Metro Weekly

Out on the Town: D.C. arts and entertainment guide for June 8-14

American Film Institute Kyle O’Connor: Anatomy of a Male Ballet Dancer


The focus of the DC Center’s Capturing Fire program is on performance-based short-form slams, a form of American political theater in which poets typically share personal stories and touch on important issues through their original, impactful compositions. A panel of judges then votes for best poet. The event kicks off with “Queer Squared: An Evening of Dynamic Duos,” featuring J Mase II and Kukomo as #BlackTransMagick and All Her Muses with Natalie E. Illum and Grey Jacks, on Friday, June 9, at 9 p.m., at Coffy Cafe, 3310 14th St. NW. The main event is Saturday, June 10, with a semi-final at 6 p.m. and then a final at 9 p.m. at Busboys & Poets, 2021 14th St. NW. An AllPass is $75, or individual slam tickets $10 to $20. Call 202-682-2245 or visit

The Library of Congress toasts Capital Pride with several explicitly LGBTQ-themed discussions, including a reading at the end of June by David France, author of How I Learned to Survive a Plague. Next is an Oral History Workshop hosted by the Library’s Veterans History Project at the American Folklife Center, designed to give attendees hands-on training in conducting oral histories, with a focus on LGBTQ+ veterans and service members. Friday, June 9, at noon. LJ-139 B, Thomas Jefferson Building, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free. Call 202-707-5000 or visit

Seven LGBTQ Olympic, professional and collegiate athletes in lacrosse, swimming, soccer, water polo, and tennis are set to take part in a photo reception at the U Street Vida Fitness. The event is organized by Athlete Ally, which works to combat homophobia and transphobia in sports. The athletes will also appear on the Vida float in the Capital Pride parade later that day and at the Equality March for Unity & Pride the next. They include Colin Shaw of Wagner College; 2012 Olympic Trials Qualifier Cooper Robinson of Texas Christian University; 2012 U.S. Women’s Olympic Soccer Player Lori Lindsey of the University of Virginia; Michael Martin of West Virginia University; Anthony Covell of Penn State University; Ashley Dai of the University of North Carolina; and Shamila Kohestani, captain of Women’s National Soccer team in Afghanistan and recipient of the 2006 Arthur Ashe Courage Award. Saturday, June 10, at noon. Vida Fitness Lobby, 1612 U St. NW. Call 202-939-2577 or visit

Rabbis Shira and Laurie Green of Bet Mishpachah and members of GLOE at the Edlavitch DCJCC lead an inclusive service celebrating the diversity of the LGBTQ community on the night before the Capital Pride Parade. The festivities begin with a happy hour at 6:15 p.m., followed by a Joyous Shabbat service at 7:15 p.m., and then a home-cooked kosher dinner followed by Pride-inspired trivia. Friday, June 9. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $15 in advance, or $18 the day of. Call 202-408-3100 or visit

Roxxxy Andrews from RuPaul’s Drag Race and Mike Hot-Pence are two “drag” notables making it an all-day Pride party at Urbana, the Kimpton Hotel Palomar DC’s modern Italian restaurant, at the start of the Capital Pride parade route. The centerpiece of the offerings is Chef Ethan McKee’s Bottomless Brunch, including stations for omelettes, charcuterie, and pizza, with cocktails, craft beers, rainbow Jell-O shots, and Pride-themed Bellinis made by bartender Andrea Tateosian. DJ Trayze will spin popular pride pop tunes from noon for a party that will spill over into the hotel’s banquet space and benefit the Trevor Project. Saturday, June 10, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Urbana, 2121 P St. NW. Tickets are $75, or $95 for VIP with patio access for front-row viewing of the parade. Call 202-956-6650 or visit

The most eclectic and interesting store on 14th Street offers even more reasons to visit during Capital Pride. Among the offerings is an opening reception for Bounty, an exhibit of works by artist Joe Case, Thursday, June 8, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The next day brings the “Hi, I’m Here! Kickoff Party” Friday, June 9, from 6 to 8 p.m. And all day, anyone dressed in drag gets 20-percent off purchases. Miss Pixie’s, 1626 14th St. NW. Call 202-232-8171 or visit

Songbyrd, Adams Morgan’s intimate music complex, featuring a stage, record store, and cafe, presents “A Trans-Bi-Queer Celebration” with a Pride brunch, drink specials and a free concert at 1 p.m. by the Michelle Raymond Band. Also on offer is merchandise for sale by the Outrage, resource tables, queer adult coloring books, and a #Voicegraph photo booth. LGBTQ-themed movies will be projected throughout. There will also be vinyl discounts and features on queer artists. Saturday, June 10, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Upstairs in Songbyrd Music House, 2477 18th St. NW. Call 202-450-2917 or visit

The centerpiece of a month-long LGBTQ Pride series at the Library of Congress is a pop-up display featuring items from the Library’s extensive LGBTQ+ collections and presented by the LC-GLOBE affinity group and Capital Pride. Walt Whitman poetry collections, Leonard Bernstein’s music manuscripts, letters and assorted materials from the father of the local LGBTQ community, Frank Kameny, and original panels from the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt are among items on display. Thursday, June 8, through Saturday, June 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. LJ 113 and LJ 119 in the Thomas Jefferson Building, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free. Call 202-707-5000 or visit

Eric Fanning, the former Secretary of the Army, and Edie Windsor are the honored guests at “The Strength of Pioneers, The Power of Community,” a fundraiser for SAGE, the nation’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of older members of the LGBTQ community. Friday, June 9, from 6 to 8 p.m. Atlantic Plumbing Co. Rooftop, 2112 8th St. NW. Visit to register and more information.


This 2016 documentary from Jon Nguyen, Rick Barnes and Olivia Neergaard-Holm explores the iconic filmmaker’s art, music, career, even his compound above the Hollywood hills, shining a light into the dark corners of his world. It screens as part of AFI’s “Directed by David Lynch” series of films by “the first populist surrealist — a Frank Capra of dream logic,” as described by the late, legendary film critic Pauline Kael. Monday, June 12, at 7 p.m. AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $13. Call 301-495-6720 or visit

Guardians maintains the scrappy, jokesy, lovable nature that made the first film such a huge success — and such a breath of fresh air compared with the slightly stale, formulaic nature of Marvel’s other franchises. With its bold colors, brilliant soundtrack and wonderful array of performances, it was a necessary jolt of adrenaline to the cinematic superhero canon. But three years and a bigger budget later, the originality has diminished. What’s here isn’t fresh, though it’s still very palatable. Now playing. Area theaters. Visit (Rhuaridh Marr)

This year’s documentary film festival hosted by the American Film Institute includes four LGBTQ-themed films: Anatomy of a Dancer, David Barba and James Pellerito’s intimate portrait of American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Marcelo Gomes; Chavela, Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi’s portrait of Mexico’s renowned, uncompromising lesbian folk singer Chavela Vargas; Dries, Reiner Holzemer’s visually sumptuous introduction to influential Belgian fashion designer Dries Van Noten; and Strong Island, Yance Ford’s searing, deeply moving and personal examination about his brother’s death, his acquitted white murderers, and the familial repercussions. The festival runs from June 14 to 18, with screenings at AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, and Landmark E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Tickets are $13 each screening. Call 301-495-6720 or visit

If you prefer period drama to high-gloss, CGI-heavy action, My Cousin Rachel is here to whisk you away to 19th-century Cornwall in England. Based on Daphne du Maurier’s novel, Philip (Sam Claflin) falls in love with his cousin, Rachel (Rachel Weisz), while those around him convince him that she only has her own interests at heart. Opens Friday, June 9. Area theaters. Visit (RM)

Sara Jordeno’s documentary introduces the world to the LGBTQ youth of color leading New York’s subculture Kiki Scene, heralded as today’s version of the Ball Scene that Madonna and Paris Is Burning captured 25 years ago. At least one of the members of the Haus of Pucci is scheduled to join Jordeno for the screening, hosted by Rayceen Pendarvis of The Ask Rayceen Show. Friday, June 16, at 7 and 10 p.m. Studio Theatre, 14th & P Streets NW. Tickets are $12, or $25 for VIP seating as well as one complimentary cocktail, beer or wine and popcorn. Call 202-682-2245 or visit


In the lead-up to its annual festival, Capital Fringe hosts a production of Pallas Theatre’s new musical by Jan Levy Tranen and Jay Schwandt and directed by the company’s Tracey Elaine Chessum. Crazy Mary Lincoln explores the life of First Lady Mary Todd and First Son Robert Todd, following the assassination of the 16th President. Now to June 18. Trinidad Theatre at Capital Fringe, 1358 Florida Ave. NE. Tickets are $25, or $20 for Fringe Button Holders. Call 202-737-7230 or visit

Shana Cooper directs Taylor Mac’s audacious, uproarious black comedy billed as “a kitchen-sink drama covered in glitter.” The story focuses on an Iraqi war veteran who returns to his childhood home and discovers that his family has transformed, from a formerly timid mother out to subvert the patriarchy, to a sister who is now a genderqueer anarchist, to a father who now wears clown makeup. Emily Townley and Mitch Hebert are part of the cast. To June 18. Woolly Mammoth, 641 D St. NW. Call 202-393-3939 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. In previews. Opens Monday, June 12, at 7:30 p.m. Runs 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 as the genre of jazz was just 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. To 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 a 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. To June 25. Gunston Arts Center, 2700 South Lang St. Arlington. Tickets are $30 to $35. Call 703-418-4808 or visit

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom — Photo: Teresa Castracane

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. Now to June 25 at 1st Stage, 1524 Spring Hill Rd., in Tysons Corner. Tickets are $30. Call 703-854-1856 or visit

Ilona Dulaski stars in Terrence McNally’s love letter to opera great Maria Callas in a new production at Virginia’s MetroStage. Ayana Reed is the Second Soprano (Sharon), a role made famous by Audra McDonald, and Joseph Walsh plays Accompanist while serving as music director. Emily Honzel, Ayana Reed, Daniel Noone and Michael Sharp round out the cast. Nick Olcott directs. Closes Sunday, June 11. MetroStage, 1201 North Royal St., Alexandria. Tickets are $55 to $60. Call 800-494-8497 or visit

A love letter to the thrilling unpredictability of the stage, this famed farce by Tony-winning British playwright Michael Frayn is revived in an Everyman Theatre production directed by Vincent M. Lancisi. Deborah Hazlett and Danny Gavigan lead a cast of eight resident company members portraying a cast of bumbling British thespians, whose backstage buffoonery during a run of the play-within-a-play Nothing On steals the show. You can expect wall-to-wall wackiness, carefully choreographed hijinks and sight gags — including flying sardines — from a comedy that the famed former New York Times theater critic Frank Rich once called “the funniest play written in my lifetime.” To June 18. Everyman Theatre, 315 West Fayette St. Baltimore. Tickets are $43 to $64. Call 410-752-2208 or visit

With echoes of the recent Oscar-nominated film Hidden Figures, Proof explores the uphill climb a woman faces in gaining recognition in the male-dominated field of mathematics, even when she has genetics on her side. Dawn Ursula and Craig Wallace star in David Auburn’s 2001 Tony-winning play by David Auburn. To June 18. Olney Theatre Center, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Call 301-924-3400 or visit

Suburban Maryland community theater troupe the Rude Mechanicals presents an ambitious production subtitled “Shakespeare’s Women in Their Own Words.” Leanne Stump helms a new work that laces together the voices of the most memorable women written by the Bard, from Beatrice’s sharp wit to Juliet’s broken heart. “Though the men take the title, the women oft steal the show,” goes a tagline for the production, which goes even further by letting the “fairer sex” run away with it. Weekends to June 17. Greenbelt Arts Center, 123 Centerway. Greenbelt, Md. Tickets are $22. Call 301-441-8770 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.” The festival launches with A Perfect Arrangement on Friday, June 9, at 8 p.m. and 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

Ted Van Griethuysen stars as an 80-year-old man whose world starts unraveling in an original and moving play from Florian Zeller, one of France’s most prolific contemporary playwrights, translated by two-time Tony Award winner Christopher Hampton. The Father won a Moliere Award, the French equivalent of the Tony, in 2014. Kate Eastwood Norris, Caroline Dubberly, Erika Rose, Manny Buckley, and Daniel Harray also star. David Muse directs. To June 18. Studio Theatre, 14th & P Streets NW. Call 202-332-3300 or visit

Hunchback — Photo: Johnny Shryock

Synetic Theater’s Founding Artistic Director Paata Tsikurishvili brings his mind-bending, cinematic style to Victor Hugo’s gothic, heartbreaking epic — relayed, like many Synetic productions, in wordless fashion, stripped of Hugo’s dialogue. Vato Tsikurishvili is Quasimodo, Phillip Fletcher is Frollo, and Irina Kavsadze is Esmeralda. Closes Sunday, June 11. Synetic Theater, 1800 South Bell St., Arlington. Tickets are $35 to $60. Call 800-494-8497 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. Now 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 2. Lansburgh Theatre, 450 7th St. NW. Call 202-547-1122 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. Previews start Thursday, June 8, at 7:30 p.m. To June 25. ArtSpace Falls Church, 410 South Maple Ave. in Falls Church. Tickets are $30. Call 703-436-9948 or visit

Sparing no expense on lavish parties, expensive gifts and charity, the abundantly generous Timon suffers a downturn of fortune and friendship in Shakespeare’s tragic satire. Director Robert Richmond sets the action in modern times, where technology has taken over and high finance takes place online. Ian Merrill Peakes stars in the final production of Folger Theatre’s 25th anniversary season. Closes Sunday, June 11. Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $35 to $75. Call 202-544-7077 or visit

The culmination of its second season, Mosaic Theater Company presents the 2017 Voices From a Changing Middle East Festival in the 50th year since the Six Day War and the start of the Occupation. The festival launches with Israeli playwright Gilad Evron’s poetic and poignant allegory about an Israeli-Arab ex-teacher’s attempts to sail into Gaza on a raft made of plastic bottles. Serge Seiden directs Michael Kevin Darnall as Ulysses, an anonymous schoolteacher locked in an Israeli prison for a fanciful attempt to smuggle Russian literature to the children of Gaza, and Matthew Boston as an attorney assigned to defend him. Sarah Marshall, Elizabeth Pierotti and Chris Genebach round out the ensemble cast of Ulysses on Bottles, as translated by Evan Fallenberg. Closes Sunday, June 11. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $20 to $60. Call 202-399-7993 or visit


New Orleans’ Preservation Hall Jazz Band will be the special guest when one of Canada’s finest musical exports makes its way to the Verizon Center this fall, less than two weeks after launching its next stadium tour in Quebec City. Arcade Fire’s Infinite Content Tour comes in support of fifth album, Everything Now, due for release July 28 and featuring the rousing title track as first single. Tickets on sale Friday, June 9, at 10 a.m., for concert Saturday, Sept. 16. Verizon Center, 601 F St. NW. Call 202-628-3200 or visit

Marin Alsop pulls out all the stops for a closing concert that is grand in every way, including audience favorite Gil Shaham performing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto. Also on tap is The GAME, a world premiere from Christopher Theofanidis. But the centerpiece is one of Alsop’s signature works, the Symphony No. 3 by Saint-Saens, otherwise known as the “Organ Symphony.” Thursday, June 15, and Friday, June 16, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, June 18, at 3 p.m. Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore. Also Saturday, June 17, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $33 to $99. Call 410-783-8000 or visit

Billed as the fastest-growing jazz festival in the U.S., as well as the largest and most diverse music festival in D.C., the DC Jazz Festival presents over 125 performances at venues around town, from Sixth and I Historic Synagogue to the Kennedy Center. Once again, the most impressive lineup in its 13th year is the slate of outdoor concerts at the Yards over the second weekend, June 16 to 18, including the Robert Glasper Experiment, Kenny Garrett Quintet, Gregory Porter, and Black Violin. Yet DC Jazz Fest also features other jazz notables, from Pat Metheny to Tommy Cecil, Amy Shook to Lena Seikaly, Sun Ra Arkestra to Hiromi & Edmar Castaneda. The festival launches with an opening ceremony featuring Lalah Hathaway on Friday, June 9, at the Howard Theatre, and runs to June 18. Call 855-332-7767 or visit

Recently named by Rolling Stone as an “Artist to Watch,” this dreamy-pop L.A. singer-songwriter tours in support of several promising singles, including “White Noise,” the touching “Little Brother,” and new song “You Don’t Know Me.” Get to know her in one of D.C.’s most intimate new venues. Tuesday, June 13, at 8 p.m. Songbyrd Music House, 2477 18th St. NW. Tickets are $10 to $12. Call 202-450-2917 or visit

Brooklyn’s “retrofuturism” synth-pop act, led by quavering, falsetto-voiced singer Jon Sandler and keyboardist/producer Luke Moellman, tours in support of new set III. Thursday, June 15. Shows at 8 p.m. Rock and Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. Tickets are $15 in advance, or $18 day of show. Call 202-388-ROCK or visit

Septime Webre’s eclectic, often-unexpected performing arts series presents a free, two-hour musical scavenger hunt-style walk around one of D.C.’s most up-and-coming areas of town. Soloists from the Wolf Trap Opera and the Experiential Orchestra will perform 20 short operas and chamber pieces in the industrial area surrounding the hip Edens Center market, starting at noon. Saturday, June 10. Union Market, 1309 5th St. NE. Free. Call 800-680-9095 or visit

As part of its 2017 Artist-in-Residence mentoring program, Strathmore offers solo concerts of its up-and-coming artists. Later this month, this jazz/soul/folk vocalist, a 2015 Helen Hayes Award nominee for her supporting work in Keegan Theatre’s Hair, offers two AIR concerts at Strathmore’s Mansion. But first comes a concert at its dinner cafe in the Pike & Rose complex off Rockville Pike. Wednesday, June 14, at 8 p.m. Amp by Strathmore, 11810 Grand Park Ave. North Bethesda. Tickets are $17. Call 301-581-5100 or visit

Punky, spunky Jessica Hernandez and her band create a joyous, entertaining sound rich with Southern rock, country and blues — as well as Motown influences from their Detroit hometown, plus a little extra thrown in from south of the border, courtesy of rock en español and Hernandez’s roots as an American born to a Cuban father and Mexican mother. Her powerful pipes will sometimes put you in mind of Adele, other times the Gossip’s Beth Ditto, even a little Janis Joplin here and there. She sings in both English and Spanish on the new bilingual sophomore set Telephone/Telefono as a way to show her pride in her duality. Saturday, June 10. Doors at 7 p.m. Songbyrd Music House, 2477 18th St. NW. Tickets are $10 to $12. Call 202-450-2917 or visit

Lizzo — Photo: Jabari Jacobs

It’s quite possible your first glimpse of vocalist Melissa Jefferson’s hip-hop alter-ego came from her rowdy performance last year on the “Post-Election” episode of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. But no matter where you first discover her — such as on Clean Bandit track (“New Eyes”) — you never forget her. Something of an indie Missy Elliott, the party girl, based in Minneapolis, sings and raps in a savvy, winking fashion, offering messages of female empowerment and having full-figured fun (such as her soul-fired hit “Good As Hell”). Friday, June 16. Doors at 8 p.m. Nightclub 9:30, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $20. Call 202-265-0930 or visit

Christoph Eschenbach concludes his nine-year tenure as National Symphony Orchestra’s sixth music director the same way he started it, with Beethoven’s masterwork the Ninth Symphony, featuring mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges, tenor Joseph Kaiser, bass Soloman Howard, Leah Crocetto, and the Choral Arts Society. Also on the program is Bright Sheng’s Zodiac Tales. Thursday, June 15, at 7 p.m., Friday, June 16, and Saturday, June 17, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $15 to $89. Call 202-467-4600 or visit

Still a crazy-genius after all these years, Paul Simon worked with underground Italian dance producer Clap! Clap! on his new set, last year’s Stranger to Stranger. He’ll perform new songs as well as his many classics, including the ’70s folk/pop standards from his days recording with Art Garfunkel. An inspired pairing, Simon is joined at Merriweather with special guest Sarah McLachlan, the Canadian singer whose quiet-storm ballads of the ’90s and aughts left a lasting impression. Friday, June 9. Doors at 6 p.m. Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. Tickets are $55 to $175. Call 800-551-SEAT or visit

Vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Paul Hammer is the principal behind this Brooklyn-based act. Last year’s The Love That Remains is a romantic, melodic and imaginative affair, featuring additional guest vocals from Leah Hayes, Lauren Zettler and Winslow Bright. Savoir Adore pops down to D.C. on the eve of a performance at Firefly Music Festival (see separate entry). Friday, June 16, at 7 p.m. DC9, 1940 9th St. NW. Tickets are $13 in advance or $15 day of show. Call 202-483-5000 or

A performance part of this year’s DC Jazz Fest (see separate entry), the New York Balkan/Gypsy brass band re-imagines Duke Ellington’s brassy Far East Suite in its style, a mashup also incorporating influences from gospel, techno, funk, dub, jazz, and Latin. Friday, June 16, at 8 p.m. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $28 to $32. Call 202-399-7993 or visit

Arlington’s contemporary chamber opera company presents Sidney Marquez Boquiren and Daniel Neer’s work exploring the troubled journey of race relations in America. Independence Eve focuses on three unrelated scenes, set on July 3 in different urban locations and at different instances over the course of a century, that tell the stories of three black males and three white males struggling with identity and acceptance amidst race issues. Jorell Williams and Brandon Snook star. Remaining dates are Friday, June 9, and Saturday, June 10, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, June 11, at 2 p.m. Ark Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Tickets are $37. Call 703-820-9771 or visit

Founded over a decade ago in North Carolina, Vamsi Tadepalli’s band didn’t explode in popularity until after the King of Pop’s death in 2009. Ever since, this infectious tribute production has regularly offered fans a treat, putting on a show recreating Jackson’s precise synchronized dance routines, in full regalia, from glitzy jackets to glittery gloves. And every year, the show returns to the 9:30 Club in June in honor of Jackson’s death on June 25. Saturday, June 17. Doors at 8 p.m. Nightclub 9:30, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $20. Call 202-265-0930 or visit


A Madrid-born ballet dancer, San Miguel offers tales about her upbringing amidst performances with partner Gian Carlo Perez focused on the repertoire of this New York-birthed, D.C.-based dance company. The evening, also featuring the company’s string quartet and guest musicians, is a preview of the upcoming fourth season. It concludes with a reception featuring San Miguel’s old family recipe for sangria. Wednesday, June 14, at 6 p.m. Former Residence of the Ambassador of Spain, 2801 16th St. NW. Tickets are $15. Call 202-499-2297 or visit

Octavia’s Brood: Riding the Ox Home is an immersive, site-based work inspired by the prophetic envisioning of racial justice by Octavia Butler of “visionary fiction” fame and the Underground Railroad’s Harriet Tubman. A contemporary adaptation of Spike Lee’s 1988 film School Daze by a graduate teaching fellow at the University of Maryland, the dance leaps back and forth through time, landing between antebellum Maryland of the mid-1800s and an unknown place and date in the future. Friday, June 16, and Saturday, June 17, at 8 p.m. Dance Place, 3225 8th St. NE. Tickets are $30, or $25 one week in advance. Call 202-269-1600 or visit

For its annual engagement at the Kennedy Center, the renowned company offers two programs of repertory including four D.C. premieres by standout contemporary choreographers Alexei Ratmansky, Justin Peck and Christopher Wheeldon, and all accompanied by the New York City Ballet Orchestra. Remaining performances Thursday, June 8, through Saturday, June 10, at 7:30 p.m. Also Saturday, June 10, and Sunday, June 11, at 1:30 p.m. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $29. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


Wendy Wrobleski, a DC Improv regular, offers jokes along with D.C.-based U.S. war veterans Haywood Turnipseed and Michael Garvey, with his service dog Liberty, at “A Night of 1000 Laughs.” The benefit comedy show is the latest in a series from Improbable Comedy, this one supporting the anti-poverty nonprofit A Wider Circle. Saturday, June 10, at 8 p.m. American Legion Post 41: Cissel-Saxon, 905 Sligo Ave., Silver Spring. Tickets are $20 online, or $25 at the door. Call 301-588-8937 or visit

A cast member on MTV2’s Joking Off who has been featured on Adam Devine’s House Party, the Chicago-bred stand-up comic comes to D.C. for a free show, part of the Millennium Stage programming as well as the “Comedy at the Kennedy Center” series. Tuesday, June 13, at 6 p.m. Family Theater. Tickets are free and distributed, up to two per person, in the Hall of States starting at approximately 5 p.m. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


Authors Chimamanda Adichie (We Are All Feminists Now), Michael Eric Dyson (Tears We Cannot Stop), David Ebershoff (The Danish Girl) and Alec Ross (Industries of the Future), plus a Summer Reading Media Panel moderated by NPR’s Petra Mayer, are just the headline attractions at the inaugural book festival presented by the Downtown Columbia Partnership of Maryland as part of a Columbia 50th Birthday Event. The Howard County Library System and Politics & Prose are partners in this event, including readings, panel discussions, a children’s author tent, poetry wall, and pop-up bookstore. Sunday, June 11, from 12 to 5 p.m. The Chrysalis in Merriweather Park, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. Free. Call 443-539-8468 or visit


Friends and Fashion paints a captivating picture of diplomatic life in early 19th century St. Petersburg, based on an album of watercolors assembled by the family of politician and statesman Henry Middleton. The collection was acquired by Hillwood in 2004 and conserved in 2015, but this marks the first time the fascinating set is presented in its entirety. Closes Sunday, June 11. Hillwood Estate, 4155 Linnean Ave. NW. Suggested donation is $12. Call 202-686-5807 or visit

An internationally traveling exhibition by French digital artists and “multimedia choreographers” Adrien Mondot and Claire Bardainne launches what a first-of-its-kind interactive digital art museum in D.C. Founded by Sandro Kereselidze and Tatiana Pastukhova of event producer Art Soiree, ArTecHouse, near the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Southwest D.C., is dedicated to showcasing work at the intersection of art and technology. First up is XYZT, an immersive, multisensory, multi-space exhibit featuring, through 10 digital landscapes, experiences from walking on floors that react to movement, to manipulating light particles within a giant digital cube, to blowing into glass boxes and witnessing virtual letters assemble and disassemble as if by magic. Viewed in 45-minute timed-entry sessions daily through Sept. 4. ArTecHouse, 1238 Maryland Ave. SW. Tickets for 45-minute, timed-entry sessions are $15 for daytime or $25 for evening admission. Visit

A selection of the world’s most amazing colored pencil works are featured at this 25th Annual event juried by Joann Moser, the former senior curator of graphic arts at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The exhibition highlights the versatility of this surprisingly vibrant, distinct medium. Lest you doubt it, see the Texas-based artist Jesse Lane, whose attractive features and muscular physique are brought to vivid, photographic-caliber life through stunningly realized self-portraiture. Opening Reception is Sunday, June 11, at 2 p.m. Runs to Aug. 6. The Mansion at Strathmore, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Free. Call 301-581-5100 or visit

Inspired by a young adulthood spent living in the coastal region of southern Norway, the latest artworks by the North Carolina-based artist invoke serenity and represent a place for reflection on his experiences on or near water. Now to July 9. Long View Gallery, 1234 9th St. NW. Call 202-232-4788 or visit

A Touchstone Foundation for the Arts Emerging Artist Fellow, this D.C.-based artist presents autobiographical collages in her latest solo exhibition. Amalgams of historical and personal imagery using a range of materials and methods, the works piece together Block’s struggle growing up queer and her complex identity as a butch lesbian. Now to July 2. Gallery C in Touchstone Gallery, 901 New York Ave. NW. Call 202-347-2787 or visit

A Chicago-reared photography-based artist and longtime LGBTQ ally, Hesh’s latest interactive public art installation consists of six-foot-high turquoise blue letters just waiting for participating passersby to complete the picture by filling in the first “i” in the word “civic” and posing for a photo. The point is to reflect on what we expect from our government and what the government should expect from us. All portraits will be captioned with participants’ opinions and displayed online. Launched in the fall of 2016, the project, part of the Arlington Arts’ initiative “Courthouse 2.0 Reimagining the Civic,” resumes Saturday, June 10, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The sculpture will remain up all summer. Corner of 15th Street N. and North Courthouse Road, Arlington. Call 703-228-1850 or visit


Executive Chef Brant Tesky demonstrates and serves his favorite BBQ dishes at an annual event touted as a good gift for Father’s Day or for anyone who wants to improve their grilling game. The class, a kickoff to Summer BBQ & Grilling Week, costs $85 and is offered Saturday, June 17, from 1 to 3 p.m. From Monday, June 19 to Sunday, June 25, the restaurant offers a $33 three-course 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

Chef Alexander Gut from the main restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton in Pentagon City offers a festive brunch with dad in mind. The focus is on local seafood, from snow crab claws to oysters to a selection of sushi rolls and sashimi, and fresh barbeque. The menu includes cheese and charcuterie carving, an omelette station, sliders and desserts. Sunday, June 18. Fyve in the Ritz-Carlton, 1250 S. Hayes St., Arlington. Tickets are $59, or $39 for those 12 and under. Call 703-412-2762 or visit

Across from the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Penn Quarter, this 160-seat American brasserie, part of the same family as Rasika, Bibiana and the Oval Room, should already be on your shortlist for brunch. On Sundays between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., each diner can choose between an appetizer and entree or sandwich, as well as a special mimosa or bloody Mary, for $28 to $30 each (or $38 with bottomless classic mimosas). Now Executive Chef Matt Kuhn is working to get Nopa on your radar earlier in the weekend as well, with a new dinner menu focused on composed dishes designed for couples, whether lovers or close friends, reasonably priced at $70 for two, before tax and tip. The menu changes weekly, and is available exclusively on Fridays and Saturdays during dinner service, 5 to 11 p.m., subject to availability. Nopa Kitchen+Bar, 800 F St. NW. Call 202-347-4667 or visit


In remembrance of the 2016 Pulse Nightclub massacre, this monthly event from Theatrical Action Series presents a free evening of original short plays, spoken-word pieces and musical interludes offering perspectives from the LGBTQ community. There will also be an open mic portion to the event, hosted by Woolly Mammoth in partnership with the DC Coalition for Theatre & Social Justice. Tuesday, June 13, at 8 p.m. Woolly Mammoth Lobby, 641 D St. NW. Free. Call 202-393-3939 or visit

Founder JS Adams has described the annual experimental music event as “an exploration of expression through audio, the digital arts, performance art and spoken word [with] a non-exclusive curatorial focus towards gay, lesbian, and post gender-identified participants.” This year, Ruth Trevarrow has curated a queer visual art exhibit that runs all month long and two concerts, the second of which, Saturday, June 17, at 8 p.m., focuses on spoken word and digital media, featuring Dan Vera, Joe Belknap Wall, H. Paul Moon, Danielle Evennou, Mark Beazley, Johnny Brown and Inga Yellere. Rhizome DC, 6950 Maple St. NW. Tickets are $10 for the concert. Visit

Billed as the D.C. area’s premier cycling event and now in its 20th year, the Armed Forces Cycling Classic is open to cycling enthusiasts of all abilities, offering professional and amateur races to challenge riders. A benefit for members of the U.S. military, the USA Cycling-sanctioned classic starts Saturday, June 10, in Arlington, with various amateur races and the women’s professional/amateur race in the morning and the pro Men’s Team Invitational for the Clarendon Cup race around noon. The next day begins at 7 a.m. with the three-hour, closed-course Challenge Ride for enthusiasts of all abilities, followed by the race for the Crystal Cup, which determines the weekend’s Omnium competition. There will be free races for children under nine years of age both days. Visit 202-966-0346 or visit for more information.

Through his Halcyon Stage series, Septime Webre directs a one-night-only production featuring vocal and dance soloists conjuring Philip Glass’s composition based on the gothic classic by Edgar Allan Poe. Suggested attire “Poe/Punk.” Saturday, June 17, at 8:30 p.m., with a Meet-the-Artist Reception at 10 p.m. Dock 5 at Union Market, 1309 5th St. NE. Tickets are $40. Call 800-680-9095 or visit

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