DON’T WORRY, HE WON’T GET FAR ON FOOT
Gus Van Sant has a mixed track record, but this comedy-drama based on John Callahan’s memoir is apparently worth watching. Joaquin Phoenix plays Callahan, a heavy drinker who became a quadriplegic after a night of drinking led to a devastating car accident. The film follows his recovery, from giving up drinking to discovering his gift for edgy, irreverent editorial cartoons. Now playing. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (Rhuaridh Marr)
Next week, Beyonce and Jennifer Hudson will duke it out on the large outdoor screen on the banks of the Potomac River. Bill Condon’s successful 2006 adaptation of the 1981 Broadway musical, loosely based on the story of Motown Records and the Supremes, is the next in this year’s Georgetown Sunset Cinema series focused on “Movies That Rock.” Vendors on hand include Muncheez and Stella’s PopKern and Maracas Ice Pops. Everyone is encouraged to bring a blanket, food and water or soft drinks — just no chairs or alcohol. Tuesday, July 31, at the intersection of Water Street and Cecil Place NW. The area opens at 6:30 p.m., and the screening starts at sunset, around 8:30 p.m. Call 202-298-9222 or visit georgetowndc.com/sunset-cinema.
This one’s for the bad guys: John Huston’s 1948 film noir was nominated for the Top 10 Gangster Films list a decade ago by the American Film Institute, and that organization also nominated Key Largo‘s Johnny Rocco to its “100 Years…100 Heroes & Villains” list in 2003. Edward G. Robinson portrays Rocco alongside Humphrey Bogart as war veteran Frank McCloud and Lauren Bacall as Nora Temple, the widow of Frank’s friend and fallen soldier George. Key Largo returns to the big screen for one day as part of Landmark’s West End Cinema Capital Classics series. Wednesday, Aug. 1, 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.
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT
Tom Cruise broke his ankle after slamming it into the side of a building during filming for this, the 900th installment in the Mission: Impossible franchise. Was it worth it? Apparently so — early reviews have been almost unanimously positive. Opens Friday, July 27. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (RM)
PLANET OF THE APES
Charlton Heston plays an astronaut stranded in a world populated by feral, mute humans and fully-clothed, walking, talking simians. The film, which the AFI Silver Theatre returns for a one-night-only special engagement next week, gave cinema one of its most enduring lines — “Get your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape.” The 1968 original is notable for any number of things, including its grim outlook for humanity, a theme that Heston became a poster boy for in the subsequent, equally nihilistic sci-fi films The Omega Man (1971) and Soylent Green (1973). Yet that first Planet of the Apes is most revered for its makeup, designed by the legendary John Chambers. Though primitive by modern standards, the makeup never fails to mesmerize, and is only enhanced by the superlative, resonant performances of Roddy McDowell, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, and James Whitmore, who bring their monkey-derived personas to glorious life. Thursday, July 26 at 9:15 p.m. 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $13. Call 301-495-6720 or visit afi.com/Silver. (Randy Shulman)
TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES
Wouldn’t it be something if DC Comics’ best ensemble film in years ends up being an animated one? It’s not an outlandish premise — The Lego Batman Movie is often considered to be one of the most popular film versions of that character — and Teen Titans Go! comes on the success of the animated TV show, which follows teenage versions of Robin, Starfire, Cyborg, Raven, and Beast Boy as they balance saving the world against dealing with teen life. It’s zany, exaggerated, regularly pokes fun at DC itself, and is littered with in-jokes, and the film version has Will Arnett and Kristen Bell joining the regular voice cast. Color us intrigued. Opens Friday, July 27. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (RM)
A shy young German baker falls in love with a married Israeli businessman, who is a frequent visitor to Berlin — until one day he isn’t, after becoming the victim of a car crash. Israeli filmmaker Ophir Raul Graizer focuses on what happens after the baker travels to Jerusalem seeking answers into the death of his late lover. Keeping his secret to himself, the baker quickly befriends the man’s widow (Sarah Adler) and becomes involved in her life in a way far beyond his original plan. The Cakemaker is “a blend of old-school melodrama, contemporary identity politics, and buttery gastroporn,” writes Variety. Partially subtitled. Now playing. Landmark’s West End Cinema, 2301 M St. NW. Call 202-534-1907 or visit landmarktheatres.com.
GEORGE ROMERO REMEMBERED
Over the next six weeks, the AFI Silver Theatre toasts the late George Romero. The series presents screenings of several notable works from the “the Father of the Zombie Film,” including Day of the Dead (1985) and Land of the Dead (2005). The series includes two screenings of The Crazies, the director’s 1973 horror thriller in which mysterious toxins in the water turn small-town residents into mass murderers. Next week offers the rarely-screened Martin (1978), Romero’s unsettling take on the vampire genre that offers a nuanced character study of an unbalanced young man. Other films include Knightriders (1981) and Romero’s deliriously entertaining collaboration with Stephen King, Creepshow (1982). The Crazies screens Friday, July 27, at 9:45 p.m., and Saturday, July 28, at 10:30 p.m. Martin is Friday, Aug. 3, at 9:30 p.m. AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $13. Call 301-495-6720 or visit afi.com/Silver for the full series.
The 14th annual Bethesda Outdoor Movies series concludes with Steven Spielberg’s recent historical political drama. Meryl Streep ekes out a fascinating character as Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham, who flounders but never fails, standing up to multiple layers of Establishment scorn and opposition. Streep, in turn, reveals a layer of vulnerability, and steel that feels refreshingly unfamiliar — no small feat for a performer who is utterly familiar to audiences. Her Graham animates the film with a touching, human story rather than the painstaking recreation of important events. Friday, July 27, at 9 p.m. The corner of Norfolk and Auburn Avenues in Bethesda’s Woodmont Triangle. Free. Call 301-215-6660 or visit bethesda.org. (Andre Hereford)
BE A GOOD LITTLE WIDOW
A young woman (Ruthie Rado) struggles after the death of her husband with a nagging mother-in-law (Emily Morrison) who is just trying to help. Be A Good Little Widow comes from rising dramatist Bekah Brunstetter, who writes for the NBC series This is Us. Unexpected’s co-founder Christopher Goodrich directs. Now to Aug. 5. The Fireside Room in the River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 6301 River Road in Bethesda. Tickets are $10 to $29.50. Call 301-337-8290 or visit unexpectedstage.org.
CAPITAL FRINGE FESTIVAL
Southwest D.C. is the hub for this year’s Capital Fringe, with 11 stages set up at venues throughout the neighborhood, including Arena Stage, Blind Whino, and area churches — all within a five-minute walk of one another. Most shows at Fringe are selected through an unjuried, open-invitation process — first-come, first-staged — with works largely created and produced by new or relatively inexperienced theatermakers. To July 30. Tickets are $17 per show, with a one-time purchase of a $7 Fringe button. Multi-show passes range from $60 to $350. Call 866-811-4111 or visit capitalfringe.org.
Drew Gehling (Broadway’s Waitress) is a high school teacher and presidential doppelgänger thrust into the Oval Office to avoid a national scandal in this musical adaptation of the 1993 hit comedy starring Kevin Kline. Tina Landau directs the world premiere at Arena Stage. Book by Thomas Meehan (The Producers) and Nell Benjamin (Mean Girls), lyrics by Benjamin, and music by Tom Kitt (Next to Normal). Now to Aug. 19. Kreeger Theater in the Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Call 202-488-3300 or visit arenastage.org.
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Pulitzer Prize-winning musical raps and rhymes American history with an uncanny flair for mining gold from the tremendous life story of one “bastard orphan.” Inspired by Ron Chernow’s 2005 best-selling book Alexander Hamilton, Miranda’s musical infuses emotion and insight throughout a score that’s as efficient in delivering story as it is a delight to hear sung and played live. Director Thomas Kail has constructed a smartly executed succession of set-pieces that showcases each song for individual impact, and it adds up to an impactful epic. Alexander Hamilton bore a restless, relentless energy that Miranda has tapped into willfully and quite successfully. The compositions reflect a practically unerring ear for synthesizing pop, hip-hop, R&B, Broadway, and dexterous narrative into a stirring, cohesive blend. The music paves the way forward for an entire production that feels classic and iconoclastic, historical and hip. To Sept. 16. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $99 to $625, or $49 for any same-day, standing-room-only tickets, released two hours before curtain. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org. (AH)
THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE
The Hypocrites and the House Theatre of Chicago, two innovative theaters in the Windy City, have teamed up to stage two of Gilbert & Sullivan’s best-loved comic operettas in rotating rep at Olney Theatre. Celebrated for being immersive and family friendly, the productions are presented promenade style, with some seats on stage with the actors. These silly tales of scurvy pirates, modern Major-Generals, and star-crossed lovers were both directed by Sean Graney, who co-adapted The Pirates of Penzance with Kevin O’Donnell, and H.M.S. Pinafore with Andra Velis Simon and Matt Kahler. To Aug. 21. Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Tickets are $30 to $64 each. Call 301-924-3400 or visit olneytheatre.org.
ON THE TOWN
Three sailors romp around New York in 1944. Olney Theatre Company revives this early musical that features an exuberant score by Leonard Bernstein. The original show grew out of a ballet that Jerome Robbins had worked on with Bernstein, further developed by the writing and lyricist team of Betty Comden and Adolph Green. Olney’s starry cast includes Evan Casey, Rhett Guter, Sam Ludwig, Donna Migliaccio, Tracy Lynn Olivera, Bobby Smith, and Rachel Zampelli, with Robbins-inspired choreography by Tara Jeanne Vallee. The company’s artistic director Jason Loewith helms the show. To July 29. Mainstage, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Call 301-924-3400 or visit olneytheatre.org.
Synetic Theater presents a new adaptation of the American classic The Wizard of Oz featuring some of L. Frank Baum’s original text and dialogue — in contrast to the “wordless Shakespeare” works the company has become known for. Offered as the first production in the Synetic New Voices Series, through which select company members are mentored in leadership roles by co-founder Paata Tsikurishvili, Oz combines verbal and nonverbal communication for an “environmental and spectacular adventure” down the Yellow Brick Road with Dorothy and friends. Longtime Synetic actor Ryan Sellers steps up as director, assisted by Tori Bertocci as choreographer, for a production that has had to move to Georgetown University’s main campus. (Synetic’s usual venue in Crystal City recently suffered water damage.) To Aug. 12. Devine Studio Theatre in the Davis Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $20 to $45. Call 866-811-4111 or visit synetictheater.org.
Fresh off its win as Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company at the Helen Hayes Awards, Monumental Theatre tackles the musical that Stephen Schwartz created two decades before Wicked. Rebecca Wahls directs a Millennial-run production based on the 2013 Tony-winning revival, following the titular prince on a journey to magic-making self-discovery. Tiziano D’Affuso plays Pippin, Solomon Parker is the narrating Leading Player, and Chani Wereley is Catherine. Choreography by Ahmad Maaty and music led by Leigh Delano. To July 30. Ainslie Arts Center in Episcopal High School, 3900 W. Braddock Rd. Tickets are $30 to $40. Call 703-933-3000 or visit monumentaltheatre.org.
THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE (AND OTHER SONGS)
Virginia’s Hub Theatre presents Marc Acito’s play with songs about the unlikely yet real-life relationship between singer Marian Anderson and Albert Einstein. The two titanic figures on a quest to unlock life’s mysteries. To July 29. The John Swayze Theatre in the New School of Northern Virginia, 9431 Silver King Court, Fairfax. Visit thehubtheatre.org.
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN
Maryland’s Port Tobacco Players presents a non-professional production of this musical based on the DreamWorks blockbuster starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks. Terrence McNally teamed up with the musical minds behind Hairspray — Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman — for a tale, set in the jazzy, swinging “60s, following the real-life adventures of charming con artist Frank Abagnale Jr. and the FBI agent, Carl Hanratty, who pursues him in a cross-country chase. Weekends to Aug. 5. 508 Charles St., La Plata, Md. Tickets are $15 to $18. Call 301-932-6819 or visit ptplayers.com.
JUDY AND THE GENERAL
Baltimore’s Spotlighters Theatre presents the world premiere of a new musical comedy by Rosemary Frisino Toohey based on the Book of Judith. One of only a handful of strong female characters in the Bible, Judith is the heroine in a classic tale of good vs. evil, ingeniously using her feminine wiles to outwit the powerful general Holofernes to save her people from destruction. To July 29. 817 St. Paul St., Baltimore. Tickets are $18 to $22. Call 410-752-1225 or visit spotlighters.org.
The Scottish-born Cumming returns to the Kennedy Center for another cabaret with support from the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington. “Legal Immigrant” features songs and stories from the award-winning actor focused on his life and loves in the decade since he became a U.S. citizen. The set list is as eclectic and idiosyncratic as Cumming himself, running the gamut from Sondheim to P!nk, Kander & Ebb to Edith Piaf, not to mention original mashups, such as one combining Schubert with Peggy Lee. Saturday, July 28, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $29 to $99. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
BEYONCE & JAY-Z
Four years ago, The Carters went all in for their first co-headlining touring concert. Since then, pop music’s megastar power couple has exposed some chinks in their armor via their stirring solo works, Lemonade from Bey and 4:44 from Jay. Yet the couple remains as united a force as ever, and that’s the overriding message of the On The Run II Tour, which returns them to the world’s stadiums, including FedEx Field. The concert serves to showcase Everything Is Love, the new sludgy, sentimental trap/hip-hop set from The Carters. Of course, many of the chart-topping solo hits from each artist are factored into the mix of this two-and-a-half-hour, elaborately staged extravaganza that finds the duo accompanied by a full band, a handful of backing vocalists, and a 20-plus-member crew of dancers and choreographers. Opening sets by R&B duo Chloe & Halle and DJ Khaled. Friday, July 27, and Saturday, July 28, at 7:30 p.m. 1600 Fedex Way, Landover, Md. Tickets are $49 to $770. Call 301-276-6000 or visit livenation.com.
With “Classic Cher” at the Theater at MGM National Harbor, you’ll fall under the diva’s spell instantly, from the moment the purple velvet curtains pull back on a stage fit for an Arabian fairytale. Soon enough, the 70-year-old pop icon, in Queen of Sheba garb, descends from the heavens on a gold-framed aerial platform, singing her truth a la “Woman’s World.” That No. 1 hit on the Billboard dance chart from 2013 is the newest in an 18-song setlist spanning an impressive fifty years. It’s a showcase of awe-inspiring staging and state-of-the-art light and projection designs in general. It’s also a showcase of Cher and her decades-long, multi-genre, multi-award-winning career as one of the very best and most personable entertainers in the business. The indomitable, forever-goodbying sensation returns for a run billed as her “Final Shows” in the venue. Saturday, Aug. 4, Sunday, Aug. 5, Tuesday, Aug. 7, Thursday, Aug. 9, Saturday, Aug. 11, and Sunday, Aug. 12, at 8 p.m. 7100 Oxon Hill Rd., Md. Call 301-971-5000 or visit mgmnationalharbor.com. (Doug Rule)
The Washington Post has referred to this 12-piece band as “a storming powerhouse of big-band African funk…smart, tight and relentlessly driving.” Chopteeth has already won a number of Washington Area Music Association Awards, including Artist of the Year in 2008. The Afrobeat-driven group performs regularly throughout the region and returns to a preferred venue The Hamilton next weekend. Saturday, July 28. Doors at 7 p.m. 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $25. Call 202-787-1000 or visit thehamiltondc.com.
CREATIVE CAULDRON CABARET
The 9th annual summer cabaret series at ArtSpace Falls Church continues with: a performance by the folk collective Shenandoah Run on Friday, July 27, at 8 p.m., Will Stevenson in “Simply Musical,” on Saturday, July 28, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, July 29, at 7 p.m., and Kathy Halenda in “The Brassy Broads of Broadway” — from Mame Dennis to Mama Rose to Miss Mona, and from Fanny Brice to Dolly Levi to Sally Bowles, on Friday, Aug. 3, and Saturday, Aug. 4, at 8 p.m. ArtSpace Falls Church, 410 South Maple Ave. in Falls Church. Tickets are $18 to $22 per show, or $55 for a table for two with wine and $110 for four with wine. Call 703-436-9948 or visit creativecauldron.org.
JAZZ IN THE GARDEN: INCENDIO, SON DEL CARIBE
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, from Pavilion Cafe and outdoor grill. The 2018 series continues with instrumental world guitarist Incendio on July 27, and pan-Caribbean salsa group Son Del Caribe on Aug. 3, each performing from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Sculpture Garden, between 7th and 9th Streets NW. Call 202-289-3360 or visit nga.gov.
LEONARD BERNSTEIN AT 100: A CELEBRATION
The National Symphony Orchestra and Wolf Trap team up to present a star-studded, multi-genre concert in tribute to the late, great musical icon — one month before what would have been his centennial. The lineup includes New York City Ballet star Misty Copeland, Tony-nominated actor Tony Yazbeck and Tony-nominated choreographer Josh Bergasse (both for Bernstein’s On The Town), legendary jazz clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera, the Manhattan Transfer & Take 6, sopranos Erin Morley and Kerriann Otano, mezzo-soprano Zoie Reams, baritone Joshua Conyers, George Takei, Pace University Dancers, the Choral Arts Society of Washington, National Cathedral treble soloist Enzo Baldanza, and Wolf Trap Opera Studio Artists, with Michael Barrett leading the NSO. Friday, July 27, at 8:15 p.m. The Filene Center at Wolf Trap, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $25 to $60. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit wolftrap.org.
There are few better views of federal Washington than that from the rooftop of the W Hotel, and this Saturday, July 28, you can get the view and hear a free concert by the Maryland-based rock band, touring in support of their latest album Nuclear Soul. POV Live presents the show, billed as “an exclusive Record Store Crawl performance.” Saturday, July 28. Doors at 6:30 p.m. POV Lounge, rooftop of W Washington DC, 515 15th St. NW. Free, but RSVP required. Call 202-661-2400 or visit wwashingtondc.com.
SIGNATURE THEATRE’S SIZZLIN’ SUMMER NIGHTS SERIES
Signature’s annual cabaret series features mostly musical actors known from productions at the Shirlington complex. The series continues with a Dance Party with Mark G. Meadows and The Movement, Friday, July 27, at 7 and 9 p.m.; Ines Nassara & Chris Urquiaga in “Songs in the Key of Stevie,” on Saturday, July 28, at 7 p.m., and Tuesday, July 31, at 8 p.m.; Christopher Mueller in “Songs I Heard” on Saturday, July 28, at 9 p.m.; Maria Rizzo in “Let Me Entertain You” on Wednesday, Aug. 1, at 8 p.m.; and the popular Sizzlin’ staple “Revenge of the Understudies” starring understudies from Signature shows over the past season, on Thursday, Aug. 2, at 8 p.m. Series continues to Aug. 4. The Ark at 4200 Campbell Ave., in Arlington. Tickets are $35 per show, or $175 for an All-Access pass. Call 703-820-9771 or visit sigtheatre.org.
THE CHUCK BROWN BAND
The godfather of go-go may have died in 2012, but his namesake band keeps go-going. The jazz festival staple and powerhouse ensemble of danceable funk and soul grooves performs a free special outdoor concert as part of the free Live from the Lawn weekly summer series outside the Mansion at Strathmore. Wednesday, Aug. 1, at 7 p.m. Gudelsky Gazebo, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Tickets are free. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.
WASHINGTON INTERNATIONAL PIANO FESTIVAL
Now in its 10th year, this weeklong festival attracts young aspiring concert pianists from all over the world for its intensive educational programs guided by lead host organization Catholic University — but even more for the lure of significant public performance opportunities, including the rare chance to play the Kennedy Center, which presents two free Young Pianist Showcase concerts to kick off the week. Monday, July 30, and Tuesday, July 31, at 6 p.m. Millennium Stage. For a detailed schedule and more information, call 202-290-5267 or visit washingtonpianofest.com.
WOLF TRAP OPERA, NSO: THE BEST OF WAGNER’S RING
A quartet of internationally renowned Wolf Trap Opera alumni offer a special treat to Wagner fans, performing highlights from all four operas of The Ring Cycle on the Filene Center stage. Soprano Christine Goerke, tenor Simon O’Neill, and bass-baritones Alan Held and Eric Owens are the Wagnerian specialists on hand, supported by the National Symphony led by Patrick Summers. Saturday, July 28, at 8:15 p.m. The Filene Center, 1551 Trap Rd., Vienna. Tickets are $25 to $60. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit wolftrap.org.
MARYLAND YOUTH BALLET: RUMPELSTILTSKIN
Repeat recipient of the Best School award from the leading ballet competition in the U.S., the Youth America Grand Prix, the Maryland Youth Ballet presents its latest production at Wolf Trap’s serene, kids-oriented amphitheater. Rumpelstiltskin tells the classic fairy tale through the mesmerizing dance of an enchanted elf helping a miller’s daughter turn straw into gold — for a price. Friday, July 27, and Saturday, July 28, at 10:30 a.m. Theatre-In-The-Woods at Wolf Trap, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $10. Call 703-255-1900 or visit wolf-trap.org.
NATIONAL DANCE DAY
The Kennedy Center plays host to this free, all-day celebration launched in 2010 by Nigel Lythgoe, from TV’s So You Think You Can Dance. New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Ashley Bouder emcees the festivities with performances from dance fitness group Kazaxe, traditional Chinese group the Xuejuan Dance Ensemble, the Sultanas Troupe, Velocity Dance, Word Dance Theater, the Silvia Dance Studio, students from CityDance DREAM & CityDance Conservatory, and culminating with two hours of dancing led by the Soukous All Stars from the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Bazurto All Stars from Colombia. Also on hand will be Michael Mindlin, the dance supervisor from the national tour of Hamilton, hip-hop dancer Teren Dickson, and tapper Cartier Williams. Meanwhile, Hayley Erbert of Dancing with the Stars will lead patrons in this year’s National Dance Day routine, as choreographed by Emmy Award-winning choreographer Mandy Moore and set to Kylie Minogue’s new country-fied disco ditty “Dancing.” Saturday, July 28, from 2 to 10:30 p.m. Kennedy Center. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
Kindler is a familiar presence to any TV comedy connoisseur — among other notable gigs, he has hosted Hulu’s Coming to the Stage stand-up series, served as a judge on the seventh season of NBC’s Last Comic Standing, has had recurring roles on Fox’s Bob’s Burgers and Comedy Central’s Tosh. O, and appeared more than 40 times on The Late Show with David Letterman. The Kennedy Center brings Kindler to town for a night of stand-up. And although the show comes as part of the free Millennium Stage programming, it will not be streamed online per custom, and will be presented in the larger Terrace Theater. Friday, Aug. 3, at 6 p.m. Free. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
THE SECOND CITY: GENERATION GAP
The full title of the latest show from Chicago’s famed troupe created especially for the Kennedy Center to coincide with the District of Comedy Festival is Generation Gap…Or, How Many Millennials Does It Take to Teach a Baby Boomer to Text Generation X? Expect a satirical crash course spanning miscommunications, careers, dating, and more in a two-act, interactive spin on what the troupe calls “the age-old battle of the ages.” To Aug. 12. Theater Lab. Tickets are $49 to $59. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
WIT: SUMMER ESCAPE
The Washington Improv Theater is D.C.’s answer to comedy star-making groups such as Chicago’s Second City and L.A.’s Groundlings. Over the next month, the troupe offers a hodgepodge of summer-themed sketches, with each performance featuring different WIT ensembles, including three music-driven exercises: iMusical, presenting audiences with the opportunity to choose-your-own-disaster, resulting in the cast improvising an instant world-ending musical; Heavy Rotation, featuring a cast performing a School of Rock-inspired “improvised rock comedy”; and Karaoke Storytellers with a show that is part-VH1 Storytellers, part-Saturday Night Live audition, and part musical, all built around improvised characters delivering monologues and interpreting a song karaoke-style. To Aug. 5. Source, 1835 14th St. NW. Tickets are $15 in advance, or $18 at the door. Call 202-204-7770 or visit witdc.org.
AMERICAN DEMOCRACY: A GREAT LEAP OF FAITH
A display of prominent artifacts highlighting the history of citizen participation, debate and compromise from the nation’s formation to today. The American experiment is still alive, if not altogether well at the moment, but it has endured rough times before. This exhibition, at the Smithsonian’s American History Museum, highlights the various ways in which leading figures have strived to make the country “a more perfect union.” Objects include Thomas Jefferson’s portable desk he used to draft the Declaration of Independence, the inkstand Abraham Lincoln used to draft the Emancipation Proclamation, and the table on which Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote the Declaration of Sentiments. Ongoing. 14th St. and Constitution Ave. NW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit americanhistory.si.edu.
ATOMIC DOG AND CONSEQUENTIAL CAT
Furry pets are the focus of artwork at the VCA Alexandria Animal Hospital made by members of the artist collective Del Ray Artisans and presented through its Gallery Without Walls program. The exhibit features selections of canine artwork from May’s Atomic Dog exhibit as well as hand-picked pieces honoring feline companions. Participating artists will donate 20 percent of the purchase price of sold pieces in an equal split between the Artisans gallery and Veterans Moving Forward, which provides trained assistance animals to veterans. On display through Sept. 30 at 2660 Duke St. in Alexandria. Call 703-751-2022 or visit DelRayArtisans.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.
NO SPECTATORS: THE ART OF BURNING MAN
The Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery has turned over its entire building to present the first major national exhibition focused on Burning Man, in particular the annual Nevada desert event’s maker culture and creative spirit. In fact, the exhibition even extends “Beyond the Renwick,” with six sculptural works from Burning Man installed nearby on Pennsylvania Avenue west of the White House as well as on Connecticut Avenue and other major corridors. The full exhibition is on view through Sept. 16, while half of it will remain up until Jan. 21, 2019. Renwick Gallery, Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW. Free. Call 202-633-1000 or visit renwick.americanart.si.edu.
PUBLIC ARTWORKS OF ROCKNE KREBS AND SAM GILLIAM
Curator Mollie Berger says the objective of this Washington Studio School exhibition is “to represent the planning and design of public art projects, both built and unbuilt, by two artists who used vastly different materials but seem to be concerned with similar elements of space, color, and presence” — from “sculpture wunderkind” Krebs’s penetrating light displays, which surpass the physical space and reach for the sun and the stars that inspired the artist, to Gilliam’s swooping, brightly colored canvases of interlocking shapes, standing in counterpoint to the grey steel and stone surrounding them. Organized in partnership with community arts-boosting entity Day Eight, the exhibit includes proposals never funded as well as documentation of works that came to fruition by these two veteran D.C.-based artists, among them never-before displayed items provided by architect and longtime Gilliam collaborator Steven Spurlock. A Curator’s Talk is Friday, Aug. 3, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. On display to Aug. 10 at 2129 S St. NW. Call 202-234-3030 or visit washingtonstudioschool.org.
REYNERIO TAMAYO: CUBAN SLUGGER
Even Arena Stage has caught baseball fever this year: The Southwest D.C. arts complex currently has on display over 35 baseball-themed pieces of art from one of today’s leading contemporary caricaturists. The Cuban artist Tamayo is particularly known for his mockery of the art establishment as well as politics and sports. In this series of paintings and sculpture focused on baseball — first displayed at Miami’s Kendall Art Center in conjunction with last year’s All-Star Game and reprised by Arena as a toast to Nationals Park having just hosted this year’s event — the artist pays tribute to the history, key figures, and shared passion for the sport in both the U.S. and Cuba. To July 29. Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Call 202-488-3300 or visit arenastage.org.
A juried 40th Anniversary Exhibit featuring works by members of The Washington Calligraphers Guild, an organization devoted to artistic writing and textual design. This year’s theme takes inspiration from the famous 20th century movement known as surrealism, in which writers, poets, and artists sought to express themselves free from conscious control of reason and convention. Many of the chosen entrees are for sale through the Strathmore Mansion Gift Shop. On display to July 29. 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.
THE GREAT MYSTERY
Baltimore’s American Visionary Art Museum is letting its curiosity run wild in its 21st year-long exhibition curated by founder and director Rebecca Hoffberger. Partly inspired by Albert Einstein, who once referred to the concept of life as “the Great Mystery,” the show celebrates mysteries big and small, the ultimate source of artistic creativity, scientific inquiry and social progress. On display are works by 44 visionary artists, research scientists, astronauts, mystics and philosophers. On exhibit through Sept. 2, 2018. American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Highway. Baltimore. Tickets are $15.95 for regular daily admission. Call 410-244-1900 or visit avam.org.
TREATIES BETWEEN THE U.S. AND AMERICAN INDIAN NATIONS
With the lead title Nation to Nations, this long-term exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indian tells the story of the treaties signed between U.S. leaders and influential Native diplomats. Most Americans today live on land that was originally promised to Native Nations via (obviously broken) treaties. And while most of the documents date to the early days of the American republic, the exhibit, which has been on display since 2015, has recently been updated to end with an 11.5-foot-tall mile-marker post created by activists protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota — touted as the largest gathering of Native Americans in protest. In other words, the treaties are hardly something relegated to museums and history books but in fact very much an ongoing, present-day concern. On display through 2021. National Museum of the American Indian, Independence Avenue at 4th Street SW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit nmai.si.edu.
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. 8th and F Streets. NW. Call 202-633-8300 or visit npg.si.edu.
ACADIANA: JULY SHRIMP FEST
Spice Boiled Shrimp, Crispy Fried Rock Shrimp, and Shrimp Stew are among the star attractions at this all-you-can-eat Saturday afternoon affair offered outside on the patio of Passion Food Group’s New Orleans-centric dining destination downtown. The jazz group Big Boy Little Band will accompany the feast also including French fries, corn on the cob, and fruit hand pies. Louisiana favorite Abita Beers & Hurricanes will be available to wash it all down, and door prizes will be given out all afternoon as well. Saturday, July 28, from 2 to 5 p.m. Acadiana, 901 New York Ave. NW. Tickets are $75 per person, including one Abita drink. Call 202-408-8848 or visit acadianarestaurant.com.
COMMISSARY: #BRUNCHINLOVE W/BOTTOMLESS BEY & JAY
To honor The Carters’ two concerts at FedEx Field this weekend, Commissary presents a Bey & Jay-themed version of its popular Bottomless brunch. Music videos by Beyonce and Jay-Z will air on the restaurant’s TVs, and patrons are encouraged to dress up, with prizes for best lookalikes. A full brunch menu is available, and bottomless rounds of Mimosas, Bloody Marys, or Spiked Lemonade are offered for $18 per person. Saturday, July 28, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 1413 P St. NW. Call 202-299-0018 or visit commissarydc.com.
RADIATOR: CAMP RADIATOR
Every Friday throughout summer, the floor-level restaurant at Kimpton’s Logan Circle hotel Mason & Rook is serving up childhood nostalgia on its outdoor patio. Executive Chef Jonathan Dearden’s throwback or reimagined camp classics, hearkening back to the days of campfire-cooked meals, include Carne Asada Foil Packs with flank steak, rice, sofrito, and cilantro, Pastrami Sliders with Thousand Island dressing and coleslaw on a brioche bun, “Beanies and Weenies” with heirloom beans and half-smokes served in an aluminum mug, and Campfire Nachos made with corn tortillas, chili, cheese wiz, jalapeños, and sour cream. In addition, there’s the Burger-Beer-Shot combo ($22) featuring Dearden’s signature Rad Burger with red-onion marmalade, lemon-garlic aioli, arugula, and Cambozola cheese on brioche, and served with truffle fries and bartender’s choice of a beer and a shot. Adding to the fun are patio games including life-sized Connect Four, Jenga, and the Peruvian coin toss game Sapo. Plus, a compilation of popular camp movies will be shown on special screens outside, as weather permits. Happy Hour starts at 4 p.m., with Camp Radiator menu available starting at 5 p.m. Radiator, Mason & Rook, 1430 Rhode Island Ave. NW. Patio seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Call 202-742-3100 or visit radiatordc.com.
ZAYTINYA’S COCKTAIL DINNER
Zaytinya Head Chef Michael Costa is collaborating with Republic Restoratives co-founder Pia Carusone for a spirit-forward, multi-course meal. Dishes from the stylish Eastern Mediterranean restaurant, one of the earliest in José Andrés’s ThinkFoodGroup collection, will be paired with drinks made with spirits from D.C.’s lesbian- and women-owned distillery — including Civic Vodka, Borough Bourbon, Chapman’s Apple Brandy, and Rodham Rye, the latter named after Hillary Rodham Clinton. The five cocktails are: Ivy City Rickey made with Civic, Yellow Chartreuse, Aperol, lime, and Fever Tree club soda; the Yanni, or Chapman’s mixed with the ginger-flavored liqueur Domaine De Canton, plus honey and cardamom bitters; the Penn Quarter Rat Race, a Borough drink mixed with grapefruit, lemon, and honey; When They Go Low, We Go Rye, a blend of Rodham with Amaro Montenegro and the Danish cherry brandy Peter Heering; and Janissary Corps, or a Civic mixed with Yellow Chartreuse, lemon, honey, the berry-rich French liqueur Creme De Yvette, lavender, and egg white. Tuesday, July 31, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. 701 9th St. NW. Tickets are $110. Call 202-638-0800 or visit zaytinya.com.
AMERICA THE GAME SHOW. F*CK YEAH!
Two years ago, Kate Taylor Davis and Jared Davis concocted a variety show that made light of American history in the run-up to July 4th — in 2016, just before the country took a dark, dark turn. As a result, the hit show became darker and more subversive — as well as more popular — in its second year, and added topical games with names including “Extreme Vetting” and “Grab. That. P**sy!” This year’s third iteration has been moved to later in July when more people have a chance to attend and participate. Billed as a “no-holds-barred production that’s too risqué for the boob tube and real-er than ‘fake news,'” the show features Carlos Bustamante aka Carl Buster as host. He’s accompanied by a bevy of “All-American Girls” for a tongue-in-cheek trip across the country filled with trivia, games, satire, and nudity. The latter especially comes into play in a segment called “Naked Drunk History” with the character known as “Drunkle Sam,” whose purpose is “to fill in the gaps in America’s public education.” Aiding in the cause are many of the usual suspects in the talented, offbeat crew long associated with Astro Pop Events (the producer of Elvis’ Birthday Fight Club and Countdown to Yuri’s Night). The team includes Chris Griffin — per his drag alter ego Lucrezia Blozia — and includes Jim Dandy, Jared Davis, Patrick M. Doneghy, Kittie Glitter, Eleni Grove, Callie Pigeon, Candy Del Rio, Cherie Sweetbottom, and Andrew Wodzianski. Friday, July 27, and Saturday, July 28, at 8 p.m. Creative Alliance at the Patterson, 3134 Eastern Ave. Baltimore. Call 410-276-1651 or visit creativealliance.org.
HEY FRASE! PODCAST W/SARAH FRASER, PAUL WHARTON
Sarah Fraser, the former Hot 99.5 Kane Show co-host and current Good Day DC contributor, dishes on politics, pop culture and all things D.C. in this podcast with The Real Housewives of DC‘s Paul Wharton. At this special live taping, they welcome radio personality Danni Starr and comedian Rob Maher, who will guide Fraser and Wharton as they try their hands at stand-up comedy. Friday, Aug. 3, at 8 p.m. Amp by Strathmore, 11810 Grand Park Ave. North Bethesda. Tickets are $25 to $30. Call 301-581-5100 or visit ampbystrathmore.com.
MARYLAND PARANORMAL CONFERENCE
Speakers, vendors, palm and tarot card readers, and a host of people whose interests or abilities go beyond explanations of science (and reason) will gather in a small, tucked away town outside of — where else but — Baltimore. And if most adults can’t even quite understand it, certainly no kid can, which is why organizers have posted the sign, “No one under 16 admitted.” This second annual conference features six speakers, including ghost photographer Tim Scullion and “The Ghostographer” presentation, Sandy and Jim Young with “Beyond The Veil”, Rob Gutro’s “Ghosts of England: A Medium’s Vacation Encounters,” Uma Beepat in “Spirit Communication 101,” David Salisbury with “Don’t Blame The Witch,” and Hiram Henderson and “Ghosts, Poltergeists & Hauntings.” Additionally, the first 40 people in the door receive a free copy of Richard Salva’s The Yoga of Ghost Hunting. Saturday, Aug. 4, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Elk’s Lodge, 1506 Defense Highway, Gambrills, Md. Tickets are $39.95. Visit mdparaconf.eventbrite.com.
THE ASK RAYCEEN SHOW: POETRY SLAM COMPETITION
Rayceen Pendarvis offers a preview of the annual OutWrite LGBT Book Festival through a panel discussion with participants at the August edition of his monthly show, focused on the annual #AskRayceen Poetry Slam competition. Also on tap is live music by singer and actor Roz White, burlesque by Private Tails, with music by DJ Rosie, free food (while it lasts), and a cash bar. Wednesday, Aug. 1, at 6 p.m. HRC Equality Center, 1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW. Free. Call 202-505-4548 or visit AskRayceen.com.
THE PANCAKES AND BOOZE ART SHOW
An import from Los Angeles, this unusual “underground art show” features the work of over 100 emerging artists plus live body painting, live music, and a free pancake bar. Pancakes and Booze is a traveling, Andy Warhol-styled event that former Hollywood cameraman Tom Kirlin started in 2009 and has since brought to over 20 cities, including D.C. twice a year. “When I was in college, the only place that was open after a night of drinking was IHOP,” Kirlin says. “I always had this silly idea to make a pancake restaurant with a full bar. So with the art show, I just merged the two ideas together.” Thursday, Aug. 2, from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Penn Social, 801 E St. NW. Cover is $15. Call 202-697-4900 or visit pancakesandbooze.com.