Metro Weekly

Out On the Town: D.C. arts & entertainment — September 13-19

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

American Chaos



Give the guy some credit for prescience: Six months before the 2016 presidential election, Jim Stern put everything on hold in his life to travel 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 the myriad scandals that embroiled hin. 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. Opens Friday, Sept. 14. Area theaters. Visit


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, also nominated for Tonys for their work, 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 next week. Thursday, Sept. 20, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 23, at 12:555 p.m. Area theaters including Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW, Regal Majestic Stadium, 900 Ellsworth Dr., Silver Spring, and AMC Hoffman Center, 206 Swamp Fox Road, Alexandria. Visit for tickets.


In Edmund Goulding’s 1939 drama, Bette Davis plays a hedonistic Long Island socialite and hard drinking heiress. The star is in great company here, George Brent, Humphrey Bogart, Geraldine Fitzgerald, and Ronald Reagan are also part of the heavy-hitting cast for this soapy yet intense drama. Described by a Time Out London critic as a “Rolls-Royce of the weepie world,” Dark Victory screens as the next selection in the Capital Classics series at Landmark’s West End Cinema. Wednesday, Sept. 19, 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 AFI Silver presents a four-week festival celebrating the best in contemporary Latin American cinema, featuring entries from 22 Spanish-speaking countries. The festival opens on Thursday, Sept. 13, with a screening of the Columbian 2018 Oscar contender, Birds of Passage (the film screens again on Saturday, at 7:15 p.m.), and 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. Other notable titles in the 43-film festival include The Angel, Luis Ortega’s stylish, true-crime thriller about one of Argentina’s most notorious serial killers; 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. Tickets are $15 general admission and $13 for AFI Members (2-star level & higher). An all-access “Pase Especial” allows for priority access to every film in the festival, including opening and closing night and festival happy hours. $200 general, $170 for AFI Members, $150 for students. At AFI Silver is at 8633 Colesville Road in Silver Spring. Call 301-495-6700 or visit


Heralded as an uplifting, heartwarming celebration of the dog-human bond, Dana Nachman and Don Hardy’s documentary explores the rigorous two-year journey required of all canine candidates as they prepare to work as a guide dog for the blind. Among the many hard challenges thrown at dogs during this process: Learning when to disobey a direct command that might endanger their person. Opens Friday, Sept. 14. Area theaters. Visit


Landmark’s E Street Cinema presents Richard O’Brien’s camp classic, billed as the longest-running midnight movie in history. Landmark’s showings come with a live shadow cast from the Sonic Transducers, meaning it’s even more interactive than usual. Friday, Sept. 14, and Saturday, Sept. 15, at midnight. Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672 or visit

Dancing at Lughnasa — Photo: Teresa Castracane



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. Through Oct. 7 at Everyman Theatre, 15 W. Fayette Street in Baltimore. Tickets are $10 to $65. Visit 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. To Sept. 30. Woolly Mammoth, 641 D St. NW. Tickets range from $20 to $69. 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


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


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


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 of a vengeful barber who slits the throats of his customers and the 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.” Starring V. Savoy McIlwain as Sweeney and Jade Antoinette Jones as Mrs. Lovett. Directed by Joseph Ritsch. Through September 23 in the Studio Theatre of the Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center on the campus of Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Maryland. There will be a post-show discussion on September 21. Tickets are $40 general admission, $35 for seniors and the military, and $15 for students with a valid ID. Thursdays are $10 performances. Visit or call 443-518-1500.


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. To Sept. 30. MetroStage, 1201 North Royal St., Alexandria. Tickets are $55. Call 703-548-9044 or visit

Alison Krauss



She leads one of the best bluegrass bands in the business, Union Station, whose style of Americana is refined, pretty, and pristine. Yet Krauss long ago proved her skill experimenting with other genres through her collaborations with diverse artists like Willie Nelson, Cyndi Lauper, Sting, and Robert Plant. Such wide-ranging work has helped the Chicago-area native collect 27 Grammy Awards to date, a haul that ranks her with veteran producer Quincy Jones as the two most-awarded living recipients of American music’s highest honor. She returns to the area for a concert supporting last year’s Windy City, an album of covers of country and bluegrass classics. Tuesday, Sept. 18. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. Tickets are $56 to $126. Call 202-888-0020 or visit


This weekend ushers in two-nights’ worth of tributes to one of D.C.’s best-known venues for indie and alternative rock bands, as well as dance parties and other eclectic programming. Festivities kick off on Friday, Sept. 14, with a lineup featuring Subhumans, Ocampo Ocampo & Watt (ft. Mike Watt, Devin Ocampo, and Renata Ocampo), Ted Leo, Des Demonas, Dagger Moon, Scanners, Honey, and Felix & Sam, plus DJ Amanda Mackaye. The next night brings Ex Hex, Gray Matter, Hurry Up (feat. Kathy Foster and Westin Glass of the Thermals), Algiers, Hammered Hulls (feat. Alec MacKaye, Mary Timony, Mark Cisneros, and Chris Wilson), Wanted Man, and Fool Swoops, with DJ Dante Ferrando — also known as the Black Cat’s owner. Doors at 7 p.m. each night. Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. Tickets are $25 each night. Call 202-667-4490 or visit


The Virginia-based theater company concludes its 9th annual summer cabaret series with two evenings of “Spring and Love, Loss and Dreams,” a program featuring vocalist Alan Naylor and pianist Barbara Wilkinson. Naylor made his debut at the Cauldron in the show Jacques Brel, about the cult-popular French troubadour. In that spirit, his program features art songs as well as four-hand piano music that “centers on the drama and experience of the poet-lover.” Friday, Sept. 14, and Saturday, Sept. 15, at 8 p.m. ArtSpace Falls Church, 410 South Maple Ave. Tickets ar $22 per show, or $55 for a table for two with wine and $110 for four with wine. Call 703-436-9948 or visit


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


Despite acclaim as one of opera’s greatest scores and lushest orchestrations, this masterwork from Puccini remains relatively unknown and rarely performed. To the rescue comes this young, singer-focused company via a semi-staged concert version of the romantic Western epic. Translated in English as The Girl of the Golden West, the opera focuses on Millie, a heroine in the mold of Puccini’s far-better-known Tosca and Butterfly. Louis Salemno leads the company’s 75-member orchestra and chorus in two performances this weekend, with two casts led by a different internationally acclaimed soprano in the role of Millie: Susan Bullock on Friday, Sept. 14, and Elizabeth Blancke-Biggs on Saturday, Sept. 15, both starting at 7:30 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $35 to $75. Call 301-581-5100 or visit


A native of Australia now based in the U.K., this singer with the purringly playful name has also coined the term “kamikaze cabaret” to describe her act, which blends a wide range of music, comedy, and performance art. Meow Meow makes her Kennedy Center debut this weekend in a concert presented by Renée Fleming, who further describes the experience as “a post-modern take on [a diva] identity, often battling wildly comic mishaps, or catastrophes. Her shows may be moving, hilarious, or even shocking, but…she is never dull.” Saturday, Sept. 15, at 7:30 p.m. Terrace Theater. Tickets are $29 to $39. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


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


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


The InSeries, D.C.’s passionate and eccentric concert/cabaret production company opens its new season with an original work that blends Verdi’s Requiem with a one-woman meditation on Shakespeare’s King Lear. Timothy Nelson, the company’s incoming 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



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


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


An exhibition featuring 15 local and eight German artists, who were brought together to focus a contemporary lens on topics including the cosmos, nature, and deep time, with the intention of serving as a catalyst for exploration into enduring questions about our history and place in the world. A co-presentation of the Washington Sculptors Group and IA&A at Hillyer, featured artists include Ursula Achternkamp, Alan Binstock, Janet Brome, Mark Fromm, Caroline Hatfield, Linda Hesh, Jacqueline Maggi, Alim Pasht-Han, Judith Pratt, and Steve Wanna. A Curator & Artist Talk is Thursday, Sept. 20, at 7 p.m. On display through Oct. 28 at 9 Hillyer Court NW. Call 202-338-0325 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. Renwick Gallery, Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW. Free. Call 202-633-1000 or visit



Launched seven years ago at L’Enfant Cafe, the incredibly popular boozy brunch/day party known as La Boum has only gotten bigger and boum-ier in recent years — even earning a nod as one of Bravo TV’s “Top 5 Raging Brunches in the U.S.” The self-billed “revolutionary-style brunch” welcomes patrons of all genders and sexual orientations for a multi-course dinner and four hours of drinking, dancing to a DJ, and doing “everything they weren’t allowed to do under pure parental supervision as young adults.” Yet you have to be very grown-up and plan ahead in particular for Saturday brunch. Abigail, 1730 M St. NW. Tickets are $32.50 to $35 per person, plus 20-percent gratuity and drinks. Call 240-286-4286 or visit


Penn Quarter’s Moulin Rouge-inspired restaurant Sax offers movement-based spectacles, including aerial stunts, hip-hop group routines, pole performances, and burlesque, to add excitement beyond the food. And male burlesque is the showcase every Sunday during brunch, as a group of male professional dancers, aerialists, and bodybuilders perform full-length shows, accompanied by unlimited mimosas delivered by by table service studs. Sundays at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sax Restaurant & Lounge, 734 11th St. NW. Tickets are $50 to $65 including appetizers and unlimited mimosas. Call 202-737-0101 or visit

Dirty Martini: DC Drag Brunch



Over the past year, the local Hilton brothers have expanded well beyond Marvin and The Brixton and their original U Street base. None of the additions, however, stand out as much as Bar Roubaix in Columbia Heights with its racing bike theme, complete with chains dangling behind the bar and wheels serving as light fixtures. Named after the French city sponsoring one of the world’s oldest and most iconic professional bike races and housed in the former Acre 121 space, Roubaix features a menu of European-inspired bites from Chef Rafael Nunez. And now, Roubaix stands out even more thanks to a drag brunch the third Sunday of each month, organized by Josael Abraham Gutierrez. Sassy Drag Brunch features Desiree Dik as the “master of sassiness” along with her sassy sisters Laronica Vegas and Paula, in addition to special guests, next round Rose and Mariah Black. Drink specials include $18 Bottomless Mimosas, Bloody Mary’s, and Bloody Maria’s, $9 Margaritas, and $9 Irish Coffees. Sunday, Sept. 16, from noon to 2 p.m. 1400 Irving St. NW. Ste. 109. Tickets are $21 inclusive of show, one entree, and 18-percent gratuity, or $10 for show with no food. Call 202-560-5721 or search “Sassy Drag Brunch” on


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


Founded over two years ago by former DC King Pretty Rik E, this troupe performs two rounds of its sexy show After Dark at an intimate venue in Petworth “where every seat is in the splash zone.” A VIP ticket includes a Meet and Greet before the show, group photo with the cast, front-row seating, and a Pretty Boi Drag Tee #AfterDark Goodie Bag. Saturday, Sept. 22, at 7 and 10 p.m. Ten Tigers Parlour, 3813 Georgia Ave. NW. Tickets are $25, or $50 for VIP including Meet & Greet Call 202-506-2080 or visit


Sometimes you’re dragging and you just can’t make it to brunch. And sometimes you want a regular, more traditional kind of meal — you know, at night, over wine. Well, these days, you can have just that with one of D.C.’s leading ladies of drag. Every Sunday night at Shaw’s Tavern, Kristina Kelly hosts a show over supper with half-priced bottles of wine and different dinner specials each week. Seating at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. 520 Florida Ave. NW. Reservations required via Call 202-518-4092 or visit



Named after the diner on Beverly Hills, 90210, Peach Pit was started by DJ Matt Bailer more than eight years ago at Dahlek, the former Eritrean restaurant that also birthed Mixtape. Bailer describes the party as a “kind of sweaty mosh pit of guys and girls, straights and gays, black people and white people, old people and young people — all just dancing and singing at the top of their lungs.” Peach Pit is very strictly ’90s, as Bailer only plays and takes requests for tracks released between Jan. 1, 1990, and Dec. 31, 1999. Saturday, Sept. 15. Doors at 10:30 p.m. DC9, 1940 9th St. NW. Cover is $5, or $8 after midnight. Call 202-483-5000 or visit


In addition to her original singing career and a roster of club hits, including the late-’90s Top 10 pop hit “Free,” Baltimore-native Ultra Nate is known more and more as a prominent DJ, due in part to her regular, high-profile gigs in the Summer house haunt of Ibiza. In her homebase as well as in D.C., she’s known for this underground soulful house party that draws a mixed crowd, in all the right ways. This Friday, Sept. 14, Nate and her partner-in-Deep Sugar Lisa Moody launch a multi-city tour to celebrate the party’s first 15 years from the D.C. nightclub they refer to as their home away from home. Mookie Brock is warm-up DJ. Friday, Sept. 14, starting at 9 p.m. U Street Music Hall, 1115A U St. NW. Tickets are $10. Call 202-588-1880 or visit


With the threat of a lawsuit at the eleventh hour, Warner Bros. last month forced Derek Brown, Angie Fetherston, and fellow Drink-ers to cancel the opening of their immersive tribute to the animated TV series Rick and Morty that they had spent the summer assembling. As a result, two of the three small connected spaces in the Drink Company’s Shaw pop-up bar, or PUB, remain dark until the November relaunch of the popular holiday-themed Miracle on 7th Street extravaganza. But Richmond’s GWAR has been tapped to lift spirits in the complex’s third bar, decked out with outrageous stage props and costumes in a 34-year retrospective of the heavy metal heads. One of his favorite bands, Brown describes GWAR as a “funnier KISS, on steroids, during a WWE stage show peppered with intergalactic horror themes and a little Damien Hirst.” PUB highlights include a 20-foot World Maggot, an intergalactic battle scene, a hall of blood (paying homage to the gallons of synthetic blood spurted at every show), and a mobile of GWAR’s interplanetary journey. Band-related memorabilia will be for sale, such as a limited-edition Hail Oderus Tiki Mug — from which patrons drink the GWAR-inspired cocktail Oderus Eternal, green chile-flavored vodka mixed with manzanilla, grapefruit, and club soda ($12, or $52 with the mug). Meanwhile, rosé meets Strawberry Campari and Blanc Vermouth with a splash of soda in If You Want Blood (You Got It) ($12), the bloodiest punch on a menu of 18 specialty concoctions, including four “Parting Shots” ($6) and two “Spirit Free” juice blends ($7). Also on hand are a few beer and wine selections, and snack packages of Combos, Pirate’s Booty, Gushers, and Twinkies. Daily from 5 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. (until 1:30 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays). Runs to Oct. 31. Drink Company, 1839 7th St. NW. Call 202-316-9396 or visit


Josh Vogelsong started his monthly alternative drag-focused party more than six years ago at the Black Cat, but it wasn’t until it moved to Trade that it became what he had long envisioned it could be. “People show up in looks, everybody comes dressed up,” Vogelsong says. “Everybody gets crazy during the show. You can just spray beer on the crowd, and they’d cheer and love it. It’s wild.” The next event is a celebration of summer — both the season now ending and Shea Van Horn’s drag alter-ego Summer Camp, who will perform along with Jane Saw, Salvadora Dali, Jaxknife Complex, and, last but not least, Donna Slash, Vogelsong’s other-persona. Jams from the Barber Streisand. Saturday, Sept. 15. Doors at 10 p.m., with shows at 11:30 p.m. and 1 a.m. 1410 14th St. NW. Call 202-986-1094 or visit

DC Weirdo Show: Dr Torchersword



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


A local actor offers the guided tour Investigation: Detective McDevitt, portraying Detective James McDevitt, a D.C. police officer patrolling a half-block from Ford’s Theatre the night President Lincoln was shot. Written by Richard Hellesen and directed by Mark Ramont, the 1.6-mile walking tour revisits and reexamines the sites and clues from the investigation into the assassination. Tours are offered approximately three evenings a week at 6:45 p.m. Ford’s Theatre, 511 10th St. NW. Tickets are $17. Call 202-397-7328 or visit


Leon Harris of NBC4 emcees this year’s annual gala of the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., which honors D.C. developer John “Chip” Akridge and his eponymous commercial real estate company with the Distinction in Historic Preservation Award, the Central Union Mission for Distinction in Social Service, and Brett Hitt and Hitt Contracting, Inc., for Distinction in Corporate Achievement, plus the Drew Jarvis Family will be inducted into the Legacy Families of Washington, D.C. This year’s Visionary Historian Award, a lifetime achievement honor, was bestowed at a separate ceremony in May on Howard Gillette, the now-retired George Washington University professor and historian who established its Center for Washington Area Studies. Thursday, Sept. 20, starting with an Honoree Reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by the Awards Presentation at 7:30 p.m. Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Tickets are $300 to $350. Call 202-249-3955 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

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

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