BORN IN CHINA
Disneynature’s latest sumptuous documentary, releasing a day before Earth Day, celebrates the many animals that call China home. Expect breathtaking scenery, an overdose of cuteness — a panda bear and her growing cub? Yes, please! — and a reminder of just how extraordinary the animal kingdom is. John Krasinski narrates the English version of this co-production with China’s Shanghai Media Group. Directed by Luc Chuan. Opens Friday, April 21. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (Rhuaridh Marr)
CELIA: THE QUEEN, DIRTY DANCING: HAVANA NIGHTS
The Library of Congress continues its month-long Bibliodiscotheque multidisciplinary series celebrating the legacy of disco with two films about the Latin dance music and culture that helped influence and fuel the genre. The best of this free double feature is Joe Cardona and Mario de Varona’s 2008 documentary about Celia Cruz, the late, legendary “La Reina” of salsa, the propulsive Latin dance genre. The other is Guy Farland’s 2004 critically panned reimagining of Dirty Dancing, set against the backdrop of the Cuban Revolution in 1958. The late Patrick Swayze reprises the role of Johnny Castle in a cameo in a movie that the Library touts as “an example of Latin dance music’s appropriation by American popular culture.” Saturday, April 29, at 1 p.m. Mary Pickford Theater, 3rd Floor of James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free, but tickets required. Call 202-707-5502 or visit loc.gov/concerts/disco.
Gay and transgender kids struggling to find a place for themselves in D.C. are the focus of a new documentary from Dana Flor and Toby Oppenheimer (HBO’s The Nine Lives of Marion Barry). Screening as part of the 31st FilmFestDC, Check It profiles the rise of a local LGBTQ youth gang with more than 200 members, formed to fight back against bullies. The first screening is followed by a Q&A with the directors and a reception led by Andy Shallal, Donnell Perkins, Phillip Pannell and Earl Fowlkes. Sunday, April 23, at 5:45 p.m., and Tuesday, April 25, at 9 p.m. Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Tickets are $13 in advance, or $14 at the theater. Call 202-452-7672 or visit filmfestdc.org.
Now in its 31st year, the Washington, DC International Film Festival presents more than 60 features, documentaries and shorts from around the world. The festival opens with Lucas Belvaux’s This Is Our Land, a timely tale about the appeal of populism to inhabitants of a mining town in Northern France, screening Thursday, April 20, at 7 p.m. AMC Mazza Gallerie, 5300 Wisconsin Ave. NW. It closes with another French film, whimsical slapstick comedy Lost in Paris by the husband-and-wife duo of directors/actors Fiona Gordon and Dominique Abel, on Sunday, April 30, at 3:30 and 7 p.m. Embassy of France, 4101 Reservoir Rd. NW. This year’s lineup of is broken down into categories of comedy (“The Lighter Side”), crime and thrillers (“Trust No One”), music (“Rhythms On & Off the Screen”) and thought-provoking documentaries on themes of “Division & Debate” and “Justice Matters.” Call 202-274-5782 or visit filmfestdc.org for the full schedule and information on the various venues.
IN SEARCH OF ISRAELI CUISINE
James Beard Award-winning chef/restaurateur Michael Solomonov, author of Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking, serves as a guide to the culinary revolution taking place in the Holy Land. Robert Sherman’s documentary offers a portrait of Israeli people, told through food, from chefs and home cooks to vintners and cheesemakers. It draws from more than 100 cultures, including Jewish, Arab, Muslim, Christian and Druze. Opens Friday, April 21. Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema, 7235 Woodmont Ave. Call 301-652-7273 or visit landmarktheatres.com.
QUEER GRRRL MOVIE NIGHT: TANGERINE
Sean Baker’s acclaimed 20l5 comedy-drama about a transgender sex worker struggling with the news that her boyfriend and pimp has been cheating on her with a cisgender woman. Shot entirely on an iPhone 5s, Tangerine is screened as part of a free monthly series intended as a space for queer women to see themselves on screen. It’s open to all queer-identified and queer-positive people. Monday, April 24. Doors at 7:30 p.m. Black Cat Backstage, 1811 14th St. NW. Free. Call 202-667-4490 or visit blackcatdc.com.
Katherine Heigl stars in a thriller about a mentally unstable woman exacting revenge on her ex-husband and his new wife. It looks to be the opposite of its title. Producer Denise Di Novi (Heathers, Edward Scissorhands) makes her directorial debut with a film also starring Rosario Dawson, Geoff Stults, Isabella Rice, Cheryl Ladd and Whitney Cummings. Opens Friday, April 21. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (RM)
VALLEY OF THE DOLLS: SCREENING AND ART SHOW
Local painter Marti Jones Dixon was inspired for her new series by Jacqueline Susann’s 1966 bestseller and the cult film it spawned a year later. Miss Pixie’s will display the series for a month, but before it does, the quirky 14th Street vintage furniture store will refresh everyone’s memory about the film by projecting it on an interior wall. Barbara Parkins, Patty Duke, Sharon Tate and Susan Hayward star in Mark Robson’s drama tracing the ups and downs of a group of young women as fame, booze, pills and men consume their lives. Screening is Friday, April 21, at 7 p.m. Exhibition opens with reception Friday, April 28, from 7 to 9 p.m. On display through end of May. Miss Pixie’s, 1626 14th St. NW. Call 202-232-8171 or visit misspixies.com.
WHY BE GOOD?
In honor of Jazz Appreciation Month, the Atlas Performing Arts Center offers a screening of a silent comedy full of dancing, wooing gentlemen and a thoroughly modern woman played by Colleen Moore, an actress who popularized the famous bobbed haircut of the roaring twenties. Composer and pianist Andrew Earle Simpson offers original live music accompaniment. Sunday, April 23, at 3 p.m. Lab Theatre II, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $20 and include free popcorn. Call 202-399-7993 or visit atlasarts.org. STAGE
A RAISIN IN THE SUN
Written mid-century, long before the onslaught of screens and soundbites, Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun has nothing to prove to a 21st century audience. Just take its premise: a poor, hardworking African-American family comes into some money and struggles with the chance to break free from the demoralizing grind of their urban existence. That’s it. Yes, it is about the legacy of slavery, still fresh in the minds, hearts and economics of 1950s blacks. And yes, it touches mightily on the roles of women and men — be they on the cusp of liberation or trapped by all manner of necessity. But their story is told without gimmick or fanfare. It is riveting, absorbing, extraordinary. Hansberry puts her people first. They are interesting, believable people questioning their assumptions, their givens. It really doesn’t matter how the plot, which has to do with a substantial windfall of much-needed money, all turns out. The joy is in knowing them. Hansberry’s work endures as a timeless jewel, and Arena’s production is a chance to see it truly shine. To May 7. Fichandler Stage in the Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Tickets are $51 to $66. Call 202-488-3300 or visit arenastage.org. (Kate Wingfield)
AMERICAN COLLEGE THEATER FESTIVAL
All week long, the Kennedy Center has been hosting 125 outstanding theater students from colleges and universities across the nation as part of the 49th annual national festival, which offers master classes and visits to leading D.C. theater companies, as well as awards for aspiring playwrights, directors, choreographers, designers, and dramatic criticism. During Friday’s closing program, performers are recognized with National Irene Ryan Acting Scholarships. Sixteen students from eight regions of the U.S. were granted $500 scholarships and invited to compete before a panel of theater experts, who determine which two finalists win $3,000 scholarships as well as eligibility for prestigious summer fellowships. The festival has been credited as a catalyst for improving the quality of college theater through its established network of more than 700 academic partners. Friday, April 21, at 7 p.m. Kennedy Center Family Theater. Tickets are $25. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
BLOOD KNOT/A HUMAN BEING DIED THAT NIGHT
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. 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 mosaictheater.org.
BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS
Theater J bills Neil Simon’s semi-autobiographical play about a Depression-era family trying to laugh through tears “a perfect escape from today’s never-ending news cycle.” The company’s Adam Immerwahr also calls it a worthy introduction to American theater for young theatergoers who graduated from Disney musicals but aren’t quite ready for Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller. Four local teen actors take on the lead roles, joined by adults Lise Bruneau, Michael Glenn and Susan Rome, in a production directed by Matt Torney. To May 7. The Aaron and Cecile Goldman Theater, Edlavitch DCJCC, 1529 16th St. NW. Call 202-777-3210 or visit theaterj.org.
.DOT:: A ROTOPLASTIC BALLET
Described as a “rap robot puppet spectacle,” the latest show from Pointless Theatre features its signature puppets and original rap music produced and performed live by “nerDCore” artist Navi and two-time Helen Hayes-nominated composer Mike Winch. The play addresses the struggles of assimilation and obsoletion within a changing power system. The puppeteers are Becca Ballinger, Frank Cevarich, Madeline Key, Sydney Lo, Sadie Leigh Rothman, Matthew Sparacino, Matthew Strote, and Scott Whalen. To May 6. Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint, 916 G St. NW. Tickets are $18 to $30. Call 202-315-1310 or visit flashpointdc.org.
We Happy Few Productions offers a fresh spin on the Shakespeare classic offering a look at the soldier as told through the stories of those around him. Kerry McGee directs a cast starring Kernan McGowan as Henry but also including Josh Adams, Wyckham Avery, Riley Bartlebaugh, Raven Bonniwell, Natasha Gallop, Niusha Nawab, and Robert Pike. To April 29. Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 7th St. SE. Tickets $5 to $15. Call 202-547-6839 or visit chaw.org.
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 Lefkow, Sarah Anne Sillers, G Michael Harris, John Stange and Kevin Finkelstein, the company’s associate artistic director. Closes Sunday, April 23. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $20. Call 202-399-7993 or visit atlasarts.org.
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. Closes Sunday, April 23. Everyman Theatre, 315 West Fayette St. Tickets are $43 to $64. Baltimore. Call 410-752-2208 or visit everymantheatre.org.
A carnival of lust, violence and lewd behavior, Josh Schmidt and Royce Vavrek’s cheeky new musical Midwestern Gothic blows in like a hot summer breeze, promising a purely escapist good time. How escapist might depend on one’s personal proximity to sensational stories of teen-aged criminal masterminds who lure unsuspecting victims into webs of deceit that result in kidnapping, murder, or any number of other felonies. As for the good time, the production tempts and teases, but only partly delivers. Matthew Gardiner directs a cast that includes Timothy J. Alex, Sherri Edelen, Morgan Keene, Sam Ludwig, Bobby Smith, Stephen Gregory Smith, and Rachel Zampelli. Pride Nights is April 28. Through April 30. Ark Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Tickets are $40 to $99. Call 703-820-9771 or visit signature-theatre.org. (Andre Hereford)
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. Closes Sunday, 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 studiotheatre.org. (AH)
Holly Twyford, Gregory Linington and Erin Weaver star in a playful farce about an up-and-coming playwright tasked with completing her first commission by dawn. Madcap antics abound in Liz Duffy Adams’ unconventional Restoration-era comedy. Directed by Aaron Posner. To May 7. Round House Theatre, 4545 East-West Highway, Bethesda. Tickets are $50 to $60. Call 240-644-1100 or visit roundhousetheatre.org.
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 fords.org.
THE MAGIC PLAY
Olney Theatre offers the latest from playwright Andrew Hinderaker (Colossal) about in a story about a magician losing control of his life. Halena Kays directs Brett Schneider, Jon Hudson Odom and Harry A. Winter. To May 7. Olney Theatre Center, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Call 301-924-3400 or visit olneytheatre.org.
The Kennedy Center closes out Spotlight on Directors, its series presenting international theater productions. Widely regarded as one of the world’s finest directors, Lev Dodin helms a revealing, emotionally raw Three Sisters from leading Russian company the Maly Drama Theatre of St. Petersburg. Exploring complex themes of resignation, longing, love, change and modernity, and of course family drama, Three Sisters is performed in Russian with English surtitles. Wednesday, April 26, through Saturday, April 29, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 30, at 2 p.m. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $19 to $59. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
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. Closes Sunday, April 23. Baltimore Center Stage, 700 North Calvert St. Tickets are $22 to $64. Call 410-332-0033 or visit centerstage.org.
ADAM PASCAL & ANTHONY RAPP
This is one for the Rent-heads. Two decades after the late Jonathan Larson’s groundbreaking Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical first brought them together, Pascal, the original Roger Davis, and Rapp, the first Mark Cohen, team for a special concert. In addition to exciting new arrangements of Larson’s timeless tunes and their signature numbers, Pascal and Rapp will perform songs from their solo albums as well as share highlights from their post-Rent careers. Friday, April 28, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $30 to $75. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.
Founded in 2002, Howard University’s a cappella ensemble reached the top four of NBC’s The Sing-Off. The “vocal big band” kicks off the last week of April with two shows at Georgetown’s legendary jazz venue. Monday, April 24, at 8 and 10 p.m. Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Tickets are $27, plus $12 minimum purchase. Call 202-337-4141 or visit bluesalley.com.
After stepping down as director of the Washington Ballet, Septime Webre has moved into the role of presenter of unexpected yet unmissable events for the most discerningly avant-garde of culture connoisseurs. Webre’s Halcyon Stage next presents the NPR All Things Considered host in a cabaret that expands on his side gig singing with Pink Martini. Homeward features songs of upheaval, patriotism and home inspired by Shapiro’s experiences as a roving reporter around the globe. A Meet-the-Artist Reception follows. Saturday, April 22. Doors at 8 p.m. Halcyon House, 3400 Prospect St. NW. Tickets are $60. Call 202-298-5956 or visit halcyonhouse.org.
The legendary and prolific post-punk/pop musician and co-founder of the former pioneering bear party Blowoff returns to his former D.C. stomping grounds. Mould offers a “solo electric” show in support of new album Patch The Sky. The concert includes a DJ set from Brendan Canty, the former drummer in Fugazi as well as the Bob Mould Band, also the former guitarist in Deathfix, the hazy synthy rock band led by Rich Morel, Mould’s former Blowoff partner-in-crime. Friday, April 28, at 10 p.m. Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. Tickets are $20. Call 202-667-4490 or visit blackcatdc.com.
DRIVE BY TRUCKERS
The alt-country/Southern rock band tours in support of American Band, a politically charged set released prior to Election Day 2016. The album resonates with provocative songs directly confronting racism, as lead vocalists and songwriters Mike Cooley and Patterson Hood — white Southerners — decry police brutality of African Americans and champion #BlackLivesMatter (notably on “Darkened Flags on the Cusp of Dawn”) as well as pillory Virginia’s National Rifle Association as “a right-wing white supremacist gun cult” (“Guns of Umpqua”). Hiss Golden Messenger opens. Friday, April 21. Doors at 8 p.m. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $35. Call 202-265-0930 or visit 930.com.
ERIC OWENS & SUSANNA PHILLIPS
The Notorious RBG — better known as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — co-curated with Washington Performing Arts a concert featuring two of today’s greatest singers in opera. Eric Owens, the bass-baritone who has recently performed in Porgy and Bess and The Flying Dutchman at Washington National Opera, is joined by soprano Susanna Phillips, recipient of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2010 Beverly Sills Artist Award. The concert focuses on the work of Schubert. Sunday, April 30, at 4 p.m. UDC Theater of the Arts, 4200 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets are $45. Call 202-785-9727 or visit washingtonperformingarts.org.
HURRAY FOR THE RIFF RAFF
Singer-songwriter and banjo player Alynda Lee Segarra, a New York native of Puerto Rican descent, leads this tender, bluegrass-inspired indie-folk collective, which is based in New Orleans. Telling NPR it’s “a very queer band” a few years ago, Segarra identified herself as queer and as “a longtime ally of queer causes.” Currently functioning as a trio with Caitlin Gray and Jordan Hyde, Hurray for the Riff Raff tours in support of new concept album The Navigator, released on Dave Matthews’ ATO Records. Sunday, April 23. Doors at 7 p.m. Nightclub 9:30, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $20. Call 202-265-0930 or visit 930.com.
All these years later, Arias is still channeling Billie Holiday. It’s an uncanny, even eerie, recreation, a tribute from the incomparable singing drag queen to the incomparable jazz vocalist. A few years since his last performances in D.C. via the former Speakeasy cabaret series at L’Enfant Cafe, Arias returns as part of the inaugural season of Septime Webre’s Halcyon Stage. Saturday, April 29. Doors at 8 p.m. Halcyon House, 3400 Prospect St. NW. Tickets are $60. Call 202-298-5956 or visit halcyonhouse.org.
LEANN RIMES WITH NSO POPS
The country star, still the youngest Grammy winner, has grown up before our eyes and ears. She returns to the area to perform a concert featuring her greatest hits — including “Blue,” “How Do I Live” and “Can’t Fight The Moonlight” — only this time with the lavish accompaniment of the National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Emil de Cou. But wait, there’s more: D.C. band the Bumper Jacksons will open the show with what the Washington Post has called “old-timey American roots with dashes of hot jazz and blues.” Friday, April 28, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $39 to $109. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
Celebrated cellist Zuill Bailey performs Max Bruch’s Kol Nidrei, variations on two themes of Jewish origin, and “Schelomo” from Ernest Bloch’s Jewish Cycle in a program led by Piotr Gajewski and performance of Mussorgsky’s colorful Pictures at an Exhibition. Saturday, April 22, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 23, at 3 p.m Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $34 to $78. Call 301-581-5100 or visit nationalphilharmonic.org.
NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, SERGEY KHACHATRYAN
The Armenian Khachatryan joins to perform Beethoven’s once-underappreciated masterpiece Violin Concerto. Cristian Macelaru leads a program also featuring three works inspired by water: Vltava by Smetana, The Oceanides by Sibelius, and Liquid Interface, an electronica-influenced piece from Kennedy Center Composer-in-Residence Mason Bates. Thursday, April 20, at 7 p.m., and Saturday April 22, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $15 to $99. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN AT CAPITAL CARING BENEFIT
Capital Caring, the largest nonprofit hospice provider in the mid-Atlantic, kicks off a year-long 40th anniversary celebration with a special benefit acoustic concert featuring ’80s pop hitmaker Newton-John. Fellow adult-contemporary pop singers Beth Nielsen Chapman and Amy Sky will join to sing songs of empowerment from the trio’s newly recorded album of Liv On. The concert coincides with the 10th annual Hospice Comes to Washington event. Monday, May 1, at 7:30 p.m. Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Tickets are $95, or $150 for VIP Ticket with Reception, $350 for Meet & Greet Package. Visit capitalcaring.org.
As part of its 2017 Artist-in-Residence mentoring program, Strathmore offers solo concerts of its up-and-coming artists. Next up is an award-winning fiddler, who uses his passion for roots music to translate bluegrass traditions into an innovative language of his own. McAvinue recently released Charm City Fiddle Favorites, Vol. 1, a set of 16 foot-stomping solo fiddle tunes embodying Baltimore’s style of roots music. Wednesday, April 26, at 7:30 p.m. The Mansion at Strathmore, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Tickets are $17. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.
You’ll hear a striking resemblance to Sugar, Bob Mould’s ’90s-era power-pop band, in the music of this Chicago band, and there is a connection. Split Single was started a few years ago by Jason Narducy, who spent the previous decade touring as bassist in the Bob Mould Band, in addition to other touring work with Superchunk and Telekinesis. Sasha Lord Presents a show with R. Ring, featuring Kelley Deal of the Breeders and Mike Montgomery of Ampline, and the D.C. post-punk band Flasher. But how’s this for unfortunate irony: The two regular bandmates are now playing opposite each other, with Mould at the Black Cat the very same night and time (see separate entry). Drats! Friday, April 28, at 10 p.m. Comet Ping Pong, 5037 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets are $12. Call 202-364-0404 or visit cometpingpong.com.
THE CHORAL ARTS SOCIETY
Scott Tucker leads The Choral Arts Society in a world-premiere commission from Jake Runestad, plus Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Requiem and Ave Verum Corpus as well as Johann Sebastian Bach’s Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen. Featuring soloists soprano Yuanming Song, mezzo soprano Allegra De Vita, tenor Matthew Loyal Smith and bass Wei Wu. Sunday, April 23, at 5 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $15 to $69. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
TOO MANY ZOOZ
A busking sensation in the subways of New York, this instrumental “brass house” trio got a significant upgrade last year. First, Beyonce tapped them to accompany her on Lemonade songs “Formation” and “Daddy Issues,” then she invited them to perform “Daddy Issues” with her at the 2016 CMA Awards. A blend of jazz, Afro-Cuban rhythms, funk and even some electronic/dance elements, the brassy, sassy, manic music of Too Many Zooz can be a little, well, too much to merely listen to. Fortunately, they give plenty to look at, from a very physical style of dancing, to the pompadour sported by the tall, burly baritone saxophonist Leo P. Trumpeter Matt Doe and percussionist King of Sludge are no slouches when it’s showtime, either. Too Many Zoos tours in support of its debut full-length album Subway Gawdz. A Thursday, April 27, at 7 p.m. U Street Music Hall, 1115A U St. NW. Tickets are $20. Call 202-588-1880 or visit ustreetmusichall.com.
Pauline Anson-Dross’ popular lesbian all-covers party-rock band Wicked Jezabel has been rocking — as well as raising money for various good causes — all over the region for a decade now, originally under the name The Outskirts of Town. Friday, April 21, at 9 p.m. JV’s Restaurant, 6666 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church. Call 703-241-9504 or visit wickedjezabel.com.
BALLET ACROSS AMERICA
Two of the biggest superstars in ballet, Misty Copeland and Justin Peck, curate two distinct programs celebrating innovation and diversity in American ballet, as well as the centennial of John F. Kennedy. Copeland’s program, featuring performances by the Nashville Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet and the Black Iris Project, is Thursday, April 20, and Friday, April 21, at 7:30 p.m. Peck’s program, featuring the L.A. Dance Project, Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion and the Joffrey Ballet, is Saturday, April 22, at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 23, at 1:30 p.m. The Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra accompanies all performances. Tickets are $29 to $149. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
BLACK TO SILVER: A BLACK LGBT EXPERIENCE
Dissonance Dance Theatre presents the fifth annual event examining the experiences and issues in the gay black community. This year’s focus is Take My Hand, Before I Go, a dance piece narrating a young gay man and his rite of passage into adulthood. Shedding light on the simple but complex notions of dating, casual encounter and acceptance, Dissonance dancers perform the piece to the music of Jardin, Janet Jackson, Lykke Li, Rose Royce, Ibeyi and Leona Lewis. Saturday, April 22, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 23, at 7 p.m. The Jack Guidone Theater at Joy of Motion Dance Center, 5207 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Tickets are $18 in advance, or $25 at the door. Call 202-362-3042 or visit ddtdc.org.
RENNIE HARRIS PUREMOVEMENT
Lifted is a new work by the leading hip-hop ambassador and choreographer, exploring the topics of morality, spirituality and community, loosely based on Oliver Twist. The work is inspired by the organic spiritual tapestry of house music, or a style of dance that is often referred to as going to “church.” Saturday, April 22, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 23, 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 danceplace.org.
THE WASHINGTON BALLET
Three masters of contemporary dance from the past century are featured in an eclectic program that includes Nine Sinatra Songs choreographed by Twyla Tharp. The company’s Ballet Master Elaine Kudo, a retired soloist with American Ballet Theatre and a former dancer with the Tharp Dance Co., stages the work, a glamorous portrait of seven couples swinging, swirling, tangoing and cha-chaing through the romantic songs by Ol’ Blue Eyes. Also on the bill is the company premiere of Seven Sonatas by Alexei Ratmansky, the former Bolshoi Ballet artistic director now affiliated with the ABT, who sets his work to music by Scarlatti, which Canadian pianist Ryo Yanagitani will perform live. Finally, there’s the mini-marathon Allegro Brillante by the foremost contemporary choreographer George Balanchine and set to Tchaikovsky. Preview performance is Wednesday, April 26, at 7:30 p.m. Runs to April 30. Warner Theatre, 513 13th St. NW. Tickets are $22 to $96. Call 202-783-4000 or visit warnertheatredc.com.
Silverman is the stand-up equivalent of a shock jock, not for the faint of heart or easily offended, but the focus is on the jaw-droppingly funny things she says and how she says them. Saturday April 22, at 8 p.m. Theater at MGM National Harbor, 7100 Oxon Hill Road, Oxon Hill, Md. Tickets are $59.50 to $85. Call 844-346-4664 or visit mgmnationalharbor.com.
THE CAPITAL CITY SHOWCASE
Some of the best local comedians will offer laughs as part of a special show to benefit the nonprofit KIND, which stands for Kids in Need of Defense. The leading organization for the protection of children who enter the U.S. immigration system alone, KIND strives to ensure no such child appears in immigration court without representation. The evening’s headliner is Kasaun Wilson, a D.C. staple over the last decade who appeared on NBC’s Last Comic Standing in 2015. Loy Lee, Kasha Patel, Danny Rolando, Simone and Ahmed Vallejos will also perform. Wednesday, April 26, at 8 p.m. Acre 121, 1400 Irving St. NW. Tickets are $10, with all proceeds going to KIND. Call 202-431-4704 or visit capitalcityshowcase.com.
DAVID A. NICHOLS
Ike and McCarthy: Dwight Eisenhower’s Secret Campaign against Joseph McCarthy reveals how the 34th president masterminded the downfall of the anti-Communist demagogue Senator Joseph McCarthy, based on previously unavailable or overlooked documents. Nichols, an Eisenhower expert and former professor and academic dean at Southwestern College, will sign copies of the book afterwards. Friday, April 21, at 12 p.m. William G. McGowan Theater in the National Archives Museum, Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets NW. Free. Call 202-357-5000 or visit archives.gov/nae.
Politics & Prose teams up with Septime Webre’s Halcyon Stage to present a discussion with everybody’s favorite cult film director, who in recent years has turned to life as a quirky author. The focus this time out is Making Trouble, a new book in which the Baltimore native advices college graduates and millennials more generally to see the “value in embracing chaos and weirdness.” Fans of Pink Flamingos or Serial Mom — to name merely two of his eccentric classic films — couldn’t agree more. Friday, April 28, at 7 p.m., followed by a Meet-the-Author Reception. Halcyon House, 3400 Prospect St. NW. Tickets are $30 including one book. Call 202-298-5956 or visit halcyonhouse.org.
The one-time pop star, fashion designer and TV personality, daughter to rocker Ozzy and America’s Got Talent judge Sharon, shares stories from her unconventional, highly public life in There Is No F*cking Secret: Letters from a Badass Bitch. Osbourne dishes about her parents, the late Joan Rivers, and relates her experiences with bullying, addiction, social media, and growing up and dating in the public eye. She will be in conversation with fellow TV personality and Normal Gets You Nowhere author Kelly Cutrone. Wednesday, April 26, at 7:30 p.m. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $17, or $30 including one book, $35 for two tickets and one book. Call 202-408-3100 or visit sixthandi.org.
MICHAEL WITMORE: THE WONDER OF WILL
The Folger Shakespeare Library Director delivers the annual Shakespeare Anniversary Lecture, closing a year-long celebration of the 400th anniversary of the Bard. Monday, April 24, at 7 p.m. Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Free with reservations. Call 202-544-7077 or visit folger.edu.
ELIZABETH COBBS: AMERICA’S FIRST WOMEN SOLDIERS
The Hello Girls is the proper title of the latest book from Cobbs, a professor at Texas A&M University and a research fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. The book profiles the 223 American women who were sent to France in 1918 to work the latest technology, the telephone switchboard. As a result, these courageous women battled enemy fire in a war zone to keep U.S. Army commanders connected with troops on the front lines. A book signing follows the program. Tuesday, April 25, at 12 p.m. William G. McGowan Theater in the National Archives Museum, Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets NW. Free. Call 202-357-5000 or visit archives.gov/nae.
David M. Rubenstein, the philanthropist responsible for so many new initiatives and developments at the Kennedy Center as well as elsewhere around town, launches a new series of sit-down conversations with notable figures from the arts and culture field starting with the legendary performer and 2015 Kennedy Center Honoree. Moreno will discuss her career and life lessons as well as offer reflections on the arts in America today and ruminations on contemporary social issues through ideals — courage, freedom, justice, service and gratitude — often ascribed to the center’s namesake. Inspired by the center’s namesake and part of the year-long “JFKC: A Centennial Celebration of John F. Kennedy,” the discussion also builds on the recent Bloomberg TV series The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations that featured everyone from Bill Gates to Oprah Winfrey. Saturday, April 29, at 7:30 p.m. Kennedy Center Family Theater. Tickets are $30 to $75. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
WASHINGTON ANTIQUARIAN BOOK FAIR
The 42nd edition of this annual event offers a treasure trove of rare books, modern first editions, manuscripts, autographs, maps, drawings and other fine ephemera, from authentic White House letters from Jackie Kennedy to first editions of Sylvia Plath poetry. The fair is said to offer something for every interest and every price point, and tickets include participation in fast-paced literary games hosted by Labyrinth Games & Puzzles on Friday, or a personalized, off-the-cuff poem typed on a vintage machine by Typewriter Rodeo on Saturday. Friday, April 28, from 4 to 8 p.m., and Saturday, April 29, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Sphinx Club, 1315 K St. NW. Tickets are $15 for both days, or $10 Saturday only. Call 202-898-1688 or visit wabf.com.
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. Through April 30. Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Call 202-544-7077 or visit folger.edu.
CONNECTIONS: CONTEMPORARY CRAFT AT THE RENWICK
New acquisitions made during the Renwick Gallery’s renovation are now on display along with iconic favorites in the permanent collection. More than 80 objects are featured as part of a dynamic presentation celebrating craft as a discipline and an approach to living differently in the modern world. Ongoing. Renwick Gallery, Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW. Fr. Call 202-633-1000 or visit renwick.americanart.si.edu.
LINDSAY MULLEN: SPEAKING LAYERS
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 callowayart.com.
MARYLAND FEDERATION OF ART
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. Through April 29. Gallery B, 7700 Wisconsin Ave., Suite E, Bethesda. Call 301-215-7990 or visit bethesda.org/bethesda/gallery-b.
@NATGEO THE MOST POPULAR INSTAGRAM PHOTOS
The National Geographic shares the most liked, commented on and favorited photos from its Instagram account, billed as the world’s top media brand on that social media platform, with 62 million followers and over 1 billion likes on the more than 12,000 photos posted to its page. To April 30. National Geographic Museum, 1145 17th St. NW. General admission $15. Call 202-857-7588 or visit ngmuseum.org.
SMITHSONIAN CRAFT SHOW
Touted as the most prestigious juried show and sale of American contemporary fine craft, this annual event, now in its 35th year, features 120 of the field’s leading artists representing 34 states — selected by a three-judge panel from over 1,000 applicants. All facets of contemporary design and jewelry are represented, including wearable art, basketry, furniture, glass, leather, and mixed media. The 2017 Visionary Award will be presented to Faith Ringgold, and nine of the African-American artist’s iconic painted narrative quilts (including the Underground Railroad-themed “Coming to Jones Road” and “Jazz Stories”) will be on display at the National Building Museum through May 7. As befits its presenting organization and namesake, this show, produced by the Smithsonian Women’s Committee, isn’t strictly about sales, sales, sales but also includes an educational focus. And proceeds go toward funding research at the Smithsonian’s 28 institutions, from its museums on the mall to the National Zoo. Thursday, April 27, from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, April 28, and Saturday, April 29, from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 30, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. Daily admission is $20, or $17 purchased online in advance; a two-day pass is $30. Call 202-272-2448 or visit smithsoniancraftshow.org.
The Capitol Hill Art League’s spring show is a mixed-media showcase of art by member artists who were instructed to create works on a broad earthly theme: Anything “on, above, below or made of earth or related to the earth.” Opening reception Saturday, April 22, from 5 to 7 p.m. On exhibit through May 10. Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 7th St. SE. Call 202-547-6839 or visit capitolhillhartleague.org.
YOU CAN GROW IT!
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 Thursday, April 27, “Trees at Home” also Thursday, April 27, and “Berry Me” lecture Saturday, April 29. On display through Oct. 15. Conservatory Terrace and East Gallery, 100 Maryland Ave. SW. Call 202-225-8333 or visit usbg.gov.
DC BEER FEST
Dozens of craft breweries will fill the concourse at Nationals Park to help spread beer cheer — with a particular focus on seasonal selections, offered in unlimited tastings included in admission price. Food trucks will also provide options for nosh in between the booze, the lawn games, the dancing to DJs and the whole nine …innings. Saturday, April 22, from noon to 3 p.m. or 5 to 8 p.m. Nationals Park, 1500 South Capitol St. NE. Tickets are $45 per session and include unlimited drink tastings. Visit dcbeerfestival.com.
HANK’S DUPONT: 10TH ANNUAL OYSTER FEST
“We wanted to do something for the community to bring people together,” Hank’s founder Jamie Leeds says about the origins of Oyster Fest, now in its 10th year at her original Dupont Circle location. “We thought we’d provide all-you-can-eat oysters, drink beer and just have a good time.” The prospect of copious amounts of premium draft beer, fresh, fried and BBQ’d bivalves, popcorn shrimp and Old Bay fries has become such a draw, the line starts forming at breakfast and doesn’t let up until hours into the whole shucking sensation. Saturday, April 22, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hank’s Oyster Bar – Dupont, 1624 Q St. NW. Tickets are $80 for all-you-can-eat oysters and draft beer. Call 202-462-4265. Visit hanksoysterbar.com.
THE GRILL ROOM: TAX RELIEF WINE SPECIAL
Facing the C&0 Canal in the luxury Georgetown hotel Rosewood, the Grill Room is offering a discounted price on Télégramme by Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe, a standout wine from Chateauneuf du Pape. This Southern Rhone region has a unique history of taxation that helped set the standard of winemaking throughout France, leading to the Appellation d’origine Contrôlée, or AOC. Normally priced at $25 a glass and $98 a bottle, the Télégramme, with notes of fresh red and black cherries, strawberry, black pepper, black raspberry and spice, will be discounted to $15 a glass and $60 a bottle during the special promotion. That makes it a perfect complement to the Grill Room’s hand-cut, bone-in, artisanal meats and locally sourced seasonal produce particularly for any foodie and red wine enthusiast with a tax refund to spend. Available during lunch and dinner through the end of April. The Grill Room, 1050 31st St. NW. Call 202-617-2424 or visit rosewoodhotels.com/en/washington-dc.
Now in its 11th incarnation, the all-access arts event has returned 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. Through May 6. Vornado/Charles E. Smith, 1800 South Bell St., Arlington. Free. Visit artomatic.org.
GEORGETOWN FRENCH MARKET
More than 40 boutique shops, antique stores, restaurants, salons and galleries in Georgetown’s Book Hill area participate in this 14th annual open-air market and sidewalk sale. The Georgetown Business Improvement District (BID) presents the affair, intended to evoke the outdoor markets of Paris. The culinary offerings alone go well beyond the standard French fare of, say, Cafe Bonaparte and Patisserie Poupon, however, with the Bean Counter, Dolcezza, Georgetown Olive Oil Co., Jaco Juice & Taco Bar, Los Cuates, Pho Viet Grille, Simply Banh Mi, Via Umbria and Zannchi all represented. And all throughout you’ll find whimsical street performers, face painters and live French music and gypsy jazz. Friday, April 28, and Saturday, April 29, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, April 30, from noon to 5 p.m. Wisconsin Avenue between O Street and Reservoir Road. Visit georgetownfrenchmarketdc.com.
SHAKESPEARE’S BIRTHDAY OPEN HOUSE
Jugglers and jesters join other theatrical performers and musicians in celebrating the bard’s big day, complete with cake. Celebrants can also stroll around the building and the Elizabethan garden. Sunday, April 23, from noon to 4 p.m. Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Free. Call 202-544-7077 or visit folger.edu.
VISIONDC: ARTS & URBAN INNOVATION SUMMIT
CulturalDC launches a day-long event with key stakeholders in the city to provide a crucial platform for artists, real estate developers, city planners, policy makers, technologists, business leaders and the public. The goal is an exchange of ideas and creation of strategies and partnerships recognizing the creative economy’s value to urban growth. Among the locals to be featured are community powerhouses Andy Shallal of Busboys & Poets and Philippa Hughes of the Pink Line Project and artists Linda Hesh, Sheldon Scott and Street Light Circus. Out-of-town innovators participating include Isabel Castilla of the High Line NYC, Vicki Davis of Urban Atlantic and Scott Kratz of 11th St Bridge Park. VisionDC will also feature the city’s first “Art Tank” Artist Challenge, where artists will be awarded installations and projects in real time by philanthropists and developers. Monday, April 24, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Arena Stage’s Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Tickets are $10 to $65, plus another $10 for a boxed lunch. Call 202-315-1305 or visit visiondc.org.