Metro Weekly

Out On the Town: D.C. arts and entertainment highlights — February 22-28




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. Opens Friday, Feb. 9. Area theaters. Visit (Andre Hereford)


Natalie Portman stars as a biologist who signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition where the laws of nature don’t apply in Alex Garland’s drama based on the best-selling Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer. Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny, and Oscar Isaac co-star. Opens Friday, Feb. 23. Area theaters, including Landmark’s Atlantic Plumbing Cinema, 807 V St. NW. Call 202-534-1965 or visit


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 (AH)


DC Shorts offers two showcases next weekend featuring several favorites the annual summer festival. Two of the 14 films are nominees in the Live Action shorts category at this year’s Oscars, handed out the same weekend, on Sunday, March 4. Showcase A is led by Oscar nominee Watu Wote/All of Us, a German drama about religious unrest in Kenya, and also includes the comedy Fanny Pack, about a clash between the dreams of an Indian-American father and daughter; The Sandman, a U.S. documentary about a doctor who opposes capital punishment yet participates in executions; and Second to None, an animated tale from Ireland about dueling twin brothers. Showcase B features Oscar nominee My Nephew Emmett, a U.S. drama based on the true story of the racially motivated murder of Emmett Louis Till. It also includes Hollywood’s Greatest Trick, a documentary about the struggle for visual effects artists to get fair pay, representation, and recognition in Hollywood; Siren, a drama about the prejudices and misunderstandings between an Arab immigrant and an old Japanese man; Unknown, a documentary about a busking D.C. pop band; and The Forger, about the work of Adolfo Kaminsky, who had a hand in saving thousands of people in practically every major conflict of the mid-20th century. Friday, March 2, at 7 and 9 p.m., and Saturday, March 3, at 8 and 10 p.m. The Miracle Theatre, 535 8th St. SE. Tickets are $15 per showcase, or $25 for a Double Header of both. Call 202-400-3210 or visit


Mark Pellington’s moving drama is about our collective need to find meaning in the objects, artifacts, and memories that we hold dear and shape our lives. The cast includes Jon Hamm, Ellen Burstyn, Catherine Keener, Bruce Dern, John Ortiz, Nick Offerman, Amber Tamblyn, and Patton Oswalt. Opens Friday, Feb. 23. Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema, 7235 Woodmont Ave. Call 301-652-7273 or visit


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


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. Now playing. West End Cinema, 2301 M St. NW. Call 202-534-1907 or visit


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


An homage to the rom-com teen movies of the ’80s and ’90s from L.A.-based visual artist Alex Israel. 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. 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


John Huston’s 1950 film noir tells the story of a jewel robbery in a Midwestern city and based on a novel by W. R. Burnett. The cast includes Marilyn Monroe in one of her earliest roles and features Sterling Hayden, James Whitmore, Sam Jaffe, and John McIntire. Landmark’s West End Cinema screens the thriller as part of its weekly Capital Classics series. Wednesday, Feb. 28, 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


A young writer is forced to reflect on her first relationship when she inadvertently moves into her ex-boyfriend’s apartment building in this new take on the classic romantic comedy from first-time writer/director Sophie Brooks. A hit at the Tribeca Film Festival, The Boy Downstairs stars Zosia Mamet (HBO’s Girls), daughter of playwright David Mamet, and actress Lindsay Crouse, ex-wife of Mamet. Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 7:30 p.m. The Aaron and Cecile Goodman Theater at the DCJCC, 1529 16th St. NW. Tickets are $13.50 for each film. Call 202-777-3247 or visit


Fathom Events offers a rare return to the big screen of Jim Henson’s fantasy adventure — and the demand is so strong, they’ve added additional dates and theaters for the run. The 1982 epic, co-directed with Frank Oz (Little Shop of Horrors), screens with a brand-new featurette including an interview with Jim’s daughter Lisa Henson, who reflects on the making of the film and its legacy. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will release The Dark Crystal on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and digital on Tuesday, March 6. Screenings are Sunday, Feb. 25, and Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 2 and 7 p.m., Saturday, March 3, at 2 p.m., and Tuesday, March 6, at 2 and 7 p.m. Area theaters including Regal Gallery Place (701 7th St. NW), Potomac Yards Stadium (3575 Jefferson Davis Highway in Alexandria), and Ballston Common 12 (617 N. Glebe Road in Arlington). Visit

Light Years — Photo: Christopher Mueller



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


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. Closes Sunday, 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


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. To March 4. Olney Theatre Center, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Call 301-924-3400 or visit


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


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 date is Saturday, Feb. 24, at 1 p.m. CHAW, 545 7th St. SE. Tickets are Pay-What-You-Will. Call 202-547-6839 or visit


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). To March 4. 641 D St. NW. Call 202-393-3939 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. 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


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


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


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


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


The latest work from Dog & Pony is “a fanciful and absurd pastiche of interactive theatrical forms created, designed, and performed by an entirely non-male-identifying ensemble of artists.” One scene in the devised production features wrestlers reviewing the history of feminism, while another sees singers adapting Broadway showtunes to confront the complexities of the male gaze. A third of five total scenes is a ballet, inspired by both synchronized swimming and K-pop, conveying the modern woman’s complicity in her own oppression. Directed by Rachel Grossman. Remaining performances are Thursday, Feb. 22, and Friday, Feb. 23, at 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 24, at 3 and 8 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 25, at 2 and 7 p.m. Woolly Mammoth Rehearsal Hall, 641 D St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $25, or $40 in a voluntary “Men Give Back” promotion. Call 202-393-3939 or visit


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


Two ambitious visionaries race against each other to create the world’s first boob tube. Written by Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing). With Frank Britton, Katrina Clark, Michael Crowley, Gary DuBreuil, and Liz Mamana. Alex Levy directs. To March 11. 1st Stage, 1524 Spring Hill Rd. Tysons, Va. Tickets are $15 to $33. Call 703-854-1856 or visit


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. To March 11. Fichandler Stage, 1101 6th St. SW. Call 202-488-3300 or visit


An adaptation of Ursula K. Le Guin’s classic tale about a doctor who exploits a patient with the remarkable ability of altering reality merely through the subconscious act of dreaming. Stars Erica Chamblee, Matthew Vaky, and Matthew Marcus are supported by an ensemble of Georgetown University theater students. To March 11. Universalist National Memorial Church, 1810 16th St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $40. Call 202-248-0301 or visit



One of Shakespeare’s last tragedies is presented in repertory with a new piece from Brave Spirits Theatre. Rachel Hynes devised The Trojan Women Project in part as a response to Coriolanus and its piercing look at men who cannot leave war behind. The new work offers a piercing look of its own — at the women who cannot unite against their men and/or achieve a better future. With John Strange as Coriolanus, Jessica Lefkow as Volumnia, and Ian Blackwell Rogers as Menenius, with eight additional performers. In repertory to Feb. 25. The Lab at Convergence, 1819 N. Quaker Lane, Alexandria. Tickets are $20 each, or $30 for both plays. Call 703-998-6260 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



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. In 1991, however, 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


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

Aubrey Logan — Photo courtesy of Aubrey Logan



If you’ve heard this vocalist’s work as a member of Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox, then the jazzy yet thoroughly contemporary pop sound of Impossible will come as no shock. To everyone else, mentioning that Logan won the Montreux Jazz Festival Competition in 2009 — the same year she was also a finalist on American Idol — adds extra meaning to the title of her solo debut album, a quirky and fun cross-genre jazz/pop/neo-soul blend. Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 8 and 10 p.m. Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Tickets are $31, plus $12 minimum purchase. Call 202-337-4141 or visit


Marin Alsop conducts Stravinsky’s wild and galvanizing masterpiece, considered one of the most influential works of the 20th century for pushing the boundaries of classical instruments to evoke earthy and bestial sounds. A question and answer session, led by Alsop, follows the performance on Friday, Feb. 23, at Strathmore. The Saturday, Feb. 24, concert at the Meyerhoff will end in a “Single Malt Stravinsky” after-party with live music by Elon, food from The Local Oyster, and $6 whiskey specials. The program on Sunday, Feb. 25, at Strathmore includes melodic French pieces for saxophone and orchestra featuring Branford Marsalis. Friday, Feb. 23, at 8:15 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 25, at 3 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Saturday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m. Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore. Tickets are $35 to $99. Call 410-783-8000 or visit


To mark its fifth anniversary, the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club has enlisted the Trinidadian-born British artist whom those of a certain age will remember for ’80s hits “Caribbean Queen” and “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car.” WPGC morning show host and comedian Joe Clair serves as emcee. Wednesday, Feb. 28, and Thursday, March 1, at 8 p.m. Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club, 7719 Wisconsin Ave. Tickets are $60 to $75, plus $10 minimum purchase per person. Call 240-330-4500 or visit


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. Remaining dates in the current run are Thursday, Feb. 22, Saturday, Feb. 24, and Sunday, Feb. 25, at 8 p.m. The Theater at MGM National Harbor, 7100 Oxon Hill Rd., Md. Call 301-971-5000 or visit


A group formed over thirty years ago as a means to showcase the brightest female musicians in the male-dominated Irish-American folk scene, which took its name from a traditional Irish jig. Joanie Madden, on flute and tin whistle, leads the group of multi-instrumentalists also including Mary Coogan, Mirella Murray, Grainne Murphy, Deirdre Connolly, and Kathleen Boyle. Cherish The Ladies are accompanied by step dancers. Wednesday, Feb. 28, and Thursday, March 1, at 8 p.m. The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $25 to $30. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit


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


The New York punk duo of female guitarist and vocalist Alex Luciano and thrashing drummer Noah Bowman made a show of canceling a concert last fall at a small Pennsylvania Christian college after learning of the school’s discriminatory policy against LGBTQ students. Diet Cig’s strong pro-queer stance is further reflected in its current tour featuring main support from an LGBTQ-focused four-piece from Edinburgh, Scotland. Meanwhile, The Spook School, formed in 2012 and comprised of guitarist and vocalist Nye Todd (who identifies as trans), guitarist Adam Todd, bassist and vocalist Anna Cory, and drummer Niall McCamley, has an arsenal of Buzzcockian noisy-pop songs, many with empowering lyrics for the gender and sexually non-binary or non-conforming. “Fuck you, I’m still alive,” the band shouts in unison at the top of its new, third set, Could It Be Different? You can almost hear the crowd screaming live right along with them. Wednesday, Feb. 28. Doors at 7 p.m. Rock and Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. Tickets are $18. Call 202-388-ROCK or visit


Rolling Stone named the dreamy-pop L.A. singer-songwriter, responsible for promising singles such as “White Noise” and “You Don’t Know Me,” an artist to watch. Monday, March 5. Doors at 7 p.m. U Street Music Hall, 1115A U St. NW. Tickets are $15. Call 202-588-1880 or visit


Subtitled “The Blossoming of the Italian Baroque,” this program from the early music ensemble led by Robert Eisenstein and Christopher Kendall explores the growth of the Italian musical style from the Renaissance to the Baroque, featuring 16th-century madrigals as well as 17th-century monodies by luminaries including Monteverdi and Luzzaschi. Soprano and instrumentalist Jolle Greenleaf join Eisenstein on viol and violin, Kendall on lute, Risa Browder on violin and viola, and two special guests from the Italian early music ensemble Palma Choralis: Marcello Mazzetti on vocals, lute, and viola da gamba, and Livio Ticli on vocals and harpsichord. Friday, Feb. 23, at 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 24, at 4 and 8 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 25, at 2 p.m. Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $42. Call 202-544-7077 or visit


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


The 34-year-old artist creates captivating, otherworldly electro-R&B that register as a blend of Bjork and Janet Jackson. Certainly she’s a sonic soulmate to her contemporary and collaborator Solange. Metro Weekly‘s Sean Maunier put Kelela’s debut Take Me Apart at No. 3 on his list of 2017’s best albums, calling it “a mature and sober reflection on love and modern relationships, carried by an artist with an impressive vocal range and hypermodern arrangements that probe and tug at the boundaries of pop and R&B.” Thursday, March 1. Doors at 7 p.m. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $30. Call 202-265-0930 or visit


Last year, the great country/rock band Little Big Town became the first act in history to have a residency at Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium. Now, the Alabama-rooted quartet of Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet, and Jimi Westbrook tours in support of its eighth studio set, The Breaker, featuring the powerful ballad “Better Man” that Taylor Swift wrote for the band with its trademark four-part vocal harmonies in mind. Main support comes from Kacey Musgraves, a standout pro-LGBTQ country hitmaker (“Follow Your Arrow”) who will offer a preview of tracks from her forthcoming album Golden Hour. Fellow Texas “neotraditionalist” country band Midland rounds out the bill. Saturday, March 3. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. Tickets are $75 to $369. Call 202-265-0930 or visit


Piotr Gajewski conducts the orchestra and the National Philharmonic Chorale in a concert version of George Gershwin’s groundbreaking, genre-defying “folk-opera.” Kevin Deas and Marlissa Hudson portray Porgy and Bess, respectively, joined by Michael Redding as Crown, Chauncey Packer as Sportin’ Life, Aundi Moore as Serena, Edward Pleasant as Jake, NaGuanda Nobles as Carla/Maria, and Colin Eaton as Mingo/Peter Robbins. Saturday, Feb. 24, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $60 to $82. Call 301-581-5100 or visit


Drawing from jazz, electronica, and acoustic/folk as well as classical, PubliQuartet has been heralded as “leaders of the New School” by Symphony Magazine. They return to D.C. with a program of works by Jessie Montgomery, Meredith Monk, Kanye West-collaborator Caroline Shaw, Jihyun Kim, and a world premiere of Jessica Meyer’s Get Into The NOW. Saturday, Feb. 24, at 8 p.m. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $40. Call 202-408-3100 or visit


The notable local performer pays tribute to five of her persevering predecessors in a cabaret kicking off a three-part Spring Solo Series at MetroStage that “celebrating work by women, about women, and starring women.” Resist highlights Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Alberta Hunter, Abbey Lincoln, Roberta Flack, and Nina Simone. “I basically become each woman as I’m telling their story, and give you a little insight into their thinking during the time of their heyday,” White says. “I want to show how women in the industry had to go from an image being imposed on us to taking control and empowering ourselves and creating our own image.” White will perform accompanied by Music Director Michael Hill on piano. Saturday, Feb. 24, at 3 and 8 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 25, at 3 p.m. MetroStage, 1201 North Royal St., Alexandria. Tickets are $45. Call 703-548-9044 or visit


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


A series of concerts featuring the sonically diverse 2018 class of Artists in Residence at Strathmore continues with a D.C. native who has devoted his life to being a cultural ambassador of African music and culture. Whether on drums and percussion, or the banjo-precursor the ngoni, or manding guitar, the skilled multi-instrumentalist performs both traditional music as well as original compositions combining West African rhythms with bluesy themes and jazzy riffs. Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 7:30 p.m. The Mansion at Strathmore, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Tickets are $17. Call 301-581-5100 or visit

Kyle Abraham: Abraham.In.Motion — Photo: Carrie Schneider



Lucy Bowen McCauley’s celebrated local contemporary dance company returns to the Kennedy Center with an “An Evening of Dance” program featuring a world premiere choreographed by McCauley. The bill also includes a restaging of the late Eric Hampton’s UnRavel and McCauley’s Le Cafe Carambole. The pieces, set to Ravel, Liszt, and Schoenfield, will be performed by the company’s dancers with accompaniment from pianist Nikola Paskalov and the Gemini Piano Trio. Friday, March 2, and Saturday, March 3, at 7:30 p.m. Terrace Theater. Tickets are $40 to $50. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


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


A daring Los Angeles-based company blending modern dance with the circus arts, in a way that is somewhat similar to Cirque du Soleil or Pilobolus, readies for its debut at the Kennedy Center. The company will present two signature works — Trajectoire and Passengers — both of which they performed as competitors, and ultimately finalists, on America’s Got Talent last year — as well as The Veterans Project: The Long Journey Home, which includes several U.S. military vets. Friday, Feb. 23, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, Feb. 24, at 2 and 8 p.m. Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $29 to $79. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


With flourishes of Afro-Brazilian music mixed with indie-pop, the eclectic full-length program is the product of Dorrance’s collaboration with musician and Stomp cast member Nicholas Van Young. ETM also features artist Ephrat Asherie, includes a cover of Adele’s “First Love,” and makes use of Van Young’s electronic tap boards, essentially turning the whole stage into a percussive instrument. Friday, March 2, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $35 to $80. Call 301-581-5100 or visit


The innovative local mixed-media dance company offers two different programs, each combining performance of modern dance in cooperation with, and response to, visual art and sound. First comes Gallery Workout, which features a group of female dancers interpreting Form and Void, a visual art show by Ellyn Weiss, as well as a performance from Forty+, the company’s troupe of community dancers over the age of 40. Meanwhile, Border is a performance about barriers and shared pathways examining conflict and cooperation and including audio interviews by community members. Gallery Workout is Saturday, Feb. 24, at 7:30 p.m., Border is Thursday, March 1, at 7 p.m. The Athenaeum, 201 Prince St., Alexandria. Tickets are $15 each. Call 703-933-1111 or visit


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


A project featuring seven African-American men billed as a “first time ever all-male, black ballet [that] aims to tackle racism in America.” Through live and filmed interviews, dance, and poetry, Black Leaves features the collective voices of men within the black community, demonstrating their common threads of experience. Antwain Donte Hill, Aeryk Shields, Aaron Spydaman Poindexter, Blair Dottin-Haley, Duante Brown, Joshua Anderson, and Shannon Garcon are the featured performers in this latest work by Oasis, led and co-founded by Steven Wilson. Sunday, March 4, at 6 p.m. THEARC, 1901 Mississippi Ave. SE. Tickets are $20 to $40. Call 202-889-5901 or visit



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


In its black box space, D.C.’s Drafthouse Comedy presents a monthly variety show featuring stand-up comedy, music and sketches by a diverse group of local female, minority, and LGBTQ performers — and all hosted by a comedian who has shared the stage with DL Hughley, Todd Glass, Fortune Feimster, and Judy Gold, among others. Wednesday, Feb. 28. Doors at 8:30 p.m. Drafthouse Comedy, 1100 13th St. NW. Tickets are $5. Call 202-750-6411 or visit



In her new book, this Yale Law School professor argues that the U.S., with its focus on national identity, has for too long turned a blind eye to the fact that humans are instinctively tribal animals who both need to belong and need to exclude. In addition to undermining American foreign policy, this discounting of ethnic, religious, sectarian, and clan-based identities has allowed dangerous forms of “political tribalism” to take hold domestically — from anti-immigrant and anti-“other” movements to the populist backlash against elites. Chua will elaborate on her argument and offer recommendations in a discussion with author J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy) followed by a book signing presented with Politics & Prose. Monday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $20, or $35 including one book, $45 for two tickets and one book. Call 202-408-3100 or visit


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

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



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. Closes Saturday, Feb. 24. Transformer, 1404 P St. NW. Call 202-483-1102 or visit


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. Closes Sunday, Feb. 25. Del Ray Artisans Gallery, 2704 Mount Vernon Ave. Alexandria. Call 703-731-8802 or visit


Images in early modern books are as full of meaning as the text they illustrate. Caroline Duroselle-Melish curates a display of artifacts from the collection of the Folger Shakespeare Library: 80 richly varied drawings, portraits, and maps, some of them rarely shown, from the 15th to 18th centuries, as well as video and period illustrations showing how images were made and printed. Opens Saturday, Feb. 24. On exhibit to June 3. Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Call 202-544-7077 or visit


Although focused on oil paintings, this D.C. artist’s first show at Susan Calloway Fine Arts encompases a range of work, including works on paper, from a career spanning over four decades. Subjects include still life paintings, studio scenes, Potomac River views, and scenes from D.C., Florida, and Italian cities including Rome. Now to March 16. 1643 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Call 202-965-4601 or visit


Works by four Korean-American artists touch on their identity and heritage in an exhibition featuring a diverse array of art, from ceramic to painting to mixed-media and video installations. The four participating artists are Victoria Jang, with works in ceramic and gold luster portraying expressive yet atypical or distorted human figures and also conveying her multicultural identity as both Korean and African-American; Christina Ko, whose pastel-colored collages and paintings of everyday objects target popular culture’s fascination with exaggerated notions of femininity, especially as it relates to the cultural identity of Asian women; Jang Soon looks at how contemporary Western culture has interpreted Oriental imagery from its own perspective and to suit its tastes; and Eun Kyung Suh, with works that examine the assimilation process of immigrants, one featuring video interviews with Korean adoptees, the other an installation exploring how national identity forms within ethnic enclaves. Closes Wednesday, Feb. 28. Korean Cultural Center Washington DC, 2370 Massachusetts Ave. NW. Call 202-939-5688 or visit


An immersive pop-up allowing visitors to experience all four seasons at once in a multi-sensory way, created by Aaron Scales of the D.C.- based art and design company BroCoLoco. Breathe in subtle scents, touch stimulating textures, and soak up local seasonal sights as part of an installation at a new apartment complex in an area of the U Street Corridor being branded as North Shaw. Opens Saturday, Feb. 24. To March 11. Trellis House, 2323 Sherman Ave. NW. Free. Call 202-210-4928 or search #ExperienceTheSeasons on and social media.


The Historical Society of Washington, D.C., organized this juried exhibit of 44 original artworks by 25 local artists. Created between 1988 and 2017, the two-dimensional artworks offer artists’ interpretations of neighborhoods in all eight D.C. wards, from Burleith to the Palisades, Shepherd Park to Kenilworth, Ivy City to Buzzard Point. Participating artists include Ronda Bernstein, Lindsey Brittain, Carlos Carmonamedina, Miles Carter, Lloyd Foster, Bruce McNeil, Monette Melanson, Alberto Pacheco, Wil Scott, and Jane Webb. Through March 4. The George Washington University Museum, 701 21st St. NW. Suggested donation of $8. Call 202-994-5200 or visit


The latest group show at the downtown gallery was inspired by the notion of a nation and people constantly on the move — in the physical sense, per various means of transport, as well as in the figurative sense, by striving to get ahead in life through advanced education and career shifts. Member artists explore transitions and mobility in their works, ranging from photographs and hand-pulled prints, to paintings and drawings, to collages and sculptures. Closing Reception,featuring painting and collage demonstrations, is Sunday, Feb. 25, from 2 to 4 p.m. Touchstone Gallery, 901 New York Ave. NW Call 202-347-2787 or visit


For their joint inaugural exhibit as new members of Studio Gallery, Jennifer Duncan and Joy Every have selected mixed-media works that investigate the way each sees and absorbs nature — whether as small as a plant, a bit of design in ice, or as large as a sea or mountain scape. Duncan offers color-drenched explorations of the landscape and local flora and fauna in her works, reflecting the forms of the natural world and the emotion elicited by her existence within it. Meanwhile, Every starts all her pieces from a photographic snapshot, ending as idealized or metaphorical versions of the landscape and its elements through alterations in color, size, composition and materials used. Closes Saturday, Feb. 24. Studio Gallery, 2108 R St. NW. Call 202-232-8734 or visit


The winter edition of the seasonal art series at the Coldwell Banker Dupont/Logan office focuses on a series of large paintings by this Mid City Artist grouped under the title The Art of Evolution. Murphy’s work is an exploration of the mysteries of evolution from the Big Bang to our big brains, with a more recent focus on images reflecting large cosmic interactions and small neurons in the brain. On display through February. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, 1617 14th St. NW. Call 202-387-6180 or visit


A 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. On display through March 4. The Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 North Union St. Alexandria. Free. Call 703-838-4565 or visit


Strathmore’s 27th annual juried exhibition called on artists to submit works inspired by the romance, dreams, and mysterious themes of two iconic authors. Artists represented include Winifred Anthony, Ken Bachman, Vaughn Clay, Nella Fischer, Rebecca Hirsh, Bruce Morgan, Hamid Nouri, Irina Parshikova, and William Peirce. Through March 4. The Mansion at Strathmore, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Call 301-581-5100 or visit


Marjorie Merriweather Post’s gift for bringing art to everyday dining inspired the latest exhibition at Post’s former estate Hillwood, featuring table settings from a handful of contemporary interior designers. Timothy Corrigan, Barry Dixon, Charlotte Moss, Alex Papachristidis, P. Gaye Tapp, Hutton Wilkinson, and Josh Hildreth look to Post and her finest table settings to curate a feast for the eyes. The exhibition includes a selection of historic tablewares from Hillwood’s collection along with the designer’s own contemporary treasures. To June 10. Hillwood Estate, 4155 Linnean Ave. NW. Suggested donation is $18. Call 202-686-5807 or visit

Ramen World



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


Mainly known for its namesake product, area locations of national chain Morton’s The Steakhouse are honoring the Lenten season (and the Catholic tradition of eating fish on Fridays) through a premium special: A meal of Steamed Twin Lobster Tails priced at $39. Fridays now through March 30. Locations include 1050 Connecticut Ave. NW and 3251 Prospect St. NW in D.C. Visit


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


Breweries from D.C. and Maryland will take over the casks at the lesbian-owned Denizens Brewing Company 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



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. 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


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



La’Fantasy Productions presents a party where one can get the skinny on this year’s annual weekend of benefit dance parties known as Cherry, set for April 12th through 15th. Local DJs Twin, Sean Morris, and X Gonzalez will spin during Cherry weekend and also at this Cherry Kick Off event featuring boys stripped down to their underwear dancing while all aglow, courtesy of glowing lights plus glow-in-the-dark paint to be provided. Friday, Feb. 23, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. L8DC, 727 15th St. NW. Tickets are $25. Call 202-506-7006 or visit


Darryl Strickland was one of the most prolific DJs in gay D.C. in the ’90s, which makes him an eminently qualified co-host of a party focused on playing “the best of ’80s and ’90s music videos.” Matt Strother is the other co-host of this “Totally Tubular” party during which requests will be taken all night. Obviously this is no regular night out. Saturday, March 3. Starts at 9 p.m. Green Lantern, 1335 Green Ct. NW. Call 202-347-4533 or visit



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


Fire twirlers and an ice sculptor will be on hand at this first of its kind event on the revived Wharf on the Southwest Waterfront, also featuring live music by Pebble to Pearl and — best of all — an outdoor pop-up bar serving whiskey, wine, and beer. Further heating things up on a cold night: A fire pit for roasting your own s’mores. Saturday, Feb. 24, from 7 to 9 p.m. District Pier at Wharf DC, 690 Water St. SW. Visit


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 for more information. (John Riley)

Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly.

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