Donnie Darko — Jake Gyllenhal
DISTURBING THE PEACE
ROADMAP TO APARTHEID
Documentaries focused on the Israel-Palestine conflict screen for free on select 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. On April 11, there are two different options, each screening at 2:30 p.m., followed by a moderated discussion with the audience. Stephen Apkon and Andrew Young’s Disturbing the Peace focuses on a nonviolent group of former Israeli and Palestinian fighters who have come together to challenge the status quo and say “enough.” The 2016 documentary is said to offer a glimmer of hope in a peace process that generally seems pretty hopeless. Unitarian Universalist Church, 4444 Arlington Blvd., Virginia. Meanwhile, Roadmap to Apartheid, narrated by Alice Walker (author of The Color Purple), investigates how apartheid as it was practiced in South Africa stacks up to today’s Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a 2012 film produced by the white South African Ana Nogueira and co-directed by Israeli filmmaker Eron Davidson. Several area churches, including Westminster Presbyterian Church, 400 I St. SW. Visit voicesfromtheholyland.org for more details.
The American Film Institute offers the chance to see Richard Kelly’s daring apocalyptic cult classic on the big screen. Set in a Virginia suburb in the 1980s, the 2001 coming-of-age sci-fi tale stars Jake Gyllenhaal before he became a Hollywood leading man. Jake’s sister Maggie also co-stars, along with Jena Malone, Drew Barrymore, and the late Patrick Swayze. Horror host “Doctor Sarcofiguy” presents the screening on Saturday, March 31, at 10:30 p.m. Also Sunday, April 1, at 9 p.m., and Tuesday, April 3, and Thursday, April 5, at 9:15 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.
“Heeere’s Kubrick” is a celebration of the late, legendary filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, with select films screening on Wednesdays at both area locations of the Angelika movie theater chain. The Shining, A Clockwork Orange, and Full Metal Jacket will follow later in April, but the series kicks off with a jet-black satire that speculates what would happen if the wrong person was in control of the world’s fate. Although created in 1964, when the Cuban Missile Crisis was fresh on viewer’s minds, Dr. Strangelove, starring Peter Sellers in multiple roles, plus show-stopping performances from George C. Scott and Slim Pickens, has even more resonance in today’s Trump era. Wednesday, April 4, at 7:30 p.m. Angelika Pop-Up at Union Market, 550 Penn St. NE. Call 800-680-9095 or visit angelikapopup.com. Also at the Angelika Film Center Mosaic, 2911 District Ave., Fairfax, Va. Call 571-512-3301 or visit angelikafilmcenter.com.
Alexa Vachon, Skyler Fox: The 36-Year-Old Virgin
HOT BITS QUEER EROTIC FILM AND ARTS FESTIVAL
Now in its second year, this two-evening festival presents a range of erotic indie video, soft to hardcore, as well as performance and visual arts, all documenting aspects of queer desire and sexuality that stray well beyond the mainstream commercial porn and sex industries. A collective of queer artists curated Hot Bits, which received over 113 film submissions from across the U.S., Europe, North Africa, and Central and South America. Saturday, March 31, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 1, at 7 p.m. Creative Alliance at the Patterson, 3134 Eastern Ave., Baltimore. Tickets are $10 in advance, or $13 at the door, or $18 for a festival pass to both nights. Call 410-276-1651 or visit creativealliance.org.
MCCABE AND MRS. MILLER
Labeled an “anti-western” by filmmaker Robert Altman for ignoring and subverting a number of the genre’s traditional conventions, Warren Beatty stars as underworld entrepreneur John McCabe. Julie Christie is his business and eventual romantic partner Constance Miller in the 1971 caper, based on Edmund Naughton’s novel McCabe but also influenced — and including music by — the late Leonard Cohen. (“When I shot the scenes I fitted them to the songs, as if they were written for them,” Altman wrote in his memoir.) McCabe and Mrs. Miller returns to the big screen in Landmark’s West End Cinema Capital Classics weekly screening series. Wednesday, April 4, at 1:30, 4:30, and 7:30 p.m., 2301 M St. NW. Happy hour from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 to $12.50. Call 202-534-1907 or visit landmarktheatres.com.
NEW CHEFS ON THE BLOCK
Filmmaker Dustin Harrison-Atlas spent several years developing this intimate portrait of two D.C.-area chefs as they struggled to open and maintain their first restaurants. The highest-profile of the two is Barracks Row’s Aaron Silverman, who earned recognition from the James Beard Foundation as Best Chef Mid-Atlantic for his no-reservations-accepted Rose’s Luxury. In Silverman’s shadow out in the Maryland suburb of Kensington is Frank Linn and the artisanal pie shop Frankly…Pizza! New Chefs on the Block includes insights and commentary from New York legend Danny Meyer of Union Cafe and Shake Shack fame, the late, great Michel Richard, Mike Isabella (before the recent sexual harassment lawsuit), and Washington Post food writer Tim Carman, who will participate in a Q&A following the screening. Wednesday, April 4, at 7 p.m. Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Tickets are $15. Call 202-452-7672 or visit landmarktheatres.com.
RA XTRA: Q-MASON
A selection of short films from the Film and Video Studies program at George Mason University featuring students telling their LGBTQ stories. Rayceen Pendarvis of The Ask Rayceen Show hosts the evening, ending with a director talkback and reception. The lineup of 11 shorts includes: Alisa Posey’s Cope, a narrative electronic music video about the struggles of a high school girl with anxiety and depression, set to new music by the filmmaker; Michael Rose’s Both, a comedy about a young woman out to prove to her ex that she is over their relationship; Haven Houston’s Right Man, Wrong Time, about “one of the best mistakes” one could make, dating someone older than yourself; Hannah Looney’s Gone, a modern twist on Bonnie & Clyde with music by Aylive; Kyle Finnegan’s Cling Wrap, about a boy and his mother, coming to the end of her battle with a terminal illness; and Jordon Jones’ Grace The Ghost, in which a recently heartbroken man is haunted by a not-so-ordinary ghost. Friday, March 30, at 7 p.m. HRC Equality Center, 1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW. Tickets are $12, or a VIP Pass for $25 in include the Talkback and Reception plus a complimentary cocktail and popcorn. Visit thedccenter.org.
READY PLAYER ONE
Jammed full of pop culture references from the past four decades, Steven Spielberg’s latest takes place in a near-future dystopia, where humanity spends its time in the OASIS, an online, virtual reality world that offers limitless possibilities. When the VR world’s founder dies, he leaves behind a competition to find a hidden easter egg and claim his $500 billion fortune — and control of OASIS. Naturally, everyman hero Tye Sheridan wouldn’t mind that cash to escape his crappy daily existence, but so too would the evil IOI corporation, which will stop at nothing (including murdering people in the real world) to gain control of OASIS. Blending between live action and CGI animation, Ready Player One looks like a lot of fun, and should hopefully do justice to its bestselling source novel. Opens Thursday, March 29. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (Rhuaridh Marr)
TYLER PERRY’S ACRIMONY
Taraji P. Henson goes full Cookie from Empire as a devoted wife who learns that the husband she has spent years supporting is living the life she desires with another woman. Tyler Perry might not have the greatest track record when it comes to critical praise for his films, but two hours of Henson slowly going crazy as she makes life hell for a cheating husband sounds like perfect escapism. Opens Friday, March 30. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (RM)
410[GONE] — Photo: Ryan Maxwell
The edgy, innovative, and immersive local company Rorschach Theatre presents Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s dark play exploring identity, love, tradition, and progress, and set in the afterlife. Gregory Keng Strasser directs Linda Bard, Yasmin Tuazon, Sebastian Amoruso, Andrew Quilpa, and Jacob Yeh in this tale about a Chinese-American boy and his video game-style struggle with the Chinese Goddess of Mercy and the Monkey King. Now to April 15. Lab Theatre II in the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $20 to $30. Call 202-399-7993 or visit rorschachtheatre.com.
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. Remaining performances are Thursday, March 29, through Saturday, March 31, at 7:30 p.m. Caos on F, 923 F St. NW. Tickets are $25 to $35. Visit theklunch.com.
ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY
Cara Gabriel directs a musical adaptation of Judith Viorst’s book, documenting one day in a boy’s life and the hope for better days ahead. Christian Montgomery leads a cast that also includes Sylvern Groomes Jr., Sophie Schulman, Tiziano D’Affuso, Daniel Westbrook, and Sally Horton as Alexander’s mother. Closes Saturday, March 31. Adventure Theatre MTC, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo. Tickets are $19.50. Call 301-634-2270 or visit adventuretheatre-mtc.org.
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. Remaining performances are Thursday, March 29, at 8 p.m., Friday, March 30, at 10 p.m., and Saturday, March 31, at 2 p.m. Ainslie Arts Center in Episcopal High School, 3900 W. Braddock Rd., Alexandria. Tickets are $40. Call 703-933-3000 or visit monumentaltheatre.org.
}}} AND ONE HALF
Somewhere inside Roxie Hart’s first number, “Funny Honey,” during which the brazen, fame-craving floozy introduces her sorry sap of a husband Amos, it dawns that this Roxie is bananas. Portrayed by Maria Rizzo with a bold mix of moxie and murderous rage, she’s Roxie unhinged. And she is amazing. Matched with Michael Innocenti’s portrayal of Amos, who’s a perfectly pathetic patsy, and Kurt Boehm’s solid take on fast-talking flim-flammer Billy Flynn, this Roxie revitalizes the familiar tale of celebrity and corruption. Extended to April 14. Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church St. NW. Tickets are $45 to $55. Call 202-265-3767, or visit KeeganTheatre.com. (Andre Hereford)
EVERY BRILLIANT THING
Developed with actor Jonny Donohoe, Duncan MacMillan’s unusual one-person play pivots on interactions with the audience, collectively examining a child’s reaction to his depressed mother’s attempted suicide, and helping build a list of things worth living for. From the No. 1 item “Ice Cream” to No. #999, “the Alphabet,” Every Brilliant Thing is said to elicit as much laughter as it does tears in creating its catalog of gratitude. Jason Loewith directs Alexander Strain in the Olney Theatre Center production. Extended to April 1. Theatre Lab, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Call 301-924-3400 or visit olneytheatre.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. Closes Sunday, 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)
MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET
Co-directed by Signature Theatre’s Eric Schaeffer, Floyd Mutrux and Colin Escott’s hit Broadway musical Million Dollar Quartet was inspired by the true story of the time Sam Phillips assembled Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins for a famed recording session. You can expect to hear many of these artists’ hits, which have become standards, from “Hound Dog” to “I Walk The Line,” from “Great Balls of Fire” to “Blue Suede Shoes.” Saturday, March 31, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $38 to $88. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.
Five gay Filipino guest workers care for elderly Orthodox men in Israel by day and headline a drag show by night. Philip Himberg’s “karaoke musical,” based on Tomer Heymann’s uplifting and thought-provoking 2006 documentary, makes its American premiere kicking off Mosaic Theater Company’s 2018 Voices From A Changing Middle East Festival. Mark Brokaw (Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella) directs a production with choreography by Jeff Michael Rebudal and a cast including Ariel Felix, Kevin L. Shen, Evan D’Angeles, Rafael Sebastian, Jon Norman Schneider, John Bambery, Chris Bloch, Lise Bruneau, Elan Zafir, Brice Guerriere, Chris Daileader, and Dallas Milholland. Opens in a Pay-What-You-Can Preview Thursday, March 29. Already extended to April 29. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $20 to $65. Call 202-399-7993 or visit mosaictheater.org.
ROZ AND RAY
A gripping medical drama about a doctor at the onset of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, as Dr. Roz Kagan offers a new miracle drug to save Ray Leon’s hemophiliac twins. Theater J’s Adam Immerwahr directs the East Coast premiere of Karen Hartman’s play exploring the complex issues surrounding biomedical ethics and starring two of D.C.’s greatest contemporary actors, Susan Rome and Tom Story. Previews begin April 3. To April 29. Theater J, 1529 16th St. NW. Tickets are $39 to $69. Call 202-777-3210 or visit theaterj.org.
THE BECKETT TRIO
Two-time Helen Hayes Award-winner Nanna Ingvarsson relates the stories and struggles of the women in three short plays by Samuel Beckett. The works from Ireland’s “master of minimalism” playwright and Nobel Laureate, staged by Robert McNamara are: Footfalls, focused on a troubled lass perpetually pacing a worn floor ,re-imagining her life; Not I, which reduces one woman’s life to a riveting, obsessional monologue; and Rockaby, a haunting recollection of one woman’s losses, loves, and life as told from a rocking chair. To April 8. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $35. Call 202-399-7993 or visit atlasarts.org.
Fairfax’s Helen Hayes Award-winning Hub Theatre celebrates 10 years by reprising its inaugural production, Craig Wright’s modern twist on Our Town. Kelsey Mesa directs Nora Achrati, Matt Bassett, and Helen R. Murray in a work, by turns metaphysical and comic, romantic and philosophical, that follows a man returning home for his 20th high school reunion in hopes of rekindling things with his childhood sweetheart. Opens in a preview Thursday, March 29. Runs to April 15. The John Swayze Theatre in the New School of Northern Virginia, 9431 Silver King Court, Fairfax. Tickets are $22 to $32. Visit thehubtheatre.org.
Translations — Photo: Teresa Wood
British army engineers arrive in 19th-century rural Ireland to draw new borders and translate local place names into the King’s English in a work dating to 1980 from celebrated Irish playwright Brian Friel (Dancing at Lughnasa). “Born out of a contested cultural moment,” says Studio’s David Muse, “Friel’s classic about language and all of its limits will have particular resonance in this town at this time.” Directed by the company’s Belfast-born Associate Artistic Director Matt Torney and starring Caroline Dubberly, Megan Graves, Martin Giles, Molly Carden, Matthew Aldwin McGee, Jeff Keogh, and Joe Mallon. To April 22. Metheny Theatre, 14th & P Streets NW. Call 202-332-3300 or visit studiotheatre.org.
TWO TRAINS RUNNING
Eugene Lee plays the owner of a soon-to-be-demolished diner in a changing black Pittsburgh neighborhood circa 1969 in this quintessential epic drama from the late Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson. Also reprising their roles from a celebrated Seattle Repertory Theatre production to Arena Stage’s theater-in-the-round are Carlton Byrd, William Hall Jr., Reginald Andre Jackson, Nicole Lewis, Frank Riley III, and David Emerson Toney. Juliette Carrillo directs this Wilsonian masterpiece, showing the impact of social change in the lives of everyday people. Opens Friday, March 30. Runs to April 29. Fichandler Stage, 1101 6th St. SW. Tickets are $50 to $99. Call 202-488-3300 or visit arenastage.org.
I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE
A celebration of the mating game from gay Tony-winning scribe and lyricist Joe DiPietro (Memphis) and composer Jimmy Roberts, this musical comedy revue takes on the truths and myths behind modern love and relationships, as presented in the form of a series of vignettes. Touted as the second-longest running musical Off Broadway (after The Fantasticks), I Love You… sees a Baltimore community version directed by Fuzz Roark, with Mandee Ferrier Roberts as musical director and a cast of six taking on over 30 characters, all in search of love. To April 22. Spotlighters Theatre, 817 St. Paul St., Baltimore. Tickets are $18 to $22. Call 410-752-1225 or visit spotlighters.org.
MOON OVER BUFFALO
Ken Ludwig’s fast-paced screwball comedy circa 1995, a throwback farce, is a valentine to the stage, featuring characters with larger-than-life personalities. Set in 1953 in Buffalo, Charlotte and George Hay are the stars of a floundering touring theater company currently staging repertory productions of Noel Coward’s Private Lives and a “revised, one nostril version” of Cyrano de Bergerac. The Maryland community theater Laurel Mill Playhouse offers a production directed by Larry Simmons. To April 15. 508 Main St., Laurel, Md. Tickets are $$15 to $20. Call 301-617-9906 or visit laurelmillplayhouse.org.
Known as the contemporary voice of Portugal’s mournful music style fado, this passionate, luxuriantly voiced artist blends traditional fado with pop and rock, in a style that has inspired collaborations with Mick Jagger and Prince. Wednesday, April 4, at 8 p.m. The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $50 to $60. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit wolftrap.org.
ANNIKA BENNETT & BENJAMIN BARSON
VICTORIA CANAL & WILL HEALY
The music industry’s ASCAP Foundation presents two free showcases of new or indie songwriters at the Kennedy Center. Performing at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 4, is Nashville-based Sony Records developing folk artist Bennett, the Queen of Queens in WNYC’s “Battle of the Boroughs” competition, and Barson, a Pittsburgh-native baritone saxophone player and member of the Afro Yaqui Music Collective who was honored as the 2018 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award. Two evenings later, Friday, April 4, comes soulful pop newcomer Canal, a Spanish-American singer-songwriter who is simultaneously pursuing a career with Warner Records and a degree in music production from New York University, and Healy, a multi-genre composer and pianist who leads the 14-piece classical/jazz/hip-hop ensemble ShoutHouse. Millennium Stage. Free. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
One of the bigger names in contemporary dance music has only been at it for about five years now. German DJ and producer Claptone has earned recognition by showing a real commitment to producing and playing serious, unfiltered house, helping keep the deep house torch burning, rather than pander to more mainstream EDM or the watered-down pop or tropical house variants. Claptone comes to town for a DJ set sure to include previews of sounds from his second artist album Fantast, due in June and featuring collaborations with notable indie-dance artists such as Kele Okereke, Zola Blood, and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Will Eastman opens. Saturday, April 7, starting at 10:30 p.m. U Street Music Hall, 1115A U St. NW. Tickets are $30. Call 202-588-1880 or visit ustreetmusichall.com.
CRY CRY CRY
Singer-songwriters Lucy Kaplansky, Richard Shindell, and Dar Williams reunite as this harmonizing folk-pop supergroup, nearly two decades after their short stint together ushering in the new millennium. The point is to contribute, as Kaplansky puts it, to “this unique moment in time, when people are coming together to give voice, partly through music, to what matters and to our collective values.” In addition to selections from Cry Cry Cry’s eponymous 1998 covers album, the trio will also perform from their individual repertoires as well as a few other favorites. Sunday, April 8, at 8 p.m. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $40 in advance, or $45 day-of show. Call 202-408-3100 or visit sixthandi.org.
Listening to Halsey puts you in mind of a distorted fairy tale, a quality that’s reflected in her debut album’s title, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom. But there’s a lot more to this proudly bisexual ingenue, who ensured that one of the set’s best songs is “Strangers,” a duet with fellow bisexual artist Lauren Jauregui of Fifth Harmony on which both sing of female lovers. Halsey, of course, first came to fame two years ago as the singer for the Chainsmokers’ best single, “Don’t Let Me Down.” It’s surprising when you stop and think about how quickly she’s risen to the upper echelon of the music industry, first and foremost the fact that she’s already headlined a stadium tour, which stopped at Capital One Arena last fall. The New Jersey native returns to the area for what is sure to be a starry concert under the stars. Tickets on sale Thursday, March 29, for show Sunday, July 15, at 8 p.m. The Filene Center at Wolf Trap, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $40 to $80. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit wolftrap.org.
MONICA W/BJ THE CHICAGO KID, THE CHUCK BROWN BAND
Monica Denise Arnold burst onto the pop scene on a first-name-only basis more than half the 37-year-old’s life ago, with the hit “Don’t Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days).” Since then, she’s had her share of ups and downs. The ups came rather quickly, including collaborating on one of the 90’s biggest pop hits, that dueling duet with Brandy “The Boy Is Mine.” With her appealing smooth alto and sharp, stylish music, the Grammy-winning singer nearly always displays composure and class, as well as a level of maturity that belies her still-young age. She headlines a concert dubbed an “All Black Extravaganza” with a neo-soul artist who was born Bryan James Sledge, plus an opening set by the band named after the late godfather of go-go, D.C.’s homegrown style of music. Saturday, April 7. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. Tickets are $55 to $117.50. Call 202-888-0020 or visit theanthemdc.com.
NSO POPS: BLACK VIOLIN
Steven Reineke leads the National Symphony Orchestra in a performance featuring the high-energy compositions combining classical music with hip-hop beats that has become known as “classical boom,” the signature of Florida-based duo of violinist Kevin “Kev Marcus” Sylvester and viola player Wilner “Wil B” Baptiste. Wednesday, April 4, and Thursday, April 5, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $39 to $79. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys, and Christina Aguilera are just who cite as a key influence this Grammy-winning soul artist, also billed by Rolling Stone as one of the “Greatest Singers of All Time.” Two years after a stop at Strathmore, the lead Bluebelle returns to the area for another show of her hits — from “Lady Marmalade” to “The Right Kind of Lover” to “New Attitude” — this time presented in D.C. by the Birchmere. Saturday, April 7, at 8 p.m. Warner Theatre, 513 13th St. NW. Call 202-783-4000 or visit warnertheatredc.com.
PERPETUAL GROOVE W/CBDB
Variously described as a band playing “improv rock” and “trance arena rock,” the Athens, Ga.-based Perpetual Groove has become popular on the rock festival circuit with its funky blend of jazz, psychedelia, R&B, trance, progressive rock and anthemic pop. Opening for the collective is a kindred group, Alabama’s progressive rock/jam band CBDB, which has christened its style Joyfunk. Friday, April 13. Doors at 8 p.m. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $20. Call 202-265-0930 or visit 930.com.
POSTCLASSICAL ENSEMBLE: SHOSTAKOVICH’S THE NEW BABYLON
This notably experimental music organization led by conductor Angel Gil-Ordoñez presents the D.C. area premiere of a score set a 1929 silent film by Grigori Kozintsev and Leonid Trauberg. Both whimsical and tragic, The New Babylon focuses on a forbidden love between a shopgirl and a young soldier and set during a short-lived socialist era in 19th century Paris. An energetic extravaganza merging the sounds of the circus, the can-can, and elements of early French and American cinema, The New Babylon was Shostakovich’s debut film score and launched a creative partnership that culminated in 1971’s King Lear. And yet, in part because the film was originally banned for its excess and aesthetic frivolity, the score was only recovered shortly after Shostakovich’s death in 1975. Friday, March 30, at 8:30 p.m., and Saturday, March 31, at 2 p.m. AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $20. Call 301-495-6720 or visit postclassical.com.
PRESSENDA CHAMBER PLAYERS
Six outstanding members of this ensemble present an evening of works for six strings by the great romantic composers Johannes Brahms and Pyotr Tchaikovsky: Brahms’ Sextet in G Major and Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence. Presented by the Washington Conservatory of Music, the concert features Aaron Berofsky, Kathryn Votapek, violins; Amadi Azikiwe, Gregory Luce, violas; Jan Müller-Szeraws and Tobias Werner cellos. Saturday, April 7, at 8 p.m. Westmoreland Congregational Church, 1 Westmoreland Circle. Bethesda. Tickets are free, donations welcome. Call 301-320-2770 or visit washingtonconservatory.org.
Named after the famous annual “Running of the Bulls” festival in Pamplona, Spain, the nine-piece New York band creates eclectic, eccentric — and sometimes just plain weird — chamber pop (or “Baroque pop”) similar to that of hipster-darlings Vampire Weekend, as well as Antony and the Johnsons. Founded and led by composer Ellis Ludwig-Leone, the diverse group features two lead vocalists, Charlene Kaye and Allen Tate, plus trumpet player John Brandon, saxophonist Stephen Chen, violinist Rebekah Durham, drummer Michael Hanf, and guitarists Tyler McDiarmid and Aki Ishiguro. San Fermin tours in support of its third album Belong, which has only gotten better with additional listens since its release last year. Friday, March 30, at 8 p.m. The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $25 in advance, or $30 day-of. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit wolftrap.org.
THE SOUL REBELS BRASS BAND FEAT. GZA & TALIB KWELI
An eight-piece brass band from New Orleans, the Soul Rebels draw from jazz, funk, rock, soul, and increasingly hip-hop to create an original musical blend that sounds just perfect when performed at boisterous, party-like live shows. In the past decade, the Soul Rebels have become a higher-profile act due to touring and supporting artists as varied as Green Day and Bruno Mars, Metallica and Trombone Shorty, plus an increasing number of rappers, including the socially conscious Kweli and Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA. It was two years ago at Michigan’s Electric Forest Festival that the two hip-hop artists first collaborated on stage with the band — consisting of founding members and percussionists Lumar LeBlanc and Derrick Moss, with trumpet players Julian Gosin and Marcus Hubbard, trombonists Corey Peyton and Paul Robertson, saxophonist Erion Williams, and sousaphonist Manuel Perkins Jr. All Good presents what is sure to be a rousing local show. Thursday, March 29. Doors at 7 p.m. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $25. Call 202-265-0930 or visit 930.com.
Nederlands Dans Theater — Photo: Rahi Rezvani
FURIA FLAMENCA DANCE COMPANY
Estela Velez de Paredez founded Furia Flamenca 15 years ago, with a focus on combining flamenco’s gypsy heritage with modern flamenco choreography to create an elegant balance of motion and energy. This weekend, the popular company is featured as part of the free daily lineup organized by the National Cherry Blossom Festival and presented in the Tidal Basin Welcome Area tent. Saturday, March 31, at 1:15 p.m. ANA Performance Stage, 1501 Maine Ave. SW. Visit nationalcherryblossomfestival.org.
NEDERLANDS DANS THEATER
Known for non-conformist, progressive productions as well as bold repertory, this acclaimed pioneering Dutch company has increasingly become an in-demand internationally touring organization. And that brings the company to D.C. for its debut at the Kennedy Center with a program featuring two characteristically provocative works created by the company’s artistic director Paul Lightfoot with artistic advisor Sol León. There’s Shoot The Moon, set to music by Philip Glass as performed by the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, and featuring revolving black-and-white walls to create three separate rooms, each establishing its own love story. A second work, Singulière Odyssée, is set in an art deco train station and performed to music by Max Richter, with dancers coming and going — except for one who lingers, waits, and watches. The program also features The Statement by the company’s associate choreographer Crystal Pite, who puts four dancers in heated exchange around a conference table, symbolizing corporate chaos and negotiation. Wednesday, April 4, through Friday, April 6, at 7:30 p.m. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $19 to $69. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
NEW YORK CITY BALLET: ALL-ROBBINS CENTENNIAL
The acclaimed company concludes its annual visit to the Kennedy Center, with a program celebrating the centennial of Jerome Robbins, the company’s co-founding choreographer and still one of its most influential dance-makers. The evening, with live accompaniment by the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, also nods to the centennial of Leonard Bernstein, chiefly through the frequent collaborators’ first-ever work together, the ballet Fancy Free, which went on to inspire the musical On The Town. Robbins’ postmodern dance elements set to Philip Glass and his quartet of frolicsome divertissements to Verdi’s The Four Seasons round out the program. Friday, March 30, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, March 31, at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 1, at 1:30 p.m. Opera House. Tickets are $29 to $99. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
SPRINGBOARD PERFORMANCE SERIES: D.C. DANCE ARTISTS
Dance Loft on 14 presents a multi-week showcase of up-and-coming local movement artists and companies, selected to perform in the venue’s renovated 120-seat theater. The main lineup features: Bmore Houseful, Margaret Allen & Shelley Siller, Joy of Motion Youth Ensemble, Trajectory Dance, and Kristin Hatleberg performing Friday, April 6, and Saturday, April 7, at 7 p.m.; and Natalie Boegel, Madeline Gorman, Errant Movement, Keslerdances, Motion X Dance DC, Mountain Empire, Soles of Steel, and the SAPAN Institute on Friday, April 13, and Saturday, April 14, at 7 p.m. 4618 14th St. NW 2nd Floor. Tickets are $25 each, with proceeds going to support the participatory artists. Call 202-621-3670 or visit danceloft14.org.
UPROOTED DANCE’S CIRCLING THE LINE
Printmaker Susan Goldman’s artworks become the muse for movement invention in this series of poignant vignettes fusing 2D design with 3D movement. As directed by Keira Hart-Mendoza, UpRooted’s dancers offer movement ideas to create original choreography in a collaborative laboratory, punctuated by whimsical, surrealist hand-printed costumes and imaginative set pieces. The result is a work containing adult content including partial nudity. Saturday, April 7, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 8, at 7 p.m. Dance Place, 3225 8th St. NE. Tickets are $25 in advance, or $30 at the door. Call 202-269-1600 or visit danceplace.org.
VINCENT E. THOMAS/VTDANCE: IN THE COMPANY OF MEN…PART III
A talented all-male cast explores themes of masculinity, life, love, social awareness, and humanness in the bold and wide-ranging program In The Company of Men, presenting many perspectives on life through the physical work of the male body. Friday, March 30, and Saturday, March 31, at 8 p.m. Baltimore Theatre Project, 45 West Preston St. Baltimore. Tickets are $15 to $25. Call 410-752-8558 or visit theatreproject.org.
IMPROVISED SHAKESPEARE COMPANY
Yet another renowned improv troupe out of Chicago, this one focused on creating a fully improvised play in Elizabethan style based on one audience suggestion: a title for a play that has yet to be written. The play then develops as if it were springing forth from Shakespeare’s pen whole cloth, taking the form of a tragedy, history or a comedy, depending on where the improvisers’ minds wander. But no matter how serious it might get, there’s guaranteed to be plenty of laughs and hysterical hijinks from this company that the New York Times says will make you “laugh your iams off,” as in iambic pentameter. Thursday, April 5, at 7 p.m., Friday, April 6, and Saturday, April 7, at 7 and 9:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 8, at 7 p.m. Kennedy Center Family Theater. Tickets are $29 to $49. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
LEA BERMAN AND JEREMY BERNARD: TREATING PEOPLE WELL
Former White House secretaries Lea Berman, who served George and Laura Bush, and Jeremy Bernard, who served Barack and Michelle Obama, have teamed up for a new book intended as a practical guide to modern manners, both professionally and personally. Treating People Well: The Extraordinary Power of Civility at Work and in Life is the focus of a discussion about the value of courtesy and respect, moderated by the Washington Post‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jonathan Capehart. Copies of the book will be for sale, and a book signing follows. Sunday, April 8, at 6:30 p.m. Ford’s Theatre, 511 10th St. NW. Tickets are free but advanced online reservations recommended. Call 800-982-2787 or visit fords.org.
MARK PENN: MICROTRENDS SQUARED
A decade ago, this pollster and digital marketing expert predicted the explosion of online dating and increasing clout of fringe politics among many small, counterintuitive trends that only seem obvious in hindsight. Now the chair of the Harris Poll is back with a follow-up, identifying 50 more trends that he surmises will reshape the future of business, politics, and culture over the next 10 years — from the predominance of online influencers over traditional journalists to the gig economy’s continued revolution into new areas of industry. Wednesday, April 4, at 7 p.m. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $15, or $30 including one book, $40 for two tickets and one book. Call 202-408-3100 or visit sixthandi.org.
MICHAEL BENNETT: THINGS THAT MAKE WHITE PEOPLE UNCOMFORTABLE
A Super Bowl Champion, the Philadelphia Eagles defensive end uses his voice and platform to go well beyond the gridiron to write about police violence, the role of protest in history, and his own responsibility as a role model to speak out. Following in the footsteps of activist/athletes from Muhammad Ali to Colin Kaepernick, Bennett weighs in on uncomfortable but important topics in a book, to be published on April 3, co-written by Dave Zirin, sports editor for The Nation. Bennett and Zirin sit for a conversation presented by Politics & Prose. Wednesday, April 4, at 7 p.m. UDC Theater of the Arts, 4200 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets are $12, or $30 including one book. Call 202-785-9727 or visit politics-prose.com.
Tom Meyer: Narrative Visions
COMMUNITY POLICING IN THE NATION’S CAPITAL
Organized as part of a citywide commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, this exhibition uses original documents, maps, posters, and other materials to shine a light on a local experiment in community policing. “The Pilot District Project, 1968-1973” was a program with good intentions, an innovative experiment in community policing that had success but also more than its share of failures, and its legacy continues in citizen police reform efforts today. Co-presented by the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. Opens Friday, March 31. On display through Jan. 15, 2019. National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. Tickets are $10 for admission to all current exhibitions. Call 202-272-2448 or visit nbm.org.
EVOLVING TRADITIONS – PAINTINGS OF WONDER FROM JAPAN
Captivating works by modern artist Yuki Ideguchi are shown alongside rarely seen masterpieces of traditional Japanese paintings, dating as far back as the 6th Century, in this exhibit presented in collaboration with the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Whether new or old, all paintings in the exhibit make use of traditional and unique pigments, materials, and techniques, and all are also undergirded by the perspectives of Japanese aesthetic principles and motifs. Now to May 28. Japan Information & Culture Center, Embassy of Japan, 1150 18th St. NW. Ste. 100. Call 202-238-6900 or visit us.emb-japan.go.jp/jicc.
IN BLOOM: A PHOTOGRAPHIC CELEBRATION OF THE CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL
The Blind Whino SW Arts Club, the repurposed art/event space formerly the Friendship Baptist Church, hosts a free showcase of the incredible work of local photographers in covering the beauty of the cherry blossoms and vibrant festival displays last year. The exhibition originates from an open call for submissions organized and judged by engaged members of IGDC, the Washington Instagram community. Hours are Wednesdays from 5 to 8 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 12 to 5 p.m. Through April 29. Blind Whino, 700 Delaware Ave. SW. Free. Call 202-554-0103 or visit swartsclub.org.
NO SPECTATORS: THE ART OF BURNING MAN
The Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery is going whole hog, turning over its entire building to present the first major national exhibition focused on Burning Man, in particular the annual Nevada desert event’s maker culture and creative spirit. In fact, the exhibition even extends “Beyond the Renwick,” with six sculptural works from Burning Man installed nearby on Pennsylvania Avenue west of the White House as well as on Connecticut Avenue and other major corridors. Opens Friday, March 30. On View to Jan. 21, 2019. Renwick Gallery, Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW. Free. Call 202-633-1000 or visit renwick.americanart.si.edu.
RELIGION IN EARLY AMERICA
Themes of religious diversity, freedom and growth from the colonial era through the 1840s is the focus of this one-year exhibition. Objects come from the Smithsonian’s permanent collection as well as others on loan and represent the diverse range of Christian, Native American and African traditions as well as Mormonism, Islam and Judaism that wove through American life in this era. Through June 3. National Museum of American History, 14th St. and Constitution Ave. NW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit americanhistory.si.edu.
TARGET GALLERY’S 2018 EMERGING ARTISTS
The contemporary exhibition space in Alexandria’s Torpedo Factory Art Center is championing up-and-coming regional artists in this new annual exhibition series. Four stylistically diverse artists were selected by a jury panel to be featured in the first year: abstract painter Katie Barrie of Richmond, figurative artist Ronald Jackson of Spotsylvania, Va., reclaimed-material sculptor Hollis McCracken of Richmond, and D.C.’s HOlly Trout, another artist using repurposed cast-off materials. Opens Saturday, March 31. A public reception and Artist Talk is Friday, April 13. On view through May 20. Target Gallery, 105 North Union St. Alexandria. Free. Call 703-838-4565 or visit torpedofactory.org.
TOM MEYER: NARRATIVE VISIONS
The president of Clyde’s Restaurant Group, a Culinary Institute of America alum, has cooked up something wholly unexpected with his latest project. And it’s one that has esseone that has nothing to do with food. In his spare time, Meyer has been studiously brushing up on his strokes and blobs as he steps closer attempting creating a personal universe of ghosts, devils, aliens, and demons flirting with everyday objects, animated trees, and an array of animals. All of that is on display in the self-taught painter’s first exhibition of his artwork at a gallery in Georgetown. To April 7. Addison/Ripley Fine Art, 1670 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Call 202-338-5180 or visit addisonripleyfineart.com.
Dinner-n-Drag at Shaw’s Tavern
SHAW’S TAVERN: DINNER-N-DRAG, SERVED!
Sometimes you’re dragging and you just can’t make it to brunch. And sometimes you want a regular, more traditional kind of meal — you know, at night, over wine. Well, these days, you can have just that with one of D.C.’s leading ladies of drag. Every Sunday night at Shaw’s Tavern, Kristina Kelly hosts a show over supper with half-priced bottles of wine and different dinner specials each week. Seating at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. 520 Florida Ave. NW. Reservations required via email@example.com. Call 202-518-4092 or visit shawstavern.com.
TOWN: FIRST THURSDAYS: KINGS AND QUEENS
Local drag kings as well as queens are featured in this monthly 18-and-up party co-presented by the Pretty Boi Drag troupe founded by former DC King Pretty Rik E and co-produced with the DC Gurly Show’s Lexie Starre. Beaux Banks and Derek William Kominars host the April edition featuring a competition in which area “queens” — Riley Knoxx, Ariel Von Quinn, and Ivanna Vivaldi — face off against Pretty Boi “kings” Mich, Phoenix King, and Buhnana Gunz. DJ Honey will provide the soundtrack to the evening. Thursday, April 5, at 9 p.m. Town Danceboutique, 2009 8th St. NW. No cover. Call 202-234-TOWN (8696) or visit tfl.events/dc.
Big Apple Circus — Photo: Maike Schulz
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. Closes Sunday, 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.
KIROV ACADEMY OF BALLET: OPEN HOUSE
Founded in 1990, this D.C.-based dance school, principally focused on grooming the next generation of classically trained ballet dancers, will open its doors the first Saturday of April to showcase the full range of classes it offers, for all ages and skill levels, going beyond classical ballet to include jazz, contemporary, and historical dance, among other styles. Staff and teachers will be on hand to answer questions and provide information, while visitors can also watch a group of Kirov students rehearsing to compete in next month’s Youth America Grand Prix in New York, the largest international student dance competition. The Open House ends with guests choice of taking a free ballet class or a Zumba class. Saturday, April 7, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Academy Theater, 4301 Harewood Road NE. Call 202-832-1087 or visit kirovacademydc.org.
NATIONAL CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL
Thanks to the seasonally abnormal and prolonged snow-capped cold snap, peak bloom for the Tidal Basin’s cherry trees has been pushed back to the second week in April (April 8-12). Nonetheless the official four-week pretty-in-pink festival — touted as “the nation’s greatest springtime celebration” — must go on. And two of the festival’s main events come the next two weekends. First up is the eighth annual Blossom Kite Festival, showcasing the creativity of kitemakers and skill of fliers through a variety of competitions and demonstrations. Saturday, March 31, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Grounds of the Washington Monument near 17th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. A week later comes another Signature Event, Petalpalooza, the awkward new name for the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival, with interactive art installations, a roller rink, a beer garden, and live music on three outdoor stages culminating in the grand fireworks display. Saturday, April 7, from 1 to 9:30 p.m. The Wharf, 1100 Maine Ave. SW. Visit nationalcherryblossomfestival.org.
Highlights among other, affiliated events, all free unless noted otherwise, include: the Evolving Traditions: Paintings of Wonder from Japan exhibit at the Embassy of Japan (see separate entry); a Furia Flamenca Dance Company performance as part of the lineup on the festival’s Tidal Basin stage (see separate entry); Tastes of Spring Cherry Blossom Food Crawl, a self-guided tour offering tastings at up to eight participating D.C. restaurants, Saturday, March 31, and Sunday, April 1, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost is $84. Call 888-697-2693 or visit carpedcfoodtours.com.; Festival Posters Lecture & Display, led by Savannah College of Art and Design’s Thomas Burns, who created the 2016 festival poster, and including a one-time display of 25 official festival posters, Thursday, April 5, starting at noon. Library of Congress’s James Madison Building, Independence Avenue at 1st Street S.E. Call 202-707-2990 or visit loc.gov; an outdoor Cherry Blossom Yoga class, Thursday, April 5, at 5:30 p.m. Freedom Plaza, 1455 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Visit downtowndc.com.; the 20th Annual non-competitive Cherry Blossom Freedom Walk, Friday, April 6, at 10 a.m. Centered at the National Japanese American Memorial, Louisiana Avenue and D Street NW; Japan and Jazz After-Hours Event, featuring live music, artist Q&As, curator-led tours of Japanese art exhibitions, and a screening of the classic Japanese film about dueling jazz drummers The Stormy Man, plus small bites and a cash bar. Friday, April 6, starting at 5:30 p.m. Freer Gallery of Art, Independence Avenue at 12th Street SW. Visit freersackler.si.edu; the Umetsugu Inoue Film Series presenting classics by the prolific Japanese filmmaker known as “Japan’s Music Man,” offering select times Friday, April 6, through Sunday, April 22. Meyer Auditorium in Freer Gallery of Art. Visit freersackler.si.edu for full schedule; a Kimono Sale Fundraiser and Exhibit with expert and author Paul McLardy discussing and displaying a diverse assortment of the quintessential Japanese garment, Saturday, April 7, through Monday, April 9. Pepco Edison Place Gallery, 702 8th St. NW; the annual Rosé Romp with fine French rosé wine varietals, spring-inspired cuisine, and live music, Saturday, April 7, from 1 to 4 p.m. Terrace at the Willard InterContinental Hotel, 1401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. All-You-Can-Eat-and-Drink Tickets are $89. Call 202-637-7411 or visit washington.intercontinental.com; Japanese Culture Day, with discussions about Japanese life, arts, and culture plus hands-on activities, from origami creation to kimono fittings. Saturday, April 7, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Library of Congress’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. SE; and LOC Spring Fling, a pop-up exhibition featuring treasures from the collection, including a host of cherry blossom-related items, presented during limited daytime hours on the first two Fridays and Saturdays in April. Jefferson Building. First-come, first-served tickets available at locspringfling.eventbrite.com.
Rayceen Pendarvis — Photo: Julian Vankim
THE ASK RAYCEEN SHOW: MINI BALL
For the latest edition of his monthly show, Rayceen Pendarvis hosts the annual #AskRayceen Mini Ball, with music by DJ/producer Vjuan Allure and announcer Anthony Oakes. The competitors will vye for bragging rights in categories: Woman’s Face, B.Q. Face, Face over 40, F.Q. Realness, Butch Realness, B.Q. Body, and a Cash Prize of a Wakanda Cover Shot for a group of three. Also, everyone can compete in the categories Best Dressed Spectator, Runway in All Black, and Voguing with a Prop. The evening will also include interviews with special guests, vendors, a cash bar, and free catered food for early arrivals. Wednesday, April 4. Doors at 6 p.m. HRC Equality Center, 1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW. Free. Visit AskRayceen.com.