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BOO! A MADEA HALLOWEEN
If you like Tyler Perry and his Madea character, you'll probably like this horror comedy, which sees Madea and her friends trying to evade killers, zombies and ghosts while stopping her great-niece from attending a party. Opens Friday, Oct. 21. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (Rhuaridh Marr)
Indie filmmaker Kelly Reichardt adapts three short stories by Maile Meloy focused on strong-willed women striving to forge their own paths amidst the open plains of the American Northwest. Kristen Stewart, Laura Dern and Michelle Williams star in a "slow-burning, melancholic drama" (The Guardian) that is "a trifle academic and dry" (The Hollywood Reporter). Opens Friday, Oct. 21. Landmark's E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Also Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema, 7235 Woodmont Ave. Call 202-452-7672, 301-652-727 or visit landmarktheatres.com.
A month-long celebration of Alfred Hitchcock concludes with two classics from the "Master of Suspense." The Trouble With Harry (1955) is a rarely screened black comedy about a small Vermont village reacting to the discovery of a dead man on a nearby hillside, and is notable for the screen debut of Shirley MacLaine. It's a passable film but not one of Hitchcock's best moments. Psycho (1960), however, is another story. If you've never seen it -- and even if you have -- it remains one of the greatest horror films in the history of cinema, single-handedly reinventing the genre. Anthony Perkins gives the performance of his career as Norman Bates, the meek, neurotic owner of an eerily isolated motel where he lives with his domineering mother. His life is forever changed when Marion Crane (the lovely Janet Leigh) stays for a night. The low-budget, black-and-white film is celebrated for a shower to end all showers -- a master class in editing -- and for Bernard Herrmann's magnificent, instantly recognizable all-strings score. With Vera Miles, (a dreadful) John Gavin, Martin Balsam and, in a blink-and-you'll-miss it cameo, Ted Knight, who a decade later would star as the dumbest anchorman alive on the Mary Tyler Moore Show. Harry screens Thursday, Oct. 27, and Psycho, Monday, Oct. 31, at 7 p.m. at the Angelika Pop-Up at Union Market, 550 Penn St. NE, and at the Angelika Film Center, 2911 District Avenue, in Fairfax. Tickets are $7 to $10 each. Call 800-680-9095 or visit angelikafilmcenter.com. (Randy Shulman)
JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK
If there's one thing America has been demanding, it's a sequel to 2012 crime thriller Jack Reacher. What's that? No one has requested such a thing? Oh. Well, Tom Cruise is back as the titular character anyway, in a film directed by Edward Zwick and based on Lee Child's series of books. Opens Friday, Oct. 21. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (RM)
KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES
Zach Galifianakis and Isla Fisher star as Jeff and Karen Gaffney, a suburban couple outshone by their gorgeous, ultra-sophisticated neighbors, Jon Hamm and Gal Gadot. When it's revealed that they're government spies, the Gaffneys become embroiled in international espionage. It's Mr. & Mrs. Smith from the neighbors' perspective. Opens Friday, Oct. 21. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com.
MIDDLEBURG FILM FESTIVAL
Now in its fourth year in a picturesque town in Virginia's horse and wine country, the Middleburg Film Festival, founded by BET co-founder Sheila C. Johnson, offers a mix of independent features and documentaries and many Oscar contenders, including six submissions for Best Foreign Language Film. Lion, starring Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman and Rooney Mara, is the opening night film. The musical La La Land, with Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, is Saturday's highlight. Sunday brings Loving, Jeff Nichols' documentary about the interracial couple who brought down anti-miscegenation laws via their landmark Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia. Other notable screenings include Pedro Almodovar's Julieta, which marks a return to his "cinema of women," Kelly Fremon Craig's The Edge of Seventeen, starring Hailee Steinfeld and Woody Harrelson, Ewan McGregor's adaptation of the Philip Roth novel American Pastoral, and Jim Jarmusch's Paterson. The festival runs Thursday, Oct. 20, through Sunday, Oct. 23. Salamander Resort & Spa and other venues in Middleburg, Va. Passes range from $100 for students to $2,500 for all-access passes, including film screenings and receptions plus dinner and food events at a local winery. Visit middleburgfilm.org.
NOIR CITY DC: THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY
The American Film Institute offers an October series to give you a case of the creeps. Films in Noir City DC include Deception starring Bette Davis, a double feature of the chilling 1931 classic M with a 2016 documentary about its German-Austrian filmmaker Fritz Lang, and the Hitchcock classic Rear Window. But they don't get much more unsettling than Albert Lewin's sinister, 70-year-old take on Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray. Angela Lansbury earned a supporting actress Oscar nomination for one of her first film roles as a love interest of Hurd Hatfield, who sells his soul and pursues a hedonistic, ageless lifestyle. Saturday, Oct. 22, at noon, and Monday, Oct. 24, at 4:45 p.m. AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $13 general admission, or $10 for matinee screenings. Call 301-495-6720 or visit afi.com/Silver.
OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL
Another example of "terrible horror film makes an extreme amount of money on its paltry budget, so they made a sequel." But wait, this is different! It's a prequel to a terrible horror film. Pass. Opens Friday, Oct. 21. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (RM)
THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW
Landmark's E Street Cinema celebrates Halloweekend by offering Richard O'Brien's camp classic, billed as the longest-running midnight movie in history. Landmark's showings come with a live shadow cast from the Sonic Transducers, meaning it's even more interactive than usual. Friday, Oct. 28, and Saturday, Oct. 29, at midnight, and Sunday, Oct. 30, at 7:30 p.m. Landmark's E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672 or visit landmarktheatres.com.
WITHIN OUR GATES
To commemorate the recent release of the five-disc Blu-ray/DVD set Pioneers of African-American Cinema, the Library of Congress presents a free screening of the earliest surviving feature film directed by an African American. Presented in a new digital restoration, the 1920 Within Our Gates is considered by critics as Oscar Michaeux's response to D.W. Griffith's deplorable Birth of a Nation, which chronicled the rise of the Ku Klux Klan. Michaeux's film follows a teacher determined to start a school for poor black children. Paul D. Miller, better known as DJ Spooky, will introduce the film, the restored version of which includes his original compositions. Friday, Oct. 21, 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.
"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. Closes Saturday, Oct. 22. Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 7th St. SE. Tickets are $15. Call 202-547-6839 or visit chaw.org.
ANGELS IN AMERICA: MILLENNIUM APPROACHES
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. Jason Loewith's direction of the first part 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. Eight actors work in tandem here, taking on multiple roles and 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. Closes Sunday, Oct. 23. Round House Theatre, 4545 East-West Highway, Bethesda. Tickets are $55 to $75. Call 240-644-1100 or visit roundhousetheatre.org. (Doug Rule)
ANGELS IN AMERICA: PERESTROIKA
Under Ryan Rilette's authoritative direction, the second of the two Angels plays is an awe-inspiring, insightful theatrical marvel, building on and surpassing the dramaturgical success of Jason Loewith's momentous Millennium Approaches. Taken together, the two master-class productions offer the kind of once-in-a-lifetime rewards that bucket lists are made for. Perestroika is the more daunting of the two, but also the more enriching, as we see Prior Walter wrestle his Angel and stand up for the hopes and desires of his fellow humans. Tony Kushner's flights of fancy become thresholds of revelation in his prescient analysis of progressive politics, race relations, American patriotism and pride. Tom Story leads the show as a perfectly realized gay everyman. Story has never been more in command of a character as he is with Prior. Also notable is the work of Kimberly Gilbert, who has been reason enough to see a show over the past decade, yet here she's more captivating than ever. Her Harper learns from her crises of faith and unrequited love in ways that the rest of us could only hope to approximate. To Oct. 30. Round House Theatre, 4545 East-West Highway, Bethesda. Tickets are $55 to $75. Call 240-644-1100 or visit roundhousetheatre.org. (DR)
The perfect antidote to the deluge of commercialized Halloween pap. A decidedly PG-13 offering, Synetic's fabulously dark vision of Dante's search for his lost love Beatrice through the many rings of Hell is not for the overly squeamish. It is also Synetic at its best -– embracing fully the edgy, the weird, and the wonderful, all with a sensibility that is unmistakably European. Like Synetic's Silent Shakespeare series, Dante's story is told without a word spoken, the narrative delivered through dance, mime and extraordinary atmospherics. Carrying the title role is Vato Tsikurishvil. With soulful, hungry eyes, he expresses the determination and torment of a man venturing into the depths of Hell and its punishment of the worst of mankind. A powerful mover, Tsikurishvili is physically expressive without overdoing his gasp-worthy acrobatic feats. Yet the real stars here are the imaginations of the creator and the director, Paata Tsikurishvili and Irina Tsikurishvili. This is their Hell and the devil is absolutely and most excellently in the details. To Oct. 30. Theater at Crystal City, 1800 South Bell St., Arlington. Tickets are $35 to $55. Call 800-494-8497 or visit synetictheater.org. (Kate Wingfield)
Disney partners with Signature Theatre for a world premiere musical version of the body-swap classic, immortalized in two hit Disney films. Heidi Blickenstaff (Signature's First You Dream) and Emma Hunton (Broadway's Spring Awakening) star as mother Katherine and daughter Ellie in a production helmed by Christopher Ashley, reteaming with his Memphis choreographer Sergio Trujillo. The musical's pop/rock score comes from the Pulitzer Prize-winning pair behind Next to Normal, composer Tom Kitt and lyricist Brian Yorkey. The cast includes Jason Gotay, Alan H. Green, Shayna Blass, Sherri L. Edelen and Bobby Smith. To Nov. 20. MAX Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit signature-theatre.org.
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. Closes Sunday, Oct. 23. Studio's Milton Theatre, 14th & P Streets NW. Call 202-332-3300 or visit studiotheatre.org.
Two State Department employees are tasked with identifying sexual deviants within their ranks in this comedy by Topher Payne based on a true story from the anti-LGBT Lavender Scare in the post-WWII era. Amy Berlin directs a tale featuring madcap I Love Lucy-style antics, as the employees -- Bob and Norma -- are not only gay themselves, but have married each other's partners as a carefully constructed cover. The two "All-American" couples are forced to stare down the closet door in one of the earliest rumblings of the LGBT movement. Featuring Tara Callahan Carroll, Jeff Clevenger, Jennifer Frank, Luke Newsome, Jacqueline O'Connor, Stevie Rice, and Louise Ricks. Closes Saturday, Oct. 22. Richmond Triangle Players, 1300 Altamont Ave. Richmond. Tickets are $15 to $50. Call 804-346-8113 or visit rtriangle.org.
ROMEO & JULIET
Cute but flawed, the Shakespeare Theatre Company's Romeo and Juliet is more school field trip than grown-up fare. Updated to the here and now, this is mad teenage love envisioned in neo-Renaissance McMansions, rich-kid dance parties and earbuds. As such, it is played young, fun and accessible. Carrying the vibe is Andrew Veenstra's alpha Romeo, an extrovert raised on pop culture, and Ayana Workman's Juliet, a super-rich, super-thin, super-sweet girl who surely gets the lead in every play. But if their personas are loud, irrepressible and super-accessible, there is a price to pay: depth. For starters, if you come expecting to shed a tear for the doomed lovers, you will likely be disappointed. Although death stalks the couple -- in their free fall of passion, in the violent hatred between their clans, in Romeo's impulsive murder of Tybalt -- the shadows are lost in their showy exuberance. They are adorably charismatic and very dramatic, but there is far too little space to suggest that quieter place: the dark whirlpool of the young and volatile soul and its pathos. To Nov. 6. Lansburgh Theatre, 450 7th St. NW. Tickets are $44 to $118. Call 202-547-1122 or visit shakespearetheatre.org. (KW)
RUTHLESS! THE MUSICAL
Creative Cauldron, Virginia's emerging theater company, offers the area premiere of this Off-Broadway campy cult hit. A spoof of everything from Gypsy to Mame to All About Eve, writer Joel Paley and composer Marvin Laird's comedy follows a beautiful, talented and overly ambitious 8-year-old girl in her quest to play the lead in the school play. Matt Conner directs. To Oct. 30. ArtSpace Falls Church, 410 South Maple Ave. Falls Church. Tickets are $20 to $30. Call 703-436-9948 or visit creativecauldron.org.
SENSE & SENSIBILITY
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 folger.edu. (KW)
THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT TIME
Based on Mark Haddon's best-selling novel, Simon Stephens' 2015 Tony Award-winner for Best Play tells the heartwarming story of an unforgettable young man whose investigation of a mystery leads to a life-changing adventure. As directed by Marianne Elliott, the New York Times calls it "one of the most fully immersive works ever to wallop Broadway." Closes Sunday, Oct. 23. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $39 to $149. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK
Olney 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, 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. Closes Saturday, Oct. 22. Olney Theatre Center, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Call 301-924-3400 or visit olneytheatre.org.
"When people label it a lesbian play, it diminishes not just the story but the idea of that kind of love in general," says Maryland-based playwright Audrey Cefaly. In fact, Cefaly didn't conceive of The Gulf, set in her native Alabama, as a love story at all. "I had this image floating around in my head of two women on a boat, fighting brutally," Cefaly tells Metro Weekly. "The more I pulled back to explore what could have caused this, the more I realized they were in some kind of relationship, because the only thing that would cause that kind of passion is love." As channeled on stage by Rachel Zampelli and Maria Rizzo, the result goes beyond what Cefaly, who is straight, imagined. "It's sexy and fun," she says. "Explosive and dangerous. An 85-minute rollercoaster ride." To Nov. 6. Signature's Ark Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit signature-theatre.org.
THE LITTLE FOXES
A pleasingly old-fashioned melodrama, Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes may be tame by modern standards, but in Arena's production, it remains a satisfyingly well-spun tale. Set in the turn-of-the-century American South, it's a story of greed, family and the warp and weft of marital power. Foxes has always been a star vehicle for the actor playing Regina, and here Marg Helgenberger does an admirable job of bringing some real personality to a character who begs to be played large and lavishly entitled. She is a familiar type -- not least because she has inspired so many derivations -- and making her unique is the challenge here. Helgenberger certainly has the charisma for this alpha woman, but her rather no-nonsense edge gives Regina more the feel of a well-heeled frontierswoman than a Southern Belle. Still, for an evening's worth of dastardly doings in the bad old South, it is a fine entertainment. To Oct. 30. Kreeger Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Tickets are $50 to $100. Call 202-488-3300 or visit arenastage.org. (KW)
THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING
Kathleen Turner returns to Arena Stage to star in a one-woman play based on the award-winning memoir by Joan Didion and focused on the death of her husband, fellow novelist John Dunne, as well as on her daughter's serious, repeated hospitalizations. As a coping mechanism, Didion engages in magical thinking, an anthropological concept akin to superstition about willing good things to happen, or averting unavoidable events by hoping for or doing the right things. Gaye Taylor Upchurch directs. To Nov. 20. Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle, 1101 6th St. SW. Call 202-488-3300 or visit arenastage.org.
VOLCANOES: TALES OF EL SALVADOR
Gustavo Ott directs Cornelia Cody's kid-friendly, fun-filled, bilingual musical spectacle sharing well-known folktales around a story about two siblings dealing with separation and loss. A world premiere through GALita featuring Chema Pineda-Fernandez, Roberto Colmenares and Karen Morales, among others. Closes Saturday, Oct. 22. GALA Theatre at Tivoli Square, 3333 14th St. NW. Tickets are $10 to $12. Call 202-234-7174 or visit galatheatre.org.
After mastering her craft playing fiddle with the Texas Playboys, Amanda Shires has gone on to tour and record with artists including John Prine, Justin Townes Earle, Ryan Adams, and her husband Jason Isbell. The singer-songwriter offers a solo show in support of the charming solo album My Piece of Land, most of it recorded while Shires was seven months pregnant, unable to tour, and in a reflective mood. Friday, Oct. 21, at 8:30 p.m. Gypsy Sally's, 3401 K St. NW. Tickets are $16 in advance, or $18 day-of. Call 202-333-7700 or visit gypsysallys.com.
BALTIMORE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
A decade after being named Gramophone's "Artist of the Year," Angela Hewitt performs Beethoven's joyful Piano Concerto No. 1 in a program led by Hannu Lintu and Dvorak's pastoral work Symphony No. 8. Friday, Oct. 21, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 23, at 3 p.m. Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore. Also Saturday, Oct. 22, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $33 to $99. Call 410-783-8000 or visit bsomusic.org.
BELA FLECK & ABIGAIL WASHBURN
Washington Performing Arts presents the legendary banjo virtuoso, who has been nominated in more categories than anyone in Grammy history, and his wife who is also a well-regarded banjo player and vocalist. They tour in support of their self-titled 2016 Grammy-winning album. Saturday, Oct. 22, at 8 p.m. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $50. Call 202-408-3100 or visit sixthandi.org.
D.C.'s own eight-piece Balkan and funk band consists of members from Thievery Corporation and is focused on having fun both on record -- including 2015's I Love You Madly -- and live. Saturday, Oct. 29, at 9:30 p.m. DC9, 1940 9th St. NW. Tickets are $12. Call 202-483-5000 or dcnine.com.
All aboard the Midnight Train to the Warner Theatre and another area concert by the "Empress of Soul." Knight will perform from her Grammy-winning repertoire and maybe even offer some of the moves she learned on Dancing With The Stars. Saturday, Oct. 22, at 8 p.m. Warner Theatre, 513 13th St. NW. Tickets are $82. Call 202-783-4000 or visit warnertheatredc.com.
HILARY HAHN, ROBERT LEVIN
As part of its 50th Anniversary Season Star Series, Washington Performing Arts presents three-time Grammy-winning violinist Hilary Hahn performing a recital of wide-ranging music accompanied by pianist Robert Levin. The program includes three new commissioned partitas by Spanish composer Anton Garcia Abril. Friday, Oct. 28, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $38 to $95. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
A record three-time winner of BBC Music Magazine's Chamber Music Award, the string quartet comes to the Clarice to display what has been called a rare blend of passion and precision. The program includes works by Haydn, Prokofiev and Beethoven. Sunday, Oct. 31, 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 theclarice.umd.edu.
KINGS OF LEON
One of the first concerts announced at the soon-to-open MGM National Harbor, Kings of Leon will kick off the first leg of their 2017 tour in the new entertainment complex in Prince George's County. The tour is in support of just-released seventh album Walls, named after the moving ballad that closes out a "goosebump-inducing" set -- as Q Magazine puts it -- which just might make a fan out of an unsuspecting listener. Once known for blustery, bluesy, angular Southern rock, Kings of Leon are trending towards post-punk-inspired tunes that are bittersweet, anthemic, and rich in melody and grooves, like a latter-day U2 or an improved Interpol. One listen to fifth track "Over" and you'll hear what I mean. Tickets on sale Friday, Oct. 21, for Thursday, Jan. 12, concert at the Theater at MGM National Harbor, 7100 Harborview Ave., Oxon Hill, Md. Call 844-346-4664 or visit mgmnationalharbor.com.
In 2014 Tony-winning star Laura Benanti (Gypsy, Into The Woods) recalled to Metro Weekly having a slight existential crisis as a kid. "What is this world that I live in? What is this horrible place where people know who Paula Abdul is, and they don't know who Rosemary Clooney is? It made me feel really lonely and really sad," Benanti said. On the flipside, it also made her feel like "a 45-year-old gay man in a little girl's body." A multiple performer with the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, Benanti returns to Wolf Trap for another night of cabaret-style song, dance and humor. Saturday, Oct. 29, at 3 and 8 p.m. The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $40 to $45. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit wolftrap.org.
MASON BATES: KC JUKEBOX
The new KC Jukebox season kicks off with a "classical rave," an immersive 360-degree experience blending classical music with DJ'ing, visual art and imaginative stagecraft, including strobe lighting. Kennedy Center Composer-in-Residence Mason Bates, aka DJ Masonic, leads this "Mercury Soul" evening alongside conductor Benjamin Shwartz and music by Igor Stravinsky, John Adams, composer/violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain, and a drum 'n' bass-inspired percussion trio featuring Bates. The idea is to trace the history of dance music from Bach to present-day EDM. Monday, Oct. 24, at 7:30 p.m. Kennedy Center Atrium. Tickets are $20. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Violin sensation Nicola Benedetti offers the East Coast premiere of Wynton Marsalis' Violin Concerto, in a program led by NSO Music Director Christoph Eschenbach also featuring Tchaikovsky's "Polish" Symphony. Thursday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 29, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $15 to $89. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
NEW ORCHESTRA OF WASHINGTON
Now in its fifth season, the ensemble, led by Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez, offers a "Smaller Is Better" program featuring three orchestral works that have been reduced in instrumentation for the concert. Hand-picked professional musicians will tease out the intimate qualities of Mozart's Overture to The Marriage of Figaro, Grieg's Piano Concerto in A Minor featuring Japanese wunderkind Mayumi Sakamoto, and Brahms' Symphony No. 2. Saturday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m. Live! at 10th and G, 945 G ST. NW. Also Sunday, Oct. 30, at 3 p.m. JCC of Greater Washington, 6125 Montrose Rd., Rockville. Tickets are $40 each. Call 240-235-5088 or visit neworchestraofwashington.org.
STRATHMORE CABARET: BLUES BASH
The style and melodies of pioneers Muddy Waters, B.B. King and Bessie Smith are just some of the blues that'll be on offer at a benefit concert for Strathmore's mentoring work with local musicians, which is first and foremost a showcase of its signature Artists in Residence program. Billed as the "next generation of powerhouse performers," this year's roster includes percussionist Joey Antico, accordionist and pianist Simone Baron, bassist Ethan Foote, fiddle player Patrick McAvinue, and vocalists Ines Nassara and Chris Urquiaga. They'll perform at this cabaret along with electric guitarist Foley and vocalist Rochelle Rice, both AIR alumni, and guest artists harmonica player Black Magic and pianist Sean Lane. Saturday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m. Amp by Strathmore, 11810 Grand Park Ave. North Bethesda. Tickets are $150 including dinner and drinks, or $500 for two reserved VIP seats. Call 301-581-5100 or visit ampbystrathmore.com.
South African singer-songwriter Jean-Philip Grobler grew up singing in the Drakensberg Boys' Choir, but St. Lucia, his five-piece project that includes his wife Patti Beranek, is far more influenced by pop music than choral. Album Matter is reincarnated '80s synth-pop through and through: a little Depeche Mode, a smidgen of Dire Straits, and a whole lot of New Order, especially with Grobler's vocals often recalling Bernard Sumner's. Thursday, Oct. 27, and Friday, Oct. 28. Doors at 6 p.m. Nightclub 9:30, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $27.50. Call 202-265-0930 or visit 930.com.
"Brother Ray meets the Ramones ...Chopin meets Minutemen" is how Tony Sarabia of WBEZ radio described the Windy City piano blues/punk act. Their D.C. engagement offers "a thrilling new chapter in American roots music." Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 9 p.m. Bossa Bistro, 2463 18th St. NW. Tickets are $5. Call 202-667-0088 or visit bossadc.com.
THE INSERIES: THE ROMANTICS
The Romantics: Schumann & Heine is a salon-style concert featuring the song cycle Dichterliebe ("Love of the Poet"), which Romantic composer Robert Schumann created with poetry by Heinrich Heine. Tenor Byron Jones and InSeries artistic director and pianist Carla Hubner collaborate on the famous song cycle in a program that includes original art projections and multimedia design by Jonathan Dahm Robertson, plus other extraordinary Schumann art songs performed by mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Mondragon. Pianist and commentator Frank Conlon also joins to host a discussion of Schumann's works and the Romantic movement in general. Sunday, Oct. 23, and Saturday, Oct. 29, at 2:30 p.m. Source Theatre, 1835 14th St. NW. Tickets are $36. Call 202-204-7763 or visit inseries.org.
WHITE FORD BRONCO
"D.C.'s all '90s party band," cheekily named after O.J. Simpson's notorious failed getaway car, sings through that decade's songbook in all styles of popular music. The five-member ensemble consists of singer/guitarist Diego Valencia, singer Gretchen Gustafson, guitarists Ken Sigmund and McNasty, and drummer Max Shapiro. Friday, Oct. 21. Doors at 7 p.m. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $22. Call 202-265-0930 or visit 930.com.
ALIGHT DANCE THEATER
The complexity of women's relationships is explored in two repertory works by this Maryland-based company founded by Angella Foster and blending dance, physical theater and spoken word. Set to a score of upbeat bluegrass music, Matina Phillips and Eleni Grove's Blue Mountain Express follows four women aboard a train as their stories are revealed and their similarities and differences celebrated. Meanwhile, Foster's Women's Work imagines a community of strong women in her childhood home of rural Kentucky, inspired by her grandma's tales of kinship and hard work and featuring original music by Rob Collier and a massive, handmade suspended quilt. Saturday, Oct. 29, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 30, at 7 p.m. Dance Place, 3225 8th St. NE. Tickets are $20 in advance, or $25 at the door. Call 202-269-1600 or visit danceplace.org.
DAKSHINA'S FALL FESTIVAL OF SOUTH ASIAN ARTS
Daniel Phoenix Singh's Dakshina presents its 13th annual weekend of dance, music and poetry, featuring artists from around the U.S. and India, including Indira Kadambi, Rehan Bashir, Alif Laila and Ashwati Nair -- as well as Lakshmi Babu and the Dakshina ensemble, showcasing its signature fusion work. Friday, Oct. 21, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 22, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 23, at 4 p.m. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $25 to $50. Call 202-399-7993 or visit dakshina.org.
Emergence is the debut stage work by D.C.-based Flow Arts Dance Company, which was inspired by this year's Burning Man theme, "DaVinci's Workshop." Said to be equal parts circus, dance and theater, using the beautiful and complex spinning of poi, fans and hoops, the work is an examination of technology -- from deep distrust to the bonds we form with it. Saturday, Oct. 21, and Sunday, Oct. 22, at 7:30 p.m. Anacostia Arts Center, 1231 Good Hope Road SE. Tickets are $15 to $20. Call 202-631-6291 or visit anacostiaartscenter.com.
SAN FRANCISCO BALLET
In a co-production with the Dutch National Ballet, America's oldest ballet company performs Tony- and Olivier-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon's visually imaginative production of Cinderella, complete with puppets and an animated tree by the incomparable Basil Twist. Inspired by Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault fairy tales, Wheeldon's ballet is a fairy tale for modern times, focused on an empowered heroine more in charge of her destiny -- without a meddling fairy godmother, pumpkin carriage or clock striking midnight. Set to a lesser-known score by Prokofiev as performed by the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, the production features a libretto by Craig Lucas, sets and costumes by Julian Crouch, lighting by Natasha Katz, and projection design by Daniel Brodie. Remaining performances Thursday, Oct. 27, through Sunday, Oct. 30, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 29, and Sunday, Oct. 30, at 1:30 p.m. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $29 to $139. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
THE SUZANNE FARRELL BALLET
The Kennedy Center's resident ballet company celebrates its 15th season with an all-Balanchine program, including company premieres of the rarely seen Gounod Symphony, staged as part of Farrell's Balanchine Preservation Initiative, and the patriotic Stars & Stripes, in addition to the return of audience favorite Danses Concertantes. Performed with the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra. Friday, Oct. 21, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 22, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 23, at 2 p.m. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $39 to $99. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
BIANCA DEL RIO
After winning RuPaul's Drag Race, Bianca Del Rio was all over D.C. in 2014, from headlining Capital Pride to monthly runs of a show offering her special brand of insult comedy at Town Danceboutique. Now the bitch, as they say, is back, with a new comedy special named after her signature phrase, "Not Today, Satan." Saturday, Oct. 22. Doors at 7 p.m. Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. Tickets are $37.50 to $199. Call 202-328-6000 or visit thelincolndc.com.
POTUS AMONG US
No two performances by the Washington Improv Theater are alike and in this satire of the presidential election process, the audience picks the candidates and influences the story, including scandals and shockers, of the next president. It's a tale that the Washington Improv Theatre promises to be "as unpredictable as the 2016 election cycle." To Nov. 6. Source, 1835 14th St. NW. Tickets $15 in advance, or $20 at the door. Call 202-204-7760 or visit witdc.org.
THE BENTZEN BALL COMEDY FESTIVAL
Lesbian comedian Tig Notaro curates the annual four-day event, which she kicks off at the Lincoln Theatre on Thursday, Oct. 27, with a show featuring her friends including Aparna Nancherla and Lizzy Cooperman. In addition to a run of shows all weekend by Jon Dore at Drafthouse Comedy, the festival continues Friday, Oct. 28, with Pound It! at the Lincoln featuring Bridget Everett, Michael Ian Black, Melissa Villasenor, and Jason Weems, as well as stand-up from Baron Vaughn and a free Picture This show with Brandie Posey and Sam Varela, both at the Kennedy Center. On Saturday, Oct. 29, Sixth and I hosts Mock The Vote: Pre-Election Comedy Showcase with Lee Camp, Leah Bonnema, Brian Parise and Andrew Knox, while the Lincoln features Stuff You Should Know Live! with Chuck Bryant and Josh Clark, followed by a Halloween/Election Nightmare Comedy Show. DC Improv also hosts two events Saturday: the Last Podcast on the Left Halloween Bentzen Ball Edition, and a one-hour stand-up taping of John F. O'Donnell directed by Fugazi's Brendan Canty, with Dave Hill and host Amber Nelson. The festival's final day offers a UHF Live Commentary show at the Lincoln featuring "Weird Al" Yankovic, Malcolm Gladwell, Dave Hill and Emo Phillips, concluding with a Horror Show-themed Story District event with storytellers sharing "true stories about ghosts, devils and things that go bump in the night." Visit brightestyoungthings.com/bentzen-ball for tickets and more information.
The co-creator and co-star of Comedy Central's hilariously wacky Broad City stops for a discussion at Sixth and I focused on Carry This Book, a weird and wonderful look at the world around us -- all through the framework of the things we carry. The book includes bright, quirky and colorful line drawings by the comedian herself -- who graduated with a degree in fine arts and video production from Baltimore's Maryland Institute College of Art before moving to New York a decade ago to pursue a career in comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. Thursday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $35 including one book pre-signed by Jacobson, or $50 for two tickets and one pre-signed book. Call 202-408-3100 or visit sixthandi.org.
The founder of the pioneering Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard College offers more insights from her canine research in Being a Dog: Following the Dog into a World of Smell. A sequel of sorts to Inside of A Dog: What Dogs See, Smell and Know, the psychology professor's second book on dog behavior lays out the physiology of a dog's nose and interviews experts on the olfactory range of different animals, including the distinctly weaker snout of humans. For a dog, air is the richest source of information -- and increasingly dogs are being used to sniff out more than just bombs and illicit substances, including cancer and disease detection in humans. Thursday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m. Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-364-1919 or visit politics-prose.com.
Billed as "an unyielding, brutally honest monologue reflecting on diverse culture, street cuisine and his travels to lesser-known locations around the world," Bourdain's "The Hunger Tour" is said to be full of laughs and snarky comments about Yelpers and all that ails the food world today. It comes ahead of his new cookbook Appetites and in service of the eighth season of Bourdain's travel and food show Parts Unknown on CNN. Thursday, Oct. 27, at 7:30 p.m. D.A.R. Constitution Hall, 1776 D St. NW. Tickets are $71 to $450. Call 202-628-1776 or visit dar.org/conthall.
Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated humor columnist reads from and signs copies of his latest book, Best. State. Ever.: A Florida Man Defends His Homeland. Barry pleads his case for those who still begrudge the state for its (mis)handling of the 2000 presidential election -- guilty -- as well as those who wonder how people can live with all those alligators and oversized insects, not to mention seemingly underdeveloped brains. Friday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m. Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-364-1919 or visit politics-prose.com.
TARAJI P. HENSON
At the heart of Fox's popular drama Empire is the force-of-nature Cookie Lyons, vividly realized by D.C. native Henson. In a new memoir, she discusses her journey to Hollywood, including her upbringing by a troubled Vietnam vet father and street-hardened mother as well as her struggles as a single mother and as a black actress in Hollywood -- despite holding a Howard University degree. The Smithsonian Associates presents a hometown discussion with the actress led by NPR's TV critic Eric Deggans at the National Museum of Natural History. Saturday, Oct. 22, at 1 p.m. Baird Auditorium, 10th St. and Constitution Ave. NW. Tickets are $40 to $50, which includes a pre-signed copy of Around The Way Girl. Call 202-633-3030 or visit smithsonianassociates.org.
BIRDHOUSES OF DEL RAY
Local artists created one-of-a-kind birdhouses from a wide range of materials -- including clay, fiber, and glass -- for a silent auction fundraiser as part of the Local Flavor show. Closes Tuesday, Oct. 25. Del Ray Artisans Gallery, 2704 Mount Vernon Ave. Alexandria. Call 703-731-8802 or visit delrayartisans.org.
CNN POLITICS CAMPAIGN 2016: LIKE, SHARE, ELECT
The Newseum has partnered with CNN -- as well as Facebook, Instagram, Zignal Labs and Pivit -- to offer an interactive exhibit telling the story of the 2016 presidential campaign in real time, which, let's face it, is even more fantastical than the story of Alice jumping down the rabbit hole. The exhibit explores the ways digital and social media have transformed how candidates campaign, how journalists cover elections (when Trump doesn't ban them), and how the public participates in the political process. Through Jan. 22. Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Tickets are $22.95 for general admission. Call 888-NEWSEUM or visit newseum.org.
FORD'S THEATRE'S HISTORY ON FOOT
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. Only two more tours will be offered in 2016, on Saturday, Oct. 22, and Saturday, Oct. 29, at 10:15 a.m. Ford's Theatre, 511 10th St. NW. Tickets are $17. Call 202-397-7328 or visit fords.org.
GORDON BINDER, SALLY LEVIE, YVETTE KRAFT
Skylines and Treelines is a collaborative show of paintings and drawings by Gordon Binder and Sally Levie exploring nature and the built environment, presented in Studio Gallery's lower level. Upstairs, A 30 Year View shows work from throughout Yvette Kraft's artistic career. Closes Saturday, Oct. 22. Studio Gallery, 2108 R St. NW. Call 202-232-8734 or visit studiogallerydc.com.
JOHN WATERS' KIDDIE FLAMINGOS
Few people could have imagined that John Waters' lovable 1988 film Hairspray would become a hit Broadway musical and subsequent hit musical film. No one in their right mind would pick his startlingly tasteless Pink Flamingos to be next up for a similar resurgence -- though you can't say Baltimore's king of camp isn't trying, albeit modestly. In 2014 he filmed children reading a cleverly modified, G-rated version of the 1972 cult classic. The 74-minute film features kids -- mostly his friends' children -- wearing wigs and costumes that evoke the legendary performances of Divine, Mink Stole, Edith Massey and others. Waters has even suggested the new version is "in some ways more perverse than the original." Now to Jan. 22. The Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Dr. Baltimore. Call 443-573-1700 or visit artbma.org.
"One of the most celebrated performance artists, anywhere," according to the New York Times, gets his first major U.S. survey with an exhibition at the Hirshhorn organized in association with London's Barbican. Ragnar Kjartansson includes a new epic work, an unprecedented 12-week live theatrical performance piece starring a rotating cast of local D.C. female musicians as selected by the Icelandic artist. Woman in E features a single, sequin-clad woman strumming an E-minor chord endlessly, rotating on a pedestal in a gold-tinseled room -- a performance said to walk the line between kitsch and earnest commentary on feminine objectification. Other works encompass everything from live endurance performance to large-scale video installations to photography and painting. Born into a theatrical family, Kjartansson's work generally celebrates and ridicules at once the romantic figure of the artist as a cultural hero. A daylong fall festival with performances by local bands and art-making activities on Saturday, Oct. 22. On exhibit through Jan. 8. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Independence Avenue and Seventh Street SW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit hirshhorn.si.edu.
SANTIAGO MONTOYA: THE GREAT SWINDLE
In collaboration with London's Halcyon Gallery, the Art Museum of the Americas presents an exhibition of works from the last decade by the Colombian artist using paper currency as the basis for his multidisciplinary approach. Consisting of works featuring painting, video documentary and found objects, The Great Swindle examines the use of paper money as a platform of political propaganda, exploiting iconic pictures to bolster power and embed imagery in national consciousness. Roundtable discussion with Thomas B.D. Cummins of Dumbarton Oaks and curator Jose Luis Falconi is Thursday, Oct. 20, from 4 to 5 p.m., followed by an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. On exhibit through March 26. Organization of American States, 1889 F St. NW. Call 202-370-0149 or visit AMAmuseum.org to RSVP for opening day or to schedule a later visit.
WINDOW TO WASHINGTON
Window to Washington: The Kiplinger Collection at HSW is an exhibition at Washington's Carnegie Library that traces the development of the nation's capital from a sleepy Southern town to a modern metropolis, as documented through the works of artists. The Historical Society of Washington, D.C., exhibition was made possible by a donation from the Kiplinger family. It's also an early step in a reorganization effort by the society, which has struggled to revive ever since its short-lived effort a decade ago to run a City Museum of Washington proved too ambitious. Open Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Historical Society of Washington, D.C., at the Carnegie Library, 801 K St. NW. Call 202-393-1420 or visit dchistory.org.
2016 DC DESIGN HOUSE
A benefit for Children's National Health System, the annual event highlights the talents of the D.C. area's top decorators, who will transform 21 spaces both inside and outside of the former French Ambassador's residence -- a nearly 12,000-square-foot home listed at $10.8 million. This year's designers include Charles Almonte, Kimberly Asner, Rachel Dougan, Melanie Hansen & Pooja Mittra & Steve Corbeille, Josh Hildreth & Victor Sanz, Lena Kroupnik, Jonathan Senner, and Stephen Wlodarczyk & Joshua Dean. Open to Oct. 30. 2509 Foxhall Rd. NW. Tickets are $35 to $60. Visit dcdesignhouse.com for more information.
A FACE IN THE CROWD
Two area arts organizations are focusing on the 1957 film that made a star out of Andy Griffith, who played a powerful radio and TV personality with an ultimately sinister force in American political life -- a foreshadowing of the rise of Donald Trump. First up is a screening and discussion at the Hill Center as part of the Political Nightmares film noir series. New Yorker staff writer Margaret Talbot and movie critic Nell Minow will discuss Elia Kazan's film along with Politico's Jack Shafer. Sunday, Oct. 23, at 4 p.m. Hill Center, Old Navy Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Free, but registration recommended for guaranteed seating. Call 202-549-4172 or visit HillCenterDC.org. The next night, Signature Theatre offers a reading of Budd Schulberg's screenplay as its contribution in Theatrical Selections, a provocative "free politically charged reading series" by five major D.C. theater companies in the month before this year's election. Part rags-to-riches cautionary tale, part-political thriller and part-doomed romance, Signature describes the screenplay as one that "foretold how mass media, celebrity, commerce and politics would become forever intertwined, in a way that was almost incomprehensible when it was written." Monday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m. Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Free. Call 703-820-9771 or visit signature-theatre.org.
AMERICAN FINE CRAFT SHOW
The fine crafts showcase returns to the DC Armory this weekend, this year with an additional focus on studio furniture designers. The American Fine Craft Show features artisans who are among the best in their fields in furniture-making, woodwork, ceramics, glassware, leather and metal goods, painting, jewelry and other wearable and decorative art. Artists come from across the United States and Canada, and many have not previously exhibited in the D.C. area. Friday, Oct. 21, from 4:30 to 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 22, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 23, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. DC Armory, 2001 East Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $8 for Friday, $15 for Saturday or Sunday, or $16 for a weekend pass. Call 202-271-1171 or visit AmericanFineCraftShowDC.com.
FIREFLIES' LGBT LIP SYNC BATTLE & HAPPY HOUR
The last Friday of every month the Alexandria restaurant Fireflies presents a "Lip Sync battle contest" with prizes and an extended happy hour geared toward the LGBT community with $5 cocktails and $8 pizza, all set to retro dance music. This month's battle is focused on Priscilla. Friday, Oct. 28, starting at 7 p.m. FireFlies Del Ray, 1501 Mt. Vernon Ave. Alexandria. Call 703-548-7200 or visit facebook.com/FirefliesDelRay.
Regie Cabico and Don Mike Mendoza's La-Ti-Do variety show features higher-quality singing than most karaoke, often from local musical theater actors performing on their night off, and also includes spoken-word poetry and comedy. Held at Bistro Bistro in Dupont Circle, Mendoza and Anya Randall Nebel host the next event featuring Madeline Cuddihy, Michelle Bruno, Rockville Musical Theatre, and guest performers including Joseph Benitez. Accompaniment by pianist Levar Betts. Monday, Oct. 24, at 8 p.m. Bistro Bistro, 1727 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets are $15, or $10 if you eat dinner at the restaurant beforehand. Call 202-328-1640 or visit latidodc.wix.com/latido.
MARYLAND RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL
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. Closes Sunday, 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 marylandrenaissancefestival.com.
RAVEN'S NIGHT EXTRAVAGANZA
Local married couple Belladonna and drag king extraordinaire Ken Vegas co-produce this wide-ranging show, rooted in Bella's primary work as a "tribal fusion bellydance" performer and teacher, as well as her background as a medieval reenactor. It also encompasses other forms of dance, performance art and music. In many ways, not least because the audience is encouraged to dress up, Raven's Night is the sort of event you're only going to experience around Halloween — not least for its name, an homage to Baltimore's master of macabre, Edgar Allan Poe. "We just wanted to create something where people could dress up, have a sense of community and come see a lot of different styles of entertainment," Bella told Metro Weekly last year. "It's really meant to be a festive, all-inclusive space where people get to play with their creativity." Bella hosts the 5th Annual Extravaganza, built around the theme "Celestial Bodies" and featuring other belly dancers, mostly from D.C. and New York, collaborative world music ensemble DragonSong, the BellaTrix Dance Company, the Lady Octavia, and tarot reader Madame Roxie, among others. Saturday, Oct. 22, starting at 5 p.m. with a carnival, followed by a concert at 6:30 p.m., and the cabaret at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $25. Call 703-549-7500 or visit birchmere.com.
SIR: ALL-MALE BURLESQUE SHOW
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 weekly Sunday brunch, as a group of professional dancers, aerialists and bodybuilders perform two full-length shows. 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 visitsiratsax.com.