Metro Weekly

Out On the Town: D.C. arts and entertainment — April 5-11

Everything arts and entertainment in the D.C. area this week

Blockers

FILM

BLOCKERS

Three parents — Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz, and John Cena (yes, the wrestler) — discover their daughters’ plan to lose their virginity on prom night, and decide to do everything they can to stop that happening. Kay Cannon’s film subverts the teen sex comedy by putting women front and center — a timely move, and one that’s thoroughly enjoyable according to reviews. Opens Friday, April 6. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (RM)

BRINGING UP BABY

Howard Hawks’ American screwball comedy was such a commercial flop upon release in 1938, its star Katharine Hepburn was considered box-office poison for a while. Now, it ranks No. 88 on the American Film Institute’s “100 Years…100 Movies” list. Cary Grant co-stars with Hepburn the outlandish film, delayed in production due to frequent, uncontrollable laughing fits between Hepburn and Grant. Screening as part of Landmark’s West End Cinema Capital Classics weekly series. Wednesday, April 11, 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

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 8, 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.

ITZHAK

Filmmaker Alison Chernick offers a revealing and highly personal look into the life of the man hailed as the world’s greatest living violinist. A childhood victim of polio and young violin prodigy — debuting at age 13 on The Ed Sullivan Show — Itzhak Perlman is seen rehearsing with fellow musicians Evgeny Kissin and Mischa Maisky, trading stories in his kitchen with longtime friend Alan Alda, teaching classes with eager youngsters, and sharing a loving marriage with Toby in a close-knit household steeped in Jewish traditions. Opens Friday, April 6. Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672 or visit landmarktheatres.com.

KING: A FILMED RECORD…MONTGOMERY TO MEMPHIS

AFI concludes its month-long “MLK’s Legacy on Screen” series with a free documentary, one it also screens annually on the national holiday commemorating the slain Civil Rights leader. King: A Filmed Record…Montgomery to Memphis includes his stirring “I Have A Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial, and also features narration and commentary from Sidney Poitier, James Earl Jones, Paul Newman, Charlton Heston, Harry Belafonte, and Ruby Dee, among others. Sidney Lumet and Joseph L. Mankiewicz co-directed and produced this 1970 film. Saturday, April 7, at 11 a.m. AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are free, available at the box office starting at 10:30 a.m. day-of. Call 301-495-6720 or visit afi.com/Silver.

THE RAPE OF RECY TAYLOR

In 1944 in rural Alabama, six white men abducted and raped 24-year-old Recy Taylor, who, at great personal risk, decided to speak out and publicly identify her rapists. With help from a young investigator named Rosa Parks, sent by the NAACP to work on the case, Taylor rallied support and triggered an unprecedented outcry for justice that paved the way for the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and the movements that followed. And she lived to see it all, having died last year at the age of 97. The Aha! Moment and DC Rape Crisis Center co-present a special screening of the 2017 documentary, directed by Nancy Buirski, which will be followed by a discussion in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Monday, April 9, at 7:15 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.

THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW

Landmark’s E Street Cinema presents its monthly run of Richard O’Brien’s camp classic, billed as the longest-running midnight movie in history. Landmark’s showings come with a live shadow cast from the Sonic Transducers, meaning it’s even more interactive than usual. Friday, April 13, and Saturday, April 14, at midnight. Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672 or visit landmarktheatres.com.

THE SHINING

Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 psychological horror masterpiece continues to influence the horror genre. Based on Stephen King’s bestselling novel, Kubrick’s creepy, stylized film stars Jack Nicholson as aspiring writer Jack Torrance, who is done in by all of the deranged, venge-seeking supernatural forces haunting the cavernous, empty, isolated hotel where he serves as winter caretaker. Wednesday, April 11, 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.

410[GONE] — Photo: Ryan Maxwell

STAGE

410[GONE]

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. 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.

CHICAGO

★★★½

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)

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. Closes Sunday, April 8. Kogod Cradle, 1101 Sixth Street, SW. Tickets are $71 to $111. Call 202-488-3300 or visit arenastage.org. (Kate Wingfield)

LET IT BE: A CELEBRATION OF THE MUSIC OF THE BEATLES

What if the Fab Four had reunited a decade after their break-up? That’s the premise behind this theatrical romp through the Beatles’ repertoire, from the seminal performance of “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” on The Ed Sullivan Show to hits from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Abbey Road. The second half is styled as a Beatles reunion performance, where the crowd goes wild — as it did in previous runs on Broadway and London’s West End. Saturday, April 14, at 3 and 8 p.m. National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Tickets are $45 to $85. Call 202-628-6161 or visit thenationaldc.org.

PAPER DOLLS

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. 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. 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. Closes Sunday, April 8. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $35. Call 202-399-7993 or visit atlasarts.org.

THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD – SYMPHONIC METAL VERSION

Quirky Landless Theatre is testing “its mettle and metal” approach with Rupert Holmes’ The Mystery of Edwin Drood. The 1986 choose-your-own-ending musical is a dark tale of deception, based on the unfinished novel by Charles Dickens. Landless brings together artists from the theater and music worlds to help give the show the power and punch of a rock concert. Melissa Baughman directs Lily Hoy in the title role. With Steve Wannall, Melissa LaMartina, and Andrew Lloyd Baughman. To April 29. Trinidad Theatre in the Logan Fringe Art Space, 1358 Florida Ave. NE. Tickets are $25. Call 202-737-7230 or visit landlesstheatre.com.

THE PAVILION

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. 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.

TOP AND BOTTOM

Five years after its formation, the LGBTQ-focused Rainbow Theatre Project’s strong work is not going unnoticed — and as evidenced by being nominated as an Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company at this year’s Helen Hayes Awards. The company closes out its current season with a recent hit at the New York Fringe Festival exploring intimacy and identity in a gay world of labels and stereotypes. A comedy by Kevin Michael West (The DOMA Diaries), Top and Bottom focuses on an encounter between two guys who want to explore their sexual bondage fantasies, but they’re a bit klutzy, a bit nerdy, and a bit unsure of what they’re doing, and as a result everything goes a bit awry. Dimitri Gann and Ryan Townsend star. Production contains full male nudity. Opens in previews Thursday, April 5. To April 29. District of Columbia Arts Center (DCAC), 2438 18th St. NW. Tickets are $35. Call 202-462-7833 or visit dcartscenter.org.

TRANSLATIONS

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. To April 29. Fichandler Stage, 1101 6th St. SW. Tickets are $50 to $99. Call 202-488-3300 or visit arenastage.org.

COMMUNITY STAGE

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.

Boston Pops Keith Lockhart — Photo: Stu Rosner

MUSIC

THE BOSTON POPS ESPLANADE ORCHESTRA

The very first orchestra created with a mission to play light classical or pop repertoire, the Boston Pops, established in 1885, also holds the distinction of selling more commercial recordings than any other orchestra in the world — achieved during the mid-20th-century tenure of its legendary conductor Arthur Fiedler. For the past 20 years, Keith Lockhart has led the orchestra and will do so in two local performances featuring classics it has become known for, from Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Bernstein’s Overture to Candide, to pop hits from ABBA and Queen, to a concert closing “Cinematic Sing-Along,” plus film scores by John Williams (Star WarsSchindler’s List). Fun Fact: Hollywood’s most celebrated composer succeeded Fiedler as the orchestra’s conductor throughout the 1980s. Sunday, April 8, at 2 and 7 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $35 to $125. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.

CLAPTONE

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.

CONGRESSIONAL CHORUS: LET US ENTERTAIN YOU!

Subtitled “Children on Stage & Screen,” the latest program from the vocal group features its American Youth Chorus, comprised of singers aged 8 to 14, accompanied by the Congressional Chorus Chamber Ensemble. It’s an all-ages concert in every sense, however, as the chorus’ NorthEast Senior Singers is also featured. Saturday, April 14, at 7:30 p.m. The Lutheran Church of the Reformation, 212 East Capitol St. NE. Tickets are $17. Call 202-629-3140 or visit congressionalchorus.org.

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.

D.C.’S DIFFERENT DRUMMERS

“Music inspired by Dance” is the theme of the annual concert featuring the LGBTQ musical umbrella organization’s Capitol Pride Symphonic Band. In his fourth season as conductor, Anthony Oakley leads a program featuring Robert Russell Bennett’s A Suite of Old American Dances — from the Cake Walk to Western One-Step to the Rag — Bernstein’s “Danzon” from Fancy Free, Britten’s Courtly Dances, Marquez’s Danzon No. 2, and the Richard Rodgers tune that gives the concert its title. For the second year in a row, Capitol Pride will also perform Julie Giroux’s Hymn for the Innocent, which Oakley says was written as “a piece in dedication to anybody who has been taken from us…in an innocent manner.” Naturally, as performed here, mention is made specifically to 2016’s Pulse Nightclub massacre as well as other victims of senseless gun violence. Saturday, April 7, at 7 p.m. Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G St. NW. Tickets are $20. Visit dcdd.org.

Two nights later, DCDD will meet with those curious in becoming members of its Summer 2018 Marching Band and Color Guard at a shared Open House that will also feature representatives from TeamDC and Cheer DC looking for recruits. Anyone is welcome to join any DCDD band — all the organization’s ensembles are “non-audition-based” — and can expect to play alongside both full-time musicians and music teachers, as well as federal employees and other non-music professionals who, as Oakley puts it, “just use this as a wonderful outlet in the evening to be able to express their music and be a part of a great music community.” Monday, April 9, at 7 p.m. Shaw’s Tavern, 520 Florida Ave. NW. Visit dcdd.org.

GMCW: SMALL ENSEMBLES EXTRAVAGANZA

All four of the select adult groups of the chorus — Potomac Fever, Rock Creek Singers, Seasons of Love, and 17th Street Dance — take the stage together for the first time for a concert of amazing music and dance in Wolf Trap’s intimate, acoustically rich confines. But like any Gay Men’s Chorus production, expect a mix of everything from gospel and pop to Broadway and Fosse — “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys to “Waving Through A Window” from Dear Evan Hansen,” to cite but two examples. Saturday, April 14, at 4 and 8 p.m. The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $40 to $45. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit wolftrap.org.

HURRAY FOR THE RIFF RAFF

Singer-songwriter and banjo player Alynda Lee Segarra, a New York native of Puerto Rican descent, leads this tender, bluegrass-inspired indie-folk collective, based in New Orleans. Telling NPR it’s “a very queer band” in 2014, Segarra identified herself as queer and as “a longtime ally of queer causes.” Currently performing as a trio with Caitlin Gray and Jordan Hyde, Hurray for the Riff Raff returns for a female-forward folk double-bill concert with Waxahatchee, Katie Crutchfield’s indie-folk/rock project, and presented by All Good. Bedouine, the alias of Armenian folk singer-songwriter Azniv Korkejian, opens. Sunday, April 15. Doors at 7 p.m. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $25. Call 202-265-0930 or visit 930.com.

LISA HILTON QUARTET JAZZ PERFORMANCE

Composer/pianist Lisa K. Hilton’s 20th album Escapism features new compositions inspired by Miles Davis, Count Basie, and Horace Silver, among other great American composers who straddled the divides between jazz and classical. That’s also the focus of a concert with Hilton and her eponymous quartet including Rudy Royson on drums, Luques Curtis on bass, and JD Allen on tenor sax. Thursday, April 12, at 6 p.m. Smithsonian American Art Museum’s McEvoy Auditorium, Lower Level, 8th and F Streets NW. Free. Call 202-633-1000 or visit americanart.si.edu.

MONICA

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.

NEW ORCHESTRA OF WASHINGTON

The small chamber ensemble, led by the husband-and-wife team of artistic director Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez and executive director and pianist Grace Cho, presents its resident company the Aeolus Quartet performing Antonín Dvořák’s String Quartet No. 12, nicknamed the “American Quartet.” And that’s the kickoff to a program of three works celebrating the sounds of America, at least early America, as it was heard by two towering composers from the last two centuries: Dvořák and George Gershwin. In a new arrangement for chamber orchestra, Iain Farrington puts a modern twist on one of the most iconic American folk operas with his Fantasy on Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Finally, a second Dvořák work — heard via another new arrangement by Farrington — is the centerpiece of the program, Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9. One of the most popular of all symphonies, the Czech composer’s work, known as the “New World Symphony,” is notable for incorporating American folk elements, such as melodies drawn from African-American spirituals and rhythms and harmonies evoking Native-American music. Sunday, April 15, at 5 p.m. National Presbyterian Church, 4101 Nebraska Ave. NW. Tickets are $15 to $30. Call 240-745-6587 or visit neworchestraofwashington.org.

PATTI LABELLE

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.

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.

SHIFT: A FESTIVAL OF AMERICAN ORCHESTRAS

The Kennedy Center and WPA co-present this second annual series highlighting classical music organizations striving to go beyond the classics and the status quo. Four orchestras perform in the Concert Hall, starting Tuesday, April 10, at 8 p.m., with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, led by music director Miguel Harth-Bedoya, with a program celebrating the music of Latin America, including: Jimmy López’s orchestral suite Bel Canto; Leonard Bernstein’s Serenade, after Plato: Symposium featuring solo violinist Augustin Hadelich; and Anna Clyne’s symphonic ballet RIFT with dancers from the Texas Ballet Theater. The next night, Wednesday, April 11, at 8 p.m., brings the Albany Symphony, led by David Alan Miller, with “The River Flows Through Us,” a concert examining culturally significant waterways featuring: Dorothy Chang’s mini-oratorio The Mighty Erie Canal featuring D.C.-area youth choruses; Joan Tower’s Still/Rapids and Michael Torke’s The Manhattan Bridges — both featuring pianist Joyce Yang; and Michael Daugherty’s Reflections on the Mississippi, featuring guest solo tuba player Carol Jantsch. On Friday, April 13, at 8 p.m., Krzysztof Urbański leads the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in an all-ages program mixing classic and contemporary Polish works inspired by the music director’s heritage: Witold Lutoslawski’s Concerto for Cello and Orchestra featuring superstar cellist Alisa Weilerstein, and Krzysztof Penderecki’s Credo featuring five singers and two Indianapolis choirs. Shift will fill the Concert Hall one last time the next evening, Saturday, April 14, at 8 p.m., when Gianandrea Noseda leads the National Symphony Orchestra in a “Russian/Italian Inspirations” program nodding to his Italian pedigree and longtime experience in Russia, with Stravinsky’s Pulcinella featuring vocal soloists and the Russian solo piano works Islamey by Mily Balakirev and 5 Études-Tableaux by Sergei Rachmaninoff — performed per orchestrations by two Italians, Alfredo Casella and Ottorino Respighi, respectively. The festival also includes free performances on the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage as well as at other area locales, from the Hamilton to the Anacostia Community Museum, the Hamilton to the LINE Hotel, even the National Zoo. Shift runs Monday, April 9, through Sunday, April 15. Tickets are $25 to each main concert. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

THE ACA-CHALLENGE

Fans of the Pitch Perfect movie franchise — as well as NBC’s The Sing-Off and Fox’s Glee — are sure to be entertained at the fifth annual competition, where a mix of both collegiate and adult professional groups compete for a $1,000 grand prize, with second place garnering $500 and $250 for third. (All groups walk away with at least $100 and a professional photo shoot just for participating.) Presented by Garling’s Alexandria Harmonizers and its 14-member contemporary a cappella group TBD, the 2018 Aca-Challenge will be emceed by Deke Sharon, touted as the godfather of contemporary a cappella, and feature Post-Collegiate Contestants The WORKSHOP from New York, CONNECT from Hartford, and returning 2014 champs WORD of MOUTH from Washington, and Collegiate acts The Bluestones from James Madison University, the GW VIBES from the George Washington University, and DaCADENCE from the University of Maryland. A panel of judges and the audience, voting via text, will select the top three “most entertaining” acts. Saturday, April 14, at 7 p.m. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $25 in advance, or $30 day-of show, or $45 for VIP Seating and After-Party Admission. Call 202-408-3100 or visit sixthandi.org.

URBANARIAS: FLORIDA

Based in part on real events, Florida is a darkly comic contemporary opera by Randall Eng, with libretto by Donna Di Novelli, and presented by the local company founded by Robert Wood dedicated to short, contemporary operas. Focused on a teenage girl falsely accused of matricide, the chamber piece presents a highly stylized version of suburbia, complete with creepy neighbors, and set to a jazz-inflected score. Kevin Newbury directs Sharin Apostolou in the eponymous role as the girl who discovers herself through a maze of gossip, desire, justice, and lipstick, in a work that also brings to light societal problems, from the complexities and corruption of our legal system to our culture’s reflexive suspicion of teenage girls and sexuality Nancy Allen Lundy, Daniel Rowan, Ethan Greene, Hannah Hagerty, Ian McEuen, and Katherine Riddle round out the cast. Saturday, April 7, at 8 p.m., Sunday, April 8, at 2 p.m., Friday, April 13, and Saturday, April 8, at 8 p.m. The Sprenger Theatre in the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $39 to $42. Call 202-399-7993 or visit atlasarts.org.

Nederlands Dans Theater — Photo: Rahi Rezvani

DANCE

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. Remaining performances Thursday, 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.

SHEN YUN PERFORMING ARTS

Based in New York, this group seeks to breathe new life into traditional Chinese culture, with a particular focus on classical Chinese dance, one of the world’s oldest art forms. Blending beauty, energy, and grace, dancers in dazzling costumes move in seamless, flowing patterns, while a live orchestra and thunderous drums shake the stage against stunning, otherworldly backdrops. Shen Yun returns to the Kennedy Center for a 2018 edition of its epic production focused on “reviving 5,000 years of civilization,” presented by the Falun Dafa Association of Washington, D.C. Opens Tuesday, April 10, at 7:30 p.m. To April 15. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $80 to $250. 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.

THE WASHINGTON BALLET: MIXED MASTERS

The company closes out its second season under Julie Kent with a Kennedy Center program of three masterwork ballets that remain inspiring and relevant, all performed with live musical accompaniment by the Washington Ballet Orchestra. There’s Serenade, the first ballet that George Balanchine choreographed in America, a milestone in the history of dance and set to Tchaikovsky; Symphonic Variations, Frederick Ashton’s abstract celebration of movement and physicality, set to Franck and heralded by the New York Times as “one of the purest pure-dance classics ever made”; and The Concert (or, The Perils of Everybody), Jerome Robbins’s timeless and humorous one-act charade, set to Chopin, depicting with satirical glee the thoughts and fantasies of a concert audience. Opens Wednesday, April 11, at 8 p.m. Runs to April 15. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $25 to $140. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

Taylor Tomlinson

COMEDY

BROAD WAY HOSTED BY FRANQI FRENCH

In its black box space, D.C.’s Drafthouse Comedy presents a variety show featuring stand-up comedy, music and sketches by a diverse group of local female, minority, and LGBTQ performers, hosted by Franqi French. The next show is Saturday, April 14. Doors at 3 p.m. Drafthouse Comedy, 1100 13th St. NW. Tickets are $5. Call 202-750-6411 or visit drafthousecomedy.com.

DAVID SEDARIS

The prolific, gay, modern-day humorist returns to offer a sneak preview of his newest book. Due out the day after Memorial Day by publisher Little, Brown, Calypso is a collection of 21 essays offering still more mordant observations about his family and various relations, yet the focus this time around is even more inward and personal, touching on the inescapable reality of middle age and advancing mortality. Sedaris is expected to read from new and unpublished material in his engagement at the Kennedy Center, and he will also sign advanced copies of the book at the entrance to the Concert Hall. Meanwhile, his friend John Thorson will open the show. Monday, April 9, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $39 to $79. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.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.

TAYLOR TOMLINSON

A Top 10 finalist on Season 9 of NBC’s Last Comic Standing, Tomlinson is currently developing a sitcom for ABC based on her religious upbringing and efforts to reconcile what she was taught with what she now believes — also the basis for much of her stand-up. Particularly trenchant is her chiding of her conservative father and his anti-gay sentiments despite having worked for many years teaching school choir: “Don’t bite the jazz hand that feeds you.” Cerrome Russell and Josh Kuderna open. Thursday, April 5, at 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 6, and Saturday, April 7, at 7:30 and 9:45 p.m., and Sunday, April 8, at 7:30 p.m. DC Improv, 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets are $17 to $20, plus a two-item minimum. Call 202-296-7008 or visit dcimprov.com.

READINGS

BARBARA EHRENREICH: NATURAL CAUSES

In her latest book, the esteemed liberal thinker argues with as much passion as she did in her 2001 classic Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In America, which helped stoke the push for a living wage. In Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer, Ehrenreich draws on her doctorate in cellular immunology to throw cold water on our tendency toward a “medicalized life,” asserting that “against the cells’ natural tendency to break down, medications, yoga, and kale are so much magical thinking.” She shows that few of the regular preventive-care screenings, mindfulness practices, or dietary fads promoted as solutions to aging have done much to extend either the quality or quantity of life. She argues that we’d all be happier and live healthier by freeing ourselves from society’s obsession with wellness and longevity and instead relax into a more philosophical acceptance of the inevitable. Wednesday, April 11, at 7 p.m. Politics and Prose at the Wharf, 70 District Square SW. Call 202-488-3867 or visit politics-prose.com.

ELISABETH ROSENTHAL: AN AMERICAN SICKNESS

Subtitled How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back, the book comes from a woman who had a front-row seat to the businessification of medicine, having spent 22 years covering health care for the New York Times. Also a Harvard-trained medical doctor, Rosenthal provides an in-depth analysis of how our system has become less focused on the patient and more on revenue, and offers ideas about how policymakers could help reverse course. Monday, April 9, at 6:30 p.m. Langston Room of Busboys & Poets, 2021 14th St. NW. Call 202-387-POET or visit busboysandpoets.com.

KATE MASUR, MICHELE NORRIS DISCUSS THEY KNEW LINCOLN

Nearly 80 years ago, the late teacher/historian John E. Washington sought to record for posterity the experiences of those black Washingtonians who had personal relationships with Abraham Lincoln — a remarkably little researched area of Lincolniana. Yet his 1942 book They Knew Lincoln quickly sold out and just as quickly fell into obscurity, out-of-date and out-of-mind. That is, until now, with a long-overdue second reprint including a new introduction by Kate Masur, a Northwestern University history professor and author of An Example for All the Land: Emancipation and the Struggle over Equality in Washington, D.C. Michele Norris, former host of NPR’s All Things Considered and founder of The Race Card Project, will lead a discussion with Masur of the book and its significance in shedding light on those African Americans who served and interacted with the Lincolns, some to the extent of influencing the 16th President’s view on slavery. Afterwards Masur will sign copies of the book, which will be available for purchase in the bookstore. Monday, April 16, at 5 p.m. Ford’s Theatre, 511 10th St. NW. Tickets are free and can be reserved in advance. Call 800-982-2787 or visit fords.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.

TODD S. PURDUM: RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN’S BROADWAY REVOLUTION

Naturally, the book’s chief title draws from a show tune, a glorious one at that: Something Wonderful, from The King and I. That groundbreaking hit musical was just one in a string of successes that Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II scored. And yet, none of it might have come to pass if the duo had given up in their efforts to turn the play Green Grow The Lilacs into a musical. They were rebuffed by everyone else and had no support but each other, which of course was all that they needed to make musical theater history starting with Oklahoma! Purdum, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and a senior writer at Politico, offers a glowing dual biography of the revolutionary team and their creative process, paying particular attention to the challenges they faced with each successive show and noting that even with all their continued successes, they had recurrent doubts about their work and their partnership. Wednesday, April 11, at 7 p.m. Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-364-1919 or visit politics-prose.com.

EXHIBITS

A BOX OF 10 PHOTOGRAPHS: THE ODYSSEY OF DIANE ARBUS

Diane Arbus was a provocative documentary photographer who trained her lens on capturing strange, disturbing imagery as well as presenting, and occasionally exploiting, society’s marginalized, everyone from dwarfs to nudists to transgender people. Arbus committed suicide at the age of 48 in 1971 — just one year before she became the first American photographer to be featured at the Venice Biennale, then the premiere international showcase for contemporary artists. That prestige catapulted Arbus to a level of posthumous fame and success resulting in her work being seen in popular traveling exhibitions and even collected in best-selling photography monographs. This Smithsonian American Art Museum exhibition, curated by John Jacob, focuses on the small portfolio of photographs Arbus developed in her final years that ultimately fueled her posthumous success — and also helped boost photography’s stature overall as art, not just artifact. Exhibition opens Friday, April 6. On display through Jan. 21, 2019. 8th and F Streets NW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit americanart.si.edu.

The Arbus exhibition launches with a two-part special event, including the broadcasting of A Slideshow and Talk by Diane Arbus, a 40-minute illustrated audio recording from 1970 in which the photographer speaks to her work and her collection. Also presented are clips of audio featuring former Esquire editor Harold Hayes, former Harper’s Bazaar art director Marvin Israel, and artist Jasper Johns, all of whom discuss their dealings with Arbus. The program concludes with a panel discussion comprised of photographers who knew Arbus — John Gossage, Neil Selkirk — as well as John Jacob of SAAM, Jeff L. Rosenheim and Karan Rinaldo of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Jeffrey Fraenkel of the Fraenkel Gallery. Friday, April 6, from 4 to 7 p.m. McEvoy Auditorium, Lower Level. Free, but online registration required for the special event. Call 202-633-1000 or visit americanart.si.edu.

CULTIVATING AMERICA’S GARDENS

An examination of gardening in the U.S., from early horticulture practices to Victory gardens to the romance of the American lawn. Co-presented by the Smithsonian Libraries, Smithsonian Gardens, and the Archives of American Gardens, this traditional museum exhibition — about gardens but not any kind of garden tour — looks at gardening’s history in America broken down into seven main segments. It starts with the creation of botanical gardens in the 18th Century — as one example of how the early focus on “Gardening for Science” was brought to fruition — and ends with today’s increasing concern over organic and sustainable practices, or “Gardening for the Environment.” Whether the genetically modified, chemically enhanced plant breeding days of the last century or so are truly on the way out — and with them, the focus on “Gardening as Enterprise” — certainly longgone are the large, showy private gardens of the Gilded Age and a “Gardening to Impress” outlook. On display through August. Smithsonian Libraries Exhibition Gallery, National Museum of American History, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Call 202-633-2240 or visit library.si.edu/exhibition.

DAY TO NIGHT: IN THE FIELD WITH STEPHEN WILKES

Stunning, technology-enhanced imagery capturing the passage of time in a single photograph is the hallmark of photographer Stephen Wilkes, who spent much of last year on assignment for National Geographic documenting bird migration routes, as featured in the magazine’s March 2018 issue. This companion exhibition offers behind-the-scenes insight into all that’s involved in Wilkes’ shoots, and presented as part of the “Year of the Bird” initiative, a partnership of over 100 organizations, from National Geographic to the Audubon Society. The exhibition features four expansive and powerful mega-prints of captivating bird migrations, measuring roughly 7 feet tall and 12 feet wide and reflecting the theme of conservation. To April 18. National Geographic Museum, 1145 17th St. NW. Tickets are $15. Call 202-857-7588 or visit ngmuseum.org.

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. Closes Saturday, April 7. Addison/Ripley Fine Art, 1670 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Call 202-338-5180 or visit addisonripleyfineart.com.

MARLENE DIETRICH: DRESSED FOR THE IMAGE

From her very first Hollywood film — the Josef von Sternberg’s 1930 drama, Morocco, which earned the actress her only Academy Award nomination — Dietrich “was able to introduce to a very conservative, American, puritan population the idea of accepting women being attracted to other women,” says National Portrait Gallery historian Kate Lemay. Dressed for the Image charts the actress’s career, longevity, and influence on everyone from Madonna and Jane Lynch to Janelle Monae. It includes details about the 1955 outing of the German-born actress as bisexual. Through April 15, 2018. National Portrait Gallery, 8th and F Streets NW. Call 202-633-8300 or visit npg.si.edu.

MICHELLE PETERSON-ALBANDOZ: NEW WORK

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

ORCHID SPECTRUM

Many unique, rarely seen orchids from the extensive plant collections of the United States Botanic Garden and Smithsonian Gardens are on display in this annual show co-presented by the two federally funded institutions. Explore thousands of amazing orchid blooms arranged in captivating displays, and learn about these fragrant flowering plants, found on every continent except Antarctica, yet despite their preponderance many orchids are rare or endangered due to excessive collecting of wild plants and habitat destruction. Ultimately, they’re more than just pretty and pleasurable, as orchids provide food for insects and birds, as well as assist in nutrient cycling in the ecosystem. Closes Sunday, April 8. Botanic Garden Conservatory, 100 Maryland Ave. SW. Call 202-225-8333 or visit usbg.gov.

PARALLEL LIVES

Transcultural humanity is on display in this exhibition curated by Brigitte Reyes. Antonius Bui, Amy Lin, Nekisha Durrett, Muriel Hasbun, and Jeff Huntington are five artists bridging diverse cultures and aesthetic traditions and embracing and exploring their place in the world through their represented artworks. To April 15. The Athenaeum, 201 Prince St., Alexandria. Call 703-548-0035 or visit nvfaa.org.

PICTURES OF THE YEAR: 75 YEARS OF THE WORLD’S BEST PHOTOGRAPHY

The Newseum celebrates one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious photojournalism competitions with a show featuring just a sampling of the more than 40,000 award-winning images in the archives of Pictures of the Year International. Tracing the evolution of photojournalism from World War II to today, the images on display depict the people and events that have defined the times, capturing war and peace, disaster and triumph, and the social and cultural shifts that have shaped the past 75 years. Founded in 1944 at the University of Missouri, POYi recognizes excellence in photojournalism as well as multimedia and visual editing. Opens Friday, April 6. To Jan. 20, 2019. Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Tickets are $22.95 for general admission. Call 888-NEWSEUM or visit newseum.org.

Equinox’s Vegan Brunch 2018 — Photo: Mary Kong DeVito

FOOD & DINING

BAR ROUBAIX: SASSY DRAG BRUNCH

Over the past few months or so there’s been an explosion of new venues from the Hilton Bros., who’ve expanded well beyond Marvin and The Brixton and their original U Street base. None of the additions, however, stand out as much as Bar Robaix, which opened in the former Acre 121 space in Columbia Heights, given its biker bar theme, with bike chains dangling behind the bar and bike wheels serving as light fixtures. Named after the French city sponsoring one of the world’s oldest and most iconic professional bike races, Robaix features a menu of European-inspired bites from Chef Rafael Nunez (formerly of Eatonville). And now, Robaix stands out even more thanks to hosting a drag brunch the third Sunday of every month and organized by Josael Abraham Gutierrez. Sassy Drag Brunch features host Latina diva Sylvanna Douvel, Desiree Dik, Laronica Vegas, and other special guests. Drink specials include unlimited mimosas for $18. Sunday, April 15, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. 1400 Irving St. NW. Ste. 109. Tickets are $21 including show plus one entree and 18-percent gratuity, or $10 for show with no food. Call 202-560-5721 or search “Sassy Drag Brunch” on eventbrite.com.

D.C.’S TASTE OF THE NATION FOR NO KID HUNGRY

Chefs, restaurateurs, bakers, mixologists, and sommeliers representing more than 80 area establishments are participating in Share Our Strength’s annual fundraiser for its No Kid Hungry campaign, focused on providing access to healthy food for all American children. The lineup includes bites and sips from, among other venues, All-Purpose, Art & Soul, Brabo Restaurant, Buffalo and Bergen, Buttercream Bakeshop, Cava Mezze, Charlie Palmer Steak DC, Charm City Cakes, Centrolina, Compass Rose, District Doughnut, Dolcezza, Georgetown Cupcake, Hank’s Oyster Bar, Ice Cream Jubilee, Medium Rare, Oyamel, Rappahannock Oyster Company, Rare, Red Hen, Shake Shack, and Toki Underground. Also at this year’s event is an outdoor-themed bar space with a rosé garden and drink stations, as well as a speed tasting with Kith and Kin chef Kwame Onwuachi. Monday, April 9, from 7 to 9 p.m. National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. Tickets are $100, or $150 for VIP offering admission at 6 p.m. Call 202-272-2448 or visit events.nokidhungry.org.

EQUINOX: SUNDAY VEGAN BRUNCH

Rarely do you see a recurring event explicitly geared to vegans and offered at a fine-dining, foodie-drawing venue such as the 19-year-old mainstay from James Beard-winning celebrity chef Todd Gray with his wife and fellow chef Ellen Kassoff Gray. In addition to a dedicated vegan menu offered all week long, the elegant Equinox near the White House presents a buffet-style brunch most Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with dishes featuring the best seasonal, sustainable, and regionally sourced ingredients. Menu items include a French Style Onion Soup with oak barrel stout and sourdough croutons (hold the cheese, please), Arugula and Winter Citrus Salad with candied pecans, shaved radish, and sherry mustard vinaigrette, Sesame Glazed Japanese Eggplant with soba noodles, maple sherry gastrique, and green onion, Stuffed Whole Grain French Toast with northern neck blackberry jam and maple syrup, plus a made-to-order Tofu Scramble Station and an Artisan Bread Station with various jams, tapenade, exotic spices, and infused olive oils. To wash it down, the alcohol concoctions, priced at $11 each, include an Equinox Bloody Mary with vodka and house vegan mix, a Cucumber Collins, a Strawberry Fields Have Burned with mezcal, strawberry puree, lime juice, and basil syrup, or Cantaloupe Kir with sparkling wine, cantaloupe water, and Peychaud bitters. 818 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets are $35 before taxes, gratuity, and beverages, or $15 for those under age 12. Call 202-331-8118 or visit equinoxrestaurant.com.

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 shawsdinnerdragshow@gmail.com. Call 202-518-4092 or visit shawstavern.com.

ABOVE AND BEYOND

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.

LA-TI-DO: NEW MUSICAL THEATRE NIGHT

The long-running variety series founded by Regie Cabico and Don Michael Mendoza La-Ti-Do chiefly focuses on music and singing, enlisting professionals from the theater or opera worlds performing on their night off, but also including spoken-word poets, storytellers and comedians. Next week, Mendoza co-hosts with Anya Randall Nebel an annual night of songs from musicals created since 2010, a list that includes The Book of MormonOnceKinky BootsIf/ThenFun Home, WaitressDear Evan Hansen, Come From Away, and a little something called Hamilton. Katherine Riddle is the featured performer, and she’ll be joined by additional guests including Isabella Basco, Katie Rey-Bogdan, Tim Bugh, Erin Granfield, Larry Grey, Carrie Heflin, Lindsey Litka, Christina McCann, Katherine O’Connor, and Claire Schad. Accompanying them will be a three-piece band plus Paige Rammelkamp on piano. Monday, April 15, at 8 p.m. Bistro Bistro, 1727 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets are $15, or only $10 if you eat dinner at the restaurant beforehand. Call 202-328-1640 or visit latidodc.wix.com/latidodc.

LIGHT CITY BALTIMORE: NEIGHBORHOOD LIGHTS OPENING WEEKEND

Also called “A Festival of Light, Music and Innovation,” Light City returns for a third year to once again illuminate Charm City as the first, free, large-scale international light festival in the U.S. The main part of the festival runs over two weekends kicking off Saturday, April 14, but Light City expands to three weekends this year through an opening weekend featuring a visual or performance art work in each of 12 city neighborhoods, developed in collaboration with selected artists and community groups. Among the more notable displays to see this weekend (all on view Friday, April 6, to Sunday, April 8, with one exception as noted): Artist Sean Michael Kenny’s Feel installations, made of LED strips, bike rims, optical lenses, and crystals, set up in the Bromo Tower and Lexington Market in the Arts and Entertainment District, allowing viewers to fully immerse themselves with light at one point; Artist group FutureMakers and Light Paintings by Federal Hill Residents, with glowing photographs created by residents for display in select Federal Hill business windows, plus installation of an interactive selfie wall; Laure Drogoul’s Grotto of the never, never, neverending Neverland in Little Italy, where the Bocce Courts will be transformed into an illuminated cave-like environment with a canopy of repurposed materials, projected video, and light; XXS Group’s Harbor Memory at the Under Armour Headquarters in Locust Point, creating a sparkling wetland scenery with 100 fiber-optic lighted ‘plants’ that will each be registered to a city resident, cultivating a sense of ownership; Maura Dwyer’s Projecting the Past, Illuminating the Future, a projected shadow puppet play to take place Saturday, April 7, at 6 p.m., in Remington‘s Sisson Street Community Park, where, after the sun sets, the puppets become animated silhouettes of iconic people from the neighborhood’s past with dreams of the future; and The Rise of Charm City’s Rise & Shine Waverly, three 10-minute podcast documentaries about the history of Waverly drawn from oral history workshops. For more details and a list of all 12 community art projects, call 410-752-8632 or visit lightcity.org.

NATIONAL CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL

Thanks to the seasonally abnormal cold weather last month, peak bloom for the Tidal Basin’s cherry trees is only now upon us, halfway through the official four-week pretty-in-pink festival — touted as “the nation’s greatest springtime celebration.” This weekend offers one of the celebration’s Signature Events, 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. A week later comes the Cherry Blossom Festival Parade, a star-studded processional of giant balloons, elaborate floats, marching bands, and celebrity entertainers this year led by Grand Marshal Carla Hall of ABC’s The Chew, ’90s hip-hop group Arrested Development, hunky pop/classical string quartet Well Strung, gay The Voice Season 11 contestant Billy Gilman, The Voice Season 8 contestant Sarah Potenza, country singer Ty Herndon, and extreme pogo stunt team XPOGO. Saturday, April 14, from 10 a.m. to noon. Constitution Avenue between 7th and 17th Streets NW.

Other affiliated events to come over the next week, all free unless noted: the Umetsugu Inoue Film Series of classics by the prolific Japanese filmmaker known as “Japan’s Music Man,” presented at 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; 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; Credit Union Ten Mile Run and 5K Run-Walk, drawing 16,000 participants of all abilities, some of whom will compete for $80,000 in prize money. Sunday, April 8, at 7:15 a.m. Washington Monument Grounds, 15th Street and Constitution Avenue NW; National Greenscape Corridor Bike Ride, an 11-mile trek through downtown and exploring three landmark green spaces. Sunday, April 8, at 11:30 a.m. BicycleSPACE, 2424 18th St. NW; Official Japanese Stone Lantern Lighting Ceremony with remarks by U.S. and Japanese diplomats as well as performances by the Toho Koto Society of Washington DC and the Washington DC Choral Society. Sunday, April 8, at 3 p.m. Tidal Basin; NCSS Cherry Blossom Grand Ball, a black-tie affair featuring a sushi and cocktail reception, a full-course duet dinner, selection of the 2018 U.S. Cherry Blossom Queen, followed by dancing. Friday, April 13, from 6:30 p.m. to midnight. Tickets are $200. Omni Shoreham Hotel, 2500 Calvert St. NW; Newseum Nights: In Bloom, an evening of Japanese sights, sounds, and tastes from Wolfgang Puck’s The Source, plus all-night open beer and wine bar, and access to current exhibitions. Friday, April 13, from 8 to 10:30 p.m. 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Tickets are $50 to $60. Call 888-NEWSEUM or visit newseum.org; the 26th Annual National Japan Bowl – Championship Rounds, an academic competition for U.S. high school students studying Japanese language as well as history, culture, and society. Friday, April 13, from 2 to 5 p.m. National 4-H Youth Conference Center, 7100 Connecticut Ave., Chevy Chase, Md; Tamagawa University Taiko Drumming and Dance Troupe, thundering taiko drumming meets traditional Japanese dance in this special performance. Friday, April 13, at noon. National Gallery of Art, 4th Street and Constitution Avenue NW; and Yoga in the Temple, a free, all-levels-welcome, BYOM session in artist David Best’s room-sized installation, part of the exhibition No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man. Saturday, April 14, at 9 a.m. Renwick Gallery, Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW. Finally, you can also dine and see the blossoms up close and comfortable from boats run by Odyssey Cruises ($61.90 at lunch, $73.90 at brunch, or $109.90 at dinner, not including taxes and fees) and Spirit Cruises ($51.90 at lunch, $91.90 at dinner non-inclusive).

UNION MARKET STREET FESTIVAL

The Union Market District will usher in spring this Saturday, April 7, through a day-long festival that more importantly highlights the expanding neighborhood and celebrates its newest merchants. Most notable among them is the brand-new Trader Joe’s, which will set up an outdoor flower market and recipe-sampling station to mark the occasion. Among other food highlights at the festival: Michelin-starred chef Nick Stefanelli will serve breakfast sandwiches on Masseria’s patio, Cotton & Reed distillery, in partnership with Adam Greenberg’s forthcoming beachy joint Coconut Club, will throw a Pig Roast Party, and the Market’s recently opened craft-beer vendor The Bruery will offer a White Chocolate Cherry beer launch with chocolate pairing tasting. Non-food attractions include an outdoor spring gardening market from Nalls Produce, a pop-up bookshop from Politics & Prose, a pop-up by trendy local “athleisure” retailer s3 Active in Dock5, a warehouse sale from upscale men’s clothier Hugh & Crye, a curated Brief Assembly pop-up with beauty and fashion products, several free 60-minute fitness sessions throughout the day in Dock5, including a morning boot camp class by DC Cut Seven, a post-lunch class by Flybarre, and an afternoon Yoga with Nya class with Nya Alemayhu, and a DC United meet-and-greet with players. There will also be live music throughout the day along with food trucks on Neal Place. Saturday, April 7, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Between 4th and 6th Streets NE, bordered by New York Avenue to the north and Florida Avenue to the south. Visit unionmarketdc.com.

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

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