Metro Weekly

Out On the Town: D.C. arts and entertainment highlights — November 1-7

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

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms — Image courtesy of Disney



After the President suffers a debilitating stroke, his Chief of Staff hatches a plan to replace him with a lookalike. The film, which stars Kevin Kline, Frank Langella, and Sigourney Weaver, hits the big screen in honor of its 25th anniversary as part of the Capital Classics series at Landmark’s West End Cinema. Wednesday, Nov. 7, at 1:30, 4:30, and 7:30 p.m., 2301 M St. NW. Happy hour from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 to $12.50. Call 202-534-1907 or visit


The 1993 comedy is a particular treat for gay fans due to its starry cast: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy. The trio play witches resurrected three centuries after the Salem Witch Trials and out for revenge. The film has gained a ridiculously large following. The last offering in the seasonal Drive-In Series at Union Market. You don’t have to have a car to take it all in — just grab a viewing spot in the picnic area. Food and beer are available, delivered to you or your car window. Friday, Nov. 2. Gates at 6 p.m., with the movie starting after sunset at 8:45 p.m. In the parking lot at 1305 5th St. NE. Free for walk-ups or $10 per car. Call 800-680-9095 or visit


Tyler Perry has an inconsistent history as a filmmaker, but Nobody’s Fool looks like a lot of fun. Tanya (Tiffany Haddish) is the recently paroled sister of high-flying executive Danica (Tika Sumpter), and proceeds to upend her life when she learns that the man Danica is in an online relationship with might be catfishing her. Whoopi Goldberg and Amber Riley also star, as does the very handsome Omari Hardwick (Starz’s Power). Opens Friday, Nov. 2. Area theaters. Visit (Rhuaridh Marr)


Disney’s latest live action effort tackles the story underpinning Tchaikovsky’s infamous ballet, itself based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s novel. Mackenzie Foy stars as Clara, whose deceased inventor mother created a parallel world of four realms where she ruled as queen. Things have gone a bit awry in the queen’s absence, and Clara must save three of the realms from the tyrannical Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren), leader of the mysterious Fourth Realm. Keira Knightley, Morgan Freeman, and Richard E. Grant also star. Lasse Hallström (The Cider House Rules) directs. Opens Friday, Nov. 2. Area theaters. Visit (RM)


The E Street Cinema offers a screening of Richard O’Brien’s camp classic, billed as the longest-running midnight movie in history. Landmark’s showing comes with a live shadow cast from the Sonic Transducers, meaning it’s more interactive than usual. Friday, Nov. 9, and Saturday, Nov. 10, at midnight. Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Tickets are $10. Call 202-452-7672 or visit

AIDA — Photo: DJ Corey



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. To Nov. 18. Kogod Cradle in Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Call 202-777-3210 or visit



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. It seems just the right platform for an intimate rendering of Elton John and Tim Rice’s Tony-winning show. Amidst the glamour, and Guban’s ace lighting design, the production hits several stunning visual tableaux. That glamour can be pleasantly diverting, or just distracting. In one corner, 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. In the other corner, a cast of Cher’s backup dancers are rolling around in lamé scarves. The two halves don’t fit, but a half-moving story seeps out just the same. To Nov. 18. Source Theatre, 1835 14th St. NW. Tickets are $25 to $55. Call 202-204-7741, or visit (Andre Hereford)


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


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


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. To 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


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

Henry V — Photo: C. Stanley Photography


Faction of Fools, D.C.’s commedia dell’arte theater troupe, builds on their success with past spins on Shakespeare to tackle one of the bard’s most theatrical plays, and the company’s first staging of his “history” plays. Paul Reisman helms the production, bringing a little commedia magic, via masks and bits of witty improvisation, to the cavalcade of over 50 characters that appear in Henry V. To Nov. 11. Gallaudet University’s Elstad Auditorium, 800 Florida Ave. NE. Tickets are $18 to $22. Call 202-651-5000 or visit


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. Closes Sunday, Nov. 4. 4545 East-West Highway, Bethesda. Tickets are $50 to $60. Call 240-644-1100 or visit


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. To Nov. 18. Gunston Theater Two, 2700 South Lang St. Arlington. Tickets are $40. Call 703-418-4808 or visit


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


A stage adaptation of D.C.-area native Jason Reynolds’ best-selling book, told entirely in free-form poetry, about a teenage boy’s desire to avenge the shooting of his brother. A world premiere Kennedy Center commission, adapted by Martine Kei Green-Rogers, directed by Timothy Douglas, and starring Justin Weaks. Intended for audiences age 12 and up. To Nov. 4. Kennedy Center Family Theater. Tickets are $25 to $35. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


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. To Nov. 11. 1201 North Royal St., Alexandria. Tickets are $55. Call 703-548-9044 or visit


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. 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



Erie, sophisticated, physically astounding, and quite beautiful, Synetic Theater’s Sleepy Hollow is dance-theater at its magical best. Director Paata Tsikurishvili may have based the production on Washington Irving’s iconic tale of supernatural goings-on in rural Westchester County, but in his hands, it is a flight of storytelling fancy. The Synetic team seems able to do it all: classically inspired dance, extraordinarily expressive movement, death-defying acrobatics and, on this occasion, some positively transcendent puppetry. There is just nowhere else in this town for such otherworldly entertainment. Closes Sunday, November 4. Theater at Crystal City, 1800 South Bell St., Arlington. Tickets are $15 to $60. Call 866-811-4111 or visit (Kate Wingfield)


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


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, with post-show artist talkbacks set for Nov. 9 for The Changeling and the Nov. 11 matinee of The Duchess of Malfi. The Lab at Convergence, 1819 N. Quaker Lane, Alexandria. Tickets are $20 each. Call 703-998-6260 or visit


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


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

Amit Peled — Photo courtesy of the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra



Considered one of the most influential classical musicians today, the renowned cellist joins the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra to share his artistry with the historic 1733 Gofriller Pablo Casals cellos. Peled performs Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme as part of a program that also includes Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 and Bruch’s Kol Nidrei. Christopher Zimmerman conducts. Saturday, Nov. 3, at 8 p.m., preceded by a discussion with the artists and Zimmerman at 7 p.m. The Concert Hall in the George Mason University Center for the Arts, 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax. Tickets are $39 to $50. Call 888-945-2468 or visit


Italian composer Pietro Mascagni’s L’Amico Fritz is decidedly more comical, with a happier ending, than his better known Cavalleria Rusticana, yet is filled with the soaring melodies you’d expect from his verismo style. Baltimore Concert Opera offers a rare concert performance of this opera about a wealthy landowner who makes a bet with a friend that he’ll remain a bachelor forever — until threatened by the charms of a tennant’s daughter. Tenor William Davenport portrays Fritz with soprano Victoria Cannizzo as Suzel, the damsel of his initial distress. Giovanni Reggioli conducts with Justina Lee at the piano in the Garrett-Jacobs Mansion, the new home of the BCO, a decade-old company focused on offering operatic masterpieces with singers and piano in the intimate setting of a gilded 19th-century historic ballroom. Friday, Nov. 9, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 11, at 3 p.m. Grand Ballroom of the Engineers Club, 11 W. Mount Vernon Pl., Baltimore. Tickets are $27.50 to $71.50. Call 443-445-0226 or visit


The Baltimore Symphony celebrates the fall holidays of Halloween and Christmas by performing Danny Elfman’s rambunctious, colorful score while Tim Burton’s 1993 stop-motion animated musical fantasy screens overhead. Scott Terrell conducts. Friday, Nov. 2, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 3, at 3 p.m. Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore. Tickets are $12.50 to $75. Call 410-783-8000 or visit


Singer-songwriter Tim Nelson leads the moody alt-pop group from Australia that also includes Nelson’s husband, keyboardist Sam Netterfield, along with keyboardist/guitarist Zoe Davis and drummer Dan Puusaari. Originally named Cub Scouts until the four piece was threatened with legal action by the actual Cub Scouts, the four piece has picked up steam internationally since the release of last year’s impressive Bats, with its atmospheric yet soulful slow-burn songs in the mold of queer forebears George Michael and Frank Ocean. Nelson also touches on coming out and commitment in honest, heartfelt lyrics, from the gospel-inflected first single “O Lord” to “Crush,” the video for which shows Nelson and Netterfield shirtless and getting intimate. Monday, Nov. 5. Doors at 7 p.m. Songbyrd Music House, 2477 18th St. NW. Tickets are $13 to $15. Call 202-450-2917 or visit


As an 11-year-old, Elle King made her acting debut in father Rob Schneider’s movie Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo. But King’s career as an adult has taken a much different track, as a hard-living blues-fired rockstar. Nearly four years after King’s debut album Love Stuff, featuring the unforgettable 2015 hit “Ex’s & Oh’s,” the 29-year-old bares her soul on new set Shake The Spirit, coming clean about the mental health and substance abuse issues she’s struggled with in the face of her musical fame in recent years. Friday, Nov. 2. Doors at 6:30 p.m. Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. Tickets are $30. Call 202-888-0050 or visit


Increasingly regarded as one of the genre’s best contemporary bands, the local progressive bluegrass act earned a Grammy nomination for the 2015 album Cold Spell. Solivan and his Dirty Kitchen crew — banjoist Mike Munford, guitarist Chris Luquette, and bassist Jeremy Middleton — offers a hometown show as early promotion for the forthcoming set If You Can’t Stand The Heat. The High & Wides, a self-described “hillbilly string band,” opens. Friday, Nov. 9. 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


Nearly two years after the Tony-nominated leads of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella were featured in a National Symphony Pops concert, the duo returns to the Kennedy Center for another evening of musical “pairings,” breathing life into beloved Broadway standards. And this time out, Osnes (Grease: You’re The One That I Want) and Fontana (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) will perform classics by Sondheim as well as newer tunes by Pasek & Paul in a cabaret that reteams them with Cinderella‘s music director Andy Einhorn, who will accompany them on piano. Friday, Nov. 2, at 7 p.m. Terrace Gallery. Tickets are $75 to $149. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


Touted by the Boston Globe as the “troubadour laureate of modern city folk,” the New York-based Kaplansky has collaborated with Suzanne Vega, Shawn Colvin, and Dar Williams, among other contemporaries who, for one reason or another, have had a tad more mainstream success than she. You might call her a folkie’s folkie. Kaplansky drops by Jammin Java as part of a tour celebrating her first new album in five years, Everyday Street. Friday, Nov. 2. Doors at 6 p.m. 227 Maple Ave. E. Vienna. Tickets are $25. Call 703-255-3747 or visit


A dozen years since American Idol and six since NBC’s Smash, McPhee makes her Kennedy Center Concert Hall debut accompanied by the National Symphony under the guidance of Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke. McPhee will perform timeless jazz standards and Broadway favorites as well as songs from her repertoire. Friday, Nov. 9, and Saturday, Nov. 10, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $24 to $89. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


On the eve of the midterm election, the noted experimental music organization, now the Ensemble-In-Residence at the Washington National Cathedral, offers a “communal forum with music” inspired by the gay, iconic poet, who was born 200 years ago next year. Twisting the title to one of Whitman’s most famous poems, “I Sing the Body Electoral” touches on core American values and ideals — from the Dream to democracy — that were revered by Whitman but seem to be under threat today. Hosted by PBS’s Jeffrey Brown, the program features world-renowned baritone William Sharp and pianist Wan-Chi Su performing famous Whitman songs by Kurt Weill as well as Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Three Poems by Walt Whitman and the world premiere of Curt Cacioppo’s The Golden Door. Meanwhile, PostClassical’s executive director Joe Horowitz moderates a panel discussion including Lorenzo Candelaria, dean of the Arts at SUNY Purchase, Martin Murray, researcher and founder of the nonprofit Washington Friends of Walt Whitman, Brian Yothers, literature professor at the University of Texas at El Paso, Peyman Allahvirdizadeh, a poet and immigrant from Iran, and Neil Richardson, creator of the meditation-focused Walt Whitman Integral. Monday, November 5, at 7:30 pm. The Bethlehem Chapel, Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues NW. Tickets are $65. Call 202-537-2228 or visit


A rotating musical collective founded by arranger and pianist Scott Bradlee in 2011, PMJ became a YouTube sensation through its reworking of recent pop songs into vintage swing and jazz tunes. This “traveling band of throwback minstrels” returns to the area on the Back in Black & White Tour. Monday, Nov. 5, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $35 to $85, or $185 for a Gold VIP package including a premium seat and post-show Meet & Greet. Call 301-581-5100 or visit


Formed in 1983, this New Orleans band has evolved from playing the streets of the French Quarter to festivals and stages all over the world, in the process leading a revival in the Crescent City’s brass band tradition. The band returns to the Hamilton, which will set up a dance floor in front of the stage so patrons can get down and into the groove. Ellis Dyson & the Shambles, a “playfully hootin’ and hollerin’ act” from North Carolina, opens the show on Friday, Nov. 2, at 8 p.m., while Rebirth performs twice on Saturday, Nov. 3, at 8 and 10:30 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $35 to $45. Call 202-787-1000 or visit


South African singer-songwriter Jean-Philip Grobler grew up singing in the Drakensberg Boys’ Choir, but St. Lucia, his five-piece project that includes his wife Patti Beranek, is far more influenced by pop music than choral. The new album Hyperion, like those that came before it, is dramatic synth-pop through and through, recalling pioneering stylistic forebears such as Depeche Mode and New Order. “Paradise Is Waiting,” for instance, sounds straight out of a rock musical a la Hair, with shades of Polyphonic Spree and Prince, while the rising chorus to “China Shop” conjures “New York City Boy” by Pet Shop Boys. SHAED, The Colonies open. Tickets remain for the show Tuesday, Nov. 6. Doors at 7 p.m. Nightclub 9:30, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $32.50. Call 202-265-0930 or visit



Dance Loft on 14 plays host to this day-long annual festival at which dance masters lead workshop sessions for interested participants exploring renowned improvisatory dance styles. Co-presented by Dance ICONS: International Consortium for Advancement in Choreography, the festival kicks off on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 9 a.m. with Juliana Ponguta teaching the avant-garde dance style Contact Improvisation, originally created by Steve Paxton, followed by Candice Scarborough leading a Gaga Masterclass into the healing power of movement, based on the style developed by Ohad Naharin, at 10:45 a.m., Vladimir Angelov of Dance ICONS teaching Improvisational Technologies as created by William Forsythe at 12:30 p.m., and Ken Manheimer leading The Underscore, originally created by Nancy Stark Smith, at 2:15 p.m. In addition to a break for a 30-minute lunch, the day concludes with a complimentary Wine & Cheese reception at 4:30 p.m. 4618 14th St. NW 2nd Floor. Tickets are $20 to $22. Call 202-621-3670 or visit


GALA’s 14th annual festival offers the D.C. premiere of La Sobremesa, a mesmerizing new piece from Spain’s Omayra Amaya Flamenco Dance Co., which will be performed the third weekend of November with bailaor Edwin Aparicio, the festival’s co-founder and curator. But Aparicio, the gay D.C.-based native of El Salvador who has become a world-renowned champion of contemporary flamenco, has opted to kick off this year’s two-weekend festival with one of the hottest companies based in the country where the style originated. Spain’s Fundación Conservatorio Flamenco Casa Patas collaborates to present Barrios and Co. in the U.S. premiere of Reditum, Dancing Flamenco, an imaginative, high-spirited work that showcases Barrios’ virtuosity and also features music director and guitarist Isaac Muñoz, singers Caridad Vega and Sara Coréa, and Diego Villegas on saxophone, flute, and harmonica. Thursday, Nov. 8, through Saturday, Nov. 11, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 12, at 2 p.m. GALA Theatre at Tivoli Square, 3333 14th St. NW. Tickets are $30 to $48, or $80 for a Flamenco Pass to both productions. Call 202-234-7174 or visit


The MOVEIUS Contemporary Ballet, which works to push the boundaries of ballet by tackling policy issues affecting society, presents two ballets by the company’s Diana Movius as part of the first home season at Movius-founded venue Dance Loft on 14. Rite of Spring, Crash of Fall is a new 35-minute dance-theater piece commissioned by the Kennedy Center that uses Stravinsky’s famous score and storyline as the backdrop to revisit to the 2008 financial crisis on its 10-year anniversary. Dating to 2015, Glacier: A Climate Change Ballet is a multimedia piece where the threat of polar icecap collapse is brought to life by dancers who ripple, crack, and plunge amidst live video projections by filmmaker Robin Bell (known for his #resist projections on Trump hotels) and set to music by Max Richter, David Lang, and Andrew Thomas. Performances are Friday, Nov. 9, and Saturday, Nov. 10, at 8 p.m. 4618 14th St. NW 2nd Floor. Tickets are $27. Call 202-621-3670 or visit


The Acclaimed Bharatanatyam ensemble, created and run by the mother/daughter team of Ranee Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy, returns to the Kennedy Center with one of its newest productions. Written in Water is a large-scale multi-disciplinary work of dance and text set to a live, original score from South Indian composer Prema Ramamurthy with Iraqi American jazz artist Amir ElSaffar, and also featuring lush paintings by Chennai-based artist V. Keshav projected onto the stage to create a mythic, mystical dance landscape. An allegory of human’s constant search for transcendence, the 65-minute work draws inspiration from the Indian board game Paramapadam, the 2nd century precursor to Snakes and Ladders, and the 12th-century Sufi poem The Conference of the Birds. Friday, Nov. 2, and Saturday, Nov. 3, at 7:30 p.m. Terrace Theater. Tickets are $39. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


“Contemporary Masters is an evening of three American modern dance geniuses: Mark Morris, Merce Cunningham, and Paul Taylor,” says the Washington Ballet’s Julie Kent. “These three dance innovators really changed the trajectory of 20th-century dance, [and] we’re really excited to introduce this choreography to our company and to our audiences.” All modern dance choreographers, their works in this program are “realized with authenticity and with correct style and dynamics by artists that are classically trained” — yet their individual style shines through, no matter how traditionally unballetic it may be. For example, Cunningham’s Duets is performed by dancers who are barefoot, while Taylor’s Company B has them in soft dance shoes; only Morris’ Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes is rendered in pointe shoes. Remaining performances are Thursday, Nov. 1, and Friday, Nov. 2, at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 3, at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 4, at 1:30 and 6:30 p.m. Harman Hall, 610 F St. NW. Tickets are $25 to $125. Call 202-547-1122 or visit


Originally co-commissioned by Dance Place and the National Performance Network, the full-length production is a reflection of the world today as viewed through the lens of Marvin Gaye’s music — specifically the 1971 classic about life, love and social justice that gives the show its title. A work featuring modern, jazz, and West African dance from choreographers Vincent E. Thomas, Ralph Glenmore, and Sylvia Soumah, Thomas spearheaded and continues to tour it nationally and present it regionally. Friday, Nov. 2, and Saturday, Nov. 3, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 4, at 4 p.m. Joe’s Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mount Rainier, Md. Tickets are $23 to $28. Call 301-699-1819 or visit



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. To Nov. 18. District of Columbia Arts Center, 2438 18th St. NW. Tickets are $15 to $18. Call 202-462-7833 or visit


Like the funniest extroverts at the party, the improv troupe Upright Citizens Brigade riffs on D.C. and audience-members alike. The brigade has many famous alumni, including Amy Poehler and Ed Helms. Saturday, Nov. 3, at 7 p.m. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $20 in advance, or $25 day-of show. Call 202-408-3100 or visit



A panel of local authors will join Holly Smith, editor-in-chief of the Washington Independent Review of Books to discuss the challenge writers face in finding a publisher and promoting their books. The ultimate goal of this discussion, presented by Kramerbooks in conjunction with the alumni organization Harvardwood, is to provide insights for indie and aspiring writers to introduce, expand, and redefine their literary horizons. In addition to Smith, the panel features literary agent Laura Strachan, poet/author Richard Peabody of Gargoyle Magazine, author and retired colonel J. Michael McNealy, and attorney/author John Adam Wasowicz. Friday, Nov. 2, at 6:30 p.m. Kramerbooks, 1517 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-387-1400 or visit


A New York-based trans woman and multidisciplinary artist gives a free lecture exploring her artistic body of work, which spans poetry, performance, music, photography, and fashion, and is centered on concepts of Afrofuturism and “conditioning.” Described as “transgressive” by the New York Times, Huxtable has been featured in group presentations at museums including the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum as well as performed as a DJ at music festivals and parties around the world, including her own transgender-inclusive party Shock Value. Huxtable, who will read from Mucus in My Pineal Gland, her collection of poems and other writings, is the guest of the Towson University Department of Communication Studies. Monday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. Center for the Arts Recital Hall, 8000 York Rd, Towson, Md. Call 410-704-2000 or visit


A public policy professor at George Washington University drops by the National Building Museum to discuss the economic impact of the 1968 riots on retail properties in the commercial corridors of 7th and 14th Streets NW and H Street NE. Through maps and data analytics, Brooks explores the revival of these areas over the half-century and what these changes mean for the future of Washington’s urban development. Her talk complements the museum’s special exhibition Community Policing in the Nation’s Capital (see separate entry under Art & Exhibits). Wednesday, Nov. 7, at 6:30 p.m. 401 F St. NW. Tickets are $20, or $12 for museum members. Call 202-272-2448 or visit



A display of prominent artifacts highlighting the history of citizen participation, debate and compromise from the nation’s formation to today. The American experiment is still alive, if not altogether well at the moment, but it has endured rough times before. This exhibition, at the Smithsonian’s American History Museum, highlights the various ways in which leading figures have strived to make the country “a more perfect union.” Objects include Thomas Jefferson’s portable desk he used to draft the Declaration of Independence, the inkstand Abraham Lincoln used to draft the Emancipation Proclamation, and the table on which Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote the Declaration of Sentiments. Ongoing. 14th St. and Constitution Ave. NW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit


Artists, both those specially invited and others who answered a call for submissions, created themed-based works in this fourth annual exhibition presented by Alexandria’s historic museum. The exhibition brings a modern context to the idea of a curiosity collection enveloped in a gallery-sized cabinet. On display to Nov. 11. The Athenaeum, 201 Prince St., Alexandria. Call 703-548-0035 or visit


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 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


The U.K.’s legendary 20th-century prime minister was a lifelong admirer of the 16th-Century Brit regarded as the greatest writer in the English language, and the Bard’s influence can be found in Churchill’s speeches and ideas. The Folger Shakespeare Library presents materials from its collection as well as those from Cambridge’s Churchill Archives Centre and Churchill’s home Chartwell, both of which collaborated on this special exhibition. Now to Jan. 6. 201 East Capitol St. SE. Call 202-544-4600 or visit


Organized as part of a citywide commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, this exhibition uses original documents, maps, posters, and other materials to shine a light on a local experiment in community policing. “The Pilot District Project, 1968-1973” was a program with good intentions, an innovative experiment in community policing that had success but also more than its share of failures, and its legacy continues in citizen police reform efforts today. Co-presented by the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. Through Jan. 15. National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. Tickets are $10 for admission to all current exhibitions. Call 202-272-2448 or visit


The Zenith Gallery continues to celebrate 40 years of presenting contemporary art in a wide variety of media, styles, and subjects with a new exhibit by Stephen Hansen, an artist who has been with the gallery from the beginning. For the gallery’s third Great Moments in Art show, Hansen has meticulously recreated selections from two centuries of painting, adding small sculpted painters on scaffolds who appear to be doing the actual painting. His charming parodies of works as famous as Trumbull’s iconic portrait of Alexander Hamilton to Lichtenstein’s Pop Art Nurse are witty and surprising. Meet-The-Artist opening receptions are Friday, Nov. 9, from 5 to 8 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 10, from 2 to 6 p.m. On display through Dec. 1. 1429 Iris St. NW. Call 202-783-2963 or visit


Referred to as the most significant living American painter by the Hirshhorn, this gay African-American artist certainly works on a scale commensurate with that kind of stature. Take, for example, his huge, 400-foot installation created for his debut at the Smithsonian’s modern art museum as well as in D.C. A timely, commissioned “cyclorama” of eight large, site-specific collages, Bradford was inspired by Paul Philippoteaux’s same-named masterpiece depicting the loss of the Confederate Army at the Battle of Gettysburg. Covering the curved walls of the Hirshhorn’s third level inner circle, the work presents 360-degrees of abstracted historical narrative using Bradford’s signature practice of collage, juxtaposed with reproductions of the 19th-century original in a way that intentionally disrupts, messes up, and confuses. The end result is a work that invites reconsideration of how narratives about American history have been shaped and contested. To Nov. 12. Independence Avenue and Seventh Street SW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit


Once a year, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery plans to showcase one portrait created by a foreign artist in an exhibition designed around that work, via a series intended to highlight the global context of American portraiture. The inaugural exhibition focuses on “Femme en Extase (Woman in Ecstasy),” a portrait of Italian dancer Giulia Leonardi by Swiss painter Ferdinand Hodler, complemented by a selection of works from the gallery’s collection featuring American dancers, notably Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, Ted Shawn, and Ruth St. Denis. To Nov. 12. 8th and F Streets. NW. Call 202-633-8300 or visit


Seventeen of the nation’s top ceramic artists collaborate in the annual functional pottery show sponsored by East City Art, offering something for both the most avid pottery collector and the casual observer, from table platters to fanciful mugs to cooking pots. Potters with works on display this year for the first time include Richard Aerni, Birdie Boone, Andrea Denniston, Carolyn Dilcher-Stutz, Kenyon Hansen, and Kate Johnston, with returning potters including Dan Finnegan, Michael Kline, Stacy Snyder, and Catherine White. A Preview Reception is Friday, Nov. 2, at 6:30 p.m. The show is Saturday, Nov. 3, and Sunday, Nov. 4, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Old Naval Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Tickets to the preview reception are $36 and include light hors d’oeuvres and refreshments; the show itself is free. Call 202-549-4172 or visit


In its largest interactive technology exhibition to date, the Hirshhorn Museum gives over its entire second level to a Mexican-Canadian artist known for straddling the line between art, technology, and design. In his D.C. debut, Lozano-Hemmer

fills the museum with immersive environments using fingerprints and heart-rate sensors to create kinetic and audiovisual experiences from visitors’ own biometric data. These intimate “snapshots” of electrical activity are then added to a live archive of prior recordings to create an environment of syncopated rhythms — all in a new way of looking at biometry that represents both anonymity and community. Opens Thursday, Nov. 1. On display to April 28, 2019. Hirshhorn Museum, Independence Avenue and Seventh Street SW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit


The National Geographic Museum reveals the only recently declassified story behind the 1985 discovery of the infamous ship — by oceanographer and National Geographic Explorer-at-Large Robert Ballard, who stumbled on the infamous shipwreck after he completed a top-secret mission to investigate the remains of two nuclear submarines in the North Atlantic. Titanic: The Untold Story is presented in partnership with the National Archives and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. To Jan. 1. 1145 17th St. NW. Tickets are $15. Call 202-857-7588 or visit

The Emporiyum — Photo: Dim Sum Media



Eighty breweries fill the concourse at Nationals Park to help spread beer cheer the first Saturday in November — pouring over 200 varieties of beers, with a particular focus on fall seasonal offerings. Atlas, Right Proper, and 3 Stars are among the D.C. craft breweries represented, with Virginia represented by Bold Rock, Hellbender, Jailbreak, Port City, and Old Dominion,and Maryland with the Brewer’s Art, Manor Hill, Flying Dog, and Wyndridge. Over a dozen of D.C.’s top food trucks will also be on hand for the annual beer fest, also offering Bobby McKeys Dueling Pianos, lawn games, DJs and more. Saturday, Nov. 3, from noon to 3 p.m. or 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. 1500 South Capitol St. NE. Tickets are $45 per session and include unlimited drink tastings. Visit


Union Market is a haven for foodies year-round, but one weekend every November it becomes a veritable foodie’s paradise. In addition to the regular merchants and food stalls inside the Market proper, over 100 artisans, producers, chefs, and restaurants from around the Mid-Atlantic also set up booths behind the market to sample and peddle their latest wares and fares. It’s a good assortment of tasty edibles and thoughtful gifts, for friends and family — and yourself. A sampling of the more intriguing vendors on hand this year include Hubert’s Lemonade, Ice Cream Jubilee, Hot Little Biscuit, Buttercream Bake Shop, Republic Restoratives, La Vache “microcreamery,” the deli Call Your Mother, Sweet Sticks pudding, Crude bitters and sodas, Chick’nCone, Colada Shop, Maryland ChickAn, Ramen Burger, Shouk, True Chesapeake Oyster Co, and Undercover Quinoa Co. The Emporiyum launches with a preview party Friday, Nov. 9, starting at 6 p.m. The Emporiyum is Saturday, Nov. 10, and Sunday, Nov. 11. Dock5 at Union Market, 1309 5th St. NE. General admission per day is $25 for admission at 11 a.m., $20 at 12:30 p.m., or $15 at 1:30 p.m., or $40 for VIP access at 10 a.m. with special bites and sips, and a gift bag; the Friday party is $50, or $80 with an All Access Weekend Pass. Call 800-680-9095 or visit



Regie Cabico and Don Mike Mendoza’s variety show features higher-quality singing than most karaoke, often from local musical theater actors performing on their night off, and also includes spoken-word poetry and comedy. Held at Bistro Bistro in Dupont Circle, the next La-Ti-Do is an annual celebration of songs by great composers, this year featuring composer Flatt and poet Ward, with a spotlight on singer-songwriter Chris Urquiaga. Frank Britton and Lawrence O. Grey, Jr. are guest hosts for this program with guest performers including Carlos Castillo, Julia Capizzi, Natalie Jensen, Elizabeth Weiss, and Stephanie Wilson. Pianist Paige Rammelkamp accompanies the performers along with a small jazz band. Monday, Nov. 12, at 8 p.m. 1727 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets are $15, or $10 if you eat dinner at the restaurant beforehand. Call 202-328-1640 or visit


Local married couple Belladonna and drag king Ken Vegas co-produce a wide-ranging show, rooted in Bella’s primary work as a “tribal fusion bellydance” performer and teacher, as well as her background as a medieval reenactor. In many ways, Raven’s Night, which doubles as a masquerade ball, is the sort of event you’re only going to experience around this time of year — not least for its name, an homage to Baltimore’s master of macabre, Edgar Allan Poe. Bella hosts the 7th Annual cabaret, concert, and carnival event with a Day of the Dead-esque theme about celebrating and affirming life — “as death is a reminder to seize the day.” Saturday, Nov. 3, starting at 5 p.m. with an alt-World’s Fair-style exposition and sideshow, including Tarot readings, magic, and belly dancing, followed by a dinner concert at 6:30 p.m., and the Cabaret Melancholia at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $25. Call 703-549-7500 or visit


Food world celebrities expected at the fourth annual event at the National Museum of American History are chef/TV personalities Bobby Flay, Aarόn Sánchez, and Maneet Chauhan, James Beard Award-winning chefs Sue Milliken, Susan Feniger, Traci Des Jardins, and Edouardo Jordan, and authors Sandra A. Gutierrez (The New Southern-Latino Table), Corby Kummer (The Pleasures of Slow Food), and Michael W. Twitty (The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African-American Culinary History in the Old South). This year’s theme is “Regions Reimagined,” with a focus on exploring the evolving concept of region and local connections. The Food History Weekend kicks off with a Black Tie Gala at which the 4th Annual Julia Child Award will be given to Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger of L.A.’s Border Grill, on Thursday, Nov. 1. On Friday, Nov. 2, comes free roundtables about the migration of people and food throughout American history with leading researchers, experts, and thinkers. The weekend comes to a head on Saturday, Nov. 3, with free activities around the museum during the day, from book signings to film screenings to demos — though no tastings — culminating with the Last Call evening toast to the history of American brewing, including craft beer tastings from Bow and Arrow Brewing out of New Mexico, Cajun Fire Brewing from New Orleans, New Glarus Brewing from Wisconsin, and Scratch Brewing from Illinois. 1400 Constitution Ave. NW. Tickets are $500 to the opening Black Tie Gala and $45 (plus fees) to the closing Last Call event. Call 202-633-1000 or visit for more information.


The annual Museum Shop Around is one of the best and most convenient places in town for finding unique, artsy holiday gift ideas. Next weekend, 17 museums and art organizations will be represented at the event selling memorabilia and merchandise, including the Audubon Naturalist Society, the Jewish Museum of Maryland, Montgomery History, the National Geographic Museum, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Phillips Collection, and the Supreme Court Historical Society. Each museum is given its own space, often its own room, in Strathmore’s historic Mansion. That’s enough for most shops to display as much as 40 percent of their normal inventory. The Mansion also offers a café with food and drink available throughout the event, including hot apple cider. Opens Thursday, Nov. 8, and runs through Sunday, Nov. 11, starting at 10 a.m. each day. 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Free, but suggested donation is $10. Call 301-581-5100 or visit


Rayceen Pendarvis’ free LGBTQ-focused variety show sends its seventh season out with a bang on Wednesday, Nov. 7, with performances by Pussy Noir, Bella La Blanc, Hell O’Kitty, Midori Minx, Madamme Seduction, plus an opening number by Pendarvis, who also hosts. Additional attractions including a fashion show by Dasoul men’s underwear, product demos, displays by vendors, free food (while it lasts), and a cash bar, kicking with at 6 p.m. with music spun by DJ MIM. HRC Equality Center, 1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW. Free. Call 202-505-4548 or visit


RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9 victor and designer Sasha Velour, Black Girl Ventures founder and LGBTQ advocate Shelly Bell, New York Times columnist David Brooks, NASA astrophysicist and Jupiter mission director Scott Bolton, Grammy-winning DJ/producer and Beats by Dre co-founder IZ Avila, feminist grassroots organizer and #TimesUp inspiration Mily Treviño-Sauceda, and Google X’s “mad scientist” Rich Devaul. Those are among the 30 artists, scientists, change-makers, and influencers touted as “2018’s Biggest Thinkers” set to converge on the National Mall next month. Long Conversation is an unscripted, unmoderated day-long gathering centered on randomized, two-person, relay dialogues likened by organizers as an amalgam of “the best dinner party, TED talk, and speed dating [session] you could ever put together.” Presented at the Arts & Industries Building, the event is geared toward imagining a brighter future by exploring game-changing ideas in areas as diverse as cancer research, democratic politics, performance art, and the queer community, among others. This second annual free event, which will also be live-streamed via Facebook, is complemented by futuristic art installations drawing from science and technology, as well as culinary pop-ups featuring food from chef/restaurateur Spike Gjerde of Rake’s Progress and cocktails from Republic Restoratives available for purchase. Wednesday, Dec. 7, from 2 to 10 p.m. 1000 Jefferson Dr. SW. Tickets, granting entry in staggered, two-hour sessions, will be available starting Monday, Nov. 5. Call 202-633-1000 or visit for more information.

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

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