Metro Weekly

Out On the Town: D.C. arts & entertainment highlights — August 30-September 12

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




More than two dozen short dance-oriented films, plus previews of upcoming feature films, screen in two curated, hour-long programs. A Q&A session with filmmakers in attendance follows each program. The evening also includes an open forum on key topics in the field, one of which is sure to be the gender disparity in the American dance field, stemming from the cultural bias and homophobia against boys pursuing the artform. That’s the subject of Scott Gormley’s forthcoming feature-length film Danseur, sharing the struggles that several professional male dancers have faced, including James Whiteside of the American Ballet Theatre and Harper Watters of the Houston Ballet. Danseur will be previewed at the festival. Sunday, Sept. 9, starting at 6:30 p.m. AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $25. Call 301-495-6720 or visit


As part of its “George Romero Remembered” series, the AFI Silver Theatre screens the third chapter in the quintessential series from “the Father of the Zombie Film.” Following 1968’s Night of the Living Dead and 1978’s Dawn of the Dead, Romero’s 1985 release follows a group of scientists and military men who think they’ve solved the problem of the reanimated — but we all know better. Day of the Dead was a milestone for zombie special effects, with vividly realized blood and guts from makeup gurus Tom Savini and Greg Nicotero. Friday, Aug. 31, at 9:45 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 1, at 10:15 p.m., and Monday, Sept. 3, at 9:30 p.m. 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $13. Call 301-495-6720 or visit


One of the largest festivals in the world dedicated to films under 20 minutes in length, the 15th annual DC Shorts screens 125 films over the course of 10 days and also features a screenplay competition. This year’s festival offers more films — a total of 40 — directed by women than any previous year, grouped into various showcases. Opens Thursday, Sept. 6. To Sunday, Sept. 16. Various venues throughout the city, including downtown’s Landmark E Street Cinema and the Miracle Theatre near Eastern Market. Individual tickets are $15, or $125 for an All Access Festival Pass. Call 202-393-4266 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. Concluding the series on Friday, Aug. 31, is 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


Frank Sinatra, Betty Garrett, and Ann Miller star in this 1949 classic co-directed by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly, who also choreographed the tale about sailors on shore leave. Adolph Green and Betty Comden adapted their hit Broadway musical of the same name, but the resulting film was largely stripped of Leonard Bernstein’s original musical score — and Bernstein famously boycotted the film. Nevertheless, there’s still enough Bernstein represented — most notably, the American Songbook standard “New York, New York” — to justify the AFI Silver Theatre’s decision to screen the film this weekend as part of the series “Leonard Bernstein at 100” that also includes a West Side Story Sing-Along on Sunday, Sept. 2, at 4 p.m. On The Town screens Saturday, Sept. 1, through Monday, Sept. 3, at 11 a.m., and Tuesday, Sept. 4, and Thursday, Sept. 5, at 2 p.m. AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $10 to $13. Call 301-495-6720 or visit


Summer ends with a supernatural horror based on Sarah Waters’ 2009 gothic novel about a 1940s doctor (Domhnall Gleeson) who befriends an old gentry family living in a crumbling estate in Warwickshire, England. However, it soon becomes apparent that the family is being haunted by something more ominous than rising bills for the upkeep of their home. The Washington Post called Waters’ book “deliciously creepy,” so here’s hoping Lenny Abrahamson’s film maintains that same tone. Opens Friday, Aug. 31. Area theaters. Visit (Rhuaridh Marr)


Blake Edwards cast wife Julie Andrews in his 1982 musical comedy gender-bender set in 1930s Paris. Robert Preston stars as the man who successfully transforms the down-on-her-luck nightclub performer into a sensation as an impersonator of an impersonator. The film also stars James Garner, a scene-stealing Lesley Ann Warren, and ex-footballer Alex Karras, and features an Oscar-winning score by Henry Mancini. Part of Landmark’s West End Cinema Capital Classics series on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 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 Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek



A play focused on the cutthroat world of New York’s publishing industry, and specifically the Millennial editorial assistants chasing the dream of getting a book deal before they turn 30. In previews starting Monday, Sept. 3 [?]. To Sept. 30. Woolly Mammoth, 641 D St. NW. Tickets range from [[$35 to $72.50]]. Call 202-393-3939 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. 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)


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


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. 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


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. 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. 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. 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. 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)


MetroStage, which launched in 1987 with Blood Knot by Athol Fugard, kicks off its 30th Anniversary Season with the latest play by the South African master. The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek was inspired by the life of outsider artist Nukain Mabuza and shows apartheid’s lingering effects in the country today. MetroStage Artistic Associate Thomas W. Jones II directs Doug Brown, Marni Penning, Jeremiah Hasty, and Jeremy Keith Hunter. In previews. Opens Sunday, Sept. 2. Runs to Sept. 30. MetroStage, 1201 North Royal St., Alexandria. Tickets are $55. Call 703-548-9044 or visit

Jill Sobule



The Canadian singer-songwriter sold over 30 million copies of her emotionally powerful third studio set, 1995’s Jagged Little Pill, which was the best-selling album of its decade and generated six mega-hits, from “You Oughta Know” to “You Learn” to her biggest hit of all, “Ironic.” The 44-year-old Morissette has had other subsequent hits, including “Thank U,” “Uninvited,” and “Hands Clean.” Expect to hear them all next week in one of the last concerts of the season outdoors at Wolf Trap. Thursday, Sept. 6, at 8 p.m. The Filene Center, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $45 to $80. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit


The Virginia-based theater company Creative Cauldron continues its 9th annual months-long summer cabaret series at ArtSpace Falls Church with “Inspired By,” a cabaret featuring Stephen Gregory Smith exploring the inspiration for the musicals written by his composer husband, Matt Conner, many of them made with Smith as writer/lyricist for Creative Cauldron, on Friday, Sept. 7, and Saturday, Sept. 8, 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


Fifteen years into a major-label recording career, the country superstar helped launch the local outdoor concert season with a concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion that also kicked off his 2018 Mountain High Tour. Nearly four months later, and three months after the release of his 9th studio album The Mountain, Bentley is back for a stop at Jiffy Lube Live along with his tour’s opening acts Brothers Osborne and Lanco. Friday, Sept. 7, at 7 p.m. 7800 Cellar Door Drive, Bristow, Va. Tickets are $35 to $160. Call 703-754-6400 or visit


This boundary pushing artist has made a name for himself as a contemporary classical composer, but the Brooklynite’s roots are in indie-folk. An inventive singer-songwriter-storyteller, Kahane performs in support of Book of Travelers, inspired by his trip around the continental U.S. immediately after the 2016 presidential election, a quest to better understand the state of things. The result is a sprawling collection of songs calling for empathy and reconciliation while also examining the country’s complex and troubled history. Saturday, Sept. 8. Doors at 6:30 p.m. Jammin Java, 227 Maple Ave. E. Vienna. Tickets are $20 to $22. Call 703-255-3747 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 original “I Kissed a Girl” hitmaker appears at City Winery in support of her forthcoming album, Nostalgia Kills. The set includes new versions of songs originally written by Sobule for the stage, including “There’s Nothing I Can Do” from the Off-Off Broadway musical Prozak and the Platypus, “25 Cents” from a forthcoming musical adaptation of the 1980 film Times Square, and the gorgeous klezmer-inflected pop ballad “Tomorrow Is Breaking My Heart,” from a recent adaptation of Isaac Bashevis Singer’s gender-bending romance Yentl. Sunday, Sept. 9. Doors at 7:30 p.m. City Winery DC, 1350 Okie St. NE. Tickets are $20 in advance, or $25 at the door. Call 202-250-2531 or visit


At first blush, you might consider this young black Mexican-American artist as one pursuing a career in the mold of Usher. Yet while the artist born Miguel Jontel Pimentel did write a few songs for Usher Raymond IV before his own commercial breakthrough, it would be better to think of Miguel as a next-generation Prince. We’re talking rangy music, edgy lyrics, and an overall sharp style that foregrounds his diverse, multicultural influences and experiences. As timely as it is catchy in a beyond-its-years kind of way, Miguel’s rock-steeped, uptempo R&B/pop should be the perfect salve for end-of-summer melancholy, at least for the night — especially considering how dazzling Miguel is live. DVSN and Nonchalant Savant open. Tuesday, Sept. 4. Doors at 6:30 p.m. 901 Wharf St. SW. Remaining general admission tickets are $45. Call 202-888-0020 or visit


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


Started through the former Lesbian and Gay Chorus of Washington, this a cappella ensemble works for equality and social justice through song and humor. The 12-piece group returns to Hillwood for an annual concert as part of a three-hour family picnic on the lawn, organized by Rainbow Families and starting at 11 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 9, at 2 p.m. Visitor Center Theater at Hillwood Estate, 4155 Linnean Ave. NW. Tickets are $5 in advance, or $18 day-of. Call 202-686-5807 or visit


This progressive bluegrass supergroup is led by charismatic mandolin player Chris Thile, successor to Garrison Keillor on the hit Saturday night public radio variety show now called Live From Here. As a quintet with banjoist Noam Pikelny, guitarist Chris Eldridge, bassist Paul Kowert, and fiddler Gabe Witcher, they offer an eclectic, entertaining and accomplished mix of original music steeped in bluegrass and Americana but incorporating elements from rock, jazz, and classical. Now touring in support of fifth album All Ashore, the Punch Brothers are joined by Madison Cunningham, a 20-year-old singer-songwriter who has been compared to Joni Mitchell. Thursday, Sept. 6. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. Tickets are $35 to $55, or $179 for the “Ahoy! Premium Big-Time Friend Package” with pre-show performance and Q&A, front-row seats, and merch. Call 202-888-0020 or visit


The music of the Purple One will be celebrated through two very different concerts the first two Saturdays of September. First up is a concert-driven dance party with charismatic singer Eugene “Junie” Henderson of hitmaking D.C. go-go band E.U. (Experience Unlimited) performing as Prince. Henderson will be supported by a band, led by Mark Stewart, consisting of veteran R&B and rock players who have toured with everyone from Aretha Franklin to Patti LaBelle. Saturday, Sept. 1. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $18 to $25. Call 202-787-1000 or visit

A week later, the Wolf Trap Orchestra leads what is billed as “the first and only estate-approved Prince celebration,” also a concert presenting his music in a way never heard before. Avid Prince fan Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson helped curate the music and the arrangements that the orchestra will play, riffing on Prince’s greatest hits as well as some of his lesser-known gems. Saturday, Sept. 8, at 8 p.m. The Filene Center at Wolf Trap, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $30 to $60. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit


Formed nearly 50 years ago in Bethesda, the progressive bluegrass band remains especially popular in its hometown region. The group hits Alexandria’s seated show palace for a show with a Virginia-reared veteran folk sessions musician who has also dabbled as an actor on Broadway (Pump Boys and Dinettes) and in film, most notably the 2008 romcom The Golden Boys. Saturday, Sept. 8, at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $29.50. Call 703-549-7500 or visit



Assane Konte co-founded the dance company he leads as a way to introduce and incorporate elements of traditional West African dancing and drumming to American audiences, and by extension to promote greater intercultural understanding. Hundreds of participants will come together over Labor Day weekend to celebrate the company in a two-hour concert — subtitled “The Spirit Lives On!” and the culmination of a three-day conference — featuring master dancers and drummers from Mali, Senegal, Liberia, the Congo, and Guinea. Saturday, Sept. 1, at 8 p.m. GW Lisner, The George Washington University, 730 21st St. NW. Tickets are $25. Call 202-994-6851 or visit

Michael Ian Black



“I look at myself on TV and my gaydar pings,” this straight comedian joked a few years ago in an interview with Metro Weekly. Familiar from Comedy Central’s Another Period and his commentary on VH1’s I Love The… series, among other TV projects — not to mention his sex scene with Bradley Cooper in the 2001 film Wet Hot American Summer — Black has been an affiliated member of the LGBTQ community since birth, raised by his lesbian mother. Friday, Sept. 7, and Saturday, Sept. 8, at 7 and 9 p.m. Drafthouse Comedy, 1100 13th St. NW. Tickets are $30. Call 202-750-6411 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


Subtitled On The Women Who Inspired Me, this new memoir celebrates the “unofficial sorority of diverse women” who helped shape the career of this gay black television producer (and A Day In The Life of Riley blogger), based in New York but raised in Savannah, Ga. Looming largest in the sorority is Oprah Winfrey, on whose show Riley worked as a producer for over a dozen years. Diana Ross is “my favorite diva,” Riley has said, so naturally she also factors into this book, along with Wendy Williams, Mary Tyler Moore, Janet Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Beyonce, and Maya Angelou. Riley will discuss the book and his life in a special engagement organized and hosted by D.C.’s Ryan Williams and Jocko Fajardo. Monday, Sept. 10, at 7 p.m. Upstairs at Number Nine, 1435 P St. NW. Call 202-986-0999 or search “Patrick Riley” in


The Great Suffrage Parade of 1913 was the first civil rights march to use the nation’s capital as a backdrop. This author and public radio reporter — the daughter of prominent public radio journalists Steve and Cokie Roberts — details the heroic work of Alice Paul and the National Women’s Party in finally achieving a breakthrough, via the parade’s national exposure, in the long-simmering cause of granting women the right to vote, which would become reality seven years later. Tuesday, Sept. 11, at 12 p.m. D.A.R. Museum, 1776 D St. NW. Free. Call 202-879-3241 or visit

Eat Drink Be Merry — Photo: Sam Lally



The Hirshhorn presents the first major U.S. retrospective since 1996 of one of Germany’s greatest living artists, featuring more than 100 works, from iconic paintings to wood and bronze sculptures, highlighting every phase of Georg Baselitz’s career. The occasion is the 80th birthday of the figurative artist, who came of age in post-war East Germany and is best known for large-scale, expressive paintings, often with subjects painted upside down. Through Sept. 16. Second Floor Galleries, Independence Avenue and Seventh Street SW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit


This D.C.-based interdisciplinary artist attempts to show the contradictory feelings and circumstances he often experiences as a gay man in today’s world: both proud and shamed, affirmed and reviled. This series of artworks includes: his painting series The Antidote, which evokes the stigma and shame associated with being HIV-positive, as well as with taking Truvada as an HIV preventative measure; Yesterday’s 30, filmed on Super 8, which mourns the tragic loss of 30 transgender people in the United States in 2017; and Trapped, a lustrous tower made out of rat traps enhanced with metallic paint, intended as a metaphor for how many LGBTQ Americans feel when facing both embrace and disdain. To Sept. 2. IA&A at Hillyer, 9 Hillyer Court NW. Call 202-338-0325 or visit


Art inspired by food, real or metaphorical, and the way food and drink bring people together to celebrate is the theme of a hybrid show with both visual and ceramic artists at Alexandria’s eclectic Del Ray Artisans Gallery. This National Ceramic Show and Regional Art Exhibit was juried by ceramic artist Lisa York, who will also lead a day-long demonstration workshop, “Bowls and Plates with Nice Curves,” down the street from the gallery during the exhibit’s opening weekend. Opening Reception is Friday, Sept. 7, from 7 to 9 p.m. On display to Sept. 30. 2704 Mount Vernon Ave. The workshop is $75 per person and will be held on Saturday, Sept. 8, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Clay Queen Pottery, 2303 Mount Vernon Ave. Call 703-731-8802 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 latest installation at D.C.’s unique art-meets-technology gallery ArTecHouse is billed as the first immersive art exhibition bridging the gap between the real and the virtual world. This visual “journey of discovery” explores mind-bending sci-fi worlds and infinite 3D geometric patterns, transporting viewers to another dimension. Horthuis, whose work was featured in the 2016 Oscar-winning film Manchester by the Sea and has been seen in collaborations with American EDM duo Odesza among other musical artists, incorporates both projection and virtual reality elements. To Sept. 3. 1238 Maryland Ave. SW. Tickets for timed-entry sessions are $8 to $15, with evening admission for those over 21 years of age, including exhibit-related Augmented Reality Cocktails available for purchase. 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 fifth installment in a triennial exhibition series presented at the National Museum of Women in the Arts showcases 20 contemporary artists working in metal to create a wide variety of objects, including sculpture, jewelry, and conceptual forms. Inspired by NMWA’s collection of silverwork crafted by British and Irish women in the 18th and 19th centuries, Heavy Metal, displaying more than 50 works of art, seeks to further disrupt the predominantly masculine narrative that surrounds metalworking despite women’s consistent presence the field for centuries. To Sept. 16. 1250 New York Ave NW. Admission is $10. Call 202-783-5000 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. To Aug. 31. Touchstone Gallery, 901 New York Ave. NW Call 202-347-2787 or visit


The Phillips Collection offers a glimpse into the diverse contemporary art practice of Aboriginal Australia in this special exhibition that showcases the work of nine leading women artists from Down Under. In recent decades women artists have given the Aboriginal art movement a new vitality and dynamism. Steeped in ancient cultural traditions, specific to each artist, the works on display speak to universal contemporary themes as well as the wisdom of indigenous knowledge, asserting both our shared humanity and differences in experiencing and valuing our planet. To Sept. 2. The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st St. NW. Tickets are $12, or free for Phillips members, or for those 30 and under via a special summer promotion. Call 202-387-2151 x247 or visit


A solo retrospective with work spanning the 40-year career of Nancy Weisser, well-known for her innovative work in glass and as proprietor of the Weisser Glass Studio in Kensington, Md. The show, presented by an artist-collaborative organization in the White Flint business district, includes installations of glass, new works, and work on paper and canvas. Opening Reception is Friday, Sept. 7, from 6 to 9 p.m. To Sept. 26. Artists & Makers Studios, 11810 Parklawn Drive, Ste. 210, Rockville. Call 240-437-9573 or visit


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. On Friday, Sept. 7, from 8:30 p.m. to 12 a.m., BYT teams up with the museum to offer the Renwick After Hours “Leave It All Behind,” the last immersive party inside the exhibition. Renwick Gallery, Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW. Free, though tickets to the BYT After Hours are $60. Call 202-633-1000 or visit


Inspired by Audre Lorde, this exhibit of works in various media is focused on illustrating “the radical queer potential of pleasure” and the ways in which pleasure is an “unexpressed and unrecognized” feeling. Curated by Andy Johnson, per the District of Columbia Arts Center’s Curatorial Initiative, Queer(ing) Pleasure goes beyond the standard “limited, white, hetero-centric logic of the erotic” with works of performance, photography, embroidery, video, and sculpture by artists including Antonius Bui, Monique Muse Dodd, Tsedaye Makonnen, John Paradiso, and Jade Yumang. Opening Reception is Friday, Sept. 7, from 7 to 9 p.m. On exhibit to Oct. 14. DCAC, 2438 18th St. NW. Call 202-462-7833 or 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. 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


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



D.C. is one of eight U.S. cities this year hosting a celebration of Italy’s less-fattening, more-flavorful version of ice cream that also doubles as a competition among select gelato artisans, who are battling to go to the Gelato Festival World Masters, set for 2021 in Italy. At next weekend’s two-day affair, patrons can go to “Gelato School” to learn what it takes to be a “gelato chef,” participate in a Gelato Eating Contest, and sample and vote on original gelato flavors created for the festival. Entrees include the Crusty Fantasy, a combination of caramel, cashews, and Rice Krispies, made by Ezequiel Gomez Garofalo of Florida’s Gelato Gourmet, Whistle & Cuss: White Coffee-infused gelato made by Sierra Georgia of Philadelphia’s Gelat’oh Brick & Motor, the chocolate Apurimac made by Alisa Dan of D.C.’s Pitango Gelato, and Trinacrium, a blend of pistachio, almonds, and oranges, made by Maria Liliana Biondo of Miami’s uGOgelato. The victor will be crowned based on votes from the audience and a panel of experts, including RIS pastry chef Melissa Cockrell, Washington Post wine columnist Dave McIntyre, @eatdrinkdc writer/photographer Lanna Nguyen, former USA Today travel and food editor Veronica Stoddart, 2018 Gelato World Cup judge Jessica Tava, and Yelp Washington, D.C. Community Director Kimberly Van Santos. Saturday, Sept. 8, from 12 to 8 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 9, from 12 to 7 p.m., concluding with the Awards Ceremony at 7:30 p.m. City Market at O, 800 P St. NW. Tickets are $25 to $30 per day and include samples of each competing flavor and participation in all contests and activities. Visit


Celebrated D.C. chef Robert Wiedmaier’s restaurant, located in the boutique Logan Circle hotel The Darcy, kicks off September with a Brazilian Amazon Culinary Week promotion in partnership with the Brazilian Embassy and Destination DC — specifically, a five-course, prix-fixe menu developed by chef Felipe Schaedler of Brazil’s Banzeiro Restaurant. Intended as a showcase of the vibrant flavors and ingredients of the Amazon, the menu begins with a frothy amuse-bouche of Saúva Ants with Espuma — yes, we’re talking insects — and an appetizer of Dadinhos de Tapioca, Brazil’s signature crunchy, cheesy cubed dumplings accompanied by jelly from the tropical superfruit Cupuaçu. Two of the country’s largest native species of fish are the stars of two main courses: Crispy Tambuchi Ribs, served with a sweet-and-sour sauce and sesame seeds, and Pirarucu, dressed with acidic root Tucupi sauce and served with hearts of palm, red quinoa, and coriander. The dinner ends with Chilled Tapioca Cake, made with white chocolate ganache and served with the herbal Puxuri Seed Syrup. Proceeds from the promotion benefit the Destination DC-affiliated charity American Experience Foundation as well as Brazil’s Vegalume Foundation. Evenings starting Saturday, Aug. 31. To Sunday, Sept. 9. 1515 Rhode Island Ave. NW. Cost is $70 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Call 202-521-7171 or visit


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

Mixtape — Photo: Ward Morrison/file photo



Davon Hamilton Events presents “Leather & Jockstraps Part 2,” a party where, naturally, leather and jockstraps are encouraged attire. To heighten the sexual vibe, the party features go-go dancers as well as live demos from leather group the Men of Onyx. And resident DJ Tryfe will provide the evening’s sexy, sultry vibe, with guest hosts William, Cherry Coca-cola, and Egidio. Friday, Sept. 7, starting at 10 p.m. Green Lantern, 1335 Green Ct. NW. Cover is $10. Call 202-347-4533 or visit


This Sunday, Sept. 2, lesbians and everyone “under the rainbow” are welcome to enjoy the bar menu and drink specials at the original Dupont location of the small chain of restaurants run by Jamie Leeds. The last Ladies Tea of the season runs from 3 to 5:30 p.m. Hank’s Dupont, 1624 Q St. NW. Call 202-462-4265. Visit


DJs Matt Bailer and Shea Van Horn have decided to stop mixing things up together after a full decade of doing just that with their monthly roaming party, which has repeatedly sold out the 9:30 Club and the Howard Theatre, to name but two regular venues. Yet not without an encore, one last spin through their mix of indie-dance, electro-pop, house, and disco throwbacks, all as a send-off and a celebration for making it to 10 years. Saturday, Sept. 8, starting at 10 p.m. U Street Music Hall, 1115A U St. NW. Tickets are $10. Call 202-588-1880 or visit


September sees the launch of a new monthly party from the veteran Daryl Wilson Promotions at Southwest’s large LGBTQ nightclub and entertainment complex. After Kristina Kelly and her ladies of illusion perform their weekly “Diva Fev-ah” show on the Ziegfeld’s level, Wilson will take over both floors of the complex for a party with 20 all-nude male dancers and partygoers dancing to either house beats from DJ Sedrick or hip-hop from DJ Tim Nice and DJ Unknown. Friday, Sept. 7. 1024 Half St. SW. Call 202-863-0607 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


Every second Saturday of the month comes a queer women-centered “witchy dance party” in the Petworth restaurant/bar/intimate nightclub venue owned by D.C.’s ubiquitous Hilton Brothers (Brixton, Marvin). Kate Ross’ The Coven is touted as “open to all genders, orientations, ideologies, and badasses,” and an event where — no surprise given the name — “dark couture is encouraged.” Saturday, Sept. 8, starting at 10 p.m. 3813 Georgia Ave. NW. Call 202-506-2080 or visit

Zoo Uncorked — Sponsored by Total Wine More



Launched in 2016 by John Lindo and Jim Coakley, with a headline performance by The Voice‘s Billy Gilman, this Labor Day Weekend LGBTQ dance mainstay returns with the lesbian country/rock act co-founded by guitarist Kristen Ellis-Henderson — the other half of GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis-Henderson. Antigone Rising will perform an hour-long set on Sunday, Sept. 2, followed by DJ Louis St. George, as part of a capstone dance party for DC Out festival-goers to demonstrate the dances they practiced in workshops over the course of the three-day country-western themed event, including two-stepping, West Coast Swing, and line-dancing. New York drag act Manhattan Prairie Dogs is also set to perform at this year’s event, which will also feature performances from and classes taught by competitive dancing couple Lia and Helen, Brazil’s Igor Pitangui, the Boston ReneGAYdes, the JT Swing Teams DC, and DC RolePlay. Friday, Aug. 31, to Sunday, Sept. 2. Hyatt Regency, 400 New Jersey Ave. NW. Tickets to the concert are $30, or included in a $65 Individual Day Pass or $119 Full Weekend Pass. Visit


Now in its 4th year, this festivall with a focus on showcasing LGBTQ-identified performing and visual artists of color, moves back to its roots in Southwest. In addition to vendors, food trucks, and a cash bar, the 2018 Honey Groove lineup includes live music from Danni Cassette, the CooLots, Pinky Killacorn, Black Assets, Christen B., and Patience Sings, spoken word from Charity Blackwell, burlesque from Madamme Seduction and Queen Nefertittie, and drag from Majic Dyke. Visual artists Aja Adams, Latoya Peoples, Emma Quander, and Liz Stewart will also be featured at the event, which also includes dancing to DJs LadyRyan, MIM, and Jai Syncere, plus live drumming by Asha “Boomclak” Santee. Sunday, Sept. 2, starting at 4 p.m. Blind Whino, 700 Delaware Ave. SW. Tickets are $40. Call 202-554-0103 or visit


Regie Cabico and Don Mike Mendoza’s 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. Now held at Dupont Circle’s Bistro Bistro, La-Ti-Do was born in the space next door when it housed the Black Fox Lounge, the former jazz club run by Russwin Francisco, current owner of the leather/fetish store Bite the Fruit. Francisco is the featured entertainer for the evening, hosted by Mendoza with Anya Randall Nebel. This annual night of jazz songs includes guests Krystle Cruz, Michelle Moses-Eisenstein, Taunya Ferguson, Lawrence Grey, Jr., Michael Santos Sandoval, and Karen Vincent, plus a spotlight on the group Summer Parfait. Pianist Paige Rammelkamp accompanies the performers along with a small jazz band. Monday, Sept. 10, at 8 p.m. 1727 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets are $15, or $10 if you eat dinner at the restaurant beforehand. Call 202-328-1640 or visit


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. 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


New drag kings take center stage at the next edition of this regular showcase of mostly male-presenting drag, started by former DC King Pretty Rik E. D.C.’s only amateur drag king event offers a stage full of new recruits ready “to show the world the king that lives inside [them].” Thursday, Sept. 13, at 8 p.m. Bier Baron Tavern, 1523 22nd St. NW. Tickets are $10 in advance, or $15 at the door. Call 202-293-1887 or visit


At the September edition of the free variety show, Rayceen Pendarvis moderates “The Nightlife in DC Panel” and interviews D.C. Councilmember Brandon Todd (D-Ward 4), who has proposed a bill to create a mayor-appointed, citywide nightlife director. The event will be rounded out with performances by New York singer Ramona Montañez and D.C. drag/burlesque artist extraordinaire Pussy Noir, plus music by DJ Suspence, displays by vendors, free food (while it lasts), and a cash bar. Wednesday, Sept. 5, at 6 p.m. HRC Equality Center, 1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW. Free. Call 202-505-4548 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


Local and national wineries and vineyards will be on hand at this Friends of the National Zoo fundraiser once known as Grapes with the Apes. In addition to wine tasting among the animals, there will also be food trucks and artisans selling fare and wares as well as live performances. The evening benefits conservation, research and education programs at the zoo and its Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va. Thursday, Sept. 13, from 6 to 9 p.m. 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets are $70 and include a commemorative wine glass, or $115 for VIP including private lounge, private wine tastings, bites from D.C. restaurants, exclusive animal encounters, and a take-home gift. Call 202-633-4800 or visit

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Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @ruleonwriting.

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