Metro Weekly

Editor’s Picks: Light City Baltimore, Strangers On a Train, Todrick Hall & more

Plus: Miss Gay Arlington, The Normal Heart, and Hayley Orrantia

Light City: On the Wings of Freedom — by Aether and Hemera


Light City, also called “A Festival of Light, Music and Innovation,” returns for a third year to illuminate Charm City as the first, free, large-scale international light festival in the country. The main part of the festival takes place on a winding, 1.5-mile stretch of the Inner Harbor and Harbor East and featuring 21 large-scale, temporary light installations brand new to Light City developed by national and international artists, including 10 from Baltimore.

One such display is truly mobile and will be seen all around: Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang’s Fireflies, with 900 handcrafted lanterns attached to the top of 27 pedicabs transporting festivalgoers around the BGE Light Art Walk, which can also be explored this year on self-guided audio tours offering detailed descriptions of the light installations by Live Baltimore.

Highlights among remaining free performances this year include G. Love & Special Sauce on Friday, April 20, and Kimbra on the festival’s closing day Saturday, April 21. The festival ends with the Labs@LightCity series of social innovation conferences grouped by subject area, from EduLab to SocialLab, MakerLab to FoodLab running through Saturday, April 21, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Festival display hours are 7 to 11 p.m. weeknights, 7 p.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Call 410-752-8632 or visit for details.

Strangers On a Train


Alfred Hitchcock’s masterful 1951 thriller is well-known for its sly gay undertones. Farley Granger stars as an amateur tennis star unwittingly dragged into a murder scheme by a psychopathic Robert Walker. Fun fact: Parts of Strangers On A Train were filmed in D.C. It gets a big-screen revival as part of Landmark’s West End Cinema Capital Classics series. Wednesday, April 25, 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

The Normal Heart — Photo: John MacLellan


George Boyd directs a production of Larry Kramer’s searing, Tony-winning drama about AIDS, a central work to the history of the LGBTQ movement and its theater. Presented by the Richmond Triangle Players as part of its 25th anniversary season, The Normal Heart is one of the most important plays of the modern era. To May 12. The Robert B. Moss Theatre, 1300 Altamont Ave., in Richmond. Tickets are $10 to $30. Call 804-346-8113 or visit

Master Harold — Photo: Kaley Etzkorn


Ryan Rilette directs this semi-autobiographical masterpiece by South African playwright Athol Fugard. Set in a small tea shop in 1950, the story focuses on two black men (Craig Wallace and Ro Boddie) and a white boy (Nick Fruit), who spend an afternoon bonding together, temporarily defying the isolating brutalities of apartheid. Now to May 6 at Round House, 4545 East-West Highway, Bethesda. Tickets are $50 to $60. Call 240-644-1100 or visit

Arlington Gay Lesbian Alliance: Miss Gay Arlington


AGLA and Freddie’s Beach Bar roll out the red carpet as six contestants compete for the honor of Miss Gay Arlington. Each queen will be judged on four criteria: a red-carpet presentation invoking the style and glamour of Old Hollywood, a talent competition, an evening gown competition, and an on-stage question. The winner will receive $1,500 in prizes, including $250 upon being crowned and a further $250 when they give up their title next year. Friday, April 27 at Freddie’s Beach Bar, 555 23rd St. S., Arlington, Va. from 7 to 11:30 p.m. Suggested donation is $10. Visit or email Daniel Hays at

John Corigliano


A birthday spectacular honoring one of today’s finest living classical composers. Corigliano will be feted in a concert featuring violinist Lara St. John, pianist Martin Kennedy, cellist Sterling Elliott, soprano Melinda Whittington, and the PUBLIQuartet. Excerpts from Corigliano’s Sonata for Violin and Piano and Phantasmagoria for cello and piano will be performed, along with “Irish Songs” and “Dylan Songs.” Sunday, April 22, at 3 p.m. The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $45. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit

Carmen in Concert: Aleks Romano


Experience the famous story through the eyes of the killer’s mother in John Constable’s wickedly smart narration of the famous opéra comique. The Washington Chorus’s new Artistic Director Christopher Bell leads a concert version of Bizet’s masterpiece starring mezzo-soprano Aleks Romano and featuring the Washington National Opera Orchestra and members of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program. Saturday, April 21, at 2 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $18 to $72. Call 202-467-4600 or visit



No, not the Stephen King-sourced supernatural horror, but a silent rom-com from 1927 that turned actress Clara Bow into a star as Hollywood’s original “It Girl.” Based on writings by British novelist Elinor Glyn, Clarence Badger’s comedy celebrates the brash and unconventional “flapper” style of its shop-girl heroine as well as of other plucky women in the Jazz Age. That Jazz Age spirit — and especially its sound — will be brought to life via a new musical score by Andrew Earle Simpson. The curator and resident musician for the ongoing Silent Film Series at the Atlas Performing Arts Center will offer live piano accompaniment as the film screens overhead. Sunday, April 22, at 4 p.m. Lab Theatre II, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $18 to $20. Call 202-399-7993 or visit

Hayley Orrantia


Although best known from her ongoing portrayal of rebellious high school senior Erica Goldberg on ABC’s The Goldbergs, this 24-year-old native of Arlington, Texas, was a professional singer-songwriter years before she turned to acting. Orrantia got her start writing songs and singing backup for various Disney projects, including High School Musical and Hannah Montana. She followed that up by competing on the first season of X-Factor, making it into the Top 10 as a member of the Paula Abdul-assembled girl group Lakoda Rayne. Orrantia will preview new songs written with producers in Nashville on her Strong, Sweet, and Southern Tour. The show opens with a set by Brennley Faith Brown, another budding country artist. Wednesday, April 25. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $15 to $20. Call 202-787-1000 or visit

Todrick Forbidden


A former Top 13 finalist on American Idol who became a bona fide star via YouTube, Hall has more recently stepped into the more traditional limelight of Broadway, taking on the lead role of Lola in Kinky Boots and more recently playing Billy Flynn in Chicago. Hall returns to D.C. with Todrick Hall American: The Forbidden Tour. Thursday, April 26, at 7:30 p.m. at the Fillmore Silver Spring at 8656 Colesville Rd. General Admission is $25, with Meet & Greet/VIP packages ranging from $131.50 to $223.50. Call 301-960-9999 or visit

The Decemberists — Photo: Holly Andres


At first listen, you might think Colin Meloy and company were a contemporary Irish folk-rock act, not just an American one of strong British and Irish influence. Meloy often sings in a vaguely Irish accent, over minor-key melodies and harmonies and slightly driving rhythms that only fan the embers burning in his hyper-literate lyrics weaving grand, occasionally to the point of grandiloquent, stories. Meloy and his four fellow Portland, Oregon-based bandmates tour in support of eighth studio album I’ll Be Your Girl, which occasionally turns to synth-pop to add a little levity, even absurdity, to the proceedings. Saturday, April 21. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. Tickets are $45 to $199. Call 202-888-0020 or visit

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