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, nominated in the Best Foreign Language Film category at this Oscar’s, which came in at No. 6 on Metro Weekly‘s list of 2017’s Best Films, and builds organically to a catharsis of anger and honesty that will have audiences cheering for Marina. Opens Friday, Feb. 9. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (Andre Hereford)
Every gay man should see this 1958 black-and-white comedy in which Rosalind Russell gives one of her best performances as a Manhattan socialite who becomes caretaker and mentor to her young nephew Patrick. To be raised by such a fabulous and urbane woman in such a queer, colorful, and decadent demimonde as Mame’s is the stuff of a gay boy’s dream. Throw in hilarious repartee, cutting remarks, and witty banter, and it’s no mystery why Auntie Mame remains a classic with impeccable gay appeal. Wednesday, March 7, 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.
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. First up, on Sunday, March 4, is Stephen Apkon and Andrew Young’s Disturbing the Peace, which 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. The following week, 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.
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. Opens Friday, March 2. Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672 or visit landmarktheatres.com.
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
Director Luca Guadagnino’s sumptuous Italian love story would be exceptional just for the electric connection that Oscar-nominated star Timothée Chalamet establishes with every member of the cast he meets, particularly his love interest, played by Armie Hammer. What really sets the film apart is the design, care, and craft employed to create a world so fertile with hope and knowledge that an audience can trust that even pain will bear the fruit of wisdom. It’s a beautiful trip to a lazy ’80s summer of long afternoon lunches and hot evening swims, where mom and dad encourage a kid to seize the day. Nominated for four Oscars including Best Picture and Best Actor for Chalamet, who absolutely seizes his moment at the head of this year’s class of breakout acts. Now playing. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (AH)
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 film, which is up for Best Animated Feature at this Sunday’s Oscars. The film is also an Oscar nominee for Best Song with “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, which includes two LGBTQ-themed films, BPM (Beats Per Minute), screening Tuesday, March 13, and God’s Own Country, set for Thursday, March 15. Coco screens 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.
DC SHORTS WINS!
DC Shorts presents two showcases next weekend featuring several favorites the annual summer festival. Two of the 14 films are nominees in the Live Action shorts category at the 90th Annual Oscars, also scheduled for this Sunday, March 4. Showcase A is led by Oscar nominee Watu Wote/All of Us, a German drama about religious unrest in Kenya, and also includes the comedy Fanny Pack, about a clash between the dreams of an Indian-American father and daughter; The Sandman, a U.S. documentary about a doctor who opposes capital punishment yet participates in executions; and Second to None, an animated tale from Ireland about dueling twin brothers. Showcase B features Oscar nominee My Nephew Emmett, a U.S. drama based on the true story of the racially motivated murder of Emmett Louis Till. It also includes Hollywood’s Greatest Trick, a documentary about the struggle for visual effects artists to get fair pay, representation, and recognition in Hollywood; Siren, a drama about the prejudices and misunderstandings between an Arab immigrant and an old Japanese man; Unknown, a documentary about a busking D.C. pop band; and The Forger, about the work of Adolfo Kaminsky, who had a hand in saving thousands of people in practically every major conflict of the mid-20th century. Friday, March 2, at 7 and 9 p.m., and Saturday, March 3, at 8 and 10 p.m. The Miracle Theatre, 535 8th St. SE. Tickets are $15 per showcase, or $25 for a Double Header of both. Call 202-400-3210 or visit wins.dcshorts.com.
DEMOCRACY’S MESSENGERS: THE NEVER-BEFORE-TOLD STORY OF YOUNG AMERICANS ON CAPITOL HILL
A short, fly-on-the-wall glimpse into Washington’s halls of power as seen from the perspective of pages — the young men and women selected to serve in Congress and at the Supreme Court. Cokie Roberts narrates the 30-minute film, which the National Archives will screen followed by a discussion with former pages Frank Mitchell, who in 1965 became the first 20th-Century African-American page, Jonathan Turley, and Camilla Bosanquet, and moderated by Democracy’s Messengers producer Jerry Papazian. Tuesday, March 6, at 12 p.m. William G. McGowan Theater, Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets NW. Free, with reservation recommended; first-come, first-seated. Call 202-357-5000 or visit archivesfoundation.org.
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.
STRONG ISLAND, ABACUS
As of press time, tickets remain for free screenings at the National Archives for two of the five films nominated in the Best Documentary Feature at this Sunday’s 90th Annual Oscars. There’s Strong Island, the distressing true-crime tale co-directed by the African-American transgender filmmaker Yance Ford, relating the impact on his family after an all-white jury declined to indict his brother’s white killer, who claimed self-defense; the film screens Saturday, March 3, at 4 p.m. Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, the PBS Frontline examination into the only financial institution to actually face criminal charges following last decade’s subprime mortgage crisis, screens Sunday, March 4, at 4 p.m. William G. McGowan Theater, Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets NW. Reservations recommended. Call 202-357-5000 or visit archivesfoundation.org.
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, screened last summer alongside Cars 3. A second American entry is Glen Keane’s Dear Basketball, an ode to the game written and narrated by retired hoopster Kobe Bryant, with music by John Williams. France is also represented twice, with Garden Party, a work by the Illogic Collective of animators following a couple of amphibians wandering around a deserted house, and Negative Space, Ru Kuwahata and Max Porter’s nostalgic look at a complicated relationship between a father and son. The fifth and final nominee is Revolting Rhymes, a two-episode, 28-minute film by Jakob Schuh and Jan Lachauer featuring famed fantasy writer Roald Dahl’s reinterpretations and parodies of five classic fairy tales, as narrated by Dominic West. Landmark also screens three additional films that didn’t get a nod: Lost Property Office from Australia, Weeds from America, and Achoo from Canada. Now playing. E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672 or visit landmarktheatres.com.
OSCAR NOMINATED SHORT FILMS 2018: DOCUMENTARY
This year, all five nominees in the documentary shorts category come from the U.S., and three are helmed by female directors. Landmark presents them in two distinct programs, with the 100-minute Program A featuring Traffic Stop, Kate Davis and David Heilbroner’s focus on Breaion King, an African-American stopped for a routine traffic violation that escalates into a harrowing arrest; Frank Stiefel’s Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405, a portrait of artist Mindy Alper, who channels a lifetime of depression and mental disorder into extraordinary works of art; and Edith + Eddie, a love story from Laura Checkoway and Thomas Lee Wrights and focused on America’s oldest interracial newlyweds, whose life is disrupted by a family feud. Elaine McMillion Sheldon and Kerrin Sheldon’s Heroin(e), which highlights a group of women working to turn around the flood of heroin in their Appalachian city, screens as part of the 80-minute Program B, also featuring Thomas Lennon’s Knife Skills, following the hectic launch of Edwins restaurant in Cleveland, staffed primarily by men and women just out of prison. Now playing. West End Cinema, 2301 M St. NW. Call 202-534-1907 or visit 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 Silent Child by Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton from the U.K., about a caring social worker who teaches a profoundly deaf girl the gift of communication; The Eleven O’Clock by Derin Seale and Josh Lawson from Australia, focused on a session that spins out of control between a psychiatrist and his delusional patient who thinks he is the doctor; and Watu Wrote/All of Us by Katja Benrath and Tobias Rosen of Germany, focused on bus passengers in Kenya who in 2015 reacted with a show of solidarity in the face of unrelenting terrorist attacks by the Al-Shabaab. Now playing. 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672 or visit landmarktheatres.com.
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.
SHE’S BEAUTIFUL WHEN SHE’S ANGRY
A provocative, rousing, often amusing look at the birth of the women’s liberation movement in the late 1960s — which in turn gave birth to the LGBTQ movement. Mary Dore’s documentary takes pains to show that lesbians — along with women of color and those representing the poor and working class — had to fight for greater visibility and recognition within the feminist movement, which became a kind of model for raising LGBTQ awareness in society at large. Through archival footage, music of the era, and first-person accounts from activists, the film chronicles the movement while giving a hat tip to those pushing for greater progress in the 21st century, at least through the year 2014, when the documentary was produced. Wednesday, March 7, at 7 p.m. AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $13 general admission. Call 301-495-6720 or visit afi.com/Silver.
THE DARK CRYSTAL
Fathom Events offers a rare return to the big screen of Jim Henson’s fantasy adventure — and the demand is so strong, they’ve added additional dates and theaters for the run. The 1982 epic, co-directed with Frank Oz (Little Shop of Horrors), screens with a brand-new featurette including an interview with Jim’s daughter Lisa Henson, who reflects on the making of the film and its legacy. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will release The Dark Crystal on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and digital on Tuesday, March 6. Remaining screenings are Saturday, March 3, at 2 p.m., and Tuesday, March 6, at 2 and 7 p.m. Area theaters including Regal Gallery Place (701 7th St. NW), Potomac Yards Stadium (3575 Jefferson Davis Highway in Alexandria), and Ballston Common 12 (617 N. Glebe Road in Arlington). Visit fathomevents.com.
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.
A chef struggles with how to care for his dying father, a Korean immigrant with no taste for his son’s fancy French fare. Olney Theatre Company presents Julia Cho’s drama as part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival and in a co-production with Everyman Theatre. Tony Nam and Glenn Kubota star. Directed by Vincent M. Lancisi. Closes Sunday, March 4. Olney Theatre Center, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Call 301-924-3400 or visit olneytheatre.org.
CABARET RISING: ONE NATION UNDER GROUND
Partly inspired by New York’s Sleep No More and nurtured via earlier works at Capital Fringe, TBD Immersive’s variation on devised, participatory immersive theater involves audience members choosing an alliance, exploring and uncovering puzzles, and impacting the plot in a co-created storyline with mainstage cabaret performers. After a premiere production last fall at the Blind Whino SW Arts Club supported by CulturalDC, TBD and its Artistic Director and Creator Strother Gaines offers another production with exaggerated overtones of real-life politics today. This time around, the basis for the show is that the democratic resistance is under siege and has retreated to the Dupont Underground — which is less of a safe haven than expected, with grifters and ghosts lurking about. Who will lead the movement to safety above ground — and the show to a satisfying end? This isn’t theater as usual. To March 11. 1500 19th St. NW. Tickets are $55 to $75. Visit tbdimmersive.com.
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.
Hamlet is a monumental role for any actor, and a few years after personifying Barbra Streisand in the one-man tour-de-force Buyer & Cellar, Michael Urie returns to the Shakespeare Theatre Company to take on the troubled Danish prince, one of the hallmarks of Western literature. If anyone knows Urie is up to such a serious, dramatic challenge, it’s Michael Kahn, who directs his former Juilliard student in a production that includes Robert Joy, Madeleine Potter, Keith Baxter, and Oyin Oladejo as Ophelia. Closes Sunday, March 4. Harman Hall, 610 F St. NW. Call 202-547-1122 or visit shakespearetheatre.org.
Playwright Moira Buffini imagines what might have been said during Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s private meetings in an Olivier Award-winning British comedy now making its American premiere. The show’s original director Indhu Rubasingham has crossed the pond for a Round House Theatre production that comes as the Maryland company’s contribution to the Women’s Voices Theater Festival. Kate Fahy, Jennifer Mendenhall, Beth Hylton, and Susan Lynskey portray older and younger versions of the incredibly powerful women who had, to say the least, a complicated relationship. Meanwhile, Cody LeRoy Wilson and John Lescault take on various minimal supporting roles as the men in their lives. Closes Saturday, March 3. 4545 East-West Highway, Bethesda. Call 240-644-1100 or visit roundhousetheatre.org.
LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S BAR & GRILL
Virginia’s Creative Cauldron is the latest company to put its spin on one of today’s most popularly produced shows, a celebration of one of the greatest jazz singers of all time. Matt Conner directs Helen Hayes Award winner Iyona Blake (Caroline, or Change) in Lanie Robertson’s play with music recreating one of Billie Holiday’s final performances, four months before her death. Mark Meadows accompanies Blake as Holiday’s pianist. In previews. Closes Sunday, March 4. ArtSpace Falls Church, 410 South Maple Ave. in Falls Church. Tickets are $20 to $30. Call 703-436-9948 or visit creativecauldron.org.
Robbie Schaefer of folk band Eddie from Ohio premieres a deeply personal tale about immigration, music, and an unshakable bond between father and son, through thick and thin. Eric Schaeffer directs the new musical featuring music, lyrics, and book by the musician, who also stars as himself, with assist from Signature Theatre standouts Bobby Smith, Natascia Diaz, Luke Smith, John Sygar, and Kara-Tameika Watkins. Closes Sunday, March 4. Signature Theatre’s Max Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit sigtheatre.org.
NO WORD IN GUYANESE FOR ME
After an earlier staged reading, the LGBTQ-focused Rainbow Theatre Project opted to mount a full production of a GLAAD Award-winning play about a gay Muslim’s journey to reconcile her faith and her sexuality. Ashley K. Nicholas portrays Hanna in Wendy Graf’s one-woman show, directed by Julia Hurley as part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival, relating experiences growing up in the Caribbean nation of Guyana and coming of age, and eventually coming out, in 9/11-era New York. Closes Sunday, March 4. District of Columbia Arts Center, 2438 18th St. NW. Tickets are $35. Call 202-462-7833 or visit rainbowtheatreproject.org.
SHOSTAKOVICH AND THE BLACK MONK: A RUSSIAN FANTASY
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.
Dominique Morisseau’s timely drama is set in Detroit during last decade’s Great Recession and vividly portrays the modern labor struggle in a changing America, revealing the real people on the factory line. Nicole A. Watson directs Brittany Bellizeare, Stephanie Berry, Sekou Laidlow, and Gabriel Lawrence in this contribution to the Women’s Voices Theater Festival. Closes Sunday, March 4. 700 North Calvert St., Baltimore. Call 410-332-0033 or visit centerstage.org.
Noted for their physical comedy and precise ensemble work, Happenstance Theater Company presents a suite of comic material old and new, including skits based on 19th century European circus entrees, vaudeville, silent film, and early TV. An interactive new format will structure the show. Thursday, March 1, and Friday, March 2, at 8 p.m., Saturday, March 3, at 3 and 8 p.m., and Sunday, March 4, at 3 p.m. Baltimore Theatre Project, 45 West Preston St., in Baltimore. Tickets are $15 to $25. Call 410-752-8558 or visit theatreproject.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.
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.
I HATE HAMLET
Paul Rudnick is best known for penning the notable early “comedy about AIDS” Jeffrey — both the Off Broadway play and the screenplay adaptation from 1995. In 1991, however, Rudnick wrote a comedy in which regular nightly visits from the drunken ghost of John Barrymore only adds to the pressure a young TV actor feels from everyone else to play the role he dreads more than any other. Leading a six-person cast of volunteers assembled by Baltimore community theater Spotlighters is Thomas Bowers and Thom Eric Sinn, sparring as the two very different actors in a sendup of art, culture, and the acting profession. Closes Sunday, March 4. 817 St. Paul St., Baltimore. Tickets are $20 to $22. Call 410-752-1225 or visit spotlighters.org.
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.
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.
In 2007, Archuleta almost won American Idol at the age of 16, but ended up runner-up behind David Cook. He then took two years off to do Mormon missionary work in Chile and released a handful of albums. Most interesting of them all is Forevermore, which features covers of Filipino songs and was released exclusively in the Philippines. His current world supports his sixth studio set Postcards in the Sky, last year in Manila. Monday, March 5, at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $29.50. Call 703-549-7500 or visit birchmere.com.
ED SCHRADER’S MUSIC BEAT
A Baltimore-based alt-rock duo featuring the namesake vocalist with bassist Devlin Rice, who perform a concert the day after the release of their new full-length album, Riddles. They spent two years working on the set, produced and co-written by the experimental electronic-pop artist Dan Deacon, a close friend and fellow Baltimorean. Sneaks and Palettes are the two opening acts. Saturday, March 3, at 10 p.m. Comet Ping Pong, 5037 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets are $12. Call 202-364-0404 or visit cometpingpong.com.
Rolling Stone named the dreamy-pop L.A. singer-songwriter, responsible for promising singles such as “White Noise” and “You Don’t Know Me,” an artist to watch. Monday, March 5. Doors at 7 p.m. U Street Music Hall, 1115A U St. NW. Tickets are $15. Call 202-588-1880 or visit ustreetmusichall.com.
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
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.
LITTLE BIG TOWN W/KACEY MUSGRAVES
Last year, the great country/rock band Little Big Town became the first act in history to have a residency at Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium. Now, the Alabama-rooted quartet of Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet, and Jimi Westbrook tours in support of its eighth studio set, The Breaker, featuring the powerful ballad “Better Man” that Taylor Swift wrote for the band with its trademark four-part vocal harmonies in mind. Main support comes from Kacey Musgraves, a standout pro-LGBTQ country hitmaker (“Follow Your Arrow”) who will offer a preview of tracks from her forthcoming Golden Hour. Saturday, March 3. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. Tickets are $75 to $369. Call 202-265-0930 or visit theanthemdc.com.
SHOSTAKOVICH’S ‘LENINGRAD’ SYMPHONY
As the story goes, Dmitri Shostakovich had written all but the last movement to his wartime Seventh Symphony, dubbed “The Leningrad,” when the Nazis invaded his city and he had to flee. As big and bombastic as classical gets, The Leningrad is a kind of all-out aural assault with one of the loudest finales in the composer’s repertoire — ending with 21 brass instruments, double cymbals, and brass choir. Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts The Philadelphia Orchestra. Tuesday, March 6, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $65 to $110. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.
SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK
A Grammy Award-winning, social justice-oriented ensemble, Sweet Honey formed in 1973 as an a cappella group and has assembled an extensive repertoire of socially conscious songs, both originals and covers, including “My Family,” originally penned for the gay-inclusive HBO documentary A Family Is A Family Is A Family: A Rosie O’Donnell Celebration. Tuesday, March 6, at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $39.50. Call 703-549-7500 or visit birchmere.com.
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. Opens Saturday, March 3, at 7 p.m. Runs to March 17. Tickets are $45 to $300. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
A FEW WORLDS
A wide-ranging program of unexpected dance/music collaborative offerings, Havlik’s a few worlds touches on the American propensity for road trips to find meaning, as well as the rhythmic gestures in the work of Swiss German artist Paul Klee. Through performance and discussion, the program features local interdisciplinary artists Quicksilver Senior Dance Company from Arts for the Aging, composer Jessica Krash, poet Ellen Roche, percussionist Nate Scheible, violinist Anthony Hyatt, and videographer Denaise Seals. Saturday, March 3, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, March 4, at 4 p.m. Dance Place, 3225 8th St. NE. Tickets are $25 in advance, or $30 at the door. Call 202-269-1600 or visit danceplace.org.
BOWEN MCCAULEY DANCE
Lucy Bowen McCauley’s celebrated local contemporary dance company returns to the Kennedy Center with an “An Evening of Dance” program featuring a world premiere choreographed by McCauley. The bill also includes a restaging of the late Eric Hampton’s UnRavel and McCauley’s Le Cafe Carambole. The pieces, set to Ravel, Liszt, and Schoenfield, will be performed by the company’s dancers with accompaniment from pianist Nikola Paskalov and the Gemini Piano Trio. Friday, March 2, and Saturday, March 3, at 7:30 p.m. Terrace Theater. Tickets are $40 to $50. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
DEMO: NOW BY DAMIAN WOETZEL
A former principal dancer with the New York City Ballet recently named the next president of the Juilliard School, Damian Woetzel offers a program featuring some of today’s most creative voices in dance and music. Part of the Kennedy Center’s Direct Current series, the one-night-only concert includes Blueprint, a world-premiere commission choreographed by Pam Tanowitz and danced by Patricia Delgado, Victor Lozano, and Jason Collins, and set to music by Caroline Shaw to be played by the string quartet Brooklyn Rider. The program also includes: Fandango, Alexei Ratmansky’s work set to the music of Boccherini and danced by NYCB star Sara Mearns; Orbit, a rarely seen solo work by Memphis street dance pioneer Lil’ Buck and set to the music of Philip Glass; Solo for Patti, a work by Tanowitz for former Miami City Ballet dancer Delgado; Dig the Say, a duet created and danced by Lil’ Buck and fellow Memphis jooker Ron Myles and set to a score by Vijay Iyer; and Desire Liar featuring former Merce Cunningham Dance performers and modern dance luminaries Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener and set to Glenn Kotche’s Ping Pong Fumble Thaw. There will also be additional musical performances by Shaw and Brooklyn Rider, plus classical guitarist Scott Borg and jazz percussionist Savannah Harris. Wednesday, March 7, at 7:30 p.m. Terrace Theater. Tickets are $39 to $49. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
DORRANCE DANCE: ETM: DOUBLE DOWN
With flourishes of Afro-Brazilian music mixed with indie-pop, the eclectic full-length program is the product of Dorrance’s collaboration with musician and Stomp cast member Nicholas Van Young. ETM also features artist Ephrat Asherie, includes a cover of Adele’s “First Love,” and makes use of Van Young’s electronic tap boards, essentially turning the whole stage into a percussive instrument. Friday, March 2, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $35 to $80. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.
OASIS DANCE: THE BLACK LEAVES PROJECT
A project featuring seven African-American men billed as a “first time ever all-male, black ballet [that] aims to tackle racism in America.” Through live and filmed interviews, dance, and poetry, Black Leaves features the collective voices of men within the black community, demonstrating their common threads of experience. Antwain Donte Hill, Aeryk Shields, Aaron Spydaman Poindexter, Blair Dottin-Haley, Duante Brown, Joshua Anderson, and Shannon Garcon are the featured performers in this latest work by Oasis, led and co-founded by Steven Wilson. Sunday, March 4, at 6 p.m. THEARC, 1901 Mississippi Ave. SE. Tickets are $20 to $40. Call 202-889-5901 or visit facebook.com/OasisDanceCompany.
DAINTY DOESN’T DO IT
A panel discussion commemorating International Women’s Day and hosted at the headquarters of the local sandwich chain Taylor Gourmet. Moderated by Shana Steele of the women-only coworking space Wing DC, panelists include Angie Fetherston of the swanky bar Columbia Room and parent entity Drink Company, Shizu Okusa of the JRINK juice bar, Sarah Gordon of Gordy’s Pickle Jar, Jerri Evans of the Turning Natural juice bar, and Taylor Gourmet’s Alesandra Gonzalez-Martinez. The focus is on matters of importance in D.C.’s hospitality industry, from achieving gender parity, to combating harassment, to improving the quality of the talent pool. Complimentary wine, beer, and small bites, and will conclude with a post-discussion mixer. Wednesday, March 7, from 6 to 8 p.m. 925 15th St. NW., 4th Floor. Free, but space is limited. Call 202-289-8001 or visit and RSVP at facebook.com/taylorgourmet.
JEANNE E. ABRAMS: FIRST LADIES OF THE REPUBLIC
The spouse of the sitting U.S. President is a public figurehead without a formal or authorized role, yet one that has had a level of outsized importance and pubic popularity ever since the country’s very first First Ladies. In her new book, University of Denver professor Jeanne E. Abrams writes about the Creation of an Iconic American Role — as her subtitle puts it — and focuses on the initial three titleholders: Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, and Dolly Madison. Together, they helped define a role for women in public and private life in America. Abrams will sign copies of the book after an Author Talk. Wednesday, March 7, at 12 p.m. William G. McGowan Theater in the National Archives Museum, Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets NW. NW. Free, reservations recommended. Call 202-357-5000 or visit archivesfoundation.org.
FOR THE RECORD: PICTURING D.C.
The Historical Society of Washington, D.C., organized this juried exhibit of 44 original artworks by 25 local artists. Created between 1988 and 2017, the two-dimensional artworks offer artists’ interpretations of neighborhoods in all eight D.C. wards, from Burleith to the Palisades, Shepherd Park to Kenilworth, Ivy City to Buzzard Point. Participating artists include Ronda Bernstein, Lindsey Brittain, Carlos Carmonamedina, Miles Carter, Lloyd Foster, Bruce McNeil, Monette Melanson, Alberto Pacheco, Wil Scott, and Jane Webb. Closes Sunday, March 4. The George Washington University Museum, 701 21st St. NW. Suggested donation of $8. Call 202-994-5200 or visit museum.gwu.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. Opening Reception is Friday, March 2, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. 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.
To commemorate the centennial of the establishment of the Republic of Estonia, the National Gallery of Art presents rare and masterful works attributed to Michel Sittow, considered Estonia’s greatest Renaissance artist. The exhibition of 20 paintings touches on the 16th century painter’s possible collaboration with Juan de Flandes, his relationship with his Netherlands contemporaries, and the influence of his likely teacher, Hans Memling. But the focus is on the works of art Sittow created for royalty of his era, including King Ferdinand of Aragon, Margaret of Austria, and Queen Isabella of Castile, who commissioned two highlights from Sittow’s career, The Assumption of the Virgin and The Ascension of Christ. Now to May 13. Main Floor, West Building, 6th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Call 202-737-4215 or visit nga.gov.
OUTLIERS AND AMERICAN VANGUARD ART
Outsider art, made by self-taught Americans in the 20th century, is about as anti-establishment as it gets. This unusual exhibition of 250 works created by more than 80 artists in a range of media is 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. An Evenings at the Edge after-hours program is set for Thursday, March 8, from 6 to 9 p.m., featuring Lonnie Holley, an exhibition artist and improvisatory experimental musician, plus hands-on art-making, pop-up talks, and light fare and drinks available for purchase. 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.
A juried artist show in Old Town features personal works in various media exposing the lasting effects migration can have on one’s cultural identity and individual experiences, even when a generation or two removed from being immigrants. The 16 artists represented in this Target Gallery exhibition are either immigrants themselves or were raised in immigrant families, and their works, in painting, sculpture, collage, and video reveal, as juror Adriana Ospina of the Art Museum of Americas puts it, “a multi-layered personal and complex process of journeys, cultural exchange, assimilation, rejection, transculturation, and preservation.” Nine of the 16 artists are from the region: Abiodun Eniyandunni, Kanika Sircar, Marite Vidales, and Helen Zughaib of D.C., Bahar Jalehmahmoudi of Adelphi, Md., Rafael Rodriguez of Hyattsville, Md., Jenny Wu of Alexandria, Ju Yun of Chantilly, Va., and WonJung Choi of Richmond. Closes Sunday, March 4. The Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 North Union St. Alexandria. Free. Call 703-838-4565 or visit torpedofactory.org.
POE & PUCK: STRATHMORE JURIED EXHIBITION
Strathmore’s 27th annual juried exhibition called on artists to submit works inspired by the romance, dreams, and mysterious themes of two iconic authors. Artists represented include Winifred Anthony, Ken Bachman, Vaughn Clay, Nella Fischer, Rebecca Hirsh, Bruce Morgan, Hamid Nouri, Irina Parshikova, and William Peirce. Closes Sunday, March 4. The Mansion at Strathmore, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.
GREEN LANTERN: REWIND: REQUEST LINE
Darryl Strickland was one of the most prolific DJs in gay D.C. in the ’90s, which makes him an eminently qualified co-host of a party focused on playing “the best of ’80s and ’90s music videos.” Matt Strother is the other co-host of this “Totally Tubular” party during which requests will be taken all night. Obviously this is no regular night out. Saturday, March 3. Starts at 9 p.m. Green Lantern, 1335 Green Ct. NW. Call 202-347-4533 or visit facebook.com/GreenLanternDC.
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: A talk and book signing with local author Robin Talley, who has written four novels for teen readers with LGBT characters, on Friday, March 2, at 8 p.m.; members of new aerial arts group Street Light Circus will perform and share “their circus origin stories,” on Saturday, March 3, at 12:45 p.m.; Not What You Think, an a cappella ensemble pursuing equality and social justice and performing a Washington Post Cafe Concerts on Saturday, March 3, at 2:15 p.m.; Company|E performs Speak Easy, Robert J. Priore’s celebration of love in all its colors, on Saturday, March 3, at 3:30 p.m.; and 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. Meanwhile, two of the biggest attractions to come in the festival’s first week are Taylor Mac’s A 24-Decade History of Popular Music (Abridged) on Tuesday, March 6, at 7 p.m. (see item under Above & Beyond); and Demo by Damian Woetzel: Now on Wednesday, March 7, at 7:30 p.m. (see item under Dance.) 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.
TAYLOR MAC: A 24-DECADE HISTORY OF POPULAR MUSIC (ABRIDGED)
A New York-based artist who performs in gender-ambiguous conceptual drag, Taylor Mac began developing this show, which the self-identified genderqueer artist refers to as a “performance art concert,” several years ago. Built around songs that chronicle our country from its founding in 1776 to today, the work was originally performed in New York in 2016 as a one-time, nonstop, 24-hour event. Mac has since developed a condensed version, offering an immersive and entertaining crash course in American culture and dysfunction — with a clear LGBTQ bent. Local performers join Mac at the Kennedy Center concert, presented as part of the two-week festival Direct Current. Tuesday, March 6, at 7 p.m. Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $39 to $119. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.