A FANTASTIC WOMAN
In the funny, suspenseful, intense, and truthful A Fantastic Woman, unassuming waitress Marina finds herself dealing with a nightmare of a situation: Wrapping up her deceased lover’s final affairs and confronting his family and associates all without any legal proof of her relationship to the man. And her predicament is made exponentially harder by the fact that she’s transgender. Portrayed by magnetic trans actress Daniela Vega, Marina must fight as much for her right to exist as for her right to the life she shared with her dead lover, Orlando (Francisco Reyes). Chilean director Sebastián Lelio’s film, nominated in the Best Foreign Language Film category at this Oscar’s, which came in at No. 6 on Metro Weekly‘s list of 2017’s Best Films, and builds organically to a catharsis of anger and honesty that will have audiences cheering for Marina. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (Andre Hereford)
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS
Two months after the Kennedy Center presented a run of the Tony-winning musical adaptation, Landmark’s West End Cinema screens the Oscar-winning 1951 movie musical, with music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin. Directed by Vincente Minnelli from a script by Alan Jay Lerner, An American in Paris stars Leslie Caron and Gene Kelly, who also choreographed the dance numbers, including a climatic 17-minute ballet, which cost almost $500,000 to shoot. Ranked No. 9 on the AFI’s Greatest Movie Musicals list, the film is part of Landmark’s weekly Capital Classics series. Wednesday, Feb. 21, at 1:30, 4:30, and 7:30 p.m. 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 landmarktheatres.com.
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
No. 8 on Metro Weekly’s Best of 2017 list, director Luca Guadagnino’s sumptuous Italian love story would be exceptional just for the electric connection that Oscar-nominated star Timothée Chalamet establishes with every member of the cast he meets, particularly his love interest, played by Armie Hammer. What really sets the film apart is the design, care, and craft employed to create a world so fertile with hope and knowledge that an audience can trust that even pain will bear the fruit of wisdom. It’s a beautiful trip to a lazy ’80s summer of long afternoon lunches and hot evening swims, where mom and dad encourage a kid to seize the day. Nominated for four Oscars including Best Picture and Best Actor for Chalamet, who absolutely seizes his moment at the head of this year’s class of breakout acts. Now playing. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (AH)
The Washington Jewish Film Festival presents Francesco Patierno’s documentary based on the famous memoir of the same name by British writer and novelist Norman Lewis. Benedict Cumberbatch narrates select anecdotes and scenes drawn from the book, which takes place in the war-torn southern Italian city in the throes of World War II. Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 7:30 p.m. The Aaron and Cecile Goodman Theater, 1529 16th St. NW. Tickets are $13.50 for each film. Call 202-777-3247 or visit wjff.org.
OSCAR NOMINATED SHORT FILMS 2018: ANIMATION
Among the five animated nominees, probably the most widely known is Lou: Dave Mullins’ six-minute, Pixar-produced work, about a kindergarten’s mysterious lost and found box, screened last summer alongside Cars 3. A second American entry is Glen Keane’s Dear Basketball, an ode to the game written and narrated by retired hoopster Kobe Bryant, with music by John Williams. France is also represented twice, with Garden Party, a work by the Illogic Collective of animators following a couple of amphibians wandering around a deserted house, and Negative Space, Ru Kuwahata and Max Porter’s nostalgic look at a complicated relationship between a father and son. The fifth and final nominee is Revolting Rhymes, a two-episode, 28-minute film by Jakob Schuh and Jan Lachauer featuring famed fantasy writer Roald Dahl’s reinterpretations and parodies of five classic fairy tales, as narrated by Dominic West. Landmark also screens three additional films that didn’t get a nod: Lost Property Office from Australia, Weeds from America, and Achoo from Canada. Now playing. E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672 or visit landmarktheatres.com.
OSCAR NOMINATED SHORT FILMS 2018: DOCUMENTARY
This year, all five nominees in the documentary shorts category come from the U.S., and three are helmed by female directors. Landmark presents them in two distinct programs, with the 100-minute Program A featuring Traffic Stop, Kate Davis and David Heilbroner’s focus on Breaion King, an African-American stopped for a routine traffic violation that escalates into a harrowing arrest; Frank Stiefel’s Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405, a portrait of artist Mindy Alper, who channels a lifetime of depression and mental disorder into extraordinary works of art; and Edith + Eddie, a love story from Laura Checkoway and Thomas Lee Wrights and focused on America’s oldest interracial newlyweds, whose life is disrupted by a family feud. Elaine McMillion Sheldon and Kerrin Sheldon’s Heroin(e), which highlights a group of women working to turn around the flood of heroin in their Appalachian city, screens as part of the 80-minute Program B, also featuring Thomas Lennon’s Knife Skills, following the hectic launch of Edwins restaurant in Cleveland, staffed primarily by men and women just out of prison. Opens Friday, Feb. 16. West End Cinema, 2301 M St. NW. Call 202-534-1907 or visit landmarktheatres.com.
OSCAR NOMINATED SHORT FILMS 2018: LIVE ACTION
The U.S. accounts for two nominations in this year’s live action nominees: Reed Van Dyk’s DeKalb Elementary, inspired by a 911 call during a school shooting incident in Atlanta, and Kevin Wilson, Jr.’s My Nephew Emmett, based on the true story of a Mississippi preacher who tries in vain to protect his nephew, Emmett Till, from two racist killers out for blood. Also screening as part of a special program at Landmark’s E Street Cinema: The Silent Child by Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton from the U.K., about a caring social worker who teaches a profoundly deaf girl the gift of communication; The Eleven O’Clock by Derin Seale and Josh Lawson from Australia, focused on a session that spins out of control between a psychiatrist and his delusional patient who thinks he is the doctor; and Watu Wrote/All of Us by Katja Benrath and Tobias Rosen of Germany, focused on bus passengers in Kenya who in 2015 reacted with a show of solidarity in the face of unrelenting terrorist attacks by the Al-Shabaab. Now playing. 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672 or visit landmarktheatres.com.
An homage to the rom-com teen movies of the ’80s and ’90s from first-time filmmaker Alex Israel, the L.A.-based visual artist. Taking the form of a surfing drama set in Malibu, SPF-18 features a group of obscure young actors alongside Pamela Anderson, Molly Ringwald, and Keanu Reeves, among others. The Hirshhorn offers a free screening of the drama followed by a discussion with Israel led by Chief Curator Stephane Aquin and focused on the 2017 film, as well as the Hirshhorn’s recent acquisition of Israel’s Self-Portrait (Three Surfers). Friday, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m. Ring Auditorium, Independence Avenue and Seventh Street SW. Free. Call 202-633-1000 or visit hirshhorn.si.edu.
THE PHILADELPHIA STORY
One of the greatest romantic comedies ever produced. Katharine Hepburn stars as the snooty daughter of a wealthy Philadelphia family about to marry for the second time, until her cunning ex-husband (Cary Grant) throws a wrench into the works. James Stewart won an Oscar as a tabloid reporter who falls hopelessly in love with Hepburn. The Philadelphia Story marked a comeback of sorts for Hepburn, who had been marked as “box office poison” after a string of duds. Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz offers recorded commentary before and after each presentation. Sunday, Feb. 18, and Wednesday, Feb. 21, at 2 and 7 p.m. At Regal Gallery Place (701 7th St. NW), AMC Mazza Gallerie (5300 Wisconsin Ave. NW), and Potomac Yards Stadium (3575 Jefferson Davis Highway, Alexandria). Visit fathomevents.com.
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 in this Signature Theatre production. Closes Sunday, Feb. 18. Ark Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit sigtheatre.org.
#LAFOTO: A SELFIE AFFAIR
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. To Feb. 28. GALA Theatre at Tivoli Square, 3333 14th St. NW. Tickets are $30 to $45. Call 202-234-7174 or visit galatheatre.org.
ALL SHE MUST POSSESS
A voracious collector of art and curios from around the world, Miss Etta Cone was also a one-time lover of Gertrude Stein. Her journey from society laughingstock to doyen of Modernity is part of the focus of Susan McCully’s play about Baltimore’s famed Cone sisters — Dr. Claribel Cone was the other — daughters of German-Jewish immigrants. Joseph W. Ritsch directs a premiere of the play presented by Columbia’s Rep Stage as part of the Women’s Voices Theatre Festival. Now to Feb. 25. The Horowitz Center’s Studio Theatre at Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Md. Tickets are $15 to $40. Call 443-518-1500 or visit repstage.org.
A chef struggles with how to care for his dying father, a Korean immigrant with no taste for his son’s fancy French fare. Olney Theatre Company presents Julia Cho’s drama as part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival and in a co-production with Everyman Theatre. Tony Nam and Glenn Kubota star. Directed by Vincent M. Lancisi. Now to March 4. Olney Theatre Center, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Call 301-924-3400 or visit olneytheatre.org.
CABARET RISING: ONE NATION UNDER GROUND
Partly inspired by New York’s Sleep No More and nurtured via earlier works at Capital Fringe, TBD Immersive’s variation on devised, participatory immersive theater involves audience members choosing an alliance, exploring and uncovering puzzles, and impacting the plot in a co-created storyline with mainstage cabaret performers. After a premiere production last fall at the Blind Whino SW Arts Club supported by CulturalDC, TBD and its Artistic Director and Creator Strother Gaines offers another production with exaggerated overtones of real-life politics today. This time around, the basis for the show is that the democratic resistance is under siege and has retreated to the Dupont Underground — which is less of a safe haven than expected, with grifters and ghosts lurking about. Who will lead the movement to safety above ground — and the show to a satisfying end? This isn’t theater as usual. To March 11. 1500 19th St. NW. Tickets are $55 to $75. Visit tbdimmersive.com.
Martin Blank has adapted talks that Booker T. Washington gave his students at Tuskegee University, sharing his wisdom for people of any age or race about how to have a productive life. The founding artistic director of Theater J, Blank now leads the American Ensemble Theater, which produces this one-man show starring Greg Burgess as Washington, with accompaniment by pianist and music director Scott Farquhar, both of the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company. A tribute to Black History Month, the production doubles as a benefit for the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop and its tuition assistance program for low-income and homeless children to make art. Remaining dates are Saturday, Feb. 17 and Feb. 24, at 1 p.m. CHAW, 545 7th St. SE. Tickets are Pay-What-You-Will. Call 202-547-6839 or visit americanensemble.org.
To balance out the steady stream of national touring productions in its current season, the Kennedy Center has launched Broadway Center Stage. A few noteworthy musicals will be presented in a semi-staged concert format and with short runs of less than a week. First out of the gate is a new production of the complex rock opera that Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson first developed, with lyricist/writer Tim Rice, in 1984 — more than a decade before the men from ABBA latched on to the far simpler and more successful idea of creating the jukebox joint Mamma Mia! Broadway star Raúl Esparza (Company) plays American chess champion Freddie and Ramin Karimloo (Anastasia) is his rival Russian grandmaster Anatoly Sergievsky in a production helmed by Tony Award-winning director Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening) — and with a new book by Hollywood scribe Danny Strong (The Butler) that significantly revamps Rice’s problematic original. The incredible Tony-winning actress Karen Olivo (West Side Story) completes the Cold War drama’s love triangle as Florence, a Hungarian refugee torn between the two men as they prepare for the tournament of their lives. The large cast also includes another Tony winner, Ruthie Ann Miles (The King and I), plus Bradley Dean, Sean Allan Krill, and Bryce Pinkham in supporting roles. Closes Sunday, Feb. 18. Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $69 to $199. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
Two years after it had an extended run Off Broadway, this timely play about immigration and assimilation from Tony-nominated Danai Gurira (Eclipsed) gets renewed attention via Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and the Women’s Voices Theater Festival. Theater J’s Adam Immerwahr, a longtime collaborator of Gurira’s, helms a new production starring Kim Sullivan and Inga Ballard as Zimbabwean immigrants in Minnesota preparing for the wedding of their eldest American-born daughter (Shannon Dorsey). Now to March 4. 641 D St. NW. Call 202-393-3939 or visit woollymammoth.net.
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. If anyone knows Urie is up to such a serious, dramatic challenge, it’s Michael Kahn, who directs his former Juilliard student in a production that includes Robert Joy, Madeleine Potter, Keith Baxter, and Oyin Oladejo as Ophelia. Extended to March 4. Harman Hall, 610 F St. NW. Call 202-547-1122 or visit shakespearetheatre.org.
Playwright Moira Buffini imagines what might have been said during Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s private meetings in an Olivier Award-winning British comedy now making its American premiere. The show’s original director Indhu Rubasingham has crossed the pond for a Round House Theatre production that comes as the Maryland company’s contribution to the Women’s Voices Theater Festival. Kate Fahy, Jennifer Mendenhall, Beth Hylton, and Susan Lynskey portray older and younger versions of the incredibly powerful women who had, to say the least, a complicated relationship. Meanwhile, Cody LeRoy Wilson and John Lescault take on various minimal supporting roles as the men in their lives. Extended to March 3. 4545 East-West Highway, Bethesda. Call 240-644-1100 or visit roundhousetheatre.org.
I HATE HAMLET
Paul Rudnick is best known for penning the notable early “comedy about AIDS” Jeffrey — both the Off Broadway play and the screenplay adaptation from 1995. But in 1991, Rudnick wrote a comedy in which regular nightly visits from the drunken ghost of John Barrymore only adds to the pressure a young TV actor feels from everyone else to play the role he dreads more than any other. Leading a six-person cast of volunteers assembled by Baltimore community theater Spotlighters is Thomas Bowers and Thom Eric Sinn, sparring as the two very different actors in a sendup of art, culture, and the acting profession. To March 4. 817 St. Paul St., Baltimore. Tickets are $20 to $22. Call 410-752-1225 or visit spotlighters.org.
LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S BAR & GRILL
Virginia’s Creative Cauldron is the latest company to put its spin on one of today’s most popularly produced shows, a celebration of one of the greatest jazz singers of all time. Matt Conner directs Helen Hayes Award winner Iyona Blake (Caroline, or Change) in Lanie Robertson’s play with music recreating one of Billie Holiday’s final performances, four months before her death. Mark Meadows accompanies Blake as Holiday’s pianist. In previews. To March 4. ArtSpace Falls Church, 410 South Maple Ave. in Falls Church. Tickets are $20 to $30. Call 703-436-9948 or visit creativecauldron.org.
Robbie Schaefer of folk band Eddie from Ohio premieres a deeply personal tale about immigration, music, and an unshakable bond between father and son, through thick and thin. Eric Schaeffer directs the new musical featuring music, lyrics, and book by the musician, who also stars as himself, with assist from Signature Theatre standouts Bobby Smith, Natascia Diaz, Luke Smith, John Sygar, and Kara-Tameika Watkins. To March 4. Signature Theatre’s Max Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit sigtheatre.org.
LOVE IS A BLUE TICK HOUND
Subtitled And Other Remedies for the Common Ache, this collection of 20-minute, one-act plays by local playwright Audrey Cefaly, offers four intimate duets bearing witness to all the many facets of love. Starring Lee Conderacci, Tatania Nya Ford, Donna Ibale, Lauren Jackson, Justin Johnson, Carolyn Koch, Betse Lyons, and Mike Smith. Closes Saturday, Feb. 17. Trinidad Theatre at Capital Fringe, 1358 Florida Ave. NE. Tickets are $25 to $28. Call 202-737-7230 or visit capitalfringe.org.
NO WORD IN GUYANESE FOR ME
After an earlier staged reading, the LGBTQ-focused Rainbow Theatre Project opted to mount a full production of a GLAAD Award-winning play about a gay Muslim’s journey to reconcile her faith and her sexuality. Ashley K. Nicholas portrays Hanna in Wendy Graf’s one-woman show, directed by Julia Hurley as part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival, relating experiences growing up in the Caribbean nation of Guyana and coming of age, and eventually coming out, in 9/11-era New York. To March 4. District of Columbia Arts Center, 2438 18th St. NW. Tickets are $35. Call 202-462-7833 or visit rainbowtheatreproject.org.
Dominique Morisseau’s timely drama is set in Detroit during last decade’s Great Recession and vividly portrays the modern labor struggle in a changing America, revealing the real people on the factory line. Nicole A. Watson directs Brittany Bellizeare, Stephanie Berry, Sekou Laidlow, and Gabriel Lawrence in this contribution to the Women’s Voices Theater Festival. To March 4. 700 North Calvert St., Baltimore. Call 410-332-0033 or visit centerstage.org.
The fictitious Bottom brothers (Rob McClure and Josh Grisetti) set out to write the world’s very first musical in an attempt to finally one-up their astoundingly successful contemporary William Shakespeare. Adam Pascal (Rent) stars as the Bard in the touring production of 2015’s Tony-nominated musical by brothers Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick, with a book co-written by John O’Farrell. Directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw (Mean Girls, The Book of Mormon), New York Magazine referred to the romp as “The Producers + Spamalot + The Book of Mormon squared!” Closes Sunday, Feb. 18. National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Call 202-628-6161 or visit thenationaldc.org.
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. Closes Sunday, Feb. 18. Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Call 202-488-3300 or visit arenastage.org.
THE GREAT SOCIETY
Jack Willis reprises his role as President Lyndon Baines Johnson in the sequel to Robert Schenkkan’s Tony-winning play All The Way. Kyle Donnelly directs Arena Stage’s production of the epic political thrill ride. Now to March 11. Fichandler Stage, 1101 6th St. SW. Call 202-488-3300 or visit arenastage.org.
THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH
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. Closes Sunday, Feb. 18. Source Theatre, 1835 14th St. NW. Tickets are $25 to $55. Call 202-204-7741 or visit constellationtheatre.org.
Two unidentified agents from an unspecified agency arrest a man for an unspecified crime in Kafka’s century-old work, given an underground interpretation by Paata Tsikurishvili, the founding artistic director of Synetic Theater. Shu-nan Chu leads the cast as Josef K, with support from Synetic company members Tori Bertocci, Kathy Gordon, and Ryan Tumulty, plus Chris Willumsen, Thomas Beheler, and Lee Liebeskind. Closes Sunday, Feb. 18. Synetic Theater, 1800 South Bell St., Arlington. Call 800-494-8497 or visit synetictheater.org.
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 studiotheatre.org.
The Kensington Arts Theatre, a community troupe in Maryland, offers a chance — the first in a good while — to see the original semi-autobiographical play by Robert Harling in which six Southern friends harangue, and support, one another. Full of sweetness and sass, heart and out-and-out compassion, Steel Magnolias really takes the cake — a giant Armadillo cake, in fact. Weekends to Feb. 24. 3710 Mitchell St., Kensington, Md. Tickets are $15 to $20. Call 206-888-6642 or visit katonline.org.
ARLO GUTHRIE RE:GENERATION TOUR
The 70-year-old son of folk’s founding father, Woody Guthrie returns to the area for two performances with the famous family’s next generation, or at least two of his progeny. There’s son Abe Guthrie, who plays in Arlo’s backing band along with Terry A La Berry, Bobby Sweet, and Darren Todd. And there’s youngest daughter Sarah Lee Guthrie, the tour’s opening act. Saturday, Feb. 17, and Sunday, Feb. 18, at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $65. Call 703-549-7500 or visit birchmere.com.
With her retrospective show “Classic Cher,” you fall under the diva’s spell instantly — from the moment the purple velvet curtains pull back on a stage fit for an Arabian fairytale. Soon enough, the 70-year-old pop icon, in Queen of Sheba garb, descends from the heavens on a gold-framed aerial platform, singing her truth a la “Woman’s World.” That No. 1 hit on the Billboard dance chart from 2013 is the newest in an 18-song setlist spanning an impressive 50 years. It’s a showcase of awe-inspiring staging and state-of-the-art light and projection designs. It’s also a showcase of Cher and her fabled decades-long, multi-genre, multi-award-winning career. After all that she’s been through, she’s still as sharp and self-deprecating as ever, and still one of the very best and most personable entertainers in the business. Cher returns for her first engagement in 2018 and third overall at the area’s gleaming casino. Select evenings Saturday, Feb. 17, through Sunday, Feb. 25, at 8 p.m. The Theater at MGM National Harbor, 7100 Oxon Hill Rd., Md. Call 301-971-5000 or visit mgmnationalharbor.com. (Doug Rule)
A decade after winning American Idol Season 7, the power-piped guitarist makes his debut at one of the DC Wharf’s intimate concert venues. Cook tours in support of his rocking, inspirational-esque power-pop set Digital Vein. Independently released last year with support from fans via PledgeMusic, the set includes a dramatic cover of Chris Isaak’s brooding classic “Wicked Game.” Even more notable is the fiery “Kiss & Tell.” Friday, Feb. 23. Doors at 7 p.m. Pearl Street Warehouse, 33 Pearl St. SW. Tickets are $25 to $50. Call 202-380-9620 or visit pearlstreetwarehouse.com.
The Israeli artist shows off his skills as a singer-songwriter in his first solo show after 15 years as leader of the Idan Raichel Project. Raichel will present his melodies, lyrics, and the stories behind them in the stripped-down form in which they were originally written at a special solo piano concert. Thursday, Feb. 22, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $32 to $74. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.
Last year, the Texas-reared countertenor joined the ranks of opera stars Denyce Graves and Eric Owens when he became the latest recipient of the Marian Anderson Vocal Award winner, an honor given annually by the Kennedy Center to a young American singer showing “outstanding promise for a significant career.” In addition to a cash prize and a residency at Washington’s Duke Ellington School of the Arts, the award also comes with a recital co-presented by Washington National Opera and the Fortas Chamber Music Concerts series. Holiday will perform, with collaborators Kevin J. Miller and Neeki Bey, music that he loves, including selections by Poulenc, Hahn, and Bonds. Thursday, Feb. 15, at 7:30 p.m. Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Tickets are $39. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
The New Zealand-native vocalist and multi-instrumentalist has drawn international attention as touring support for acts including Bonobo, as well as his featured vocal work on Disclosure’s “Masterpiece” from 2015’s Caracal. Rakei tours in support of his new set Ninja Tune, full of the kind of pop music that blends soul, jazz and hip-hop with echoes of The Roots and Aussie band Hiatus Kaiyote, as well as Disclosure — the latter especially on sharp single “Nerve,” on which Rakei sings, “How can I find a reason to love you, when I don’t love myself?” Saturday, Feb. 24. Doors at 10 p.m. Union Stage, 740 Water St. SW. Tickets are $18 to $25. Call 877-987-6487 or visit unionstage.com.
NSO POPS: WEST SIDE STORY IN CONCERT
Steven Reineke, the National Symphony’s principal pops conductor, and Francesca Zambello, the Washington National Opera’s artistic director, lead a performance of Leonard Bernstein’s monumental musical, a modernized take on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, featuring the full orchestra and more than 20 performers from Broadway and D.C., including members of WNO’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program. The lead soloists are Corey Cott (Newsies), Solea Pfeiffer (Hamilton), Krysta Rodriguez (Smash), and Joel Perez (Fun Home). Remaining dates are Friday, Feb. 16, and Saturday, Feb. 17, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $24 to $125. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
PAN AMERICAN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA WITH CHAISE LOUNGE
Titled “Fusion of the Americas: Jazz Meets Tango,” this concert offers a variety of swinging symphony sounds, focused on versions of original compositions by the D.C.-based retro-jazz band. In addition to Chaise Lounge featuring vocalist Marilyn Older, the concert, directed by maestro Sergio Alessandro Buslje, features performances by Dorotea Rácz on cello, Chris Hemingway on soprano saxophone, and Jason Solounias on piano. The program also includes a work for cello and orchestra by Mexican composer Arturo Marquez, Lluvia en la Arena, Isfahan by Billy Strayhorn, and Duke Ellington’s symphonic jazz suite Martin, a tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday, Feb. 18, at 4 p.m. Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Tickets are $45. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
RUSTED ROOT’S MICHAEL GLABICKI & DIRK MILLER
Pittsburgh’s Rusted Root packed Strathmore’s intimate venue two years ago. While fans wait for a new album from the rootsy world jam band (expected this summer), the lead singer and guitarist return to Amp for an intimate evening of stripped-down renditions of classics including “Send Me on My Way,” “Martyr,” and “Ecstasy,” as well as sneak peeks of new songs. Local ’70s-folk-inspired singer-songwriter Calista Garcia, the 2018 National YoungArts Winner at only 17 years old, opens. Friday, Feb. 23, at 8 p.m. Amp by Strathmore, 11810 Grand Park Ave. North Bethesda. Tickets are $20 to $28. Call 301-581-5100 or visit ampbystrathmore.com.
THE GERSHWIN BIG BAND: AMERICAN RHAPSODY
Michael Andrew, touted as “the next Harry Connick, Jr.” by the New York Post, leads the band in a program of iconic American music by — who else? — George Gershwin. Saturday, Feb. 17, at 8 p.m. The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $45. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit wolftrap.org.
THE OH HELLOS
Texas-reared siblings Maggie and Tyler Heath offer silly banter between sweetly singing original, rootsy folk-rock tunes not too far astray from contemporary acts including Fleet Foxes and Mumford & Sons. Joined by a large touring band, the Heaths return to the 9:30 Club for a show that will open with a sensitive art-folk set from Lowland Hum, Charlottesville-based husband-and-wife duo Daniel and Lauren Goans. Wednesday, Feb. 21. Doors at 7 p.m. Doors at 7 p.m. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $25. Call 202-265-0930 or visit 930.com.
VICTORY HALL OPERA: MARGINALIA
The young Virginia troupe, founded and led by singers, continues its third season with a new commission from Matt Boehler, a gay alum of the Wolf Trap Opera Company as well as a Victory Hall Opera ensemble member. Marginalia is a song cycle exploring the notes, objects and messages left behind in books and based on the University of Virginia Library’s “Book Traces Project.” Soloists at this concert in an intimate venue on the University of Virginia campus include soprano Miriam Gordon-Stewart, mezzo-soprano Brenda Patterson, and tenor Will Ferguson, accompanied by percussionist I-Jen Fang, clarinetist Garrick Zoeter, and cellist Kristen Wojcik. Sunday, Feb. 18, at 8 p.m. The McGregor Room at Alderman Library, 160 McCormick Road, Charlottesville. Tickets are $30. Call 434-227-9978 or visit victoryhallopera.org.
VIRGINIA OPERA: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
Shakespeare’s iconic 16th-century language meets Britten’s 20th-century inventive and enchanting music in a delightful opera about love, forgiveness, and the power of dreams. Adam Turner conducts the lush, dynamic score as soprano Heather Buck, baritone Matthew Burns, and tenor David Blalock perform the comic tour de force. Patrons have the option of enhancing the concert with a romantic Valentine’s Package including two tickets, two glasses of champagne and chocolates, and two commemorative champagne glasses, for $135 to $250. Saturday, Feb. 17, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 18, at 2 p.m. Concert Hall in the George Mason University Center for the Arts, 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax. Tickets are $50 to $110, or $135 to $250 for the Valentine’s Package for two. Call 888-945-2468 or visit gmu.edu/cfa.
WASHINGTON CONCERT OPERA: DONIZETTI’S MARIA DI ROHAN
A season focused on bel canto ends with a classic love triangle, a 19th-century tragic opera focused on a woman torn between the man she loves and the man to whom she is secretly married. Soprano Marina Costa-Jackson stars in the title role, leading a cast that includes her mezzo-soprano sister Ginger Costa-Jackson as well as tenor Norman Reinhardt, baritones Lester Lynch and Efrain Solis as de Fiesque, and bass Timothy Bruno. Sunday, Feb. 18, at 6 p.m. GW Lisner, The George Washington University, 730 21st St. NW. Tickets are $40 to $110. Call 202-364-5826 or visit concertopera.org.
10 HAIRY LEGS: EXPLORING THE ARTISTRY OF THE MALE DANCER
Two weeks after performances at Dance Place, the New Jersey-based all-male dance troupe makes its Baltimore debut with its latest mixed-repertory program. Now in its sixth season, 10 Hairy Legs is focused, in part, on dispelling assumptions about male dancers. “If you watch two women dance on stage, you don’t normally assume that they are homosexuals,” says founder and leader Randy James, himself a gay man. “But if you watch two men dance on stage, people do assume that sometimes. And hopefully, that is one of the things that we’re kind of educating audiences on.” Saturday, Feb. 17, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 18, at 3 p.m. Baltimore Theatre Project, 45 West Preston St. Baltimore. Tickets are $15 to $25. Call 410-752-8558 or visit theatreproject.org.
GROWING OUR OWN GARDENS
Dance Exchange’s Associate Artistic Director Matthew Cumbie conceived and directed this multidisciplinary, intergenerational performance project described as “rooted in queer world-making.” The work unearths hidden histories and personal stories to commemorate LGBTQ spaces and the people who inhabit them. Saturday, Feb. 24, at 8 p.m, and Sunday, Feb. 25, at 4 p.m. Dance Place, 3225 8th St. NE. Tickets are $25 in advance, or $30 at the door. Call 202-269-1600 or visit danceplace.org.
KYLE ABRAHAM/ABRAHAM.IN.MOTION: DEAREST HOME
The gay MacArthur “Genius Grant” winner returns with his company to the University of Maryland for a showcase of movement, in its most vulnerable and intimate state, through a series of solo and duet performances focused on loving, longing, and loss. Audience members are given a choice: experience the pure movement in silence, or don headphones and layer on a rich soundscape. Friday, Feb. 23, and Saturday, Feb. 24, at 8 p.m. Kogod Theatre at the Clarice, University Boulevard and Stadium Drive. College Park. Tickets are $25. Call 301-405-ARTS or visit theclarice.umd.edu.
THE WASHINGTON BALLET: ROMEO & JULIET
John Cranko was commissioned by the Stuttgart Ballet in 1962 to create this ballet based on the Shakespeare classic tale, which the New York Times has heralded as “arguably the best dance treatment of Prokofiev’s celebrated ballet score.” And how sweet is this: The Washington Ballet offers a production of it that kicks off on Valentine’s Day. Performances to Sunday, Feb. 18. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $25 to $160. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
Before he became a longtime New Yorker writer and bestselling author, Borowitz created the Will Smith-helmed TV sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and also wrote the screenplay to Pleasantville. He offers standup on a tour cheekily named “Make America Not Embarrassing Again.” Tickets remain for the show Saturday, Feb. 24, at 10:30 p.m. Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. Tickets are $55 to $100. Call 202-888-0050 or visit thelincolndc.com.
Known from her years as a Chelsea Lately regular –- a staff writer as well as a roundtable guest, not to mention a producer, writer, and star on the spin-off After Lately –- Sarah Colonna returns for a round of standup at the Arlington Drafthouse. Her success in memoirs — with titles Life as I Blow It and Has Anyone Seen My Pants? — has also led to her current collaboration, as a co-writer, on an upcoming memoir from, of all people, pop star Demi Lovato. Friday, Feb. 16, at 10 p.m., and Saturday, Feb. 17, at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Arlington Cinema N’ Drafthouse, 2903 Columbia Pike, Arlington. Tickets are $25. Call 703-486-2345 or arlingtondrafthouse.com.
ADAM NICHOLSON: THE SEABIRD’S CRY
National Geographic offers a discussion and book signing from this prize-winning British author, whose latest book focuses on the plight of 10 species of seabirds and their challenges to survive. Nicholson appears for an evening billed as “blurring the lines between science and poetry” and presented as part of the institution’s “Year of the Bird” programming. Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 7:30 p.m. Gilbert H. Grosvenor Auditorium, 1600 M St. NW. Tickets are $25. Call 202-857-7700 or visit events.nationalgeographic.com.
CHRIS MYERS ASCH, GEORGE DEREK MUSGROVE: CHOCOLATE CITY
With the subtitle A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation’s Capital comes an exhaustive new book examining the tumultuous, four-century story of race and democracy in D.C. Professors Chris Myers Asch of the University of the District of Columbia and George Derek Musgrove of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County will read and discuss from their book and sign copies of it afterwards. Friday, Feb. 16, at 12 p.m. National Archives Museum, Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets NW. NW. Call 202-357-5000 or visit archivesfoundation.org.
FREDERICK DOUGLASS’ BICENTENNIAL EVENTS
Two leading cultural institutions each present a program the last weekend in February honoring the 200th anniversary of the early African-American leader. The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities offers “I Am Frederick Douglass: Life and Legacy,” which includes a screening of excerpts from the film Emancipation to Enslavement, a musical performance by the National Symphony Orchestra, a portrayal of Douglass by LeCount Holmes, Jr., and a panel discussion on the Maryland native’s legacy. Friday, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m. Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. Free, but first come, first served. Call 202-888-0050 or visit thelincolndc.com.
Two days later, the National Gallery of Art presents the lecture “Suffering, Struggle, Survival: The Activism, Artistry, and Authorship of Frederick Douglass” by Celeste-Marie Bernier of the University of Edinburgh and co-editor in chief of the Journal of American Studies. Bernier focuses specifically on the vital role Douglass’s children played in the struggles of their father, showing that the fight for freedom was a family business. Sunday, Feb. 25, at 2 p.m. East Building Auditorium, 4th St. at Constitution Ave. NW. Free, on a first-come, first-seated basis. Call 202-737-4215 or visit nga.gov.
WHAT SHE SAID: FEMALE POWERHOUSES IN D.C.’S ART SCENE
Female leaders from the local art scene gather for the fourth in a global speaker series hosted in the POV Lounge at the historic Hotel Washington, now run by W Hotels. The arts panel features a discussion, moderated by Peggy McGlone of the Washington Post between Allison Peck of the Hirshhorn Museum, Peggy Sparks of Artist’s Proof Gallery, and photographer Kate Warren of the Insert Here podcast. All guests receive a complimentary Absolut Elyx cocktail. Thursday, Feb. 22, at 5:30 p.m. W Washington DC, 515 15th St. NW. Free, but RSVP required. Call 202-661-2400 or visit wwashingtondc.com.
ADRIENNE GAITHER: HOW I GOT OVER
Transformer’s 15th Annual DC Artist Solo Exhibition features paintings and collage works recounting the artist’s personal recovery from traumatic events in her life. A series of lively, varied, and imaginative works, with undertones of violence and trauma, and shapes and colors recalling specific emotions. To Feb. 24. Transformer, 1404 P St. NW. Call 202-483-1102 or visit transformerdc.org.
AMERICAN DEMOCRACY: A GREAT LEAP OF FAITH
A display of prominent artifacts highlighting the history of citizen participation, debate and compromise from the nation’s formation to today. The American experiment is still alive, if not altogether well at the moment, but it has endured rough times before and this exhibition, at the Smithsonian’s American History Museum, highlights the various ways in which leading figures have strived to make the country “a more perfect union.” Objects include Thomas Jefferson’s portable desk he used to draft the Declaration of Independence, the inkstand Abraham Lincoln used to draft the Emancipation Proclamation, and the table on which Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote the Declaration of Sentiments. Ongoing. 14th St. and Constitution Ave. NW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit americanhistory.si.edu.
ART2 (ART SQUARED)
Overlapping with National Engineering Week (Feb. 18-24), the spunky art gallery in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria presents a member show of works demonstrating that science and math are central to art, and that the left brain needs the right brain and vice versa. Sophia Suarez and Monica Hokeilen curated this STEM-inspired show that will include workshops to engage STEM-interested people of all ages. To Feb. 25. Del Ray Artisans Gallery, 2704 Mount Vernon Ave. Alexandria. Call 703-731-8802 or visit thedelrayartisans.org.
BRAND NEW: ART AND COMMODITY IN THE 1980S
The Hirshhorn Museum presents an expansive exhibition exploring the pivotal moments in the 1980s, when artwork became a commodity and the artist, a brand. Sharp, witty, satirical, and deeply subversive, the nearly 150 works in this exhibition examine the the origins and rise of counterculture artists in New York who appropriated modern commercial strategies to create an entirely new artistic language — a revolutionary shift that continues to define contemporary art today. Artists represented in Brand New include Gran Fury, Jessica Diamond, R.M. Fischer, Guerrilla Girls, Peter Halley, Jeff Koons, Barbara Kruger, Joel Otterson, Richard Prince, Erika Rothenberg, Sarah Charlesworth, Haim Steinbach, Meyer Vaisman, and Julia Wachtel. Now to May 13. Independence Avenue and Seventh Street SW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit hirshhorn.si.edu.
Drawing inspiration from black-and-white photography as well as digital pixelation, the Miami-reared, D.C.-based innovative visual artist has created a style called Ribbon-Halftone. Tinsky’s meticulously measured and cut sheets of paper produce works that appear similar to portraits — until examined up close. Among his more recent efforts is a cherry-red portrait of Audrey Hepburn, a meld of the centuries-old papercut tradition of tessellation with pop-art-inspired portraiture, first displayed at the gallery Artist’s Proof. Visit craigtinsky.com to for more information and examples of his art.
DAY TO NIGHT: IN THE FIELD WITH STEPHEN WILKES
Stunning, technology-enhanced imagery capturing the passage of time in a single photograph is the hallmark of photographer Stephen Wilkes, who spent much of last year on assignment for National Geographic documenting bird migration routes, as featured in the magazine’s March 2018 issue. This companion exhibition offers behind-the-scenes insight into all that’s involved in Wilkes’ shoots, and presented as part of the “Year of the Bird” initiative, a partnership of over 100 organizations, from National Geographic to the Audubon Society. The exhibition features four expansive and powerful mega-prints of captivating bird migrations, measuring roughly 7 feet tall and 12 feet wide and reflecting the theme of conservation. Now to April 18. National Geographic Museum, 1145 17th St. NW. Tickets are $15. Call 202-857-7588 or visit ngmuseum.org.
JD DEARDOURFF’S UNCANNY FANTASTIC
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 unionmarketdc.com.
MARLENE DIETRICH: DRESSED FOR THE IMAGE
From her very first Hollywood film — the Josef von Sternberg’s 1930 drama, Morocco, which earned the actress her only Academy Award nomination — Dietrich “was able to introduce to a very conservative, American, puritan population the idea of accepting women being attracted to other women,” says National Portrait Gallery historian Kate Lemay. Dressed for the Image charts the actress’s career, longevity, and influence on everyone from Madonna and Jane Lynch to Janelle Monae. It includes details about the 1955 outing of the German-born actress as bisexual. On exhibit through April 15, 2018. National Portrait Gallery, 8th and F Streets NW. Call 202-633-8300 or visit npg.si.edu.
MELANCHOLIA: IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE BY MARION COLOMER
For this immersive installation, artist Marion Colomer collaborated with New York-based perfumer Dana El Masri to create an original scent reflecting the melancholy of lost desire. With notes of green leaves and rainforest, the smell is of a lost paradise, an effluvia of dampness and decomposing soil. The scent is intended to add a layer of sense to Colomer’s often contradictory large-scale watercolors on display, where beauty oscillates between daydreaming and doubt. Sometimes the artist portrays the Edenic lush jungle, while other times, an all-consuming and dangerous jungle of doom. Soft renderings of human bodies with glum expressions further paint a scene in which carnal desire and hope for humanity have faded from view. The installation is presented at an Atlas District gallery started by collectors Dolly Vehlow and Steve Hessler. On display through Feb. 23. Gallery O on H, 1354 H St. NE. Call 202-649-0210 or visit GalleryOonH.com.
NATIONAL ARCHIVES: EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION
In celebration of Black History Month, the National Archives offers a rare opportunity to see the original Emancipation Proclamation that President Abraham Lincoln issued on Jan. 1, 1863, formally proclaiming the freedom of all slaves in the land. Also currently on display in the East Rotunda Gallery is the telegram that Congressman Emanuel Celler sent to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., requesting that the preeminent Civil Rights leader come to Congress to testify on behalf of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. The Emancipation Proclamation is on display Saturday, Feb. 17, through Monday, Feb. 19. The King Telegram is on view through April 11. National Archives, 700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Call 202-357-5000 or visit archivesfoundation.org.
An exploration into how Shakespeare’s words have inspired visual artists, as seen in pictures, oil sketches and paintings from the Folger’s collection. Why is there visual art in a library? Because collectors Henry and Emily Folger understood that it takes more than books and manuscripts alone to understand Shakespeare and his era. Closes Saturday, Feb. 17. Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Call 202-544-7077 or visit folger.edu.
This one’s especially for the science nerds and geeks: Four installations from acclaimed Turkish art studio Ouchhh billed as a “psychedelic, eye-of-the-storm experience of whirling fractals and light beams.” Through 3D motion-mapped projections and light installations drawing inspiration from science, mathematics, and even astrology, Parallel Universe offers a hypnotic and immersive multi-sensory experience exploring representations of nature and the reconstruction of space. The work is on display at D.C.’s innovative augmented reality gallery ArTecHouse, which also offers Augmented Reality cocktails at evening and weekend showings. Now to March 4. 1238 Maryland Ave. SW. Tickets for timed-entry sessions are $15. Visit artechouse.com.
ALL SET’S WINTER OLYMPICS SPECIALTY COCKTAILS
At this hip Maryland restaurant you can watch the games on four flat-screen TVs all while staying warm with Olympics-inspired wintry cocktails dreamed up by Head Bartenders Jack Callahan and Christian Swain. The hot offerings, all priced at $8, include several variations on boozy coffee, from the Irish (with Jameson, naturally) to the Mexican (with Kahlua and tequila), and there’s also the All American Hot Toddy with cinnamon whiskey, angostura bitters, Falernum, lemon, and mint basil and ginger syrups. Through Feb. 25. All Set Restaurant & Bar, 8630 Fenton St., Plaza 5. Silver Spring. Call 301-495-8800 or visit allsetrestaurant.com.
DENIZENS BREWING CO.: WINTER CASK CLASSIC 2018
Breweries from D.C. and Maryland will take over the casks at the lesbian-owned venue in Maryland for an event that will also feature fun and games in the lower taproom, plus a friendly shoot-out hockey competition on the patio. Brews on tap will come from Denizens as well as Atlas, Bluejacket, Brewer’s Art, DC Brau, District Chophouse, Manor Hill, Oliver, Pub Dog, and Union Craft. Saturday, Feb. 24, from 12 to 5 p.m. Denizens Brewing Co., 1115 East-West Highway, Silver Spring. Tickets are $35, including a souvenir glass plus unlimited pours. Call 301-557-9818 or visit denizensbrewingco.com.
MXDC COCINA MEXICANA: NATIONAL MARGARITA DAY
Everyday is National Margarita Day for some of us, but officially, it comes just once a year: Thursday, Feb. 22. And among the offerings around town, you won’t do much better than the “wallet-friendly” fare at Todd English’s modern Mexican restaurant in the historic Garfinkel’s building next to the Hamilton. Normally priced at $12 per glass or $52 per pitcher, MXDC will offer margaritas that day for only $7 per glass or $38 per pitcher, including fruity variations with housemade syrups, ranging from Blackberry Cilantro to Piña to Mango, as well as one including the juice from a Habanero pepper. All margaritas at MXDC are made with Milagro Blanco tequila. In addition, MXDC Mixologists Anthony Tavara and Donald Piludo will offer samples of a uniquely blended, barrel-aged artisanal batch of Patrón Reposado tequila as part of a Taste of MXDC Flight with two other tequilas and priced at $20, or in a Cadillac Margarita, priced at $18 a glass or $76 per pitcher. 600 14th St. NW. call 202-393-1900 or visit mxdcrestaurant.com.
RAMEN WORLD 4
Modeled after epic ramen halls in Japan, local food incubator Mess Hall once a year offers D.C. gourmands a taste not only of the city’s best ramen, but also of its hottest new restaurants. This year’s event, which raises funds for Miriam’s Kitchen, features offerings from #RamenAllStars Himitsu, Paper Horse from Erik Bruner-Yang, Wolfgang Puck’s The Source, and Chaplin’s Restaurant. Among the more notable fare that’s not exactly ramen: meatless Impossible Burgers, served on ramen noodle buns, from Katsuya Fukushima, the chef behind hip ramen spots Haikan, Daikaya, and Bantam King; yaki-soba noodles spiked with Spam from the Hawaiian-focused food truck Abunai; Japanese skewers from forthcoming Brookland restaurant Momo Yakitori; and potstickers from Mess Hall member Nomad Dumplings. Ticketed in two-hour rounds, at noon and 3 p.m., on Sunday, Feb. 25. Mess Hall, 703 Edgewood St. NE. Tickets are $70 (plus nearly $5 in fees) for general admission and unlimited food, beer and cocktails, or $110 (plus nearly $7 in fees) for VIP priority access with swag bag including a t-shirt. Visit ramenworld4.eventbrite.com.
KLEZMER BRUNCH WITH SETH KIBEL & FRIENDS
The Washington Jewish Music Festival presents a popular series featuring a rotating roster of area musicians performing while patrons enjoy a buffet-style kosher brunch. Featuring Seth Kibel on clarinet, saxophone, and flute, Russian guitarist and singer Vladimir Fridman, and double-bass player Bob Abbott. Kibel promises “a mixture of klezmer and Yiddish favorites, as well as some Jewish jazz, and occasionally some other repertoire just for variety’s sake.” Sunday, Feb. 8, at 11 a.m. Community Hall at the Edlavitch DCJCC, 1529 16th St. NW. Tickets are $16.88 for the concert only, or $33.75 for concert with brunch. Call 202-777-3247 or visit wjmf.org.
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.” Yet you have to be very grown-up and plan ahead in particular for Saturday brunch, as those sell out weeks in advance — as of press time, Saturday, March 1, is the first available. 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 laboumbrunch.com.
SUNDAY JAZZ BRUNCH WITH THE KEVIN CORDT TRIO
Hank’s Pasta Bar plays host to a veteran local jazz combo the last Sunday of every month. Long a fixture at Mr. Henry’s, the Kevin Cordt Trio now serenades those enjoying a three-course brunch at Hank’s Pasta Bar. The menu starts with a shareable Antipasti Platter of crostini or charcuterie, followed by entree options including Italian Eggs Benedict with prosciutto and focaccia or handmade Fettuccine Bolognese, and finished with a choice of desserts, plus juice or coffee. Naturally, pitchers of Bloody Mary’s, Blood Orange Bellinis or the Farmer’s Pal Punch are available at an additional charge. The next brunch is Sunday, Feb. 25, with first seating at 11 a.m. Hank’s Pasta Bar, 600 Montgomery St., Alexandria. Tickets are $30 per person, excluding drinks. Call 571-312-4117 or visit hankspastabar.com.
NELLIE’S DRAG BUNCH: PRESIDENT’S DAY
Chanel Devereaux will be taking over Nellie’s Drag Brunch. Showtimes are still the same 10:30 am and 1 pm. You can get tickets at Nelliessportsbar.com. For nightlife, we have our resident DJ’s: LEMZ, Matt Bailer and Vodkatrina.
PRETTY BOI DRAG: AFTER DARK
Founded two years ago by former DC King Pretty Rik E, this troupe of drag kings perform two rounds of its sexy show After Dark at a new intimate venue in Petworth “where every seat is in the splash zone.” A VIP ticket include two premium drinks, a Meet and Greet before the show, front-row seating, an opportunity to be part of the show, and a Pretty Boi Drag Tee. Saturday, Feb. 17, at 9 and 11 p.m. Ten Tigers Parlour, 3813 Georgia Ave. NW. Tickets are $25 plus handling fee, or $50 and handling fee for VIP. Call 202-506-2080 or visit prettyboidrag.com.
Josh Vogelsong started his monthly alternative drag-focused party more than six years ago at the Black Cat, but it wasn’t until it moved to Trade that it became what he had long envisioned it could be. “It’s what I’ve always wanted: People show up in looks, everybody comes dressed up,” Vogelsong says. “Everybody gets crazy during the show. You can just spray beer on the crowd, and they’d cheer and love it. It’s wild.” The second Gay/Bash of 2018 features performances from Vogelsong per his drag alter-ego and show host Donna Slash, plus Bombalicious Eklaver, Jane Saw, Salvadora Dali, Jaxknife Complex, with jams from DJ The Barber Streisand. Saturday, Feb. 17. Doors at 10 p.m., with shows at 11:30 p.m. and 1 a.m. Trade, 1410 14th St. NW. Call 202-986-1094 or visit facebook.com/gaybashdc.
CAPITAL REMODEL + GARDEN SHOW
Husband-and-wife-duo Chris and Peyton Lambton, stars of HGTV’s Going Yard, and Joanie Sprague of TLC’s revived Trading Spaces are the featured headliners at this year’s show at the Dulles Expo Center, where they will share their favorite projects and take questions from the audience. There will be plenty more chances for attendees to solicit advice, gather information and purchase services from experts in the home and garden field, with more than 300 companies set to attend. A centerpiece of the event is a 4,000-plus square foot space in which five landscapers have created “dream gardens.” Friday, Feb. 23, and Saturday, Feb. 24, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 25, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dulles Expo Center, 4320 Chantilly Shopping Center, Virginia. Tickets are $12 at the box office or $9 online. Call 800-274-6948 or visit capitalremodelandgarden.com.
PRECIOUS THINGS: A BURLESQUE BENEFITTING RAINN
A tribute to Tori Amos and “Virtuoso Babes of the Nineties” is the focus of a benefit from charitable-minded burlesque and variety arts outfit Philanthrotease, offered as a kind of anti-Valentine’s Day offering a few days later. RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence association, will receive 50 percent of net ticket sales. The event is emceed by Short Staxx and features performances by Bella La Blanc, Caza Blanca, Delilah Dentata, Evilyn Vice, Isabelle Epoque, Jezabelle von Jane, MasoKiss, and Miss Mary Cyn. Saturday, Feb. 17. Doors at 9 p.m. Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. Tickets are $15 in advance or $18 at the door. Call 202-667-4490 or visit blackcatdc.com.
THE WASHINGTON SCANDALS: SEQUINS AND SCRUMS FUNDRAISER
Inspired by similar efforts from other rugby teams around the country, the Washington Scandals started a drag benefit last year over Town’s weekly Bear Happy Hour. Ten players don wigs, heels, and costumes to compete for the title of “Scrum Queen” by lip synching to a popular song and attempting to collect as much money in tips as he can. The top three will then face off in a “Lip Sync for Your Life” contest, with the winner determined by a panel of judges including Charger Stone of DC Bear Crue, Tammy Truong of Uproar Lounge and Restaurant, Pat Brogan of WAMU, Angelina Pappas of Kouzina Angelina’s Pizza, and the reigning Miss Adams Morgan, Miss Eva Von Beaverhausen. Proceeds help cover the team’s travel expenses for the Bingham Cup, a bi-annual gay rugby championship tournament, to be held in Amsterdam in 2018. Competing this year: Nathan Hagan, Brandon McGree, Ryan Haynes, Max Sycamore, Rashad DeMesme, Jim Barrett, Tim Kilbride, Brian Dawson, Gus Elfving, and Daly Kingston. Friday, Feb. 23, at 7:30 p.m. Town Danceboutique, 2009 8th St. Free. Visit scandalsrfc.org for more information. (John Riley)