Metro Weekly

Out on the Town: Arts & Entertainment Calendar, March 30-April 5

Film, Stage, Music, Exhibits and more from March 30 to April 5

Keegan’s Parade – Photo: Cameron Whitman


National Geographic offers a virtual tour through modern-day disasters and Earth’s fiercest powers, from volcanic eruptions on the island of Montserrat and trembling fault lines in Turkey, to storms ripping through the notorious “Tornado Alley” of America’s Midwest. Experience it all in eye-popping enormity on the giant screen. Kevin Bacon narrates the 40-minute documentary, shot in IMAX by George Casey, that also features scientists to help viewers better comprehend these forces and hopefully increase the odds of surviving such events in the future. To April 30. National Geographic Museum, 1145 17th St. NW. Tickets are $7. Call 202-857-7500 or visit

Is anyone really shocked that Hollywood took an internationally successful Japanese Manga and cast a white actor in the lead role? Apparently so, as choosing Scarlett Johansson to play The Major (original character name Major Motoko Kusanagi) caused widespread outrage for the obvious whitewashing. If that weren’t enough, house music producer Steve Aoki is now being heavily criticized for “desecrating” the Ghost in the Shell TV show’s theme tune in his remix for the film. It’s fine, though, as the film has box office bomb written all over it. Opens Friday, March 31. Area theaters. Visit (Rhuaridh Marr)

Alec Baldwin is the voice of a briefcase-carrying, fully coherent baby, who teams up with his older brother to stop the owner of a puppy business that threatens to destabilize the balance of love in the world. We’re not completely sold on DreamWorks’ latest animated tale, but Baldwin’s voice acting alone should be worth the price of entry. Opens Friday, March 31. Area theaters. Visit (RM)

An incredible true story, based on Diane Ackerman’s nonfiction book. Jessica Chastain is Antonina Żabińska who, together with her husband (Johan Heldenbergh), helped save hundreds of Polish Jews from the Nazis by sheltering them in the Warsaw Zoo. Daniel Brühl once again plays the villain as a German officer determined to uncover the Żabińskis’ secret. Opens Friday, March 31. Area theaters. Visit (RM)

The Library of Congress concludes its series of films celebrating Women’s History Month with screenwriter Callie Khouri’s 1991 film. Thelma & Louise started as a crime caper focused on two women, but evolved into a feminist manifesto and a Time cover-minted cultural flashpoint. Ridley Scott directs Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis in career-defining performances, plus an early breakout role for Brad Pitt. Friday, March 31, at 7:30 p.m. Packard Campus Theater, 19053 Mount Pony Rd. Culpeper, Va. Free. Call 202-707-9994 or visit



Legendary director Peter Brook takes subject matter from his landmark 1985 production of The Mahabharata for this work, presented as part of a Kennedy Center series highlighting five internationally acclaimed theater directors. Battlefield is a revised and extended excerpt from the sweeping epic poem of ancient India. The focus is on a new and untested king who must face the devastation he has caused as his world crumbles around him and his people. Thursday, March 30, through Saturday, April 1, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 2, at 2 p.m. Kennedy Center Family Theater. Tickets are $35. Call 202-467-4600 or visit

Athol Fugard’s seminal masterpiece returns more than 50 years after its debut, as part of Mosaic’s “South Africa: Then & Now” series, which includes the D.C. premiere of A Human Being Died That Night. Both chamber plays feature a black and white character in constant, heated dialogue. Joy Zinoman helms Fugard’s intimate parable about a brotherhood bound by blood but separated by color. Meanwhile, New York-based director Logan Vaughn tackles Nicholas Wright’s 2013 adaptation of a memoir by psychologist Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, exploring the ongoing quest for truth and reconciliation in South Africa. Currently in previews, Blood Knot opens Sunday, April 2, at 7:30 p.m. A Human Being Died That Night begins previews on Thursday, April 6 and opens Tuesday, April 11. Both plays in rep to April 30. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $40 to $60. Call 202-399-7993 or visit

Disguises, mistaken identities, palace intrigues and an improbable romance are in store in a world-premiere modern take on Pierre de Marivaux’s 18th-century French comedy The Double Inconstancy. Adapted by rising American playwright Meg Miroshnik, the delightful comic romp stars Tonya Beckman, Chris Dinolfo, Mark Jaster, Alyssa Wilmoth Keegan, Marcus Kyd, Kathryn Tkel, and Andy Reinhardt. Olney Theatre’s Artistic Associate Eleanor Holdridge directs. To April 2. Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road in Maryland. Tickets are $45 to $65. Call 301-924-3400 or visit

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 a world premiere starring Hannah Yelland as Plame. To April 9. In the Kogod Cradle at Arena Stage, 1101 6th St. SW. Tickets are $51 to $66. Call 202-488-3300 or visit

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, professional audio theater company Lean & Hungry offers its first fully staged production, Shakespeare’s deeply moving epic about a powerful, aging leader suffering from dementia, featuring an emphasis on language and sound to encourage use of imagination. The cast includes Jessica Leflow, Sarah Anne Sillers, G Michael Harris, John Stange and Kevin Finkelstein, the company’s associate artistic director. Opens Friday, March 31, at 8 p.m. Runs to April 23. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $20. Call 202-399-7993 or visit

Baltimore’s Everyman Theatre presents a timely reworking of what has been called “an unusual kind of musical” by composer Michael John LaChiusa (The Wild Party) and writer Ellen Fitzhugh (Grind). Infused with compassionate, cross-cultural understanding, Los Otros features two Californians who reflect on profound moments from the past in which their individual experiences, as a white woman and a Latino, are linked by a collective sense of “otherness.” Broadway vets Judy McLane (Mamma Mia!) and Philip Hernandez (Kiss of the Spider Woman) relate the tales through a series of vignettes, in a production helmed by Noah Himmelstein, with Jon Kalbfleisch leading a live on-stage instrumental ensemble. A semi-autobiographical work, Los Otros is said to be inspiring, energetic and emotionally charged in its exploration of issues such as cultural/sexual identity and interconnectedness, as well as love, risk and revelation. To April 23. Everyman Theatre, 315 West Fayette St. Tickets are $43 to $64. Baltimore. Call 410-752-2208 or visit

Mary Myers is Karl Marx in a typically gender-bending production from Nu Sass of Howard Zinn’s one-man play. Dating to 1999, Marx in Soho offers a sympathetic portrayal of the 19th-century philosopher and his communist ideals. Angela Kay Pirko directs the show, performed in an intimate space of 30 seats, and in an immersive, open way with a goal of developing a connection with audiences beyond the typical. To April 2. Caos on F, 923 F St. NW. Tickets are $30. Visit

A new, darkly funny musical thriller about a young woman who longs to escape her little town in the middle of nowhere. Signature Theatre promises writer Royce Vavrek and lyricist/composer Josh Schmidt’s work will provoke, shock and entertain in equal measure, describing it as “Fargo meets Misery.” It also includes a warning noting that Midwestern Gothic is intended for adults over 18 and that the performance includes “live gunshots, theatrical haze, depictions of drug use and smoking (herbal scent).” Matthew Gardiner directs a cast including Timothy J. Alex, Sherri Edelen, Morgan Keene, Sam Ludwig, Bobby Smith, Stephen Gregory Smith, and Rachel Zampelli. In previews. Opens Thursday, March 30, at 8 p.m. Pride Nights are April 21 and April 28. Runs to April 30. Ark Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Tickets are $40 to $99. Call 703-820-9771 or visit


Studio Theatre, in collaboration with multimedia production company New Neighborhood, offers theatergoers a unique opportunity to experience drama both on and “offstage,” with their productions of Three Sisters and Aaron Posner’s new Chekhov-inspired riff, No Sisters. The two shows are running not only in repertory, but are performed simultaneously, with several members of the cast of Chekhov’s play dashing in their offstage moments from one Studio theater to appear onstage in a different theater, as the same characters, but in Posner’s clever riff on the play, described as a hangout “in a weird-ass existential Chekhovian green room.” You might opt to undertake just one leg of this ambitious “choose-your-own-adventure” trip through the tangled lives and loves of the Prózorovs, but the most rewarding path is to experience both. To April 23. In separate auditoriums at Studio Theatre, 1501 14th St. NW. Tickets for Three Sisters are $20 to $69, and tickets for No Sisters are $20 to $45. Call 202-332-3300, or visit (Andre Hereford)

The period musical by Jason Robert Brown (music) and Alfred Uhry (book), trains a fairly narrow focus on the feelings and tragic fate of Leo Frank (Michael Innocenti), a Texas-born, Brooklyn-raised Jew living in Atlanta at the turn of the twentieth century. Leo was arrested and tried — in a Fulton County courthouse and across newspaper front pages — for the gruesome 1913 murder of 13-year old Mary Phagan. Parade is not a happy-go-lucky “let’s take Grandma out for Mother’s Day play.” Rather, Brown and Uhry’s 1999 Tony-winner encompasses a world of post-Reconstruction era concerns, from anti-semitism and mob justice to child labor. Harrowing. To April 8. Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church St. NW. Tickets are $45 to $55. Call 202-265-3768 or visit (AH)

Based on the sprawling novel by E.L. Doctorow, with book, music and lyrics by Terrence McNally, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, the Tony-winning musical Ragtime depicts three families striving for the American dream at the turn of the 20th century. It’s an epic musical, made all the more so by the all-star D.C. cast that director Peter Flynn (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) managed to assemble, led by Kevin McAllister, Tracy Lynn Olivera, Nova Y. Payton and Jonathan Atkinson. Talk about an American dream. To May 20. Ford’s Theatre, 511 10th St. NW. Call 800-982-2787 or visit

The Rude Mechanicals present Shakespeare’s tale about the rocky reign of an imperious ruler, whose eventual overthrow by his cousin Henry IV set the stage for the War of the Roses. Michael McCarthy directs a production in which each scene will be briefly summarized beforehand for those less familiar with Shakespeare — as well as for added comic relief. Friday, March 31, and Saturday, April 1 at 7:30 p.m. District of Columbia Arts Center (DCAC), 2438 18th St. NW. Tickets are $15 to $20. Call 202-462-7833 or visit

A fresh, musical spin on Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale, Creative Cauldron presents a Learning Theater Production adapted and directed by Denise Perrino and Ellen Selby, with music by Matt Conner and lyrics by Stephen Gregory Smith. Watch as a fashion-conscious emperor spends a fortune on the most fabulous robe ever seen in a hilarious tale illuminating how pride and vanity can make a leader a glorious buffoon. To April 9. ArtSpace Falls Church, 410 South Maple Ave. in Falls Church. Tickets are $16. Call 703-436-9948 or visit

SCENA Theatre offers the latest work by Conor McPherson, Ireland’s most celebrated contemporary playwright. The Night Alive is a touching drama about a floundering Irish lad who finds a sense of purpose in helping a destitute woman after an attack. To April 9. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $20 to $40. Call 202-399-7993 or visit

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. Closes Sunday, April 2. Lansburgh Theatre, 450 7th St. NW. Call 202-547-1122 or visit

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. Closes Saturday, April 1. Theater at Crystal City, 1800 South Bell St., Arlington. Tickets are $20 to $60. Call 800-494-8497 or visit

Kelvin Roston Jr. portrays Donny Hathaway in a powerful, one-man musical homage to a soulful legend. Hathaway is probably best known for his ’70s-era duets with Roberta Flack. Twisted Melodies is billed as an immersive and crushing play about the muses that inspired Hathaway and the paranoid schizophrenia that tormented him. Now to April 16. Baltimore Center Stage, 700 North Calvert St. Tickets are $22 to $64. Call 410-332-0033 or visit



A total of 23 aspiring young jazz musicians from around the world will participate in the international jazz residency, performance and composition project known as Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead. Founded by and named after the late, legendary jazz singer and now led by Jason Moran — who was an inaugural member of the BCJA program at the Kennedy Center in 1998 — Jazz Ahead aims to discover and present the next generation of jazz greats. For nearly two weeks, the participants — all under 25 — will be coached in their craft by seven renowned jazz artists, culminating in three free concerts of original compositions. Remaining two concerts are Thursday, March 30, and Friday, March 31, at 6 p.m. Millennium Stage. Tickets are free. Call 202-467-4600 or visit

Its namesake venue may be gone, but the 17-piece big band founded by baritone saxophonist Brad Linde and former Bohemian Caverns owner Omrao Brown lives on — at least for special occasions. In honor of the seventh anniversary of the ensemble, the city’s leading and longest-lasting jazz club presents two concerts of big band works from Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Billy Strayhorn, Maria Schneider and others. Co-directed by Linde and Joe Herrera and featuring some of the city’s best musicians. Monday, April 3, at 8 and 10 p.m. Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Tickets are $25, plus $12 minimum purchase. Call 202-337-4141 or visit

A quirky, sophisticated and soulful jazz vocalist, the New York Times has heralded the 27-year-old Salvant as having the best chance of 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 — as demonstrated on her 2016 Grammy-winning jazz vocal album For One To Love. At the Barns, she’ll be accompanied by the increasingly in-demand, 31-year-old jazz piano virtuoso Aaron Diehl. Saturday, April 8, at 8 p.m. The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $35 TO $45. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit

Soloists from around the region perform in this 12th annual cabaret at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, a fundraiser for the organization’s tuition assistance program. It also features a cappella group Not What You Think, which grew out of the former Lesbian and Gay Chorus of Washington. Expect to hear songs riffing on the theme “The Dirty Dozen,” with a separate, special reception honoring retiring CHAW Executive Director (and Not What You Think soprano) Jill Strachan in conjunction with the Saturday performances. Friday, March 31, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, April 1, at 4 and 8 p.m. Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 7th St. SE. Tickets are $20. Call 202-547-6839 or visit

Starry Messenger features the ensemble-in-residence at the Folger Shakespeare Library in a performance of innately dramatic music from late-16th century Italy. The program includes songs by Monteverdi, lute music by Galileo’s father Vincenzo Galilei — performed by the Consort’s Christopher Kendall — and brilliant early violin sonatas and keyboard pieces. Guest string players Risa Browder and John Moran, harpsichordist Webb Wiggins, and soprano Julianne Baird join the Folger Consort, led by violinist Robert Eisenstein. Friday, March 31, at 8 p.m., Saturday, April 1, at 3 and 7 p.m., and Sunday, April 2, at 2 p.m. Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $25 to $40. Call 202-544-7077 or visit

The original Wonder Woman has developed a second career as a cabaret/jazz singer in recent years, frequently stopping at the Kennedy Center during her national tours. Carter’s latest cabaret, The Other Side of Trouble, is touted as a dynamic, sexy 90-minute show offering her usual smorgasbord of musical delights, including classic standards, jazz, country, blues, and her own originals. She is once again accompanied by a band including Paul Leim and Blue Lou Marini. Saturday, April 8, at 7:30 p.m. Kennedy Center Family Theater. Tickets are $65. Call 202-467-4600 or visit

One of the youngest winners of the esteemed International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition, the prodigy Eric Lu joins Strathmore’s resident symphony to perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major. Also on the Piotr Gajewski-led, all-Mozart program is the humorous and satirical A Musical Joke, which pokes fun at uninspired composers, and the popular Symphony No. 40 in G Minor. Saturday, April 1, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $48 to $88. Call 301-581-5100 or visit

Liberal causes and protest politics regularly fire up the quirky-to-the-point-of-weird alt-pop act Thao & The Get Down Stay Down. It started out a decade ago in Virginia, where its frontwoman grew up. Thao returns home for a solo show in support of last year’s album A Man Alive. The dark-themed set is focused on Thao’s runaway father, yet it’s naturally lightened by her voice and music that is driven by beats and bass, rather than guitar. Sunday, April 2. Doors at 7 p.m. Rock and Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. Tickets are $20. Call 202-388-ROCK or visit

Most have heard the tragic tale of Lucy, a chimpanzee raised as if she were the human child of a psychologist and his wife. The real-life social experiment ended far worse than most others from the ’60s and the tale is relayed in a new short chamber opera by composer John Glover and librettist Kelly Rourke. UrbanArias presents the East Coast premiere, directed by Erik Pearson and conducted by Robert Wood, and starring baritone Andrew Wilkowske. There won’t be a chimp onstage, real or anthropomorphized — instead, a toy piano in the orchestra serves as a stand-in for the titular character. Saturday, April 1, at 8 p.m., Sunday, April 2, at 2 p.m., Friday, April 7, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, April 8, at 8 p.m. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $32 to $35. Call 202-399-7993 or visit



The local gay choreographer and his company to perform three acclaimed works, all with live musical accompaniment, on its Family Theater stage, part of the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage programming. Excerpts from the Hawaiian native’s solo work Pohaku open and close the program, incorporating ancient hula, live chants, and percussion by Mel Enos. Meanwhile, electric cellist Wytold perform original compositions for Pohaku as well as In The Cold Room and Bruised, two other works on the program. Friday, April 7, at 6 p.m. Kennedy Center Family Theater. Free tickets will be distributed in the Hall of States roughly an hour before the performance, limited to two per person. Call 202-467-4600 or visit

Tiffany Haughn, artistic director of D.C.-based contemporary dance company DancEthos, was inspired by the current political climate with 1 by 1, an athletic quartet about the concept of the herd mentality and people blindly following along. She specifically created the work for Shu-Chen Cuff’s Gin Dance Company, and the Northern Virginia-based contemporary ballet troupe will perform it in addition to Cuff’s Lost and Found, about the value in being present and appreciating the moment. In turn, Haughn’s company will perform Zoom In, a piece that Cuff specifically created for DancEthos. Also on the bill is an additional, seemingly politically motivated piece by DancEthos company member Elizabeth Odell Catlett. In The Dark examines notions of willful ignorance about other people and little appreciation for shared humanity. Saturday, April 8, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, April 9, at 2 p.m. Kreeger Auditorium at JCC of Greater Washington, 6125 Montrose Rd., Rockville. Tickets are $15 to $25. Call 301-881-0100 or visit

For its first performance at the Kennedy Center in 13 years, the provocative German company offers the D.C. premiere of John Neumeier’s The Little Mermaid. Partly inspired by traditional Japanese theater, Neumeier’s stunning, dark adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen fable explores the experiences of a young woman who risks everything to follow her heart, weaving in elements of Andersen’s own biography, making the writer a figure in the narrative. Luciano Di Martino conducts the Opera House Orchestra in acclaimed Russian composer Lera Auerbach’s evocative score. Remaining performances Thursday, March 30, and Friday, March 31, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 1, at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 2, at 1:30 p.m. Opera House. Tickets are $29 to $125. Call 202-467-4600 or visit

In Barrier, voices from the community — taken from recorded interviews with people including an environmental scientist, a birdwatcher, and an outdoor hobbyist — share stories and experiences with nature or climate change. Layered with music and made visual through movement and art, the performance brings forward very personal relationships to the creatures on earth, adaptations and changes. Dawn Whitmore, a resident artist at the Arlington Arts Center, has also created brief video statements using words and phrases from the interviews. Friday, March 31, Saturday, April 1, Friday, April 7, and Saturday, April 8, at 7:30 p.m. Theatre on the Run, 3700 South Four Mile Run Dr. Arlington. Tickets are $25 or $28.50 on opening and closing nights, including a beer ticket and light buffet at New District Brewing Company, 2709 South Oakland St. Call 703-933-1111 or visit

A crowning season event for the dance department at George Mason University, the gala concert features a program of works by contemporary professional choreographers, including: Second to Last by Alejandro Cerrudo, Mass by Robert Battle, Balance/Imbalance by Soon Ho Park and a new work by Susan Shields. Friday, March 31, and Saturday, April 1, at 8 p.m. Concert Hall in George Mason University Center for the Arts, 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax. Also Sunday, April 2, at 4 p.m. Merchant Hall in Hylton Performing Arts Center, 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas, Va. Tickets are $10 to $25. Call 888-945-2468 or visit

Inspired by the Dance Place Resident Company’s dedication to community engagement, Propelling Voice mixes athletic and innovative dance choreography by artistic director Shannon Quinn with stark, imaginative scenic, lighting and multimedia design by Ben Levine. Saturday, April 1, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 2, at 7 p.m. Dance Place, 3225 8th St. NE. Tickets are $25 in advance, or $30 at the door. Call 202-269-1600 or visit

Jiri Kylian’s Petite Mort, Justin Peck’s In Creases and William Forsythe’s In The Middle, Somewhat Elevated are three works, all radical and innovative in their own ways, that have gone on to inform the next wave of contemporary ballet choreographers. Remaining shows Thursday, March 30, and Friday, March 31, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 1, at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 2, at 1:30 and 6:30 p.m. Sidney Harman Hall, Harman Center for the Arts, 610 F St. NW. Tickets are $25 to $118. Call 202-362-3606 or visit



In a show titled A Gentle Reminder, Clinton Leupp offers his comedic drag alter-ego’s take on life in a two-night run in Richmond. Miss Coco Peru has appeared in dozens of independent films — though few are as memorable as Girls Will Be Girls — and TV shows, from Logo to HBO. Thursday, March 30, and Friday, March 31, at 8 p.m. Richmond Triangle Players, 1300 Altamont Ave., Richmond. Tickets are $30. Call 804-346-8113 or visit

She may be best known as the “Queen of Mean,” but Lampanelli is never mean for the sake of it — only for show. At heart, she likes the people she ribs. “That’s the thing: You can’t make fun of anyone unless you really like them,” she told Metro Weekly. And as a strong and vocal supporter of the LGBTQ community, everyone knows to expect some loving insults to come our way — and we wouldn’t want it any other way. “Let’s be honest, gay guys just like bitchy women,” she says, “so they really seem to buy in.” Saturday, April 8, at 8 p.m. Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. Tickets are $45. Call 202-888-0050 or visit

The Fighting Improv Smackdown Tournament is an elimination tournament in which audiences vote to decide which team of improvers advance to the championship. Runs to final round on April 15. Source, 1835 14th St. NW. Tickets start at $12 to $25. Call 202-204-7760 or visit



Is today’s prison system and mass incarceration among black men just slavery by another name? That’s one of several provocative ideas to be discussed as part of the third annual Benjamin Drummond Emancipation Day Celebration, commemorating the end of slavery in the nation’s capital. The free, four-day discussion-based series launches Thursday, April 6, at 7 p.m., with “Exploring Georgetown University’s Slave Past.” Friday, April 7, at 7 p.m., brings the talk on prisons, “The 13th Amendment and the History of Policing Black America Since Slavery.” Saturday, April 8, starting at 2 p.m., offers the two-part series “Marion Barry Reconsidered,” evaluating the life and legacy of the former “Mayor for Life” two years after his passing. “Uncovering the Past: The Story Behind a Slave’s Bill of Sale” is the final discussion on Sunday, April 9, which also offers two non-discussion events: “Walking Tour: Mapping Segregation,” stepping off at 10:30 a.m. and venturing to the LeDroit Park and Bloomingdale neighborhoods, and then a closing concert at 6 p.m. featuring Sweet Heaven Kings, the trombone shout band from the United House of Prayer for All People in Anacostia. Hill Center, Old Navy Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Call 202-549-4172 or visit

Spanning three decades in the life of a West Baltimore family with roots in Charleston, Mardee Bennett’s play was a finalist in the 2016 Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, and singled out for its “deft ear for dialogue” as well as its ambition and scope. The work introduces us to matriarch Loretta Reaper, as well as her great grandson, who is seeking to reclaim the family’s ancestral land in South Carolina. Signature Theatre presents the work, directed by Joe Calarco, as part of its SigWorks: Monday Night New Play Readings series. The D.C.-based actor and playwright Bennett refers to the experience as a full circle moment, as only eight years ago he was a member of the chorus in Signature’s Show Boat. Monday, April 3, at 7 p.m. Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Free. Call 703-820-9771 or visit



A Serbian refugee, Alma Selimovic was granted political asylum in the U.S. in 2009 on account of the violence and threats she faced as a prominent LGBTQ activist in her homeland. The visual artist is preparing for a two-month residency at Berlin’s Institute fur Alles Mogliche, where she will interview and create digital drawings of other people from Eastern Europe who are queer, trans and/or gender neutral. Sculptural works by her and others from her sister company RozArt will be exhibited as part of a silent auction and fundraiser that also includes a presentation about her In Transition project and a screening of a documentary about her activist work in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where she organized a Queer Sarajevo Festival. Upon her return from Germany, Selimovic aims to present the resulting works as a final installation of In Transition, as well as bring back works by the artists to exhibit. Saturday, April 1, from 6 to 9 p.m. Otis Street Art Project, 3706 Otis St. Mt. Rainier, Md. Visit

Four larger-than-life, three-dimensional portrait busts become the first ever art installations in the Hillwood gardens. Contemporary American artist Philip Haas offers sculptural interpretations of the celebrated botanical paintings by Italian master Giuseppe Arcimboldo. The 15-foot fiberglass works have weathered the seasonal changes in climate since going up at the end of September. Closes Friday, March 31. Hillwood Estate, 4155 Linnean Ave. NW. Suggested donation is $12. Call 202-686-5807 or visit

Considered a leader of the Washington Color School, Gene Davis created a richly varied body of work, but is best known for his paintings of brightly colored stripes that were remarkably original when they first appeared in the ’60s. A selection of 15 of his classic stripe paintings are on display, revealing Davis’ ambitious vision and accomplishment. Closes Sunday, April 2. Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th and F Streets NW. Free, though the Hot Beat Dance Party is $60. Call 202-633-1000 or visit

A multi-genre visual artist from Hudson, New York, Christina Tenaglia exhibits a series of fragmented sculptures made using mostly wood and paint, as well as whimsical works on paper suggestive of architecture and landscape. Also on display are works by D.C.-based visual artist Anne C. Smith, whose fascination with nighttime is reflected in her drawings, inspired by memory and landscape, and combining the intense black of charcoal with delicate lines of graphite. Now through June 4. Opening reception, with live music by Terraplane, is Saturday, April 8, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Adah Rose Gallery, 3766 Howard Ave. Kensington, Md. Call 301-922-0162 or visit

Mullen is a post-impressionist colorist known for works revealing a refined sensitivity to the light and climate of the locations depicted. Her new paintings aim to breathe life into layers on canvas. “The finished work,” according to her Artist Statement, “is intended to draw the observer into a meditative, magical space where light and color merge into visceral sensations and the viewer is encouraged to finish the story however they choose.” Opening reception is Friday, March 31, from 6 to 8 p.m. On exhibit through April 29. Susan Calloway Fine Arts, 1643 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Call 202-965-4601 or visit

A Virginia fine artist, Tureson specializes in site-specific, commissioned artwork of various forms. Her latest mixed-media works, subtitled “An Urban Art Series,” was inspired by a peeling, deteriorating wall, revealing layers of colors, papers, street art and writings she encountered on a recent trip to Copenhagen. Closes Sunday, April 2. Touchstone Gallery, 901 New York Ave. NW Call 202-347-2787 or visit

Gallery B, the art gallery run by the Bethesda Urban Partnership, presents an exhibition of member artists of the Annapolis-based federation and juried by the namesake of Georgetown’s Susan Calloway Fine Arts. Calloway’s juried show features a diverse range of artworks, including sculpture, woodturning, glass, painting, photography, and mixed media. A total of 53 artists are represented, including Elaine Cafritz, David Diaz, Kay Fuller, Lee Goodwin, James Steven McDonald, Mike McSorley, Arpitha Parthasarathy, William Peirce, Alex Tolstoy, Gil Ugiansky, and Andrew Wohl. Now through April 29. Public reception is Friday, April 14, from 6 to 8 p.m. Gallery B, 7700 Wisconsin Ave., Suite E, Bethesda. Call 301-215-7990 or visit

Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors (see separate entry) may get all the attention, but it’s not the only dazzling, limited-time exhibit to see at the Hirshhorn. There’s also the 22nd annual orchid exhibit, a collaboration with Smithsonian Gardens and the U.S. Botanic Garden. Hundreds of the fragrant flowering plants — selected from the nearly 8,000 specimens in the Smithsonian Orchid Collection — are presented as objects of art and beauty in a colorful garden installation backdropped by the Hirshhorn’s unique architecture. The installation also features time-lapse videos of orchids stretching into full blossom. Now to May 14. Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden, Independence Avenue and Seventh Street SW. Call 202-633-2220 or visit

Through an initiative commissioning installations and public programs related to its broad Imagining Home exhibit, the Baltimore Museum of Art brought together video and film artist Rahne Alexander and interdisciplinary artist/organizer Jaimes Mayhew with Chase Brexton Health Care’s LGBT Health Resource Center. Queer Interiors features a larger-than-life bed and furnishings, personal artifacts and a multimedia wall display known as the Baltimore LGBTQI+ Home Movie Quilt, which pays homage to Baltimore album quilts and the AIDS Memorial Quilt by presenting a growing, crowd-sourced portrait of the city’s queer communities. Through Aug. 31, 2017. The Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Dr. Baltimore. Call 443-573-1700 or visit

Using silk thread, cotton ground fabric and fundamental hand embroidery stitches, each of Hull’s small art pieces in this series is an exploration of a simple meditative theme, as well as an evolving meditative complexity. Counterpoint is presented in the small gallery within the main gallery of the District of Columbia Arts Center that is dedicated to presenting miniature and smaller works often overlooked for exhibition. Opening reception is Friday, March 31, from 7 to 9 p.m. Artist Talk and Closing Reception is Sunday, July 16, at 5 p.m. Nano Gallery in DCAC, 2438 18th St. NW. Tickets are $15 to $20. Call 202-462-7833 or visit

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. 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

Now that Spring has arrived, the United States Botanic Garden presents an exhibit intended to help experienced and novice gardeners alike to have more fruitful experiences. Discover foolproof plants, pick up tips on plants that require extra attention, learn about the right plant for the right place, and get specific advice through a series of discussions, including: “Cooking with Herbs” on April 13 and 27, “Trees at Home” on April 27, and “Berry Me” lecture on April 29. But first up, Wednesday, April 5, at 10:30 a.m., is a tour of the exhibition as well as other parts of the garden as led by Ari Novy, the institution’s executive director. Now to Oct. 15. Conservatory Terrace and East Gallery, 100 Maryland Ave. SW. Call 202-225-8333 or visit



Union Market will host D.C.’s first-ever show focused on the burgeoning local artisanal foods movement, including a free small business breakfast led by San Francisco’s Good Food Foundation. Healthcare expert and chef Zeke Emanuel will moderate this Good Food Mercantile Breakfast panel discussion, Saturday, April 1, at 9 a.m., featuring Elias Cairo of charcuterie Olympia Provisions, Danielle Vogel of Glen’s Garden Market, Ann Yang of Misfit Juicery, Shanika McCloud of food-grade skincare producer Greenplicity, and Sarah Gordon of Gordy’s Pickles. Meanwhile, these craft food purveyors and more than 80 others from around the country will participate in a weekend-long “un-trade show” pop-up at Dock 5, culminating in a Good Food Awards event, featuring cookbook author Joan Nathan. Pop-Up opens Friday, March 31, through Sunday, April 2, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Union Market, 1309 5th St. NE. Call 800-680-9095 or visit

The contemporary American restaurant, located around the corner from Town Danceboutique, offers another one-night-only three-course dinner to showcase the differences in U.S.-produced spirits. After a March Whiskey Dinner, the focus this time is on local craft beer — including brews from Firestone Walker and Hardywood Park — selected by Assistant General Manager Rob Benning and to be paired with three courses from Chef Damian Brown. The dinner features either a Strawberry Kale Salad with chocolate-beer vinaigrette or Strawberry Gazpacho to start, Drunken Mussels in beer broth or Brisket Poutine with beer gravy as an entree, and Candied Thick Cut Bacon or Deep Fried Oreos for dessert. Tuesday, April 4, from 5 to 9 p.m. Takoda Restaurant & Beer Garden, 715 Florida Ave. NW. Tickets are $55 per person not including tax and gratuity. Call 202-525-1252 or visit

Every couple of weeks, Vinoteca, the wine-focused tapas restaurant just off U Street, offers a different event meant to heighten your appreciation or experience. Next up is a world-hopping Wine & Cheese class led by Wine Director Kate Chrisman and Chef Anna Miller. Tuesday, April 4, at 7 p.m. Vinoteca, 1940 11 St. NW. Tickets are $55 per person before tax. Call 202-332-9463 or visit



Now in its 11th incarnation, the all-access arts event returns to Crystal City, where more than 600 visual artists, musicians, filmmakers and performers will be engaged in a 100,000 square-foot space over the next month. Artomatic handiworks for sale range from diamonds-in-the-rough to the kind of art only an artist could love. A literary program and art workshops, including live model drawing and demos, are also on tap throughout the event’s run. Now through May 6. Vornado/Charles E. Smith, 1800 South Bell St., Arlington. Tickets are $20 to $60. Call 800-494-8497 or visit

A choreographer and former dancer with the New York City Ballet, Woetzel has been dubbed a “Matchmaker” by the New York Times for his Demo series, in which he invites artists to come together to explore cross-disciplinary concepts and collaborations. In Song & Dance, Woetzel examines the interplay in performance of music and movement through intriguing pairings, including: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Matthew Rushing performing “A Song for You” from Ailey’s Love Songs with Hamilton actor Christopher Jackson; “Lessons in Tradition,” a new three-person song and tap work featuring tap powerhouse Michelle Dorrance, vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Kate Davis and actor/clown Bill Irwin; and NYC Ballet dancers Tyler Angle and Tiler Peck performing Christopher Wheeldon’s pas de deux “This Bitter Earth” with accompaniment from vocalist Davis, violinist Johnny Gandelsman, and pianist/Hamilton conductor Kurt Crowley. Additional performances will come from Michael Trusnovec, Michelle Fleet and James Samson of the Paul Taylor Dance Company, and instrumentalists Andrew Axelrad on woodwinds, Gabe Schnider on guitar, and Samantha Harris on percussion. Monday, April 3, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $25 to $59. Call 202-467-4600 or visit

Over the next month, the Library of Congress is shining a spotlight on — of all things — disco music and culture, through a series of film screenings and discussions. Naturally, this “Bibliodiscotheque” series culminates with a late night party of disco dancing in the Library’s historic Thomas Jefferson Building. Brightest Young Things co-presents the party on Saturday, May 6, featuring music from DJs Mike Simonetti and Adrian Loving, and one of the genre’s leading ladies, Gloria Gaynor, who will perform a show with her band commemorating last year’s induction of “I Will Survive” into the Library’s National Recording Registry. But if you want to go, you’ll need to pounce. Tickets are free but required; once they sell out, a waitlist will be created. Call 202-707-5502 or visit

Started by Regie Cabico and DonMike Mendoza, La-Ti-Do is a variety show of music, spoken word, storytelling and comedy. Cabico and Mendoza co-host the next round, with a focus on TV/Movie Themes led by local musical performer Anya Randall Nebel, a spotlight on singer Amanda Spellman plus participants from La-Ti-Do’s organizational partner, the women-focused theater troupe Pinky Swear Productions. Pianist Taylor Rambo accompanies guest performers including Janet Aldrich, Linda Bard, Tina Ghandchilar, Larry Grey, Matt Meyers, Matthew Ratz, Michael Sandoval, Russell Silber, Caelyn Sommerville, and Stephen Yednock. Monday, April 3, at 8 p.m. Bistro Bistro, 1727 Connecticut Ave. NW. General admission is $15, or $10 if you dine at the restaurant before the show. Call 202-328-1640 or visit

Also called “A Festival of Light, Music and Innovation,” Light City returns for a second year to illuminate a winding, 1.5-mile stretch of the Inner Harbor and Harbor East. The first large-scale illumination festival in the U.S. and modeled after a much bigger affair in Sydney, Light City features light displays and sculptures, video projections and interactive technologies designed by a curated group of local, regional, national and international artists. There are more than 50 attractions on this year’s BGE Light Art Walk, from art installations to performance stages to food and beverage vendors. There are also a number of additional attractions in nearby parts of downtown, as well as a series of daytime innovation conferences. The festival kicks off with a parade at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 31. Runs from 7 to 11 p.m. on weeknights and 7 to midnight on weekends. Closes April 8. Call 410-752-8632 or visit for a map and details on all events.

Two weeks from now — Saturday, April 15 — the ephemeral blossoms on the Tidal Basin cherry trees will be long gone. Yet the month-long Cherry Blossom Festival will just be wrapping up — and going out with a bang, via the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival. In between the bloom and boom, the festival presents two more free outdoor events for all ages. First up is the seventh annual Blossom Kite Festival, which showcases the creativity of kitemakers and skill of fliers through a variety of competitions and demonstrations. Festivalgoers can bring their own kites, or make one at the festival activity station, while supplies last — but only kites can be flown, not drones. Saturday, April 1, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Grounds of the Washington Monument near 17th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. The following week ushers in what organizers tout as “the nation’s premier springtime parade.” Among the elaborate floats, giant balloons and marching bands from around the country, this year’s Cherry Blossom Festival Parade features musical artists Drew Lachey, Jo Dee Messina, Blu Cantrell, DJ Kool, Mari, and not one but two budding gay pop stars — Brian Justin Crum from America’s Got Talent and Alex Newell from Glee. Saturday, April 8, from 10 a.m. to noon. Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th Streets NW. Visit

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, April 2, 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

For the latest edition of his monthly show, Rayceen Pendarvis hosts the annual Ask Rayceen Mini Ball, with music by DJ Vjuan Allure. Participants will vye for bragging rights in eight categories: Best Dressed, Runway in All Black, Voguing with a Prop, BQ Face, Female Face, Face over 40, Butch/Trans Realness, and FQ Realness. Wednesday, April 5. Doors at 6 p.m., with Mini Ball from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. HRC Equality Center, 1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW. Free. Visit

An import from Los Angeles, this unusual “underground art show” features the work of over 100 emerging artists, plus body painting, live music, an art battle, and a free pancake bar. Pancakes and Booze is a traveling, Andy Warhol-styled event that former Hollywood cameraman Tom Kirlin started in 2009 and has since brought to over 20 cities. “When I was in college, the only place that was open after a night of drinking was IHOP,” Kirlin told Metro Weekly in 2015. “I always had this silly idea to make a pancake restaurant with a full bar. So with the art show, I just merged the two ideas together.” Thursday, April 6, at 7 p.m. Penn Social, 801 E St. NW. Cover is $10. Call 202-697-4900 or visit

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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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