A documentary about the late singer Amy Winehouse, Amy interrogates the tragic side of performance and public identity. Directed by Asif Kapadia, a filmmaker known for the 2010 biography Senna, the movie earnestly charts Winehouse’s rise from early adolescence in London’s suburbs to the crushing pressure of worldwide acclaim, accompanied by the drug addictions that ultimately killed her at age 27. Amy isn’t a hagiography, very far from it, but it never hesitates to laud Winehouse’s talent. The triumph of Amy is Winehouse’s wit and charm away from the microphone. She’s shown to be whip-smart, a wily thinker with little patience for nonsense. Again and again, Kapadia uses Winehouse’s own words to frame the irony of her career. Kapadia’s documentary, released in 2015, was one of the first major attempts to define Winehouse’s legacy, and the AFI Silver Theatre revives it for a screening part of its two-month-long Rock Doc series. Monday, May 14, at 7:05 p.m. 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Monday, May 14, at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are $13 general admission. Call 301-495-6720 or visit afi.com/Silver. (Chris Heller)
Steve McQueen stars as a San Francisco police lieutenant going after the mob in this 1968 thriller from Peter Yates featuring one of the most famous, thrilling car chases ever committed to film. Robert Vaughn and Jacqueline Bisset co-star. Watch for Robert Duvall in a bit part as a cab driver. Bullitt was added to the Library of Congress’s National Film Registry in 2007. Part of Landmark’s West End Cinema Capital Classics series. Wednesday, May 16, 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.
GODARD MON AMOUR
From the Oscar-winning writer/director of The Artist comes another film transporting viewers back to a unique time and place in cinematic history, this time late-1960s France. With cinematic tips of the hat to Jean-Luc Godard’s style, Michel Hazanavicius’s biographical dramedy is based on a memoir by actress Anne Wiazemsky (portrayed by Stacy Martin) and focuses on one year in the complicated but ultimately loving relationship between the actress and the renowned filmmaker (Louis Garrel). AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Thursday, May 10, at 7:15 p.m. Tickets are $13 general admission. Call 301-495-6720 or visit afi.com/Silver.
LIFE OF THE PARTY
Melissa McCarthy is peak Melissa McCarthy in another comedy from her husband Ben Falcone (Tammy, The Boss), here starring as a divorced, stay-at-home mom who decides to enroll in her daughter’s college to finally get a degree. Given McCarthy’s recent track record, her performance will likely iron out any flaws in Falcone’s film, which looks to be decent fun. Maya Rudolph and Julie Bowen also star. Opens Friday, May 11. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (Rhuaridh Marr)
STRAWBERRY AND CHOCOLATE
A flamboyant gay artist and a straight and straight-laced communist become unlikely friends in this Oscar-nominated Cuban drama from 1994 also known by its Spanish title Fresa y Chocolate. The film screens as part of the Kennedy Center’s Artes de Cuba festival, by virtue of being selected as one of six chosen to highlight the history of the Havana Film Festival, the celebrated showcase of Latin American cinema celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Sunday, May 13, at 1 p.m. Family Theater. Tickets are $10. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
WASHINGTON JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL
In its final weekend, the festival presents two films in the category Rated LGBTQ, co-presented by Reel Affirmations and GLOE: Saving Neta, acclaimed Israeli filmmaker Nir Bergman’s evocative, richly imagined ode to femininity, parenthood, and human connection (Sunday, May 13, at 2:15 p.m., at the DCJCC) and The Cakemaker, a drama about a gay German baker who travels to Jerusalem to secretly connect with the female widow of his Israeli lover (Saturday, May 12, at 4:30 p.m., at AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Rd.) The Invisibles, German director Claus Räfle’s rendering of Jews who survived the Nazis while in hiding in Berlin closes the festival on Sunday, May 13, at 7 p.m. Call 202-777-3210 or visit wjff.org.
WILD COMBINATION: A PORTRAIT OF ARTHUR RUSSELL
Matt Wolf offers a visually absorbing film that looks at the seminal avant-garde composer/musician/producer who died from AIDS-related complications in 1992 and only became known chiefly for his experimental post-disco/new wave work in the past decade. The AFI Silver Theatre offers a 10th anniversary screening of this visual tone poem as part of its two-month-long Rock Doc series. Tuesday, May 15, at 9:30 p.m. 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $13 general admission. Call 301-495-6720 or visit afi.com/Silver.
Havana’s Argos Teatro brings to the Kennedy Center an autobiographical theater piece, performed in Spanish with projected English supertitles, by its founder Carlos Celdrán and part of the Artes de Cuba festival. 10 Million depicts Celdrán’s experience coming of age and coming out in Cuba during a tumultuous era that wreaked havoc on his family and also complicated his personal journey and identity. Featuring Argos company members Caleb Casas, Daniel Romero, Maridelmis Marín, and Waldo Franco. Saturday, May 19, and Sunday, May 20, at 7:30 p.m. Family Theater. Tickets are $19 to $39. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
Robert McNamara directs Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan’s staged version of George Orwell’s classic novel of a dystopian vision of the future. The play revolves around the story of Winston, a man forced to confess his thoughts before an unseen inquisitor and jury — aka Big Brother — which condemn him to unspeakable punishment. Through May 27 at the Lab Theatre II in the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $25 to $45. Call 202-399-7993 or visit scenatheatre.org.
Set amid the Great Flood of Pennsylvania in 1889 as well as the drying up of the state’s steel industry a century later, Gabrielle Reisman’s hopeful dark comedy traverses time and space to look at the impacts disasters and corporate irresponsibility have on a community. Flood City shines a light on the community’s resilience in the wake of the unimaginable. Jenna Duncan directs the Theater Alliance production. Opens Thursday, May 10. To June 17. Anacostia Playhouse, 2020 Shannon Place SE. Call 202-241-2539 or visit theateralliance.com.
FOUR DAYS OLD
Stricter gun control is not the panacea to what ails society in terms of curtailing suburban mass shootings and urban violence. That’s the gist of this new play by Michael Leroy Harding, that points to mental illness and addiction, more than guns, as the central common threads among contemporary violent acts. Presented by the Baltimore-based OTR Theatre Company. Friday, May 11, at 7 p.m., Saturday, May 12, at 3 and 7 p.m., and Saturday, May 19, at 7 p.m. Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, 3050 Liberty Heights, Baltimore. General admission is $25. Call 410-466-1364 or visit otrtheater.org.
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. Lukas James Miller and Jimmy Mavrikes star as a college-bound jock and his first boyfriend. Directed by Matt Gardiner. Pride Night is Friday, May 11. To June 10. The Ark, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit sigtheatre.org.
HOODED, OR BEING BLACK FOR DUMMIES
A nominee for the Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding Original New Play at the upcoming Helen Hayes Awards, this irreverent comedy is being remounted by Mosaic Theater Company after its original sold-out run last year. All but one of the cast members as well as all of the designers return to the show, a deft examination of two young black teens from vastly different circumstances. Metro Weekly‘s André Hereford praised the voice of playwright Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm as “authentic and original,” further noting the “smart, funny staging” of director Serge Seiden. But he heaped the most praise on lead actor Jeremy Keith Hunter as “the engine that keeps the show humming along.” To June 3. The Sprenger Theatre in the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $20 to $65. Call 202-399-7993 or visit mosaictheater.org.
PALINDROME: SPHERE AND PENTZ
The lives of Thelonious Monk and Marvin Gaye are examined in two one-acts by Max Garner presented together in a world premiere by Baltimore’s Rapid Lemon Productions. David D. Mitchell, Lance Bankerd, and Lee Conderacci direct. Opens Friday, May 11. To May 20. Baltimore Theatre Project, 45 West Preston St. Baltimore. Tickets are $20 to $21. Call 410-752-8558 or visit theatreproject.org.
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. To May 20. 2600 N Howard St., Baltimore. Tickets are $25 to $29. Call 443-844-9253 or visit singlecarrot.com.
RITE OF SPRING
The puppetry-enhanced Pointless Theatre assembles an all-female cast for a new adaptation of Igor Stravinsky’s ballet, one that imagines a future wrought by ecological collapse and human desperation. Rite of Spring is told through dance, puppetry, mask, Stravinsky’s iconic score, and no words. Developed by the company’s co-founders Patti Kalil and Matt Reckeweg, who also directs an 11-member cast. Weekends to May 27. Dance Loft on 14 Theater, 4618 14th St. NW 2nd Floor. Tickets are $18 to $30. Call 202-621-3670 or visit pointlesstheatre.com.
New York’s brilliant theater company Bedlam, responsible for last year’s Sense & Sensibility, returns for another stripped-down production, this time of George Bernard Shaw’s Joan of Arc tale. Four actors perform over 25 roles in the special engagement. Now in previews. Opens Tuesday, May 15. To June 3. Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Call 202-544-7077 or visit folger.edu.
The world premiere of a magical, epic musical featuring a book by John Strand adapted from Eowyn Ivey’s novel, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, with a score combining backcountry string-band traditions and contemporary musical theater by composers Georgia Stitt and Bob Banghart. Set in 1920s Alaska, Snow Child focuses on a couple reeling from the loss of an unborn child and the growing fissures in their relationship — until they’re visited by a wild, mysterious girl from the dark woods surrounding their cabin. To May 20. Kreeger Theater in the Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Tickets are $51 to $66. Call 202-488-3300 or visit arenastage.org.
SOUL THE STAX MUSICAL
Kwame Kwei-Armah concludes his tenure as artistic director of Baltimore Center Stage with a world-premiere musical about the storied Memphis-based label Stax Records, which created the very foundation of American Soul Music through its star roster. Stax launched the careers of Otis Redding, the Staple Singers, Isaac Hayes, Wilson Pickett, and Booker T & the MG’s. Matthew Benjamin wrote the book for what is essentially a jukebox musical featuring a huge 21-member cast. Choreography by Chase Brock. To June 10. 700 North Calvert St., Baltimore. Tickets are $20 to $79. Call 410-332-0033 or visit centerstage.org.
THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT
Another theater offering in the Kennedy Center’s Artes de Cuba festival is the return of Havana’s Teatro El Público, with the company’s irreverent founding director Carlos Díaz’s take on Rainer Werner Fassbinder. The story follows Petra Von Kant, an arrogant fashion designer in the mold of Amanda Priestley, who falls in love with an icy young beauty who wants to be a model. The male actors don drag to take on the female roles. Wednesday, May 16, and Thursday, May 17, at 7:30 p.m. Family Theater. Tickets are $19 to $39. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
THE CAUCASIAN CHALK CIRCLE
A woman saves an abandoned baby put on trial during a time of corruption and violence in the Caucasus Mountains in Bertolt Brecht’s drama. 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. To May 13. Source Theatre, 1835 14th St. NW. Tickets are $25 to $45. Call 202-204-7741 or visit constellationtheatre.org.
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 FREDERICK DOUGLASS PROJECT
Solas Nua, billed as the nation’s only organization exclusively dedicated to contemporary Irish arts, commissioned this site-specific production to commemorate Douglass’s 1845 voyage to Ireland as well as the bicentennial of his birth. To be staged on a wharf in Southeast, just a stone’s throw from his historic home at Cedar Hill, the project includes live music and dancing in a blend of African-American and Irish culture. It consists of two short plays offering a dual perspective on the trip to Ireland: An Eloquent Fugitive Slave Flees to Ireland by budding local theater artist Psalmayene 24, and Wild Notes by Irish playwright Deirdre Kinahan. To May 24. The Yards Marina, 1492 4th St. SE. Tickets are $35. Call 202-484-0309 or visit solasnua.org.
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 UNDENIABLE SOUND OF RIGHT NOW
A hilarious and heartbreaking work by Laura Eason, the focus is on a Chicago man trying to keep his legendary rock club afloat. Set during the early 1990s, when grunge was popular but DJs and electronic/dance music were ascending, Keegan’s production stars Chris Stezin, Susan Marie Rhea, Josh Sticklin, and Ryan Sellers. To May 27. 1742 Church St. NW. Tickets are $35 to $45. Call 202-265-3768 or visit keegantheatre.com.
Friends of Dorothy, both young and young at heart, should find plenty to love in Ford’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. 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. 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)
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. To May 27. 1800 South Bell St., Arlington. Tickets are $15 to $55. Call 800-494-8497 or visit synetictheater.org.
The late Sam Shepard’s explosive, darkly funny American classic sees the floodlights in Columbia in a Rep Stage production directed by Vincent Lancisi. A tale of sibling rivalry, Hollywood producers and stolen toasters, True West centers on well-educated screenwriter Austin and thieving conman Lee, estranged brothers who reunite in their mother’s California kitchen. To May 13. The Horowitz Center’s Studio Theatre at Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Md. Tickets are $40. Call 443-518-1500 or visit repstage.org.
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. To May 20. Lansburgh Theatre, 450 7th St. NW. Call 202-547-1122 or visit shakespearetheatre.org.
HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE
The metaphor of driving is used by noted playwright Paula Vogel in her Pulitzer Prize-winning drama focused on an adolescent girl and her struggles to get past a strained, sexual relationship with her step-uncle. The play has lighter moments, but due to its tackling of serious issues — from pedophilia and incest to manipulation and control — it’s ultimately best for only those aged 17 and up, and hardly typical fare for a community theater company, even one with the tagline “Anything But Predictable.” Weekends to May 19. Theatre Two in Gunston Arts Center, 2700 South Lang St. Arlington. Tickets are $25. Call 571-DS-SHOWS or visit dominionstage.org.
JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical reimagining of the Biblical tale of Joseph and his kin written with lyricist Tim Rice was a Broadway hit exactly 50 years ago. Michael Hartsfield leads a community production with musical direction by Mimi McGinniss and choreography by Kristin Rigsby. To May 20. Laurel Mill Playhouse, 508 Main St., Laurel, Md. Tickets are $17 to $22. Call 301-617-9906 or visit laurelmillplayhouse.org.
PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT
It’s not the Outback, but Kensington, the leafy Maryland suburb, is a pretty unexpected place to find drag queens all the same. Yet that’s exactly what you’ll find on stage at the Kensington Arts Theatre this month, starring Larry Munsey as Bernadette, Gregory Wilczynski as Tick, and Jon Simmons as Adam in the community-based company’s production, directed by John Nunemaker, of the hit Broadway musical — based of course on the hilarious cult Australian film from 1994. Opens Friday, May 11. Weekends to May 26. 3710 Mitchell St., Kensington, Md. Tickets are $19 to $27. Call 206-888-6642 or visit katonline.org.
AMERICAN POPS: COLE PORTER AFTER DARK
Betty Who will make her orchestral debut with a tribute to some of the loveliest and cheekiest songs composed and written by legendary gay composer Cole Porter (“Anything Goes”). The concert also features musical luminaries Liz Callaway, Ali Ewoldt, Bobby Smith, Vishal Vaidya, and Luke Hawkins. Kelly Crandall D’Amboise directs the show, which also includes dramatic readings from over-the-top online dating profiles. Saturday, May 19, at 8 p.m. Fichandler Stage in the Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Tickets are $20 to $110. Call 202-488-3300 or visit theamericanpops.org.
Very little has been straight, traditional, or predictable in the life of LaVette, who grew up in Motown-era Detroit and became a recording artist at 16. She even had what she calls “dalliances” with other women when she was young — something that has given her “keen insight” into the LGBTQ experience, as well as several enduring LGBTQ friendships. “I have a complete understanding and comfortability with people who are not necessarily, quote-unquote, straight,” she told Metro Weekly last fall. The good-humored soul singer is in what she refers to as her “fifth career,” capped by Things Have Changed, her album of Bob Dylan covers released in March by Verve Records. “Now, I don’t have any thoughts of becoming Justin Bieber,” she laughs, “but I certainly would like to see [her memoir] turned into documentary form, and I would like to see what’s going to happen over the hurdle with this new CD. All the ducks are in a row right now for the very first time in my entire career. So if this shit don’t work, I’m going to start taking it personally.” Saturday, May 19. Doors at 6:30 p.m., at The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $50. Call 202-787-1000 or visit thehamiltondc.com.
Twins Phil and Tim Hanseroth write, sing and play with lesbian frontwoman Brandi Carlile, whose music is an intriguing country-rock blend, with additional influence from gospel and folk — think Indigo Girls blended with Johnny Cash and a touch of Elton John. And then there’s Carlile’s eminently captivating voice, supple and expressive, not too dissimilar from Sia’s. Carlile tours in support of sixth set By The Way, I Forgive You, full of dramatic story-songs. One, “The Joke,” even got a nod from former President Obama, who listed it as one of his favorite songs of 2017. Darlingside opens. Tickets remain for the second show next weekend, on Sunday, May 20. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. Tickets are $38 to $78. Call 202-888-0020 or visit theanthemdc.com.
CAPITAL CITY SYMPHONY: FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA
The orchestra concludes its 50th season with a global exploration of national identity expressed through music, a program led by Artistic Director Victoria Gau and including Shostakovich’s powerful Symphony No. 5, Russell Peck’s tone poem Peace Overture, Arturo Marquez’s Danzón No. 2, and Joan Tower’s Made in America, a work centered around the melodic theme of “America the Beautiful.” Sunday, May 13, at 5 p.m. Atlas Performing Arts Center, Lang Theatre, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $25. Call 202-399-7993 or visit atlasarts.org.
Drawing comparisons to Loudon Wainwright III and Robyn Hitchcock, among others, this North Carolina-based roots-rocker is a self-described “antifolk” artist. Latham tours in support of Little Me Time, packed with more lyric-heavy songs steeped in the kind of dark humor and social criticism for which he’s become known. Saturday, May 12, at 10 p.m. Gypsy Sally’s Vinyl Lounge, 3401 K St. NW. Tickets are $12 in advance, or $15 day-of. Call 202-333-7700 or visit gypsysallys.com.
Green merges the classical with the contemporary by offering string-based pop, soul, and smooth jazz tunes. The Billboard-charting recording ensemble performs at a concert presented by Washington Performing Arts. Saturday, May 12, at 8 p.m. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $25. Call 202-408-3100 or visit sixthandi.org.
JUKEBOX THE GHOST
Ben Thornewill, Tommy Siegel, and Jesse Kristin met while attending George Washington University and quickly started making music together. A dozen years later, the clever, pure-pop trio returns in support of its fifth studio album Off To The Races, mixing modern pop, retro vocals, and classic rock indulgence like a modern-day variant of Queen — or like a kindred spirit of Mika. The Greeting Committee opens — and with a name like that, of course it does. Thursday, May 17. Doors at 7 p.m. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $40. Call 202-265-0930 or visit 930.com.
NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Music Director Gianandrea Noseda takes to the NSO podium for his final appearances this season, leading three concerts featuring music composed or influenced by J. S. Bach — including Berio’s completion of Bach’s unfinished Contrapunctus XIX, Berg’s Violin Concerto featuring violinist James Ehnes, and Brahms’s Symphony No. 4. Thursday, May 17, at 7 p.m., Friday, May 18, at 9 p.m., and Saturday, May 19, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $15 to $89. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
PATTI LUPONE, TITUSS BURGESS: WNO OPERA GALA CONCERT
Naturally, the 2018 Washington National Opera Gala, like so many others, is a celebration of Leonard Bernstein in his centennial year. It certainly doesn’t get much starrier than this one-night-only fete with the incomparable Broadway sensation LuPone, plus Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), baritone Nathan Gunn, pianist Julie Gunn, Isabel Leonard, Kathryn Lewek, members of WNO’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists Program, the WNO Orchestra conducted by John DeMain, and Berstein’s eldest daughter, Jamie. Sunday, May 20, at 6 p.m. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $49 to $250. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
WASHINGTON NATIONAL OPERA: CANDIDE
Straddling the divide between musical theater and opera, and as complicated and tricky as you’d expect from composer Leonard Bernstein, this funny, fast-paced take on Voltaire’s biting satire is not produced as often we’d like. The WNO’s Francesca Zambello directs a production from the Glimmerglass Festival for the Kennedy Center’s “Leonard Bernstein at 100” series. Denyce Graves stars as The Old Lady alongside Alek Shrader in the title role, Emily Pogorelc as Cunegonde, and Wynn Harmon as Pangloss/Voltaire. Lyrics by Richard Wilbur, plus additional lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, John Latouche, Lillian Hellman, Dorothy Parker, and Bernstein himself. Select dates to May 26. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $45 to $275. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.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. To May 19. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $45 to $150. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
DANCETHOS WITH WEST SHORE PIANO TRIO, MOVEIUS
The D.C.-based contemporary dance company presents another collaborative concert, this time with a piano trio and a contemporary ballet company. The program features choreography by Tiffany Haughn, the artistic director of DancEthos, as well as by Diana Movius, the director of Moveius and founder of Dance Loft on 14, Sylvana Christopher of Joy of Motion Dance Center, and Emmanuel Williams. Saturday, May 19, at 3 p.m. Lang Theatre at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $15 to $25. Call 202-399-7993 or visit dancethos.org.
MALPASO DANCE COMPANY
Performing as part of the Kennedy Center’s multi-genre festival Artes de Cuba, this relatively new troupe has a growing international profile. They present Aszure Barton’s Indomitable Waltz as well as two works by Artistic Director Osnel Delgado set to music by Arturo O’Farrill: the dramatic duet Ocaso and 24 Hours and a Dog, which is inspired by “a day in the life” of 10 dancers in Havana. Friday, May 11, and Saturday, May 12, at 8 p.m. Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $15 to $49. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
SEAN DORSEY DANCE: BOYS IN TROUBLE
In recent years, Dance Place has presented dance-theater works from the San Francisco-based company stemming from Dorsey’s two-year research initiative, the LGBT Elders Oral History Project. Now, comes a world premiere that’s as au courant and timely as the previous productions were notable reflections on the past. By unpacking notions of masculinity with unflinching honesty from trans and queer perspectives, Boys In Trouble is also more personal to Dorsey, the trailblazing transgender choreographer. Expect an evening of full-throttle dance, raw emotion, irreverent humor, exaggerated, homoerotic physicality, exquisite queer partnering, and vulnerable storytelling. Saturday, May 19, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, May 20, 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.
CAROL BURNETT: AN EVENING OF LAUGHTER AND REFLECTION
The comedy pioneer and dynamic entertainer puts herself on the spot, taking questions from the audience, just as she did in the intro to every episode of The Carol Burnett Show. The focus of the 90-minute “Laughter and Reflection” program is on the 85-year-old’s performing career, which was launched into superstardom with a 1959 Tony-nominated role in Once Upon A Mattress. More recently she’s been heralded not once but twice by the Kennedy Center, as an Honoree in 2003 and as the 2013 recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for Humor. Friday, May 11, at 8 p.m. Concert Hall. Tickets are $59 to $149. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
MICHAEL POLLAN: HOW TO CHANGE YOUR MIND
After a decade spent focused on the way we eat now that started with his critically acclaimed best-seller The Omnivore’s Dilemma, this author and journalist sets out in a new direction with a focus on drugs. How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence reviews the science into mind-altering medicine and what it reveals about the human mind, the self, and our connection to the natural world and to each other. Pollan will discuss his new book with NPR’s Alix Spiegel. Thursday, May 17, at 7 p.m. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $15, or $33 with one book. Call 202-408-3100 or visit sixthandi.org.
THEATER TALK: PETER MARKS WITH ERIC TUCKER
The Washington Post‘s chief theater critic will engage in a discussion with the artistic director of New York’s Bedlam theater to discuss the company’s innovative, stripped-down work, including its new production of Saint Joan, as well as Tucker’s approach to staging Shakespeare and other classics for modern audiences. An audience Q&A will follow the conversation. Wednesday, May 16, at 7 p.m. Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $20. Call 202-544-7077 or visit folger.edu.
ARTES DE CUBA VISUAL ARTS INSTALLATIONS
As part of its celebration of Cuban culture, the Kennedy Center will be decked out with displays of artists from the island. The displays include Esterio Segura’s slyly humorous installation Hybrid of a Chrysler, with metal airplane wings attached to the roof of a vintage car similar to those used daily in Cuba, on the River Terrace; Santería-influenced Afro-Cuban artist Manuel Mendive’s universe-as-one dreamscapes Fragmento de Paisaje as well as his festival-commissioned three-dimensional sculptures La Naturaleza, El Espíritu, y El Hombre, in the Hall of States; and The Art of Celia Ledón, featuring 11 show-stopping costume art pieces often using reclaimed and repurposed materials, in the Atrium. To May 20. Free. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
BLACK OUT: SILHOUETTES THEN AND NOW
The National Portrait Gallery presents the first major museum exhibition to explore silhouettes. Curated by Asma Naeem, Black Out reveals the complexities of this relatively unstudied artform’s rich historical roots and the contemporary relevance of silhouettes today. Ranging in scale from three inches to nearly 40 feet, the exhibit features mixed-media installations in a presentation of approximately 50 unique objects, dating from 1796 to the present, in particular with the inclusion of large works by four contemporary women artists: Kara Walker, with her panoramic wall murals, Camille Utterback via an interactive digital installation that reacts to visitors’ movements and shadows, Kristi Malakoff’s life-size cutouts of children dancing around a Maypole, and Kumi Yamashita’s intricate, shadowy installations. Also notable is a section illuminating silhouettes previously “blacked out” in historical narratives — those featuring same-sex couples, cooks, activist women, enslaved individuals, and the disabled. Opens Friday, May 11. On display to March 24, 2019. National Portrait Gallery, 8th and F Streets. NW. Call 202-633-8300 or visit npg.si.edu.
BRAND NEW: ART AND COMMODITY IN THE 1980S
The Hirshhorn Museum presents an expansive exhibition exploring the pivotal moments in the 1980s, when artwork became a commodity and the artist, a brand. Sharp, witty, satirical, and deeply subversive, the nearly 150 works in this exhibition examine the the origins and rise of counterculture artists in New York who appropriated modern commercial strategies to create an entirely new artistic language, a revolutionary shift that continues to define contemporary art today. Artists represented in Brand New include Gran Fury, Jessica Diamond, R.M. Fischer, Guerrilla Girls, Peter Halley, Jeff Koons, Barbara Kruger, Joel Otterson, Richard Prince, Erika Rothenberg, Sarah Charlesworth, Haim Steinbach, Meyer Vaisman, and Julia Wachtel. To May 13. Independence Avenue and Seventh Street SW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit hirshhorn.si.edu.
NO SPECTATORS: THE ART OF BURNING MAN
The Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery has gone whole hog, turning over its entire building to present the first major national exhibition focused on Burning Man, in particular the annual Nevada desert event’s maker culture and creative spirit. In fact, the exhibition even extends “Beyond the Renwick,” with six sculptural works from Burning Man installed nearby on Pennsylvania Avenue west of the White House as well as on Connecticut Avenue and other major corridors. The exhibit’s curator Nora Atkinson will lead a free tour of the outdoor works on display in the Golden Triangle neighborhood on Friday, May 18, from noon to 1 p.m. The full exhibition is on view through Sept. 16, while half of it will remain up until Jan. 21, 2019. Renwick Gallery, Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW. Free. Call 202-633-1000 or visit renwick.americanart.si.edu.
JEFFREY EVERETT: ARCHITEXT
The local graphic designer and illustrator has worked with some of the biggest names in rock, concocting vividly designed concert posters. Strathmore presents an exhibition combining Everett’s signature style, inspired by traditional printmaking, with his interests in architecture and cinema, as evidenced in digital art prints highlighting iconic buildings, structures, and quotes from cult classic films in custom-designed typography. The opening reception is Thursday, May 10, at 7 p.m. To June 10. The Mansion at Strathmore, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.
LOUISE BOURGEOIS: TO UNRAVEL A TORMENT
This French-born American artist is considered an icon of late-20th century art on account of her formal innovation as well as fearless explorations of sexuality and her own personal history. In a new exhibition, Maryland’s Glenstone Museum, which is in the midst of a major expansion due to open this fall, features nearly 30 of Bourgeois’s trailblazing works, spanning five decades. Opens Thursday, May 10. On display through January 2020. Glenstone Museum, 12002 Glen Road, Potomac, Md. Call 301-983-5001 or visit glenstone.org.
To commemorate the centennial of the establishment of the Republic of Estonia, the National Gallery of Art presents rare and masterful works attributed to Michel Sittow, considered Estonia’s greatest Renaissance artist. The exhibition of 20 paintings touches on the 16th century painter’s possible collaboration with Juan de Flandes, his relationship with his Netherlands contemporaries, and the influence of his likely teacher, Hans Memling. But the focus is on the works of art Sittow created for royalty of his era, including King Ferdinand of Aragon, Margaret of Austria, and Queen Isabella of Castile, who commissioned two highlights from Sittow’s career, The Assumption of the Virgin and The Ascension of Christ. To May 13. Main Floor, West Building, 6th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Call 202-737-4215 or visit nga.gov.
OUTLIERS AND AMERICAN VANGUARD ART
Outsider art, made by self-taught Americans in the 20th century, is about as anti-establishment as it gets. In many ways, the National Gallery of Art is the establishment — which makes this exhibition unusual, to say the least. Featuring 250 works created by more than 80 artists in a range of media, it’s billed as the first major exhibition to explore how this style of art — also known as folk, primitive, naive, or visionary — came to challenge traditional hierarchies and question prevailing assumptions about art and artmaking as well as the role of the artist in contemporary culture. To May 13. Concourse Galleries in the East Building, 3rd Street at Constitution Avenue NW. Free, but registration is required for the Evenings at the Edge program. Call 202-737-4215 or visit nga.gov.
18TH AND U DUPLEX DINER: DRAG BRUNCH FUNDRAISER FOR WIT
Dubbed “Grig’in’ w/ The Gurls 2,” the Housewives of Improv (Ugh) will host and perform a soiree benefiting Washington Improv Theater, serving face (and body) and lip-syncing for their lives during brunch served by the diner staff and soundtracked by DJ Khelan Bhatia. Just who are these performing drag vixens? Dan Milliken aka Febreze, Adam Koussari-Amin aka Kiana, Denny Johnson as Regyna, and Ryan Krull as Vicki, with “surprise” visits from two husbands, Bryce Slinger as Chad C. and Darnell Eaton as Chad P. Additional guests include Bill Huff aka Anne G. O’Plasty, David Lloyd Olson aka DivaD, Von Gerik Allena aka Mindy Nao, and Melv Thom aka Judy from HR. There will also be drink specials — mimosa pitchers! — all day. Saturday, May 12, from 1 to 4 p.m. 2004 18th St. NW. Tickets, including one select brunch entree of your choice and one champagne cocktail or glass of “Ramona-approved” Pinot Grigio, are $45. Call 202-265-9599 or visit duplexdiner.com.
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.
EVENTS DC EMBASSY CHEF CHALLENGE
Now in its 10th year, the challenge celebrates culinary diplomacy, providing an only-in-D.C. opportunity to taste authentic food and drinks from embassy chefs from all regions of the world — all while international musicians and dancers perform. A panel of experts will honor the best chefs with their Judges’ Choice awards, with one chef earning the Golden Pineapple trophy as the People’s Choice winner. Among competing chefs this year are those representing Iraq, the Philippines, Ethiopia, Ghana, Belgium, the Slovak Republic, Canada, Colombia, El Salvador, and Haiti. Thursday, May 17. Doors at 6:30 p.m. Atrium of the Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. General Admission tickets start at $90, while VIP, including early entry and an After Party, costs $175; a ticket to just the After Party with an open bar and DJ is $50. Visit eventsdcembassychefchallenge.com.
OCCIDENTAL GRILL & SEAFOOD: MOTHER’S DAY SPECIALS
Where else but in Washington could you treat your mother on her special day to a restaurant serving dishes inspired by First Ladies? Occidental’s Executive Chef Jake Addeo reviewed old cookbooks to create a special Mother’s Day menu at the 112-year-old D.C. institution located only a block from the White House. Among the options: Michelle Obama’s Minted Spring Pea Salad ($12), Martha Washington’s Crab Soup ($12), Jackie Kennedy’s Gingery Salmon with grilled peaches, pickled red onions, and arugula ($26), and Lou Henry Hoover’s “Caramel” Tomato Toast ($10). In addition, the venue’s Bar Manager Frankie Jones honors the late Barbara Bush with his First Impression of a First Lady, a sweet and creamy beverage that nods to her love of chocolate chip cookies and apparently tastes like liquid cookie dough ($11). Sunday, May 13, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. 1475 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Call 202-783-1475 or visit occidentaldc.com.
PIZZERIA PARADISO HYATTSVILLE: SPRING BEER FEST
The Hyattsville location of Pizzeria Paradiso presents the first in a four-season series celebrating all things pizza and craft beer, as well as the local diverse, artistic community. Saturday, May 12, from 12 to 5 p.m. The parking lot area behind the restaurant and the Art Works Now building will be bustling with music from live acts and a DJ, local arts and craft vendors, an area for lawn games, a mobile pizza oven, and of course a bevy of independent breweries offering tastings, including lesbian-owned Denizens, Manor Hill, Streetcar 82, Heavy Seas, Flying Dog, DC Brau, Charm City Meadworks, Union Craft, Right Proper, Diamondback, Stone, RAR, and Captain Lawrence. 4800 Rhode Island Ave., Hyattsville, Md. Tickets are $20 to $25 for three 6oz pours, or $50 to $55 for unlimited. Call 240-467-3210 or eatyourpizza.com.
RITZ-CARLTON PENTAGON CITY: MOTHER’S DAY BRUNCH & TEA
A selection of artisan meats and cheeses, an elaborate seafood display, and a classic omelet station — accompanied by live music — are the core elements to celebrating Mother’s Day in Pentagon City. The brunch options also include a children’s buffet as well as stations for coloring and cake decorating, allowing kids to draw and design a treat for mom. Sunday, May 13, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Cost is $89 per person or $40 for children under 12, exclusive of tax and gratuity, but inclusive of valet parking. Naturally, brunch could be followed by taking mom on a shopping stroll through the adjoining Fashion Centre. Stay a little longer in the complex for more live music and homemade pastries served with a choice of hot beverage as part of the rather gracelessly named “Mommy and Me” Afternoon Tea. Saturday, May 12, and Sunday, May 13, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. The tea costs $38 per adult or $16 per child. Fyve, 1250 S. Hayes St., Arlington. Call 703-412-2762 or visit ritzcarlton.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 email@example.com. Call 202-518-4092 or visit shawstavern.com.
DC LEATHER PRIDE 2018
Originally organized during Capital Pride, this locally focused leather weekend event successfully moved last year to the month prior, a pattern followed with this year’s lineup, which kicks off Thursday, May 11, with the popular weekly promotion enticing men to strip their shirts for free drinks from 10 to 11 p.m., and again for those willing to strip to their underwear from 12 to 12:30 a.m., at Green Lantern, 1335 Green Ct. NW. The next evening, Friday, May 11, starts at 6 p.m. with Bear Happy Hour at Town, and ends with a Play Party from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. at the Crucible, 412 V St. NE. The DC Eagle is the destination for events Saturday, May 12, starting with the Kink Du Soleil Expo with demos, from 1 to 6 p.m., followed by a Rubber Gear Social from 8 p.m. to midnight, and concluding with the monthly DistrktC Dance Party in the Exile upstairs from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. Kristina Kelly kickstarts the final day, returning as emcee for the Drag Out Your Leather event, this time offered over brunch with fellow drag entertainers including Tula, Moka Loka Latte, Ashley Madison Kuter, and Pam d’Ammonia, and served with bottomless mimosas and food provided by Mason Dixie Biscuit Co. Sunday, May 13, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Cobalt, 1639 R St. NW. Later comes the Closing Beer Blast featuring $10 pitchers of Trade Lager and XL Happy Hour drinks, from 3 to 8 p.m. Trade, 1410 14th St. NW. A Weekend Pass is $70. Visit facebook.com/DCLeatherPride for more information.
RAYCEEN, FIX ME UP! SINGLES’ MIXER
Rayceen Pendarvis hosts an evening of ice-breaker games as he attempts to play matchmaker between eligible singles. The free event is presented by Team Rayceen and We the People, as one event in the community photo project’s “May Is? All About Trans” series. Thursday, March 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. Lower Level Meeting Room, Shaw Neighborhood Library, 1630 7th St. NW. Free, including light refreshments. Call 202-727-1288 or visit teamrayceen.eventbrite.com
VIDA AT THE YARDS: ATHLETE ALLY FUNDRAISER
Morning talk show hosts Tommy McFly, Kelly Collis, and Jen Richer from 94.7 Fresh FM’s The Tommy Show serve as emcees for Vida Fitness’s fourth annual fundraiser for Athlete Ally. Former Team USA gymnast Josh Dixon will be on hand at the benefit representing the nonprofit, which works to fight homophobia and transphobia and support LGBTQ equality in sports nationwide. A live auction will offer guests the chance to win lunch with an Athlete Ally sports star, while a silent auction will feature items donated by D.C.-area businesses. Cocktail attire is required for the party also featuring light fare from a newly revamped menu overseen by Sean McIntosh, a cash bar, and music by DJ Chad Raymond. Friday, May 11, from 6 to 9 p.m. Vida’s Penthouse Pool Club at the Yards, 1212 4th St. SE. Tickets are $30 in advance or $40 at the door, or $1,000 for 10 tickets and access to a cabana suite with complimentary bottle service all evening.