Metro Weekly

Out On the Town: D.C. arts and entertainment highlights — January 17-23

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

If Beale Street Could Talk — Photo: Tatum Magnus/Annapuruna Pictures



Tish is an African-American woman determined to clear the name of her husband Fonny, wrongfully accused of rape, before she gives birth to their child. The latest film from Moonlight screenwriter and director Barry Jenkins adapts James Baldwin’s 1974 novel, its themes of racism and injustice still concerningly relevant today. If Beale Street Could Talk stars Kiki Layne as Tish and Stephan James as Fonny. Critics are already heaping praise on the film, which won a Golden Globe for Regina King last Sunday, so don’t be surprised to see it reappear come awards season. Now playing. Area theaters. Visit (RM)


In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, the AFI Silver Theatre is holding a free screening of a documentary that premiered on HBO last year about the struggles the civil rights leader faced in the final 18 months of his life. In the years following passage of the landmark Voting Rights Act in 1965, King faced growing criticism over his unshakeable belief in nonviolence from younger civil rights figures leading the nascent Black Power movement, and also saw his support erode from many establishment figures in politics, the media, business, and labor over his opposition to the Vietnam War. Peter W. Kunhardt’s King in the Wilderness combines striking archival footage with contemporary interviews of fellow civil rights leaders and celebrities, including Andrew Young, Marian Wright Edelman, Harry Belafonte, and Joan Baez. Monday, Jan. 21, at 11 a.m. 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Free, but tickets required. Call 301-495-6720 or visit


Descendants of wealthy families in Paraguay, Chela (Ana Brun) and Chiquita (Margarita Irún) have been together for over 30 years. Yet their relationship faces challenges like never before as a result of a worsening financial situation and new realities for each, including Chela’s encounter with a younger woman. Rayceen Pendarvis hosts a screening of Marcelo Martinessi’s drama, presented in Spanish with English subtitles, as part of Reel Affirmations’ monthly series. Friday, Jan. 18, at 7 p.m. at the HRC Equality Center, 1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW. Tickets are $12, or $25 for VIP seating as well as one complimentary cocktail, beer or wine and popcorn. Call 202-682-2245 or visit


Baltimore’s Creative Alliance presents the 20th annual program in this thought-provoking, eclectic, and international series of 15 animated shorts. Films included in past incarnations have gone on to win Oscars, so you could say curator Ron Diamond, a veteran animation producer, knows how to pick ’em. Four of the 15 films this year have merited Academy Award consideration including Andrew Chesworth and Bobby Pontillas’ One Small Step, about a Chinese-American girl’s dream of being an astronaut and centered on her evolving relationship with her father; John Kahrs’ Age of Sail, the latest in Google’s series of Spotlight Stories about an old sailor’s rescue of a teenage girl after she falls overboard; Trevor Jimenez’s beautifully designed Weekends, about the complex emotional landscape of a young boy and his recently divorced parents; and The Green Bird, a mordantly funny work of computer animation harkening back to classic mid-20th century cartoons with a slapstick-rich depiction of a female bird’s efforts to keep its egg safe. Sunday, Jan. 27, at 4:30 p.m. Creative Alliance at the Patterson, 3134 Eastern Ave. Baltimore. Tickets are $10. Call 410-276-1651 or visit


Next up in its weekly Capital Classics series, Landmark’s West End Cinema presents John Ford’s 1956 Civil War-era western starring John Wayne as a man who goes on a perilous quest to find his abducted niece (Natalie Wood). Also starring Jeffrey Hunter and Vera Miles, with music by the great Max Steiner. Screenings are Wednesday, Jan. 23, 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 $12.50. Call 202-534-1907 or visit

School of Rock –Photo: Evan Zimmerman-Murphy Made



Studio Theatre presents the latest work from the playwright responsible for Bad Jews, the most successful production in the company’s history. This time, Joshua Harmon has white liberals in his crosshairs, offering a  no-holds-barred look at privilege, power, and the perils of whiteness, all set at a New Hampshire boarding school. Mike Donahue directs Meg Gibson and Kevin Kilner as a husband-and-wife duo who are the boarding school’s proudly progressive leaders. Yet their hard-fought, years-long work to diversify the school’s mostly white population runs somewhat counter to their own private efforts to get their son into an Ivy League university. With Sarah Marshall, Marni Penning, and Ephraim Birney. To Feb. 17. Mead Theatre, 14th & P Streets NW. Call 202-332-3300 or visit


Keith Hamilton Cobb’s passionate and poetic exploration of Shakespeare, race, and America examines implicit bias in American theater and culture through the experience and perspective of black men and the metaphor of William Shakespeare’s character Othello. The play focuses on the audition of a seasoned African-American actor (Cobb) for a young white director (Josh Tyson) who presumes to know better than he how to maximize the iconic black character for believability. Weekends to Feb. 3. Anacostia Playhouse, 2020 Shannon Place SE. Tickets are $40 plus applicable charges. Call 202-290-2328 or visit


In association with Georgetown University, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company presents an “intimate theater-for-one experience” that Tania El Khoury designed around a rap song she commissioned from musician and street artist Basel Zaraa, who was born a refugee in Syria. Theatergoers who want to experience the work have to give permission for Zaraa to draw on their arm while listening to his song, which tells of the migration of his sisters from Damascus to Sweden. After a designated 15-minute block of time, each patron will walk away with art on their body that they can wash away (or not). There will be 16 performances per day of As Far As My Fingertips Will Take Me, with tickets released exclusively via a digital lottery through and winners notified weekly on Fridays by the Woolly Mammoth box office to confirm their performance time. Through Feb. 3. Woolly Mammoth, 641 D St. NW. Tickets range from $15. Call 202-393-3939 or visit


Baltimore’s Center Stage offers a chance to see the stunning, heartfelt show based on the work of lesbian cartoonist Alison Bechdel (Dykes to Watch Out For). Hana Sharif directs the company’s production of this Tony-winning coming-of-age and coming-out musical with a cast that includes Andrea Prestinario, Medium Alison, Molly Lyons, Jeffry Denman, and Michelle Dawson. In previews. Opens Thursday, Jan. 24. To Feb. 24. 700 North Calvert St., Baltimore. Tickets are $20 to $74. Call 410-332-0033 or visit


In the coming years, it’s quite possible playwright Paul Rudnick will become best known as the book writer for the long-brewing musical adaptation of The Devil Wears Prada, working alongside composer Elton John. Yet it’s hard to imagine anything making as indelible a mark, at least among its target audience, as his breakthrough, Jeffrey. A notable early “comedy about AIDS,” Jeffrey was anything but an easy sell in the early 1990s during the worst of the AIDS epidemic. Yet once it found an audience in a tiny theater Off Off Broadway, it quickly became a sensation — so much so, in fact, Rudnick adapted the work for the screen, scoring a hit indie film in 1995. The Obie Award-winning play is about a gay actor and waiter who swears off sex for fear of contracting HIV — only to fall for an HIV-positive man. The Rainbow Theatre Project gives the romantic comedy new life in a different era. The cast includes Rinaldo Martinez, Reginald Richard, Matthew Pauli, Randyn Fullard, Emily Levey, Craig Houk, Joshua Street, and Rick Westerkamp. Robert Mintz directs. To Feb. 10. District of Columbia Arts Center, 2438 18th St. NW. Tickets are $35 plus service fees. Call 202-462-7833 or visit


Arena Stage presents a world-premiere drama by Kenneth Lin, a House of Cards series writer. A fictional play based on reality, Kleptocracy is touted as a fearless political journey — as well as the most dangerous play of the season — which trains the spotlight on U.S. - Russia relations in the 1990s, when crude oil was the language of diplomacy and events that dominate today’s headlines are first set in motion. Jackson Gay directs.

Previews start Friday, Jan. 18. To Feb. 24. Kreeger Theater in the Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Call 202-777-3210 or visit


The Riverside Center for the Performing Arts in Fredericksburg, Va., presents the 1983 Tony-winning Broadway musical by Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein, an adaptation of Jean Poiret’s 1973 uproarious French farce. The plot focuses on gay couple Georges and Albin, who pretend to be straight while entertaining the homophobic parents of their son’s fiancée. The Riverside production features a large, 17-person cast led by Christopher Sanders as George and Gabe Belyeu as Albin. And because Riverside is styled as a dinner theater, patrons partake in a three-course, prix-fixe meal prior to every performance. To March 3. 95 Riverside Parkway, Fredericksburg, Va. Tickets are $69 for dinner and show, or $50 for show only. Call 540-370-4300 or visit


An out-of-work, wannabe rock star poses as a substitute teacher to corrupt a class of straight-A students into giving up their academic pursuits for a hard-partying life of rock. The 2003 film comedy, directed by Richard Linklater and starring Jack Black, is reportedly “the highest grossing music-themed comedy of all time.” Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber snapped up the stage rights, enlisting Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes to write the book and Glenn Slater to fashion lyrics to 14 new Webber songs. To cap it off, all that music in this very musical show is performed by those kid rockers in what is billed as the musical theater world’s first-ever kids rock band playing live on stage. Rock on. Through Jan. 27. National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Call 202-628-6161 or visit


In the style of Dreamgirls and Motown: The Musical, this new work, set in 1979, follows the travails of a former R&B superstar who tries to make a comeback in the hip new genre he loathes: disco. Don Michael Mendoza and La Ti Do Productions presents a world-premiere staged reading of Soul Redeemer, featuring original music and lyrics by Neal Learner and a book by Paul Handy, in the long-running variety show’s home venue in Dupont Circle. Kevin Sockwell directs the reading with Matthew Dohm leading an accompanying musical ensemble. Friday, Jan. 18, and Saturday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m. 1727 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets are $15. Call 202-328-1640 or visit


Now in its 30th anniversary season, SCENA Theatre presents the U.S. premiere of a work based on French author Michel Houellebecq’s bestselling novel that imagines a Muslim political party winning the 2022 French presidential election with support from Europe’s Socialist party. Robert McNamara directs the thought-provoking dystopian satire, which mixes fictional characters with real French politicians, including Le Pen and François Hollande, depicted as capitulating to the Muslim Brotherhood as it seizes power and implements Sharia law. David Johnson, Ron Litman, Stacy Whittle, Kim Curtis, Greg Ongao, and Colin Davies comprise the cast for this darkly comic drama. To Feb. 10. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $35 to $45. Call 202-399-7993 or visit


Pulitzer Prize-winning lesbian playwright Paula Vogel’s wry fantastical farce about a brother and sister on a European odyssey gets the Keegan treatment in a production directed by the company’s Artistic Director Susan Marie Rhea. When it premiered in 1992, the New York Times called the show “a crazy-quilt patchwork of hyperventilating language, erotic jokes, movie kitsch that spins before the audience in Viennese waltz time, replete with a dizzying fall.” With Michael Innocenti, Brianna Letourneau, and Ray Ficca. Previews start Saturday, Jan. 19. Opens Tuesday, Jan. 22. To Feb. 9. 1742 Church St. NW. Call 202-265-3767 or visit


Tensions run high as a lone juror argues the innocence of a teenager accused of murder in Reginald Rose’s sizzling drama. The play ignites a conversation about how prejudice obstructs the quest for justice. Sheldon Epps directs Erik King, Christopher Bloch, Michael Russotto, Craig Wallace, Elan Zafir, and Paz López. Previews start Friday, Jan. 18. To Feb. 17. 511 10th St. NW. Tickets are $17 to $64; those ages 35 and under can use code UNDER3519 for discounted tickets to select weeknight performances. Call 800-982-2787 or visit


Pointless Theatre Company’s latest spectacle blurs the lines of puppetry, theater, dance, music, and the visual arts in a “nostalgic valentine” to Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights. Considered the highest accomplishment of Chaplin’s career and also featuring his first-ever film score, the 1931 silent classic follows the misadventures of The Tramp, who falls in love with The Blind Woman and develops a turbulent friendship with an alcoholic millionaire. Kerry McGee and Sharalys Silva lead a seven-member acting ensemble. Weekends to Feb. 9. Dance Loft on 14, 4618 14th St. NW, 2nd Floor. Tickets are $32, or $20 in previews. Call 202-621-3670 or visit

Panic at the Disco! –Photo: Jimmy Fontaine



“I would hope that we could look back on this period and go ‘Wow, that was a time where we all had lessons to learn and learned them, and were forever changed in the right way from what happened,'” Audra McDonald told Metro Weekly last year. The longtime LGBTQ champion, who is also the most-awarded stage actress in Tony history, returns to the Kennedy Center next weekend along with fellow Broadway superstar Brian Stokes Mitchell to lead this year’s free musical celebration honoring Martin Luther King, Jr’s legacy. Also on the bill is the Let Freedom Ring Choir with music director Rev. Nolan Williams Jr. Monday, Jan. 21, at 6 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Free tickets will be given away two per person on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 4:30 p.m. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


West Side Story Reimagined, a 2019 Grammy nominee for Best Latin Jazz Album, is a lively, all-new instrumental orchestration of the Leonard Bernstein classic musical based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet that is, according to NPR Alt Latino’s Felix Contreras, “what the music for West Side Story should have sounded like, sparkling with the music of El Barrio.” The electrifying percussionist and educator Sanabria will bring the music to life at the Kennedy Center in a performance with his Latin jazz band as part of organization’s The Human Journey collaboration with National Geographic and the National Gallery of Art. Friday, Jan. 18, at 7 and 9 p.m. Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Tickets are $35 to $40. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


Two years after she performed as Roxie Hart in the touring production of Chicago, Grammy-winning R&B singer Brandy returns to the Kennedy Center for a tour through hits from her career and others of those who inspired her. The difference, of course, is that these will be dazzling orchestral versions of the hits, with Steven Reineke leading the National Symphony in accompanying Brandy. Friday, Jan. 25, and Saturday, Jan. 26, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall Tickets are $39 to $139. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


In March, this stylish British pop/rock artist gets inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for co-founding Roxy Music. Although never chart-topping hitmakers in the U.S., the pioneering glam-rock/synth-pop act was heralded by the rock critic for The Guardian in 2005 as second only to the Beatles as the most influential British band — and one whose influence extends from the Sex Pistols to Duran Duran to the Killers. In recent years, Ferry has generated buzz through his namesake jazz orchestra and its rearrangements of Roxy hits as well as those from Ferry’s solo career, including “Don’t Stop The Dance” and “Slave To Love. Later this year, Ferry embarks on a world tour on which he’ll continue to revisit songs from his rich repertoire, including “More Than This” Avalon, the 1982 studio album that stands as the best-selling work from Roxy Music. Tickets go on sale Friday, Jan. 18, at 10 a.m., for a Tuesday, Aug. 13, concert at The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. Tickets are $75 to $250. Call 202-888-0020 or visit


Jack Everly leads the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in a performance of some of the biggest hits from Broadway’s most successful musical-making duo featuring Broadway vocalists Ben Crawford, Ted Keegan, and Ashley Brown further supported by the Baltimore Choral Arts. Expect showtune classics and American Songbook standards from The King and I, South Pacific, The Sound of Music, and Oklahoma! Thursday, Jan. 24, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Also Friday, Jan. 25, and Saturday, Jan. 26, at 8 p.m, and Sunday, Jan. 27, at 3 p.m. Tickets are $25 to $95. Call 877-276-1444 or visit


On the eve of Martin Luther King Jr. Day comes a concert from the current Ensemble-in-Residence of the Mars Urban Arts Initiative, a creative platform for local artists presented by Washington Performing Arts and supported by the Mars candy empire. DuPont Brass, originally formed by Howard University music majors who busked at local Metro stations and now an eight-piece ensemble consisting of brass, a rhythm section and vocalists, will perform selections from the prolific soulful brass group’s two albums released last year: Eclectic Soul and Halftime, the latter ending with “Enjoy Yourself,” a life-affirming anthem calling on everyone “gay or straight” to “enjoy your life” and “protect your joy.” A co-presentation with the Kennedy Center via its Millennium Stage programming. Sunday, Jan. 20, at 6 p.m. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


Neither the singing percussionist Eddie Hartness nor any other Virginia-bred member of Eddie From Ohio actually has any ties to the Buckeye State. The folk act’s name is simply an obscure tribute to “Ed From Ohio” Crawford, the lead singer/guitarist of ’80s-era alt-rock act Firehose. Since its founding over a quarter century ago, Eddie From Ohio has gone on to tour regularly throughout the U.S. But the Wammie-winning act remains particularly popular in its native region. As of press time, tickets remain only for shows Friday, Jan. 18, and Sunday, Jan. 20, at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $42.50. Call 703-549-7500 or visit


John Oates is the slightly less well-known half of Hall & Oates, the ’80s-minted pop/R&B hitmakers touted as the best-selling duo of all time. He will perform songs from throughout his career, including from his most recent roots-focused project, Arkansas, backed by his current band. Adam Ezra opens. Thursday, Jan. 17, and Friday, Jan. 18, at 8 p.m. The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $42 to $47. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit


Veteran stage powerhouse Julia Nixon appeared on Broadway in the lead role of Dreamgirls and earned a Helen Hayes Award in Studio Theatre’s production of Caroline, Or Change. Nixon is also an R&B artist, and the recipient of multiple Wammies. “Julia Nixon Sings Burt Bacharach and Hal David” is a concert with accompaniment from longtime collaborator David Ylvisaker, a pianist leading his 12-person band. Saturday, Jan. 26, at 8 p.m. Dumbarton United Methodist Church, 31311 Dumbarton St. NW. Tickets are $39 to $42. Call 202-333-7212 or visit


A former Strathmore Artist In Residence and current faculty member of the Washington Conservatory of Music offers a recital accompanied by fellow faculty member Chen, a native of Taiwan. The program, part of an informal one-hour classical concert series to end the work week, features works for violin and piano by Sarasate, Chopin, Kreisler, and Dvořák. Friday, Jan. 18, at 7 p.m. Westmoreland Congregational Church, 1 Westmoreland Circle, Bethesda. Tickets are free, donations welcome. Call 301-320-2770 or visit


She first came to fame as a 12-week winner on the 1987 season of TV’s Star Search, and went on to star in the original Broadway production of Jekyll & Hyde. Since then, Linda Eder has made singing pop standards and showtunes in a cabaret-style setting her thing. In 2005, teamed up with the London Symphony Orchestra to release the audacious and magnificent tribute to her childhood idol and fellow Minnesotan, By Myself: The Songs of Judy Garland. Eder has become one of the most gifted song interpreters and cabaret artists around, so much so that a Chicago Tribune reviewer has remarked, “Who needs a Broadway show when you’ve got Linda Eder?” Friday, Jan. 25, at 8 p.m. The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $50 to $55. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit


Nick Olcott directs Donizetti’s seductively beautiful, tragic tale of love fraught with power and deception, which becomes the first fully staged production from the Maryland Lyric Opera, a five-year-old, singer-focused company founded by Brad Clark. Maeve Höglund and Nayoung Ban alternate in the title role, with Yi Li and Yongxi Chen alternating as Edgardo and Wei Wu and Hunter Epoch alternating as Raimondo, all leading a cast also featuring SeungHyeon Baek, Antonio Chase, Daiyao Zhong, and Yang Chen, accompanied by the MDLO Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Louis Salemno. Performed in Italian with English surtitles. Thursday, Jan. 24, and Friday, Jan. 25, at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, Jan. 26, at 2 p.m. Kay Theatre in the Clarice at the University of Maryland, University Boulevard and Stadium Drive. College Park. Tickets are $25 to $60. Call 301-405-ARTS or visit


Strathmore’s resident orchestra continues its season-long Leonard Bernstein Centennial Celebration to focus on two of the late, great American legend’s favorite romantic composers: the namesake German and his Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, but also the great Russian romantic Tchaikovsky with his Symphony No. 5 in E minor. Internationally renowned pianist Haochen Zhang, who won the Van Cliburn Competition in 2009 when he was only 19, will perform Brahms with the philharmonic as part of a 60th birthday nod to to its music director and Bernstein protege Piotr Gajewski. Saturday, Jan. 26, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 27, at 3 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $34 to $88. Call 301-581-5100 or visit


Even before he came out as pansexual last summer, Brendon Urie was a known LGBTQ rights advocate and part of a growing list of queer or queer-supportive, Mormon-reared pop stars — alongside Tyler Glenn of Neon Trees, Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons, and Brandon Flowers of the Killers. As emphatic lead singer and multi-instrumentalist, Urie is the only remaining original member of this Las Vegas-originating rock band. The current tour supports Panic!’s sixth full-length album, Pray For The Wicked, which betrays influences from Broadway and Urie’s unexpected, nearly back-to-back turns in Kinky Boots and SpongeBob SquarePants in 2017. Opening sets come from Two Feet, the alias of troubled James Blake-esque singer-songwriter Bill Dess, and Betty Who, one of the millennial LGBTQ generation’s leading divas. Sunday, Jan. 20, at 7 p.m. Capital One Arena, 601 F St. NW. Call 202-628-3200 or visit


Curated by Lynn Veronneau and Ken Avis of Wammie-winning jazz samba group Veronneau, this annual festival presented by Virginia’s Creative Cauldron celebrates the music and dance of cultures around the world, with performances by artists representing a broad spectrum of genres: folk to Latin, opera to bluegrass. Upcoming concerts in the 2019 series include: the nine-artist folk group Shenandoah Run, on Friday, Jan. 18, at 7:30 p.m.; Brazilian vocalist “Rose Moraes Sings Jobim,” Saturday, Jan. 19, at 7:30 p.m.; Jan Knutson, Steve Herberman, and Steve Abshire, three of D.C.’s preeminent jazz guitarists, on Sunday, Jan. 20, at 6:30 p.m.; and a night of music of migration from South America with the guitarist-led Cristian Perez Quintet featuring Argentinian bandoneon player Emmanuel Trifilio, on Friday, Jan. 25, at 7:30 p.m. The series continues to Feb. 2. ArtSpace Falls Church, 410 South Maple Ave. in Falls Church. Tickets are $18 to $22, or $60 for tables of two with wine, $120 for tables of four with wine. Call 703-436-9948 or visit


NSO Music Director Gianandrea Noseda leads a program with the music of and inspired by Schubert and featuring a world-renowned soprano. Specifically, Fleming joins to perform six orchestrated versions of Schubert’s Lieder, which will be interspersed with the Overture and two of the entr’actes from Rosamunde. Luciano Berio’s Rendering, an original work based on material that Schubert sketched for a tenth symphony, closes out the concerts. Friday, Jan. 18, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 20, at 3 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $15 to $89. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


Formerly an Artist-in-Residence ensemble at Strathmore, the D.C.-based roots and folk act, which throws street jazz, early blues, and country swing into the mix, started out as a city-meets-country experiment between singing songstress and multi-instrumentalist Jess Eliot Myhre and banjoist Chris Ousley. The Saturday night concert at the Barns at Wolf Trap billed as one that will turn into “a party where the dancing never stops.” Saturday, Jan. 26, at 8 p.m. 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $22 to $27. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit


KenYatta Rogers returns to direct this toe-tapping hit first presented in 2009. The cabaret production features music by Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Fats Waller, and more from 1920s and ’30s jazz-age America, performed amidst tales of African Americans from the era woven together by playwright Sybil Williams. And two hours before every show, the In Series has partnered with local historian Timothy Wright for a guided walking tour into the music, mural art, and life along U Street, once known as D.C.’s Black Broadway, that ends with a discounted dinner at Ben’s Chili Bowl. Runs to Jan. 20. Source, 1835 14th St. NW. Tickets $20 to $45, or $15 for the pre-show walking tour. Call 202-204-7763 or visit


On the eve of this year’s Women’s March on Washington comes the third annual anti-Trump UnNaugural concert featuring five artists performing and raising money for five local advocacy nonprofits in an event headlined “Playing It Forward, Voices for Social Justice.” In addition to the veteran queer folk artists Wheeler and Curtis, this year’s lineup includes performances from John Flynn, Elena & Los Fulanos, and Tom Prasada-Rao. The beneficiaries are the Montgomery Housing Partnership, the Jewish Coalition Against Domestic Abuse, Interfaith Works, Trash-Free Maryland, and UMttr. Friday, Jan. 18, at 7:30 p.m. Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center, 7995 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring. Tickets are $75, or $250 for VIP granting premier seats, reserved parking, and post-show reception with the performers. Call 301-362-6525 or visit


Folk-rock singer-songwriter Justin Trawick formed the 9 Songwriters Series a dozen years ago partly as a way to help book more shows and perform at more venues, but also to foster greater collaboration among fellow local musicians. The collaborative’s next showcase features Trawick, Shannon Bielski Music, Casey Cavanagh, Bellwether Bayou, Kristie Di Lascio of Loi Loi, Annie Stokes, Schreiner, Ginny Hill Project, and Grover. All nine acts will sing songs, tell stories, and collaborate on tunes they only heard minutes before. Thursday, Jan. 24, at 8:30 p.m. Hill Country, 410 7th St. NW. Tickets are $12 in advance, or $15 at the door. Call 202-556-2050 or visit

The Mouse of Amherst by Jane Franklin Dance
–Photo: Paul Gillis Photography



A co-presentation with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, the annual showcase at the Clarice features some of the region’s most talented established as well as emerging artists. In addition to free post-performance Q&As with the showcased choreographers, the program also features voting for the Audience Choice Award, a special trophy awarded by the presenting host organization at the University of Maryland. This year’s selected choreographers and their respective works are: Victoria Fink, Jen Stone, and Megan Thompson with Incorporeal; Sean McGinty’s Blue Night; Sarah Beth Oppenheim’s Of Oft Off Set; Sandra Lacy’s Giving Up The Ghost; Lola North’s Matthew 20:16 and Strange Fruit; Gabriel Mata-Ortega’s Dreaming, and Stephanie Dorrycott’s Turning Point. Saturday, Jan. 26, at 3 and 8 p.m. The Dance Theatre in the Clarice, University Boulevard and Stadium Drive. College Park. Tickets are $25. Call 301-405-ARTS or visit


Wolf Trap presents a dazzling showcase by the Arlington-based Indian Dance Educators Association promoting classical and folk dance styles. Expect vibrant costumes, lively music, and elaborate movement featuring professional dancers both local and from India. Saturday, Jan. 19, at 8 p.m. The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $25 to $27. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit


A gust of wind blows one of reclusive 19th-century poet Emily Dickinson’s poems in the way of a mouse in this dance-theater piece adapted from Elizabeth Spires’ book The Mouse of Amherst. Moved by Dickinson’s evocative words, the mouse is determined to become a poet herself. Set to the music of Mark Sylvester and Paul Musso, with animation by media artist Bryan Leister developed from images of Dickinson’s actual home furnishings, Mouse in House is a family-friendly performance for the young and young-at-heart and features company dancers Emily Crews, Andie deVaulx, Amy Scaringe, and Kelsey Rohr. A brief performance by students from CMI Kidz opens the show on Saturday, Jan. 19, with students from Perfect Pointe Dance Studio following suit on Saturday, Jan. 26, and those from Melina’s Dancing Garden doing the same on Saturday, Feb. 2. All shows at 4 p.m. Theatre on the Run, 3700 South Four Mile Run Dr. Arlington. Tickets are $10 to $15. Call 703-933-1111 or visit


Kankouran celebrates 35 years with its annual presentation celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, and showcasing the influences that African dance and culture has had on contemporary dance styles. Led by the company’s co-founder and artistic director Assane Konte, the concert features the senior and junior companies of KanKouran as well as the children’s company and the community class. Saturday, Jan. 19, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 20, at 4 p.m. Dance Place, 3225 8th St. NE. Tickets are $25 in advance, or $30 at the door. Call 202-269-1600 or visit


The acclaimed British choreographer Matthew Bourne and his iconic and groundbreaking dance-theater company returns to the Kennedy Center with his thrilling new twist on the classic fairy tale, set amidst the horrors of the 1940 London Blitz during World War II. Cinderella features striking designs and costumes by Lez Brotherston, lighting by Olivier Award-winner Neil Austin, video and projection work by Duncan McLean, and Prokofiev’s score captured via a specially commissioned, surround sound recording by Paul Groothuis. Runs to Jan. 20. Opera House. Tickets are $29 to $129. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


One of the most innovative and imaginative modern dance companies returns to the George Mason Center for the Arts to perform another work melding dance and illusion along with spellbinding music and elaborate costumes. Opus Cactus offers a wildly inventive stage excursion to the American Southwest landscape, abounding with towering cacti and slithering lizards as brought to surreal and wondrous life by the minds and bodies of the MOMIX team. Friday, Jan. 25, at 8 p.m. George Mason University Center for the Arts, 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax. Tickets are $30 to $50. Call 888-945-2468 or visit


Based in New York, this group seeks to breathe new life into traditional Chinese culture, blending beauty, energy and grace. Dancers dressed in dazzling costumes move in seamless, flowing patterns while a live orchestra and thunderous drums shake the stage, all set against stunning, otherworldly backdrops. Performances are Thursday, Jan. 17, and Friday, Jan. 18, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 19, at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 20, at 1 p.m. 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax. Tickets are $80 to $180. Call 888-945-2468 or visit


In honor of Martin Luther King Jr., Strathmore presents an annual showcase of the professional dance troupe focused on stepping, the high-energy, percussive style of dance that originated with African-American fraternities and sororities. The program, including a retrospective of works as well as highlighting the company’s deep connections to South Africa, comes in honor of silver anniversaries of both Step Afrika! as well as the historic election of the late South African President Nelson Mandela. The Dem Raider Boyz step squad out of Greenbelt, Md., will also be featured. Sunday, Jan. 20, at 5 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $35 to $75. Call 301-581-5100 or visit



D.C.’s leading company for longform improv offers a run of shows at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, each presenting a series of vignettes featuring different ensembles, with plots developed on-the-fly, spurred by audience suggestions. The run also features the debut production from WIT ensemble The Fourth Estate, offering a keen look at the media in the 21st century directed by Kate Symes. Weekends to Jan. 27. 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $15 in advance, or $20 at the door. Call 202-399-7993 or visit



Off The Charts: The Hidden Lives and Lessons of American Child Prodigies explores ideas about how best to nurture untapped human potential, as written by the literary editor of The Atlantic whose previous books also mined the issue of child development. Hulbert will be in conversation with former Washington Post reporter Liza Mundy, author of The Richer Sex: How The New Majority of Female Breadwinners is Transforming Sex, Love and Family. Thursday, Jan. 24, at 6:30 p.m. Kramerbooks, 1517 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-387-1400 or visit


#StillWithHer: Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Moments That Sparked a Movement contains inspiring shots of the 2016 Democratic candidate for president addressing crowds and meeting with voters as well as affecting private glimpses with daughter Chelsea and husband and former president Bill Clinton. Featuring text by Sandra Sobieraj Westfall, the book is a celebration of the indomitable Clinton as well as a showcase for the more than 25 years that Kinney, an award-winning photojournalist, spent with the Clintons, first as an official White House photographer in the ’90s and then as the official campaign photographer for Hillary’s run in 2016. Saturday, Jan. 19, at 6 p.m. Politics & Prose at Union Market, 1270 5th St. NE. Call 202-544-4452 or visit


President Clinton’s first Secretary of Labor who is now a Stanford University professor of political science offers a critique of Big Philanthropy in Just Giving: Why Philanthropy Is Failing Democracy and How It Can Do Better. Under the current tax code, Reich argues that the affluent and their foundations are able to use private assets to influence public policy, an act of power that’s largely unaccountable and a threat to the public interest by virtue of some resources being channeled into pet projects and away from democratically agreed goals. Reich will discuss his proposals for how to fix charitable giving in a discussion with the New Yorker chief Washington correspondent Jane Mayer, author of the Koch brothers’ exposé Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires behind the Rise of the Radical Right. Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 7 p.m. Politics and Prose at the Wharf, 70 District Square SW. Call 202-488-3867 or visit


Kramerbooks offers an inspiring reading for activists on the eve of this year’s Women’s March. The focus is a new book that heralds the value of personal anger and also rails against the societal and cultural belittlement of the emotion, revealing it as a cunning way of limiting and controlling one’s own power. In Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger, Chemaly, the director of the Women’s Media Center Speech Project, argues that anger, when “approached with conscious intention…is a vital instrument, a radar for injustice and a catalyst for change.” Friday, Jan. 18, at 6:30 p.m. 1517 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-387-1400 or visit


An annual best-of showcase featuring some of the best tales told over the past year at the storytelling organization’s many events around town. Unlike other storytelling organizations, Story District is focused on congenial camaraderie rather than competition — no judged “Story Slams” here. Now in its 10th year at the Lincoln Theatre, Top Shelf is a curated group of eight storytellers, partially winnowed down by a panel of independent judges, all active members of the storytelling community, this year overseen by Derek Hills. The lineup this year features: Katy Barrett, Twain Dooley, Morgan Givens, Joani Peacock, Cody Pomeranz, Rohini Rao, John Tong, and Diana Veiga. Saturday, Jan. 19. Doors at 6:30 p.m. Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. Tickets are $35 to $45. Call 202-328-6000 or visit



An immersive set of candy-colored, fuzztastic objects echo forms of both playground equipment and the artist’s memory of her own awkward, pubescent body in this exploration of childhood landscapes through camp, craft, and humor. The nostalgic, kitschy, and laborious process of latch hook-rug making is used as a means to grapple with notions of femininity, domesticity, and craft, as well as for its titillating and tactile physical qualities. Identified as a queer womyn maker and art educator based in Baltimore, O’Brien’s work marries construction and woodworking skills with traditional feminized and domesticated systems, such as rug making, creating dually hard and soft objects. In Play Date, O’Brien sourced vintage wool on eBay and cheap plastic rope from the Dollar Store to create the fibrous segments of a peculiar framework with off-kilter color schemes and animated textural shifts. On display to Jan. 27. IA&A at Hillyer, 9 Hillyer Court NW. Call 202-338-0325 or visit


Logan Circle’s small but mighty gallery Transformer presents a new series of paintings from Ibata in its 16th Annual DC Artist Solo Exhibition. A copyist at the National Gallery of Art educated at the Corcoran College of Art & Design as well as New York Academy of Art, Ibata reflects the complexities of growing up in an American culture steeped in violence and focuses on the psyches of hardened men. Now to Feb. 23, with an Artist Talk Saturday, Feb. 2. Transformer, 1404 P St. NW. Call 202-483-1102 or visit


New works by Francie Hester, Greg Minah, Frank Campion, and Stefan Breukers are featured as part of the first show of 2019 at the small, private LGBTQ-run gallery. Long View has long been a leading fixture in its trendy part of Shaw as well as a prime example of how art and art-centric spaces can help revitalize and shape neighborhoods. Opening Reception is Thursday, Jan. 17, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. On display to Feb. 25. 1234 9th St. NW. Call 202-232-4788 or visit


The Newseum celebrates one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious photojournalism competitions with a show featuring just a sampling of the more than 40,000 award-winning images in the archives of Pictures of the Year International. Tracing the evolution of photojournalism from World War II to today, the images on display depict the people and events that have defined the times, capturing war and peace, disaster and triumph, and the social and cultural shifts that have shaped the past 75 years. Founded in 1944 at the University of Missouri, POYi recognizes excellence in photojournalism as well as multimedia and visual editing. To Jan. 20. Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Tickets are $22.95 for general admission. Call 888-NEWSEUM or visit


The Target Gallery presents an exhibition that juxtaposes different contemporary artists’ interpretations of rituals through their work, daily routines, habits, or personal quirks while also bringing in broader cultural formalities and religious ceremonies. Philadelphia-based curator Katy Scarlett selected 24 artworks by 12 artists from around the country plus one from Australia, with area representation including Sarah Hull of D.C., Savannah Loebig of Silver Spring, and Clare Nicholls of Baltimore. Opens Saturday, Jan. 19. Public Reception is Friday, Feb. 8. On display to March 3. Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 North Union St. Alexandria. Call 703-838-4565 or visit


The American luxury fashion house is featured in the first fashion exhibition organized by the National Museum of Women in the Arts, a showcase of the Los Angeles-based label’s conceptual blend of high couture, modern femininity, craftsmanship, and California influences. Rodarte has drawn critical acclaim from both the art and fashion worlds since its founding in 2005 by sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy — who also become the first designers recognized with their own show at the museum. Jill D’Alessandro of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco guest curated the display, featuring highlights from the company’s most pivotal collections in its first 13 years — all told, almost 100 complete looks, presented as they were shown on the runway. To Feb. 10. National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Ave NW. Admission is $10. Call 202-783-5000 or visit


Spread out in two galleries at downtown’s Touchstone Gallery are sculptures and installations celebrating the fierce joys of life. Cowles’ body sculptures can be worn and viewers are encouraged to dance — the installation is meant to be interacted with. Meet the Artist Reception is Saturday, Jan. 19, from 4 to 6 p.m. On display to Jan. 31. Galleries B and C, 901 New York Ave. NW Call 202-347-2787 or visit


A display of works from the four residents this year at the Torpedo Factory Art Center. Through the Post-Grad Residency, housed in Torpedo’s Studio 319, recent college graduates with art degrees are given the opportunity to create and sell work, interact with the public, and build a network outside of the academic setting. The 2018 residents — interdisciplinary artists Lyric Prince and Alexis Gomez, and sculpture/installation artists Sara Roberts and Kelly Johnston — are the featured artists in this latest group exhibition at the Old Town complex’s contemporary Target Gallery. On display through Jan. 21. 105 North Union St. Alexandria. Free. Call 703-838-4565 or visit


With the goal of initiating a conversation around socially driven consumption in a late-capitalist era, this project features works by the co-founders of the D.C. design studio Composite Co., multidisciplinary artist/designer/musician Christian Dutilh and artist/graphic designer Jacob Weinzettel. Vaulte X-XII sheds light on how branding acts as a veneer for otherwise mundane products. Opening Reception is Friday, Jan. 25, from 7 to 9 p.m. On display to March 24. Washington Project for the Arts, 2124 8th St. NW. Call 202-234-7103 or visit

Home Remodeling Show — Photo: Fredde Lieberman



Former DC King Pretty Rik E has managed to help keep alive the art of drag kings in D.C. with this regular series of shows, over brunch or during nighttime parties, featuring nearly two dozen local performers. For the next event, a Sunday afternoon anniversary party, patrons can win tickets to future shows as well as new “Pretty Boi Swag” including limited-edition anniversary t-shirts available in gold and silver foil print and Pretty Boi Drag shot glasses that grant purchasers’ a special discount on shots at the bar. Sunday, Jan. 20, from 2 to 5 p.m. Bier Baron Tavern, 1523 22nd St. NW. Tickets are $20 in advance, or $25 at the door, or $40 for an anniversary package with ticket, t-shirt, and a shot glass. Call 202-293-1887 or visit


TV designers John Gidding of TLC’s Trading Spaces and Tyler Wisler of HGTV’s Design Star headline this weekend’s home show at the Dulles Expo Center, where more than 300 corporate vendors will showcase the latest products and services in remodeling, renovation, décor, and redesign. Gidding leads three hour-long “Incorporating Art and Design” discussions (Friday, Jan. 18, at 4 p.m., and Saturday, Jan. 19, at noon and 3 p.m.), while Wisler focuses on “10 Design Tips & The Do’s & Don’ts of Design” in four hour-long sessions (Friday, Jan. 18, at 6 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 19, at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 20, at noon). In addition to Gidding and Wisler, the Main Stage offers a full schedule of local experts offering advice on specific topics including “Luxury Design on a Budget” with Daniels Design & Remodeling, “Scandinavian Design” led by Jonas Carnemark, and “Don’t Get Burned! Overcoming The Obstacles” by Kayla Shoff and Rachel Mignogna of Foster Remodeling. Additionally, there are Designer Rooms created by area interior designers and a Make-It, Take-It DIY Station sponsored by the Falls Church-based crafts store Stylish Patina. Show hours are Friday, Jan. 18, and Saturday, Jan. 19, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 20, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dulles Expo Center, 4320 Chantilly Shopping Center, Virginia. Tickets are $9 to $12 per day. Call 703-378-0910 or visit

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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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