus include soprano Miriam Gordon-Stewart, mezzo-soprano Brenda Patterson, and tenor Will Ferguson, accompanied by percussionist I-Jen Fang, clarinetist Garrick Zoeter, and cellist Kristen Wojcik. Sunday, Feb. 18, at 8 p.m. The McGregor Room at Alderman Library, 160 McCormick Road, Charlottesville. Tickets are $30. Call 434-227-9978 or visit victoryhallopera.org.

VIRGINIA OPERA: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM

Shakespeare’s iconic 16th-century language meets Britten’s 20th-century inventive and enchanting music in a delightful opera about love, forgiveness, and the power of dreams. Adam Turner conducts the lush, dynamic score as soprano Heather Buck, baritone Matthew Burns, and tenor David Blalock perform the comic tour de force. Patrons have the option of enhancing the concert with a romantic Valentine’s Package including two tickets, two glasses of champagne and chocolates, and two commemorative champagne glasses, for $135 to $250. Saturday, Feb. 17, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 18, at 2 p.m. Concert Hall in the George Mason University Center for the Arts, 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax. Tickets are $50 to $110, or $135 to $250 for the Valentine’s Package for two. Call 888-945-2468 or visit gmu.edu/cfa.

WHITE FORD BRONCO

The ’90s party band, cheekily named after O.J. Simpson’s notorious failed getaway car, returns to the 9:30 Club for an early Valentine’s Day concert. Playing through that decade’s songbook in all styles of popular music is a five-member ensemble consisting of singer/guitarist Diego Valencia, singer Gretchen Gustafson, guitarists Ken Sigmund and McNasty, and drummer Max Shapiro. Friday, Feb. 9. Doors at 8 p.m. Doors at 7 p.m. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $22. Call 202-265-0930 or visit 930.com.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Revelations

DANCE

ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER

The celebrated dance company returns for its annual engagement at the Kennedy Center with two new productions: Members Don’t Get Weary, a blues-inspired work from Ailey star Jamar Roberts identified as “a response to the current social landscape in America” and set to music by John Coltrane, and The Golden Section, a sizzling ensemble work by Twyla Tharp with breathtaking leaps, fine partnering, and a rocking score by David Byrne. Works by the company’s Artistic Director Robert Battle as well as Talley Beatty, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar are also included in this year’s mixed-repertory programs, all of which end, per tradition, with Revelations, the masterpiece by the company’s namesake, who died of AIDS-related complications in 1989. To Feb. 11. Kennedy Center. Opera House. Tickets are $49 to $175, or $1,000 for the gala. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

THE WASHINGTON BALLET: ROMEO & JULIET

John Cranko was commissioned by the Stuttgart Ballet in 1962 to create this ballet based on the Shakespeare classic tale, which the New York Times has heralded as “arguably the best dance treatment of Prokofiev’s celebrated ballet score.” And how sweet is this: The Washington Ballet offers a production of it that kicks off on Valentine’s Day. Opens Wednesday, Feb. 14, at 7:30 p.m. Performances to Sunday, Feb. 18. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $25 to $160. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

Awkward Sex … and the City — Photo: Courtesy of Natalie Wall

COMEDY

AWKWARD SEX…AND THE CITY

Comedians from New York relive their most awkward sex/dating/relationship moments on stage at this raunchy storytelling event, which returns to D.C. at the Black Cat. Gay comedian and Towleroad columnist Bobby Hankinson will add his awkward gay tales on an otherwise all-female show featuring Jen Keefe, Anita Flores, and Karolena Theresa, with host Natalie Wall. Friday, Feb. 9. Doors at 9 p.m. Black Cat Backstage, 1811 14th St. NW. Tickets are $15. Call 202-667-4490 or visit blackcatdc.com.

JOKES THAT GIVE BACK: VALENTINE’S DAY COMEDY BENEFIT SHOW

Once a month, comedians Nicki Fuchs from Baltimore and Becca Lundberg from D.C. present a standup comedy show featuring comics from the area and beyond and all as a fundraiser for a different charity each month. A portion of proceeds from the February edition will go to N Street Village, which works to help and empower homeless and low-income women in D.C. Fuchs hosts the show with stand-up from Lundberg, Mary Jane French, Kasha Patel, Sarah Ahmed, Maddy Brannon, and Franqi French. Wednesday, Feb. 14, at 7 p.m. Drafthouse Comedy, 1100 13th St. NW. Tickets are $10. Call 202-750-6411 or visit drafthousecomedy.com.

SASHEER ZAMATA

Best known from her stint as a writer and performer on Saturday Night Live from 2014 to 2017, Zamata is a regular on the standup circuit and is regarded for her work as an ACLU’s Celebrity Ambassador for Women’s Rights. Friday, Feb. 9, and Saturday, Feb. 10, at 7 and 9 p.m. Drafthouse Comedy, 1100 13th St. NW. Tickets are $20. Call 202-750-6411 or visit drafthousecomedy.com.

SEBASTIAN MANISCALCO

Heralded as “the people’s comedian” (People) and “one of the funniest comics working today” (Esquire), Maniscalco, the Sebastian in The Pete & Sebastian Show on SiriusXM, is out on a new stand-up tour named after his forthcoming book Stay Hungry.

Saturday, Feb. 10, at 7 and 10 p.m. Theater at MGM National Harbor, 7100 Harborview Ave., Oxon Hill, Md., Oxon Hill, Md. Tickets are $50 to $295 Call 800-745-3000 or visit mgmnationalharbor.com.

READINGS

CHRIS MYERS ASCH, GEORGE DEREK MUSGROVE: CHOCOLATE CITY

With the subtitle A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation’s Capital comes an exhaustive new book examining the tumultuous, four-century story of race and democracy in D.C. Professors Chris Myers Asch of the University of the District of Columbia and George Derek Musgrove of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County will read and discuss from their book and sign copies of it afterwards. Friday, Feb. 16, at 12 p.m. National Archives Museum, Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets NW. NW. Call 202-357-5000 or visit archivesfoundation.org.

DAVE EGGERS: THE MONK OF MOKHA

Mokhtar Alkhanshali is a Yemeni-American man raised in San Francisco who dreams of resurrecting the ancient art of Yemeni coffee but ends up getting trapped in Yemen when civil war breaks out in 2015. Alkhanshali’s courageous journey is the subject of the latest book from best-selling author Dave Eggers, founder of McSweeney’s, who will sign copies of the book after a reading and discussion. Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $38 including one book. Call 202-408-3100 or visit sixthandi.org.

STORY DISTRICT: SUCKER FOR LOVE

Stephanie Garibaldi has long thought of herself as “the Charlie Brown of Valentine’s Day,” but her disdain for the manufactured holiday ended a decade ago when she took matters into her own hands and produced Sucker for Love. As the organization’s director of education, Garibaldi worked with Mike Baireuther to hand pick nine storytellers at this special Valentine’s Day-themed showcase, coaching them individually and as a group in a series of rehearsals leading up to the big night at the Lincoln Theatre. This year’s 10th anniversary event features new stories by past Sucker for Love cast members, including Twain Dooley, Molly Kelly, Chris Love, Pierce McManus, Keith Mellnick, Vijai Nathan, Anne Thomas, John Tong, and Meredith Whipple. Saturday, Feb. 10, at 8 p.m. 1215 U St. NW. Tickets are $25 to $35. Call 202-328-6000 or visit storydistrict.com.

STORY DISTRICT: WORST DATE EVER STORY CONTEST

A preselected mix of storytellers compete in the second Valentine’s Day-themed event from Story District, this one on the actual holiday and part of the organization’s popular monthly series. Worst Date Ever is designed as something of a schadenfreude salve, especially for those who have ever suffered through a horrible date. “I always tell people,” the organization’s Stephanie Garibaldi says, “If you’re having a really hard time with love, there will be at least somebody up on that stage who has had it worse.” And chances are, a whole handful or two of them. General admission tickets remain only for the late show Wednesday, Feb 14. Doors at 10 p.m. Town Danceboutique, 2009 8th St. NW. Cover is $19.50 plus fees. Call 202-234-TOWN or visit storydistrict.com.

Helen Zughaib, Syrian Migration series #1, 2016. Gouache on board

EXHIBITS

ART2 (ART SQUARED)

Overlapping with National Engineering Week (Feb. 18-24), the spunky art gallery in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria presents a member show of works demonstrating that science and math are central to art, and that the left brain needs the right brain and vice versa. Sophia Suarez and Monica Hokeilen curated this STEM-inspired show that will include workshops to engage STEM-interested people of all ages. Now to Feb. 25. Del Ray Artisans Gallery, 2704 Mount Vernon Ave. Alexandria. Call 703-731-8802 or visit thedelrayartisans.org.

CROSSOVER: EAST AND WEST

Works by four Korean-American artists touch on their identity and heritage in an exhibition featuring a diverse array of art, from ceramic to painting to mixed-media and video installations. The four participating artists are Victoria Jang, with works in ceramic and gold luster portraying expressive yet atypical or distorted human figures and also conveying her multicultural identity as both Korean and African-American; Christina Ko, whose pastel-colored collages and paintings of everyday objects target popular culture’s fascination with exaggerated notions of femininity, especially as it relates to the cultural identity of Asian women; Jang Soon looks at how contemporary Western culture has interpreted Oriental imagery from its own perspective and to suit its tastes; and Eun Kyung Suh, with works that examine the assimilation process of immigrants, one featuring video interviews with Korean adoptees, the other an installation exploring how national identity forms within ethnic enclaves. Now to Feb. 28. Korean Cultural Center Washington DC, 2370 Massachusets Ave. NW. Call 202-939-5688 or visit koreaculturedc.org.

JENNIFER DUNCAN, JOY EVERY: NATURAL INTERPRETATIONS

For their joint inaugural exhibit as new members of Studio Gallery, Jennifer Duncan and Joy Every have selected mixed-media works that investigate the way each sees and absorbs nature — whether as small as a plant, a bit of design in ice, or as large as a sea or mountain scape. Duncan offers color-drenched explorations of the landscape and local flora and fauna in her works, reflecting the forms of the natural world and the emotion elicited by her existence within it. Meanwhile, Every starts all her pieces from a photographic snapshot, ending as idealized or metaphorical versions of the landscape and its elements through alterations in color, size, composition and materials used.

On display to Feb. 24, with an Artist Reception Saturday, Feb. 10, from 5 to 7 p.m. Studio Gallery, 2108 R St. NW. Call 202-232-8734 or visit studiogallerydc.com.

MELANCHOLIA: IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE BY MARION COLOMER

For this immersive installation, artist Marion Colomer collaborated with New York-based perfumer Dana El Masri to create an original scent reflecting the melancholy of lost desire. With notes of green leaves and rainforest, the smell is of a lost paradise, an effluvia of dampness and decomposing soil. The scent is intended to add a layer of sense to Colomer’s often contradictory large-scale watercolors on display, where beauty oscillates between daydreaming and doubt. Sometimes the artist portrays the Edenic lush jungle, while other times, an all-consuming and dangerous jungle of doom. Soft renderings of human bodies with glum expressions further paint a scene in which carnal desire and hope for humanity have faded from view. The installation is presented at an Atlas District gallery started by collectors Dolly Vehlow and Steve Hessler. On display through Feb. 23. Gallery O on H, 1354 H St. NE. Call 202-649-0210 or visit GalleryOonH.com.

NATIONAL ARCHIVES: EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION

In celebration of Black History Month, the National Archives offers a rare opportunity to see the original Emancipation Proclamation that President Abraham Lincoln issued on Jan. 1, 1863, formally proclaiming the freedom of all slaves in the land. Also currently on display in the East Rotunda Gallery is the telegram that Congressman Emanuel Celler sent to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., requesting that the preeminent Civil Rights leader come to Congress to testify on behalf of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. The Emancipation Proclamation is on display Saturday, Feb. 17, through Monday, Feb. 19. The King Telegram is on view through April 11. National Archives, 700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Call 202-357-5000 or visit archivesfoundation.org.

PARALLAX GAP

The Smithsonian American Art Museum tapped the design practice FreelandBuck to create an immersive, ceiling-suspended structure in the Renwick Gallery, exploring the notion of craft in the field of architecture. The installation combines the practices of drawing, fabrication and architectural design in an innovative overlap of disciplines, embracing both Western and Eastern concepts of perspective. The resulting structure, consisting of hanging, overlapping synthetic fabric and depictions of nine iconic American ceilings, is meant to be a visual puzzle that reveals itself to visitors as they move throughout the room — creating a sense of parallax, where the distance and depth of the ceilings appear to vary when viewed from different lines of sight. Closes Sunday, Feb. 11. Renwick Gallery’s Bette Rubenstein Grand Salon, 1661 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit americanart.si.edu/renwick.

PASSAGES

A new juried artist show in Old Town features personal works in various media exposing the lasting effects migration can have on one’s cultural identity and individual experiences, even when a generation or two removed from being immigrants. The 16 artists represented in this Target Gallery exhibition are either immigrants themselves or were raised in immigrant families, and their works, in painting, sculpture, collage, and video reveal, as juror Adriana Ospina of the Art Museum of Americas puts it, “a multi-layered personal and complex process of journeys, cultural exchange, assimilation, rejection, transculturation, and preservation.” Nine of the 16 artists are from the region: Abiodun Eniyandunni, Kanika Sircar, Marite Vidales, and Helen Zughaib of D.C., Bahar Jalehmahmoudi of Adelphi, Md., Rafael Rodriguez of Hyattsville, Md., Jenny Wu of Alexandria, Ju Yun of Chantilly, Va., and WonJung Choi of Richmond. On display through March 4. The Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 North Union St. Alexandria. Free. Call 703-838-4565 or visit torpedofactory.org.

FOOD & DRINK

AMERICAN HISTORY: CARNIVAL AND HAITIAN COOKING DEMO

The Smithsonian’s American History Museum presents a free cooking demo from chef Jouvens Jean, winner of Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen season six and author of Tap Tap Diaries. Jean will talk about Haitian Carnival traditions while also preparing several dishes highlighting his personal history and wide-ranging culinary career in this Cooking Up History demo co-presented by the Embassy of the Republic of Haiti and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Saturday, Feb. 10, at 1 p.m. National Museum of American History, 14th St. and Constitution Ave. NW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit americanhistory.si.edu.

BOURBON STEAK: LOVE POTION NO. 9 DESSERT AND COCKTAIL CLASS

Dinner at Bourbon Steak in Georgetown’s Four Seasons — not to mention an overnight stay at the luxury hotel — would make a lovely Valentine’s Day present all its own. Yet Head Bartender Torrence Swain and Pastry Chef Yudith Bustos are teaming up to offer another sweet option: A three-course dessert tasting and cocktail-making class. Swain will show participants how to make “Elixirs of Love with Chartreuse, Absinthe, and Benedictine” while Bustos will complement them with desserts. Saturday, Feb. 10, from 12 to 2 p.m. Bourbon Steak at Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC, 2800 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Tickets are $65 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Call 202-944-2026 or visit fourseasons.com/washington.

HANK’S DUPONT: THE LONELY HEARTS CLUB

In a rather inspired twist on Valentine’s Day, the upstairs area at the original Hank’s Oyster Bar becomes an oasis for the non-romantic types out there. In the runup to the Hallmark-manufactured holiday, the bar features a drinks menu to keep all the single lads and ladies company, ranging from a S.A.D. (Single Person’s Awareness Day) offering of a half-carafe of red wine to I Do Or Whatever with whisky, pineapple, and lychee syrup and garnished with a Ring Pop, plus a variety of liquors available for Love On The Rocks. You can also eat your feelings while there of course, and you can shed any gently used clothing you don’t want or need as part of the Bring Your Ex’s Clothing Drive for Martha’s Table. Nightly beginning Friday, Feb. 9. To Wednesday, Feb. 14. Up Bar, Hank’s Dupont, 1624 Q St. NW. Call 202-462-4265. Visit hanksoysterbar.com.

RADIATOR: PAL-ENTINE’S DAY

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be all about romantic love. And the restaurant and bar in the Kimpton Mason & Rook Hotel is toasting platonic love this year with a Golden Girls-inspired promotion for you and your besties, one or a dozen of them. Lead Bartender Sarah Rosner has created a menu of shareable drinks to complement Executive Chef Jonathan Dearden’s shareable small-plate menu. Priced at $25 each, the large-format libations include “Lady in Red,” a refreshing and spicy cocktail with pisco, aperol, lime, strawberry-Thai chili syrup, and mint leaves, the “Kamanawanaleia,” a Hawaiian spin on a fruity Painkiller concoction with crème de coco, okolehau, bitters, blood orange, and pineapple and served in a tiki mug, and “Apple of My Eye,” an apple/ginger-flavored clarified-milk punch served in a fish bowl, with a fan of apples and a spoonful of edible “luster dust.” Imbibe while savoring shareable dishes in what Radiator bills as a “perfect way to celebrate golden friendships of all shapes and sizes.” Wednesday, Feb. 14, beginning with happy hour at 4 p.m. Mason & Rook, 1430 Rhode Island Ave. NW. Call 202-742-3100 or visit radiatordc.com.

NIGHTLIFE

PRETTY BOI DRAG: AFTER DARK

Founded two years ago by former DC King Pretty Rik E, this troupe of drag kings perform two rounds of its sexy show After Dark at a new intimate venue in Petworth “where every seat is in the splash zone.” A VIP ticket include two premium drinks, a Meet and Greet before the show, front-row seating, an opportunity to be part of the show, and a Pretty Boi Drag Tee. Saturday, Feb. 17, at 9 and 11 p.m. Ten Tigers Parlour, 3813 Georgia Ave. NW. Tickets are $25 plus handling fee, or $50 and handling fee for VIP. Call 202-506-2080 or visit prettyboidrag.com.

TRADE: GAY/BASH

Josh Vogelsong started his monthly alternative drag-focused party more than six years ago at the Black Cat, but it wasn’t until it moved to Trade that it became what he had long envisioned it could be. “It’s what I’ve always wanted: People show up in looks, everybody comes dressed up,” Vogelsong says. “Everybody gets crazy during the show. You can just spray beer on the crowd, and they’d cheer and love it. It’s wild.” The second Gay/Bash of 2018 features performances from Vogelsong per his drag alter-ego and show host Donna Slash, plus Bombalicious Eklaver, Jane Saw, Salvadora Dali, Jaxknife Complex, with jams from DJ The Barber Streisand. Saturday, Feb. 17. Doors at 10 p.m., with shows at 11:30 p.m. and 1 a.m. Trade, 1410 14th St. NW. Call 202-986-1094 or visit facebook.com/gaybashdc.

ABOVE AND BEYOND

BURLESQUE-A-PADES IN LOVELAND 
New York’s Angie Pontani, billed as the “International Queen of Burlesque,” presents the 11th anniversary of a Valentine’s Day-themed show mixing performances in the revived art of striptease with magic, music and comedy. New York drag king and transgender comedian Murray Hill returns as host of an evening featuring performances by Potani, Baltimore performance artist Cherie Nuit, LGBTQ burlesque artist The Maine Attraction, The Evil Hate Monkey, Philadelphia’s Peek-A-Boo Revue featuring Goldi Fox, Ginger Leigh, and Cherry Bomb, and Cleveland’s musical husband-and-wife super-duo Pinch & Squeal. Friday, Feb. 9, at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $29.50. Call 703-549-7500 or visit birchmere.com.

LA-TI-DO: DISNEY NIGHT

Held every other Monday, this long-running variety series founded by Regie Cabico and Don Michael Mendoza chiefly focuses on music and singing, enlisting professionals from the theater or opera worlds performing on their night off, but also including spoken-word poets, storytellers and comedians. Next week, Mendoza co-hosts with Anya Randall Nebel an annual tribute to Disney featuring Jen Bevan. Additional guest performers include Shane Conrad, Meg Nemeth, Greg Jones, Isabella Basco, Julia Capizzi, Michelle Moses-Eisenstein, Christina McCann, Michael Sandoval, Larry Grey, and JDVBBS. Accompanying them will be Taylor Rambo on piano, Rachel Levitin on guitar, Harvey Droke on drums, and Brad Emmett on bass. Monday, Feb. 13, at 8 p.m. Bistro Bistro, 1727 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets are $15, or only $10 if you eat dinner at the restaurant beforehand. Call 202-328-1640 or visit latidodc.wix.com/latidodc.

MAX MAJOR: THINK AGAIN

The Maryland-native mentalist and magician pulls out all manner of psychological tricks to wow audiences and “demonstrate the untapped powers of the mind.” The Atlas offers Major’s final show in D.C. before heading to New York to prepare for his Broadway debut. Friday, Feb. 9, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, Feb. 10, at 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $35 to $75. Call 202-399-7993 or visit atlasarts.org.

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