Metro Weekly

Out On the Town: Arts and entertainment highlights — November 15-28

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

Widows: Viola Davis and Cynthia Erivo — Photo: Merrick Morton.

FILM

CREED II

No one expected 2015’s Creed, the seventh film in the Rocky franchise, to be good. And it wasn’t — it was great, driven by the performances of Sylvester Stallone and new star Michael B. Jordan, and the direction of Ryan Coogler. Stallone and Jordan return to help Adonis (Jordan) train to fight Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), the Russian boxer who killed his father Apollo in the ring thirty years and four films ago. Can lightning strike twice? We’ll see. Opens Wednesday, Nov. 21. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (Rhuaridh Marr)

FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was a stylish if flawed first entry in J.K. Rowling’s latest Potter-universe franchise. The sequel promises more: more of Eddie Redmayne’s annoyingly mumbly Newt Scamander, more impressive CGI magic effects, and more (possibly gay) Dumbledore, here played by Jude Law. Rowling once again writes the script, and David Yates returns to direct, as powerful dark wizard Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) escapes custody and starts a movement that would see witches and wizards rule over all non-magical beings. Obviously, he doesn’t succeed. We’ve all seen Harry Potter. Opens Friday, Nov. 16. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (RM)

RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET

Stop reading this article and go and watch the trailer for Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet. If you don’t finish it with a goofy grin on your face, seek immediate medical attention, because the sequel to 2012’s wonderful Wreck-It Ralph looks to be a bigger, bolder, and funnier film, as Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) venture out of their respective games and into the internet, via a newly installed router in their arcade. Opens Wednesday, Nov. 21. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (RM)

SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE 40TH ANNIVERSARY SCREENINGS

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been four decades since we first believed a man could fly. In 1978, Richard Donner’s film ushered in a new genre of movie, one in which superheroes convincingly leapt, in a single bound, from the comic book pages to super-epic cinema. Superman the Movie lumbers a bit (the sequel was more action-packed), but it benefits from a gorgeously stoic title performance by Christopher Reed and Gene Hackman’s scene-munching Lex Luthor. The special effects were magical, and the nightflight between Superman and Lois Lane (Margot Kidder) is pure magic, and is punctuated by a jaw-dropping scene on a balcony. The score by John Williams is nothing short of profound, and oh, those swooping opening credits. With Marlon Brando, Valerie Perrine, Glenn Ford, and Ned Beatty. Fathom will be showing the original theatrical version. Sunday, Nov. 25, at 3 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 27, at 3 and 7 p.m., and Monday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m. Area theaters including Regal Gallery Place (701 7th St. NW), Potomac Yards Stadium (3575 Jefferson Davis Highway), and Ballston Common (671 N. Glebe Rd.). Visit fathomevents.com.

THE BIG SLEEP

Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall made the big screen sizzle in this 1946 noir classic from the mighty Howard Hawks. Based on a novel by Raymond Chandler. Part of the Capital Classics series at Landmark’s West End Cinema. Wednesday, Nov. 21, 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.

WIDOWS

After four armed robbers are killed in a heist, their widows — Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, and Cynthia Erivo — step up to finish the job. Directed and co-written by 12 Years a Slave‘s Steve McQueen, Widows touches on a number of topics amongst the obvious firefights and car chases, including police brutality, domestic violence, and sexism. Plus, critics are lauding the film, driven by a powerhouse performance from Viola Davis is excellent. Opens Friday, Nov. 16. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (RM)

Fords Theatre: A Christmas Carol

STAGE

A CHRISTMAS CAROL

Craig Wallace returns for his third year as the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge in Ford’s Theatre’s cherished annual production of Dickens’ Yuletide classic. It really wouldn’t be Christmas in Washington without this music-infused adaptation, conceived by Michael Wilson and directed by Michael Baron. To Dec. 30. Ford’s Theatre, 511 10th St. NW. Tickets are $24 to $107. Call 800-982-2787 or visit fordstheatre.org.

ACTUALLY

What begins as a casual college hookup turns into a Title IX hearing in which both students have everything to lose in Anna Ziegler’s provocative new play about sexual consent and gender and race politics. Jaysen Wright (Wig Out!) and Sylvia Kates star in a Theater J production directed by Johanna Gruenhut and presented in the Arena Stage complex while the company’s home, the Edlavitch DCJCC, undergoes extensive renovations. Closes Sunday, Nov. 18. Kogod Cradle in Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Call 202-777-3210 or visit theaterj.org.

ALL SAVE ONE

The secret lives of Hollywood circa 1950 gets explored in a world premiere from area playwright Greg Jones Ellis and the Washington Stage Guild. Bill Largess stars as a famous British playwright struggling with a screenplay, Laura Giannarelli plays his distracted actress wife, and R. Scott Williams his longtime, acid-tongued “secretary.” By turns darkly funny and emotionally powerful, the comedy drama is directed by the Stage Guild’s artistic associate Carl Randolph. Previews begin Nov. 15. Opens Sunday, Nov. 19. Undercroft Theatre of Mount Vernon United Methodist Church, 900 Massachusetts Ave. NW. Call 240-582-0050 or visit stageguild.org.

AN INSPECTOR CALLS

A festive evening at the home of a well-heeled British family is suddenly punctured by a visit from a grim inspector investigating the death of a young woman that proceeds to upend their comfortable lives. Acclaimed stage and film director Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot) returns to J.B. Priestley’s chilling drama, which he first helmed in 1992 at London’s National Theatre, for a Shakespeare Theatre Company production starring Liam Brennan as Inspector Goole and Christine Kavanagh, Jeff Harmer, Lianne Harvey, and Hamish Riddle as the Birling family. Previews begin Tuesday, Nov. 20. Runs to Dec. 23. Lansburgh Theatre, 450 7th St. NW. Call 202-547-1122 or visit shakespearetheatre.org.

AIDA

★★½

Before a note has been sung in Michael J. Bobbitt’s bustling new production of Aida at Constellation Theatre, A.J. Guban’s glossy scenery has set a ripe tone for the pop-musical tour of ancient Egypt. It’s a great-looking set — a neon-lit, three-sided stage evoking a pyramid chamber built inside a ’70s Vegas casino. And it seems just the right platform for an intimate rendering of Elton John and Tim Rice’s Tony-winning show. Shayla S. Simmons — this production’s most compelling element — is acting her heart out as a woman in love and in captivity, surviving knowing she’s one look, gesture, or irresponsible word away from being found out — or worse, executed. Closes Sunday, Nov. 18. Source Theatre, 1835 14th St. NW. Tickets are $25 to $55. Call 202-204-7741, or visit ConstellationTheatre.org. (Andre Hereford)

ANASTASIA

From the Tony-winning creators of Ragtime comes a dazzling musical taking audiences on a journey from the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s. Darko Tresnjak directs the touring production of this show from the composer/lyricist team of Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens with a book by Terrence McNally. To Nov. 25. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $49 to $175. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

ANYTHING GOES

Molly Smith puts her stamp on Cole Porter’s most famous show by enlisting two right-hand-men for staging musical classics in the round — choreographer Parker Esse (Oklahoma!) and music director Paul Sportelli (Carousel). Soara-Joye Ross, last seen in D.C. via the national tour of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, makes her Arena debut as showboat sensation Reno Sweeney who sings several American Songbook standards, including “Anything Goes,” “I Get A Kick Out of You,” and “Blow, Gabriel, Blow.” Ross leads a cruise ship-sized cast also including Corbin Bleu as Billy Crocker, Lisa Helmi Johanson as Hope Harcourt, Jimmy Ray Bennett as Lord Evelyn Oakleigh, Lisa Tejero as Evangeline Harcourt, and Maria Rizzo as the vampy Erma. To Dec. 23. Fichandler Stage, 1101 6th St. SW. Call 202-488-3300 or visit arenastage.org.

AS YOU LIKE IT

A musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic magical comedy with music and lyrics by Shaina Taub. Cara Gabriel and Josh Sticklin direct a large 18-person cast including Jade Jones, Oscar Ceville, Patrick Doneghy, Kourtney Richards, Bianca Lipford, Willie Garner, and Jennifer Hopkins. Choreography by Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi. To Dec. 2. 1742 Church St. NW. Tickets are $48 to $58. Call 202-265-3767 or visit keegantheatre.com.

BILLY ELLIOT

Matthew Gardiner helms Signature Theatre’s take on the moving musical from writer/lyricist Lee Hall and composer Elton John about an 11-year-old boy who just wants to dance. The production features two Billys and two young ensembles performing in rotation, along with an adult crew featuring Nancy Anderson as Mrs. Wilkinson, Chris Genebach as Billy’s father, Crystal Mosser as his mother, Sean Watkinson as brother Tony, and Catherine Flye as Grandma. Pride Night is Dec. 14. To Jan. 6. The Ark, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit sigtheatre.org.

CAN’T PAY, WON’T PAY

Touted as “the exact kind of play we need right now,” the ’70s-era Marxist political farce by Italian playwright Dario Foa comedy takes on rising food costs, wage stagnation, de-unionization, police overreach, and political turmoil. Kristen Pilgrim directs. With Francesca Chilcote, Mary Meyers, Colin Connors, Steven Solo, and Aubri O’Connor. Produced by the women-centered Nu Sass Theatre. Closes Sunday, Nov. 18. Caos on F, 923 F St. NW. Tickets are $15 to $30, or Pay-What-You-Can on Monday, Nov. 5, and Tuesday, Nov. 13. Visit nusass.com.

CITIZEN: AN AMERICAN LYRIC

Shirley Jo Finney directs Stephen Sachs’ stage adaptation of Claudia Rankine’s acclaimed book of poetry about the everyday racism endured by African Americans. Presented by the University of Maryland School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, Citizen: An American Lyric is billed as a “searingly provocative meditation on race in America [and] fast-moving, fluid theater at the speed of thought.” Remaining performances Thursday, Nov. 15, and Friday, Nov. 16, at 7:30 p.m. Kogod Theatre in the Clarice, University Boulevard and Stadium Drive. College Park. Tickets are $10 to $25. Call 301-405-ARTS or visit theclarice.umd.edu.

CRY IT OUT

Studio Theatre presents Molly Smith Metzler’s candid comedy about the tinderbox of parenthood and class in today’s culture. Emjoy Gavino plays Jesse, a corporate lawyer, who befriends her working class neighbor Lina (Dina Thomas) while both are marooned at home on maternity leave. A wealthy couple from the neighborhood, played by Paolo Andino and Tessa Klein, intrudes on a naptime coffee date between the new mothers, pushing Cry It Out toward a dramatic climax. Directed by Joanie Schultz. To Dec. 16. Milton Theatre, 14th & P Streets NW. Call 202-332-3300 or visit studiotheatre.org.

Elf — Photo: Stan Barouh

ELF THE MUSICAL

An orphan leaves the North Pole to find his true identity in this musical based on the 2003 Will Ferrell movie and featuring songs by the team of composer Matthew Sklar and lyricist Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer) and a book by Thomas Meehan (Annie) and Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone). Olney Theatre presents a holiday treat of a production with a powerhouse cast including Patricia Hurley, Kevin McAllister, Nova Y. Payton, and Bobby Smith, plus David Schumpf in the Ferrell role of Buddy. Directed by Michael J. Bobbitt and choreographed by Tara Jeanne Vallee. To Jan. 6. Mainstage, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Call 301-924-3400 or visit olneytheatre.org.

FANCY NANCY’S SPLENDIFEROUS CHRISTMAS

Nancy has enough money to buy a brand-new sparkly tree topper, but when things don’t turn out as she planned, will Christmas still be splendiferous? Adventure Theatre MTC presents a musical geared toward younger audiences. Stevie Zimmerman directs. Opens Friday, Nov. 16. To Jan. 6. 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo Park. Call 301-634-2270 or visit adventuretheatre-mtc.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. Closes Sunday, Nov. 18. Gunston Theater Two, 2700 South Lang St. Arlington. Tickets are $40. Call 703-418-4808 or visit avantbard.org.

INDECENT

Paula Vogel won a Pulitzer Prize twenty years ago with How I Learned To Drive, but only last year marked the D.C.-born veteran playwright’s debut on Broadway with this drama. The story of the courageous artists who risked their careers to perform Sholem Asch’s God of Vengeance on Broadway in 1923 — a work deemed “indecent” for tackling then-taboo themes of censorship, immigration, and anti-Semitism — comes to D.C. by way of a co-production from Arena Stage with Kansas City Repertory and Baltimore Center Stage. Eric Rosen directs a cast starring Ben Cherry, Susan Lynskey, John Milosich, Victor Raider-Wexler, Susan Rome, Emily Shackelford, Maryn Shaw, Alexander Sovronsky, Ethan Watermeier, and Max Wolkowitz. Previews begin Nov. 23. To Dec. 30. Kreeger Theater in the Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Call 202-488-3300 or visit arenastage.org.

KING JOHN

He may be king, but unlike his older brother Richard the Lionheart, John has no stirring nickname or truly loyal following, with everyone from the Pope to his own court seeming to think his crown is up for grabs. Aaron Posner directs a rarely staged but timely history play by Shakespeare about a toxic era of secret deals, threats of mass destruction, and shifting loyalties (what a difference 800 years doesn’t always make). Brian Dykstra plays the King in a gender-bending production that also features Kate Eastwood Norris as Philip Faulconbridge, Holly Twyford as Lady Faulconbridge, and Megan Graves as Arthur and Prince Henry. To Dec. 2. Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $42 to $79. Call 202-544-7077 or visit folger.edu.

KING OF THE YEE

Desdemona Chiang directs Lauren Yee’s smart and cheeky family comedy about a young playwright who chases “through time, space, and the fourth wall itself” to find her suddenly missing Chinese-American father and chronicle a vanishing piece of American culture. Khanh Doan portrays the playwright, with Stan Egi as her father Larry, in a cast that also features Celeste Den, Joe Ngo, and Tony Aidan Vo. Extended to Nov. 18. Baltimore Center Stage, 700 North Calvert St., Baltimore. Tickets are $20 to $74. Call 410-332-0033 or visit centerstage.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. Closes Sunday, 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.

SWEAT

Set in a small Pennsylvania community where a group of machine workers find themselves caught between their union and their employer, Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama bears witness to the 21st century’s faceless global economy and its impact on everything from race relations to interpersonal dynamics and friendships. Vincent M. Lancisi directs a high-caliber cast led by Deborah Hazlett, Dawn Ursula, Kurt Rhoads, and Vaughn Ryan Midder. To Nov. 25 at Everyman Theatre, 315 West Fayette St. Baltimore. Tickets are $43 to $65. Call 410-752-2208 or visit everymantheatre.org.

THE AGITATORS

A look at the 45-year friendship and occasional rivalry between two great, rebellious, and flawed American icons: Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass. KenYatta Rogers directs Marni Penning as the pioneering women’s suffragist and Ro Boddie as the famed orator and abolitionist in Mat Smart’s play that shows how the two met as young activists in the 1840s and went on to help shape the course of American history. Produced by Mosaic Theatre. To Nov. 24. Lang Theatre in the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $50 to $65. Call 202-399-7993 or visit atlasarts.org.

THE CHANGELING
THE DUCHESS OF MALFI

Brave Spirits Theatre holds up these plays by contemporaries of Shakespeare as “two of the greatest tragedies written for the early modern stage.” A focus on a woman’s determination to marry for love, and the consequences she endures as a result, is at the heart of both plays, revived in repertory by the feminist-focused Alexandria-based company. Thomas Middleton and William Rowley’s The Changeling is a dark play that touches on the manipulation and degradation of women that evokes the #MeToo era. Meanwhile, John Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi deals with the efforts of a noblewoman to break free from her family’s constraints on whom she can marry. Presented on alternating weekday evenings and once each on weekends, to Nov. 18. The Lab at Convergence, 1819 N. Quaker Lane, Alexandria. Tickets are $20 each. Call 703-998-6260 or visit bravespiritstheatre.com.

THE FALL

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. Extended to Nov. 25. The Mead Theatre, 14th & P Streets NW. Tickets are $20 to $45. Call 202-332-3300 or visit studiotheatre.org.

THE THEATRE LAB HONORS ACTING CONSERVATORY SHOWCASE

The Theatre Lab School of the Dramatic Arts welcomes final project presentations by its 2018 honors acting students, who have selected to perform scenes from Nick Payne’s Constellations and Lee Blessing’s Riches. Presented in two rounds, the performances are at the school’s Woodward Hall, a block north of the Old Patent Office Building. The conservatory is a one-year professional training program with courses taught by some of Washington’s leading theater professionals. Second-round performances are Friday, Nov. 30, and Saturday, Dec. 1, at 7:30 p.m. 733 8th St. NW. Free. Call 202-824-0449 or visit theatrelab.org.

THINGS THAT ARE ROUND

A world premiere dark comedy billed as “Thelma and Louise meets George and Martha on steroids,” referencing Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. As with the imaginative roles and alternate realities assumed by the lead characters in those two celebrated works of fiction, Callie Kimball’s play focuses on “a strange ballet of truth or dare” between a dentist and an aspiring opera singer. Closes Sunday, Nov. 18. At Rep Stage, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Md. Tickets are $35 to $40. Call 443-518-1500 or visit repstage.org.

WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE

Scena Theatre offers a witty, feminist take on Oscar Wilde’s dark comedy of manners. Written as a battle of the sexes, Woman of No Importance, directed by Robert McNamara, gets updated with an all-female cast and set against the backdrop of 1930s Hollywood. Nanna Ingvarsson, Sara Barker, Jen Bevan, Moriah Whiteman, Karen Elle, Zoe Walpole, Emily Morrison, Melissa Robinson, Ruthie Rado, and Dina Soltan. To Dec. 2. Atlas Performing Arts Center’s Lab I, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $25 to $45. Call 202-399-7993 or visit atlasarts.org.

Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington DC: The Best Worst Thing

MUSIC

ASCAP PRESENTS: BROADWAY, THE NEXT GENERATION SERIES

Every year, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) offers a weeklong showcase of new and up-and-coming composers at the Kennedy Center. Previous lineups have included recent Tony winners Steven Lutvak (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder) and Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dear Evan Hansen). Each program features a different composer or composing team, who either perform themselves or recruit others to highlight songs in their repertoire, cabaret-style. Offered in free programs at 6 p.m., remaining spotlights this year include: Ronna Siddiqui (One Good Day) performing with six other musicians “Halfghan on a Mission,” a preview of next year’s autobiographical musical comedy Salaam Medina: Tales of a Halfghan, on Thursday, Nov. 15; Laiona Michelle & Mark Fifer, who will perform a sneak preview of their upcoming Nina Simone musical Little Girl Blue, on Friday, Nov. 16; and “A BroaderWay: Celebrating the Voices of Young Women,” an evening of music, poetry, and dance, on Saturday, Nov. 17. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

AMERICAN POPS ORCHESTRA: A VERY SILLY VAUDEVILLE

Broadway tapping duo Mary Michael Patterson and Cary Tedder guide you through APO’s modern take on classic American vaudeville acts of yesteryear. Led by the orchestra’s Luke Frazier, the opening program in the organization’s 2018/2019 Family Series also features musical theater performers Sam Hamashima and Hilary Morrow and is touted as one filled with “magic, dancing, singing, and lots of audience engagement.” Saturday, Nov. 17, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The Molly Smith Study at the Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Tickets, remaining only for the 11 a.m. performance, are $17 to $32. Call 202-488-3300 or visit theamericanpops.org.

BSO: COPLAND’S SYMPHONY NO. 3, PUTS’ MOONLIGHT CONCERTO

Influenced by the Oscar-winning film Moonlight, Kevin Puts’ Second Concerto for Oboe and Strings features Principal Oboe Katherine Needleman. Marin Alsop conducts a program featuring this BSO commission, Mason Bates’ Mothership, and the concert’s centerpiece, Aaron Copland’s Third Symphony, which prominently features his famous “Fanfare for the Common Man” and was written to sum up the American experience of World War II. Thursday, Nov. 15, at 8 p.m., at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore, and Sunday, Nov. 18, at 3 p.m., at the Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Additionally, Copland’s work is examined in more depth and insight in two, Alsop-led 90-minute Off the Cuff performances, followed by question-and-answer sessions, on Friday, Nov. 16, at 8:15 p.m., at Strathmore, and Saturday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. at the Meyerhoff — the latter ending with Copland’s Cocktail Lounge After-Party featuring Orchester Prazevica plus drink and food specials from Dooby’s and Noona. Tickets are $25 to $90. Call 410-783-8000 or visit bsomusic.org.

CÉCILE MCLORIN SALVANT: OGRESSE

A quirky, sophisticated and soulful jazz vocalist, the New York Times has heralded this 29-year-old classically trained, Grammy-winning artist as having the best chance of extending the lineage of the Big Three: Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald. Salvant returns for the D.C. premiere of an original song cycle arranged and conducted by Darcy James Argue in performance with a 13-piece ensemble. Ogresse is a fairytale-like journey, through song and narrative, of a female ogre who falls in love with a man. Or as Salvant sings, of “a woman [who] lived in the woods on the outskirts of town; her skin was chocolate brown; upon her head she wore a crown of bones.” The Kennedy Center co-commissioned the work and presents it as part of its jazz season as well as the Voices series overseen by Renée Fleming, who calls Salvant “a brilliant programmer of song, truly a curator of art song.” Saturday, Nov. 17, at 7:30 p.m. Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Tickets are $40 to $50. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

CONGRESSIONAL CHORUS: POETS, PAINTERS & DREAMS

An afternoon of music and dance inspired by the works of poets and painters from this organization led by David Simmons. The program includes Michael John Trotta’s A Breath of Ecstasy, a lush, lyrical work based on the words of poet Sara Teasdale, and William Averitt’s Where Dreams Fly, a colorful, exuberant score inspired by seven Marc Chagall paintings. The capstone is Dreams, a musical setting of three Langston Hughes poems by young D.C. composer Christopher Urquiaga, a former Strathmore Artist-in-Residence. Sunday, Nov. 18, at 4:30 p.m. Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G St. NW. Tickets are $19 to $39. Call 202-347-2635 or visit congressionalchorus.org.

GAY MEN’S CHORUS OF WASHINGTON: THE BEST WORST THING

The first concert of GMCW’s new season, with the theme “Let Freedom Sing,” the cabaret explores the notion that every bad experience has a silver lining. The organization’s artistic director Thea Kano guides 15 soloists from the chorus as they share their personal stories while singing songs from pop and Broadway, including “Someone Like You,” “I’m Here,” “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered,” and “You Could Drive A Person Crazy.” Saturday, Nov. 17, at 5 and 8 p.m. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $39. Call 202-399-7993 or visit atlasarts.org.

JAZZY BLU

Launched a dozen years ago in D.C. by drummer Dominic “Nikk” Taylor, this jazzy neo-soul band from D.C. has gone on to open for Mary J. Blige and shared the stage with Chaka Khan, the O’Jays, Babyface, and the Whispers, among others. A nine-piece act also featuring bassist Larry Richardson, guitarist Leslie Lee, saxophonist Brent Birkhead, keyboardist Clay Morrow, percussionist Mike Artis, and vocalists Keith Brown, Danielle Hatchell, and Bridgette Haggins, Jazzy Blu returns for another hometown gig at Georgetown’s legendary Blues Alley. Wednesday, Nov. 28, at 8 and 10 p.m. 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Tickets are $22, plus $12 minimum purchase. Call 202-337-4141 or visit bluesalley.com.

JEFFREY HIGGINS: A DEAFENING SOUND

Three years ago, Higgins was fired from a singing job in the Archdiocese of Washington simply for being a gay, married man. The Rainbow Theatre Project presents a cabaret directed and performed by Higgins, marking his return to the musical world, using music from several genres to weave a deeply personal story of shame, depression, love, and resilience. Friday, Nov. 23, and Saturday, Nov. 24, at 7:30 p.m. District of Columbia Arts Center, 2438 18th St. NW. Tickets are $35. Call 202-462-7833 or visit rainbowtheatreproject.org.

MAGGIE ROSE

Originally from Potomac, Maryland, this young power-piped singer-songwriter got an early career boost when she was one of CMT’s “Next Women of Country” in 2016. (Not to be confused with the similarly fast-rising, folk/rock star with a similar name, Maggie Rogers.) Rose returns for a second year at Wolf Trap’s intimate and indoor venue the Barns to showcase her blurring of lines between country, pop, and rock, with shades of Aretha Franklin, Grace Potter, and Janis Joplin. Friday, Nov. 16, at 8 p.m. 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $22 to $27. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit wolftrap.org.

MUSE

The conservative, reactionary, and incendiary tenor of today’s political climate inspired the eighth album from this sludgy, synthy hard-rocking trio from the U.K. And yet, despite track titles such as “The Dark Side” and “Pressure,” the new Simulation Theory isn’t quite as dark as previous sets from the group, which was inspired by “lighter influences” — relatively speaking, anyway — drawn from aspects and aesthetics of ’80s-era science fiction and pop culture. Muse will tour the album, co-produced by Timbaland, as part of a similarly “fantasy becoming real”-themed stadium tour. Built around a grand stage show, the tour also offers a Mixed Reality Pre-Show Party featuring three original virtual reality games inspired by album tracks and powered by Microsoft. Tickets go on sale to the general public Friday, Nov. 16, at noon, for the April 2 show at Capital One Arena. Enhanced Experience Packages, ranging from $229 to $339, include premium front row or floor seats as well as access to the Mixed Reality Pre-Show Party. Presented by I.M.P. Productions. Call 202-628-3200 or impconcerts.com/event/1785984-muse-washington.

NATIONAL PHILHARMONIC: BERNSTEIN CHORAL CELEBRATION

Stan Engebretson conducts Strathmore’s resident orchestra along with the National Philharmonic Chorale, soloists Danielle Talamantes, soprano, and Brian Cheney, tenor, and the Strathmore Children’s Chorus led by Michael Wu in a program featuring selections from MassCandide, and West Side Story. The late, great legend’s exuberance, panache, and joyful celebration of life were at their fullest display in his choral music, infusing his sacred and secular choral works with drama, pathos, and unfailing theatricality. Selections including “Almighty Father” and “Simple Song” from the extravagant Mass, “The Best of All Possible Worlds” and “”Make Our Garden Grow” from the whimsical Candide, and “Tonight” and “One Hand, One Heart” from the passionate West Side Story. Saturday, Nov. 17, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $28 to $76. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.

NEW YORK POLYPHONY: SING THEY NOWELL

As you might surmise from the title, this Grammy-nominated male quartet focused on early vocal music comes to D.C. for an early holiday candlelight concert. Billed as an intimate meditation on the Christmas season, the program features selections spanning nine centuries of music followed by a holiday reception and is presented as part of the Georgetown Concert Series at the Georgetown Parish of St. John’s Episcopal Church. The church’s organist and choirmaster Sam Carabetta directs. Saturday, Nov. 24, at 5 p.m. 3240 O St. NW. Tickets are $40. Call 202-338-1796 or visit stjohnsgeorgetown.org.

RAC

A little over a decade ago, André Allen Anjos launched the Remix Artist Collective to help the remix gain appreciation beyond the confines of electronic/dance music and nightclubs. Having accomplished that goal, the Grammy-winning, Portuguese-born remixer and multi-instrumentalist then shifted his focus to making breezy, bouncy yet smart and sophisticated indie-pop. “You’re more beautiful, when you’re unusual,” the artist MNDR sings on one of the best tracks from Ego, his second full-length artist album. A year after release, Ego remains a subtly astounding, inspired affair, starting off with the sound of an orchestra warming up and using symphonic or instrumental elements to tie together a collection of melodious indie-pop songs, as varied in mood as they are in guest vocalists and artists represented. The five-piece act that includes wife Liz Anjos aka the singer Pink Feathers, returns to D.C. to play through its strong repertoire of should-be hits. Thursday, Nov. 30. Doors at 10 p.m. U Street Music Hall, 1115A U St. NW. Tickets are $25 to $30. Call 202-588-1880 or visit ustreetmusichall.com.

RDGLDGRN

What this Reston, Va.-based band lacks in vowels it makes up for with music in consonance with the best of pop. Pharrell Williams co-produced the song “Doing The Most” from the colorful trio’s self-titled 2013 debut EP, and you can hear his influence all over the band’s output — specifically, Williams’ early hip-hop/pop production work with the Neptunes and the punk/pop tunes of his old band N.E.R.D. Guitarist Marcus “Red” Parham, bassist Andrei “Gold” Busuioceanu and vocalist Pierre “Green” Desrosiers were also inspired by other D.C.- and Virginia-bred acts in creating their band’s go-go-propelled punky pop sound, from Bad Brains to Chuck Brown to Dave Grohl. Oxymorrons, a New York-based LGBTQ-supporting brother act blurring the lines of hip-hop and rock, open. Saturday, Nov. 24. Doors at 7 p.m. Union Stage, 740 Water St. SW. Tickets are $20 to $30. Call 877-987-6487 or visit unionstage.com.

SUSAN WERNER

Trained to be an opera singer, the shy Werner instead found a more fitting musical path as a singer-songwriter, a role that requires her to be “a little more of a comedian or dinner-party host.” An Iowa-born, Chicago-based performer, Werner is good-natured and wholly unpretentious, cracking jokes and laughing easily. The queer artist continues to tour behind last year’s release of An American in Havana, a collection of original songs inspired and colored by her recent travels to Cuba. Opening for Werner at Strathmore’s cabaret venue Amp is local singer-songwriter Lea Morris, an alumni of Strathmore’s Artist-In-Residence program. Friday, Nov. 16, at 8 p.m. 11810 Grand Park Ave. North Bethesda. Tickets are $20 to $30. Call 301-581-5100 or visit ampbystrathmore.com.

THE INSERIES: OPERETTA WONDERLAND

Brian J. Shaw directs a cabaret featuring century-old, waltz-inspired street songs and soaring melodies plucked from topsy-turvy operettas written by one of America’s greatest popular composers, Victor Herbert. The InSeries program features selections from Herbert operettas including SweetheartsNaughty MariettaThe Enchantress, and Babes in Toyland. Expect fanciful visions of prima donnas, toy soldiers, and star-crossed lovers — and, for those who want to be immersed in the proceedings, Cabaret Table Seating right onstage. Wednesday, Nov. 28, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 1, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 2, at 2 p.m. D.C. Scottish Rite Temple, 2800 16th St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $45. Call 202-204-7763 or visit inseries.org.

THE WASHINGTON CHORUS: A GERMAN REQUIEM, BALLAD OF HEROES

Artistic Director Christopher Bell opens the chorus’s 58th season with Johannes Brahms’s magnificent Requiem as part of a program with Benjamin Britten’s Ballad — works intended to console the living, on the one hand, and remember the sacrifices made by those who came before on the other. Featuring soprano Laura Choi Stuart and baritone Rob McGinness, the concert is a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, which marked the end of World War I. Sunday, Nov. 18, at 2 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $18 to $72. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

WASHINGTON CONCERT OPERA: GOUNOD’S SAPHO

Charles Gounod’s Sapho centers around intense, competing love affairs developing within the context of the ancient Greek Olympics, with a political coup bubbling just beneath the surface. Surprisingly, this one-night-only production, which opens the WCO’s official season, is billed as the first-ever professional version of the opera in the United States. Mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey takes on the title role, leading four emerging artists in their WCO debuts: Addison Marlor as Phaon, Amina Edris as Glycère, Musa Ngqungwana as Pythéas, and Brian Vu as Alcée. Sunday, Nov. 18, at 6 p.m., preceded at 5 p.m. by an informative talk with WCO co-founder and opera scholar Peter Russell. GW Lisner, The George Washington University, 730 21st St. NW. Tickets are $40 to $110. Call 202-994-6851 or visit lisner.gwu.edu.

WASHINGTON NATIONAL OPERA: SILENT NIGHT

To commemorate the centennial end of the Great War, the WNO offers the Washington premiere of a hopeful work adapted from the 2005 film Joyeux Noël. Featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning music by Kevin Puts and a libretto by Mark Campbell, Silent Night features a cast of WNO family, including Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist alumni, performing in multiple languages (with English surtitles). Directed by Tomer Zvulun with conductor Nicole Paiement. To Nov. 25. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $35 to $199. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

WASHINGTON PERFORMING ARTS GOSPEL CHOIR: A GOSPEL THANKSGIVING

The Men & Women of the Gospel Choir, led by Theodore Thorpe III, perform “With A Grateful Heart,” a seasonal concert showcasing a wide range of repertoire and featuring works by noted gospel composers Phillip Carter, Patrick Lundy, and Roderick Giles. Lundy and Giles will perform with the Washington Performing Arts choir along with special guest soloist Thomas Allen. Sunday Nov. 18, at 4:30 p.m. Duke Ellington School of the Arts, 3500 R St. NW. Tickets are $25. Call 202-785-9727 or visit washingtonperformingarts.org.

YASMINE HAMDAN

A personal, modern take on Arabic pop from a Paris-based Lebanese singer-songwriter who initially emerged two decades ago as part of Soapkills, an influential, indie/electronic band, one of the first of its kind in the Middle East. A decade ago, she teamed up with Mirwais, the famed Music-era Madonna producer, and released Arabology under the alias Y.A.S. Hamdan tours in support of her sophomore solo set Al Jamilat (The Beautiful Ones), which showcases her unique Arabesque fusion of voice and music, with melodies and lyrics inspired by Middle Eastern folk traditions and embellished with contemporary Western pop styling and instrumentation. Thursday, Nov. 29. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $17.25 to $39.75. Call 202-787-1000 or visit thehamiltondc.com.

GALA Hispanic Theatre: XIV Fuego Flamenco Festival –La Sobremesa by Omayra Amaya Flamenco Dance Co. — Photo: Tommyarrios

DANCE

CONTRADICTION DANCE THEATRE: LITTLE WHITE LIES

A collection of new works devised and co-created by company members and special guests that explore the little lies and fabrications that shape our thoughts and behaviors. How do we reconcile truth? Lies? Is there one global truth? How do we live with our lies? Some physicalized contemplative, provocative, and evocative responses are said to be found in a program directed and also featuring MissJessica Denson as well as Erica Janko, Kelly King, Shay Turner, and Erin White, with choreographic contributions from Vanessa Williamson Edwards. Friday, Nov. 16, at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 17, at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 to $25. Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 7th St. SE. Call 202-547-6839 or visit contradictiondance.com or chaw.org.

FUEGO FLAMENCO XIV

GALA’s 14th annual festival continues in its second of two weekends with the D.C. premiere of La Sobremesa, a new piece from Spain’s Omayra Amaya Flamenco Dance Co., performed with bailaor Edwin Aparicio, the festival’s gay co-founder and curator, a D.C.-based native of El Salvador who has become a world-renowned champion of contemporary flamenco. Friday, Nov. 16, and Saturday, Nov. 17, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 18, at 2 p.m. The program also includes Flamenco en Familia, free interactive demonstrations for children and families, on Saturday, Nov. 17, at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Tivoli Square, 3333 14th St. NW. Tickets are $30 to $48. Call 202-234-7174 or visit galatheatre.org.

SPECTRUM DANCE THEATER: A RAP ON RACE

An innovative new work that seeks to add to the conversation around race and equity, A Rap on Race features a series of choreographed dance duets juxtaposed with verbal duets — text gleaned from the public conversation held in 1970 between anthropologist Margaret Mead and novelist James Baldwin. Conceived by Tony-nominated choreographer Donald Byrd and Pulitzer-nominated actress/playwright Anna Deavere Smith, the work features an original jazz score by Charles Mingus, plus narration by Julie Briskman as Mead and Byrd as Baldwin. Friday, Nov. 16, at 8 p.m. The Concert Hall in the George Mason University Center for the Arts, 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax. Tickets are $29 to $48. Call 888-945-2468 or visit cfa.gmu.edu.

COMEDY

NATASHA LEGGERO

You’ve no doubt seen this mordant comic actress on TV at some point, whether on her memorable guest turns on Modern Family and Superstore, or as a judge on NBC’s Last Comic Standing and as one of Comedy Central’s leading “roasters.” Leggero dabbles in stand-up comedy, which is what brings her back to the area this weekend. Friday, Nov. 16, 7 and 10 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 17, at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Arlington Cinema N’ Drafthouse, 2903 Columbia Pike, Arlington. Tickets are $25. Call 703-486-2345 or visit arlingtondrafthouse.com.

NICOLE BYER

A comedic performer and writer known from her podcast Why Won’t You Date Me as well as from Fox’s short-lived sketch show Party Over Here, Byer was also a guest judge during an episode of this year’s RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars. Netflix subscribers, of course, know her as the quirky host from that quirkiest of bake-off competitions — the streaming platform’s wry Nailed It. Byer comes to town for two nights immediately after Thanksgiving. Friday, Nov. 23, and Saturday, Nov. 24, at 7 and 9 p.m. Drafthouse Comedy, 1100 13th St. NW. Tickets are $20. Call 202-750-6411 or visit drafthousecomedy.com.

THE WIT ROAD SHOW

No two performances are alike when performed by the Washington Improv Theater — D.C.’s answer to those comedy star-making groups such as Chicago’s Second City and L.A.’s Groundlings — especially since they’re spurred on by audience suggestions. Each show features a different mix of the improvised ensembles that comprise WIT, from on-the-spot musical creations a la iMusical, to the clever antics of the all-female-identifying group Hellcat, Love Onion to Nox! Also featured in this Fall 2018 WIT Road Show is You Are Afraid of the Dark, a debut long-form show directed by Katie Ozog of WIT ensemble Madeline presented in four performances this weekend and next. Closes Sunday, Nov. 18. District of Columbia Arts Center, 2438 18th St. NW. Tickets are $15 to $18. Call 202-462-7833 or visit witdc.org.

READINGS & LECTURES

CARLA HALL

The fan favorite of Bravo’s Top Chef and former co-host of ABC’s The Chew drops by the Union Market Politics & Prose on the eve of her appearance as a headliner at this year’s MetroCooking DC. Hall is touring, reading, and signing copies of “Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration,” a new book tracing soul food’s roots to Africa and the Caribbean, sharing personal culinary stories, and featuring 145 recipes that go well beyond barbeque and mac and cheese — ranging from black-eyed pea salad with hot sauce vinaigrette to tomato pie with garlic bread crust, sweet potato pudding with clementines to coconut cream layer cake. The ticketed event is presented in partnership with the Pineapple Collaborative. Friday, Nov. 30, at 7 p.m. Politics & Prose at Union Market, 1270 5th St. NE. Call 202-544-4452 or visit politics-prose.com.

CHRIS MCGREAL

The deadliest crisis in American history — resulting in 90 deaths a day and the leading cause of death for those under 50 — gets put under the microscope by a U.S.-based reporter for the UK’s Guardian newspaper in “American Overdose: The Opioid Tragedy in Three Acts.” McGreal offers a broad examination with a spotlight on the perpetrators, or villains, chiefly Big Pharma and a complicit FDA. The pharmaceutical industry worked hard and adapted their strategy over time to discredit all the evidence that opioids themselves were creating the crisis, fooling the FDA and giving doctors a false sense of security about prescribing OxyContin and delayed-absorption narcotics — shifting responsibility for addiction and death to patients. Friday, Nov. 16, at 6:30 p.m. Kramerbooks, 1517 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-387-1400 or visit kramers.com.

ELAINE PAGELS

Why does religion still exist in the supposedly secular 21st century? Who better to give a compelling answer than the author of groundbreaking studies about the Gnostic Gospels? As explained in “Why Religion? A Personal Story,” a new memoir weaving personal experiences with details from her scholarship, Pagels writes that she has always been attracted to religious music and rituals because of the way they engaged the imagination. But, 30 years ago, after losing her infant son and then her husband a year later, Pagels turned to religion, as so many have before her, for help in facing her grief and anger. The author will discuss her new, thought-provoking work with Eric Motley of the Aspen Institute and author of the memoir Madison Park. Friday, Nov. 30, at 7 p.m. Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-364-1919 or visit politics-prose.com.

MICHELLE OBAMA: BECOMING: AN INTIMATE CONVERSATION

An evening (or two) at Capital One Arena is as far from an intimate conversation as it can get. Of course, the intimacy is in the details — that is, in what the former First Lady will say on (and possibly inspire through) her book tour for the newly-released “Becoming: An Intimate Conversation.” Obama will recount and reflect on personal moments from her extraordinary journey, as a means to inspire her fans and followers to follow suit. Saturday, Nov. 17, and Sunday, Nov. 25, at 8 p.m. 601 F St. NW. Remaining tickets are $500 to $850 including a copy of the book; VIP Meet & Greet packages range from $995 to $3,000. Call 202-628-3200 or visit capitalonearena.com.

SARAH LEWIS

Photography — and art — as a catalyst for social change. That’s the central theme of a #FreshTalk4Change event at the National Museum of Women in the Arts headlined by this Harvard professor, who has promulgated her ideas via a popular TED talk and her book “The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Biography.” In 2016, Lewis served as guest editor of a landmark issue of Aperture magazine in which she distinguished between what we see (vision) and what we fix (justice), and proceeded to connect the dots among visual literacy, citizenship, and representational justice. An expert on art history and African-American studies, Lewis will expand on her ideas about the power of photography, and in particular the role of photojournalists and fine art photographers, in today’s image-obsessed culture through a discussion with Rhea L. Combs, the photography and film curator at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Sunday, Nov. 18, at 4:30 p.m. 5th Floor Performance Hall at 1250 New York Ave. NW. Although advanced tickets are sold out, standby seats the day of may be available for $25, including museum admission before and Sunday Supper after the talk. Call 202-783-5000 or visit nmwa.org.

ART & EXHIBITS

AMERICANS

November is Native American Heritage Month, with Thanksgiving also Native American Heritage Day. Anytime is a good time to visit the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, though, and this long-term exhibit showcasing nearly 350 objects and images — from a Tomahawk missile to baking powder cans — demonstrating that Native words, images, and products are everywhere in American life. And non-native citizens have always been fascinated, conflicted, and profoundly shaped by their relationship to American Indians. Independence Avenue at 4th Street SW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit nmai.si.edu.

ARTESANAS MEXICANAS Y ARTESANITOS

Through its 12-month apprenticeship program Artesanitos, Baltimore’s Creative Alliance presents handmade piñatas, corn-husk flowers, dolls, and traditional embroidery made by Mexican artists and their children, all available for sale. All proceeds benefit the artists and their families. Opening Reception, including traditional Mexican food and special performances, is Friday, Nov. 16, from 6 to 8 p.m. On display to Dec. 1. Amalie Rothschild Gallery in Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave., Baltimore. Free. Call 410-276-1651 or visit creativealliance.org.

BETWEEN ROCK AND A HARD PLACE

Susan Calloway Fine Arts presents a series of “Rock and Roll” oil paintings by Mark Giaimo that go behind the scenes to present intimate views of the raucous and rowdy lives of musicians, with a title alluding to the artist’s struggle to build a career in music and his eventual shift towards painting. Giaimo’s still lifes, genre scenes, and portraits are accompanied by a curated selection of photographic portraits of musicians courtesy of Chris Murray, director of Govinda Gallery. Closes Saturday, Nov. 24. 1643 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Call 202-965-4601 or visit callowayart.com.

CHARLINE VON HEYL: SNAKE EYES

More than 30 large-scale works from the influential German contemporary painter are on display at the Hirshhorn Museum in what is heralded as her largest U.S. museum survey. Part of a major multinational exhibition, Snake Eyes highlights von Heyl’s groundbreaking abstract output since 2005, with recent works pointing to new developments in her constantly evolving practice. Now to Feb. 24. Hirshhorn Museum, Independence Avenue and Seventh Street SW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit hirshhorn.si.edu.

CONNECTING THREADS

Alexandria’s Del Ray Artisans Gallery offers a display of members’ artwork featuring fiber and textiles as a major component in construction and/or as a part of the subject matter, conveying some sort of message, emotion, or meaning beyond the literal definition of the materials. Artists showcase the ways they manipulate fiber in ways both traditional — such as knitting and crocheting — and nontraditional via mixed-media. To Nov. 25. 2704 Mount Vernon Ave. Call 703-731-8802 or visit thedelrayartisans.org.

EYE TO I: SELF-PORTRAITS FROM 1900 TO TODAY

Despite its title, this is not an exhibition celebrating the everyday selfie but rather notable, high-quality self-portraits from American artists drawn primarily from the National Portrait Gallery’s vast collection — and the concluding exhibition in the Smithsonian museum’s series celebrating its 50th anniversary. Elaine de Kooning, Edward Hopper, Jacob Lawrence, Diego Rivera, Roger Shimomura, and Martin Wong are among the artists represented in this display of more than 75 works examining the range of ways artists have chosen to portray themselves. 8th and F Streets. NW. Call 202-633-8300 or visit npg.si.edu.

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.” To Nov. 23. 4318 Gallatin St., Hyattsville, Md. Call 301-608-9101 or visit pyramidatlanticartcenter.org.

LAURA BERMAN: CHROMATIC SPACE

Inspired by “the vast landscape of nothingness” that is the very middle of Kansas, the unique monoprints of this artist and professor at the Kansas City Art Institute reflect the slow and dramatic connections between enormous spaces on and beyond our earth. Everything is related and nothing is identical in iterative prints of patterns and bold colors, also informed by the artist’s hometown of Barcelona, Spain. To Nov. 25. Long View Gallery, 1234 9th St. NW. Call 202-232-4788 or visit longviewgallery.com.

REDISCOVERING BALTIMORE’S FORGOTTEN MOVIE THEATERS

A survey of Baltimore’s movie-going past from 1896 to the present, this Flickering Treasures exhibition at the National Building Museum features oral histories, architectural fragments, theater ephemera, and of course photography — particularly vivid, contemporary shots from Baltimore Sun staff photographer Amy Davis. All of it illuminates themes of memory, loss, and preservation, as well as the importance of movies and movie houses in 20th century American life. While only a handful of more than 240 theaters built in Charm City still function today, many survive in some form, as documented in this exhibition. Opens Saturday, Nov. 17. 401 F St. NW. Call 202-272-2448 or visit nbm.org.

REFRAME YOUR FEAST: RECYCLE REUSE

Ziploc and Tupperware be gone: The Kiln Club stuffs the Scope Gallery with pottery designed to replace non-biodegradable plastic bags and containers. From covered casserole dishes, bakers, and trays, the reusable serveware on offer will help you “class up traditional holiday hangovers while reducing the paper and plastic along with fridge overload.” Now to Dec. 2. Studio 19 – Scope Gallery in Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 North Union St. Alexandria. Free. Call 703-838-4565 or visit torpedofactory.org.

SEASON’S GREETINGS: ALL ABOARD

This year’s annual holiday show at the U.S. Botanic Garden spotlights the country’s historic railroad stations, more than 30 of which are recreated in miniature versions made from plants and natural materials and spread out along the tracks of an elaborate model train show. A botanical replica of Washington’s Union Station, meanwhile, has been added to the garden court’s collection of plant-based D.C. landmarks. Also on view throughout the conservatory are thousands of blooms, including a showcase of heirloom and newly developed poinsettia varieties. All that, plus live holiday music on Tuesdays and Thursdays in December, when the conservatory, which normally closes at 5 p.m., will stay open until 8 p.m. Note: The website advises patrons that wait times, especially on weekends, may be longer than usual “due to the ongoing roof and facade project.” Opens Thursday, Nov. 22. On display to Jan. 1. 100 Maryland Ave. SW. Call 202-225-8333 or visit usbg.gov.

SUPERHEROES

The National Museum of American History presents a nearly year-long exhibition showcasing artifacts from its collections relating to animated protagonists, including comic books, movie and TV costumes and props and assorted memorabilia — from George Reeves’ Superman costume circa 1951 to Halle Berry’s Storm costume from 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past. Opens Tuesday, Nov. 20. 14th St. and Constitution Ave. NW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit americanhistory.si.edu.

TOMB OF CHRIST

Visitors to the National Geographic Museum are being transported to Jerusalem via an immersive 3D experience unlike anything seen in a museum before. Tomb of Christ offers a virtual tour of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the holiest church in all of Christendom — built on the site where Jesus of Nazareth, according to tradition, was crucified, buried, and resurrected. The exhibition recounts the storied history and enduring mysteries of the site, with a particular focus on recent technological advances that have boosted ongoing research and restoration of the Holy Edicule, or tomb of Christ dating to the fourth century. But be forewarned: The 3D exhibition is not recommended for guests susceptible to motion sickness or dizziness. To Jan. 2. 1145 17th St. NW. Timed-entry tickets are $15. Call 202-857-7588 or visit ngmuseum.org.

TORPEDO: 100 YEARS
ART OF ARMISTICE

Two temporary exhibitions explore the military history of Old Town Alexandria’s Torpedo Factory Art Center. Construction on the original U.S. Naval Torpedo Station began the day after Armistice Day marked the end of World War I — Nov. 12, 1918 — and it remained a munitions plant through the end of World War II. In 1972, the building was converted into an art center housing what is reportedly the nation’s largest number of publicly accessible working artist studios under one roof — a whopping 82, plus seven galleries. Currently in Gallery 311, the Torpedo Factory Artists’ Association presents art in a range of media related to torpedos, the Navy, the city of Alexandria, the factory itself. Lesley Clarke, Min Enghauser, Mary Beth Gaiarin, John Gosling, Hyun Jung Kim, Greg Knott, Mary Lynch, and Meg Talley are among the 18 participating artists. On display to Dec. 16.

Meanwhile, the Target Gallery presents 25 artworks by 23 artists from around the country exploring the after-effects of war in an exhibition juried by Spencer Dormitzer, director of the Brentwood Arts Exchange. The region is represented by artists including Katherine Akey and Tom Greaves of D.C., Mikhail Bolkhovitinov, Irene Clouthier, and Henrik Sundqvist of Northern Virginia, and Roy Comiskey and Amy Helminiak of Maryland. “Every piece submitted and chosen contained an element of something broken in need of mending,” Dormitzer says about the exhibition. “Throughout these depictions of heroism, loss, bravery, and vulnerability lies a plea for resolution.” On display to Dec. 2. 105 North Union St. Alexandria. Call 703-838-4565 or visit torpedofactory.org.

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.

WORLD PRESS PHOTO EXHIBITION

While FotoDC takes off 2018 for “a rebuilding year,” one of its affiliated annual FotoWeekDC events continues. The Dupont Underground hosts a second annual exhibition featuring winners chosen by an independent jury from more than 73,000 entrees submitted by more than 4,000 photographers representing 125 countries. The World Press Photo and Lightscape foundations present the contest and exhibition, which includes a retrospective of the Photos of the Year winners since 1955, the work of four African Photojournalism Database photographers, the honorees of the International Women’s Media Foundation’s Anja Niedringhaus Award, and images honoring the work of Agence France-Presse photographer Shah Marai. The exhibition kicks off with an opening reception on Friday, Oct. 26, from 6:30 to 10 p.m. and featuring three of the 2018 winners: Ronaldo Schemidt, honored with the Photograph of the Year, Ami Vitale, 1st Prize for Nature Stories, and David Becker, 1st Prize for Spot News Stories. Through Nov. 25. 1500 19th St. NW. Tickets are $12 to $15, or $70 for opening reception. Visit dupontunderground.org.

Metro Cooking DC: Carla Hall

FOOD & DRINK

DC COCKTAIL WEEK

Ostensibly a showcase of the area’s mixologists and finer watering holes, this annual promotion is also geared toward chefs and dining establishments — not surprising, given it’s a product of the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington. Cocktail Week can offer a more flexible and cheaper way for a first-time diner to get to know an establishment than through RAMW’s signature Restaurant Week promotion. Rather than commit to a relatively pricey, multi-course, multi-hour experience at one establishment, you can pretty easily bar hop among a few venues during Cocktail Week. For instance, you could try a Cosmopom — a pomegranate Cosmopolitan — paired with an appetizer of Hush Puppies at Georgetown’s America Eats Tavern, the newest restaurant from José Andrés, for just $9, and then take a stroll down to the Washington Harbor to try the Negroni Spritzer with Founding Spirits Arroyo’s Never Bitter Amaro at Farmers Fishers Bakers, which is pairing the libation with its Margarita Pizza for $15. A few additional pairing highlights from the 60-plus participating venues: a Gimlet featuring spice-infused Citadelle gin and a punch of Amaro at Penn Quarter’s top-notch Karma Modern Indian, paired with the classic tandoor oven-cooked Chicken Tikka for $16; a Civic Sunset, made with Republic Restoratives vodka, lemon, rosemary simple syrup, and a Meritage float, that is paired at City Winery in Ivy City with an Amuse Bouche of bleu cheese mousse in phyllo and roasted apples for $14; the Carajillo, made with espresso, Licor 43, dark rum, and syrup, and paired with the Sweet Potato and Queso Fresco Croqueta for $8 at the Colada Shop just off 14th Street NW; and Dogfish Head Roasted Peanut Vodka mixed with a port reduction, grenadine, amaretto, and egg white, paired at Shaw’s playfully upscale Unconventional Diner with “Foie Gras PB&J,” or liver with grape jelly, port reduction, pomegranate, and dehydrated peanut butter “snow” on toast, for $22. Runs to Nov. 18. Visit dccocktailweek.com for more information.

DC WINE WALK

Sample a variety of wines and “taste the best that D.C. has to offer” in this first-ever event that also aims to introduce you to fellow residents and new bars around the city, among them Anxo Cidery & Pintxos Bar, Ministry DC, City Winery Washington D.C., La Jambe, Tyber Creek Wine Bar & Kitchen, Kingfisher DC, and Slate Wine Bar. In addition to at least two 1 oz. wine samples at each venue, food will be available for purchase and snacks are allowed during the walk itself. Presented by DC Fray, a social sports and special events company. Check-in location will be confirmed after purchase. Saturday, Nov. 17, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 and include a Wine Walk Brochure Guide and a shatterproof, eco-friendly Tossware wine glass. Call 202-290-1969 or visit dcfray.com.

METROCOOKING DC COOKING & ENTERTAINING SHOW

Both a holiday treat and a shopping preserve, “The Ultimate Foodie Outing” is the area’s biggest specialty food and culinary event. Emeril Lagasse is the headliner at the James Beard Foundation Cooking Stage at the 13th annual showcase also featuring Jacques Pepin, Carla Hall, Bethenny Frankel, and many of D.C’s best chefs, including Scott Drewno, Amy Brandwein, Erik Bruner-Yang, Vikram Sunderam, and Michael Schlow. Also on hand: 200 specialty food vendors, including a focused Made in DC pavilion, a two-day Beer, Wine & Spirits section, a BBQ Bash on Saturday and the 6th annual Grand Tasting Pavilion with over 50 local restaurants on Sunday. New this year is a Holiday Gingerbread House Competition featuring professional and amateur bakers. Saturday, Dec. 1, and Sunday, Dec. 2, starting at 10 a.m. each day. Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mt. Vernon Place NW. General admission tickets are priced at $21.50, and include admission to the James Beard Cooking Stage and the Exhibitor Marketplace. Sur la Table cooking classes, Beer, Wine and Spirits Garden, BBQ Bash and the Grand Tasting are special ticketed events and sold separately. VIP ticket packages are available, which will afford a backstage meet and greet with Lagasse, Pepin, and Frankel plus access to additional ticketed special events. Call 866-840-8822 or visit metrocookingdc.com.

TABERNA DEL ALABARDERO: PAELLA FESTIVAL

All this month, D.C.’s oldest traditional Spanish restaurant honors its homeland’s national dish by serving it up at lunch and dinner every day for $28 an entree, with four different varieties — Paella Valenciana with chicken and beans, Paella de Verduras, or vegetables, Paella con Pollo y Chistorra, or chicken and chorizo, and Paella con Bacalao y Pimiento del Piquillo, or cod and peppers. Additional festival highlights include: a Paella Buffet every Tuesday with a choice of one tapa and an unlimited selection of three paellas for $30; a Paella-Making Demo every Thursday in the dining room by Taberna’s chef Carlos Gomez; and a Paella Cooking Class, priced at $90 and led by Gomez, set for Friday, Nov. 16. Festival runs to Nov. 30. 1776 I St. NW. Call 202-429-2200 or visit alabardero.com.

NIGHTLIFE HIGHLIGHTS

FLASH: CHUS & CEBALLOS

Less than a week after another round of the exceedingly popular gay party Flashy Sundays, the intimate, sharply designed nightclub in the same block as Uproar plays host once again to the transporting sounds of Chus Esteban and Pablo Ceballos. Together, the two comprise one of the world’s best progressive house acts. Truth be told, there’s something particularly magical — even tribal — in the air whenever the gay-popular straight Spaniards play the club. The duo draws a notably mixed gay/straight crowd as musically enthusiastic, engaged and distinct as they come, and that good energy and vibe often seems to further fuel duo’s fire. Saturday, Nov. 17, at 10 p.m. 645 Florida Ave. NW. Tickets are $$20 to $25. Call 202-827-8791 or visit flashdc.com.

LA FANTASY: SWIMSUIT PARTY PART II

A swimsuit is always acceptable on a packed, sweaty dance floor no matter the season — and of course in Miami anywhere, anytime. For its next party, La Fantasy Productions toasts the city and its upcoming Circuit Festival, the for-profit successor to the storied White Party dance for charity, set for Thanksgiving weekend. DJs Anne Louise from Brazil and Jesus Montanez from Mexico will provide the beats to soundtrack the pretend pool/beach party at the downtown club L8 Lounge. Friday, Nov. 16, starting at 10 p.m. 727 15th St. NW. Tickets are $25. Call 202-506-7006 or visit lafantasyproductions.com.

Zoolights

ABOVE & BEYOND

A DRAG QUEEN CHRISTMAS: THE NAUGHTY TOUR

This year, the queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race aren’t trying to fool Santa — or anyone — that they’re nice and ladylike. Murray & Peter presents another touring show featuring contestants from VH1’s hit series — Alyssa, Monet, Farrah, Latrice, Aja, Naomi, Raja, Trinity, and host Miz Cracker — one that they promise will be “hilarious” and also for “all ages,” though they do add “Warning: Adult comedy).” So, you know, you can’t say you weren’t warned. Sunday, Nov. 18, at 8 p.m. Warner Theatre, 513 13th St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $50. Call 202-783-4000 or visit dragfans.com.

DAR CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE

For this 17th annual event, the Daughters of the American Revolution throws open the doors to its headquarters and museum in the historic Memorial Continental Hall, with 31 period rooms depicting scenes of early American life, some of which will festooned in traditional holiday decorations. The event includes caroling from area choirs, the chance to win DAR door prizes, a book drive to benefit local children, cookies, refreshments, even a visit from Santa, plus the museum shop and DAR store will be open for holiday gift shopping. All that immediately across the street from the Ellipse and the National Christmas Tree display. Wednesday, Dec. 5, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. 17th and D Streets NW. Free. Call 202-628-1776 or visit dar.org/openhouse.

GEORGETOWN GLOW 2018

Now in its fifth year, this light art exhibition presented by the Georgetown Business Improvement District features 10 displays by multidisciplinary artists. Billed as a way to “reimagine the season of light,” the commissioned works, curated by Deirdre Ehlen MacWilliams, offer a high-tech modern contrast with the surroundings of D.C.’s oldest neighborhood — which has been further illuminated by the stringing of white lights on street-facing buildings. The five-week event includes a GLOW All Night evening shopping and dining extravaganza on Dec. 7, a Winter Wonderland during the day on Dec. 8, plus a Christmas Tree Farm every weekend at the Ritz-Carlton Georgetown’s Yard and regular GLOW-inspired walking and food tours led by several local tour companies. In addition, the House of Sweden offers its annual Swedish Christmas Bazaar on Saturday, Dec. 1, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. GLOW kicks off Saturday, Dec. 1, and runs every night from 5 to 10 p.m. through Jan. 6. Visit GeorgetownGlowDC.com for more information.

ZOOLIGHTS

More than 500,000 colorful Christmas lights illuminate life-sized animal silhouettes, dancing trees, buildings, and walkways, plus a light show set to music, during this annual holiday event at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. New at ZooLights this year is a Gingerbread Village, a magical land of frosted cookies and lollipops, giant gingerbread-people cutouts, and an Instagram-ready gingerbread throne, set in the Elephant Outpost amongst food and holiday vendors, plus a performance stage for local school groups. All that, plus select animal houses will be open, including the Small Mammal House, the Great Ape House and Reptile Discovery Center. And if you want to experience it all with a local beer buzz, on Thursday, Nov. 29, from 6 to 9 p.m., BrewLights offers snacks and unlimited tastings from more than 40 craft breweries — including samples from Atlas, Denizens, Flying Dog, Manor Hill, Port City, Right Proper, the Bruery, and Union Craft — plus exclusive access to sites throughout the park. ZooLights runs nightly starting Friday, Nov. 23, except Dec. 24, 25, and 31 until Jan. 1. National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. BrewLights tickets are $50 to $60. Call 202-633-4800 or visit nationalzoo.si.edu.

VIDA FITNESS: THANKSGIVING EVE PRE-BURN OPEN HOUSE

“Enjoy your holiday feast guilt-free” by squeezing in a work out on Thanksgiving Eve at Vida. All day long at all locations, the public is free to use premier fitness equipment and cardio machines as well as try a Zumba, cycling or HIIT class. The promotion is part of a “Come 20 Times” campaign offering members who visit Vida frequently between now and Dec. 15 the chance to win prizes, everything from a free month of membership to fitness packages to gift cards to partner businesses. In addition, all Open House attendees receive priority access to “never-before-seen Black Friday deals.” Wednesday, Nov. 21. From 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. All five Vida locations. RSVP at vidafitness.com/thanksgiving.

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

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