Metro Weekly

Spotlight: Bentzen Ball Comedy, Wallace & Gromit, Food History, more

Our picks for the week of Oct. 27-Nov. 3

Bethesda Blues Jazz: Cecile Savant


A return performance by the quirky, sophisticated and soulful jazz vocalist, whom the New York Times has credited as having the best chance for extending the lineage of the Big Three: Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald. Salvant performs original songs and unique interpretations of obscure jazz and blues compositions in English, Spanish and her native French. Saturday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 30, at 7:30 p.m. Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club, 7719 Wisconsin Ave. Tickets are $45 to $60, plus $10 minimum purchase per person. Call 240-330-4500 or visit

Wallace and Gromit


The Library of Congress presents a free screening of what its directors have often called the world’s “first vegetarian horror film.” Based on Nick Park’s stop-motion animated short series Wallace and Gromit, the 2006 Oscar winner for Best Animated Feature follows the adventures of the eccentric cheese-loving inventor, voiced by Peter Sallis, and his silent, intelligent, anthropomorphic dog, as they root out a voracious monster threatening to ruin the annual veggie-growing contest. Helena Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes provide their vocal talents. The free screening takes place on the federal institution’s picturesque Virginia campus, which houses the world’s largest collection of films, broadcast and audio recordings. Saturday, Oct. 29, at 2 p.m. Packard Campus Theater, 19053 Mount Pony Rd. Culpeper, Va. Free, first-come, first served. Call 202-707-9994 or visit

Rufus du Sol


Vocalist/guitarist Tyrone Lindqvist, keyboardist Jon George and drummer James Hunt comprise the sharp, skillful indie-dance act, a promising export from Australia. Every track on the band’s latest album Bloom is a gem to discerning house-loving ears, with warm, dreamy vocals, moody synths and driving beats, foremost among them “You Were Right.” The 2015 winner of Best Dance Release at the ARIAs, the Australian equivalent of the Grammys, features a central refrain that captures a fan’s sentiment about the band perfectly: “You were right, I know I can’t get enough of you.” Thursday, Nov. 3. Doors at 7 p.m. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $20. Call 202-265-0930 or visit

Debbie Allen's Freeze Frame


A theatrical narrative fusing movement, music, art and cinema written, directed, choreographed and with a special appearance by Debbie Allen, exploring violence and race relations with honesty and poignancy. Broadway performers, young hip-hop artists and members of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy participate in a work with original music by Stevie Wonder, James Ingram, Arturo Sandoval, and Rickey Minor. A Saturday, Oct. 29, post-performance panel discussion will be hosted by Whoopi Goldberg and feature Nicole Hockley from Sandy Hook Promise, filmmaker Lee Daniels, actress Phylicia Rashad, professor Michael Eric Dyson of Georgetown University, and Kayal Hicks of the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence. Performances are Thursday, Oct. 27, through Saturday, Oct. 29, at 8 p.m. Also Saturday, Oct. 29, and Sunday, Oct. 30, at 2 p.m. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $29 to $109. Call 202-467-4600 or visit



Subtitled A Visual Response to Musical Loss, curators Nehemiah Dixon III and Spencer Dormitzer solicited work from 17 area artists to examine the elusive connection between a person and a brilliant stranger — not just the exhibit’s namesakes Prince and David Bowie, but also others lost in 2016, including Merle Haggard, Maurice White, Glen Frey, and Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest. Ani Bradberry, Hebron Chism, Jim Doran, Nekisha Durrett, Heloisa Escudero, Adam Griffiths, Jeffrey Paul Herrity, Wayson R. Jones, Kelly King, Joseph Orzal, and Alma Selimovic are among those with works represented. Through Nov. 4. Joan Hisaoka Gallery in the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U St. NW. Call 202-483-8600 or visit

Smithsonian Food History


Culinary leaders, researchers, practitioners, and scholars lead discussions and tastings at an event intended to boost understanding about the history of food in America. It launches with an Opening Gala featuring food, drinks and speeches from Jose Andres and Scott Simon, with presentation of the 2nd Annual Julia Child Award to Rick Bayless, on Thursday, Oct. 27. It continues on Friday, Oct. 28, with a free day-long symposium, with political discussions ranging from farm labor to food labeling regulations, followed by a “Dine Out for Smithsonian Food History,” with select restaurants featuring a special dish inspired by American food history. Saturday, Oct. 29, offers a festival of free activities around the museum, from demos to book signings to film screenings, though no tastings, and ends with After Hours: The Great History of American Brewing. National Museum of American History, 1400 Constitution Ave. NW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit for more information.

Tig Notaro -- Photo:  Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

Notaro – Photo: Bob Chamberlin, Los Angeles Times


Lesbian comedian Tig Notaro curates the annual four-day event, which she kicks off at the Lincoln Theatre on Thursday, Oct. 27, with a show featuring her friends including Aparna Nancherla and Lizzy Cooperman. In addition to a run of shows all weekend by Jon Dore at Drafthouse Comedy, the festival continues Friday, Oct. 28, with Pound It! at the Lincoln featuring Bridget Everett, Michael Ian Black, Melissa Villasenor, and Jason Weems, as well as stand-up from Baron Vaughn and a free Picture This show with Brandie Posey and Sam Varela, both at the Kennedy Center. On Saturday, Oct. 29, Sixth and I hosts Mock The Vote: Pre-Election Comedy Showcase with Lee Camp, Leah Bonnema, Brian Parise and Andrew Knox, while the Lincoln features Stuff You Should Know Live! with Chuck Bryant and Josh Clark, followed by a Halloween/Election Nightmare Comedy Show. DC Improv also hosts two events Saturday: the Last Podcast on the Left Halloween Bentzen Ball Edition, and a one-hour stand-up taping of John F. O’Donnell directed by Fugazi’s Brendan Canty, with Dave Hill and host Amber Nelson. The festival’s final day offers a UHF Live Commentary show at the Lincoln featuring “Weird Al” Yankovic, Malcolm Gladwell, Dave Hill and Emo Phillips, concluding with a Horror Show-themed Story District event with storytellers sharing “true stories about ghosts, devils and things that go bump in the night.” Visit for tickets and more information.

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Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly.

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