20 FEET FROM STARDOM
Morgan Neville shines a spotlight on the backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends of the 21st century in this Oscar-winning documentary. As part of its Rock Doc series, the American Film Institute returns Darlene Love to the big screen — if only for one night — along with other lesser-known backups, including the Waters Family, who sang on Michael Jackson’s Thriller and lent their voices to the films The Lion King and Avatar, and Judith Hill, who was the last backup vocalist for the King of Pop, a standout from the 2009 documentary This Is It. Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, and Mick Jagger are also interviewed. Monday, June 18, at 9 p.m. AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $8. Call 301-495-6720 or visit afi.com/Silver.
A KID LIKE JAKE
Jim Parsons and Claire Danes star as parents of a preschooler exhibiting gender-nonconforming behavior. Four-year-old Jake is a very minor character in the film, which is more about the parents, broader family, and social dynamics. Octavia Spencer plays the lesbian head of Jake’s school. Opens Friday, June 15. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com.
HEARTS BEAT LOUD
Nick Offerman stars as a single dad who embarks on a journey of love, growing up, and musical discovery with his college-bound daughter (Kiersey Clemons) after they become a father-daughter live act whose first song makes them an online sensation. Ted Danson, Sasha Lane, Blythe Danner, and Toni Collette co-star in this feel-good dramedy. Opens Friday, June 15. Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672 or visit landmarktheatres.com.
Easily one of Pixar’s greatest films, The Incredibles blew critics and audiences away when it opened in 2004. Fourteen years later, we have the sequel that the first film’s ending unsubtly teased, and it comes from Brad Bird, the writer-director of the original. This time around, Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) is the stay-at-home parent as Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) fights crime and campaigns for the return of superheroes. Nothing less than perfection will be tolerated from Pixar, as the first film set an impossibly high bar. Opens Friday, June 15. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (Rhuaridh Marr) See review on page 62.
MCKELLEN: PLAYING THE PART
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. Tuesday, June 19, at 7 p.m. Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Tickets are $15. Call 202-452-7672 or visit landmarktheatres.com. Also 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 folger.edu.
RA XTRA: IDEAL HOME
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 thedccenter.org.
THE HELLO GIRLS
The National Archives Museum screens director James Theres’ new documentary in the mold of Hidden Figures, in this case focused on the slighted history of America’s first female soldiers. In 1918, the U.S. Army Signal Corps sent 223 American women to France to work the latest technology, the telephone switchboard. These courageous women battled enemy fire in a war zone as they endeavored to keep U.S. Army commanders connected with troops on the front lines. And yet, when they returned home, the U.S. government refused to recognize them as soldiers — and only did so some 60 years later, after the women persisted. After the screening, Theres and historian and author Mitchell Yockelson will discuss and answer questions about The Hello Girls, which features archival film and photographs from the Archives. Friday, June 15, at noon. The William G. McGowan Theater, Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets NW. Free, with reservations recommended; first-come, first-seated. Call 202-357-5000 or visit archivesfoundation.org.
THIS IS SPINAL TAP
As part of Merriweather Movie Nights, the Downtown Columbia Arts and Culture Commission hosts a screening at the local amphitheater of Rob Reiner’s hilarious 1984 rock mockumentary. This Is Spinal Tap went on to inspire its lead actor Christopher Guest to make the mockumentaries Waiting for Guffman and Best In Show. Thursday, June 21. Gates at 7 p.m. Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Md. Tickets are $5 to $10. Call 800-551-SEAT or visit merriweathermusic.com.
AIN’T TOO PROUD
A 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.” Opens Tuesday, June 19. Runs to July 22. Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $59 to $159. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
BOTTICELLI IN THE FIRE
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 woollymammoth.net.
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 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. To June 17. ArtSpace Falls Church, 410 South Maple Ave. in Falls Church. Call 703-436-9948 or visit creativecauldron.org.
DANCING IN MY COCKROACH KILLERS
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 galatheatre.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. Extended to June 17. The Ark, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit sigtheatre.org.
OTHER LIFE FORMS
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. Opens in previews Friday, June 15. To July 7. 1742 Church St. NW. Tickets are $35 to $45. Call 202-265-3768 or visit keegantheatre.com.
SWIMMING WITH WHALES
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 1ststage.org.
A comedy about the tragedy of loving starring Maulik Pancholy (30 Rock, Weeds) 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 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. To July 1. MAX Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit sigtheatre.org.
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. In previews. 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 theaterj.org.
THE MERCHANT OF VENICE
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. Opens Friday, June 15. Weekends to June 30. Greenbelt Arts Center, 123 Centerway. Greenbelt, Md. Tickets are $20 to $22. Call 301-441-8770 or visit rudemechanicals.com.
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 Laughed, Xanadu) 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 thelittletheater.com.
AUDRA MCDONALD WITH THE NATIONAL SYMPHONY
Broadway’s most showered performer in history — winner of a whopping six Tony Awards — performs favorites from the shows she’s starred in — everything from Carousel, Ragtime and Porgy and Bess on Broadway, to The Sound of Music on TV and Disney’s live action Beauty and The Beast. McDonald takes a bow with the National Symphony Orchestra with Andy Einhorn conducting. Tuesday, June 19, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $29 to $119. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
BEN HUNTER & JOE SEAMONS: A JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION
As part of its American Roots Concert Series, the Hill Center presents two Seattle-based singer-songwriters who relate the history of Juneteenth and the emancipation from slavery through the lens of classic songs — from folk jams to blues stormers to prison ballads — in an engaging style said to vividly show how the past lives in the present. Tuesday, June 19, at 7:30 p.m. Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Tickets are $15 in advance, or $20 day-of show. Call 202-549-4172 or visit HillCenterDC.org.
As moody, dramatic, and hauntingly beautiful as you’d expect from a folk-inflected pop singer-songwriter from Ireland. Lavery’s new album Sweet Decay runs the full, sweeping gamut of emotion, from the joyfully rousing opener “Everything Is Made To Last” to the dying embers of the sorrowful title track that closes the set. It’s a captivating journey thanks to a stirring musical sensibility and Lavery’s sensitive tenor croon. Thursday, June 21, at 7:30 p.m. Jammin Java, 227 Maple Ave. E. Vienna. Tickets are $12 in advance, or $15 at the door. Call 703-255-3747 or visit jamminjava.com.
Billed as the fastest-growing jazz festival in the U.S., as well as the largest and most diverse music festival in D.C., the DC Jazz Festival returns with over 100 performances at venues around town, from Sixth and I Historic Synagogue to the Kennedy Center. Yet signature events at this year’s festival, presented by EventsDC, take place at locations in the Southwest Waterfront, including the Pearl Street Warehouse and Hyatt House. Mark G. Meadows, Ivan Lins & Friends, Akua Allrich, and Christian Scott Atunde Adjuah will perform on outdoor stages set up on the Wharf’s piers on Saturday, June 16, a day featuring a triple-bill headline performance at the Anthem with Leslie Odom Jr., R+R=Now (Robert Glasper Supergroup), and Maceo Parker. On Sunday, June 17, Rochelle Rice, Melissa Aldana, Ancestral Memories featuring Yosvany Terry & Baptiste Trotignon, and the Fabrizio Bosso Quartet will take to the District and Transit piers to bring DC JazzFest on the Wharf to a close — with the overall festival culminating in two concerts elsewhere: Lisa Fischer & Grand Banton at Blues Alley, and All That Jazz with Donvonte McCoy Quintet at Eighteenth Street Lounge. Call 855-332-7767 or visit dcjazzfest.org.
FIREFLY MUSIC FESTIVAL
Delaware’s Firefly becomes more of a draw with each passing year. Spread out over a scenic, woodsy 100 acres at Dover Downs, Firefly offers non-musical diversions, including camping spaces, a pathway with nighttime video and light displays, food trucks and bars — this year including Eminem’s “Mom’s Spaghetti” and Shake Shack — and a pop-up brewery from Delaware’s own Dogfish. But the chief focus is on catching many of music’s latest and greatest. Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Arctic Monkeys, The Killers, and Chromeo are headliners this year. Other notable acts in the lineup include, per day: Hippie Sabotage, Chicano Batman, and Everything Everything joining Chromeo on Thursday, June 14; Foster The People, Logic, Big Gigantic, Jimmy Eat World, and Lizzo joining Arctic Monkeys on Friday, June 14; Lil Wayne, Martin Garrix, Portugal. The Man, Vance Joy, and Middle Kids joining Eminem and the Killers on Saturday, June 15; and Odesza, Sza, Alt-J, MGMT, Kamasi Washington, Betty Who, Alice Merton, and Morgxn joining Lamar on closing day Sunday, June 17. The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway, 1131 N. Dupont Highway, Dover, Del. Passes start at $129 for a single day or $349 for a four-day pass. Call 855-281-4898 or visit fireflyfestival.com.
HARRY STYLES W/KACEY MUSGRAVES
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 country’s coolest and classiest star-on-the-rise as show opener. With her early CMA-winning LGBTQ-affirming hit “Follow Your Arrow,” the progressive Millennial Musgraves 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 capitalonearena.com.
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 citywinery.com.
The acclaimed out British folk/rock singer-songwriter returns for a run of shows as part of a six-city U.S. tour at the new D.C. outpost of venerable New York institution City Winery, located just off New York Avenue in Northeast’s Ivy City neighborhood. Select dates Saturday, June 16, through Thursday, June 21, at 8 p.m. City Winery DC, 1350 Okie St. NE. Tickets are $75 to $125. Call 202-250-2531 or visit citywinery.com.
JOURNEY & DEF LEPPARD
Hyped in its official press release as “promising to be the Tour of the Year,” this double-bill show features two of the biggest baby-boomer legacy acts. According to the official release, Journey from San Francisco and Def Leppard from Sheffield, England, have transcended their generation, time, and place to register as “two of the world’s greatest rock bands.” They are, in fact, two of the world’s biggest-selling musical acts of all time — as measured in total album sales. Led by founding vocalist Joe Elliott with original bassist Rick Savage and longtime drummer Rick Allen, the British five-piece — responsible for hits including “Rock of Ages,” “Photograph,” and that big sticky-sweet suggestive stomper, “Pour Some Sugar On Me” — will open half of the shows and close the remainder as a way to keeps things fresh on its second outing with Journey after a similar 2006 co-headlining trek. Neal Schon, lead guitarist and singer, is the only original member of the American five-piece, with Arnel Pineda, lead singer for the last decade, on duty to perform the band’s most popular soaring anthems originally performed by Steve Perry — including “Faithfully,” “Open Arms,” and of course that big ditty still heard often enough, you don’t believe you could ever forget it, try as you might. Saturday, June 16, at 7 p.m. Royal Farms Arena, 201 West Baltimore St., Baltimore. Tickets are $129 to $1,870 before taxes and fees. Call 703-754-6400 or visit livenation.com.
JAZZ IN THE GARDEN: MICHAEL THOMAS QUINTET
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 Michael Thomas Quintet on June 15, presented in collaboration with DC JazzFest, and the Hendrik Meurkens Quartet on June 22. Evenings from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Sculpture Garden, between 7th and 9th Streets NW. Call 202-289-3360 or visit nga.gov.
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 20, at 7:30 p.m. The Mansion at Strathmore, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Tickets are $17. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.
MELISSA ETHERIDGE WITH THE NSO
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 kennedy-center.org.
A relatively new Australian power-pop/rock trio, led by dramatic singer/guitarist Hannah Joy, Middle Kids seems destined for greater success on account of its striking, anthemic blend of indie-rock and alt-country that calls to mind contemporary acts Lucius and First Aid Kit, among others. And all of that frames clever, bittersweet lyrics. Duncan Fellows opens. Friday, June 15. Doors at 7 p.m. Rock and Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. Tickets are $15. Call 202-388-ROCK or visit rockandrollhoteldc.com.
OLD TIME BANJO FESTIVAL
This 12th Annual Mike Seeger Commemorative event features Dom Flemons, formerly of the black bluegrass band, Evie Ladin, the Ken & Brad Kolodner Group with Rachel Eddie, and Greg Adams. Also on the bill is Grammy-winning married couple and female folk pioneers Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, who will perform with Sam Gleaves in support of Shout and Shine, their debut album as a trio. Sunday, June 17, at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $29.50. Call 703-549-7500 or visit birchmere.com.
SALUTE THE SUNSET: U.S. NAVY BAND COMMODORES
Every Saturday night over the summer, National Harbor hosts free concerts by military bands in a “Salute the Sunset” series. Next up is the Navy’s premier jazz ensemble, an 18-member group carrying on the legacy of the big band era. Saturday, June 16, at 7 p.m. Plaza Stage, 150 National Plaza, Oxon Hill, Md. Free. Call 877-628-5427 or visit nationalharbor.com.
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 dcnine.com.
CHAMBER DANCE PROJECT: BALLET, CHANT & SONG
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 chamberdance.org.
DANA TAI SOON BURGESS DANCE COMPANY: PORTRAITS
This local company presents three new dances created at the National Portrait Gallery during its namesake’s residency as the Smithsonian Institution’s first official choreographer. The works, I Am Vertical, After 1001 Nights, and Confluence, exemplify Burgess’ poetic, emotional style of choreography. Friday, June 15, and Saturday, June 16, at 7:30 p.m. Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Tickets are $30 to $75. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
LES BALLETS TROCKADERO DE MONTE CARLO
Billed as “the world’s foremost all-male comic ballet company,” the Trocks, as they’re known, have only gotten better, bigger, and more popular in the 44 years since they first donned drag for a show in a tiny loft space in New York’s Meatpacking District. “The dancing is better, more technically secure,” the company’s longtime artistic director Tory Dobrin tells Metro Weekly. “And that has allowed the comedy also to broaden out a lot, to be less subtle and more campy.” The troupe, which has been nearly all gay from the beginning, continues to perform for larger audiences and in bigger and more prestigious venues — notably the Kennedy Center Opera House last year, and now Wolf Trap, where the company performs “Le Lac Cygnes” from Act II of Swan Lake, “Go For Barocco” set to the music of J.S. Bach, “Stars and Stripes Forever” set to John Philip Sousa, plus a pas de deux to be announced. Tuesday, June 19, at 8 p.m. The Filene Center at Wolf Trap, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $25 to $65. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit wolftrap.org.
LESOLE’S DANCE PROJECT: 9TH ANNUAL FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
A celebration of both South Africa’s Youth Day, marking an important uprising during apartheid, and America’s Juneteenth, or the official end of American slavery, is the focus of this performance from the Afro-Fusion dance company founded by Lesole Maine 15 years ago. This immersive song and dance journey to Zululand and Lesotho includes a post-performance VIP reception featuring South African food. Saturday, June 16, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, June 17, at 4 p.m. The Meyer Performance Theater in Joe’s Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mount Rainier, Md.Tickets are $25, or $40 for VIP. Call 301-699-1819 or visit joesmovement.org.
BROADWAY HOSTED BY FRANQI FRENCH
In its black box space, D.C.’s Drafthouse Comedy presents a monthly variety show featuring stand-up comedy, music and sketches by a diverse group of local female, minority, and LGBTQ performers — and all hosted by a comedian who has shared the stage with DL Hughley, Todd Glass, Fortune Feimster, and Judy Gold, among others. Wednesday, June 20. Doors at 8:30 p.m. Drafthouse Comedy, 1100 13th St. NW. Tickets are $5. Call 202-750-6411 or visit drafthousecomedy.com.
THE SECOND CITY: GENERATION GAP
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.” Opens Saturday, June 16. Runs to Aug. 12. Theater Lab. Tickets are $49 to $59. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
CAMILLE PERRI: WHEN KATIE MET CASSIDY
The latest from the acclaimed author of The Assistants is a romantic comedy about gender and sexuality, focused on two women grappling with desire and questioning their deeply held notions of love and intimacy. When Katie Met Cassidy, according to an official blurb, is “also a portrait of a high-drama subculture where barrooms may as well be bedrooms, and loyal friends fill in the spaces absent families leave behind.” Thursday, June 21, at 7 p.m. Solid State Books, 600 H St. NE. Call 202-854-0118 or visit solidstatebooksdc.com.
FRANK LOWE: RAISED BY UNICORNS
Little of the attention devoted to the issue of gay parenting in recent decades has focused on the experiences of the children raised by same-sex couples. This groundbreaking anthology put together by Lowe, known by his popular social media handle @GayAtHomeDad, presents a range of their stories, diverse in age, orientation, and experience. One intriguing thread running throughout a number of them is the fact that these straight allies desire to stay connected to the community even after they reach adulthood and fly their LGBTQ coop. Sunday, June 17, at 5 p.m. Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-364-1919 or visit politics-prose.com.
PETER LOVENHEIM: THE ATTACHMENT EFFECT
This New York-based journalist and writer set out on a journey to understand a 50-year theory from psychology that has gained renewed popularity for its effectiveness in shining a light on who we love and how. Subtitled Exploring The Powerful Ways Our Earliest Bond Shapes Our Relationships and Lives, the book — equal parts journalistic inquiry, memoir, and psychological guide — features interviews with researchers, professors, counselors, and other experts plus informative anecdotes from individuals and couples. Thursday, June 21, at 6:30 p.m. Kramerbooks, 1517 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-387-1400 or visit kramers.com.
REBECCA MAKKAI: THE GREAT BELIEVERS
A novel about friendship and redemption in the face of loss, focused on two intertwining stories, one set during the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s art scene in Chicago, the other in the chaos of contemporary Paris. The two stories are connected by Fiona and her dawning realization of how the way AIDS affected her life and her relationship with her daughter, who has disappeared into a cult. Tuesday, June 19, at 7 p.m. Solid State Books, 600 H St. NE. Call 202-854-0118 or visit solidstatebooksdc.com.
BASELITZ: SIX DECADES
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. Artist Talk with the Hirshhorn’s Stéphane Aquin, with German to English translation services, is Wednesday, June 20, at 6:30 p.m. On display June 21 through Sept. 16. Second Floor Galleries, Independence Avenue and Seventh Street SW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit hirshhorn.si.edu.
BETHESDA PAINTING AWARDS 2018
Carolyn Case of Cockeysville, Md., was selected as Best in Show in this 14th annual juried competition produced by the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District. Case, a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art, received $10,000 for the honor, while Khanh Le of D.C. took second place, earning $2,000, and Caleb Kortokrax of Baltimore won third and $1,000. Through June, Bethesda’s Gallery B features an exhibition with paintings by all three winners along with the competition’s five other finalists — Baltimore’s Emma Childs, who won the Young Artist Award and $1,000, Kim Abraham of Alexandria, Sarah Boyts Yoder of Charlottesville, Leigh Anne Chambers of Courtland, Va., and Stephen Towns of Baltimore. Through June 30. 7700 Wisconsin Ave., Suite E. Call 301-215-6660 or visit bethesda.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. On view through June 23. Logan Fringe Art Space, 1358 Florida Ave. NE. Free. Call 202-737-7230 or visit capitalfringe.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.
PHILIP LIVINGSTON: A NATURAL HISTORY OF WASHINGTON DC
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. Now to June 23. Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Call 202-549-4172 or visit HillCenterDC.org.
PICTURES OF THE YEAR: 75 YEARS OF THE WORLD’S BEST PHOTOGRAPHY
The Newseum celebrates one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious photojournalism competitions with a show featuring just a sampling of the more than 40,000 award-winning images in the archives of Pictures of the Year International. Tracing the evolution of photojournalism from World War II to today, the images on display depict the people and events that have defined the times, capturing war and peace, disaster and triumph, and the social and cultural shifts that have shaped the past 75 years. Founded in 1944 at the University of Missouri, POYi recognizes excellence in photojournalism as well as multimedia and visual editing. To Jan. 20, 2019. Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Tickets are $22.95 for general admission. Call 888-NEWSEUM or visit newseum.org.
PORTRAITS OF THE WORLD: SWITZERLAND
Once a year, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery plans to showcase one portrait created by a foreign artist in an exhibition designed around that work, via a series intended to highlight the global context of American portraiture. The inaugural exhibition focuses on “Femme en Extase (Woman in Ecstasy),” a portrait of Italian dancer Giulia Leonardi by Swiss painter Ferdinand Hodler, complemented by a selection of works from the gallery’s collection featuring American dancers, notably Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, Ted Shawn, and Ruth St. Denis. To Nov. 12. 8th and F Streets. NW. Call 202-633-8300 or visit npg.si.edu.
FID THOMPSON: THE QUEER ENOUGH PROJECT
In a nod to Pride, this photographer collaborated with more than 20 local queer-identified individuals to create powerful portraits presenting themselves to the world. Focused on what queerness means to them, the works include handwritten drawings and words — notes, letters, manifestos, mantras, memories, poems, secrets, prayers — to create a multilayered look. By involving her subjects in the process of display, Thompson challenges the power dynamic of more traditional, artist-centered portraiture. Funded by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities as well as a Kickstarter campaign with 99 supporters, this project is on view during select hours in the small back bar area of Shaw’s A&D Bar. Thursdays, June 14 and 21, from 6 to 8 p.m., and Sunday, June 17, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 1314 1/2 9th St. NW. 202-290-1804 or visit facebook.com/queerenough.
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. On display to June 24. 2704 Mount Vernon Ave. Alexandria. Call 703-731-8802 or visit thedelrayartisans.org.
BAR ROUBAIX: SASSY DRAG BRUNCH
Over the past year, the local Hilton brothers have expanded well beyond Marvin and The Brixton and their original U Street base. None of the additions, however, stand out as much as Bar Roubaix in Columbia Heights with its racing bike theme, complete with chains dangling behind the bar and wheels serving as light fixtures. Named after the French city sponsoring one of the world’s oldest and most iconic professional bike races and housed in the former Acre 121 space, Roubaix features a menu of European-inspired bites from Chef Rafael Nunez. And now, Roubaix stands out even more thanks to a drag brunch the third Sunday of each month, organized by Josael Abraham Gutierrez. Sassy Drag Brunch features Desiree Dik as the “master of sassiness” along with her sassy sisters Laronica Vegas, Paula, and other special guests. Drink specials include unlimited mimosas for $18. Sunday, June 17, from noon to 2 p.m. 1400 Irving St. NW. Ste. 109. Tickets are $21 inclusive of show, one entree, and 18-percent gratuity, or $10 for show with no food. Call 202-560-5721 or search “Sassy Drag Brunch” on eventbrite.com.
Launched seven years ago at L’Enfant Cafe, the incredibly popular boozy brunch/day party known as La Boum has only gotten bigger and boum-ier in recent years — even earning a nod as one of Bravo TV’s “Top 5 Raging Brunches in the U.S.” The self-billed “revolutionary-style brunch” welcomes patrons of all genders and sexual orientations for a multi-course dinner and four hours of drinking, dancing to a DJ, and doing “everything they weren’t allowed to do under pure parental supervision as young adults.” Yet you have to be very grown-up and plan ahead in particular for Saturday brunch. Abigail, 1730 M St. NW. Tickets are $32.50 to $35 per person, plus 20-percent gratuity and drinks. Call 240-286-4286 or visit laboumbrunch.com.
DC9: PEACH PIT
Named after the diner on Beverly Hills 90210, Peach Pit was started by DJ Matt Bailer more than eight years ago at Dahlek, the now shuttered Eritrean restaurant that also birthed his party Mixtape. Bailer describes the party as “this kind of sweaty mosh pit of guys and girls, straights and gays, black people and white people, old people and young people — all just dancing and singing at the top of their lungs.” Peach Pit is very strictly ’90s, as Bailer only plays and takes requests for tracks released between Jan. 1, 1990, and Dec. 31, 1999. Saturday, June 16. Doors at 10:30 p.m. DC9, 1940 9th St. NW. Cover is $5, or $8 after midnight. Call 202-483-5000 or visit dcnine.com.
TOWN: THE FINAL TOWN & COUNTRY
The DC Rawhides host the final evening of social dancing at the soon-to-close Town Danceboutique starting at 6:45 p.m. with lessons in two-step, line dancing, and west coast swing, followed by open dancing until 10:50 p.m. Saturday, June 16. 2009 8th St. NW. Cover is $5 including lessons and all-night dancing. Call 202-234-TOWN or visit towndc.com.
Josh Vogelsong started his monthly alternative drag-focused party more than six years ago at the Black Cat, but it wasn’t until it moved to Trade that it became what he had long envisioned it could be. “It’s what I’ve always wanted: People show up in looks, everybody comes dressed up,” Vogelsong says. “Everybody gets crazy during the show. You can just spray beer on the crowd, and they’d cheer and love it. It’s wild.” This year’s Pride edition of Gay/Bash features performances by Vogelsong per his drag alter-ego and show host Donna Slash, plus Jaxknife Complex, Salvadora Dali, Jane Saw, and Neon Calypso, with jams from Dvonne. Saturday, Jan. 16. Doors at 10 p.m., with shows at 11:30 p.m. and 1 a.m. Trade, 1410 14th St. NW. Call 202-986-1094 or visit facebook.com/gaybashdc.
TRADE: SISSY THAT TUESDAY
Jason Barnes celebrates his birthday with a toast to the ’90s-era iconic supermodels that inspire the looks — and lewks — of his drag alter ego, the show host who will also perform as part of new drag trio Pussy Noir and the Glamazons featuring Chaz and Sippi Galore. Wes the DJ will supplement the shows with glam house jams. Tuesday, June 19. Doors at 8 p.m., with show at 10 p.m. Trade, 1410 14th St. NW. Call 202-986-1094 or visit tradebardc.com.
BY THE PEOPLE: ARTS AND DIALOGUE FESTIVAL
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: a folk concert featuring Ray LaMontagne and Neko Case on Wednesday, June 20, at 8 p.m., at the Anthem, 900 Wharf St. SW ($55 to $99); 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 Steinhilber, Rachel Schmidt, Maya Freelon, Georgia Saxelby, Jenny E. Sabin, and Linda Hesh at Arts & Industries; Heide Trepanier, Nekisha Durrett, Stacy Cantrell, and Michael JN Bowles at the Parks at Walter Reed, 1010 Butternut St. NW; Antonius Bui, Erin Curtis, plus a video work from Nick Cave and a mixed-media sculpture from Stephen Hayes at the THEARC, 1801 Mississippi Ave. SE; Imran Qureshi, Rebecca Clark, and a woven piece from textile/multimedia artist Chloe Bensahel at the National Cathedral; and Liliane Tomasko, the Holladay Brothers, Kristin 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 halcyonhouse.org.
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 mgmnationalharbor.com.
DISTRICT OF PRIDE: LGBTQ PERFORMANCE ARTISTS SHOWCASE
The Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs, along with the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Capital Pride, and Sleepy Lee of Makers Lab, present a post-Pride showcase celebrating the city’s “premier LGBTQ performance artists.” The lineup includes BOOMscat, the CooLots, Pretty Boi Drag, Destiny B. Childs, Leigh Crenshaw, Regie Cabico, Charity Joyce Blackwell, Ophelia Zayna Hart, Dana Nearing, Batala Washington, and Pyroxotic. Pretty Boi’s Pretty Rik E will host, and Matt Bailer will supply the tunes. Friday, June 15. Doors at 7 p.m. Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. Tickets are free, with RSVP required and seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Call 202-888-0050 or visit districtofpride.eventbrite.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.
SMUT SLAM DC: QUEER PRIDE EDITION
Smut Slam is a storytelling open mic event where audience members sign up to tell their most entertaining real-life, first-person, consensual sex stories in under five minutes. Although every event is queer- and kink-friendly — or “always queer AF,” as organizers put it — as well as sex- and body-positive, the June edition is thoroughly devoted to LGBTQ voices and stories. The evening’s “femme-cees” are the event’s co-producers Mindi Mimosa and Diva Darling. A panel of local out celebrity judges (to be announced) will help determine which storytellers get prize packs including condoms and lube from sponsors Glyde America, Überlube, and nJoy sex toys. There’ll also be a Fuckbucket, for anonymous confessions and questions to share with the crowd. Wednesday, June 20, at 7 p.m. Ten Tigers Parlour, 3813 Georgia Ave. NW. Tickets are $10 by pre-order, or $15 at the door. Call 202-506-2080 or visit tentigersdc.com.
Flipping the script on a bar crawl, SweatCon puts the focus on sweating with fitness studios rather than drinking via neighborhood bars. The focus is on sampling from the multitude of classes out there and helping ralliers find the right fitness style for them. Started three years ago in Boston by the Zagat-inspired fitness review organization Sweat Concierge, SweatCon now expands to D.C. with 15 boutique studios around the city participating, including Corepower Yoga, Solidcore, Orangetheory, Barre3, Zengo Cycle, and Cyclebar. Ralliers choose from three 30-minute classes that they’ll take back-to-back-to-back at three studios grouped per neighborhoods (Dupont Circle, 14th Street, Shaw, Downtown, NoMa)on Saturday, June 16, from 1 to 4 p.m. The rally kicks off with a check-in party that includes complimentary event apparel and swag bag with goodies from sponsors including Reebok, Sweetgreen, Jrink, Glamsquad, and Vita Coco, at 11 a.m. 880P Rooftop, 880 P St. NW. Tickets are $75 and remain only for sessions at studios on 14th Street and Downtown; a Waitlist is available for sessions in Shaw and Dupont Circle. Visit sweatconrally.com