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.
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.
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.
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.
The gay comedian — 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.
Verdi’s grand masterpiece in four acts, set at the height of the Spanish Empire, is presented by the Washington National Opera 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 at the Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $45 to $300. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
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.
Sean Astin (The Goonies, Stranger Things) will play Stalin and David Strathairn (Good Night, and Good Luck, Temple 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.
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