Metro Weekly

Out On the Town: D.C. arts and entertainment highlights — March 28-April 3

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

FILM

CATVIDEOFEST 2019

Seattle-based filmmaker Will Braden (Le Chat Noir) has assembled an all-new, 70-minute program that’s a fancy feast for cat lovers, chock-full of cat videos both popular as well as new and undiscovered. CatVideoFest, a compilation of shorts culled from hours of unique submissions and sourced animations, music videos, and Internet classics, is styled as a communal experience where feline fanatics can bond over cute cat cinema and learn more about cats in need in D.C. and beyond. Friday, March 29, at 7:45 p.m., and Saturday, March 30, and Sunday, March 31, at 11 a.m. 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $13 general admission. Call 301-495-6720 or visit www.afi.com/Silver.

DIANA ROSS: HER LIFE, LOVE, AND LEGACY

On the very night the Supreme pop diva turns 75, Fathom Events offers screenings at theaters nationwide of Steve Binder’s live concert documentary Diana Ross: Live in Central Park, recorded in 1983 but not released until 2012. For this anniversary presentation, the director and the diva have added never-before-seen footage, plus messages from the Ross family, including sons Ross and Evan and daughters Rhonda and Chudney, with a passionate introduction by Golden Globe Award-winning Black-ish star Tracee Ellis Ross. The screenings are part of a series of “Diamond Diana Celebration” events. Encore screenings are Friday, March 28, at 7 p.m. at area AMC venues, including Hoffman Center (206 Swamp Fox Rd., Alexandria) and Columbia Mall (10300 Little Patuxent Pkwy, Maryland). Tickets are $13.25. Visit www.fathomevents.com.

SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been four decades since we first watched a man fly. In 1978, Richard Donner’s film ushered in a new genre of movie, one in which superheroes convincingly leapt, in a single bound, from the comic book pages to super-epic cinema. Superman: The Movie lumbers a bit (the sequel was more action-packed), but it benefits from a gorgeously stoic title performance by Christopher Reeve and Gene Hackman’s scene-munching Lex Luthor. The special effects were breathtaking, and the nightflight between Superman and Lois Lane (Margot Kidder) is pure magic, and punctuated by a jaw-dropping scene on a balcony. The score by John Williams is nothing short of profound, and oh, those swooping opening credits. With Marlon Brando, Valerie Perrine, Glenn Ford, and Ned Beatty. The classic returns to the big screen as part of the Capital Classics series at Landmark’s West End Cinema. Wednesday, April 3, 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.

WOMEN DIRECTORS FILM FESTIVAL: VISIONARIES, THEN AND NOW

On Saturday, March 30, the Smithsonian American Art Museum presents a free, all-day film festival highlighting visionary works by female directors. The festival kicks off at noon with an introduction by Saisha Grayson, the museum’s curator of time-based media arts, and the film program Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers, which features a handful of short films from the Kino Lorber collection: Alice Guy Blaché’s Falling Leaves (1912), Lois Weber’s Suspense (1913), Lule Warrenton’s When Little Lindy Sang (1916), and Zora Neale Hurston’s Child’s Play (1929), plus Lita Lawrence’s recently rediscovered Motherhood: Life’s Greatest Miracle (1925), which stands as the earliest surviving feature directed by an African-American woman and also an exceptionally rare example of a silent film addressing the then-taboo topics of birth control and abortion. Cynthia Fuchs of George Mason University and Lynanne Schweighofer from the Library of Congress join Grayson for a post-screening discussion. The festival continues with an afternoon “Envisioning Diaspora” program, pairing Trinh T. Minh-ha’s documentary Surname Viet Given Name Nam (1989) with Tiffany Chung’s short, split-screen video work The great simplicity thousands of years before and after (2012), followed by a discussion with Grayson and Yu-Min Claire Chen of St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Beginning at 6:30 p.m. comes the festival’s final program, centered around a screening of Julie Dash’s Daughters of the Dust (1991), a film about Gullah women from South Carolina’s Lowcountry that became the first feature directed by an African-American woman to gain general theatrical release in the U.S. A post-screening discussion with Grayson, Christina Sharpe of York University, and the Virginia mixed-media artist Martha Jackson Jarvis concludes the program and the festival. McEvoy Auditorium, Lower Level, 8th and F Streets NW. Free. Call 202-633-1000 or visit www.americanart.si.edu.

STAGE

A BRONX TALE

The streetwise Broadway musical directed by Robert De Niro and Jerry Zaks and based on Chazz Palminteri’s one-man show, this crowd-pleaser set in 1960s New York bursts with high-energy dance numbers and original doo-wop songs by composer Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast) and lyricist Glenn Slater. A Bronx Tale focuses on a young man caught between the father he loves and the mob boss he’d love to be. Now to March 31. National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Call 202-628-6161 or visit www.thenationaldc.org.

DEAD DOG’S BONE: A BIRTHDAY PLAY

Nu Sass Productions, the female-focused local theater company, presents Veronica Tjioe’s family drama that’s equal parts irreverent and heartbreaking in its exploration of familial relationships, the melancholia of birthdays, and the goodness of dogs. Mara Sherman directs a cast including Dannielle Hutchinson, Schuyler Atkins, Karen Lange, Aubri O’Connor, Erik Harrison, and Andy De. Now to April 14. Caos on F, 923 F St. NW. Tickets are $20. Call 202-215-6993 or visit www.nusass.com.

DINNER WITH FRIENDS

A Pulitzer Prize-winning modern dramedy from Donald Margulies challenging everyday presumptions about the people we think we know is brought to life at Baltimore’s Everyman Theatre in a 20th-anniversary production helmed by founding artistic director Vincent M. Lancisi. In the deliciously funny, sharply observed Dinner with Friends, two couples find themselves grappling with questions of loyalty, individuality, and commitment over dinner as one wife drops the bomb that her husband wants out of their 12-year marriage. The four-person cast features Megan Anderson, Danny Gavigan, Beth Hylton and M. Scott McLean. To April 7. Everyman Theatre, 315 West Fayette St. Baltimore. Tickets are $43 to $65. Call 410-752-2208 or visit www.everymantheatre.org.

Hands on a Hardbody — Photo: Cameron Whitman

HANDS ON A HARDBODY

Keegan Theatre presents the regional premiere of a recent Broadway show featuring music written by Phish’s Trey Anastasio and lyricist Amanda Green (Bring It On: The Musical), with a book by Doug Wright. Based on a real-life competition, captured in a 1997 documentary of the same name, Hands on a Hardbody focuses on ten Texans struggling to keep at least one hand on a brand-new truck in order to win it. Elena Velasco and Mark A. Rhea direct the Keegan production featuring a large, 19-member ensemble, with Jake Null directing an eight-piece pit orchestra. To April 6. Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church St. NW. Tickets are $52 to $62. Call 202-265-3767 or visit www.keegantheatre.com.

INDECENT

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. To March 31. 700 North Calvert St., Baltimore. Tickets are $20 to $74. Call 410-332-0033 or visit www.centerstage.org.

MASTERPIECES OF THE ORAL AND INTANGIBLE HERITAGE OF HUMANITY Holly Twyford, Felicia Curry, and Yesenia Iglesias star in Heather McDonald’s drama as three women trapped in a ravaged museum during a catastrophic hundred years war. Nadia Tass directs a world premiere at Signature Theatre that comes as part of the Heidi Thomas Writers’ Initiative, a multi-year commitment to presenting works by female playwrights with female directors. The play sees the three women, including an art restorer and her military captor, struggling for common shreds of humanity as they try to save a small symbol of beauty in their broken world. To April 7. The Ark Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit www.sigtheatre.org.

OIL

Olney Theatre presents the American premiere of a work called “scorchingly ambitious” by The Guardian from one of the U.K.’s fastest-rising playwrights, Ella Hickson. A genre-busting work full of theatricality, big ideas, and deeply personal emotions, Oil follows mothers and daughters over two centuries, from the dawn of the age of oil in 1889 to the demise of the “peak-oil” era sometime in the not-too-distant future. Tracy Brigden directs a work featuring five separate but connected playlets, with a cast including Catherine Eaton, Megan Graves, Sarah Corey, Maboud Ebrahimzadeh, Chris Genebach, and Tuyet Thi Pham. To March 31. Olney Theatre Center, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Tickets are $40 to $84. Call 301-924-3400 or visit www.olneytheatre.org.

SMALL HOUSE, NO SECRETS

The Baltimore Playwrights Festival presents its very first original production, a musical by writer/lyricist Jody Nusholtz and composer/lyricist Sonia Rutstein (lesbian folk artist SONiA). Set over Thanksgiving, Small House No Secrets focuses on the relationship-averse Liz, who is preparing to deflect her boyfriend’s expected marriage proposal the very moment a stranger stops by who turns out to be the lesbian lover she wasn’t ready for in college. Miriam Bazensky directs, with music direction by Tony Correlli. Now to March 31. Sokal Stage on the second floor of Fells Point Corner Theatre, 251 S. Ann St., Baltimore. Tickets are $18. Visit www.baltplayfest.org.

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.” Remaining performances are Friday, March 29, at 10 p.m. for The Doyle and Debbie Show, and Saturday, March 30, at 10 p.m. for Puffs. District of Columbia Arts Center, 2438 18th St. NW. Call 202-462-7833 or visit www.dcartscenter.org.

THE JEWISH QUEEN LEAR

Mirele Efros is a wealthy widow and clever businesswoman whose children turn against her, causing a fall of Shakespearean proportions. Wildly successful at the turn of the 20th century and considered a masterpiece of Yiddish theater, Theater J presents Jacob Gordin’s play in a new English translation by Nahma Sandrow. Adam Immerwahr directs a large cast including Tonya Beckman, Valerie Leonard, Alana Dodds Sharp, Charlie Trepany, Christopher Warren, and Frank X. To April 7. The Gonda Theatre, Georgetown University’s Davis Performing Arts Center, 3700 O St. NW. Tickets are $30 to $70. Call 202-777-3210 or visit www.theaterj.org.

THE SEAGULL

The two-year-old Wheel Theatre Company presents an adaptation of the classic by Anton Chekhov, which was famously considered a disaster upon its debut in 1896. The company’s co-founder and Artistic Director Jack Read adapted and directs this production, billed as an ode to our first drafts and our failures as well as “our futile, comic search for reason.” Thomas Shuman leads a 10-person cast as famous writer Trigorin. Remaining performances are Thursday, March 28, and Friday, March 29, at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, March 30, at 3 p.m. District of Columbia Arts Center, 2438 18th St. NW. Tickets are $15 to $20. Call 202-462-7833 or visit www.dcartscenter.org.

TOPDOG/UNDERDOG

WSC Avant Bard presents the tragicomedy about two African-American brothers-in-struggle that earned playwright Suzan-Lori Parks a Pulitzer Prize 17 years ago. Jeremy Keith Hunter, a regular at Mosaic Theater, takes on the role of older brother Lincoln, a grifter-gone-straight, while Louis E. Davis, previously seen in Avant Bard’s King Lear, plays the younger brother Booth, seeking to become the greatest con man of all time. DeMone Seraphin directs. To April 14. Gunston Arts Center, 2700 South Lang St. Arlington. Tickets are $40. Call 703-418-4804 or visit www.wscavantbard.org.

MUSIC

CARSIE BLANTON

A feminist, socialist cabaret artist who composes her own smart, catchy, genre-defying music tours in support of strong new set Buck Up, the title track of which Rolling Stone Country has called “a bright, John Prine-worthy folk song about maintaining a bright disposition in dark times.” With natural appeal to Americana/folk fans, the New Orleans-based artist’s music is very much steeped in the American Songbook, making her worth seeking out for anyone with a penchant for jazz and pop and progressive politics. Wednesday, April 4, at 7:30 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $13 to $33. Call 202-787-1000 or visit www.thehamiltondc.com.

CHORAL ARTS SOCIETY, NEW ORCHESTRA OF WASHINGTON: INTO THE LIGHT

The Choral Art Society of Washington and its Choral Arts Youth Choir have teamed up with the New Orchestra of Washington and its ensemble in residence the Aeolus Quartet to expand the limits of classical music by offering a new, interactive, and immersive experience. Directed by Jay D. Brock, Into The Light will make use of the shimmering acoustics and the entire subterranean space of the Dupont Underground, the former belowground streetcar station that is particularly apt for the performance of Steve Reich’s Different Trains, a three-movement piece inspired by Reich’s train travel while living as a young American Jew during the time of the Holocaust. The performers will begin on one end of the space and gradually move toward the other, emphasizing the transition from darkness into light — simultaneously enhanced with lighting effects and projections by designer JD Madsen. There will also be movable barriers used to guide the audience through the space. Works by Hildegard von Bingen, Gregorio Allegri, Samuel Barber, Ben Parry, Sarah Hopkins, and Knut Nystedt will also be performed, along with The Moon and Her Maidens, a new piece by Choral Arts’ Scott Tucker inspired by the acoustics of the venue and paired with R. Murray Schafer’s Epitaph for Moonlight. Friday, April 5, and Saturday, April 6, at 8 p.m. 1500 19th St. NW. Tickets are $20. Call 202-244-3669 or visit www.dupontunderground.org.

ERIN MCKEOWN

The singer-songwriter, who long ago made Massachusetts her home base, has produced an eclectic, experimental repertoire over the past two decades, but her music is always tuneful, with strong melodies and clever lyrics expressed through a sweet, beguiling voice. McKeown will no doubt touch on her work in musical theater, perhaps giving a sneak peek at the Great American Songbook-styled songs she’s developing for Terrarium Behaviour — a work-in-progress musical in which “power, gender, and ecology do battle in the humble little jar we know as a terrarium.” Certainly she’ll perform from Miss You Like Hell, her musical collaboration with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes (Water by the Spoonful), whose Off Broadway run last year starred Daphne Rubin-Vega (Rent) and garnered five Drama Desk nominations, including best lyrics, music, and orchestration. Perhaps she’ll even perform a song or two from 2013’s Manifestra, her pointed yet playful, politically oriented album — which closed with “Baghdad to the Bayou,” a song co-written with her friend, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. Whatever she chooses, expect a wide-ranging show and showcase of her prodigious talents. Sunday, March 31, at 2 p.m. Jammin Java, 227 Maple Ave. E. Vienna. Tickets are $15 in advance, or $17 day of show. Call 703-255-3747 or visit www.jamminjava.com.

FOLGER CONSORT: TASTE OF THE MEDITERRANEAN

Folger’s celebrated early music ensemble performs Renaissance music from 16th-century Spain and Italy, a concert mixing lyrical Spanish villançicos and Italian frottole with instrumental works such as lively dances and dimunitions from Italy as well as some of the great wind band repertoire from Spain. Soprano Jessica Beebe and wind ensemble Piffaro, The Renaissance Band are featured musicians joining the Consort’s co-founders Robert Eisenstein on viol and Christopher Kendall on lute. The program is presented in conjunction with the current culinary-focused Folger exhibition First Chefs and the institution-wide project Before Farm to Table: Early Modern Foodways and Cultures. Performances are Friday, March 29, at 8 p.m., Saturday, March 30, at 4 and 8 p.m., and Sunday, March 31, at 2 and 5 p.m. Folger Elizabethan Theatre, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $42. Call 202-544-7077 or visit www.folger.edu.

HOMOSUPERIOR

Joshua Vogelsong is well known around town via his drag alter-ego Donna Slash — and as the lead singer of LGBTQ band Homosuperior, both of which — the “punk rock Divine” and the punk rock band — he developed hand in hand. “The band is everywhere on the spectrum of queer,” says Vogelsong, who, depending on “how I feel and how much time we have,” occasionally performs as Joshua. “It’s always been about blurring the lines, and having fun with sexuality and gender…. Sometimes you feel more feminine. Sometimes you feel more butch and just wanna get up there without any makeup on.” The four-piece Homosuperior returns to Comet Ping Pong, where Vogelsong serves as bar and programming manager, to headline a show with two opening acts from Baltimore, HexGirlfriends and Wipeout. Friday, March 29, at 10 p.m. 5037 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets are $12. Call 202-364-0404 or visit www.cometpingpong.com.

I’M WITH HER, VERONA QUARTET

This folk supergroup of Grammy-winning Americana/folk queens was birthed in 2014 at a jam session at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival with Sarah Jarosz, Sara Watkins of bluegrass outfit Nickel Creek, and Aoife O’Donovan of progressive bluegrass string band Crooked Still. The trio of vocalists and multi-instrumentalists next performs a one-night-only concert as part of the Kennedy Center’s two-week series “Direct Current: A Celebration of Contemporary Art,” with accompaniment on select musical numbers by an internationally renowned multinational string ensemble comprised of Jonathan Ong and Dorothy Ro on violins, Abigail Rojansky on viola, and Jonathan Dormand on cello. Sunday, March 31, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $29 to $49. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.

J Hoard

J HOARD

An out, young New York-based hip-hop/soul artist, Hoard earned a Grammy in 2017 for his work as part of the songwriting team behind Chance The Rapper’s “No Problem.” The Kennedy Center, through its “Direct Current” contemporary culture series as well as its free Millennium Stage programming, presents Hoard in a performance of protest and freedom songs, from spirituals to modern pop songs, that celebrate the shared experiences of those in the struggle for LGBTQ and racial equality. Thursday, April 4, at 6 p.m. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.

LEIKELI47

Always disguised by a signature ski mask across her face, the Brooklyn rapper is increasingly becoming known for her rhymes and songs, from her work in opening for Skrillex and Diplo, to having her music soundtracking HBO’s Insecure and Freeform’s Grown-ish, to being selected by NPR Music as a highlight of this year’s SXSW lineup in Austin. Known as 47, the artist tours in support of Acrylic, her second in a planned trilogy of albums exploring female beauty, empowerment, and identity, with a concert at MilkBoy ArtHouse in College Park presented by LiveNation and Songbyrd. Yung Baby Tate, the daughter of Arrested Development’s Dionne Farris, opens. Saturday, March 30. Doors at 7 p.m. 7416 Baltimore Ave., Maryland. Tickets are $20 to $25. Call 240-623-1423 or visit www.milkboyarthouse.com.

LEVI KREIS WITH NOVA PAYTON

The gay singer-songwriter and Tony-winning actor (Million Dollar Quartet) reteams with one of his powerhouse co-stars from Smokey Joe’s Cafe when the show ran at Arena Stage in 2014. The Helen Hayes Award-winning Payton (Signature’s Hairspray) will join Kreis to perform the rock and R&B tunes written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller as featured in that jukebox musical (“Stand By Me” and “Hound Dog,” to name but two) as well as others from his solo career, including 2018’s set Liberated. Wednesday, April 3, at 8 p.m. City Winery DC, 1350 Okie St. NE. Tickets are $20 to $30. Call 202-250-2531 or visit www.citywinery.com.

MUSE

The conservative, reactionary, and incendiary tenor of today’s political climate inspired the eighth album from this sludgy, synthy hard-rocking trio from the U.K. And yet, despite track titles such as “The Dark Side” and “Pressure,” Simulation Theory isn’t quite as dark as previous sets from the group, which was inspired by “lighter influences” — relatively speaking, anyway — drawn from aspects and aesthetics of ’80s-era science fiction and pop culture. Muse tours the album, co-produced by Timbaland, as part of a similarly “fantasy becoming real”-themed stadium tour. Built around a grand stage show, the tour also offers a Mixed Reality Pre-Show Party featuring three original virtual reality games inspired by album tracks and powered by Microsoft. Tuesday, April 2, at 7 p.m. Capital One Arena, 601 F St. NW. Tickets are $43.50 to $98.99; Enhanced Experience Packages, ranging from $229 to $339, include premium front row or floor seats as well as access to the Mixed Reality Pre-Show Party. Call 202-628-3200 or www.capitalonearena.com.

NATIONAL PHILHARMONIC: A TRIBUTE TO LOUIS ARMSTRONG

Byron Stripling’s electrifying and heartfelt tribute to Armstrong, “Sounds of New Orleans,” is billed as one of today’s most popular orchestral pops program. The virtuosic jazz trumpeter next performs from the Satchmo songbook bolstered by Strathmore’s resident orchestra led by Piotr Gajewski. Saturday, March 30, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $39 to $79. Call 301-581-5100 or visit www.strathmore.org.

THE IN SERIES: LA PALOMA-AT THE WALL

“La Verbena de la Paloma,” the most famous and beloved Spanish zarzuela, is given new life in a bold reimagining presented by the In Series and set on the Tijuana side of the border between Mexico and the U.S. Nick Olcott directs a work from writer Anna Deeny Morales and composer Ulises Eliseo (based on classic melodies of zarzuela composers, foremost among them Tomás Bretón y Hernández), with Mexican folk dance choreography by Alejandro Gongora, performed by Corazon Folklorico DC, an ensemble inspired by Mexican son jarocho music. To March 31. GALA Theatre at Tivoli Square, 3333 14th St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $45. Call 202-234-7174 or visit www.inseries.org.

THE PEABODY OPERA: AS ONE

As part of the Kennedy Center’s Direct Current, its second annual celebration of contemporary art, the venue welcomes a performance of this transgender-focused contemporary chamber opera. As One eschews opera’s traditional grandiosity to tell the story of Hannah, a transgender woman, coming out and living freely. Loosely based on the life story of filmmaker Kimberly Reed, the one-act opera was composed by Laura Kaminsky with a libretto by Mark Campbell and Reed and features a male baritone and a female mezzo-soprano both performing as Hannah. The prestigious Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore offers a performance directed by James Harp with conductor JoAnn Kulesza, a production reduced from the string quartet as originally written to keyboard accompaniment alone overseen by Samuel Mungo, the managing artistic director of the Peabody Opera Theatre Program. Monday, April 1, at 6 p.m. Millennium Stage. Free. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.

WASHINGTON CONCERT OPERA: ZELMIRA

Gioachino Rossini’s stunning Zelmira, the last of his “Neapolitan Operas” never before presented on the East Coast, comes to vivid life in a production with Rossini specialist Lawrence Brownlee, one of the world’s leading bel canto tenors. Brownlee plays the husband of the title character, portrayed by celebrated Spanish mezzo-soprano Silvia Tro Santafe, in this season-closing production. Friday, April 5, at 7 p.m. GW Lisner, The George Washington University, 730 21st St. NW. Tickets are $40 to $110. Call 202-994-6851 or visit www.lisner.gwu.edu.

Gian Carlo Perez and Ariel Martinez — Photo: Procopio Photography

DANCE

DEMO: NOW BY DAMIAN WOETZEL

The former New York City Ballet principal dancer turned director/choreographer/producer as well as president of The Juilliard School curates and hosts a program featuring some of today’s most creative voices in dance and music. Part of the Kennedy Center’s Direct Current series, the one-night-only concert features a world premiere by John Heginbotham (choreographer of Broadway’s forthcoming new production of Oklahoma!) set on dancers of Dance Heginbotham accompanied by the Juilliard String Quartet. The program also brings together in new collaborations composer Caroline Shaw, dancers Patricia Delgado and Caleb Teicher, Hamilton musical director and pianist Kurt Crowley, poet Sarah Kay, and pianist Joel Wenhardt. Friday, March 29, and Saturday, March 30, at 7:30 p.m. Terrace Theater. Tickets are $39 to $49. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

DIMENSIONS CONTEMPORARY DANCE FESTIVAL SHOWCASE

Presented as part of the NextLOOK Series by the University of Maryland’s The Clarice in partnership with Joe’s Movement Emporium, the choreographer Tariq Darrell O’Meally is joined by Ronya-Lee Anderson, Candace Scarborough, Krystal Collins, and Jamal Abrams, plus the UNUM Dance Collective. All will take part in this week-long festival for area artists of color culminating in two showcase performances. Thursday, April 4, and Friday, April 5, at 7 p.m. 3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mount Rainier, Md. Tickets are $5 to $25 plus fees. Call 301-699-1819 or visit www.joesmovement.org.

VINCENT E. THOMAS/VTDANCE: IN THE COMPANY OF…MOVING DIALOGUES

Building on last year’s In The Company of Men, in which an all-male cast performed a wide-ranging program exploring themes of masculinity, life, love, social awareness, and humanness, VTDance next aims to surprise and entice audiences with new works and collaborations featuring guest performers Runqiao Du, Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell, Love the Poet, and Michael Sakamoto. Saturday, March 30, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, March 30, at 3 p.m. Baltimore Theatre Project, 45 West Preston St. Baltimore. Tickets are $20 to $25. Call 410-752-8558 or visit www.theatreproject.org.

THE WASHINGTON BALLET: THREE WORLD PREMIERES

Reaffirming the organization’s commitment to the creative process and original masterworks that define the future of the genre, the Washington Ballet presents its annual program of exclusively commissioned works by emerging and globally acclaimed choreographers. This year’s program features three never-before-seen works, including Wood Work, a story ballet exploring the relationships of a small Nordic village community by American Ballet Theatre star Ethan Stiefel that is set to music by the Danish String Quartet, which will be performed live, and Shadow Lands by former San Francisco Ballet soloist Dana Genshaft, set to Omnivorous Furniture by Mason Bates, a work that showcases ballet technique and plays with angles, momentum, and abstract movement to show that when broken pieces come together, the whole is better and stronger than when apart. The most anticipated piece is Teeming Waltzes by renowned choreographer Trey McIntyre, touted as taking Strauss’ waltz music to another level, a piece that uses ball pits, bubbles, and other geometric shapes that come from a circle “to show that a shape can break a line in another way.” Performances begin Tuesday, April 3. Runs through Sunday, April 7. Sidney Harman Hall, Harman Center for the Arts, 610 F St. NW. Tickets are $25 to $100. Call 202-362-3606 or visit www.washingtonballet.org.

Comedy as a Second Language: Yasmin Elhady

COMEDY

COMEDY AS A SECOND LANGUAGE

A show that President Trump doesn’t want you to see, Maryland’s Improbable Comedy has recruited more immigrants and first-generation comics for another Comedy As A Second Language program. Taking the stage at the Busboys & Poets in the Takoma neighborhood of D.C. will be Naomi Karavani, Ryan Ha, Elahe Izadi, Danny Rolando, and Yasmin Elhady. Thursday, April 4, at 7 and 9 p.m. Busboys and Poets, 234 Carroll St. NW. Tickets are $16 to $20, or $10 for students and immigrants. Call 202-726-0856 or visit www.improbablecomedy.com.

THE QUEER QUEENS OF QOMEDY

Hard-working veteran comedienne Poppy Champlin — named “America’s Funniest Real Woman” on The Joan Rivers Show — has organized a “high octane, high caliber” all-lesbian standup show for a decade now. This year’s lineup, sponsored by Sapphire Books Publishing, also includes Karen Williams, touted as the nation’s first openly lesbian black comic to include specifically lesbian material in her act, and Kathy Arnold, a regular at Governor’s Comedy Club in Long Island. The latest stop in our area is an official Baltimore Pride event, with some proceeds benefiting the GLCCB, Baltimore and Central Maryland’s GLBT Community Center. Sunday, March 31, at 5 p.m. Magooby’s Joke House, 9603 Deereco Rd., Timonium, Md. Tickets are $25, or $45 for VIP including preferred seating and a meet-and-greet with the queens before the show. Call 410-252-2727 or visit www.magoobysjokehouse.com.

WASHINGTON IMPROV THEATER: FIST 2019

WIT’s popular, month-long Fighting Improv Smackdown Tournament is an elimination tourney in which audiences vote to decide the teams of improvers deserving to advance to the championship. The 13th Annual FIST features a grand total of 44 matches grouped into six rounds, with two matches every day — and four on Sundays. A sampling of the team names competing in the opening weekend: Glass Ceiling, Presidential Pals, Love Language, Roll Tide, Confess!, Sheathes, Roommate Love, Bombo Buntcakes, and Ramen Hood. Runs to final round on April 1. Source, 1835 14th St. NW. Tickets start at $15 to $30. Call 202-204-7760 or visit witdc.org.

Laverne Cox — Photo: Melissa Hamburg

READINGS & DISCUSSIONS

LAVERNE COX

The Weinberg Center for the Arts up in Frederick, Maryland, presents an engagement with the Emmy-nominated transgender actress and Emmy-winning producer from Orange is the New Black. The first trans woman of color to have a leading role on a mainstream scripted TV show, Cox’s list of firsts continues to grow as she spreads her empowering message of moving beyond gender expectations to live more authentically. Wednesday, April 3, at 7:30 p.m. 20 W. Patrick St., Maryland. Tickets are $35 to $55. Call 301-600-2828 or visit www.weinbergcenter.org.

LORI GOTTLIEB

A psychotherapist with a Los Angeles practice and “Dear Therapist” columnist for The Atlantic takes us behind the scenes of a therapist’s world, where patients are looking for answers (and so is she) in a new memoir merging her experiences as both a clinician and patient. Author of the bestselling Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough will be in conversation about her latest work, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, with Scott Simon of NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday. Wednesday, April 4, at 7 p.m. Sixth and I Historic Synagogue, 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $15, or $30 including one book, $45 for two tickets and one book. Call 202-408-3100 or visit www.sixthandi.org.

YES SHE CAN: 10 STORIES OF HOPE & CHANGE FROM YOUNG FEMALE STAFFERS OF THE OBAMA WHITE HOUSE

This weekend, the East City Bookshop presents a discussion with three of the 10 female Millennials who contributed first-person essays to the newly published book Yes We Can: 10 Stories of Hope & Change from Young Female Staffers of the Obama White House. The discussion features Nita Contreras, who was Assistant Staff Secretary during Obama’s last year in office, Kalisha Dessources Figures, a policy advisor to the White House Council on Women and Girls, and Taylor Lustig, an advisor to the Domestic Policy Council. Saturday, March 30, at 6:30 p.m. 645 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Call 202-290-1636 or visit www.eastcitybookshop.com.

ART & EXHIBITS

CATHERINE HESS: A SINGULAR VISION OF OUTER CAPE COD

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. Closes Saturday, March 30. Park View Gallery, 2nd Floor of Arcade Building, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Maryland. Call 301-634-2222 or visit www.glenechopark.org.

FIRST CHEFS: FAME AND FOODWAYS FROM BRITAIN TO THE AMERICAS

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

REFRESH IX

The small, private LGBTQ-run Long View Gallery presents its ninth annual exhibition featuring new works by gallery favorites. Represented this year are: Sondra N. Arkin, Eve Stockton, Cheryl Wassenaar, Lola, Kaori Takamura, Michael Crossett, Georgia Nassikas, and Ryan McCoy. On display through April 7. 1234 9th St. NW. Call 202-232-4788 or visit www.longviewgallery.com.

SAKURA ORIHON: DIARY OF A CHERRY BLOSSOM JOURNEY

Landscape architect Ron Henderson kept detailed notes of his pilgrimages to visit famous old cherry trees in Japan, including horticultural practices — pruning techniques and root grafting, for example — that are extending the lives of the trees. And he captured it all in folding sketchbooks, or orihon, that celebrate cherry blossom culture in Japan and are now on display at the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum, part of the U.S. National Arboretum. To April 7. The Special Exhibits Wing 3501 New York Ave. NE. Call 202- 245-4523 or visit www.usna.usda.gov.

THE REDRESS PROJECT

In commemoration of Women’s History Month, the National Museum of the American Indian presents an outdoor art installation by Canadian/Métis multidisciplinary artist Jaime Black on view in the U.S. for the first time. In The REDress Project, several empty red dresses hang along the Riverwalk, located in the museum’s Native landscape, symbolizing missing or murdered indigenous women, in an effort to draw attention to the gendered and racialized nature of violent crimes against Native women. Collected through community donations, the dresses have been installed at several Canadian galleries and colleges since 2011. To March 31. Independence Avenue at 4th Street SW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit www.nmai.si.edu.

THEN/AGAIN: DCAC GALLERY EXHIBITION 30 YEARS LATER

A showing of contemporary work from nine of the 16 artists from the inaugural show at the District of Columbia Arts Center, which opened to great hype in the wake of controversy and outrage over the Corcoran’s cancelling of the Mapplethorpe exhibition the week before. Presented as part of a celebration of DCAC’s 30th anniversary, the exhibition, curated by Philip Barlow and Pat Goslee, includes work by David Emerick, Lida Husik, Jenny Jenkins, Sherwin Mark, Darrow Montgomery, Fredrick Nunley, Michael Platt, Beverly Ress, and Greg Staley. Opening Reception is Friday, March 29, from 7 to 9 p.m. On display to April 28, when it closes with an Artist/Curator Talk & Reception. 2438 18th St. NW. Call 202-462-7833 or visit www.dcartscenter.org.

TODD G. FRANSON

A few memorable photos that you may remember from covers of this very magazine — Jim Graham as Elizabeth Taylor’s Cleopatra, say, or the infamous Leather Kewpie for MAL — will be on display as part of the latest exhibition at the DC Center for the LGBT Community, all from Franson, Metro Weekly‘s central portrait photographer for most of the past 23 years as well as the magazine’s longest-serving Art Director. Yet the focus is on artworks the professional photographer and graphic designer has created for other projects and pursuits, all of which are available for sale. The exhibition goes as far back as Franson’s days as a student at the Savannah College of Art and Design, with four stylized gloves from the series Wear & Tear: Inspired by Irving Penn, newly reborn and printed on aluminum. A more recent passion of Franson’s has been capturing artistic shots of foliage, blooms, and landscapes at the National Arboretum. And then there are the dazzling and quirky photographs that come closest to conveying Franson’s personal sensibility — perhaps none more so than Dancing Bear, a vividly colored image of a bustling amusement park at dusk foregrounded by a giant-sized teddy bear wearing a propeller beanie. Ongoing. The Center Arts Gallery, 2000 14th St. NW. Call 202-682-2245 or visit www.thedccenter.org.

TRANSCENDENCE

Works challenging the traditional binaries and patriarchal notions of gender in the Western world, created by artists who are also blurring the boundaries of genres, mediums, and visualities, are currently on display at the small contemporary gallery, in a Dupont Circle alleyway, formerly known as Hillyer Art Space and run by the nonprofit International Arts & Artists. Antonius-Tín Bui, who juried Transcendence, hopes the show will not only inspire visitors to reevaluate and change their thinking and behavior around gender but also how they actively and routinely support the LGBTQ community. “The cathartic, utopian visions of gender imagined by the artists are not accessible unless we collectively work towards justice,” Bui writes in the official Juror’s Statement. A total of 18 artists from around the country are represented, with the local contingent including Marion Colomer, Hillary Rochon, and Sarah Stefana Smith from D.C., Ash Cheshire and John Thomas Paradiso from Maryland, and Your Rouge Photography from Virginia. To March 31. IA&A at Hillyer, 9 Hillyer Court NW. Call 202-338-0325 or visit www.athillyer.org.

ABOVE & BEYOND

DIRECT CURRENT: A CELEBRATION OF CONTEMPORARY ART

The Kennedy Center presents its second annual, two-week, citywide celebration of contemporary art and culture — with a focus on new works, interdisciplinary creations in which artistic worlds collide, and on innovative responses to topical concerns. The result is a lineup with some of the most provocative, original, and pioneering voices in the arts today. Highlights to come in the second week include: two concerts by the National Symphony Orchestra with music inspired by the natural world, including Philip Glass’s Itaipú Thursday, March 28, and Lera Auerbach’s ARCTICA on Saturday, March 30; Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company performing three separate evening-length works delving into the voice of the marginalized in our society, Thursday, March 28, through Saturday, March 30; sjDanceco & Gabriel Mata/Movements, a performance merging dance and physical theater and a group collaborative exploring the multi-generational experiences of its cast, on Friday, March 29; DEMO: Now by Damian Woetzel, on Friday, March 29, and Saturday, March 30 (see entry under Dance); Amir ElSaffar and Two Rivers Ensemble, weaving together Middle Eastern musical languages with jazz and pushing the boundaries of each tradition, on Saturday, March 30; the U.S. premiere of Where We Lost Our Shadows, a work by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Du Yun and Palestinian videographer Khaled Jarrar, depicting the timeless struggle of human migration and celebrating the resilient human spirit, and performed by an orchestra and soloists, on Sunday, March 31; Yuka C Honda’s Revert to Sea, an hour-long multimedia work performed with the avant-garde pop composer on electronics alongside guitarist Nels Cline of Wilco, drummer Alex Cline, harpist Zeena Parkins and bassist Dave Harrington of Darkside on Sunday, March 31; I’m With Her accompanied by the Verona Quartet, on Sunday, March 31 (see entry under Music); The Peabody Opera performing Laura Kaminsky’s As One chamber opera, on Monday, April 1 (see entry under Music); Chanticleer, the Grammy-winning male vocal group perform a program of 20th and 21st century choral music anchored by Sirens, a song cycle by the Kennedy Center’s Composer-in-Residence Mason Bates, on Tuesday, April 2; a concert featuring Jamaican dancehall’s “first lady” Sister Nancy with DollarVan, on Wednesday, April 3; J Hoard performing protest and freedom songs by American composers, on Thursday, April 4(see entry under Music); Theo Bleckmann, a Grammy-nominated Berlin vocalist and contemporary composer performing a Renée Fleming VOICES concert on Thursday, April 4; Phantom Limb Company’s Falling Out, a multimedia theatrical production with marionette puppetry created in response to the Fukushima nuclear disaster in collaboration with butoh dancer Dai Matsuoka, on Thursday, April 4, and Friday, April 5; and Tanya Tagaq, an Inuit throat singing electronica/metal/punk artist, on Friday, April 5. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.

HILLWOOD’S FABERGÉ EGG FESTIVAL

The former estate of Marjorie Merriweather Post hosts an annual two-day festival in which guests can take part in a traditional Russian egg-rolling game, decorate their own Fabergé-inspired egg, take in performances from the Samovar Russian Folk Music Ensemble and Kalinka Dance Ensemble, and listen to stories of Russian Easter traditions in a fun family play produced by Happenstance Theater. All that in addition to admiring all of the finer things Post collected, including many exquisite Russian imperial eggs and other fanciful Fabergé creations. You can also take a tour of Hillwood’s working greenhouse most days. Saturday, April 6, and Sunday, April 7, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hillwood Estate, 4155 Linnean Ave. NW. Suggested donation is $18. Call 202-686-5807 or visit HillwoodMuseum.org.

NATIONAL CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL

We’re still a week out from the peak of pink-hued blossoms along the Tidal Basin, per the National Park Service’s prediction for the cherry trees (April 3-6). But the annual four-week festival waits for no bloom, continuing into its second weekend with two premium events: the Cherry Blast, a party featuring “an unforgettable secret garden,” Japanese cultural performances, dueling DJs, art, as well as a headline performance plus DJ set from pop/R&B hitmaker and former The Voice judge/coach CeeLo “Crazy/Fuck You” Green, on Saturday, March 30, starting at 7 p.m., The Theater at MGM National Harbor (tickets are $25, or $100 for VIP with open-bar, exclusive suite and dedicated seating, and Japanese buffet); and the 9th Annual Blossom Kite Festival on Saturday, March 30, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., on the grounds of the Washington Monument, near 17th Street and Constitution Avenue NW.

Other highlights this weekend and next week, all free unless noted otherwise, include: Indigo Threads: Weaving Japanese Craftsmanship and American Heritage, an exhibition exploring the rich history of indigo-dyed fabric and garments, including denim, in Japan, all day Friday, March 29, at JICC: Japan Information & Culture Center; Moet & Chandon Tasting pouring the Rose Imperial, the Nectar Rose Imperial, and the Grand Vintage Rose 2009 champagnes on Friday, March 29, at 7 p.m., in the spacious, custom-designed two-room Rose Suite decorated in soft pink tones at the Watergate Hotel, 2650 Virginia Ave. NW (tickets are $50); Tastes of Spring Cherry Blossom Food Crawl, a self-guided crawl sampling diverse cuisine at popular restaurants, on Saturday, March 30, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (tickets are $84); the Sakura Taiko Takeover at the Tidal Basin, a Japanese drumming extravaganza featuring more than eight Japanese drumming groups, on Sunday, March 31, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the ANA Stage in the Tidal Basin; the Japanese Jazz Series with one-night-only performances by the Yoko Miwa Trio, on Monday, April 1, the Rina Yamazaki Trio on Monday, April 8, and Yuko Mabuchi Trio on Monday, April 15, at Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW (tickets are $22 plus fees per performance); a Japanese Classic Film screening of The Makioka Sisters, Kon Ichikawa’s lyrical adaptation from 1983 of the beloved novel by Junichiro Tanizaki, following four siblings as they run their family’s kimono manufacturing business in the years before the Pacific War, on Wednesday, April 3, at 2 p.m., in the Meyer Auditorium at the Freer Gallery of Art; the Jasper Quartet concert “The Spring of Akira Nishimura” featuring works by the former composer-in-residence with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, among others, on Thursday, April 4, at 7:30 p.m., in the Meyer Auditorium; “Architecture as Metaphor” lecture by Jordan Sand, professor of Japanese History and Culture at Georgetown University, about a pair of shrines in Ise, Japan’s most famous sacred site, on Friday, April 5, at 1 p.m., in the Mary Pickford Theater at the Library of Congress; and Petalpaloooza, an afternoon of live music on multiple outdoor stages plus a beer garden and a fireworks display, in Southwest’s Wharf complex, Saturday, April 6, from noon to 9:30 p.m. Visit nationalcherryblossomfestival.org for more information and additional events.

THE ASK RAYCEEN SHOW: MINI BALL

For the latest edition of his monthly show, Rayceen Pendarvis hosts the annual #AskRayceen Mini Ball, with music by DJ/producer Vjuan Allure and announcer Anthony Oakes. The competitors will vye for bragging rights in categories including: Women’s Face, B.Q. Face, Face Over 40, B.Q. Realness, F.Q. Realness, Butch vs Transman Realness, B.Q. Body, and Voguing in a Jersey. Also, everyone can compete in the categories Best Dressed Spectator and Runway in All Black. The Grand Prize: “Night at the Opera,” with one winner receiving a $200 cash prize and trophy. The evening will also include interviews with special guests, vendors, a cash bar, and free catered food for early arrivals. Wednesday, April 3. Doors at 6 p.m. HRC Equality Center, 1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW. Free. Visit www.AskRayceen.com.

URBANARIAS: OPERA IMPROV WITH JIVE TURKEY

Acclaimed local contemporary opera company UrbanArias presents another installment in its novel gimmicky series adapted from the world of comedy in which professional opera singers perform mini-operas they create on the spot per audience suggestions, assisted by a professional pianist. And local comedy improv group Jive Turkey joins the company for both the April and May iterations in the series, for a cast including Melissa Wimbish, Britt Olsen-Ecker, Ian McEuen, Jeffrey Gates, Joe Randazzo, and Chris Ulrich. Sunday, April 7, at 5:30 p.m. Busboys & Poets, 4251 South Campbell Ave. in Arlington. Tickets are $15. Call 703-379-9757 or visit www.urbanarias.org.

Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly.

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