On Chesil Beach
LUST FOR LIFE
Kirk Douglas stars as Vincent Van Gogh in the 1956 biopic directed by Vincente Minnelli, part of the Capital Classics series at Landmark’s West End Cinema. Wednesday, May 30, 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.
ON CHESIL BEACH
Celebrated English author Ian McEwan adapted his 2007 novella for a bittersweet indie screen romance starring Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle (who also play love interests in The Seagull). British stage director Dominic Cooke makes his film debut with this well-acted tearjerker — a refreshing, though sad, date-movie alternative to the Disney/Marvel/Lucasfilm blockbusters that come out every week. Opens Friday, May 25, at Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Also Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema, 7235 Woodmont Ave. Call 202-452-7672 or visit landmarktheatres.com. (André Hereford)
UNION MARKET DRIVE-IN: CLUELESS
A decade before Mean Girls, there was this coming-of-age rom-com written and directed by Amy Heckerling as an updated version of Jane Austen’s Emma. Alicia Silverstone, Paul Rudd, and the late Brittany Murphy starred in Clueless, which is next up in the monthly warm weather Drive-In Series at Union Market. You don’t have to have a car to take it all in — just grab a viewing spot in the free picnic area. Food and beer are available, delivered to you or your car window by the DC Rollergirls. Friday, June 1. Gates at 6 p.m., with the movie starting after sunset at 8:45 p.m. In the parking lot at 1305 5th St. NE. Free for walk-ups or $10 per car. Call 800-680-9095 or visit unionmarketdc.com.
Saint Joan — Photo: Teresa Wood
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. 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.
Alan Paul, Shakespeare Theatre Company’s resident musical director, takes on Lerner and Loewe’s classic about the powerful love triangle in King Arthur’s court. Ken Clark plays the King, while Nick Fitzer is Lancelot du Lac, both in love with Queen Guinevere, played by Broadway star Alexandra Silber. Legends Ted van Griethuysen and Floyd King are also featured in a show with choreography by Michele Lynch, who won a Helen Hayes Award for her work on STC’s Kiss Me, Kate. In previews. To July 1. Sidney Harman Hall, Harman Center for the Arts, 610 F St. NW. Call 202-547-1122 or visit shakespearetheatre.org.
Virginia’s Creative Cauldron presents Charles Strouse’s beguiling adaption of E.B. White’s classic tale, with a book by Joseph Robinette. Matt Conner directs a cast led by Will Stevenson as Wilbur and Abby Middleton as Charlotte. Opens Saturday, May 26, at 7:30 p.m. To June 17. ArtSpace Falls Church, 410 South Maple Ave. in Falls Church. Call 703-436-9948 or visit creativecauldron.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. To June 17. Anacostia Playhouse, 2020 Shannon Place SE. Call 202-241-2539 or visit theateralliance.com.
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. To June 10. The Ark, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit sigtheatre.org.
HOODED, OR BEING BLACK FOR DUMMIES
Winner of the Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding Original New Play at last week’s Helen Hayes Awards, this irreverent comedy has been 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.
The African-American Collective Theater (ACT) returns with the latest in its ongoing series of LGBTQ Theater Showcases presented to commemorate DC Black Pride, 26 years after launching during the weekend celebration. This year the company offers a pair of “Reader’s Theater”-style performances, with two different programs of short plays on Sunday, May 27, at 4 and 8 p.m. First Congregational United Church of Christ, 945 G St. NW. Call 202-628-4317 or visit a-act.org.
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. To June 3. Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Call 202-544-7077 or visit folger.edu.
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 CHERRY ORCHARD
Celebrated local commedia dell’arte troupe Faction of Fools puts its physical comedy stamp on this classic, their first adaptation of Anton Chekhov. Paul Reisman directs a cast led by Sara Barker, Julia Klavans, Amber James, and Jesse Terrill (pulling double-duty as the show’s composer) in this mix of high art and low comedy, complete with secret plots, wily servants, tortured lovers, and a sprawling family estate on the chopping block. To June 10. Eastman Studio Theater in the Elstad Annex at Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Ave. NE. Tickets are $18 to $22. Call 800-838-3006 or visit factionoffools.org.
A comedy about the tragedy of loving starring Maulik Pancholy (30 Rock) as one half of a gay couple celebrating a 10th anniversary and revealing the truth of their seemingly perfect relationship. David Muse directs a world premiere by Ken Urban. In previews. To June 17. Studio Theatre, 14th & P Streets NW. Call 202-332-3300 or visit studiotheatre.org.
THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS
Joe Calarco directs Signature Theatre’s take on Kander & Ebb’s final musical collaboration, a breathtaking critique of a true story of racism and injustice from 1931. Eight years after The Scottsboro Boys debuted on Broadway, the D.C. premiere features an ensemble cast including Jonathan Adriel, Malik Akil, Christopher Bloch, Chaz Alexander Coffin, Felicia Curry, C.K. Edwards, DeWitt Fleming Jr., Andre Hinds, Darrell Wayne Purcell, Aramie Payton, Lamont Walker II, Joseph Monroe Webb, and Stephen Scott Wormley, with choreography by Jared Grimes. In previews. To July 1. MAX Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit sigtheatre.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.
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.
Based on the 2007 movie, Waitress focuses on Jenna, a diner employee with a passion for baking pies that helps her cope with a loveless marriage and the malaise of her small town. Diane Paulus (Pippin) directs a show with music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles, book by Jessie Nelson, and choreography by Lorin Latarro. To June 3. National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Tickets are $48 to $108. Call 202-628-6161 or visit thenationaldc.org.
Priscilla — Photo: McLaughlin photography
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. Weekends to May 26. 3710 Mitchell St., Kensington, Md. Tickets are $19 to $27. Call 206-888-6642 or visit katonline.org.
Macy Gray — Photo: Guiliano Bekor
BALTIMORE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, KIRILL GERSTEIN
Kirill Gerstein performs Gershwin’s jazzy Piano Concerto as part of a program led by the BSO’s Marin Alsop, also featuring Stravinsky’s dazzling Suite from The Firebird and Schumann’s incredibly personal Symphony No. 2, expressing the conductor’s triumph over darkness. Thursday, March 31, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Also Friday, June 1, and Saturday, June 2, at 8 p.m. Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore. Tickets are $30 to $99. Call 410-783-8000 or visit bsomusic.org.
BOOKER T. JONES
The first to perform when the Pearl Street Warehouse opened back in October, the Grammy-winning soul pioneer and producer returns to the DC Wharf’s hip, intimate venue. Jones tours in support of his current album Sound The Alarm, featuring collaborations with Mayer Hawthorne, Anthony Hamilton, Estelle, and Gary Clark Jr. But he’ll also play from his vast repertoire, including hits with the legendary Stax Records band Booker T & The MG’s, as well as other more recent tunes with the Drive By Truckers and the Roots. The sax-driven jazz/funk machine the Ron Holloway Trio opens. Friday, June 1. Doors at 7 p.m. 33 Pearl St. SW. Tickets are $50 to $75. Call 202-380-9620 or visit pearlstreetwarehouse.com.
BREANNA SINCLAIRÉ, GMCW: TRANSAMERICA
After performing the Durufle Requiem with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington back in February, the transgender opera singer, a native of Baltimore who lives in San Francisco, returns to close out the organization’s 37th season. Frank D. Shutts II directs a program celebrating all those who identify as transgender, non-binary and genderqueer, and featuring Vanessa Ford, a board member of the National Center for Transgender Equality who is also the mother of a seven-year-old transgender daughter. Artistic Director Thea Kano will lead the full, 250-member-strong chorus, its smaller ensembles, plus the GenOUT Chorus, in performances of songs including “What A Wonderful World,” “Everyday People,” “Somewhere” from West Side Story, “Who Will Love Me As I Am” from Side Show, and “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman. Dancers will add to the fun, aided by choreography from Craig Cipollini and James Ellzy. In addition, Bishop Gene Robinson will lead a panel discussion with guest speakers prior to the first performance on Saturday, June 1. Doors at 7 p.m. Second performance is Saturday, June 1, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, June 2, at 3 p.m. Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. Tickets are $25 to $65. Call 202-888-0050 or visit gmcw.org.
With intriguing percussive instrumentation, the Australian electronic duo consisting of Hugo Gruzman and Jimmy Lyell offers a nice blend of chillout and progressive house grooves. Thursday, May 31. Doors at 7 p.m. Nightclub 9:30, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $25. Call 202-265-0930 or visit 930.com.
Pop-flavored off-kilter EDM is exactly what you’d expect from a Swedish duo whose collective production pedigree includes quirky dance acts Miike Snow (“Animal”), Bloodshy & Avant (writers of Britney Spears’ “Toxic”), and Style of Eye (a co-writer of Icona Pop’s “I Love It”). Teaming up as Galantis, Christian “Bloodshy” Karlsson and Linus “Style of Eye” Eklow return to D.C. after a rousing live show at last year’s All Things Go Fall Classic, which found the two attractive musicians full of kinetic energy, moving around behind their equipment, even jumping from the stage. Galantis tours in support of new single “Spaceship” featuring singer Uffie, but the duo is sure to play their crowd-pleasing EDM hits, including “Runaway (You & I)” and “No Money,” as part a continuously mixed set with other dance classics from their collective repertoire, as well as others that inspire them. Friday, June 1. Doors at 9 p.m. Echostage, 2135 Queens Chapel Rd. NE. Tickets are $40 to $50. Call 202-503-2330 or visit echostage.com.
JAZZ IN THE GARDEN: THE JOGO PROJECT
A summertime staple, the National Gallery of Art offers free outdoor concerts immediately after work every Friday through late August. Bands offering a range of jazz styles, from swing to Latin to ska, perform amidst the museum’s collection of large-scale sculptural works while patrons enjoy food and drink, including beer, wine, and sangria, as sold by the Pavilion Cafe and outdoor grill. The 2018 series continues with cool jazz act Tony Craddock Jr. & Cold Front on May 25, followed by traditional New Orleans-style jazz with the US Army Blues Swamp Romp on June 1. Evenings from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Sculpture Garden, between 7th and 9th Streets NW. Call 202-289-3360 or visit nga.gov.
LEA MICHELE, DARREN CRISS
The Glee stars embark on their first-ever co-headlining tour, performing their own songs, as well as others from Glee and Broadway. Sunday, June 3, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $59 to $149, with multiple VIP Meet & Greet Packages running $299 to $499. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
Singer-songwriter Lissie Maurus lives in Iowa, but got her start on the Los Angeles coffeehouse circuit before opening for the likes of Lenny Kravitz and Ray LaMontagne and appearing at the Lilith Fair. Although she doesn’t channel Stevie Nicks quite as blatantly on Castles as she did on 2016’s My Wild West, Lisie’s new fourth studio album is every bit as steeped in the dramatic and folky rock/pop style of her idol, with the biting “Love Blows” and the power ballad “Meet Me In The Mystery” particular standouts. Saturday, May 26. Doors at 8 p.m. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $25. Call 202-265-0930 or visit 930.com.
Nearly 20 years since “I Try,” Gray is still recording and performing her signature blend of R&B, pop, funk, and jazz. She stops in the D.C. area over Black Pride Weekend for two shows with a full band, offering a sneak peek at Ruby, her 10th full-length album due this fall. Gray says Ruby is “gritty and grimy and dirty,” and follows up on her jazz covers set Stripped. Friday, May 25, and Saturday, May 26, at 8 p.m. Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club, 7719 Wisconsin Ave. Tickets are $65 to $78, plus $10 minimum purchase per person. Call 240-330-4500 or visit bethesdabluesjazz.com.
This LGBTQ-friendly progressive religious organization performs a program also featuring the World Children’s Choir and the Washington International Chorus, all built around the theme “We’re Going to Make it, Together (Songs of Encouragement).” Sunday, June 3, at 5 p.m. Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax, 2709 Hunter Mill Rd., Oakton, Va. Tickets are $18. Call 703-281-1767 or visit mosaicharmony.org.
NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT
Now in its 29th year, this concert on the U.S. Capitol grounds, airing live on PBS, features the National Symphony Orchestra led by Jack Everly performing patriotic classics. Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds) and Gary Sinise (CSI: New York) co-host for the 13th year, and Colin Powell also returns for a special tribute to our men and women in uniform. Other featured performers this year include Charles Esten, Allison Janney, Leona Lewis, Graham Greene, John Corbett, Mary McCormack, Brian Tee, Cynthia Erivo, Charles Esten, Megan Hilty, Alfie Boe, and Gary Sinise & the Lt. Dan Band. Sunday, May 27, at 8 p.m. U.S. Capitol Building, West Lawn. Free. Call 202-467-4600 or visit pbs.org/memorialdayconcert.
Led by harmonizing sisters Leah and Chloe Smith accompanied by percussionist Biko Casini and bassist/guitarist David Brown, Rising Appalachia is a globally inspired American roots/folk act with a social justice mission — founders of what they call a DIY-driven, independent-based “Slow Music Movement.” A sensitive, world-weary, thinking person’s variation on Americana, the New Orleans-based band is joined by D.C.’s original folk- and hip-hop-flavored “queer pop” artist Steadwell, touring in support of her strong, full-fledged studio debut Queer Love Songs. Also on the bill is Arouna, a singing griot from West Africa and masterful string and keyboard instrumentalist. Friday, May 27. Doors at 7 p.m. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $20. Call 202-265-0930 or visit 930.com.
The pleasures of the senses, the glory of the human voice, and the beauty of love are key themes of this year’s recital, “The Art of Pleasure.” Steven Blier of the New York Festival of Song leads the program and will be joined by pianist Joseph Li in accompanying soprano Laura Sanders, mezzo-soprano Zoie Reams, tenor Piotr Buszewski, and baritone Johnathan McCullough singing songs by Piazzolla, Léhar, Bernstein, Strauss, and Rachmaninoff. Thursday, May 31, at 2 p.m., and Friday, June 1, at 7:30 p.m. The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $48. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit wolftrap.org.
THE AIRMEN OF NOTE
Every Saturday night this summer, National Harbor will host free concerts by military bands in a “Salute the Sunset” series. On the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend comes the first of three engagements featuring the premier jazz ensemble of the US Air Force. Saturday, May 26, at 7 p.m. Plaza Stage, 150 National Plaza, Oxon Hill, Md. Free. Call 877-628-5427 or visit nationalharbor.com.
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. Remaining performances are Thursday, May 24, at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, May 26, at 7 p.m. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $45 to $275. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
Dance Africa: KanKouran West African Dance Company — Photo: Jonathan Hsu
BALLET NACIONAL DE CUBA: DON QUIXOTE
Forty years after its Kennedy Center debut and seven years since its last visit, this internationally renowned company offers two programs featuring evening-length signatures choreographed by Artistic Director Alicia Alonso and performed with the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra. Presented as the concluding program in the Artes de Cuba series, the company kicks off its week of performances with Don Quixote, adapted from the choreography of Marius Petipa. Tuesday, May 29, through Thursday, May 31, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $29 to $129. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
DANCEAFRICA DC: 31ST ANNIVERSARY
Dance Place hosts this annual celebration paying tribute to the vibrancy of African heritage through dance, music, visual arts, food, clothing and crafts. The core of the event is an African Marketplace, where vendors sell food and wares on the street in front of the venue and local dance groups offer performances inside and out. Participants include Urban Virtuosos, Soul in Motion Players, Coyaba Dance Theater, KanKouran West African Dance Company, Sankofa Dance Theater, Ezibu Muntu African Dance and Cultural Foundation, South Africa’s Usuthu Arts Production, Farafina Kan, African Heritage Dancers & Drummers, and New York’s Bambara Drum and Dance Ensemble. DanceAfrica also features a series of Master Classes launching with KanKouran on Tuesday, May 29, at 6:30 p.m. Performances are Friday, June 1, at 8 p.m., and all afternoon Saturday, June 2, and Sunday, June 3. 3225 8th St. NE. Tickets for stage performances are $25 in advance or $30 at the door, and $16 for Master Classes. Call 202-269-1600 or visit danceplace.org.
DANCE PLACE’S NEW RELEASES CHOREOGRAPHERS SHOWCASE
Presented in partnership with Dance Metro DC, this year’s annual adjudicated showcase of new works by established and emerging area choreographers includes increased artist fees and $1,500 to be awarded to one of the selected works. The performance program includes works by Jamal Abrams, Ronya-Lee Anderson, Gabriel Mata, and collaborative duo Sylvana Christopher and Maggie Lockhart. Saturday, May 26, at 8 p.m. Dance Place, 3225 Eighth St. NE. Tickets are $25 to $30. Call 202-269-1600 or visit danceplace.org.
EDWARD LEE: BUTTERMILK GRAFFITI
Subtitled A Chef’s Journey to Discover America’s New Melting-Pot Cuisine, this new book looks at America’s evolving culinary landscape with a particular focus on immigrant foods in 16 different cities — from Cambodian cuisine in Lowell, Mass., to Lebanese dishes in Clarksdale, Miss., to on-the-go Italian fare in West Virginia. Lee, the chef behind three Asian-infused Southern restaurants in Louisville plus two Succotash establishments in the D.C. area, also explores how the different cuisines influence each other. He’ll be in conversation with Susan Able, publisher and editor of the magazine Edible D.C. Wednesday, May 30, at 7 p.m. Politics and Prose at the Wharf, 70 District Square SW. Call 202-488-3867 or visit politics-prose.com.
SAM KLEINER WITH EVAN THOMAS: FDR AND THE FLYING TIGERS
The hidden, dramatic story of a covert group of young American men and women whose risky, heroic actions changed the world — taking on the Japanese even before Pearl Harbor, then in the disaster’s aftermath becoming the first to officially shoot down hundreds of Japanese aircraft. Kleiner, a lawyer based in New York whose writing has appeared in The Atlantic, will be in conversation with veteran Washington journalist Evan Thomas, formerly of Newsweek. Tuesday, May 22, at 6:30 p.m. Kramerbooks, 1517 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-387-1400 or visit kramers.com.
SCOTT W. STERN: THE TRIALS OF NINA MCCALL
In the 20th century, thousands of American women and girls were locked up, usually without due process, often for the mere suspicion of being sexually active — as part of a government plan to eradicate sexually transmitted diseases through the regulation of women’s bodies and sexuality. Sex, Surveillance, and the Decades-Long Government Plan to Imprison “Promiscuous” Women is the subtitle for this book-length examination into what was dubbed the “American Plan,” a discriminatory program that lasted well into the 1950s across the nation. It also laid the foundation for the modern system of women’s prisons. Drawn from his award-winning thesis at Yale and named after one unfairly imprisoned woman, Stern’s book helps to shine a light on what he calls a “virtually lost chapter of our history.” Furthermore, the book’s publisher holds it up as “vital reading” in today’s #MeToo/#TimesUp era of renewed activism against gender discrimination and harassment. Saturday, June 2, at 1 p.m. Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-364-1919 or visit politics-prose.com.
Michael Crossett: Fair Card Value
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. To May 26. Parked outside Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Place SE. Call 202-633-4820 or visit culturaldc.org.
AMERICAN DEMOCRACY: A GREAT LEAP OF FAITH
A display of prominent artifacts highlighting the history of citizen participation, debate and compromise from the nation’s formation to today. The American experiment is still alive, if not altogether well at the moment, but it has endured rough times before and this exhibition, at the Smithsonian’s American History Museum, highlights the various ways in which leading figures have strived to make the country “a more perfect union.” Objects include Thomas Jefferson’s portable desk he used to draft the Declaration of Independence, the inkstand Abraham Lincoln used to draft the Emancipation Proclamation, and the table on which Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote the Declaration of Sentiments. Ongoing. 14th St. and Constitution Ave. NW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit americanhistory.si.edu.
ART14: MARIE RINGWALD: BUILDING / MATERIAL
The Spring exhibition in the seasonal art series at the Coldwell Banker Dupont/Logan office focuses on sculptures created by a Mid City Artist who was a longtime professor at the former Corcoran College of Art + Design. Inspired by everyday, simply made structures, chiefly those designed for working in or storage use — warehouses, barns, Quonset Huts — Ringwald’s sculptures are made using the same materials as those buildings — wood, rubber, glass, and sheet metal — and are sometimes based on specific buildings. On exhibit through May. 1617 14th St. NW. Call 202-387-6180 or visit newsfrommarieringwald.weebly.com.
CONTEMPORARY PORTRAITS OF THE BLACK EXPERIENCE
Elements That Define Us is a new exhibition showcasing 21 artists working in various mediums and styles on display at the Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center. Tomora Wright curated this exhibition with works by regional artists, among them Alonzo Davis, Gina Marie Lewis, Taryn Harris, Ylysses Marshall, James Terrell, Toni Lane, Ronald Jackson, Elana Casey, Shawn Lindsay, and Zsudayka Nzinga Terrell. Through May 26. 4519 Rhode Island Ave. North Brentwood, Md. Call 301-809-0440 or visit pgaamcc.org.
EVOLVING TRADITIONS – PAINTINGS OF WONDER FROM JAPAN
Captivating works by modern artist Yuki Ideguchi are shown alongside rarely seen masterpieces of traditional Japanese paintings, dating as far back as the 6th Century, in this exhibit, a collaboration with the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Whether new or old, all paintings in the exhibit make use of traditional and unique pigments, materials, and techniques, and all are also undergirded by the perspectives of Japanese aesthetic principles and motifs. To May 28. Japan Information & Culture Center, Embassy of Japan, 1150 18th St. NW. Ste. 100. Call 202-238-6900 or visit us.emb-japan.go.jp/jicc.
JOANNE KAUFMAN: CONTAINMENTS
The Washington Studio School presents a series of 11 large-scale abstract works that explore what painting does, and does not, manage to contain — formally, conceptually, aesthetico-historically — within the space of a canvas. Kaufman, a Washington-area painter and WSS faculty member, took inspiration from Agnes Martin, Paul Klee, and daily news for the paintings. Opens Friday, May 25. Opening Reception is Friday, June 1, from 6 to 8 p.m. On display to July 15. Main Gallery of the Washington Studio School, 2129 S St. NW.
MICHAEL CROSSETT: FAIR CARD VALUE
For his first solo exhibition at Long View Gallery, the gay mixed-media artist has incorporated iconography from the Metro system into his signature graffiti-inspired, hand-pulled silkscreen prints, comprised of hundreds of layered portraits of D.C. landmarks and streetscapes. Some pieces take the shape of the now obsolete Metro fare card, with the familiar magnetic stripe running the length of the ride side of the artwork. Others, focused on prominent D.C. establishments including the Black Cat and Dacha Beer Garden, are backdropped by the iconic, coffered architecture of Metro stations. And then there are the images of Metro cars in motion running through the middle of many of his artworks, nodding to the speed at which the city is changing. Opening Reception is Thursday, May 31, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. On display through July 1. Long View Gallery, 1234 9th St. NW. Call 202-232-4788 or visit longviewgallery.com.
OUTBREAKS: EPIDEMICS IN A CONNECTED WORLD
To mark the 100th anniversary of the Great Influenza, the Smithsonian debuts an exhibition on epidemiology and human health. From HIV to SARS to Ebola, Outbreaks shows how viruses can spread from animals to people, why some infectious diseases become pandemics, and the collaborative ways many have been stopped or curtailed. Today, pandemic diseases remain one of the greatest threats to individuals and society, due to an increasingly interconnected, increasingly mobile, increasingly urbanized and industrialized global world. National Museum of Natural History, 10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit mnh.si.edu.
THOM HALLER: PILLOWS AND PRINTS
Miss Pixie’s offers an exhibition of pillows and prints featuring quirky, playful pop culture images, all digital art collages made by a D.C.-based artist who is in the process of launching the site popnpillows.com. In all, there are 47 artworks — 25 pillows and 22 prints — and all priced under $100. Opening Reception, with light refreshments, is Friday, June 1, from 5 to 8 p.m. On display through June 30. 1626 14th St. NW. Call 202-232-8171 or visit misspixies.com.
TREATIES BETWEEN THE U.S. AND AMERICAN INDIAN NATIONS
With the lead title Nation to Nations, this long-term exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indian tells the story of the treaties signed between U.S. leaders and influential Native diplomats. Most Americans today live on land that was originally promised to Native Nations via (obviously broken) treaties. And while most of the documents date to the early days of the American republic, the exhibit, which has been on display since 2015, has just been updated to end with an 11.5-foot-tall mile-marker post created last year by activists protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota — touted as the largest gathering of Native Americans in protest. In other words, the treaties are hardly something relegated to museums and history books but in fact very much an ongoing, present-day concern. On display through 2021. National Museum of the American Indian, Independence Avenue at 4th Street SW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit nmai.si.edu.
UNITED/DIVIDED 2: AN EXHIBITION OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Robert Miller, deputy director of photography at the Washington Post, has juried the second installment of an annual exhibition in Glen Echo Park’s Photoworks Gallery featuring works exploring the connections and divisions of the nation and in the nation’s capital. Represented photographers include William Edwards, Robb Hill, Sumaiya Haque, Carol Balassa, Diane Charnov, David Heagy, Mercedes Jelinek, Morton H. Friedman, Ray Alvareztorres, Michael Jourdan, Geoff Livingston, Sasha Hull, and Brian Dailey, Opens Friday, May 25. Opening Reception is Sunday, June 3, from 6 to 8 p.m. On display through July 1. 1st Floor of the Arcade Building, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Md. Call 301-634-2274 or visit glenechophotoworks.org.
FOOD AND DRINK
NEW KITCHENS ON THE BLOCK 4.0
If you’re a foodie struggling to keep your palate on the pulse of D.C.’s burgeoning restaurant scene, you can’t do much better than Mess Hall. Throughout the year, the food incubator in Northeast’s Edgewood neighborhood features the hottest new and forthcoming restaurants in a festival environment. In addition to the winter Ramen World, there’s this popular event, now in its fourth iteration. Previews on offer at NKOTB 4.0: Call Your Mother, from the team behind Petworth’s Timber Pizza, The Imperial, an offshoot of Jack Rose Dining Saloon, Mama Chang from Peter Chang (Q by Peter Chang), Three Blacksmiths from John MacPherson (Foster Harris House), Shilling Canning Company from the Dabney veteran Reid Shilling, Chop Shop Taco from Ed McIntosh (Tortilladora), Bandoola Bowl from the team behind Mandalay, and Cielo Rojo from David Perez, among others. And all can be washed down by established local drinks purveyors Flying Dog Brewery and distilleries One Eight, New Columbia (makers of Green Hat Gin), and Catoctin Creek. Finally, local artist Veronica Melendez will be displaying and selling her food-focused artworks. Ticketed in two-hour sessions, at 12 and 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 3. Mess Hall, 703 Edgewood St. NE. Tickets are $65, or $115 for VIP priority access with swag bag. Visit nkotb4.eventbrite.com.
Sleaze DJs — Photo: Angie Chamberland
U SLEAZE: DJS LEMZ, KEENAN, OUTPUTMESSAGE
A little over a year ago, Steve “Lemz” Lemmerman launched what has become a popular first-Thursday party on the cozy dance floor at Wonderland Ballroom in Columbia Heights. “The second you hear the name,” Lemz says of Sleaze, “you just kind of know you’re going to be getting into something different.” For the month of May, Lemz is offering a second — and bigger — Sleaze, this time at U Street Music Hall. There is every reason to think U Sleaze will retain the original’s sleazy sensibility, per a dimly lit and foggy intimate dance floor and an eclectic musical mix focused on dark disco throwbacks and disco-inspired dance tracks — “bathhouse music…and future techno.” Lemz and Keenan Orr will DJ along with D.C.-based artist Bernard Farley, aka Outputmessage. Friday, May 25, starting at 10:30 p.m. U Street Music Hall, 1115A U St. NW. Tickets are $5 before midnight, $10 after. Call 202-588-1880 or visit ustreetmusichall.com.
Live From Here: Chris Thile — Photo: Nate Ryan
ABOVE AND BEYOND
CHARM CITY KITTY CLUB: THE REAL HOUSEDYKES OF BALTIMORE!
Baltimore’s premiere queer cabaret collective offers a hodgepodge of delights in the weeks leading up to Pride. Performers include rebellious local burlesque troupe Bunns of Steele, D.C.-based “nerdcore rap band” Wreck The System, singer-songwriter Zoë Ravenwood, comedian and Laughfinder podcaster Violet Gray, and playwright Kate Bishop, presenting a new original one-act SLUR. All that plus “surprises from your favorite kitties too.” Friday, June 1, and Saturday, June 2, starting with cocktails at 7 p.m. Baltimore Theatre Project, 45 West Preston St. Baltimore. Tickets are $10 to $15. Call 410-752-8558 or visit theatreproject.org.
FLIP FLOP: A MISCAST CABARET
The Millennial-focused theater troupe Monumental, which just garnered the 2018 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company, presents its fourth annual fundraiser, previously known as Sex Swap: A Gender Bender Cabaret. Jimmy Mavrikes and Michael Windsor, two of Monumental’s young co-founders, direct the show hosted by Jade Jones (Ford’s Theatre’s The Wiz) and featuring young theater artists — Nigel Rowe, Caroline Dubberly, Farrell Parker, Tobias Young, Christian Montgomery, Ricky Drummond, and Rachel Barlaam — singing songs celebrating love, diversity, gender identity, and the LGBTQ community. Warren Freeman serves as music director. Monday, May 28, at 6 p.m. — so it’ll be done in time for the Caps game. Penn Social, 801 E St. NW. Tickets are $30, or $50 for VIP seating. Call 202-697-4900 or visit monumentaltheate.org.
INVOKE YOUR PRIDE: A NIGHT AT THE AFRICAN ART MUSEUM
Smithsonian at 8, a younger, hipper event series organized by Smithsonian Associates, offers a notable Pride-pegged after-hours event at the National Museum of African Art. The focus is on the museum’s recent acquisition of two deeply personal and mesmerizing videos by Kenyan artist and singer-songwriter Jim Chuchu. Through Invocation: The Severance of Ties and Invocation: Release, Chuchu commemorates his journey of coming out as a gay African man — and also envisions a more inclusive African future — through evocative imagery and pulsing house beats composed by the artist himself. The videos will be on display at the museum throughout the month of Pride, but only on the first Friday in June can you view them as part of the Pride-focused evening affair offering access to other exhibitions and installations as well as curators’ talks, cocktails by Tortoise and Hare, a photo booth by OM Digital, and music and dancing with DJ Alkimist — plus a playlist created for the party by Chuchu. Friday, June 1, from 8 to 11 p.m. 950 Independence Ave. SW. Tickets are $30 to $35, or $50 to $60 for VIP access with open bar and appetizers from 7 to 8 p.m. Call 202-633-3030 or visit smithsonianat8.org.
LIVE FROM HERE
Chris Thile replaced the retiring Garrison Keillor as host in the fall of 2016, and then last December, the progressive bluegrass musician (a member of Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers) changed the name of the popular public radio variety show known for decades as Prairie Home Companion. The show definitely has a more youthful energy to it under the 37-year-old Thile, but otherwise it’s still as folksy and familiar as ever — and Thile has also continued the tradition of taping the Memorial Day weekend episode from the Filene Center stage at Wolf Trap. This year’s star attraction is country music’s brightest young female star, the 29-year-old LGBTQ ally Kacey Musgraves, with additional music from Americana singer/mandolin player Sarah Jarosz, plus jokes from comedian Sheng Wang (NBC’s Last Comic Standing). Saturday, May 26, at 5:45 p.m. 1645 Trap Rd., Vienna. Tickets are $45 to $125, or $30 for the lawn. Call 703-255-1900 or visit wolftrap.org.
ON OUR OWN, WE’RE FIERCE TOO: A.P.I. CABARET
In honor of May being Asian American Heritage Month, La Ti Do Productions offers D.C.’s first-ever all-Asian/Pacific Islander cabaret, featuring talent from all different genres, with a portion of ticket revenue donated to the National Asian Artists Project. The lineup features Matthew Aninzo, Isabella Basco, Linda Bard, Russwin Francisco, Sam Hamashima, Sally Horton, Christina McCann, Don Michael Mendoza, Jordan Moral, Chris Mueller, Sarah Anne Sillers, Tara Trinity Villanueva, Chani Wereley, and Daniel Westbrook. Accompaniment by a band led by Elisa Rosman. Wednesday, May 30, at 8 p.m. Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church St. NW. Tickets are $15, with a porti. Call 202-265-3768 or visit keegantheatre.com.
ROAD SHOW: INTERPLAY
The Washington Improv Theater presents a mix of vignettes featuring different ensembles, with each plot developed on-the-fly, spurred by a single audience suggestion. With Interplay, WIT’s own improvisers create mash-up performances with special guests from the worlds of music, puppetry, poetry, dance, and more — a new artistic collaboration creating interdisciplinary hybrids every week. Each night offers a different mix of WIT ensembles, including Hellcat, Martinez, Nox!, and Bear Trap. Performances this weekend include collaborations with additional improvisers from the live art competition known as Super Art Fight. Artists with the kids-oriented PuppetCo. are featured in shows over Memorial Day. Weekends to June 17. District of Columbia Arts Center (DCAC), 2438 18th St. NW. Tickets are $15 in advance, or $20 at the door. Call 202-462-7833 or visit witdc.org.