Six months before the 2016 presidential election, Jim Stern put his life on hold and traveled through red states to engage with Donald Trump supporters. It was a quest for insights, answers, and anything that could shed light on the billionaire’s surging appeal despite myriad scandals embroiling him. Stern’s documentary examines the difficult issues roiling the nation and chronicles a cultural divide — still woefully misunderstood — that is tearing at the fabric of democracy. Now playing. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com.
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS
A filmed version of the recent Broadway stage musical, adapted from the 1951 film. Director Christopher Wheeldon, who snagged a Tony for Best Choreographer for his efforts, wisely retained much of Gene Kelly’s moves from the movie, most notably the 17-minute ballet set to the first composition that George Gershwin titled “An American in Paris.” Wheeldon cast Robert Fairchild of the New York City Ballet and Leanne Cope of the British Royal Ballet. The pair returned to the show last year for a West End debut. And it’s a taped performance from the London run that will grace movie screens on Sunday, Sept. 23. Showtimes vary, but most are either at 11 a.m. or 12:55 p.m. Participating area theaters include Landmark’s E Street Cinema (555 11th St. NW), Regal Majestic Stadium (900 Ellsworth Dr., Silver Spring) and the AMC Hoffman Center (206 Swamp Fox Road, Alexandria). Visit anamericaninpariscinema.com.
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
Another opportunity to see Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece during its 50th Anniversary celebration. The film is a landmark, not merely for its special effects — which, pre-CGI, are often seamless and astonishing (how do they get that pen to twirl mid-air?) — but for its chilling encounter with a paranoid, soft-spoken supercomputer named HAL. Kubrick takes his time telling his story, which is at once transfixing and irritatingly impenetrable, but there’s no denying that watching 2001 is akin to experiencing a rapture of cinema; it’s the ushering in of a new age. The film screens as part of the next selection in the Capital Classics series at Landmark’s West End Cinema. Wednesday, Sept. 26, at 1:30, 4:30, and 7:30 p.m., 2301 M St. NW. Happy hour from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 to $12.50. Call 202-534-1907 or visit landmarktheatres.com. (Randy Shulman)
Michael Moore’s latest documentary tackles the election and presidency of Donald Trump, as well as the how and the why of what led to his victory — or, in the film’s own terms, “How the fuck did we get here, and how the fuck do we get out?” While some critics have argued that it lacks cohesion, Fahrenheit 11/9 is Moore’s most lauded film in recent memory, and a chilling reminder that we all need to fight for our democracy, or soon there’ll be nothing left to fight for. Opens Friday, area theaters. (Rhuaridh Marr)
LATIN AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL
The AFI Silver presents a festival celebrating the best in contemporary Latin American cinema, featuring entries from 22 Spanish-speaking countries. Notable titles in the 43-film event include The Angel, Luis Ortega’s stylish, true-crime thriller about one of Argentina’s most notorious serial killers, produced by Pedro Almodovar; El Salvador’s Pablo’s World, a noir-tinged adaptation of Shakespeare’s Othello; and Another Story of the World, a political comedy set in rural Uruguay. The festival concludes Oct. 3 with Panama’s Ruben Blades is Not My Name, celebrating the man at the center of the New York Salsa revolution in the 1970s. Tickets are $15 general admission, or $200 for “Pase Especial” with priority access to every film in the festival, including closing night and festival happy hours. 8633 Colesville Road in Silver Spring. Call 301-495-6700 or visit afi.com/silver/laff.
Back in the ’70s, when Saturday Night Live was in its infancy — and still fresh — Gilda Radner stood out as one of the show’s most vibrant light. Her most iconic characters — Emily Litella, Lisa Loopner, and Roseanne Roseannadanna — were nuggets of explosive comic joy, although her transition to movies was less than smooth, with several of them directed by and co-starring her husband, Gene Wilder. (Radner had better success with a one-woman show on Broadway.) Without question, her untimely death in 1989 robbed the world of one of the greats. The film features interviews with Chevy Chase, Lorne Michaels, Laraine Newman, Paul Shaffer and Martin Short. Opens Friday, Sept. 21, at Landmark’s E Street Cinema.
THE CHILDREN ACT
Emma Thompson stars as a British High Court judge who must decide on the case of a teenage boy, a Jehovah’s witness, who is refusing to undergo a life-saving blood transfusion on religious grounds. Adapted by Ian McEwan from his novel, and directed by Richard Eyre (Notes on a Scandal), the film also stars Stanley Tucci and Fionn Whitehead. Opens Friday, Sept. 21. Visit fandango. Com.
If I Forget — Photo: Carol Rosegg
A sharp-edged screwball comedy focused on an opportunistic tycoon seeking to game the Washington system — yet those plans are sabotaged by his girlfriend Billie Dawn and her alliance with an idealistic reporter pushing back to end the corruption. This Ford’s Theatre production stars Edward Gero as bad guy Harry Brock, Kimberly Gilbert as Billie the heroine, and Cody Nickell as muckraker Paul Verrall, part of a cast also featuring Evan Casey, Matt Dewberry, Eric Hissom, Naomi Jacobson, Todd Scofield, and Jamie Smithson. Garson Kanin’s play may be 70 years old, but it resonates all too well with the Washington of today. Aaron Posner (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) directs a lavish production bolstered by Daniel Lee Conway’s set, a glamorous two-level hotel suite with striking architectural details, and Kelsey Hunt’s smartly tailored conservative attire for everyone but Harry and Billie, costumed in a cacophony of color and daring, very non-Washington fashions. Previews begin Friday, Sept. 21. Opening night is Wednesday, Sept. 26. Through Oct. 21. Ford’s, 511 10th St. NW. Tickets are $17 to $64. Call 800-982-2787 or visit fords.org.
DANCING AT LUGHNASA
Irish playwright Brian Friel’s wistful memory play tells the story of five unmarried sisters living in a small Irish village in 1936 and facing life’s challenges with resolve and persistence. The show is wise, warm, funny, and, being Irish in heritage, ultimately bathed in sorrow. Everyman Theatre’s production is helmed by Amber Paige McGinnis and stars Megan Anderson, Danny Gavigan, Tim Getman, Annie Grier, Bari Hochwald, and Labhaoise Magee. To Oct. 7. Everyman Theatre, 15 W. Fayette Street in Baltimore. Tickets are $10 to $65. Visit everymantheatre.org or call 410-752-2208.
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. Through Sept. 30. Woolly Mammoth, 641 D St. NW. Tickets range from $20 to $69. Call 202-393-3939 or visit woollymammoth.net.
A chance encounter at a London train stop changes the course of life for two people in this tender, funny, intimate comedy from Tony Award-winner Simon Stephens (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time). Michael Russotto and Rachel Zampelli star. Joe Calarco directs. In previews. Opens Wednesday, Sept. 25. Through Nov. 11. Ark Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit sigtheatre.org.
HOW TO WIN A RACE WAR
A parody of white supremacist “race war” fiction, Ian Allen’s play spans more than three centuries of civilization for an epic journey that is part-satire, part-exposé, and part horror show — depicting slave rebellions, skinheads, and a liberal dystopian future, and even featuring song-and-dance numbers. Presented by the D.C. theater collective The Klunch, the world-premiere production has a large 12-person cast including Kevin Boudreau, Kim Curtis, Tony Greenberg, Connor Padilla, and Ned Read, with voice work by Christopher Henley and B. Stanley. Weekends to Oct. 20. District of Columbia Arts Center (DCAC), 2438 18th St. NW. Tickets are $25 to $40. Call 866-811-4111 or visit theklunch.com.
IF I FORGET
A modern Jewish family is fracturing in this political and deeply personal play — and also a hyper-local one, written by Tony-winning Bethesda-native Steven Levenson, who wrote the book for Dear Evan Hansen. Set in Tenleytown, a piece of 14th Street real estate owned by the family becomes a sticking point — should they keep or sell the property? Matt Torney directs Richard Fancy, Susan Rome, Jonathan Goldstein, Robin Abramson, Julie-Ann Elliott, Paul Morella, and Joshua Otten. Now to Oct. 14. Studio Theatre, 14th & P Streets NW. Call 202-332-3300 or visit studiotheatre.org.
LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE
Love, sorrow, and longing are folded into the plot and into each delectable dish described in Mexican author Laura Esquivel’s beloved 1989 novel Como Agua para Chocolate. That bittersweet recipe produced an equally popular film, directed by Esquivel’s ex-husband Alfonso Arau, and now begets a theatrical adaptation, care of Spanish playwright Garbi Losada. Making its U.S. premiere at GALA Hispanic Theatre under the assured direction of Olga Sánchez, Como Agua para Chocolate captures the poetry and magical realism that have stirred fans of the story’s previous incarnations. Sánchez and company dive passionately into the multi-generational epic romance, spiced with dashes of narration and fantasy. Employing a keen sense of where to move the actors, and of transitioning the action across time and space, Sánchez, greatly abetted by Christopher Annas-Lee’s lighting design, keeps the narrative flowing with grace and imagination. Decades pass, but scenic designer Mariana Fernández’s set stays mostly the same, serving faultlessly as the homestead of the familia at the heart of the tale. In Spanish with English surtitles. Now to Oct. 7. GALA Theatre at Tivoli Square, 3333 14th St. NW. Tickets are $25 to $48. Call 202-234-7174 or visit galatheatre.org. (Andre Hereford)
Keegan Theatre remounts a thoroughly Washington play it first presented in 2009, about a speechwriter for a mediocre Congressman headed for defeat who enlists his brother, a psychiatric outpatient convinced he is the reincarnation of the 16th U.S. president, to write great oratory. Directed by Colin Smith, Keegan’s remount of John Strand’s comedy features original cast members Susan Marie Rhea, Stan Shulman, and Michael Innocenti. Opens Saturday, Sept. 22, with a post-show discussion featuring Strand on Sept. 30. Runs to Oct. 14. 1742 Church St. NW. Tickets are $36 to $46. Call 202-265-3768 or visit keegantheatre.com.
Sarah Ruden’s adaptation of the Greek farce by Aristophanes focuses on the titular heroine’s ploy to end a never-ending cycle of war by convincing the women of Greece to withhold sex until the men agree to a truce. Michael Blum and Darlene Harris co-direct a cast of local amateurs led by Amy Heller as Lysistrata. Opens Friday, Sept. 21, with a post-performance catered reception. Weekends to Oct. 14. Spotlighters, 817 St. Paul St., Baltimore. Tickets are $21 to $24, or just $10 for “Ten Spot Thursday” on Sept. 27. Call 410-752-1225 or visit spotlighters.org.
MARIE AND ROSETTA
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. 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 mosaictheater.org.
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 (Claybourne Elder), 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 is 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 sigtheatre.org.
An unflinching look at what it means to be a modern woman is the tagline to Sadie Hasler’s play about two sisters who are both childless and burdened, to different degrees, by that status. A hit several years ago at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, it comes to D.C. in a Taffety Punk Theatre production directed by Linda Lombardi and starring company members Tonya Beckman and Esther Williamson. The show tackles serious issues, including discussions of sexual assault and abortion, with humor and wit. Now to Sept. 29. Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 7th St. SE. Tickets are $15. Call 202-547-6839 or visit chaw.org.
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific has its dated aspects, in form as well as content, but it is also brimming with early pop hits-cum-American Songbook standards (“Some Enchanted Evening,” “Bali Ha’i”). And then there’s the show’s anti-racist messaging, which remains satisfying and notable, particularly in light of the contrast of how provocatively ahead-of-their-time they were back in the day — and a key reason the show won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1950. It was the second of only nine musicals to be so honored to date. Through Oct. 7. Olney Theatre Center, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Call 301-924-3400 or visit olneytheatre.org.
Rep Stage kicks off its 26th season with one of Stephen Sondheim’s most popular — and grisly works. Subtitled The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, the musical tells the story of a lucrative partnership between a vengeful barber who slits the throats of his customers and provides their corpses to his neighbor, Mrs. Lovett, who fashions them into “meat pies” that become the toast of London. The lush score includes such Sondheim gems as “Not While I’m Around,” “Pretty Women,” and “Johanna.” Joseph Ritsch directs V. Savoy McIlwain as Sweeney and Jade Antoinette Jones as Mrs. Lovett. To Sept. 23, with a post-show discussion on Friday, Sept. 21. Studio Theatre, Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center, Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. Tickets are $40 general admission. Call 443-518-1500 or visit repstage.org.
THE COMEDY OF ERRORS
Shakespeare’s early comedy of mistaken identities involves two sets of twins and an ocean of confusion. Veanne Cox, Nancy Robinette, Tom Story, Ted van Griethuysen, and Gregory Wooddell lead the large cast, while other familiar faces include Sarah Marshall, Eleasha Gamble, and Matt Bauman. Directed by Alan Paul. Previews start Tuesday, Sept. 25. To Oct. 28. Lansburgh Theatre, 450 7th St. NW. Call 202-547-1122 or visit shakespearetheatre.org.
In the wake of a mass shooting, a lone survivor yearns to find the compassion, understanding, and peace she needs to overcome her trauma — but thoughts and visions of the shooter haunt her every step. David Greig’s The Events is another socially conscious, thought-provoking work presented by Theater Alliance, featuring Regina Aquino as the survivor and Josh Adams as the shooter, supported by a nine-member ensemble. Colin Hovde directs. Through Oct. 7. Anacostia Playhouse, 2020 Shannon Place SE. Tickets are $35 to $40. Call 202-241-2539 or visit theateralliance.com.
THE LARAMIE PROJECT
Iron Crow Theatre, billed as “Baltimore’s award-winning queer theatre,” marks the 20th anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s death with a production of Moisés Kaufman’s groundbreaking research-driven examination into the Wyoming murder and its aftermath, developed with the Tectonic Theater Project. John Knapp directs the Iron Crow production featuring Kecia A. Campbell, Yvonne Erickson, William Goblirsch, Jr., Jonas David Grey, Warren C. Harris, Lezlie T. Hatcher, Johnna Leary, and Nicholas Miles. Post-performance talkbacks are planned for Thursday, Sept. 20, with Cathy Renna, the former communications director for GLAAD, sharing her experiences on assignment in Laramie 20 years ago, and Friday, Sept. 21, with Jeffrey LaHoste, co-founder of Tectonic Theater, providing rare insights into Moment Work, the company’s technique used to develop the play. Through Sept. 23. Theatre Project, 45 West Preston St. Baltimore. Tickets are $20 to $35. Call 410-752-8558 or visit ironcrowtheatre.org.
THE PAINTED ROCKS AT REVOLVER CREEK
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. To Sept. 30. MetroStage, 1201 North Royal St., Alexandria. Tickets are $55. Call 703-548-9044 or visit metrostage.org.
THE PIANIST OF WILLESDEN LANE
Set during the Blitzkrieg in Vienna and London, the drama with music tells the true story of Lisa Jura, an aspiring young Jewish pianist in World War II-era Europe who forfeits her dreams once the war takes hold. Theater J’s production stars Jura’s daughter, Grammy-nominated pianist Mona Golabek, as her mother in the solo show. Through Sept. 30. The Kennedy Center Family Theater. Tickets are $44 to $74. Call 202-777-3210 or visit theaterj.org.
TURN ME LOOSE
Gretchen Law’s intimate and no-holds-barred drama chronicling Dick Gregory’s rise as the first black comedian to expose audiences to racial comedy. Edwin Lee Gibson plays Gregory, with John Garlin taking on all the other supplemental roles, from emcee to interviewer to heckler to cabbie. John Gould Rubin directs. Through Oct. 14. Kreeger Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Tickets are $40 to $95. Call 202-488-3300 or visit arenastage.org.
BALTIMORE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE
Jack Everly conducts the BSO in a live performance of John Williams’ score to 1977’s Star Wars, which will screen overhead as the orchestra plays. The space epic introduced the world to Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Obi-Wan “Ben” Kenobi, R2D2, Chewbacca, and Darth Vader. Originally performed and recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra — under the baton of Williams himself — the Oscar-winning soundtrack is as highly regarded as the film, ranking at the top of the American Film Institute’s list of best film scores. Friday, Sept. 28, at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, Sept. 29, and Sunday, Sept. 30, at 3 p.m. Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore. Tickets are $35 to $85. Call 410-783-8000 or visit bsomusic.org.
Once known for putting out indie-rock sounds under the alias Lightspeed Champion, the queer-identified black producer Dev Hynes has shifted to this dark-fruit moniker with a focus on the kind of mid-tempo, sultry style of alt-R&B that he had previously produced for the likes of Solange (“Lovers in the Parking Lot”) and Sky Ferreira (“Everything Is Embarrassing”). Two years ago, he released the astounding and personal Freetown Sound, a cross between The Weeknd and Frank Ocean that Metro Weekly music critic Sean Maunier put at No. 6 on his year-end list of 2016’s best albums. This year’s Negro Swan is very much in the same vein — Hynes refers to it as “an honest look at the corners of black existence, and the ongoing anxieties of queer/people of color” — and very much a reason why his concert at the Lincoln Theatre is one of the most-anticipated highlights of the season. Friday, Sept. 28. Doors at 6:30 p.m. Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. Tickets are $35 Call 202-888-0050 or visit thelincolndc.com.
The Washington Post has referred to this 12-piece band as “a storming powerhouse of big-band African funk…smart, tight and relentlessly driving.” The Afrobeat-driven group has won a number of Washington Area Music Association Awards, including Artist of the Year in 2008, and performs regularly throughout the region. Caz Gardiner opens. Saturday, Sept. 29, at 9 p.m. Gypsy Sally’s, 3401 K St. NW. Tickets are $15 in advance, or $18 day-of. Call 202-333-7700 or visit gypsysallys.com.
CHRISTINA AGUILERA WITH SPECIAL GUEST BIG BOI
The Liberation Tour is Christina Aguliera’s first outing in a decade. It comes in support of the R&B/hip-hop-flavored Liberation, Aguilera’s first album in six years, which should add fuel to the fire of a comeback concert likely to be stacked with power ballads and self-empowerment anthems. Also, the inclusion of hip-hop royalty in the shape of Big Boi, the OutKast veteran touring in support of his third solo set Boomiverse, should further stoke the crowd. Sunday, Sept. 30, at 8 p.m. Theater at MGM National Harbor, 7100 Harborview Ave., Oxon Hill, Md., Oxon Hill, Md. Tickets are $89 to $350. Call 844-346-4664 or visit mgmnationalharbor.com.
Although more expansive in nature, covering opera and classical artists as well as those from theater and cabaret/pop, Renee Fleming’s VOICES showcase at the Kennedy Center is proving to be a suitable replacement for the much-loved Spotlight series curated by the late-Broadway legend Barbara Cook. Case in point is this cabaret featuring the original, Tony-nominated George Washington in Hamilton. Clearly, Lin-Manuel Miranda is a big fan of Jackson, having also cast him in his earlier Broadway smash In The Heights as well as brought him on as the singing voice of Chief Tui in the Miranda-scored Disney film Moana. Jackson has also portrayed Simba in The Lion King and composed music for everyone from LL Cool J and will.i.am to Sesame Street — which earned him an Emmy. “Christopher Jackson is the rare kind of actor/singer whose powerful voice and presence are compelling in any medium,” says Fleming, summing up her adoration for the “creative dynamo.” Saturday, Sept. 29, at 7:30 p.m. Terrace Theater. Tickets are $79 to $150. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
Even after all these years, Ross still has the pipes, the power, and the stage charisma to bring an audience to its knees or to its feet. The Lady returns to the area for another glorious opportunity to relive her Motown hits and disco classics — for her and her fans, especially those of the LGBTQ variety. And there are few places better or more acoustically perfect to savor the sound. Tuesday, Sept. 25, and Wednesday, Sept. 26, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $69 to $239. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.
The Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour is as it sounds: The last trip around the world’s stadiums for the gay piano man, who comes to town for a last hurrah this weekend. The 71-year-old international superstar plans to go out with a bang, promising a full band and a new stage production taking fans on a musical and visual journey spanning his half-century career of hits “like no one has ever seen before.” Friday, Sept. 21, and Saturday, Sept. 22, at 8 p.m. Capital One Arena, 601 F St. NW. Available tickets are $199 to $555. Call 202-628-3200 or visit capitalonearena.com.
This Baltimore electro-indie act rose to national fame with a performance on David Letterman in 2014, when lead singer Sam Herring began beating his chest, punching the air and dropping to his knees, belting out the lyrics to “Seasons.” It’s hard to think of a band that made a bigger impression on a late-night talk show. Herring’s bombastic performance resonated on TV just as it does live — with Consequence of Sound referring to them as “one of the best live bands around.” Herring’s gruff, idiosyncratic voice invites comparisons with Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse, or perhaps a darker, grittier Brandon Flowers, but set amid his band’s warm, poignant arrangements, he is unlikely to be mistaken for anyone else. His voice is what gives Future Islands their sense of immediacy and rawness, as he shouts and bellows one minute and quavers over some tearful realization the next. When they headline the Anthem next week, Herring and co. — keyboardist Gerrit Welmers, guitarist William Cashion, and touring drummer Michael Lowry — will be joined by Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, another neo-new wave synth-pop act from Baltimore. Friday, Sept. 28. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. Tickets are $41 to $76. Call 202-888-0020 or visit theanthemdc.com. (Sean Maunier)
FLOCK OF SEAGULLS, WANG CHUNG, BOW BOW BOW
Bearing the title “Lost ’80s Live,” this concert features a parade of performers presumed left behind in the ’80s, including the headliners, with hits including “I Ran (So Far Away),” “Dance Hall Days,” “Everybody Have Fun Tonight,” and “I Want Candy.” Additional acts set to hit the stage include Animotion (“Obsession”), Farrington and Mann (original vocalists of When In Rome UK’s “The Promise”), Gene Loves Jezebel (“Jealous”), and Naked Eyes (“Promises, Promises,” “Always Something There To Remind Me”). Friday, Sept. 21, at 9 p.m. Warner Theatre, 513 13th St. NW. Tickets are $53 to $91.46. Call 202-783-4000 or visit warnertheatredc.com.
NATIONAL PHILHARMONIC: ON THE WATERFRONT
Elia Kazan’s iconic Oscar-winning film plays in remastered high-definition while Leonard Bernstein’s only work composed specifically for film is rendered live, shown in high-definition with the original dialogue intact. Bernstein acolyte Piotr Gajewski conducts this program featuring Strathmore’s resident orchestra, which he also leads, and it’s the opening concert in a season largely focused on the late, great American music legend. The concert itself will open with a performance of the Star-Spangled Banner conducted by Eliot Pfanstiehl, the just departed CEO and founder of the Strathmore Hall Foundation. Saturday, Sept. 29, at 8 p.m. Prior to the performance, there will be a display of behind-the-scenes images from filming, as well as other books and memorabilia about Bernstein and the cast on the Promenade Level, courtesy of Second Story Books. There’s also a pre-concert lecture with associate conductor Victoria Gau at 6:45 p.m., and a panel discussion and Q&A with film experts Linda DeLibero and David Sterritt, at 7 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $35 to $80. Call 301-581-5100 or visit nationalphilharmonic.org.
NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: SEASON OPENING GALA CONCERT
The NSO will be spacing out next weekend as the company launches its new season with salutes to NASA’s recent 60th Anniversary and the upcoming 50th Anniversary of the moon landing. Naturally, one of the spaciest symphonies, Gustav Holst’s The Planets, is a prominent part of the program, which also presents the soaring new work Voyage by Michael Giacchino, the prolific Oscar-winning composer behind the recent Star Trek titles. This year’s celebrity soloist is perennial gala favorite and superstar violinist Joshua Bell, joining for “Song to the Moon” from Antonín Dvořák’s Rusalka, as well as Manuel Ponce’s Estrellita, and Pablo de Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasy. Saturday, Sept. 22, at 7 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $65 to $175. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
NEW WORLDS: BILL MURRAY, JAN VOGLER, AND FRIENDS
And now for something completely different: Bill Murray branches out with this classical-minded, mixed-genre program “mash-up.” Designed to “showcase core American values in literature and music,” Murray narrates the program and reads from Hemingway, Whitman, and Twain, among others, as well as sings lyrics from Bernstein, Gershwin, and Foster, accompanied by a piano trio featuring German-born cellist Jan Vogler, former Chinese child violin prodigy Mira Wang — Vogler’s wife — and Venezuelan-American pianist Vanessa Perez. Co-conceived by Murray and Vogler, the New Worlds ensemble tours in support of a companion Decca Gold recording. Friday, Sept. 28, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $68 to $148. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.
This nine-member, D.C.-based ensemble focuses on “keeping folk music alive and fresh” — yet also connected to its roots in political protest. The weekend of Trump’s Inauguration, for example, they put together “Songs of Protest, Songs of Triumph,” a program of folk standards that had galvanized activists in earlier times of struggle. Here’s to the group keeping up that fight by maintaining their level of quality musicianship and signature soaring harmonies, which have been known to inspire sing-alongs. Who could argue with that? Saturday, Sept. 22. Doors at 5 p.m. Jammin Java, 227 Maple Ave. E. Vienna. Tickets are $20 in advance, or $25 day-of. Call 703-255-3747 or visit jamminjava.com.
It’s been 17 years since Gordon Gartrell and Cru Jones started what has long been heralded as D.C.’s “premier ’80s tribute band,” performing the guilty pleasure hits of the decade. The group, whose members also include Chet Reno, Lavaar Huxtable, Roxanne Rio, Capt. Morgan Pondo, and Clarence McFly, has performed at concert halls throughout the region and beyond. Yet its home base is Virginia’s State Theatre. The band returns once a month, and at every show audience members dress the part — think shellacked big hair, lacy ankle socks, stirrup and parachute pants. Saturday, Sept. 29, at 9:30 p.m. The State Theatre, 220 N. Washington St., Falls Church. Tickets are $18. Call 703-237-0300 or visit thestatetheatre.com.
URBANARIAS: THE LAST AMERICAN HAMMER
The local short opera company opens its season with a topical work by composer Peter Hilliard and librettist Matt Boresi with stars Elizabeth Futral, Timothy Mix, and Briana Elyse Hunter. Holed up in the basement of a Toby Jug Museum on an abandoned Main Street, a conspiracy-theorist YouTube celebrity eagerly awaits a visit from the FBI to explain his theory about the “original” 13th Amendment and bringing about justice. His prized piece of evidence: the last American hammer. Performances are Saturday, Sept. 22, at 8 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 23, at 3 p.m., Friday, Sept. 28, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, Sept. 29, at 8 p.m. Sprenger Theatre in the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $25 to $45. Call 202-399-7993 or visit atlasarts.org.
Led by married couple Lynn Veronneau and Ken Avis, the Wammie-winning international jazz fusion quartet — also featuring David Rosenblatt and Bruno Lucini — drops by Blues Alley in support of its new third album Love & Surrender. The multilingual collection of originals and standards features songs with the French accordion, the traditional Senegalese kora, fusion violin, and a touch of harmonica and electric guitar. Tuesday, Sept. 25, at 8 and 10 p.m. Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Tickets are $31, plus $12 minimum purchase. Call 202-337-4141 or visit bluesalley.com.
VIVA VERDI – THE PROMISED END
The InSeries, D.C.’s passionate and eccentric concert/cabaret production company, opens its new season with an original work blending Verdi’s Requiem with a one-woman meditation on Shakespeare’s King Lear. Timothy Nelson, the company’s new artistic director, developed the show through imagining what an opera based on Lear might have sounded like from Verdi had the Italian composer actually realized his dream project. Helen Hayes Award-winning powerhouse Nanna Ingvarsson takes on the role of Verdi/Lear in a production featuring eight area vocal artists as “Spirits of the Future Singers” and music director Paul Leavitt, performing an intimate, chamber arrangement of the Requiem for piano only. Directed by Steven Scott Mazzola. To Sept. 23. Source, 1835 14th St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $45. Call 202-204-7763 or visit inseries.org.
WHITE FORD BRONCO
What the Legwarmers are to the ’80s, this party band is to the ’90s, cheekily named after O.J. Simpson’s notorious failed getaway car. Playing through that decade’s songbook in all styles of popular music is a five-member ensemble consisting of singer/guitarist Diego Valencia, singer Gretchen Gustafson, guitarists Ken Sigmund and McNasty, and drummer Max Shapiro.
Friday, Sept. 28, at 10 p.m. The Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW. Tickets are $18 in advance or $20 day-of, plus $10 minimum per person for all tables. Call 202-588-5595 or visit thehowardtheatre.com.
One of the funniest alums of the Chelsea Lately comedy family, this North Carolina native has been out as lesbian from her very first TV appearance as a contestant on NBC’s Last Comic Standing. More recently Feimster played the lovable nurse Colette on The Mindy Project, and she’s been a regular guest on Chelsea Handler’s Netflix show Chelsea. In addition to writing, her main focus is stand-up, where she’s reliably funny as all get out. Friday, Sept. 28, at 7:30 and 10 p.m., and Saturday, Sept. 29, at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Arlington Cinema N’ Drafthouse, 2903 Columbia Pike, Arlington. Tickets are $25. Call 703-486-2345 or visit arlingtondrafthouse.com.
READINGS & LECTURES
BILL PRESS: TRUMP MUST GO
Subtitled The Top 100 Reasons to Dump Trump (And One to Keep Him), the veteran liberal TV/radio host surveys all the damage wrought by Trump, from debasing the political system to degrading the presidency. East City Bookshop will sell copies of the book. The discussion will be followed by a free reception with wine and light hors d’oeuvres. Thursday, Sept. 27, at 7 p.m. Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Free, but reservations recommended. Call 202-549-4172 or visit HillCenterDC.org.
GAUTAM RAGHAVAN: INSIDE THE OBAMA WHITE HOUSE
Having served as President Obama’s liaison to the LGBTQ, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander communities from 2011 to 2014, Raghavan had a front-row view at the movers and shakers in the Obama Administration, and particularly behind-the-scenes looks into the handling of Obamacare, marriage equality, and the Charleston shooting. The anthology he edited, West Wingers: Stories from the Dream Chasers, Change Makers, and Hope Creators Inside the Obama White House, presents a diverse group of former staffers and testifies to the power of committed public servants to make a true and lasting difference. Among those staffers joining Raghavan at this discussion are Heather Foster, former director of African-American outreach and advisor in the White House Office of Public Engagement, and Brad Jenkins, advisor on youth media during Obama’s 2008 campaign and also former White House liaison to the creative community. Thursday, Sept. 27, at 7 p.m. Politics and Prose at the Wharf, 70 District Square SW. Call 202-488-3867 or visit politics-prose.com.
STORY DISTRICT: MIXTAPE VOLUME 4
D.C.’s local storytelling organization closes out a four-show series on the Wharf with a program featuring “some of its funniest, weirdest, and most moving tales from past shows.” Storytelling performers for this show are: Joseph Price, Cody Pomeranz, Jenny Splitter, Michael Zhuang, Mike Kane, Sara Armour, and the company’s own executives Amy Saidman and Stephanie Garibaldi. Vijai Nathan hosts. Monday, Sept. 24, at 7:29 p.m. Union Stage, 740 Water St. SW. Tickets are $20. Call 877-987-6487 or visit storydistrict.org.
SHEILA MARTIN, JULIA TAGLIERE
The Writer’s Center presents a “Contest Winners Reading” program featuring Martin, the 2017 McLaughlin-Esstman-Stearns First Novel Prize winner for her book The Coney Island Book of the Dead, and Tagliere, the Center’s Undiscovered Voices Fellow, plus Center instructor Tara Campbell. Friday, Sept. 28, at 7:30 p.m. 4508 Walsh St. Bethesda. Tickets are $15. Call 301-654-8664 or visit writer.org.
VINCE VAISE: ANACOSTIA PARK AND RIVER
The chief of visitor services at Anacostia Park leads a talk celebrating the 100th birthday of the 1,200-acre park and recent improvements, including the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail. But the real focus of the lecture, sponsored by the Capitol Hill Community Foundation, is to share stories of Native Americans, civil rights battles, and historic landmarks that have ties to the park. Monday, Sept. 24. Seating starts at 7 p.m. Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Free, but reservation required due to limited seating. Call 202-549-4172 or visit HillCenterDC.org.
Plein Air — Photo: Allegany Arts Council Julie Westendorff
MUSEUMS & GALLERIES
FRACTAL WORLDS BY JULIUS HORSTHUIS
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. 30. 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 artechouse.com.
MOUNTAIN MARYLAND PLEIN AIR
This 10th annual arts event, taking place next week in Western Maryland, is a celebration of the region’s mountainous landscape and of the longstanding French philosophy of “painting in the open air.” Produced by the Allegany Arts Council, the festival selects a total of 30 artists from around the country to spend the week painting the scenery surrounding a particular area spot of their choosing. Among the D.C./Baltimore area artists participating this year are Lissa Abrams, Claudia Brookes, Henry Coe, David Diaz, Raymond Ewing, David Finnell, Jane Knighton, Mike McSorley, Chris Rapa, and J. Stacy Rogers. On Friday, Sept. 28, from 5 to 7 p.m., all participating artists will unveil their works during the 2018 Collector’s Reception and Awards, where $11,000 will be given out to winning artists and patrons will have the first opportunity to purchase the festival-created works. The general public gets that opportunity the next day, Saturday, Sept. 29, which also ushers in a judged Quickdraw competition, concluding with an awards ceremony, at the downtown Cumberland pedestrian mall. Proceeds of artwork sales go toward the Arts Council, based in Cumberland, Md. Call 301-777-2787 or visit mmpleinair.org for more information.
NANCY WEISSER: EXPERIMENTAL: DEVOTION TO DISCOVERY
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. To Sept. 26. Artists & Makers Studios, 11810 Parklawn Drive, Ste. 210, Rockville. Call 240-437-9573 or visit artistsandmakersstudios.com.
OUTSIDER ART INSIDE THE BELTWAY
Billed as the area’s largest showcase of self-taught and folk art, this 12th annual exhibition features work by local artists as well as others living and working throughout the U.S. as represented by art groups who responded to an open call for art. Presented by Art Enables, a gallery dedicated to artists with disabilities, participating organizations this year include New York’s Pure Vision Arts, Kansas’ Imagine That!, Minnesota’s Interact Center for Visual and Performing Arts, and New Jersey’s Matheny Arts Access, in addition to local entities Saint Elizabeth’s, Studio In-Sight, Bethesda Health and Rehab, Arundel Lodge, VisAbility Art Lab, CREATE Arts Center, and Make Studio. On display through Oct. 19. 2204 Rhode Island Ave. NE. Call 202-554-9455 or visit art-enables.org.
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. To Oct. 14. DCAC, 2438 18th St. NW. Call 202-462-7833 or visit dcartscenter.org.
A Maryland artist primarily known for his work as a watercolorist who has been described as an American Abstract Impressionist, Samuel Dixon was selected for inclusion in this year’s group exhibition at the Hill Center Galleries. Dixon’s entry is “Typing I,” a watercolor fine art print, captured from his typewriter series “Faded Images.” (Fun fact: the painting served as the inspiration for this week’s OutWrite cover.) Portrait artist Annette Polan, professor emerita of the Corcoran College of Art + Design at The George Washington University, served as the exhibition juror, culling through 670 artworks from more than 140 artists and across a range of media and subjects. Other artists represented include: Kasse Andrews-Weller, Cedric Baker, Kimberley Bursic, MarieB De Amicis, Nancy Freeman, Ric Garcia, Larry Gomez, Tom Greaves, Sharman Johnson, Glen Kessler, JoAnn Lamicella Laboy, Diego Montoya, John Pacheco, Judy Searles, Justin Worrell, and Karen Zens. To Sept. 22. Hill Center Galleries in the Old Naval Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Call 202-549-4172 or visit HillCenterDC.org.
THE TRAWICK PRIZE
Named after a Bethesda, Md., community leader and arts advocate, the Trawick Prize, established in 2003, was one of the first regional competitions and largest prizes to honor visual artists. Works by the eight finalists for the 16th annual competition factor into an exhibition presented by the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District. In addition to Caroline Hatfield of Baltimore, who won $10,000 and the title of 2018 Trawick Prize Winner, the finalists are Nicole Salimbene of Takoma Park, who earned $2,000 for Second Place and Timothy Makepeace of D.C., who earned $1,000 for Third Place, plus Lori Anne Boocks of Germantown, Md., Clay Dunklin of Laurel, Md., Mary Early of D.C., and Jay Gould and Phaan Howng, both of Baltimore. Now to Sept. 29. Gallery B, 7700 Wisconsin Ave., Suite E, Bethesda. Call 301-215-7990 or visit bethesda.org.
TREVOR PAGLEN: SITES UNSEEN
Inspired by the American landscape tradition and updated with a 21st-century surveillance sensibility, this visual artist blurs the lines between art, science, and investigative journalism to construct unfamiliar and at times unsettling works showing the world around us. The Smithsonian American Art Museum offers the first exhibition presenting Paglen’s early photographic series alongside his recent sculptural objects and new work with artificial intelligence — more than 100 artworks in all. This mid-career survey occupies the entire north wing of the museum’s galleries, an unprecedented scale at this location. Now to Jan. 6. SAAM, 8th and F Streets NW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit americanart.si.edu.
WENTWORTH GALLERY AND PAUL STANLEY
It turns out, “Starchild” doesn’t just paint his face: The lead singer and force behind Kiss also paints on canvas. In fact, Stanley created the rock band’s iconic logo and had a hand in its album covers, stage designs, and apparel. A decade ago, Stanley returned to painting colorful and dramatic self-portraits and color-saturated abstract compositions with evocative titles such as “Purple Haze,” “Green Planet,” and “Infinite Solitude.” This weekend, Stanley appears at Wentworth’s two locations to discuss and sell his works. Friday, Sept. 21, from 6 to 9 p.m. Montgomery Mall, 7101 Democracy Blvd., Bethesda. Call 301-365-3270. And Saturday, Sept. 22, from 6 to 9 p.m. Tysons Galleria, 1807 U. International Dr., McLean. Call 703-883-0111. Visit wentworthgallery.com.
FOOD & DINING
DENIZENS BREWING: MAKE IT FUNKY WILD BEER FEST
Silver Spring’s lesbian-owned brewery hosts the 4th annual festival celebrating the unique style of wild and sour brews — from briny goses to barnyardy brett beers. Over 100 funky beers from more than 30 craft breweries, most of them local, will be available for tasting at this event, with the band Soul Witness performing in the beer garden and DJ Kenny M. in the brewery. A special festival menu will also be available. Among the participating breweries in addition to Denizens: D.C.’s 3 Stars, Atlas, Bluejacket, Craft Kombucha, Hellbender, and Right Proper, Maryland’s Black Flag, Brewer’s Art, Franklin’s, Manor Hill, Union Craft, and Waredaca, and Virginia’s Black Narrows, Mad Fox, and Port City. Saturday, Sept. 29, from 1 to 5 p.m. 1115 East-West Highway, Silver Spring. Tickets are $62.50 online or $75 at the door and include a souvenir tasting glass and unlimited sample pours. Call 301-557-9818 or visit denizensbrewingco.com.
LEGAL SEA FOODS: 10TH ANNUAL OYSTER FESTIVAL
The Massachusetts-based seafood chain celebrates all things bivalves. Fried oysters are available in the following styles: Buffalo with blue cheese, celery hearts, and radish; BBQ with coleslaw and BBQ mayo; Sriracha Lime with roasted corn salsa and crispy shallots; or as an “Oyster BLT” with chipotle mayo. Baked Oysters are prepared as a Lobster Spinach Oyster bake with cheese and herbed crumbs; Oyster Scampi with shrimp, garlic butter, and white wine; Crab & Cheese Oyster with Jonah crab, horseradish, cheddar, and cream cheese; or Roasted Oyster with smoked chorizo, butter, and fresh herbs. A variety of oysters will also be available raw, served on the half shell, with selections and prices changing daily depending on what’s available. Wash it all down with this year’s official festival drink, the Deadrise, a concoction of Tito’s vodka, muddled cucumber, lime, and grapefruit bitters. Available at lunch and dinner daily now through Oct. 10. All three area locations: 704 7th St. NW, 2301 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, and 2001 International Drive in Tysons Galleria, McLean. Visit legalseafoods.com.
The cocktail bar and cafe in Kimpton’s Mason & Rook hotel will celebrate cooler temperatures and Oktoberfest traditions with an autumnal festival on the patio, complete with outdoor fire pits. The highlight is German fare on communal tables, from the traditional (Bavarian-themed lagers poured into steins) to reimagined biergarten bites from Executive Chef Jonathan Dearden, including pretzels and beer cheese dip, grilled bratwurst with charred onion and sauerkraut, and chicken schnitzel sliders on a pretzel bun. The promotion includes a loyalty punch card, with each liter of beer earning one punch — those with 10 punches will win an Oktoberfest-themed das boot to take home. Daily from 4 p.m., weather permitting. Begins Saturday, Sept. 22. Saturday, Sept. 29, offers a DJ playing German pop hits from 2 to 5 p.m. Through Oct. 22. Radiator, Mason & Rook, 1430 Rhode Island Ave. NW. Patio seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Call 202-742-3150 or visit radiatordc.com.
DC Weirdo Show: Dr Torchersword
ABOVE AND BEYOND
DC STATE FAIR
Now in its ninth year, this is a free, all-volunteer, non-governmental showcase of the region’s agricultural and artistic talents, named with a wink to efforts for D.C. statehood rights. Co-presented by the Southwest BID, the fair returns to the streets outside a main intersection in Southwest D.C. Festivities include a Pet Parade circling the Southwest Duck Pond, educational sessions on topics ranging from flower arranging to fingerpainting to public space recycling. The chief draw is the day’s many contests, including victuals such as ice cream, pies, biscuits, donuts, dumplings, pickled foods, Mumbo Sauce — and even home-brewed beer, wine, cider, and pot — will be evaluated by a panel of judges. Naturally, there will be various art and craft competitions, prizes for the most unusual homegrown fruits and vegetables (including heaviest, longest, and funkiest), and live contests from Hula Hoop and Double Dutch, to Sloppy Joe and Ice Cream Eating sessions and Watermelon Seed-spitting, to various categories in Tattoo and Whisker Wars. Performances by local bands, DJs, and dance troupes, and food trucks and other food and drink vendors round out the fun and frivolity. Sunday, Sept. 23, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Outside the Waterfront Metro, 425 M St. SW. Visit dcstatefair.org.
GAME OF THRONES EXPERIENCE
Ramin Djawadi, the Emmy Award-winning German composer behind Game of Thrones, Iron Man, and Clash of the Titans, presents the return of his immersive “Live Concert Experience” bringing the world of Westeros to life through live music plus cutting-edge video technology, filmed footage from the series, and exclusive imagery created for the concert. Djawadi will lead a touring group of soloists alongside a traveling orchestra and choir in a performance of music from the hugely popular HBO series, which airs its eighth and final season next year. Tuesday, Sept. 25, at 8 p.m. Capital One Arena, 601 F St. NW. Tickets are $24 to $161. Call 202-628-3200 or visit capitalonearena.com.
HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMUNITY DAY
Local leaders and government officials offer lectures and discussions about the architectural history of D.C., the history of the preservation movement, and city regulations for historically designated sites, plus advice on how to research a house or building’s history. There will also be “preservation stations,” with hands-on demonstrations and vendor consultations in restoring historic windows and flooring, roof repair, and repointing at this free event co-presented by the DC Preservation League and the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities. Saturday, Sept. 22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All Souls Church, 1500 Harvard St. NW. Call 202-783-5144 or visit dcpreservation.org.
POP-UP MAGAZINE: FALL ISSUE
“A Night of Live Stories” is the subtitle for this event, billed as bringing a magazine to life on stage, through storytelling, photography, film, radio, and original music. The D.C. stop of the nationally touring fall show features Ed Young of The Atlantic, Yowei Shaw of NPR’s Invisibilia, Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Ann Friedman, cohost of the Call Your Girlfriend podcast, Emily Dreyfuss and Jason Parham of Wired, photographer Landon Nordeman of the New Yorker and the New York Times, Rowan Jacobsen, author of A Geography of Oysters, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, poet/playwright of We Shall Not Be Moved, and original music from the Magik*Magik Orchestra. Tuesday, Sept. 25, at 7:30 p.m. Warner Theatre, 513 13th St. NW. Tickets are $29 to $39. Call 202-783-4000 or visit warnertheatredc.com.
More than two dozen theater companies offer discounted tickets to their current offerings as part of the TheatreWeek promotion, organized by TheatreWashington. For only $12, you can snag a seat to see Mosaic Theater’s Marie and Rosetta, while $15 gets you into Woolly Mammoth’s Gloria, Theater Alliance’s The Events, Ford’s Theatre’s Born Yesterday, and Rep Stage’s Sweeney Todd, to name four. Round House’s Small Mouth Sounds, GALA’s Like Water for Chocolate, Shakespeare Theatre’s The Comedy of Errors, Olney’s South Pacific, and Signature’s Heisenberg and Passion are among those that can be seen for $35. This year’s promotion also includes several free special events, including a Tour de Theaters Bike Ride with Theater J’s Adam Immerwahr on Saturday, Sept. 22, at 9:30 a.m. For more details, call 202-337-4572 or visit theatreweek.org. Discount tickets available at TodayTix.com.
THE DC WEIRDO SHOW: WEIRDOS FOR LIFE
Held the third Friday of each month, the DC Weirdo Show bills itself as the longest-running variety show in the city — and also, as “Queen Weirdo and Producer” Dr. Torcher puts it, “increasingly the D.C. go-to show for local performers of color, queer performers, and womxn in the circus, sideshow, and variety performance arts.” In recognition of Suicide Prevention Month, the September show, co-produced and co-hosted with drag king Phoenix King, aims to open the conversation about our collective mental health and the ways community, connection, and oppression affects us — shared through personal stories from performers in various styles of variety art, who have also contributed to a free, take-home resource zine featuring artwork, poetry, stories, and ready-to-use tools for suicide prevention. The lineup includes stand-up from Leigh Crenshaw, bellydance from Rin Ajna, performance art from Carlita Calienté, aerial acrobatics and spoken-word from Coryn Rose, drag from Ricky Rosé, plus fire manipulation from co-host Dr. Torcher and drag from co-host King. “Being a person who lives with PTSD,” says Dr. Torcher, who works in the suicide prevention field, “performing has been such a help in managing and healing it: I can’t other-think when I’m on stage — and that’s exactly what I need!” Proceeds from the show will benefit Trans Lifeline, a peer-support hotline staffed for and by trans people. Friday, Sept. 21. Doors at 8 p.m. Bier Baron Tavern, 1523 22nd St. NW. Tickets are $15 in advance, or $20 at the door. Call 202-293-1887 or visit dcweirdoshow.com.
UNCENSORED COCKTAIL PARTY: BANNED BOOKS WEEK FUNDRAISER
Lovers of literature and the First Amendment have a chance to raise a glass to their favorite books as they commemorate Banned Books Week. Now in its fifth year, the annual cocktail party, hosted by the DC Public Library Foundation, is designed to celebrate those books that have been banned or challenged by censors, from the politically motivated to the prudish, for a host of reasons. For the party, the DC Public Library Foundation brings in some of D.C.’s top bartenders and mixologists to create cocktails based on their favorite book. The party also features live musical acts, crafts, and a pop-up market with local retailers. Friday, Sept. 28, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Blind Whino, 700 Delaware Ave. SW. Tickets are $60. Call 202-869-4099 or visit dcplfoundation.org.
Subtitled “Un día de diversión animal para toda la familia,” this free Hispanic Heritage Month event at the National Zoo features talks, feeding, and demonstrations by zookeepers highlighting animals including Andean bears, sloths, golden lion tamarins, and Panamanian golden frogs. ZooFiesta also features live music and cuisine from performers and vendors representing Latin America. Sunday, Sept. 23, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. Call 202-633-4800 or visit nationalzoo.si.edu.