Metro Weekly

Out On the Town: D.C. Arts & Entertainment Calendar

Films, theaters, plays, live music, art galleries and more events in Washington and nearby Maryland and Virginia


It was only a matter of time before Hollywood cashed in on the Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Reviews suggest Peter Berg has crafted a tense thriller, with Mark Wahlberg starring as an engineer who fights to help get others to safety during the initial carnage. BP is apparently (and rightfully) crucified in the film for chasing profits over safety, so if there's any BP execs reading this, you might want to catch Miss Peregrine instead. Opens Friday, Sept. 30. Area theaters. Visit (Rhuaridh Marr)

Oscar-bait alert! Rachel Weisz is Deborah E. Lipstadt, an American historian sued for libel in 1996 by British writer David Irving for characterizing him as a Holocaust denier. British law required that Lipstadt prove the Holocaust actually happened. She prevailed, Irving was shamed, Lipstadt wrote a book, it became this film. The Academy Award submission is likely already sitting somewhere, waiting to be sent. Opens Friday, Sept. 30. Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema, 7235 Woodmont Ave. Call 301-652-7273 or visit (RM)

The Capital Pride Alliance offers an early Halloween treat with a free screening of the 1993 comedy starring gay favorites Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy. Part of the Fall Outdoor Movie Night series. A costume contest precedes the screening. Monday, Oct. 3. Gates open at 7:30 p.m., followed by the contest and screening at 8 p.m. Shaw Recreation Center, Rhode Island Avenue and 10th Street NW. Visit

Lauren Bacall, Betty Grable and Marilyn Monroe plot to trap rich, eligible bachelors -- 'til death do they part -- in Jean Negulesco's classic comedy. Preceding Millionaire are two short films Negulesco made at the start of his directing career with Warner Brothers, At the Stroke of Twelve and Jan Garber and His Orchestra. The Library of Congress presents a free screening on its picturesque Virginia campus, which houses the world's largest collection of films, broadcast and audio recordings. Friday, Sept. 30, 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

Lucas Near-Verbrugghe plays a man whose world is upended when a long-lost ex-boyfriend (Aaron Costa Ganis) decides to reconnect by spending an emotionally complicated weekend in the desert. Old wounds and previously unknown secrets are exposed as part of the couple's assessment of their future together. Two weeks before its revived annual film festival, Reel Affirmations presents the latest film by writer/director Tim Kirkman (Dear Jesse, The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me) co-starring Michaela Watkins (Wet Hot American Summer) as part of its Xtra monthly series. Friday, Sept. 30, at 7 p.m. HRC Equality Center, 1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW. Tickets are $12 and come with a complimentary glass of champagne, or $25 to include another complimentary alcoholic beverage and VIP seating. Call 800-777-4723 or visit

A comedic retelling of the "hillbilly heist," the 1997 Loomis Fargo Robbery. Zach Galifianakis, Kristen Wiig, and Owen Wilson are the hapless robbers who steal $17 million, with Kate McKinnon as a clueless spouse and Leslie Jones as the FBI agent tasked with bringing them to justice. If anything, it's going to be brutal viewing for the original culprits -- they're portrayed as criminally incompetent. Opens Friday, Sept. 30. Area theaters. Visit (RM)


"It sounds so daunting when somebody hears Homer or they hear The Iliad," Denis O'Hare (True Blood, American Horror Story) told Metro Weekly about his contemporary adaptation with Lisa Peterson of Homer's classic war poem. Audiences don't need to know anything before going in: "We tell the entire story, we fill them in. It's actually funnier than people would expect ...The Iliad is one of the great stories of all time." Taffety Punk Theater Company, whose tagline is "We Will Rock You" and which styles itself as a theatrical rock band, takes on Peterson and O'Hare's version of the tale, featuring actress Esther Williamson and musicians Erin McCarley and Beck Levy of punk band Hand Grenade Job, performing live accompaniment. Opens in a pay-what-you-can preview Saturday, Oct. 1, at 8 p.m. Runs to Oct. 22. Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 7th St. SE. Tickets are $15. Call 202-547-6839 or visit

Tony Kushner's masterpiece remains as timely as ever, but it is the overall quality of the staging at Round House, in partnership with Olney Theatre, that makes this Angels essential for any serious lover of theater. In particular, Jason Loewith's direction of first part Millennium Approaches is a wonder to behold. The chief thrill of Millennium is its exquisite exposition, with Kushner presenting ideas on weighty topics such as history, race, ethnicity and politics in a lively, energized manner. Every actor takes on multiple roles, displaying impressive sensitivity and dexterity in quick character and costume changes. Set designer James Kronzer has opened up Round House's massive stage to accommodate moments in which two scenes overlap and the actors become intertwined in testy exchanges. Lighting designer York Kennedy, sound designer Joshua Horvath and projectionist Clint Allen do astonishing work throughout, though their crowning achievement comes during the arrival of the Angel (Dawn Ursula). The show takes flight fantastically, magnificently, sending a raw, emotional three-hour shock wave through your system. To Oct. 23. Round House Theatre, 4545 East-West Highway, Bethesda. Tickets are $55 to $75. Call 240-644-1100 or visit (Doug Rule)

A signature experimental mix of puppetry, dance, live music and feats of physicality from Flying V, devised by the company's artistic director. It explores memory, nostalgia and transition through live action music videos set to songs from the nineties. Jason Schlafstein directs a large cast including Jon Christina Day, Jon Johnson, Madeline Key, Michelle Polera, Robert Bowen Smith, and six other performers. Weekends to Oct. 9. The Writer's Center, 4508 Walsh St. Bethesda. Tickets are $20. Call 301-654-8664 or visit

TC Carson stars as Herman Camm, a provocative gambler who weaves his magic on three unsuspecting women in a small Virginia town post-World War I. Roz White also features in Thomas W. Jones II's world premiere musical adaptation of Ruth P. Watson's romantic mystery thriller. To Oct. 9. MetroStage, 1201 North Royal St., Alexandria. Tickets are $55 to $60. Call 800-494-8497 or visit

A self-satisfied skim job, Jen Silverman's play checks a lot of boxes but fails to deliver. Put simply, unless you have been living off grid, revelations on sexual identity -- unless explored with insight and originality -- are just plain boring. Likewise for throwing around the word "pussy" every two seconds and making a meal about looking at one's own. Though such themes might once have been shocking enough to be an end in themselves for live performance, those days are long gone. Silverman's five Betty Boops drag on through a boring premise (putting on a play) that quickly turns into a clichéd, color-by-numbers exercise in opposites-attracting and personal ah-ha moments. Natascia Diaz does her best with celebrity wannabe Betty Boop 3, capturing a certain authenticity in her magnetic narcissism, while Dorea Schmidt gives her Betty Boop 2 a skein of pathos. Unfortunately, despite their efforts, this play never makes it outside the box. Runs to Oct. 9. Woolly Mammoth, 641 D St. NW. Tickets range from $35 to $72.50. Tickets are $20 to $54. Call 202-393-3939 or visit (Kate Wingfield)

Michael Kahn helms a Studio Theatre production of British playwright Caryl Churchill's 35-year-old exploration of power and sexual politics, set in colonial Africa and London in the 1970s. Holly Twyford leads the cast. To Oct. 16. Studio Theatre, 14th & P Streets NW. Call 202-332-3300 or visit

Maybe you heard about the small town of Gander in Newfoundland, Canada, where nearly 7,000 stranded passengers from around the world were welcomed with open arms on 9/11 fifteen years ago? Penned by Irene Sankoff and David Hein, and directed by Broadway veteran Christopher Ashley, Come From Away is an ensemble show through and through, with a dozen actors taking on multiple roles, alternating between Gander's citizens and visitors. Despite its heavy premise, the show's lasting spotlight is on the culture and music of Newfoundland. Celtic folk and rock runs through the blood of these descendants of English, Irish and Scottish immigrants -- as it does through Sankoff and Hein's score. The music is joyous and vibrant, and you look forward to the evening's big group sing-alongs. It never sinks to the level of schmaltz, instead breaking your heart with tales of loss among its dozen characters in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. Come From Away never gets graphic in rehashing what actually transpired, making it all the more emotionally resonant. The musical's future is promising. It's more likely to be the next Once than Hamilton, yet you'd be remiss not to visit while it's in our backyard. Extended to Oct. 16. Ford's Theatre, 511 10th St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $73. Call 800-982-2787 or visit (DR)

Synetic Theatre opens its season with Dante's journey through the nine circles of hell, in a revitalized adaptation of a previous Synetic production. Irina Tsikurishvili directs a whirlwind of stunning visuals, vivid original music and powerful physicality in lieu of words. Now in previews. Opens Saturday, Oct. 1, at 8 p.m. Runs to Oct. 30. Theater at Crystal City, 1800 South Bell St., Arlington. Tickets are $35 to $55. Call 800-494-8497 or visit

Avenue Q sounds like child's play compared to Robert Askins' comedy focused on teens of a Christian puppetry ministry in a small Texas town. Touted as a blasphemous and ruthless comedy about sex, sinners and sock puppets, Joanie Schultz directs a production led by Liam Forde as a foul-mouthed, demonically possessed puppet. With Helen Coxe, Caitlin Collins, Ryan McBride and Tim Barker. Closes Sunday, Oct. 2. Studio Theatre, 14th & P Streets NW. Call 202-332-3300 or visit

Staceyann Chin's personal journey to motherhood as a single woman, lesbian and activist who does not have health insurance or a "serious, stable financial set-up" kicks off the season in Studio Theatre's experimental and innovative-focused Studio X. Matt Torney directs this one-woman show starring the powerhouse performer, who was a co-writer and original performer in the Tony-winning Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam. Opens Thursday, Sept. 29, at 7:30 p.m. Runs to Oct. 23. Studio's Milton Theatre, 14th & P Streets NW. Call 202-332-3300 or visit

Andrew Veenstra is Romeo and Ayana Workmen is Juliet in a production also featuring Rafael Sebastian, Ryan Sellers, Brayden Simpson, Emily Townley, Gregory Wooddell, and Elan Zafir. Directed by Alan Paul. To Nov. 6. Lansburgh Theatre, 450 7th St. NW. Call 202-547-1122 or visit

There is something deliciously subversive in the Folger Theatre. Tucked behind the impenetrable façade of its namesake library, it keeps delivering all manner of gloriously innovative theater magic. The latest piece of brilliance is director Eric Tucker's joyfully raucous Sense and Sensibility, adapted with verve by Kate Hamill from Jane Austen's classic novel. It is fast, funny, witty and ridiculous, but it is also incredibly adept at breathing hot and feverish life into an early 19th century tale of landed (and unlanded) gentry and their loves and losses. Originally developed and premiered by New York's Bedlam theater company, the production stays true to the novel while playing with all of its parts, real and emotional. Sets run around on casters, chairs move with their occupants, emotional revelations become surreal light-shows and the fourth wall is more of a trampled hedge. It is high entertainment, with Austen's wit, wisdom and observations of the human heart at its core. Like last season's A Midsummer's Night Dream, given a chance this play will win hearts and minds. It's the kind of intelligent silliness that creates theatergoers for life among the uninitiated -- and brings back the faith for everybody else. It just doesn't get much better. To Oct. 30. Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $30 to $75. Call 202-544-7077 or visit (KW)

Olney Theatre offers an intimate staging of the well-known story by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett of a Jewish girl hiding with her family in Amsterdam during World War II. Carolyn Faye Kramer stars as Anne in Wendy Kesselman's stage adaptation, here directed by Derek Goldman. The cast includes many of D.C.'s most notable actors, among them Paul Morella, Michael Russotto, Eric Hissom, Susan Rome, and Kimberly Schraf. To Oct. 22. Olney Theatre Center, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Call 301-924-3400 or visit

Rachel Zampelli and Maria Rizzo play lesbians in a tumultuous relationship in this world premiere comedy by D.C. playwright Audrey Cefaly. Joe Calarco directs a Signature Theatre production, as a languid summer day on the Alabama Delta turns into a nightmare when the motor on their boat breaks down. To Nov. 6. Signature's Ark Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit

Cervantes is dead and a drunk man insists the person who killed him is renowned poet Lope de Vega, in this world-premiere play by Jordi Casanovas. Director José Luis Arellano won the 2016 Helen Hayes Award for his last production at GALA, Yerma, so expect great things. In Spanish with English surtitles. Closes Sunday, Oct. 2. GALA Theatre at Tivoli Square, 3333 14th St. NW. Tickets are $40 to $45. Call 202-234-7174 or visit

Arena Stage kicks off its Lillian Hellman Festival with a brutal, unforgiving play about sibling rivalry and a family who will stop at nothing to acquire wealth and power. Marg Helgenberger (CSI) stars as Regina in a production directed by Kyle Donnelly. Now to Oct. 30. Kreeger Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Call 202-488-3300 or visit

AND ONE HALF Adam Immerwahr opens his first season as Theater J's new artistic director with Deborah Zoe Laufer's dark comedy, focused on a family falling apart. We meet the Schwartzes at reunion for the first anniversary of the family patriarch's death. Only one of the four children, eldest girl Norma (Barbara Pinolini), much cared for their hardliner of a father. The Schwartzes are secular Jews who follow no particular traditions and date and marry outside the tribe. The play bears a resemblance to Joshua Harmon's Bad Jews, even though the particulars are different. The Last Schwartz isn't as riotously funny as Bad Jews, but you'll be tickled and stirred just the same. Closes Sunday, Oct. 2. The Goldman Theater in the DCJCC, 1529 16th St. NW. Tickets are $37 to $57. Call 202-777-3210 or visit (DR)

Stephen Sondheim gave the quirky, upstart Landless Theatre Company permission to amp up his most famous tale for its twice-staged, Helen Hayes Award-nominated Sweeney Todd-Prog Metal Version. Now, it's author and composer Rupert Holmes's turn, challenging Landless to test "its mettle and metal" with The Mystery of Edwin Drood. The choose-your-own-ending musical from 1986 is a dark tale of deception, based on the unfinished novel by Charles Dickens. Closes Sunday, Oct. 2. Gaithersburg Arts Barn, 311 Kent Square Road, Gaithersburg. Tickets are $25. Call 301-258-6394 or visit

AND ONE HALF Constellation Theatre Company's Urinetown is a delightful surprise -- and not a completely unexpected one, given the company's track record, including last year's dazzling, adults-only puppet-fest Avenue Q. Written by Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis, Urinetown is a self-aware, self-referential modern musical, full of witty wordplay and smart humor surrounding a water shortage that makes private toilets a thing for the rich. Competently led by director Allison Arkell Stockman, this uproarious satire of power, corruption, capitalism and musical comedy may have an awful -- though memorable -- title. Yet there's nothing even remotely awful about Constellation's production. You have to go. To Oct. 9. Source Theatre, 1835 14th St. NW. Tickets are $25 to $50. Call 202-204-7741 or visit (DR)


For its third annual festival, the popular blog and event company moves from Union Market to the trendy redeveloped Yards Park area near where Nation, Tracks and the original Secrets used to be. Empire of the Sun and Passion Pit headline, with Sylvan Esso taking third billing. The real draws this year come earlier in the day, with sharp, bilingual, synth-pop French act Christine and the Queens, sludgy, pop-rock, Scottish singer-songwriter Bishop Briggs, and Brooklyn-based house duo Sofi Tukker. Also on tap are Pop Etc and rapper Ace Cosgrove. Saturday, Oct. 8, from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Yards Park at the Capitol Riverfront, M Street and New Jersey Avenue SE. Tickets are $75 in advance or $99 day-of show, $150 for VIP. Visit

Four Broadway veterans take the stage with Jake Everly and the BSO to perform classic showstoppers, mostly featuring male leads, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen Sondheim and Rodgers and Hammerstein, among others. Ron Remke, Ted Keegan, Ben Crawford, and Kathy Voytko are the vocalists for this BSO SuperPops concert. Thursday, Oct. 6, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Also Friday, Oct. 7, and Saturday, Oct. 8, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 9, at 3 p.m. Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore. Tickets are $33 to $99. Call 410-783-8000 or visit

The first jazz artist to win Best New Artist at the Grammys -- she kept Justin Bieber from the title -- Esperanza Spalding continues to push against standard notions of genre boundaries. The singing bassist's latest release, Emily's D+Evolution, co-produced by David Bowie's right-hand man Tony Visconti, may be rooted in jazz, particularly of the avant-garde kind, but it draws from folk-rock, classical, hip-hop and especially funk to weave a wild Prince-esque display of musical eccentricity and dexterity. Spalding brings the set to life in concert by incorporating an unprecedented level of stagecraft, movement and acting, with assistance from stage director and playwright Will Wiegler. Sunday, Oct. 9, at 8 p.m. Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, 801 Chase St. Annapolis. Tickets are $45 to $65. Call 410-263-1906 or visit

The early music ensemble Folger Consort managed to enlist the British power couple of Sir Derek Jacobi and Richard Clifford to kick off its 30th anniversary season in grand, dramatic fashion -- and at the Kennedy Center, no less. The ravishing music of Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas is paired with timeless passages from Shakespeare's Measure for Measure in a theatrical concert with orchestra and chorus, featuring soloists Peter Becker, Emily Noel and Molly Quinn. Saturday, Oct. 1, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $79 to $119. Call 202-467-4600 or visit

Pianist Austin Johnson, bassist Will Goble and drummer David Pott are the other members of an ensemble led by its namesake vibraphonist, part of the renowned Marsalis jazz family of New Orleans. Expect a night of contemporary jazz originals as well as jazz-influenced takes on standards from the bluegrass and classical repertoires, among other surprises. Saturday, Oct. 8, at 8 p.m. Amp by Strathmore, 11810 Grand Park Ave. North Bethesda. Tickets are $30 to $40. Call 301-581-5100 or visit

If you saw either the 2009 Michael Jackson tour documentary This Is It or the 2013 film 20 Feet From Stardom, you'll no doubt recall powerhouse vocalist Judith Hill -- either as Jackson's backup vocalist and moving duet partner on "I Just Can't Stop Loving You," or as an unheralded background singer who has worked with the likes of John Legend, Stevie Wonder, Elton John and Ringo Starr. The L.A. native was also a contestant on the fourth season of The Voice in 2013. Hill headlines a tour in support of last year's debut solo album Back in Time, co-produced by Prince. Friday, Sept. 30, at 8 p.m. Ram's Head On Stage, 33 West St., Annapolis. Tickets are $39.50. Call 410-268-4545 or visit

Music Director Piotr Gajewski leads Strathmore's resident orchestra and a budding South Korean violinist in a concert featuring both Vivaldi and Piazzolla's Argentine tango-style rendering, Four Seasons of Buenos Aires. Saturday, Oct. 8, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 9, at 3 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $34 to $88. Call 301-581-5100 or visit

Edward Gardner makes his NSO debut conducting three works inspired by the Bard as the kick-off to a three-part "Shakespeare at the Symphony" series, including Edward Elgar's symphonic poem Falstaff and William Walton's Suite from the 1944 film version of Henry V. The centerpiece is Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet, given extra oomph with the Alan Paul-led reenactment of the famous balcony scene by three actors -- Matthew Rauch, William Vaughan and Audrey Bertaux -- from the Shakespeare Theatre's current production. Thursday, Sept. 29, at 7 p.m., and Friday, Sept. 30, and Saturday, Oct. 1, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $15 to $89. Call 202-467-4600 or visit

The celebrated modern American composer appears as part of festivities celebrating the renovation of the National Gallery of Art's East Building. As part of the 75th season of free concerts at the museum, Glass will perform and discuss the creative process of collaborating with visual artists, among other topics, in a program moderated by musicologist William Robin of the University of Maryland. The day before, the New Orchestra of Washington and the 18th Street Singers perform Yves Klein's Symphonie Monotone-Silence, an eccentric work that calls for a 32-piece orchestra and a 40-voice choir sustaining a D-major chord for 20 minutes -- and then another 20 minutes of the performers frozen in silence. Sunday, Oct. 2, at 2 p.m. East Building Auditorium, National Gallery of Art, 3rd Street at Constitution Avenue NW. Free -- first come, first seated. Call 202-842-6941 or visit

Fans of D.C.'s Thievery Corporation should take note of Quantic, the alias of Will Holland, a British musician. Initially focused on downtempo/chillout and instrumental beats-oriented music, Holland has also made recordings in genres as varied as Afrobeat funk, salsa and cumbia, and collaborated with vocalists ranging from British soulstress Alice Russell to Colombian folklorist Nidia Gongora. Tuesday, Oct. 4. Doors at 7 p.m. U Street Music Hall, 1115A U St. NW. Tickets are $18. Call 202-588-1880 or visit

Dedicated to expanding the audiences and cultural boundaries of classical music, the Latin rhythm-influenced wind quintet offers new twists on traditional folk songs as well as premiering works. The Clarice welcomes Quinteto Latino for a concert of music by Paquito d'Rivera, Astor Piazzolla, Jose Luis Hurtado and Roberto Sierra, whose Concierto de Cámara will be performed with the University of Maryland School of Music students. Sunday, Oct. 9, at 3 p.m. Gildenhorn Recital Hall at the University of Maryland, University Boulevard and Stadium Drive. College Park. Tickets are $25. Call 301-405-ARTS or visit

A founding member and fiddler in progressive bluegrass band Nickel Creek, Sara Watkins tours in support of new solo set Young in All the Wrong Ways. Featuring 10 soul-baring songs reflecting on recent transformative years in Watkins' life, the album follows her two previous solo records in revealing her folk-rocker heart. Thursday, Oct. 6, at 7:30 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $15 to $30. Call 202-787-1000 or visit

The Nebraska electronic act The Faint, which helped set the pace for the now-common dance-rock sound, hasn't registered much attention in the dozen years since its dancefloor-ready album Danse Macabre -- though they're still out and about performing, now on a tour with the U.K.'s definitive punk-funk/post-punk band. Gang of Four returns 35 years after storming the airwaves and inspiring everyone from R.E.M. to Red Hot Chili Peppers to Franz Ferdinand. Saturday, Oct. 8. Doors at 6 p.m. Nightclub 9:30, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $25. Call 202-265-0930 or visit

Mozart's comic masterpiece is an exploration of the perils of temptation and the triumph of love -- told through a mix of enchanting music and absurd mix-ups. The Washington National Opera opens its season with a Peter Kazaras-directed production from the Glimmerglass Festival, starring newcomer Amanda Majeski as well as Lisette Oropesa, Joshua Hopkins, and Ryan McKinny. In Italian with projected English titles. Remaining performances Friday, Sept. 30, at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 2, at 2 p.m. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $25 to $315. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


D.C. Area New Companies Experience (or, D.A.N.C.E.) is a new event organized by Georgetown Day High School and its dance director Maria Watson to spotlight recently formed troupes, as well as to potentially cultivate new audiences. Gin Dance Company, DC Bhangra Dance, Motion X Dance DC, DanceArt Theater, and DancEthos are the featured groups that will perform. Friday, Sept. 30, at 7 p.m. High School Black Box at Georgetown Day School, 4200 Davenport St. NW. Call 202-274-3200 or visit

Having made a name for itself through its Black to Silver: A Black LGBT Experience festival, the local contemporary ballet company kicks off its 10th season with a mixed-evening program by founder and producing artistic director Shawn Short. As part of a reception on the Georgetown waterfront, Short will lead his company dancers in performances built around dark, dramatic classical scores. Sunday, Oct. 2, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Malmaison, 3401 Water St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $50. Visit

MacArthur Genius tap dancer/choreographer and renowned lesbian musician bring their energetic ensembles together for The Blues Project. Described by the Boston Globe as a "pleasure-filled work [of] group choreography" featuring a "simple but effective use of patterning," the work features namesake Michelle Dorrance, Derick Grant and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards performing to original music composed and performed by husky-voiced singer/guitarist Reagon and her band BigLovely. Wednesday, Oct. 5, and Thursday, Oct. 6, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $25 to $75. Call 202-467-4600 or visit

Washington Performing Arts launches its 50th anniversary season with a new and expanded production of the step dance company's signature work, The Migration: Reflections on Jacob Lawrence. Step Afrika! blends body percussion, dance and spoken word into a multimedia work also featuring members of the WPA Men and Women of the Gospel Choir. Meanwhile, images from American painter Jacob Lawrence's iconic series -- telling the story of the African-American migration to the North a century ago -- will be projected beyond the performers. Friday, Sept. 30, and Saturday, Oct. 1, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 2, at 4 p.m. UDC Theater of the Arts, 4200 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets are $45. Call 202-833-9800

Julie Kent, The Washington Ballet's new artistic director, narrates an evening featuring works by her predecessor Septime Webre, Choo San Goh, and other favorites from the repertoire in a one-night-only event celebrating the company's 40th anniversary. Friday, Sept. 30, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $40 to $500. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


Eighty-second on Comedy Central's list of "100 Greatest Stand-Ups" of all time, Dick Gregory was on the frontlines in the Civil Rights Era and one of the first black comedians to gain popularity with predominantly white audiences. Gregory performs on a co-headlining bill with the provocative Paul Mooney, best known as a writer for Richard Pryor, for frequent appearances on Chappelle's Show, and for helping to discover Robin Williams and Sandra Bernhard, among others. Saturday, Oct. 1, at 8 p.m. The Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW. Tickets are $49.50 to $89.50. Call 202-588-5595 or visit

When thinking of stars from Pitch Perfect 2, you're not likely to think of the German hunk who was a leader of Das Sound Machine, the rival team that mocked and humiliated the Bellas. Yet Flula Borg is one of "10 Comics to Watch", as Variety recently crowned him, and he has developed a large following on YouTube for his comedic music videos. Friday, Oct. 7, at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 8, at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Drafthouse Comedy, 1100 13th St. NW. Tickets are $25. Call 202-750-6411 or visit

A graduate of Georgetown University and one of the most famous alumni from its Georgetown Players Improv Troupe, Mike Birbiglia has increasingly been making his name in scripted film and TV work. In addition to writing and directing 2012's Sleepwalk With Me and this year's Don't Think Twice, Birbiglia has acted in supporting roles in everything from Trainwreck to Orange Is the New Black. The comedian returns to D.C. to offer the final show in his stand-up series "Thank God for Jokes." Friday, Oct. 7, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $20 to $60. Call 301-581-5100 or visit

As part of its Comedy Select Series and recent efforts to feature more comedy among its performing arts offerings, the Kennedy Center welcomes Jon Stewart's successor at The Daily Show. The South African native's stand-up is largely driven by insightful observations about cultural and racial differences. Friday, Oct. 7, at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $55 to $125. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


Arena Stage kicks off Theatrical Selections, a provocative "free politically charged reading series" by five major D.C. theater companies, led by Shakespeare Theatre Company. In the run up to this year's presidential election, the companies will offer readings of plays that offer insights into the country's current political and social environment, selected by leaders of the Kennedy Center as well as Shakespeare, Signature and Studio theaters. First up is a preview of a full production in the spring at Arena Stage and part of the year-long festival celebrating activist/playwright Lillian Hellman. Set during World War II, Watch on the Rhine focuses on a young American who seeks refuge with her kids and her German husband in the D.C. suburbs -- but an Eastern European man with ulterior motives threatens everyone's safety. Monday, Oct. 3, at 7:30 p.m. Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Free. Call 202-488-3300 or visit


A Local actor offers the guided tour Investigation: Detective McDevitt, portraying Detective James McDevitt, a D.C. police officer patrolling a half-block from Ford's Theatre the night President Lincoln was shot. Written by Richard Hellesen and directed by Mark Ramont, the 1.6-mile walking tour revisits and reexamines the sites and clues from the investigation into the assassination. Tours are offered approximately three evenings a week at 6:45 p.m. Ford's Theatre, 511 10th St. NW. Tickets are $17. Call 202-397-7328 or visit

Four larger-than-life, three-dimensional portrait busts become the first ever art installations in the Hillwood gardens. Contemporary American artist Philip Haas offers sculptural interpretations of the celebrated botanical paintings by Italian master Giuseppe Arcimboldo. The 15-foot fiberglass works will weather seasonal changes in climate. Opens Saturday, Oct. 1. On exhibit through March 31. Hillwood Estate, 4155 Linnean Ave. NW. Suggested donation is $12. Call 202-686-5807 or visit

Subtitled New Library for Congress and the Nation, this exhibition marks the 200th anniversary of the acquisition of Jefferson's library of books, the foundation of the modern Library of Congress. The Jeffersonian concept of a universal library covering all subjects is the basis of the library's comprehensive collecting policies. Through Nov. 12. Second Floor of the Library of Congress's Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. SE. Call 202-707-8000 or visit

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

The Kennedy Center presents a new installation by the Mexican graffiti artist celebrating the artistic contributions of several of the country's cultural icons, including Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Octavio Paz. A co-commission with the Mexican Cultural Institute of the Embassy of Mexico, Edgar "Saner" Flores' installation, known in Spanish as Con Los Brazos Abiertos, features his signature masks, influenced by Mexican folklore with characters and animals such as jaguars, coyotes, gods and skulls. Opens Saturday, Oct. 1. Through Oct. 20. Kennedy Center Hall of States. Free. Call 202-467-4600 or visit

The Smithsonian's American Art Museum displays 50 paintings and drawings from its permanent collection focused on lesbian artist Romaine Brooks, who struck an androgynous look and explored gender and sexuality in her work, something rarely done in her time. Brooks was a leading figure of an artistic counterculture of upper-class Europeans and American expatriates, many of whom were queer, and a precursor of present-day artists whose works depict cross-dressing and transgender themes. Closes Sunday, Oct. 2. Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th and F Streets NW. Free. Call 202-633-1000 or visit

The Smithsonian's Freer|Sackler Museums of Asian Art toasts the rich heritage of Afghanistan with stunning ceramics, jewelry, jali, rugs and more made by young artisans working in a former slum in the country's capital. Subtitled "Artists Transforming Afghanistan," the exhibition is named after a decade-old British nonprofit that has helped revive Afghanistan's proud cultural legacy by turning Murad Khani in Old Kabul into a vibrant cultural and economic center. Through Jan. 29. Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, 1050 Independence Ave. SW. Call 202-633-4800 or visiting


Two weeks after Adams Morgan Day comes a smaller festival showcasing the eclectic rhythms that make the multicultural neighborhood move. Launched in 2013 by the Adams Morgan Partnership BID, PorchFest features dozens of local musicians and musical acts. It's a mix of ages and expertise, performing a mix of styles from brass to R&B, folk to rock, and Latin to reggae, in pop-up venues on porches and patios of historic homes and local businesses throughout the neighborhood's leafy residential streets. Saturday, Oct. 1, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Starting point is 18th Street and Columbia Road NW. Call 202-997-0783 or visit

The last Friday of every month the Alexandria restaurant Fireflies presents a "Lip Sync battle contest" and an extended happy hour geared toward the LGBT community. Friday, Sept. 30, starting at 4 p.m. FireFlies Del Ray, 1501 Mt. Vernon Ave. Alexandria. Call 703-548-7200 or visit

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden celebrates World Architecture Day with a nod to its Gordon Bunshaft-designed building, dubbed the "Brutalist donut." The museum will offer free donuts from Zombie Coffee and Donuts and architectural tours of the unique circular building, one of the most celebrated examples of the Brutalist style -- one led by architecture critic Kriston Capps of The Atlantic and Washington City Paper and another by Architect magazine associate editor Deane Madsen, in addition to guided tours through the galleries. Monday, Oct. 3, starting at 10 a.m., but donuts will be available only until supplies last. Hirshhorn Museum, Independence Avenue and Seventh Street SW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit

As summer nears its end, thoughts naturally turn to jousting, feasting, crafts, theater, music, and merriment. Yes, it's time once again for Maryland Renaissance Festival, one of the world's largest festivals recreating 16th century England. Now in its 40th season and set in a park outside of Annapolis, Md., the festival encourages patrons to dress up in period costume. (They're available to rent if you don't have your own doublet and hose.) Just don't bring weapons, real or toy, or pets, as they tend to eat the turkey legs. Weekends through Oct. 23. Maryland Renaissance Festival, Crownsville Road, Crownsville, Md. Tickets are $17 to $22 for a single-day adult ticket. Call 800-296-7304 or visit

Derek Brown's high-energy, hip-hop-styled X-Faction Dance troupe was a staple at Velvet Nation and Town Danceboutique. Now Brown is regularly upstaging the food at Penn Quarter's two-story establishment Sax. As the Moulin Rouge-inspired restaurant's official artistic director and choreographer, Brown programs short bursts of movement-based spectacles, including aerial stunts, hip-hop group routines and burlesque. And male burlesque is the showcase for the new weekly Sunday brunch, as a group of male professional dancers, aerialists and bodybuilders perform two full-length shows, accompanied by unlimited mimosas. Every Sunday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sax Restaurant & Lounge, 734 11th St. NW. Tickets are $50 to $65 including appetizers and unlimited mimosas. Call 202-737-0101 or visit

Now in its 10th year, the "show and sale of wearable art" features masters of American handicrafts as well as leaders from leading design schools. Having raised $11 million in its first decade for the Smithsonian's museums, research facilities and traveling exhibits, the focus of Craft2Wear is on purchasable, one-of-a-kind clothing, jewelry and accessories. A Preview Night party with an Art on the Runway Fashion Show is set for Thursday, Oct. 6, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Festival runs Friday, Oct. 7, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 8, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. Tickets are $15 per day, or $100 for the Preview party. Call 202-272-2448 or visit