2018: A SECOND LOOK
The AFI Silver Theatre returns a selection of last year’s most distinctive films to the big screen in time for awards season. The nearly two dozen films include Film Independent Spirit Award nominees Private Life and The Rider, plus Shoplifters, a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nominee from Japan, plus the sequels Mission: Impossible – Fallout and Paddington 2. The series continues to March 21. 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Call 301-495-6720 or visit www.afi.com/Silver.
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.
CRAZY RICH ASIANS
After breaking box-office records last year that quickly positioned it as one of the most successful Asian-American-led studio movies of all time, Crazy Rich Asians gets a one-night-only return to the big screen in a co-presentation with the DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival. A Q&A and discussion with screenwriter Adele Lim follows the screening. Thursday, March 14, at 7:15 p.m. AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $15 general admission. Call 301-495-6720 or visit www.afi.com/Silver.
DC INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL
Billed as the oldest of its kind in the nation’s capital, this year’s DC Independent Film Festival offers screenings of note for the LGBTQ community, including Dakota, a locally made feature by director Roberto Carmona about a talented young singer who aspires to stardom and features singer-songwriter Phoebe Ryan in her debut acting role alongside Jake Etheridge from Nashville and D.C.’s multiple Helen Hayes Award-winning lesbian actress Holly Twyford, on Saturday, March 9. Additional films in the festival’s closing weekend: Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin, made with the late Le Guin’s participation over the course of a decade by director Arwen Curry, on Friday, March 8, Facing the Dragon, Sedika Mojadidi’s documentary following two prominent Afghan women as the international community withdraws from Afghanistan, threatening its fragile democracy, on Saturday, March 9, and the shorts program Animation is Art is Animation, on Sunday, March 10. The festival closes on Sunday, March 10, with Curtiz, Tamas Yvan Topolánszky’s drama about the making of the World War II-era classic Casablanca and the travails of its Hungarian director Michael Curtiz. Most directors will be in attendance as well. Elihu Root Auditorium in the Carnegie Institution for Science, 1530 P St. NW. Individual tickets are $8 to $11 plus fees, or $14 plus fees for closing night film and party. For a full schedule and details, visit www.dciff-indie.org.
EVERY HOLE, A PORTAL: FILMS BY MADSEN MINAX
The Washington Project for the Arts presents a screening of films by this queer experimental filmmaker and installation artist, whose work in documentary and hybrid formats presents nonlinear narratives exploring hidden networks of interconnectedness, drawing on the filmmaker’s participation in justice-oriented communities. Three of Minax’s short films screen as one program on Saturday, March 9: Because of Us, in which a mystical voice guides viewers through a near-death experience using found footage and animated skyscapes; The Source is a Hole, presenting another mystical voice and a series of holes through which viewers can travel, perceive, accept, and speak; and The Eddies, about a death-obsessed transsexual searching for human connection in the worlds of online hookups and storm tunnels. After the screening comes a discussion with Minax, documentary filmmaker Dawne Langford, and photographer and Homosuperior musician Farrah Skeiky, moderated by curator Eames Armstrong, all taking place at WPA’s North Shaw locale, 2124 8th St. NW. Call 202-234-7103 or visit www.wpadc.org.
Over the next week, the Smithsonian’s American History Museum presents screenings of this year’s Oscar Winner for Best Documentary Feature, hailed as “a truly monumental moment in human achievement.” A National Geographic Documentary Film collaboration between filmmaker E. Chai Vasarhelyi and her husband, photographer and mountaineer Jimmy Chin, Free Solo offers a stunning, intimate, and unflinching portrait of Alex Honnold as he climbs the face of the world’s most famous rock, the 3,000-foot El Capitan in Yosemite. Fulfilling his lifelong dream, Honnold also became the first person ever to realize the feat as a “free solo climb” — without a rope or a safety net. Obviously, don’t even think about trying this on your own — or watch it at home, alone, missing out on the full cinematic and heightened dramatic effect of seeing it on a big screen, in a big group. Now to March 14. Warner Bros. Theatre at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, 1300 Constitution Ave. NW. Tickets are $10.50 to $12. Call 202-633-1000 or visit www.si.edu/imax.
As part of its monthly Cinema J series, Rockville’s Jewish Community Center next screens Julie Cohen and Betsy West’s entertaining and insightful Oscar-nominated look at Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In making the film, the greatest challenge might have been persuading the notoriously private Ginsburg to open up her personal life to public scrutiny. “She held off giving us the main interview for two years,” West told Metro Weekly. “But we waited. We just kind of moved in closer and closer. And then we also got up the nerve to ask her if we could film in her gym. A few months later there we were, our eyes wide open, amazed to see that, in fact, her workout is as vigorous as had been advertised.” Wednesday, March 13, at 7:30 p.m. Kreeger Auditorium in the Bender Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, 6125 Montrose Rd., Rockville. Tickets are $10 in advance, or $12 at the door. Call 301-881-0100 or visit www.benderjccgw.org. (AH)
George Cukor’s 1936 romantic classic stars Greta Garbo, Robert Taylor, and Lionel Barrymore. Landmark’s West End Cinema returns the work to the big screen as part of its invaluable Capital Classics series. Wednesday, March 13, at 1:30, 4:30, and 7:30 p.m. 2301 M St. NW. Happy hour from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $12.50. Call 202-534-1907 or visit www.landmarktheatres.com.
THANK GOD IT’S FRIDAY
Documentaries focused on the Israel-Palestine conflict screen for free as part of Voices from the Holy Land series, now in its fifth year and sponsored by an interfaith coalition of more than 40 area organizations. Thank God It’s Friday interviews residents in the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh and those in the neighboring Israeli settlement of Halamish in an equal-time format over the course of a tense two years showing the day of rest turn into a day of unrest, and the waste of life that it brings. Following the screening will be a moderated Q&A discussion. Sunday, March 10, at 2:30 p.m. The Library in the Islamic Center of Maryland, 19411 Woodfield Road, Gaithersburg. Free. Call 240-912-4976 or visit www.voicesfromtheholyhland.org.
WHAT HAPPENED 2 CHOCOLATE CITY?
D.C. was the first majority-black city in America, a fact that led to its nickname “Chocolate City.” But the once-mighty nickname has fallen out of common use in recent years in conjunction with the dramatic shift in the city’s racial demographics. Mignotae Kebede’s documentary examines how gentrification is changing black communities through the lenses of three generations of Washingtonians. The Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum hosts a screening of the film followed by a panel discussion with the filmmaker and guests. Sunday, March 10, at 2 p.m. 1901 Fort Place, SE. Call 202-633-4820 or visit www.anacostia.si.edu.
Studio Theatre presents the latest work from the playwright responsible for Bad Jews, the most successful production in the company’s history. This time, Joshua Harmon has white liberals in his crosshairs, offering a no-holds-barred look at privilege, power, and the perils of whiteness, all set at a New Hampshire boarding school. Mike Donahue directs Meg Gibson and Kevin Kilner as a husband-and-wife duo who are the boarding school’s proudly progressive leaders. Yet their hard-fought, years-long work to diversify the school’s mostly white population runs somewhat counter to their own private efforts to get their son into an Ivy League university. With Sarah Marshall, Marni Penning, and Ephraim Birney. Extended to March 10. Mead Theatre, 14th & P Streets NW. Call 202-332-3300 or visit www.studiotheatre.org.
Joe Calarco directs Signature Theatre’s production of Ain’t Misbehavin’: The Fats Waller Musical Show, for which he converted the Shirlington complex’s large Max Theatre into a 1930s-era Harlem nightclub in tribute. Iyona Blake, Kevin McAllister, and Nova Y. Payton lead an all-star cast performing the Waller-penned hits from the Tony-winning musical, including “The Joint Is Jumpin’,” “Honeysuckle Rose,” and “Handful of Keys.” Mark G. Meadows serves as musical director and onstage pianist, with choreography by Jared Grimes. To March 10. 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit www.sigtheatre.org.
BLOOD AT THE ROOT
A black student disrupts the status quo at her high school merely by venturing into an area typically occupied by white students, unintentionally provoking an uptick in hate speech, violence, and chaos. Playwright Dominique Morisseau was inspired by the Jena Six, the black teenagers who were reflexively condemned and excessively charged after a 2006 altercation with a white student turned brutal in their Louisiana small-town. Directed by Raymond O. Caldwell, 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.
An athletic, commedia dell’arte retelling of Edmond Rostand’s world-famous story that, in true Synetic Theater fashion, is also wordless — brought to the stage by Vato Tsikurishvili, the son of Synetic’s founders in his directorial debut. Cyrano revolves around the plight of Cyrano de Bergerac, a brilliant poet and soldier who decides to woo his beloved Roxane with the help of his charismatic and confident friend Christian. What could possibly go wrong? To March 10. 1800 South Bell St., Arlington. Tickets are $20. Call 800-811-4111 or visit www.synetictheater.org.
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.
A darling of the Restoration theater becomes the mistress of King Charles II in Nell Gwynn, Jessica Swale’s heartwarming and hilarious portrait of a rare woman from the 17th century, originally commissioned by Shakespeare’s Globe and the recipient of the 2016 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy. Alison Luff heads a cast that includes Regina Aquino, Christopher Dinolfo, Catherine Flye, Quinn Franzen, Michael Glenn, and R.J. Foster as King Charles II. Musicians Kevin Collins and Zoe Speas will bring to live the original music composed by Kim Sherman. Robert Richmond directs. To March 10. Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $42 to $79. Call 202-544-7077 or visit www.folger.edu.
NEXT STOP: NORTH KOREA
A one-man show that promises to take theatergoers “as close as possible to North Korea without leaving their seats,” Next Stop: North Korea is based on playwright/performer John Feffer’s visits to and work in the Kim Jong Un-run communist country, exploring the challenges of doing good in a morally ambiguous environment. A foreign policy expert at the Institute for Policy Studies, Feffer has performed his previous one-man shows at Capital Fringe and other festivals, and also garnered a solo performance award from the Maryland State Arts Council in 2016. He’s directed in Next Stop: North Korea by established local theater artist Angela Kay Pirko of Nu Sass Productions. 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. Now 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 301-928-2738 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.
Arena Stage’s Deputy Artistic Director Seema Sueko directs a new production, staged in the round, of this classic thriller suggested by the Henry James novel Washington Square and focused on a 19th-century young woman’s journey to find her voice. Laura C. Harris portrays Catherine Sloper while Jonathan David Martin is her possible suitor in a production also featuring Lise Bruneau, Lorene Chesley, Janet Hayatshahi, Nancy Robinette, Kimberly Schraf, James Whalen, and Nathan Whitmer. To March 10. In the round in the Fichandler Stage, Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Tickets are $40 to $95. Call 202-488-3300 or visit www.arenastage.org.
THUNDER KNOCKING ON THE DOOR
In honor of its 10th anniversary, Virginia’s Creative Cauldron revives Keith Glober’s humorous, crowd-pleasing musical featuring music and lyrics by Keb’ Mo’ and Anderson Edwards. Married local theater artists Matt Conner and Stephen Gregory Smith direct Clifton Walker III as Marvell Thunder, a mysterious bluesman who challenges Glory Dupree (Shayla Simmons), the blind daughter of his guitar-playing rival Jaguar, to a “cutting contest,” with a Faustian bargain: If Thunder wins, he gets Jaguar’s guitar, but if Glory wins, she gets her sight back. Host venue ArtSpace Falls Church is turned into a juke joint for the occasion, with Elisa Rossman serving as music director leading a four-piece band. To March 10. 410 South Maple Ave., Falls Church. Tickets are $20 to $32. Call 703-436-9948 or visit www.creativecauldron.org.
Soul-pop singer-songwriter Alice Smith is understated, sophisticated, and every bit as vocally talented as fellow four-octave ranger Christina Aguilera — except her music is better. Any moment now we should finally hear new music from Smith, with Mystery, a full-length set of original compositions. No doubt she’ll preview tracks from the album on tour, as well as perform from many of the phenomenal songs on her last album, the astonishing She, which charts the ups and downs and ins and outs of love, even just friendship, with musical twists and lyrical turns as sharp and surprising as they come. Saturday, March 9. Doors at 6:30 p.m. Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. Tickets are $35. Call 202-888-0050 or visit www.thelincolndc.com.
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.
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.
A master of both the upright and electric bass, Seppa has worked as a sideman for many of the top jazz and R&B acts, including the Impressions, Raul Midón, Warren Wolf, and Sharon Clark. Seppa gets a chance to showcase his own jazz fusion sound, which draws from R&B, hip-hop, gospel, Latin, and African music, in two performances at the Mansion at Strathmore as part of a series featuring the 2019 class of the organization’s esteemed program Artists in Residence. Grammy-nominated Christylez Bacon, The Voice contestant Owen Danoff, and Prince- and Stevie Wonder-collaborator Frédéric Yonnet are just three of the 80-plus young musicians who have been mentored through the program since 2005. Wednesday, March 13 and March 27, at 7:30 p.m. The Mansion, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Tickets are $17. Call 301-581-5100 or visit www.strathmore.org.
FAIRFAX SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA W/BOWEN MCCAULEY DANCE COMPANY
The revered local contemporary dance company joins the Fairfax Symphony to perform the kinetic music of composer Erberk Eryilmaz — specifically, Eryilmaz’s Concerto for Clarinet and Imaginary Folk Dancers and Dances of the Yogurt Maker. The young clarinetist Ismail Lumanovski joins to perform Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto as well as Gershwin’s Preludes for Clarinet and Strings. Christopher Zimmerman conducts. Saturday, March 9, at 8 p.m., starting with a pre-performance discussion with Zimmerman and special guests at 7 p.m. Concert Hall, George Mason University Center for the Arts, 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax. Tickets are $39 to $65. Call 888-945-2468 or visit cfa.gmu.edu.
The 28-year-old British singer-songwriter, in the jaunty folk-pop mold of Ed Sheeran, finally comes to the U.S. in support of his second album, last year’s Electric Light, which was inspired by everyone from David Bowie to Frank Ocean. Noah Kahan opens. Friday, March 8. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. Tickets are $45 to $75. Call 202-888-0020 or visit www.theanthemdc.com.
LAURA & LINDA BENANTI: THE STORY GOES ON
A year after Renée Fleming put together this mother-daughter cabaret as part of her Voices program at the Kennedy Center, the Barns at Wolf Trap offers a reprise. The star of the show is Laura Benanti, the Tony-winning Broadway triple-threat (Gypsy) taking a night off as Eliza Doolittle in the current hit Broadway revival of My Fair Lady. No question Benanti inherited the performative gene: Both of her parents were recognized theater actors, and Linda Benanti would go on to become her young daughter’s first voice teacher — helping to shape her musical outlook and career. The two will share stories and songs of their lives and careers, as well as reflect on and celebrate their relationship. Saturday, March 9, at 3 and 8 p.m. 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $40 TO $45. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit www.wolftrap.org.
ROOMFUL OF BLUES
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.
WASHINGTON BACH CONSORT
Dana Marsh, the consort’s new artistic director, continues the spring season with the second of two Italian-influenced concerts that, as he puts it, “showcase Bach’s attempt to out-Italian the Italians.” Although Bach was never able to travel to Rome, he transcribed music by Vivaldi and other Italian opera masters as part of his own development as a composer. The soprano Laura Choi Stuart joins the consort’s acclaimed chorus and orchestra to perform a program that includes Bach’s Non sa che sia dolore and Orchestral Suite No. 1, as well as Vivaldi’s Vengo a voi, luci adorate. Sunday, March 10, at 3 p.m. National Presbyterian Church, 4101 Nebraska Ave. NW. Tickets are $10 to $69. Call 202-429-2121 or visit www.bachconsort.org.
CIRKUS CIRKÖR: LIMITS
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.
ANDREW RANNELLS: TOO MUCH IS NOT ENOUGH
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.
Bost, an assistant professor of ethnic studies at the University of Utah, shines a light on D.C.’s gay black community in the ’80s and ’90s at the height of the AIDS and crack epidemics. A time of hardship as well as disparagement by the mainstream white culture, the era also fostered a spirit of unity and a remarkable body of literary work. Billed as a revelatory excavation of the art and activism of late 20th-century gay black men in D.C. and also NYC, Evidence of Being: The Black Gay Cultural Renaissance And The Politics Of Violence examines Melvin Dixon’s unpublished diary, Essex Hemphill’s poetry, the biography of Joseph Beam, and the performance and activism of the Other Collective. Monday, March 11, at 7 p.m. Politics and Prose at the Wharf, 70 District Square SW. Call 202-488-3867 or visit www.politics-prose.com.
A cinematic history of love and desire that doubles as a commentary on the culture of male supremacy that led to the rise and fall of Harvey Weinstein and others. Thomson, a film critic and author of Moments That Made the Movies, focuses in detail on specific films for Sleeping with Strangers: How the Movies Shaped Desire, illuminating the on- and off-screen sexuality of a wide range of actors, directors, and producers, from Rudolph Valentino to Jude Law, Jean Harlow to Nicole Kidman, showing their influence on private and public expressions of desire. Friday, March 8, at 7 p.m. Politics & Prose at Union Market, 1270 5th St. NE. Call 202-544-4452 or visit www.politics-prose.com.
HATE AND ITS IMPACT: NAZI IDEOLOGY AND RACISM IN THE JIM CROW SOUTH
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum presents the second panel discussion in a two-part series about the rising climate of hate and anti-semitism today, this round with a focus on the link between the racism of the Jim Crow South and the anti-semitism of Nazi Germany, as well as the lingering implications today. The panelists include professors Beverly Eileen Mitchell of Wesley Theological Seminary and James Whitman of Yale Law School, with the museum’s senior program curator Steven Luckert and moderator David Gregory of CNN. Tuesday March 12, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. 100 Raoul Wallenberg Pl. SW. Free, but registration required. Call 202-488-0400 or visit www.ushmm.org.
SANDRA BEASLEY, SEAN HILL, AND ATSURO RILEY: VINEGAR AND CHAR
Vinegar and Char: Verse from the Southern Foodways Alliance is a culinary anthology of poems that delves into the shaping influence of history, culture, and identity — and celebrates the glory of food itself. These three poets read from their work during this O.B. Hardison Poetry program. Monday, March 11, at 7:30 p.m. Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $15. Call 202-544-4600 or visit www.folger.edu.
WOMEN AT WORK PODCAST LIVE
Amy Bernstein, Nicole Torres, and Amy Gallo, hosts of this award-winning podcast from the Harvard Business Review, will be joined by producer Amanda Kersey and expert guest Muriel Maignan Wilkins, managing partner and cofounder of Paravis Partners. The live taping will talk about the rewards and risks of being in the spotlight at work, offering tips for making visibility for women less of a dilemma. Tuesday, March 12, at 7 p.m. Sixth and I Historic Synagogue, 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $20. 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
Cristin Dorgelo, a former chief of staff of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, moderates a discussion with a group of fellow female staffers from the Obama White House, based on their first-person essays published in Yes She Can. The essayists include: Jenna Brayton, Eleanor Celeste, Nita Contreras, Kalisha Dessources Figures, Molly Dillon, Andre R. Flores, Vivian P. Giraubard, Noemie C. Levy, Taylor Lustig, and Jaimie Woo. Saturday, March 9, at 11 a.m. Kramerbooks, 1517 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-387-1400 or visit www.kramers.com.
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. 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.
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.
FUSE*: EVERYTHING IN EXISTENCE
The first solo exhibition in the United States of fuse* highlights the evolution, over the past decade, of this Italian art studio’s practice, which focuses on exploring the expressive potential of emerging digital technologies. Some of fuse*’s most significant works to date are presented in four multimedia installations inviting audiences to experience different perceptions of reality and new perspectives designed to remind us that we are all part of something bigger; that we exist in a state of interconnectedness. The works in Everything in Existence are generated by software processing data in real time, whether the data is derived from interaction with the viewer (as in “Snowfall,” social networks (“Amygdala”), sound (“Clepsydra”), or the software itself (“Multiverse”). Through such generative technique, fuse* creates “living” art that changes before one’s eyes and rewards prolonged viewing and repeat visits — in a way that also parallels the relationship between humans and the forces that push us towards the unknown. As always, ArTecHouse will be serving Augmented Reality Cocktails inspired by the exhibition during evening sessions. To March 10. ArTecHouse, 1238 Maryland Ave. SW. Tickets for hourly timed-entry sessions are $12 to $20 for daytime or $20 for evening admission including access to After Hours cocktails, sold separately. Visit www.dc.artechouse.com.
OUTBREAKS: EPIDEMICS IN A CONNECTED WORLD
To mark the 100th anniversary of the Great Influenza, the Smithsonian debuts an exhibition on epidemiology and human health. From HIV to SARS to Ebola, Outbreaks shows how viruses can spread from animals to people, why some infectious diseases become pandemics, and the collaborative ways many have been stopped or curtailed. Today, pandemic diseases remain one of the greatest threats to individuals and society, due to an increasingly interconnected, increasingly mobile, increasingly urbanized and industrialized global world. Ongoing to 2021. National Museum of Natural History, 10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit mnh.si.edu.
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. Opening Reception is Thursday, March 7, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. On display through April 7. 1234 9th St. NW. Call 202-232-4788 or visit www.longviewgallery.com.
TO BE A WOMAN
The Korean Cultural Center displays works by 45 Korean-American artists to commemorate Women’s History Month — with an Opening Reception starting at 6 p.m. this Friday, March 8, also known as International Women’s Day. To Be A Woman, presented in collaboration with the Han-Mee Artist Association of Greater Washington, D.C., is a diverse exhibition of both traditional and contemporary art and craft that collectively expresses the artists’ experiences as women. Each artist explores personal issues and challenges, particularly as immigrant women in the U.S., through everything from painting to calligraphy to metal craft. 2370 Massachusetts Ave. NW. Call 202-939-5688 or visit www.koreaculturedc.org/en/ for more information or to RSVP for the reception.
TODD G. FRANSON EXHIBITION
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. Opening Reception, with artist talk over light food and drink, is Saturday, March 9, at 7 p.m. The Center Arts Gallery, 2000 14th St. NW. Call 202-682-2245 or visit www.thedccenter.org.
ZILLA SÁNCHEZ: SOY ISLA (I AM AN ISLAND)
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.
PIZZERIA PARADISO: WOMEN’S DAY FUNDRAISER FOR SHE SHOULD RUN
All five Pizzeria Paradiso locations are honoring International Women’s Day on Friday, March 8 by donating 100 percent of the day’s sales of a special Virginia-themed pizza to She Should Run, a nonprofit promoting female leadership and encouraging women to run for office. The fundraiser comes as part of the critically acclaimed, woman-owned local restaurant chain’s current promotion “United States of Pizza: Women’s Slice of the Pie,” a rotating weekly menu of state-themed pies honoring and highlighting elected female officials per state. The benefit pie for the southern commonwealth honors Congresswomen Elaine Luria, Abigail Spanberger, and Jennifer Wexton, with a heap of toppings including Virginia country ham, cheddar cheese, cherry tomatoes, creamed corn, black eyed peas, collard greens, and onions. The promotion will continue throughout the month with pies honoring female politicos representing the states of Connecticut (a minimalist New Haven-style pizza of tomato sauce, mozzarella, and oregano) and Texas (a wild Chile Pizza featuring beef cooked in chile sauce, orange cheddar cheese, scallions, cilantro, and avocado). As an aside, it’s worth mentioning that Pizzeria Paradiso’s founding chef/owner Ruth Gresser herself has been honored by the national restaurant industry’s leading arbiter, the James Beard Foundation, which announced last week that Gresser is a semi-finalist as Outstanding Restaurateur for the 2019 James Beard Awards. Pizzeria Paradiso locations are in Dupont Circle (2003 P St. NW), Georgetown (3282 M St. NW), Spring Valley (4850 Massachusetts Ave. NW), Old Town Alexandria (124 King St.), and Hyattsville (4800 Rhode Island Ave.). Visit www.eatyourpizza.com and @eatyourpizza on social media for more details about the promotion and each week’s menu.
BIG APPLE CIRCUS
“Circus in general has a really long tradition of powerful women being in positions of creative responsibility,” says Stephanie Monseu, the fourth female ringmaster in the Big Apple Circus’s 41-year history. Indeed, the company’s current show, directed by several New York theater veterans, features an impressive number of female-led acts. “It really is Broadway under the big top,” Monseu says. “The production value is really high, the lighting is beautiful, the set is pristine, the band is phenomenal. And we have the full spectrum of thrilling skills,” from the “very unique horizontal juggling” ace Victor Moiseev, to comedic character clowns Mark Gindick and Adam Kuchler, to animal handler Jenny Vidbel rescue dogs and retired horses. “Vidbel is an incredibly humane and loving trainer who works with the animals to find out what they love to do naturally,” says Monseu, who goes on to note the natural, pivotal role horses have played in the development of this whole genre of entertainment — right down to the name. “The word ‘circus’ [itself] refers to the circle that was measured out based on the smallest circumference that a galloping horse could run…. For the Big Apple Circus, it’s thrilling to be able to keep that tradition alive.” Performances to March 24. National Harbor, 238 Waterfront St., Oxon Hill, Md. Tickets start at $15, or $25 for VIP access to the Mirror Room with special amenities, a specialty cocktail, popcorn, cotton candy, and welcome gift. Call 212-257-2330 or visit www.big apple circus.com.
HATERS ROAST: THE SHADY TOUR 2019
More shade on stage, this year’s tour includes Monet X Change and Trinity The Tuck Taylor, the newly crowned dual winners of RuPaul Drag Race All Stars Season 4, along with the return of Jinkx Monsoon, Latrice Royale, and Thorgy Thor, plus Darienne Lake as show host. Presented by Murray & Peter Productions. Friday, March 8, at 8 p.m. Warner Theatre, 513 13th St. NW. Tickets are officially sold out, but available on online resale sites such as VividSeats as low as $57 to $73, and all the way up to $462 for center orchestra. Call 202-783-4000 or visit www.warnertheatredc.com.