Metro Weekly

Out on the Town: D.C. arts & entertainment calendar, July 20-26, 2017

Your weekly guide to everything film, stage, dance, music and more!



On the surface, Arrival appears to be yet another film about first contact with aliens, but it quickly deepens into something far more profound, permeating almost every conceivable level. A lot of this has to do with star Amy Adams, magnificent as a linguist brought in to decipher an alien language. Later this year, we’ll see director Denis Villeneuve’s latest work, Blade Runner 2049, which should be the pinnacle film of 2017. For now, relive this eight-time Oscar-nominated work, one of the best of last year, as part of the Capitol Riverfront Outdoor Film Series. Thursday, July 27. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. with screening at sundown, approximately 8:30 p.m. Visit (Randy Shulman)

Christopher Nolan tackles one of the most pivotal moments of the Second World War, as thousands of Allied troops were rescued from Dunkirk, France, while surrounded by the German Army. Tom Hardy, Mary Rylance, Kenneth Branagh and Cillian Murphy are all on board, in what looks set to be a thrilling, emotional, true-life drama. Opens Friday, July 21. Area theaters. Visit (Rhuaridh Marr)

Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall and Tiffany Haddish lead this R-rated comedy about four friends reuniting for a trip to New Orleans’ Essence Festival. Expect sex, swearing, alcohol, handsome men, and pretty much all the other good things in life. Opens Friday, July 21. Area theaters. Visit (RM)

Two of last year’s most noteworthy films screen back to back as part of this summer’s week-long Bethesda Outdoor Movies series. First up is Hidden Figures, on Friday, July 21, starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae. The Oscar-nominated, feel-good drama focuses on the untold story of three female African-American NASA employees, who helped launch astronaut John Glenn into orbit. Then, on Saturday, July 22, comes Damien Chazelle’s old-fashioned movie musical La La Land, featuring an an infectious score and a lithe, lovely performances by Emma Stone. Screenings start at 9 p.m. on both nights. Woodmont Triangle, corner of Norfolk and Auburn Avenues. Free. Call 301-215-6660 or visit

Based on the multi-million selling French comic Valérian and Laureline, Luc Besson’s sci-fi epic follows Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne), two special operatives tasked with maintaining order in the universe. Naturally, order is not maintained, as intergalactic city Alpha — with residents from every corner of the universe — descends into chaos when unseen forces threaten the very existence of the human race. Opens Friday, July 21. Area theaters. Visit (RM)

Olney Theatre: My Fair Lady — Photo: Stan Barouh


MetroStage presents a return engagement of Janet Langhart Cohen’s play that imagines a conversation between two famous teenage victims of racial intolerance and hatred, Anne Frank and Emmett Till. Styled as an uplifting tribute, Anne & Emmett, which the Alexandria theater offered in 2015 and has since been performed around the country, is a reminder and a call to action to repair the world, or “tikkun olam” in Hebrew. Opens Friday, July 28. Runs to July 30. MetroStage, 1201 North Royal St., Alexandria. Tickets are $35. Call 703-548-9044 or visit

The fledgling, millennial-focused Monumental Theatre offers a run of Frank Wildhorn, Don Black and Ivan Menchell’s musical that relates the love-fueled crime spree of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, which was a national fascination during the Great Depression. The show was a flop, lasting only four weeks on Broadway in 2011, but it still managed to snag two Tony nominations, including one for Wildhorn and Black for Best Original Score. Ryan Maxwell helms the Monumental production, with music direction by Paige Rammelkamp and choreography by Melrose Pyne. Now to July 31. Ainslie Arts Center in Episcopal High School, 3900 W. Braddock Rd. Call 703-933-3000 or visit

Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall joined forces to create this 1998 Tony Award-winning production of the Kander and Ebb classic featuring a book by Joe Masterhoff. To Aug. 6. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $59 to $149. Call 202-467-4600 or visit

The 85 productions in this year’s Fringe Festival aren’t curated, with available slots filled on a first-come, first-served basis, but that shouldn’t stop you from taking a plunge. Shows with LGBTQ interest include Melissa Kaplan’s Daggers Mackenzie, a one-woman, lesbian, knife-juggling rock opera, and Penny Sterling’s compelling Spy in the House of Men, a one-woman show about a woman who was conceived with a pesky “Y” chromosome and crashed the party in the prosperous yet hidebound little town of Corning, New York. The festival runs to July 30. The Logan Fringe Arts Space, at 1358 Florida Ave. NE, serves as the central hub, but performances are in various locations. Tickets are $17 per show, plus a one-time purchase of a $7 Fringe button. Multi-show passes range from $60 to $320. Call 866-811-4111 or visit

Lanie Robertson’s play with music focuses on the life of jazz legend Billie Holiday, taking place at a run-down bar in South Philadelphia a few months before Holiday’s death. Tom Flatt directs star Anya Nebel and a live jazz combo with additional accompaniment by LeVar Betts. Now to Aug. 6. Anacostia Playhouse, 2020 Shannon Place SE. Tickets are $30 to $40. Call 202-241-2539 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. Extended to Aug. 6. Olney Theatre Center, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Call 301-924-3400 or visit

A wry look at the nature of belief in our current changing times, Carly Mensch’s comedy focuses on a secular Brooklyn couple who become unmoored when their 17-year-old daughter decides to become a Christian. Presented by Unexpected Stage, the play challenges assumptions about parenting, religion and the nature of spirituality. Zach Brewster-Geisz, Jonathan Frye, Ruthie Rado and Mindy Shaw star. To Aug. 6. The Fireside Room in the River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 6301 River Road in Bethesda. Tickets are $10 to $27.50. Call 301-337-8290 or visit

Was Cain a criminal? That’s the question hovering over this devised theatrical work from Synetic Theater, a neo-surrealist distillation of human history. Paata Tsikurishvili directs a large ensemble of Synetic veterans including Ryan Sellers, Dallas Tolentino, Philip Fletcher, Kathy Gordon and Irina Kavsadze, plus newcomer Megan Khaziran. Opens Thursday, July 20, at 8 p.m. To Aug. 13. Theater at Crystal City or Vornado/Charles E. Smith], 1800 South Bell St., Arlington. Call 800-494-8497 or visit

Two years after its world premiere — and a year after its subject died — Arena Stage revives John Strand’s play about one of the biggest enemies to the LGBTQ cause and civil rights in general: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Helen Hayes Award-winner Edward Gero reprises his critically-acclaimed role. To July 30. In Arena’s Kreeger Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Call 202-488-3300 or visit

George Stevens, Jr. wrote this play about the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, portrayed by Brian Anthony Wilson. Walter Dallas directs Brian Anthony Wilson in a one-man show that explores the long journey toward justice that began with Brown v. Board of Education. In previews. Opens Saturday, July 22, at 7:45 p.m. Runs to Aug. 20. Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab at Olney Theatre Center, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Call 301-924-3400 or visit

Playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney, who wrote the work on which the Oscar-winning Moonlight was based, updates an earlier work inspired by African-American drag ball culture and its competitive dance-offs. Kent Gash directs the Studio X production, staged as an underground pageant complete with catwalk, created couture, and a cash bar. Jaysen Wright, Michael Kevin Darnall and Alex Mills lead the 11-person cast. Now to Aug. 6. Studio Theatre, 14th & P Streets NW. Tickets are $45 to $55. Call 202-332-3300 or visit

Diana Ross


The summer cabaret series at ArtSpace Falls Church runs every weekend through September 23 and features shows by Kathy Halenda, Dani Stoller, Jim Van Slyke, Clifton Walker III, Will Mark Stevenson, and Stephen Gregory Smith. The series continues with Helen Hayes Award winner Iyona Blake in “People,” on Friday, July 21, and Saturday, July 22, at 8 p.m., and “Sandy Bainum Is Still Ever Blondeward,” a tribute to a bevy of blondes, from Marilyn Monroe to Barbara Cook to Doris Day, on Friday, July 28, and Saturday, July 29, at 8 p.m. ArtSpace Falls Church, 410 South Maple Ave. in Falls Church. Tickets are $18 to $20 per show, or $55 for a table for two with wine and $110 for four with wine. Call 703-436-9948 or visit

Earlier this year, we had the chance to see a bona fide legend in concert (that would be Barbra). Why not go for a twofer with Diana Ross, who, even after all these years, still has the pipes, the power, and the stage charisma to bring an audience to its knees or to its feet. The Lady returns to the area to relive her Motown hits and disco classics on Tuesday, July 25, at 8 p.m. The Filene Center at Wolf Trap, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $35 to $85. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit

The five-piece, string-based jam band from Kalamazoo, Michigan, tours in support of Shouted, Written Down & Quoted, a passionate, romping set released last fall. The progressive bluegrass group, which alternately styles itself as either a drum-less rock band or a rock-and-roll bluegrass band, is known for its fiery live show, and fans who travel the country to see them are referred to as Campers. After an impressive feat of selling out a three-night run at the 9:30 Club in February, the group, led by mandolin player Paul Hoffman and guitarist Dave Bruzza, was tapped as the first to headline Merriweather’s new Chrysalis Stage, across the lawn from the storied, 50-year-old pavilion. Saturday, July 22. Gates at 4:30 p.m. Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia, Md. Tickets are $40. Call 800-551-SEAT or visit

Kelly Corcoran conducts the National Symphony Orchestra and the Linked Vocal Ensemble in an exploration of the innovative music and mesmerizing moments from the hit videogame series. Footage from the games will be displayed on giant, high-definition screens in-house and on the lawn at the Filene Center. Fans are encouraged to dress up. Saturday, July 22, at 8:30 p.m. Wolf Trap, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $35 to $58. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit

NPR has called them “cathartic pop prodigies,” and now the classically minded singer-songwriters are teaming up for a one-night-only concert under the stars. Wednesday, July 26, at 8 p.m. The Filene Center at Wolf Trap, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $35 to $65. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit

Signature’s annual cabaret series features mostly musical actors known from productions at the Shirlington complex. Among those performing in the series’ final weekend: Liam Forde with “A Jubilee” on Thursday, July 20, at 8 p.m., Robbie Schaefer with “Coming Home” on Friday, July 21, at 7 and 9 p.m., Sam Ludwig & David Landstrom with “You and Me, But Mostly Me,” on Saturday, July 22, at 7 p.m., and the perennially popular “Revenge of the Understudies” on Saturday, July 22, at 9 p.m. The Ark at 4200 Campbell Ave., in Arlington. Tickets are $35 per show. Call 703-820-9771 or visit


The Faces of Goddess Earth visualizes the spiritual cycle from creation to liberation and centers on the earth goddess Garbini. Founded by co-artistic directors Kasi Aysola and Madhvi Venkatesh, Prakriti uses the movement of vocabulary of the Indian classical dance form Bharata Natyam to communicate inspirations from nature, philosophy and human experience, explored through multifaceted presentations interwoven with lyrics, dance and visual design. Saturday, July 22, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, July 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


The Kennedy Center presents a second year of the comedy festival, once again led by a month-long run of a Second City show. Among the one-night-only highlights over the course of the three-day main festival: A free Stand-up Showcase with rising comics from around the country as organized by D.C.’s Underground Comedy, on Thursday, June 20, at 6 p.m.; Jane Krakowski and Tituss Burgess with the NSO Pops, on Thursday, June 20, at 8 p.m.; an interview with civil rights activist and organizer DeRay McKesson conducted by actor Michael Ian Black, on Thursday, July 20, at 8:30 p.m.; Puddles Pity Party on Friday, July 21, at 7 and 10 p.m.; The Daily Show Correspondents Stand-Up Tour featuring Roy Wood Jr., Ronny Chieng and Gina Yashere, on Friday, July 21, at 8 p.m., the Improvised Shakespeare Co. on Saturday, July 22, at 5 and 9:30 p.m., Aparna Nancherla & Friends on Saturday, July 22, at 6 p.m., and Louie Anderson on Saturday, July 22, at 7 p.m. Call 202-467-4600 or visit

The Kennedy Center welcomes back famed comedy troupe The Second City for an update to last year’s popular 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 the second annual District of Comedy Festival (see separate entry). To Aug. 13. Kennedy Center Theater Lab. Tickets are $49 to $69. Call 202-467-4600 or visit

No two performances are alike when performed by the Washington Improv Theater, D.C.’s answer to comedy star-making groups such as Chicago’s Second City and L.A.’s Groundlings. Over the next month, the organization offers a run of summer school-themed shows featuring a different mix of WIT improvising ensembles, including Bottom Shelf, Man Feelings and Jive Turkey, plus a cast of performers known as the Stovetron in “Rainy Day S’mores on the Stove.” To Aug. 6. Source, 1835 14th St. NW. Tickets are $12 in advance, or $15 at the door. Call 202-204-7770 or visit


In addition to incorporating the Textile Museum, the recently opened George Washington University Museum also houses the Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection. The exhibition A Collector’s Vision serves as a perfect introduction to the collection, featuring maps and prints, rare letters, photographs and drawings documenting the history of Washington, D.C. and donated by Small in 2011. Ongoing. The George Washington University Museum, 701 21st St. NW. Call 202-994-5200 or visit

The Summer exhibition at the Goldman Gallery at Rockville’s Jewish Community Center, this group show features nature-focused works by Pauline Jakobsberg, Miguel Perez Lem, Felisa Federman, Nancy Nesvet and Terry Svat. To Aug. 13. The Goldman Gallery in the Bender Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, 6125 Montrose Rd., Rockville. Call 301-881-0100 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

Susan Calloway Fine Arts presents a group show featuring artists whose works try to reconcile the dichotomy between intimacy and isolation that city life encompasses. Featuring works in a range of media by Rogers Naylor, Steven S. Walker, Leslie Nolan, John Sandy, Charles Ross, and Lindsay Mullen. Now to Aug. 5. Susan Calloway Fine Arts, 1643 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Call 202-965-4601 or visit

One of Germany’s most prominent and provocative living artists is celebrated at two D.C. museums with two distinct but complementary displays of the neo-expressionist’s works. Taken together, the exhibitions at the Hirshhorn Museum and the Phillips Collection mark the first in-depth U.S. survey of Lupertz’s practice, and the two museums have teamed up for a joint catalog. Evelyn Hankins curates the Hirshhorn show, Threads of History, offering an in-depth exploration of his early years and over 30 groundbreaking paintings from the ’60s and ’70s, including the 40-foot-long Westwall (Siegfried Line), on view for the first time in the U.S. Runs to Sept. 10. Hirshhorn Museum, Independence Avenue and Seventh Street SW. Free. Call 202-633-1000 or visit Nearly 50 works are in the comprehensive survey at the Phillips curated by Dorothy Kosinski in close collaboration with Lupertz and Michael Werner and including works spanning his career, including important examples from his “dithyrambic” pictures and provocative paintings of German motifs. Runs to Sept. 20. The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st St. NW. Tickets $12. Call 202-387-2151 x247 or visit

One of the monumental engineering achievements in history, the Great Inka Road is a network of more than 20,000 miles, crossing mountains and tropical lowlands, rivers and deserts, linking the Inca capital Cusco with the farthest reaches of its empire — and it still serves Andean communities today in Colombia, Ecuador, Perú, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile. This exhibition explores the legacy of the Inka Empire and technological feat of the road, recognized by the United Nations as a World Heritage site in 2014. Through April 2018. National Museum of the American Indian, Independence Avenue at 4th Street SW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit

The city’s swanky leather/fetish complex features its next exhibition of erotic imagery in the mezzanine of its second-floor Eagle Leathers shop, subtitled Immortalizing the Male Figure in Art. Included in the show is regular Metro Weekly contributor Scott G. Brooks, as well as works by Nathanael Absher, Dale Alward, Grant Arnold Anderson, Russ Bloomquist, Scott Chapman, Damien Cheeks, Eric D’Alessandro, Tim Goeke, Jasjyot Singh Hans, Dorian Holliday, Doug Johnson, Jimmy Malone, Dave Marquardt and Ryan Thibeault. Closes Sunday, July 23. The Gallery at Baltimore Eagle, 2022 N. Charles St. Call 410-200-9858 or visit

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. On display through Oct. 15. Conservatory Terrace and East Gallery, 100 Maryland Ave. SW. Call 202-225-8333 or visit


Radiator, formerly the Helix, the floor-level restaurant at Kimpton’s Logan Circle hotel, is taking over the scenic rooftop with a patriotic pop-up. Chef Jonathan Dearden offers a full menu of hot dogs, from kosher to veggie to masa corn, which can be washed down with concoctions from bartender Sarah Rosner including a red, white and blue sangria (made with white wine, cherries and blueberries), and frozen whiskey Cokes. Throughout July. 1430 Rhode Island Ave. NW. Call 202-742-3100 or visit


Shi-Queeta-Lee has moved on up to the Kennedy Center with her group of local drag queens — and the occasional king — paying tribute to the likes of Tina Turner, Beyonce, Diana Ross, Chaka Khan, Whitney Houston, Marvin Gaye, and Liza Minnelli. Thursday, July 27, at 6 p.m. Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. Free. Call 202-467-4600 or visit

Billed as the nation’s largest free arts festival, Artscape attracts more than 350,000 people to Baltimore neighborhoods Bolton Hill and Station North to take in fine/textile art in every medium — from visual to fashion to sculpture, with more than 150 artists represented. There are also multiple stages offering performances of live music from regional and nationally known acts. Maryland restaurants and bars also participate in an event co-produced by the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts and the Baltimore Festival of the Arts. This year’s theme is “Camp Artscape: Adventure Awaits.” Friday, July 21, through Sunday, July 23. Mount Royal Avenue and Cathedral Street, Baltimore. Free. Call 410-752-8632 or visit

Comedy writers Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher, whose credits include Late Show with David Letterman, The Colbert Report and The Onion, return for another round of a festival that features found videos and live comedy drawn from garage sales, thrift stores, warehouses, and dumpsters around the country — including curiously produced industrial training videos and cheesy exercise tapes. Friday, July 28, at 8 p.m. Arlington Cinema N’ Drafthouse, 2903 Columbia Pike, Arlington. Tickets are $13. Call 703-486-2345 or visit

A local actor offers the guided tour Investigation: Detective McDevitt, portraying Detective James McDevitt, a D.C. police officer patrolling a half-block from Ford’s Theatre the night President Lincoln was shot. Written by Richard Hellesen and directed by Mark Ramont, the 1.6-mile walking tour revisits and reexamines the sites and clues from the investigation into the assassination. Tours are offered approximately three evenings a week at 6:45 p.m. Ford’s Theatre, 511 10th St. NW. Tickets are $17. Call 202-397-7328 or visit

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

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