Brandy Clark — Photo: David McClister
An extraordinary lesbian country singer-songwriter, Clark has established herself as a preeminent Nashville songwriter, writing smart, sophisticated songs, many of which have become major hits — from “Mama’s Broken Heart” for Miranda Lambert to the twangy, gay-affirming anthem “Follow Your Arrow” for Kacey Musgraves. Three years ago, Clark released her tremendous, and tremendously entertaining, album 12 Stories. “My songs are kind of dark comedy, a lot of them,” she told Metro Weekly in 2014. “Tough subject matter but really delivered a little bit tongue in cheek.” Her sophomore set Big Day in a Small Town, released at the start of summer, is a richer, more polished affair, yet Clark’s flair for lyrics that are subtle and witty is as strong as ever. Thursday, Nov. 10, at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $29.50. Call 703-549-7500 or visit birchmere.com.
Nu Sass Productions presents a revamped staging of a Capital Fringe Festival work focused on the guts, glory and violent moments from Shakespeare. Or, more simply put, “the greatest deaths of Shakespeare’s tragedies.” Sun King Davis directs Jenna Berk, Ricardo Frederick Evans, Bess Kaye, Aubri O’Connor, and Danny Rovin taking up swords, super-soakers and even leading a drinking game. Weekends to Nov. 13. Trinidad Theatre in the Logan Fringe Arts Space, 1358 Florida Ave. NE. Tickets are $30. Call 202-733-6321 or visit nusass.com.
Mary Poppins at Olney Theatre
The holidays at Olney Theatre this year are brought to you by the musical version of the Disney favorite. Julian Fellowes (yes, the Downton Abbey creator) wrote the book to the adaptation featuring many of the standards from the movie by Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman and incorporating new songs and additional music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. Jason King Jones directs, with choreography by Tara Jeanne Vallee. Patricia Hurley in the title role. Now to Jan. 1. Olney Theatre Center, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Call 301-924-3400 or visit olneytheatre.org.
GAY MEN’S CHORUS OF WASHINGTON
Select soloists from the chorus will share outrageous personal stories and sing songs of forbidden desires and sexy secrets in the confessional cabaret “Let’s Misbehave.” A sampling of song titles gives it away: “He Never Did That Before,” “I’d Rather Be Sailing,” “Keepin’ Out of Mischief.” Saturday, Nov. 12, at 5 p.m., 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $25 to $39. Call 202-399-7993 or visit gmcw.org.
FLAMENCO FESTIVAL AT GALA
Flamenco Festival — Photo: Vernica Weston Studios
Edwin Aparicio and his Flamenco Aparicio Dance Company kicks off the 12th annual festival with Salvador, a new piece tracing Aparicio’s journey from war-torn El Salvador to his discovery of flamenco in the U.S. and becoming an internationally heralded flamenco ambassador. Aparicio curates the festival, which also includes a free daytime program Flamenco en Familia, with interactive demonstrations of the art form, on Saturday, Nov. 5, and performances by Francisco Hidalgo and Company and Madrid’s Fundación Conservatorio Flamenco Casa Patas the weekend of Nov. 12. Flamenco Aparicio performs Salvador Friday, Nov. 4, and Saturday, Nov. 5, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 6, at 2 p.m. GALA Theatre at Tivoli Square, 3333 14th St. NW. Tickets are $25 for student matinee, $30 to $40 for full performance, or $60 for a discount festival ticket. Call 202-234-7174 or visit galatheatre.org.
Brassy Real Housewives of Atlanta star NeNe Leakes battled Donald Trump on Celebrity Apprentice a few years ago. Since then she has gone on to frequent guest-hosting duties on TV talk shows ranging from Ellen to The Wendy Williams Show as well as performing in scripted TV shows (Fox’s Glee and NBC’s short-lived, gay-themed The New Normal), in Broadway musicals (Cinderella, Chicago), even as the first celebrity cast member in a Cirque du Soleil show (Zumanity in Las Vegas). Named after one of her catchphrases, NeNe Leakes stops by D.C. as part of her “So Nasty So Rude” one-woman comedy tour. Sunday, Nov. 6, at 8 p.m. The Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW. Tickets are $35 to $75 in advance, or $40 to $75 the day of show. Call 202-588-5595 or visit thehowardtheatre.com.
STREB — Photo: Josh Flannigan
STREB EXTREME ACTION
A thrilling, daredevil company that the New York Times says “borrows from dance, extreme sports and Hollywood-style stunt work,” Elizabeth Streb’s company started more than 30 years as an experimental dance outlier. Today, the New York-based company is on the cutting edge of popular entertainment, whether taking part in an elaborate, multi-site festival as part of the London Olympics or being invited to perform for large crowds at prestigious institutions. This weekend the company makes its Kennedy Center debut with SEA, which stands for “Singular Extreme Actions,” featuring physics-redefining “action hero” performers interacting with mechanics and hardware specifically created for the show. And audience members are given the chance to contribute to the performance’s playlist by Zaire Baptiste and local DJ Beat-rix. Friday, Nov. 4, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 5, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $25 to $79. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
THE ANIMATION SHOW OF SHOWS
The American Film Institute’s Silver Theatre presents the exclusive local screening of the 17th annual feature-length program, an eclectic, international mix of 12 animated shorts including several festival award-winners. Films included in past incarnations have gone on to win Oscars, so you could say curator Ron Diamond, a veteran animation producer, knows how to pick them. Among this year’s highlights are Dina Velikovskaya’s Russian folktale About A Mother, with its echoes of Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, Alan Barillaro’s sweet Piper from Disney/Pixar and Patrick Osborne’s Pearl, a touching father-and-daughter journey told in 360-degree storytelling by Google. Saturday, Nov. 4, and Sunday, Nov. 5, at 12:55 p.m. AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $8. Call 301-495-6720 or visit animationshowofshows.com.
Milk Like Sugar — Photo: Teddy Wolff
MILK LIKE SUGAR
Mosaic Theater Company continues its second season with the first in a three-part series, “Clamorous Encounters,” about coming of age in America. Marking its D.C. debut, the Obie Award-winning Milk Like Sugar focuses on a 16-year-old girl (Kashayna Johnson) and a life-altering pact she makes with her friends as a rite of passage. Jennifer L. Nelson directs Kirsten Greenidge’s witty, poetic look at young women and the pressures of race, class and hormones they face on the road to acceptance and independence. Now in previews, with opening night Sunday, Nov. 6, at 7:30 p.m. To Nov. 27. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $40 to $60. Call 202-399-7993 or visit atlasarts.org.