The Phillips Collection presents Kaspar Astrup Schröder’s 2017 documentary as part of its Nordic Film Series, in conjunction with the special exhibition Nordic Impressions. Big Time follows Bjarke Ingels from 2011 to 2016, during which the Dane became “one of architecture’s biggest stars,” largely due to his ongoing work of designing and building one of the skyscrapers that will replace Manhattan’s Twin Towers. Washingtonians also know Ingels for the BIG Maze, the popular, large-scale human maze built as the summer 2014 installation at the National Building Museum. Thursday, Oct. 25, at 6 p.m. The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st St. NW. Tickets are $5 for Phillips members, or $15 general admission, including admission to the exhibition. Call 202-387-2151 x247 or visit phillipscollection.org.
CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?
Melissa McCarthy chases a second Oscar nomination as Lee Israel, who turned to a life of crime after her writing career died. Israel, who documented her actions in her 2008 memoir, started rewriting and later forging celebrity letters, selling on the enhanced forgeries and stolen originals for profit, before she was eventually caught by the FBI. Here’s hoping the strength of McCarthy’s performance is enough to erase memories of The Happytime Murders from the minds of Academy voters, as critics are heaping both McCarthy and Can You Ever Forgive Me? with praise. Area theaters. (Rhuaridh Marr)
HOUSE OF WAX
The Andre de Toth classic was famously part of cinema’s 3D craze, boasting a stunning opening sequence of melting wax figures that toppled off the screen and virtually into your lap, as well as a now-iconic sequence featuring a tuxedoed man and a paddleball. While it won’t be screening in 3D here, it is still worth a watch, if only for Price’s chilling performance as a demented wax artisan who creates his works in a most unusual manner. Part of the Capital Classics series at Landmark’s West End Cinema. Wednesday, Oct. 24, 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.
Philip Kennicott, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post art and architecture critic, presents a three-part Sunday cinema series in which the built environment is the star — and in which each film is an architectural experience in and of itself, whether real or imagined. This Reel Architecture series at the Hill Center includes Playtime, the fanciful 1967 French film from Jacques Tati, and 2008’s 24 City from Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhangke. Yet it kicks off with what is described as “the ultimate in cinematic built environment,” Fritz Lang’s 1927 sci-fi masterpiece, a futuristic urban dystopia featuring a city sharply divided between its working class population and city planners. Sunday, Oct. 21, Old Naval Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Free, but registration required due to limited space. Call 202-549-4172 or visit HillCenterDC.org.
MIDDLEBURG FILM FESTIVAL
Held in a picturesque town in Virginia’s horse and wine country, the Middleburg Film Festival, founded by BET co-founder Sheila C. Johnson, offers a mix of independent features, documentaries and Oscar contenders, including several submissions for Best Foreign Language Film. Highlights this year include Alfonos Cuarón’s Roma, Boy Erased, The Front Runner, based on the derailed presidential campaign of Gary Hart, and Peter Farrelly’s highly anticipated Green Book, starring Viggo Mortensen as a bouncer hired to drive a world-class Black pianist (Mahershala Ali) on a tour of the deep South in the era of segregation. The festival will honor four exceptional women in film: Actor and producer Maggie Gyllenhaal, actor Yalitza Aparicio, director Nadine Labaki, and songwriter Diane Warren. The festival runs Thursday, Oct. 18, through Sunday, Oct. 21 at the Salamander Resort & Spa and select other venues in Middleburg, Va. Passes are sold out except for packages including dinner, parties, and other events in addition to screenings ranging from $1,000 to $3,500. Visit middleburgfilm.org.
NOIR CITY DC
The AFI offers an October series to give you a case of the creeps. Curated by the Film Noir Foundation and combining canonical classics with rarities ripe for rediscovery, selections in this year’s edition are all presented as double features, pairing better-known classics with shorter, lower-budget “B” films, including The Blue Dahlia, Shadow of a Doubt, and Quiet Please, Murder. The festival runs to Oct. 25 at the AFI Silver, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $13 general admission, or $10 for matinee screenings. Call 301-495-6720 or visit afi.com/Silver.
THE WIZARD OF OZ
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History screens Victor Fleming’s timeless 1939 adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s children’s novel. The film is reportedly the most-watched motion picture in history. With Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, and Margaret Hamilton. Featuring a world-class score by Harold Arlen and E.Y. “Yip” Harburg. Showings are Friday, Oct. 19, through Sunday, Oct. 21, at 1:50 and 4:10 p.m. The Warner Bros. Theater, 1300 Constitution Ave. NW. Tickets are $15. Call 202-633-1000 or visit si.edu/imax.
Theatre Prometheus presents Naomi Iizuka’s adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey, focused on the journey of a child refugee separated from his mother in contemporary America. Jon Jon Johnson directs the politically relevant story featuring multiple characters brought to life by a diverse cast. To Oct. 27. Silver Spring Black Box Theatre, 8641 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $25. Call 301-588-8270 or visit silverspringblackbox.com.
BETWEEN EARTH AND SKY
GALA Theatre’s GALita Young Audiences series presents the world premiere of a bilingual play for children based on the life of Mexican-American botanist Ynés Mexia. Written by Cecilia Cackley and directed by Elena Velasco, Entre la tierra y el cielo follows a curious girl as she explores the magical world of plants and stars, and breaks with family and societal expectations. To Oct. 27. GALA Theatre at Tivoli Square, 3333 14th St. NW. Tickets are $10 to $12. Call 202-234-7174 or visit galatheatre.org.
BLUEBERRIES FOR SAL
Adventure Theatre presents a world-premiere adaptation of the classic book by Robert McCloskey, in recognition of its 70th anniversary of publication. A co-commission with New York City’s Children’s Theatre, the work was written by Sandra Eskin and Adventure’s Michael J. Bobbitt and features music and lyrics by William Yanesh. Directed by Jess Jung. Closes Sunday, Oct. 21. Adventure Theatre MTC, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo. Tickets are $20. Call 301-634-2270 or visit adventuretheatre-mtc.org.
Garson Kanin’s sharp-edged screwball comedy may be 70 years old, but it resonates all too well with the Washington of today. The story focuses on an opportunistic tycoon seeking to game the Washington system — but the plans are sabotaged by his girlfriend and her alliance with an idealistic reporter pushing back to end corruption. Aaron Posner directs Edward Gero and Kimberly Gilbert in a lavish production bolstered by Daniel Lee Conway’s set, a glamorous two-level hotel suite with striking architectural details. Closes Sunday, Oct. 21. Ford’s, 511 10th St. NW. Tickets are $17 to $64. Call 800-982-2787 or visit fords.org.
BRYONN BAIN: LYRICS FROM LOCKDOWN
Bain’s one-man show concerns his experiences with racial profiling and wrongful incarceration at the hands of New York City police, and how his experience led to a transformative friendship with a death row inmate. A live band accompanies Bain as he weaves his acclaimed tale with more than 40 characters in a production presented by Harry Belafonte — through his Sankofa Justice and Equity Project — and directed by his daughter Gina Belafonte. Each performance will be followed by a town hall style dialogue at the Kennedy Center. Thursday, Oct. 18, and Friday, Oct. 19, at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 20, at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Terrace Theater. Tickets are $35 to $55. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
Focused on a young heroine who unlocks a door in her new house and reveals an alternate world with a dangerous secret, Neil Gaiman’s 2002 children’s book has inspired adaptations across a range of media, from a stop-motion animated feature to an opera. A decade ago, David Greenspan adapted the fantasy horror for the stage in collaboration with Stephin Merritt of the Magnetic Fields. And that is the version the quirky and adventurous Landless Theatre is producing. Melissa Baughman directs. To Oct. 28. Best Medicine Rep Theatre, Second Floor, Lakeforest Mall, 701 Russell Ave., in Gaithersburg, Md. Tickets are $10 to $20. Visit landlesstheatre.com.
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. To Nov. 11. Ark Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit sigtheatre.org.
HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE
An astonishing chronicle of one woman’s journey to break the cycle of sexual abuse by Baltimore-native Paula Vogel. The great Helen Hayes Award-winning actress Alyssa Wilmoth Keegan (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof) plays the adult survivor Li’l Bit, whose “education” at the hands of her Uncle Peck (Peter O’Connor) began when she was a mere eleven. The cast is rounded out by Daven Ralston, Emily Townley, and Craig Wallace. To Nov. 4. 4545 East-West Highway, Bethesda. Tickets are $50 to $60. Call 240-644-1100 or visit roundhousetheatre.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. Closes Sunday, Oct. 21. Studio Theatre, 14th & P Streets NW. Call 202-332-3300 or visit studiotheatre.org.
ILLYRIA, OR WHAT YOU WILL
The freedom to be who you truly are and love whomever you want is the focus of this fresh adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night by Jonelle Walker and Mitchell Hébert. Essentially every element of the LGBTQ community is represented in the cast of characters, in addition to a drag queen and “two women performing masculinity,” according to Hébert, who is directing a production that opens WSC Avant Bard’s new season. Illyria is set in an anything goes Manhattan dive bar in the post-disco early ’80s, as imagined by set designer Jos. B. Musumeci Jr., plus original era-evoking music by Aaron Bliden. The large cast includes Frank Britton, Katie Gallagher, Jenna Rossman, Dani Stoller, Ezra Tozian, and the company’s former head Christopher Henley. In previews. Opens Tuesday, Oct. 23. Runs to Nov. 18. Gunston Theater Two, 2700 South Lang St. Arlington. Tickets are $40. Call 703-418-4808 or visit avantbard.org.
LABOUR OF LOVE
A clever mashup of the political gamesmanship of The West Wing with a war-of-the-sexes saga akin to Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, James Graham’s Olivier Award-winning comedy is set in a member of Parliament’s district office and pokes witty fun at the ups and downs of left-wing British politics. Leora Morris directs Olney’s production, which features M. Scott McLean and Julia Coffey. To Oct. 28. Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Call 301-924-3400 or visit olneytheatre.org.
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS
The quirky, enduring, cult-favorite musical by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken is the latest to get a semi-staged production as part of the Kennedy Center’s amazing Broadway Center Stage series. With Megan Hilty as Audrey, Josh Radnor as Seymour, James Monroe Iglehart as the man-eating plant Audrey II, and Amber Iman, Amma Osei, and Allison Semmes as the show’s indelible greek chorus. Directed by Mark Brokaw. Opens Wednesday, Oct. 24. To Oct. 28. Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $89 to $215. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
ROOMS: A ROCK ROMANCE
MetroStage offers a 10th anniversary production of Paul Scott Goodman’s musical, with a book co-written by Miriam Gordon, focused on an ambitious singer-songwriter who meets a reclusive rocker. Together, they aim for stardom in the London and New York punk scenes of the ’70s. Directed by Tom Jones. Now to Nov. 11. 1201 North Royal St., Alexandria. Tickets are $55. Call 703-548-9044 or visit metrostage.org.
SING TO ME NOW
Iris Dauterman weaves sardonic humor, poetry, and a deeply contemporary voice to create a comedy about Calliope, the Greek Muse of Epic Poetry, and the value in fighting for beauty while the world is falling apart. Directed by Jenny McConnell Frederick, the Rorschach Theatre production features Ian Armstrong, Tori Boutin, Desiree Chappelle, Erik Harrison, Cam Magee, Chloe Mikala, and Jonathan Del Palmer. Pay-What-You-Can previews start Friday, Oct. 19. Opens Monday, Oct. 22. Runs to Nov. 18. Lab Theatre II in the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $19.99 to $29.99. Call 202-399-7993 or visit atlasarts.org.
The Washington Stage Guild presents Arlitia Jones’ drama relaying the mysterious but true tale of William H. Mumler, a spirit photographer with a talent for capturing haunting images from the world beyond the veil. Set in the years after the Civil War, Summerland focuses on Mumler’s booming business of contacting the dead for mourners, and the city marshal who wants to prove the photographer is a fraud. Starring Yury Lomakin, Rachel Felstein, and Steven Carpenter. Kasi Campbell directs. Closes Sunday, Oct. 21. Undercroft Theatre of Mount Vernon United Methodist Church, 900 Massachusetts Ave. NW. Tickets are $30 to $60. Call 240-582-0050 or visit stageguild.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, Sarah Marshall, and Eleasha Gamble head a large, gifted cast. Directed by Alan Paul. Extended to Nov. 4. Lansburgh Theatre, 450 7th St. NW. Call 202-547-1122 or visit shakespearetheatre.org.
Studio Theatre presents seven student activists from the Baxter Theatre Centre at the University of Cape Town in a devised work that grapples with the legacies of race, class, gender, history, and power still standing 24 years after the official end of Apartheid. Written as the statue of imperialist Cecil Rhodes was dismantled on campus. To Nov. 18. The Mead Theatre, 14th & P Streets NW. Tickets are $20 to $45. Call 202-332-3300 or visit studiotheatre.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. Extended to Oct. 21. Kreeger Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Tickets are $40 to $95. Call 202-488-3300 or visit arenastage.org.
21ST CENTURY CONSORT: SITES UNHEARD
The award-winning ensemble-in-residence at the Smithsonian American Art Museum kicks off its season with a musical take on the artwork featured in the special exhibition Trevor Paglen: Sites Unseen. Just as Paglen works to make the invisible world of surveillance visible through his visual art, the Consort presents a program of American composers doing something similar with music. The program includes Annie Gosfield’s Lost Signals and Drifting Satellites, Frederic Rzewski’s Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues, Gemma Peacocke’s Lumen, Robert Paterson’s Star Crossing, Robert Gibson’s Night Music, Jon Deak’s Greetings from 1984, and David Froom’s Hidden Motives. Saturday, Oct. 20, at 4 p.m. McEvoy Auditorium, Lower Level, 8th and F Streets NW. Free. Call 202-633-1000 or visit americanart.si.edu.
An easy-to-love reggae/ska-steeped alt-rock band from Baltimore comes to D.C. to headline a Halloween-themed concert. To enhance the cool party vibe, Ballyhoo! has enlisted fellow reggae-inspired Maryland-based bands Higher Education and Edjacated Phools as special guests. Friday, Oct. 26. Doors at 7 p.m. Union Stage, 740 Water St. SW. Tickets are $20 to $35. Call 877-987-6487 or visit unionstage.com.
An intriguing alt-dance/indie-rock hybrid, producer Alan Wilkis mines various genres and works with an eclectic group of hip bubbling-under artists — Joywave, Dragonette, Kimbra, Jamie Lidell — to generate songs that are gritty but melodic, edgy but accessible, and thoroughly cool. Thursday, Oct. 25. Doors at 6:30 p.m. Songbyrd Music House, 2477 18th St. NW. Tickets are $18 to $20. Call 202-450-2917 or visit songbyrddc.com.
BSO: VIVALDI’S FOUR SEASONS
Early-music specialist Nicholas McGegan conducts the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in a program including Schubert’s enchanting, incidental music written for the Viennese stage play Rosamunde as well as Schumann’s Konzertstück for Four Horns featuring BSO musicians Phil Munds, Lisa Bergman, Austin Larson, and Gabrielle Finck. But the main attraction, of course, is the beloved, seasons-spanning classic by Vivaldi and featuring company violinists Boram Kang, Audrey Wright, Angela Lee, and Qing Li. Thursday, Oct. 18, and Saturday, Oct. 20, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Also Friday, Oct. 19, at 8 p.m. Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore. Tickets are $25 to $90. Call 410-783-8000 or visit bsomusic.org.
FLASH OF THE SPIRIT WORLDWIDE SOUND FESTIVAL
Jim Thompson, the D.C. concert promoter behind the globally focused, genre-bending Multiflora Productions, has renamed his Multiflora Music Festival for its second annual month-long run. The focus is every bit as globally eccentric and eclectic as before, intended to reflect the long-storied multicultural and international flavor of D.C., with groups from Cuba, China, Ethiopia, Ecuador, Mali, Peru, and Puerto Rico, as well as the broad Washington region. Concerts over the next week include a Colombian Music Showcase featuring the hip-hop group Kombilesa Mi and La Marvela, Friday, Oct. 19, at Tropicalia; a Flash of the Spirit Showcase Matinee featuring TurningJewelsIntoWater, No Plans, Kamyar Arsani, Elmapi, Warm Sun, Light Beams, Flamers, Panini Girlfriend, and Knife Wife, on Saturday, Oct. 20, at Anacostia Arts Center; Kurbasy, a trio of actress/singers from Ukraine’s Carpathian Mountains who give folk-based multimedia performances showcasing tight vocal harmonies, resonant lyrics, culturally unique instruments, and a phantasmagoric visual imagery, on Thursday, Oct. 25, at Hill Center; and Quatro na Bossa, a Richmond-based group that plays mid-20th century Brazilian party music, on Friday, Oct. 26, at Bossa Bistro. Festival runs at various venues through Oct. 31. Visit multifloraproductions.com for more information.
A year after performing with Blondie at Wolf Trap — and a year before the expected release of a new studio album — Shirley Manson comes back around with her boys in this brooding, grungy alt-rock band, part of a 20th anniversary celebration of Version 2.0. Nominated for Album of the Year and Best Rock Album at the 1999 Grammy Awards, Garbage’s sophomore set also features one of its biggest hits, the Grammy-nominated “Special.” “We have a lot of songs particularly centered around the LGBTQ community and gender fluidity,” Manson told Metro Weekly in a 2016 interview, adding “I’m quite a masculine woman and I never really identified myself as a girl particularly. I’ve never really put a lot of stock in gender per se.” Sunday, Oct. 21, and Monday, Oct. 22. Doors at 6:30 p.m. Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. Tickets, remaining only for the Monday show, are $55. Call 202-888-0050 or visit thelincolndc.com.
JOSÉ JAMES: A TRIBUTE TO BILL WITHERS
A lesser-known contemporary of neo-soul artists including Frank Ocean and John Legend, James has made more of a name for himself through reinterpretations of standards chiefly from the Great American Songbook. Every bit as impressive is his new album Lean On Me: A Tribute to Bill Withers, a toast to the 80th birthday of the underrated, uplifting soul/pop songwriter, who retired decades ago out of disgust with the industry — but not before blessing the world with gems like “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Just The Two of Us,” and “Lovely Day.” James will bring the songs to life as he does on record supported by a quartet of contemporary jazz stars: Nate Smith on drums, Ben Williams on bass, Sullivan Fortner on keys, and Brad Allen Williams on guitar. Saturday, Oct. 20. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $24.75 to $129.75. Call 202-787-1000 or visit thehamiltondc.com.
NATIONAL CHAMBER ENSEMBLE: MASTERS OF THE ITALIAN BAROQUE
Led by violinist Leonid Sushansky, the NCE launches its new season, “Adventures Through the Musical Time Machine,” with a program featuring the distinct, ordered, ornate, and emotive sounds of the 17th and 18th century in Italy. The first half of the concert chiefly focuses on the most famous of the Italian Baroque composers, Antonio Vivaldi, including his Concerto for Two Violins in A Minor and “Winter” from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, performed with a multimedia presentation of simultaneous words and images. The program’s second half focuses on Giovanni Pergolesi’s celebrated masterpiece The Stabat Mater featuring renowned soprano Sharon Christman and Washington National Opera mezzo-soprano Anamer Castrello. Saturday, Oct. 20, at 7:30 p.m. Theater 1 in Gunston Arts Center, 2700 South Lang St. Arlington. Tickets are $18 to $36 and include a post-concert hors d’oeuvres reception with the artists. Call 703-685-7590 or visit nationalchamberensemble.org.
NSO POPS: ANDREW BIRD WITH GABRIEL KAHANE
The National Symphony’s Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke leads a concert with two indie-folk/rock stars in an intimate orchestral experience. More specifically, the program features the NSO performing Kahane’s Ambassador Suite as well as his orchestral reimagining of songs by Bird. The evening concludes with solo performances by Bird and Kahane. Friday, Oct. 26, and Saturday, Oct. 27, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $25 to $119. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
OPERA LAFAYETTE: CERERE PLACATA
A local company chiefly focused on performing 18th-century opera using instruments from the period premieres a new edition of a mythology-inspired work from Neapolitan master Niccolò Jommelli. Dating to 1772, Ceres Placated (in English) draws on the story of the goddess of agriculture — Demeter in Greek, Ceres in Roman mythology — and her daughter Persephone/Proserpina, their separation and reconciliation. Charles Brink prepared the modern revision and also serves as guest conductor, in a performance featuring soprano Jennifer Casey-Cabot as Ceres and soprano Laetitia Grimaldi as Proserpina. Sunday, Oct. 28, at 7:30 p.m. Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Tickets are $25 to $120. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
Splitting his time between New York and D.C., the gay singer-songwriter and drummer has a theatrical, full-throated vocal delivery. Barna explores what it means to be a man on his new record Cissy, which he describes as “if Bukowski had frequented queer spaces and written songs for Patti Smith.” Monday, Oct. 22, at 9 p.m. Slash Run, 201 Upshur St. NW. Call 202-838-9929 or visit slashrun.com.
The soul-singing Broadway veteran, winner of the Tony for her role in The Wiz, returns to the Birchmere for a two-night weekend run performing hits from her repertoire that goes well beyond The Wiz‘s “Home.” A former paramour of Michael Jackson, Mills’ hits in the 1980s include “Never Knew Love Like This Before,” “I Feel Good All Over,” and “If I Were Your Woman.” Friday, Oct. 19, and Saturday, Oct. 20, at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets, remaining only for the Friday concert, are $85. Call 703-549-7500 or visit birchmere.com.
THE FOUR BITCHIN’ BABES
Hormonal Imbalance v2.5: A Mood Swinging Musical Revue features highlights from more than 25 years of a comedic music ensemble. Sally Fingerett, comedic singer Deirdre Flint, and former The Hags singer Debi Smith form the touring core, with the fourth Babe rotating among Nancy Moran or founding Babes Megon McDonough and Christine Lavin. Friday, Oct. 26, at 8 p.m. Amp by Strathmore, 11810 Grand Park Ave. North Bethesda. Tickets are $28 to $45. Call 301-581-5100 or visit ampbystrathmore.com.
WNO: LA TRAVIATA
The Washington National Opera’s Francesca Zambello launches the company’s season with a new production of Verdi’s everlasting story of love and sacrifice, renowned for its soaring arias and heartbreaking conclusion. A co-production with the Atlanta Opera, the Glimmerglass Festival, the Seattle Opera, and Indiana University, La Traviata features elegant staging by Peter Davidson and turn-of-the-century costumes by Tony-winning designer Jess Goldstein. To Oct. 21. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $25 to $300. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
WHITE FORD BRONCO
The popular ’90s-era party band, 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. Saturday, Oct. 20. Doors at 6:30 p.m. Rock and Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. Tickets are $25. Call 202-388-ROCK or visit rockandrollhoteldc.com.
ABADA-CAPOEIRA DC & BATALÁ WASHINGTON
Local capoeira leaders join forces with the all-women samba/reggae percussion band for a program of dynamic martial art and dance movements and syncopated rhythms celebrating the culture of Brazil. Saturday, Oct. 20, at 6 p.m. Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. Free. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
COMPANHIA DE DANÇA DEBORAH COLKER: DOG WITHOUT FEATHERS
Founded 24 years ago by athlete Deborah Colker, the physically daring, visually striking Brazilian company returns to the Kennedy Center with Dog Without Feathers (Cão Sem Plumas), an evocative work inspired by a poem by João Cabral de Melo Neto. The director and choreographer Colker’s first work entirely inspired by her Brazilian heritage gets staged as part of The Human Journey year-long multidisciplinary collaborative series from the Kennedy Center, National Geographic Society, and National Gallery of Art. Thursday, Oct. 18, through Saturday, Oct. 20, at 8 p.m. Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $49 to $89. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
OMINOUS BY DEREK BROWN
Derek Brown’s high-energy, hip-hop X-Faction Dance troupe was a staple at Velvet Nation and Town Danceboutique. More recently Brown has been making his mark as artistic director at Penn Quarter’s Sax Lounge and as an instructor at the Joy of Motion Dance Center. That organization presents a more formal showcase of Brown’s work in a one-night-only, immersive performance of Ominous, billed as “a spectacular dansical of terror, ideal for the Hallo-weekend.” Saturday, Oct. 27, at 8 p.m. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $35. Call 202-399-7993 or visit atlasarts.org.
MANASSAS BALLET THEATRE: DRACULA
Just in time for Halloween, the resident company of the Hylton Performing Arts Center opens its season with a theatrical and seductive ballet adaptation of the ultimate vampire story, Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Merchant Hall becomes Transylvania after dark, where just one taste of blood guarantees eternal youth in a tale performed with live accompaniment by the Kim Reynolds Band. Friday, Oct. 19, and Saturday, Oct. 20, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 20, at 3 p.m. 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas, Va. Tickets are $25 to $65. Call 703-993-7759 or visit hyltoncenter.org.
SAN FRANCISCO BALLET: UNBOUND FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS
The renowned San Francisco Ballet presents the East Coast premieres of works by some of today’s most in-demand choreographers, all originally performed at the company’s groundbreaking festival Unbound, which debuted this past spring. Presented in two distinct programs, the week-long run at the Kennedy Center, accompanied by the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, begins on Tuesday, Oct. 23, with Program A consisting of Trey McIntyre’s Your Flesh Shall Be A Great Poem, an homage to the choreographer’s grandfather as set to music by singer-songwriter Chris Garneau; Christopher Wheeldon’s Bound To, a reflection of technology in contemporary society set to music by Keaton Henson; and David Dawson’s Anima Animus, which draws on German philosopher Carl Jung for an exploration into the spaces in between polarized opposites. Program B, which begins performances on Thursday, Oct. 25, includes The Infinite Ocean, Edwaard Liang’s exploration of the space between life and death set to music by Oliver Davis, Snowblind, Cathy Marston’s narrative piece based on Edith Wharton’s 1911 novella Ethan Frome, and Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, Justin Peck’s reverie on dreaming set to songs by instrumental electronic band M83. Performed in repertory to Oct. 28. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $29 to $129. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
FOUND FOOTAGE FESTIVAL: AFTER DARK
Comedy writers Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher, whose credits include The Colbert Report and The Onion, return with another collection of found videos drawn from garage sales, thrift stores, warehouses, and dumpsters — including curiously produced industrial training videos and cheesy exercise videos. The theme is “a celebration of sexy and disturbing found VHS gems.” Friday, Oct. 19, at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m. Arlington Cinema N’ Drafthouse, 2903 Columbia Pike, Arlington. Tickets are $14. Call 703-486-2345 or visit arlingtondrafthouse.com.
THE BENTZEN BALL COMEDY FESTIVAL
Tig Notaro curates the 10th annual four-day affair from Brightest Young Things, kicking off Thursday, Oct. 25, with Phoebe Robinson, one of the 2 Dope Queens from HBO and author of Everything Is Trash, But It’s Okay, who will be on stage at Bentzen HQ the Lincoln Theatre with Notaro as “special guest.” Other highlights this year include Off Book: The Improvised Musical podcast featuring Jessica Mckenna and Zach Reino accompanied by Scott Passarella, on Friday, Oct. 26, at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage; Get Curious with Queer Eye for the Straight Guy‘s Jonathan Van Ness, who is so popular, he long-ago sold out all three shows on Saturday, Oct. 27, at the Lincoln; a show featuring Hollywood lesbian comedy couple Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher “& Friends” also on Saturday, Oct. 27, at the Lincoln; and Marcia Belsky and Melissa Stokoski’s Handmaid’s Tale: The Musical, a parody of the Margaret Atwood novel and Hulu series, set in the dystopian near-future of 2028 Brooklyn, on Saturday, Oct. 27, at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Festival runs to Oct. 28. Visit brightestyoungthings.com/bentzen-ball.
ERNESTO CASTEÑADA: A PLACE TO CALL HOME
An American University sociology professor offers a comparative portrait of immigrant expectations and experiences in New York City, Paris, and Barcelona. Castañeda draws on 14 years of ethnographic observation and hundreds of interviews with documented and undocumented immigrants and their children in his book, which will be discussed at Adams Morgan’s “radical bookstore,” in operation since 1960. Friday, Oct. 19, at 6:30 p.m. The Potter’s House, 1658 Columbia Road NW. Call 202-232-5483 or visit pottershousedc.org.
EVE ENSLER & ANNE LAMOTT
The Vagina Monologues author and performer is joined at Strathmore by the essayist and author of Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy for a wide-ranging conversation on the provocative issues that they’ve each made their stock in trade. Ensler and Lamott enlighten and inspire people around the world through their brave stories and fearless activism, tackling tough topics from sex to religion to abuse. Former NPR correspondent and host Jacki Lyden will moderate. Sunday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $38 to $88. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.
KIERAN MCCARTHY: FABERGÉ IN LONDON
A London-based Fabergé expert and adviser to collectors and institutions crosses the pond to offer the fourth and final lecture in an October in conjunction with the current exhibition Fabergé Rediscovered. McCarthy will focus his talk on the glittering history of the only branch located outside of Russia by the imperial Russian goldsmith, which was in operation from 1903 to 1917. Tuesday, Oct. 23, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. 4155 Linnean Ave. NW. Tickets are $20. Call 202-686-5807 or visit HillwoodMuseum.org.
PETE SOUZA – SHADE: A TALE OF TWO PRESIDENTS
A follow-up to Obama: An Intimate History, Shade includes hundreds more groundbreaking snapshots with incisive captions contrasting the 44th President to the 45th, all from the official Obama White House photographer. The new book is intended to serve as a reminder of shared American values. Politics and Prose co-presents this book discussion. Wednesday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m. GW Lisner, The George Washington University, 730 21st St. NW. Tickets are $27.50 to $40. Call 202-994-6851 or visit lisner.gwu.edu.
THE STOOP STORYTELLING SERIES: GETTING IT WRONG
Personal stories about “mix-ups, mistakes, and misunderstandings” — as well as misjudging, misconstruing, and misinterpreting — are the focus at the next program from the Baltimore storytelling organization. In addition to local storytellers, the monthly Stoop event is preceded by an hour-long reception with cocktails and live music by J Pope and The HearNow. Thursday, Oct. 25, starting at 7 p.m. The Senator Theatre, 5904 York Rd., Baltimore. Tickets are $15 to $23. Call 410-323-4424 or visit stoopstorytelling.com.
AKINOLA DAVIES JR.: HOD
A provocative Nigerian moving-image artist — also known as Crack Stevens, under which name he directed the recent music video “Charcoal Baby” by Blood Orange — Davies premieres a body of work specifically produced for this show, billed as his first American solo exhibition. HOD creates a narrative of reclamation through displaced African artifacts in Western Europe and the impact their energies have both on the spaces from where they were removed as well as the places they now inhabit. The exhibition at Dupont Underground is presented by Sketchedspace, a global art company based in Seoul that collaborates with boundary-breaking artists. Through Oct. 20. Dupont Underground, 1500 19th St. NW. Visit dupontunderground.org.
BLACK OUT: SILHOUETTES THEN AND NOW
The National Portrait Gallery presents the first major museum exhibition to explore silhouettes. Curated by Asma Naeem, Black Out reveals the complexities of this relatively unstudied artform’s rich historical roots and the contemporary relevance of silhouettes today. Ranging in scale from three inches to nearly 40 feet, the exhibit features mixed-media installations in a presentation of approximately 50 unique objects, dating from 1796 to the present, in particular with the inclusion of large works by four contemporary women artists: Kara Walker, with her panoramic wall murals, Camille Utterback via an interactive digital installation that reacts to visitors’ movements and shadows, Kristi Malakoff’s life-size cutouts of children dancing around a Maypole, and Kumi Yamashita’s intricate, shadowy installations. Also notable is a section illuminating silhouettes previously “blacked out” in historical narratives — those featuring same-sex couples, cooks, activist women, enslaved individuals, and the disabled. On display to March 24. National Portrait Gallery, 8th and F Streets. NW. Call 202-633-8300 or visit npg.si.edu.
BRIAN HITSELBERGER: OTHER WAYS OF TELLING
An incident of hate speech in this multidisciplinary artist’s own home as well as other anti-gay activities in his base of Athens, Ga. spurred creation of this series of paintings, drawings, and installations. “Counterspell,” the largest installation in the collection, combines small works by seven other LGBTQ-identified artists along with elements of Hitselberger’s creation to form a wall that acts as a spiritual protection against hate speech and homophobia. Montgomery College’s Department of Visual and Performing Arts presents the series as the first in a Soapbox Series at the Open Gallery on its Takoma Park/Silver Spring campus. To Nov. 9, with a reception on Oct. 25, and an Artist Talk on Nov. 12. Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Arts Center, 930 King St., Silver Spring. Free. Call 301-362-6525 or visit cms.montgomerycollege.edu.
ENVISIONING THE FUTURE
The last weekend in October, the Halcyon Arts Lab plays host to a festival showcasing the futuristic visions of seven virtual reality artists from North America and Germany in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut, the Canadian Embassy, the Mexican Cultural Institute, and ArTecHouse. Tina Sauerländer and Erandy Vergara curated the exhibition, which features work by artists including A/A (Germany), Banz & Bowinkel (Germany), Scott Benesiinaabandan (Canada), Julián Bonequi (Mexico), Paloma Dawkins (Canada), Claudia Hart (USA), Jakob Kudsk Steensen (Denmark/USA). In addition, several Halcyon Incubator fellows will demonstrate their virtual reality or augmented reality projects. Opens Wednesday, Oct. 24, with guided tours by curators and artists starting at 5 p.m. Afternoon hours or by private appointment to Oct. 28. 1801 35th St. NW. Free but registration required. Call 202-796-4240 or visit halcyonhouse.org.
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 HillwoodMuseum.org.
HARD AND SOFT
The Pyramid Atlantic Art Center presents a show featuring works by Thea Gregorius, Allen Linder, Michael Enn Sirvet, and Tim Tate that, taken together, question notions of hard — resolute, unwavering, masculine — and soft — ornamental, safe, feminine — while also exploring the relationships between sculpture and paper. Texture is central to the exhibition, often by way of contrast — soft, rounded spheres accompanying works that have been punched and pricked by the New York-based artist Gregorius, for instance, and delicate flowers that are actually hard-cast poly-vitro by Tim Tate, co-founder of the Washington Glass School and Studio. The largest of Tate’s three sculptures of flowers includes a glass lens with a blinking eye, an LGBTQ-themed “depiction of how we had to hide just a decade or two ago, but now we hide from no one.” Opens Friday. Oct. 19, with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. On display to Nov. 23. 4318 Gallatin St., Hyattsville, Md. Call 301-608-9101 or visit pyramidatlanticartcenter.org.
JOHN WATERS: INDECENT EXPOSURE
Talk about a shock: A preeminent high-art institution offering a retrospective on a famously, purposely lowbrow artist would be unusual and unexpected anywhere, regarding anyone. But that it’s the Baltimore Museum of Art honoring native son and “King of Trash” John Waters is somewhat unprecedented. Indecent Exposure showcases the famous queer filmmaker’s visual arts career through a display of 160 provocative photographs, sculptures, and video and sound works. The works range from send-ups of famous films and faces, to objects from Waters’ home and studio, to three peep-shows with footage from his rarely seen underground movies of the 1960s. All told, the exhibition offers a glimpse into the filmmaker’s childhood, identity, and personality, as well as touching on his influence and views on popular culture and the contemporary art world, with a nod to the transgressive power of images. Now to Jan. 6. 10 Art Museum Dr. Baltimore. Tickets are $10 to $15. Call 443-573-1700 or visit artbma.org.
MICRO-MONUMENTS II: UNDERGROUND
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. Through Oct. 28. 9 Hillyer Court NW. Call 202-338-0325 or visit athillyer.org.
The Phillips Collection offers a major survey spanning nearly 200 years and featuring works by 53 artists from Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, as well as the self-governing islands of Åland, Faroe, and Greenland. Without specifying what exactly constitutes a distinctively Nordic artistic approach aside from place of origin/geography, the art in the exhibition retains a certain mystique and focus on themes that hold a special place in Nordic culture: light and darkness, inner life and exterior space, the ties between nature and folklore, and women’s rights and social liberalism. Artists represented range from Golden Age/Romantic era painters Akseli Gallen-Kallela and Helene Schjerfbeck to today’s Eija-Liisa Ahtila and Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir. Now to Jan. 13. 1600 21st St. NW. Tickets are $10 to $12. Call 202-387-2151 x247 or visit phillipscollection.org.
ROOPKOTHA PHOTO EXHIBIT
Vibrant images captured by various photographers, along with historical artifacts and personal memorabilia, tell the story of Xulhaz Mannan and Mahbbub Rabbi Tonoy, two Bangladeshi LGBTQ activists and artists who were savagely murdered in their home two years ago. The Center Arts Gallery in the DC Center for the LGBT Community has set up this powerful installation as part of an ongoing campaign to protest the inaction of the Bangladeshi government to investigate the murders. 2000 14th St. NW. Call 202-682-2245 or visit thedccenter.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. To Jan. 6. SAAM, 8th and F Streets NW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit americanart.si.edu.
WOMEN BY WOMEN
Karen Cohen was prompted to curate a showcase of local women artists after viewing the recent exhibition “Womyn’s House” at the National Museum of Women in the Arts — specifically, the fact that the photo artist had difficulty identifying “five great women artists.” So Cohen took it upon herself to give women artists more exposure by inviting some of her favorites to participate in this mixed-media art exhibition, including Kris Swanson, Ellen Cornett, Sally Brucker, Deborah Conn, Kara Hammond, Linda Buttons, and Julie Dzikiewicz. On display Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. or by appointment. Extended to Nov. 30. Corner Store Arts, 900 South Carolina Ave. SE. Call 202-544-5807 or visit cornerstorearts.org.
CHINA CHILCANO: PASSPORT TO PERU WEEKLY MENUS
Carlos Delgado, head chef at the Peruvian-focused Latin-Asian fusion restaurant in José Andrés’ small-plates empire, is overseeing a promotion celebrating the regions of Peru with a variety of weekly special menus. This week’s spotlight is on the Amazon, such as textures of the Amazon tapas with Macambo ice cream, banana, and coconut ($9), and a Maracuya Rocoto Sour featuring passion fruit purée ($12). Starting Monday, Oct. 22, the focus is on Peruvian favorites from the capital of Lima, including Cau Cau de Mariscos, with crab, mussels, scallops, aji amarillo, turmeric, mint, and potatoes ($17), and a Bullet Train to Tokyo cocktail featuring sake, cucumber pisco, rocoto pisco, and lemon ($13). To Oct. 28. 418 7th St. NW. Call 202-783-0941 or visit chinachilcano.com.
HANK’S DUPONT: BUBBLES & BIVALVES
HANK’S OLD TOWN: OYSTERFEST XI
Bivalves are naturally the star attraction everyday at the four Oyster Bars part of the JL Restaurant Group, Jamie Leeds’ growing local empire. Yet two events this week make oysters, and seafood in general, even more of a draw than usual. At the original location in Dupont Circle, there’s a midweek, multi-course seafood-centric dinner to be prepared by the venue’s chef Jamie Knight and paired with a variety of sparkling wines. Wednesday, Oct. 23, from 6 to 9 p.m. 1624 Q St. NW. Tickets are $95 per person. Call 202-462-4265 or visit hanksoysterbar.com.
This Saturday, Oct. 20, is the Alexandria location’s 11th annual fall bivalve celebration offering four hours of all-you-can-drink premium craft beer, wine, and punch to wash down fresh, fried, and BBQ’d oysters, popcorn calamari, onion rings, and Old Bay fries.Just as with the popular spring iteration in Dupont, the line for the Old Town OysterFest begins forming hours before the 11 a.m. start time. 1026 King St. Tickets are $95 all inclusive. Call 703-739-4265 or visit hanksoysterbar.com.
OYAMEL: DIA DE LOS MUERTOS KICK-OFF PARTY
Every year, José Andrés’s temple to Mexican cuisine concocts special menus and events to celebrate the country’s holiday Day of the Dead. Aside from the sugar skulls and human skeletons paraded out to represent the dead, the holiday, at its heart, is meant to toast the dead with their favorite foods and drinks. This year’s patron saint at Oyamel, named for the Mexican fir trees that provide shelter to monarch butterflies in the winter, is Roberto Gómez Bolaños, better known as “Chespirito,” widely regarded as the most important Spanish-language humorist of all time. The restaurant, under Head Chef Omar Rodriguez, will showcase Bolaños in a kick-off party featuring bites and cocktails “to die for,” plus live music, a photobooth, face painting and more. Monday, Oct. 20, from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $49. 401 7th St. NW. Call 202-628-1005 or visit oyamel.com.
OYSTER & BEER FESTIVAL
If you can’t make it to Alexandria in time for Hank’s OysterFest, this second annual affair in the Navy Yard is a suitable (and cheaper) alternative. Presented by the Trigger Agency, the prolific Baltimore-based event production company, this "Drink.Eat.Relax”; festival functions in an All-You-Care-To-Taste fashion with everything from the food — oysters, mussels, and clams, and non-seafood options — to the drinks, with more than 30 types of beer, wine, and spirits on tap. There will also be food trucks on hand, a main stage with live music and games, and “one very angry mermaid.” Saturday, Oct. 20, starting at noon, with the last food shucking/serving at 3:30 p.m. and last call at 3:45 p.m. Yards Lot H/I down N Place SE from Nationals Park. Tasting Admission is $59 and includes a souvenir glass. Call 800-830-3976 or visit beerandoyster.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. 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.
CTRL PRESENTS BLACKOUT: A BRITNEY ALBUM CELEBRATION
The queer DJ collaborative that came into being as a popular monthly party, including a four-year run at Town, CTRL is ensuring Britney Spears fans aren’t left in the dark with the forced shuttering of its home. DJs Jeff Prior, Adam Koussari, and Dvonne aka Devon Trotter have found a new venue for its fourth annual dance party paying tribute to Britney’s album Blackout, released Oct. 25, 2007, and featuring the hits “Gimme More,” “Piece of Me,” “Break The Ice,” and “Toy Soldier.” All in all, we’re talking 14 tracks, which is not enough, even allowing for remixes, for a multi-hour dance party. Which is why there will also be a heavy dose of other favorite pop artists “with an electropop, nu-disco, house kick.” Saturday, Oct. 20, starting at 10 p.m. U Street Music Hall, 1115A U St. NW. Tickets are $10. Call 202-588-1880 or visit ustreetmusichall.com.
GAY/BASH: HALLOWEEN BASH
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 October edition is exactly what you’d expect, with spooky performances by Jane Saw, Jaxknife Complex, Ana Latour, Iyana Deschanel and, last but not least, Donna Slash, Vogelsong’s other-persona. Jams from the Barber Streisand. Saturday, Oct. 20. Doors at 10 p.m., with shows at 11:30 p.m. and 1 a.m. Trade, 1410 14th St. NW. Call 202-986-1094 or visit facebook.com/gaybashdc.
October is dress-up-as-a superhero month, and La Fantasy Productions is aiding the cause as it gears up for a Halloween costume party at L8 Lounge featuring tribal/club beats from gay circuit star DJ Ivan Gomez from Barcelona and D.C.’s own Chord Bezerra. Friday, Oct. 19, starting at 10 p.m. 727 15th St. NW. Tickets are $25 to $30. Call 202-506-7006 or visit lafantasyproductions.com.
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, Oct. 20. Doors at 10 p.m. DC9, 1940 9th St. NW. Cover is $5, or $8 after midnight. Call 202-483-5000 or visit dcnine.com.
Bottoms Up Productions, in association with Flashy Sundays, presents a new all-night affair, with music by Hex Hector, the pioneering dance remixer/producer to the star divas, and Mexico’s gay star DJ Isaac Escalante, as well as Sean Morris and Kurt “TWiN” Graves, the DJs from Flash’s regular gay party. Although undisclosed, expect the venue to be bigger and better able to accommodate the Flashy crowd. Saturday, Oct. 20, starting at 10 p.m. Location to be announced. Tickets are $15 to $30. Visit justiceforalldc.com.
THE CHERRY HORROR HALLOWEEN 2018
The Cherry Fund presents a party at Cobalt featuring a $1,000 costume contest and beats from Brazilian DJ Paulo Pacheco along with Cherry’s own Sean Morris. Beyond the good spirits of Halloween, the party is primed for Mental Health Awareness Month, with proceeds benefiting the Barry D Smythers Fund for Mental Health Awareness. Saturday, Oct. 27, starting at 10 p.m. Cobalt, 1639 R St. NW. Tickets are $15. Call 202-232-4416 or visit cherrydc.com.
ZIEGFELD’S/SECRETS: COUNTRY WALTZ WITH THE DC RAWHIDES
The DC Rawhides have found a new home for their boot-scootin’ brand of social dancing since the closure of Town Danceboutique. Every other Saturday, Southwest’s large, two-story LGBTQ entertainment complex swings open its doors for a different kind of dancer than its late-night stock in trade upstairs. Starting at 7 p.m. on the Ziegfeld’s level, any and all are welcome for an hour-long session of lessons in two-step, west coast swing, and line dancing — including the intermediate style known as “Soaking Wet.” All that plus a “Dance Academy” element this Saturday, Oct. 20, with instructor Vinaya giving “Two Step Tricks 1.” (Part II will be offered Nov. 3 with free admission to Part I attendees.) The evening continues with open dancing to Rawhide DJ Mein until 10:50 p.m. — roughly an hour before Ella Fitzgerald and her Ladies of Illusion take to their regular perch accompanied by DJ Don T. By then, there will also be fully exposed dancers and music by DJ tim-e upstairs if that’s more to your liking. 1824 Half St. SW. Cover is $5 until 9 p.m.; $10 after. Call 202-863-0670 or visit facebook.com/DCRawhides.
AFI’S HALLOWEEN ON SCREEN: FRANKENSTEIN, HALLOWEEN, NOSFERATU
The AFI Silver Theatre offers its annual week-long “Halloween on Screen” series, with highlights including Frankenstein (1931), free screenings with live musical accompaniment by the U.S. Navy Band, Friday, Oct. 26, at 8:30 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 27, at 2 p.m.; John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978), which ushered in a golden age of American slasher cinema and screens in a 40th anniversary presentation that includes Count Gore De Vol, Saturday, Oct. 27, at 7:30 p.m. and Wednesday, Oct. 31, 6:30 p.m.; and Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (1922), German silent film master F. W. Murnau’s appropriation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula that set the standard for all vampire flicks to come, presented with live accompaniment by the Silent Orchestra, Saturday, Oct. 27, at 5:30 and 10:30 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 28, at 6:30 p.m. 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $13 general admission, or $10 for matinee screenings. Call 301-495-6720 or visit afi.com/Silver.
BACK TO THE 90’S: THE ULTIMATE 90’S HALLOWEEN
Jammin Java offers a Halloween costume party and contest all soundtracked with music from the 1990s as played by a DJ plus live performances by four cover bands tributing 311 (Evolution), Incubus (Enjoy Incubus), Red Hot Chili Peppers (The Good Time Boys), and Cake (Cupcake). Also featuring decade-centric trivia and raffle prizes. Friday, Oct. 26. Doors at 7 p.m. 227 Maple Ave. E., Vienna. Tickets are $15. Call 703-255-3747 or visit jamminjava.com.
HALLOWEEN AT THE ZOO
The National Zoo welcomes two Halloween-themed events over the next week, including the 20th annual Boo at the Zoo, a trick-or-treat outing in the park featuring decorated trails, after-hours access to select animal houses and exhibits, animal demonstrations, keeper chats, pumpkin-carving demonstrations, “scary-oke” for kids, and 40 treat stations — including craft beer and coffee sweets for the adults. It runs Friday, Oct. 19, through Sunday, Oct. 21, nightly from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. A week later, Friends of the National Zoo offers a second Halloween to-do, the adults-only Night of the Living Zoo featuring performance artists, particularly those working in the odd and eerie realms, a costume contest, a DJ dance party, and craft beer and food truck fare. The VIP Experience also includes express check-in, one additional drink ticket, exclusive takeaway gift, exclusive animal experiences and viewings, private bar, lounge, and dance floor, and complimentary food tastings from local restaurants including Bier Baron Tavern, Blackfinn Ameripub, Dolci Gelati, El Centro, and Radiator. Friday, Oct. 26, from 7 to 10 p.m. National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. General admission is $30 for Boo at the Zoo, $40 for Night of the Living Zoo, or $90 for VIP. Call 202-633-4800 or visit nationalzoo.si.edu.
EIGHTIES MAYHEM: 80’S HALLOWEEN DANCE PARTY
FYM Productions presents a full club event with two floors and three rooms of Halloween madness at the Black Cat, where costumes are encouraged. The themes are Redrum in the Red Room, Bowser’s Halloween Castle and Mario Bros. Madness in the Backstage, where DJ Killa K will be playing the darker side of the ’80s, and a Beetlejuice theme and full mayhem upstairs with DJs Steve EP and Missguided. Saturday, Oct. 27, starting at 9 p.m. 1811 14th St. NW. Tickets are $15 in advance, or $18 day-of show. Call 202-667-4490 or visit blackcatdc.com.
Historians and storytellers Terry Gish and Wayne Kehoe share true stories of horror from around Old Dominion — and the oldest state in the union is also said to have the most ghost stories. These haunted tales will be shared, suitably enough, in an Alexandria cemetery. “Not recommended for children under 12.” Saturday, Oct. 20, at 6:30 and 8 p.m. Ivy Hill Cemetery,2823 King St., Alexandria. Suggested donation of $20, benefiting the Ivy Hill Cemetery Historical Preservation Society. Call 703-549-7413 or visit ivyhillcemetery.net.
IMPROBABLE COMEDY: SPOOKY STAND-UP
Prizes will be awarded for the best costumes at this Halloween party where the chief focus is on performances by area comics, including Rose Vineshank, Haywood Turnipseed Jr., Monica Welham, and Anthony Oakes. Saturday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m. Cissel-Saxon American Legion Post 41, 8110 Fenton St., Silver Spring. Tickets are $16 in advance, or $20 at the door; $20 advance purchase VIP includes reserved seating and a Candy Corn Cocktail. Call 301-588-8937 or visit improbablecomedy.com.
Creative Cauldron celebrates its 10th season of producing theater by restaging Matt Conner’s haunted musical telling of Edgar Allan Poe’s poetry and short stories, seven years after the Virginia company first produced it. Featuring a book by Grace Barnes, Nevermore breathes new life into Poe’s work and explores a twisted true-life tale that is as bizarre as his classic stories of the macabre. Now to Oct. 28. ArtSpace Falls Church, 410 South Maple Ave. in Falls Church. Tickets are $20 to $32. Call 703-436-9948 or visit creativecauldron.org.
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD
Fathom Events presents the newly restored and remastered 50th anniversary edition of this groundbreaking film from George A. Romero, “the Father of the Zombie Film.” The screenings come with a new behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film, which ushered in a completely new approach to creating horror films. Tuesday, Oct. 24, and Wednesday, Oct. 25, at 7 and 10 p.m. Area theaters including Regal Gallery Place (701 7th St. NW), Potomac Yards Stadium (3575 Jefferson Davis Highway), and Rockville Center (199 E. Montgomery Ave., Rockville). Visit fathomevents.com.
PARADISE BY THE JACK O’LANTERN LIGHT
Paradise Found is a new monthly event from Honi Harlow and Lucrezia Blozia, who aren’t playing when they call this a variety show — with everything from drag and burlesque to musical comedy and sideshow, to “sexy women on poles, sexy men on poles and even some fisticuffs.” Eva Brontosaurus — the “dirty ditties”-singing drag trio of Shortstaxx with Harlow and Blozia — will help all “get down, spooky ooky ooky” at the Halloween edition, which also features performances from Val Oliphant, Fernando Maldonado, Sally Cinch — and “fisticuffs by Christian Sullivan & Co.” Friday, Oct. 26. Doors at 10:30 p.m., with show starting promptly at 11 p.m. Jordin’s Paradise Wellness Center, 1215 Connecticut Ave. NW. 4th Floor. Tickets are $10 at the door for this BYOB party. Call 202-997-8211 or search “Paradise Found” in facebook.com.
POE IN THE VAULT
Every year actors from Guillotine Theatre, formerly known as the Georgetown Theatre Company, gather to “communicate with the spirits and read a witches’ brew of poems and short stories,” all by “America’s 19th Century Master of Horror.” This year’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination selections, presented in a cemetery vault in Alexandria, are centered around a theme highlighting Edgar Allan Poe’s incredible bad luck with women, including Ligeia, Berenice, Eleonora, Annabel Lee, and The Raven. Saturday, Oct. 27, and Sunday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m. The Receiving Vault, Ivy Hill Cemetery, 2823 King St. Alexandria. Requested donation of $10. Call 703-549-7413 x1112 or visit georgetowntheatre.org.
SMITHSONIAN HALLOWEEN FILM FESTIVAL
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History plays host to screenings of an eclectic mix of Halloween classics and cult favorites the last weekend of October. The festival kicks off Thursday, Oct. 25, with Bette Midler in Hocus Pocus at 6:30 p.m., followed by Practical Magic at 8:15 p.m. The next evening, Friday, Oct. 26, brings 28 Days Later at 6 p.m. and Shaun of the Dead at 8:05 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, sees The Mummy (1932) at 2 p.m., Frankenstein (1931) at 3:30 p.m., and Dracula (1931) at 5:45 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28, brings out the frighteningly funny flicks, with Young Frankenstein (1974) at 2 p.m., Beetlejuice at 4 p.m., and The Addams Family at 5:45 p.m. All screenings in the Warner Bros. Theater, 1300 Constitution Ave. NW. Tickets are $10 each or $50 for a festival pass. Call 202-633-1000 or visit si.edu.
STUFF THEY DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW
Ben Bowlin and Matt Frederick, executive producers with HowStuffWorks, created this web series a decade ago to apply critical thinking to the world’s most prevalent conspiracy theories. In 2012, they joined forces with fellow “conspiracy realist” Noel Brown to create a podcast that currently averages two million downloads a month. The trio comes to the area in time for Halloween for a discussion of everything from UFOs to psychic powers, ghosts to government cover-ups — the wildest, most paranoid of notions and the disturbing grains of truth hidden within. Thursday, Oct. 25, at 7:30 p.m. Arlington Cinema N’ Drafthouse, 2903 Columbia Pike, Arlington. Tickets are $20. Call 703-486-2345 or visit arlingtondrafthouse.com.
TEN TIGERS: TALES OF HORROR AND DREAD, THE COVEN’S OTHERWORLD
Next Friday, Oct. 26, the hip Petworth venue hosts two free LGBTQ-driven, Halloween-themed events. First downstairs from 7 to 9 p.m. will be creepy readings from local queer authors Marianne Kirby, Sunny Moraine, Na’amen Tilahun, and Dave Ring — and for added measure, tarot readings and even a “zombie photo booth.” That’ll be followed upstairs starting at 10 p.m. with a special Halloween edition of Kate Ross’ usually second-Saturdays “witchy dance party.” DJ Tezrah will showcase her musical magic for dancing patrons who are encouraged to “wear your best costume to disguise yourself from the dark spirits.” However, “only good (well, mostly good) spirits welcome.” Ten Tigers Parlour, 3813 Georgia Ave. NW. Call 202-506-2080 or visit tentigersdc.com.
THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER, WITH LIVE MUSIC
Andrew Earle Simpson, the curator and resident musician for the Silent Film Series at the the Atlas Performing Arts Center, performs original music as director Jean Epstein’s 1928 film screens overhead. Originally released in France as La chute de la Maison d’Usher, Epstein worked with future pioneering director Luis Buñuel to co-write a creepy cinematic adaptation about the eccentric aristocrat Roderick Usher who obsesses over Madeline to the point of having her buried alive in the family crypt. Presented by permission of the Cinematheque Francaise. Sunday, Oct. 28, at 4 p.m. Sprenger Theatre, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $14 to $20. Call 202-399-7993 or visit atlasarts.org.
THE LEGWARMERS: HALLOWEEN BASH
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 many guilty pleasure hits of the decade. The group has performed at concert halls throughout the region and beyond, Yet its primary base has been Virginia’s State Theatre. The band returns to the restored Art Deco building for two nights during the last weekend in October, when the usual audience participation of dressing the part — think shellacked big hair, lacy ankle socks, stirrup and parachute pants — will be amped up to 11, as both nights feature a Halloween Costume Contest with cash prizes, along with other spooky surprises. Friday, Oct. 26, and Saturday, Oct. 27. Doors at 7 p.m. The State Theatre, 220 N. Washington St., Falls Church. Tickets are $18. Call 703-237-0300 or visit thestatetheatre.com.
THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW
Every October, Landmark’s E Street Cinema presents not just one but two weekends with screenings of 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 as interactive as can be — particularly the last weekend of the month with a special Halloween run. Friday, Oct. 26, and Saturday, Oct. 27, at midnight, and Sunday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m. Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672 or visit landmarktheatres.com.
WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS
Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi’s comedy, subtitled A Vampire Mockumentary for Halloween, focuses on an endearingly unhip quartet of vampires squabbling over household chores, trying to stay trendy, antagonizing the local werewolves, and dealing with the pressures of living on a strict diet. The 2015 film is screened a week before Halloween as a “special event” presentation from Keepin It Weird Wednesdays. Wednesday, Oct. 24, at 7:30 p.m. Arlington Cinema N’ Drafthouse, 2903 Columbia Pike, Arlington. Tickets are $10. Call 703-486-2345 or visit arlingtondrafthouse.com.
ARTS ‘N BEATS: HOMECOMING SZN EDITION
Launched last year at Smith Public Trust as the creation of DJ King Iven and Yvonne Lawson, this showcase of musicians with a live art installation has found a new home at the Wharf’s Union Stage. Curated by Indabooth Entertainment, the fall homecoming edition features artists and DJs repping some of the East Coast’s top schools, including: DJ Camo of Hampton University, DJ C Stylez of Morgan State University, and DJs Swerve and Chubb E Swagg of Howard University. Plus “a surprise headline performance.” Sunday, Oct. 21, from 3 to 8 p.m. Union Stage, 740 Water St. SW. Tickets are $10. Call 877-987-6487 or visit indabooth.com.
DC DESIGN WEEK
Every year, the local chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, organizes an event showcasing D.C.’s creative community. The 2018 edition kicks off with a Local Makers Panel of artists showcasing their work and discussing how the DMV has impacted their work and how they’ve worked to impact their community on Saturday, Oct. 20, from 1 to 4 p.m., at Pyramid Atlantic, 4318 Gallatin St., Hyattsville. Another key highlight is the Pop-Up Shop Block Party, at which goods made by local makers and designers will be for sale — in addition to beer and ice cream from Milk Cult — on Wednesday, Oct. 24, from 6 to 10 p.m., at Cherry Blossom Creative, 2128 8th St. NW. Throughout the week, various companies and design firms will host Creative Lunch sessions, including Booz Allen Hamilton, OpenBox9, RedPeg Marketing, NASA, Image Factory DC, the Pew Research Center, and PBS. Additional event highlights include the Experienced Leaders Panel at Solid State Books, 600 H St. NE, on Sunday, Oct. 21; DC Mural Run, a 3.5-mile, early morning jaunt through the city’s mural-filled streets starting in Shaw’s Blagden Alley, and “Designing Conversations,” about voice-enabled technology with representatives from area companies including the Washington Post, NPR, and Capital One, at architecture firm Gensler, 20, both on Wednesday, Oct. 24; and a Drink & Draw session celebrating designers and their sketchbooks, where all skill levels can also engage in pencil drawings, at Right Proper Brookland Production House, 920 Girard St. NE, on Friday, Oct. 26. DC Design Week runs to Sunday, Oct. 28. Visit dcdesignweek.org.
FORD’S THEATRE’S HISTORY ON FOOT
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 every Saturday in October at 10:15 a.m. 511 10th St. NW. Tickets are $18. Call 202-397-7328 or visit fords.org.
MARYLAND RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL
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. 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 rennfest.com.
TASTE OF DC, ROCK THE CORE
This year, Events DC has moved what is billed as “the largest culinary festival in the Mid Atlantic” to Audi Field. And the city’s sparkling new soccer stadium in Buzzard Point is also the new home of Drink The District’s annual Rock the Core cider fest, which this year coincides with the second day of Taste of DC, Saturday, Oct. 27. Opening the evening of Friday, Oct. 26, Taste of DC features more than 50 restaurants and food trucks serving food, with a number of chefs expected to lead demonstrations at the Culinary Stage — although a list of the actual restaurants and chefs participating has not yet been announced. Also on tap is the area’s largest Beer Garden, an Artisan Market featuring local craftsmakers and businesses, plus live entertainment on multiple stages — with performances from Cantani Singing Ensemble, the Experience Band, 1 Identity, DC Rawhides, DJ Julien Rivera, the Evolution Orange Band, Twisted Flags, Chute, Polar Opposites, Kromanauts, and L.I.T. Friday, Oct. 26, from 6 to 10 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 27, from 1 to 10 p.m. Audi Field, 100 Potomac Ave. SW. Tickets are $14.99 to $49.99 plus fees for Taste of DC, or $59.99 to $75 for both Taste of DC and Rock The Core on Saturday. Call 202-587-5000 or visit thetasteofdc.org or drinkthedistrict.com for more information.
YOGA & THE AMERICAN POPS
Borne out of personal frustration with the bland, incidental music he often heard while practicing yoga, Luke Frazier came up with the Music & Mindfulness series of his American Pops Orchestra, developed in collaboration with yogi Michael Peterson. This weekend ushers in the first of three yoga sessions during the 2018-2019 season in the Dupont Underground featuring music purposefully coordinated for the experience of yoga and meditation and performed live by Frazier on piano, four cellists from the Pops Chamber Ensemble, and APO’s principal percussionist Jeremy Yaddaw. Yaddaw co-wrote with Frazier the interwoven soundscape of classic Broadway melodies arranged in an eastern contemplative style that will fuel the first session. The session is open to all, from those participating in yoga for the first time to those simply enjoying the music and meditation without physical engagement. Water, tea, juice, and other snacks will be available for purchase; participants should bring their own mats and towels. Sunday, Oct. 21, at 6 p.m. Dupont Underground, 1500 19th St. NW. Tickets are $15. Visit dupontunderground.org.