What is billed as the most popular and enduring screen romance of all time returns to the big screen as part of the Capital Classics series at Landmark’s West End Cinema. The 1943 Oscar-winning drama, directed by Michael Curtiz (Mildred Pierce) and set in the throes of World War II, stars Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. Wednesday, Feb. 13, 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 www.landmarktheatres.com.
In the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, Fathom Events brings back to the big screen the wildly successful 1987 romantic comedy starring Jennifer Grey and the late Patrick Swayze. Sunday, Feb. 10, and Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 4 and 7 p.m. Area theaters including Regal venues at Gallery Place (701 7th St. NW), Potomac Yards Stadium (3575 Jefferson Davis Highway), and Ballston Common (671 N. Glebe Road). Visit www.fathomevents.com.
HOME FRONT: PORTRAITS FROM SHEIKH JARRAH
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 www.voicesfromtheholyhland.org.
The Library of Congress screens this 1942 drama by Sam Wood, based on Henry Bellamann’s novel, that starred Ronald Reagan in what many — including the former president himself — considered to be his best onscreen role. The screening comes 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. And the fanfare theme that Korngold wrote for Kings Row, in addition to heightening the power of this dark and cynical film about torn-of-the-20th century America, also served as a direct inspiration for John Williams and the main theme for 1977’s Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope. Thursday, Feb. 14, 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 www.loc.gov.
Joshua Vogelsong, aka drag performer/punk rocker Donna Slash, continues the queer Screen Queen series at the 35-seat, living-room cozy Suns Cinema in Mount Pleasant. Films in February offer some of the most raw and brutally honest stories about trans experiences, including Pedro Almodovar’s All About My Mother and Neil Jordan’s The Crying Game. On Monday, Feb. 11, at 8 p.m., the series screens Henrique Goldman’s sensitive portrayal from 2001 of a male-to-female transgendered youth who flees her small Brazilian hometown and moves to Milan, Italy to pursue sexual reassignment surgery. As played by Ingrid de Souza, Fernanda turns to sex work to earn a living, eventually falling for one of her johns a la Pretty Woman — a married man, played by Cesare Bocci, who offers to pay for her surgery, and even promises to leave his wife for her. Of course, such a scenario isn’t likely in real life, much less a grittily realistic Italian- and Portuguese-language drama about as far from a Hollywood rom-com as they come. Patrons can enjoy snacks, including fresh offerings from Suns’ vintage popcorn machine, as well as drinks from the full-service bar, which will remain open afterwards to encourage post-show discussion. 3107 Mount Pleasant St. NW. Tickets are $5. Visit www.sunscinema.com.
RA XTRA: ALASKA IS A DRAG
Leo is an aspiring drag superstar stuck working in a fish cannery in Alaska who takes up boxing as a self-protective hobby in Shaz Bennett’s darkly comic, literal fish-out-of-water tale that evolves into a mystery about why Leo and his twin sister Tristen — played by Martin L. Washington and Maya Washington — are stuck in Alaska. Originally a short that was a festival-circuit favorite, Bennett expanded the work into a full-length feature through a successful crowdfunding campaign. The film screens as part of Reel Affirmations’ monthly series hosted by Rayceen Pendarvis of The Ask Rayceen Show. Friday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. 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 www.thedccenter.org.
THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW
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 landmarktheatres.com.
THE SUNDAY SESSIONS
Filmmaker Richard Yeagley’s emotional and psychological drama chronicles two years of a young man’s struggle to change his sexual identity to better fall in line with the conservative Christian convictions of his upbringing. Yeagley, who previously profiled Mike Rowe of Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs in The Tradesmen: Making an Art of Work, was given unfettered access to private conversion therapy sessions for this intimate portrait of Nathan. The documentarian joins for a discussion after The Sunday Sessions screening. Sunday, Feb. 17, at 3 p.m. Creative Alliance at the Patterson, 3134 Eastern Ave. Baltimore. Tickets are $10 in advance, or $13 at the door. Call 410-276-1651 or visit www.creativealliance.org.
A PERFECT ARRANGEMENT
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. Weekends to Feb. 23. Greenbelt Arts Center, 123 Centerway. Greenbelt, Md. Tickets are $22. Call 301-441-8770 or visit www.greenbeltartscenter.org.
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 www.studiotheatre.org.
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 www.sigtheatre.org.
An athletic, commedia dell’arte retelling of Edmond Rostand’s world-famous story that, in true Synetic Theater fashion, is also wordless — brought to the stage by Vato Tsikurishvili, the son of Synetic’s founders in his directorial debut. Cyrano revolves around the plight of Cyrano de Bergerac, a brilliant poet and soldier who decides to woo his beloved Roxane with the help of his charismatic and confident friend Christian. What could possibly go wrong? In previews, opens Saturday, Feb. 9. To March 10. 1800 South Bell St., Arlington. Tickets are $20. Call 800-811-4111 or visit www.synetictheater.org.
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 www.centerstage.org.
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 www.rainbowtheatreproject.org.
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 were 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 www.arenastage.org or call 202-488-3300.
LA CAGE AUX FOLLES
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 www.riversidedt.com.
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. To March 10. Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $42 to $79. Call 202-544-7077 or visit www.folger.edu.
One of those quiet, understated shows that will sneak up and surprise you, Once deservedly won a whopping eight Tony Awards in 2012. Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova’s romantic folk rock score is what surprises you most about the show, featuring a book by celebrated Irish playwright Enda Walsh and based on John Carney’s small indie film from 2006. The focus is on a man and a woman who make hauntingly beautiful music — which is all the more powerful because their songs express their love for each other in a way that the two, each already in complicated relationships, never fully realize otherwise. Gregory Maheu and Malinda Kathleen Reese lead a large cast of actors playing their own instruments in an Olney Theatre Center production directed and choreographed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge, with music director Christopher Youstra serving as the show’s emcee. In previews, opens Saturday, Feb. 9. To March 10. Mainstage, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Call 301-924-3400 or visit www.olneytheatre.org.
OUROBOROS: DAWN OF THE CABARET
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. Behind every door in the historic, three-story Dupont Circle mansion where the action is set lies new secrets to uncover, puzzles to solve, and characters — more than 30 in all — to interact with. Furthermore, theatergoers 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. 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 www.tbdimmersive.com.
Colin Speer Crowley’s screwball farce features mad Germans, fancy Frenchmen, and “a secret in a suitcase.” Stan Levin directs a Best Medicine Rep Theatre production starring Terence Aselford, Terence Heffernan, Rebecca A. Herron, John Morogiello, and Khaleshia Thorpe-Price. Now to Feb. 24. Lakeforest Mall – Second Floor, 701 Russell Ave., Gaithersburg. Tickets are $20 to $25. Visit www.bestmedicinerep.org.
SHAME 2.0 (WITH COMMENTS FROM THE POPULACE)
The challenges that two actors — one Israeli, the other Palestinian — faced while staging the embattled world premiere of the play The Return is the central focus of a provocative theatrical interrogation of censorship, loyalty, intimidation, and resistance. Mosaic Theater’s Ari Roth leads an adaptation of this work of documentary theater by Einat Weizman with Morad Hassan that incorporates performance excerpts, the actors’ testimonies, social media messages, and telephoned threats. John Vreeke directs Colleen Delany, Lynette Rathnam, and Hassan in A world premiere workshop production, part of Mosaic’s 18th annual Voices from a Changing Middle East Festival. Now to Feb. 17. Lang Theatre in the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $15 to $35. Call 202-399-7993 or visit www.atlasarts.org.
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 www.scenatheatre.org.
THE BALTIMORE WALTZ
The queer-identified 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 www.keegantheatre.com.
THE BROTHERS SIZE
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. To Feb. 24. 1st Stage, 1524 Spring Hill Rd., Tysons. Tickets are $39. Call 703-854-1856 or visit www.1ststage.org.
Arena Stage’s Deputy Artistic Director Seema Sueko directs a new production, staged in the round, of this classic thriller suggested by the Henry James novel Washington Square and focused on a 19th-century young woman’s journey to find her voice. Laura C. Harris portrays Catherine Sloper while Jonathan David Martin is her possible suitor in a production also featuring Lise Bruneau, Lorene Chesley, Janet Hayatshahi, Nancy Robinette, Kimberly Schraf, James Whalen, and Nathan Whitmer. Previews begin Friday, Feb. 8. Opens Thursday, Feb. 14. To March 10. In the round in the Fichandler Stage, Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Tickets are $40 to $95. Call 202-488-3300 or visit www.arenastage.org.
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. 1201 North Royal St., Alexandria. Tickets are $55. Call 800-494-8497 or visit metrostage.org.
TWELVE ANGRY MEN
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. Ford’s Theatre, 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 www.fords.org.
VISIONS OF LOVE
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. 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 www.danceloft14.org.
Equally influenced by Sam Cooke and Ravi Shankar, this D.C. native singer-songwriter aims to infuse R&B and pop music with Bollywood rhythms to bring the sounds of her heritage to a wider audience. A recent graduate of Princeton University who sings in Hindi, Punjabi, French, and English, Taneja gets a chance to showcase her musical efforts at Strathmore as part of a series of concerts featuring the 2019 class of the organization’s esteemed program Artists in Residence. Grammy-nominated Christylez Bacon, The Voice contestant Owen Danoff, and Prince- and Stevie Wonder-collaborator Frédéric Yonnet are just three of the 80-plus young musicians who have been mentored through the program since 2005. Wednesday, Feb. 13, and Feb. 27, at 7:30 p.m. The Mansion, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Tickets are $17. Call 301-581-5100 or visit www.strathmore.org.
BALTIMORE SYMPHONY FEATURING PAUL HUANG
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 www.bsomusic.org.
BOB MOULD BAND
It’s been two years since the post-punk/alt-rock legend last gave a concert in D.C., where Mould lived at the turn of the 21st century. He returns to his old stomping grounds and the former home of Blowoff, the poplar monthly gay bear party he threw with Rich Morel, which now serves to kick off a tour in support of Sunshine Rock, his new solo album set for release Friday, Feb. 8. If that all sounds happier and sweeter than you’d expect from Mould, there’s also the fact that his return comes on Valentine’s Day, no less. It turns out Mould has drawn more inspiration from the positive things he’s seen living in Berlin the past few years than he has by all the negative news and developments from Trump’s America. And that, as they say, is all to the good. Titus Andronicus opens. Thursday, Feb. 14. Doors at 7 p.m. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $25. Call 202-265-0930 or visit www.930.com.
ELIZABETH RACHEVA, ANAMER CASTRELLO, JOSE SACIN: PROMISED LANDS? OF LEAVING AND LONGING
Washington Performing Arts presents a free afternoon of song and spoken word featuring soprano and curator Racheva, mezzo-soprano Anamer Castrello, and baritone Sacin accompanied by pianist Lester Green, double bass player Bruce Rosenblum, plus students from All Souls Unitarian Church and GALA Hispanic Theatre’s Paso Nuevo Youth Program. Helen Aberger serves as stage director for this wide-ranging, multi-language cabaret featuring songs by Alvarez, Bernstein, Friedman, Guastavino, Laitman, Lecuona, Sierra, and Wolf, all focused on a theme of migration or on notions of home, yearning, displacement, and hope. Part of the Mars Urban Arts Initiative, a creative platform for local artists supported by the Mars candy empire, the concert is also part of a season-long, multi-genre series about the Latinx experience culminating with the March premiere of Dreamers by composer Jimmy Lopez and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz. Sunday, Feb. 10, at 2 p.m. All Souls Church, Unitarian, 1500 Harvard St. NW. Free, but registration required. Call 202-332-5266 or visit www.washingtonperformingarts.org.
“I’ve felt so much love and acceptance, it’s overwhelming,” Estelle told Metro Weekly in 2012. “[And] gay people, it’s a whole different level.” The love has only grown stronger since then, especially after her guest-starring turn as a duet partner with Jussie Smollett on Fox’s Empire, performing her hit “Conqueror.” The Grammy-winning British soul singer tours in support of Lovers Rock, a well-realized album of original contemporary reggae songs. Sunday, Feb. 10, at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $29.50. Call 703-549-7500 or visit www.birchmere.com.
FOLGER CONSORT: THE FOOD OF LOVE – ROMANTIC RENAISSANCE MUSIC
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 www.nationalcathedral.org.
GAY MEN’S CHORUS: WORKING: A MUSICAL
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 www.atlasarts.org.
JOHN CAMERON MITCHELL: THE SONGS & STORIES OF HEDWIG
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 www.thenationaldc.org.
LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO
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 www.strathmore.org.
LEON FLEISHER & FRIENDS: A 90TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION
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 www.kennedy-center.org.
LIVING THE DREAM…SINGING THE DREAM
Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday and federal holiday may have already passed, but you can sing his praises at any time. On Sunday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m., Washington Performing Arts will do just that with the presenting organization’s annual choral tribute. Men, women and children of the WPA Gospel Choirs team up with the Choral Arts Society of Washington — 300 voices strong — to perform in honor of King. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $25 to $75. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
The Toronto-based synth-pop/rock quartet, led by singer-songwriter Emily Haines, are stadium-filling rock stars in Canada. Yet south of the border — when not opening for the likes of Imagine Dragons, Smashing Pumpkins, or Paramore anyway — Metric is generally as little known as its namesake measurement system and confined to smaller, more intimate venues. They return to the Fillmore Silver Spring in support of Art of Doubt as part of a tour with Mexican rock band Zoé and fellow Canadian act July Talk, from which $1 of all tickets sold will go toward the fight against climate change through the Plus1 organization. Friday, Feb. 15. Doors at 6:30 p.m. 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $38. Call 301-960-9999 or visit www.fillmoresilverspring.com.
NEWMYER FLYER’S LOVE SONGS: THE BEATLES VOL. 6
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 www.thehamiltondc.com.
Named after ’60s jazz saxophonist Rahsaan Roland Kirk, the openly gay Patterson may be still best known as “The Kid” from the popular ’80s television show Kids Incorporated — starring alongside Fergie, Mario Lopez, and pop singer Martika, who gave Patterson his start as a backup singer. But in recent decades Patterson has established himself as one of the sturdiest neo-soul singer-songwriters around, sometimes sounding like the original “Kid,” aka Prince, as on his stupendous release from 2011 Bleuphoria. Saturday, Feb. 16, at 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. City Winery DC, 1350 Okie St. NE. Tickets are $50 to $68. Call 202-250-2531 or visit www.citywinery.com.
ROB KAPILOW: MENDELSSOHN’S OCTET
Washington Performing Arts co-presents with Smithsonian Associates the latest lecture and performance in the “What Makes It Great?” series from this former NPR music commentator who channels Leonard Bernstein in both explaining and performing a great musical masterpiece or body of work in one sitting. The focus this time is on the 19th century German Romantic composer Felix Mendelssohn, whose youthful exuberance and contrapuntal sophistication is stamped all over his ever-popular Octet in E-Flat Major, written when the prodigy was all of 16. Through the usual three-part format, Kapilow’s discussion is followed by the octet for double string quartet performed in its entirety by faculty and students of the University of Maryland School of Music, and the program concludes with a Q&A between the audience and the performers. Sunday, Feb. 10, at 6 p.m. Baird Auditorium at the National Museum of Natural History, 10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Tickets are $25. Call 202-633-3030 or visit www.washingtonperformingarts.org.
ROSA LAMOREAUX: A FEAST OF LOVE
The Washington Opera Society co-presents this Valentine’s Day-themed recital featuring courtly songs of the Elizabethan era as well as delights from the Great American Songbook. An award-winning soprano hailed for her radiant, engaging, and effortless singing and the diversity of her repertoire, Lamoreaux will be accompanied by two local music educators and composers, guitarist Michael Bard and and pianist Andrew E. Simpson. Saturday, Feb. 16, at 8 p.m. Dumbarton United Methodist Church, 31311 Dumbarton St. NW. Tickets are $39 to $42. Call 202-333-7212 or visit www.dumbartonconcerts.org.
SARAH SHOOK & THE DISARMERS
Pearl Street Warehouse welcomes back the self-defined “vegan, bisexual, atheist mom in a country band from the south.” A North Carolina-based singer-songwriter who grew up home-schooled in a strict religious family, Shook tours with her band the Disarmers in support of Years, which focuses on overcoming challenges and getting people to listen to and understand those who may be different from themselves. The Brooklyn-based rock band National Reserve perform as special guests at a concert also part of the programming slate of the Smithsonian Year of Music. Wednesday, Feb. 13. Doors at 7 p.m. Pearl Street Warehouse, 33 Pearl St. SW. Tickets are $15, or $30 for VIP mezzanine seats. Call 202-380-9620 or visit www.pearlstreetwarehouse.com.
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 www.sixthandi.org.
The intimate cabaret venue Amp by Strathmore presents a “Valentine’s Day done right” concert featuring this Wammie-winning international jazz fusion quartet, led by local lovebirds vocalist Lynn Veronneau and guitarist Ken Avis, performing with special guests percussionist Bruno Lucini and violinist Dave Kline. Veronneau will perform from its third set Love & Surrender, a multilingual collection of originals and standards from around the world in a melange of uptempo genres, from swing to samba to gypsy. Amp will also serve from a special Valentine’s Day food and cocktail menu for the evening. Thursday, Feb. 14, at 8 p.m. 11810 Grand Park Ave. North Bethesda. Tickets are $25 to $45. Call 301-581-5100 or visit www.ampbystrathmore.com.
WE ARE THE 9
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 of nine acts comes as part of the Smithsonian Year of Music series and features Trawick, Abby Sevcik, Louisa Hal, L Elena Lacayo, Denise Henderson, Maureen Andary, Vim and Vigor, Laurel Halsey, and Tyler and Megan. Each will perform from their respective repertoires as well as collaborate on tunes they only heard minutes before. Friday, Feb. 8, at 8 p.m. City Winery DC, 1350 Okie St. NE. Tickets are $15. Call 202-250-2531 or visit www.citywinery.com.
WOLF TRAP OPERA, WASHINGTON CONCERT OPERA: MARTIN’S LE VIN HERBÉ
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 www.wolftrap.org.
ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER: AILEY AT 60 TOUR
The celebrated dance company returns to the Kennedy Center, performing three different mixed-repertory programs, all designed to celebrate the company’s 60th anniversary — and all ending, per tradition, with Revelations, the masterpiece by the company’s namesake, who died of AIDS-related complications in 1989. On Friday, Feb. 8, and Saturday, Feb. 9, at 7:30 p.m., comes Lazarus, a two-act ballet that the Kennedy Center co-commissioned from hip-hop choreographer Rennie Harris and drawing inspiration from Ailey’s life and legacy. On Sunday, Feb. 10, at 1:30 p.m., comes Program B featuring: Kairos, an inventive contemporary ballet from iconoclastic British choreographer Wayne McGregor played out to Max Richter’s reimagining of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons; The Call, a joyous and rousing mix of modern and African dance by New York’s famous African-American choreographer Ronald K. Brown and set to recordings by Yo-Yo Ma, Mary Lou Williams, and Asase Yaa Entertainment Group; and Juba, an original work from the company’s artistic director Robert Battle set to an original score by John Mackey that is touted as “a modern-day “Rite of Spring” with an abstract twist — an electrifying thrill ride through ritual and folk tradition.” Finally on Thursday, Feb. 7, at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, Feb. 9, at 1:30 p.m., comes “Timeless Ailey,” a program of more than a dozen treasures from Ailey’s rich body of work, including highlights of seldom-seen gems Blues Suite, Hidden Rites, and The Lark Ascending, and perennial favorites such as Love Songs, Night Creature, and Cry. Opera House. Tickets are $59 to $219. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
DISSONANCE DANCE THEATRE: REWIND 2 FAST FWRD
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 www.ddtdc.org.
JANE FRANKLIN DANCE: SECOND GLANCE
A greater understanding of both visual art and dance is the ultimate aim of a new work of dance and movement from local choreographer Jane Franklin finding beauty in that which inspires a look back. Developed in cooperation with local artist Fax Ayres and presented in conjunction with an exhibition of Ayres’s work from the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association (see more under Arts & Exhibits), Second Glance builds from the words Ayres uses to describe her process and her art and is set to music by Handel and Bach as recorded by US Army Band clarinetist Martin Gold. Excerpts from other recent repertory by the company will also be performed. Friday, Feb. 15, at 7:30 p.m. 201 Prince St., Alexandria. Tickets are $15. Call 703-548-0035 or visit www.nvfaa.org.
NATIONAL BALLET OF CHINA: RAISE THE RED LANTERN
This distinguished company, renowned for its hybrid of western ballet and Chinese culture, returns for the first time since the Kennedy Center’s Festival of China in 2005 to perform an award-winning, evening-length work based on the powerful 1999 film. Raise The Red Lantern is a powerful story of love and jealousy, focused on the haunting, tragic tale of a concubine who must compete for her master’s favoritism over a rival. Adapted by acclaimed director Zhang Yimou working with choreographers Wang Xinpeng and Wang Yuanyuan, the production includes traditional cheongsam outfits, elements of shadow puppet theater and Chinese opera, and mesmerizing melodies performed to live accompaniment from the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra and guest musicians. The performances come as the cornerstone of the Kennedy Center’s fourth annual Lunar New Year Celebration. First performance is Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 7:30 p.m. To Feb. 16. Opera House. Tickets are $25 to $99. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.
ASHLEY BLAKER: STRICTLY UNORTHODOX
Fresh from a run of shows Off Broadway, “the U.K.’s only strictly orthodox Jewish stand-up comedian” takes to the road for what is billed as the first-ever stand-up show about life as a charedi, or a strictly orthodox Jew. Blaker, a former TV writer and producer who helped Matt “I’m the only gay in the village” Lucas develop Little Britain mines the funny about Jewish holidays, orthodox interactions with other people, particularly those of the opposite sex, and the worldwide Jewish obsession with sushi, among other topics. No word on if he has anything gay to say. Sunday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $30. Call 202-408-3100 or visit www.sixthandi.org.
A regular performer at the DC Improv, the stand-up veteran is also an accomplished TV writer and performer — known from Chappelle’s Show, The Jim Gaffigan Show, and as one of cable TV’s first great “talking head” comedians, not to mention many appearances on MSNBC’s former Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Finnegan returns to give a true Valentine to the DC Improv, where he’ll record his new album over the course of two shows on a certain date, with assist from two comics, the local lesbian Chelsea Shorte and Kasha Patel. Thursday, Feb. 14, at 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets are $25, plus a two-item minimum. Call 202-296-7008 or visit www.dcimprov.com.
SUPER SPECTACULAR COMEDY SHOW FOR THE FURLOUGHED
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 kramers.com.
FAX AYRES: LIGHTPAINTING PHOTOGRAPHY
The Charlottesville-based artist Fax Ayres combines the aesthetics of photography and painting with a focus on everyday objects and scenes, presenting the mundane in new ways and in unlikely, whimsical compilations, imbuing subjects with an almost surreal quality. Through his “lightpainting” technique, Ayres tries to extract beauty and personality from everyday things by staging still-life vignettes in the dark, then carefully painting individual components with light, and finally assembling multiple images together to create the final photograph. What results are surprising compositions hinting at dramatic back stories, or suggesting larger, and sometimes darker, uses for the piece or pieces of equipment, food, gourd, or toy depicted. Now to Feb. 24. The Athenaeum, 201 Prince St., Alexandria. Call 703-548-0035 or visit www.nvfaa.org.
FUSE*: EVERYTHING IN EXISTENCE
The first solo exhibition in the United States of fuse* highlights the evolution, over the past decade, of this Italian art studio’s practice, which focuses on exploring the expressive potential of emerging digital technologies. Some of fuse*’s most significant works to date are presented in four multimedia installations inviting audiences to experience different perceptions of reality and new perspectives designed to remind us that we are all part of something bigger; that we exist in a state of interconnectedness. The works in Everything in Existence are generated by software processing data in real time, whether the data is derived from interaction with the viewer (as in “Snowfall,” social networks (“Amygdala”), sound (“Clepsydra”), or the software itself (“Multiverse”). Through such generative technique, fuse* creates “living” art that changes before one’s eyes and rewards prolonged viewing and repeat visits — in a way that also parallels the relationship between humans and the forces that push us towards the unknown. As always, ArTecHouse will be serving Augmented Reality Cocktails inspired by the exhibition during evening sessions. Now to March 10. ArTecHouse, 1238 Maryland Ave. SW. Tickets for hourly timed-entry sessions are $12 to $20 for daytime or $20 for evening admission including access to After Hours cocktails, sold separately. Visit www.dc.artechouse.com.
NIGHT: STRATHMORE JURIED EXHIBITION
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 www.strathmore.org.
THE STOOP STORYTELLING SERIES: CREATURE FEATURE
“Stories about our relationships with animals – from pets to predators” is the focus of the next round of personal stories shared by Baltimoreans through the Stoop organization. Held at Baltimore’s Senator Theatre, which will open an hour before the show for cocktails and music from Brooks Long and the Mad Dog No Good. Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 8 p.m. 5904 York Rd., Baltimore. Tickets are $15 to $23. Call 410-323-4424 or visit www.stoopstorytelling.com.
BURLESQUE-A-PADES IN LOVELAND
New York’s Angie Pontani, billed as the “International Queen of Burlesque,” presents the 12th anniversary of a Valentine’s Day show mixing performances in the revived art of striptease with magic, music, dance, and comedy. New York drag king and transgender comedian Murray “Mister Showbiz” Hill returns as host of an evening featuring performances by Miss Exotic World Champion aka Potani, Miss Coney Island 2018 Gigi Bonbon, LGBTQ burlesque dancer The Maine Attraction, Baltimore’s Sicilian burlesque queen Maria Bella and ingenue Tequila Honeybee, and Broadway-styled singing sensations Sunny Sighed & Bal’d Lightning. Thursday, Feb. 14, at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $29.50. Call 703-549-7500 or visit www.birchmere.com.
GILDED LILY BURLESQUE: TASSELS & CHAMPAGNE: BOOTY NIGHTS!
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 www.creativealliance.org.
HOTEL PRO FORMA, LATVIAN RADIO CHOIR: NEOARCTIC
The Kennedy Center presents the U.S. premiere of a daring, multi-genre, multimedia work that dramatizes for the stage a broad range of environmental issues, from climate change and soil erosion to urbanization and the digitalization of human life. NeoArctic is a visual music performance that weaves in classical voice, electronica, dramatic staging, and movement, with the dynamic backdrop of photography from NASA, to explore “Nature’s Titanic” and the Anthropocene, a new geological age characterized by the harsh impact of humanity on the ecosystem. The story of planet Earth and its future is told in English through 12 unique songs and soundscapes covering 12 different landscapes. Kirsten Dehlholm, founder and artistic director of the Danish Hotel Pro Forma, leads this World Stages production featuring the 16-person Latvian Radio Choir performing music by Andy Stott and Krists Auznieks, with musical direction from Kaspars Putnins. Opens Wednesday, Feb. 13, with a post-show discussion. To Feb. 16. Terrace Theater. Tickets are $35 to $49. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
KENNEDY CENTER’S CHINESE NEW YEAR CELEBRATION
Per the Chinese calendar, the new year begins on the new moon — which in 2019 appeared on Feb. 5. Fortunately, the traditional celebration lasts two weeks, and the Kennedy Center follows suit with its fourth annual Lunar New Year slate of (mostly free) activities, which ends with the return of the National Ballet of China. Between now and then (the third weekend in February), the complex is festooned with a Chinese Lantern Light Installation in the Hall of States and on the River Terrace, and also displays, in its two grand halls, two porcine sculptures as a tribute to the new Year of the Pig. In addition to the pig, this year’s focus at the Kennedy Center is on the art and culture of the Guangdong Province in the coastal region of southeast China, highlighted chiefly via two free performances: one on Thursday, Feb. 7, featuring Chinese folk music played by members of the Guangdong National Orchestra Ensemble, the other on Friday, Feb. 8, featuring a mix of dance, acrobatics, and puppetry from artists affiliated with the Guangdong Arts Troupe. (Both performances are at 6 p.m. on the Millennium Stage.) And then on Saturday, Feb. 9, comes more free festivities per the Family Day 2019 event taking place throughout the building from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., offering the chance to make red lanterns and decorate paper opera masks for an opera costume photo booth, participate in Cantonese Lion Dances for good luck and fortune, see demonstrations in calligraphy and coloring as well as Chinese folk music performers and Lingnan puppeteers and contortionists, and eat pastries made in the traditional Guangdong way, touted as “the best mooncakes in China.” Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.
PRETTY BOI DRAG: OPEN KING NIGHT
Founded three years ago by former DC King Pretty Rik E, this troupe of drag kings expands on the Amateur King Night it introduced last year to become a drag king “open mic,” welcoming of both seasoned drag dabblers as well as those who’d like to try their hand and throw their hat into the ring — “to feel what it’s like to get up there and show the world the king that lives inside” them in a safe, fun environment. The lineup for the Valentine’s Day-themed February show is already locked and ready to go, but interested performers are able to sign up for additional Open King Nights in 2019, the next coming April 11 and June 13. Thursday, Feb. 14, at 8 p.m. The Bier Baron Tavern and DC Comedy Loft, 1523 22nd St. NW. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. Call 202-293-1887 or visit prettyboidrag.com.