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DC BLACK HISTORY FILM FESTIVAL
A day-long screening of independent features, shorts and documentary films focused on the African diaspora. The DC Mayor's Office on African American Affairs co-presents this festival with Urban Film Review and Lamman Rucker. Among presentations this year include winners of a short film and essay contest of Washington-area high school students. Sunday, Feb. 25. Doors at 2 p.m. Runs to 10 p.m. Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. Tickets are free, but first-come, first-seated. Call 202-328-6000 or visit thelincolndc.com.
Jordan Peele of Comedy Central's Key & Peele makes a left-turn from comedy with his directorial debut. Touted by Daily Beast as "the year's best horror movie," it's an updated take on Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?, featuring Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener as liberal white parents troubled by their daughter Allison Williams' relationship with Daniel Kaluuya. Kaluuya plays Chris, the the lead character in this meet-the-parents mystery exploring segregated suburbia, spooky servants, uncomfortable parties, and the use of hypnosis. Opens Friday, Feb. 24. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com.
MATT SHEPARD IS A FRIEND OF MINE
Unity of Fairfax hosts an interfaith event with a screening of Michael Josue's award-winning documentary, exploring the life and tragic death of Matthew Shepard in 1998 in Laramie, Wyoming. Similar to The Laramie Project, Matt Shepard Is A Friend of Mine relates the gay student's struggles through the personal lens of his friends, family and those who were close to him. After the screening comes a discussion with light refreshments about LGBTQ equality and protections since Shepard's murder and how everyday people can work to effect change. Saturday, March 4, at 2 p.m. Unity of Fairfax, 2854 Hunter Mill Rd., Oakton, Va. Call 703-281-1767 or visit mattshepard.eventbrite.com.
OSCAR NOMINATED SHORTS 2017: ANIMATION
While Disney's Zootopia is the blockbuster to beat in the Animated Feature category, it's a more wide open and unknown lot in the Animated Shorts category. Close Oscar-watchers think the winner is likely to be either Alan Barillaro's Piper, a film produced by Pixar, or Patrick Osborne's Pearl, produced by Google Spotlight Stories. Both screen in a package of eight films and include the other three Oscar nominees: Borrowed Time by Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj, Blind Vaysha by Theodore Ushev, and Robert Valley's Pear Brandy and Cigarettes, which features depictions of violence, sex and drug use, making it the only film in this collection unsuitable for children. Now playing. E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672 or visit landmarktheatres.com.
OSCAR NOMINATED SHORTS 2017: DOCUMENTARY
With no documentary nominees this year clocking in at under 20 minutes and two running nearly 40 minutes, Landmark split the films into two programs. Program A includes Joe's Violin, Kahane Cooperman's tale connecting a 91-year-old Holocaust survivor and a 12-year-old American girl, Extremis, Dan Krauss's examination of harrowing end-of-life decisions, and Daphne Matziaraki's 4.1 Miles, a profile of a coast guard captain credited with saving thousands of lives during the European migrant crisis. Program B offers two timely views of a woeful world, both from the still ongoing Syrian Civil War. There's The White Helmets by Orlando von Einsiedel, focused on the work of volunteer rescue workers in Syria, and Watani: My Homeland by Marcel Mettelsiefen, which follows a Syrian refugee family attempting a new life in Germany. Now playing. West End Cinema, 2301 M St. NW. Call 202-534-1907 or visit landmarktheatres.com.
OSCAR NOMINATED SHORTS 2017: LIVE ACTION
It's an all-international affair among the five live action nominees at this year's Oscars. They include Kristof Deak's Sing (Hungary), Aske Bang's Silent Nights (Denmark), Juanjo Gimenez Pena's Timecode (Spain), Selim Aazzazi's Ennemis Interieurs (France) and Timo von Gunten's La Femme et la TGV (Switzerland). Now playing. Landmark's E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672 or visit landmarktheatres.com.
As part of its year-round programming, the Washington Jewish Film Festival screens Roee Florentin's Mr. Predictable. A rom-com from Israel is focused on a perfectly devoted family man who learns how to live life to its fullest when he falls in love after a chance encounter with a free-spirited dogwalker. Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 7:30 p.m. The Aaron and Cecile Goldman Theater, Edlavitch DCJCC, 1529 16th St. NW. Tickets are $13.50 each. Call 202-777-3247 or visit wjff.org.
AS YOU LIKE IT
Rosalind, banished to the Forest of Arden, disguises herself as a rustic shepherd and discovers Orlando in one of Shakespeare's best comedies. Gaye Taylor Upchurch directs a production starring Lindsay Alexandra Carter, Lorenzo Roberts, Dani Stoller, Michael Glenn, and Tom Story. To March 5. Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $35 to $75. Call 202-544-7077 or visit folger.edu.
BABY SCREAMS MIRACLE
A zealous family and their prodigal daughter try to pray their way to safety during an apocalyptic storm threatening their home in Clare Barron's new play, touted as a Rorschach test for the faithful and the faithless alike. Howard Shalwitz directs Kate Eastwood Norris, Sarah Marshall and Cody Nickell in a harrowing tale of survival and forgiveness. To Feb. 26. 641 D St. NW. Call 202-393-3939 or visit woollymammoth.net.
BLUES IN THE NIGHT
Virginia's Creative Cauldron presents a scorching, Tony-nominated musical revue interweaving classic blues and American Songbook standards by Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, Jimmy Cox, Ida Cox and more. Matt Conner directs a show originally conceived by Sheldon Epps. To March 5. ArtSpace Falls Church, 410 South Maple Ave., Falls Church. Tickets are $50. Call 703-436-9948 or visit creativecauldron.org.
CAROLINE, OR CHANGE
The largest musical in Round House's history is part of a season celebrating playwright Tony Kushner. The Tony-nominated musical concerns an African-American maid who works for a Jewish family in Louisiana during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. The 17-person cast includes Nova Y. Payton, Will Gartshore, Felicia Curry, Naomi Jacobson, Dorea Schmidt, and Kara-Tameika Watkins. Matthew Gardner directs. To Feb. 26. Round House Theatre, 4545 East-West Highway, Bethesda. Call 240-644-1100 or visit roundhousetheatre.org.
Tarell McCraney's drama focuses on the most talented -- as well as most flamboyant -- chorister at a hallowed African-American, all-boy prep school. A touching tale of bullying, homophobia, love and acceptance, the show's greatest source of power is in McCraney's subtle, graceful and evocative style of storytelling. To March 18. Richmond Triangle Players, 1300 Altamont Ave., Richmond. Tickets are $28 to $30. Call 804-346-8113 or visit rtriangle.org.
Adventure Theatre MTC offers a world-premiere musical, co-commissioned by First Stage from Milwaukee, Wisconsin with funding in part from the National Endowment for the Arts. Ella Enchanted is based on the award-winning book by Gail Carson Levine that also produced the 2004 fantasy rom-com starring Anne Hathaway and Hugh Dancy. Written by Karen Zacarias with music by Deborah Wicks La Puma, Mary Hall Surface directs the all-ages show. To March 19. Adventure Theatre MTC, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo. Call 301-634-2270 or visit adventuretheatre-mtc.org.
Jane Martin's Los Angeles-set dramedy about self-destruction, notoriety, and the dark journey to purity and salvation is brought to life at Maryland's Rep Stage in a production directed by Kasi Campbell. H20 focuses on a new Hollywood star (Robbie Gay) whom a young evangelical Christian woman (Krenee A. Tolson) sets out to save. To March 5. The Horowitz Center's Studio Theatre at Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Md. Tickets are $15 to $40. Call 443-518-1500 or visit repstage.org.
Inspired by the frenzy that followed when covert operative Valerie Plame's cover was blown in post-9/11 America and the run-up to war, Intelligence is a fictionalized political thriller by Jacqueline E. Lawton. Daniella Topol directs the world premiere at Arena Stage starring Hannah Yelland as Plame. In previews starting Friday, Feb. 24. Runs to April 9. Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle in the Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Tickets are $51 to $66. Call 202-488-3300 or visit arenastage.org.
Roz White and Doug Brown take on D.L. Coburn's play, which the New York Times called a "thoroughly entertaining lesson in the fine art of theatrical finesse." Thomas W. Jones II directs. To March 12. MetroStage, 1201 North Royal St., Alexandria. Tickets are $55 to $60. Call 800-494-8497 or visit metrostage.org.
KING CHARLES III
Three years after giving us Cock, British playwright Mike Bartlett returns with his latest theatrical effort. An Olivier-winning play that nods to Shakespeare, King Charles II explores how Prince Charles might rule were he to finally ascend to the British throne. The New York Times called it "an intellectually and emotionally gripping study of the strangely enduring anachronism that is the British monarchy." Directed by David Muse. In previews. Extended to March 18. Sidney Harman Hall, Harman Center for the Arts, 610 F St. NW. Call 202-547-1122 or visit shakespearetheatre.org.
PETER AND THE STARCATCHER
Kathryn Chase Bryer directs a Rick Elice's prequel to Peter Pan, complete with swordfights, shipwrecks and mermaids, but also clever wordplay, daring ensemble movement and live music. Dallas Tolentino plays the Boy Who Never Grew Up, alongside Megan Graves as the plucky and precocious Molly and Michael John Casey as the Black Stache, determined to become the world's most feared one-handed villain. To March 12. Source Theatre, 1835 14th St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $45. Call 202-204-7741 or visit constellationtheatre.org.
The brilliant E. Faye Butler plays Mrs. Lovett and David Benoit takes on the role of the Demon Barber in Olney Theatre's production of the chilling Sondheim classic. He slits their throats, she makes meat pies out of them. Jason Loewith directs. In previews. To March 5. Olney Theatre Center, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Call 301-924-3400 or visit olneytheatre.org.
After Broadway turns in Aida and Jekyll & Hyde, Deborah Cox is touring the U.S. in a role she seems born to play: Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard. Alexander Dinelaris' musical adaptation of the 1992 blockbuster starring Whitney Houston stops for a short run in Baltimore -- the closest The Bodyguard will come to D.C. The score goes beyond merely the Houston hits from the film's soundtrack to include many of her greatest, from "How Will I Know" to "So Emotional" to "I Wanna Dance with Somebody." Opens Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 8 p.m. Runs to March 5. Hippodrome Theatre, 12 North Eutaw St., Baltimore. Call 800-343-3103 or visit thebodyguardmusical.com.
THE GOSPEL AT COLONUS
Jennifer L. Nelson directs Lee Breuer's modern adaptation of the Sophocles tale about the last days of Oedipus, with a score by Bob Telson. William T. Newman Jr. plays Preacher Oedipus in this soaring, poetic celebration of transcendence and the fragility of life, which won the Obie for Best Musical in 1984 and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for Best Drama in 1985. Performed with the Women's Ecumenical Choir of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Alexandria, Va. Pay-What-You-Can previews start Thursday, Feb. 23. Runs to March 26. Gunston Arts Center, 2700 South Lang St. Arlington. Tickets are $30 to $35. Call 703-418-4804 or visit wscavantbard.org.
THE HARD PROBLEM
Tom Stoppard's latest explores the complexities of defining consciousness, the nature of belief, and how to reconcile hard science with lived experience. Matt Torney directs Studio's 10-member cast, including Tessa Klein, Nancy Robinette, Martin Giles, Kyle Cameron, and Joy Jones. Extended to Feb. 26. Studio Theatre, 14th & P Streets NW. Call 202-332-3300 or visit studiotheatre.org.
THE HOW AND THE WHY
Sarah Treem is a writer for House of Cards, In Treatment and The Affair. She's also a Yale-educated playwright, and Theater J offers a chance to see her thought-provoking play about science, family, survival of the fittest and choices faced by women of every generation. Katie deBuys and Valerie Leonard star as two women who spar on the eve of a prestigious conference, one an up-and-coming evolutionary biologist and the other an eminent professor and leader in the field. To March 12. The Aaron and Cecile Goldman Theater, Edlavitch DCJCC, 1529 16th St. NW. Call 202-777-3210 or visit theaterj.org.
A man and woman find love and mystery at a secluded fishing cabin in Jez Butterworth's drama. Jeff Allin, Emma Jackson and Karen Novack star in a Spooky Action Theater production directed by Rebecca Holderness. To Feb. 26. Universalist National Memorial Church, 1810 16th St. NW. Tickets are $30 to $40. Call 202-248-0301 or visit spookyaction.org.
THE SELECT (THE SUN ALSO RISES)
John Collins directs New York's Elevator Repair Service adaptation of the classic novel by Ernest Hemingway about a group of American and British expatriates who travel to Spain for the Running of the Bulls. Shakespeare Theatre Company hosts the acclaimed theater ensemble a decade after they came to fame with their spin on F. Scott Fitzgerald with Gatz. The Select is a streamlined edit of Hemingway that stays true to the writer's distinct style. To April 2. Lansburgh Theatre, 450 7th St. NW. Call 202-547-1122 or visit shakespearetheatre.org.
THE TAMING OF THE SHREW
Synetic Theater continues its "Wordless Shakespeare" work, transporting the Bard's "Battle of the Sexes" romantic comedy from Italy to Hollywood. The Taming of the Shrew is led by Synetic founders, the husband-and-wife team of Paata and Irina Tsikurishvili, and features Irina in the lead role, opposite Ryan Sellers as Petruchio. Choreography for the show comes from Zana Gankhuyag, who also portrays Gremio. Alex Mills is Grumio, Petruchio's servant. To March 19. Theater at Crystal City, 1800 South Bell St., Arlington. Tickets are $20 to $60. Call 800-494-8497 or visit synetictheater.org.
THE WHITE SNAKE
Another magical adaptation by Mary Zimmerman (Metamorphoses) is brought to fantastical life in grand spectacle in Baltimore Center Stage's newly renovated Head Theater. Based on an ancient Chinese fable, The White Snake tells the story of two animal spirits who take on human form as a beautiful woman (Aime Donna Kelly) and her sly servant. Natsu Onoda Power directs the production starring Aime Donna Kelly, Eileen Rivera and Joe Ngo and featuring an ensemble of actors and four actor-musicians led by music director Jeff Song. Previews begin Friday, Feb. 24, with opening night Friday, March 3, at 8 p.m. To March 26. Baltimore Center Stage, 700 North Calvert St. Tickets are $20 to $69. Call 410-332-0033 or visit centerstage.org.
WATCH ON THE RHINE
Marsha Mason (The Goodbye Girl) stars in Lillian Hellman's thriller about a man deeply involved in anti-fascist movements prior to WWII. Jackie Maxwell directs. To March 5. Fichandler Stage in the Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Call 202-488-3300 or visit arenastage.org.
Frans Zimmer, whose artist alias means "all colors" in German, is another purveyor of the improbable but irresistible and increasingly popular blend of folk-dance music, merging tropical house with breezy downtempo pop and mournful electro-folk. The Berlin-based DJ and producer kicks off a short U.S. tour with a stop in D.C. in support of his new album Music Is My Best Friend, including the trumpet-sounding hit tune "Bad Ideas" and the Macy Gray-esque ditty "Please Tell Rosie." Friday, March 3, at 10:30 p.m. U Street Music Hall, 1115A U St. NW. Tickets are $10. Call 202-588-1880 or visit ustreetmusichall.com.
The starlet is now officially a stadium act, on her Dangerous Woman Tour. Though she sometimes comes across like a shriekier, lightweight Mariah Carey, especially at the beginning of her career, the 23-year-old has been slowly coming into her own, displaying a "burly, soulful vibrato and wide range" on this tour, according to a Las Vegas Weekly review. Monday, Feb. 27, at 7:30 p.m. Verizon Center, 601 F St. NW. Call 202-628-3200 or visit verizoncenter.com.
Washington Conservatory of Music presents a Lithuanian pianist and international prize winner, who is chair of the community music school's piano faculty, performing a concert of themes and variations on the music of Bach-Busoni, Beethoven, Rosenblatt, Liszt and Rachmaninoff. Saturday, March 4, at 8 p.m. Westmoreland Congregational Church, 1 Westmoreland Circle. Bethesda. Tickets are free, donations welcome. Call 301-320-2770 or visit washingtonconservatory.org.
Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James, Lena Horne, Judy Garland and Billie Holiday are among "the Great Ladies of Jazz and Blues" getting a grand tribute by Illinois-reared, Nashville-based Paul, accompanied by a 40-member big band ensemble. Soprano saxophone player Chris Hemingway joins to perform solos in Arturo Marquez's Danzon and Duke Ellington's Isfahan. Saturday, Feb. 25. Doors at 7 p.m. Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. Tickets are $25 to $35. Call 202-328-6000 or visit thelincolndc.com.
KLEZMER BRUNCH: SETH KIBEL AND FRIENDS
Every other month, the Washington Jewish Music Festival presents a concert served with a kosher buffet at the Edlavitch Jewish Community Center on 16th Street. The next iteration features Seth Kibel and fellow musicians performing new arrangements of traditional Eastern European/Jewish melodies as well as original songs drawing upon jazz, classical, world beat, rock and other genres for an entertaining blend of music. Sunday, March 5, at 11 am. The Aaron and Cecile Goldman Theater, Edlavitch DCJCC, 1529 16th St. NW. Tickets are $16.88 for the concert only, or $33.75 for concert with brunch, but only if purchased by Wednesday, March 1. Call 202-777-3247 or visit wjmf.org.
The Grammy-winning contemporary classical chamber ensemble returns for its first Washington Performing Arts concert in 15 years and the first as part of a five-year collaboration. The San Francisco-based string quartet will perform works it has commissioned by composers from around the globe, including American Pulitzer Prize winner Steve Reich, Azerbaijani Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, Mexican rock band Cafe Tacvba, Netherlands-born Yotam Haber and Polish composers Alter Yechiel Karniol and Aleksander Kosciow. Saturday, March 4, at 8 p.m. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $40. Call 202-785-9727 or visit washingtonperformingarts.org.
MARCIA BALL WITH THE BEAT HOTEL
East Texas blues meets southwest Louisiana swamp rock in the Grammy-nominated pianist and singer-songwriter, who offers tastes of roadhouse rock, jump blues, R&B, soul and zydeco. Ball returns to the Hamilton to lead a Mardi Gras party, supported by an 11-piece band with a three-piece horn section playing the kind of Mardi Gras swamp funk that made New Orleans famous. Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 7:30 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $35. Call 202-787-1000 or visit thehamiltondc.com.
MONUMENTAL THEATRE: SEX SWAP 3
Subtitled A Gender Bender Cabaret, fledgling Millennial-focused theater troupe Monumental Theatre Company presents its third annual cabaret in which theater queens sing songs irrespective of gender. Jimmy Mavrikes and Michael Windsor, two of Monumental's young co-founders, direct the show with additional musical direction by John Henderson. Friday, May 3, at 8 p.m. Cobalt, 1639 R St. NW. Tickets are $20 in advance, or $25 at the door. Call 202-232-4416 or visit monumentaltheatre.org.
SPECIAL AGENT GALACTICA
After a production at last year's Capital Fringe Festival, Jeffrey Johnson next performs his pink-haired drag alter-ego's latest cabaret A Romp Around Uranus in Richmond. The campy musical romp finds Galactica relating her fantastical journey accompanied by a guitarist known as Captain Satellite, with further assist by the recorded voice of the B-52's Fred Schneider as Timeship Aurora. The cabaret includes an eclectic mix of songs ranging from burlesque to Beyonce, Groucho Marx to David Bowie, as well as a few originals. Sunday, Feb. 26, at 7:30 p.m. Richmond Triangle Players, 1300 Altamont Ave. Richmond. Tickets are $15 to $20. Call 804-346-8113 or visit rtriangle.org.
Hill Country Live presents the Texas country/Americana powerhouse with a tour stop a week before the release of her fourth album Trophy. Promoted as incredibly raw and soul-baring, the new set features songs co-written with many female writers, including Lori McKenna. From "cheeky" new single "Better Bad Idea" to "Bottle By My Bed," about her frustration in not having a child, Trophy was produced by Grammy-nominated engineer/producer Dave Brainard (Brandy Clark's 12 Stories). Saturday, March 4, at 9:30 p.m. Hill Country, 410 7th St. NW. Tickets are $12. Call 202-556-2050 or visit music.hillcountry.com/dc.
A sharp neo-disco/indie-dance DJ/production duo from New York, the Knocks are a just-bubbling-under act who stirred up the All Things Go Fall Classic at Union Market in the festival's first two years. The duo of Ben "B-Roc" Ruttner and James "JPatt" Patterson return to the 9:30 Club to play through its repertoire of vocal-driven dance-pop featuring everyone from Carly Rae Jepsen and Alex Newell, to Wyclef Jean, Walk the Moon and X Ambassadors. They just released Testify, an EP featuring new songs with MNEK and Sam Nelson Harris, lead singer of X Ambassadors. Bipolar Sunshine and Gilligan Moss open. Thursday, March 2. Doors at 7 p.m. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $20. Call 202-265-0930 or visit 930.com.
THE WASHINGTON CHORUS
A tribute to the organization's music director, the second to last concert in Julian Wachner's 10th and final season is a showcase of his own compositions. On the bill are Wachner's aria "Blood Rubies," sung by soprano Colleen Daly, "Hospital Camp," "An October Garden" and "Blue, Green, Red." Performances will be interspersed with conversations between Wachner and guest conductor Thomas Colohan in the style of the New Music for a New Age series highlighting living composers that Wachner instituted. Sunday, Feb. 26, at 5 p.m. National Presbyterian Church, 4101 Nebraska Ave. NW. Tickets are $25 to $35. Call 202-342-8208 or visit thewashingtonchorus.org.
A charming, even understated stage presence -- she sports a simple biker-chic look and regularly performs barefoot -- belies the raw and rousing power contained in this Swedish songstress's music. Her lyrics, about the pleasures and pain of life, love, sex and drugs, are edgy, unflinching and utterly honest. Chances are Lo's return to the 9:30 Club will come with as much wild enthusiasm as greeted her in the fall of 2015 when "Habits (Stay High)" and "Talking Body" were ubiquitous jams on the radio. What last year's strong, sophomore set Lady Wood may lack in bona fide hits in the U.S. it more than makes up for in furthering her unique, appealing style of grunge-inspired dance-pop, more introspective, provocative and inspiring than ever. Like-minded dark-pop purveyor Phoebe Ryan, most recently heard on "All We Know" by the Chainsmokers, opens. Friday, Feb. 24. Doors at 8 p.m. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. While officially sold out, the site does have a Ticket X-change section for face value (in this case, $35) ticket resale. Call 202-265-0930 or visit 930.com.
WASHINGTON CONCERT OPERA: LEONORE
Two weeks after Opera Lafayette offered Pierre Gaveaux and Jean-Nicolas Bouilly's 18th century French opera at GW Lisner, the Washington Concert Opera takes to the same stage with the same story -- but retold in German by Beethoven. The German giant later revised his timeless tale of love conquering all to become the famous opera Fidelio. But it initially took the name of the woman at the core of the story, and the Concert Opera culminates its 30th season with American soprano Marjorie Owens in the role. Meanwhile, Grammy-nominated heldentenor Simon O'Neill co-stars as Florestan, bass Eric Halfvarson as Rocco and coloratura soprano Celena Shafe as Marzelline. Saturday, March 5, at 6 p.m. GW Lisner, The George Washington University, 730 21st St. NW. Tickets are $15 to $200. Call 202-364-5826 or visit concertopera.org.
WASHINGTON NATIONAL OPERA: DEAD MAN WALKING
Francesco Zambello directs composer Jake Heggie's instant modern classic, featuring a libretto by Terrence McNally and based on Sister Helen Prejean's book that also inspired the hit 1995 film with Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. Kate Lindsey plays the role of the kindhearted nun who takes on the final appeal of a convicted murderer (Michael Mayes) on death row, whose mother is played by Susan Graham, the original Prejean when the opera debuted in 2000. A searing emotional journey in its story, Dead Man Walking is further powered by Heggie's music. NPR has called it "Gershwin-esque spiced with Samuel Barber and Leonard Bernstein, blues and even early rock." Opens Saturday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m. To March 11. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $35 to $300. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
MARK MORRIS DANCE GROUP
The innovative modern dance company, acclaimed for its grace, power and confidence, takes to the Concert Hall at George Mason University to perform two brand new works, including A Forest set to Haydn's Piano Trio No. 44 in E major and Pure Dance Items set to music by Terry Riley. Company dancers will also perform more established works in its canon, including Serenade, a solo piece set to Lou Harrison's Serenade for Guitar and Percussion, and Dancing Honeymoon featuring music from the 1920s and 1930s -- sung by Mark Morris himself. The MMDG Music Ensemble will offer live musical accompaniment for the dancers. Saturday, Feb. 24, and Sunday, Feb. 25, at 8 p.m. George Mason University Center for the Arts, 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax. Tickets are $29 to $48. Call 888-945-2468 or visit cfa.gmu.edu.
THE WASHINGTON BALLET: GISELLE
Celebrating its first season under the aegis of Julie Kent, the 72-year-old organization brings the ballet classic to life in a re-staging by Kent and husband Victor Barbee based on choreography by Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot and Marius Petipa. Charles Barker leads the Washington Ballet Orchestra performing the Adolphe Adam. Opens Wednesday, March 1, at 8 p.m. Performances to March 5. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $33 to $130. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
WASHINGTON IMPROV THEATER: ROAD SHOW!
D.C.'s leading company for longform improv offers a "Wintry Mix," a series of vignettes featuring different ensembles, with each plot developed on-the-fly, spurred by a single audience suggestion. Weekends to Feb. 26. 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 witdc.org.
ANGELA FLOURNOY, MARGO JEFFERSON, MARCUS GUILLORY
"Class in the Black Community" is the title of this PEN/Faulkner discussion among three prominent writers: Margo Jefferson, former theater critic for the New York Times and author of the Chicago-based memoir Negroland, Angela Flournoy, author of The Turner House, a multi-generational saga about the decline of Detroit's East Side, and Marcus Guillory, whose novel Red Now and Laters is a coming-of-age story set in the Creole and cowboy-infused East Texas. Monday, March 6, at 7:30 p.m. Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $15. Call 202-544-7077 or visit folger.edu.
Georgetown's Halcyon House, built in the 18th century by the first Secretary of the Navy and now the headquarters of the S&R Foundation, is quickly becoming the place to go for stimulating discussions with leading artists and cultural innovators. That's all the doing of Septime Webre, former head of the Washington Ballet, who this year has launched the new performance and presentation series Halcyon Stage. Up next is a New Creatives Conversations with the Danish culinary luminary who launched the New Nordic Cuisine Movement and co-created the two-star Michelin restaurant Noma in Copenhagen. The Danish Embassy co-sponsors the conversation followed by a Meet-the-Chef reception on Thursday, March 2, beginning at 7 p.m. Halcyon House, 3400 Prospect St. NW. Tickets are $30. Call 202-298-5956 or visit halcyonhouse.org.
George Mason University presents the New York transgender advocate, TV host and author of Redefining Realness for an annual lecture given by a black woman who exemplifies a commitment to the principles embodied by legendary activist and scholar Sojourner Truth. Sunday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. Concert Hall, 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax. Tickets are $5 to $15. Call 888-945-2468 or visit gmu.edu/cfa.
500 YEARS OF TREASURES FROM OXFORD
A selection of 50 manuscripts and early printed books -- some dating back to the 10th century -- will be brought to the U.S. for the first time from their repository in Oxford, England, at the library of Corpus Christi College, founded in 1517. Treasures now on view at the Folger Shakespeare Library include an illuminated copy of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in Middle English, a wonderfully decorated French paraphrase of the Old Testament, and a series of ground-breaking works in the history of science and medicine, including works on astrology and astronomy -- from Hooke's observations of insects using a microscope, to Galileo's first observation of the moon using a telescope, to Sir Isaac Newton's observations of Halley's comet. To April 30. Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Call 202-544-7077 or visit folger.edu.
JEFF SHENG: FEARLESS PROJECT
An exhibition and photography series focused on over 200 LGBT student athletes in the U.S. and Canada taken over the last decade by American artist Jeff Sheng. Fearless Project is presented in conjunction with the Washington National Opera and its upcoming production of Champion. Through March 18 in the Kennedy Center Hall of Nations. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
Members of Del Ray Artisans showcase their interpretations, in their preferred visual arts medium, of the Valentine's Day theme "affectionate pairings," defined broadly to allow for some less-than-affectionate depictions of broken hearts and lovers longing. The exhibit is on display to Feb. 26, with a free Sweet Treat and Poetry event of patrons reading from poems while enjoying desserts, on Tuesday, Feb. 14, from 6 to 8 p.m. Del Ray Artisans Gallery, 2704 Mount Vernon Ave. Alexandria. Call 703-731-8802 or visit thedelrayartisans.org.
Long View Gallery presents its seventh annual exhibition featuring new works by gallery favorites, this year including Mike Weber, Ryan McCoy, Cheryl Wassenaar, Lori Katz, Colin Winterbottom and J. Jordan Bruns. The gallery will also premiere pieces by Baltimore artists Jessie and Katey. Through March 19. Long View Gallery, 1234 9th St. NW. Call 202-232-4788 or visit longviewgallery.com.
THESE FLOWERS ARE LIKE THE PLEASURES OF THE WORLD
Suburban Maryland's Adah Rose Gallery offers its second show featuring artists from the D.C.-based collective Studio 155. One way or another, all the paintings and drawings on display glorify and honor a love and reverence for the earth, from detailed depictions of flowers and trees to sweeping illustrations of landscapes and natural monuments such as the Grand Canyon. Ten artists are represented, including Ellen Tuttle, Don Myer, Roberta Bernstein, July Weihe and Jill Hodgsoni. To Feb. 25. 3766 Howard Ave. in Kensington, Md. Call 301-922-0162 or visit adahrosegallery.com.
YAYOI KUSAMA: INFINITY MIRRORS
The Hirshhorn presents the first major traveling exhibition surveying the evolution of this celebrated Japanese painter/sculptor's immersive infinity rooms. The exhibition features six of Kusama's rooms. It also includes Pumpkin, the whimsical, surrealy scaled sculpture, in a bold yellow-and-black pattern, that has been displayed on the museum's plaza since December. Opens Thursday, Feb. 23. Runs through May 14. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Independence Avenue and Seventh Street SW. Free timed passes are required and will be released online every Monday at noon for the subsequent week, with a limited number of same-day walk-up passes also available. Call 202-633-1000 or visit hirshhorn.si.edu.
BAYOU BAKERY POP-UP SHOP IN UNION MARKET
In addition to his two permanent restaurants in D.C.'s Hill Center and Arlington, celebrity chef David Guas offers a Mardi Gras-themed pop-up in Union Market now until Fat Tuesday. The focus, naturally, is on "BB" King Cake, the classic ring-shaped brioche-style cake piped with signature Creole Cream Cheese filling. Bayou Bakery serves the cakes in a gift box with carnival beads, a traditional plastic baby hidden inside, and a postcard sharing the treat's history. Also on offer are "Graslines," a buttery sugar praline cookie topped with purple, green and gold sugar-flecked sprinkles, and "GrasNola," gluten-free crunchy oats sweetened with honey and tossed in burnt-brown butter. Through Feb. 28. Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery Opens Pop-Up Shop in Union Market, 1309 5th St. NE. Call 800-680-9095 or visit unionmarketdc.com.
MARDI GRAS EXTRAVAGANZA
Southern-influenced street fare, cocktails from the area's top chefs and mixologists, DC Brau and Abita beer on tap, King cakes, beads and a carnival-like atmosphere? Clearly, Fat Tuesday is just around the corner. This year, Union Market hosts the biggest party around, a fundraiser for Louisiana-based St. Bernard Project and the DC Central Kitchen as organized by David Guas of Bayou Bakery, Spike Mendelsohn and Micheline Mendelsohn Luhn of Bearnaise and Sunnyside Restaurant Group and Gina Chersevani of Buffalo & Bergen. Food will be served from Acadiana, Bayou Bakery, Bearnaise, Evening Star Cafe, Mason Dixie Biscuit Co., Oohh's & Aahh's, Puddin', Rappahannock Oyster Bar, Republic Kolache, Rocklands Barbeque, Tchoup's Market, the BBQ Joint, the Source and Woodward Table. And drinks will be on tap from Archipelago, Bar PX, Buffalo & Bergen, Cafe Saint-Ex, Columbia Room, Cotton & Reed, Hank's Oyster Bar, Jack Rose Dining Saloon, Quill, Radiator and Southern Efficiency. Live music, a Mardi Gras Costume Contest and a Hurricane Cocktail Competition judged by the area's top mixers, including Derek Brown, Todd Thrasher and Chersevani, complete the festive atmosphere. And Lyft makes it easy to get around, offering 25-percent off all rides to and fro #MGEDC2017. Tuesday, Feb. 28, from 5 to 10 p.m. Dock 5 at Union Market, 1309 5th St. NE. Tickets are $65 per person for all you can eat and drink. Call 800-680-9095 or visit mardigrasextravaganza.com.
OYAMEL'S TEQUILA AND MEZCAL FESTIVAL
Jose Andres's restaurant focused on creative, authentic Mexican cuisine pays tribute to the country's native spirits through a kick-off party and a series of complimentary happy hour tastings starting at 4 p.m. followed by prix-fixe dinners at 6:30 p.m. For the dinners, Head Chef Omar Rodriguez will pair five courses with agave-derived spirits from guest distilleries. The series' lineup of guests offering tastings is: La Nina del Mezcal with founder Cecilia Rios Murrieta on Wednesday, March 1, Fortaleza Tequila and El Silencio Mezcal on Monday, March 6, and Organic Tequila with founder/maker David Ravandi on Tuesday, March 7. The Kickoff Party, featuring more than a dozen tasting stations, passed bites, specialty cocktails and live music, is Monday, Feb. 27, from 6 to 9 p.m. Oyamel Cocina Mexicana, 401 7th St. NW. Tickets for the Kickoff Party are $49, while the prix-fixe dinners are $75 each including tax and gratuity. Call 202-628-1005 or visit oyamel.com.
RAMEN WORLD 3
Food incubator Mess Hall in the Northeast Edgewood neighborhood once again gives D.C. gourmands their first tastes of the city's hottest new restaurants. The third Ramen World, raising funds for Miriam's Kitchen, features Thip Khao and Bantam King, along with "#RamenMasters" from Sushi Taro, Haikan, Alfie's, and Paper Horse, the newest concept from Erik Bruner Yang of Toki Underground and Maketto fame. It also introduces Cassava Bubble Tea, Conbini Cafe by UZU, and Bird's Eye Sandwich Shop by Doi Moi. Beverages on tap include Kirin Ichiban, Suntory Whiskey and Silencio Mezcal. And remember: "Unlimited food does not give you permission to be a #ramenwaster." Ticketed in two-hour rounds, at noon and 3 p.m., on Sunday, Feb. 26. Mess Hall, 703 Edgewood St. NE. Tickets are $70 (plus nearly $5 in fees) for general admission and unlimited food, beer and cocktails, or $105 (plus nearly $7 in fees) for VIP priority access with swag bag with t-shirt.
THE DEVIL WEARS COMMISSARY
Meryl Streep is the toast of Commissary on Oscar Night, in honor of the actress's 20th Academy Award nomination. The casual Logan Circle cafe will pour special Streep-inspired cocktails all day, plus Streep games and trivia during brunch. Streep movies will be projected on screens all day as well, though as dusk begins to fall Commissary will transition to become "the set of La La Land" and the screens will start in on the 89th annual Oscars, with the red carpet watch starting at 4 p.m.. An exclusive La La Land-themed menu will be served at dinner in addition to the restaurant's regular menu, with the Oscar ceremony shown on a full wall projector beginning at 8:30 p.m. Commissary DC, 1443 P St. NW. Call 202-299-0018 or visit commissarydc.com.
BRADLEY STEVENS AT CESCO OSTERIA SUNDAY SALON SERIES
The Bethesda restaurant kicks off a year-long 20th anniversary celebration with the first in a Sunday Salon series of monthly discussions, highlighting the cuisine and culture of Italy. Stevens will discuss "The Fine Art of Commissions: From Michelangelo to the Present," focused on how patrons can inspire artists to produce their greatest works. Stevens is a former professor of fine arts at the George Washington and Georgetown universities and now a painter on commission for clients including the Smithsonian Institution, the federal government and area law firms and hospitals. Sunday, Feb. 26, from 5 to 7 p.m. Cesco Osteria, 7401 Woodmont Ave. Bethesda. Call 301-654-8333 or visit cesco-osteria.com.
CAPITAL REMODEL + GARDEN SHOW
Matt Blashaw, host of HGTV's Yard Crashers, and Sara Bendrick of DIY's I Hate My Yard are this year's main headliners at the Capital Remodel + Garden Show, where they will share their favorite projects and take questions from the audience. There will be plenty more chances for attendees to solicit advice, gather information and purchase services from experts in the home and garden field, with more than 375 companies set to attend. A centerpiece of the event is a 4,000-plus square feet space in which five landscapers have created "dream gardens." Friday, Feb. 24, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 25, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 26, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dulles Expo Center, 4320 Chantilly Shopping Center in Virginia. Tickets are $10 at the box office or $7 online. Call 800-274-6948 or visit capitalremodelandgarden.com.
JASON MORAN, THEASTER GATES
As part of the innovative, cross-discipline series "Jason +," the popular pianist and Kennedy Center jazz adviser collaborates with a Chicago-based installation artist and spoken word artist along with students of Chicago's Kenwood Academy Jazz Band. Looks of a Lot is a multimedia performance featuring twists on everything from Schubert's classic Der Doppelganger to trumpeter Roy Eldridge's "Wabash Stomp," with set designs and spoken word by Gates, all accompanied by Moran's mates in the Bandwagon, bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits, saxophonist Ken Vandermark and vocalist Katie Ernst. Documenting the work's premiere in 2014, the Chicago Tribune called it an "opus on sustaining hope in the face of violence." Saturday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m. Kennedy Center Family Theater. Tickets are $26. Call 467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
"Parts You'd Never Play" features songs from roles guest performers think they'll never get cast in. Started by Regie Cabico and DonMike Mendoza and now held every other Monday, La-Ti-Do is a variety show chiefly focused on music and singing, enlisting professionals from the theater or opera worlds performing on their night off, but also including spoken-word poets, storytellers and comedians. Some of the performers at the next round: Dwayne Allen, Courtney LeBlanc, Nicole Riding, Camryn Shegogue, Kylie Smith, and Rachel Weisenthal, plus Aaron Reeder, Keith Alexander, and poet Angelique Palmer with organizational partner DC Opera on Tap. Pianist Taylor Rambo provides accompaniment and Mendoza and Anya Randall Nebel co-host. Monday, Feb. 27, at 8 p.m. Bistro Bistro, 1727 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets are $15, or only $10 if you eat dinner at the restaurant beforehand. Call 202-328-1640 or visit latidodc.wix.com/latidodc.
PRETTY BOI DRAG BRUNCH
Reviving the art of drag kings in D.C., Pretty Boi Drag, co-founded by former DC King Pretty Rik E, now offers a monthly all-inclusive brunch experience with live music from hip-hop DJ Tezrah, in addition to drag performances. Sunday, March 5, from noon to 3 p.m. Acre 121, 1400 Irving St. NW. Tickets are $20 for show only, or $40 including an entree and bottomless mimosas. Call 202-431-4704 or visit prettyboidrag.com.
THE NAKED MAGICIANS
Australian illusionists Christopher Wayne and Mike Tyler perform a show that is exactly what it sounds like: an evening of tricks performed in the buff. Following sold-out shows and rave reviews in this country and around the globe, the world's cheekiest magic show returns to the Lincoln Theatre. Billed as an "R-rated spectacle," the nudity is not just a semantic sleight of hand: While not full-frontal for the full show, the conjuring duo do strip out of their clothes on stage and occasionally position themselves so that they can't hide, baring all for the audience. All, that is, but the tricks of the trade -- and the magic easily rivals the naked thrills. Two shows on Friday, Feb. 24, at 7:30 and 10 p.m. Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $75. Call 202-328-6000 or visit thelincolndc.com.