- The Magazine
HERE TO BE HEARD: THE STORY OF THE SLITS
The first all-female punk band, formed in London in 1976, The Slits catapulted to the limelight when they nabbed the opening slot for The Clash on their 1977 White Riot tour of England. The “punky reggae” band didn’t last long, but their legacy has inspired countless of other musicians in the decades since. Director William E. Badgley will be on hand for a post-screening Q&A. Part of a two-month-long Rock Doc series at AFI, 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.
REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE
Director Nicholas Ray’s 1956 touchstone of teen angst, starring James Dean, Natalie Wood, and Sal Mineo, returns to the big screen as part of Landmark’s West End Cinema Capital Classics series. Wednesday, May 9, 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.
The latest film from Juno‘s Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody — director and writer, respectively — sees overworked and overstressed mother of three Marlo (Charlize Theron) adjust to life with the night nanny (Mackenzie Davis) her brother has hired for her. Critics are mostly enjoying Tully, but, true to form, it’s the magnetic and exquisite Theron who is garnering the lion’s share of the praise. Opens Friday, May 4. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (Rhuaridh Marr)
WASHINGTON JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL
Highlights include several films in a category entitled “Rated LGBTQ.” Among those are The Strangest Stranger, Swedish filmmaker Magnus Bärtås’ mesmerizing documentary focused on a mysterious man calling himself Johnnie Walker (Saturday, May 5, at 12:15 p.m., at Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema, 7235 Woodmont Ave., and Sunday, May 6, at 8:15 p.m., at the E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW) 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 (Tuesday, May 8, at 7:30 p.m., at the DCJCC, 1529 16th St. NW, and Saturday, May 12, at 4:30 p.m., at AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Rd.) Other notable (non-LGBTQ) films include Tevye’s Daughters, a send-up in Russian of the famous folk tale behind Fiddler on the Roof (Saturday, May 5, at 4 p.m., at the DCJCC) and the 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 archives of the legendary black entertainer who converted to Judaism (Sunday, May 6, at 2 p.m., at the AFI). The festival runs to May 13. Call 202-777-3210 or visit wjff.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.
FLY BY NIGHT
Kim Rosenstock conceived of this darkly comic rock fable set during a New York City blackout in 1965 and focused on a man who becomes enchanted with two sisters. Kathryn Chase Bryer directs 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. Closes Sunday, May 6. 1st Stage, 1524 Spring Hill Rd. Tysons, Va. Tickets are $38. Call 703-854-1856 or visit 1ststage.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.
The Kennedy Center presents the North American premiere of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s contemporary take on the Bard’s searing tragedy of murder and revenge. Paapa Essiedu makes his U.S. debut portraying a college student full of promise with the world at his feet — until he’s called home to avenge his father’s brutal death and immerse himself in local politics. A rising star in the U.K., Essiedu was lauded for his revelatory portrayal as Hamlet in the original 2016 run in the U.K. Director Simon Godwin was also heralded for reimagining the play’s setting of Denmark as a modern state in West Africa, a culture steeped in ritual and tradition, beauty and drama. The production features original music composed by Jamiroquai percussionist Sola Akingbola. Remaining performances are Thursday, May 3, through Saturday, May 5, at 7:30 p.m. Also Saturday, May 5, and Sunday, May 6, at 1 p.m. Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $49 to $139. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.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.” Now 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.
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.
“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. Closes Sunday, May 6. Round House, 4545 East-West Highway, Bethesda. Tickets are $50 to $60. Call 240-644-1100 or visit roundhousetheatre.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. In previews. Opens Friday, May 4. 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.
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. Previews begin Friday, May 4. To June 10. 700 North Calvert St., Baltimore. Tickets are $20 to $79. Call 410-332-0033 or visit centerstage.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 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. Previews begin Saturday, May 5. 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.
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. Extended to May 6. Fichandler Stage, 1101 6th St. SW. Tickets are $50 to $99. Call 202-488-3300 or visit arenastage.org.
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. Closes Sunday, May 6. 19 Dupont Circle NW. Tickets are $20 to $35. Visit pinkyswear-productions.com.
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.
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. Closes Sunday, 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.
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.
“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.
The D.C.-based Be Steadwell celebrates the Friday, May 4, release of her first full-length studio album Queer Love Songs, a far more elaborate production than her previous bedroom recording. The set, made possible by a grant from Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, includes a few reworked versions of previously released songs, but most are new compositions including “The Door,” co-written with Toshi Reagon, and “Gay Sex,” a strutting, jazzy, and timely queer celebration. Saturday, May 5, at 8 p.m. Amp by Strathmore, 11810 Grand Park Ave. North Bethesda. Tickets are $15 to $22. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.
BSO: BERNSTEIN TRIBUTES
Conductor Marin Alsop leads two programs this weekend celebrating her mentor, the late, great legend Leonard Bernstein. To Bernstein with Love features violinist Nicola Benedetti performing a program of favorites from the maestro’s musicals West Side Story and On the Town, his Serenade, plus a medley of works by modern composers written in homage, on Friday, May 4, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, May 6, at 3 p.m. Meanwhile, A Salute to Bernstein is a special Off The Cuff program with lively commentary from Alsop and Scott Simon, host of NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday, interacting as they often do on air, this time focused on Bernstein’s Overture to Candide and selections from West Side Story and On The Town. Jamie Bernstein, the composer’s daughter, joins as special guest for a concert including a display of Bernstein’s notes and letters presented by the Library of Congress Music Division, and followed by a book signing with Simon and a CD signing with Alsop. Saturday, May 5, at 7 p.m. Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore. Tickets are $25 to $99 per program. Call 410-783-8000 or visit bsomusic.org.
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.
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.
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.
Lindsey Buckingham is out, Mike Campbell (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) and Neil Finn (Crowded House) are in as part of a revamped lineup of the legendary rock band that Mick Fleetwood founded 51 years ago. They’ll join band veterans John McVie, Christine McVie, and the indelible Stevie Nicks on an extensive North American stadium tour presented by LiveNation that won’t get around to us until next spring. It’s instructive to remember that in 2014, the show sold out well in advance. Consider this a fan’s public service announcement: Tickets on sale to the general public Friday, May 4, at 10 a.m., for a show Tuesday, March 5, 2019. Capital One Arena, 601 F St. NW. Call 202-628-3200 or visit capitalonearena.com.
The D.C. band makes rhythmically oriented, richly instrumented psychedelic/prog rock with a mournful edge, recalling everything from The Doors, Pink Floyd, and Television to experimental contemporaries Deerhunter and Lower Dens. Fans of melodic electrified rock will be hooked upon first listen to the hazy, moody rocker “Told You What To Say,” the first track off new set Are These The Questions That We Need to Ask? D.C.’s The Effects and Richmond’s Dove Lady open. Saturday, May 5. Doors at 7 p.m. MilkBoy ArtHouse, 7416 Baltimore Ave., College Park, Md. Tickets are $7 to $10. Call 240-623-1423 or visit milkboyarthouse.com.
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.
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 Arlington-based opera company dedicated to short, contemporary works presents Gabriel Kahane’s popular, decade-old song cycle, Craigslistlieder. A riotous sendup of online personals, the piece features music by the eclectic rock/classical artist as paired to text drawn from eight actual Craigslist ads, right down to the song titles — “Neurotic and Lonely,” “You Looked Sexy Even Though You Were Having a Seizure,” and “Assless Chaps,” among them. The evening also features the second installment in the company’s Opera Improv Series, a gimmick adapted from the world of comedy in which the professional opera singers perform mini-operas they create on the spot per audience suggestions. Thursday, May 10, at 8 p.m. Amp by Strathmore, 11810 Grand Park Ave. North Bethesda. Tickets are $25 to $30. Call 301-581-5100 or visit ampbystrathmore.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. Opens Saturday, May 5, at 7 p.m. 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.
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.
EHUD BARAK, JEFFREY GOLDBERG
My Country, My Life: Fighting for Israel, Searching for Peace reflects on the country’s first seven decades, including its successes, setbacks, and misjudgments, as written by Israel’s 10th prime minister. Barak will be in discussion with Goldberg, editor-in-chief of The Atlantic. Tuesday, May 8, at 7 p.m. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $15, or $32 with one book, $45 for two tickets and one book. Call 202-408-3100 or visit sixthandi.org.
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. Opens Tuesday, May 8. To May 20. Free. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
BILL WARRELL: RESIST
Subtitled “New Works with Old Friends in the Age of Trump,” the local artist has created portraits of our dangerous time. Resist is a collection of remix paintings and custom frames made from a group of Eurocentric paintings that helped shape Warrell’s artistic sensibilities growing up in D.C. in the 1960s. The opening reception, which includes a mural dedication and birthday celebration for Warrell, is Wednesday, May 9, at 8 p.m. On view through June 23. Logan Fringe Art Space, 1358 Florida Ave. NE. Free. Call 202-737-7230 or visit capitalfringe.org.
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.
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. Opens Saturday, May 5. The opening reception is Thursday, May 10, at 7 p.m. The Mansion at Strathmore, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.
KRISTAL MCLAUGHLIN: KONTROLLED KHAOS
A self-taught abstract artist, the D.C.-based McLaughlin is the latest to be featured in the gallery space at the DC Center for the LGBT Community. With a master’s in psychology, McLaughlin aka Ms. Bald-Du styles her art as therapy and approaches her sketches on paper, to a certain extent, as a way to make sense or take control of the chaos of life. Center Art Gallery, 2000 14th St. NW. Call 202-682-2245 or visit thedccenter.org/centerartgallery.
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.
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.
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.
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 Myers 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.
HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF D.C.: ANNIVERSARY GALA
The Historical Society of Washington, D.C., will conclude its 124th year in operation with a return to the Carnegie Library, when the Mt. Vernon Square edifice reopens this December with a new Apple Store as its centerpiece. Next week the organization will celebrate its centuries-old work in collecting and interpreting the city’s history with its annual gala. Thursday, May 10, at 6 p.m. Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mt. Vernon Pl. Tickets, including drinks, hors-d’oeuvres, and desserts, are $75 to $100. Call 202-249-3955 or visit dchistory.org.
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.
These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!