Metro Weekly

Out On the Town: D.C. arts and entertainment highlights — January 31-February 6

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

The Ice King documentary — via



Documentaries focused on the Israel-Palestine conflict screen for free as part of Voices from the Holy Land series, now in its fifth year and sponsored by an interfaith coalition of more than 40 area organizations. Home Front: Portraits from Sheikh Jarrah focuses on several residents of a neighborhood in East Jerusalem, the traditionally Palestinian area of the Holy City, showing their struggles amidst increasing Israeli settlement expansion — from a Palestinian teenager forced to give up part of his home to the settlers, to an American-born Israeli mother drawn into anti-settlement demonstrations after her children’s arrest, to a veteran of the Israeli army who has become one of the leaders of the resistance campaign. Following the screening will be a Q&A discussion moderated by Philip Farah, co-chair of the Washington Interfaith Alliance for Middle East Peace. Sunday, Feb. 10, at 2:30 p.m. The Library in the Islamic Center of Maryland, 19411 Woodfield Road, Gaithersburg. Free. Call 240-912-4976 or visit


British ice skater John Curry helped transform what had become a dated sport into an exalted art form. He’s also credited as the first openly gay Olympian, having come out the night he won gold for a rebelliously balletic routine at the Winter Olympics in 1976. A story of art, sport, sexuality, and rebellion, James Erskine’s 2018 documentary presents Curry, another unfortunate and untimely casualty of AIDS, as a lost cultural icon, and a man whose body was a battleground in every area of life, from his personal relationships, to interactions and altercations in public, to prejudice in the professional setting — specifically his “unmanly” elegance on the ice. Erskine will speak at a special area screening of The Ice King as part of the morning Cinema Sundays series at Baltimore’s oldest movie theater, The Charles. The screening is presented by The Next Ice Age, the Baltimore-based “dance company on ice” and figure-skating presenting organization celebrating its 30th anniversary. And the company’s co-founders, Nathan Birch and Tim Murphy, both original members of the John Curry Company featured in the documentary, will also take part in a post-screening Q&A. Sunday, Feb. 3. Doors at 9:45 a.m. Charles Theatre, 1711 N. Charles St., Baltimore. Call 410-727-FILM or visit


Landmark’s E Street Cinema presents Richard O’Brien’s camp classic, billed as the longest-running midnight movie in history. Landmark’s showings come with a live shadow cast from the Sonic Transducers, meaning it’s even more interactive than usual. Friday, Feb. 8, and Saturday, Feb. 9, at midnight. Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672 or visit


Both a swashbuckling adventure and a period piece about Elizabethan England’s struggles with Spain, Michael Curtis’ 1940 black-and-white film starred Errol Flynn as privateer Geoffrey Thorpe. The Library of Congress presents a free screening of one of the great pirate romances of the time as part of the series “The Film Music of Erich Korngold,” honoring one of the earliest and most influential composers in the history of Hollywood. Although best known for The Adventures of Robin Hood, the Austrian-born Korngold was nominated for an Oscar for his rousing score to The Sea Hawk, recognized as a high point in his career. Thursday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m. Pickford Theater in the James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Tickets are free but required. Call 202-707-5502 or visit


In one of her most memorable roles, the late Debbie Reynolds played the infamous survivor of the RMS Titanic, Molly Brown, whose tagline was: “I may give out, but I won’t give IN!” Landmark Theatre’s West End Cinema offers a 55th anniversary screening of Charles Walter’s 1964 movie musical adaptation of Meredith Willson’s Broadway hit as part of its weekly Capital Classics series. Wednesday, Feb. 6, 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

The Baltimore Waltz — Photo: Cameron Whitman



Maryland’s Greenbelt Arts Center, a community theater organization, presents Topher Payne’s comedy focused on the Lavender Scare, the antigay federal witch hunt of the 1950s that provided an inadvertent early spark to the gay rights movement. Jonathan Meeker and Susan Harper lead the volunteer cast, directed by Ann Lowe-Barrett, playing two State Department employees who have been ordered to root out “sexual deviants” in their office — all the while hoping no one discovers that they’re not actually the married couple they pretend to be, nor are they straight. In fact, they live together in a Georgetown duplex with their respective same-sex partners, played by Win Britt and Ronda Ansted. Opens Friday, Feb. 1. Weekends to Feb. 23. Greenbelt Arts Center, 123 Centerway. Greenbelt, Md. Tickets are $22. Call 301-441-8770 or visit


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


Joe Calarco directs Signature Theatre’s production of Ain’t Misbehavin’: The Fats Waller Musical Show, for which he converted the Shirlington complex’s large Max Theatre into a 1930s-era Harlem nightclub in tribute. Iyona Blake, Kevin McAllister, and Nova Y. Payton lead an all-star cast performing the Waller-penned hits from the Tony-winning musical, including “The Joint Is Jumpin’,” “Honeysuckle Rose,” and “Handful of Keys.” Mark G. Meadows serves as musical director and onstage pianist, with choreography by Jared Grimes. To March 10. 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 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


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, Molly Lyons, Jeffry Denman, and Michelle Dawson. 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. Tickets are $76 to $95. To Feb. 24. Kreeger Theater in the Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Visit or call 202-488-3300.


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


A darling of the Restoration theater becomes the mistress of King Charles II in Nell Gwynn, Jessica Swale’s heartwarming and hilarious portrait of a rare woman from the 17th century, originally commissioned by Shakespeare’s Globe and the recipient of the 2016 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy. Alison Luff heads a cast that includes Regina Aquino, Christopher Dinolfo, Catherine Flye, Quinn Franzen, Michael Glenn, and R.J. Foster as King Charles II. Musicians Kevin Collins and Zoe Speas will bring to live the original music composed by Kim Sherman. Robert Richmond directs. Now to March 10. 201 East Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $42 to $79. Call 202-544-7077 or visit


Founded by Strother Gaines and nurtured at Capital Fringe, TBD Immersive — which stands for Tradition Be Damned — is hardly theater as usual. The company’s variation on devised, participatory theater centers the audience, with each attendee becoming an active participant, choosing their own way into and around the chief story, such that they ultimately become a co-creator of what results, building on the work of the mainstage performers and the company’s devising playwright Jenny Splitter. Ouroboros, TBD’s latest work, is one of its darkest choose-your-own-adventure experiences yet; the show carries a warning of “dark and adult content including, but not necessarily limited to, violence, blood, death, sexually explicit costuming and suggestive language.” The setting is the annual extravagant birthday party for the Westcott family twins, which just so happens to fall on the anniversary of their mother’s mysterious death. As if that weren’t enough to weigh, the world outside is in an increasing state of turmoil, as the Republic grows violent and the Resistance struggles to stay alive. Theatergoers can sort through the many secrets, lies, and intrigue to try to unravel the mysteries. Furthermore, those attendees who come appropriately attired — per the party’s theme of “Gods and Goddesses” — are likely to have stronger interactions and a richer experience, according to the promotional material. Opens Friday, Feb. 1. To March 2. Whittemore House, 1526 New Hampshire Ave. NW. Tickets are $65, or $85 for VIP, including early entry, a complimentary champagne toast, and pre-show interactions with the cast. 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. To Feb. 9. 1742 Church St. NW. Call 202-265-3767 or visit


Before he wrote the work that inspired the Oscar-winning film Moonlight, Tarell Alvin McCraney offered this compelling story of family, devotion, and belonging, set deep in the Louisiana bayou. Weaving in flights of poetry, music, and West African mythology, The Brothers Size focuses on the relationship between the hardworking and steady Ogun Size and his aimless younger brother, recently released from prison. Virginia’s 1st Stage offers a production starring Gary-Kayi Fletcher, Thony Mena, and Clayton Pelham, Jr., and directed by José Carrasquillo. The design team includes Giorgos Tsappas on sets, Moyenda Kulemeka on costumes, William K. D’Eugenio on lights, and Sarah O’Halloran on sound. In previews, with opening night Saturday, Feb. 2, at 8 p.m. To Feb. 24. 1st Stage, 1524 Spring Hill Rd., Tysons. Tickets are $39. Call 703-854-1856 or visit


Chekhov meets gospel, rhythm & blues, bebop, and funk in a musical set at the height of the civil rights and anti-war movements 50 years ago. MetroStage presents its fourth revival of a show it calls an “iconic favorite” across its 35 seasons, this time with Roz White, Kara-Tameika Watkins, and Ayana Reed as the three strong women reflecting on their lives. Thomas W. Jones II returns to direct his own book and lyrics, with a story by Janet Pryce inspired by Chekhov. Music by William Hubbard. To Feb. 24. To Nov. 9. 1201 North Royal St., Alexandria. Tickets are $55. Call 800-494-8497 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. 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

The Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet — Photo: Peter Adamik



D.C.’s nine-piece Balkan and funk brass band is focused on having a whole lot of fun in a whole lot of different ways — as evidence, there are the three separately released, widely varying collections of remixes drawing from the 2015 set I Love You Madly. Black Masala also puts on one heck of a live show, which comes as no surprise given that the group consists of members of the incredibly lively Thievery Corporation. A regular at venues all around the region, Black Masala next performs an intimate show at the 180-seat Soundry, which the Clyde’s Restaurant Group opened this past summer in Columbia to be a sibling to the local chain’s downtown Hamilton Live. Friday, Feb. 1. Doors at 7 p.m. 10221 Wincopin Circle, Columbia. Tickets are $15. Call 443-283-1200 or visit


Huang, the young Taiwanese-American violinist and the 2017 winner of the Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists takes center stage to perform Aram Khachaturian’s Violin Concerto, a work said to require tons of technical skill exuding Russian Romanticism with a touch of Gershwin. With Markus Stenz leading the BSO, the program also features Mozart’s much-loved Symphony No. 40 in G Minor and Beethoven’s trilling Leonore Overture No. 3. Friday, Feb. 8, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 10, at 3 p.m. Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore. Also Saturday, Feb. 9, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 to $90. Call 410-783-8000 or visit


Heralded by many as the greatest ensemble of its kind in the world — particularly renowned for adventurous playing, technical skill, and sonic brilliance — this quintet returns to the Clarice at the University of Maryland to perform works spanning three centuries of music history. The program includes an arrangement by the quintet’s flutist, Michael Hasel, of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Three Fantasies for Mechanical Organ, as well as Carl Nielsen’s Quintet for Winds, and György Ligeti’s Six Bagatelles for Wind Quintet. In addition to Hasel, the roster includes oboist Andreas Wittmann, clarinetist Water Seyfarth, bassoonist Marion Reinhard, and horn player Fergus Mcwilliam. Thursday, Feb. 7, at 8 p.m. Gildenhorn Recital Hall in the Clarice, University Boulevard and Stadium Drive. College Park. Tickets are $25. Call 301-405-ARTS or visit


Strathmore’s resident orchestra takes a momentary break from its season-long Leonard Bernstein Centennial Celebration to present the 9th annual recital with renowned pianist Brian Ganz, who is vying to become the world’s first to perform every note Fryderyk Chopin wrote for piano, more than 250 pieces in all. Singer Magdalena Wór joins for the latest iteration in Ganz’s “Extreme Chopin Quest” with a focus on the deep love and sense of connection the greatest Polish composer of all time had to his homeland. The program includes Polish dances for solo piano that Chopin composed throughout his life, Polonaises and Mazurkas; the rarely heard Allegro de Concert, which the composer said he would first perform in an independent Poland; and the songs he wrote with lyrics from great Polish poets. Saturday, Jan. 26, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 2, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $34 to $88. Call 301-581-5100 or visit


The Mars Urban Arts Initiative of Washington Performing Arts presents the second annual edition of the performance-based discussion Music Distilled. This year’s event features Classically Dope, a collaboration between rapper Konshens The MC and local classical quintet Wavelength Winds that explores the intersections among hip-hop, classical music, and social change. Through music, the ensemble tackles subjects such as the power of belief, racial inequality, stereotypes, and police brutality. The event takes place at the LGBTQ-owned-and-operated distillery Republic Restoratives, with the concert and post-show conversation fueled by craft cocktails and light bites. Saturday, Feb. 2, at 2 p.m. 1369 New York Ave. NE. Tickets are $35. Call 202-733-3996 or visit


Songs about food, drink, and love from French and Italian Renaissance composers are the pre-Valentine’s Day toast by this noted early music ensemble, performing in the acoustically rich Washington National Cathedral. The acclaimed vocal ensemble Les Canards Chantants will make its Washington debut by joining the consort and the viol consort Arcadia Viols, who will also play “table music” for strings, including selections from Schein’s Banchetto Musicale, written to accompany dinner in the sophisticated courts of Germany. Robert Aubry Davis, host of WETA’s Around Town, will lead a discussion (included in the ticket price) with the consort’s Robert Eisenstein and other performers 90 minutes before the first performance. Friday, Feb. 8, and Saturday, Feb. 9, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30 to $60. Call 202-537-2228 or visit


For its winter production, the Gay Men’s Chorus puts its nontraditional spin on the musical by Stephen Schwartz (Wicked) that celebrates everyday working people, based on the book by Studs Terkel. Naturally, the chorus’ version features men and men in drag performing the roles in what is billed as the first such gender-bending staging of Working, which debuted on Broadway in 1978. The chorus will perform the show as it was revised by Schwartz and director Gordon Greenberg for a 2012 Off-Broadway production, which introduced two new songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda, joining a score featuring Schwartz’s original compositions plus others by Craig Carnelia, James Taylor, Mary Rodgers and Susan Birkenhead, and Micki Grant. Saturday, Feb. 9, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 10, at 3 p.m. The Paul Sprenger Theatre in the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $20 to $39. Call 202-399-7993 or visit


Diehard fans, known as the Campers, travel far and wide to catch the fiery live performances, complete with full light show, of this progressive bluegrass band from Kalamazoo, Michigan, which aptly describes its sound as “mixing the acoustic stomp of a stringband with the rule-breaking spirit of rock & roll.” After more than living up to expectations with its debut last year at the Anthem, the quintet returns for two more shows to warm up your winter and kick-start another February. Opening is Michigander Billy Strings, chosen as one of “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know” by Rolling Stone in 2017. Friday, Feb. 1, and Saturday, Feb. 2. Doors at 6 p.m. The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. Tickets are $40 to $75. Call 202-265-0930 or visit


The original Hedwig will perform the groundbreaking rock songs he wrote with composer Stephen Trask in the special touring concert “The Origin of Love.” Mitchell will also share stories from the history of the musical that started way Off Broadway 20 years ago and then became a quirky, well-regarded indie film, and most recently a star-studded Tony-winning sensation on Broadway. Mitchell is also expected to preview songs from his latest work, the narrative musical anthology series Anthem. Friday, Feb. 8, at 8 p.m. National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Tickets are $54 to $79. Call 202-628-6161 or visit


The Grammy-winning a cappella group from South Africa still dazzles after more than 50 years together. Must be the “sheer joy and love that emanates from their being,” as their most famous booster Paul Simon put it. A regular fixture at the area’s preeminent venues, the group next performs at Strathmore, which will also host a free preconcert performance and panel discussion starting at 6:45 p.m. “The Long Walk Goes On: 25 Years After the End of Apartheid,” features local storytellers from Story District as well as artists including dancer Deepti Mukund Navile performing short works exploring relevant themes. Concert is Friday, Feb. 8, at 8 p.m. Music Center, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $29 to $69; preconcert discussion is free but registration recommended. Call 301-581-5100 or visit


The Kennedy Center hosts a celebratory concert presented by Washington Performing Arts for the esteemed pianist and pedagogue, who will toast 90 years of life by performing solo and as part of a lineup that includes his protégé, Jonathan Biss, the Dover Quartet, and Rachel Cain, plus the promise of surprise guests offering birthday wishes. The program includes the performance of works by Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and Kirchner, plus a Q&A with Washington Post chief classical music critic Anne Midgette, who co-authored Fleisher’s memoir My Nine Lives. Saturday, Feb. 9, at 7:30 p.m. Terrace Theater. Tickets are $65. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


A wide array of talented pop vocalists from around the area are brought together to perform from the Fab Four’s epic catalog of songs celebrating love in its many forms, in what is billed as “a dream date for Valentine’s,” albeit an early one. The sixth iteration of this concert, presented by the production company Newmyer Flyer, led by BandHouse Gigs co-founder Ron Newmyer, features Newmeyer along with Todd Wright, Cal Everett, Tom Lofgren along with the Lofgren Brothers (Mike and Mark, but not Nils of the E Street Band), Holly Montgomery, Caz Gardiner, Dusty Rose, Alan MacEwen, the alt-country/roots rock band 40 Dollar Fine, Edward O’Connell, Brian Goddard, Dave Egelhofer, Chuck Sullivan, and Ronnie Smith. Saturday, Feb. 9. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $25 to $75. Call 202-787-1000 or visit


Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov, Musical America’s 2019 Artist of the Year, marks his first collaboration with NSO Music Director Gianandrea Noseda and the NSO performing Beethoven’s most famous piano concerto, the triumphant Fifth, known as “Emperor.” The program also features the symphony performing Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 6. Thursday, Jan. 31, at 7 p.m., and Friday, Feb. 1, and Saturday, Feb. 2, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $15 to $89. Call 202-467-4600 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. The 2019 series concludes with: “Jazz Homage to the Beatles” by sultry Italian-American chanteuse Irene Jalenti and her band, on Friday, Feb. 1, at 7:30 p.m.; and a performance by Veronneau, featuring special guests violinist Dave Kline and Brazilian percussionist Bruno Lucini, on Saturday, Feb. 2, at 7:30 p.m. 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


There’s no mistaking her distinct vocals or her incisive songwriting, but Remind Me Tomorrow, Van Etten’s first release in five years, sounds worlds removed from the folky arrangements of Are We There. Partnering up with producer John Congleton has given Van Etten a chance to play with a more complex and interesting sound, setting the album apart from the spare and intimate instrumentation that defined her previous work. While Van Etten may have traded guitars for analog synths, her lyrics have lost none of their matter-of-fact emotional depth. If anything, the more expansive soundscapes give her lyrics more room to breathe and allow her already powerful vocals to convey a gravitas that was impossible in intimate acoustic arrangements. Wednesday, Feb. 6. Doors at 7 p.m. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $30. Call 202-265-0930 or visit (Sean Maunier)


Things have hardly gone as anyone expected or hoped for the eldest of the singing Braxtons from Maryland’s Anne Arundel County since she exploded on the music scene a quarter century ago. Honored as Best New Artist in 1994, Braxton scooped up six Grammy Awards in her first decade for her sauntering and sultry R&B hits “Another Sad Love Song,” “Breathe Again,” “Un-Break My Heart,” “You’re Makin’ Me High,” and “He Wasn’t Man Enough.” This year marks Braxton’s best showing at the Grammys in more than two decades, with three nods for last year’s Sex & Cigarettes. The album offers plenty of comfort soul food for any longtime fan, crowned by its two singles, the moving, Grammy-nominated ballad “Long As I Live” and the rousing mid-tempo jam “Coping.” Braxton will be ably supported by the reunited R&B trio SWV to properly mark the occasion. The concert will focus on hits from Braxton as well as SWV, the latter responsible for “Weak,” “Right Here (Human Nature Remix),” and “You’re The One.” Friday, Feb. 1, at 8 p.m. Theater at MGM National Harbor, 7100 Harborview Ave., Oxon Hill, Md. Call 844-346-4664 or visit


Live Nation presents this noteworthy gospel-informed jazz/blues artist, whom a few years ago was called one of the country’s “most intriguing, fully formed new talents” by a New York Times critic. June tours in support of 2017’s The Order of Time. Saturday, Feb. 9, at 8 p.m. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $35 to $38. Call 202-408-3100 or visit


Antony Walker conducts Ian Koziara as Tristan and Shannon Jennings as Iseut la Blonde in this co-presentation of two local opera companies and a rare modern retelling of the classic Tristan and Isolde story. This concert staging of Swiss composer Frank Martin’s Le vin herbé stars 10 Wolf Trap Opera alumni. Saturday, Feb. 9, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 10, at 3 p.m. The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $35 to $75. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit

Momix : Gila — Photo: Charles Azzopardi



For its annual run of shows at the Kennedy Center, the New York company offers the D.C. premiere of its Artist in Residence Alexei Ratmansky’s retelling of Marius Petipa’s 19th century comic ballet. In this “lost” classic, inspired by Petipa’s archival notes and set to original music by Riccardo Drigo, here brought to life by the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, Harlequin fights for his true love, Columbine. Playful costumes and vivid sets create a charming tribute to the Italian commedia dell’arte style, known for its slapstick humor and rollicking characters. Performances continue to Feb. 3. Opera House. Tickets are $39 to $199. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


Founded and led by choreographer Shawn Short, the D.C.-based Dissonance heads up to Baltimore to perform a mixed-bill evening. Presented on the campus of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, the program includes popular works from past Dissonance seasons, including Walk With Me, Gospel Suite, Bleak, and Love Is My Game, along with three works in their season premiere: Home, So Cold, and Twitch. Sunday, Feb. 10, at 5 p.m. Proscenium Theatre in the Performing Arts and Humanities Building, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore. Tickets are $15 to $25. Call 410-455-2917 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 Melina’s Dancing Garden will open the show on Saturday, Feb. 2, 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


Founded by Lesole Maine over 15 years ago, this Afro-Fusion dance company offers an immersion into South African culture via a musical musical journey through Zululand (KwaZulu-Natal) and Lesotho. Next week, the Kennedy Center, in collaboration with the Maryland State Arts Council, presents a free performance featuring the company’s signature works, including gumboot dances and Khoba/Stostobes, a traditional dance from Botswana. Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 6 p.m. Millennium Stage. Free. Call 202-467-4600 or visit



Best known from her stint as a writer and performer on Saturday Night Live from 2014 to 2017, Zamata is a regular on the standup circuit and is regarded for her work as ACLU’s Celebrity Ambassador for Women’s Rights. Thursday, Feb. 7, at 8 p.m. Creative Alliance at the Patterson, 3134 Eastern Ave. Baltimore. Tickets are $20 in advance, or $23 at the door. Call 410-276-1651 or visit


Grassroots Comedy DC offers another night of comedy with a cause at Kramerbooks. For the month of February, some of the region’s best comics have been recruited to mine laughter from the recent government shutdown, or what organizers of the event characterized as “one of the most destructive man baby temper tantrums of all time.” Proceeds from the show will benefit the Capital Area Food Bank and its Hunger Lifeline, an emergency food assistance referral service for area residents in need that, you can imagine, has been overwhelmed with requests from federal employees over the past month. Friday, Feb. 8, at 8 p.m. Kramerbooks, 1517 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets are $12 in advance, or $15 at the door (if available). Call 202-387-1400 or visit

Angela Davis: Policing the Black Man



Key issues of the Black Lives Matter movement are explored and analyzed in an anthology featuring essays by some of the nation’s most influential and respected criminal justice experts and legal scholars. Originally published in 2017 and issued in paperback last year, Policing The Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution, and Imprisonment was edited by preeminent criminal justice expert Davis, a former director of the D.C. Public Defender Service and currently a law professor at American University. Monday, Feb. 4, at 6:30 p.m. Kramerbooks, 1517 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-387-1400 or visit


An early supporter of Facebook and a longtime mentor of Mark Zuckerberg, this major Silicon Valley investor more recently has been doing everything in his power to stop the social media behemoth. Facebook is damaging personal privacy and threatening democracy, McNamee asserts, and yet the company, from the top down, is unwilling to accept or even consider the negative socio-cultural effects it’s caused as anything more than a public relations problem. An insider’s story, Zucked is an eye-opening read. Thursday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m. Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-364-1919 or visit

First Chefs: Robert May Accomplisht Cook



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


The National Portrait Gallery presents the first major museum exhibition to explore silhouettes. Curated by Asma Naeem, Black Out reveals the complexities of this relatively unstudied artform’s rich historical roots and the contemporary relevance of silhouettes today. Ranging in scale from three inches to nearly 40 feet, the exhibit features mixed-media installations in a presentation of approximately 50 unique objects, dating from 1796 to the present, in particular with the inclusion of large works by four contemporary women artists: Kara Walker, with her panoramic wall murals, Camille Utterback via an interactive digital installation that reacts to visitors’ movements and shadows, Kristi Malakoff’s life-size cutouts of children dancing around a Maypole, and Kumi Yamashita’s intricate, shadowy installations. Also notable is a section illuminating silhouettes previously “blacked out” in historical narratives — those featuring same-sex couples, cooks, activist women, enslaved individuals, and the disabled. To March 24. National Portrait Gallery, 8th and F Streets. NW. Call 202-633-8300 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. On display to Feb. 23, with an Artist Talk Saturday, Feb. 2. Transformer, 1404 P St. NW. Call 202-483-1102 or visit


The named and unnamed heroes of British and American farms, plantations, kitchens, and markets over the past several centuries are given the spotlight in the latest exhibition at the Folger Shakespeare Library, focused on eating and drinking in the early modern British world. First Chefs identifies five such pioneers by name: chorister-cum-farmer Thomas Tusser, author of a how-to agriculture guide that circulated for over two centuries; Robert May, who adapted French recipes for English palates as author of the first cookbook for professional cooks; Hannah Woolley, the first woman to earn a living as a food writer but whose name and cooking advice would go on to be appropriated by male publishers; the plants-obsessed pirate William Hughes, who chronicled the fruits and vegetables of the Caribbean and became the first English writer to describe cacao and chocolate to British audiences; and chef Hercules, one of President George Washington’s slaves, famed for his expertise in early American cooking until he stole his way to freedom. By combining the Folger’s unparalleled collection of food-related manuscripts and books with objects and archaeological finds from Mount Vernon and Jamestown, as well as from other museums and the Library of Congress, the exhibition is able to help shine renewed or recovered light on a vast many others who shaped early modern culinary life and culture, both directly and indirectly. Now to March 31. Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Call 202-544-7077 or visit


Strathmore’s 28th annual juried exhibition called on artists to submit works exploring the beauty, mystery, and phobic qualities of the hours from dusk to dawn. The resulting works include representational and abstract approaches, from literal depictions in the dark of night, to subconscious meanderings about night as metaphor and symbol. Among the 79 nocturnally inspired artists represented — selected via a blind process overseen by Adah Rose Bitterbaum of the Adah Rose Gallery and Erwin Timmers of the Washington Glass Studio and School — the lineup includes: Winifred Anthony, Michaela Borghese, Christopher Buoscio, Tory Cowles, Arnold d’Epagnier, CinCin Fang, Bill Firestone, Richard Foa, Julie Gross, Rebecca Hirsh, Glen Kessler, Lara Knutson, Robert LeMar, Larry Marc Levine, Timothy Lynch, Bruce Morgan, Irina Parshikova, Rawligh Sybrant, Nahid Tootoonchi, Carol Ward, Andrew Wodzianski, and Alexey Zoob. On display through Feb. 17. First Floor Galleries in the Mansion, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Call 301-581-5100 or visit


The latest theme examined in a year-long exhibition at this quirkiest of museums is that of “what might be humanity’s most essential performance art.” Works by 36 artists, created out of every conceivable medium, express, in some way, their personal experience of parenting or being parented — be it good, bad, horrific, or sublime — alongside revelations from the latest scientific research, global wisdom, and fun. Now to Sept. 1. American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Highway. Baltimore. Tickets are $15.95. Call 410-244-1900 or visit


Depictions of slavery in America, often left out of history books, are the focus of the paintings and prints currently on display in Strathmore’s Invitational Gallery. Specifically, through his works in The Railroad, Sorrells presents fictional yet truthful and accurate representations of African Americans as they sought to escape slavery — highlighting their resolve, resiliency, unity, and fearlessness through intimate scenes of individuals secretly comforting one another in prayer, huddling together to evade hunting dogs and slave masters, and plotting paths to freedom. Now through Feb. 17. The Mansion, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Call 301-581-5100 or visit



Baltimore burlesque troupe presents this 10th annual early Valentine’s show celebrating the era of the 1970s, “a funkadelic time when style was groovy and free love was blazin.'” The “Love Train” for the evening includes Mab Just Mab, billed as “D.C.’s Own Sideshow Gal,” and GiGi Holliday, “D.C.’s Legitimate Love Child,” plus “Baltimore’s Sicilian Queen” Maria Bella, “The Fringe Fatale” Nona Narcisse, “The Attractive Nuisance” Ruby Spruce, and “The Uncontainable” Mourna Handful. Foxy Tann, “The Boss of Burlesque” from Minneapolis serves as femcee, while “The Velvet Valkerie” Valeria Voxx is stage manager. And handmade burlesque accessories — from pasties to hair flowers to tassels — will be available for purchase from Bella’s Tchotchkes. Saturday, Feb. 9, at 7 and 10 p.m. Creative Alliance at the Patterson, 3134 Eastern Ave. Baltimore. Tickets are $25 in advance, or $28 at the door. Call 410-276-1651 or visit


The pre-Lenten winter bacchanal, popular the world over, may not come into full bloom for another few weeks. Yet you can get an early start on the celebration at the next First Thursday event, the monthly after-hours affair at the Phillips Collection mixing art, entertainment, live music, and food and drink — so popular, it tends to sell out in advance. Patrons are invited to decorate a mask for wearing as well as purchase a Caipirinha, Brazil’s national cocktail, for drinking while they groove to the global rhythms of Black Masala and roam around the exhibition space of the impressive, impressionism-rich modern art museum in Dupont Circle. Thursday, Feb. 7, from 5 to 8:30 p.m. 1600 21st St. NW. Tickets are $12, or free for Phillips members. Call 202-387-2151 x247 or visit


Team Rayceen presents an evening of live music, poetry, comedy, and more to celebrate Black History Month. WUSA 9 anchor Larry Miller will join Rayceen Pendarvis and Beverly “Miss Chocolate” White as co-hosts, and DJ Heat will provide the music. AHF Pharmacy will sponsor light refreshments, and HIV testing and sexual health information will be available in commemoration of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Thursday, Feb. 7, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The first floor community room of the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. Call 202-282-3080 or visit


Launched amidst the drag kings at a DC Kings show back in the day, the DC Gurly Show now has top billing as D.C.’s longest-running queer burlesque troupe. Next week’s show celebrates the many — and many types of — veteran performers as well as newcomers who give a good “gurly” show. The focus is on expression and individual performance, no matter gender or gender identity, much less sex or sexual orientation. Thursday, Feb. 7. Doors at 8 p.m. DC Comedy Loft and Bier Baron Tavern, 1523 22nd St. NW. Tickets are $15. Call 202-293-1887 or visit

Support Metro Weekly’s Journalism

These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!

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

Leave a Comment: