Metro Weekly

Out On the Town: D.C. arts and entertainment — April 26-May 2

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

Photo: Marvel Studios

FILM

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR

While Black Panther was likely Marvel’s most exciting release this year, it’s Avengers that will be the biggest. The penultimate entry in the world-conquering ensemble franchise, it’s all setup for next year’s final flick, so expect lots of unanswered questions and unfinished plot details, as Iron Man, Captain America, and everyone else joins forces with the Guardians of the Galaxy to stop big bad Thanos from using the Infinity Stones to bend reality to his will. Opens Friday, Aug. 27. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (Rhuaridh Marr)

CABARET

After Chicago, this Weimar Republic-set show is Kander and Ebb’s most popular musical, and it doesn’t get much gayer than the 1972 film adaptation starring Liza Minnelli that garnered her an Oscar for Best Actress. Only a few numbers from the original stage score made the cut in Bob Fosse’s cinematic take set in the Kit Kat Klub, replaced with new ones written by the composers. Cabaret gets a big-screen revival as part of Landmark’s West End Cinema Capital Classics series. Wednesday, May 2, 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.

CATVIDEOFEST 2017: ENCORE SCREENINGS

Filmmaker Will Braden (Le Chat Noir) assembled a 70-minute program that’s a fancy feast for cat lovers, chock-full of cat videos both popular and new and undiscovered. CatVideoFest, co-presented with the Bethesda-based, globally focused nonprofit Alley Cat Allies, also doubles as a fundraiser and networking event for feline fans. Friday, April 27, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 28, at 4 p.m., and Sunday, April 29, at 11 a.m. AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $13 general admission. Call 301-495-6720 or visit afi.com/Silver.

CINEMARX: THE YOUNG KARL MARX

Cinemarx is a weekly series co-presented by DC Labor FilmFest and the Goethe-Institute — as part of the latter’s international series Marx Now — celebrating Karl Marx’s 200th birthday and showcasing recent movies commenting on the famous economist’s theories. Next up is The Young Karl Marx, a 2011 historical drama by Raoul Peck, the Oscar-nominated director of I Am Not Your Negro, which tells the story of the beginning of Marxist theory and The Communist Manifesto. Tuesday, May 1, at 7:15 p.m. at the AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $13. Call 301-495-6720 or visit afi.com/Silver. Meanwhile, Comrade, Where Are You Today?, by Finnish director Kirsi Marie Liimatainen, explores the state of Marxism since the Berlin Wall’s fall, with a post-screening discussion featuring the University of Gothenburg’s Sven-Eric Liedman, author of A World to Win: The Life and Thought of Karl Marx, moderated by Chris Garlock of DC LaborFest. Thursday, May 3, at 6:30 p.m. The Potter’s House, 1658 Columbia Road NW. Free. Call 202-289-1200 or visit goethe.de/washington.

Filmfest DC: Boom

FILMFEST DC

Now in its 32nd year, the Washington, DC International Film Festival enters its second weekend with a variety of highlights (all screening at Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW, unless otherwise noted). The drama A Man of Integrity was shot clandestinely in northern Iran by Mohammad Rasoulof. It screens on Saturday, April 28, at 3:35 p.m. at AMC Mazza Gallerie (5300 Wisconsin Ave. NW). Outside In, a drama by Lynn Shelton, stars Edie Falco as the potential lover of a parolee (Jay Duplass). It screens Thursday, April 26, at 8:30 p.m., and Saturday, April 28, at 4 p.m. Jon Garano’s Giant is a strange tale, in Spanish and Basque, about a 19th-century man billed as “the tallest man in the world” and distinguished by meticulous lighting and cinematography creating the experience of an Old Master painting moving and changing. It plays Friday, April 27, at 6 p.m., and Saturday, April 28, at 8:30 p.m. (at AMC Mazza Gallerie). Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat is Sara Driver’s look at the late artist’s formative years as a homeless teenager in New York. It plays Friday, April 27, at 6:30 p.m. Finally Just To Be Sure, Carine Tardieu’s perceptive French comedy, closes the festival, with screenings at 3 and 7 p.m. o Sunday, April 29, at the French Embassy, 4101 Reservoir Rd. NW. Call 202-234-FILM or visit filmfestdc.org for a full schedule and more information.

GHOST STORIES

When Phillip Goodman (Andy Nyman), who debunks psychics on his popular TV show, is challenged to explain three chilling, inexplicable cases, he comes face-to-face with some horrifying truths. Nyman co-wrote and co-directed the highly anticipated, critically acclaimed (83% on Rotten Tomatoes) scary movie with Jeremy Dyson. With Paul Whitehouse, Alex Lawther (Black Mirror, Freak Show), and Martin Freeman (Black Panther). Opens Friday, April 27. Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672 or visit landmarktheatres.com.

LABYRINTH

Jim Henson’s visionary 1986 fairy tale would become the last feature film The Muppets creator would direct. David Bowie, one of the few humans in the film, plays a Goblin King who kidnaps the Jennifer Connelly’s little brother, and forces her to traverse an otherworldly maze in order to save the boy from being transformed into a goblin. Fathom Events’ screenings include introductions by Henson’s son, Brian, and Connelly, plus an excerpt from and discussion about Henson’s fantasy TV series, The Storyteller. Sunday, April 29, at 2 and 7 p.m., and Tuesday, May 1, and Wednesday, May 2, at 7 p.m. Area theaters including Regal Gallery Place (701 7th St. NW), Potomac Yards Stadium (3575 Jefferson Davis Highway), and Majestic Stadium (900 Ellsworth Dr., Silver Spring). Visit fathomevents.com.

WASHINGTON JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL

This year’s festival presents traditional film screenings as well as related cultural and educational programs at several local theaters. It opens with Sam Pollard’s documentary Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me, featuring interviews with Billy Crystal, Norman Lear, Jerry Lewis, Whoopi Goldberg, and Kim Novak, plus never-before-seen photographs from the vast personal collection of the legendary black entertainer who converted to Judaism. Wednesday, May 2, at 7 p.m., at the Edlavitch DCJCC, 1529 16th St. NW, with an encore screening Sunday, May 6, at 2 p.m., at the AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring. The festival runs to May 13. Call 202-777-3210 or visit wjff.org.

Creative Cauldron Witch — Photo: Keith Waters, Kx Photography

STAGE

FLY BY NIGHT

Kim Rosenstock conceived of this darkly comic rock fable, developed with Will Connolly and Michael Mitnick, set during a New York City blackout in 1965 and focused on a man who becomes enchanted with two sisters. Kathryn Chase Bryer directs a local production of the bittersweet romance, a sweeping ode to young love, featuring Aaron Bliden, Tiziano D’Affuso, Ryan Manning, Sasha Olinick, Farrell Parker, Jamie Smithson, and Caroline Wolfson. Walter “Bobby” McCoy serves as musical director. Weekends to May 6. 1st Stage, 1524 Spring Hill Rd. Tysons, Va. Tickets are $38. Call 703-854-1856 or visit 1ststage.org.

GIRLFRIEND

In 1993, Matthew Sweet toured as an opening act for newly out lesbian rocker Melissa Etheridge. Sweet’s power-pop tunes — including 1991 alt-rock album Girlfriend — continue their LGBTQ appeal and connection, soundtracking a gay coming-of-age theatrical tale set in ’90s-era small-town Nebraska. Matthew Gardiner directs Lukas James Miller and Jimmy Mavrikes as a college-bound jock and his first boyfriend in the D.C. premiere of a chamber musical with music and lyrics by Sweet and a book by Todd Almond. To June 10. The Ark, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit sigtheatre.org.

I DID IT MY WAY IN YIDDISH (IN ENGLISH)

MetroStage concludes its Spring Solo Series — “celebrating work by women, about women, starring women,” as a nod to the now-wrapped Women’s Voices Theater Festival — with a show by Canadian/New Zealand comic/musician Deb Filler, who strums her guitar and portrays a raft of lovable characters as she weaves tales about encounters with three Lennys. Closes April 29. 1201 North Royal St., Alexandria. Tickets are $45. Call 703-548-9044 or visit metrostage.org.

GALA Hispanic Theatre: In the Time
of the Butterflies — Photo: Stan Weinstein

IN THE TIME OF THE BUTTERFLIES

Performed in Spanish with English surtitles, Caridad Svich’s play, based on the novel by Julia Alvarez, focuses on the courageous Mirabal sisters of the Dominican Republic. They were elegant, wealthy, and inspired resistance cells against a dictatorial regime until their murder. The cast is led by Cuban actors Broselianda Hernández as older Dedé, Catherine Núñez as young Dedé, and Alina Robert as Minerva. José Zayas directs. To May 13. GALA Theatre at Tivoli Square, 3333 14th St. NW. Call 202-234-7174 or visit galatheatre.org.

JOHN

A quietly suspenseful and transfixing work by Annie Baker, one of today’s most celebrated up-and-coming playwrights. Joe Calarco directs legendary local actress Nancy Robinette as a slightly kooky innkeeper in Gettysburg, where a New York couple has taken up refuge to escape the hubbub of the holidays — only to be disturbed by a pesky ghost. Jonathan Feuer, Anna Moon, and Ilona Dulaski also star. To April 29. Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit sigtheatre.org.

“MASTER HAROLD”…AND THE BOYS

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. To May 6 at Round House, 4545 East-West Highway, Bethesda. Tickets are $50 to $60. Call 240-644-1100 or visit roundhousetheatre.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.

PETER PAN

Not just the standard fantasy foray to Neverland, Baltimore’s adventurous, innovative professional company Single Carrot Theatre has put an up-to-date, localized queer spin on the classic tale. Los Angeles-based writer Joshua Conkel (Off Broadway’s MilkMilkLemonade, Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events) has drawn inspiration and source material from stories shared by local LGBTQ residents for a world-premiere adaptation with contemporary conversations about gender, sexuality, and identity, and in which Neverland becomes a modern-day safe-haven — a place where Peter and the Lost Boys can finally be themselves. In previews. To May 20. 2600 N Howard St., Baltimore. Tickets are $25 to $29. Call 443-844-9253 or visit singlecarrot.com.

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 CAUCASIAN CHALK CIRCLE

Few companies do epic adventure on an intimate scale as fantastically as Constellation Theatre Company. Bertolt Brecht’s story, with its vivid characters, high-stakes scenarios, and live music, should put that award-winning theatrical sleight of hand into sharp relief. Allison Arkell Stockman directs 14 actors playing more than 60 characters in a 360-degree theatrical experience — “no curtain, no back wall, no proscenium” — propelled by an original rock-inspired score by Brian Lotter and Matthew Schleigh and performed live by a three-piece band. Based on an English translation by Alistair Beaton, The Caucasian Chalk Circle finds the heroism of a woman who saves an abandoned baby put on trial during a time of corruption and violence in the Caucasus Mountains. To May 13. Source Theatre, 1835 14th St. NW. Tickets are $25 to $45. Call 202-204-7741 or visit constellationtheatre.org.

The Crucible — Photo: Stan Barouh

THE CRUCIBLE

Arthur Miller’s opus on the Salem witch trials remains as timely and cautionary as ever: a reminder of what can happen when fear runs amok and truth is bent to political convenience. Eleanor Holdridge directs a 19-member cast led by Chris Genebach as John Proctor and also including Rachel Zampelli as Elizabeth Proctor, Michael Russotto as Reverend Parris, Dani Stoller as Abigail Williams, and Lilian Oben as Tituba. To May 20. Mainstage, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Call 301-924-3400 or visit olneytheatre.org.

THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD

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 NORMAL HEART

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., Richmond. Tickets are $10 to $30. Call 804-346-8113 or visit rtriangle.org.

THE WIZ

★★★½

Friends of Dorothy, both young and young at heart, should find plenty to love in Ford’s Theatre’s The Wiz. And “plenty” is the operative word for director Kent Gash’s smile-inducing production, which amps up the camp fabulousness of the classic ’70s “super soul musical” journey to L. Frank Baum’s wonderful world of Oz. Featuring beloved music and lyrics by Charles Small, a book by William F. Brown, and one glorious number composed by then-rising talent Luther Vandross, this African-American spin on Dorothy’s adventures in Oz was plentiful long before Gash’s twister blew through Ford’s. Yet the director’s staging expands the show’s varied palette of gospel, jazz, funk, and soul-infused Americana by adding a glossy layer of queer-friendly attitude. A gay cornucopia of music and fashion, The Wiz might allow Baum’s original story and themes to slip somewhat through the cracks of the dancefloor. The tale’s rougher edges of abandonment and anxiety have been smoothed over by a pithy comic sensibility ready to drop hip references to Siri and Wakanda. But what this rendering loses of the standard “no place like home” moral is compensated for by an affecting sincerity in the heroes’ pursuits of brains, heart, courage, and family. To May 12. Ford’s Theatre, 511 10th St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $73. Call 800-982-2787 or visit fords.org. (Andre Hereford)

TITUS ANDRONICUS

Synetic founder Paata Tsikurishvili tackles the revenge-driven tragedy as the 13th entry in the company’s celebrated “Silent Shakespeare” series — meaning no words, all fiery action, energy, and violence, with choreography led by Irina Tsikurishvili, who also portrays Tamora. Philip Fletcher is Titus in the large ensemble show including Irina Kavsadze, Audrey Tchoukoua, Dallas Tolentino, and Alex Mills. In previews. To May 27. 1800 South Bell St., Arlington. Tickets are $15 to $55. Call 800-494-8497 or visit synetictheater.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. 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. Extended to Sunday, April 29. 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.

UNDERGROUND RAILROAD GAME

Jennifer Kidwell and Scott Sheppard perform as two middle school teachers who get shockingly down and dirty with a lesson about race, sex, and power in this unflinching comedy. The two actors, affiliated with Philadelphia’s avant-garde theater troupe Pig Iron Theatre Company, go round after round on the mat of our nation’s history in a far-reaching, unfiltered, and unflinching comedy that won the 2017 Obie Award as Best New American Theatre Work. Taibi Magar directs the production from New York’s Ars Nova company and presented at Woolly Mammoth. To April 29. 641 D St. NW. Call 202-393-3939 or visit woollymammoth.net.

USE ALL AVAILABLE DOORS

Dupont Underground, the former subterranean streetcar station, returns to its transit roots with this only-in-D.C. kind of play by Brittany Alyse Willis, performed on the stations’ real tracks and featuring seats made with cushions donated from a scrapped Metro car. A grieving operator re-evaluating her life’s path transports a revolving door of passengers in soon-to-be-decommissioned Metro cars traveling the length of the Red Line, from Shady Grove to Glenmont, with vignettes occurring between each stop showcasing the diversity of people, experiences, and happenings along the way. Toni Rae Salmi directs the production by local feminist theater company Pinky Swear Productions, co-presented by CulturalDC. The cast includes Lady Davonne, 2Deep Carter, Shane Marshall Solo, Ezra Tozian, Jay Sun, Darnell Eaton, Nexus, and Nicole Ruthmarie. Weekends to May 6. 19 Dupont Circle NW. Tickets are $20 to $35. Visit pinkyswear-productions.com.

VIETGONE

Vietnamese-American playwright Qui Nguyen recreates his parents’ 1975 refugee camp romance in a high-octane comedy. Natsu Onoda Power directs Marc delaCruz and Regina Aquino as lovers in the production part of Studio Theatre’s more experimental series Studio X. In previews. To May 20. 14th & P Streets NW. Call 202-332-3300 or visit studiotheatre.org.

WAITING FOR GODOT

Samuel Beckett’s absurd, anarchic exploration of time is considered one of theater’s greatest modern masterpieces. It’s brought to life in a production presented by Shakespeare Theatre Company and featuring the Irish acting ensemble Druid Theatre Company as directed by Tony-winner Garry Hynes (The Beauty Queen of Leenane), Druid’s co-founder and artistic director. In previews. To May 20. Lansburgh Theatre, 450 7th St. NW. Call 202-547-1122 or visit shakespearetheatre.org.

WITCH

Stephen Gregory Smith and Matt Conner debut their fourth musical developed as part of the Bold New Works for Intimate Stages series for Virginia theater company Creative Cauldron. With a book and lyrics by Smith set to music by Conner, the insightful, provocative Witch channels the current #MeToo zeitgeist while also examining the roots of misogyny and inequality across centuries and cultures. Well-regarded local actors Florence Lacey and Iyona Blake lead an all-female cast also featuring Susan Derry and Catherine Purcell, plus student actors. To May 6. ArtSpace Falls Church, 410 South Maple Ave. in Falls Church. Tickets are $20 to $30. Call 703-436-9948 or visit creativecauldron.org.

Jody Watley

MUSIC

ANI DIFRANCO

The queer-popular indie-rock pioneer performs in support of her first release since 2014’s Allergic to Water, one of her most intimate and musically expansive recordings. Her new followup, Binary, touches on family and relationships and her new identity as a mother of a four-year-old. DiFranco’s music is still full of edge and angst, it’s just that now, she characterizes the approach as: “Take that! My kid is sleeping right now and I want to talk about some shit!” And it all goes far beyond the rise of Trump and our current politico-cultural predicament — in fact, all Binary songs were purportedly written prior to the 2016 elections. Gracie and Rachel open. Saturday, May 5. Doors at 8 p.m. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $40. Call 202-265-0930 or visit 930.com.

AUDREY ANDRIST

“From Baroque to Broadway” is the title of the final program in the Washington Conservatory’s performance season featuring a faculty member and Canadian pianist. The program spans centuries and genres, ranging from CPE Bach’s Sonata in A Major to Robert Schumann’s Davidsbündlertänze Op. 6 to Jerome Kern’s All The Things You Are as transcribed for left-hand only by Stephen Prutsman. A post-concert Wine & Words informal Q&A reception with complimentary beverages will take place in the church social hall. Saturday, May 5, at 8 p.m. Westmoreland Congregational Church, 1 Westmoreland Circle. Bethesda. Tickets are free, donations welcome. Call 301-320-2770 or visit washingtonconservatory.org.

BRIAN MULLIGAN W/TIMOTHY LONG

Vocal Arts DC presents the area solo debut of a ringing American baritone in a recital of two different song cycles with piano accompaniment. The highlight is the newly commissioned world-premiere of Gregory Spears’s Walden, based on the writings of Henry David Thoreau and his mystical search for wisdom and grounding in the natural world. The program also includes Dominick Argento’s 1974 Pulitzer Prize-winning song cycle From The Diary of Virginia Woolf. Saturday, April 28, at 7:30 p.m. Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Tickets are $50. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

BSO: TCHAIKOVSKY WITH BALANCHINE

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s Marin Alsop leads an all-Tchaikovsky program including the best known among the Russian romantic’s musical takes on Shakespeare — the Romeo and Juliet Fantasy-Overture. The BSO will also perform highlights from Swan Lake, arguably the second most popular ballet of all time — after Tchaikovsky’s own The Nutcracker. Yet the standout of the program is Serenade for Strings, an orchestral composition dating to 1881 that was transformed into yet another Tchaikovsky ballet 50 years later by George Balanchine. While the orchestra plays the composer’s graceful score, dancers from the Baltimore School for the Arts will perform the choreography developed by Balanchine, co-founder of the New York City Ballet. And the production is overseen by two former dancers from the NYC Ballet: Deborah Wingert with staging and Heather Watts with coaching. Thursday, April 26, at 8 p.m. Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore. Also Sunday, April 29, at 3 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda.

CHOPTEETH

The Washington Post has referred to the 12-piece band as “a storming powerhouse of big-band African funk…smart, tight and relentlessly driving.” Chopteeth has won a number of Washington Area Music Association Awards, including Artist of the Year in 2008, and the Afrobeat-driven group performs regularly throughout the region. Saturday, May 5. Doors at 7 p.m. Pearl Street Warehouse, 33 Pearl St. SW. Tickets are $20. Call 202-380-9620 or visit pearlstreetwarehouse.com.

FOLGER CONSORT: MUSIC OF THE FRENCH BAROQUE

In 18th-century France, the florid stories in Ovid’s Metamorphoses were an inspiration to composers, including Monteclair and Rameau. Their cantatas, along with instrumental works by J.S. Bach and Telemann among others, will be brought to life in a performance featuring the Consort’s Robert Eisenstein on violin and viol and Christopher Kendall on lute, plus other instrumentalists and soprano Rosa Lamoreaux. Friday, April 27, at 8 p.m., Saturday, April 28, at 4 and 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 29, at 2 p.m. Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $42. Call 202-544-7077 or visit folger.edu.

JODY WATLEY & SRL

Responsible for the ’80s-minted spunky dance-soul hits “Looking for a New Love,” “Don’t You Want Me,” “Still A Thrill,” and “Friends,” the Grammy-winning Watley got her start as a lead dancer on Soul Train and as a member of the R&B group Shalamar. Over the past couple of decades, the artist has shown herself to be an outspoken gay rights and marriage equality activist. One of Billboard‘s best-charting dance artists returns for another performance with support from members of her original group aka Shalamar Reloaded, touring in support of new singles “The Mood” and "O.R.I.G.in.A.L.”; Thursday, May 3, at 8 p.m. Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club, 7719 Wisconsin Ave. Tickets are $59.50, plus $10 minimum purchase per person; or $68 including a Meet & Greet. Call 240-330-4500 or visit bethesdabluesjazz.com.

NATIONAL PHILHARMONIC: NORTHERN LIGHTS

Stan Engebretson conducts a program of a cappella singing and mystical New Age music, from Rachmaninoff’s Vespers to several energetic works by Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo, including the composition that gives the program its title. Gjeilo will join as a guest pianist for the concert also featuring a world premiere by the Philharmonic’s young composer-in-residence Alistair Coleman (pictured). I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud features the National Philharmonic Chorale. The Montgomery County Chorus and the Strathmore Children’s Chorus will add further vocal power. Saturday, April 28, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $30 to $76. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.

OPERA LAFAYETTE: VISITORS TO VERSAILLES

Artistic Director Ryan Brown leads this French-inspired company in its final program this season, a musical journey through the reigns of Louis XIV, XV, and XVI. Soprano Rosa Lamoreaux, mezzo-soprano Anna Reinhold, tenor Aaron Sheehan, and baritone Victor Sicard are soloists at this program, performing works from Lully’s Acis et Galatée to Grétry’s Richard, Cœur de Lion. The concert concludes with a discussion led by Daniëlle Kisluk-Grosheide, who will give the audience a virtual tour of the exhibition she curated at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art that inspired the program. Wednesday, May 2, at 7:30 p.m. Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Tickets are $25 to $115. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

RUBEN STUDDARD: AN EVENING OF LUTHER VANDROSS

The “Velvet Teddy Bear” and former American Idol — who bested Clay Aiken for the crown in 2003 — pays tribute to one of his idols with the special concert “Always and Forever: An Evening of Luther Vandross.” Saturday, May 5, at 8 p.m. Montgomery College’s Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center, 51 Mannakee St., Rockville. Tickets are $10. Call 240-567-5301 or visit montgomerycollege.edu/PAC.

SUZANNE VEGA

A leading figure of New York’s folk revival of the 1980s, Vega created several indelible pop songs that became hits — and ones, including “Luka” and “Tom’s Diner” that you never grow tired of hearing. She returns to the Washington area to perform her two best-selling albums in their entirety — her 1987 breakthrough Solitude Standing and the 1992 set 99.9F — and all as an one of the first shows in yet another new D.C. concert venue, an offshoot from New York. Sunday, April 29, and Monday, April 30. Doors at 6 p.m. City Winery DC, 1350 Okie St. NE. Tickets are $35 to $55. Call 202-250-2531 or visit citywinery.com/washingtondc.

THE COOLOTS

An eclectic D.C.-based rock/soul band whose style merges influences as varied as N.E.R.D., Meshell Ndegeocello, Sade, Staind, Erykah Badu, Kanye West, and System of a Down. Similarly eclectic electronic/soul act Jenna Camille and her group The Free Radicals open for a show presented by Capital Fringe. Friday, May 4. Doors at 8 p.m. Logan Fringe Arts Space’s Trinidad Theatre], 1358 Florida Ave. NE. Tickets are $20. Call 202-733-6321 or visit capitalfringe.org.

THE IN SERIES: MARIA & CECILIA

A sizzling double bill of Cuba’s most famous zarzuelas — Lecuona’s Maria la O and Roig’s Cecilia Valdes — both of which revolve around stories of forbidden interracial romance and inevitable betrayal and tragedy. Abel Lopez and Jaime Coronado direct and choreograph the production featuring Spanish-language songs and English dialogue performed by noted local playwright Karen Zacarías and Anna Deeny Morales, accompanied by Music Director Carlos César Rodríguez and percussionist Iván Navas. To April 29. GALA Theatre at Tivoli Square, 3333 14th St. NW. Tickets are $22 to $45. Call 202-204-7763 or visit inseries.org.

WASHINGTON BACH CONSORT: MASS IN B MINOR

The Consort concludes its 40th anniversary with a performance, led by the harpsichordist/organist Gwendolyn Toth of early music ensemble ARTEK, of what is considered one of the crowning glories of Bach’s career and a trademark piece of the Consort. Completed during the last year of Bach’s life, the Mass brings together a range of techniques and musical forms that offer both a compendium of Baroque style and of Bach’s own lifework. Toth conducts the ensemble with soloists including sopranos Laura Choi Stuart and Rebecca Kellerman, countertenor Roger O. Isaacs, tenor Matthew Hill, and baritone Mark Duer. Sunday, April 29, at 3 p.m. National Presbyterian Church, 4101 Nebraska Ave. NW. Tickets are $65. Call 202-429-2121 or visit bachconsort.org.

WASHINGTON NATIONAL OPERA: THE BARBER OF SEVILLE

Boasting sparkling melodies, high-flying vocal fireworks, and tour-de-force showstoppers, Rossini’s comedy is one of the most beloved operas of all time. Peter Kazaras directs Andrey Zhilikhovsky as Figaro, Isabel Leonard as Rosina, and Taylor Stayton as Count Almaviva, performing Cesare Sterbini’s Italian libretto with projected English titles. Emily Senturia leads the WNO orchestra while Rosa Mercedes oversees the choreography. Opens Saturday, April 28, at 7 p.m. To May 19. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $45 to $150. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

GALLERIES

AMANDA BURNHAM: BLOCK WATCH

Photographs submitted by residents and drawings inspired by the physical landscape and history of Anacostia form the basis for the fifth incarnation of CulturalDC’s year-long Space4: Mobile Art Gallery, a roving former 40-foot shipping container. Through gestural acrylic paintings and image collages, artist Amanda Burnham has created playful, abstracted representations of the neighborhood. Now to May 26. A Community Kickoff with performances, food, and family-friendly festivities, is Saturday, April 28, from 12 to 2 p.m. Parked outside Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Place SE. Call 202-633-4820 or visit culturaldc.org.

IN BLOOM: CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL

The Blind Whino SW Arts Club, the repurposed art/event space formerly the Friendship Baptist Church, hosts a free showcase of the incredible work of local photographers in covering the beauty of the cherry blossoms and vibrant festival displays last year. The exhibition originates from an open call for submissions organized and judged by engaged members of IGDC, the Washington Instagram community. Hours are Wednesdays from 5 to 8 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 12 to 5 p.m. Through April 29. Blind Whino, 700 Delaware Ave. SW. Free. Call 202-554-0103 or visit swartsclub.org.

SAKURA YUME/CHERRY BLOSSOM DREAM

ArTecHouse celebrates spring and the now-faded cherry blossoms in a manner befitting the innovative, experiential gallery — through immersive, interactive, large-scale installations revolving around elements of Japanese culture and tradition. Guests experience a moonlit, floating environment where larger-than-life koi fish and colorful cherry blossom petals react to their presence, along with a narrow, lantern-lit “street” that responds to footsteps. ArTecHouse has added an optional immersive dining component, in which a sit-down bento-box meal is enjoyed while interactive table projections and sound elements perpetually change. The Bloom dinners are only at 5:30 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. To May 16. ArTecHouse, 1238 Maryland Ave. SW. Tickets for 45-minute, timed-entry sessions are $8 for daytime or $15 for evening admission, and $85 including dinner. Visit artechouse.com.

SEAN STARWARS: SOUTHERN FRIED WOODCUTS

An exhibition of over 200 large, colorful woodblock prints from Mississippi-based artist and member of Outlaw Printmakers known for an energy-charged, aggressive approach emphasizing bold colors, strong images, and satire. With depictions of everything from “Hillbilly Alligators” to “Traumatized Nascar Drivers” to “Hungover Clown Roberts,” the artworks by Starwars are, according to a press release, “guaranteed to make you smile or double your money back.” Now to June 2. Pyramid Atlantic, 4318 Gallatin St., Hyattsville, Md. Call 301-608-9101 or visit pyramidatlanticartcenter.org.

Smithsonian Craft Show — Loeber Ken

SMITHSONIAN CRAFT SHOW: ASIAN INFLUENCE/AMERICAN DESIGN

Touted as the most prestigious juried show and sale of American contemporary fine craft, this annual event, now in its 36th year, features 120 of the field’s leading artists from 33 states, nearly a third of whom are new to the show this year — selected by a three-judge panel from over 1,000 applicants. All facets of contemporary design and jewelry are represented, including wearable art, basketry, furniture, glass, leather, and mixed media. This year’s show highlights the Asian cultural influence on American crafts, and includes a first-of-its-kind temporary organic pine sculpture created by Foon Sham and incorporated into the fountain in the National Building Museum Atrium, plus Taiwanese craft demonstrations and a special exhibition of craft art supported by Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office. Proceeds from sales go toward funding research at the Smithsonian’s 28 institutions, from its museums on the mall to the National Zoo. Thursday, April 26, from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., ending with a Friends Night Out shopping and cocktail reception. Also Friday, April 27, through Saturday, April 28, from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 30, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. Daily admission is $20, or $17 purchased online in advance; a two-day pass is $30; Friends Night Out is $25 with signature cocktail. Call 202-272-2448 or visit smithsoniancraftshow.org.

THE GREAT INKA ROAD: ENGINEERING AN EMPIRE

One of the monumental engineering achievements in history, the Great Inka Road is a network of more than 20,000 miles, crossing mountains and tropical lowlands, rivers and deserts, linking the Inca capital Cusco with the farthest reaches of its empire — and it still serves Andean communities today in Colombia, Ecuador, Perú, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile. This exhibition explores the legacy of the Inka Empire and technological feat of the road, recognized by the United Nations as a World Heritage site in 2014. Through June 2020. National Museum of the American Indian, Independence Avenue at 4th Street SW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit nmai.si.edu.

THE SWEAT OF THEIR FACE: PORTRAYING AMERICAN WORKERS

Nearly 100 portrayals of laborers by some of the nation’s most influential artists reveal how American workers have shaped and defined the nation in a multifaceted Smithsonian exhibition further exploring the intersections among work, art, and social history. Paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, mixed-media, and photographs factor into this fully bilingual show, with works by Winslow Homer, Dorothea Lange, Elizabeth Catlett, Jacob Lawrence, Lewis Hine, and Ben Shahn. Now to Sept. 3. National Portrait Gallery, 8th and F Streets. NW. Call 202-633-8300 or visit npg.si.edu.

UP IN THE AIR

Before it became a traditional spring pastime, kites were used for ceremonies, military campaigns, and scientific experiments. Featuring innovative kitemakers and flyers, this exhibition at the Mansion at Strathmore explores the artistry of kites in their abundant color and sculptural design, with a view to how modern-day kitemakers use state-of-the-art materials, complex construction, and intricate designs to elevate kites into fine aerial art. To April 29. 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.

VIEWFINDERS: 8 PHOTOGRAPHERS

With its latest exhibition, the Hill Center shines the light on eight photographers, each getting their own display. Karen Cohen presents her Surreality, Jane Mann continues with Layers II, Bruce McNeil explores In The Land of Eden, Mike Mitchell shows us Four Seasons in the C&O Canal National Historical Park, Rindy O’Brien offers his timely series Anticipating Spring, Larry O’Reilly reveals Contemporary Still Lifes, Monica Servaites focuses Downside Up, and Richard Paul Weiblinger offers Unique Visions. Closes Sunday, April 29. The Galleries in the Old Navy Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Call 202-549-4172 or visit HillCenterDC.org.

Georgetown French Market — Photo: Bob Rives/Georgetown BID

ABOVE AND BEYOND

A MAINE NIGHT IN D.C.

Maine jazz legend Brad Terry will perform at this annual event of the Maine State Society Foundation Scholarship program also featuring a silent auction with works by Maine artisans and goodies from L.L. Bean, light fare, sweets, and refreshments from Luke’s Lobster, plus 10-percent-off all custom-made furniture produced by hosting Pine Tree State-based retailer Thos. Moser. Friday, May 4, from 6 to 8 p.m. DC Showroom, 1028 33rd St. NW. Tickets, which must be purchased by May 1, are $50 and include a $25 donation to the scholarship program. Call 202-793-2606 or visit mainestatesociety.org.

AROUND THE WORLD EMBASSY TOUR

Every year more than 40 embassies open their doors to visitors to show off their impressive edifices and especially to showcase their cultural and culinary traditions, artifacts, and eccentricities. Organized by the Cultural Tourism DC nonprofit coalition, the 2018 lineup includes the embassies of Afghanistan, the African Union, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Ghana, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Oman, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, and Turkey. Saturday, May 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free, no tickets required though government-issued photo ID recommended. Call 202-661-7581 or visit culturaltourismdc.org.

DICTIONARY OF MARX: A MULTIMEDIA BIRTHDAY ANNIVERSARY

Presented as part of the Goethe-Institut’s international series Marx Now celebrating the 200th birthday of Karl Marx, this is the signature event in D.C. also including the Cinemarx film series (see separate entry) and the German Cultural Center’s forthcoming exhibition Marx in the Study. The novelist/playwright John Feffer of the Institute for Policy Studies curated this one-time-only experience exploring Marx’s economic theories in today’s context. A dozen local presenters/performers from the realms of theater, film, literature, music, and more perform, including: queer writer/spoken-word artist Regie Cabico, Chilean-born visual artist Edgar Endress of George Mason University, Michael Kazin of Georgetown University and Dissent magazine, filmmakers Erica Ginsberg and Leon Gerskovic and their short documentary Creative Feds, theater artists Angela Kay Pirko and Mary Myerse of Nu Sass Productions, bilingual Latin folk/rock duo Elena & Los Fulanos, dancer/choreographer Vincent Thomas, and poet/literary artist Tanya Paperny of Bellwether Education Partners. The event also includes a creative writing workshop and the playing of a game of Anti-Monopoly. Saturday, May 5, at 6 p.m. Logan Fringe Arts Space, 1358 Florida Ave. NE. Tickets are $10. Call 202-847-4700 or visit capitalfringe.org.

GEORGETOWN FRENCH MARKET

More than 40 boutique shops, antique stores, restaurants, salons and galleries in Georgetown’s Book Hill area participate in the 15th annual open-air market and sidewalk sale. The Georgetown Business Improvement District (BID) presents the affair, intended to evoke the outdoor markets of Paris. The culinary offerings alone go well beyond the standard French fare of, say, Cafe Bonaparte and Patisserie Poupon, however, with the Bean Counter, Dolcezza, Georgetown Olive Oil Co., Jaco Juice & Taco Bar, Pho Viet Grille, Via Umbria and Zannchi all represented. And all throughout you’ll find whimsical street performers, face painters and live French music and gypsy jazz. Friday, April 27, and Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, April 29, from 12 to 5 p.m. Wisconsin Avenue between O Street and Reservoir Road. Visit georgetownfrenchmarketdc.com.

THE ASK RAYCEEN SHOW

Rayceen Pendarvis moderates the annual #AskRayceen Community Forum, plus performances by singer Pam Ward, burlesque artist Dainty Dandridge, and DJ MIM, with free food while supplies last, a cash bar, vendors, and exhibitors. Wednesday, May 2, from 6 to 9:30 p.m. HRC Equality Center, 1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW. Free. Visit AskRayceen.com.

WASHINGTON NATIONAL CATHEDRAL: FLOWER MART 2018

Since as far back as 1939, Washingtonians have flocked to the city’s grand neo-gothic edifice the first weekend in May in a nod to Spring. A plethora of plants and flowers are on display as well as for sale, with proceeds benefiting the organization All Hallows’ Guild, responsible for the upkeep of the cathedral’s beautiful gardens and grounds. Yet the greenery alone isn’t what draws thousands of people to the historic 59 acres in Cathedral Heights. There’s also the gifts, collectibles, and food available from local artisans and vendors set up at over 80 booths. Add to that the garden tours, gargoyle walks, and many games and activities for children, most notably riding the Guild’s historic carousel dating to 1890. And of course people come to visit the nave — decked out in an International Floral Display by area embassies — and/or to climb to the top of the Cathedral for a bird’s eye view of the city. (Tower Climb tickets are $20.) There’s also the option of a Taste in the Tower seated luncheon in the South Tower. (Advance reservations are $35 per person.) Live music will also be performed throughout. Friday, May 4, and Saturday, May 5, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 3101 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Call 202-537-2937 or visit allhallowsguild.org.

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

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