Metro Weekly

Out On the Town: D.C. Arts and Entertainment for March 15 to 21

Film, stage, music, dance, exhibits, food, and nightlife.

Tomb Raider: Alicia Vikander

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, including Landmark’s West End and The Avalon, 5612 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-966-6000 or visit theavalon.org. (Andre Hereford)

CASABLANCA

What is billed as the most popular and enduring screen romance of all time returns to the big screen at the AFI as part of its series paying tribute to Michael Curtiz. The 1943 Oscar-winning classic stars Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. The screening on Saturday, March 17, at 2 p.m., includes a panel discussion with authors Alan K. Rode (Michael Curtiz: A Life In Film), Meredith Hindley (Destination Casablanca), and Noah Isenberg (We’ll Always Have Casablanca), moderated by Margaret Talbot. Additional screenings are Tuesday, March 20, and Thursday, March 22, at 7:20 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.

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 18, brings a program featuring two film — Noura Erakat and Dia’ Azzeh’s Gaza in Context, which combines lecture, animation, typography, and footage from Palestine to upend the historical narrative that has cast the Gaza Strip as a national security issue, rather than as a problem stemming from Israel’s view of the territory in the context of a settler-colonial framework, and 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. The screening starts at 2:30 p.m. and is followed by a moderated discussion with the audience. Ravensworth Baptist Church, 5100 Ravensworth Road, Annandale, Va. Call 703-941-4113 or visit voicesfromtheholyland.org.

TOMB RAIDER

It’s been 17 years since Angelina Jolie first brought iconic video game character Lara Croft to the big screen. Now, Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl) is stepping in for the franchise reboot — itself based on a reboot of the Tomb Raider games that took archeologist Lara into darker, grittier territory, abandoning her on a mysterious island during her first expedition and forcing her to quickly learn how to survive, adapt, and kick butt in the process. Opens Friday, March 16. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (Rhuaridh Marr)

VERTIGO

Undoubtedly one of Alfred Hitchcock’s most personal films, Vertigo offers the fullest expression of the director’s cinematic obsessions. Jimmy Stewart plays a detective obsessed with cool blond Kim Novak. Fathom Events offers a chance to see Vertigo on the big screen, as part of its year-long TCM Big Screen Classics series and in honor of the film’s 60th anniversary. Local screenings are Sunday, March 18, and Wednesday, March 21, at 2 and 7 p.m. at Gallery Place 14, 701 7th St. NW., Mazza Gallerie 7, 5300 Wisconsin Ave. NW., and Potomac Yards Stadium 16, 3575 Jefferson Davis Highway in Alexandria. Visit fathomevents.com.

Chicago – Photo: Cameron Whitman

STAGE

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. To March 31. Caos on F, 923 F St. NW. Tickets are $20. Visit theklunch.com.

BECOMING DR. RUTH

★★★½

Playwright Mark St. Germain illuminates in ways both poignant and unexpected the remarkable true story of consummate survivor Karola Siegel, better known to millions as perky sex therapist and media personality Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Directed by Holly Twyford, the play’s chief vehicle for conveying the reality of this steel-willed mother, educator, sex expert, and ex-paramilitary sniper is the masterful performance of Naomi Jacobson, whose rich approximation captures the famous accent, directness, and undeniable twinkle that’s endeared the good doctor to generations of fans. To March 18. Theater J, 1529 16th St. NW. Tickets are $39 to $69. Call 202-777-3210 or visit theaterj.org. (AH)

BROOKLYN: THE MUSICAL

The title character in Mark Schoenfeld and Barri McPherson’s musical is on a journey to find her father, as told by a group of people suffering out on the streets led by the Street Singer. Briana Taylor is Brooklyn and DeCarlo Raspberry the Street Singer, in a cast also including Taylor Washington, Amana Leigh Corbett, Jonathan Helwig, Ashley K. Nicholas, Topher Williams, and Marika Countouris. The mostly sung-through show is directed by Michael Windsor and choreographed by Patricia “Pep” Targete. To March 31. Ainslie Arts Center in Episcopal High School, 3900 W. Braddock Rd., Alexandria. Tickets are $40. Call 703-933-3000 or visit monumentaltheatre.org.

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. To April 7. 1742 Church St. NW. Tickets are $45 to $55. Call 202-265-3768 or visit keegantheatre.com.

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. 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. To April 1. 700 North Calvert St., Baltimore. Call 410-332-0033 or visit centerstage.org.

HOLD THESE TRUTHS

★★

Inspired by the true story of Gordon Hirabayashi, a young Japanese-American man imprisoned in the 1940s for challenging the constitutionality of his shocking and shameful internment, Jeanne Sakata’s Hold These Truths recounts his experiences through a well-crafted blend of memories, vignettes, and expository. Yet Sakata’s steady dosing of a light, almost too-cute humor all-but ensures the surface here is never meaningfully scratched — leaving the play feeling more like fodder for a high school field trip than a place for deeper, more complex reflection. Ryun Yu brings impressive energy and charisma, yet is in the unenviable position of trying to impart the importance of the story despite Hirabayashi’s aw-shucks demeanor, the sketchy dimensions of the vignettes, and the silly humor. The play is something of a missed opportunity. With such serious subject matter — especially in light of today’s envelope-pushing White House policies — this was a chance to deliver some poignant home truths with pointed emotional realism. To April 8. Kogod Cradle, 1101 Sixth Street, SW. Tickets are $71 to $111. Call 202-488-3300 or visit arenastage.org. (Kate Wingfield)

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 GOSPEL AT COLONUS

WSC Avant Bard revives its Helen Hayes Award-nominated retelling of the Oedipus tale, a synthesis of religious parable, Greek tragedy, and African-American gospel revue. William T. Newman, Jr., also returns as Preacher Oedipus, who recounts for his flock the tragic exile of Oedipus the King, now played by gospel recording artist Kenton Rogers. They’re joined by the joyous sounds of the Women’s Ecumenical Choir of Alexandria’s Ebenezer Baptist Church. To March 25. The Gunston Arts Center, Theatre Two, 2700 South Lang St. Arlington. Tickets are $10 to $35. Call 703-418-4804 or visit wscavantbard.org.

THE RAID

Playwright Idris Goodwin imagines what might have transpired had white abolitionist John Brown and black abolitionist and social reformer Frederick Douglass debated on the eve of Brown’s raid on the federal armory in Harpers Ferry. The drama wrestles with the merits of violence and pacifism, order and chaos, as well as the implications of race and the limits of radicalism in social protest. Nicklas Aliff plays Brown and Marquis D. Gibson is Douglass, in a cast also featuring Josh Adams, Dylan Fleming, Tiffany Byrd, Moira Todd, and Robert Bowen Smith. Colin Hovde directs the Theater Alliance production. To March 18. Anacostia Playhouse, 2020 Shannon Place SE. Tickets are $30 to $40. Call 202-241-2539 or visit theateralliance.com.

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.

MUSIC

AKUA ALLRICH

This young jazz vocalist and composer, a D.C. native and Howard University alum, draws from traditional, modern, and African jazz styles while often singing in the showy, rangy manner of many of today’s leading soul/pop divas — when not channeling her idol Nina Simone. She returns to the Kennedy Center to showcase her intriguing pan-African and pan-African-American musical blend with two performances, the first of which is sold out. Saturday, March 24, at 7 and 9 p.m. Terrace Gallery. Tickets are $26 to $30. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

AMERICAN POPS ORCHESTRA: NEXTGEN COMPETITION

Founded and led by Luke Frazier, this musical organization has offered one star-studded program after another in only its first two seasons. And now it’s aiming to cultivate a new group of stars with the launch of what is planned as an annual vocal competition, NextGen: Finding The Voices of Tomorrow. The focus is on standout singers, both students and recent graduates discovered in first-round auditions held at area colleges including Shenandoah Conservatory, American, Howard, and Catholic universities, and Ohio University. NextGen culminates in an evening at Arena Stage during which the young finalists get the opportunity to perform, accompanied by a live jazz trio, in front of a live audience and a panel of guest judges. The judges will pick two first-place winners, earning a prize of $500 each, and two runners-up, garnering $250 each. All four vocalists are guaranteed a mainstage appearance in the APO’s third season. Friday, March 23, at 8 p.m. Kreeger Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Tickets are $5 to $20. Call 202-488-3300 or visit theamericanpops.org.

BALTIMORE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA PULSE

After a pre-concert party with live music, drink specials, and food from hip local purveyors comes a concert in three parts. First up, the BSO performs Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence for string orchestra and conducted by Nicholas Hersh. Next the noteworthy gospel-informed jazz/blues artist Valerie June performs several of her original songs. Finally, all come together for an original merger of classical and indie music that is a hallmark of the BSO Pulse series. Thursday, March 22, at 8:30 p.m. Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore. Tickets are $35 to $55. Call 410-783-8000 or visit bsomusic.org.

BETTY WHO

It was five years ago that “Somebody Loves You” became the lip-synched centerpiece to Spencer Stout’s viral video, the one featuring his elaborately choreographed marriage proposal to his boyfriend Dustin in a Utah Home Depot. The next year, the singer-songwriter born Jessica Newham in Australia was a headliner at Capital Pride. Last year, Who returned to give an ecstatic and — this time out — fully staged performance at the All Things Go Fall Classic in support of The Valley, easily one of 2017’s strongest pop albums. The charismatic singer returns to D.C. for two shows on Wednesday, March 21, at the 9:30 Club — the first of which sold out soon after it went on sale. Pretty Sister and Spencer Ludwig open. Doors at 10 p.m. 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $25. Call 202-265-0930 or visit 930.com.

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, March 15, 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.

CRYSTAL BOWERSOX

Since finishing as runner-up on American Idol in 2009, the 32-year-old Ohio native has come out as bisexual and gone on to make a home in Nashville, surrounded by friends and fellow songwriters, many of whom also identify on the LGBTQ spectrum. Bowersox has also become a popular draw on the touring circuit, and she’s currently out supporting her 2017 set Alive with a show presented by LiveNation. Friday, March 23. Doors at 7 p.m. Songbyrd Music House, 2477 18th St. NW. Tickets are $25 to $28. Call 202-450-2917 or visit songbyrddc.com.

GAY MEN’S CHORUS: UNPLUGGED: MAKE AMERICA GAY AGAIN

Subtitled “Let Freedom Sing,” the next concert in the activist-oriented 37th season of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington strips away the group’s typical glitter and glam glossy focus to examine the personal and powerful forces within, at heart. Interspersed with inspiring songs from Broadway and Hollywood, as well as from religious and civil rights movements, are stories from individual members of the chorus, sharing their experiences of what it means to be gay in America. Saturday, March 17, at 3 and 8 p.m. Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. Tickets are $25 to $65. Call 202-888-0050 or visit thelincolndc.com.

GLEN HANSARD

The Irish singer-songwriter got his start in the group The Frames but is best known for his work with Czech musician Marketa Irglova in duo The Swell Season, which led to his Tony-winning score for Once. Hansard tours in support of his third solo outing, Between Two Shores. Saturday, March 24. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. Tickets are $35 to $75. Call 202-888-0020 or visit theanthemdc.com.

JUDAS PRIEST

It’s as hard and as heavy as hard rock and heavy metal get, yet that doesn’t mean there’s no gay appeal — and it goes well beyond the five piece’s standard get-up in leather and fetish wear, which was considered provocative in the ’80s. The English group, founded 49 years ago and considered by many as the greatest metal band of all time, is led by dramatic, operatic vocalist Rob Halford, who came out as gay 20 years ago. Judas Priest tours in support of its just-released 18th album Firepower, with fellow pioneering English metal band Saxon and the American hard rock group Black Star Riders opening. Sunday, March 18. Doors at 5:30 p.m. The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. Tickets are $55 to $75. Call 202-888-0020 or visit theanthemdc.com.

K.D. LANG

The pioneering lesbian country/folk artist from the Great White North returns for a 25th Anniversary Tour celebrating her breakthrough album Ingénue, which featured her biggest pop hit “Constant Craving.” The album will be performed live in its entirety, along with other classic songs from her 30-year repertoire. The Grigoryan Brothers, billed as Australia’s finest guitar duo, open. Sunday, March 25, at 7:30 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $48 to $98. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.

NATIONAL CHAMBER ENSEMBLE

Brahms’ dramatic String Sextet No. 2 and Mendelssohn’s vigorous Octet in E-Flat Major are considered two of the greatest Romantic works featuring the lush sounds of strings. They’re also the focus of the Spring “Strings Fever” concert from this Arlington-based group founded over a decade ago by a strings man himself, violinist Leonid Sushansky. A reception follows the performance. Saturday, March 24, at 7:30 p.m. Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, 4444 Arlington Blvd. Tickets are $18 to $36. Call 703-276-6701 or visit nationalchamberensemble.org.

O’MALLEY’S MARCH

Martin O’Malley, the handsome former governor of Maryland and presidential hopeful, has a very unusual non-political sidegig — as lead singer and guitarist of this seven-piece Celtic rock band. Who better to toast St. Patrick’s Day than a group of Irish-Americans known for playing traditional Irish and original Celtic fusion songs featuring the fiddle and the ancient sound of the Celtic harp? Saturday, March 17, at 8 p.m. Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club, 7719 Wisconsin Ave. Tickets are $25, plus $10 minimum purchase per person. Call 240-330-4500 or visit bethesdabluesjazz.com.

RED BARAAT WITH ZESHAN B, WOMEN’S RAGA MASSIVE

Jazz artist Sunny Jain conceived of and leads the bhangra-rooted party band Red Baraat, an ensemble returning to D.C. on their annual Festival of Colors tour. This year’s party, which celebrates spring rites as well as the South Asian Diaspora in America, also features as opening acts Zeshan B on Friday, March 23, and Women’s Raga Massive on Saturday, March 24, both starting at 8 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $25. Call 202-787-1000 or visit thehamiltondc.com.

“WEIRD AL” YANKOVIC and STEPHEN JAY & JIM WEST

Today’s foremost pop music satirist offers a scaled-back, intimate evening focused on original, non-parody songs from his extensive catalog. At the very least, you can count on a healthy dose of self-parody. Yankovic, after all, is calling this run of shows “The Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour.” It’s hard to imagine any crowd letting him go without at least performing an encore medley of his greatest pop parody hits (from “Eat It” to “Smells Like Nirvana”), not to mention his newest creation, “The Hamilton Polka.” The concert kicks off with comedy of the non-musical kind: a set from the quirky ’80s-minted stand-up act Emo Phillips.

Also featured are two musicians who have been part of Yankovic’s shtick since the beginning. As it happens, funk-oriented bassist Stephen Jay and Hawaiian slack-key guitarist Jim West are doing something unusual this time around, too: Performing both Weird and Weird-less shows back-to-back. They’ll support Yankovic at the Music Center on Tuesday, March 20, at 8 p.m.; meanwhile, the next night, Wednesday, March 21, at 8 p.m., they’ll perform an intimate concert focused on their original work and part of “The Parallel Universe Tour.” That takes place up the road at Strathmore’s AMP cabaret venue, 11810 Grand Park Ave. Tickets are $49 to $79 for Weird Al, $20 to $25 for Jay & West. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.

Mark Morris: Layla and Majnun – Photo: Susana Millman

DANCE

MARK MORRIS DANCE GROUP AND SILKROAD ENSEMBLE: LAYLA AND MAJNUN

A Kennedy Center co-commission based on a tragic, ancient Azerbaijani tale akin to Romeo and JulietLayla and Majnun centers on a young man’s zealous feelings for his lover, and how his perceived madness turns their would-be union into scandal, misfortune, and eternal longing. The dancers from this acclaimed gay-led contemporary troupe perform with singers and musicians from virtuosic pan-Asian group the Silkroad Ensemble, backdropped by a set from painter Howard Hodgkin. Thursday, March 22, and Friday, March 23, at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, March 24, at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. Opera House. Tickets are $29 to $99. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

THE WASHINGTON BALLET

The program “Three World Premieres” offers three works commissioned by the Washington Ballet from three dancer/choreographers with distinct perspectives on dance and life. The artists featured are: Clifton Brown of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater with Menagerie, his first commission for a major ballet company, created to Rossini’s Duet for Cello and Double Bass; Gemma Bond of American Ballet Theatre, whose Myriad focused on the many roles that women play in life, performed to Baroque sonatas and songs by Henry Purcell; and Marcelo Gomes, formerly of ABT, who draws on Dvořák’s String Quartet No. 12 in F Major as his inspiration for the narrative ballet The Outset. Remaining performances are Thursday, March 15, and Friday, March 16, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, March 17, at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, March 18, at 1:30 and 6:30 p.m. Sidney Harman Hall, Harman Center for the Arts, 610 F St. NW. Tickets are $25 to $118. Call 202-547-1122 or visit thewashingtonballet.org.

EXHIBITS

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. To April 18. National Geographic Museum, 1145 17th St. NW. Tickets are $15. Call 202-857-7588 or visit ngmuseum.org.

DRAWN TO PURPOSE: AMERICAN WOMEN ILLUSTRATORS AND CARTOONISTS

Drawing from its rich collections, the Library of Congress exhibition brings to light remarkable but little-known contributions made by North American women to the art forms of illustration and cartooning. Spanning the late-1800s to the present, Drawn To Purpose highlights the gradual broadening in both the private and public spheres of women’s roles and interests, demonstrating that women, once constrained by social conditions and convention, have gained immense new opportunities for self-expression and discovery. Now to Oct. 10. The Graphic Arts Galleries, Ground Floor, Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. SE. Call 202-707-8000 or visit loc.gov/concerts.

MICHELLE PETERSON-ALBANDOZ: NEW WORK

Michelle Peterson-Albandoz is a Chicago-based lesbian artist whose large, hanging-wood sculptures are made from reclaimed wood, often found in dumpsters and back alleys in revitalizing urban neighborhoods. Currently on exhibit through April 8 at Long View Gallery, 1234 9th St. NW. Call 202-232-4788 or visit longviewgallery.com.

QUEER TROPICS

The latest group show at Transformer features artworks in various media examining the notion of the tropics in the Global South as sites of leisure, sensuality, and play, by a variety of artists, not all of them LGBTQ. Original conceived of and presented by New Orleans-based Pelican Bomb Gallery X, Queer Tropics also sheds light on how the concept of the tropics as a palm-framed oasis has been variously created, reinforced, and confronted. Artists — all based in the U.S. — represented in the exhibition include Ash Arder, Kerry Downey, Madeline Gallucci, Victoria Martinez, Joiri Minaya, Carlos Motta, Pacifico Silano, and Adrienne Elise Tarver. Now to April 21. Transformer, 1404 P St. NW. Call 202-483-1102 or visit transformerdc.org.

SAKURA YUME/CHERRY BLOSSOM DREAM

ArTecHouse celebrates spring and the cherry blossoms in a manner befitting the innovative, experiential gallery — through immersive, interactive, large-scale installations revolving around elements of Japanese culture and tradition. Guests experience a moonlit, floating environment where larger-than-life koi fish and colorful cherry blossom petals react to their presence, along with a narrow, lantern-lit “street” that responds to footsteps. ArTecHouse has added an optional immersive dining component, in which a sit-down bento-box meal is enjoyed while interactive table projections and sound elements perpetually change. Opens Thursday, March 15. The Bloom dinners are only at 5:30 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. To May 16. ArTecHouse, 1238 Maryland Ave. SW. Tickets for 45-minute, timed-entry sessions are $8 for daytime or $15 for evening admission, and $85 including dinner. Visit artechouse.com.

TREATIES BETWEEN THE U.S. AND AMERICAN INDIAN NATIONS

With the lead title Nation to Nations, this long-term exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indian tells the story of the treaties signed between U.S. leaders and influential Native diplomats. Most Americans today live on land that was originally promised to Native Nations via (obviously broken) treaties. And while most of the documents date to the early days of the American republic, the exhibit, which has been on display since 2015, has just been updated to end with an 11.5-foot-tall mile-marker post created last year by activists protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota — touted as the largest gathering of Native Americans in protest. In other words, the treaties are hardly something relegated to museums and history books but in fact very much an ongoing, present-day concern. On display through 2021. National Museum of the American Indian, Independence Avenue at 4th Street SW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit nmai.si.edu.

UP IN THE AIR

Before it became a traditional spring pastime, kites were used for ceremonies, military campaigns, and scientific experiments. Featuring innovative kitemakers and flyers, this exhibition at the Mansion at Strathmore explores the artistry of kites in their abundant color and sculptural design, with a view to how modern-day kitemakers use state-of-the-art materials, complex construction, and intricate designs to elevate kites into fine aerial art. Opening Reception is Sunday, March 18, at 2 p.m. To April 29, with Strathmore’s Kite Fly Day set for Sunday, April 22. The Mansion at Strathmore, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.

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

PEACH PIT

Named after the diner on Beverly Hills 90210, Peach Pit was started by DJ Matt Bailer more than eight years ago at Dahlek, the now shuttered Eritrean restaurant that also birthed his party Mixtape. Before it was even a year old, Bailer moved the party to DC9. Bailer describes the party as “this kind of sweaty mosh pit of guys and girls, straights and gays, black people and white people, old people and young people — all just dancing and singing at the top of their lungs.” Peach Pit is very strictly ’90s, as Bailer only plays and takes requests for tracks released between Jan. 1, 1990, and Dec. 31, 1999. This Saturday, March 17, ushers in the 100th edition of the party. Doors at 10:30 p.m. DC9, 1940 9th St. NW. Cover is $5, or $8 after midnight, though as they point out on the website, “the earlier you arrive, the shorter the line — and the more ’90s classics you’ll get to hear.” Amen. Call 202-483-5000 or visit dcnine.com.

ABOVE AND BEYOND

BIG APPLE CIRCUS AT NATIONAL HARBOR

National Harbor is celebrating its 10th anniversary by hosting the Big Apple Circus, now in its 40th year of presenting shows in a one-ring, intimate, and artistic style, including a full lineup of global artists and acts — but never exotic or wild animals, only rescue dogs, horses and ponies. From Nik Wallenda and the Flying Wallendas’ seven-person pyramid on the high wire to daredevil roller skating, a flying trapeze act to a master juggler, contortionist Elayne Kramer to comedian Grandma the Clown, the nearly two-hour show, directed by Mark Lonergan, has a little something for everyone. Now to April 1. Intersection of Waterfront Street and St. George Boulevard, National Harbor, Md. Tickets are $27.50, or $109 for VIP Ringside. Call 855-258-0718 or visit BigAppleCircus.com.

DIRECT CURRENT: A CELEBRATION OF CONTEMPORARY ART

The Kennedy Center offers 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 and 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 on Friday, March 16, at 8 p.m. Among other highlights to come in the final weekend: Avant-garde Seattle-based hip-hop duo Shabazz Palaces, on Saturday, March 17, at 6 p.m.; and D.C. premiere of The Colorado: A Documentary Film & Live Music Experience from filmmaker Murat Eyuboglu with a score, performed live, by Grammy-winning vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth and others, and narration by Oscar winner Mark Rylance on Sunday, March 18, at 7:30 p.m. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org/calendar/series/DCT.

HATERS ROAST WITH RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE QUEENS

More shade on stage, The Shady Tour 2018 includes Jinkx Monsoon, Trixie Mattel, Latrice Royale, Trinity Taylor, Thorgy Thor, William and AJA. As ever, Ginger Minj hosts. Presented by Murray & Peter Productions. Thursday, March 22, at 8 p.m. Warner Theatre, 513 13th St. NW. Tickets are $35 to $50. Call 800-551-7328 or visit dragfans.com.

HILLWOOD’S FABERGE EGG FAMILY FESTIVAL

The former estate of Marjorie Merriweather Post hosts an annual two-day festival in which guests can take part in a traditional Russian egg-rolling game, decorate their own Fabergé-inspired egg, take in performances from the Samovar Russian Folk Music Ensemble and Kalinka Dance Ensemble, and hear stories of Russian Easter traditions in a fun family play produced by Happenstance Theater. All that in addition to admiring all of the finer things Post collected, including many exquisite Russian imperial eggs and other fanciful Fabergé creations. You can also take a tour of Hillwood’s working greenhouse most days in March, also known as Orchid Month. Saturday, March 24, and Sunday, March 25, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hillwood Estate, 4155 Linnean Ave. NW. Suggested donation is $18. Call 202-686-5807 or visit HillwoodMuseum.org.

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

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