Metro Weekly

Out On the Town: D.C. arts and entertainment highlights — March 8-14

A Fantastic Woman

FILM

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 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. It also had Oscar voters cheering, winning as Best Foreign Language Film. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (Andre Hereford)

A WRINKLE IN TIME

Visionary director Ava DuVernay (Selma) gives Disney’s epic adventure, based on Madeleine L’Engle’s timeless classic, a good wrinkle or three of her own. The film, with a screenplay by Oscar-winning playwright Jennifer Lee (Frozen), shifts dimensions of time and space, and examines the nature of darkness versus light and, ultimately, the triumph of love. Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Michael Peña, Zach Galifianakis, Chris Pine, and newcomer Storm Reid star. Opens Friday, March 9. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com.

BOMBSHELL: THE HEDY LAMARR STORY

Hedy Lamarr was once known as the world’s most beautiful woman. But she was far more than just a pretty face: in 2014, Lamarr was enshrined in the National Inventors Hall of Fame for helping develop the technology behind Bluetooth, as well as an early version of Wi-Fi. Alexandra Dean’s documentary sheds new light on the Old Hollywood star, an Austrian Jewish immigrant to the U.S. who became a trailblazing inventor in her quest to help defeat the Nazis. Newly unearthed audio tapes of Lamarr speaking about her life are interspersed with reflections from her family, friends, and admirers, including Mel Brooks and Robert Osborne. Now playing. Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672 or visit landmarktheatres.com.

BPM (BEATS PER MINUTE)

Robin Campillo’s drama examines the onslaught of AIDS and the concomitant advance of gay rights in early 1990s France, told through the Paris chapter of ACT UP. Touted as heartbreaking and inspiring, but also funny and even erotic, Campillo co-wrote BPM with Philippe Mangeot, drawing on their personal experiences in ACT UP. A four-time winner at Cannes this year and also France’s Official Selection for Best Foreign Language Film at next year’s Oscars, BPM stars Arnaud Valois as a shy newcomer to activism and Nahuel Pérez Biscayart his opposite, an outspokenly flamboyant radical. The AFI screens it as part of its “2017: A Second Look” series. Tuesday, March 13, at 7 p.m. AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $10 to $13 general admission. Call 301-495-6720 or visit afi.com/Silver.

COCO

A 12-year-old boy travels into the Land of the Dead to unpick the truth behind a century-old family secret in Disney/Pixar’s film, based heavily on the folklore behind Mexico’s famed Día de los Muertos holiday. Benjamin Bratt, Gael Garcia Bernal, and Anthony Gonzalez lend their voices to the film, which won two Oscars at this year’s ceremony: Best Animated Feature and Best Song for “Remember Me,” penned by the same Oscar-winning husband-and-wife team behind Frozen‘s “Let It Go.” The AFI offers three post-Oscar screenings of Coco as part of its “2017: A Second Look” series. Friday, March 9, at 5:15 p.m., as well as Saturday, March 10, and Sunday, March 11, at 11 a.m. AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $10 to $13 general admission. Call 301-495-6720 or visit afi.com/Silver.

DISTURBING THE PEACE

Documentaries focused on the Israel-Palestine conflict screen for free over the next six Sundays as part of Voices from the Holy Land series, now in its fourth year and sponsored by 41 area interfaith, interdenominational, and civic groups. Sunday, March 11, brings two short films showcasing life in the Palestinian territories: Bethlehem: Hidden from View, which looks at the local Christian community in the famous Biblical town, now a walled imprisonment, and Anne Paq and Ala Qandil’s intense Gaza: A Gaping Wound, focused on life in the wake of a devastating military offensive in 2014 that wiped out many whole Palestinian families at a time, killing 2,200 total citizens and leaving 100,00 homeless. Each screening is at 2:30 p.m. and is followed by a moderated discussion with the audience. Saint John’s Norwood Episcopal Church, 6701 Wisconsin Ave. Chevy Chase. Call 301-654-7767 or call Nancy Adams at 202-294-8494.

KING LEAR

Laurence Olivier did it in 1983, a few years before his death. Ian McKellen has done it twice in just the last decade. Yet among the greats who have played the title character from Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy, it is the imposing portrayal by Estonian actor Jüri Järvet (Solaris) that many scholars consider to be the best Lear rendered on stage or screen. Grigori Kozintsev’s sweeping Soviet drama from 1971 is often touted as the best cinematic adaptation, as well. The National Gallery of Art is giving museumgoers a rare chance to judge for themselves, offering a special one-day screening of Kozintsev’s Russian-language film, based on a translation by Boris Pasternak. King Lear features the stunning black-and-white cinematography of Ionas Gritsius and a spare and haunting soundtrack by famed Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich. Presented with English subtitles, the King Lear screening comes in conjunction with the exhibition Michel Sittow: Estonian Painter at the Courts of Renaissance Europe (see separate entry under Galleries). Sunday, Marcy 11, at 4 p.m. East Building Auditorium, 3rd Street at Constitution Avenue NW. Free, but first-come, first-seated. Call 202-737-4215 or visit nga.gov.

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, which originally screened last summer alongside Cars 3. Yet the Oscar went to the second American entry, Glen Keane’s Dear Basketball, an ode to the game written and narrated by retired hoopster Kobe Bryant, with music by John Williams. France was 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 nominated short 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: 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 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; 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; and the short that took home the Oscar, 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. Now playing. 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672 or visit landmarktheatres.com.

RED SPARROW

Jennifer Lawrence stars as an injured ballerina turned powerful and dangerous Russian spy who falls for a CIA officer in a thriller that’s gotten mixed reviews. Francis Lawrence (The Hunger Games) directs Lawrence and Joel Edgerton as part of an ensemble cast also including Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling, Mary-Louise Parker, and Jeremy Irons. Opens Friday, March 3. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com.

A Fool Named O — Photo: Lisa Julia

STAGE

A FOOL NAMED ‘O’

The show’s title refers to a jester, played here by Mark Jaster, co-director of the Helen Hayes Award-winning company Happenstance Theater and a veteran performer at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. Billed as a “temporary departure from serious theater,” A Fool Named ‘O’ offers medieval-style music and comedy intended to appeal and engage both adults and the young through magic tricks, sleights of hand, the playing of the musical saw, “and no words.” Sunday, March 11, at 2 p.m. The Writer’s Center, 4508 Walsh St., Bethesda. Tickets are $10. Call 202-355-6330 or visit UniversePlayers2.org.

ADULT ENTERTAINMENT

When a group of porn actors push to make a real movie by enlisting a Yale-educated cameraman, his penchant for poetry and academic mumbo-jumbo doesn’t quite square with what they had in mind. Things go south from there. Tony Greenberg, Erik Harrison, Steve Lebens, Ellie Nicoll, Paige O’Malley, and Zoe Walpole star. Joe Banno directs. In previews. Opens Friday, March 9. To March 31. Caos on F, 923 F St. NW. Tickets are $20. Visit theklunch.com.

CHICAGO

Maria Rizzo stars as Roxie Hart in Keegan Theatre’s revival of the Kander and Ebb classic. The company has reunited the same artistic team responsible for its stirring earlier productions of Hair and American Idiot: choreographer Rachel Dolan, music director Jake Null, and as co-directors, the company’s husband-and-wife leaders, Susan Marie Rhea and Mark A. Rhea. Newcomer Jessica Bennett plays Velma, Ricki Howie Lacewell is Matron “Mama” Morton, and Chris Ruby is Mary Sunshine. Previews start Saturday, March 10. Opens Tuesday, March 13. To April 7. 1742 Church St. NW. Tickets are $45 to $55. Call 202-265-3768 or visit keegantheatre.com.

FAMILIAR

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). Extended to March 11. 641 D St. NW. Call 202-393-3939 or visit woollymammoth.net.

GEORGE…DON’T DO THAT! THE MUSIC AND MAGIC OF JOYCE GRENFELL

Catherine Flye celebrates the wit and wisdom of one of Britain’s most beloved comediennes in a devised work that she’s been performing throughout the U.K. since 2003. MetroStage has invited her to perform it here, along with Michael Tolaydo as Narrator and Joe Walsh as music director and pianist. Opens in previews Thursday, March 8. To March 25. MetroStage, 1201 North Royal St., Alexandria. Call 703-548-9044 or visit metrostage.org.

GEORGE ORWELL’S ANIMAL FARM

One of the most famous political novels in history gets new life on stage in an adaptation by Ian Wooldridge and directed by May Adrales for Baltimore Center Stage. The intensely crafted tale of corruption, both timely and timeless, features a cast including Stephanie Weeks, Jonathan Gillard Daly, Melvin Abston, Brendan Titley, Tiffany Rachelle Stewart, and Deborah Staples. Opening Night is Thursday, March 8. To April 1. 700 North Calvert St., Baltimore. Call 410-332-0033 or visit centerstage.org.

THE FARNSWORTH INVENTION

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 1ststage.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. To March 11. Fichandler Stage, 1101 6th St. SW. Call 202-488-3300 or visit arenastage.org.

THE LATHE OF HEAVEN

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 spookyaction.org.

THE WOLVES

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.” Extended to March 18. Studio Theatre, 14th & P Streets NW. Call 202-332-3300 or visit studiotheatre.org.

Bass-baritone Eric Owens (King Philip) in WNO’s Don Carlo — Photo: Scott Suchman

MUSIC

AMY SHARK

A soulfully brooding newcomer who might put you in mind of Sinead O’Connor when not her contemporary Lorde, the Australian ingenue Shark stops for an intimate concert, presented by 9:30 Club, at t the U Street Music Hall. If she continues to churn out gems such as current single “Adore,” she’ll likely be playing the 9:30 Club next time around. Monday, March 12. Doors at 7 p.m. U Street Music Hall, 1115A U St. NW. Tickets are $15. Call 202-588-1880 or visit ustreetmusichall.com.

BSO SUPERPOPS: FROM VIENNA TO BROADWAY

A salute to operetta — and to the American musical, the artform it indirectly spawned — is the focus of a concert that features three Broadway vocalists, plus the Baltimore Choral Arts Society and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, as led by Principal Pops Conductor Jack Everly. Ted Keegan, Kristen Plumley, and Ben Crawford will perform selections from various shows, including Franz Lehar’s The Merry Widow, Jerome Kern’s Showboat, and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera. Thursday, March 8, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Friday, March 9, and Saturday, March 10, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, March 11, at 3 p.m. Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore. Tickets are $30 to $99. Call 410-783-8000 or visit bsomusic.org.

CONGRESSIONAL CHORUS: CURTAIN UP! A BROADWAY CABARET

A swinging live band will accompany the company’s 80 singers and dancers as they pay tribute to the Great White Way, from Jerome Kern’s early success with the new musical genre with Showboat, to last year’s Tony Award winner Dear Evan Hansen, with other stops in between the nine decades separating those works. Thursday, through Saturday, March 17, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, March 18, at 4:30 p.m. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $19 to $45. Call 202-399-7993 or visit atlasarts.org.

CRYS MATTHEWS

A self-described “poster child for intersectionality,” Matthews is a black, lesbian, preacher’s kid from the South in an interracial marriage. The Herndon, Va.-based artist tells unique stories through soul-searching acoustic folk — a blend combining elements of Jill Scott, Mavis Staples and Toshi Reagon, along with a sprinkling of Tracy Chapman. Matthews tours with a full band in support of two accomplished, simultaneously released albums: The Imagineers, a full-length set of love songs named after a bouncy, inspiring anthem, as well as the protest-oriented EP Battle Hymn for an Army of Lovers. Echo Bloom opens. Saturday, March 10. Doors at 7 p.m. Pearl Street Warehouse, 33 Pearl St. SW. Tickets are $15. Call 202-380-9620 or visit pearlstreetwarehouse.com.

K.FLAY

After opening for Imagine Dragons at Capital One Arena last fall, the L.A.-based alt-pop/hip-hop artist returns for a headlining show at the 9:30 Club and in support of new set Every Where Is Some Where. Monday, March 12. Doors at 7:30 p.m. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $20. Call 202-265-0930 or visit 930.com.

LAILA BIALI

The Canadian vocalist and composer blends jazz and pop in carefully measured, generally satisfying ways. Her new self-titled album is a confident, varied, and engaging collection of originals as well as a few covers, most notably a sultry and emphatic “Let’s Dance.” The new set kicks off with the bluesy pop jam “Got to Love,” which sets the right tone. Laila Biali relaxes as it goes, settling into the kind of lilting grooves and jazzy stylings associated with Sting — which isn’t surprising, given that Biali has regularly toured and recorded as a backing vocalist for the pop star. Sunday, March 11, at 8 and 10 p.m. Twins Jazz, 1344 U St. NW. Tickets are $10, plus a two-drink minimum per person, per show. Call 202-234-0072 or visit twinsjazz.com.

Laura and Linda Benanti — Photo: Alexa Brown

LAURA AND LINDA BENANTI

The next concert in Renée Fleming’s Voices program is a mother-daughter cabaret treat featuring Laura Benanti, the Tony-winning Broadway triple-threat (Gypsy) who has been guesting on shows all over TV — though none as memorably as her deadpan portrayal of Melania Trump on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. No question Laura inherited the performative gene: Both of her parents were recognized theater actors, and Linda Benanti would go on to become her young daughter’s first voice teacher — helping to shape her musical outlook and career. The two will share stories and songs of their lives and careers, as well as reflect on and celebrate their relationship in the program The Story Goes On. Friday, March 9, at 7:30 p.m. Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Tickets are $69 to $99. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

MAT KEARNEY

With a sweet, Chris Martin-esque reedy baritone and catchy, smart, and well-produced songs that sneak up on you, Kearney should be a bigger deal. And a decade after becoming a major-label recording artist, there is a chance that his star might be on the rise, per new management and his most recent label’s merger with Madonna’s old imprint, Maverick. For the time being, though, Kearney tours in support of new set CRAZYTALK. Andrew Belle opens. Friday, March 16. Doors at 7 p.m. Fillmore Silver Spring, 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Call 301-960-9999 or visit fillmoresilverspring.com.

MGMT

MGMT is one of those rare bands that has managed to ride the wave of a debut album over a decade after the fact. Having burst onto the scene with Oracular Spectacular, MGMT followed it with two reasonably commercially successful but ultimately unimpressive albums. Fortunately, a hiatus and a bit of soul-searching can do wonders. New set Little Dark Age shakes off the malaise that MGMT found themselves in over the past few years and is the first album since their debut to even come close to the impressiveness of Oracular. With Matthew Dear. Thursday, March 15. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. Tickets are $45 to $75. Call 202-888-0020 or visit theanthemdc.com. (Sean Maunier)

SHOSTAKOVICH AND THE BLACK MONK: A RUSSIAN FANTASY

Sean Astin (The GooniesStranger Things) will play Stalin and David Strathairn (Good Night, and Good LuckTemple Grandin) is the titular composer in a multimedia theatrical event presented by Wolf Trap and Smithsonian Associates. Written and directed by James Glossman, who co-created the production with Philip Setzer, Shostakovich and the Black Monk features the Emerson String Quartet performing the great Russian composer’s String Quartet No. 14, among other works. The story follows Shostakovich’s efforts to turn Anton Chekhov’s The Black Monk, a haunting tale of a writer struggling for his sanity, into an opera — just as the musical genius starts coming under political attacks by Stalin’s repressive Soviet regime. Ali Breneman, Alex Grossman, Evelyn McGee Colbert, Paul Murphy, and Linda Setzer round out the cast, further complemented by multimedia projections. Sunday, March 11, at 7:30 p.m. The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $60. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit wolftrap.org.

WASHINGTON NATIONAL OPERA: VERDI’S DON CARLO

Verdi’s grand masterpiece in four acts, set at the height of the Spanish Empire, is presented at the Kennedy Center in a stunning new co-production with Opera Philadelphia and the Minnesota Opera. Tim Albery directs a cast led by Eric Owens, who has referred to the work as “a dream come true.” Russell Thomas, Andrea Silvestrelli, Leah Crocetto, and Jamie Barton also star. In Italian with English surtitles. To March 17. Tickets are $45 to $300. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

Bianca Del Rio
Photo by Magnus Hastings

COMEDY

BIANCA DEL RIO

Winner of the sixth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, del Rio has made it her shtick to “read” people, generating guffaws by making fun of others’ faults and flaws — but she’s not malicious, and the sassy and sharp barbs are just part of the act: There’s genuine sweetness underneath the exaggeratedly painted, sassy exterior. Underneath is a man, a Louisiana native born Roy Haylock, who — no surprise — trained and initially worked in the theater. The 2014 Capital Pride headliner who subsequently organized and hosted a short-lived monthly variety show at Town, del Rio returns to D.C. with her latest one-woman show, “Blame It On Bianca.” Thursday, March 15. Doors at 7 p.m. Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. Tickets are $39.50 to $199. Call 202-888-0050 or visit thelincolndc.com.

RANDY RAINBOW

The gay comedian Randy Rainbow — born with the best last name possible — has been on the scene for years, having hosted a weekly show at New York’s bar Therapy, and created and starred in heavily edited online videos with celebrities. But he didn’t truly gain national attention until he created video parodies of the 2016 Republican presidential debates. He’s continued the work since Trump took office, and racked up well over a hundred million total views on YouTube as a result. Rainbow has “perfected the art of parody,” one Towleroad writer put it, “cranking out volumes of sharp political satire delivered with a pitch-perfect Broadway bent.” Friday, March 9, at 7:30 p.m. Warner Theatre, 513 13th St. NW. Tickets are $30.50 to $37.50. Call 202-783-4000 or visit warnertheatredc.com.

EXHIBITS

CARLTON FLETCHER

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. To March 16. 1643 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Call 202-965-4601 or visit callowayart.com.

EXPERIENCE THE SEASONS

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. Closes Sunday, March 11. Trellis House, 2323 Sherman Ave. NW. Free. Call 202-210-4928 or search #ExperienceTheSeasons on EventBrite.com and social media.

KARA WALKER: THE CIVIL WAR (ANNOTATED)

With the full title Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated), this series of 15 prints by the provocative African-American artist appropriates and alters genteel Civil War-era images. Adding in stenciled figures and shadowy elements, Walker’s works are suffused with traumatic scenarios left out of the official record. Through March 11. Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th and F Streets NW. Free. Call 202-633-1000 or visit americanart.si.edu.

MEG SCHAAP: MARIE ANTOINETTE

An intimate portrait of France’s iconic queen in works by the Maryland-based Dutch artist. The show depicts a metamorphosing queen breaking free through “wallpaper” frame, customs, and norms of her time period. Through the use of fashion magazines, gold leaf, pearls, diamonds, and acrylic paint, Schaap presents Marie Antoinette in a bold, brightly colored, and strongly feminine way. Meet the Artist/Artist Talk is Sunday, March 25, from 1 to 3 p.m. On display through April 1. 901 New York Ave. NW Call 202-347-2787 or visit touchstonegallery.com.

OUTLIERS AND AMERICAN VANGUARD ART

Outsider art, made by self-taught Americans in the 20th century, is about as anti-establishment as it gets. In many ways, the National Gallery of Art is the establishment — which makes this exhibition unusual, to say the least. Featuring 250 works created by more than 80 artists in a range of media, it’s billed as the first major exhibition to explore how this style of art — also known as folk, primitive, naive, or visionary — came to challenge traditional hierarchies and question prevailing assumptions about art and artmaking as well as the role of the artist in contemporary culture. To May 13. Concourse Galleries in the East Building, 3rd Street at Constitution Avenue NW. Free, but registration is required for the Evenings at the Edge program. Call 202-737-4215 or visit nga.gov.

PERENNIALS: PLANTS WITHIN THE CHANGING AMERICAN LANDSCAPE

The King Street Gallery on Montgomery College’s Silver Spring campus presents a a collective of six artists working across media in their examinations of the hearty plants all around us. D.C.’s Valerie Wiseman, with polaroids of “cult status” plants, and Baltimore’s Suzy Kopf, with wallpaper featuring found imagery of popular, non-native houseplants, are represented in the exhibition otherwise focused on works by artists from Brooklyn: Ellie Irons and Anne Percoco, with a mobile display drawn from their Next Epoch Seed Library, Christopher Kennedy and his urban landscape art ‘zines, and Emmaline Payette and her rocks and boulders made out of post-consumer materials. Closes Saturday, March 10. Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Arts Center, 930 King St. Silver Spring. Call 240-567-1368 or visit cms.montgomerycollege.edu/arts-tpss.

FOOD & DRINK

MORTON’S: LENTEN LOBSTER SPECIAL
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 mortons.com.

NIGHTLIFE

NELLIE’S: D.C. EVENT FOR STOLI KEY WEST COCKTAIL CLASSIC
For the fifth year in a row, Nellie’s plays host to the D.C. preliminary of Stoli’s national LGBTQ bartending competition. A handful of local bartenders will compete for a trip to Key West over Pride Week in June by whipping up their own concoctions to be judged by a panel of experts along with attendees. Ba’Naka and Stoli Ambassador Patrik Gallineaux host the affair also featuring a performance by Nellie’s drag bingo queen Sasha Adams. This year’s judges are Alan Beaubien of the Key West Business Guild, local freelance writer and Metro Weekly contributor Troy Pettenbrink, and last year’s D.C. Champion Josh Pocock of Freddie’s Beach Bar. Should the 2018 D.C Champion also beat out the 17 other regional champs at the main competition in Key West, they will get to make a $7,500 donation to the charity of their choice as well as serve as honorary grand marshal of the Key West Pride Parade Monday, March 12. Doors at 7:30 p.m. 900 U St. NW. Call 202-332-NELL or visit out.com/keywestcocktailclassic to RSVP for a Stoli drink ticket and competing cocktail samples, plus a chance to win a trip for two to Key West.

ABOVE AND BEYOND

ATLAS INTERSECTIONS

Intersections, now in its 9th year, is intended to encourage collaboration across genres, as well as interaction across the board among performers and audiences. There are close to 100 performances and 800 artists participating in the festival, running over three weekends. Among this year’s notable LGBTQ-related events and artists still to come: GenOut, the youth choir of the Gay Men’s Chorus, performs during the Youth Summit on Saturday, March 10. Intersections runs to March 11. 1333 H St. NE. Ticket prices and passes vary. Call 202-399-7993 or visit atlasarts.org/intersections.

DIRECT CURRENT: A CELEBRATION OF CONTEMPORARY ART

The Kennedy Center readies the first edition of a planned annual festival, a two-week, citywide celebration of contemporary art and culture — with an emphasis on events that are multidisciplinary, new to D.C., and address topical concerns. Among its other notable developments, the inaugural Direct Current presents the long-overdue Kennedy Center debut of composer Philip Glass, who performs twice: On Friday, March 9, at 8 p.m., he will offer 20 Etudes: A 5-Pianist Performance along with Jason Moran, Aaron Diehl, Devonte Hynes, and Jenny Lin; and on Friday, March 16, at 8 p.m., comes the Kennedy Center debut of Koyaanisqatsi: Film & Music, the multimedia collaboration between experimental filmmaker Godfrey Reggio and Glass, whose eponymous ensemble will render the score live with the Washington Chorus. There will also be two piano recitals at the Phillips Collection, both structured as personal responses to the gallery’s current exhibition Ten Americans After Klee: Jason Moran on Thursday, March 8, at 5:30 p.m., and Myra Melford on Friday, March 9, at 5:30 p.m. Another off-site attraction on Friday, March 9, at 10 p.m., takes place at Dupont Underground, where the Washington Chorus and DJ Justin Reed will perform a centuries- and genre-spanning mash-up, Madrigals Meet Minimalism Pop-Up Party. Runs to March 19. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org/calendar/series/DCT.

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