Metro Weekly

Out On the Town: D.C. arts & entertainment highlights — August 23-29

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

Papillon: Rami Malek and Charlie Hunnam



Two prominent local arts organizations are screening Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 visionary saga in a nod to its 50th anniversary. A brilliant meditation on man, machine, and the mysterious universe, 2001 features a script by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, as well as Oscar-winning special effects by pioneer Douglas Trumbull (Close Encounters of the Third Kind). You’ll be able to appreciate every detail, up close and immersive, on the six-stories-tall screens of the Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater at the National Air and Space Museum, with screenings billed as the “first time ever that moviegoers will have the opportunity to see the seminal film on the largest possible screen.” The Smithsonian offers two screenings per evening starting Thursday, Aug. 23, at 7 and 9:55 p.m. To Aug. 29. Independence Ave at 6th St. SW. Tickets are $13.50 to $15. Call 202-633-2214 or visit Meanwhile, the AFI Silver Theatre offers its week-long run of the sci-fi odyssey as part of a two-month-long series honoring the late, great filmmaker. Screenings start Friday, Aug. 24, at 7:30 p.m. To Aug. 30. 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $15 general admission. Call 301-495-6720 or visit


The chief draws at this year’s free screening series under the stars at Strathmore are two of cinema’s biggest, most progressive superhero tales: Black Panther (Friday, Aug. 24) and Wonder Woman (Sunday, Aug. 26). The series launches Thursday, Aug. 23, with Coco, the latest Oscar-winning animated adventure from Disney-Pixar, and also includes Disney’s classic, The Lion King, on Saturday, Aug. 25. Each film is presented, starting at 7:30 p.m., on a nine-story-tall, 52-foot-wide inflatable movie screen. The festival features barbecue and beverage options available for purchase from Ridgewells catering, although patrons are welcome to bring picnic blankets, low beach chairs, and small coolers with their own food and drink. It’s all designed as a benefit for NIH Children’s Charities. On the lawn near the Mansion, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Call 301-581-5100 or visit


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 Friday, Aug. 24, is Clue, Jonathan Lynn’s 1985 zinger-filled comedy based on the classic murder-mystery board game starring Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn, Christopher Lloyd, Lesley Ann Warren, and Michael McKean. The original theatrical release featured three different endings. It’s likely they’ll show all three. Concluding the series on Friday, Aug. 31, is Ghostbusters — Ivan Reitman’s original comedic caper from 1984, not 2016’s box office bomb. 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


The AFI Silver Theatre toasts the late George Romero with screenings of notable works from the “the Father of the Zombie Film” including Romero’s collaboration with Stephen King. Celebrating the days of EC Comics with an assortment of short, creepy stories in which people tend to rise from the dead to eke out revenge, the best of the Creepshow lot is a tale involving a very hungry monster in a box, and featuring a brilliant performance from Fritz Weaver. The fine cast includes Hal Holbrook, Leslie Nielsen, Ted Danson, E.G. Marshall and even King himself, in arguably the film’s weakest segment. Friday, Aug. 24, at 9:40 p.m., Monday, Aug. 27, at 9:05 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 29, at 9:30 p.m., and Thursday, Aug. 30, at 9:15 p.m. 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $13. Call 301-495-6720 or visit for the full series.


Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, and Paul Newman all lost out to James Dean to play the central drifter in this cinematic retelling of the biblical story of Cain and Abel, loosely based on the John Steinbeck novel of the same name. As such, legendary filmmaker Elia Kazan gave Dean his first starring vehicle — and the 1955 drama also ended up the only one the actor actually got to see, released mere months before his death. (Both Rebel Without A Cause and Giant were released posthumously.) East of Eden, also starring Julie Harris, Raymond Massey, Richard Davalos, and Burl Ives, returns to the big screen as part of Landmark’s West End Cinema Capital Classics series. Wednesday, Aug. 30, 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


This meticulously conceived and constructed feature-length concert documentary focuses on the Toronto-based synth-pop/rock quartet Metric, led by singer-songwriter Emily Haines, stadium-filling rock stars in Canada. Filmmakers T. Edward Martin and Jeff Rogers exhaustively captured a 2016 concert at Vancouver’s Thunderbird Arena through the use of a whopping 26 4K cameras. Intended as a stunning recreation of the concert, Dreams So Real screens once next week at the AFI per its “Canada Now” series of films, presented in a partnership with the Embassy of Canada. Friday, Aug. 24, at 7:20 p.m. AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $13. Call 301-495-6720 or visit


Charlie Hunnam stands in for Steve McQueen in this remake of the 1973 original, itself based on the 1969 autobiography by French convict Henri Charrière, which details his imprisonment and escape from a penal colony in French Guiana. Unfortunately, Michael Noer’s film doesn’t seem to bring anything new to the table, rendering it all a bit pointless. Opens Friday, Aug. 24. Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672 or visit (Rhuaridh Marr)


In February, this brooding Brazilian drama won the Teddy Award for Best Feature Film at the Berlin Film Festival. The focus is on Pedro, a socially alienated boy who strips and slathers himself in glow-in-the-dark paint to transform into NeonBoy, a popular, money-making avatar online, taking commands from men in private chat rooms. A sensitive, melancholic portrait of a queer boy struggling with today’s very real challenges of intimacy, community, and security in a homophobic society, Hard Paint is offered as part of Reel Affirmations’ monthly series. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with Casa Ruby’s Shareese Mone on sex-work decriminalization. In Portuguese with English subtitles. Friday, Aug. 24, at 7 p.m. HRC Equality Center, 1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW. Tickets are $12, or $25 for VIP seating as well as one complimentary cocktail, beer or wine and popcorn. Call 202-682-2245 or visit


Those rumors of secretive trysts, extramarital lovers, and rampant promiscuity among many Hollywood heartthrobs in the postwar mid-century era? Little surprise that many, perhaps even most, turn out to be true, and mostly stemming from the same source: Ex-Marine Scotty Bowers, Tinseltown’s chief pimp/undercover sexual matchmaker at the time. Vanity Fair writer and documentary filmmaker Matt Tyrnauer (Valentino: The Last Emperor) relates the true story of the man whose gas station on Hollywood Boulevard doubled as a rendezvous spot for his friends and actors and actresses on the down-low. Based on Bowers’ 2012 tell-all bestseller Full Service, the documentary is said to be “full of jaw-dropping reveals,” with eye-opening tales about icons ranging from Cary Grant to Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn to Ava Gardner. Now playing. Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672 or visit


Joshua Vogelsong, aka drag performer/punk rocker Donna Slash, has launched a weekly queer film series at the 35-seat, living-room cozy Suns Cinema in Mount Pleasant. Screening Monday, Aug. 27, starting at 8 p.m., is The Living End, often described as a “gay Thelma and Louise” written and directed by Gregg Araki, whom Vogelsong calls “one of my favorite directors.” The 1992 dramedy, he continues, “was a really shocking movie when it came out, part of the New Queer Cinema movement. It had a very unapologetic view of HIV and the way that they handled that subject.” Patrons can enjoy snacks, including fresh offerings from Suns’ vintage popcorn machine, as well as drinks from the full-service bar, which will remain open afterwards to encourage post-show discussion. 3107 Mount Pleasant St. NW. Tickets are $5. Visit


Twenty years after Family Guy crossed Sesame Street with Homicide: Life on the Street (portraying Bert as a hard-drinking detective and Ernie as his lover), The Happytime Murders is here to flesh that idea out to feature length. Set in a world where puppets live alongside humans as second-class citizens, Muppets puppeteer Bill Barretta plays private eye Phil Phillips, a disgraced former cop trying to track down a serial killer who is murdering the cast of ’80s TV show The Happytime Gang. Melissa McCarthy, Elizabeth Banks, Maya Rudolph, Joel McHale, and Leslie David Baker all star, and it’s being directed by Brian Henson — son of puppet genius Jim Henson. Opens Friday, Aug. 24. Area theaters. Visit (RM)


A trans woman’s life is thrown for another, wholly unexpected loop when a 14-year-old boy, seeking to connect with his biological father, shows up on her doorstep proclaiming to be her son. Eisha Marjara’s gender-shifting, heartwarming comedy focuses on the immediate aftermath of this bombshell development and the multi-faceted family dynamics and drama at play, including the involvement of the parents and cisgender lover of lead character Sid (Debargo Sanyal). Part of the “Canada Now” series. Monday, Aug. 27, at 7:05 p.m. AFI Silver Theatre, 633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $13. Call 301-495-6720 or visit

The Color Purple — Photo: Matthew Murphy




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. 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


Rainbow Theatre Project opens its sixth season with its first full production of a new play — a joint world premiere with Cleveland’s Convergence-Continuum. A metaphysical comedy from Siegmund Fuchs, a native of Cleveland who lives and works in D.C. as a lawyer for the U.S. Department of Justice, In The Closet follows an 18-year-old boy guided by three older gay men acting as his “fairy godmothers” to help find a way out of the closet. The company’s H. Lee Gable directs a cast featuring Tim Caggiano, Zachary Dittami, Christopher Janson, and Patrick Joy. To Sept. 15. District of Columbia Arts Center (DCAC), 2438 18th St. NW. Tickets are $35. Call 202-462-7833 or visit


More than 60 D.C.-area theater companies offer free readings, workshops, open rehearsals, and previews of developing plays and musicals as part of this 17th annual event over Labor Day weekend. LGBTQ highlights among the full day of offerings on Saturday, Sept. 1 include I’ve Been A Woman, Jordan Ealey’s time-traveling play following two souls reincarnated in black women’s bodies in three distinct time periods; Glimmer/Jellyfish Summer, a reading of two plays by Darcy Parker Bruce and Natalie Ann Valentine focused on what presenting organization Bridge Club calls “young, queer, heart-wanderers” looking for “whatever magic there is beneath the water”; The Springfield Boys, Anthony E. Gallo’s two-act dramedy about the close relationships between Abraham Lincoln, his closest friend Joshua Fry Speed, and law partner Billy Herndon; Life Lines, a collection of theatrical works written, performed, and directed by black LGBTQ artists; Montgomery, a blues/rock musical by Britt Bonney set in Alabama during the birth of the civil rights movement; A Butterfly’s Eyes, a series of short scenes and monologues by participants in GALA’s Paso Nuevo Youth Performance Group touching on their experiences with love, racism, coming out, bullying, self-esteem, and immigration; Unprotected Sex, an edgy collection of short plays about contemporary black LGBTQ life written and directed by Alan Sharpe. Meanwhile, highlights from Monday, Sept. 3, include Small House, No Secrets, a coming out musical by Jody Nusholtz and Sonia Rutstein (of disappear fear); Saints, Debra Buonaccorsi and Steve McWilliams’ unconventional look at faith and religion, told with music, comedy, and burlesque and directed by Rick Hammerly; Abomination, a drama about queer yeshiva graduates written by Nicole Cox and directed by Jose Carrasquillo; and Tunnel Vision, a gritty, emotional play about sex trafficking by Dan Goldman. For a complete schedule, visit


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 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 Strother Gaines in collaboration with Jenny Splitter and the show’s cast. Based on responses to a preliminary questionnaire, theatergoers are matched with one of nine performers — all portraying supernatural “Legends” charged with keeping order in the universe — sitting with and guiding 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. To Aug. 25. 4201 Georgia Ave. NW. Tickets are $45, including three-course meal. Visit


Mosaic Theater Company launches its fourth season with George Brant’s empowering play with songs highlighting the talents of Rosetta Tharpe and Marie Knight, two under-appreciated black music legends. Sandra L. Holloway directs a production starring Helen Hayes Award-winning actress Roz White (Studio Theatre’s Bessie’s Blues) as Tharpe, the queer black woman who all but invented rock ‘n’ roll, while Ayana Reed takes on the role of Tharpe’s young protege Knight. Music direction comes from e’Marcus Harper-Short. In previews. Opens Monday, Aug. 27. To Sept. 30. The Lang Theatre in the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $50 to $68. Call 202-399-7993 or visit

Melancholy Play: A Contemporary Farce — Photo: DJ Corey Photography


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 PhoneMelancholy Play focuses on a morose woman (Billie Krishawn) who is the apple of everyone’s eye — until she discovers happiness. Nick Martin directs. To Sept. 2. Source Theatre, 1835 14th St. NW. Tickets are $19 to $45. Call 202-204-7741 or visit


Natascia Diaz ignites the fiery love triangle at the heart of this Tony-winning musical opening the season at Signature Theatre. Director Matthew Gardiner has cast the ever-dazzling Diaz (Signature’s West Side Story) in the role of Fosca, whose infatuation with Giorgio, played by Claybourne Elder (Sunday in the Park with George), threatens to upend the captain’s world. Steffanie Leigh, Will Gartshore, Rayanne Gonzales, and Bobby Smith are among the large cast in Signature’s newest production of the Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine musical, whose rich score will be grandly brought to life with a full orchestra led by Jon Kalbfleisch. Now to Sept. 23. Max Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit


The Shakespeare Theatre Company reprises its 2016 staging of Romeo and Juliet as this year’s Free For All offering. Alan Paul returns to direct the show, recasting the lead roles with Sam Lilja portraying Romeo and Danaya Esperanza as Juliet, plus powerhouse performer E. Faye Butler making her company debut as the Nurse. Now to Sept. 2. Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F St. NW. Tickets are free, distributed via daily online lottery as well as in-person on a first-come, first-serve basis starting two hours before each day’s curtain. Call 202-547-1122 or visit


Kurt Boehm directs and choreographs the Keegan Theatre production of this recent Broadway musical adaptation by Jason Robert Brown with a book by Marsha Norman. Susan Derry and Dan Felton star. Now to Sept. 2. The Andrew Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church St. NW. Tickets are $45 to $55. Call 202-265-3768 or visit



Time hasn’t dimmed the brilliance or urgency of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Color Purple. In the era of #MeToo and “Nevertheless, she persisted,” Miss Celie’s voice, and the voices of those women beside her, should be heard among the chorus — after all, they helped give birth to that chorus. That legacy resonates throughout the musical, which streamlines Celie’s early 20th-century saga of triumph over misogyny and abuse into a set of rousing songs with music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen Bray. To Aug. 26. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $69 to $149. Call 202-467-4600 or visit (AH)

Cyrus Chestnut



Like much of their music, the Baltimore-based dream-pop duo’s success has been a slow build. And 7, Beach House’s newest album, is the culmination of years of precisely refining technique, doubling down again and again on a now unmistakable sound and aesthetic and striving to perfect it. The synths, soft guitars, and Victoria Legrand’s haunting voice make it impossible to mistake this for anything other than her band with Alex Scally. Beach House’s soundscapes have always been dreamy, escapist fantasies, but with 7, the duo has also put forth a hopeful message of rebirth, a simple perfection rising out of darkness and chaos. Beach House supports the stellar five-star album on tour with fellow Sub Pop labelmate Papercuts, the “soft indie pop” four-piece founded and fronted by Jason Robert Quever. Saturday, Aug. 25. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. Tickets are $38 to $55. Call 202-888-0020 or visit (Sean Maunier)


Something of a local version of the hip retro-lounge act Pink Martini, Chaise Lounge is five of D.C.’s leading jazz musicians who together perform sparkling arrangements of standards plus new, original swinging tunes that sound as if recorded a half-century ago. Featuring the soft, luminous vocals of Marilyn Older, the party jazz group, touted on NPR and a frequent draw at the Kennedy Center, makes its debut at D.C.’s newest concert venue, where fine music meets fine wine. Wednesday, Aug. 29, at 8 p.m. City Winery DC, 1350 Okie St. NE. Tickets are $18 to $28. Call 202-250-2531 or visit


The “Wicked Game” singer-songwriting hunk returns to the Birchmere for two concerts offering a delightful romp through his repertoire, including a selection of the timeless, classic-sounding mournful rockers from his most recent studio affair, 2015’s strong, strings-supported First Comes The Night. Isaak will no doubt also highlight some of his captivating covers of Sun Records classics as heard on 2011’s Beyond The Sun — from “Ring of Fire” to “Great Balls of Fire” to “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” Sunday, Aug. 26, and Monday, Aug. 27, at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $95. Call 703-549-7500 or visit or


The Virginia-based theater company Creative Cauldron continues its 9th annual months-long summer cabaret series at ArtSpace Falls Church with: “Electric Lady” by Ines Nassara, the Helen Hayes-nominated actress who this spring played Dorothy in The Wiz at Ford’s, performing on Friday, Aug. 24, at 8 p.m., and “A Mixtape for Heroines,” a celebration in song of some of literature’s most treasured women by Catherine Purcell, on Saturday, Aug. 25, 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


“The best jazz pianist of his generation,” Time music critic Josh Tyrangiel has said about about Baltimore’s versatile virtuoso Chestnut, who two decades ago portrayed a Count Basie-inspired pianist in Robert Altman’s film Kansas City. He returns to D.C.’s leading jazz venue for a long-weekend run of shows to help close out the summer. Thursday, Aug. 23, through Sunday, Aug. 26, at 8 and 10 p.m. Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Tickets are $30 to $35, plus $12 minimum purchase. Call 202-337-4141 or visit


Two sunny contemporary pop artists will share the stage at Wolf Trap to perform their solo hits — including “I Don’t Want to Be,” which was the theme song to the CW’s One Tree Hill, and “Not Over You,” in the case of the 41-year-old DeGraw; and “Home,” the best-selling coronation song from American Idol, which the 27-year-old Phillips won in 2012. Friday, Aug. 31, at 8 p.m. The Filene Center, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $30 to $60. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit


The National Gallery of Art offers free outdoor concerts immediately after work on Fridays over the summer. 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 concludes with the funk and boogaloo band Speakers of the House, on Aug. 24, performing from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Sculpture Garden, between 7th and 9th Streets NW. Call 202-289-3360 or visit


Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. won America’s Got Talent seven years ago by singing his heart out a la Susan Boyle. Touted as the “Soul of Sinatra,” the West Virginia-native paid tribute to Ol’ Blue Eyes by reinterpreting standards popularized by Frank Sinatra on his debut album That’s Life, released in 2011. He’ll do the same this weekend at an outdoor concert in Reston, the season finale of the Pavilion’s “Taste of the Town” series,” that will also salute “the Magic of Motown.” Guests are welcome to bring lawn chairs or picnic blankets, but the venue advises: “alcohol is permitted at restaurants only.” Saturday, Aug. 25, at 7:30 p.m. The Pavilion at the Reston Town Center, 11900 Market St. Call 703-579-6720 or visit


Several years ago this gritty, big-voiced R&B singer released Loving You More…In The Spirit of Etta James. Certainly if any contemporary singer most conjures thoughts of the late Etta, it’s the same-surnamed — though unrelated — Leela. The 35-year-old Los Angeles native deserves to be more popular, but as it is she’s one of R&B’s best-kept secrets. James tours in support of last year’s Did It For Love. Saturday, Aug. 25, at 7 and 10 p.m. Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club, 7719 Wisconsin Ave. Tickets are $65.50 to $75, plus $20 minimum purchase per person. Call 240-330-4500 or visit


Dead & Company is the chief draw as main headline act on both nights — Saturday, Aug. 25, and Sunday, Aug. 26 — at this jam band and folk/rock festival outside Charlottesville, Va., that also features Tedeschi Trucks Band in the lineup both nights and welcomes Sheryl Crow and Blues Traveler on the final day. Lockn’ is a four-day affair, kicking off Thursday, Aug. 23, with Umphrey’s McGee and Lettuce on the Main Stage, plus Joe Russo’s Almost Dead at the secondary Relix Stage. Meanwhile, Widespread Panic, George Clinton & P-Funk, Toots and the Maytals, Moon Taxi, and Turkuaz are among the acts set for Friday, Aug. 24. Among other acts on tap over the weekend, there’s Foundation of Funk, Matisyahu, Keller & The Keels, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Big Something, The Suffers, and Spafford. Infinity Downs & Oak Ridge Farm, Arrington, Va. Single-day tickets are $69 to $139, while a 3-Day Weekend Pass costs $279 and a 4-Day Festival Pass is $319. Visit for a full schedule.


Guest Conductor JoAnn Falletta leads the NSO in an annual tradition on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist alumna Leah Hawkins serves as narrator and vocalist for this year’s program of patriotic classics, traditional melodies, popular songs, and a bevy of works by living composers. NSO musicians Aaron Goldman on flute and Craig Mulcahy on trombone are also featured. Sunday, Sept. 2, at 8 p.m. U.S. Capitol Building, West Lawn. (Or Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall, in case of inclement weather.) Free. Call 202-467-4600 or visit

New Order — Photo: Nick Wilson


Five years ago, this seminal synth-pop/dance-rock band from Manchester performed under the stars at Merriweather a captivating concert that was in many ways a showcase for bassist Tom Chapman, two years after replacing quintessential original Peter Hook. If anything, the band’s return should be even more of an all-out, four-on-the-floor dance party, which kicks off with DJ Whitney Fierce reprising her role from the last Merriweather date. Next week’s debut at the Anthem is also New Order’s first chance to truly showcase its post-Hook style and sound for local fans, chiefly by performing select dancefloor-primed tracks from the group’s remarkable 2015 set Music Complete. More than a return to form, this tour-de-force studio album saw the band venturing beyond the dance-rock path it pioneered, taking playful and satisfying excursions to campy disco (“Tutti Frutti”) as well as to progressive house and techno (“Plastic,” “Unlearn This Hatred”). Tuesday, Aug. 28. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. Tickets are $55 to $95. Call 202-888-0020 or visit


Despite her deep industry connections as the daughter of a revered music producer — not to mention the goddaughter of Frank Sinatra — Costa is another soul-pop artist woefully underappreciated in the mainstream. Costa’s supple alto voice and savvy, fun and funky blues-informed rock sound is undeniably appealing, if given a proper hearing. Costa tours in support of Nikka & Strings, Underneath and in Between, including her covers of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” and Lena Horne’s “Stormy Weather.” Tuesday, Aug. 28, at 8 p.m. City Winery DC, 1350 Okie St. NE. Tickets are $22 to $32; for $60 more, “The Nikka Costa Experience” offers a Meet & Greet, photo, autographed set list, and special merch item. Call 202-250-2531 or visit


Sheila Escovedo came to fame more than three decades ago as Prince’s drummer, songwriter, musical director, and paramour. In recent years, Sheila E. has toured through the area with her electrifying solo show featuring her Latin-flavored soul/pop hits (“The Glamorous Life,” “Love Bizarre”) as well as the-hits-that-should-have-been — with a focus on songs from 2013’s Icon. Her first studio album in 13 years, Icon fully displays the artist’s skill at songcraft and prowess in percussion, even the vocal kind known as beatboxing, per the impressive, all-vocal track “Don’t Make Me (Bring My Timbales Out).” Her timbales will definitely be out and used to full effect in her return to the Howard Theatre next weekend. Saturday, Aug. 25, at 8 p.m. 620 T St. NW. Tickets are $49.50 to $79.50, plus $10 minimum per person for all tables. Call 202-588-5595 or visit


Vocalists Emily Miller and Zara Bode are the centerpiece of this Brooklyn-based band that blends Americana with lovely hints of jazz and ragtime. The Sweetback Sisters, supported by powerhouse musicians, perform a free special outdoor concert to conclude the free Live from the Lawn weekly summer series outside the Mansion at Strathmore. Wednesday, Aug. 29, at 7 p.m. Gudelsky Gazebo, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Tickets are free. Call 301-581-5100 or visit



This year’s annual Library of Congress event features more than 100 best-selling authors and illustrators participating in this year’s festival, including Madeleine Albright, Isabel Allende, Kai Bird, Steve Coll, Jennifer Egan, Dave Eggers, Jeffrey Eugenides, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Robert Hass, Tayari Jones, Joe Meacham, Celeste Ng, Annie Proulx, Amy Tan, and Luis Alberto Urrea. Saturday, Sept. 1, from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mt. Vernon Pl. Call 202-249-3000 or visit

Journey to Yuki’s World — By Yuki Hiyama



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. To Aug. 28. Dupont Underground, 1500 19th St. NW. Tickets are $15. Visit


Green, a local mosaic artist, and Plourde, a New York-based painter, team up this weekend for a special art show celebrating the magical and mystical power of nature. The artists will display new works as well as share details about their creative processes as part of a reception at the Potter’s House, the recently renovated, nearly 60-year-old nonprofit venue in Adams Morgan that serves as a cafe, bookstore, and community space. Sunday, Aug. 26, from 3 to 5 p.m. 1658 Columbia Road NW. Call 202-232-5483 or visit


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


This year’s offering in the National Building Museum’s imaginative Summer Block Party series of temporary structures inside its historic Great Hall is a freestanding structure that recalls and re-imagines the idea of the traditional home. Designed by Snarkitecture, the playful New York studio whose work straddles the divide between art and architecture, Fun House includes a sequence of interactive rooms featuring new as well as several environments and objects the organization has become known for. Presented inside the museum as well as outside on the grounds, the series also sees the return of Hill Country Backyard Barbecue, serving food and drink and presenting additional activities and live performances from the West Lawn on Wednesdays through Sundays. To Sept. 3. 401 F St. NW. Tickets are $16, or free for museum members. Call 202-272-2448 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. To Sept. 2. 105 North Union St. Alexandria. Free. Call 703-838-4565 or visit


As a child, Yuki Hiyama suffered a brain injury that left her speechless. Yet the development also inspired her to express herself through drawing and painting full of color and texture. Touchstone Gallery presents the first D.C. exhibition of the 40-year-old Japanese artist and examples of her artworks, full of color and texture, in a variety of media, from oil to colored pencil, watercolor to pen, even sand. A percentage of proceeds of artwork sales will go to the Yukien School for children with disabilities in Hiroshima, Japan. Now to Aug. 31. Touchstone Gallery, 901 New York Ave. NW Call 202-347-2787 or visit


All August, this Northern Virginia-based abstract painter is the featured artist at the Gallery at the Wharf, which Maryland-based artist/educator Martha Spak opened last year as a showcase for local artists on rotating exhibit. On display are richly colored and multi-textured paintings, abstract in nature yet revealing a complex, yet intuitive symmetry. Reception is Saturday, Aug. 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. Exhibit runs to Aug. 29. Martha Spak Gallery, 40 District Square SW. Visit


Paintings and sculptures reminiscent of popsicles, ice creams, and other frozen treats from childhood are the focus of a solo exhibition by a nostalgia-steeped pop culture artist who teaches at the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design and American University. Corey Oberndorfer’s works are set up in the window displays of the experimental Metro Micro Gallery in Arlington that, among other things, bills itself as “a 24/7 viewing space” — with exhibited works visible at night via the gallery’s interior spotlights. Founded by and adjacent to the studio of visual artist Barbara Januszkiewicz, the gallery further styles itself as a shared space nurturing a community of emerging artists and curators. To Aug. 24. Metro Micro Gallery, 3409 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. Visit


The relationship between cultural practices and desire is the underlying theme of works by this queer Iranian-American female artist, guided in part by her own personal experience. Abstract sculpture, flags, bodies, and text factor into Delafkaran’s current exhibition in the Dupont Circle gallery long known as Hillyer Art Space, tucked in the winding alley that runs behind the Phillips Collection. Now to Sept. 2. IA&A at Hillyer, 9 Hillyer Court NW. Call 202-338-0325 or visit


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. To Sept. 2. American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Highway. Baltimore. Tickets are $15.95 for regular daily admission. Call 410-244-1900 or visit



Gina Chersevani, one of D.C.’s longtime leading mixologists, hosts this fifth annual event at Buffalo & Bergen’s outdoor beer garden in Union Market as a Spotlight event of DC Beer Week (see separate entry). Guests can get unlimited pours in a souvenir tasting glass from nearly 40 participating area craft brewers, with representatives on hand in a “Meet The Neighbors”-themed event. The lineup includes popular DMV breweries, including 3 Stars, Atlas, Blue Jacket, the Brewer’s Art, DC Brau, Denizens, Evolution, Manor Hill, and Port City, cideries, from D.C.’s own Anxo to Bold Rock from Virginia, and Jack’s from Pennsylvania, and meaderies such as Baltimore’s gluten-free Charm City Meadworks. Saturday, Aug. 25, from 6 to 9 p.m. Suburbia, 1309 5th St. NW. Tickets are $55, or $75 for VIP including entrance at 5 p.m. with exclusive food and reserved seating. Call 202-543-2549 or visit


When this promotion was launched 10 years ago, there weren’t any breweries based in D.C. — just a dedicated crew of craft beer aficionados with a dream. Now there are a dozen breweries in D.C. proper and the whole region has seen an explosion in the craft. DC Beer Week has grown by leaps and bounds, with more than 50 events taking place over the course of a week. Remaining events include: Port City’s “Super Fun Party” at Cotton & Reed, a local beer and spirits collaboration featuring specialty beer cocktails, on Friday, Aug. 24; a guided tour of three D.C. breweries organized by City Brew Tours DC on Saturday, Aug. 25; and Brewers on the Block outside Union Market on Sunday, Aug. 25. Runs to Sunday, Aug. 26. Visit for a full schedule of events.


Summer isn’t ideal soup season — unless you’re talking gazpacho and other cold varieties popularized in Spain. In that case, now through Labor Day, D.C.’s oldest traditional Spanish restaurant offers five varieties, rotating them by weekday: from Monday with Gazpacho Andaluz, the traditional tomato-based soup with cucumbers and red and green peppers, to Friday’s Salmorejo Cordobés, a tomato and bread puree with Serrano ham and hard-boiled egg. Garlic and almond soup with grapes, carrot and orange soup with orange, and tomato and watermelon soup round out the midday options. All soups are $13. 1776 I St. NW. Call 202-429-2200 or visit

DJ Adam Koussari — Photo: Julian Vankim



This Saturday, Aug. 25, 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. The occasion is the second Country dancing event this month sponsored by the DC Rawhides. 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 beginner line dance “Mucara Walk,” as taught by Cullen Ruff. The evening continues with open dancing to DJ Pam until 10:50 p.m., an hour before Ella and her Ladies take to their regular perch accompanied by DJ Don T. Upstairs, meanwhile, you’ll find the usual fine assortment of nude go-go dancers, featuring music by DJ tim-e. Ziegfeld’s/Secrets, 1824 Half St. SW. Cover is $5 until 9 p.m.; $10 after. Visit


One of gay D.C.’s longest-serving DJs presents the first in a series of evenings paying tribute to the many pop acts who managed to crack into the Top 40 of Billboard‘s Hot 100 pop chart, but only with one song — one and done, no matter how many other times they might have tried (nor how many other hits they might have had everywhere but here), including Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love,” Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy,” and La Roux’s “Bulletproof.” Friday, Aug. 24, at 9 p.m. JR.’s Bar and Grill, 1519 17th St. NW. Call 202-328-0090 or visit


After four years at Town, organizers of the monthly queer dance party CTRL launch a more intimate edition at Trade incorporating favorite themes and new twists. In addition to the return of resident DJs Adam Koussari, Dvonne, and Jeff Prior spinning more mainstream electro/EDM-focused tunes than your average gay party, CTRL: QWERTY hosts queer drag shows, queer giveaways, “and as much dancing as we can fit inside.” Saturday, Aug. 25, starting at 10 p.m. 1410 14th St. NW. Call 202-986-1094 or visit


Earlier this summer, Shaw’s hip Italian restaurant Al Crostino rebranded its second floor XX+, which it calls a “queer womxn’s lounge/bar advocating inclusivity, diversity, and community.” Over Labor Day, the venue plays host to the two-year anniversary of Taste, a monthly queer women’s takeover party organized by promoter Natasha Sebastiani. A live drummer and DJ Salamander will be on hand for a party including food and drink specials and a pool table. Saturday, Sept. 1, starting at 10 p.m. XX+, 1926 9th St. NW. Cover is $5 with Eventbrite, or $10 at the door Call 202-797-0523 or visit

Maryland Renaissance Festival — Photo: Larry French



In the year 1529, King Henry VIII flaunted his love for Mistress Anne Boleyn by bringing her in tow — and not his wife Queen Katherine of Aragon — as part of the royal court’s annual trek to the village of Revel Grove for its Harvest Festival. “Of all the storylines we do with Henry VIII,” says Carolyn Spedden, artistic director of this annual festival, now in its 42nd year, “Boleyn tends to be the most popular.” Guided by an overarching historical storyline that changes each year, RennFest offers a little something for everyone in what Spedden calls “a very inclusive, welcoming event. Everybody should feel comfortable coming through the gates.” That’s true whether your primary motive is to take in the performances — over 200 professionals engaged in everything from jousting to comedic sword-fighting to reenactments to parodies of Shakespeare — or to shop for early holiday gifts from “the amazing artisans here with their handmade wares.” Or simply to eat a turkey leg, steak on a stake, or cheesecake on a stick. Opens Saturday, Aug. 25. Themed events in 2018 include a Celtic Celebration the weekend of Sept. 16, performances by U.K. vocal ensemble Mediaeval Baebes throughout the weekend of Sept. 23, Pirate Weekend Sept. 29 and Sept. 30, and Shakespeare Weekend Oct. 7 and Oct. 8 RennFest runs weekends to Oct. 21. 1821 Crownsville Road, Annapolis, Md. Tickets are $19 to $26 for a single-day adult ticket, with multi-day passes also available, or a Season Pass for $150. Call 800-296-7304 or visit


The region’s most celebrated high-end dining destination, located roughly 90 minutes south of D.C., turned 40 years old earlier this year, but has been keeping the celebration going with a few key events throughout the year. The penultimate celebratory event happens Labor Day Sunday, Sept. 2, with a daylong culinary food and music festival that is open to the public. Patrick O’Connell, the complex’s co-founder and patron chef, has invited more than 20 former employees and chefs to come back to make a signature dish as part of a “culinary family reunion,” complemented by the participation of premiere Virginia winemakers and brewmasters, live bands, bonfires, hot air balloon rides, “roaming impersonators,” and a grand finale fireworks display. Tickets are $250, or $1,500 for a VIP Package for 2 including access and additional complimentary food and beverages in the Inn’s Tavern Ballroom as well as VIP seating and parking. Call 540-675-3800 or visit

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

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