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, Theater Alliance’s production features choreography by Tiffany Quinn and an 11-person cast. 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.
A rollicking rumination on opulence, inequity, and teeny-tiny desserts, this 45-minute immersive experience from Third Rail Projects includes exclusive access to the magnificent Paster and Sedgwick-Bond Reading Rooms in the Folger Shakespeare Library. As the performance winds its way through massive and ornate spaces, theatergoers are invited to savor bite-sized delights designed by local pâtissiers. Presented in conjunction with the Folger’s current exhibition, First Chefs. To March 24. 201 East Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $40 to $60. Call 202-544-7077 or visit www.folger.edu.
An entity going on 50 years now, this horn-heavy, jumping, swinging, and rocking R&B/blues band from Rhode Island has twice won the Best Blues Band category in the DownBeat International Critics Poll. And no less than legendary Count Basie once called them “the hottest blues band I’ve ever heard” after a joint performance. The current lineup includes guitarist Chris Vachon as bandleader, tenor and alto saxophonist Rich Lataille, tenor and baritone saxophonist Mark Earley, trumpeter Doug Woolverton, vocalist Phil Pemberton, bassist John Turner, keyboardist Rusty Scott, and drummer Chris Anzalone. Vanessa Collier opens. Friday, March 8, at 8 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $17.75 to $27.75. Call 202-787-1000 or visit www.thehamiltondc.com.
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.
Best known for originating the role of Elder Price in The Book of Mormon and for playing Elijah Krantz in HBO’s Girls, Rannells comes to town in support of his new memoir, Too Much Is Not Enough: A Memoir of Fumbling Toward Adulthood. The book chronicles a Midwestern boy’s experience of surviving bad auditions, bad relationships, and some really bad highlights as he chases his Broadway dream. Rannells will be in conversation with David Litt, a former speechwriter for President Obama and author of Thanks, Obama. Thursday, March 14, at 7 p.m. Sixth and I Historic Synagogue, 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $20, or $32 with one book, $45 with two tickets and one book. Call 202-408-3100 or visit www.sixthandi.org.
A plein air painter and creator of monotypes, Hess takes inspiration from the often dramatic and constantly changing light, clouds, winds, and tides on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. In this series of monotypes, presented by the Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture, Hess aims to capture the effects of these changing conditions on colors, shapes, and shadows in the marshes, dunes, and shorelines of Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, and the gay paradise of Provincetown. Opening Reception is Saturday, March 9, from 4 to 6 p.m. On exhibit to March 30. Park View Gallery, 2nd Floor of Arcade Building, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Maryland. Call 301-634-2222 or visit www.glenechopark.org.
NASA’s most celebrated mission, which took humankind to the moon 50 years ago, has never been seen as closely, in as much detail, and on as large a scale as it will be in IMAX over the next week at the National Air and Space Museum. Todd Douglas Miller crafted his documentary from a newly discovered trove of 65mm footage and more than 11,000 hours of uncatalogued audio recordings. Rather than solely focusing on the two men who first walked the moon, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 extends the lens to immerse viewers in the perspectives of the large, anxious team in Mission Control as well as the millions of spectators on the ground. Further enhanced by Matt Morton’s electronic score and Eric Milano’s sound design, seeing the documentary in IMAX is, as an NPR critic put it, “a singular and unforgettable experience.” And of course, you can visit the actual Apollo Lunar Module afterwards for free. Now to March 14. Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater, Independence Ave at 6th St. SW. Tickets are $13.50 to $15. Call 202-633-2214 or visit www.airandspace.si.edu.
A few years ago, a Swedish newspaper critic proclaimed Cirkus Cirkör the creator of a new genre: contemporary circus activism. As part of its World Stages series, the Kennedy Center welcomes the Swedish circus-inspired physical theater troupe to perform its latest work, conceived and directed by the company’s artistic director Tilde Björfors. The company’s athletic dancers move in sync, juggle, balance, contort, and fly in various ways through a maze of scenes and backdrops of projected images and videos, with a focus on upending perspectives, defying limits, and pushing past arbitrary divisions and boundaries that go against the natural human instinct to explore and move around. The performances come as part of The Human Journey collaboration with the National Geographic Society and the National Gallery of Art highlighting the powerful experiences of migration and exploration. Thursday, March 7, through Saturday, March 9, at 8 p.m. Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $19 to $85. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.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.
The Phillips Collection presents the first museum retrospective of this queer nonagenarian, showcasing the Cuban-born, Puerto Rican-based artist’s prolific yet largely unknown career through 60 works, including paintings, design sketches, illustrations, and sculptures. The exhibition includes many examples of Sánchez’s works on shaped canvas, often featuring recurring motifs, that evoke female body parts or feminine symbols, from pointed breasts and rounded torsos to the moon and mythological heroines. The exhibition title refers to Sánchez’s artistic individuality and independence — and in particular, the influence her sexuality and femininity has on her work — and how distinctly different it is compared to the male-dominated and male gaze-oriented work of her contemporaries, perhaps none more so than Pablo Picasso. Now through May 19. 1600 21st St. NW. Tickets are $12. Call 202-387-2151 x247 or visit www.phillipscollection.org.
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