Metro Weekly

Out On the Town: D.C. arts and entertainment highlights — February 21-27

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

A Star Is Born — Photo courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures



The AFI Silver Theatre returns a selection of last year’s most distinctive films to the big screen in time for awards season. The nearly two dozen films includes Roma, No. 3 on Metro Weekly critic André Hereford’s year-end best list, which screens Saturday, Feb. 23, and Sunday, Feb. 24, at 4:20 p.m. There’s also the Bradley Cooper- and Lady Gaga-led A Star Is Born, on Friday, Feb. 22, at 4:20 p.m., as well as Saturday, Feb. 23, and Sunday, Feb. 24, at 11 a.m.; plus what is billed as the “deliciously dark flipside to A Star Is Born,” the Natalie Portman- and Jude Law-starring Vox Lux, on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 9:20 p.m., and Wednesday, Feb. 27, at 9:45 p.m. The series continues to March 21. 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Call 301-495-6720 or visit


This weekend, the National Building Museum hosts the second annual D.C. offshoot of the largest film festival devoted to design and the built environment. A particular focus is on documentaries featuring many of the field’s leading practitioners and exploring challenges to address issues of social justice, diversity, technology, and equity. Two dozen films are on the docket, including: the D.C. premiere of Ultan Guilfoyle’s Frank Gehry: Building Justice, which follows the celebrity architect’s investigation into all aspects of prison design in the U.S., screening Thursday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m., and Saturday, Feb. 23, at 4:45 p.m.; Basia and Leonard Myszynski’s Leaning Out, which tells the story of Leslie Robertson, the lead structural engineer of New York’s World Trade Center and a pacifist forever haunted by 9/11, on Friday, Feb. 22, at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 24, at 3 p.m.; Mies on Scene, Barcelona in Two Acts, which shines a light on the revolutionary work of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich via their temporary 1929 Barcelona Pavilion, on Friday, Feb. 22, at 6 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 23, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 24, at 2:30 p.m.; Carlos Saura’s Renzo Piano: The Architect of Light, focused on the Italian architect behind the Center Pompidou and the New York Times Building, on Friday, Feb. 22, at 8:30 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m.; and Premjit Ramachandran’s Doshi, focused on the contemporary Indian architect and 2018 Pritzker Prize winner Balkrishna Doshi, on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 12:15 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 24, at 4:15 p.m. Films will screen in three separate theaters, including one in the Great Hall, and a number of the screenings will be followed by panel discussions and filmmaker Q&As. This year’s festival also introduces a Film Festival Lounge and the intimate, 14-seat Sony Home Theater, where six short films will screen throughout the festival. 401 F St. NW. Tickets are $12 to $15 per film program, or $135 for an All Access pass. Call 202-272-2448 or visit for a full schedule and information.


Through the series “The Film Music of Erich Korngold,” the Library of Congress honors one of the earliest and most influential composers in the history of Hollywood. Next up in the series is a double bill of two classic pirate films, released half a century apart. Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland star in Michael Curtiz’s Captain Blood, the 1935 film that made the two actors household names and solidified the swashbuckling genre. Based on a story written by Steven Spielberg, Richard Donner’s 1985 film The Goonies carries on the tradition established by Curtiz and Korngold, who heavily influenced the work of composer Dave Grusin. An hour before the double feature, Saturday, Feb. 23, at noon, comes a related lecture by Paul Sommerfeld of the Library’s Music Division. “In Search of Korngold” reviews the famous composer’s work and his lingering influence on composers from John Williams to the late James Horner. Pickford Theater in the James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Tickets are free but required for both the screening and the lecture. Call 202-707-5502 or visit


If he had to do it all over again, Stanley Kubrick once said he probably wouldn’t have bothered adapting Vladimir Nabokov’s novel. The late, legendary filmmaker did not anticipate the level of controversy, criticism, and censorship he faced in bringing the drama to the big screen in 1962 — something he was only able to do after acceding to restrictions by the Motion Picture Association of America that forced him to tone down the more provocative aspects of the tale, about a middle-aged lecturer who becomes sexually obsessed with a young adolescent girl. Ultimately, it’s a wonder Lolita got made at all, something that seems especially implausible in today’s #MeToo and #TimesUp era. And yet, critics today pretty uniformly regard it as a masterpiece, with filmmaker David Lynch, for one, citing it as his favorite Kubrick film. You can see if you agree as well as consider reappraising Lolita next week, when Landmark’s West End Cinema returns the work to the big screen as part of its invaluable Capital Classics series. Wednesday, Feb. 27, 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


At their best, short films are often regarded as the launching pads for the directing stars of tomorrow, allowing for a remarkable variety of inspiration and technique. Every year, the Academy Awards nominates a dozen or so shorts, and Landmark Theatres offers cineastes the chance to see the nominees, which screen in three separate programs. This year’s animated category includes Bao by Domee Shi and Becky Neimann-Cobb, Weekends by Trevor Jimenez, and One Small Step by Andrew Chesworth and Bobby Pontillas, all from the U.S, plus Ireland’s Late Afternoon by Louise Bagnall and Nuria Gonzalez Blanco and Canada’s Animal Behaviour by Alison Snowden and David Fine. The program is rounded out with a couple of additional animated works. Now playing. Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Also Bethesda Row Cinema, 7235 Woodmont Ave. Call 202-452-7672 or visit


At its West End Cinema, Landmark Theatres presents this year’s nominees in the Documentary Shorts category, which includes a Netflix-released short highlighting medical practitioners helping to change perceptions about end-of-life care. That film, End Game, is the latest from the gay, Oscar-winning duo of Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (Common Threads: Stories from the QuiltThe Celluloid Closet). The 143-minute program also includes Black Sheep by Ed Perkins and Jonathan Chinn from the U.K. and Period. End of Sentence. by Rayka Zehtabchi and Melissa Berton from India, plus Lifeboat by Skye Fitzgerald and Bryn Mooser and A Night at the Garden by Marshall Curry, both from the U.S. 2301 M St. NW. Call 202-534-1907 or visit


There are five live action shorts nominated at the 91st Academy Awards, all of which screen locally in advance of the Sunday, Feb. 24, televised ceremony courtesy of Landmark Theatres. The nominees are: Madre by Rodrigo Sorogoyen and Maria del Puy Alvarado from Spain, Detainment by Vincent Lambe and Darren Mahon from Ireland, Skin by Guy Nattiv and Jaime Ray Newman from the U.S., and Fauve by Jeremy Comte and Maria Gracia Turgeon and Marguerite by Marianne Farley and Marie-Helene Panisset, both from Canada. Now playing. E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Also Bethesda Row Cinema, 7235 Woodmont Ave. Call 202-452-7672 or visit


Joshua Vogelsong (Donna Slash) continues his queer Screen Queen series at the 35-seat, living-room cozy Suns Cinema in Mount Pleasant. The February run is focused on some of the most raw and brutally honest stories about trans experiences. It concludes with one of the first films to bring mainstream attention to the cause: Neil Jordan’s drama from 1992. Metro Weekly selected The Crying Game for its original “25 Gay Films Everyone Should See” list in 2009, noting that, “Amid a tale of Irish terrorists and intrigue, Jaye Davidson as Dil stole the show. [His] portrayal of a sexy, transgender seductress brought gender issues to the fore as few movies have before or since.” 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. Monday, Feb. 25, at 8 p.m. 3107 Mount Pleasant St. NW. Tickets are $5. Visit

Fun Home — Photo: Bill Geenen



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


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. Extended to March 10. 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


A black student disrupts the status quo at her high school merely by venturing into an area typically occupied by white students, unintentionally provoking an uptick in hate speech, violence, and chaos. Playwright Dominique Morisseau was inspired by the Jena Six, the black teenagers who were reflexively condemned and excessively charged after a 2006 altercation with a white student turned brutal in their Louisiana small-town. Directed by Raymond O. Caldwell, this Theater Alliance production features choreography by Tiffany Quinn and an 11-person cast including Molly Shayna Cohen, Billie Krishawn, Emmanuel Kyei-Baffour, Deimoni Brewington, Paul Roeckell, and Stephanie Wilson. Blood at the Root is touted as a moving, lyrical, and bold examination of the complexities of race and individual freedoms, as well as the link between justice and identity. Previews begin Saturday, Feb. 23. Opens Friday, March 1. Runs to March 24. Anacostia Playhouse, 2020 Shannon Place SE. Tickets are $40 to $50 and half-off during previews. Call 202-241-2539 or visit


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? To March 10. 1800 South Bell St., Arlington. Tickets are $20. Call 800-811-4111 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


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 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. To March 10. Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $42 to $79. Call 202-544-7077 or visit


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. To March 10. Mainstage, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Call 301-924-3400 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. 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


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. To Feb. 24. Lakeforest Mall – Second Floor, 701 Russell Ave., Gaithersburg. Tickets are $20 to $25. 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. To Feb. 24. 1st Stage, 1524 Spring Hill Rd., Tysons. Tickets are $39. Call 703-854-1856 or visit


The eccentric Landless Theatre Company returns with two shows staged in repertory at the District of Columbia Arts Center. There’s Bruce Arnston’s parody The Doyle and Debbie Show, which simultaneously lampoons and idolizes country music’s tradition of iconic duos and their subsequent battle of the sexes, starring Andrew Lloyd Baughman and Karissa Swanigan-Upchurch and directed by John Sadowsky (Gutenberg! The Musical!). And then there’s Puffs, or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic & Magic, Matt Cox’s tale of those who just happened to attend Wizard School at the same time as a certain boy wizard, dedicated to “anyone who has never been destined to save the world.” To March 30. District of Columbia Arts Center (DCAC), 2438 18th St. NW. Call 202-462-7833 or visit


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. 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


From the opening strains of its lush overture, The King and I announces its commitment to pomp and pageantry. The Tony-winning revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s beloved musical is cast with greater sensitivity towards verisimilitude than that original 1951 production. Director Bartlett Sher’s sumptuous rendition is engineered to please both Rodgers & Hammerstein fans and musical theater traditionalists, however it is not a destination for the artistically adventurous: The underlying musical is showing its age. Thursday, Feb. 21, and Friday, Feb. 22, at 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 23, at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 24, at 1 and 6:30 p.m. Hippodrome Theatre, 12 North Eutaw St., Baltimore. Tickets are $52 to $173.50. Call 410-547-SEAT or visit

The Old Man, the Youth, and The Sea — Photo: Stan Weinstein


GALA Hispanic Theatre presents the world premiere of a play it commissioned from Irma Correa, one of Spain’s rising young playwrights, who takes on the tale of Spain’s renowned poet and philosopher Miguel de Unamuno, forced into exiled almost a century ago due to his opposition to the dictator Miguel Primo de Rivera. Helen Hayes Award-winning director José Luis Arellano (2016’s Yerma) helms GALA’s production of El viejo, el joven y el mar, performed in Spanish with English surtitles featuring a cast led by Horacio Peña as Unamuno. When not plotting his escape from exile, the philosopher engages a young fisherman (portrayed by Victor De La Fuente), a journalist (Luz Nicolás), and a general (Delbis Cardona) in debates on matters of freedom, reason, and faith — in a play that explores the notions of conflicting loyalties to one’s country and to the moral fight for a just society. Now to March 3. Tivoli Square, 3333 14th St. NW. Tickets are $30 to $48. Call 202-234-7174 or visit


Nearly 25 years after its founding by celebrated D.C.-based playwright Karen Zacarias (The Book Club Play), the Young Playwrights’ Theater presents its first-ever production of a full-length play by a student. Taking place in the wake of a tragic accident, Josie Walyus’ Three Cheers to Grace focuses on one girl’s recovery as well as coming to terms with the condition of her best friend Grace, who remains comatose. Currently a sophomore at Arlington’s H-B Woodlawn high school, Walyus is an alumna of the company’s In-School Playwriting Program, which presented a condensed version of her work in its 2018 New Play Festival. Yet this obviously prodigious teenager wrote 90 pages for the original draft of Three Cheers to Grace. And YPT’s artistic director Lawal Harris along with director Eric Ruffin (Theater Alliance’s Black Nativity) worked with Walyus to realize the play as a full, intermission-less, 90-minute production, featuring a large, diverse cast of professional actors, including Madelyn Farris, Katie Rey Bogdan, Elenilson Ayala, Suzanne Edgar, Stefanie Garcia, Mimsi Janis, Tre’Mon Mills, Naima Randolph, Sisi Reid, Karen Romero, and Marlon Russ. Opens Thursday, Feb. 22. Weekends to March 3. Dance Loft on 14, 4618 14th St. NW, 2nd Floor. Tickets are $25. Call 202-621-3670 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. 1201 North Royal St., Alexandria. Tickets are $55. Call 800-494-8497 or visit


Maryland’s rebellious classics-focused nonprofit theater troupe The Rude Mechanicals, a mix of professional and amateur artists, restages Anton Chekhov’s late 19th-century Russian classic in the 1930s early Dust Bowl era of the American West — more specifically, a small Russian immigrant community in Anton, Colorado. As ever, the focus is on the spell cast by Professor Serebryakov and his beautiful and bored young wife Yelena in a return visit to the family estate, and all the chaos that ensues. Melissa Schick directs an original new translation of Uncle Vanya and a community theater production featuring Claudia Bach, Bill Bodie, Leah DeLano, Joshua Engel, Eric Honour, Erin Nealer, Moira Parham, and Nathan Rosen. Remaining performances are Friday, Feb. 22, and Saturday, Feb. 23, at 8 p.m. West Arundel Creative Arts, 1788 Dorsey Rd., Hanover, Md. Tickets are $12 to $15. Visit




This French-Caribbean dynamo has spent the past decade as the unforgettable, undeniable diva of Escort, she of the “buttery R&B” voice (per NPR). Fortunately, Adeline Michele is still associated with that funky nu-disco orchestra from New York. Yet the bass-playing singer-songwriter has also branched out to try her hand at a mononymous solo career. Adeline is currently touring in support of her self-titled debut album, which nods to obvious influences such as Chaka Khan and Curtis Mayfield as well as to her contemporaries, from Hercules & Love Affair to, well, Escort. D.C.’s Mixxstress, a “multi-hyphenate entertainer” as vocalist/songwriter/DJ/producer, opens. Sunday, Feb. 24. Doors at 7 p.m. Union Stage, 740 Water St. SW. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door. Call 877-987-6487 or visit


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. 27, at 7:30 p.m. The Mansion, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Tickets are $17. Call 301-581-5100 or visit


For the third year in a row the Hamilton Live! hosts concerts dubbed the official after-parties for the Tedeschi Trucks Band shows taking place around the corner at the Warner Theatre (see separate listing). On Saturday, Feb. 23, comes a band some consider New Orleans’s “best kept secret,” the boisterous blend of funk, jazz, rock, and hip-hop known as the Funky Nation, a six-piece outfit led by “Big Sam” Williams, a former member of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band who had a recurring role on the HBO series Treme. Doors at 11:30 p.m. 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $10. Call 202-787-1000 or visit


Although one of today’s hottest acts in country music — as the reigning Vocal Duo of the Year at the CMAs for three years running — brothers John and T.J. Osborne are not the genre’s typical shrinking violets when it comes to politics. They campaigned and performed for the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Texas governor last year, for one thing. They’ve also been relatively provocative with their music videos — lampooning Trump’s “Space Force” initiative in “Shoot Me Straight,” and celebrating diversity through inclusion of same-sex as well as interracial couples in “Stay A Little Longer.” The Osbornes grew up on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, and whether that plays any part in their willingness to engage or provoke politically, it certainly did influence their folksy yet stadium/big-room country-rock sound — something of a cross between Lynyrd Skynyrd and Bob Seger, with a little Tom Petty and a little more Willie Nelson thrown in for good measure. Both brothers sing and play guitar, but John the elder, aged 36, is the lead shredder while his little brother by two years takes center stage with his thick and deep baritone powering song after song. Ruston Kelly, aka Mr. Kacey Musgraves, opens. Saturday, Feb. 23. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. Tickets are $40 to $75. Call 202-888-0020 or visit


Founded in 1973, the San Francisco-based, Grammy-winning Kronos Quartet has established itself as one of the most eclectic, inclusive, and internationally minded ensembles in all of classical music — as far from conservative as they come — in terms of everything from style to repertoire. In terms of politics, too, perhaps now more than ever in context of the group’s latest program developed by its founder and artistic director David Harrington. Music For Change: The Banned Countries is styled as an artistic response to President Trump’s 2017 Executive Order limiting travel to the U.S. by citizens of several largely Muslim countries, widely regarded as a discriminatory Muslim Ban. At Sixth and I, Washington Performing Arts presents a concert featuring Harrington and John Sherba on violin, Hank Dutt on viola, and Sunny Yang on cello, along with Mahsa Vahdat, a preeminent Persian vocalist, performing works by composers from the original seven banned nations: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Saturday, March 2. Doors at 7 p.m. 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $45. Call 202-408-3100 or visit


After wowing audiences performing with the Baltimore Symphony last season, the Armenian cellist and Tchaikovsky International Competition winner returns to perform English composer Edward Elgar’s beautiful and elegiac concerto. Associate conductor Nicholas Hersh leads the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in an all-20th Century program also featuring Rondes de printemps from Claude Debussy’s Images and Sergei Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 6, reminiscent of the Russian Soviet composer’s famous romantic ballet music. Thursday, Feb. 21, at 8 p.m. Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore. Also Sunday, Feb. 24, at 3 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $25 to $90. Call 410-783-8000 or visit


Inspired by the words of painter Georgia O’Keeffe, iconoclastic American pianist Downes has channeled her creativity and sound into an intimate program of solo and ensemble works paying tribute to female composers and poets past and present. She couldn’t be better paired in that pursuit than with special guest singer and multi-instrumentalist Giddens, a MacArthur “Genius Award” winner and founding member of the Grammy-winning black bluegrass band Carolina Chocolate Drops — best known to some as the social worker with “the voice of an angel” from CMT’s Nashville. Presented by Washington Performing Arts, the concert at Sixth and I Historic Synagogue will feature songs by, among others, Nina Simone, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, and Abbey Lincoln, plus world premieres from Sarah Kirkland Snider, Elena Ruehr, Julia Adolphe, Angelica Negron, Reena Esmail, Laura Karpman, and Eve Beglarian. Saturday, Feb. 23, at 8 p.m. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $35. Call 202-408-3100 or visit


Grammy-winning cellist Zuill Bailey and Grammy-nominated violinist Roberto Díaz join for another concert this season celebrating the centennial of Leonard Bernstein, this time by recreating the musical program that catipulated the late, great composer into the spotlight. A 25-year-old Bernstein took the podium at Carnegie Hall on Nov. 14, 1943, to lead the New York Philharmonic in an ambitious program, filling in for his ailing mentor Bruno Walter at the last minute, with no time for rehearsal. As with that concert, “The Debut” features Richard Schumann’s Manfred Overture, Miklós Rózsa’s Theme, Variations and Finale, Op. 13, Richard Strauss’s Don Quixote, and Richard Wagner’s Prelude to Die Meistersinger. The former Bernstein student Piotr Gajewski leads Strathmore’s resident symphony in the program. Saturday, Feb. 23, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $32 to $84. Call 301-581-5100 or visit


The British cellist Isserlis, accompanied by Shih on piano, offers a noteworthy recital, pairing works by three famous male composers alongside works by three lesser-known female composers who influenced them as loves of their lives. As such, the program includes Three Romances by Robert Schumann, the 19th century German composer considered one of the greatest of the Romantic era — as well as Three Romances by his wife and the daughter of his original teacher/mentor Clara Schumann, an influential German piano educator and pianist. A century later came the Czech neo-classicist Bohuslav Martinů, who fell madly in love and carried on an extramarital affair with his student Vítězslava Kaprálová, who went on to become an important Czech musician in her own right. Isserlis pairs Martinů’s 1929 Sonata No. 1 with Kaprálová’s 1940 composition Ritornelle. Finally, there’s the 19th century French composer César Franck and his pupil and the apple of his eye Augusta Holmès — represented by his Sonata in A Major and her Minstrel’s Chant. Wednesday, March 6, at 7:30 p.m. Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


Formed nearly 50 years ago by four women associated with the former professional theater group the D.C. Black Repertory Company, this Grammy-winning a cappella ensemble carries on the tradition of offering socially conscious songs, such as the plaintive ballad “Are We A Nation?” Originally written in response to a restrictive immigration law passed in Arizona in 2010, the song, steeped in the music of the civil rights era, has taken on added resonance of late with Trump’s push for immigration restrictions at the national level. Sunday, March 3, at 7:30 p.m. Birchmere, 3701 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $45. Call 703-549-7500 or visit


It’s a crowded stage whenever the headline act is this Jacksonville, Florida-based blues/rock supergroup, with a large, 12-member ensemble formed from the merger of bands led by married couple Derek Trucks — formerly of the Allman Brothers Band — and Susan Tedeschi. The Birchmere presents another run of shows for the band at the Warner Theatre. Tickets remain for only the show Friday, Feb. 22, at 8 p.m. 513 13th St. NW. Tickets are $67 to $123 before processing fees. Call 202-783-4000 or visit


Songwriters and Virginia natives Laura Wortman and Kagey Parrish weave lush, dynamic harmonies and travel-seasoned narratives as the American roots music duo the Honey Dewdrops, now celebrating release of their sixth album Anyone Can See. As it happens, the duo will also open their own show, performing as the Bottom Rung, a new collaborative five-piece band featuring Nicholas Sjostrom on drums, Lance Prince on acoustic guitar, Caleb Stine and Wortman on electric guitar, and Parrish on bass. Thursday, Feb. 28, at 8 p.m. Creative Alliance at the Patterson, 3134 Eastern Ave. Baltimore. Tickets are $15 to $21. Call 410-276-1651 or visit Also Saturday, March 2, at 9 p.m. Hill Country, 410 7th St. NW. Tickets are $15. Call 202-556-2050 or visit


Virtuoso clarinetist Julian Bliss leads his band on “A Stroll Down Tin Pan Alley,” sharing anecdotes and stories in between performances of American Songbook standards written by George Gershwin and his contemporaries. The program includes a suite from iconic Porgy and Bess, an excerpt from the beloved Rhapsody in Blue, plus classic tunes from “I Got Rhythm” to “Embraceable You” to “Lady Be Good.” Friday, March 1, at 8 p.m. Merchant Hall in the George Mason University Center for the Arts, 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax. Tickets are $28 to $46. Call 888-945-2468 or visit


Dana Marsh, the consort’s new artistic director, kicks off the spring season with the first of two Italian-influenced concerts that, as he puts it, “showcase Bach’s attempt to out-Italian the Italians.” The consort’s acclaimed chorus takes center stage with the program “Soavi accenti: Glories of the Italian Madrigal,” focused on 16th-century madrigals written by Claudio Monteverdi. Akin to today’s pop music, these songs spread throughout Europe via traveling musicians and would go on to inspire composers in England and Germany — naturally including Bach — to apply their own styles to the form. Drinks will be available before the performance in the new lobby Bach Bar, and chocolate tastings will be on offer after the show courtesy of The Chocolate House. Live! at 10th and G, 945 G ST. NW. Tickets are $10 to $35. Call 202-628-4317 or visit

Washington Ballet. Sleeping Beauty — Photo: Tony Powell



Julie Kent and Victor Barbee, famed alumnus of New York’s American Ballet Theatre, now work as a married team leading the Washington Ballet as Artistic Director and Associate Artistic Director, respectively. Their latest collaborative project: ushering in the Washington company’s first full-length production of this quintessential classical ballet, inspired by the timeless fairy tale about the power of true love’s kiss and the triumph of good over evil. Kent and Barbee have overseen the staging plus added enhancements to Marius Petipa’s classic choreography, set to Tchaikovsky’s famed score. Performances begin Wednesday, Feb. 27. To March 3. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $25 to $160. Call 202-467-4600 or visit

Jonathan Van Ness — Photo courtesy of Live Nation



Inspired by Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming, the bestselling book of 2018, Novel Comedy presents a program of stand-up, readings, and reminiscences about the “good ol’ days” of pre-Trump Washington. Area comedians will share stories about the Obamas and read excerpts from the book, as well as recount attempts to follow the former First Lady’s eating guidelines. The event is being advertised as “the next best thing to a Michelle Obama book tour.” Friday, Feb. 22. Doors at 7:30 p.m. Solid State Books, 600 H St. NE. Tickets are $5 for a guaranteed seat. Call 897-4201 or visit


He’s long made his career as a hairstylist to the stars in Hollywood. Yet in the past year, Jonathan Van Ness has become known as the breakout star of Netflix’s Emmy-winning Queer Eye reboot, where he’s the grooming guru and self-care advocate. Even so, Van Ness isn’t content with any of that, or in the knowledge that he’s made everyone cry via Queer Eye. In fact, at the moment he wants to make you laugh, touring around with his own standup show. If you’re a Van Ness fan in need of some good laughs, you’ll have to take a number, and make your way to Baltimore, as his debut stop at the Kennedy Center on Friday, March 1, is sold out. Tickets remain for the show Saturday, March 2, at 7 p.m. Hippodrome Theatre, 12 North Eutaw St., Baltimore. Tickets are $65 to $146. Call 410-547-SEAT 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. She returns for another run of shows in D.C. Friday, March 1, and Saturday, March 2, at 7 and 9 p.m. Drafthouse Comedy, 1100 13th St. NW. Tickets are $20. Call 202-750-6411 or visit

Perfume & Seduction: Perfume Bottle and Case in the Shape of an Egg, courtesy of Hillwood Museum & Gardens — Photo: Brian Searby



More than 30 large-scale works from the influential German contemporary painter are on display at the Hirshhorn Museum in what is heralded as her largest U.S. museum survey. Part of a major multinational exhibition, Snake Eyes highlights von Heyl’s groundbreaking abstract output since 2005, with recent works pointing to new developments in her constantly evolving practice. Closes Sunday, Feb. 24. Hirshhorn Museum, Independence Avenue and Seventh Street SW. Call 202-633-1000 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. Transformer, 1404 P St. NW. Call 202-483-1102 or visit


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. To Feb. 24. The Athenaeum, 201 Prince St., Alexandria. Call 703-548-0035 or visit


Over the years, this exhibition, featuring works in various mediums and subjects, has grown to include over 80 artists from D.C., Virginia, and Maryland. This year’s juror is Caitlin Berry of Hemphill Fine Arts. Artists represented include: Lory Ivey Alexander, Katherine Altom, Fabiola Alvarez Yurcisin, Kasse Andrews-Weller, Kimberley Bursic, Elizabeth Casqueiro, Marilyn Christiano, Kim DiDonato-Murrell, Christopher Fowler, Ric Garcia, Paul Hrusa, JoAnn Lamicella Laboy, Phet Lew, Rashad Muhammad, Khanh Nguyen, Zachary Reid, Judy Searles, Carol Ward, and Acquaetta Williams. On display to March 3. Old Naval Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Call 202-549-4172 or visit


New works by Francie Hester, Greg Minah, Frank Campion, and Stefan Breukers are featured as part of the first show of 2019 at the small, private LGBTQ-run gallery. Long View has long been a leading fixture in its trendy part of Shaw as well as a prime example of how art and art-centric spaces can help revitalize and shape neighborhoods. On display to March 1. 1234 9th St. NW. Call 202-232-4788 or visit


The Baltimore Museum of Art showcases the work of the gay African-American artist specifically through an installation of painting, sculpture, and video first presented at the 2017 Venice Biennale. The installations on display in Tomorrow Is Another Day weave a complex, multi-layered narrative incorporating themes and figures from Bradford’s personal life as well as from Greek mythology and the universe. One example is Spoiled Foot, a behemoth collage installation inspired by the story of Hephaestus, the god of artists and makers, that hangs from the ceiling and literally bears down on visitors, pushing them to the periphery of the room. The exhibition also conveys a belief in art’s ability to expose contradictory histories and inspire action in the present day, particularly among those in traditionally marginalized communities — by featuring silk-screened t-shirts and tote bags created by local youth from Baltimore’s Greenmount West Community Center with support and guidance from the Los Angeles-based artist, all available for purchase in a pop-up shop adjacent to the exhibition. To March 3. 10 Art Museum Dr. Baltimore. Call 443-573-1700 or visit


The captivating evolution of perfume bottles and accessories from the 18th through the mid-20th centuries is told through the display of nearly 150 pieces, those taken from Hillwood’s collection as well as from Givaudan, the Swiss manufacturer of fragrances and cosmetics. Complementing the exhibition are a “scented suite of workshops,” such as the Hands-on Workshop: Fragrant Floral Design in which participants will create an arrangement of blooms, offered on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. On display to June 9. Hillwood Estate, 4155 Linnean Ave. NW. Suggested donation is $18. Call 202-686-5807 or visit


A survey of Baltimore’s movie-going past from 1896 to the present, this Flickering Treasures exhibition at the National Building Museum features oral histories, architectural fragments, theater ephemera, and of course photography — particularly vivid, contemporary shots from Baltimore Sun staff photographer Amy Davis. All of it illuminates themes of memory, loss, and preservation, as well as the importance of movies and movie houses in 20th century American life. While only a handful of more than 240 theaters built in Charm City still function today, many survive in some form, as documented in this exhibition. On display to Oct. 2019. 401 F St. NW. Call 202-272-2448 or visit


Karen Joan Topping, a founding member of the Sparkplug Collective, curates an exhibition of 10 artists who literally and symbolically employ light and darkness, as well as explore themes of communication and empathy, in painting, drawing, sculpture, and photography. On display at the District of Columbia Arts Center will be works by Tom Greaves, Sarah J. Hull, Shana Kohnstamm, Alanna Reeves, Azadeh Sahraeian, Elizabeth H. Sampson, Alexandra Silverthorne, Sarah Stefana Smith, Madeline A. Stratton, and Steve Wanna. Opening Reception is Friday, Feb. 22, from 7 to 9 p.m. On display to March 24, with a Closing Reception with Artists & Curator Talk set for Sunday, March 17. 2438 18th St. NW. Call 202-462-7833 or visit




Everyday is National Margarita Day for some of us, but officially, it comes just once a year: Friday, Feb. 22. Among the offerings around town, you can’t do much better than the “wallet-friendly” fare at Todd English’s modern Mexican restaurant in the historic Garfinkel’s building. Priced from $6 to $12 each, MXDC will feature four of its popular margaritas that day, including: the Margarita Blanca with Don Julio blanco, MXDC cordial, fresh lime juice, and agave; and that concoction can be spiced up with the addition of housemade Cucumber Jalapeño purée; the Cadillac Margarita with Don Julio reposado, Grand Marnier, agave, and lime; and a Margarita de la Casa with Milagro silver, MXDC cordial, lime, agave, and your choice of homemade syrups, including lime, strawberry, mango, pineapple, or blackberry. In addition, MXDC will offer four specialty shooters for those who prefer their tequila straight as a shot. All libations will be available from 11:30 a.m. to midnight. 600 14th St. NW. Call 202-393-1900 or visit

El Rey, the popular U Street taqueria and beer garden part of the local Hilton Bros. empire, is another good option to consider for some good ole margarita magic, especially if you’ll be imbibing in a group, party-style — or if you prefer your margs frozen. Enthusiasts can risk a brain freeze with a lime, strawberry, or mango slushie, or can pucker up with ‘rita on the rocks in varieties including classic, blueberry, strawberry, or mango. The price rises slightly as the sun goes down: all margaritas are $7 apiece from noon to 7 p.m., or $9 fro 7 p.m. to close — unless you prefer to order by the pitcher, which will run $24 to 7 p.m., $32 after. 919 U St. NW. Call 202-506-6418 or visit


Modeled after epic ramen halls in Japan, local food incubator Mess Hall once a year offers D.C. gourmands a taste not only of the city’s best ramen, but also of the hottest Asian food and restaurant concepts. This year’s event, which raises funds for the Capital Area Food Bank, features offerings from #RamenAllStars including Bad Saint chef Tom Cunanan, Himitsu’s Kevin Tien, Daikaya’s Katsuya Fukushima, Paper Horse’s Erik Bruner-Yang, Fat Nomads, Uzu’s Hiroaki Mitsui, plus the PhoWheels food truck steered by Huy Nguyen. In the #FriendsofRamen category, there’s Momo Yakitori desserts cooked over Japanese charcoals by Andrew Chiou, Karen Hoefener’s Nomad Dumplings, the confectionary Matsukawaya, and Kombini’s twist on onigiri. Wash it all down with beer from Kirin Ichiban, craft cocktails featuring Suntory spirits and Pratt Standard Syrups, or liquor from the Frederick, Md.-based American Shochu Company. Ticketed in two-hour rounds, at noon and 3 p.m., on Sunday, Feb. 24. 703 Edgewood St. NE. Tickets are $97.10 (with fees) for general admission with unlimited food and drink plus a take-home bottle of Tamari Soy Sauce or San-J Marinade. Visit



Next week, the National Archives offers a free screening of Sarah Holt’s PBS Nova documentary that looks at addiction not as a moral failing but as a chronic, treatable medical condition — and one that has become the deadliest epidemic in U.S. history due to easy access to heroin, fentanyl, and Oxycontin. Following the screening of the hour-long documentary, which originally aired last October, comes a panel moderated by Miles O’Brien, the national science correspondent for the PBS NewsHour, and featuring Holt, Admiral James “Sandy” Winnefeld and Mary Winnefeld of the SAFE Project, Nora Volkow of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health, Corey Waller of Health Management Associates and the American Society of Addiction Medicine, and Martha R. Temple of Optum Behavioral Health. Wednesday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m. The William G. McGowan Theater, Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets NW. NW. Free, with reservations recommended; first-come, first-seated. Call 202-357-5000 or visit


Clint Harp, the dumpster diving, reclaimed wood-loving carpenter from HGTV’s Fixer Upper who also provides quality furniture and home goods through Harp Design Co., his new venture with his wife Kelly Harp, headlines this show at the Dulles Expo Center. Presented by Marketplace Events, the focus of the February show is on gardening and landscaping. In addition to Harp, who appears on the Main Home Stage on Friday, Feb. 22, and Saturday, Feb. 23, this year’s show also features Mike McGrath, garden editor for WTOP News Radio and host of the nationally syndicated public radio show You Bet Your Garden, who appears on the Main Home Stage on Saturday, Feb. 23, and Sunday, Feb. 24. Attendees also will be able to solicit advice, gather information and purchase services from experts in the home remodeling, renovation, home décor, landscape and garden design fields. All told, more than 300 exhibitors are set to attend. A central feature is on the more than 4,500 square feet garden space overseen by four large local garden and landscape companies — Vista Pro Landscape & Design, Blue Sky Landscaping, Meadows Farms, and Premium Lawn & Landscape — showcasing new looks, techniques, and technology to inspire attendees to start their spring projects in everything from gardening and landscaping, to patios and outdoor furniture, to water features. In addition, local floral design artist May Bernhardt of Mayflowers will lead hands-on workshops in the art of succulent arranging throughout the weekend, and the Merrifield Garden Center will present a Flower Market filled with fresh flowers and plants and related goods for purchase. Friday, Feb. 22, and Saturday, Feb. 23, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 24, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 4320 Chantilly Shopping Center, Virginia. Tickets are $12 at the box office or $9 online, or free for federal employees with government ID. Call 800-274-6948 or visit

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