December 2011 Archives

New Year's Eve Retro at the State

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 30, 2011 2:00 PM |
This month, State Theatre's popular party The Legwarmers, billed as D.C.'s "biggest '80s Retro Dance Party," takes place on New Year's Eve. The party is where guilty-pleasure hits from nearly three decades ago are given the full tribute. Many in the crowd come dressed to the nine: shellacked big hair, lacy ankle socks, stirrup pants, parachute pants or anything else ... [Read]

Much Ado: "The Bard done right"

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 30, 2011 10:00 AM |
Wince you might at the idea of Much Ado About Nothing rendered as a 1930s screwball comedy set in Cuba, but the concept -- and more importantly, the Shakespeare Theatre Company's execution of it -- "hath indeed better bettered expectation." This is the Bard for a modern audience done right. It's ridiculously fun and yet utterly and completely about the ... [Read]

Andy Warhol: More than just soup cans

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 30, 2011 9:30 AM |
Not one but two area museums are offering exhibits focused on the work of Andy Warhol. The Hirshhorn presents "Andy Warhol: Shadows 1978," comprising 102 silkscreened and hand-painted canvases featuring distorted photographs of shadows generated in the famed PopArt artist's studio. Meanwhile, the National Gallery of Art presents "Warhol: Headlines," offering works that the famed gay artist created largely on ... [Read]

Waltzing in the New Year

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 30, 2011 9:22 AM |
Alexander Steinitz conducts the Strauss Symphony of America and fellow Viennese performers soprano Rebecca Nelsen and tenor Thomas Sigwald, plus dancers from the Vienna Imperial Ballet and the International Champion Ballroom Dancers in this "Salute to Vienna," inspired by the Austrian capital's famed Neujahrskonzert and offering famous Strauss waltzes, polkas and operetta excerpts. Attila Glatz Concerts presents this concert. Monday, ... [Read]

Billy Elliot at the Kennedy Center

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 30, 2011 9:08 AM |
Writer Lee Hall, director Stephen Daldry and choreographer Peter Darling reprise their responsibilities adapting the popular 2000 film Billy Elliot, with Hall also penning the lyrics for a catchy score by Elton John. The result is moving material set into brilliant motion. If some of the mechanics of the stage form feel a bit forced -- the team favors early ... [Read]

The Great American Hall of Wonders examines the American ingenuity that energized all aspects of 19th-century society, from the painting of landscapes and scenes of everyday life to the planning of scientific expeditions and the development of new mechanical devices. Included in the exhibit are paintings and drawings by John James Audubon, Albert Bierstadt, Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, as well ... [Read]

Chopteeth Afrofunk Big Band at Iota

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 25, 2011 5:00 PM |
The Washington Post has called Chopteeth Afrofunk Big Band "a storming powerhouse of big-band African funk. . .smart, tight and relentlessly driving." Chopteeth has already won eight Washington Area Music Association Awards in just the past four years, including the Artist of the Year accolade in 2008. Tuesday, Dec. 27, at 8:30 p.m. IOTA Club and Café, 2832 Wilson Blvd., ... [Read]

Theater Alliance presents Black Nativity

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 24, 2011 9:22 AM |
Theater Alliance presents Black Nativity, Langston Hughes's retelling of the Biblical Christmas story from an Afro-centric perspective, incorporating gospel, blues, funk, jazz and dance with griot-style storytelling from an ensemble cast. Black Nativity was one of the first plays written by an African American to appear on Broadway 50 years ago this month. Stephawn Stephens directs, joined by musical director ... [Read]

David Cronenberg's Videodrome

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 23, 2011 6:00 PM |
The Washington Psychotronic Film Society, dedicated to independent, experimental, low-budget, off-the-beaten-path filmmaking, presents a weekly Monday night screening series, hosted by The Incorrigible Dr. Schlock. This week offers David Cronenberg's 1983 sci-fi horror flick starring James Woods and singer Deborah Harry, about a small cable station executive who stumbles upon a broadcast signal featuring extreme violence and torture and then ... [Read]

Hoping to follow in the footsteps of fellow D.C.-bred comics Wanda Sykes, Dave Chappelle and Martin Lawrence, Erin Jackson has garnered some national credibility with appearances as a semi-finalist on Last Comic Standing and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Jackson, according to DC Improv's biography, "is looking forward to the day when she becomes famous enough to move to Hollywood, buy ... [Read]

WIT's Seasonal Disorder

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 23, 2011 10:12 AM |
Washington Improv Theater's annual holiday extravaganza features shows based on audience suggestions, showing you the good, the bad and the ugly of the season -- all laughs to get you through this crazy month. Each and every show is different, but all offer a grab bag of spontaneous ho-ho-ho-inducing comedy. Weekends to Dec. 31. Source Theater, 1835 14th St. NW. ... [Read]

Winnie (Erwin Keller), Ben Schatz (Rachel), Jeff Manabat (Trixie) and Trampolina (Spencer Brown) make up the popular "dragapella beautyshop quartet" The Kinsey Sicks, specializing in tricky four-part harmony. The queens return to D.C.'s Theater J for a second year of its popular holiday-themed show, Oy Vey in a Manger -- with two actual shows on Christmas Day, if you're looking ... [Read]

The Raspberry Brothers present Home Alone

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 22, 2011 6:05 PM |
The Raspberry Brothers, a trio of Brooklyn comedians, return to the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse, this time to riff on the 1990 Christmas flick Home Alone and give that brat -- otherwise known as Macaulay Culkin -- a taste of his own medicine. The comedians offer humorous commentary, Mystery Science Theater 3000-style. Friday, Dec. 23, at 9:55 p.m. Arlington Cinema ... [Read]

Last Chance: Lauren Weedman's Bust

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 22, 2011 1:19 PM |
A former correspondent on Comedy Central's The Daily Show, Lauren Weedman juggles between Bust's more than two dozen characters, snapping back and forth with a frantic mania that's admirable, impressive and, more than anything else, intimidating when you stop to consider its scope. (Or, with the show's bare stage in mind, the thrift that plays against it.) Bust is a ... [Read]

Last Saturday night, Dec. 17, at the holiday concert of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, Broadway and screen star Ellen Greene had what she called "a blond moment." She forgot the opening lines to the showtune hit -- her signature -- "Suddenly Seymour." But Greene handled the flub with aplomb, blaming the blond wig she had put on specifically ... [Read]

On seeing Holland Taylor's portrayal of former Texas governor Ann Richards for the first time, Don Temples cried. "It was as if someone I love very much, who I know is dead, was suddenly there again," says Temples, who used to work for Richards as well as the Human Rights Campaign. For Taylor, the Emmy Award-winning actress who plays the ... [Read]

Erin Jackson at the DC Improv

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 19, 2011 10:06 AM |
Hoping to follow in the footsteps of fellow D.C.-bred comics Wanda Sykes, Dave Chappelle and Martin Lawrence, Erin Jackson has garnered some national credibility with appearances as a semi-finalist on Last Comic Standing and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Jackson, according to DC Improv's biography, "is looking forward to the day when she becomes famous enough to move to Hollywood, buy ... [Read]

Joy of Christmas Concert

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 19, 2011 10:03 AM |
J. Reilly Lewis leads the Washington National Cathedral Choral Society, along with the 18th Street Singers, organist Todd Fickley, carillonist Edward Nassor and the Washington Symphonic Brass, in "The Joy of Christmas" concert, a perennial holiday favorite, including sing-along carols and an advent wreath processional. Tonight, Monday, Dec. 20, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North ... [Read]

Named Washington's "Artist of the Year" in 2003, this roots-rock band -- part rock, part blues, part bluegrass -- has since relocated to Nashville, but its roots are still here, so any local performance promises to be sweet. And how could it get any sweeter than free? They return for what's become an annual concert on the Millennium Stage. Tuesday, ... [Read]

A John Waters Christmas at The Birchmere

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 18, 2011 10:39 AM |
In what's now become an annual event, legendary Baltimore filmmaker John Waters returns to the Birchmere with a one-man show motivated by a genuine love for Christmas. In fact, the show explores the gay and sexual possibilities of the holiday. As he told Metro Weekly in 2009: "Is Santa erotic? That is a question with the bear movement. Is he ... [Read]

Duck Soup at Landmark's E Street CInema

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 17, 2011 12:04 PM |
The E Street Cinema concludes its inaugural "Capital Classics" series with the Marx Brothers comedy Duck Soup, focused on Freedonia's war on nearby Sylvania. It wasn't a hit when released in 1933, but it's now considered one of the Marx Brothers' finest. Saturday, Dec. 17, at midnight, and Sunday, Dec. 18, at 11 a.m. Landmark's E Street Cinema, 555 11th ... [Read]

Atlas Sound

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 17, 2011 12:00 PM |
Bradley Cox, the queer lead singer of the hipster band Deerhunter, has released his third intriguing album under his solo moniker Atlas Sound. The trippy, haunting Parallax is Cox's most accessible set yet. Tuesday, Dec. 20. Doors at 8 p.m. Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. Tickets are $15. Call 202-667-4490 or visit blackcatdc.com. Get Spotlight in your inbox. Join ... [Read]

Black Cat's Gay/Bash

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 16, 2011 9:25 AM |
A few months ago, the Black Cat launched another new monthly gay party Gay/Bash, with DJs Joshua and Dean spinning electro/techno/pop tunes, from edgy and obscure to classic and of-the-moment hits -- all great and catchy. The energy and enthusiasm is contagious. No wonder folks from Town's Bear Happy Hour are increasingly concluding their furry night out here -- though ... [Read]

Ken Ludwig's new children's play

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 16, 2011 8:24 AM |
'Twas the Night Before Christmas is a new children's play by Tony-nominated and Olivier-winning playwright Ken Ludwig, about the wild adventures of a mouse, an elf and a spunky little girl who just won't take no for an answer. Jerry Whiddon directs. To Jan. 1, 2012. Adventure Theater, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo. Tickets are $18. Call 301-634-2261 or visit ... [Read]

WIT's Seasonal Disorder

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 16, 2011 8:21 AM |
The Washington Improv Theater's annual holiday extravaganza features shows based on audience suggestions, showing you the good, the bad and the ugly of the season -- all laughs to get you through this crazy month. Each and every show is different, but all offer a grab bag of spontaneous ho-ho-ho-inducing comedy. Weekends to Dec. 31. Source Theater, 1835 14th St. ... [Read]

Coldplay tickets on sale tomorrow

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 16, 2011 8:11 AM |
"Every teardrop is a waterfall," Chris Martin sings on the first hit from the weirdly named Mylo Xyloto. And if you're a Coldplay fan, you just might cry a waterfall if you don't jump on getting tickets this weekend for next summer's show at Verizon Center. Seriously, tickets are likely to sell out quickly, so don't delay the clocks. Tickets ... [Read]

Jersey Boys at The National

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 14, 2011 1:00 PM |
As crowd-pleasing as Broadway comes, Jersey Boys, which just may be the most successful jukebox musical in history, proves that the Four Seasons was no fluke. The doo-wop pop quartet from a half-century ago created hits from "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Walk Like A Man," "December, 1963 (Oh What A Night)" and "Can't Take My Eyes Off You." The ... [Read]

A Broadway Christmas Carol at MetroStage

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 14, 2011 9:30 AM |
Kathy Feininger's A Broadway Christmas Show tells the famous Charles Dickens classic by altering the lyrics to familiar Broadway tunes, 40 or so in all, from The Music Man to Sweeney Todd to Annie. The result is a pretty gay show, especially with the gay Helen Hayes Award-winning actor Michael Sharp returning to play Scrooge in the production at Alexandria's ... [Read]

The Washington Psychotronic Film Society, dedicated to independent, experimental, low-budget, off-the-beaten-path filmmaking, presents a weekly Monday night screening series, hosted by The Incorrigible Dr. Schlock. Next week offers 1978's The Punk Rock Movie, featuring performances by The Clash, The Slits and more -- including Siouxsie and the Banshees. Peek-a-boo! Monday, Dec. 19, at 8 p.m. McFadden's, 2401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. ... [Read]

Alexis Mateo, Yara Sofia and Mariah Balenciaga -- all from the third season of RuPaul's Drag Race -- will perform along with other female impersonators at a "Xmas Spectacular" at the Mansion on O Street. If your holiday has been a drag so far this year -- this just might be the thing to perk it up. Tuesday, Dec. 20. ... [Read]

The one and only original Audrey of both the Broadway and screen versions of Little Shop of Horrors as well as a star of Pushing Daisies, Ellen Greene will stop by JR.'s on Monday, Dec. 12, for the bar's popular weekly Showtunes event. Rumor has it the cast of Jersey Boys will also be making an appearance. The evening serves ... [Read]

The gay-owned local restaurant chain EatWell DC will host a Dine Out Night at all of its restaurants -- Logan Tavern, Commissary, The Heights and Grillfish -- with 10 percent of dinner proceeds benefiting So Others Might Eat, an organization that helps to feed the homeless. In addition, Commissary and The Heights will collect canned foods for the Capital Area ... [Read]

Every Saturday night, the Black Cat screens an episode from the popular vampire series that aired a decade ago, before bloodsucking creatures were everywhere: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The 14th Street venue offers the screening in its downstairs Backstage space and dubs it "Hellmouth Happy Hour," with drink specials -- and best of all, you only pay for the drinks. ... [Read]

Pink Martini at Strathmore

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 10, 2011 1:04 PM |
Pink Martini harbors no musical or linguistic boundaries -- but its home base is '60s-era cocktail tunes, with strong Brazilian influence. The Portland, Ore.-based band returns to the region after a performance last Spring with the NSO Pops and the band's occasional guest member, NPR's gay White House correspondent Ari Shapiro. Shapiro performed on the group's multi-denominational holiday album Joy ... [Read]

King Kong at Landmark's E Street

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 10, 2011 12:47 PM |
The E Street Cinema continues its "Capital Classics" series this weekend with the 1933 classic King Kong, in which a giant ape escapes and wreaks havoc on human society. The stop-motion work and effects are, to this day, miraculous. Saturday, Dec. 10, at 12 a.m., and Sunday, Dec. 11, at 11 a.m. The Capital Classics series continues through Dec. 18. ... [Read]

'Tis the season for ballet companies to perform versions of Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker. The American Ballet Theatre offers a new version by the company's Alexei Ratmansky, considered one of the leading choreographers in contemporary ballet. His take, complete with sets and costumes by Tony Award winner Richard Hudson (The Lion King) won rave reviews at its debut last season in ... [Read]

Duncan Sheik at the Rams Head

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 9, 2011 8:55 AM |
Indie-rock singer-songwriter Duncan Sheik is touring in support of his marvelous studio set Covers 80s, featuring acoustic reinterpretations of '80s synth-pop hits by Depeche Mode, New Order and The Cure. Sunday, Dec. 11, at 12:30 p.m. Rams Head On Stage, 33 West St., Annapolis. Tickets are $25. Call 410-268-4545 or visit ramsheadonstage.com. Follow @metroweekly Win free movie passes. Take our ... [Read]

Dakshina performs at Artisphere

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 9, 2011 8:45 AM |
Gay choreographer Daniel Phoenix Singh will perform a tender male-male duet "Since You've Asked" -- featuring poetry by Leonard Cohen and music by Jacques Brel -- as part of his company Dakshina's performances at Artisphere this weekend. A Banghra Dance Party with DJs takes place in the venue's Ballroom after the performances. Tonight, Friday, Dec. 9, and Saturday, Dec. 10, ... [Read]

Muppets, Music and Magic

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 8, 2011 9:50 AM |
As part of its month-long Muppets, Music & Magic: Jim Henson's Legacy series, timed with release of the new Muppets movie, the American Film Institute's Silver Theatre offers a run of the popular movies and other cinematic goodies that grew out of the famous puppets franchise, which grew out of Sesame Street. Among the highlights this weekend: the '80s movie ... [Read]

Searching for the real "Messiah"

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 8, 2011 8:52 AM |
No, this ain't about Jesus -- it's about Handel's Messiah. Specifically the various versions of the more 260-year-old classical classic, as ubiquitous this time of year as ballet presentations of Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker. The National Symphony Orchestra's Yvonne Caruthers explores the history of the piece -- from Handel's original oratorio, to Mozart's adaptation, to the sing-along edition, to even a ... [Read]

Cannibal! The Musical at DCAC

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 8, 2011 8:50 AM |
Trey Parker's first attempt at a full-fledged musical, conceived while a University of Colorado student, Cannibal! The Musical is as improbable as this year's Tony-winning juggernaut The Book of Mormon. Developed as a film in 1993, Cannibal focuses on the real-life story of Alferd Packer, convicted of cannibalism during a 19th Century gold-seeking expedition in the Colorado Territory. It glimmers ... [Read]

Synetic revives Romeo and Juliet

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 7, 2011 9:55 AM |
Synetic Theater presents yet another revival of an award-winning production in the Silent Shakespeare Festival. Yes, that's right, Shakespeare stripped of its words -- in this case, the classic story of Romeo and Juliet, played by Alex Mills and Natalie Berk. Synetic's production won its ensemble and director Paata Tsikurishvili Helen Hayes Awards in 2009. You have to see it ... [Read]

"Juxtapositions" is a photography exhibit by queer artist P.B. Groszmann, whose work explores the LGBT experience through topics such as "Gaiety," "Joy," "Memories" and "Histories/Herstories." Opening reception is this Friday, Dec. 9, from 6 to 8 p.m. On exhibit through Jan. 2, 2012. The DC Center for the LGBT Community, 1318 U St. NW. Call 202-682-2245 or visit thedccenter.org. Follow ... [Read]

France's answer to Robyn, Julie "Yelle" Budet is another woman with a little girl's voice and killer beats, though the style is more playful, party pop. (While Robyn opened for Katy Perry over the summer in the U.S., Yelle opened for Perry on her earlier UK tour.) Along with GrandMarnier on drums and Tepr on keyboard, Budet performs from the ... [Read]

Woolly Mammoth isn't just hosting Chicago's The Second City to offer more off-the-wall improv humor as in years past. Rather, Woolly's company members Jessica Frances Dukes and Aaron Bliden teamed up with Second City's James Alfred, Maribeth Monroe and Travis Turner to create a new show with the goal of being "the most gleeful anti-holiday celebration of doom ever." The ... [Read]

The 22nd Washington Jewish Film Festival offers 11 days of 47 new and award-winning films from around the world exploring the modern-day diversity of the Jewish faith and culture. One program offers two films with specific appeal to the LGBT community: Tomer Heymann’s I Shot My Love focuses on the love that blossoms between a male Israeli film director, a ... [Read]

When Deutsche Grammophon asked Tori Amos if she'd be interested in creating a classical album, the fashionable pop eccentric with the pixie-sque voice was reticent. "The concept of something so demanding, it can really ruin a career doing something like that, if you get it wrong," she told Metro Weekly back in September. In the end, Night of Hunters, a ... [Read]

The Washington Ballet's The Nutcracker

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 3, 2011 10:59 AM |
Eight years ago, The Washington Ballet's Septime Webre refashioned The Nutcracker to be a tribute to the nation’s capital, starring George Washington as the heroic Nutcracker and England’s King George III as the villainous Rat King, all against a backdrop of cherry blossoms and other D.C. scenes. The company’s fabulous production includes over 350 dancers. Opens in a preview performance ... [Read]

The songs of Irving Berlin and Harold Arlen defined what America played and sang and danced to for much of the 20th century. Abel Lopez and Angelisa Gillyard direct an In Series production with a novel script by Bari Biern that focuses on the composers’ film and Broadway works, mostly those from between the 20th Century’s two world wars. Stanley ... [Read]

Krapp's Last Tape starring John Hurt

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 3, 2011 10:56 AM |
Oscar-nominated actor John Hurt stars in a Shakespeare Theatre Company production of Samuel Beckett's 1958 masterpiece, Krapp's Last Tape. The story focuses on a man who annually records a tape recounting his past year and then decides to listen back to them on his 69th birthday. He learns something valuable in the process. Closes this Sunday, Dec. 4. Lansburgh Theatre, ... [Read]

The Jack-Ass prankster and ridiculous stuntman -- known for stapling his balls to his leg -- stops in town on his “entirely too much information tour” Thursday, Dec. 1, and Sunday, Dec. 4, at 8 p.m. Also Friday, Dec. 2, and Saturday, Dec. 3, at 10:30 p.m. DC Improv, 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets are $25 to $27. Call 202-296-7008 ... [Read]

Jeffrey Johnson revives Edie Beale

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 2, 2011 9:45 AM |
Jeffrey Johnson has teamed up with the Black Fox Lounge to offer a reprise of his popular one-woman cabaret Edie Beale Live at Reno Sweeney. Beale, of course, was the Grey Gardens star who was a friend of the Kennedys. In his cabaret, Johnson recreates a concert she gave at a New York club in 1978. Michael Winstead and Keith ... [Read]

GALA is presenting Edwin Aparicio's Flamenco Men tonight and tomorrow and they're offering special $20 tickets today only, Dec 2. Call 202-234-7174 to reserve and mention this discount at purchase. Doug Rule interviewed Aparico in this week's issue of Metro Weekly. Read the story here. Flamenco Men is Friday, Dec. 2, and Saturday, Dec. 3, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, ... [Read]

A shop hop on 14th Street!

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 2, 2011 8:33 AM |
The Capital Area Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and Metro Weekly present an afternoon of savings and celebrations on 14th Street in the Mid City area, between Dupont, Logan and U Street neighborhoods. Room & Board, Miss Pixie's, Bang & Olufsen, Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams, Tsunami Lounge, Well Built, ACKC, Salon Blu and Fathom Creative are among the ... [Read]

Midori plays with the NSO

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 2, 2011 8:24 AM |
The National Symphony Orchestra conductor Christoph Eschenbach reunites with renowned violinist Midori for Britten's Violin Concerto in D Minor. Also on the program is is Osvaldo Golijov's Sidereus and Shostakovich's Symphony No. 1 in F Minor. Tonight, Friday, Dec. 2, and Saturday, Dec. 3, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $20 to $85. Call 202-467-4600 or visit ... [Read]