BATTLE OF THE SEXES
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). Now playing. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (Rhuaridh Marr)
The two Angelika theaters in the area are celebrating the season with “Hitchcocktober,” screening classics by the Master of Suspense every Thursday evening. This year’s lineup includes Vertigo and Rebecca, plus a bonus on Halloween of Hitchcock’s horror classic, Psycho. However, many critics consider Hitchcock’s finest film to be 1946’s Notorious, a powerful, espionage drama starring Ingrid Bergman, Cary Grant, and Claude Rains. The film features one of the most famously intimate movie-kisses in history. Thursday, Oct. 12, at 8 p.m. Angelika Pop-Up at Union Market, 550 Penn St. NE. Also Angelika Film Center – Mosaic, 2911 District Ave, Fairfax. Tickets are $10. Call 800-680-9095 or visit angelikafilmcenter.com.
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
Capital Classics, a new hump-day series at Landmark’s recently refurbished West End Cinema, offers a screening of one of the most beloved films of all time: Horton Foote’s evocative adaptation of Harper Lee’s acclaimed novel, directed by Robert Mulligan. Both screenwriter Foote and actor Gregory Peck won Oscars for the 1962 drama, focused on the iconic character of Atticus Finch, a Depression-era Southern lawyer who courageously defends a black man against a false charge of rape. Happy Hour-priced beer and wine from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11, at 1:30, 4:30, and 7:30 p.m. Landmark’s West End Cinema, 2301 M St. NW. Tickets are $12.50. Call 202-534-1907 or visit landmarktheatres.com.
MANOLO: THE BOY WHO MADE SHOES FOR LIZARDS
Longtime fashion journalist and director Michael Roberts got a rare look into the world of Manolo Blahnik. The subtitle refers to Blahnik’s passion for shoes that developed at an early age, making them out of candy wrappers for the reptiles he caught in his family’s garden on a remote Spanish island. Blahnik became the world’s most famous luxury shoemaker chiefly because of his extraordinary meticulousness and utter dedication to craft, maintaining full control of the business, right down to hard-carving the wooden form of every shoe himself. The fashion and entertainment glitterati are well-represented in Roberts’ film, everyone from Anna Wintour and Isaac Mizrahi, to Rihanna and Rupert Everett, Paloma Picasso and Naomi Campbell. Opens Friday, Sept. 29. Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672 or visit landmarktheatres.com.
THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US
Two strangers survive a plane crash in a remote mountain range in Utah and must fight to survive. We don’t know what’s worse: the constant threat of death, or having to continue making polite small talk with a stranger for days longer than anticipated. With Idris Elba and Kate Winslet. Opens Friday, Oct. 6. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (Rhuaridh Marr)
A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC
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. Extended to Oct. 15. Signature’s Max Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Tickets are $40 to $99. Call 703-820-9771 or visit sigtheatre.org. (Andre Hereford)
AN ACT OF GOD
Tom Story is the divine one in a comedy by David Javerbaum, based on the Daily Show writer’s book The Last Testament: A Memoir by God. Story shares the stage with Evan Casey and Jamie Smithson as archangels Michael and Gabriel, helping God create an entirely new set of Ten Commandments. In previews, opening Thursday, Oct. 12, at 8 p.m. Runs to Nov. 26. Ark Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit sigtheatre.org.
ARE YOU NOW OR HAVE YOU EVER BEEN …
Virginia’s MetroStage presents Carlyle Brown’s fictionalized glimpse into the mind of Langston Hughes during the communist-purging McCarthy era, when the great poet was called to testify on the Hill about his patriotism and possible Communist ties. Marcus Naylor stars as Hughes and Michael Sharp as Joe McCarthy in this timely play featuring an original blues score by William Knowles. Directed and choreographed by Thomas W. Jones II. In previews. Opens Sunday, Oct. 8. Runs to Nov. 5. MetroStage, 1201 North Royal St., Alexandria. Tickets are $55 to $60. Call 703-548-9044 or visit metrostage.org.
After a production of the musical Crazy Mary Lincoln, Pallas Theatre Collective closes out its seventh season with another musical that begins at the same moment in history: the assassination at Ford’s Theatre. Staged in Capital Fringe’s Trinidad Theatre, just north of the H Street Corridor, the revue-style portrait of attempted presidential murderers is one of Stephen Sondheim’s lesser-known shows. Clare Shaffer directs Pallas’ spin, with Andrew Keller as Lincoln’s killer John Wilkes Booth, Taylor Rieland as John Hinckley (Reagan), Tyler Cramer as Samuel Byck (Nixon), Topher Williams as Giuseppe Zangara (FDR), Karen Lange as Sarah Jane Moore (Ford), Alex Palting as Squeaky Fromme (Ford), and Andrew Flurer as Lee Harvey Oswald (JFK). Opens Thursday, Oct. 5, at 7:30 p.m. To Oct. 15. Logan Fringe Arts Space, 1358 Florida Ave. NE. Tickets are $25. Call 202-733-6321 or visit capitalfringe.org.
It transpires that everyone — or almost everyone, anyway — wants to fuck British explorer Harry Bagley (Christian Pedersen), who’s welcomed with open arms into the family at the heart of Caryl Churchill’s mischievously provocative comedy. Churchill was prescient on matters of gender identity and sexual orientation, and the gender-blurring Cloud 9 is every bit as gay-friendly and sex-positive as today’s most enlightened comedies. It’s a struggle to keep things straight, in every sense of the word, in a deliberately confounding work — and the confusion only adds to the excitement. Now to Oct. 21. Richmond Triangle Players, 1300 Altamont Ave. Richmond. Tickets are $10 to $30 each. Call 804-346-8113 or visit rtriangle.org.
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. To Oct. 28. Caos on F, 923 F St. NW. Tickets are $25. Visit alltheatrecompany.com.
DEATH OF A SALESMAN
Craig Wallace is Willy Loman in the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic from American theater giant Arthur Miller, focused on the cost of chasing the American dream. Stephen Rayne directs a 15-member cast that includes Wallace’s real-life wife Kimberly Schraf as Willy’s devoted Linda. The creative team includes Tim Mackabee on set design, lighting by Pat Collins, sound and original music by John Gromada, and costumes by Wade Laboissonniere. To Oct. 22. Ford’s Theatre, 511 10th St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $62. Call 800-982-2787 or visit fords.org.
I’LL GET YOU BACK AGAIN
Memories and lessons from the ’60s factor into Sarah Gancher’s high-energy rock-and-roll comedy, focused on a struggling stand-up comedian who decides to sit in for her dead father as bassist for his seminal psychedelic rock band. Round House presents a live music-enriched production directed by Rachel Chavkin, whom the New York Times has called “one of the most gifted [directors] working today.” Now to Oct. 29. Round House Theatre, 4545 East-West Highway, Bethesda. Call 240-644-1100 or visit roundhousetheatre.org.
LOVE AND INFORMATION
Forum Theatre presents its fifth production by the entertainingly provocative British playwright Caryl Churchill, this one a fast-moving kaleidoscope of over 60 moments featuring more than 100 characters, all trying to make sense of what they know. Michael Dove directs the theatrical puzzle, pieced together by actors Edward Christian, Lilian Oben, Samy El-Noury, Shpend Xani, and Emily Whitworth. Now to Oct. 21. Silver Spring Black Box Theatre, 8641 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Call 301-588-8279 or forum-theatre.org.
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 arenastage.org.
The townspeople become Japanese-style puppets in Aaron Posner’s eccentric take on the seminal classic by Thornton Wilder. John Hudson Odom (Angels in America) stars as the guiding Stage Manager in a production faithful to the script and sanctioned by the Wilder Family Estate, featuring just seven actors, who manipulate and animate the puppets. In previews. Opens Saturday, Oct. 7. Runs through Nov. 12. Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Call 301-924-3400 or visit olneytheatre.org.
Love transcends all borders in this 2014 work by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz (Anna in the Tropics). José Carrasquillo directs Theater J’s production of the passionate and lyrical drama about a young Cuban man’s research into the fate of a ship of Jewish refugees that fled Nazi Germany only to be denied entry into both Cuba and the United States. Sotto Voce features actors Brigid Cleary, Andrés C. Talero and Desiree Marie Velez. In previews. To Oct. 29. The Aaron and Cecile Goldman Theater, Edlavitch DCJCC, 1529 16th St. NW. Tickets are $39 to $69. Call 202-777-3210 or visit theaterj.org.
STONES IN HIS POCKETS
Set in a small, hardscrabble Irish town where many of the townspeople are extras in a Hollywood film, this wicked tragicomedy by Irish playwright Marie Jones opens Keegan’s 21st season. Matthew Keenan and Josh Sticklin take on all 15 roles, playing both men and women, often switching gender and voice with barely a blink and the absolute bare minimum of costume changes. To Oct. 15. Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church St. NW. Tickets are $35 to $45. Call 202-265-3768 or visit keegantheatre.com.
THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY
Robert James Waller’s bestselling novel about an Iowa housewife and her life-changing, whirlwind romance with a traveling photographer became a Tony Award-winning musical in the hands of composer Jason Robert Brown and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Marsha Norman (‘night, Mother). Clare Shaffer directs an intimate production, with Ryan Burke and Erin Granfield as the central lovebirds, for Maryland’s fledgling, tucked-away Red Branch Theatre Co. Now to Oct. 14. Red Branch Theatre, 9130-I Red Branch Rd., Columbia. Tickets are $24 to $35. Call 410-220-6517 or visit redbranchtheatrecompany.com.
THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES
Port Tobacco Players, a community theater in Maryland, takes on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s mystery about the elimination of the Baskerville family. Adapted for the stage by F. Andrew Leslie, the play follows famed detective Sherlock Holmes and his most trusted sidekick Dr. John Watson in their most popular case. Keith Linville directs the production. Closes Sunday, Oct. 8. Port Tobacco Players, 508 Charles St., La Plata, Md. Tickets are $15 to $18. Call 301-932-6819 or visit ptplayers.com.
A D.C. native and Howard University alum, the young jazz vocalist and composer blends traditional, modern and African jazz styles while often singing in the showy manner of many of today’s leading soul/pop divas — when not channeling her idol Nina Simone. But she’s especially well-regarded for covering Simone, and Allrich will perform her 9th annual tribute to the jazz iconoclast as well as South African powerhouse singer Miriam Makeba. She’ll perform renditions of beloved songs by both divas, supported by her sharp band. Sunday, Oct. 8, at 7 p.m. Lang Theatre in the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $25 to $32. Call 202-399-7993 or visit atlasarts.org.
After opening for Green Day at the Verizon Center earlier this year, the Florida hardcore punk band returns for a more intimate headlining show at the 9:30 Club. A progressive rabble-rouser, and a lightning rod for the LGBTQ cause, frontwoman Laura Jane Grace makes compelling use of the strong, reverberating singing voice she was born with, making her case adamantly, sometimes viciously, on the band’s seventh album, Shape Shift With Me. Released last month, the set has the distinction of being the first album Grace has written truly from the heart. It follows 2014’s Transgender Dysphoria Blues, an intensely personal set that documented her transition from before she came out in 2012. Friday, Oct. 13. Doors at 8 p.m. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $25. Call 202-265-0930 or visit 930.com.
ALL THINGS GO FALL CLASSIC
If the Fall Classic were still just a one-day festival, you’d be hard-pressed to conjure up a more suitable indie-pop lineup than Foster The People as headline act, after performances from Bleachers, the side project of Nate Antonoff, the fun. member and co-founder of the Ally Coalition, and fellow LGBTQ ally Betty Who — not to mention opening sets from promising up-and-comers Great Good Fine Ok, Fletcher, Foreign Air, Now, Now, and Young Futura. And that’s just one day, Sunday, Oct. 8, out of three at this year’s Fall Classic at Union Market. In its fourth year, presenting organization All Things Go has expanded the event in duration as well as diversity. The festival kicks off Friday, Oct. 6, with headliner Galantis, the sharp Swedish electronic/dance duo, and festival mainstay the Knocks from New York, plus Bearson, jackLNDN, Win and Woo, and Lightwaves. Meanwhile, rising Atlanta rapper Young Thug leads a hip-hop-heavy bill on Saturday, Oct. 7, also featuring Vince Staples, Saba, Kweku Collins, Jay IDK, Innanet James, April, and Vista — plus Norwegian alt-R&B producer Cashmere Cat. In addition, there’ll be food on hand all throughout from some of the area’s most popular restaurants, particularly in the homegrown fast-casual category: Sweetgreen, Buredo, Takorean, &pizza, Maketto, DGS, Ivy & Coney, Milk Cult, and the Good Silver. Dock 5 at Union Market, 1309 5th St. NE. Single-day tickets are $64 for general admission or $150 for VIP, while a three-day pass costs $154, or $250 for VIP including quick entry, premium viewing areas, a dedicated cash bar, and festival swag. Call 888-512-7469 or visit allthingsgofallclassic.com.
Founded and led by Norwegian violinist Bjarte Eike, this wide-ranging Scandinavian folk-inspired baroque group is the Ensemble-in-Residence at Norway’s Bergen National Opera. Barokksolistene offers two very different concerts at the Washington National Cathedral. The first, Sunday, Oct. 8, called “Navetoberfest!,” includes food and drink, turning the cathedral into a British country pub as the ensemble performs from its recent recording The Alehouse Sessions. The focus is on the lively, colorful music of the English tavern in the 17th century, when Puritans had outlawed public performances of music, driving culture into the alehouses. On Monday, Oct. 9, Barokksolistene presents “Rounds from an English Tavern,” featuring both instrumental music and arias from the rich oeuvre of Henry Purcell’s theater music. Both concerts start at 6 p.m. Washington National Cathedral, Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues NW. Tickets are $75 for Navetoberfest!, including food and drink. Call 202-537-2228 or visit cathedral.org.
The Washington Post has referred to the 12-piece band as “a storming powerhouse of big-band African funk …smart, tight and relentlessly driving.” Chopteeth has already won a number of Washington Area Music Association Awards, including Artist of the Year in 2008. The Afrobeat-driven group performs regularly throughout the region. Friday, Oct. 6. Doors at 7:30 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $25. Call 202-787-1000 or visit thehamiltondc.com.
A self-described “poster child for intersectionality,” Matthews is a black, lesbian, preacher’s kid from the South in an interracial marriage. The Herndon, Va.-based artist tells unique stories through soul-searching acoustic folk — a blend combining elements of Jill Scott, Mavis Staples and Toshi Reagon, along with a sprinkling of Tracy Chapman. Matthew tours in support of two new accomplished, simultaneously released albums: The Imagineers, a full-length set of love songs named after a bouncy, inspiring anthem, as well as the protest-oriented EP Battle Hymn for an Army of Lovers. She’s the opening act for pop singer-songwriter David Choi, a YouTube sensation based in L.A. but with a following throughout Asia. Saturday, Oct. 14. Doors at 6 p.m. Jammin Java, 227 Maple Ave. E. Vienna. Tickets are $18, or $30 for Premier Plus reserved seats. Call 703-255-3747 or visit jamminjava.com.
HALSEY, CHARLI XCX
Listening to Halsey puts you in mind of a distorted fairy tale, a quality that’s reflected in her debut album’s title, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom. But there’s a lot more to this proudly bisexual ingenue, who ensured that one of the set’s best songs is “Strangers,” a duet with fellow bisexual artist Lauren Jauregui of Fifth Harmony on which both sing of female lovers. Halsey, of course, first came to fame a year ago as the singer for the Chainsmokers’ best single, “Don’t Let Me Down.” It’s surprising when you stop and think about how quickly she’s risen to the upper echelon of the music industry, first and foremost the fact that she’s already headlining a stadium tour. Joining her for the concert as one opening act is Charli XCX, the lead songwriter behind “I Don’t Care (I Love It)” by Icona Pop, as well as other punky-pop gems of her own (“Boom Clap,” “Break The Rules”). Monday, Oct. 9, at 8 p.m. Capital One Arena, 601 F St. NW. Call 202-628-3200 or visit capitalonearena.com.
Fresh off Bruce Springsteen’s successful River Tour, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame drummer leads a Jukebox-style concert in which the audience gets to choose the songs he and his four-piece group perform. A video menu with over 200 possible songs include hits by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and of course the Boss. Weinberg is also known from his 17-year stint as Conan O’Brien’s bandleader and comedic foil. Wednesday, Oct. 11, at 8 p.m. The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $50 to $60. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit wolftrap.org.
The unofficial keeper of the Great American Songbook offers an intimate evening of standards by “The Crooners” — Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Bing Crosby and others. The concert is the start of a yearlong collaboration with the Feinstein, who will return for more concerts himself. Yet the focus will be on presenting other artists he views as “tomorrow’s torchbearers” of the Great American Songbook, the era of music that loosely spans the two world wars and encompasses songs from early Broadway and the Jazz Age. Saturday, Oct. 7, at 8 p.m. Amp by Strathmore, 11810 Grand Park Ave. North Bethesda. Tickets are $125 to $175. Call 301-581-5100 or visit ampbystrathmore.com.
MULTIFLORA MUSIC FESTIVAL
“Search for Sanctuary” is the theme of the inaugural month-long festival by Multiflora Productions, a. D.C.-based presenting organization specializing in genre-bending multicultural music drawn from all corners of the world. The lineup over the next week includes: Group Doueh from Western Sahara at Tropicalia, on Friday, Oct. 6; Orquesta Prazevica’s Gypsy Soul Party at Bossa Bistro on Wednesday, Oct. 11, Mexico’s Grupo Tembembe on the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center and Niger’s Mdou Moctar along with the Messthetics at Comet Ping Pong, both on Thursday, Oct. 12, and Orfeia Balkan women’s choir at Hill Center on Sunday, Oct. 15. Festival runs at various venues through Oct. 31. Visit multifloraproductions.com for more information.
Based at Strathmore, this 200-member symphony opens its season with two different concerts, each featuring a different star soloist: Grammy-winning musician Zuill Bailey joins the first night to perform “the king of cello concertos,” Dvořák’s Cello Concerto in B minor, while the second finds Santiago Rodriguez performing Grieg’s most popular work, his Piano Concerto in A minor. Both concerts are led by the company’s Music Director Piotr Gajewski, feature Beethoven’s Egmont Overture, and showcase former child violin prodigy Sarah Chang. Saturday, Oct. 14, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 15, at 3 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $25 to $82. Call 301-493-9283 or visit nationalphilharmonic.org.
NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA:
Conductor Juanjo Mena pairs Tchaikovsky’s stirring “Pathétique” symphony with Barber’s Pulitzer Prize–winning Piano Concerto featuring soloist Garrick Ohlsson. The program also includes the ghostly Auditorium by Kennedy Center Composer-in-Residence Mason Bates. Thursday, Oct. 12, at 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 13, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 14, at 3 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $15 to $89. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
PRESSENDA CHAMBER PLAYERS
The Washington Conservatory opens its season with an ‘All Strings” concert from Ensemble-in-Residence along with guest violinist James Buswell. The program includes Mendelssohn’s Octet in E-Flat Major and Mozart’s sonorous String Quintet in G Minor. The evening will feature Buswell, Presenda members Aaron Berofsky, Kathy Judd, Amadi Azikiwe, Victor Asuncion and Founder/Artistic Director Tobias Werner, and guests instrumentalists Kathryn Votapek, Philippe Chao, and Jan Mueller-Szeraws. Saturday, Oct. 7, at 8 p.m. Congregational Church, 1 Westmoreland Circle. Bethesda. Tickets are free, donations welcome. Call 301-320-2770 or visit washingtonconservatory.org.
You may not know black British trip-hop pioneer Tricky, though maybe you’ve heard his ’90s-era work with Massive Attack, or seen his improbable acting turn as the evil “Right Arm” in the 1997 film blockbuster The Fifth Element. Every year seems to bring a new album of brooding tracks from the man with a sinister bass voice, and the latest is the relatively happy set Ununiform. Over the past decade, nothing compares to 2013’s False Idols, a brilliant work of dark, lusty, woozy tunes that make you think and feel. Michigan-based alt/electro-pop duo In the Valley Below opens a concert presented by the 9:30 Club in a more intimate, suitably subterranean venue. Wednesday, Oct. 11, at 6:30 p.m. U Street Music Hall, 1115A U St. NW. Tickets are $25. Call 202-588-1880 or visit ustreetmusichall.com.
TROMBONE SHORTY AND ORLEANS AVENUE
Over the years Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews and his bandmates have been tapped to help D.C. audiences celebrate everything from America’s birthday — as part of a diverse multi-act concert at RFK Stadium headlined by the Foo Fighters — to New Year’s at the 9:30 Club. This year, I.M.P. Productions brings the self-styled “supafunkrock” act from New Orleans back to help christen the Anthem, the company’s new mega-club on the Wharf, which opens on Thursday, Oct. 12, with a sold-out concert by the Foo Fighters. The stop also celebrates the release of the group’s funky, brassy, bluesy and swaggering new longplayer Parking Lot Symphony, its debut for storied label Blue Note Records. L.A.-based bluesy R&B quartet Vintage Trouble opens. Sunday, Oct. 15. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. Tickets are $37 to $57. Call 202-265-0930 or visit theanthemdc.com.
VIRGINIA OPERA: SAMSON AND DELILAH
The official opera company of the commonwealth opens its 26th season with the epic French opera by Camille Saint-Saëns that dramatizes the Biblical tale of the legendary Israelite warrior seduced and betrayed by a Philistine woman. Paul Curran stages the passionate opera with tenor Derek Taylor and mezzo-soprano Katharine Goeldner performing the title roles. In French with English supertitles. Saturday, Oct. 7, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 8, at 2 p.m. Concert Hall in George Mason University Center for the Arts, 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax. Tickets are $55 to $110. Call 888-945-2468 or visit cfa.gmu.edu.
DAKSHINA: FESTIVAL OF INDIAN ARTS
Daniel Phoenix Singh’s dance company presents its 14th annual event with a focus on pioneering women choreographers of India. Starting with free community performances of classical Indian dance styles at 6 p.m., each evening features a different company performing at 7:30 p.m.: Mallika Sarabhai and her company Darpana present a topical, progressive-minded “Classic to Contemporary” program on Thursday, Oct. 12; Bharata Natyam soloist Rama Vaidyanathan offers an evening of dance, music and poetry based on the lives of mystic poets Janabai and Lal Ded on Friday, Oct. 13; and Leela Samson and her company Spanda close out the festival with the nuanced and poignant dance production Nadi, examining the mythology and symbolism of the river in centuries of Indian poets, on Saturday, Oct. 14. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $27.50 to $60 each performance. Call 202-399-7993 or visit atlasarts.org.
DISSONANCE DANCE THEATRE
Touted as “D.C.’s only African-American-managed contemporary ballet company,” Dissonance, founded and led by gay choreographer Shawn Short, opens its 11th Season by premiering works commissioned from three emerging choreographers: Kjara Starič Wurst of Slovenia, Jaime Thompson of Dallas Black, and Kareem B. Goodwin, a native of Philadelphia who was last year’s inaugural recipient of Dissonance’s New Voices of Dance program. Titled “Rewind 2 Fast Forward,” the season opener is a mixed bill of contemporary dance ranging from ballet to jazz and also including works by Short. Saturday, Oct. 7, at 7:30 p.m. Ernst Theater in the Ernst Cultural Center, 8338 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, Va. Tickets are $15 to $25. Call 202-540-8338 or visit ddtdc.org.
The popular, Connecticut-based athletic dance troupe returns to the area for another performance of its work Shadowland, an innovative, evening-length multimedia piece following the dreamlike world of a young girl. The dancers use their bodies to form shapes projected as shadows on screens in front of them, move to a rhythmic original score by American composer David Poe. Shadowland was conceived in collaboration with Steven Banks, lead writer for SpongeBob SquarePants. Friday, Oct. 13, at 8 p.m. Concert Hall in George Mason University Center for the Arts, 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax. Tickets are $29 to $48. Call 888-945-2468 or visit cfa.gmu.edu.
THE RED SHOES
The acclaimed British choreographer Matthew Bourne presents a re-envisioning of the beloved fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen and the 1948 iconic Oscar-winning film about one young woman’s dream to be the greatest dancer in the world. Liam Mower, the original Billy Elliot on London’s West End, plays Ivan Boleslavsky, while American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Marcelo Gomes alternates as Julian Craster. Music by the legendary Bernard Herrmann. Opens Tuesday, Oct. 10, at 7:30 p.m. Runs to Oct. 15. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $29 to $129. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
THE WASHINGTON BALLET: RUSSIAN MASTERS
Julie Kent launches her second season as the company’s artistic director with an evening of works revealing where classical ballet began and the influence a quartet of choreographers have had on the art form over the last 175 years. The program includes: Michel Fokine’s Les Sylphides, a romantic reverie set to music by Chopin that is in the repertory of nearly every company in the world; Alexei Ratmansky’s Boléro, a reflection on the pressures of modern society set to Maurice Ravel’s famous orchestral piece; Marius Petipa’s grand Le Corsaire Pas de Deux, one of the most famous in the classical ballet repertoire, performed to the music of Adolphe Adam; and George Balanchine’s Prodigal Son, based on the biblical parable and set to Prokofiev. Accompanied by the company’s orchestra. Thursday, Oct. 5, and Friday, Oct. 6, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 7, and Sunday, Oct. 8, at 2 and 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $25 to $140. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
VELOCITYDC DANCE FESTIVAL
A special partnership with several local dance organizations and presenters, including the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, this festival showcases world-class dance of various styles — all of it D.C.-based. “D.C. is not often seen as a major dance hub nationally, but it should be,” Samantha Pollack of presenting organization Washington Performing Arts told Metro Weekly a few years ago. “We really have some incredible companies that perform in everything from tap to flamenco to modern ballet to Sri Lankan.” Among the 17 groups selected to offer short performances in the 9th annual festival are CityDance, El Teatro de Danza Contemporanea, Gin Dance Company, Prakriti Dance, PrioreDance, Therese Gahl, and the Washington Ballet Trainee Program, with site-specific works by Heart Stuck Bernie and LucidBeings Dance. Regie Cabico emcees each night. Friday, Oct. 6, and Saturday, Oct. 7, starting at 7:15 p.m. Also a Family Matinee Saturday, Oct. 7, starting at 1:15 p.m. Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F St. NW. Ticket are $18 to $30 for each program. Call 202-547-1122 or visit velocitydc.org.
CAMERON ESPOSITO AND RHEA BUTCHER
A real-life married couple, these two comedians team up for a Back To Back stand-up tour, building on the dynamic they exhibited on the comedy series Take My Wife. The first gay, married couple to co-create and co-star in a TV show. They perform individually and together as part of a seated show. Saturday, Oct. 7, at 8 p.m. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $33.50. Call 202-265-0930 or visit 930.com.
A bisexual San Francisco native of Korean descent, Cho has consistently worked to counteract prudish attitudes and negative portrayals about sex and alternative sexualities, in over two decades of work as a stand-up comedian and TV personality. She returns to D.C. for the third time this year, with a new stand-up show entitled “Fresh Off the Bloat.” Naturally, she’ll speak her mind in an intentionally provocative way. “I think about Kathy Griffin and the incredible backlash she was dealing with, and how it’s brought that whole thing back of comedians going too far,” Cho told Metro Weekly earlier this summer. “A comedian’s purpose is to push boundaries and to be offensive.” Saturday, Oct. 14, at 8 p.m. Warner Theatre, 513 13th St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $58. Call 202-783-4000 or visit warnertheatredc.com.
THROWING SHADE LIVE: ERIN GIBSON & BRYAN SAFI
The gay Bryan Safi and Erin Gibson, both part of the hit New York comedy troupe Upright Citizens Brigade, offer a live show of their boundary pushing political comedy podcast and TV show. Expect fresh takes on pop culture, women’s rights, and LGBTQ rights. Tuesday, Oct. 10, at 8 p.m. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $25 in advance, or $30 day of show. Call 202-408-3100 or visit sixthandi.org.
From The Color Purple and Ghost to The View today, Goldberg has shown her versatility as an actress, comedian and talk show host and is part of the elite group of artists who have won Grammy, Oscar, Golden Globe, Emmy and Tony Awards. After an engagement at Strathmore last May, Goldberg returns to D.C. for a night of stand-up at the Kennedy Center presented in the run-up to the 20th anniversary celebration of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor — which she won in 2001. Friday, Oct. 13, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $49 to $125. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
DAN BUETTNER: THE GEOGRAPHY OF HAPPINESS
National Geographic Explorer and author of The Blue Zones of Happiness reveals the secrets of the world’s happiest places and shows how to apply their lessons wherever you live. Buettner will share his insights as part of a discussion also featuring Jose Maria Figueres, former president of Costa Rica, Dan Witters of the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index, Carol Graham of the Brookings Institution and the University of Maryland, and Johannes C. Eichstaedt of the World Well-Being Project. Susan Goldberg, editor in chief of National Geographic magazine, moderates. Tuesday, Oct. 10, at 7:30 p.m. National Geographic Society’s Gilbert H. Grosvenor Auditorium, 1600 M St. NW. Tickets are $25. Call 202-857-7700 or visit nglive.org or events.nationalgeographic.com.
GABI MOSKOWITZ, MIRANDA BERMAN: HOT MESS KITCHEN
Authors of a new cookbook aim “to save millennials from the perils of takeout and take back the kitchen” with easy recipes and personal stories. Moskowitz, the San Francisco-based editor of blog BrokeAss Gourmet, and Berman, a Los Angeles-based writer for The Mindy Project, come to town for an author talk, Q&A and signing of a book that Jenni Konner, co-creator of HBO’s Girls, says “threatens to be the most relatable, down-to-earth cookbook on the planet.” Tuesday, Oct. 10, at 6:30 p.m. East City Bookshop, 645 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Call 202-290-1636 or visit eastcitybookshop.com.
STORY DISTRICT: QUEER CUENTOS
Developed in partnership with the Latino GLBT History Project, this event features personal stories shared in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month on National Coming Out Day. “This is a partnership that I’ve been wanting to do for a while,” Cristina Calvillo-Rivera of the History Project told Metro Weekly. “We will have a diverse cast of Latinx folks speaking in Spanish, speaking in English, speaking in Spanglish,telling their stories on the intersections of being LGBTQ and Latinx, on being an immigrant, on having parents who are immigrants as well.” Calvillo-Rivera, who shared her own story at a Story District event two years ago, adds that “the audience is right there with you. They’re feeling the heartache with you, or they’re laughing with you, or they’re feeling that moment of pride, because they too have gone through those similar experiences and know what type of resilience it takes.” Wednesday, Oct. 11. Doors at 6:30 p.m. Town, 2009 8th St. NW. Cover is $10. Call 202-234-TOWN or visit facebook.com/LatinoGLBTHistory.
BODY LANGUAGE: QUEER ACTIVISTS FROM POST-YUGOSLAVIA
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 Institut 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. Closes Saturday, Oct. 7. Otis Street Art Project, 3706 Otis St. Mt. Rainier, Md. Call 202-550-4634 or visit otisstreetarts.wixsite.com/otisstreetarts.
DENATURED: TECHNOLOGY AND THE NATURAL WORLD
Imagined futures, ghostly pasts, the detritus of technological process and tensions between the organic and artificial are all central to the pieces in this exhibition at District of Columbia Arts Center. Sarah Burford curated the show featuring works in video, mixed-media, creative coding and 3D prints by Ryan Hoover, Joanna Platt, Rachel Schmidt and Fabiola Yurcisin. Opens Oct. 6. Opening Reception is Friday, Oct. 13, from 7 to 9 p.m. On display through Nov. 12. DCAC, 2438 18th St. NW. Call 202-462-7833 or visit dcartscenter.org.
INHOTIM: AT THE CROSSROADS OF GLOBAL CHANGE
The relationship among art, culture and climate change is reflected in the first U.S. exhibition from Inhotim, the Brazilian botanical garden and contemporary art museum. Presented in partnership with the International Development Bank, it features artworks from the permanent collection by Luiz Zerbini, Iran do Espirito Santo, Olafur Eliasson and Vik Muniz plus exclusive sound pieces by O Grivo. The exhibit serves to introduce the American public to the richness of the institute’s biodiversity as well as the history and significance of this landmark institution, established in 2006 in one of the world’s most heavily mined regions. The larger message is to stress the reality that climate change is a real and present danger and a drain on our collective future. To Oct. 13. IDB Cultural Center, 1300 New York Ave. NW. Call 202-623-1000 or visit iadb.org/exhibitions.
MIAMI IS NICE
The Golden Girls inspired this group art show and event series organized by the artist-run gallery SpaceCamp in Baltimore’s Station North, the area that also houses the city’s revitalized Eagle. Zachary Z. Handler served as lead curator of the exhibition, which also serves as the venue for his wedding to fellow Baltimore artist and performer Nick Horan — and decorative remnants from their wedding will remain in the gallery for the duration of the show as an art installation. Other artists with works on display include: Jackie Cassidy, Felice Cleveland, Samuel Draxler, Alissa Eberle, Alice Gadzinski, Labomamo, Ryan Lauderdale, Anya Mizani, April Pink, Sidney Pink, Danya Smith and Tiffany Smith. A portion of all artwork sales will go to SAGE Advocacy and Services for LGBT Elders and the Trans Women of Color Collective. Opening reception is Saturday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m. A discussion between Golden Girls screenwriter Stan Zimmerman and H. Alan Scott, host of Out on the Lanai: A Golden Girls Podcast, is Wednesday, Oct. 18, from 8 to 10 p.m. Runs to Oct. 28. SpaceCamp, 16 West North Ave. Baltimore. Visit miamiisnice.com.
MORGAN MONCEAUX: BLACK LEATHERMAN’S JOURNAL
“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. Born in Louisiana in 1945 and a Vietnam War veteran, Monceaux was a self-taught painter who created works mostly in the form of series to better tell one story across paintings. His 1992 series of presidential portraits, “George to George,” was featured in the New Yorker as well as in a display at Washington National Airport. And his portraits of Ray Charles, Dinah Washington and B.B. King are included in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery. Closes Sunday, Oct. 8. The Baltimore Eagle Art Gallery, 2022 N. Charles St. Call 410-200-9858 or visit thebaltimoreeagle.com.
NURIEH MOZAFFARI: LA LUNE BLANCHE
Capturing the essence of the reflection of the moon, whether rising or falling, is the focus of this series by Iranian-born painter who emigrated to Canada in 1998. Many of the paintings further evoke scenes of Washington, New York and Paris. Closes Saturday, Oct. 7. Susan Calloway Fine Arts, 1643 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Call 202-965-4601 or visit callowayart.com.
ROBERT RISKO: MARK TWAIN PRIZE EXHIBIT
A showcase of work by one of today’s most celebrated caricaturist, who has created the caricatures for the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor since 2002. Risko started his career following in the footsteps of his mentor Andy Warhol, moving to New York from Pittsburgh and drawing iconic celebrity portraits in his inimitable graphic style for Warhol’s trendy downtown magazine Interview. In 1983, at age 25, Annie Leibovitz, Keith Haring and art director Bea Feitler chose him to define the look of the relaunched Vanity Fair, and he’s been a regular contributor to the magazine ever since. Now to Oct. 27. Kennedy Center Hall of Nations. Free. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
SUPERFIERCE: ART OF RESISTANCE
According to statistics from the National Endowment for the Arts, while approximately 51 percent of visual artists are women, less than 5 percent are represented in major museums around the world. Maggie O’Neill started the organization SuperFierce as a support system to help connect, inspire, mentor and exhibit fellow female artists. Its 2017 exhibition features over 30 female artists, selected by a panel of local visual art experts, and including, among others, Behnaz Babazadeh, Kimberly Cunningham, Lana Gomez, Linda Hesh, Akemi Maegawa, Anne Marchand, Cara Peterson, Caitlyn Price, Amber Robles-Gordon, and Antonia Tricarico. Closing with a Haute Halloween Party on Oct. 27, the exhibition officially opens with a Salon Party featuring music by DJ Neekola, open bar and valet, and with 25 percent of all proceeds, including from sales of artwork, benefiting EBeauty, which provides wigs and support to women with cancer. The Salon Party is Thursday, Oct. 5, from 7:30 p.m. to midnight, with a VIP Collectors Artist Reception starting at 6:30 p.m. Exhibition on display until Nov. 4. Blind Whino, 700 Delaware Ave. SW. Tickets are $100 including open bar and valet, or $150 to $1,000 for VIP options including swag bags and artwork. Call 202-554-0103 or visit superfierce.org.
THE GREAT MYSTERY
Baltimore’s American Visionary Art Museum is letting its curiosity run wild in its 21st year-long exhibition curated by founder and director Rebecca Hoffberger. Partly inspired by Albert Einstein, who once referred to the concept of life as “the Great Mystery,” the show celebrates mysteries big and small, the ultimate source of artistic creativity, scientific inquiry and social progress. On display are works by 44 visionary artists, research scientists, astronauts, mystics and philosophers. Preview Party is Friday, Oct. 6, from 7 to 10 p.m. On exhibit through Sept. 2, 2018. American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Highway. Baltimore. Tickets are $20 for Preview Party, $15.95 for regular daily admission. Call 410-244-1900 or visit avam.org.
YOU CAN GROW IT!
The United States Botanic Garden presents an exhibit intended to help experienced and novice gardeners alike 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. Extended to Oct. 15. Conservatory Terrace and East Gallery, 100 Maryland Ave. SW. Call 202-225-8333 or visit usbg.gov.
HANK’S OLD TOWN: OYSTERFEST 10
“We wanted to do something for the community to bring people together,” Hank’s founder Jamie Leeds says about the origins of OysterFest. “We thought we’d provide all-you-can-eat oysters, drink beer and just have a good time.” It proved so popular upon its launch in the spring of 2007 at her original Dupont Circle location, she quickly made it an annual fall event to help christen her new Alexandria offshoot. At both locations, the prospect of all-you-can-drink premium craft beer, wine and punch to wash down fresh, fried and BBQ’d bivalves, popcorn calamari, onion rings, and Old Bay fries has become such a draw, the line starts forming at breakfast and doesn’t let up until hours into the whole shucking sensation. Saturday, Oct. 14, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hank’s Oyster Bar, 1026 King St., Alexandria. Tickets are $90 all inclusive. Call 202-733-1971 or visit hanksoysterbar.com.
LEGAL SEAFOODS: OYSTER FESTIVAL
All locations of this Massachusetts-based seafood chain, including the three in the D.C. area, participate in the 9th annual celebrating all things bivalves. Choose three fried oysters — prepared Buffalo or BBQ style, or as an “Oyster BLT” — for $10, or three baked oysters — prepared as a Lobster Spinach Oyster bake, Oyster Scampi with shrimp, Crab & Cheese Oyster, or Roasted Oyster with smoked chorizo — for $12. A variety of oysters will also be available raw, served on the half shell, with selections changing daily. Wash it all down with the festival’s Skiff Cocktail, an $11 concoction of vodka, aromatized wine, lemon, botanicals and celery bitters. Through Oct. 11. All three area locations: 704 7th St. NW, 2301 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, and 2001 International Drive in Tysons Galleria, McLean. Visit legalseafoods.com.
NEW KITCHENS ON THE BLOCK 3.0
If you’re a foodie struggling to keep your palate on the pulse of D.C.’s still-burgeoning restaurant scene, you can’t do much better than Mess Hall. Throughout the year, the food incubator in Northeast’s Edgewood neighborhood features the hottest new and forthcoming restaurants in a festival environment. In addition to the winter Ramen World, there’s this popular event, now in its third year. Previews on offer at NKOTB 3.0: Spoken English from Erik Bruner-Yang and Brothers and Sisters bar from Todd Thrasher, both ventures in the soon-to-open Line Hotel in Adams Morgan, Lucky Buns from Alex McGoy, Maydan from Gerald Addison & Chris Morgan, Bindaas from Vikram Sunderam, Pluma by Bluebird Bakery from Camilla Argano and Tom Wellings, Manna from Todd Gray, Chloe from Haidar Karoum, Coconut Club from Adam Greenberg, the Eleanor from Adam Stein, Dorjee Momo from Lobsang Dorjee Tsering, and Cured DC from Chris Johnson and James Brosch. All that plus cocktails featuring spirits from Catoctin Creek Distilling Company, New Columbia Distillers Green Hat Gin and One Eight Distilling. Ticketed in two-hour sessions, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 8. Mess Hall, 703 Edgewood St. NE. Tickets are $65, or $105 for VIP priority access with swag bag. Visit facebook.com/messhalldc.
LOST CREEK FARM, BUXTON HALL BBQ: APPALACHIAN DINNER POPUP
For two nights the first weekend in October, a team of four Appalachian chefs will set up shop at D.C.’s Mess Hall. There, the chefs — Mike Costello and Amy Dawson of Lost Creek Farm in West Virginia, and Ashley Capps and Travis Schultz of Buxton Hall Barbecue in Asheville, N.C. — will collaborate for a menu featuring seasonal favorites from each kitchen and honoring food traditions from their respective mountain locales. Among the small plates on offer: Venison Sausage Hand Pies, Wood-Roasted Sweet Corn Chowder, Shaved Country Ham, Buttermilk-Poached Salt Trout, and Creamed Bloody Butcher Grits from Lost Creek; Salt & Vinegar Pork Skins, Pimento Cheese Straws, Pulled Pork and Chicken Liver Ravioli, Fried Peanuts and Naomi’s Cornbread Crumbs from Buxton Hall. Dessert options include Old-Fashioned Vinegar Pie or Salty Paw Paw Ice Cream from Lost Creek, Black Walnut Butter Cake or Chocolate Shortbread from Buxton Hall. Friday, Oct. 6, and Saturday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m. Mess Hall, 703 Edgewood St. NE. Tickets are $65 for special tasting menu and welcome cocktail made with Hawk Knob Hard Cider from West Virginia. Visit facebook.com/messhalldc.
TASTE OF BETHESDA
The 28th Annual Food and Music Festival brings nearly 50 restaurants and five stages of entertainment to Bethesda’s Woodmont Triangle. Produced by the Bethesda Urban Partnership, this year sees returning restaurants such as Georgetown Cupcake, Jaleo Bethesda, Louisiana Kitchen & Bayou Bar, Mussel Bar, Olazzo, Ruth’s Chris, Quartermaine Coffee Roasters and Rock Bottom, joined by new restaurants Community, George’s Chophouse, Medium Rare and TapaBar. Live performances will come from Albino Rhino, Band of Us, Chopteeth, Hayley Fahey Band, Lea Morris, Lloyd Dobler Effect and Patrick Alban Band, plus Carpathia Folk Dance Ensemble, Culkin School of Traditional Irish Dance, Nomad Dancers, Soul in Motion and the Wild Zappers and National Deaf Dance Theater. Saturday, Oct. 7, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Woodmont Triangle, Bethesda. Free admission, or $5 for four “taste” tickets. Call 301-215-6660 or visit bethesda.org for more information.
TASTE OF DC
More than 65 restaurants and food trucks take part in what is billed as “the largest culinary festival in the Mid Atlantic” presented by Events DC. Participating vendors this year include: Arepa Zone, Ben & Jerry’s, Capital Chicken & Waffles, Captain Cookie & the Milkman, District Doughnut, Maggiano’s, Maki Shop, Rocklands Barbeque, Smoke-N-The-City, Teak Wood, Texas de Brazil, the Oyster Truck, and Upper Crust Pizzeria. In addition to Restaurant Row, Taste of DC offers chefs leading demonstrations at the ABW Culinary Stage, a Wine Walk and a Beer Garden, a local artisan and craft market, plus live entertainment on multiple stages — with performances from Dupont Brass Band, Perfekt Blend, Batala, Swagfunk, Beyond Limits Dance Ensemble. Saturday, Oct. 7, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 8, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Festival Grounds at RFK Stadium, 2400 E. Capitol St. NE. Tickets are $9.99 to $49.99 plus fees. Call 202-249-3000 or visit thetasteofdc.org for more information.
INTERNATIONAL MR. LEATHER BEAR WEEKEND
The Baltimore Eagle is gearing up for its debut as host of the Mr. Leather Bear Contest. Structured similarly to D.C.’s Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend, IMLB, taking place over Columbus Day Weekend, features a contestant Meet & Greet on Friday, a formal cocktails event and dinner Saturday, and a brunch buffet Sunday. The weekend officially launches with an Underwear Pre-Party on Thursday, Oct. 5, while Saturday, Oct. 7, ushers in the main club event, the new ManBearPig Party, touted as “a night of shenanigans and dancing” as soundtracked by DJ Steve Henderson. Unlike MAL, however, the signature contest here is spread out over two days, starting Saturday afternoon with “Bar Wear and On Stage Questions, Pecs & Personality,” and finishing Sunday, Oct. 8, with the Formal Wear and Speech portions. A Closing Party Celebration follows announcement of the winner at 2 p.m. Baltimore Eagle, 2022 N. Charles St. A Full Run weekend pass, including every event except brunch, runs $99, while the VIP package offers brunch and booze for $149; individual tickets to ManBearPig are $20. Call 410-200-9858 or visit thebaltimoreeagle.com. The IMLB host hotel is Hotel Indigo, 24 W. Franklin St. Mention “Mr. Leather Bear” to get a discounted room rate of $149. Call 410-625-6200 or visit baltimoreindigohotel.com.
ADAMS MORGAN PORCHFEST
A month after Adams Morgan Day comes a smaller festival showcasing the eclectic rhythms that make the multicultural neighborhood move. Launched in 2013 by the Adams Morgan Partnership BID, PorchFest features dozens of local musicians and musical acts. It’s a mix of ages and expertise, performing a mix of styles from brass to R&B, folk to rock, and Latin to reggae, in pop-up venues on porches and patios of historic homes and local businesses throughout the neighborhood’s leafy residential streets. Saturday, Oct. 7, from 2 to 6 p.m. Starting point is at 1801 Adams Mill Rd. NW. Free. Call 202-997-0783 or visit facebook.com/adamsmorganporchfest.
CHARM CITY KITTY CLUB: 15 YEARS OF QUEER
Baltimore’s premiere queer cabaret collective celebrates its 15th anniversary with a show of greatest hits, bringing back key artists, including WAMMY-winning DJ/producer Arthur Loves Plastic aka Bev Stanton, electronic musician and poet Tula Mae, erotic performance poet and Emmy-nominated musician Ellen Cherry, stand-up comedy from “punalingus” newcomer Rose Vineshank, and founding Kitty Club members Kristen Anchor and Megan McShea with their collaborative, experimental romcom video poem “Oceanauts.” Friday, Oct. 13, and Saturday, Oct. 14, at 8 p.m., preceded by cocktails at 7 p.m. Baltimore Theatre Project, 45 West Preston St. Tickets are $15. Call 410-752-8558 or visit theatreproject.org.
DC DESIGN HOUSE
A benefit for Children’s National Health System, the 10th annual event highlights the talents of the D.C. area’s top decorators, with 23 beautifully designed spaces, four boutiques, plus special events throughout the month — with a daily onsite cafe by Relish Catering. This year’s house was built in 2009 and sits on two acres, a four-story, nearly 28,000 square-foot Potomac manse with nine bedrooms, nine full bathrooms, lower-level ballroom, a cinema, two-story library flanked by two offices, multiple kitchens, a pool, pool house with apartment and covered terrace — and all of it can be yours at the listing price of merely $10.28 million dollars. Runs to Oct. 29. 9004 Congressional Court, Potomac. Tickets are $35 to $60. Visit dcdesignhouse.com for more information.
LA-TI-DO: GOLDEN AGE MUSICALS, RUSSELL SILBER
Regie Cabico and Don Mike Mendoza’s variety show features higher-quality singing than most karaoke, often from local musical theater actors performing on their night off, and also includes spoken-word poetry and comedy. Certainly, you can expect local performers at the next event focused on songs from classical musicals spanning the 1940s to the early 1970s. The featured singer is Silber, a company member of Pallas Theatre Collective. Mendoza and Anya Randall Nebel host, and Taylor Rambo offers accompaniment. Monday, Oct. 9, at 8 p.m. Bistro Bistro, 1727 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets are $15, or $10 if you eat dinner at the restaurant beforehand. Call 202-328-1640 or visit latidodc.wix.com/latido.
MARYLAND RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL
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 rennfest.com.
OPUS 1 FESTIVAL
Columbia’s newly renovated Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods gets transformed in this first of a three-year project celebrating technology and art. Presented by the Howard Hughes Corporation, the developers of downtown Columbia, and curated by New York’s art production company Wild Dogs International, this free, multi-sensory festival features immersive art installations, mesmerizing music performances and treetop projection mapping, as well as artisanal culinary offerings and a bonfire hearth to provide a surreal sensory journey. Among the highlights: the Lighting Cloud, an immersive, inflatable air pavilion designed by architect Jesse Seegers; the U.S. premiere of Hibridos Live, exploring Brazilian ritual dance and soundscapes through live video mixing and performance; the Color Field Immersion created by Doron Sadja, exploring modes of perception and the experience of sound, light and space; the Projection Cube, surrounding visitors in a 360-degree environment of video art from artist Peter Burr; the Dream Machine, Brion Gysin’s hallucination-inducing sculpture, which will be set up on the Chrysalis stage for an immersive performance featuring Darkside’s Dave Harrington with guests; and performances by New York’s indie-experimentalists Gang Gang Dance and the Green Machine, George Mason’s Pep Band. Saturday, Oct. 7, from 4 to 11 p.m. Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Md. Free, but those who make reservations online get expedited entry. Visit opusmerriweather.com.
SMITHSONIAN’S CRAFT2WEAR SHOW
Now in its 11th year, the “show and sale of wearable art” features masters of American handicrafts, 65 in all selected by the Smithsonian Women’s Committee, as well as leaders from leading design schools. Having raised $11 million in its first decade for the Smithsonian’s museums, research facilities and traveling exhibits, the focus of Craft2Wear is on purchasable, one-of-a-kind clothing, jewelry and accessories. Festival opens with a cocktail reception featuring hors d’oeuvres, a professional fashion show and stylists demonstrations on Thursday, Oct. 5, from 6 to 9 p.m. Festival runs Friday, Oct. 5, from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 7, from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. Tickets are $13 per day in advance or $15 at the door, or $50 for Opening Night, by advance purchase only. Call 202-272-2448 or visit smithsoniancraft2wear.org.