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 nominee The Rider, the sequels Mission: Impossible – Fallout and Paddington 2, Alice Rohrwacher’s Happy As Lazzaro, a modern-day Italian fairytale blending neo-realism and magical realism that won for Best Screenplay at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, and First Man, the Best Visual Effects Oscar winner about the historic Apollo 11 flight from La La Land director Damien Chazelle and star Ryan Gosling, who portrays Neil Armstrong. The series continues to March 21. 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Call 301-495-6720 or visit www.afi.com/Silver.
Joshua Vogelsong continues the queer Screen Queen series at the 35-seat, living-room cozy Suns Cinema in Mount Pleasant. The March run celebrates female directors and poignant queer stories, with next up one of Metro Weekly‘s “15 LGBTQ Black Films Everyone Should See.” Under the careful eye of writer and director Dee Rees, whose own life inspired the movie, 2011’s Pariah is a character-driven drama that beautifully explores social standards and barriers within black culture. In a sly cinematic move, shots open wider and brighter as Alike (Adepero Oduye) grows into her sexuality and identity. It’s a difficult transition — and relationships are destroyed along the way — but it’s necessary to the message of the movie. And coupled with a stellar bit of acting from the entire cast, Pariah delivers that message with such unrelenting clarity that it’s hard not to be impressed. Monday, March 18, at 8 p.m. 3107 Mount Pleasant St. NW. Tickets are $10. Visit www.sunscinema.com. (Chris Heller)
ROADMAP TO APARTHEID
Alice Walker, the author of The Color Purple, narrates a film offering a detailed look at the apartheid analogy commonly used to describe the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Directed by Ana Nogueira, a white South African, and Eron Davidson, a Jewish Israeli, Roadmap to Apartheid explores the rise and fall of apartheid in South Africa in light of how many Palestinians feel they are living today. The work, dating to 2012, is the latest documentary to 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. Thursday, March 21, at 2 p.m. The Residences at Thomas Circle, 1330 Massachusetts Ave. NW. Call 240-912-4976 or visit www.voicesfromtheholyhland.org.
SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON
One of the most expensive Westerns made in the mid-20th century, 1949’s She Wore A Yellow Ribbon was the second in a Cavalry trilogy from director John Ford (along with 1948’s Fort Apache and 1950’s Rio Grande). Shot on location in Monument Valley on large areas of the Navajo reservation along the Arizona-Utah border, the John Wayne-starring Technicolor drama, which won Winton Hoch the Oscar for Best Cinematography, returns to the big screen as part of the Capital Classics series at Landmark’s West End Cinema. Wednesday, March 20, 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.
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, Theater Alliance’s 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. 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. On top of that, 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 (see separate entry under Arts & Exhibits). To March 24. 201 East Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $40 to $60. Call 202-544-7077 or visit www.folger.edu.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
In only its second season, 4615 Theatre Company presents the world premiere of a wistfully haunting comedy from D.C.-based playwright Joe Calarco. Separate Rooms is a sprawling, time-traveling ensemble piece focused on family, friends, friends of friends, and even total strangers gathered to remember HIM, a recently departed man who serves as a guide through his past and present. Alex Mills leads a nine-member cast, directed by 4615’s artistic director Jordan Friend, also including Alani Kravitz, Jenna Berk, Jacob Yeh, Stephen Russell Murray, Vince Eisenson, Melissa Carter, Reginald Richard, and Jen Rabbitt Ring. To March 17. Highwood Theatre, 914 Silver Spring Ave. Tickets are $16.50. Call 301-587-0697 or visit www.4615theatre.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.
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. Produced in partnership with the Georgetown University Theater and Performance Studies Program and hosted by Georgetown’s Davis Performing Arts Center. In previews, opens Monday, March 18. 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.
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. In previews. Opening March 19. To April 14. Gunston Arts Center, 2700 South Lang St. Arlington. Tickets are $40. Call 703-418-4804 or visit www.wscavantbard.org.
This star sitar player has gone from being the protégée of her legendary father, Ravi Shankar, to the world music adventurer nearly as famous as her half-sister, Norah Jones. Shankar returns to D.C. and the Sixth and I Historic Synagogue for a pair of Washington Performing Arts concerts reprising her packed-house performances in spring of 2017 of a program devoted to North Indian classical music, as well as jazz, pop, flamenco, and more. Saturday, March 23, at 7 and 9:30 p.m. 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $40. Call 202-408-3100 or visit sixthandi.org.
CATHEDRAL CHORAL SOCIETY: RACHMANINOFF LITURGY
Rachmaninoff’s Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, a glorious work for a cappella chorus that ranges from contemplation to celebration, gets performed by the society, led by Steven Fox in his premiere season as music director, along with soloists Fotina Naumenko, soprano, and Marc Day, tenor. Sunday, March 17, at 4 p.m. Washington National Cathedral, Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues NW. Tickets are $25 to $81.50. Call 202-537-5510 or visit www.nationalcathedral.org.
CONGRESSIONAL CHORUS: JAZZ HOT!
The local music organization presents its popular annual cabaret featuring 90 singers and dancers celebrating the best in 20th-century jazz, from ragtime to bebop. Saturday, March 23, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, March 24, at 4:30 p.m. Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G St. NW. Tickets are $19 to $49. Call 202-347-2635 or visit www.congressionalchorus.org.
LONNIE SMITH TRIO
Perhaps the greatest living legend of the Hammond B-3 organ and also a newly minted NEA Jazz Master, Lonnie Smith brings his trio to Sixth and I Historic Synagogue in a concert presented by Washington Performing Arts. Smith’s style juggles jazz, funk, hip-hop, and soul, and his career spans over 70 albums, including his latest, All In My Mind. Saturday, March 16, at 8 p.m. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $42. Call 202-408-3100 or visit www.sixthandi.org.
THE FOUR BITCHIN’ BABES
Sally Fingerett, comedic singer Deirdre Flint, and former The Hags singer Debi Smith are more than 25 years into their run as a comedic music ensemble, always performing as a quartet, with the fourth performer in regular rotation among Nancy Moran, founding Babe Megon McDonough, or Christine Lavin — who assumes the mantle for 2019. In an interview with Metro Weekly several years ago, Smith summed up the Babes’ songwriting and performing, “We look at life, as it’s happening, usually in a comedic way — [and] through a wacky viewfinder.” A taste of what’s on offer can be found in the title of their most recent show, Hormonal Imbalance v2.5: A Mood Swinging Musical Revue. Saturday, March 23, at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $35. Call 703-549-7500 or visit www.birchmere.com.
GAY MEN’S CHORUS OF WASHINGTON: LET FREEDOM SING
The latest concert from D.C.’s fine gay choir celebrates African-American music and culture, shared through stories and songs reflecting diverse experiences and shared history. The program mixes tunes from jazz, gospel, R&B and pop, and Broadway, including covers of well-known hits by everyone from Duke Ellington to Prince, Aretha Franklin to Whitney Houston. Saturday, March 16, at 4 and 8 p.m. Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. Tickets are $25 to $65. Call 202-888-0050 or visit www.thelincolndc.com.
Originally from Potomac, Maryland, this young power-piped singer-songwriter got an early career boost when she was one of CMT’s “Next Women of Country” in 2016. (Not to be confused with the similarly fast-rising, folk/rock star with a similar name, Maggie Rogers.) Rose returns for another hometown showcase of her style, blurring the lines dividing country, pop, and rock, with shades of Aretha Franklin, Grace Potter, and Janis Joplin. The focus will be on Change The Whole Thing, her first full-length in five years, which she recorded live with a large 13-piece band in the studio, with no overdubs. Rolling Stone included the work in its “Best Albums of 2018” list. Them Vibes supports. Saturday, March 16, at 6:30 p.m. U Street Music Hall, 1115A U St. NW. Tickets are $22. Call 202-588-1880 or visit www.ustreetmusichall.com. Also Thursday, March 21. Doors at 7 p.m. Baltimore Soundstage, 124 Market Place. Tickets are $19.80 to $26.29 plus fees. Call 410-244-0057 or visit www.baltimoresoundstage.com.
In a career spanning over two decades, the lesbian country/folk artist has had her songs covered by everyone from Jimmy Buffett (“Wheel Inside The Wheel”) and Blake Shelton (“I Drink”) to Bettye LaVette (“Worthy”) and Candi Staton (“Mercy Now”). A native of New Orleans now based in Nashville, Gauthier returns to the area for an intimate concert supporting her powerful Grammy-nominated concept album Rifles & Rosary Beads, a collection of 11 deeply personal songs that she co-wrote with U.S. veterans and their families. Jaimee Harris opens. Sunday, March 24, at 7:30 p.m. City Winery DC, 1350 Okie St. NE. Tickets are $22. Call 202-250-2531 or visit www.citywinery.com.
MARYLAND LYRIC OPERA: AN EVENING OF MOZART
Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Cosi fan tutte are collectively known as the Da Ponte Operas, the trio of works composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart based on libretti by Lorenzo da Ponte. Excerpts from those three popular operas factor into the latest program from this five-year-old, singer-focused company founded by Brad Clark. Featured soloists include sopranos Youna Jang Hartgraves, Mary Feminear, and Nanyoung Song, mezzo-soprano Caroline Hewitt, tenor Joseph Michael Brent, baritone Jose Sacin, and bass-baritone Adam Cioffari. Louis Salmeno conducts the MDLO Orchestra. Friday, March 15, and Saturday, March 16, at 7:30 p.m. Bethesda United Methodist Church, 8300 Old Georgetown Rd., Md. Tickets are $25 and include post-show coffee and dessert reception. Visit www.mdlo.org.
MONTEREY JAZZ FESTIVAL ON TOUR
Cécile McLorin Salvant, fresh off her third Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album — in honor of 2018’s The Window — is the special guest star at this 60th anniversary celebration of the longest continuously running jazz festival in the world. Washington Performing Arts co-presents a concert featuring “the leaders of jazz’s future,” headlined by Salvant on vocals, with Bria Skonberg on trumpet, Melissa Aldana on tenor saxophone, Yasushi Nakamura on bass, Jamison Ross on drums, and Music Director Christian Sands on piano. The show will offer renditions of jazz standards along with original compositions. Thursday, March 21, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $38 to $68. Call 301-581-5100 or visit www.strathmore.org.
RED BARAAT WITH VIDYA VOX
Jazz artist Sunny Jain conceived of and leads the bhangra-rooted party band Red Baraat, an ensemble returning to D.C. on their annual Festival of Colors tour. This year’s party, which celebrates spring rites as well as the South Asian Diaspora in America, features an opening set from Vidya Vox, an Indian-born, Los Angeles-based artist fusing the intricacies of Indian music with elements of electronic and hip-hop. Friday, March 15, at 8 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $25. Call 202-787-1000 or visit www.thehamiltondc.com.
After coming out in The Advocate in 2010, this modern jazz singer-songwriter lost some of the fans, particularly women, who had been following his career since his stint on Star Search in 2003. Fortunately, Day has pressed on and scored new fans in the process, and is preparing for his debut at D.C.’s preeminent longstanding jazz club as part of a tour in support of his seventh album, Angel Eyes, which was recorded at Hollywood’s Capitol Studios with a 20-piece orchestra. He’s also expected to preview upcoming Broadway and Latin recording projects — and hopefully, his special same-sex acoustic take on the Billie Holiday classic “Lover Man.” Wednesday, March 20, at 8 and 10 p.m. Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Tickets are $25, plus $12 minimum purchase. Call 202-337-4141 or visit www.bluesalley.com.
WHITE FORD BRONCO
Cheekily named after O.J. Simpson’s notorious failed getaway car, people just can’t seem to get enough of this local ’90s-era party band. Playing through that decade’s songbook in all styles of popular music is a five-member ensemble consisting of singer/guitarist Diego Valencia, singer Gretchen Gustafson, guitarists Ken Sigmund and McNasty, and drummer Max Shapiro. White Ford Bronco seems to turn up at a different local venue practically every other week, though it’s always a bit more exciting and noteworthy when booked at the city’s prestige halls, such as the Hamilton. Friday, March 22, at 8 p.m. 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $25. Call 202-787-1000 or visit www.thehamiltondc.com.
WICKED JEZABEL W/SHIRLETA SETTLES
Pauline Anson-Dross’ popular lesbian all-covers party-rock band Wicked Jezabel has been rocking — as well as raising money for various good causes — all over the region for more than a decade now, originally under the name The Outskirts of Town. Wicked Jezabel returns to its main venue these days with a show that “Celebrates Women of Soul” — including special guest star Settles, a soul singer and native Washingtonian. Thursday, March 21, from 8:30 p.m. to midnight. JV’s Restaurant, 6666 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church. Cover is $15 Call 703-241-9504 or visit www.wickedjezabel.com.
THE SECOND CITY: IT’S NOT YOU, IT’S ME
Netflix has nothing on the kind of off-the-cuff, in-your-face, interactive entertainment you can only experience at a live improv show. That’s particularly true when in the hands of this legendary sketch comedy group, which the New York Times has called “The Harvard of Comedy” and which counts among its famous alumni Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, and Gilda Radner. It’s Not You, It’s Me is the latest improvised show, featuring a cast of expert improvisers including Terrence Carey, Sarah Dell’Amico, Ben Larrison, Asia Martin, Olivia Nielsen, and Griffin Wenzler, with music director Stuart Mott. Performances are Wednesday, March 20, through Friday, March 22, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, March 23, at 7 and 10 p.m. The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $20 to $35. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit www.wolftrap.org.
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 — starting Thursday, March 14. 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.
BLACK OUT: SILHOUETTES THEN AND NOW
The National Portrait Gallery presents the first major museum exhibition to explore silhouettes. Curated by Asma Naeem, Black Out reveals the complexities of this relatively unstudied artform’s rich historical roots and the contemporary relevance of silhouettes today. Ranging in scale from three inches to nearly 40 feet, the exhibit features mixed-media installations in a presentation of approximately 50 unique objects, dating from 1796 to the present, in particular with the inclusion of large works by four contemporary women artists: Kara Walker, with her panoramic wall murals, Camille Utterback via an interactive digital installation that reacts to visitors’ movements and shadows, Kristi Malakoff’s life-size cutouts of children dancing around a Maypole, and Kumi Yamashita’s intricate, shadowy installations. Also notable is a section illuminating silhouettes previously “blacked out” in historical narratives — those featuring same-sex couples, cooks, activist women, enslaved individuals, and the disabled. To March 24. National Portrait Gallery, 8th and F Streets. NW. Call 202-633-8300 or visit www.npg.si.edu.
CAROLINA MAYORGA: PINK RANCHOS AND OTHER EPHEMERAL ZIP CODES
The Colombian-American artist Mayorga spurred development of this multimedia project after a year of artistic investigation on issues of home and homelessness — colored by the artist’s infatuation with a certain red hue. By applying the pigment to new works of her own as well as others from the permanent collection of the Organization of American States’ Art Museum of the Americas, Mayorga offers her bicultural interpretations of those living in exile, displacement, dislocation, relocation, and eviction. The artist puts a “pink” spin on works by Ignacio Iturria, Eduardo Giusiano, Ricardo Supisiche, Rubens Gerchman, Amelia Peláez, Consuelo Gotay, Dora Ramírez, Roser Muntañola, and Roberto Matta. The exhibition includes a series of public programs, including a “Choza Artist Party” on Thursday, March 21, from 6 to 8 p.m., during which time artists Maribeth Egan, Heloisa Escudero, and Jessica Kallista will create artwork in the moment, in response to the exhibition. Additional performances and discussions about performance art in Latin America will take place during the run of the exhibition, which is on display to May 19. 201 18th St. NW. Call 202-370-0147 or visit www.AMAmuseum.org.
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. 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.
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.
PARENTING: AN ART WITHOUT A MANUAL
The latest theme examined in a year-long exhibition at this quirkiest of museums is that of “what might be humanity’s most essential performance art.” Works by 36 artists, created out of every conceivable medium, express, in some way, their personal experience of parenting or being parented — be it good, bad, horrific, or sublime — alongside revelations from the latest scientific research, global wisdom, and fun. To Sept. 1. American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Highway. Baltimore. Tickets are $15.95. Call 410-244-1900 or visit avam.org.
PERFUME & SEDUCTION
The captivating evolution of perfume bottles and accessories from the 18th through the mid-20th centuries is told through the display of nearly 150 pieces, those taken from Hillwood’s collection as well as from Givaudan, the Swiss manufacturer of fragrances and cosmetics. Complementing the exhibition are a “scented suite of workshops.” On display to June 9. Hillwood Estate, 4155 Linnean Ave. NW. Suggested donation is $18. Call 202-686-5807 or visit www.HillwoodMuseum.org.
RAFAEL LOZANO-HEMMER: PULSE EXHIBITION
In its largest interactive technology exhibition to date, the Hirshhorn Museum gives over its entire second level to a Mexican-Canadian artist known for straddling the line between art, technology, and design. In his D.C. debut, Lozano-Hemmer fills the museum with immersive environments using fingerprints and heart-rate sensors to create kinetic and audiovisual experiences from visitors’ own biometric data. These intimate “snapshots” of electrical activity are then added to a live archive of prior recordings to create an environment of syncopated rhythms — all in a new way of looking at biometry that represents both anonymity and community. To April 28. Hirshhorn Museum, Independence Avenue and Seventh Street SW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit hirshhorn.si.edu.
SPARKPLUG: LIGHT LIMINAL
Karen Joan Topping, a founding member of the Sparkplug Collective, curates an exhibition of 10 artists who literally and symbolically employ light and darkness, as well as explore themes of communication and empathy, in painting, drawing, sculpture, and photography. On display at the District of Columbia Arts Center will be works by Tom Greaves, Sarah J. Hull, Shana Kohnstamm, Alanna Reeves, Azadeh Sahraeian, Elizabeth H. Sampson, Alexandra Silverthorne, Sarah Stefana Smith, Madeline A. Stratton, and Steve Wanna. On display to March 24, with a Closing Reception with Artists & Curator Talk set for Sunday, March 17. 2438 18th St. NW. Call 202-462-7833 or visit 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.
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.
LA-TI-DO: THE ASIANS ARE AWESOME SHOW
Regie Cabico and Don Mike Mendoza’s La-Ti-Do variety show features higher-quality singing than most karaoke, often from local musical theater actors performing on their night off, and also includes spoken-word poetry and comedy. Last December, Mendoza and “honorary co-founder” Russwin Francisco hosted an alternative spin on the usual format by featuring performances from other local talented Americans of Asian descent. It was such a hit, it’s now a monthly feature. Monday, March 25, at 8 p.m. Le Mirch, 1736 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets are $20. Call 202-629-3577 or visit latidodc.wix.com/latido.
THE PRIDE OF PURIM: GLOE MASQUERADE PARTY
The Kurlander Program for GLBTQ Outreach & Engagement at the Edlavitch DCJCC once again presents D.C.’s only queer party for Purim, the Mardi Gras-like Jewish holiday celebrating Queen Esther and general confusion, mayhem, and mischief. The holiday calls for dressing up and drinking a lot — here, via discounted drinks at a private bar at the Dupont locale of Mexican restaurant Mission, which is this year’s host venue. Drag attire and costumes encouraged, Purim treats provided. Saturday, March 23, starting at 7 p.m. 1606 20th St. NW. Tickets are $10. Call 202-525-2010 or visit edcjcc.org.
WASHINGTON DC TRAVEL & ADVENTURE SHOW
Andrew McCarthy, the Brat Pack actor turned award-winning travel writer is just one of several celebrities and travel authorities set to be at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center this weekend. Also appearing on the Travel Theater stage will be 1,000 Places to See Before You Die author Patricia Schultz, Emmy-winning reporter and CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg, and the host of PBS’s Samantha Brown’s Places to Love. Now in its 15th year, this show, presented by Unicomm LLC, brings to D.C. more than 300 exhibitors, travel representatives, industry insiders, culture experts, and dance and musical artists. Also on hand: US Department of State agents accepting passport applications and renewals and taking passport photos, and Custom and Border Protection officers providing Global Entry interviews and applications. Saturday, March 16, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, March 17, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 801 Mt. Vernon Pl. NW. Tickets are $11 for one day or $18 for two days online with promo code DCPR19, or $15 and $22 at the door. Call 202-249-3000 or visit www.travelshows.com/washingtondc.