Metro Weekly

Out on the Town: D.C. arts & entertainment — September 21-27

Your guide to everything arts and entertainment in D.C. this week!

Beauty and the Beast

In 1973, tennis world champion and feminist and lesbian icon Billie Jean King stunned the world when she bested chauvinist and ex- world champion Bobby Riggs in a tennis match. Emma Stone and Steve Carell are King and Riggs in a biopic that follows King’s struggle to come to terms with her sexuality and the pressure she felt to prove that women’s tennis stood on equal footing with the men’s game. The husband-and-wife duo of Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine) co-direct based on a script by Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire). Opens Friday, Sept. 22. Area theaters. Visit (Rhuaridh Marr)

Disney’s animated classic and its live action remake screen at two outdoor film series at National Harbor. First up, closing out the Family Movies on the Potomac series on Sunday, Sept. 24, is the 1991 Oscar-winning animated original from 1991. On Thursday, Sept. 28, comes this year’s sumptuously produced live-action remake, one of the most expensive musicals ever made, with a reported budget of $160-million. Screened for the Date Night series, the film, directed by Bill Condon (Dreamgirls), caused unwarranted gay panic and controversy over Gaston’s catty, pining sidekick LeFou. To suggest that making him gay sullied the character, the studio or the film’s family friendliness is to ignore one of Beauty and the Beast‘s primary messages: “Can anybody be happy if they’re not free?” Both films screen at 7 p.m. on the plaza at 165 Waterfront St., Oxon Hill, Md. Call 877-628-5427 or visit (Andre Hereford)

While some have complained it’s another example of white male whining, critics generally agree that Mike White’s dramedy about a father (Ben Stiller) accompanying his son (Austin Abrams) on a tour of East Coast colleges and having a crisis of confidence after meeting highly successful former friends is bittersweet, humorous, and effective. Opens Friday, Sept. 22. Area theaters. Visit (Rhuaridh Marr)

Perhaps one of the clumsiest metaphors ever put to film, this slasher horror, directed by Simon Verhoeven, has a popular college student watch most of her social group get killed after befriending an unknown “loser” on Facebook. We get it, don’t add strangers on Facebook. Next. Opens Friday, Sept. 22. Area theaters. Visit (RM)

If Lego has proven anything, it’s that audiences will gladly pay to see their plasticized animated comedies — thanks in part to excellent scripts and breathtaking visuals. Now, the world’s largest toy company is bringing their Ninjago action toys to the big screen. If it’s anything like The Lego Batman Movie, expect great things. Opens Friday, Sept. 22. Area theaters. Visit (RM)


A multi-faceted gem of a musical, Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music is realized with utmost skill and elegance in a brilliant new production at Signature Theatre. Director Eric Schaeffer and company strike an enviable balance between sparkle and understatement, reflecting the myriad aspects of longing explored in Sondheim’s uncharacteristically hopeful roundelay of coupling and uncoupling. Despite an arch comedic streak, the story of conflicted husbands and wives and their would-be partners is plainly sincere about the rush of falling in love. A Little Night Music celebrates the part that lust, romance, infatuation, and passion can play in leading to self-discovery. Featuring Holly Twyford and Bobby Smith. To Oct. 8. Signature’s Max Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Tickets are $40 to $99. Call 703-820-9771 or visit (Andre Hereford)

Ally Theatre Company, focused on presenting works or partnering with organizations acknowledging and confronting systemic oppression in America, concludes its inaugural season with a new full-length play exploring the life of Washington socialite Clover Adams. Laura Rocklyn stars as Clover in a play that she co-wrote with Ally’s artistic director Ty Hallmark. Angela Kay Pirko directs a cast that also features Nick Depinto as Henry Adams and Tamieka Chavis as Lizzie Cameron. Now to Oct. 28. Caos on F, 923 F St. NW. Tickets are $25. Visit

GALA Hispanic Theatre: Don Juan Tenorio — Photo and Lighting Design: Christopher Annas Lee

Nando Lopez helped GALA Hispanic Theatre haul in the Helen Hayes Awards last year with his adaptation of Federico Garcia Lorca’s Yerma. He’s back with a world-premiere adaptation of Jose Zorrilla’s tale of “the infamous seducer of all time,” in honor of the Spanish romantic writer’s 200th birthday. Jose Carrasquillo directs an international cast including Iker Lastra and Luz Nicolas (Spain), Manolo Santalla (Cuba), Carlos Castillo (Venezuela) and Ines Dominguez del Corral (Colombia) in a high-voltage, contemporary and True Blood-style adaptation. Performed in Spanish with English surtitles. To Oct. 1. GALA Theatre at Tivoli Square, 3333 14th St. NW. Tickets are $30 to $45. Call 202-234-7174 or visit

Scena Theatre offers a modern interpretation intentionally teasing out the parallels between today’s Washington and ancient Rome. Robert McNamara directs and stars in Shakespeare’s classic tale of Senators Cassius and Brutus’s plot to kill Caesar and prevent him from becoming all-powerful Emperor, and the civil unrest that ensues. David Bryan Jackson, Ian Armstrong, Barry McEvoy, Ron Litman, Amanda Forstrom, Danielle Davy, Robert Sheire, and Kim Curtis also appear. Closes Sunday, Sept. 24. Lab Theatre II in the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $30 to $45. Call 202-399-7993 or visit

The experimental, Helen Hayes Award-winning collective Factory449 offers a showcase for a stellar local actress as Rick Hammerly directs fellow company member Felicia Curry as a girl who gets caught up in sex trafficking, exploring her harrowing battle for survival in an increasingly unjust world. The work, written by up-and-coming British playwright Cordelia Lynn and based on a true story, also features Renaldo McClinton. To Oct. 1. Anacostia Arts Center, 1231 Good Hope Road SE. Tickets are $22. Call 202-631-6291 or visit

Arena Stage presents the local premiere of Karen Zacarias’ D.C.-set hot-button comedy, where well-intentioned neighbors become feuding enemies in a clash of class and culture. Blake Robison directs a co-production with Cincinnati’s Guthrie Theater and starring Jacqueline Correa, Dan Domingues, Steve Hendrickson, and Sally Wingert. To Oct. 22. Kreeger Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Tickets are $40 to $90. Call 202-488-3300 or visit

The Shakespeare Theatre Company is one local partner of the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival and its presentation of an outdoor, drum-fueled production of the iconic gay American playwright’s one-act play performed by the National Theatre of Ghana. The basis for Williams’ full-length drama Camino Real, Ten Blocks … is a phantasmagoria about a big-hearted hero lost in a ruthless world who falls in love with a Gypsy’s daughter. Performed in English, the 75-minute show, boosted by vibrant music and West African flair and directed by the Provincetown festival’s David Kaplan, has toured marketplaces and outdoor venues in Ghana as well as in St. Louis, Detroit and Provincetown on a short U.S. tour that includes two stops in our area. First is Monday, Sept. 25, at 7 p.m. National Building Museum’s West Lawn, 401 F St. NW. The second is Tuesday, Sept. 26, at 5:30 p.m., followed by a panel discussion. Georgetown University’s Red Square, 3700 O St. NW. Free, but Pay-What-You-Can donations encouraged. Visit or for more information.

Mosaic Theater Company kicks off its third season with its first musical, a show written by Angelo Parra and directed by Joe Brancato. A hit Off Broadway, The Devil’s Music stars the indomitable Miche Braden, performing 13 songs in character as bisexual blues pioneer Bessie Smith. The concert-style show recreates the boisterous diva’s final performance after she and her band were turned away from a whites-only theater in Memphis in 1937. Extended to Oct. 1. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $20 to $60. Call 202-399-7993 or visit


Music Director Marin Alsop leads the BSO in “Poetic Fire: From Hamlet to Don Juan” featuring Tchaikovsky’s Hamlet Fantasy Overture and Strauss’ tone poem Don Juan. The program also features Lukáš Vondráček, winner of the 2016 Queen Elisabeth Competition, interpreting Rachmaninoff’s beloved Piano Concerto. Friday, Sept. 22, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 24, at 3 p.m. Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore. Also Saturday, Sept. 23, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $29 to $99. Call 410-783-8000 or visit

Bruno Mars is one of those superstars you don’t begrudge having fame. His music is consistently compelling and creative, and he’s a reliably entertaining performer. Mars tours in support of last year’s relatively lackluster set 24K Magic, with an opener by a promising new British singer-songwriter of Albanian descent whose powerful, full-throttle voice and style is reminiscent of Pink. Friday, Sept. 29, at 8 p.m. Capital One Arena, 601 F St. NW. Remaining tickets are $179 Call 202-628-3200 or visit

“Swish Swish” down to the Capital One Arena at the start of next week to catch the pop megastar who launched her career a decade ago with same-sex references that were provocative (“I Kissed A Girl”) and pejorative (“Ur So Gay”). Perry has since become an LGBTQ activist with the awards — from the Trevor Project and HRC — to prove it. She tours in support of Witness. Monday, Sept. 25, at 7 p.m. Capital One Arena, 601 F St. NW. Tickets are $50.50 to $258. Call 202-628-3200 or visit

“The Golden Age of Boleros” is the focus of a concert toasting Hispanic Heritage Month by this Richmond-based six-piece band touring in support of Dedication to Sylvia Rexach. Boleros are contemplative love songs that originated in 19th-century Cuba and were popularized throughout the Spanish-speaking world by Mexican composers in the 1940s. Miramar will perform Rexach songs as well as originals by a band started by Puerto Rican singer Rei Alvarez and Chilean-American pianist and arranger Marlysse Simmons Argandoña, who also perform in the salsa band Bio Ritmo. Friday, Sept. 29, at 8 p.m. Lab Theatre II in Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $25.20 in advance, or $28 at the door. Call 202-399-7993 or visit

An electro-experimental alt-rock band from New Orleans, led by keyboardist and vocalist Paul Meany, Mutemath tours in support of Play Dead, its fifth studio album released earlier this month. But as appealing as the trio’s music is — including a collaborative EP with Twenty One Pilots, TOPxMM (The Mutemath Sessions) — it is opening act Romes that makes the outing to Silver Spring all the more compelling. An up-and-coming alt-pop act that Alternative Press listed as “17 Artists to Watch in 2017,” Romes tours a month in advance of its forthcoming eponymous debut, produced by Tony Hoffer, whose previous work with Beck and Phoenix is very much in line with Romes’ catchy, groove-driven, synth-swirling sound, as heard on singles “Believe” and “Summer Sound.” Childhood friends who met while attending school in Ireland, the Toronto-based quartet is vocalist Jacob Alexander, drummer Nicolas Amadeus, guitarist James Tebbitt, and bassist Andrew Keyes. Friday, Sept. 22, at 8 p.m. Fillmore Silver Spring, 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $22 to $58. Call 301-960-9999 or visit

Jacomo Bairos conducts an NSO Pops Concert Trio supporting this Brazilian actor/musician, who has been touring the country over the past year with a concert inspired by the late, great pop star and specifically Jorge’s role in Wes Anderson’s 2004 film The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Jorge’s acoustic interpretations, which include “Rebel, Rebel,” “Life on Mars,” and “Starman,” were heralded by Bowie himself as being imbued with a “new level of beauty.” Friday, Sept. 29, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $25 to $89. Call 202-467-4600 or visit

The choir along with Boy and Girl Choristers will perform as part of a gala and fundraising for the music ministry of this church in the West End, touted as having one of the leading church choral programs in the U.S. The gala, which also features a post-concert jazz reception with drinks, light fare, dessert and silent auction, also doubles as a benefit for students at the Bishop Walker School in Southeast D.C. Friday, Sept. 29, starting with a champagne reception at 6:30 p.m. St. Paul’s Parish, 2430 K St. NW. Tickets are $50. Call 202-337-2020 or visit


Matt Conner and Stephen Gregory Smith – Photo: Michelle Kinney

The closing cabaret in Creative Cauldron’s Summer series comes from the lyricist who has created one musical after another for the Virginia company in recent years alongside composer Matt Conner, his husband and a fellow local musical theater performer. In this intimate cabaret, Smith looks back on the last 30 years of his career, from humble beginnings as a child actor in Pennsylvania to regular work at Creative Cauldron, Signature Theatre and beyond. Smith will perform some of his own songs at the cabaret, where tables have been filling up fast. Friday, Sept. 22, and Saturday, 23, at 8 p.m. ArtSpace Falls Church, 410 South Maple Ave. in Falls Church. Tickets are $22 per show, or $55 for a table for two with wine and $110 for four with wine. Call 703-436-9948 or visit

Francesca Zambello launches the new season with a dazzling new production of Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida, a co-production with the San Francisco, Seattle and Minnesota opera companies. Performed in Italian with projected English titles, Aida focuses on a young woman enslaved by the Egyptians, who don’t know she’s an Ethiopian princess and daughter to their sworn enemy. The visionary artist known as RETNA created the striking sets and costumes, lending the classic story a unique modern edge with his vibran hieroglyphics and calligraphy. To Sept. 23. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $45 to $300. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


Estela Velez de Paredez founded Furia Flamenca 14 years ago, with a focus on combining flamenco’s gypsy heritage with modern flamenco choreography to create an elegant balance of motion and energy. Cafe Flamenco is an intimate evening of flamenco “tablao” style, with drinks and tapas served tableside during the performance, accompanied by guitarist Torcuato Zamora. Saturday, Sept. 30, at 8 p.m, and Sunday, Oct. 1, at 4 p.m. Lab Theatre II in Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $27 in advance, or $30 at the door. Call 202-399-7993 or visit

A drag queen show is turned upside down by the unexpected arrival of a new competitor in When Snails Collide, a quirky, dance theater piece that’s part of the Kennedy Center’s Local Dance Commissioning Project. A show for all ages, it mixes colorful design elements, costumes and sets with the sounds of gypsy music and gibberish. Ruch, a local dancer, choreographer and teacher, highlights the insecurities of humans and the will to make the most out of life in this satirical work. The program also includes EroSpace, a live collaboration between Scanner aka British artist Rimbaud and Ruch’s company KyokoDansu, a conversation between movement and sound, space and environment. Thursday, Sept. 28, and Friday, Sept. 29, at 6 p.m. Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. Free. Call 202-467-4600 or visit

The resident dance group of Capitol Hill Arts Workshop celebrates its fifth anniversary with a party and site-specific performance work by Sandra C. Atkinson, in collaboration with LSDT performers, exploring the notion of human connection through touch in an age of technology. The Importance of Touch investigates whether we as a society are more comfortable with artificial touch technology rather than actual human touch, playing with reaction, intention and connection through movement and music. Saturday, Sept. 23, at 4 p.m. Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 7th St. SE. Tickets are $15. Call 202-547-6839 or visit


Hard to believe it’s been 12 years since Dave Chappelle abruptly ended his hit Comedy Central sketch show. In recent years, the D.C. native, one of today’s best comedians, has been increasingly touring the country with his stand-up. And in the wake of this year’s Netflix specials, the streaming service’s most-viewed comedy specials ever, Chappelle has announced long runs of shows in several cities, including 12 dates in his preferred venue in his hometown. Lest you think you can just opt to watch fan-posted clips online, tour presenter Live Nation has instituted a strict “no cell phone” policy, mandating that patrons place their phones in locked pouches until the end of the show. Tickets remain for shows in the second leg of the run, starting Monday, Sept. 25, at 10 p.m. and ending Saturday, Sept. 30. Warner Theatre, 513 13th St. NW. Tickets are $67.50 to $490. Call 202-783-4000 or visit

If you don’t remember Jen Kirkman from regular stints on Chelsea Lately or Comedy Central’s @midnight, maybe you caught her hilarious, inebriated narrations on Comedy Central’s Drunk History. Now you can catch the standup comic Entertainment Weekly essentially called the female Louis CK — and whose 2016 memoir had the brilliant title I Know What I’m Doing (and Other Lies I Tell Myself) — on her “All New Material, Girl” Tour. Local up-and-coming comedienne Paris Sashay serves as opening act. Sunday, Sept. 24, at 8 p.m. The Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW. Tickets are $22.50 to $40, plus $10 minimum per person for all tables. Call 202-588-5595 or visit

D.C.’s upstart improv comedy company, with its own small venue in the Bloomingdale neighborhood, presents a show from its recently formed improvised musical troupe. Per audience suggestion, the troupe’s improvisers will devise a musical from scratch on the spot, making up the scenes, songs, melodies, lyrics. With accompaniment from Mickey Daniel, the evening’s performers are Julie Tice, James Freeman, Shawn Westfall, and Unified Sing founding member Caroline Yates. Friday, Sept. 29. Doors at 8 p.m. Unified Scene Theater, 80 T St. NW. Tickets are $15. Visit

D.C.’s main improv comedy company reprises Rise Up!, a run of politically inspired improv shows that proved to be a hit during Trump’s Inauguration. Intended to be cathartic, eye-opening and raw, each show features a mix of WIT ensembles with telling names including Laffrican Americans, Bottom Shelf, Trustfall, Sweater Kittens, Shock and Awesome, Ugh, Love Onion: Crazy Like a Fox, and Ivanka! The Musical. Now to Oct. 1. District of Columbia Arts Center (DCAC), 2438 18th St. NW. Tickets are $12 in advance, or $15 at the door. Call 202-462-7833 or visit


The Kennedy Center offers another early event in its year-long “Leonard Bernstein at 100” programming, this time a free discussion about the legendary musician’s commitment to racial desegregation and using Carol Oja’s book Bernstein Meets Broadway: Collaborative Art in a Time of War as a starting point. In addition to Oja, panelists include the legendary musician’s daughter, director Jamie Bernstein, soprano Harolyn Blackwell, Broadway Theatre League’s Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, and Tony-winning actress Karen Olivo (West Side Story). Saturday, Sept. 23, at 4 p.m. Kennedy Center Family Theater. Free, with tickets distributed outside one hour before the event. Call 202-467-4600 or visit

Subtitled A 400-Year History of American Capitalism, this narrative history from a digital media entrepreneur reviews the spirit of innovation and ambition that has defined America. Srinivasan focuses on a series of “Next Big Things,” from the telegraph to the railroad, suburban sprawl to mobile technology. The book is one component of Srinivasan’s new multi-platform media property, focused on retelling the story of America through the prism of economic development and “the value that, for better or for worse, this nation holds dearest: capitalism.” Thursday, Sept. 28, at 6:30 p.m. Kramerbooks, 1517 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-387-1400 or visit

Trump Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, director Ken Burns, chef/restaurateur Jose Andres, broadcast journalist Michele Norris, and SoulCycle CEO Melanie Whelan join Jeffrey Goldberg and Matt Thomson of The Atlantic and others for this multi-day convening of leaders from across industry, government and culture. The Shakespeare Theatre’s Harman Hall is the main venue for the festival, but the nearby Rosa Mexicano will serve as the “Atlantic Hub,” including the networking “Drinks With the District” event on Tuesday, Sept. 26. Festival runs to Thursday, Sept. 28. Visit for schedule and more information.


A Bosnian refugee, Alma Selimovic was granted political asylum in the U.S. in 2009 on account of the violence and threats she faced as a prominent LGBTQ activist in her homeland. Earlier this year, the visual artist did a two-month residency at Berlin’s Institute fur Alles Mogliche, where she interviewed and created digital drawings of other people from Eastern Europe who are queer, trans and/or gender neutral. Now that she’s back, she’s curated an exhibition of paintings, photographs, and video installations by seven queer artists and activists from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia: Kristofer Andric, Azra Causevic, Ranka Delic, Nedziba Idrizovic, Damir Prljaca, Anita Prsa, and Alex Spyke. Through Oct. 7. Otis Street Art Project, 3706 Otis St. Mt. Rainier, Md. Call 202-550-4634 or visit

A showcase of the Library of Congress’s extensive collection of original drawings by artists, commissioned during the past 50 years by newspapers and television stations to capture the personal dynamics of legal trials where cameras aren’t allowed. Artists in the exhibition include Howard Brodie, Marilyn Church, Pat Lopez, Arnold Mesches, Gary Myrick, Freda Reiter, Bill Robles, Jane Rosenberg, and Elizabeth Williams. Their drawings provided insight into the drama and impact of events in American law and influenced how Americans perceived race and race relations, religion, gender issues, political and corporate corruption, international relations, and the role of celebrities in society. Now to Dec. 30. South Gallery, Second Floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. SE. Call 202-707-8000 or visit

Protests of Trump’s inauguration and first six months are seen in photographs and screen prints, showing the various forms of dissent that have taken hold and a firsthand look at democracy in action. Through Sept. 23. Studio Gallery, 2108 R St. NW. Call 202-232-8734 or visit

Exploring new ways to gather and interact in public places, this Spanish art collective first installed its three large, semi-spherical sculptures with open-air seating for eight in the U.S. in New York’s Times Square. Six years later, Arlington Arts, through its Courthouse 2.0: Reimagining the Civic public art initiative, presents a local display of the installation prior to a display at Art Basel Miami Beach later this fall. This Saturday, Sept. 23, at 11 a.m., the Arlington organization presents an Artist Talk with Eva Salmeron and Emilio Alarcon of mmm…, a collective whose other projects include Baltimore’s prominent, permanent B-U-S sculpture installed in 2014. Exhibition is on display through Nov. 1. Public plaza at 1310 N. Courthouse Road, Arlington. Call 703-228-1850 or visit

“Pages from a Leatherman’s Journal” is the full title of a retrospective of the late artist’s work, presented by the Baltimore Eagle in another exhibition in its upstairs gallery space. A self-taught painter, Monceaux created works mostly in the form of series to better tell one story across paintings. Now through Oct. 8. The Baltimore Eagle Art Gallery, 2022 N. Charles St. Call 410-200-9858 or visit

In its restaurant and lounge, Washington’s Sofitel presents a collection of 17 abstract paintings on aluminum canvasses and metal-based dresses by French artist inspired by artists Pierre Soulages and Gerhard Richter as well as designers Jeanne Lanvin and Jean-Paul Gaulthier. “Painting on aluminum is a genuinely sensitive experience that is new each time, as it plays with various materials …and responds to unusual painting tools that create new movements and shapes,” Koerwyn says in an artist’s statement. Additionally, executive chef Gyo Santa has created a three-course menu inspired by the collection priced at $45 for lunch or $55 for dinner. Now to Sept. 30. iCi Urban Bistro in Sofitel Washington DC Lafayette Square, 806 15th St. NW. Call 202-730-8701 or visit

Cosmic drawings in pencil and pen are Stacks’ focus work, intricate and ritualistic, with gold beams, cloud-like swirls of dots and graphite spirals overlapping elegantly. Stacks’ practice is ultimately meditative — an intellectual exercise in moving across the page — and her varied influences range from Netflix recommendations to Olbers’ paradox, algorithms to mapping, Buddha warriors to particle physics. Vernissage, or opening reception, with live music by Terraplane, is Saturday, Sept. 23, from 6 to 8 p.m. On display through Oct. 29. Adah Rose Gallery, 3766 Howard Ave. Kensington, Md. Call 301-922-0162 or visit

Transformer kicks off its 16th season by delving visually and sensually into the uniqueness and range of the Iranian-American experience. Rich with symbols, smells (saffron, Chanel No. 5, black tea), textures and tastes, this exhibition, curated and conceptualized by artists Ani Bradberry, Alexandra ‘Rex’ Delafkaran and Sheida Soleimani, features works of soft and ceramic sculpture, neon installations, textiles and photography. Artist Talk is Saturday, Sept. 30, at 2 p.m. On display through Oct. 14. Transformer, 1404 P St. NW. Call 202-483-1102 or visit

The Kennedy Center hosts an exhibit of this graphic and street artist whose work informs the sets and costumes of the forthcoming production of Aida. Inspired by L.A.’s mural culture, the artist known simply as RETNA fuses fine art with graffiti and the traditional with the contemporary and has worked on advertising campaigns for Louis Vuittion and Nike, in addition to exhibiting at galleries around the world. Closes Sunday, Sept. 24. Hall of Nations. Call 202-467-4600 or visit

In his two-decades-long series of drawings and narrative paintings focused on the concept of sin, this Washington native has tried to imagine how Federico Fellini, Charlie Chaplin or Buster Keaton might have depicted their subjects if they were painters. The result are images that are whimsical and elusive, rather than strident and explicit in their interpretations. Now to Dec. 17, with a Gallery Talk with Woodward on Nov. 16. American University Museum in the Katzen Arts Center, 4400 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Call 202-885-2587 or visit


Executive Chef Edward Reavis celebrates the return of fall with a promotion showcasing dishes inspired by his early days working at a local steakhouse. The special menu includes: a 5 oz. Sirloin with red wine demi glace, thick cut onion rings and Lyonnaise potatoes (priced at $15), an 8 oz. Hanger Steak with truffle fries ($19), a Surf & Turf offering of 4 oz. Filet with lobster claw, drawn butter and mashed potatoes ($22), and a Prime Rib with horseradish cream, au jus and loaded baked potato, (market value). Also available are classic steakhouse starters, from Clam Chowder with bacon and Old Bay crackers, to Caesar Salad with romaine, baby kale, chicken cracklings and parmesan, as well as sides including Fried Calamari with hot cherry peppers and cocktail sauce, Creamed Spinach with parmesan, cream cheese and Tabasco, and String Beans with garlic. All of this is in addition to the Silver Spring restaurant’s regular menu and signature raw bar. Now to Sept. 30. All Set Restaurant & Bar, 8630 Fenton St., Plaza 5. Silver Spring. Call 301-495-8800 or visit

Throughout September, downtown’s swanky high-end eatery will donate $1 from every slice of its Mostly Raspberry Pie to Fight for Children, a non-profit dedicated to improving the quality of early childhood education. Blackberries and blueberries are the supporting fruits in a pie that is served, naturally, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. To Sept. 30. Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab, 750 15th St. NW. Call 202-489-0140 or visit

Most of the time Derek Brown is known as the owner of the Columbia Room and the trio of Shaw restaurants that has become the site of the overly popular Miracle on 7th Street- and Game of Thrones-themed pop-ups. But he’s also the Chief Spirits Advisor for the National Archives Foundation, where he leads regular “History Happy Hour” discussions and tastings. Next up comes a focus on the evolving world of culinary cocktails, or those specifically paired with food. Brown’s guests include James Beard Award-winning chef Michelle Bernstein, John Lermayer of Sweet Liberty, Lynnette Marrero of Speed Rack, and Johnny Spero of Columbia Room and the forthcoming Reverie. Saturday, Sept. 23, at 2:30 p.m. National Archives Museum, Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets NW. NW. Tickets are $60, or $50 for Foundation members. Call 202-357-5000 or visit

For a boozy brunch a little more high culture than the average, the National Gallery of Art offers a special brunch buffet all month for $30. The selections are impressive: from Buttermilk Pancakes to Baked Frittata with bacon lardon, caramelized onions and gruyere, Summer BBQ Short Ribs with kimchi glaze to Roasted Free-Range Airline Chicken with shaved fennel and salsa verde, Baby Kale Salad to Seasonal Freshly Cut Fruit. Not to mention Carrot Cake, Lemon Bar and assorted Freshly Baked Cookies for dessert, and a full coffee menu. Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. National Gallery of Art’s West Garden Court, 4th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. Call 202-842-6716 or visit

Petworth’s new Mexican eatery from the DC Empanadas crew presents another round of its last-Saturday-of-the-month drag brunch. Desiree Dik hosts a show featuring queens Shaunda Leer and Whitney GucciGoo, who perform while guests enjoy French toast, chilaquiles and Taqueria’s signature tacos, among other dishes, all washed down with mimosas, Bloody Marys and Absolut vodka cocktails. Two seatings Saturday, Sept. 30, at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. 821 Upshur St. NW. Tickets are $25 and include one brunch entree or three tacos and one brunch cocktail. Call 202-723-0200 or visit

Teaism is currently sharing its booth in the trendy culinary haven next to Gallaudet University with this Japanese sweets company. Matsukawaya specializes in raw “wagashi,” or sweets made of fruits with mochi rice, and usually served with matcha tea. Through September. Teaism Union Market, 1309 5th St. NE. Call 202-409-1285 or visit

Virginia’s best distilleries come together at Shaw hotspot The Passenger for an all-inclusive tasting event, co-hosted by organizer Craft Hospitality and the Virginia Distillers Association. Participating distilleries include A Smith Bowman, Belle Isle Craft Spirits, Boar Creek Whiskey, Catoctin Creek, Chesapeake Bay Distillery, Five Mile Mountain Distillery, MurLarkey, Virginia Distillery Company, Vitae Spirits and Keep It Simple Syrup. Presented in two sessions, with VIP tickets offering early access before the spirited masses. Saturday, Sept. 30, at noon and 3 p.m. The Passenger, 1539 7th St. NW. Tickets are $40 to Session 1 and $50 for Session 2, or $75 for VIP to either. Call 202-853-3588 or visit


Six far-flung D.C. Main Streets neighborhoods will be abuzz with art during this nighttime festival. Visual and performing artists working in mediums as diverse as painting, crafts, music, theater, film and poetry, will be on hand at venues or outdoor spaces in every neighborhood — Congress Heights, Dupont Circle, H Street, North Capitol, Shaw, and Tenleytown. A schedule per neighborhood is available online. Saturday, Sept. 23, from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. Visit

Now in its eighth year, this is a free, all-volunteer, non-governmental showcase of the region’s agricultural and artistic talents, named with a wink to efforts for D.C. statehood rights. Co-presented by the Southwest BID, this year’s fair takes place outside at the main intersection in Southwest D.C., officially kicking off with a Pet Parade circling the Southwest Duck Pond and returning south along 4th Street SW. Throughout the day, people can attend educational sessions on topics ranging from flower arranging to fingerpainting to public space recycling. The chief draw is the day’s many contests, as victuals such as ice cream, pies, pickled foods, Mumbo Sauce, and even home-brewed beer, wine, and pot will be evaluated by a panel of judges. Naturally, there will be various art and craft competitions, prizes for unusually-sized homegrown fruits and vegetables, and live contests from Hula Hoop to Sloppy Joe Eating to various categories in Tattoo and the new Whisker Wars. Performances by local bands, DJs, and dance troupes round out the fun and frivolity. Sunday, Sept. 24, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Outside the Waterfront Metro, 425 M St. SW. Visit

Grady West’s comedic drag performance act, a Provincetown staple, “is nearly impossible to explain,” or so The Stranger once summarized. And it accurately, entertainingly described Martina’s uproarious shtick: “Her voice sounds like a cat having an epileptic fit on a chalkboard, her body moves like two pigs fighting their way out of a sleeping bag, and her face looks like the collision of a Maybelline truck with a Shoney’s buffet.” Can’t wait. Friday, Sept. 22, at 8 p.m. The Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW. Tickets are $25 to $45. Call 202-588-5595 or visit

In the year 1527, Henry VII’s “love for Anne Boleyn pushes him to ask for an annulment of marriage from Queen, Katherine of Aragon.” And Carolyn Spedden, artistic director of the annual festival, now in its 41st year, tells Metro Weekly that “of all the storylines we do with Henry VIII, Boleyn tends to be the most popular.” Yet there’s a little something for everyone at RennFest, which Spedden calls “a very inclusive, welcoming event. Everybody should feel comfortable coming through the gates.” That’s true whether your primary motive is to take in the performances — over 200 professionals engaged in everything from jousting to comedic sword-fighting to reenactments to parodies of Shakespeare — or to shop for early holiday gifts from “the amazing artisans here with their handmade wares.” Or simply to eat a turkey leg, steak on a stake or cheesecake on a stick. Weekends to Oct. 22. 1821 Crownsville Road, Annapolis, Md. Tickets are $17 to $25 for a single-day adult ticket. Call 800-296-7304 or visit

The Klunch presents a three-plus hour parade of wild and wacky artists demonstrating many bizarre skills and talents. Among other things on display, you’ll see acts who can belch a song, speed-stack cups, do handstands in skirts, and dress themselves or their pets in funny costumes. Hosts for the event are Hot Todd Lincoln, Shortstaxx, Lucrezia Blozia, Kate Debelack, Kittie Glitter, and Lobsterboy. Saturday, Sept. 23, at 7 p.m. Logan Fringe Arts Space, 1358 Florida Ave. NE. Tickets are $35 to $75. Call 866-811-4111 or visit

More than two dozen theater companies offer discounted tickets to current productions until Sunday, Oct. 1 for this year’s TheatreWeek, organized by TheatreWashington. Among this year’s 27 participating productions are Constellation’s The Wild Party, GALA’s Don Juan Tenorio, Keegan Theatre’s Stones in His Pockets, Mosaic Theater Company’s The Devil’s Music: The Life & Blues of Bessie Smith, Olney Theatre’s In The Heights, Theater Alliance’s Word Becomes Flesh, Washington Improv Theater’s Rise Up 2017. Discounted tickets to TheatreWeek productions are either $15 or $35, depending on the show and the venue. More details at Discount tickets available at

Subtitled “Un día de diversión animal para toda la familia,” this free Hispanic Heritage Month event at the National Zoo features talks, feedings and demonstrations led by zookeepers highlighting animals including Andean bears, sloths, golden lion tamarins, and Panamanian golden frogs. ZooFiesta also features live music and cuisine from performers and vendors representing Latin America. Patrons can stay afterwards for “Happy Hour at the Zoo,” a Thursday-Sunday promotion in September and October offering food and drink specials on the Panda Overlook. Sunday, Sept. 24, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. Call 202-633-4800 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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