DC Independent Film Festival: Dakota
2018: A SECOND LOOK
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 include Film Independent Spirit Award nominees Leave No Trace and Private Life, plus Shoplifters, a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nominee from Japan, and two other films that were official submissions shortlisted for the Best Foreign Language Oscar: Burning from South Korea and Zama from Argentina. The series continues to March 21. 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Call 301-495-6720 or visit www.afi.com/Silver.
DC INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL
Billed as the oldest of its kind in the nation’s capital, this year’s DC Independent Film Festival offers several screenings of note for the LGBTQ community, including Transformistas, Chad Hahne’s documentary portrait of Cuban drag queens that will be have its world premiere, with a post-screening reception with the director, on Wednesday, March 6, at the Human Rights Campaign. Others include WBCN and the American Revolution, Bill Lichtenstein’s documentary about Boston’s underground radical radio station that in 1973 launched “The Lavender Hour,” the first LGBTQ program on commercial radio, on Thursday, March 7, at the Carnegie Institution for Science; and Dakota, a locally made feature by director Roberto Carmona about a talented young singer who aspires to stardom and features singer-songwriter Phoebe Ryan in her debut acting role alongside Jake Etheridge from Nashville and Holly Twyford, on Saturday, March 9, at the Carnegie Institution. The festival opens Friday, March 1, at its primary venue, the Miracle Theatre in Barracks Row, with Ordinary Gods, highlighting the resilience and relationships it takes to thrive in the world’s most beloved sport of soccer, the debut feature from director Pascui Rivas. And in its first two nights it presents three screenings in a retrospective of director Phillip Noyce, including Dead Calm with Nicole Kidman, Sam Neill, and Billy Zane, Newsfront with Bill Hunter, Gerard Kennedy, and Wendy Hughes, and The Quiet American with Michael Caine and Brendan Fraser. Most directors will be in attendance at the festival, which runs to Sunday, March 10. Individual tickets are $8 to $11 plus fees. Passes range from a one-day weekend pass at $48, to an all-access festival pass at $210. For a full schedule and details, visit www.dciff-indie.org.
EVERY HOLE, A PORTAL: FILMS BY MADSEN MINAX
On two different evenings next week, the Washington Project for the Arts presents screenings of films by Madsen Minax. The queer experimental filmmaker and installation artist’s work in documentary and hybrid formats presents nonlinear narratives exploring hidden networks of interconnectedness, drawing on the filmmaker’s participation in justice-oriented communities. First up is Kairos Dirt & The Errant Vacuum, a surrealist feature-length film about a queer lunch lady and a non-binary student who discover a fantastic alternate dimension occupied by a genderless apparition, screening Thursday March 7, at 8 p.m. at Suns Cinema, 3107 Mt. Pleasant St. NW. Two nights later comes a screening of three of Minax’s short films: Because of Us, in which a mystical voice guides viewers through a near-death experience using found footage and animated skyscapes; The Source is a Hole, presenting another mystical voice and a series of holes through which viewers can travel, perceive, accept, and speak; and The Eddies, about a death-obsessed transsexual searching for human connection in the worlds of online hookups and storm tunnels. After the screening comes a discussion with Minax, documentary filmmaker Dawne Langford, and photographer and Homosuperior musician Farrah Skeiky, moderated by curator Eames Armstrong, all taking place at WPA’s North Shaw locale, 2124 8th St. NW. Call 202-234-7103 or visit www.wpadc.org.
OSCAR NOMINATED SHORT FILMS 2019: ANIMATION
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 the Oscar-winning 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 www.landmarktheatres.com.
OSCAR NOMINATED SHORT FILMS 2019: LIVE ACTION
There are five live action shorts nominated at the 91st Academy Awards, all of which screen locally 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, the Oscar-winning 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 www.landmarktheatres.com.
Fred Astaire stars in this 1957 musical film adaptation of the 1955 stage musical, itself an adaptation of the 1939 film Ninotchka Landmark’s West End Cinema returns the work to the big screen as part of its invaluable Capital Classics series. Wednesday, March 6, at 1:30, 4:30, and 7:30 p.m. 2301 M St. NW. Happy hour from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $12.50. Call 202-534-1907 or visit www.landmarktheatres.com.
THANK GOD IT’S FRIDAY
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. Thank God It’s Friday interviews residents in the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh and those in the neighboring Israeli settlement of Halamish in an equal-time format over the course of a tense two years showing the day of rest turn into a day of unrest, and the waste of life that it brings. Following the screening will be a moderated Q&A discussion. Sunday, March 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 Company of Finding Neverland — Photo: Jeremy Daniel
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 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.
BLOOD AT THE ROOT
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. Opening night is 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 www.theateralliance.com.
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 www.synetictheater.org.
The National Theatre presents the touring production of Tony-winning director Diane Paulus’ take on the 2004 Oscar-winning film telling the story behind Peter Pan. Written by composer Scott Frankel and lyricist Michael Korie, Finding Neverland is billed as a “classic tale [that] springs spectacularly to life in this heartwarming theatrical event.” Now to March 3. National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Tickets are $54 to $114. Call 202-628-6161 or visit www.thenationaldc.org.
A few months after its debut at Arena Stage, Baltimore Center Stage offers another chance to see the latest work by Paula Vogel, which tells the story of a group of artists who risked their careers to perform Sholem Asch’s God of Vengeance on Broadway in 1923. The work was deemed “indecent” for tackling taboo themes of censorship, immigration, and anti-Semitism — but especially for depicting romance blooming between two women. Eric Rosen directs a cast that includes Ben Cherry, Susan Lynskey, John Milosich, and Max Wolkowitz. Opens Thursday, Feb. 28. To March 31. 700 North Calvert St., Baltimore. Tickets are $20 to $74. Call 410-332-0033 or visit www.centerstage.org.
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.
NEXT STOP: NORTH KOREA
A one-man show that promises to take theatergoers “as close as possible to North Korea without leaving their seats,” Next Stop: North Korea is based on playwright/performer John Feffer’s visits to and work in the Kim Jong Un-run communist country, exploring the challenges of doing good in a morally ambiguous environment. A foreign policy expert at the Institute for Policy Studies, Feffer has performed his previous one-man shows at Capital Fringe and other festivals, and also garnered a solo performance award from the Maryland State Arts Council in 2016. He’s directed in Next Stop: North Korea by established local theater artist Angela Kay Pirko of Nu Sass Productions. Performances begin Friday, March 1. Weekends to March 24. District of Columbia Arts Center, 2438 18th St. NW. Tickets are $15 to $20. Call 202-462-7833 or visit www.dcartscenter.org.
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. Extended to March 17. 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.
THE DOYLE AND DEBBIE SHOW / PUFFS
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 www.dcartscenter.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. 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.
The Old Man, the Youth, and The Sea — Photo: Stan Weinstein
THE OLD MAN, THE YOUTH, AND THE SEA
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. To March 3. Tivoli Square, 3333 14th St. NW. Tickets are $30 to $48. Call 202-234-7174 or visit www.galatheatre.org.
THREE CHEERS TO GRACE
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. To March 3. Dance Loft on 14, 4618 14th St. NW, 2nd Floor. Tickets are $25. Call 202-621-3670 or visit www.danceloft14.org.
THUNDER KNOCKING ON THE DOOR
In honor of its 10th anniversary, Virginia’s Creative Cauldron revives Keith Glober’s humorous, crowd-pleasing musical featuring music and lyrics by Keb’ Mo’ and Anderson Edwards. Married local theater artists Matt Conner and Stephen Gregory Smith direct Clifton Walker III as Marvell Thunder, a mysterious bluesman who challenges Glory Dupree (Shayla Simmons), the blind daughter of his guitar-playing rival Jaguar, to a “cutting contest,” with a Faustian bargain: If Thunder wins, he gets Jaguar’s guitar, but if Glory wins, she gets her sight back. Host venue ArtSpace Falls Church is turned into a juke joint for the occasion, with Elisa Rossman serving as music director leading a four-piece band. Now to March 10. 410 South Maple Ave., Falls Church. Tickets are $20 to $32. Call 703-436-9948 or visit www.creativecauldron.org.
Laura and Linda Benanti
Soul-pop singer-songwriter Alice Smith is understated, sophisticated, and every bit as vocally talented as fellow four-octave ranger Christina Aguilera — except her music is better. Any moment now we should finally hear new music from Smith, with Mystery, a full-length set of original compositions. No doubt she’ll preview tracks from the album on tour, as well as perform from many of the phenomenal songs on her last album, the astonishing She, which charts the ups and downs and ins and outs of love, even just friendship, with musical twists and lyrical turns as sharp and surprising as they come. Saturday, March 9. Doors at 6:30 p.m. Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. Tickets are $35. Call 202-888-0050 or visit www.thelincolndc.com.
FAIRFAX SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA W/BOWEN MCCAULEY DANCE COMPANY
The revered local contemporary dance company joins the Fairfax Symphony to perform the kinetic music of composer Erberk Eryilmaz — specifically, Eryilmaz’s Concerto for Clarinet and Imaginary Folk Dancers and Dances of the Yogurt Maker. The young clarinetist Ismail Lumanovski joins to perform Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto as well as Gershwin’s Preludes for Clarinet and Strings. Christopher Zimmerman conducts. Saturday, March 9, at 8 p.m., starting with a pre-performance discussion with Zimmerman and special guests at 7 p.m. Concert Hall, George Mason University Center for the Arts, 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax. Tickets are $39 to $65. Call 888-945-2468 or visit cfa.gmu.edu.
Lindsey Buckingham is out, Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker and Neil Finn of Crowded House are in as part of a revamped lineup of the legendary rock band that Mick Fleetwood founded 52 years ago. They join band veterans John McVie, Christine McVie, and the indelible Stevie Nicks on an extensive North American stadium tour presented by LiveNation. Tuesday, March 5, at 8 p.m. Capital One Arena, 601 F St. NW. Call 202-628-3200 or visit capitalonearena.com.
The 28-year-old British singer-songwriter, in the jaunty folk-pop mold of Ed Sheeran, finally comes to the U.S. in support of his second album, last year’s Electric Light, which was inspired by everyone from David Bowie to Frank Ocean. Noah Kahan opens. Friday, March 8. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. Tickets are $45 to $75. Call 202-888-0020 or visit www.theanthemdc.com.
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 www.sixthandi.org.
LAURA & LINDA BENANTI: THE STORY GOES ON
A year after Renée Fleming put together this mother-daughter cabaret as part of her Voices program at the Kennedy Center, the Barns at Wolf Trap offers a reprise. The star of the show is Laura Benanti, the Tony-winning Broadway triple-threat (Gypsy) taking a night off as Eliza Doolittle in the current hit Broadway revival of My Fair Lady. No question Benanti inherited the performative gene: Both of her parents were recognized theater actors, and Linda Benanti would go on to become her young daughter’s first voice teacher — helping to shape her musical outlook and career. The two will share stories and songs of their lives and careers, as well as reflect on and celebrate their relationship. Saturday, March 9, at 3 and 8 p.m. 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $40 TO $45. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit www.wolftrap.org.
Lionel Bringuier 1819 — Photo: Simon Pauly
LIONEL BRINGUIER WITH THE NSO
A dozen years after becoming the youngest-ever assistant conductor of the L.A. Philharmonic at the age of 20, Lionel Bringuier, that esteemed orchestra’s resident conductor since 2011, is more than ready for his Kennedy Center debut. Bringuier premieres with Mozart’s formidable Violin Concerto No. 5 featuring Gil Shaham, “one of today’s preeminent violinists” per the New York Times. This NSO program also includes symphonic fragments from The Spider’s Feast by Bringuier’s French compatriot Albert Roussel as well as Petrushka by Igor Stravinsky, two ballets that premiered a century ago. The opening concert, on Thursday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m., features a mini-recital “Organ Postlude” from Russell Weismann of Georgetown University on the Concert Hall’s Rubenstein Family Organ, while the Friday, March 1, performance at 11:30 a.m. is styled as a Coffee Concert, with à la carte breakfast items available in the KC Café starting at 9:30 a.m. Meanwhile, the concert on Saturday, March 2, at 8 p.m., is preceded by a scholar-led “behind the music” ForeWords session beginning at 6:45 p.m. Tickets are $15 to $89. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
STEVEN ISSERLIS, CONNIE SHIH: COMPOSERS AND THEIR MUSES
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 www.kennedy-center.org.
SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK
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 www.birchmere.com.
THE HONEY DEWDROPS, THE BOTTOM RUNG
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 www.creativealliance.com. Also Saturday, March 2, at 9 p.m. Hill Country, 410 7th St. NW. Tickets are $15. Call 202-556-2050 or visit www.hillcountry.com/dc.
THE JULIAN BLISS SEPTET: CELEBRATING GERSHWIN
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 www.cfa.gmu.edu.
WASHINGTON BACH CONSORT
Dana Marsh, the consort’s new artistic director, continues the spring season with the second of two Italian-influenced concerts that, as he puts it, “showcase Bach’s attempt to out-Italian the Italians.” Although Bach was never able to travel to Rome, he transcribed music by Vivaldi and other Italian opera masters as part of his own development as a composer. The soprano Laura Choi Stuart joins the consort’s acclaimed chorus and orchestra to perform a program that includes Bach’s Non sa che sia dolore and Orchestral Suite No. 1, as well as Vivaldi’s Vengo a voi, luci adorate. Sunday, March 10, at 3 p.m. National Presbyterian Church, 4101 Nebraska Ave. NW. Tickets are $10 to $69. Call 202-429-2121 or visit www.bachconsort.org.
Washington Ballet: Sleeping Beauty — Photo: Tony Powell
DISSONANCE DANCE THEATRE: FLUID
A perennial draw at the Atlas Intersections festival, the top-notch professional company founded and led by gay African-American choreographer Shawn Short returns with a new evening-length contemporary ballet. Set to the music of Ezio Bosso, Fluid draws inspiration from physical theater and Afro-modern dance and features a cast exploring the emotional issues of trust, lost, betrayal, and love. Sunday, March 3, at 2:30 p.m. The Paul Sprenger Theatre in the Atlas, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $30. Call 202-399-7993 or visit www.atlasarts.org.
THE WASHINGTON BALLET: SLEEPING BEAUTY
Julie Kent and Victor Barbee, famed alumni 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. To March 3. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $25 to $160. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.
Jonathan Van Ness — Photo courtesy of Live Nation
JONATHAN VAN NESS: ROAD TO BEIJING
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 www.france-merrickpac.com.
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 www.drafthousecomedy.com.
Jacob Tobia: Sissy
ALYSSA MASTROMONACO: SO HERE’S THE THING….
So Here’s The Thing…: Notes on Growing Up, Getting Older, and Trusting Your Gut is a no-nonsense, no-holds-barred 21st Century girl’s guide to life by the former White House deputy chief of staff who served President Obama during both presidential campaigns. Mastromonaco will be in conversation with Symone Sanders, a CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist who was the national press secretary for Senator Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign. Thursday, March 7, at 7 p.m. Sixth and I Historic Synagogue, 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $18, or $30 with one book, $45 with two tickets and one book. Call 202-408-3100 or visit www.sixthandi.org.
Bost, an assistant professor of ethnic studies at the University of Utah, shines a light on D.C.’s gay black community in the ’80s and ’90s at the height of the AIDS and crack epidemics. A time of hardship as well as disparagement by the mainstream white culture, the era also fostered a spirit of unity and a remarkable body of literary work. Billed as a revelatory excavation of the art and activism of late 20th-century gay black men in D.C. and also NYC, Evidence of Being: The Black Gay Cultural Renaissance And The Politics Of Violence examines Melvin Dixon’s unpublished diary, Essex Hemphill’s poetry, the biography of Joseph Beam, and the performance and activism of the Other Collective. Monday, March 11, at 7 p.m. Politics and Prose at the Wharf, 70 District Square SW. Call 202-488-3867 or visit www.politics-prose.com.
A cinematic history of love and desire that doubles as a commentary on the culture of male supremacy that led to the rise and fall of Harvey Weinstein and others. Thomson, a film critic and author of Moments That Made the Movies, focuses in detail on specific films for Sleeping with Strangers: How the Movies Shaped Desire, illuminating the on- and off-screen sexuality of a wide range of actors, directors, and producers, from Rudolph Valentino to Jude Law, Jean Harlow to Nicole Kidman, showing their influence on private and public expressions of desire. Friday, March 8, at 7 p.m. Politics & Prose at Union Market, 1270 5th St. NE. Call 202-544-4452 or visit www.politics-prose.com.
Brought up as a boy and shamed as a “sissy,” Tobia has become a leading voice on behalf of the nonbinary and genderqueer communities as creator and co-host of the NBC News series “Queer 2.0” and as a member of the Biden Foundation’s Advisory Council for Advancing LGBTQ Equality. In Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story, Tobia writes with wit, humor, and sass about the challenges of living between genders, with a goal of overturning assumptions about gender and celebrating gender diversity. The Washington Post‘s Jonathan Capehart joins Tobia to lead a discussion about the book. Wednesday, March 6, at 7 p.m. Politics and Prose at the Wharf, 70 District Square SW. Call 202-488-3867 or visit www.politics-prose.com.
Written by a soccer fan and player who has spent a career building and running teams and organizations, Soccer Thinking for Management Success suggests that today’s successful organization is decentralized and never stops moving. It is, in fact, a lot like a certain sport, where responsibility is distributed and everyone on the team works for everyone else and is in constant communication. Loge, a professor at the George Washington University, will discuss his book as part of a panel at Kramerbooks with Lori Lindsey, a US Olympian and professional soccer player for the Washington Freedom and Washington Spirit, and marketing executive Chris Hull of DC United. DC Scores sponsors the event. Thursday, March 7, at 6:30 p.m. Kramerbooks, 1517 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-387-1400 or visit www.kramers.com.
Khanh Nguyen: Crane — 3rd place
ART & EXHIBITS
HILL CENTER GALLERIES: REGIONAL JURIED EXHIBITION
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 www.HillCenterDC.org.
LONG VIEW GALLERY: NEW YEAR/NEW ARTISTS
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 www.longviewgallery.com.
MARK BRADFORD: TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY
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 www.artbma.org.
QUEENS OF EGYPT
A new exhibition at the National Geographic Museum puts a rare spotlight on the queens of ancient Egypt, including Hatshepsut, Nefertari, Nefertiti, and Cleopatra VII. The life and leadership of these legendary figures, whose rule ranged from the New Kingdom (1539-1514 B.C.) to the Ptolemaic dynasty (51-30 B.C.), is told with the help of more than 300 ancient Egyptian artifacts, including monumental statues, sparkling jewelry, and impressive sarcophagi — plus the use of advanced virtual reality technology providing a 3D flythrough tour of one of the most well-preserved tombs in the Valley of the Queens, that of Queen Nefertari. Many of the objects on display come courtesy of the Museo Egizio of Turin, Italy, one of the international cultural partners in the exhibition. And much of the research is based on the work of renowned Egyptologist and National Geographic Explorer Kara Cooney, author of the companion book When Women Ruled The World: Six Queens of Egypt, published by National Geographic Books last fall. Exhibition opens Friday, March 1. To Sept. 2. The museum is located at 1145 17th St. NW. Tickets are $10 to $15. Call 202-857-7588 or visit www.ngmuseum.org.
SECTION 14: THE OTHER PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA
Before it became a gay desert mecca and a resort for the rich and famous, Palm Springs was a desert outpost — as well as home to the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation. The National Museum of the American Indian shines a light on this land battle in Palm Springs, yet another in a long string of conflicts between western expansion and Indigenous peoples’ rights. The focus is on Section 14, a one-square-mile tract in downtown Palm Springs that forms the heart of the reservation. The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians created the exhibition, which was organized by the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum. Opens Friday, March 1. On display through Jan. 2020. National Museum of the American Indian, Independence Avenue at 4th Street SW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit www.nmai.si.edu.
Audra McDonald Portraits. CREDIT: Allison Michael Orenstein
ABOVE & BEYOND
ATLAS INTERSECTIONS FESTIVAL
“We’re always looking to present art and artists that…in many ways informs and educates us about issues and concerns and themes of the day,” says Douglas Yeuell, executive director of the Atlas Performing Arts Center. Now in its 10th year, Intersections concludes this weekend with a slew of events, including several as part of the annual Youth Summit on Saturday, March 2. Among these: a workshop production of Dress Up Day, Jenna Murphy’s new musical for younger audiences about the drama that ensues when several kids, including a boy, want to play a princess, presented by LGBTQ-run, Helen Hayes Award-winning Monumental Theatre Company; the In Series’ “Duke Ellington’s Neighborhood” cabaret, a kid-friendly tribute to the hometown jazz pioneer featuring a live jazz trio and singers; and the Atlas’s youth development program City at Peace featuring the GenOUT Youth Chorus of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington. The schedule also includes a free concert from Not What You Think, the LGBTQ a cappella ensemble, on Sunday, March 3, at 5:15 p.m. All events take place at the Atlas, 1333 H St. NE. Ticket prices vary. Call 202-399-7993 or visit www.atlasarts.org/intersections for a full schedule and details.
BIG APPLE CIRCUS
“Circus in general has a really long tradition of powerful women being in positions of creative responsibility,” says Stephanie Monseu, the fourth female ringmaster in the Big Apple Circus’s 41-year history. Indeed, the company’s current show, directed by several New York theater veterans, features an impressive number of female-led acts. “It really is Broadway under the big top,” Monseu says. “The production value is really high, the lighting is beautiful, the set is pristine, the band is phenomenal. And we have the full spectrum of thrilling skills,” from the “very unique horizontal juggling” ace Victor Moiseev, to comedic character clowns Mark Gindick and Adam Kuchler, to animal handler Jenny Vidbel rescue dogs and retired horses. “Vidbel is an incredibly humane and loving trainer who works with the animals to find out what they love to do naturally,” says Monseu, who goes on to note the natural, pivotal role horses have played in the development of this whole genre of entertainment — right down to the name. “The word ‘circus’ [itself] refers to the circle that was measured out based on the smallest circumference that a galloping horse could run…. For the Big Apple Circus, it’s thrilling to be able to keep that tradition alive.” Performances to March 24. National Harbor, 238 Waterfront St., Oxon Hill, Md. Tickets start at $15, or $25 for VIP access to the Mirror Room with special amenities, a specialty cocktail, popcorn, cotton candy, and welcome gift. Call 212-257-2330 or visit www.big apple circus.com.
HATERS ROAST: THE SHADY TOUR 2019
More shade on stage, this year’s tour includes Monet X Change and Trinity The Tuck Taylor, the newly crowned dual winners of RuPaul Drag Race All Stars Season 4, along with the return of Jinkx Monsoon, Latrice Royale, and Thorgy Thor, plus Darienne Lake as show host. Presented by Murray & Peter Productions. Friday, March 8, at 8 p.m. Warner Theatre, 513 13th St. NW. Tickets are officially sold out, but available on legitimate online resale sites such as Vivid Seats as low as $57 to $73, and all the way up to $462 for center orchestra. Call 202-783-4000 or visit www.warnertheatredc.com.
SIGNATURE THEATRE’S SONDHEIM AWARD GALA FOR AUDRA MCDONALD
It’s a pricey ticket, but for a great cause — Signature Theatre itself — and the star power is through the roof for musical theater fans. Tony Award winners Billy Porter (Kinky Boots) and Cynthia Erivo (The Color Purple) will perform in tribute to record-breaking six-time Tony, Grammy, and Emmy Award winner Audra McDonald, along with Helen Hayes Award winners and Signature favorites Tracy Lynn Olivera (A Little Night Music) and Nova Y. Payton (Hairspray). McDonald, an early and fierce advocate for marriage equality and equal rights, will be feted with Signature’s 10th Stephen Sondheim Award, joining other towering musical theater giants from Angela Lansbury to Bernadette Peters, Harold “Hal” Prince to Jonathan Tunick. Meanwhile, U.S. Representative Don Beyer, of Virginia’s 8th Congressional District, will be honored with the inaugural J. Watkins Distinguished Service Award, a new recognition for community leaders who’ve made an extraordinary impact in the greater D.C. community through advocacy and passion for the arts and arts education. Monday, March 4. Embassy of Italy, 3000 Whitehaven St. NW. Individual tickets to the Black Tie event, including dinner and cocktails, are $1,000. Call 571-527-1828 or visit www.signature-theatre.org.
THE ASK RAYCEEN SHOW
Rayceen Pendarvis ushers in the eighth season of his free monthly variety show by hosting performances from local singer Cecily, gay rapper Tim’m West, burlesque performer GiGi Holliday, and announcer Anthony Oakes. Also on tap: music by DJ Honey, free catered food while supplies last, a cash bar, vendors, and exhibitors. Wednesday, March 6. Doors at 6 p.m. HRC Equality Center, 1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW. Free. Visit www.AskRayceen.com.