Metro Weekly

Out on the Town: Arts & entertainment highlights, June 22-28

Film, stage, dance, food, exhibits and more in Washington, DC

Jesus Christ Superstar at Signature – Photo: C. Stanley Photography


Malcolm McDowell is over-the-top magnificent as a Beethoven-loving ringleader of a band of thugs in one of Stanley Kubrick’s most shocking and powerful films. Based on Anthony Burgess’s novel, the film, which featured extreme violence and a horrific rape sequence, caused such an uproar on its release in 1971 that Kubrick demanded it be pulled from theaters. It remains one of the most powerful films about the evils of society ever made. Wednesday, June 28, at 7:45 p.m. Arlington Cinema N’ Drafthouse, 2903 Columbia Pike, Arlington. Tickets are $10. Call 703-486-2345 or visit

This neo-noir mystery is regarded as one of David Lynch’s finest films, as well as one of the best from the 1980s. It’s credited with re-launching the career of Dennis Hopper and proving the acting bona fides of Isabella Rossellini. Hopper plays the sadistic tormentor of Rossellini, a nightclub singer. Kyle MacLachlan stars as an amateur investigator examining a mystery behind a severed ear. Screenings, as part of a Lynch retrospective at the AFI, are Friday, June 23, at 9:15 p.m., Saturday, June 24, at 10:15 p.m., and Sunday, June 25, Monday, June 26, Tuesday, June 27, and Thursday, June 29, at 9:15 p.m.. AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $13. Call 301-495-6720 or visit

The original summer blockbuster, which made big-budget action flicks the preferred seasonal fare and in the process gave everyone an irrational fear of sharks as human predators. Steven Spielberg’s 1975 classic kicks off a two-month weekly series at U Street’s historic Lincoln Theatre, an air-conditioned alternative to the increasing popularity of outdoor screenings. Upcoming screenings include Spike Lee’s masterpiece, Do The Right Thing, Clueless, Blazing Saddle and Purple Rain. Wednesday, June 28. Doors at 7 p.m. 1215 U St. NW. Tickets are $10. Call 202-888-0050 or visit

Several blocks north of the U.S. Capitol behind Union Station, the NoMa BID offers an outdoor screening series with the quintessential Washington theme “Power, Politics & Popcorn.” Stand-out features to come in July include All The President’s Men and Wag The Dog, with August bringing Legally Blonde: Red, White & Blonde. First up is Steven Spielberg’s 2012 drama, with a screenplay by Tony Kushner, and starring Daniel Day Lewis in an Oscar-winning turn as the 16th president presiding over a pivotal moment in American history. The screening starts at sunset on Wednesday, June 28. Grounds open at 7 p.m. NoMa Junction at Storey Park, 1005 1st St. NE. Visit

The Golden Triangle Business Improvement District presents free Friday screenings of blockbusters throughout the summer. Up next are two classics from the ’80s, The Princess Bride, director Rob Reiner’s fairy tale starring a young and beautiful Robin Wright and an equally young and beautiful Cary Elwes. Friday, June 23. Meanwhile, Dirty Dancing, starring the late Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, screens Friday, June 30. Each film starts at sunset — around 9 p.m. — at 912 17th St. NW, between K Street and Connecticut Avenue. Call 202-463-3400 or visit for more information.

Michael Bay returns to once again prove that talent isn’t necessary when you have skilled CGI artists and copious amounts of explosions. It’ll make a billion dollars, they’ll commission a sixth film and no lessons will be learned. Now playing. Area theaters. Visit (Rhuaridh Marr)


Theater J teamed up with historians from the U.S. Holocaust Museum for a rare staging of this gripping, psychological drama by Arthur Miller set in Brooklyn during the Kristallnacht in 1938. Images from American newspapers of the era will be projected directly onto the set, showing Americans’ reactions to the Holocaust. Aaron Posner directs a stellar cast — Lise Bruneau, Kimberly Gilbert, Gregory Linington, Paul Morella, Michele Osherow and Stephen Patrick Martin — relating Miller’s tale of a woman who suddenly, mysteriously becomes paralyzed from the waist down, and her husband, a self-denying Jew, struggling to understand why and confront his fears, assumptions and anguish. Now to July 9, with historians-led discussions after the Sunday matinees June 25, July 2 and July 9. The Aaron and Cecile Goldman Theater, Edlavitch DCJCC, 1529 16th St. NW. Call 202-777-3210 or visit

Now in its seventh year, this 10-day festival showcases local talent in all realms of the performing arts, from contemporary dance to live music. There’s even a film “festival within a festival,” featuring screenings and competitions in six film categories, including shorts, documentaries and music videos. The primary focus, however, is on theatrical works, including monologues and short plays, with competitions for both. An impressive 21 full-length plays will get the lightly staged treatment through this year’s New Works Reading Series, including at least two works by LGBTQ playwrights: Alan Sharpe’s Been There, Done That, and Steve Langley’s AIDS-themed Never Letting Go. And 12 works get full-scale staging, including O’Pharrow Theatre’s production of The Colored Museum, a 1986 satire by two-time Tony-winning writer/director George C. Wolfe (Jelly’s Last Jam) and directed by company founder Adriane N. O’Pharrow. Another notable production is artist/actor/musician Bryce Monroe’s The Lower Frequencies, a series of vignettes inspired by Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man and incorporating spoken-word, hip-hop, soul and jazz. The festival runs Friday, June 23, through Sunday, July 2, at the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum and the Anacostia Arts Center. Visit for more information.

Based on the 1989 animated classic — which is based on the 1837 Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale — the musical version of The Little Mermaid features additional songs by composer Alan Menken, plus a book by Doug Wright. The show makes its way to Wolf Trap after stops at Kansas City’s similarly outdoor Starlight Theatre and Pittsburgh’s Benedum Center, in a co-production of the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera and Kansas City’s Starlight. Thursday, June 29, through Sunday, July 2, at 8 p.m. Also Saturday, July 1, at 2 p.m. The Filene Center at Wolf Trap, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $25 to $85. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit

Round House concludes a season that began with Tony Kushner’s magnum opus Angels in America with an autobiographical tour-de-force from another of America’s greatest, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwrights, the late August Wilson (Fences). Co-conceived and directed by Todd Kreidler, How I Learned What I Learned explores Wilson’s days as a struggling young writer in Pittsburgh. Eugene Lee stars in this one-person show. To July 2. Round House Theatre, 4545 East-West Highway, Bethesda. Tickets are $50 to $60. Call 240-644-1100 or visit

A Jewish bride, a Catholic groom, two clashing mothers, and a jilted ex-lover are the combustible ingredients ensuring that anything that can go wrong will in this musical comedy by writer Brian Hargrove and composer Barbara Anselmi. Jon Kretzu directs “the wackiest wedding you will ever attend.” To July 1. Richmond Triangle Players, 1300 Altamont Ave. Richmond. Tickets are $10 to $35. Call 804-346-8113 or visit

A world premiere stage adaptation of Tony Morrison’s exhilarating novel following a couple who moves from the Virginia countryside to Harlem at the turn of the 20th century — just as the genre of jazz was beginning to flourish. Shanesia Davis is Violet and Leon Addison Brown is Joe, whose later interactions with another woman sets off a series of violent, unforgivable acts. Adapted by Nambi E. Kelley and featuring a cast of 10, including an on-stage Trombonist. Closes Sunday, June 25. Baltimore Center Stage, 700 North Calvert St., Baltimore. Tickets are $20 to $69. Call 410-332-0033 or visit

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s rock opera about Jesus gets a “sleek, modern” makeover in a Signature Theatre production helmed by Joe Calarco and starring Nicholas Edwards. The cast includes Signature standouts Natascia Diaz as Mary, Sherri L. Edelen as King Herod, and Bobby Smith as Pontius Pilate. Extended to July 9. Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit

Lauded local actor Rick Foucheux will retire after this starring turn as Shakespeare’s most troubled patriarch in his greatest tragedy. Avant Bard makes some characteristic tweaks to the classic with this production helmed by Tom Prewitt, including making the Earl of Gloucester a female character, played by Cam Magee. Meanwhile, Christopher Henley, the company’s Artistic Director Emeritus, will play the Fool. Closes Sunday, June 25. Gunston Arts Center, 2700 South Lang St. Arlington. Tickets are $30 to $35. Call 703-418-4808 or visit

The legendary late playwright August Wilson was inspired by queer blues belter Ma Rainey in the first of his award-winning Century Cycle of plays, each capturing a different decade of the 20th century. Directed by Deidra LaWan Starnes and starring Thomascena Nelson. Closes Sunday, June 25. 1st Stage, 1524 Spring Hill Rd., in Tysons Corner. Tickets are $30. Call 703-854-1856 or visit

The Lerner and Loewe classic, adapted from Georges Bernard Shaw and Gabriel Pascal’s film Pygmalion. Alan Souza directs a massive cast including Danny Bernardy, Brittany Campbell, Ian Anthony Coleman, Warren Freeman, Chris Genebach, Christina Kidd, Alex Kidder, Julia Klavans, Ashleigh King, Valerie Leonard, Benjamin Lurye, Jimmy Mavrikes, Christopher Mueller and Todd Scofield. In previews. Opening Saturday, June 24, at 8 p.m. Olney Theatre Center, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Call 301-924-3400 or visit

Steve Langley wrote two short plays in the mid-1990s about the experience of being surrounded by friends, most in their 30s, dying from AIDS complications. Two decades later, the Oscar-winning success of the gay-themed Moonlight has inspired Langley to revive the works, packaging them together as Never Letting Go. The DC Black Theatre & Arts Festival offers a free staged reading of the comedy-drama directed by Gregory Ford and featuring Frednardo Davis and InestinDantee Petit-Homme in 2 Cotton Towels, about a couple wrestling with sexual fidelity in their relationship, and Adiyb Muhammad, Mericus Ryan Adams and Bryce Monroe in Gone Fishin’, about a father clashing with a stranger over the memory of his late son, a former collegiate basketball star. Saturday, June 24, at 4 p.m. Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Place SE. Free. Call 202-633-4820 or visit

Throughout June, CulturalDC presents its annual festival dedicated to up-and-coming works. This year’s festival is designed as a toast to its first decade, reprising six “Best-Of” 10-Minute Plays as well as the full-length, LGBTQ-themed A Perfect Arrangement, Topher Payne’s 2017 Lambda Literary Award nominee. The dramedy enjoyed an Off Broadway run in 2015, two years after debuting at Source. The festival also features three full-length play readings, six new 10-Minute Plays and two “artistic blind dates.” Runs through July 2. Source, 1835 14th St. NW. Tickets are $20 for each show, $75 for a five-play pass or $150 for VIP including reserved seat, free concessions and restaurant partner discounts. Call 202-204-7760 or visit

Mollye Maxner blends theater, dance and art installation for her new immersive theatrical experience that veers from the norm. For one thing, during brief moments of the show, the audience is asked to stand or move, as if they were walking through a gallery or museum. For another, audience entry will be staggered in 10-minute time slots in groups of six-to-eight people. (Patrons are also asked to arrive at least 10 minutes early.) Theater Alliance presents this work exploring themes of female aggression, interracial adoption and the power of memory. Annie Houston leads the cast as the matriarch whose approaching death threatens to tear her family apart. To July 2. Anacostia Playhouse, 2020 Shannon Place SE. Tickets are $30 to $40. Call 202-241-2539 or visit

Mosaic presents the second play in its 2017 Voices From a Changing Middle East Festival, marking the 50th year since the Six Day War and the start of the Occupation. Palestinian-American playwright and performer Hanna Eady co-wrote the unsettling mystery The Return with Edward Mast. John Vreeke directs a U.S. premiere starring Ahmad Kamal and Alyssa Wilmoth Keegan as two mysterious former lovers who reunite to untangle the trauma and thwarted intimacy of their interconnected history. To July 2. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $20 to $60. Call 202-399-7993 or visit

Michael Kahn helms David Ives’ adaptation of Molière’s Le Misanthrope, in an update of the aristocratic, ruthless French satire. Gregory Wooddell plays Frank, whose barbed truth-telling wreaks havoc in a world of pompous suitors and extravagant ladies, until rumors ricochet and alternative facts become reality. To July 9. Lansburgh Theatre, 450 7th St. NW. Call 202-547-1122 or visit

Yes, the Opera House is alive with the sound of Rodgers and Hammerstein in this touring production of the blockbuster musical directed by three-time Tony winner Jack O’Brien. Arena regular Nicholas Rodriguez (Oklahoma!, Carousel) is Captain von Trapp and newcomer Charlotte Maltby (daughter of Broadway legend Richard) is Maria, who whips all those Swiss tykes into harmonious shape. To July 16. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $49 to $169. Call 202-467-4600 or visit

Fresh off the premiere of Kaleidoscope, his latest musical creation with husband Stephen Gregory Smith, Matt Conner’s next project for Creative Cauldron is directing a Young Performers adaptation of the classic movie starring Judy Garland. Tiara Whaley stars as Dorothy, singing “Over The Rainbow” and the other standards by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg everyone knows and loves. Closes Sunday, June 25. ArtSpace Falls Church, 410 South Maple Ave. in Falls Church. Tickets are $30. Call 703-436-9948 or visit

In the early 1970s, a quiet bed and breakfast becomes one of the few spots where victims of domestic violence can seek refuge in Sarah Treem’s play. Marie Sproul directs Sheri S. Herren as BNB owner Agnes, with Kaylynn Creighton her college-bound daughter and Jenna Berk a runaway Mary Anne. In previews beginning Friday, June 16. To July 8. Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church St. NW. Tickets are $35 to $45. Call 202-265-3768 or visit


Local band led by Michael Doucet, a lifelong student of Cajun culture, takes to the Kennedy Center stage for a free concert of soulful accordion-tipped music, presented in collaboration with the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and the Library of Congress. Tuesday, June 27, at 6 p.m. Millennium Stage. Free. Call 202-457-4600 or visit

These two theater stars — Bowman known from Broadway’s Wicked and Evita national tour, Colby from Signature Theatre’s West Side Story and The Sound of Music national tour — are currently in the midst of planning their wedding. Before they get hitched, they’ll perform love songs in “A Premarital Cabaret” accompanied by music director Walter “Bobby” McCoy (GALA’s In The Heights). The evening doubles as a fundraiser for the fledgling Millennial-focused Monumental Theatre Co. and its July production of Bonnie and Clyde. A silent auction, raffle and refreshments are also on the bill. Monday, June 26, at 7:30 p.m. Pendleton Hall at the Ainslie Arts Center in Episcopal High School, 3900 W. Braddock Rd. Alexandria. Tickets are $30. Visit

As part of its 2017 Artist-in-Residence mentoring program, Strathmore offers solo concerts of its up-and-coming artists. The latest to get the spotlight is this jazz/soul/folk vocalist, a 2015 Helen Hayes Award nominee for her supporting work in Keegan Theatre’s Hair. Wednesday, June 14, and Wednesday, June 28, at 7:30 p.m. The Mansion at Strathmore, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Tickets are $17. Call 301-581-5100 or visit

Two principals from the superstar quintet perform hits from their Fleetwood Mac days, as well as selections from their new self-titled album of duets. Talk about a starry night. Things kick off with an opening set by the Wallflowers featuring Jakob Dylan. Monday, June 26, at 7:30 p.m. The Filene Center at Wolf Trap, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $45 to $95. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit

The international sensation born only 20 years ago as Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor, Lorde becomes the second artist announced to play D.C.’s forthcoming large music venue the Anthem — the Southwest Waterfront spot, part of the 9:30 Club family, that the Foo Fighters will christen in October. The New Zealand native will tour in support of her just-released sophomore set Melodrama, full of the kind of sharp, dramatic and irresistible pop that is the Grammy winner’s stock in trade. Tickets on sale Friday, June 23, at 10 a.m., for Sunday, April 8, 2018 date. The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. Cost is $100 to $175. Visit

The most Oscar-nominated man alive and the composer you think of when you think of film scores is the focus of a National Symphony Orchestra concert led by Steven Reineke and featuring the Choral Arts Society of Washington. The composer’s credits read like a who’s who of popular films: Jaws, E.T., Raiders of the Lost Ark, Superman, Harry Potter, and, of course, Star Wars, to which the evening’s entire second half is handed over. One question: Will the ever-jubilant and playful Reineke conduct with a light saber? Thursday, June 22, at 7 p.m., Friday, June 23, and Saturday, June 24, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $24 to $99. Call 202-467-4600 or visit

The Coolots headline the reprise of this queer music festival, birthed a decade ago at Phase 1. With that longstanding lesbian bar having closed, the 9:30 Club has become an even bigger and better venue to showcase acts, this year also including Homosuperior, Olivia & The Mates, Be Steadwell, Heather Mae and Kellyn Marie Goler. The DC Kings, the drag organization also birthed at Phase 1, regroups just for this festival, which ends with a dance party featuring popular local DJ Tezrah. Saturday, July 1. Doors at 8 p.m. Nightclub 9:30, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $15. Call 202-265-0930 or visit

The eldest daughter of country music legend Johnny Cash, the singer with the deep, velvet-lined voice has carved her own path to fame. Her most recent album, the thrice-Grammy-winning The River and the Thread, combines roots-oriented music with her trademarked lushness. Soon after its release in 2014, Cash told Metro Weekly that the album’s songs are meant to convey “the theme of Southern place and time.” Cash is one of those artists that you don’t want to miss, and the opportunity to see the legend with her band in a local, legendary space as intimate as The Birchmere is too good to pass up. Monday, June 26, at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $69.50. Call 703-549-7500 or visit

The Kennedy Center offers six days of free choral music co-presented by Classical Movements as a toast to the 100th birthday of President John F. Kennedy. The focus is on choirs from countries that have benefited from the work of the Peace Corps — a JFK creation — plus a select few other choirs — and all choirs will participate in local service projects while in town. Serenade! kicks off with performances of groups from Northern Ireland, Panama and India, on Wednesday, June 28, at 6 p.m. on the Millennium Stage. China, Spain, Ghana and Kenya are represented in the festival finale on Monday, July 3, at 6 p.m. in the Concert Hall. Call 202-467-4600 or visit

The star American classical pianist first performed with this orchestra at a piano festival in Cuba in 2015. And that sparked the idea of the joint new album Mozart in Havana and East Coast tour featuring Dinnerstein and the orchestra, comprised of conservatory students, recent graduates and their teachers, and led by founding music director José Antonio Méndez Padrón. It marks the Havana Lyceum’s American debut as well as the first time an orchestra of this size has traveled to the U.S. from Cuba since the revolution. The National Orchestral Institute Orchestra will also perform at this concert of Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Marquez and Farinas in a special collaboration. Wednesday, June 28, at 8 p.m. The Dekelboum Concert Hall in The Clarice at the University of Maryland, University Boulevard and Stadium Drive. College Park. Tickets are $25. Call 301-405-ARTS or visit

Jeffrey Johnson’s spacey and pink-haired singing drag act returns for a cabaret supported by a guitarist named Captain Satellite. The show features new material as well as a smattering of signature covers and originals. Sunday, June 25, at 5 p.m. Freddie’s Beach Bar, 555 South 23rd St., Arlington. Free, “just tip well.” Call 703-685-0555 or visit

“D.C.’s all ’90s party band,” cheekily named after O.J. Simpson’s notorious failed getaway car, sings through that decade’s songbook in all styles of popular music. The five-member ensemble is comprised of singer/guitarist Diego Valencia, singer Gretchen Gustafson, guitarists Ken Sigmund and McNasty and drummer Max Shapiro. Saturday, June 24. Doors at 8 p.m. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $22. Call 202-265-0930 or visit


The fourth seasonal offering from this New York-birthed, D.C.-based contemporary dance company features six dancers, drawn from major ballet companies, in five ballets by three choreographers — all accompanied by some of D.C.’s finest brass, jazz and chamber musicians. There’s Songs by Cole, a premiere work by the Project’s founder and artistic director Diane Coburn Bruning inspired by the timeless quality of Cole Porter’s music, which will be performed by a live jazz trio; Rue Noir, Jennifer Archibald’s piece set to rousing New Orleans-style brass from the Mosche Brass Band; the provocative beauty of Arranged and the athleticism of the poignant male duet Exit Wounds, both by Bruning; and Sur, Jorge Amarante’s sultry new take on tango. And every work is accompanied by live chamber music onstage, including the company’s string quartet, the Mosche Brass Band and our jazz trio led by acclaimed singer Lena Seikaly. Opening Night, including post-party with the artists, is Thursday, June 22, at 7:30 p.m. Additional performances Friday, June 23, and Saturday, June 24, at 8 p.m. Sidney Harman Hall, Harman Center for the Arts, 610 F St. NW. Tickets are $30 to $45. Call 202-547-1122 or visit

A combination of circus arts, theater, music and audience interaction, this D.C.-based group is said to push the limits of imagination and innovation among its performances. The Kennedy Center welcomes Universoul Circus for two free evening shows on its Millennium Stage, presented in collaboration with the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Saturday, June 24, and Sunday, June 25, at 6 p.m. Kennedy Center. Free. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


Eric Trump, Anderson Cooper, Joe Scarborough and Al Franken are just a few of the celebrity impressions Moffat has already performed since making his fall debut as a cast member of Saturday Night Live. The 35-year-old Chicago native stops through the area for a run of shows. Expect plenty of impressions. Friday, June 30, at 7:30 and 10 p.m., and Saturday, July 1, at 7 and 10 p.m. Arlington Cinema N’ Drafthouse, 2903 Columbia Pike, Arlington. Tickets are $20. Call 703-486-2345 or visit

Presenters have to wing it with only a laser pointer and a deck of random slides, giving a presentation they’ve never seen before. Such a test of one’s improvisational mettle is catching on at conferences and workshops and in fields as diverse as software engineers and academics/scientists, in addition to comedians and actors. Chris Milner hosts the next show from Speechless, Inc., featuring a cast including Josh Kuderna, Chelsea Shorte, Ahmed Valeejos and Eric Dadourian. Dylan Meyer will be one of three special guest judges. Thursday, June 29, at 8:45 p.m. Drafthouse Comedy, 1100 13th St. NW. Tickets are $10. Call 202-750-6411 or visit

The Kennedy Center welcomes back the famed comedy troupe for an update to last year’s popular show Almost Accurate Guide to America. The comedians — Angela Alise, Ryan Asher, Tyler Davis, Katie Kershaw, Chucho Perez and Ross Taylor — have cooked up a new irreverent, mocking look at America — from the red states to the blue states to our orange head of state. The run is the first offering in July’s second annual District of Comedy Festival. Now to Aug. 13. Kennedy Center Theater Lab. Tickets are $49 to $69. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


The authors of 2014’s The Second Machine Age — and co-founders of MIT’s Initiative on the Digital Economy — suggest that the next stage of the digital era will radically alter the balance of minds and machines, products and platforms, and the core and the crowd. Furthermore, success, both professional and personal, will depend on mastering the demands of this new playing field, they argue in Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing the Digital Revolution. The book illuminates what skill sets and attitudes will be needed to thrive in the coming years. Tuesday, June 27, at 7 p.m. Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-364-1919 or visit

The Pox Lover offers the personal history of the turbulent 1990s for this investigative journalist/documentary filmmaker, who was an early member of ACT UP and cofounder of the Lesbian Avengers — and daughter of French-Haitian elites. D’Adesky takes us through a fast-changing East Village during the peak of the AIDS epidemic, before moving on to a Paris rocked with waves of exiles fleeing violence in the Balkans, Haiti and Rwanda fomenting the rise of the right-wing, anti-immigrant National Front. Thursday, June 29, at 6:30 p.m. Kramerbooks, 1517 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-387-1400 or visit

The Library of Congress offers the last in its “Pride in the Library” series of LGBTQ-themed activities with a reading by the author of How I Learned to Survive a Plague. Unlike his 2012 Oscar-nominated documentary of the same name, the book tackles the AIDS epidemic with a clear central voice. Readers view the early years of the epidemic from his perspective, as both a journalist covering anti-AIDS activists, many of them in a life-or-death struggle, and as someone whose partner eventually died of the disease — something that made writing the book much tougher than anticipated. “It was devastating, and very difficult,” he told Metro Weekly earlier this year. “It sent me into therapy. I’m in my mid-50s, I’d never been to therapy in my life.” Book signing follows the discussion, presented in association with Capital Pride and LC-GLOBE. Wednesday, June 28, at 12 p.m. Mary Pickford Theater in the Library of Congress’s James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free. Call 202-707-5000 or visit


Ten artists of various disciplinary backgrounds are represented in this exhibit exploring the connections between contemporary art and diverse areas of study, from natural history and biology to science and technology to dance and music. Additionally, the upstairs Wyatt Resident Artists Gallery offers the concurrent exhibition Memoryscape, featuring the layered, often playful paintings and embroidery on fabric and paper by Jung Min Park that play with the boundaries between reality and illusion. Opening Night, which includes a performance by artist Lorenzo Cardim and a projection on the lawn by Brian Davis, is Saturday, June 24, from 6 to 9 p.m. On exhibit through Oct. 1. Arlington Arts Center, 3550 Wilson Blvd. Free. Call 703-248-6800 or visit

The summer edition of the seasonal art series at the Coldwell Banker Dupont/Logan office focuses on recent works by three Mid City Artists: Michael Crossett and his mixed-media images of D.C. neighborhoods juxtaposed with cultural signifiers, Charlie Gaynor’s photographs of cities and people drawn from around the world, and Mark Parascandola and his photographs of abandoned sets and buildings in southern Spain used by Hollywood filmmakers in the ’60s and ’70s. Opening reception is Thursday, June 22, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. On exhibit through August. Coldwell Banker, 1617 14th St. NW. Call 202-387-6180 or visit

Transformer offers a group exhibition of works on paper, sculpture and performance that seek to challenge the societal norms and restraints imposed on the female form. Works in Bloodlines tow the line between fascination and repulsion in directly addressing the stigmas associated with a woman’s menstrual cycle. That includes works by Samera Paz and Iman Person who use their own menstrual blood as a medium. Meanwhile, Lisa Hill’s installation references the invisible inheritance passed down from mother to offspring by reproducing the shedding, scarring and regeneration of skin on handmade paper. The non-performative works are on display through June 24. Transformer, 1404 P St. NW. Call 202-483-1102 or visit

Works by three artists are on display at Dupont’s Studio Gallery, including abstract works by Thierry Guillemin and Suzanne Goldberg. Yet it’s photographs by Anthes from New York’s Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital and the Ansonia Copper Brass factory that are likely to have the most lasting impression. The hospital and factory are now silent and abandoned and revealed by pale light streaming through broken windows and missing doors. The evocative photographs are meant as a tribute “to the brave patients and dedicated staff at the hospital, and to the tireless metal workers,” the artist says in a statement. Artist Reception is Saturday, June 24, from 4 to 6 p.m., while First Friday is July 7, from 6 to 8 p.m. Runs to July 15. Studio Gallery, 2108 R St. NW. Call 202-232-8734 or visit

One of the most innovative enamelists of the 20th century, June Schwarcz gets the retrospective treatment in a new exhibition that details her career, spanning more than 60 years until her death in 2015. Smithsonian curators selected nearly 60 artworks, several of which have never been publicly seen, to demonstrate her technical innovations as well as her variety, from vessels and three-dimensional objects to wall-mounted plaques and panels. Opens Friday, March 10. Through Aug. 27. Renwick Gallery, Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW. Free. Call 202-633-1000 or visit

An exploration into how Shakespeare’s words have inspired visual artists, as seen in pictures, oil sketches and paintings from the Folger’s collection. Why is there visual art in a library? Because collectors Henry and Emily Folger understood that it takes more than books and manuscripts alone to understand Shakespeare and his era. On exhibit through Feb. 17. Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Call 202-544-7077 or visit

In his first ever solo exhibition, this D.C.-based photographer/videographer, currently an assistant producer at UDC-TV, shares images captured over the past two years focused on the city’s less fortunate. As the cost of the living has skyrocketed in D.C., so too has the rate of homelessness — and through Brown’s images, you can see some of the individuals who’ve gotten the short end of the stick. Now to Aug. 5, with an East of the River Panel Discussion set for July 13, from 6 to 9 p.m. Vivid Solutions Gallery in the Anacostia Arts Center, 1231 Good Hope Road SE. Call 202-631-6291 or visit


Now through Sunday, June 25, Executive Chef Brant Tesky serves a $33 three-course BBQ feast of Bourbon Bacon Sliders with Caramelized Onions, Brisket and Ribs with Acadiana BBQ Sauce accompanied by Collard Greens with Benton’s Bacon Red Beans & Rice Cornbread, and Banana Cream Pie — “served Southern-style on one plate.” Acadiana, 901 New York Ave. NW. Call 202-408-8848 or visit

A week of activities celebrating American independence at the National Archives launches with this “History Happy Hour” led by the Archives Foundation’s Chief Spirits Advisor Derek Brown. Co-sponsored by The Tasting Panel magazine, eight top mixologists will create original concoctions inspired by classic American cocktails and reviewed by a panel of judges — and available for guests to taste. Thursday, June 29, at 7 p.m. National Archives Museum, Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets NW. NW. Tickets are $70, or $60 for Foundation members. Call 202-357-5000 or visit

Two weeks after Capital Pride, this festival takes over the same stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the U.S. Capitol for a solid two days of taking pride in everything barbecue. One of the largest food festivals in the country, now in its 25th year, the Giant Barbecue Battle draws cooks from across the country for the chance to win over $40,000 in cash and prizes and bragging rights as America’s National Barbecue Champion. BBQ Pitmasters are the Celebrity Chefs at this event, where 30 musical acts will perform from three stages. A Sampling Pavilion, Local Flavors Tent and Beverage Gardens serving alcohol complete the experience. Saturday, June 24, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, June 25, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pennsylvania Avenue between 3rd and 7th Streets NW. Tickets are $12 per day or $20 for both, plus an additional $20 for beverages; VIP BBQ Party Passes run $85 to $145. Visit

A week after launching the first annual Petworth Pride celebration, the neighborhood’s new Mexican eatery from the DC Empanadas crew presents its first last-Saturday-of-the-month drag brunch. Desiree Dik hosts a show featuring queens Bombalicious Eklaver and Jasmine Tea, who perform while guests eat dishes including churro French toast, chilaquiles and Taqueria’s signature tacos, washed down with $6 mimosas, Bloody Marys and Absolut vodka cocktails. Two seatings Saturday, June 24 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. 821 Upshur St. NW. No cover charge, but reservations encouraged. Call 202-723-0200 or visit


Local promoter Brightest Young Things hosts an “exclusive tourist-free, all-access, party-time takeover” of the National Museum of American History. The primary occasion is to celebrate America’s birthday, but it also doubles as a party honoring what would have been the 100th birthday of JFK. Megan James, the vocalist of the Canadian electronic duo Purity Ring, plays DJ for the event which includes open bar on Skyy Vodka, Wild Turkey Bourbon and Appleton Estate Rum cocktails compliments of Cafe Saint-Ex and lite bites from restaurants including Awkpie, Sospeso, Highline RXR and Franklin Hall. There will also be short TED-style talks courtesy of the Washington Post, including Claire Jerry on “JFK: A New Speaker for a New Generation,” Shannon Perich, “JFK Through the Lens of Richard Avedon,” Peter Manseau, “Fear of a Catholic President,” and Steve Olikara, “Passing the Torch to a New Generation of Americans.” And on the outdoor terrace, there will be a face painter, caricature artist, a scavenger hunt and roaming performers — plus, of course, a photobooth and Instagram printer. In addition, the gift shop will be open. Saturday, July 1, from 7 to 11 p.m. National Museum of American History, 14th St. and Constitution Ave. NW. Tickets are $45 to $65. Call 202-633-1000 or visit


It’s not everyday you can sing karaoke supported by a live band, although in recent years it has become more popular. Silly props and extra surprises, plus a “Gong Show Karaoke Contest” add to the dynamic experience of a HariKaraoke Band show, co-hosted by drag queen Shaunda Leer. The next show is LGBTQ-themed and includes drink specials and prizes including a bar tab at host venue the DC Eagle. Sunday, June 25, from 4 to 8 p.m. 3701 Benning Rd. NE. Call 202-347-6025 or visit

The home of America’s founding documents will be open extended hours, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., the entire week of July 4th through July 6th, but the museum offers special programming on America’s birthday. The day commences at 10 a.m. with a Declaration of Independence Reading Ceremony hosted by Allison Seymour of Fox 5 News and featuring remarks by Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero and Laura W. Murphy, a civil liberties leader and descendant of Declaration signer Philip Livingston, reenactors portraying historical characters, and performances by Caleb Green and the Fife and Drum Corps and the presentation of colors by the Continental Color Guard. All of that is followed by the National Independence Day Parade at 11:45 a.m., plus a day full of hands-on activities and reenactors in the Boeing Learning Center. Other activities scheduled for the week are “Global Spirits: American Cocktails” on Thursday, June 29 (see separate entry), and a reading of Frederick Douglass’ essay “The Meaning of July 4th for the Negro” on Monday, July 3, at 1 p.m. The schedule for live music on the Archives steps includes: the United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps on Friday, June 30, at 12 p.m., Batala Washington Saturday, July 1, at 1 p.m., the Singing Capital Chorus Sunday, July 2, at 12 p.m., GottaSwing Monday, July 3, at 5 p.m., and Brass Connection Tuesday, July 4, at 9 and 11 a.m. Also there will be free tastings of American Heritage-company chocolate near the Archives Store Saturday, July 1, and Sunday, July 2, until 4 p.m. Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets NW. NW. Call 202-357-5000 or visit

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Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @ruleonwriting.

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