Metro Weekly

Out On the Town: D.C. arts and entertainment highlights — January 25-31

Maze Runner: The Death Cure



Oliver (Armie Hammer) is an academic who comes to stay at a family’s villa in 1980s Italy. There, he strikes up a bond with 17-year-old Elio (Timothée Chalamet), one that changes both men’s lives as their desire for one another takes over. Luca Guadagnino directs the coming-of-age tale, based on the book by André Aciman, and critics are falling head-over-heels for its intellectual eroticism. Could it be this year’s Moonlight? Now playing. Area theaters. Visit (Rhuaridh Marr)


A precursor to the science fiction genre, Fred M. Wilcox directs Cyril Hume’s far-out, very loose adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Forbidden Planet follows a spacecraft as it travels to a distant planet to explore the fate of a group of scientists sent there decades earlier. Years before Airplane! ushered in his legacy as “the Olivier of spoofs” (per Roger Ebert), Leslie Nielsen starred as Commander John J. Adams in a film also notable as the first of any genre to use an entirely electronic musical score, composed by Bebe and Louis Barron. Part of the Landmark Capital Classics series. Screenings are Wednesday, Jan. 31, at 1:30, 4:30, and 7:30 p.m., at the West End Cinema, 2301 M St. NW. Happy hour from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 to $12.50. Call 202-534-1907 or visit


Based on the bestselling book series by James Dashner, the Hunger Games-style dystopian science-fiction franchise draws to a close with its third and final installment. Delayed by a year to allow its star Dylan O’Brien to recover from injuries sustained during filming, it’s far from clear that it’ll be worth the wait. The Death Cure has thus far garnered very middling reviews. Opens Friday, Jan. 26. Area theaters. Visit

Everything Is Illuminated — Photo: C. Stanley Photography



Two families are changed forever when a selfie is sent to one person but shared by another in Gustavo Ott’s timely play, in a world-premiere production by GALA Hispanic Theatre. Performed in Spanish with English surtitles projected above the stage. Abel Lopez directs a cast including Luz Nicolas, Carlos Castillo, Karen Morales, Jose Gonzalez, Samantha Rios, and Maria Peyramaure. Opens Thursday, Feb. 1. Runs to Feb. 28. GALA Theatre at Tivoli Square, 3333 14th St. NW. Tickets are $30 to $45. Call 202-234-7174 or visit

4,380 NIGHTS

Playwright Annalisa Dias offers a critique of power, humanity, and what it means to be an American in her examination of the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center and our post 9/11 world. The title refers to the length of time — translating to a deplorable 12 years — that Malik Djamal Ahmad Essaid has been held without charge at Guantanamo, in a play that explores the effects of his detention. Kathleen Akerley directs Ahmad Kamal as El Kaim, plus Michael John Casey, Rex Daugherty, and Lynette Rathnam. Now to Feb. 18. Ark Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit


It transpires that everyone — or almost everyone, anyway — wants to fuck British explorer Harry Bagley, who’s welcomed with open arms into the family at the heart of Caryl Churchill’s mischievously provocative comedy, which was written in 1978. Churchill was notably 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. Natka Bianchini directs a cast that includes Kathryne Daniels, Tavis Forsyth, Nick Fruit, Jonas Grey, Barbara Hauck, Matthew Payne, and Kristina Szilagyi. Opens Friday, Jan. 26, at 8 p.m., with a complimentary post-performance celebration. Runs to Feb. 4. Theatre Project, 45 West Preston St. Baltimore. Tickets are $15 to $30. Call 410-752-8558 or visit


Aaron Posner directs a stage adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer’s best-selling debut novel about a young man who sets out to find the woman who might or might not have saved his grandfather in Nazi Germany. The journey into an unexpected past, where reality collides with fiction, is brought to life on stage with a cast featuring Alex Alferov, Billy Finn, Eric Hissom, Daven Ralston, and Nancy Robinette. To Feb. 4. The Aaron and Cecile Goldman Theater, Edlavitch DCJCC, 1529 16th St. NW. Tickets are $39 to $69. Call 202-777-3247 or visit


SCENA Theatre presents a world premiere, based on historical events, by John Shand. The story of a charming and clever philandering priest in the 17th Century, the provocative drama delves into the intolerance, xenophobia and persecution of the powers that be, depicting a collision between five people who cannot tell the truth from lies. To Feb. 4. Sprenger Theatre in Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $10 to $50. Call 202-399-7993 or visit


Hamlet is a monumental role for any actor, and a few years after personifying Barbra Streisand in the one-man tour-de-force Buyer & Cellar, Michael Urie returns to the Shakespeare Theatre Company to take on the troubled Danish prince, one of the hallmarks of Western literature. Yet if anyone knows Urie is up to such a serious, dramatic challenge, it’s Michael Kahn, who directs his former Julliard student directs Urie in a production that includes Robert Joy, Madeleine Potter, Keith Baxter, and Oyin Oladejo as Ophelia. In previews. Opens Monday, Jan. 22. Extended to March 4. Harman Hall, 610 F St. NW. Call 202-547-1122 or visit


An adaptation of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline by local artist Charlie Marie McGrath, Imogen is noteworthy as one of the first productions of the second Women’s Voices Theater Festival (a total of 25 local productions by women playwrights will be presented through mid-February in this bid for greater gender parity in American theater). McGrath, a directing fellow at the Shakespeare Theatre Company, has reimagined Shakespeare’s original adventure with Princess Imogen examining her expectations when the fairytale strays from the tried and true. Also, because it’s from Pointless, you can expect puppets. To Feb. 11. Dance Loft on 14 Theater, 4618 14th St. NW, 2nd Floor. Tickets are $30. Call 202-621-3670 or visit


A one-man show tracing a bittersweet journey of self-discovery, writer/performer W. Allen Taylor portrays a wide-range of colorful characters in addition to sharing personal stories and memories. As it happens, the father he never got the chance to know was the first black DJ in Cleveland. Director Ellen Sebastian Chang helped the Bay Area-based Taylor hone a show that pays posthumous tribute to his father by celebrating the rich cultural legacy of black radio, with inclusion of standout tracks from his father’s era. Taylor, who has performed the work all over for more than a decade now, brings it to D.C. for a run presented by the Atlas Performing Arts Center. Pay-What-You-Can performances are Thursday, Jan. 25, and Wednesday, Jan. 31, at 8 p.m. To Feb. 10. Lab Theatre II, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $20 to $35. Call 202-399-7993 or visit


The Gloria Estefan story helmed by a powerhouse team: director Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots), choreographer Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys), and writer Alexander Dinelaris (Birdman). Closes Sunday, Jan. 28. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $59 to $149. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


Erika Rose plays a woman finding her place in war-torn Nigeria in this sequel from Caleen Sinnette Jennings to Queens Girl in the World, a New York Times-certified hit from the first Women’s Voices Theatre Festival two years ago. Part of the second iteration of the festival, Mosaic Theater presents a world premiere and its first commission, becoming part of its series “Transformational Journeys: Inspired Singular Explorations.” Paige Hernandez directs. To Feb. 4. Lang Theatre in Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Call 202-399-7993 or visit


Playwright Tracey Conyer Lee explores police brutality, #BlackLivesMatter and American ideals in a work that Ally Theatre Company offers as its contribution to the Women’s Voices Theater Festival. Tamieka Chavis, Michelle Rogers, and Jeremy Keith Hunter star in the world-premiere production, directed by KenYatta Rogers, and focused on the core-rocking consternation that befalls a black police officer after a family friend loses her husband to a trigger-happy white officer. Closes Sunday, Jan. 28. Joe’s Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mount Rainier, Md. Tickets are $15 to $25. Call 301-699-1819 or visit


Having staged Last Train to Nibroc last season, Washington Stage Guild offers the second in Arlene Hutton’s “Nibroc Trilogy,” following a couple in the aftermath of World War II and beyond. Lexi Langs and Wood Van Meter return as May and Raleigh, and we see them at home in Kentucky with their very different mothers, who have plenty of ideas for how they should proceed with their lives. To Feb. 11. Undercroft Theatre of Mount Vernon United Methodist Church, 900 Massachusetts Ave. NW. Tickets are $50 to $60. Call 240-582-0050 or visit


As its contribution to the Women’s Voices Theater Festival, Arena Stage offers a world premiere of Mary Kathryn Nagle’s exploration into the state of Native American affairs. Focused particularly on Washington’s historical treatment of the Cherokee Nation and the present-day consequences, as examined through the work of a young Cherokee lawyer fighting for her people while confronting the ghosts of her grandfathers. To Feb. 18. Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Call 202-488-3300 or visit

The Humans — Photo: Julieta Cervantes


Stephen Karam’s uproarious, hopeful, heartbreaking play, a keenly observed examination of our modern age of anxiety, won the 2016 Tony for Best Play. It now tours the country with a six-member cast including Richard Thomas, Pamela Reed, and Daisy Eagan, and directed by Joe Mantello. Closes Sunday, Jan. 28. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $49 to $139. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


Thornton Wilder’s other Pulitzer Prize-winning play, less well-known than Our Town, is an epic saga, dating to 1943, that was far ahead of its time in mixing farce, burlesque, satire and absurdism. Who better than Constellation Theatre Company to bring that to life in the 21st century? Mary Hall Surface directs an ensemble cast acting out the time-traveling tragicomedy about the Eternal Family, led by a couple who have been married 5,000 years, with a baby dinosaur and a woolly mammoth saved from extinction as family pets. To Feb. 18. Source Theatre, 1835 14th St. NW. Tickets are $25 to $55. Call 202-204-7741 or visit


Theresa Rebeck (TV’s Smash) loosely adapts William Congreve’s 17th-century comedy of manners by exposing the foibles of the one-percenters. Presented by Folger Theatre as part of the Women’s Voices Theatre Festival, The Way of the World is set in modern-day Hamptons and stars noted Broadway actress Kristine Nielsen (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike). To Feb. 11. 201 East Capitol St. SE. Call 202-544-7077 or visit


As its contribution to the Women’s Voices Theater Festival, Studio Theatre commissioned this play from Sarah DeLappe following a pack of 16-year-old girls who are the stars of their school’s soccer team. Marti Lyons directs a work about the “contact sport of adolescence” as told from the female perspective. “I wanted to see a portrait of teenage girls as human beings,” DeLappe says. “As complicated, nuanced, very idiosyncratic people who weren’t just girlfriends or sex objects or manic pixie dream girls but who were athletes and daughters and students and scholars and people who were trying actively to figure out who they were in this changing world around them.” To March 4. Studio Theatre, 14th & P Streets NW. Call 202-332-3300 or visit

Aaron Tveit



In 2010, he portrayed Peter Orlovsky, the partner of poet Allen Ginsberg (James Franco) in Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s Howl. Yet Aaron Tveit is far better known for musical theater, on Broadway (Next to Normal, Catch Me If You Can) and on screen (Danny Zuko in Fox’s Grease Live!). Tveit returns for two evenings of cabaret at the Barns at Wolf Trap after making his debut last year. Friday, Jan. 26, and Saturday, Jan. 27, at 8 p.m. The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $40 to $55. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit


Dr. Cornel West is the special guest for a performance of the Cornel West Concerto by the jazz band originally formed at the behest of Wynton Marsalis at New York’s Lincoln Center. The scholar/activist will share innovative spoken-word text as part a piece exploring the importance of music in the fight for social change, with music composed by the Grammy-winning O’Farrill, son of Cuban jazz bandleader Chico O’Farrill. The 18-piece ensemble will also perform other pieces written by its leader, including Clump, Unclump, A Wise Latina, Afro Latin Jazz Suite, and The Three Revolutions. Part of Strathmore’s Windows to the World series of international performances. Friday, Feb. 2, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $25 to $65. Call 301-581-5100 or visit


Ann Hampton Callaway has written songs for her mentor Barbra Streisand — plus the theme song to the old TV series The Nanny. But the lesbian jazz singer-songwriter’s focus in the past few years has been on the classics — whether love songs from the Great American Songbook to tributes to her idols Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald. The latter is the one of the tentpoles in a return engagement with the Baltimore Symphony, as Calloway performs songs by divas, also including Carly Simon, Carole King, and Etta James. BSO Principal Pops Conductor Jack Everly directs the “Diva to Diva, From Ella to Adele” program. Thursday, Jan. 25, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Also Friday, Jan. 26, and Saturday, Jan. 27, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 28, at 3 p.m. Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore. Tickets are $33 to $99. Call 410-783-8000 or visit


As eccentric as all get out, the soulful, gay British/French singer-songwriter and poet has been compared to Antony Hegarty and Nina Simone, as well as showered with praise from critics and fellow innovators, including David Byrne. His new album I Tell A Fly — the follow-up to the Mercury Prize-winning 2015 debut At Least For Now — finds the artist flying farther afield than mere piano ballads with unorthodox structures to include even harder-to-define, multi-instrumented tracks that serve as a base and springboard for unpredictable theatrical vocalizations. Clementine kicks off his latest North American tour in D.C. on Sunday, Jan. 28. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $25 in advance, or $28 day of show. Call 202-408-3100 or visit


D.C.’s nine-piece Balkan and funk brass band is focused on having a whole lot of fun in a whole lot of different ways — as evidence, there’s the three separately released, widely varying collections of remixes from the 2015 set I Love You Madly. Black Masala also puts on one heck of a live show, which comes as no surprise given that the group consists of members of the incredibly lively Thievery Corporation. A regular at venues all around the region, Black Masala next performs a T.G.I.F. show as part of the band’s debut at Pearl Street Warehouse on the District Wharf. Philadelphia’s fiery funk/soul act Swift Technique opens. Friday, Feb. 2. Doors at 7 p.m. 33 Pearl St. SW. Tickets are $15. Call 202-380-9620 or visit


The Washington Post called the 12-piece band “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 the Artist of the Year accolade in 2008. The Afrobeat-driven group performs regularly throughout the region, next up with a return to the Kennedy Center. Monday, Jan. 29, at 6 p.m. Millennium Stage. Free. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


In the Gothic nave of Washington National Cathedral, the acclaimed early music ensemble based at the Folger Shakespeare Library performs soaring and ecstatic melodies of the great 12th-century visionary and composer. Notably, the program also includes works by living female composers — Susan Botti, Kate Soper, and Pulitzer Prize-winner Shulamit Ran — performed in new arrangements for female voices and medieval instruments. The female vocal ensemble Trio Eos and vocalists Shira Kammen and Christa Patton join Robert Eisenstein on viol and violin and Christopher Kendall on lute. Friday, Feb. 2, and Saturday, Feb. 3, at 8 p.m. Washington National Cathedral, Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues NW. Tickets are $30 to $60. Call 202-544-7077 or visit


A series of concerts featuring the sonically diverse 2018 class of Artists in Residence at Strathmore kicks off with a multi-instrumentalist who plays both flute and saxophone and leads both a rock band and a jazz quartet — when not performing solo, that is. Wednesday, Jan. 31, at 7:30 p.m. The Mansion at Strathmore, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Tickets are $17. Call 301-581-5100 or visit

Journey — Photo: Travis Shinn


Hyped in its official press release as “promising to be the Tour of the Year,” this double-bill show features two of the biggest bands of the ’80s — Journey, originally from San Francisco, and Def Leppard from Sheffield, England, are among the biggest-selling musical acts of all time. Led by founding vocalist Joe Elliott with original bassist Rick Savage and longtime drummer Rick Allen, the British five-piece — responsible for metal hits “Rock of Ages” and “Photograph,” as well as that suggestive sticky-sweet stomper “Pour Some Sugar on Me” — will trade opening and closing shows as one way to keep things fresh on its second co-headlining trek with Journey after a similar route in 2006. Neal Schon, lead guitarist and singer, is the sole original member of Journey in its current five-piece incarnation, with Arnel Pineda, the band’s lead singer over the past decade, taking on the challenge of performing the band’s most popular soaring anthems originally performed by Steve Perry — including “Faithfully,” “Open Arms,” and that big ditty still heard often enough, you don’t believe you could ever forget it, try as you might. Tickets on sale Sunday, Feb. 3 for two area shows: Friday, June 8, at Jiffy Lube Live, 7800 Cellar Door Drive, Bristow, Va.; and Saturday, June 16, at Royal Farms Arena, 201 West Baltimore St., Baltimore. Call 703-754-6400 or visit


Almost a decade ago, the five-time Grammy-winning opera star first put together this powerful program of songs inspired by the secret network that helped transport 19th-century slaves to freedom. With performances over the years at the Music Center at Strathmore and the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Battle next brings what she calls “A Spiritual Journey” — featuring classics from “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” to “Wade In The Water” — to the Kennedy Center, accompanied by the choir Voices of the Underground Railroad and pianist Joel A. Martin. Sunday, Jan. 28, at 5 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $25 to $129. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


“Everybody Knows.” If only the title of one of Kimbra’s new singles were true about the eclectic electro/jazz artist herself. Of course many people will remember her dramatic cameo on Gotye’s massive 2012 chart-topping hit “Somebody That I Used To Know.” Outside of the mainstream spotlight, the 27-year-old New Zealand artist has turned out two solo albums full of notable tunes that a Rovi critic rightly touted as “some of the most audacious and playful fusions of jazzy R&B, pop, and dance in the 2010s.” Due in April, Kimbra’s third studio set, Primal Heart, draws its title from “Human,” the Kiwi’s newest single, a striking, industrial, bass-heavy track on which she shouts “I got a heart that’s primal!” Innovative indie-folk/rock four-piece Arc Iris, initially created as a solo project of former Low Anthem member and classical composer Jocie Adams, opens. Tuesday, Jan. 30. Doors at 7 p.m. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $30. Call 202-265-0930 or visit


“Strange Fruit: Music from, and inspired by, the American Civil Rights Movement” examines the legacy of music from Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye, Gil Scott Heron, and Billie Holiday. A 10-piece jazz and R&B outfit, made up of Levine professors, offers an evening of big sound and revolutionary culture. Monday, Jan. 29, at 7:30 p.m. The Aaron and Cecile Goldman Theater, Edlavitch DCJCC, 1529 16th St. NW. Tickets are $15. Call 202-777-3247 or visit


It’s not everyday you stumble upon musicians and astronauts conversing in the same space, much less get the chance to explore outer space via a simple outing to the symphony. But exactly that is on offer this weekend in a program led by Piotr Gajewski and designed in collaboration with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. At the core of this multimedia production is the performance by Strathmore’s well-regarded resident orchestra of two standout 20th century classical works: Claude Debussy’s symphonic ode to the ocean La Mer, and Gustav Holst’s Solar System-themed The Planets, the latter heralded as one of the greatest masterpieces of the orchestral repertoire, also including pipe organ and a trio of women’s voices, here courtesy of members of the National Philharmonic Chorale. Original NASA footage will complement the performance, and Goddard scientists and engineers will also discuss their cutting-edge work, in addition to displays about the latest NASA discoveries and missions. Saturday, Jan. 27, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 28, at 3 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $42 to $82. Call 301-581-5100 or visit


Part of the international series “Bernstein at 100,” this all-Bernstein program is led by Steven Blier and Michael Barrett, both Bernstein protégés and co-artistic directors of the New York Festival of Song. The pianists will present a tribute in their organization’s typically informative way to the legendary composer’s genius with selections from Bernstein’s Arias and Barcarolles and featuring up-and-coming vocalists Rebecca Jo Loeb and Wolf Trap Opera alum Joshua Jeremiah. Friday, Feb. 2, at 7:30 p.m. The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $40. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit


The impressive local company focuses principally on the repertoire of 18th-century French opera, but occasionally strays from Gallic to examine the period’s “precursors, influences, and artistic legacy.” Which is where you’ll find this varied program of works by two Italian Baroque composers, each inspired by Jerusalem Divided, the 16th-century epic poem by their fellow countryman Torquato Tasso. Alessandro Scarlatti first adapted a Tasso tale in Erminia, an opera-like “serenata” dating to 1723 and focused on a beleaguered princess who flees to the forest to escape the mess she’s made in love and war. Richard Gammon directs an American premiere, performed by the company’s live orchestra with soprano Julia Dawson in the title role supported by bass-baritone Andre Courville, mezzo-soprano Allegra De Vita, and tenor Asitha Tennekoon. Several decades after Scarlatti, Francesco Geminiani dipped into the same Tasso for his famous instrumental work The Enchanted Forest, focused on an inspiring enchantress whose conjuring manages to preserve the habitat’s wood from being used for weapon-making — at least for a while. Members of Maryland’s Kalanidhi Dance Company bring the work to life on stage in a dance pantomime, as Geminiani originally conceived, albeit with an Indian twist per the classical choreography from the company’s Anuradha Nehru and per a shift in setting to India during the Mughal Empire. Tuesday, Jan. 30, and Wednesday, Jan. 31, at 7:30 p.m. Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Tickets are $25 to $130. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


Virginia’s Creative Cauldron offers the final two weekends of its eighth annual festival celebrating the music and dance of cultures around the world, featuring performances by artists representing a broad spectrum of genres: jazz to Latin, opera to klezmer. Remaining performances are: French gypsy/jazz/swing act the Bitter Dose Combo, on Friday, Jan. 26, at 7:30 p.m.; the Rochelle Rice Trio, led by a thrilling vocalist with her band steeped in a fusion of jazz, pop, and soul, on Saturday, Jan. 27, at 7:30 p.m.; the Bumper Jackson Duo, the national touring Appalachian roots/jazz act led by founders Jess Eliot Myhre and Chris Ousley, on Sunday, Jan. 28, at 7 p.m.; and the Dave Kline Band, featuring musicians from Senegal, Nigeria, Colombia, and the U.K., in a performance with special guest vocalist Lynn Veronneau, who curates the Passport series, on Friday, Feb. 2, at 7:30 p.m. ArtSpace Falls Church, 410 South Maple Ave. Tickets are $20 to $22 per performance. Call 703-436-9948 or visit


Billed as “A Very Intimate Acoustic Evening,” this concert featuring the ’80s hitmaker and her husband and right-hand-man as band lead guitarist is a different animal than the powerhouse performances you may have caught at Wolf Trap in previous years. For fans, this will register as an early Valentine’s treat, the chance to sing-along to stripped-down versions of “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” “Love Is A Battlefield,” and “We Belong,” among her standout hits. Monday, Feb. 5, at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave. Tickets are $115. Call 703-549-7500 or visit


The Ensemble-in-Residence of the Washington Conservatory offers an early Valentine with a concert highlighting two beloved piano works from the Romantic period, Dvorak’s Piano Quartet in E-flat Major and Brahms’ Piano Quartet in G Minor. Pianist Read Gainsford is joined by other Pressenda members violinist Aaron Berofsky, violist Amadi Azikiwe, and cellist Tobias Werner. Saturday, Feb. 3, at 8 p.m. Westmoreland Congregational Church, 1 Westmoreland Circle, Bethesda. Tickets are free, donations welcome. Call 301-320-2770 or visit


A Broadway pioneer and Great American Songbook original is given his due in another lightly scripted, song-focused revue from stalwart vocal/cabaret presenting outfit the InSeries. Directed by Brian J. Shaw, All The Things You Are: Jerome Kern features soloists including tenor Cornelius David, soprano Suzanne Lane, bass-baritone Jarrod Lee, baritenor Garrett Matthews, and mezzo-sopranos Elizabeth Mondragon and Krislynn Perry. Musical direction comes from pianist Reenie Codelka, who accompanies the singers in showtunes including “Ol’ Man River” and “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man” from Kern’s most enduring musical Show Boat and also “The Way You Look Tonight” from the lesser-known Swing Time, in addition to standards including “A Fine Romance,” “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes,” and “All The Things You Are.” Remaining shows are Sunday, Jan. 28, at 2:30 and 7 p.m., Friday, Feb. 2, at 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 3, at 2:30 and 8 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 4, at 2:30 p.m. Sprenger Theatre in the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $20 to $40. Call 202-399-7993 or visit


Next week, opera buffs have two chances to see budding next-generation stars — specifically soloists from the WNO’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program. The Kennedy Center offers the first of two free programs from the organization, a small, select recital of art songs and concert works exploring the relationship between text and music, poet and composer, pianist and voice, and featuring Alexandria Shiner, Eliza Bonet, Alexander McKissick, and Michael Hewitt. Accompaniment will come from pianist Christopher Koelzer, with introductions from program director Robert Ainsley. Tuesday, Jan. 30, at 6 p.m. Millennium Stage. Free. Call 202-467-4600 or visit

Next weekend, 10 singers from the 16th season of the Domingo-Cafritz perform at the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery for an concert now in its 15th year. (In addition to the four singers listed above, the roster also includes Arnold Livingston Geis, Christopher Kenney, Allegra De Vita, Frederick Ballentine, Leah Hawkins, and Timothy J. Bruno.) Staged and hosted by director Nicholas Olcott, this program, Transformations and Revelation, focuses on excerpts from operatic classics spanning three centuries as composed by five heavyweights, from Mozart to Rossini to Stravinsky. Sunday, Feb. 4, at 2 p.m. Bette Rubenstein Grand Salon, 1661 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Free. Call 202-633-1000 or visit

American Ballet Theatre: James Whiteside — Photo: Erin Baiano



For this year’s annual engagement at the Kennedy Center, the New York-based company led by Kevin McKenzie presents two different programs intended as a showcase of its starry roster of dancers — foremost among them principal dancer Misty Copeland, who will perform here on three occasions — as well as of Ratmansky, the company’s Artist in Residence. First comes a mixed program led by the choreographer’s Serenade for Plato’s Symposium, a work featuring seven male dancers that is an official contribution to the season-long tribute series “Leonard Bernstein at 100.” The program also features short works by other notable choreographers, including: Jerome Robbins with Other Dances, an homage to Chopin’s romanticism with two dramatic dancers in a series of folk-infused dances, Benjamin Millepied’s I Feel The Earth Move, set to the music of Philip Glass and his opera Einstein on the Beach, and Christopher Wheeldon’s Thirteen Diversions, performed to Britten’s “Diversions for Piano (Left-Hand) and Orchestra.” Tuesday, Jan. 30, and Wednesday, Jan. 31, at 7:30 p.m.

The highlight of the company’s 2018 run of dates, all of which feature live accompaniment from the Opera House Orchestra, is the D.C. premiere of Ratmansky’s full-length ballet Whipped Cream. A “light-as-meringue” production featuring a “lost ballet” score by Richard Strauss and sets and costumes by pop surrealist Mark Ryden, it follows the plight of a young boy who overindulges in pastries and has to rely on Princess Praline and her court to save him by whipping up a satisfyingly sweet ending. Thursday, Feb. 1, and Friday, Feb. 2, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 3, at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 4, at 1:30 p.m. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $49 to $249. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


Last year, the focus was on Confucius. Now another award-winning Chinese dance-drama comes to the Kennedy Center courtesy of the China Performing Arts Agency. Set against the backdrop of the Japanese occupation in 1930s China that helped spark World War II, Dragon Boat Racing is an epic ballet that shares the love story that would go on to inspire a particularly famous and noteworthy musical composition in Cantonese — and later, the entire nation. Zhou Liya and Han Zhen direct and choreograph the show, written by Tang Dong with music by Du Ming, and is a production from the leading Cantonese arts organization in Guangdong Province, the nation’s most populous. Although an entirely different outfit than the one behind Confucius, CPAA’s latest touring show is every bit as large in scale and size — six featured performers and an ensemble of 38 dancers — as it is in ambition, weaving messages about Chinese history and culture into a dazzling state-of-the-art spectacle of showmanship and stagecraft. Friday, Feb. 2, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, Feb. 3, and Sunday, Feb. 4, at 2 and 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $30 to $110. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


Local youth as well as adults over age 40 will be mixed up for a multi-generational exploration of what it means to be of “your generation,” exploring technological concepts both current and outdated, from VHS to MP4. Remaining performance is Saturday, Jan. 27, at 7:30 p.m. Theatre on the Run, 3700 South Four Mile Run Dr. Arlington. Tickets are $5 to $22. Call 703-933-1111 or visit


Billed as “the world’s foremost all-male comic ballet company,” the Trocks, as they’re known, have only gotten better, bigger, and more popular in the 44 years since they first donned drag for a show in a tiny loft space in New York’s Meatpacking District. “The dancing is better, more technically secure,” the company’s longtime artistic director Tory Dobrin told Metro Weekly. “And that has allowed the comedy also to broaden out a lot, to be less subtle and more campy.” The troupe has been nearly all gay from the beginning, and continues to perform mostly for a mix of gays and gay-friendly aficionados of dance and theater, with the recent addition of a totally new demographic: “Now we have a lot of children.” Over the years, the Trocks have performed for larger audiences and in bigger and more prestigious venues — notably the Kennedy Center Opera House last year, as well as next weekend’s performance in the Concert Hall at George Mason University. Friday, Feb. 2, at 8 p.m. GMU Center for the Arts, 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax. Tickets are $30 to $50. Call 888-945-2468 or visit



D.C.’s leading company for longform improv offers a “Wintry Mix,” a series of vignettes featuring different ensembles, with each plot developed on-the-fly, spurred by a single audience suggestion. Weekends to Feb. 4. 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



On the day before what would have been the 73rd birthday of Bob Marley, the Folger Shakespeare Library features two lauded Jamaican poets to celebrate the musician and his reggae music. The evening includes a reception and book signing after readings and a conversation with the poets moderated by poet, jazz scholar and Vermont Public Radio host Reuben Jackson. Monday, Feb. 5, at 7:30 p.m. 201 East Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $15. Call 202-544-7077 or visit



An avid photographer since college, the Washington native uses new digital methods to help restore vintage images and present or reinterpret them in new ways. The latest exhibition represents many decades of her work and depicts iconic as well as everyday scenes from places around the world, from Paris to Peru to Poolesville. On display through Jan. 28. Touchstone Gallery, 901 New York Ave. NW Call 202-347-2787 or visit


This graphic artist is the latest to be the focus of CulturalDC’s year-long Space4: Mobile Art Gallery, a roving former 40-foot shipping container now set up at Union Market. Coinciding with the release of Deardourff’s self-published comic book series, Uncanny Fantastic transports viewers into an alternate reality through experimental mono prints. To Feb. 23. Union Market, 1309 5th St. NE. Call 800-680-9095 or visit


A new juried artist show in Old Town features personal works in various media exposing the lasting effects migration can have on one’s cultural identity and individual experiences, even when a generation or two removed from being immigrants. The 16 artists represented in this Target Gallery exhibition are either immigrants themselves or were raised in immigrant families, and their works, in painting, sculpture, collage, and video reveal, as juror Adriana Ospina of the Art Museum of Americas puts it, “a multi-layered personal and complex process of journeys, cultural exchange, assimilation, rejection, transculturation, and preservation.” Nine of the 16 artists are from the region: Abiodun Eniyandunni, Kanika Sircar, Marite Vidales, and Helen Zughaib of D.C., Bahar Jalehmahmoudi of Adelphi, Md., Rafael Rodriguez of Hyattsville, Md., Jenny Wu of Alexandria, Ju Yun of Chantilly, Va., and WonJung Choi of Richmond. Opens Saturday Jan. 27, with a public reception Thursday, Feb. 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. On display through March 4. The Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 North Union St. Alexandria. Free. Call 703-838-4565 or visit


Maryland’s modern art and architecture-focused Glenstone Museum offers an exhibition of more than 30 works by Roni Horn, drawn from the museum’s collection and selected and installed by the artist herself. Spanning four decades of her career, works on view explore wide-ranging topics including nature, ecology, identity, landscape and language. Glenstone, set on 200 acres of rolling pasture and woodland in Montgomery County, Md., also offers hourly guided outdoor sculpture tours of works by Andy Goldsworthy, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Ellsworth Kelly, Jeff Koons, Charles Ray, Julian Schnabel and Richard Serra. Closes Sunday, Jan. 28. Glenstone Museum, 12002 Glen Road, Potomac, Md. Call 301-983-5001 or visit


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


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. 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


Best known for evocative photographs of his original home in Alabama, the late William Christenberry was also a teacher and mentor for hundreds of students at D.C.’s Corcoran College of Art and Design — including 11 of the 38 members in the cooperative Studio Gallery. To celebrate his legacy, the gallery presents an exhibition of artworks that closely reflect his mentoring from artists including Gordon Binder, Deborah Addison Coburn, Pam Frederick, Julie Koehler, Yvette Kraft, and Langley Spurlock. Closes Saturday, Jan. 27. Studio Gallery, 2108 R St. NW. Call 202-232-8734 or visit



The winter edition of DC Restaurant Week 2018 features 250 restaurants offering three-course meals for $22 at lunch or brunch, and $35 at dinner. The price point makes many of the more expensive restaurants in town a bit more affordable and a more enticing way for those restaurants to make a good first impression with newcomers. Although the promotion officially ends Sunday, Jan. 28, a number of participating restaurants plan to make it a two-week affair, continuing to Sunday, Feb. 4. Visit for a full list, to book reservations, and to enter for prizes including tickets, gift cards, and cookbooks.


The man behind former D.C. restaurant Gerard’s Place and now chef at Malmaison on the Georgetown Waterfront, Pangaud was the youngest chef ever to receive a two-star Michelin rating (for his namesake French restaurant prior to moving to the U.S.). At the Hill Center on Capitol Hill, he offers an intimate, unique dining experience for 12 focused on the haute cuisine of his native land. The four-course tasting menu, paired with select French wines, includes a starter of porcini mushrooms, followed by Sauteed Scallops with endives, roasted chestnuts, relish of apples and capers with a soy and sherry vinegar sauce, an entree of Braised Short Ribs in Red Wine sauce with mashed potatoes and glazed salsify, and ending with Lentils “Preserved” with carmelized pineapple, passion fruit sorbet and shaved coconut. Friday, Jan. 26, at 7 p.m. Hill Center, Old Navy Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Cost is $135. Call 202-549-4172 or visit


Throughout January, Penn Quarter’s American brasserie part of the same family as Rasika, Bibiana, and the Oval Room features a three-course menu highlighting Southern specialties said to bring good luck in a new year. The menu, developed by Executive Chef Matt Kuhn, includes pork, symbolizing wealth and prosperity, greens for money, cornbread for gold, and black-eyed peas, said to have saved townsfolk from starvation in the Seige of Vicksburg, Mississippi, during the Civil War. Available nightly through Jan. 31. Nopa Kitchen+Bar, 800 F St. NW. Call 202-347-4667 or visit


Punxsutawney Phil may conjure up six more weeks of winter on Groundhog Day next week, but even if he does, that’s no reason to sulk in your shadow. Why not try your hand at a better future as part of an eccentric promotion at 14th Street’s Kimpton Mason & Rook Hotel (formerly Hotel Helix). On the one hand, psychic Ariana Lightningstorm will work to upstage the groundhog with personal prognostications via complimentary palm readings in Radiator, the hotel’s restaurant and bar. On the other hand, Radiator’s bar team helmed by Sarah Rosner wants to lift your spirits with a cocktail menu featuring both hot and cold offerings — ’tis the lingering season. Also on hand will be a winter menu of “elevated bar bites” from Executive Chef Jonathan Dearden. And speaking of, Dearden has been in the news of late, having won DC Refined‘s “Best Chef on the Block” cook-off, a feeder contest to a forthcoming new national chef competition on ABC’s The Chew. As the designated D.C. representative, that means national and TV exposure is in the cards for the Sterling, Va., native. Maybe he’ll be good luck on Groundhog Day, too. Friday, Feb. 2, with happy hour starting at 4 p.m., and the dining room open at 5 p.m. Mason & Rook, 1430 Rhode Island Ave. NW. Call 202-742-3100 or visit


Launched in October as a way to showcase local brands, this offshoot of the city’s Made in DC initiative offers a rotating crop of homegrown products in a range of categories, from home goods to clothing to food and drink. In a Dupont Circle locale formerly home to an outpost of national chain Baja Fresh, the city’s burgeoning local fast-casual scene is on prominent display all day, every day. The in-store cafe regularly serves Small Planes coffee and Bullfrog Bagels breakfast sandwiches, with a drink lineup overseen by Greg Engert of Neighborhood Restaurant Group (Birch & Barley, Bluejacket). Throughout January, the cafe is also serving soup and smoothies from two women-owned business enterprises, led by “Soup Ladies” Valerie Zweig and Taryn Pellicone. The Prescription Chicken business partners and cousins are dishing out bowls of soup in varieties including Faux Pho, Creamy Old Bay Chicken, and their signature Bipartisan, a blend of matzah ball with chicken noodle. (They’re also testing out a sister concept, Gertie’s Yummy Yogurt Bowls.) Meanwhile, you can also order organic cold-pressed juices and smoothies from Indira Ruiz and Theresa Weber’s line of Jinsei Juice, whether berry-rich Vitality or the savory fruit/veggie blend The Hulk. Open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays. Shop Made in DC, 1330 19th St. NW. Visit


Although enjoyed all year round, January is officially Bloody Mary Month — who knew? In addition to its Sunday live jazz brunch ($59 per person) that includes a Bloody Mary Bar ($20 extra), D.C.’s St. Regis hotel bar is offering variations on the brunchy concoction as a special toast to the wide-held claim that the drink came to popularity by a bartender at the original St. Regis Hotel in New York in the 1930s. Patrons can order a Bloody Mary flight for $34 with tastings of Red Snapper, or the original Mary with vodka, tomato juice blend, and lemon wedge; Capital Mary, a D.C.-inspired version with gin, tomato and lemon juices, horseradish, tabasco and Worcestershire sauces, cracked pepper, and Old Bay seasoning, plus shrimp and oyster crackers for garnish; Bloody Sunrise, a South Florida creation with vodka, Clamato picante and tomato juices, key limes, celery salt, Worcestershire sauce, crushed red pepper, grated fresh horseradish root; and Spice Route Mary, a spicy blend from Doha, Qatar, that starts with premium pepper vodka, tomato, V8 and fresh lime juices, and Worcestershire sauce, then adds in exotic ingredients including saffron oil, harissa paste, lemon salt, sumac and ginger powders, and ground cumin, with celery stalk for garnish. Available every day in January. The St. Regis Washington, D.C., 923 16th St. NW. Call 202-638-2626 or visit



Launched seven years ago at L’Enfant Cafe, the incredibly popular boozy brunch/day party known as La Boum has only gotten bigger and boum-ier in recent years — even earning a nod as one of Bravo TV’s “Top 5 Raging Brunches in the U.S.” The self-billed “revolutionary-style brunch” welcomes patrons of all genders and sexual orientations for a multi-course dinner and four hours of drinking, dancing to a DJ, and doing “everything they weren’t allowed to do under pure parental supervision as young adults.” La Boum will officially celebrate its 7th anniversary over brunch on Sunday, Jan. 28, but tickets are sold out, with the noon brunch on Sunday, Feb. 4, the first available as of press time. Abigail Room, 1230 M St. NW. Tickets are $32.50 to $35 per person, plus 20-percent gratuity and drinks. Call 240-286-4286 or visit


Indefatigable local drag sensation Shi-Queeta-Lee and her troupe of local drag queens — and the occasional king — pay lip-synched tribute to pop divas ranging from Tina Turner — Shi-Queeta’s specialty — to Beyonce, Diana Ross to Adele, Chaka Khan to Fantasia. Earlier this month, Shi-Queeta flew the Nellie’s Drag Brunch coop that she started a decade ago, moving her drag home base to Chateau Remix in Northeast D.C. a few blocks down Benning Road from the DC Eagle. Yet she’s always on the go, and often on the road — to the point sometimes you wonder if she has a drag double allowing her to be in two places at once. On the day of the big game, she’ll take the field at her main Bethesda venue to perform a Halftime-esque show with her crew likely more entertaining than the real one later in the evening. Sunday, Feb. 4. Doors at 11 a.m., with show at 1 p.m. Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club, 7719 Wisconsin Ave. Tickets are $25. Call 240-330-4500 or visit


Petworth’s Mexican eatery from the DC Empanadas crew presents another round of its monthly drag brunch. Desiree Dik hosts a show featuring queens Kristina Kelly, Bombalicious Eklaver, and Sylvanna Duvel, 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, Jan. 27, 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



On Sunday, Jan. 28, the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery will close its two wildly popular temporary exhibitions that opened last fall, Rick Araluce: The Final Stop and Murder Is Her Hobby: Frances Glessner Lee and the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death. Both are going out with a big bang: a night-at-the-museum party this Friday, Jan. 26, that will go until way, way, way past normal closing hours — essentially until the clock strikes Saturday. Before the witching hour, the museum will host a scavenger hunt in Lee’s Nutshells exhibit, a craft station where you can make your own souvenir, and a dance party with DJ Harry Hotter — hardy-har-har. The party, free all night, also includes all-evening access to the exhibitions, Araluce’s illusory abandoned underground subway platform and Lee’s dollhouse-sized dioramas replicating crime scenes in miniature. Friday, Jan. 26, from 5:30 p.m. to midnight. The Bette Rubenstein Grand Salon, 1661 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Free. Call 202-633-1000 or visit


Team Rayceen presents an evening of ice-breaker games in which host Rayceen Pendarvis will attempt to play matchmaker among eligible women. Local author Monika Pickett will join as a special guest. Raffle tickets will be given out before 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1, from 6 to 8 p.m. Lower Level Meeting Room, Shaw Neighborhood Library, 1630 7th St. NW. Call 202-727-1288 or visit


Several dozen manufacturers will cram more than 600 new models into the Convention Center for the annual showcase that is the largest public show in D.C. and touted as one of the biggest shows in the country. Once again, hosts LGBTQ Family Night on Thursday, Feb. 2, expanded to run from 5 to 9 p.m., followed by an after-party hosted by Toyota and Lexus at a nearby location TBA. With additional sponsorship from Cadillac and Mazda, the evening includes a private room to escape the crowds with snacks and iced tea. Among other highlights, there’s the 3rd annual “Art-of-Motion: A Visual Art and Fashion Exhibition,” an 8,000-square feet space on the third floor where avant-garde designers will paint vehicles and murals in real-time, in addition to other displays and discussions about their graphic styles. Opens Friday, Jan. 26. Runs to Feb. 4. The Walter E. Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place, NW. Tickets are $12 per day, with various VIP Tours available. For more information, 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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