Metro Weekly

Out On the Town: D.C. arts and entertainment highlights — June 21-27

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

Indoraptor stalks Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard Isabella Sermon — Image courtesy Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment Inc. and Legendary Pictures Productions, LLC



Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are back to run away from CGI dinosaurs in the sequel to 2015’s billion dollar-earning Jurassic World. J.A. Bayona (A Monster Calls) takes over behind the camera, as Owen and Claire try to save the dinosaurs on Isla Nublar when the island’s volcano threatens an extinction-level eruption. Opens Friday, June 22. Area theaters. Visit (Rhuaridh Marr)


The story of legendary and knighted actor Sir Ian McKellen, who came out a remarkable 30 years ago this year. Joe A. Stephenson’s documentary traces his journey from West End theater star to Hollywood’s Magneto and Gandalf. Stephenson was granted access to private photo albums, never-before-seen archive material, exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, and the 79-year-old himself, who regaled the director with details and reflections on his life during a reported 14-hour interview. Saturday, June 23, at 5 p.m. at the Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $20. Call 202-544-7077 or visit


Paul Rudd and Steve Coogan are a bickering gay couple whose extravagant, childless lifestyle is turned upside down when a 10-year-old boy shows up at their door claiming to be the grandson of Coogan’s character. Rayceen Pendarvis of The Ask Rayceen Show hosts the screening of writer and director Andrew Fleming’s Ideal Home as the June selection in Reel Affirmations’ monthly film series. Friday, June 22, at 7 p.m. HRC Equality Center, 1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW. Tickets are $12, or $25 for a ticket with VIP seating, a complimentary cocktail and popcorn. Visit


It’s been nearly 60 years since director Robert Wise adapted this modernized take on Romeo and Juliet by Leonard Bernstein. The film, starring Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, George Chakiris, and Rita Moreno. The Oscar-winning musical is presented in its original widescreen format with a mid-film intermission, plus an introduction and post-show commentary by TCM Primetime Host Ben Mankiewicz. Sunday, June 24, and Wednesday, June 27, at 2 and 7 p.m. Area theaters including Regal Gallery Place (701 7th St. NW), Potomac Yards Stadium (3575 Jefferson Davis Highway, Alexandria), and Regal Ballston Common (671 N. Glebe Road, Arlington). Tickets are $12.50. Visit

Other Life Forms — Photo: C. Stanley Photography



The Kennedy Center presents this new musical about The Temptations, a group that churned out 42 Top 10 hits, including 14 No. 1’s. Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys) directs and Sergio Trujillo (Memphis the Musical) choreographs a production featuring classics everyone knows — from “My Girl” to “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” to “Just My Imagination.” To July 22. Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $59 to $159. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


While painting “The Birth of Venus,” the famed artist Sandro Botticelli is put to the test by the arrival of a conservative priest leading a populist revolution in Lorenzo de’ Medici’s Florence. Heralded by the Montreal Gazette as “the hottest name in Canadian theater,” Jordan Tannahill offers an ambitious, modern story that sounds custom-made for Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. Marti Lyons directs a production with company members Cody Nickell, Jon Hudson Odom, and Dawn Ursula. To June 24. 641 D St. NW. Call 202-393-3939 or visit


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. Extended to July 8. Sidney Harman Hall, Harman Center for the Arts, 610 F St. NW. Call 202-547-1122 or visit


GALA Theatre closes its 42nd season with the D.C. premiere of playwright Magdalena Gómez’s sassy bilingual musical featuring music and musical direction by Desmar Guevara. Conceived and directed by Rosalba Rolón and a co-production with Rolón’s Pregones Theater/PRTT of New York, Dancing In My Cockroach Killers is a rollicking show with characters inspired by family, friends, and Latino icons as varied as Lolita Lebrón, Joe Cuba, and Iris Chacón. To July 1. Tivoli Square, 3333 14th St. NW. Tickets are $30 to $45. Call 202-234-7174 or visit


This hit Broadway jukebox show tells the story of the Motown founder Berry Gordy and his success in creating an enduring style of American popular music, launching the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, and Smokey Robinson, to name just three. There was also The Temptations, the subject of a new jukebox show aiming for Broadway, Ain’t Too Proud. Tuesday, June 26, Wednesday, June 27, and Thursday, June 28, at 8 p.m. The Filene Center at Wolf Trap, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $30 to $85. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit


The D.C. premiere of an ironic and rueful play by Robert Brustein, founding Dean of the Yale School of Drama. Nobody Dies on Friday focuses on the relationship between Marilyn Monroe and the Strasberg family, headed up by her acting coach Lee Strasberg, the longtime Actors Studio director considered the father of “method acting.” Brustein’s examination into the unhealthy obsession with Monroe and Hollywood in mid-20th century America draws upon biographies of Monroe and Strasberg as well as the playwright’s own recollections as a rising New York theater critic at the time. Mollie Goff portrays Monroe in a cast including Bill Hurlbutt, Susan Schulman, Emily Sucher, and Joe Savattieri. Now to July 1. Lab I Theatre in the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $15 to $25. Call 202-399-7993 or visit


Three sailors romp around New York in 1944. Olney Theatre Company revives this early musical that features an exuberant score by Leonard Bernstein. The original show grew out of a ballet that Jerome Robbins had worked on with Bernstein, further developed by the writing and lyricist team of Betty Comden and Adolph Green. Olney’s cast includes Evan Casey, Rhett Guter, Sam Ludwig, Donna Migliaccio, Tracy Lynn Olivera, Bobby Smith, and Rachel Zampelli, with Robbins-inspired choreography by Tara Jeanne Vallee. Jason Loewith directs. Opens Saturday, June 23. To July 20. Mainstage, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Call 301-924-3400 or visit


D.C. playwright Brandon McCoy wrote this romantic comedy about two very different roommates and their attempts at finding love online. Starring John Loughney, Josh Sticklin, Aidan Quartana, Brianna Letourneau, and Shanta Parasuraman. To July 7. 1742 Church St. NW. Tickets are $35 to $45. Call 202-265-3768 or visit


Owen, an urban 14-year-old, clashes with his fisherman father while visiting the family’s secluded cottage on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Cue a beached whale to help save the relationship and awaken Owen’s sense of wonder and connection with the sea. Bob Bartlett’s drama gets a world premiere in a production directed by Alex Levy. To June 24. 1st Stage, 1524 Spring Hill Rd. Tysons, Va. Tickets are $15 to $33. Call 703-854-1856 or visit


Set at a club in Miami’s Little Havana on the fateful night of June 25, 2009, Kymone Freeman’s play focuses on five strangers who bond over music. Five actors present a staged reading of the show a year before a full production is expected to run at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. DJ Lance Reynolds from WPFW 89.3 FM will enhance the reading with classics from Jackson’s hit repertoire. Monday, June 25, at 7:30 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $15 to $39.75. Call 202-787-1000 or visit


A comedy about the tragedy of loving starring Maulik Pancholy (30 RockWeeds) 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. Extended to June 24. Studio Theatre, 14th & P Streets NW. Call 202-332-3300 or visit


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. To July 1. MAX Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit


Theater J presents a world premiere of Lindsay Joelle’s play set in 1990’s New York, named for the Yiddish word for “non-kosher” or “forbidden.” Trayf predominantly focuses on the double life of 19-year-old Zalmy: a loyal foot soldier for his rabbi and Orthodox Jewish community by day, a freewheeling, roller-skating, secular club kid at night. Derek Goldman directs Josh Adams, Madeline Joey Rose, Tyler Herman, and Drew Kopas. To June 24. The Aaron and Cecile Goldman Theater, Edlavitch DCJCC, 1529 16th St. NW. Tickets are $39 to $69. Call 202-777-3210 or visit

The Nance — Photo: Matt Liptak



Claudia Bach directs the Maryland-based community troupe Rude Mechanicals’ production of one of Shakespeare’s most controversial yet increasingly relevant plays. The Merchant of Venice focuses on a Jewish man who seizes an opportunity to make his wealthy and mythically splendorous city confront the injustice and cruelty that lurks beneath its gold-plated surface. Weekends to June 30. Greenbelt Arts Center, 123 Centerway. Greenbelt, Md. Tickets are $20 to $22. Call 301-441-8770 or visit


The “nance” — as in Nancy boy, or effeminate homosexual — was a stock character in burlesque and vaudeville shows in 1930s New York, when it might have been popular to play gay on stage, for laughs, but certainly not to be gay in reality. The play The Nance shines a light on that honest-to-goodness chapter in history that even few gay people know about. Alexandria’s Little Theatre offers the first area production of the entertaining and informative comedy, a three-time Tony winner from Douglas Carter Beane (Little Dog LaughedXanadu) that starred Nathan Lane on Broadway in 2013. Chuck Dluhy takes on the title role at this community theater in Old Town, directed by Frank D. Shutts II. To June 23. 600 Wolfe St., Alexandria. Tickets are $19 to $23. Call 703-683-0496 or visit

Kacey Musgraves and Harry Styles



A decade ago, the experimental, cinematic-sounding electronic/rock band was touted as a harbinger of a new era of homegrown D.C. music. And then its lead producer, singer-songwriter and guitarist Chad Clark fell ill to a rare virus that infected his heart. After two open-heart surgeries and several years recuperating, Clark revived the group in part to record and perform scores for theatrical productions by Taffety Punk and Woolly Mammoth, as well as create novel sound art installations at the Arlington Arts Center and the former Artisphere complex. The latter included an “Immersive Ideal” exhibition in which the group recorded live its most recent album, Beauty Pill Describes Things As They Are, named to Best Albums lists by NPR Music and Rolling Stone in 2015. Beauty Pill members Basla Andolsun, Jean Cook, Drew Doucette, and Devin Ocampo join Clark in a rare live concert, the second this year, this time a free offering in collaboration with Hometown Sounds and as a part of By the People. Sunday, June 24, at 6 p.m. Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. Free. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


The former One Directioner offers an in-the-round stage setup on an international stadium tour supporting his surprising and strong self-titled solo debut, which conjures the Beatles, old-school, high-quality folk-rock, even a little Beck — and nary a trace of manufactured boy-band pop. As an added incentive, North American dates feature Kacey Musgraves, country’s coolest and classiest star-on-the-rise. With her early CMA-winning LGBTQ-affirming hit “Follow Your Arrow,” the progressive Millennial had queer fans from the get-go, yet still more are joining the fold on account of her stellar third album Golden Hour and the discofied singles “Strange Cowboy” and especially “High Horse.” Sunday, June 24, at 8 p.m. Capital One Arena, 601 F St. NW. Call 202-628-3200 or visit


A jazz vocalist originally from Dallas, Horn is quickly emerging as one of the genre’s best new talents, winning prestigious titles in the process, including the 2013 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition and the 2015 Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Competition. After headlining concerts at the Kennedy Center and Blues Alley in the past year, Horn returns to the area to perform at the city’s newest music venue. Sunday, June 24. Doors at 6 p.m. City Winery DC, 1350 Okie St. NE. Tickets are $25 to $35. Call 202-250-2531 or visit


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 the Hendrik Meurkens Quartet on June 22, followed by by the Josh Bayer Jazz swinging ensemble on June 29. Evenings from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Sculpture Garden, between 7th and 9th Streets NW. Call 202-289-3360 or visit


The nationally renowned Francis was the first steelpan soloist in history invited to give a recital at Carnegie Hall in 2014, the same year she also appeared as a guest musician on — of all things — Bravo’s Top Chef. The artistic director of the Cultural Academy for Excellence, a music-based enrichment program in Prince George’s County, Francis is also currently serving as an Artist-in-Residence at Strathmore this season. Next week, she performs a solo concert as part of a series showcasing the program’s sonically diverse 2018 class. Wednesday, June 27, at 7:30 p.m. The Mansion at Strathmore, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Tickets are $17. Call 301-581-5100 or visit


The Grammy-winning bluesy-rock lesbian pioneer brings her expressive voice and guitar prowess to the Kennedy Center for two performances. Etheridge’s heartfelt hits from the heartland will be reimagined with symphonic accompaniment courtesy of the National Symphony Orchestra, led by out NSO Pops Conductor Steven Reineke. Friday, June 22, and Saturday, June 23, at 8 p.m. Concert Hall. Tickets are $24 to $99. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


The popular D.C. band, consisting of founder Alex Tebeleff, Matt Dowling, and Rick Irby, makes rhythmically oriented, psychedelic rock with a mournful edge, recalling everything from Joy Division and the Doors to experimental contemporaries Deerhunter and Lower Dens. Any fans of melodic electrified rock will be hooked by the hazy, moody rocker “Told You What To Say,” from last year’s Are These The Questions That We Need to Ask? Fellow D.C. acts Park Snakes and Bacchae open, with between-sets music from DJ Hipsterwoods. Saturday, June 30. Doors at 7 p.m. Rock and Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. Tickets are $15. Call 202-388-ROCK or visit


A year after stopping at Merriweather Post Pavilion on tour with Paul Simon, the founder of Lilith Fair returns for a summer gig in Maryland. The Canadian crooner will fill Strathmore’s acoustically rich Music Center with the sounds of her quiet-storm ballads, performed as part of a solo piano show. Friday, June 29, at 8 p.m. 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $66 to $146. Call 301-581-5100 or visit


Co-presented by Classical Movements, the Kennedy Center offers a free week-long festival of choral music featuring 12 professional ensembles from 14 countries, this year built on a theme of celebrating South Africa’s Nelson Mandela. Serenade! kicks off with the first of five Millennium Stage concerts Tuesday, June 26, featuring the Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir plus the Indonesian Children and Youth Choir – Cordana. The next evening (Wednesday, June 27) features Olga Vocal Ensemble, an all-male a cappella quintet from the Netherlands, and the Chennai Children’s Choir, an inspirational ensemble consisting of orphaned, blind, and differently abled Tamil children from India. The Thursday, June 28, show pairs the Ensemble Tyva Kyzy, the only all-female throat-singing group from southern Siberia, with the Nathaniel Dett Chorale, Canada’s first professional group dedicated to Afrocentric music of all styles. The festival draws to a close on Sunday, July 1, with performances from all 12 ensembles in the Concert Hall. “Mandela at 100: Songs of Hope, Justice & Unity,” includes the world premiere of a commissioned work by South Africa’s Qinisela Sibisi featuring the entire Serenade! mass choir conducted by Scott Tucker of the Choral Arts Society of Washington. All shows at 6 p.m. Kennedy Center. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


Josiah Wise, who records and performs as serpentwithfeet, is a Baltimore-born, New York-based gay artist who makes music — gospel-inflected, classically rooted electronica — that is as sonically exploratory and hard to classify as Grizzly Bear, the gay-led experimental indie-rock band Wise opened for at the Anthem last fall. He returns for an intimate headline show and a stronger focus on his dramatic, stirring, and compelling tunes, as showcased on his debut album soil, released earlier this month, which explicitly aims “to provide black, queer people with a heartfelt, futurist folk,” as an official note puts it. Monday, June 25. Doors at 7:30 p.m. DC9, 1940 9th St. NW. Tickets are $12 in advance, or $14 day of show. Call 202-483-5000 or

Emperor of Atlantis — Photo: Angelisa Gillyard


A rarely heard visionary opera from 1943 that satirizes dictatorship and militarism with commedia dell’arte-type characters, as written by Czech composer Viktor Ullmann, a victim of the Nazis at Auschwitz, in collaboration with his fellow camp inmate Peter Kien, a poet and visual artist. Stanley Thurston conducts a chamber orchestra for the one-act opera, presented in a new English translation by Nick Olcott and starring Andrew Thomas Pardini, Andrew Adelsberger, and Adam Caughey. Performed as part of a double-bill with Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale. Presented by The InSeries. Remaining performances are Saturday, June 23, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, June 24, at 2:30 p.m. Sprenger Theatre in the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $23 to $47. Call 202-399-7993 or visit


“D.C.’s all ’90s party band,” cheekily named after O.J. Simpson’s notorious failed getaway car, sings through that decade’s songbook in all styles of popular music. The five-member ensemble is comprised of singer/guitarist Diego Valencia, singer Gretchen Gustafson, guitarists Ken Sigmund and McNasty and drummer Max Shapiro. Friday, June 22, at 8 and 11 p.m. Union Stage, 740 Water St. SW. Tickets are $25 to $35 each. Call 877-987-6487 or visit


Pauline Anson-Dross’ popular lesbian all-covers party-rock band Wicked Jezabel has been rocking — as well as raising money for various good causes — all over the region for a decade now, originally under the name The Outskirts of Town. The ladies return to their main stomping grounds in Virginia on Friday, June 29, at 9 p.m. JV’s Restaurant, 6666 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church. Call 703-241-9504 or visit

Rebollardance: Variations — Photo: Mark Hoelscher



The fifth seasonal offering from this New York-birthed, D.C.-based contemporary dance company focuses on the premiere of a work in collaboration with National Cathedral music director Michael McCarthy and featuring live Gregorian chant. Seven dancers, five singers, a djembe drummer, and a string quartet all factor into Chant, choreographed by the Project’s founder and artistic director Diane Coburn Bruning with company dancer Andile Ndlovu. The program also includes the Washington premiere of Vespers, choreographed by former Paul Taylor dancer David Grenke, Wild Swans by New York choreographer Darrell Grand Moultrie, plus highlights from Time Has Come, Bruning’s first ballet in Washington as a toast to the company’s anniversary. Opening Night, including Summer Solstice Party with the artists after the performance at the Hotel Monaco, is Thursday, June 21, starting at 7:30 p.m. Additional performances Friday, June 22, and Saturday, June 23, at 2 and 8 p.m. Lansburgh Theater, 450 7th St. NW. Tickets are $30 to $50, or $150 for Opening Night performance and party. Call 202-547-1122 or visit


Powerhouse local choreographer Erica Rebollar celebrates her company’s 10th anniversary in D.C. by premiering a new work meditating on the artistic method of “theme and variation.” Driving the work are four main themes — a “walking” theme, an algorithmic duet, a “gesture” theme, and solos revisited in a final climactic group phrase. Saturday, June 23, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, June 24, at 7 p.m. Dance Place, 3225 8th St. NE. Tickets are $30. Call 202-269-1600 or visit



Two different programs of comedic shorts, standouts from past festivals, in between live stand-up routines from local comedians. Show A, on Friday, June 22, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, June 23, at 10 p.m., features Ryan Neser, Kandace Saunders, and Andy Kline, plus the screening of Ruby Full of ShitCurse WordsSans Response (Without Answers)The Importance of Sex EducationNext Is The One, and Fanny Pack. Show B, on Friday, June 22, at 10 p.m., and Saturday, June 23, at 8 p.m. features Natalie McGill, Eddie Morrison, and Denise Taylor, plus the shorts RufusI Love NewEulogiliaTicket Like a Man, and The Final Show. The Miracle Theatre, 535 8th St. SE. Tickets are $20 for one show, or $30 for two. Call 202-400-3210 or visit


The Saturday Night Live Weekend Update co-host returns to the area for another night of appealing, provocatively unassuming stand-up, or “blunt, insightful” humor mixed with a “reflective laid-back stage presence,” to quote the New York Times. Thursday, June 28, at 8 p.m. Warner Theatre, 513 13th St. NW. Tickets are $25 to $35. Call 202-783-4000 or visit


The full title of the latest show from Chicago’s famed troupe created especially for the Kennedy Center is Generation Gap…Or, How Many Millennials Does It Take to Teach a Baby Boomer to Text Generation X? Expect a satirical crash course spanning miscommunications, careers, dating, and more in a two-act, interactive spin on what the troupe calls “the age-old battle of the ages.” To Aug. 12. Theater Lab. Tickets are $49 to $59. Call 202-467-4600 or visit



In The Creative Curve: How to Develop the Right Idea at the Right Time, data entrepreneur Gannett reveals the four laws of creativity. In generating new ideas there’s a sweet spot between what feels familiar and what is truly innovative. It’s a point of optimal tension between safety and surprise, similarity and difference — and ultimately, finding this sweet spot is the key to developing a successful creative breakthrough. From Mozart to the creators of the musical Dear Evan Hansen, and from Netflix to Reddit, The Creative Curve is packed with case studies to help the reader understand how to conceive ideas that can lead to success. Wednesday, June 27, at 7 p.m. Solid State Books, 600 H St. NE. Call 202-854-0118 or visit


The “Outclassed” columnist for The Guardian offers an eye-opening report on the middle class in Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America. Drawing on her reporting of the challenges working parents face, Quart tells stories of people struggling to negotiate the unstable job market, high childcare costs, limited parental leave, and a lower standard of living than what they grew up with. Quart will be in conversation with Barbara Ehrenreich, author of the classic Nickel and Dimed, with whom Quart co-founded the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, a nonprofit for reporting on inequality. Friday, June 29, at 7 p.m. Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-364-1919 or visit


National Geographic Traveler placed Washington at No. 8 in its Top 10 list of the world’s most literary cities. Roberts, a D.C.-based freelance historian and writer, aims to help the everyday resident uncover some of the literati in our midst through this walking tour and anthology, subtitled Walking in the Footsteps of American Writers from Francis Scott Key to Zora Neale Hurston. See also: queer giants Walt Whitman and Langston Hughes. Saturday, June 30, at 3:30 p.m. Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-364-1919 or visit


A professor at American University and senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, Tankel offers what is billed as a “theoretically rich and policy-relevant toolkit for assessing and improving counterterrorism cooperation…and getting the most out of difficult partnerships.” Since President George W. Bush’s famous black-or-white declaration that gives this book its title, there’s really no such thing as a pure ally or a pure foe, and the U.S. is forced to collaborate with unreliable partners in the ongoing War on Terror. Tankel will be in conversation with Schmitt, senior correspondent for the New York Times and co-author of Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America’s Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda. Monday, June 25, at 6:30 p.m. Kramerbooks, 1517 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-387-1400 or visit


Valerie Boyd, a former arts editor at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and current University of Georgia journalism professor, garnered several awards and much critical acclaim for her 2003 biography Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston. Who better to lead a discussion focused on Hurston’s Barracoon, which was just published this year, 58 years after her death? Boyd will be joined by poet E. Ethelbert Miller, longtime director of Howard University’s African-American Resource Center. Monday, June 25, at 6:30 p.m. The Cullen Room at Busboys & Poets, 1025 5th St. NW. Call 202-789-2227 or visit



The Hirshhorn presents the first major U.S. retrospective since 1996 of one of Germany’s greatest living artists, featuring more than 100 works, from iconic paintings to wood and bronze sculptures, highlighting every phase of Georg Baselitz’s career. The occasion is the 80th birthday of the figurative artist, who came of age in post-war East Germany and is best known for large-scale, expressive paintings, often with subjects painted upside down. Through Sept. 16. Second Floor Galleries, Independence Avenue and Seventh Street SW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit


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. Through June 23. Logan Fringe Art Space, 1358 Florida Ave. NE. Free. Call 202-737-7230 or visit


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


Two of this local painter’s favorite topics are the focus of a solo exhibition of his works at the Hill Center: Frida Kahlo, and his friends, primarily laborers. The latter are based on photos Amoroso took, which the artist surrounds and envelopes with retro wallpaper patterns, with designs covering the subjects’ bodies the way tattoos might. To June 23. Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Call 202-549-4172 or visit


The latest immersive show at ArTecHouse, D.C.’s innovative science-meets-art gallery, is billed as a “celebration of light” and presented in partnership with the Optical Society, the American Physical Society, and the American Institute of Physics. Developed by illustrator Noemi Schipfer and musician Takami Nakamoto working together as Nonotak, the Paris-based duo’s first solo exhibition in the U.S. transports viewers into a dreamlike environment where they’re encouraged to follow the lights as they see them — exploring the medium in three-dimensional fashion across four sculptural light and sound installations. During evening hours, the gallery once again offers specially made, technology-enhanced cocktails from what is touted as “the first Augmented Reality Cocktail Bar in the United States.” To June 30. ArTecHouse, 1238 Maryland Ave. SW. Tickets for 60-minute, timed-entry sessions are $12 for daytime or $15 for evening admission, not including drinks. Visit


Described as “a visual poem using images found near, or inspired by, the Hill Center,” the parts of this special installation vary in scale and representation. A recent transplant to D.C., Livingston took the large Ash on the property as his starting point, building out from there in terms of time and space. To June 23. Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Call 202-549-4172 or visit


The annual experimental music concert took place the first weekend this month, but this year’s edition also spawned a month-long exhibition influenced and inspired by Man Ray’s photograph of Marcel Duchamp’s The Great Glass covered in dust motes, Élevage de Poussière. Works reinterpreting or subverting lyrics, sound, and musical ephemera from an assortment of LGBTQ artists and allies — including Metro Weekly‘s Todd Franson — will be on display, with a percentage of sales benefiting the host venue and a queer charity TBA. Through June 30. Rhizome DC, 6950 Maple St. NW. Tickets are $10. Visit


A juried 40th Anniversary Exhibit featuring works by members of The Washington Calligrapher’s Guild, an organization devoted to artistic writing and textual design. This year’s theme takes inspiration from the famous 20th century movement known as surrealism, in which writers, poets, and artists sought to express themselves free from conscious control of reason and convention. Many of the chosen entrees are for sale through the Strathmore Mansion Gift Shop. Opening Reception is Thursday, June 21, from 7 to 9 p.m. On display to July 29. 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Call 301-581-5100 or visit


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 In all, there are 47 artworks — 25 pillows and 22 prints — and all priced under $100. Through June 30. 1626 14th St. NW. Call 202-232-8171 or visit


The latest thematic group show from member artists of Virginia’s Del Ray Artisans Gallery focuses on adventure, travel, and new experiences, celebrating the diversity and beauty found in every corner of the world. To June 24. 2704 Mount Vernon Ave. Alexandria. Call 703-731-8802 or visit



This Saturday, June 23, you can spend the evening at your favorite Smithsonian museum, as most of them will stay open until midnight. The occasion is an institution-wide, all-day celebration of the summer solstice, in association with the inaugural By The People Festival. It will certainly be the longest day of the year at the various museums, whose cafes and gift shops will also stay open well into the evening hours. Among the only-on-the-solstice daytime offerings, an obvious highlight is Dolcezza’s outdoor pop-up shop at the Hirshhorn, where samples of new summer gelato flavor Orange Sunshine, a blend of alishan oolong tea with pixie tangerine juice, will be available while supplies last, starting at 10 a.m.

The best way to kick off the evening is by taking advantage of the fourth annual after-hours festival of Americana. The festivities start at 5:30 p.m. with an art and history happy hour at the National Museum of American History (14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW). At 7:30 p.m., things move — via “pedicab procession” — to the complex at 8th and F Streets NW that houses both the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery. There, you’ll first encounter the outdoor Community Block Party with food trucks, lawn games, and craft-making stations featuring local artists in collaboration with Made in DC — plus representatives from the Downtown BID, the nearby Woolly Mammoth and Shakespeare theatre companies, and the Fresh Farm Farmers Market. Once inside, check out the boutique-designed Beer Garden that will be set up in the covered Kogod Courtyard connecting the two institutions, where a Washington-based caricature artist will be offering portraits of patrons, who can also peruse the exhibitions open throughout the complex’s first floor. At 9:30 p.m. comes a closing concert featuring Atlanta’s neo-soul group Ruby Velle and the Soulphonics and D.C.’s rising rap star Oddisee, plus additional tunes spun by DJ Ayes Cold. Free. Visit


Dozens of installations, pop-up performances, and discussions — many of them free — will take place at various venues around town all next weekend as part of an inaugural arts and innovation festival organized by Georgetown’s Halcyon House. The key ticketed events are: renowned jazz pianist Jason Moran, on Thursday, June 21, at 8 p.m., at the Washington National Cathedral ($35); Philadelphia’s avant-garde company BalletX, in two distinct performances — one, Friday, June 22, at 8 p.m., with works inspired by the Latin and Afro-Caribbean music of Spanish Harlem, the other on Saturday, June 23, at 2 p.m., with works inspired by by Motown, both at Union Market’s Dock 5, 1309 5th St. NE ($45 each); an exclusive partnership between Wolf Trap Opera with the Hong Kong Ballet performing The Seven Deadly Sins, including projections of visual artwork and a guest performance from the new Terra Firma Dance Company, on Saturday, June 23, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, June 24, at 1 p.m., at Dock 5 ($45); the “Punk Latitudes” showcase of legendary punk bands from D.C. and LA including performances and video screenings, on Sunday, June 24, at 5:30 p.m., at Dock 5 ($35); and a closing concert featuring legendary go-go band Rare Essence with Small Upsetters, on Sunday, June 24, at 7 p.m. U Street Music Hall, 1115A U St. NW ($15).

Additional, free events include: performances by Bridgman|Packer Dance on Thursday, June 21, at 5:30, 6:15, and 7 p.m. at the National Cathedral; a screening and panel discussion of the documentary Becoming Free about post-prison reintegration on Thursday, June 21, at 6 p.m., at the Miracle Theatre, 535 8th St. SE; the public art-making event Crochet Jam led by San Francisco-based artist Ramekon O’Arwisters and presented by the gallery Transformer, Friday, June 22, at 11 a.m., in Farragut Square Park; performances as part of an installation from queer Argentinian/American artist Estefani Mercedes every day at the Smithsonian’s Arts & Industries Building, 900 Jefferson Dr. SW; a pop-up performance by the Washington Performing Arts Men, Women and Children of the Gospel Choir on Sunday, June 24, at 12 p.m., at Union Market; and pop-ups throughout the festival by the Dupont Brass.

Installations include: Works by Dan SteinhilberRachel SchmidtMaya FreelonGeorgia SaxelbyJenny E. Sabin, and Linda Hesh at Arts & Industries; Heide TrepanierNekisha DurrettStacy Cantrell, and Michael JN Bowles at the Parks at Walter Reed, 1010 Butternut St. NW; Antonius BuiErin Curtis, plus a video work from Nick Cave and a mixed-media sculpture from Stephen Hayes at the THEARC, 1801 Mississippi Ave. SE; Imran QureshiRebecca Clark, and a woven piece from textile/multimedia artist Chloe Bensahel at the National Cathedral; and Liliane Tomasko, the Holladay BrothersKristin Adair, and Avish Khebrehzadeh at Union Market. Finally, there is the “Augmented Reality Art Hunt” at all locations featuring installations only visible through use of ArTecHouse‘s mobile app. Festival runs to Sunday, June 24. Call 202-796-4240 or visit


The cute death-defying magician is taking his stunts on the road in a 36-date North American tour sponsored by Live Nation and including a stop at Maryland’s MGM resort. Sunday, June 24, at 8 p.m. Theater at MGM National Harbor, 7100 Harborview Ave., Oxon Hill, Md., Oxon Hill, Md. Call 844-346-4664 or visit


A night of local tendsetting LGBTQ musicians and performers is on tap at this new show kicking off during Pride month. Drag performer Jane Saw (Gay/Bash, Sleaze) will host performances the first go-round by show creator Bryce Sulecki (Capital Fringe’s Hydrogen Blonde), known simply as Bryce when performing his left-field, queer-explicit dance-pop songs; stage actor and pop artist Hilary Morrow (Pointless Theatre’s Imogen); and Alanis Morissette-influenced folk-pop singer-songwriter Jordan Genovese. Saturday, June 23, at 7:30 and 10 p.m. District of Columbia Arts Center (DCAC), 2438 18th St. NW. Tickets are $20. Call 202-462-7833 or visit


A funny, sometimes poignant true story of a 1950s housewife who became a visual artist and activist in the 1970s Second Wave Feminist Movement — all told in her own words. Schoettler has performed the one-woman show Pushing Boundaries around the country since its debut at Capital Fringe in 2010, with an encore run in 2012. This weekend she’ll perform it for free in conjunction with the retrospective exhibition at the American University Museum, Latitude: The Washington Women’s Arts Center 1975-1987, which features works created by members of this former women’s arts rights organization, including one by Schoetter. Sunday, June 24, at 2 p.m. Katzen Arts Center, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW. Free; reservations recommended for planning purposes. Call 202-885-1300 or visit

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

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