BARRY MANILOW W/MICHAEL LINGTON
A year after finally, officially coming out, Manilow will come to the area this weekend to perform two concerts at Wolf Trap, supported by a Danish-American jazz/soul saxophone-playing composer. Friday, June 8, and Saturday, June 9, at 8 p.m. The Filene Center, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $45 to $125. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit wolftrap.org.
CAPTURING FIRE: QUEER POETRY SUMMIT & SLAM
The focus of this DC Center festival is on performance-based short-form slams, a form of American political theater in which poets typically share personal stories and touch on important issues through their original, impactful compositions, competing for a title as determined by a panel of judges. Led by Artistic Director Regie Cabico, this year’s eighth annual event also serves to launch Capturing Fire Press and the release of its debut publication, Stoked Words: An Anthology of Queer Poetry from the Capturing Fire Slam. Poets will read from the anthology as part of the Opening Ceremony & Reception on Friday, June 8, at 7 p.m., immediately followed by a semi-final poetry slam at 9:30 p.m. Readings of poems by queer writers published in Beltway Poetry Quarterly, led by its editor Kim Roberts, kick off Day Two of the festival at 10 a.m., followed by workshops for queer people of color led by J. Mase the III — one exploring the use of poetry as a healing tool, the other offering tips to make writing a sustainable, even profitable, pursuit. Also on offer is a panel discussion examining the role of the queer poet as educator, as well as two showcases of monologues and performance poetry brought to life on stage by Cabico, Drew Pisarra, Chris Brown, and Charlie Petch among others. There will also be two open mics for queer poets of color and those over 40, before ending with two final rounds to determine the Capturing Fire Slam Champion 2018. Woolly Mammoth Rehearsal Hall, 641 D St. NW. Tickets are free, reservations required. Call 202-393-3939 or visit capfireslam.org.
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.
DEEP SUGAR WITH ULTRA NATE
As its toast to Capital Pride, U Street Music Hall offers back-to-back nights with two of the most revered underground dance parties on the queer club scene. On Friday, June 8, the focus is on the queer origins of dirty disco and driving house, both new and old, as spun by Jackie House, Jason Kendig, and Bezier of the San Francisco DJ collective Honey Soundsystem, with opening sets from Brooklyn’s Octo Octa, with Octo Octa and D.C.’s own Outputmessage. The next night, Saturday, June 9, Uhall brings back Ultra Nate, the “Free” club singer, for another Pride edition of the deep/soul house party she throws with Lisa Moody and based in Baltimore. The Pride Deep Sugar also features sets by Wayne Davis, Andy Grant, and Katrina Mir, plus a live performance by Dawn Tallman. Doors both nights at 10:30 p.m. 1115A U St. NW. Tickets for Honey are $12 in advance, or $20 at the door, and $10 for Sugar. Call 202-588-1880 or visit ustreetmusichall.com.
Songbyrd Music House, the small, subterranean venue in Adams Morgan, offers an enticing reason to venture up the hill for Pridegoers after the Parade: A concert by the gay rapper with the hyperarticulate flow. Born Khalif Diouf in Manhattan, Le1f was initially focused on becoming a dancer, channeling those roots into his music videos and live performance. Saturday, June 9. Doors at 10:30 p.m. 2477 18th St. NW. Tickets are $18 to $20. Call 202-450-2917 or visit songbyrddc.com.
PINK PANTHER PRIDE COCKTAIL
All weekend long, the Jardenea Lounge in the Melrose Georgetown Hotel will be serving up a Cosmopolitan with watermelon-infused vodka as a way to toast Capital Pride. The libation joins the regular Spring Cocktails menu of drinks, all priced at $12, ranging from the Melrose with Absolut, pomegranate and lemon juices, simple syrup, and egg whites, to the Bourbon Milk Punch with Maker’s Mark, Bailey’s Alamande, cream, and vanilla-cinnamon simple syrup, to the Sangriatini with vodka, pineapple juice, triple sec, and fruit-infused cabernet sauvignon. Thursday, June 7, through Sunday, June 10. 2430 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Call 202-955-6400 or visit melrosehoteldc.com.
The Rock and Roll Hotel presents concerts by three queer-centric, hip, and hip-hop-rooted artists, one per night over Pride weekend. The sharp-tongued, genderqueer Blanco, a native of Orange County, Calif., is up first, on Friday, June 8. He’s followed by another provocative young rapper, this one Chicago’s sexually charged pistol born Elizabeth Harris, who’ll perform a sold-out show on Saturday, June 9. Last but not least, on Sunday, June 10, comes the D.C. return of Las Vegas native Shamir “On The Regular” Bailey for a concert sure to send off Pride in frantic, fun, genre-hopping fashion. Doors for all shows at 7 p.m. Rock and Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. Tickets are $25 in advance, or $30 at the door each. Call 202-388-ROCK or visit rockandrollhoteldc.com.
NATIONAL PRIDE SHABBAT
Rabbis Shira Stutman of Sixth & I and Laurie Green of Bet Mishpachah, with musician Aaron Shneyer and members of GLOE at the Edlavitch DCJCC, lead an inclusive service celebrating the diversity of the LGBTQ community on the night before the Capital Pride Parade. The festivities begin with a happy hour at 6:15 p.m., followed by a Joyous Shabbat service at 7:15 p.m., and then a home-cooked kosher dinner followed by Pride-inspired trivia. Friday, June 8. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. 600 I St. NW. The service is free, but dinner is $15 in advance, or $30 day of. Call 202-408-3100 or visit sixthandi.org/pride.
THAT’S SO GAY: A LOCAL PRIDE COMEDY SHOW
Lousy Humans presents a night of stand-up from local comics Violet Gray, Chelsea Shorte, Curt Mariah, Leigh Crenshaw, and the presenting organization’s comedian-in-chief Valerie Paschall, plus Michael Furr and Sam Kelly, all based in Baltimore, and Richmond-based Mary Jane French. Friday, June 8. Doors at 9 p.m. Black Cat Backstage, 1811 14th St. NW. Tickets are $10. Call 202-667-4490 or visit blackcatdc.com.
A classic “idiots who believe they’re masterminds” heist movie, with Evan Peters and Barry Keoghan starring as childhood friends who are convinced they can get away with stealing priceless art and books from Transylvania University. Naturally, nothing goes to plan in Bart Layton’s crime drama, which critics seem to be enjoying for its unconventional style. Opens Friday, June 8. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (Rhuaridh Marr)
A landmark in the horror genre, this 1942 black-and-white classic from Jacques Tourneur was based on a short story by producer Val Lewton about a young woman who believes herself a descendant of a race of people who turn into big cats when sexually aroused or deeply angered. Simone Simon offered a “superbly acted” performance as the star in a film a TV Guide critic went on to laud as a testament “to the power of suggestion and the priority of imagination over budget in the creation of great cinema.” Cat People, which spawned a sequel as well as a 1982 remake starring Nastassja Kinski, screens as part of the Capital Classics series at Landmark’s West End Cinema. Wednesday, June 13, 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.
Jodie Foster makes her first appearance on screen since 2013’s Elysium starring as a nurse who runs a secret hospital for criminals in a futuristic crime thriller written and directed by Drew Pearce and also featuring Sterling K. Brown, Jeff Goldblum, and Zachary Quinto. Opens Friday, June 8. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com.
LGBTQ FILMS AT AFI DOCS
This year’s documentary film festival will screen 92 films of varying length, including two feature-length LGBTQ-themed ones: The Gospel of Eureka, a touching, upbeat look from directors Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher of a tiny Arkansas town in which a gay bar with a lively drag scene coexists peacefully with a church that’s home to a popular live-action Passion Play, screening Thursday, June 14, at 8:45 p.m., at the AFI Silver in Silver Spring, and Friday, June 15, at 9 p.m., at Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW; and the world premiere of Natalie Metzger and Michael Rohrbaugh’s Alone in the Game, a look at the pressures a new generation of queer and transgender athletes are putting on competitive sports to become more open and welcoming, on Friday, June 15, at 6:30 p.m., at E Street. Tickets are $15 each; $50 for the opening night film. Call 301-495-6720 or visit afi.com/afidocs.
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.
THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW
Landmark’s E Street Cinema offers its monthly run of Richard O’Brien’s camp classic, billed as the longest-running midnight movie in history. Landmark’s showings come with a live shadow cast from the Sonic Transducers, meaning it’s even more interactive than usual. Friday, June 8, and Saturday, June 9, at midnight. Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672 or visit landmarktheatres.com.
A few years ago, Denis O’Hare (American Horror Story) and Lisa Peterson created a contemporary adaptation of Homer’s classic war poem. Conor Bagley directs a local production with Iason Togias performing all the roles. Remaining performances are Thursday, June 7, at 7 p.m., Friday, June 8, at 8, and Saturday, June 9, at 2 p.m. Lab I in the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $15 to $25. Call 202-399-7993 or visit aniliaddc.com.
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.
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.
HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING
Skylar Astin (Pitch Perfect) is J. Pierrepont Finch and Betsy Wolfe (Broadway’s Waitress) is his love interest in the Kennedy Center’s final Broadway Center Stage of the season. The semi-staged concert production of the musical lampoon of mid-20th Century corporate America is celebrated for Frank Loesser’s buoyant score, and a sharp book Abe Burrows, Willie Gilbert, and Jack Weinstock. With Michael Urie and Nova Y. Payton. To June 10. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $59 to $175. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
The Bedlam production brings an engaging, immersive energy to George Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan, innovative for its fun and informality — suggesting the lively vibe of a dramatic reading more than a fully staged performance. It feels fresh and loved, as if the ensemble couldn’t be happier in sharing what they have discovered. But for anyone not mad for Shaw, at more than three hours there is a point at which even good intentions are not quite enough. It is not just the sitting for long periods in the Folger’s enthusiastic aircon, it is the challenge of turning Shaw’s wordy, cerebral script, with its innumerable characters and pontifications, into something compelling and cathartic.
The problem here begins with the tiny cast, who must by necessity take on multiple roles. Director Eric Tucker, the visionary behind last season’s phenomenal Sense and Sensibility, choreographs it boldly for tongue-in-cheek bravado, but the comic sensibility is too varied among the players. After a fashion, it all begins to feel rather too much like an endless party trick. To June 10. Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol Street SE. Tickets are $35 to $79. Call 202-544-7077 or visit folger.edu. (Kate Wingfield)
SOUL THE STAX MUSICAL
Kwame Kwei-Armah concludes his tenure as artistic director of Baltimore Center Stage with a world-premiere musical about the storied Memphis-based label Stax Records, which created the very foundation of American Soul Music through its star roster. Stax launched the careers of Otis Redding, the Staple Singers, Isaac Hayes, Wilson Pickett, and Booker T & the MG’s. Matthew Benjamin wrote the book for what is essentially a jukebox musical featuring a huge 21-member cast. Choreography by Chase Brock. To June 10. 700 North Calvert St., Baltimore. Tickets are $20 to $79. Call 410-332-0033 or visit centerstage.org.
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.
THE CHERRY ORCHARD
Celebrated local commedia dell’arte troupe Faction of Fools puts its physical comedy stamp on this classic, their first adaptation of Anton Chekhov. Paul Reisman directs a cast led by Sara Barker, Julia Klavans, Amber James, and Jesse Terrill (pulling double-duty as the show’s composer) in this mix of high art and low comedy, complete with secret plots, wily servants, tortured lovers, and a sprawling family estate on the chopping block. To June 10. Eastman Studio Theater in the Elstad Annex at Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Ave. NE. Tickets are $18 to $22. Call 800-838-3006 or visit factionoffools.org.
A comedy about the tragedy of loving starring Maulik Pancholy (30 Rock) as one half of a gay couple celebrating a 10th anniversary and revealing the truth of their seemingly perfect relationship. David Muse directs a world premiere by Ken Urban. To June 17. Studio Theatre, 14th & P Streets NW. Call 202-332-3300 or visit studiotheatre.org.
THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS
Joe Calarco directs Signature Theatre’s take on Kander & Ebb’s final musical collaboration, a breathtaking critique of a true story of racism and injustice from 1931. Eight years after The Scottsboro Boys debuted on Broadway, the D.C. premiere features an ensemble cast including Jonathan Adriel, Malik Akil, Christopher Bloch, Chaz Alexander Coffin, Felicia Curry, C.K. Edwards, DeWitt Fleming Jr., Andre Hinds, Darrell Wayne Purcell, Aramie Payton, Lamont Walker II, Joseph Monroe Webb, and Stephen Scott Wormley, with choreography by Jared Grimes. 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.
LOVE, LOSS, AND WHAT I WORE
Spotlighters presents a series of monologues written by the late Nora Ephron with her sister Delia Ephron, based on a book by Ilene Beckerman. A hit Off Broadway at the turn of this decade, the stories in the work largely revolve around the theme of women and fashion. And yet, as Nora once described the book, “It is not about fashion; it is about what clothes really are to us, those moments when we are constantly trying to find our identity through them.” Weekends to June 10. Spotlighters Theatre, 817 St. Paul St., Baltimore. Tickets are $18 to $22. Call 410-752-1225 or visit spotlighters.org.
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 BSO, NSO
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. And she does it not once, but twice in mid-June, accompanied by the area’s two leading orchestras. First up, it’s the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra led by Andy Einhorn. Thursday, June 14, at 8 p.m. Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore. Tickets are $40 to $80. Call 410-783-8000 or visit bsomusic.org. The next week, McDonald takes a bow with the National Symphony Orchestra again with 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.
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. On Thursday, June 7, the new City Winery kicks off a string of shows over the next week with urban jazz harmonicist Frederic Yonnet and the Washington Renaissance Orchestra Octet, followed on successive days by Patricia Barber Trio, the Bad Plus, and Raul Midon, among others. Meanwhile, the Hamilton kicks off a run of shows with Delfeayo Marsalis on Friday, June 8, with additional concerts to come from Regina Carter and Terence Blanchard featuring the E-Collective. Yet signature events at this year’s festival, presented by EventsDC, all take place next weekend — and all 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.
HEATHER MAE W/CRYS MATTHEWS, OLIVIA MANCINI
Sometimes touted as “the queer Adele,” Mae is a power-piped singer-songwriter whose earnest and affirming folk/pop music, as captured on five-song EP I Am Enough, is very much in the mold of Mary “Same Love” Lambert. A Phazefest veteran, Mae headlines a concert of locally based artists with opening sets from Matthews, a black, lesbian artist known for soul-searching acoustic folk, and Mancini, a sensitive indie-pop singer-songwriter who has been a prominent figure on the local scene for years. Sunday, June 10. Doors at 8 p.m. Black Cat Backstage, 1811 14th St. NW. Tickets are $20. Call 202-667-4490 or visit blackcatdc.com.
I.M.P. WORLD TOUR
Over the course of the next week, you can see shows by five top touring acts at the local venues owned or operated by I.M.P. Productions — at a cost of just $15 per show. Logan Henderson, former star of Nickelodeon’s Big Time Rush, kicks things off Friday, June 8, at the smallest spot in the roster, U Street Music Hall, to be followed the next day by Scottish folk/pop band Belle and Sebastian at the company’s newest hall, the Anthem. The tour continues with American indie-rock band Eels and opener That 1 Guy on Tuesday, June 12. That same evening offers a concert featuring the biggest names at the biggest locale of the bunch — Robert Plant & the Sensational Space Shifters w/Sheryl Crow at Merriweather Post Pavilion (individual seats on the lawn are $59.25). Last but not least, on Friday, June 15, comes a concert by North Carolina alt-country act American Aquarium at the celebrated club that started it all, the 9:30 Club. Tickets are $75 for general admission. Visit ticketfly.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. Friday, June 8, at 7 p.m. Jiffy Lube Live, 7800 Cellar Door Drive, Bristow, Va. Also Saturday, June 16, at 7 p.m. Royal Farms Arena, 201 West Baltimore St., Baltimore. Tickets are $129 to $1870 before taxes and fees, or $71 to $89 for most lawn seats at Jiffy Lube Live. Call 703-754-6400 or visit livenation.com.
JAZZ IN THE GARDEN: US ARMY BLUES SWAMP ROMP
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 ska/rock/reggae band the Slackers, on June 8, followed by the Michael Thomas Quintet on June 15, presented in collaboration with DC JazzFest (see separate listing). 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 the first of two solo concerts as part of a series showcasing the program’s sonically diverse 2018 class. Wednesday, June 13, 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.
Next week, you could bask twice in the music of this ’90s-minted indie-rocker. For starters, there’s Girlfriend, currently at Signature Theatre, a play about two teenage boys in Nebraska who fall in love to Sweet’s tunes. A second outing features the rocker himself, performing live from his repertoire, including selections from Girlfriend as well as from his latest album Tomorrow’s Daughter. Wednesday, June 13, at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $35. Call 703-549-7500 or visit birchmere.com.
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, the married couple Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer performing with Sam Gleaves, and Greg Adams. 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.
THE AIRMEN OF NOTE
Every Saturday night over the summer, National Harbor hosts free concerts by military bands in a “Salute the Sunset” series. The second Saturday in June comes the second of three performances this season by the premier jazz ensemble of the US Air Force. Saturday, June 9, at 7 p.m. Plaza Stage, 150 National Plaza, Oxon Hill, Md. Free. Call 877-628-5427 or visit nationalharbor.com.
A supporting act for Taylor Swift, this chipper folk-popper from Down Under returns to D.C. for a headlining show at the Anthem. Mondo Cozmo, the folk/rock alias of Philadelphia-bred Josh Ostrander, opens. Tuesday, June 12. Doors at 6 p.m. 901 Wharf St. SW. Tickets are $55 to $95. Call 202-888-0020 or visit theanthemdc.com.
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 Freddie’s Beach Bar for a special concert kicking off Pride weekend. Friday, June 8, at 8 p.m. 555 South 23rd St., Arlington. Tickets are $10. Call 703-685-0555 or visit freddiesbeachbar.com.
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.
NATIONAL COLLEGE DANCE FESTIVAL 2018
The American College Dance Association returns to the Kennedy Center for another annual showcase of some of the finest dance works created at and selected by 30 participating dance schools and universities. Presented in three distinct programs, each offered twice, one per night, the choreography represents a breadth of styles and content created by guest artists, faculty, and students. Thursday, June 7, through Saturday, June 9, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Tickets are $30 each program. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
Born in London to Nigerian parents, the lesbian comedian followed in the footsteps of John Oliver to become the current British Correspondent for Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. A Top 10 finalist on Last Comic Standing, the first Brit to appear on Def Comedy Jam, and a recurring guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (as “Madame Yashere: The Surly Psychic”), among her other credits, Yashere returns to her stand-up roots in a run of shows marking her headlining debut at the DC improv. Chicago-based comedian/storyteller Kellye Howard opens. Friday, June 8, at 7:30 and 9:45 p.m., Saturday, June 9, at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., and Sunday, June 10, at 7 p.m. DC Improv, 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets are $17 to $22, plus a two-item minimum per ticket. Call 202-296-7008 or visit dcimprov.com.
BOOKS IN BLOOM FESTIVAL
Over 3,000 people attended last year’s inaugural, day-long book festival up in Columbia. Presented by the Downtown Columbia Partnership of Maryland, Books in Bloom offers readings, panel discussions, a children’s author tent, and a pop-up bookstore by Politics & Prose. This year’s lineup of celebrated authors includes: Jennifer Palmieri, the Director of Communications for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and author of Dear Madam President: An Open Letter to the Women Who Will Run The World; Nathan Bomey, a USA Today reporter and author of After The Fact: The Erosion of Truth and the Inevitable Rise of Donald Trump; Vikram Sunderam, the James Beard Award-winning chef and co-author of the Rasika: Taste of India cookbook; Amanda Lucidon, former official White House photographer for First Lady Michelle Obama and author of Chasing Light; Edwidge Danticat, the Haitian-American novelist whose works include the Oprah’s Book Club selection Breath, Eyes, Memory; Elliot Ackerman, National Book Award finalist for the novel Dark at the Crossing; and Bonnie Siegler, prominent New York graphic designer and author of Signs of Resistance: A Visual History of Protest in America. Sunday, June 10, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Downtown Columbia Lakefront, 10221 Wincopin Circle. Free. Call 410-964-4984 or visit dtcpartnership.com/booksinbloom.
FRANK LOWE: RAISED BY UNICORNS: STORIES FROM PEOPLE WITH LGBTQ+ PARENTS
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.
GREG SMITHSIMON: CAUSE…AND HOW IT DOESN’T ALWAYS EQUAL EFFECT
As a people, we tend to oversimplify the notion of cause and effect, to the point that we aren’t able to uncover the kind of insight needed to tackle major issues, everything from racial discrimination to the cycle of poverty. Smithsimon, a Brooklyn College sociology professor, argues that we stumble because we often don’t look for or can’t even see a problem’s true causes — because we’re hard-wired to overlook them. He combines philosophy, the science of perception, and social research to offer a new way to explore social problems and ask “Why” in a way that could help avoid these oversights and mistakes, with the potential to help us begin to make effective social change. Smithsimon will read and discuss his new book with Randa Serhan, an assistant sociology professor at American University. Wednesday, June 13, at 6:30 p.m. Kramerbooks, 1517 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-387-1400 or visit kramers.com.
OUT/SPOKEN: A LOCAL QUEER POETRY SHOWCASE
The narratives of queer, trans, and two-spirit people take center stage in this poetry event. A.M. Pressman, Tyler Vile, and Xemi The Two-Spirit are the featured poets at one of three Pride-centric offerings at the Black Cat. Saturday, June 9. Doors at 7 p.m. Backstage, 1811 14th St. NW. Free. Call 202-667-4490 or visit blackcatdc.com.
ROBERT W. FIESELER: TINDERBOX
The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation, reads the subtitle to this book, focused on the largest mass murder of LGBTQ people in the U.S. before Orlando’s Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016. In 1973, an arson fire killed 32 people at a gay bar in New Orleans, yet the tragedy was barely talked about or reported on, largely due to the pervasive homophobia of the time. Instead, what resulted was shaming of the survivors, some of whom were fired for having been in a gay bar, and denying the Catholic victims proper burial rights. And then there was the woefully inadequate, cursory police investigation and the fact that the cause is still listed as undetermined. Fieseler, a Boston-based freelance journalist, draws on original research and interviews with people who have never previously spoken on the record to recreate what happened and help shine a new light on this early milestone in the struggle for LGBTQ visibility and rights. Wednesday, June 13, at 7 p.m. Politics and Prose at the Wharf, 70 District Square SW. Call 202-488-3867 or visit politics-prose.com.
CLARA CORNELIUS: CASEURA OBSCURA
An installation of screen-printed banners bursting with color, pattern, and energy fills the tiny outdoor space that has become known as Takoma Park’s Pump House Pop-Up Gallery. Pyramid Atlantic Arts Center created the gallery with funding from the city government. The works in the exhibition are a combination of photographic and cut paper patterns, assembled in such a way as to transform what might be considered ordinary images and objects into something magical. Opening Reception is Sunday, June 10, from 2 to 4 p.m. On display through Aug. 18. Hilltop Road between Maple and Geneva Avenues, Takoma Park. Call 301-608-9101 or visit pyramidatlanticartcenter.org.
DAVID AMOROSO: FRIDA Y LOS MACHOS
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. On display to June 23. Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Call 202-549-4172 or visit HillCenterDC.org.
DRAWN TO PURPOSE: AMERICAN WOMEN ILLUSTRATORS AND CARTOONISTS
Drawing from its rich collections, the Library of Congress exhibition brings to light remarkable but little-known contributions made by North American women to the art forms of illustration and cartooning. Spanning the late-1800s to the present, Drawn To Purpose highlights the gradual broadening in both the private and public spheres of women’s roles and interests, demonstrating that women, once constrained by social conditions and convention, have gained immense new opportunities for self-expression and discovery. To Oct. 10. The Graphic Arts Galleries, Ground Floor, Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. SE. Call 202-707-8000 or visit loc.gov/concerts.
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. To June 10. The Mansion at Strathmore, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.
KATIE PUMPHREY: FIVE MORE MINUTES, PART I AND II
Through large-scale paintings and installations, the Baltimore artist explores the tension between calm and chaos — specifically, the anxiety, excitement, panic, and even monotony that comes from just five more minutes of doing something. Through mid-July, Pumphrey’s works on the theme will be on display in both Georgetown and Alexandria as part of a two-part exhibition at two galleries. Part I is on display to July 21, ending with a closing reception. Susan Calloway Fine Arts, 1643 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Call 202-965-4601 or visit callowayart.com. Part II opens Thursday, June 7. Opening Reception is Sunday, June 10, from 4 to 6 p.m. Closing Reception is July 22, from 2 to 4 p.m. The Athenaeum, 201 Prince St., Alexandria. Call 703-548-0035 or visit nvfaa.org. For additional events and details about the two-part exhibition, visit katiepumphrey.com/fivemoreminutes.
MARK BRADFORD: PICKETT’S CHARGE
Referred to as the most significant living American painter by the Hirshhorn, this gay African-American artist certainly works on a scale commensurate with that kind of stature. Take, for example, his huge, 400-foot installation created for his debut at the Smithsonian’s modern art museum as well as in D.C. A timely, commissioned “cyclorama” of eight large, site-specific collages, Bradford was inspired by Paul Philippoteaux’s same-named masterpiece depicting the loss of the Confederate Army at the Battle of Gettysburg. Covering the curved walls of the Hirshhorn’s third level inner circle, the work presents 360-degrees of abstracted historical narrative using Bradford’s signature practice of collage, juxtaposed with reproductions of the 19th-century original in a way that intentionally disrupts, messes up, and confuses. The end result is a work that invites reconsideration of how narratives about American history have been shaped and contested. To Nov. 12. Independence Avenue and Seventh Street SW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit hirshhorn.si.edu.
QUEERING SOUND: DUST JACKET
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. Exhibition runs to June 30. Rhizome DC, 6950 Maple St. NW. Tickets are $10. Visit rhizomedc.org.
THE ARTISTIC TABLE
Marjorie Merriweather Post’s gift for bringing art to everyday dining inspired the latest exhibition at Post’s former estate Hillwood, featuring table settings from a handful of contemporary interior designers. Timothy Corrigan, Barry Dixon, Charlotte Moss, Alex Papachristidis, P. Gaye Tapp, Hutton Wilkinson, and Josh Hildreth look to Post and her finest table settings to curate a feast for the eyes. The exhibition includes a selection of historic tablewares from Hillwood’s collection along with the designer’s own contemporary treasures. To June 10. Hillwood Estate, 4155 Linnean Ave. NW. Suggested donation is $18. Call 202-686-5807 or visit HillwoodMuseum.org.
THOM HALLER: PILLOWS AND PRINTS
Miss Pixie’s offers an exhibition of pillows and prints featuring quirky, playful pop culture images, all digital art collages made by a D.C.-based artist who is in the process of launching the site popnpillows.com. In all, there are 47 artworks — 25 pillows and 22 prints — and all priced under $100. On display through June 30. 1626 14th St. NW. Call 202-232-8171 or visit misspixies.com.
UNSEEN: OUR PAST IN A NEW LIGHT
Works by Ken Gonzales-Day and Titus Kaphar are featured in the first contemporary exhibition of the National Portrait Gallery’s 50th anniversary season, and a provocative one at that. Nearly 60 works highlight how people of color — from Native Americans to African Americans, Asian Americans to Latino Americans — are missing in historical portraiture. Still worse, their contributions to the nation’s past were rendered equally invisible. Kaphar sets out to right those slights by recreating well-known paintings and including those traditionally left out, through his series of 17 paintings plus one sculpture. Gonzales-Day, meanwhile, explores how ideas of racial difference, otherness, and national identity have taken shape historically and visually through nearly 40 photographs, including works from his “Erased Lynchings” series focused on the American West as well as his “Profiled” series. The bilingual English/Spanish exhibition is on display through Jan. 6, 2019. 8th and F Streets. NW. Call 202-633-8300 or visit npg.si.edu.
KLEZMER BRUNCH WITH SETH KIBEL & FRIENDS
The Washington Jewish Music Festival presents a popular series featuring a rotating roster of area musicians performing while patrons enjoy a buffet-style kosher brunch. Featuring Seth Kibel on clarinet, saxophone, and flute, Russian guitarist and singer Vladimir Fridman, and double-bass player Bob Abbott. Kibel promises “a mixture of klezmer and Yiddish favorites, as well as some Jewish jazz, and occasionally some other repertoire just for variety’s sake.” Sunday, June 10, at 11 a.m. Community Hall at the Edlavitch DCJCC, 1529 16th St. NW. Tickets are $16.88 for the concert only, or $33.75 for concert with brunch. Call 202-777-3247 or visit wjmf.org.
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.
PRETTYBOIPRIDE: BRUNCH EDITION
Reviving the art of drag kings in D.C., Pretty Boi Drag, co-founded by former DC King Pretty Rik E, presents an all-inclusive roster of performers the day of the Pride Parade, and mere steps away from kickoff. DJ Tezrah
Saturday, June 9, noon to 3 p.m. Bier Baron Tavern, 1523 22nd St. NW. Tickets are $20 in advance, or $25 at the door, not including food and drink. Call 202-293-1887 or visit prettyboidrag.com.
SIR SUNDAYS AT SAX
Penn Quarter’s Moulin Rouge-inspired restaurant Sax offers movement-based spectacles, including aerial stunts, hip-hop group routines, pole performances, and burlesque, to add excitement beyond the food. And male burlesque is the showcase every Sunday during brunch, as a group of male professional dancers, aerialists, and bodybuilders perform full-length shows, accompanied by unlimited mimosas delivered by by table service studs. Sundays at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sax Restaurant & Lounge, 734 11th St. NW. Tickets are $50 to $65 including appetizers and unlimited mimosas. Call 202-737-0101 or visit sirmaleburlesque.com.
BOOTY REX PRIDE PARTY
The “Officially Unofficial Official Queer Pride Party of the summer” happens this Friday, June 8, when all three floors of the Rock and Roll Hotel become a preserve to hear music from the Anthology of Booty DJ Crew — Kristy la Rat, Mothershiester, Natty Boom — and the She Rex DJs — Junebullet, C.rush, Alex DB. Alesia Michelle and DJ Zombie serve as emcees. Friday, June 8. Doors at 9 p.m. Rock and Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. Tickets are $15. Call 202-388-ROCK or visit rockandrollhoteldc.com.
Now in its 10th — and final — year, the party started by Shea Van Horn and Matt Bailer returns to the 9:30 Club for its annual Capital Pride party with Bailer sharing the decks with DJs Tezrah and Keenan Orr. Saturday, June 9. Doors at 10 p.m. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $15. Call 202-265-0930 or visit 930.com.
CHARLES ROSS: ONE-MAN STARS WARS TRILOGY
Over the years this nerdy comedian has patented a brand of irreverent, succinct parodies of popular science fiction/fantasy franchises, everything from One Man Lord of the Rings to the more recent One Man Dark Knight. These CliffsNotes-esque theatrical shows include plenty of pop culture references and side-jokes to broaden the appeal beyond their core fan bases. Ross returns to the Birchmere with one of his originals, whittling down the first three movies in the Star Wars franchise, including The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Saturday, June 9, at 7:30 p.m. 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $35. Call 703-549-7500 or visit birchmere.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.