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Carol, the sixth feature from Todd Haynes, has the feel of a career pinnacle, as though every other film in his canon was building to this masterpiece. Based on the novel The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith, the movie is the lesbian equivalent of Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain. But Carol is arguably more emotionally satisfying than Lee's film, in part because of the way Highsmith, herself a closeted lesbian, crafted the story of a young shopgirl (Rooney Mara) who falls in love with an older woman (Cate Blanchett) and embarks on a journey of self-discovery. Despite the lack of a suspense-driven narrative, it effortlessly evokes the spirit of Alfred Hitchcock; Carol could be a distant cousin to Vertigo. And, unlike so many films these days, Carol takes its time, with Haynes resolutely refusing to hurry things along. Some in the audience might find the approach dull. It's not. It's captivating, absorbing, all-encompassing. It's the way movies used to be made, an instant-born classic, with Blanchett and Mara giving the kinds of performances that Oscars are made for. Now playing. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (Randy Shulman)
HOW TO BE SINGLE
A modern rom-com adapted from a novel by former Sex and the City writer Liz Tuccillo, Christian Ditter directs this movie focused on four women with vastly different ideas about love and relationships -- a setup for Rebel Wilson to steal the whole shebang. Opens Friday, Feb. 12. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com.
Benedict Cumberbatch narrates a film offering the first-ever large format aerial footage of the Old City and throughout the Holy Land -- including sites ranging from the Western Wall to the Dome of the Rock to the Sea of Galilee. This 3D film also offers eye-opening personal stories and remarkable historical perspective. Showtimes Saturdays and Sundays to March 31. National Geographic Museum, 1145 17th St. NW. Tickets are $7. Call 202-857-7588 or visit ngmuseum.org.
OSCAR NOMINATED SHORT FILMS 2015: ANIMATED, LIVE ACTION
Once again Landmark Theatres, in partnership with ShortsHD, offers two feature-length programs of the short films nominated at the upcoming Academy Awards: a program with the animated shorts, featuring films from Chile, Russia, the U.K. and two from the U.S., including Pixar Animation's Sanjay's Super Team; and a program of live action shorts, including films from Germany, Ireland and the U.S., plus two set in the West Bank and Kosovo. Now playing. Landmark's E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672. Also Bethesda Row Cinema, 7235 Woodmont Ave. Call 301-652-7273. Visit landmarktheatres.com.
OSCAR NOMINATED SHORT FILMS 2015: DOCS
In addition to the animated and action programs, Landmark Theatres this year also presents a feature-length program of documentary shorts. All five Oscar-nominated films will screen, including the Liberian Body Team 12 set in the height of the Ebola outbreak, Chau, Beyond the Lines about an Agent Orange-disabled child and aspiring artist in Vietnam and The Price of Forgiveness, focused on a rare survivor of ''honor killings'' in Pakistan. Among two American documentaries is Last Day of Freedom, about a war veteran who faces criminal charges, racism and ultimately the death penalty. Now playing. Landmark's West End Cinema, 2301 M St. NW. Call 202-534-1907 or visit landmarktheatres.com.
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS
The seventh film in a series that has spanned four decades and spawned a near limitless number of spin-offs, merchandise and uber fans, The Force Awakens isn't original -- there's too much history for that to be possible. But it works on several levels. And for the most part, the screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan, Michael Arndt and J.J. Abrams, who directs, hits the right notes, with the grand, operatic overtones the series has long been known for. For its various foibles and the awkward transition between old characters and new, there's something undoubtedly exciting about this new trilogy of films. This is Star Wars returned, reformed, revitalized for a new generation. Every time you laugh at a reference, every time you see a familiar face, every time John Williams' glorious score swells, you can't help but get sucked in by it all. Now playing. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (Rhuaridh Marr)
Ben Stiller directs and stars in another parody of male models, this time including Benedict Cumberbatch as an androgynous character that has raised some criticism from transgender activists as being offensive. Owen Wilson of course reprises his role as Stiller's Zoolander sidekick Hansel. Olivia Munn and Kristen Wiig co-star. Opens Friday, Feb. 12. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com.
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
Right now, Washingtonians can take in two very different productions of this hearty Shakespeare comedy. Folger Theatre offers a more traditional approach -- though one that twists things considerably by casting women in traditionally male roles. Holly Twyford is Bottom and Erin Weaver is Puck as part of a large cast directed by Aaron Posner that also includes Megan Graves, Eric Hissom, Caroline Stefanie Clay, Adam Wesley Brown and Desmond Bing. To March 6. Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $35 to $75. Call 202-544-7077 or visit folger.edu.
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
Naturally, envelope-pushing company WSC Avant Bard offers the quirkier of the two concurrently running local productions of this winsome Shakespeare classic. Indonesian-inspired shadow puppets -- designed by Alex Vernon -- are the focal point of this production, directed by Randy Baker of Rorschach Theatre, and are accompanied by an ''actor-generated percussion orchestra.'' Daven Ralson is Puck and Zach Brewster-Geisz is Bottom in this wild reimagining of the famous tale of fairies. Closes Sunday, Feb. 14. Gunston Arts Center, 2700 South Lang St. Arlington. Tickets are $20. Call 703-418-4808 or visit wscavantbard.org.
AGENTS OF AZEROTH
Daring theater company the Washington Rogues offers a production, courtesy of CulturalDC, of Jennifer Lane's provocative play that pivots from the data point, revealed by Edward Snowden, that the NSA and CIA have spent vast time and resources investigating World of Warcraft. Megan Behm and J. Shawn Durham portray government agents and Dillon Greenberg and Grant Cloyd gamers watching the watchmen in this show directed by the Rogues' Ryan S. Taylor and examining weighty topics including security and surveillance, cyber-bullying and identity in our electronic age. Closes Sunday, Feb. 14. Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint, 916 G St. NW. Tickets are $20. Call 202-315-1310 or visit washingtonrogues.org.
AS YOU LIKE IT
In a new staging of the Bard's cross-dressing, escapist romantic comedy, Wendy Goldberg decided to present an all-female ensemble. ''This 400-year-old play is the most gender-bending play in Shakespeare's canon,'' she tells Metro Weekly. ''It is an invitation to explore gender and identity, and the fluidity of gender.'' Her all-female approach to the production by Center Stage is the inverse of that from Shakespeare's day, when all characters, male and female, were played by men and boys. Even today, it's far more common to see an all-male production of Shakespeare. Closes Sunday, Feb. 14. Towson University's Center for the Arts, 1 Fine Arts Dr., Towson, Md. Tickets are $10 to $59. Call 410-986-4000 or visit centerstage.org.
BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY
Yet another boisterous and unflinchingly dark comedy from Stephen Adly Guirgis, whose play The Motherfucker with the Hat received much critical praise at Studio Theatre a few years ago. Between Riverside and Crazy was the winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and is focused on an ex-cop who is facing eviction, battling City Hall and struggling over the recent death of his wife. To Feb. 28. Studio Theatre, 14th & P Streets NW. Call 202-332-3300 or visit studiotheatre.org.
CARMEN: AN AFRO-CUBAN JAZZ MUSICAL
Some of Broadway's best -- writer/director Moises Kaufman (The Laramie Project) and choreographer Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys) among them -- are behind this world-premiere adaptation of Bizet's opera as a musical set in 1958 revolutionary Cuba. Olney Theatre presents a co-production with Kaufman's Tectonic Theater Project featuring lyrics by Kaufman and a book co-written by Kaufman and Eduardo Machado, with music composed and adapted by Arturo O'Farrill. The 18-person cast stars Brandon Andrus as Jose, Caesar Samayoa as Camilo and Christina Sajous as the tragic titular diva. To March 16. Mainstage at Olney Theatre Center, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Call 301-924-3400 or visit olneytheatre.org.
Peter Shaffer's Tony-winning tale about a troubled teenager's dangerous obsession with horses is the latest show to get the Constellation Theatre Company treatment. Amber McGinnis Jackson directs the production with a cast including Michael Kramer, Kathleen Akerley, Michael Tolaydo, Laureen E. Smith and Ryan Tumulty. Closes Sunday, Feb. 14. Source Theatre, 1835 14th St. NW. Tickets are $35 to $45. Call 202-204-7741 or visit constellationtheatre.org.
FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS
Round House Theatre offers a production of this explosively powerful Civil War-era drama from Suzan-Lori Parks (Topdog/Underdog), which follows a slave from Texas to the Confederate battlefield. Timothy Douglas directs this Greek tragedy-inspired trilogy with a cast including Ian Anthony Coleman, KenYatta Rogers, Craig Wallace, JaBen Early and A. Stori Ayers. Extended to Feb. 28. Round House Theatre, 4545 East-West Highway, Bethesda. Tickets are $50 to $60. Call 240-644-1100 or visit roundhousetheatre.org.
Rick Hammerly directs a production over Valentine's Day weekend of this musical comedy for Annapolis organization Live Arts Maryland. Bernard Dotson, Jason Buckwalter, Kimberly Christie, Tom Magette, Elysia Greene Merrill, David Merrill are among the large cast. Friday, Feb. 12, at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, Feb. 13, at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, 801 Chase St. Annapolis. Tickets are $49.50 to $69.50. Call 410-263-1906 or visit liveartsmaryland.org.
I SHALL NOT HATE
Gassan Abbas, one of Israel's leading Palestinian actors, performs this memoir-based story adapted by the Israeli director Shay Pitovsky. Performed in Hebrew and Arabic with English surtitles, this is the second of five productions part of the four-month Voices from a Changing Middle East Festival, the provocative series that eventually became too hot for original presenter Theater J and has now been revived by ousted Theater J director Ari Roth at his new company. Closes Sunday, Feb. 14. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $20 to $40. Call 202-399-7993 or visit mosaictheater.org.
JACK AND PHIL, SLAYERS OF GIANTS
Janet Stanford directs Imagination Stage's tongue-in-cheek adaptation of the classic fairy tale Jack and the Beanstalk in this Theater for Young Audiences production by Charles Way. The focus is on Jack, a sporty, popular kid whose mother is facing foreclosure on their house and enlists his smart yet nerdy neighbor Phil to accompany him to the pawnshop to trade in his grandfather's gold watch -- for some magic beans. To March 13. Imagination Stage, 4908 Auburn Ave. Bethesda. Tickets are $10 to $25. Call 301-280-1660 or visit imaginationstage.org.
MONSTERS OF THE VILLA DIODATI
Virginia's emerging theater company Creative Cauldron presents the world premiere of yet another musical by writer Stephen Gregory Smith and composer Matt Conner, partners in real life, too. Monsters of the Villa Diodati delves into a Lake Geneva writers' retreat from two centuries ago, hosted by bisexual Lord Byron (Sam Ludwig), which inspired Mary Shelley (Susan Derry) and John Polidori (David Landstrom) to write the Gothic classics Frankenstein and The Vampyre, respectively. This is the second installment in Creative Cauldron's five-year commissioning project ''Bold New Works for Intimate Stages,'' after last year's The Turn of the Screw, also written by Smith and Conner. To Feb. 21. ArtSpace Falls Church, 410 South Maple Ave. Falls Church. Tickets are $26. Call 703-436-9948 or visit creativecauldron.org.
PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE
Now that Bright Star has wrapped its pre-Broadway Kennedy Center run, Keegan Theatre offers a production of another work by comedian/composer Steve Martin which previously ran Off Broadway. Picasso at the Lapin Agile is a slightly absurd look at the famous Spanish painter's life -- and that of Albert Einstein's too -- before they changed the world through their work. Chris Stezin directs a cast including Matthew Keenan, Bradley Foster Smith, Allison Leigh Corke, Kevin Adams, Michael Innocenti, Sherri S. Herren and Jessica Power. Closes Saturday, Feb. 13. Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church St. NW. Tickets are $40. Call 703-892-0202 or visit keegantheatre.com.
SENORITA Y MADAME
GALA Theatre presents this show, subtitled The Secret War of Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein, a comedy exploring the clash between two icons of beauty and marketing that helped revolutionize the fashion industry and change societal views about beauty. Consuelo Trum directs Gustavo Ott's play, presented in Spanish with English surtitles. To Feb. 28. GALA Theatre at Tivoli Square, 3333 14th St. NW. Tickets are $38 to $42. Call 202-234-7174 or visit galatheatre.org.
A full-length revue celebrating 15 years of Metro Stage's homegrown musical writing team, Thomas W. Jones II, William Knowles and William Hubbard, whose output celebrates the music born from gospel as created or popularized by African-American icons. Lori Williams, Anthony Manough, Roz White and Rayshun Lamarr perform in this ''musical night of blues, moods and icons.'' To March 6. MetroStage, 1201 North Royal St., Alexandria. Tickets are $55 to $60. Call 800-494-8497 or visit metrostage.org.
Bill Largess plays a jaded theater critic who falls in with vampires in Washington Stage Guild's production of St. Nicholas, the popular monologue that helped make Irish playwright Conor McPherson's name two decades ago. Laura Giannarelli directs. To Feb. 21. Undercroft Theatre of Mount Vernon United Methodist Church, 900 Massachusetts Ave. NW. Tickets are $40 to $50. Call 240-582-0050 or visit stageguild.org.
Arena Stage offers a world-premiere production, co-commissioned with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, of a new gripping tale about loss, redemption and redefinition in a new era from Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage (Ruined). Kate Whoriskey directs this co-commission with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and featuring among its cast local actors Johanna Day, Kimberly Scott, Tramell Tillman and Jack Willis. To Feb. 21. Kreeger Theater in the Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Call 202-488-3300 or visit arenastage.org.
THE CITY OF CONVERSATION
Doug Hughes directs an in-the-round production at Arena Stage of Anthony Giardina's play, offering an inside look at the theater of politics as seen from the vantage point of a fictional Georgetown hostess and her Ferris family clan. Margaret Colin stars in this show also featuring Michael Simpson playing her sons. To March 6. The Fichlander in the Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Call 202-488-3300 or visit arenastage.org.
THE CRITIC/THE REAL INSPECTOR HOUND
Michael Kahn directs this double bill of one-act comedies about behind-the-scenes life in the theater. An ensemble cast takes on multiple characters bringing to life Jeffrey Hatcher's fresh take on Richard Brinsley Sheridan's 18th-century romp The Critic and Tom Stoppard's absurdist tour-de-farce The Real Inspector Hound. Closes Sunday, Feb. 14. Lansburgh Theatre, 450 7th St. NW. Call 202-547-1122 or visit shakespearetheatre.org.
THE GLASS MENAGERIE
The Southern-fried family drama that made Tennessee Williams famous gets examined anew in a production directed by Mark Ramont, the former programming director at Ford's Theatre. Surprisingly, the show marks the first Williams play presented at Ford's. Madeleine Potter, Tom Story, Jenna Sokolowski and Thomas Keegan star in this iconic memory play. To Feb. 21. Ford's Theatre, 511 10th St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $52. Call 800-982-2787 or visit fords.org.
THE SISTERS ROSENSWEIG
Twenty-two years after its Broadway debut and 10 years after its award-winning playwright's untimely death, Theater J presents The Sisters Rosensweig by Wendy Wasserstein. Kasi Campbell directs this heartfelt comedy about three very different siblings, reunited for one remarkable, revealing weekend, and portrayed by the sharp team of Susan Lynskey, Susan Rome and Kimberly Schraf. Josh Adams, Edward Christian, Michael Russotto, James Whalen and Caroline Wolfson round out the cast. To Feb. 21. The Aaron and Cecile Goldman Theater, Washington, D.C.'s Jewish Community Center, 1529 16th St. NW. Call 202-777-3210 or visit theaterj.org.
THE LARAMIE PROJECT
Maryland's Kensington Arts Theatre offers a production of Moises Kaufman's examination with the Tectonic Theater Project of the small Wyoming town forever changed by the hate-crime murder of Matthew Shepard nearly 18 years ago. John Nunemaker directs the production. Weekends to Feb. 20. Kensington Town Hall, 3710 Mitchell St., Kensington, Md. Tickets are $20. Call 240-621-6528 or visit katonline.org.
Broadway's Cabaret and TV's Good Wife star offers a Valentine's Day treat for lovers and especially lovers of ''the sappy silly love songs everyone secretly adores.'' Among songs by Annie Lennox, Billy Joel and Bertolt Brecht, you can can expect an Adele/Lady Gaga/Katy Perry mashup the Scottish entertainer calls ''Someone on the Edge of Firework.'' He'll be supported by music director Lance Horne, cellist Eleanor Norton and drummer Michael Croiter. Sunday, Feb. 14, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $35 to $85. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.
Just as she did three years ago when she was the headlining act at the Super Bowl halftime show, Bey announced another stadium tour immediately after her appearance as part of Coldplay's San Francisco love fest last Sunday. The Formation World Tour won't hit D.C. and will only make it to our region toward the end of the U.S. leg -- and on the Friday of Capital Pride Weekend at that. But hey, we'll take it! Tickets on sale Tuesday, Feb. 16, for Friday, June 10. M&T Stadium, 1101 Russell St., Baltimore. Call 410-261-7283 or visit livenation.com.
GMCW'S ROCK CREEK SINGERS, POTOMAC FEVER
The Atlas presents a special concert showcasing the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington's two select vocal ensembles, the 14-voice close-harmony a cappella group Potomac Fever and the 34-singer eclectic chamber ensemble Rock Creek Singers. ''The Way We Were'' program offers a sentimental trip down memory lane and revisits some of the ensembles' best songs. Friday, Feb. 12, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, Feb. 13, at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Lang Theatre in the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $20 to $39. Call 202-399-7993 or visit atlasarts.org.
On song after song, this slightly twee indie/chamber-rock Seattle quintet sounds remarkably like a more dramatic, classically minded version of fellow Washington state outfit Death Cab for Cutie -- first and foremost on account of singer Matt Bishop's Ben Gibbard-channeling vocals. The band, which includes a cellist and a violist, tours in support of their self-titled third set. Friday, Feb. 12. Doors at 7 p.m. The 9:30 Club presents this concert. U Street Music Hall, 1115A U St. NW. Tickets are $15. Call 202-588-1880 or visit ustreetmusichall.com.
INDIGO LOVE: AN EVENING WITH SARAH VAUGHAN
''An Evening with Sarah Vaughan'' is this great, four-octave jazz singer's tribute to her idol, dubbed the ''Divine One'' and also known as ''Sassy.'' Vaughan got her start in 1942 winning the famed Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater. Wednesday, Feb. 17, at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Tickets are $25, plus $12 minimum purchase. Call 202-337-4141 or visit bluesalley.com.
A young Nashville-based duo drawing influence from British new wave as well as classic Americana, Keeps performs at the Black Cat a few weeks before release of its debut album Brief Spirit. Thursday, Feb. 18, at 7:30 p.m. Black Cat Backstage, 1811 14th St. NW. Tickets are $12. Call 202-667-4490 or visit blackcatdc.com.
KENNEDY CENTER'S THE CONSERVATORY PROJECT
Every February and May the Kennedy Center offers showcases of some of the best young musical artists from the nation's leading undergraduate and graduate conservatories as part of its Conservatory Project and its free Millennium Stage programming. Concerts on tap this month are: Curtis Institute of Music on Sunday, Feb. 14; the the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance on on Monday, Feb. 15; Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University on Tuesday, Feb. 16; San Francisco Conservatory of Music on Wednesday, Feb. 17; Cleveland Institute of Music on Thursday, Feb. 18; Yale School of Music on Friday, Feb. 19; Shepherd School of Music at Rice University on Sunday, Feb. 20; Oberlin Conservatory of Music on Monday, Feb. 21; and the Juilliard School on Tuesday, Feb. 22. All performances at 6 p.m. Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Tickets are free. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO
Grammy-winning a cappella singing group from South Africa, still dazzling after more 50 years together. Must be those diamonds on the soles of her shoes -- or maybe it's the ''sheer joy and love that emanates from their being,'' as their most famous booster Paul Simon put it. Friday, Feb. 12, at 8 p.m. GW Lisner, The George Washington University, 730 21st St. NW. Tickets are $40 to $70. Call 202-994-6851 or visit lisner.org.
LAURA JANE GRACE AND THE DEVOURING MOTHERS
Four years after coming out as transgender, the lead singer of the hard-hitting heavy metal band Against Me is currently on tour with a new punk side project. The show is billed as offering ''an evening of existential dread, fiending and gender dysphoria in the brilliance of life's headlights.'' Dave Dondero opens. Sunday, Feb. 14, at 8 p.m. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $20 in advance, or $23 day-of show. Call 202-408-3100 or visit sixthandi.org.
The Iconoclastic bisexual musician tours in support of her mesmerizing, groove-driven 2014 set Comet, Come to Me. Over the past few decades Ndegeocello has charted a heralded career also notable for its genre-defying variety: from a start in D.C.'s go-go scene, to breakthrough neo-soul/hip-hop recordings on the Madonna-founded label Maverick Records, to collaborations with the Indigo Girls, the Rolling Stones and quirky British dance duo Basement Jaxx. Thursday, Feb. 18, at 7:30 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $37 to $46.50. Call 202-787-1000 or visit thehamiltondc.com.
Touted by the Guardian as ''a new sort of Nickel Creek,'' this North Carolina-based quartet creates stirring bluegrass-tipped yet pop-influenced indie folk complete with tight, four-part vocal harmonies. Mipso performs a co-bill at the Hamilton with Steel Wheels and in support of last year's Old Time Reverie. Sunday, Feb. 21, at 7:30 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $17 to 25.50. Call 202-787-1000 or visit thehamiltondc.com.
Music Director Piotr Gajewski leads Strathmore's resident orchestra in a Baroque-focused program led by Vivaldi's Gloria and featuring the National Philharmonic Chorale plus soprano Julie Keim and mezzo-soprano Magdalena Wor. Cellist Zuill Bailey joins to open the concert with two lively concertos by Vivaldi and Piatigorksy's Variations on a Paganini Theme. Saturday, Feb. 20, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 21, at 3 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $29 to $89. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.
ROOMFUL OF TEETH, AMERICAN CONTEMPORARY MUSIC ENSEMBLE
With a mission to ''mine the potential of the human voice,'' adventurous NPR-touted group Roomful of Teeth performs a program at Sixth and I that juxtaposes classical works alongside newer compositions. And the a cappella outfit performs with the new music dynamos in American Contemporary Music Ensemble. Saturday, Feb. 13, at 8 p.m. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $35. Call 202-408-3100 or visit sixthandi.org.
SUTTON FOSTER WITH THE BALTIMORE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Though known for her work on TV (Bunheads, Younger), Sutton Foster has won more accolades for her work on stage, including winning two Tony Awards, for revivals of Thoroughly Modern Millie and Anything Goes. After an incredible performance with the National Symphony Orchestra two years ago, Foster now finds accompaniment in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra as she perform selections from her Broadway career and other pop and jazz standards. And her hot Younger co-star Nico Tortorella is even set to join her for one song, ''Fit as a Fiddle.'' Thursday, Feb. 18, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Also Friday, Feb. 19, Saturday, Feb. 20, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 21, at 3 p.m. Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore. Tickets are $38 to $104. Call 410-783-8000 or visit bsomusic.org.
Deke Sharon, vocal producer for the Pitch Perfect movies and NBC's The Sing-Off, has gathered 12 great singers for what is billed as ''the Aca-Perfect Concert Experience.'' The concert at the Clarice will range from Gregorian chant to contemporary Top 40 hits and will also feature the University of Maryland's a cappella ensembles Faux Paz and DaCadence. Friday, Feb. 19, at 8 p.m. The Clarice at the University of Maryland, University Boulevard and Stadium Drive. College Park. Tickets are $xx. Call 301-405-ARTS or visit theclarice.umd.edu.
WASHINGTON NATIONAL OPERA
Following his turn with WNO in The Flying Dutchman, renowned bass-baritone Eric Owens stars in Kurt Weill's final work for the stage, merging influences from Broadway, gospel, African spirituals and the blues. A collaboration with Maxwell Anderson, Lost in the Stars is a musical tragedy based on Alan Paton's novel Cry, The Beloved Country. A production from Cape Town Opera and directed by Tazewell Thompson. Opens Friday, Feb. 12, at 7:30 p.m. To Saturday, Feb. 20. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $69 to $265. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
WASHINGTON PERFORMING ARTS WITH CHORAL ARTS SOCIETY
Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday and federal holiday may have already passed, but you can sing his praises any day of the year. And Sunday, Feb. 21, Washington Performing Arts will do just that, as it reprises for a fourth year the program Living the Dream…Singing the Dream. Men, women and children of the Washington Performing Arts Gospel Choirs team up with the Choral Arts Society of Washington -- 300 voices strong -- to perform in honor of King Sunday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $25 to $70. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
CLOUD GATE DANCE THEATRE OF TAIWAN
Toronto's Globe and Mail touted Cloud Gate as ''one of the finest dance companies in the world,'' while a critic for the Washington Post said that watching the Taiwanese company leaves you ''gently seduced into rethinking your ideas about dance.'' Lin Hwai-min leads the company he founded in the D.C. premiere of Rice, a multimedia work Lin created in 2013 to celebrate his homeland on the occasion of Cloud Gate's 40th anniversary. Friday, Feb. 12, and Saturday, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $19 to $75. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
Inspired by Shakespeare's The Tempest and Oya, the Afro-Cuban deity of wind and storms, Agua Furiosa is a visually stunning and thought-provoking evening of dance from the company led by artistic director and choreographer Ana Maria Alvarez. Michael Garces directs the production also featuring contributions by sound designer d. Sabela Grimes, vocalist Pyeng Threadgill, and lighting designer Masha Tsimring. Saturday, Feb. 13, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 14, at 4 p.m. Dance Place, 3225 8th St. NE. Tickets are $25 in advance, or $30 at the door. Call 202-269-1600 or visit danceplace.org.
GW Lisner hosts a night of standup from the chubby-faced actor Adam Devine who you'll recognize if you've watched any TV over the past few years, from his start as the nanny in Modern Family to Workaholics, to say nothing of his starring role in the Pitch Perfect movie franchise. Saturday, Feb. 13, at 8 p.m. GW Lisner, The George Washington University, 730 21st St. NW. Tickets are $35. Call 202-994-6851 or visit lisner.org.
A correspondent on Comedy Central's The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, Ricky Velez is a New York-based comic recently named by Variety as one of ''10 Comics to Watch.'' Alex Barbag opens for Velez in this free program presented as part of the Comedy at the Kennedy Center series. Friday, Feb. 12, at 6 p.m. Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Tickets are free, distributed in the States Gallery starting at approximately 5:30 p.m. the day-of. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
WASHINGTON IMPROV THEATER: ROAD SHOW!
D.C.'s leading company for longform improv -- such as that popularized by the Upright Citizens Brigade and Second City -- offers a ''Wintry Mix,'' a series of vignettes featuring different ensembles, with each plot developed on-the-fly, spurred by a single audience suggestion. Closes Saturday, Feb. 13. District of Columbia Arts Center (DCAC), 2438 18th St. NW. Tickets are $12 in advance, or $15 at the door. Call 202-462-7833 or visit washingtonimprov.org.
A COLLECTOR'S VISION: WASHINGTONIANA COLLECTION
In addition to incorporating the Textile Museum, the recently opened George Washington University Museum also houses the Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection. The exhibition A Collector's Vision serves as a perfect introduction to the collection, featuring maps and prints, rare letters, photographs and drawings documenting the history of Washington, D.C. and donated by Small in 2011. Ongoing. The George Washington University Museum, 701 21st St. NW. Call 202-994-5200 or visit museum.gwu.edu.
ART OF THE AIRPORT TOWER
The images of Smithsonian photographer Carolyn Russo offer a journey examining contemporary and historic air traffic control towers in this exhibition at the Air and Space Museum. Through November. National Air and Space Museum, Independence Ave at 6th St. SW. Call 202-633-2214 or visit airandspace.si.edu.
COLBY CALDWELL: HOW TO SURVIVE YOUR OWN DEATH
Logan Circle's Hemphill Fine Arts presents an exhibition by this Asheville, N.C.-based Corcoran Gallery of Art alum, based on a series of accidentally corrupted images that have taken on a new life of their own as a result. Through March 5. Hemphill Fine Arts, 1515 14th St. NW. Call 202-234-5601 or visit hemphillfinearts.com.
EYE POP: THE CELEBRITY GAZE
Many never publicly displayed portraits of 53 luminaries at the top in their fields is the focus of this exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. Oprah Winfrey, Brad Pitt, Katy Perry, Sonia Sotomayor, Michelle Obama, Serena Williams and Kobe Bryant are among the works, ranging from drawings to sculpture, paintings to video portraits, and all recent additions to the museum's collection. Through July 10. National Portrait Gallery, 8th and F Streets. NW. Call 202-633-8300 or visit npg.si.edu.
ONE LIFE: DOLORES HUERTA
The National Portrait Gallery offers its first exhibition devoted to a Latino figure. Dolores Heurta co-founded the National Farm Workers Association with Cesar Chavez in 1962 and fought for the passage of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975. Taina Caragol curated an exhibition that vividly traces the 13 years between those two actions. Through May 15. National Portrait Gallery, 8th and F Streets. NW. Call 202-633-8300 or visit npg.si.edu.
OUT OF THE ASHES
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 May. Second Floor of the Library of Congress's Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. SE. Call 202-707-8000 or visit loc.gov/concerts.
PATHMAKERS: WOMEN IN ART, CRAFT AND DESIGN
The National Museum of Women in the Arts presents an exhibition illuminating the vital contributions that women made to post-war, mid-20th century visual culture and their use of craft materials to explore concepts of modernism. Although painting, sculpture and architecture were dominated by men a half-century ago, women had considerable impact in the fields of textiles, ceramics and metals. Ruth Asawa, Sheila Hicks and Eva Zeisel are just a few of the women from the era celebrated in this exhibition, organized by New York's Museum of Arts and Design, which also shines the light on some pathmaking contemporary female artists and designers, including Anne Wilson, Vivian Beer and Hella Jongerius. Through Feb. 28. National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Ave NW. Admission is $10. Call 202-783-5000 or visit nmwa.org.
PRISTINE SEAS: THE OCEAN'S LAST WILD PLACES
National Geographic's Pristine Seas project searches for the last truly wild places in the ocean and documents them in powerful footage intended to motivate world leaders to protect the world's oceans. This exhibition about the project features stunning photography and behind-the-scenes expedition images from the Arctic to the tropics, as well as an immersive underwater video wall. To March 27. National Geographic Museum, 1145 17th St. NW. Free. Call 202-857-7588 or visit ngmuseum.org.
RENWICK GALLERY: WONDER
As part of the immersive exhibition Wonder, nine leading contemporary artists, including Gabriel Dawe, Patrick Dougherty and Maya Lin, have each taken over different galleries in the newly renovated Renwick Gallery, the first building in the U.S. designed expressly as an art museum. Through July 10. Renwick Gallery, Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW. Free. Call 202-633-1000 or visit renwick.americanart.si.edu.
SEEING NATURE: LANDSCAPE MASTERWORKS
Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen has organized an exhibition with several museums to display the 39 masterpieces from his family's collection exploring the evolution of European and American landscape art. Spanning five centuries, the exhibition features works, among others, by Jan Brueghel, Claude Monet, Paul Cezanne, Gustav Klimt, Georgia O'Keeffe, Edward Hopper and David Hockney. Now to May 8. The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st St. NW. Tickets $12. Call 202-387-2151 x247 or visit phillipscollection.org.
SHAKESPEARE: LIFE OF AN ICON
In honor of the 400th anniversary year of William Shakespeare's death, the Folger Shakespeare Library offers an exhibition that brings together some of the most important manuscripts and printed books related to his life and career. The intent is to offer a glimpse of the most famous author in the world. Through March 27. The Great Hall in Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Call 202-544-7077 or visit folger.edu.
SOL HILL: SIGNAL FROM NOISE
Combining the aesthetics and visual concerns of painting and photography, Sol Hill dubs his work ''energy paintings.'' Using a digital sensor, Hill transforms images into a kind of hyper-vision, showing aspects of reality not normally seen. Through March 11. Vivid Solutions Gallery in the Anacostia Arts Center, 1231 Good Hope Road SE. Call 202-631-6291 or visit anacostiaartscenter.com.
Local storytelling organization formerly known as SpeakEasyDC offers its eighth ''Sucker for Love,'' a Valentine's Day-themed event with ''true tales about loves found, lost and imagined.'' Unlike other storytelling organizations, Story District is focused on congenial camaraderie not competition -- no judged ''Story Slams'' here. Those presenting this year are Amanda Sapir, Annie Lipsitz, Cait Reilly, Keith Mellnick, Laura Feiveson, Michael Cotter, Morgan Givens, Nupur Mehta and Sarah Weber. Mike Baireuther hosts this show that he co-directed with Stephanie Garibaldi. Saturday, Feb. 13, at 6 p.m. Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. Tickets are $25. Call 202-328-6000 or visit thelincolndc.com.
THE BIG HOPE SHOW
Baltimore's American Visionary Art Museum offers its 21st annual exhibition, featuring over 25 artists offering works in various media that champion the radiant and transformative power of hope. It's an original and unabashedly idealistic exhibition, curated by Rebecca Alban Hoffberger, founder and director of this original and unabashedly unusual 20-year-old museum. Through Sept. 4. American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Highway. Baltimore. Tickets are $15.95, or $20 for the preview party. Call 410-244-1900 or visit avam.org.
THE GREAT INKA ROAD: ENGINEERING AN EMPIRE
One of the monumental engineering achievements in history, the Great Inka Road is a network of more than 20,000 miles, crossing mountains and tropical lowlands, rivers and deserts, linking the Inca capital Cusco with the farthest reaches of its empire -- and it still serves Andean communities today in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile. This exhibition explores the legacy of the Inka Empire and technological feat of the road, recognized by the United Nations as a World Heritage site in 2014. Through April 2018. National Museum of the American Indian, Independence Avenue at 4th Street SW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit nmai.si.edu.
TRENDING: CONTEMPORARY ART NOW!
Women's Caucus for Art partners with the Target Gallery in Alexandria for this new exhibition featuring women who are leading the direction of contemporary art. Sarah West, Blythe King and Sarah Boyts Yoder are three D.C. and Virginia artists among 12 self-identified women working in a cross-section of media -- from video to 3D photography to installation. To Feb. 28. Studio 2 of the Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 North Union St. Alexandria. Free. Call 703-838-4565 or visit torpedofactory.org.
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.
DC HER HRC 2016 DJ BATTLE, WITH WICKED JEZABEL
The Human Rights Campaign and Booz Allen Hamilton present the 2016 Her HRC DJ battle in which four of the area's best female DJs will duke it out during a night at Town. Popular lesbian all-covers party-rock band Wicked Jezabel will start the evening as featured musical guest, followed by hour-long sets from, in order: DJ Che Parlay, DJ Adotnet, last year's winner DJ Jacq Jill and DJ Jai Syncere. Sunday, Feb. 14, starting at 7 p.m. Town Danceboutique, 2009 8th St. NW. Tickets start at $20. Call 202-234-TOWN or visit towndc.com.
F*CK BRUNCH! DRAG LUNCH
You can find drag queens serving and sashaying at brunches around town, but there's only one place to find drag kings on a Sunday afternoon -- and they don't do ''brunch.'' (Or they don't call it brunch, anyway.) Drag king entity Pretty Boi Drag, led by Chris Jay and former DC King Pretty Rik E, presents a lunch show at Dupont Circle's Bier Baron Tavern, which includes exclusive ''beermosas'' and items from the venue's new menu. Expect to see drag king performances steeped in romance, from upbeat favorites to steamy slow jams. Sunday, Feb. 14, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Bier Baron Tavern, 1523 22nd St. NW. Tickets are $15 for the show, or $25 for the lunch and show. Call 202-293-1887 or visit prettyboidrag.com.
Regie Cabico and Don Mike Mendoza's La-Ti-Do variety show is neither karaoke nor cabaret. The show features higher-quality singing than most karaoke, often from local musical theater actors performing on their night off. Cabico and co-host Mendoza also select storytellers who offer spoken-word poetry and comedy. Held at Bistro Bistro in Dupont Circle, La-Ti-Do offers a love/hate tribute to Valentine's Day on Monday, Feb. 15, 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/latidodc.