Metro Weekly

Spotlight: Events in D.C., October 19-25

The Legwarmers


It’s been 16 years since Gordon Gartrell and Cru Jones started what has long been heralded as D.C.’s “premier ’80s tribute band,” performing the many guilty pleasure hits of the decade. The group has performed at concert halls throughout the region and beyond, Yet its primary base has been Virginia’s State Theatre. The band returns to the restored Art Deco building for two nights during the last weekend in October, when the usual audience participation of dressing the part — think shellacked big hair, lacy ankle socks, stirrup and parachute pants — will be amped up to 11, as both nights feature a Halloween Costume Contest with cash prizes, along with other spooky surprises. Friday, Oct. 27, and Saturday, Oct. 28, at 9:30 p.m. The State Theatre, 220 N. Washington St., Falls Church. Tickets are $18. Call 703-237-0300 or visit

Pink Martini, China Thomas — Photo: Chris Hornbecker


Thomas Lauderdale founded his self-described “little orchestra” on a whim, corralling a few friends to perform together at a fundraiser countering a homophobic ballot measure in Oregon in the mid-’90s. Through the years, the cocktail band has grown and evolved, and has repeatedly performed with large, bona fide orchestras — a natural fit for the gay Lauderdale, an accomplished pianist with strong ties to the Oregon Symphony Orchestra. The band and its lead diva China Forbes reunite with the NSO conducted by Emil de Cou for a series of concerts playing from its varied, multilingual repertoire, ranging from Brazilian jazz to European classical to swinging standards. Thursday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 27, and Saturday, Oct. 28, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $24 to $89. Call 202-467-4600 or visit

Peter Pan — Photo: Johnny Shryock


A high-spirited, dark and acrobatic interpretation of J.M. Barrie, as one would expect from Synetic Theater. Having made its name with the provocative “Silent Shakespeare” series, the multi-Helen Hayes Award-winning Synetic next puts its spin on the fantastical journey of Peter Pan, the Lost Boys and the Darling children battling the delightfully sinister Captain Hook. Paata Tsikurishvili directs and his wife Irina Tsikurishvili choreographs a fitting Halloween-timed production, with dialogue featuring Alex Mills in the title role, Kathy Gordon as Wendy Darling, and Ryan Sellers as Hook. A series of special events have also been planned, including the 11th Annual Vampire’s Ball, featuring open bar, a costume contest and dancing to resident composer and DJ Konstantine Lortkipanidze after the show on Friday, Oct. 27, at 8 p.m. Runs to Nov. 19. Synetic Theater, 1800 South Bell St., Arlington. Call 866-811-4111 or visit

Mariinsky Ballet: La Bayadere — Photo: Natasha Razina


Nearly a decade after a sold-out run at the Kennedy Center, the famed Russian company reprises its production of La Bayadere as part of a celebration of choreographer Marius Petipa’s 200th anniversary. Artistic director Valery Gergiev leads the ballet company and conductor Gavriel Heine the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra in Petipa’s enchanting journey to a fabled past radiating with colorful characters, vibrant sets and costumes, and virtuosic moments. Remaining performances are Thursday, Oct. 19, and Friday, Oct. 20, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 21, at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 22, at 1:30 p.m. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $39 to $150. Call 202-467-4600 or visit

Suzanne Westenhoefer —
Photo: Ellie Perez


The small-town Pennsylvania native started as a standup comedian in 1990, and not long after dared to came out — years before Rosie O’Donnell and Ellen DeGeneres. In fact, Westenhoefer is credited as the first openly lesbian comic with an HBO special, and also the first on television overall, when she appeared on an episode of Sally Jesse Raphael entitled “Breaking the Lesbian Stereotype…Lesbians Who Don’t Look Like Lesbians.” The 56-year-old comic returns for a regular show at the Birchmere. Friday, Oct. 27, at 7:30 p.m. 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $45. Call 703-549-7500 or visit

Raven’s Night


Local married couple Belladonna and drag king extraordinaire Ken Vegas co-produce this wide-ranging show, rooted in Bella’s primary work as a “tribal fusion bellydance” performer and teacher, as well as her background as a medieval re-enactor. In many ways, Raven’s Night is the sort of event you’re only going to experience around Halloween — not least for its name, an homage to Baltimore’s master of macabre, Edgar Allan Poe. Bella hosts the 6th Annual cabaret, concert and carnival event with the theme “The Ghosts of La Belle Epoque.” Saturday, Oct. 21, starting at 5 p.m. with a carnival, followed by a concert at 6:30 p.m., and the cabaret at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $25. Call 703-549-7500 or visit