Metro Weekly

Out On the Town: D.C. arts and entertainment highlights — August 9-15

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

David Washington in Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman — Photo: David Lee / Focus Features



Almost three decades after Do The Right Thing, Spike Lee aims for the same kind of resonance on contemporary race relations with BlacKkKlansman. The film focuses on the incredible true story of a young black police officer who managed to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan, exposing their extremism. Although set in the early ’70s, the movie is hardly a period piece, directly linking the Klan’s historical racism with that of today’s increasingly visible neo-Nazis. John David Washington (See profile, page 13), portrays the ambitious and heroic black cop Ron Stallworth, opposite Topher Grace as KKK Grand Wizard David Duke. Opens Friday, Aug. 10. Area theaters, including Landmark’s Atlantic Plumbing Cinema, 807 V St. NW (202-534-1965; and the Angelika Film Center Mosaic, 2911 District Ave., Fairfax, Va. (571-512-3301;


Every Friday night through August 31, the AFI Silver Theatre co-presents a free outdoor film series at nearby Sonny’s Green, where patrons can bring blankets and low-rise chairs as well as their own food and beverage. Screening this Friday, Aug. 10, is CatVideoFest 2017, filmmaker Will Braden’s 70-minute fancy feast of a program for feline fanatics. Next Friday, Aug. 17, is Game Night, the offbeat comedy released earlier this year starring Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams as a hyper-competitive, games-mad married couple, whose interactive murder mystery game night gets hijacked by actual criminals. Screenings begin at sundown, around 8 p.m. Off the parking lot of the Blairs Shopping Center, 1290 East-West Highway. Call 301-495-6720 or visit


Over the next several weekends, the AFI Silver Theatre offers several programs, each roughly 45 minutes long, with selections of Warner Bros.’ classic cartoons featuring the Looney Tunes gang — Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, Porky Pig, Foghorn Leghorn, Sylvester, Tweety, and more. Program 4 is Saturday, Aug. 11, and Sunday, Aug. 12, at 11 a.m., while Program 5 is Saturday, Aug. 18, and Sunday, Aug. 19, at 11 a.m. 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $5. Call 301-495-6720 or visit


The AFI Silver Theatre toasts the late George Romero with screenings of several notable works from the “the Father of the Zombie Film.” This week offers what Romero initially described as a “feminist film” marketed and released 45 years ago as the softcore porn film Hungry Wives, then re-cut and re-released in 1978 as Season of the Witch, which is regarded as a skillful exploration of the occult. Saturday, Aug. 11, at 10:45 p.m. 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $13. Call 301-495-6720 or visit for the full series.


Last Monday, Josh Vogelsong, aka drag performer/punk rocker Donna Slash (see Spotlight, page 7), launched this weekly queer film series at the cozy, 35-seat, living-room cozy Suns Cinema in Mount Pleasant with The Boys in the Band. This Monday the series is presenting Beeban Kidron’s 1995 comedy Too Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newman, starring Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze, and John Leguizamo as New York City drag queens on their way to Hollywood when their car breaks down in a homophobic hinterland. Patrons can enjoy drinks and snacks, including fresh offerings from Suns’ vintage popcorn machine. They’re encouraged to stick around and discuss the movie afterwards over more drinks from the full-service bar. Monday, Aug. 13, at 8 p.m. 3107 Mount Pleasant St. NW. Tickets are $10. Visit


Victor Fleming’s 1939 adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s children’s novel has been touted as the most-watched motion picture in history. The timeless story, with an equally timeless score by Harold Arlen and E.Y. “Yip” Harburg, is the last film screening in a month-long series co-presented by Washington Performing Arts on Library of Congress grounds. Thursday, Aug. 16, at sunset, approximately 8:30 p.m., preceded by a free concert with Sarah Marie Hughes & Coy Fish. North Lawn of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. SE. Tickets, although not required, are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit


Katharine Hepburn stars as an ambitious and celebrated career journalist opposite Spencer Tracy, who plays a fellow journalist as well as her spouse, increasingly threatened by her success and independence. The film spawned Tracy and Hepburn’s relationship both on screen, with eight subsequent films, and off — a romance that lasted until Tracy’s death. The film returns to the big screen for one day as part of Landmark’s West End Cinema Capital Classics series. Wednesday, Aug. 15, 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

The Hypocrites and The House Theatre of Chicago’s “H.M.S. Pinafore” — Photo: Teresa Castracane



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). To Aug. 19. Kreeger Theater in the Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Call 202-488-3300 or visit



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 (Andre Hereford)


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


Partly inspired by New York’s Sleep No More and nurtured at Capital Fringe, TBD Immersive is a devised, participatory theater company that intentionally blurs the line between audience and performer, while also straying far afield from the usual theater experience or event venue. After two politically inspired cabaret shows, TBD, led by Strother Gaines, significantly alters course by offering three courses as part of a “culinary pop-up theater experience” at Slim’s Diner in Petworth, devised and directed by Jenny Splitter. Based on responses to a preliminary questionnaire, theatergoers are matched with a particular performer — out of a cast of nine, all portraying supernatural “Legends” charged with keeping order in the universe — who sit with and guide patrons through a meal starting with salad and offering choices for entree (Shrimp and Grits, Meatloaf, or Ratatouille) and dessert (Apple or Key Lime Pie). Each experience, lasting roughly 90 minutes, will be slightly different, affected by individual engagement and interaction as well as external variables such as “chaos, gluten, and uninvited guests.” Clearly, this isn’t theater nor dinner as usual. “Think of the show as a world to explore rather than a play that you watch,” reads an official note. Opens Friday, Aug. 10, with seatings at 6:30 and 8 p.m. To Aug. 25. 4201 Georgia Ave. NW. Tickets are $45, including three-course meal. Visit


Don’t let the first half of this play’s title fool you: Constellation Theatre Company’s next production is not only right up its farcical alley, it’s a bubbly and whimsical comedy that “will make you fall in love with love.” Written by Sarah Ruhl, the acclaimed playwright of The Clean House and Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Melancholy Play focuses on a morose woman (Billie Krishawn) who is the apple of everyone’s eye — until she discovers happiness. Nick Martin directs. Opens in previews Friday, Aug. 10. To Sept. 2. Source Theatre, 1835 14th St. NW. Tickets are $19 to $45. Call 202-204-7741 or visit


In addition to Hamilton, the Kennedy Center is playing host to the other big winner from the 70th Annual Tony Awards in 2016, the adaptation by Marsha Norman and composer/lyricists Stephen Bray, Brenda Russell, and Allee Willis that won as Best Musical Revival. To Aug. 26. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $69 to $149. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


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

Pentatonix — Photo: Jiro Schneider



“The best ABBA tribute band in the world,” touts the Official ABBA Fan Club. Featuring two original members of the Swedish pop group’s rhythm section, “ABBA – The Concert” is about as close as we may ever get to a performance by the actual band, recent buzz about reuniting for one hologram-enhanced simulcast notwithstanding. Sunday, Aug. 12, at 8 p.m. The Filene Center at Wolf Trap, 1551 Trap Rd., Vienna. Tickets are $30 to $60. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit


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 50 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. Remaining dates are 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 (Doug Rule)


The 9th annual summer cabaret series at ArtSpace Falls Church continues with: talented teens from Music Therapy Center in “Coming of Age,” performing songs about their struggles with anxiety, bullying, romantic intimacy, sexual awakening, and depression, on Friday, Aug. 10, and Saturday, Aug. 11, at 8 p.m., and Jim Van Slyke in two different shows: a tribute to the pop music of Neil Sedaka in “Sedaka is Back!” offered Friday, Aug. 17, at 8 p.m., and “Just Me and the Boys,” a toast to Mel Torme, Nat King Cole, Bobby Darin, and Sammy Davis Jr., on Saturday, Aug. 18, at 8 p.m. 410 South Maple Ave. 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


All aboard the Midnight Train to Wolf Trap next Wednesday, Aug. 15, when the “Empress of Soul” reunites for another concert under the stars with ’70s-minted Philadelphia soul group (and Rock and Roll Hall of Famers) The O’Jays. The pairing is touted as “the soul event of the summer” at the Filene Center. Wednesday, Aug. 15, at 8 p.m. 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $30 to $70. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit


The Revivalists, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, and Nikki Hill are the headliners across the three stages at this folk and bluegrass festival, now in its 26th year and presented by Stages Music Arts. Other acts set to perform include Trampled by Turtles, Psycho Killers, the Marcus King Band, Cris Jacobs Band, Omari Banks, Whiskey Shivers, the Dirty Grass Players, Selwyn Birchwood, and Hall Williams Band. Also, the orchestral folk duo the Clavicles will perform in between sets in the VIP section.

Saturday, Aug. 18. Gates at 11 a.m. Tickets are $68 in advance or $85 on the day of, or $199 for VIP including parking, alcohol, two meal tickets, special viewing area, and restrooms. Oregon Ridge Park, 13401 Beaver Dam Rd. in Cockeysville, Md. Call 877-321-FEST or visit


Little in the way of new music has been heard from this quirky, clever British electro-pop outfit since the 2015 release of the amusingly titled Why Make Sense? With growing speculation that Hot Chip is on the verge of putting out new jams, it seems plausible to think the Grammy-nominated collective, led by singing multi-instrumentalists Joe Goddard and Alexis Taylor, may preview some of what’s to come during a return to U Street Music Hall for another open-to-close DJ set. Certainly the gang — which also includes musicians Felix Martin, Owen Clarke, and LCD Soundsystem’s Al Doyle — are as accomplished in spinning records as they are in making them. They’re known to be energetic, engaging, rather spontaneous and inventive in both performative capacities — or always “Ready for the Floor,” as a decade-old hit puts it. Friday, Aug. 10, starting at 10 p.m. 1115A U St. NW. Tickets are $12, or free for the first 100 to arrive before 11 p.m. Call 202-588-1880 or visit


Nearly a decade ago this native of Mechanicsville, Va., professed his sweet, acoustic loyalty, via his buoyant breakthrough hit “I’m Yours.” And just this year over Pride, the pop star took it a step further, writing a “love letter” to the LGBTQ community published by Billboard and including the statement, “I am bi your side.” Mraz has subsequently confirmed he meant exactly what he spelled, admitting to past attractions and affairs with men as well as women. As a result, it’s probable there will be more queer fans among the crowd in this year’s return to Merriweather Post Pavilion, a year after Mraz made his Broadway debut alongside Sara Bareilles in a limited-run of her musical Waitress. He tours in support of his sixth studio set Know, being released on the day of the show. Brett Dennen opens. Friday, Aug. 10. Gates at 6 p.m. 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Md. Tickets are $45 to $75. Call 800-551-SEAT or visit


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 jazz flutist Andrea Brachfeld on Aug. 10, and 3Divas, the swinging Maryland trio of drummer Sherrie Maricle, bassist Amy Shook, and pianist Jackie Warren, on Aug. 17, each performing from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Sculpture Garden, between 7th and 9th Streets NW. Call 202-289-3360 or visit


Mary Chapin Carpenter makes her annual pilgrimage to Wolf Trap, “one of my most treasured and favorite places.” She returns in a concert with Rhiannon Giddens, known as original vocalist for Carolina Chocolate Drops and for her recurring role on Nashville. Saturday, Aug. 11, at 7:30 p.m. The Filene Center at Wolf Trap, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $28 to $65. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit


Steez Promo and Glow DC team up for this annual two-day EDM festival on the grounds of the former Virgin Mobile Festival and the Infield Fest. Diplo, DJ Snake, Kaskade, Galantis, Griz, Illenium, Cashmere Cat, Phantogram, Vince Staples, Chris Lake, and Mark Knight are among the headliners across the festival’s four main stages and dance areas. Saturday, Aug. 11, and Sunday, Aug. 12, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day. 5201 Park Heights Ave, Baltimore. Tickets are $153.67 for a single-day pass with tax and fees or $221.69 for a two-day pass, more for VIP options. Call 202-397-SEAT or visit


This South Carolina-rooted, four-piece rock band, fronted by the Rinehart brothers, puts on an impressive and stirring live show, courtesy of strong group cohesion, uplifting music, and especially Bear Rinehart’s powerhouse pipes, showcased to greatest effect in a recent pairing with R&B belter Andra Day on the band’s rousing anthem “Hard Love.” A more recent powerhouse anthem from Needtobreathe is “Forever On Your Side,” a collaboration with Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano Ramirez, known together as Johnnyswim. The married, L.A.-based duo tours as an opening act for Needtobreathe along with Billy Raffoul, a promising Joe Cocker-esque 22-year-old from Canada. Friday, Aug. 17. Doors at 5:30 p.m. The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. Tickets are $46 to $76. Call 202-888-0020 or visit


“The World’s Biggest A Cappella Act” (according to Forbes), and winners of NBC’s The Sing-Off in 2011, returns to the area for a stop on its summer stadium tour. Two of its five members identify as LGBTQ — tenor Mitch Grassi and baritone Scott Hoying, who also perform as the musical comedy duo Superfruit — yet the concert’s gay appeal hardly stops with them. Indeed, it starts with a bang: opening with a set by young gay crooner Calum Scott from Britain’s Got Talent. Scott tours in support of his strong soul-pop debut Only Human, released in March, with songs touching on his sexuality in a way that Metro Weekly music critic Sean Maunier praised for being “casual and matter-of-fact, and all the more striking for it.” After Scott, the young California sibling trio Echosmith takes the stage, performing its hazy indie-rock tunes, capped off with the 2013 hit “Cool Kids.” Sunday, Aug. 12, at 8 p.m. Jiffy Lube Live, 7800 Cellar Door Drive, Bristow, Va. Tickets are $18.75 to $202. Call 703-754-6400 or visit


A free outdoor concert on the grounds of the Library of Congress featuring the local jazz alto-saxophonist/instrumentalist. Hughes will be supported by her band of fellow jazz improvisers, including Samuel Burt on daxophone, Daniel Ostrow on bass and voice, and Nate Scheible on drums and voice. Following the concert comes the familiar music composed by Harold Arlen and E.Y. “Yip” Harburg for The Wizard of Oz, which will screen at sundown (see separate entry). The concert is Thursday, Aug. 16, at 7 p.m. North Lawn of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. SE. Tickets, although not required, are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit


Initially formed as an occasional pick-up band with seasoned musicians from around the Big Easy, this supergroup became a touring act seven years ago and have churned out four solid albums and attracted large crowds from San Francisco to New York since. The Suspects features longtime Neville Brothers drummer “Mean” Willie Green, North Mississippi Allstars bassist Eric Vogel, Dirty Dozen Brass Band lead guitarist Jake Eckert, classically trained pianist and feature accompanist CR Gruver, and saxophonist Jeff Watkins, former leader of the James Brown Band and producer and bandleader for Joss Stone. The band is joined at the Hamilton by Vermont-based singer and trumpet player Hartswick, a veteran performer with Phish’s Trey Anastasio. Friday, Aug. 10, at 8 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $30. Call 202-787-1000 or visit



A Baltimore-based kindergarten teacher by day, Weems has garnered national attention for his standup comedy by night, via NBC’s Last Comic Standing. At a Comedy Zone-presented evening at Strathmore’s intimate Amp venue, Weems will be joined by Salem, Virginia-based comedian Douty, who finished second in the World Series of Comedy Women’s Satellite in Las Vegas. Thursday, Aug. 9, at 8 p.m. Amp by Strathmore, 11810 Grand Park Ave. North Bethesda. Tickets are $14. Call 301-581-5100 or visit


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

RISK! Kevin Allison — Photo: Mindy Tucker



Subtitled A Life in Code, this is a memoir of personal computing from a writer and software engineer who worked on instant-messaging systems and data sorting for Microsoft and Google. It’s a celebration of technology’s prowess, tempered by the realization that algorithms are standardizing and coarsening our lives and our understanding of the world and who we even are as humans. Auerbach will read and sign from what is partly styled as a manifesto, all from the newest location of the ever-expanding Politics and Prose chain. Thursday, Aug. 16, at 7 p.m. Politics & Prose at Union Market, 1270 5th St. NE. Call 202-544-4452 or visit


Risk! True Stories People Thought They’d Never Dare to Share is a diverse collection of uncensored, confessional, and at times funny personal stories compiled by Kevin Allison of MTV’s comedy troupe, The State. The stories are mostly drawn from the podcast and live show Allison created and that Rolling Stone has touted as “The Moth‘s scrappier, freakier little sibling.” Allison will read from and sign copies of the book next week, two days before a Risk! show featuring D.C.-area storytellers to be recorded for the hit podcast. The reading is Thursday, Aug. 16, at 6:30 p.m. Kramerbooks, 1517 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-387-1400 or visit The live show is Saturday, Aug. 18, at the Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. Doors at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25. Call 202-667-4490 or visit

Illuminate: Art Vidrine, Fur-e-logik, 2011. Five neon tubes with argon, faux fur, chain, hook, transformer.



In partnership with the Corcoran School of Design, Dupont Underground presents an eye-opening collection of video artwork that challenges what and how we see. A play on the both the literal and metaphorical notion of visual acuity and clarity, 20/20 features work from Corcoran alumni and area artists with ties to the school, including Larry Cook, Maps Glover, Alexis Gomez, Pamela Hadley, and Jason Zimmerman. On display to Aug. 28. Dupont Underground, 1500 19th St. NW. Tickets are $15. Visit


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. Through Aug. 18. Hilltop Road between Maple and Geneva Avenues, Takoma Park. Call 301-608-9101 or visit


The late heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post has a renowned collection of pieces from the firm of Carl Fabergé, the legendary jeweler to the last court of Russia. A special exhibition at Post’s Hillwood Estate, nestled in a leafy section of Upper Northwest a few blocks from Van Ness, unveils new discoveries relating to the collection of about 90 Fabergé works, including two imperial Easter eggs. To Jan. 13. 4155 Linnean Ave. NW. Suggested donation is $18. Call 202-686-5807 or visit


The Target Gallery in Alexandria’s Torpedo Factory Art Center presents a special glow-in-the-dark exhibition, for which it will turn off its lights to put the focus on exhibited artwork, artificially illuminated in various ways — some by video, some by light installation and sculpture, some by black light. Emily Smith of Richmond’s 1708 Gallery served as juror for the exhibition, selecting works by 11 artists, including D.C.’s Joana Stillwell, Baltimore’s Sarah Clough and Karen Lemmert, Alexandria’s Andreas Schenkel and Art Vidrine, Mount Rainier’s Steve Wanna, and Potomac’s Michael West. Now to Sept. 2, with an Artist Talk on Friday, Aug. 10, starting at 8 p.m., as part of the Torpedo-wide “Late Shift: Summer Fling” event and dance party with DJ Starchild. 105 North Union St. Alexandria. Free. Call 703-838-4565 or visit


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


Paintings by this illustrator, graphic designer, and offbeat fine artist will be on display at a tucked-away boutique space in Mount Pleasant, and presented as part of a Second Saturday DIY pop-up art and performance event also featuring live music by Ivan Ramiscal of Barcelona and the Positions under his Worktop! alias. Saturday, Aug. 11, at 8 p.m. The GallAerie, Near the intersection of Brown and Newton Streets NW. Tickets are free but required due to limited space. Call 202-667-1745 or search for “The GallAerie” on Facebook.


To mark the 100th anniversary of the Great Influenza, the Smithsonian debuts an exhibition on epidemiology and human health. From HIV to SARS to Ebola, Outbreaks shows how viruses can spread from animals to people, why some infectious diseases become pandemics, and the collaborative ways many have been stopped or curtailed. Today, pandemic diseases remain one of the greatest threats to individuals and society, due to an increasingly interconnected, increasingly mobile, increasingly urbanized and industrialized global world. Ongoing to 2021. National Museum of Natural History, 10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit


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. To Aug. 10. 2129 S St. NW. Call 202-234-3030 or visit


Vibrant images captured by various photographers, along with historical artifacts and personal memorabilia, tell the story of Xulhaz Mannan and Mahbbub Rabbi Tonoy, two Bangladeshi LGBTQ activists and artists who were savagely murdered in their home two years ago. The Center Arts Gallery in the DC Center for the LGBT Community has set up this powerful installation as part of an ongoing campaign to protest the inaction of the Bangladeshi government to investigate the murders. 2000 14th St. NW. Call 202-682-2245 or visit


Nearly 100 portrayals of laborers by some of the nation’s most influential artists reveal how American workers have shaped and defined the nation in a multifaceted Smithsonian exhibition further exploring the intersections among work, art, and social history. Paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, mixed-media, and photographs factor into this fully bilingual show, with works by Winslow Homer, Dorothea Lange, Elizabeth Catlett, Jacob Lawrence, Lewis Hine, and Ben Shahn. To Sept. 3. National Portrait Gallery, 8th and F Streets. NW. Call 202-633-8300 or visit


Visitors to the National Geographic Museum are being transported to Jerusalem via an immersive 3D experience unlike anything seen in a museum before. Tomb of Christ offers a virtual tour of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the holiest church in all of Christendom — built on the site where Jesus of Nazareth, according to tradition, was crucified, buried, and resurrected. The exhibition recounts the storied history and enduring mysteries of the site, with a particular focus on recent technological advances that have boosted ongoing research and restoration of the Holy Edicule, or tomb of Christ dating to the fourth century. But be forewarned: The 3D exhibition is not recommended for guests susceptible to motion sickness or dizziness. To Jan. 2. 1145 17th St. NW. Timed-entry tickets are $15. Call 202-857-7588 or visit



Over the past year, the local Hilton brothers have expanded well beyond Marvin and The Brixton and their original U Street base. None of the additions, however, stand out as much as Bar Roubaix in Columbia Heights with its racing bike theme, complete with chains dangling behind the bar and wheels serving as light fixtures. Named after the French city sponsoring one of the world’s oldest and most iconic professional bike races and housed in the former Acre 121 space, Roubaix features a menu of European-inspired bites from Chef Rafael Nunez. And now, Roubaix stands out even more thanks to a drag brunch the third Sunday of each month, organized by Josael Abraham Gutierrez. Sassy Drag Brunch features Desiree Dik as the “master of sassiness” along with her sassy sisters Laronica Vegas and Paula, in addition to special guests, next round Rose and Mariah Black. Drink specials include $18 Bottomless Mimosas, Bloody Mary’s, and Bloody Maria’s, $9 Margaritas, and $9 Irish Coffees. Sunday, Aug. 19, from noon to 2 p.m. 1400 Irving St. NW. Ste. 109. Tickets are $21 inclusive of show, one entree, and 18-percent gratuity, or $10 for show with no food. Call 202-560-5721 or search “Sassy Drag Brunch” on


On Saturdays, legendary D.C. drag diva Monet Dupree hosts brunch in a large, contemporary space south of Dupont Circle that many older D.C. gays will remember as the second, biggest, and arguably best Lizard Lounge venue. Dupree and her drag minions entertain every Saturday as part of a three-hour affair, with music by DJ India. Doors open at 11 a.m., with brunch starting at 11:30 a.m., show at 12 p.m. 1223 Connecticut Ave. NW. The cost is $40 for All-You-Can-Eat buffet and complimentary mimosas, inclusive of tax and gratuity. Call 202-503-2640 or visit

SleazeDJs — Photo: Angie Chamberland



Perhaps you’ve heard that a certain gay-popular diva is turning the big 6-0 next week. JR.’s is jumping the gun two days before the actual birthday, presenting an all-Madonna, all-night-long video and music extravaganza led by veteran local DJ Jason Royce. The tribute, featuring $5 Skyy Cocktails and $4 Miller Lite bottles, comes as part of Royce’s Flashback retro-pop/disco party, which was originally launched at Cobalt way back in the day, when Madonna was just entering her midlife motherhood era. Tuesday, Aug. 14 at JR.’s, 1519 17th St. NW. Call 202-328-0090 or visit


LGBTQ residents of the H Street Corridor — and their admirers all around — flock to this neighborhood watering hole on a bi-monthly basis, when they turn it gay, at least for the night, every other hump day. A first and third Wednesdays affair, the next round features Natasha Sebastiani and Taste, with music by Alex DB, and drinks including $2 specialty shots and $5 draft and rail offerings until 11 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15, starting at 9 p.m. The Big Board, 421 H St. NE. No cover. Call 202-543-3630 or visit


Over a year ago Steve “Lemz” Lemmerman launched what has become a popular first-Thursday party on the cozy dance floor at Wonderland Ballroom in Columbia Heights. “The second you hear the name,” Lemz says of Sleaze, “you just kind of know you’re going to be getting into something different.” After a hit May debut at U Street Music Hall, this weekend Lemz presents the second U-Sleaze, headlined by Bouffant Bouffant and Mark Louque of the New Orleans DJ collective known as Trax Only. Naturally, Lemz and his main partner-in-Sleaze Keenan Orr will set the mood as opening DJs with an eclectic musical mix focused on dark disco throwbacks and disco-inspired dance tracks — or what Lemz calls “bathhouse music…and future techno.” Drag act Jane Saw will do her usual Sleaze duty as performing show host. Saturday, Aug. 11, at 10 p.m. U Street Music Hall, 1115A U St. NW. Tickets are $5, or $10 after midnight. Call 202-588-1880 or visit


The DC Rawhides have found a new home for their boot-scootin’ brand of social dancing since the closure of Town Danceboutique. This Saturday, Aug. 11, Southwest’s large, two-story LGBTQ entertainment complex swings open its doors two hours early for a different kind of dancer than its late-night stock in trade upstairs. Starting at 7 p.m. on the Ziegfeld’s level, any and all are welcome for an hour-long session of lessons in two-step, west coast swing, and line dancing — including the intermediate style known as “Soaking Wet” that will be taught by James Ellzy. The evening continues with open dancing to Rawhides DJ Chris Allen until 10:50 p.m. — roughly one hour before Ella and her Ladies take to their regular perch accompanied by DJ Don T. But don’t worry, by that time there will be fully exposed dancers and music by DJ tim-e upstairs to keep one entertained. 1824 Half St. SW. Cover is $5 until 9 p.m.; $10 after. Call 202-863-0670 or visit

Mark Meadows: Sounds of DC



In its black box space, D.C.’s Drafthouse Comedy presents this variety show offering stand-up comedy, music, and sketches by a diverse group of local female, minority, and LGBTQ performers — all hosted by a comedian who has shared the stage with DL Hughley, Todd Glass, Fortune Feimster, and Judy Gold, among others. Thursday, Aug. 16, at 8:45 p.m. 1100 13th St. NW. Tickets are $5. Call 202-750-6411 or visit


Jose Gutierrez of the Latino GLBT History Project leads a free, bilingual, mile-long walking tour highlighting places of significance for local queer Latinos and centered in Adams Morgan. Co-sponsored by Pride Outside, the tour: features Salud Inc., one of the first local Latino HIV/AIDS organizations; highlights other Latinx community organizations in the neighborhood, including Empoderate LCDP, La Clinica del Pueblo, Casa de la Cultura, and the Latin American Youth Center; relates what happened in the 1991 DC Latino Riots; points out the location that once housed El Faro, the city’s first local Latinx bar; and showcases other Latinx-popular bars and restaurants, including Bar Noa Noa, Perry’s, El Rincon Espanol, El Migueleno, and Haydees. Saturday, Aug. 11, at 3 p.m. Starts outside SunTrust at the corner of Columbia Road and 18th Street NW, and ends at the Columbia Heights Metro. Visit


Regie Cabico and Don Mike Mendoza’s La-Ti-Do variety show features higher-quality singing than most karaoke, often from local musical theater actors performing on their night off, and also includes spoken-word poetry and comedy. Held at Bistro Bistro in Dupont Circle, Mendoza and Anya Randall Nebel host The ’70s, an evening of songs from that decade as well as the present featuring Sylvern Groomes, Jr. Guest performers include Vanna de la Cruz, Erin Granfield, Christina McCann, Michelle Moses-Eisenstein, Allison Saba, Michael Sandoval, Aerika Saxe, and Robin Weiner. Paige Rammelkamp is music director. Monday, Aug. 13, at 8 p.m. Bistro Bistro, 1727 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets are $15, or $10 if you eat dinner at the restaurant beforehand. Call 202-328-1640 or visit


Next Thursday, Aug. 16, Dupont Underground hosts two simultaneous events paying tribute to distinguished local creative types and offered as a packaged deal. The highlight is a concert led by Mark G. Meadows with other local musicians, honoring the legacy of the late Chuck Brown and the thoroughly D.C. genre of go-go. The subterranean cultural venue will also feature a pop-up exhibition featuring what it heralds as “D.C.’s best animators,” members of the D.C.-based animation studio the Duke & the Duck. Doors at 5:30 p.m. Dupont Underground, 1500 19th St. NW. Tickets are $12.50 to $18. Visit

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

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