Metro Weekly

Out On the Town: D.C. arts and entertainment highlights — May 2-8

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

The White Crow — Photo courtesy Sony Pictures Classics



A little Avengers weary? Fathom Events marks the 80th anniversary of the DC Comics Caped Crusader with screenings of¬†Batman, Tim Burton’s 1989 blockbuster starring Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Jack Nicholson as The Joker, and Kim Basinger as Vicki Vale. The 30-year-old classic screens only for one day, Saturday, May 4, at 1 and 4 p.m. Also getting one-day-only screenings are the three sequels that followed in the ’90s, including¬†Batman Returns, Burton’s 1992 effort with a returning Keaton and the addition of Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman and Danny DeVito as the Penguin, showing on Monday, May 6, at 4 and 7 p.m. Three years later, Warner Bros. aimed for a more mainstream affair with¬†Batman Forever,¬†directed by the openly gay Joel Schumacher and with Val Kilmer replacing Keaton, plus Chris O’Donnell as Robin, Jim Carrey as The Riddler, Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face, Nicole Kidman as Dr. Chase Meridian, and Drew Barrymore as Sugar. It screens Sunday, May 12, at 1 and 4 p.m. On Tuesday, May 14, at 4 and 7 p.m., comes¬†Batman & Robin, Schumacher’s campy twist, with added gay innuendo, starring George Clooney opposite O’Donnell and also featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze, Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy, and Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl. The studio pulled the plug on the series after the 1997 offering due to its lackluster commercial performance and a dreadful critical reception. All four films screen at area theaters including Regal venues at Gallery Place (701 7th St. NW), Potomac Yards Stadium (3575 Jefferson Davis Highway), and Snowden Square (9161 Commerce Center Dr., Columbia). Visit¬†


Next up in the popular Capital Classics series at Landmark’s West End Cinema is this glorious 1981 historical drama set in the 1920s in a class-obsessed and religiously divided United Kingdom, and featuring a famous score by Vangelis. An Oscar winner for Best Picture, Hugh Hudson’s film tells the true story of two athletes who competed in the 1924 Olympics — one an upper-class, devout Scottish Christian, the other an English Jew who’s overcome religious and class discrimination and adversity. With Ben Cross and Ian Charleson. Wednesday, May 8, 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¬†


The Washington, DC International Film Festival wraps up its 33rd year this weekend. The lineup features the usual assortment of thrillers, comedies, dramas, and shorts, plus documentaries grouped into themes, including Justice Matters, a category with selections ranging from¬†Rafiki, an LGBTQ drama set (and banned) in Kenya, screening Thursday, May 2, at 8:30 p.m., at Landmark’s E Street Cinema (555 11th St. NW), to¬†Dear Walmart, which showcases the workers at America’s largest private employer who are fighting back against unfair labor practices, screening Friday, May 3, at 8:30 p.m., and Saturday, May 4, at 4:15 p.m., at E Street. Another highlight is the world premiere of¬†DC Noir, a crime anthology series by George Pelecanos and adapted from his acclaimed short stories, screening Saturday, May 4, at 8:30 p.m., at AMC Mazza Gallerie (5300 Wisconsin Ave. NW). Call 202-234-FILM or visit¬†¬†for a full schedule and more information.


Charlize Theron is Charlotte, one of the most powerful women on earth, U.S. Secretary of State, and now presidential candidate (shades of 2016, anyone?). Seth Rogen is Fred, a somewhat douchey journalist who realizes Charlotte was his babysitter as a child. Jonathan Levine’s rom-com could have easily gone off the rails trying to convince us that Charlotte would risk her campaign by falling for Fred, but early reviews suggest quite the opposite ‚ÄĒ it’s not only timely, given the number of Democratic women running for the White House, but also apparently a sharp, funny crowd-pleaser. Opens Friday, March 3. Area theaters. Visit¬† (Rhuaridh Marr)


Landmark’s E Street Cinema presents its monthly run of Richard O’Brien’s camp classic, billed as the longest-running midnight movie in history. Landmark’s showings come with a live shadow cast from the Sonic Transducers, meaning it’s even more interactive than usual. Friday, May 10, and Saturday, May 11, at midnight. 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672 or visit¬†


Ralph Fiennes’¬†The White Crow¬†is a magnificent, lush, gripping drama about Rudolf Nureyev’s defection to the west and featuring dance sequences, performed by Oleg Ivanko, that are thrilling, to say the least. Ivanko is a revelation, in that this is the Russian dancer’s first film acting role, and he is a dead ringer for the young Nureyev. His performance blazes with passion, showing Nureyev as an alternately arrogant and vulnerable young artist, struggling with a country that attempts to control his every move, as well as grappling with his attraction to men. As skilled a director as he is an actor — and here, he plays legendary ballet instructor Alexander Pushkin — Fiennes has created a portrait of an artist for whom the passion of art, and his desire for full freedom, trumps politics. Moreover, the movie does not gloss over Nureyev’s homosexuality. “What I tried to do is to show what I hope is Nureyev’s emerging sense of himself as a gay man,” Fiennes tells¬†Metro Weekly. “There’s this sense of another world that he’s not yet quite able to embrace.” Opens Friday, May 3. Avalon Theatre, 5612 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-966-6000 or visit¬† Also Angelika at Mosaic, 2911 District Ave., Fairfax, Va. Call 571-512-3301 or visit¬† (Randy Shulman)


Union Market revs up its monthly Drive-In Series for a seventh season with Richard Linklater’s coming-of-age stoner film circa 1993, which helped launch the careers of everyone from Matthew McConaughey to Ben Affleck, Parker Posey to Joey Lauren Adams. You don’t have to smoke a joint to enjoy the flick — but it would help, allegedly. You don’t even have to drive a car to partake in the experience, as you can just nab a viewing spot in the free picnic area. Food and beer are available from market vendors and neighboring merchants. The DC Rollergirls will also be on hand to sell and deliver candy. Other films to screen on first Fridays this summer include¬†Con Air,¬†A League of Their Own,¬†Jaws,¬†Coco, and¬†The Wiz. Friday, May 3, with screening starting at 8:30 p.m. In the parking lot at Union Market, 1309 5th St. NE. Free for walk-ups or $15 per car. Call 800-680-9095 or visit¬†

The White Snake — Photo: DJ Corey



Short plays by Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter — two theater giants and Nobel Laureates — are presented in repertory on alternate evenings by Scena Theatre and directed by the company’s Robert McNamara.¬†Beckett Trio, Part 2¬†features the Irish architect of absurdism’s black comedy-rich¬†Ohio Impromptu,¬†Come and Go, and¬†Catastrophe, with a six-person cast including Buck O’Leary, Kim Curtis, and Jen Bevarelli.¬†Pinter Rep, meanwhile, finds a nine-person cast, including Christopher Henley, Irina Koval, Karin Rosnizeck, and Robert Sheire, bringing to life a political trio “portraying terror and its consequences” from the legendary British playwright:¬†One for the Road,¬†Mountain Language, and¬†The New World Order. To May 5. Lab II in the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $14 to $45. Call 202-399-7993 or visit¬†


A playground altercation between two boys brings together two sets of upper-middle-class Brooklyn parents for a meeting to resolve the matter in Yasmina Reza’s Tony-winning play, a shrewd and vicious comedy. Shirley Serotsky directs the Keegan Theatre production starring the company’s artistic director Susan Rhea, Lolita Clayton, Vishwas, and DeJeanette Horne.

Previews begin Saturday, May 4. Runs to May 25. 1742 Church St. NW. Call 202-265-3767 or visit


Eric Schaeffer directs one of his favorite musicals, a multiple Tony-winning work from 1989 with a book by Luther Davis and music and lyrics by Robert Wright, George Forrest, and Maury Yeston. Based on the 1929 novel by Vicki Baum that also spawned two World War II-era movies,¬†Grand Hotel The Musical¬†is set in a lavish hotel in Weimar Republic Berlin — and staged in such a way at Signature Theatre that audiences will feel like they are sitting in the hotel’s lobby. A fading ballerina, a destitute baron, a wannabe starlet, and an ailing bookkeeper are just a handful of the many characters who come and go in the show, with Signature stars Bobby Smith and Natascia Diaz leading a large cast also featuring other Signature veterans including Nicki Elledge, Kevin McAllister, Crystal Mosser, and Lawrence Redmond. Jon Kalbfleisch leads the orchestra while Kelly Crandall D’Amboise helms the choreography. To May 19. MAX Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit¬†



Somebody’s hauled a fabulous eight-piece orchestra into the enchanted forest of Ford’s Theatre’s production of¬†Into the Woods, and the brilliant, Tony-winning score, conducted by music director William Yanesh, sounds great. The mostly sharp delivery of director Peter Flynn’s talented cast can keep the listener hanging on every word of Stephen Sondheim’s winding lines. These are treacherous woods, less an idyll for peaceful strolls to grandma’s house than a fateful crossroads of change. Milagro Ponce de Le√≥n’s forest set, rippling layers of flattish trees and vines, definitely carries through Sondheim and frequent book writer James Lapine’s image of the woods as a foreboding place and time, a field of dark unknowing. Flynn and company do a marvelous job delineating every major and minor character in this vast storybook population of kings, commoners, cows and chickens — as derived from fairy tales — even with some actors performing several roles. Flynn’s absorbing staging marches with gusto into the second act, which examines, or pokes holes in, the contentment that comes after Happily Ever After. But the show hits a few roadblocks. The pace slackens, and the fire wanes, until a hardy finish. As a whole, Ford’s production beautifully conveys the weight and lightness of Sondheim and Lapine’s journey into the woods, where characters forced to coerce, deceive, or steal from strangers can find whatever they believe might bring them happiness. To May 22. 511 10th St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $83. Call 888-616-0270 or visit¬† (Andr√© Hereford)

Jubilee — Photo: Margot Schulman


Arena Stage presents a world-premiere¬†a cappella-infused play written and directed by Tazewell Thompson and featuring spirituals including “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” and “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen.” Dianne Adams McDowell serves as music director and vocal arranger for this chronicle of the world-renowned Fisk Jubilee Singers, an African-American troupe who shattered racial barriers as they captivated royalty and commoners alike while travelling the globe. The 13-person cast includes Shaleah Adkisson, Joy Jones, Zonya Love, Sean-Maurice Lynch, and Jaysen Wright. Now to June 2. Kreeger Theater in the Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Tickets are $41 to $95. Call 202-488-3300 or visit¬†


A junk bond trader prepares a hostile takeover of a family-owned manufacturing company in this bracing, 1980s-inspired new work from Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar (Disgraced). Jackie Maxwell directs the Arena Stage production starring Thomas Keegan leading a 17-person cast featuring a number of local stage heavyweights, including Edward Gero, Michael Russotto, Lise Bruneau, and Michael Glenn. To May 5. Fichandler Stage in the Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Call 202-488-3300 or visit


Shakespeare’s spry romantic comedy full of lovers and clowns, foolery and the follies of the heart closes out the season at the Folger Theatre in a production directed by Vivienne Benesch and designed by Lee Savage. Set at the time of the 1932 opening of the Folger Shakespeare Library — and pegged to the Folger’s current exhibition about the library’s founding,¬†A Monument to Shakespeare¬†(see separate entry under Art & Exhibits) — the production features a cast of 15 led by Amelia Pedlow from CBS’s¬†The Good Wife¬†as the Princess of France, Kelsey Rainwater as her witty companion Rosaline, Joshua David Robinson as the King of Navarre, and Zachary Fine as Berowne. In previews. Opens Sunday, May 5. Runs to June 9. 201 East Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $42 to $85. Call 202-544-7077 or visit¬†


In 1993, a husband-and-wife Norwegian duo assemble a motley band of would-be diplomats from the Middle East to attempt the unimaginable: negotiate peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Round House Theatre’s Ryan Rilette directs J. T. Rogers’ thrilling nail-biter, based on the true events surrounding the Oslo Peace Accords, with John Austin and Susannah Morgan Eig leading a strong 15-member cast featuring a number of local stage heavyweights, including Maboud Ebrahimzadeh, Kimberly Gilbert, Alexander Strain, and Erin Weaver. The production is presented at the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Lansburgh Theatre downtown while Round House renovates its Bethesda venue, with its box office transplanted as well. To May 19. 450 7th St. NW. Call 240-644-1100 or visit¬†


Single Carrot Theatre, Baltimore’s adventurous, innovative, experiental professional company, offers another production of significant queer relevance, a play centered on the life of Alan Turing. Despite his achievements, the renowned codebreaker and father of the modern computer was persecuted for committing homosexual acts in his native U.K. in the decade after World War II, and sadly a decade before decriminalization could have helped avoid a tragic fate. In¬†Pink Milk, Ariel Zetina, a Chicago-based Latinx trans female playwright and composer/DJ, weaves together electrifying music and surreal text to create a rich, strange fantasy about a genius who longed for connection in a world he couldn’t understand. Mohammad R. Suaidi leads a seven-person cast bringing to life a deeply human story of love, loss, creation, and destruction directed by queer theater artist Ben Kleymeyer. To May 19. 2600 N Howard St. Tickets are $25 to $29. Call 443-844-9253 or visit¬†


Six parents get their children together to play — but “this play is not for children,” the Best Medicine Rep Theatre stresses in bold. It’s also not about the children but about the naughty adults in the other room in this farce “laced with tequila and regret” and written by John Morogiello from an idea he concocted with Lori Boyd. Melissa B. Robinson directs the production starring Kira Burri and Evan Crump. To May 5. Lakeforest Mall, 701 Russell Ave., Gaithersburg. Tickets are $20 to $25. Visit¬†


An unearthly Guitar Man and Blues Speak Woman interweave three tales based on short stories by the Harlem Renaissance writer Zora Neale Hurston and adapted by¬†Jelly’s Last Jam‘s George C. Wolfe. The Signature Theatre production is directed by Timothy Douglas and stars Jonathan Mosley-Perry and Iyona Blake, with Drew Drake, Marty Lamar, Ines Nassara, and KenYatta Rogers. Mark G. Meadows (Ain’t Misbehavin’) serves as musical director for the show, which is infused with live blues music composed by Chic Street Man. Now to June 23. The Ark, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit¬†


Rep Stage closes out its 26th season with a production of Patrick Barlow’s Tony-winning spoof of Hitchcock’s 1935 classic thriller. A joy for anyone who loves the magic of theater, from virtuoso performances to inventive stagecraft,¬†The 39 Steps¬†features a cast of four portraying a multitude of characters in a madcap evening. Joseph W. Ritsch directs Robbie Gay as a man racing to solve a mystery and clear his name, aided and abetted by Kathryn Tkel, Michael Wood, and Noah Israel. Opens Thursday, May 2. Runs to May 19. The Horowitz Center’s Studio Theatre at Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Md. Tickets are $15 to $40. Call 443-518-1500 or visit¬†


Studio Theatre’s David Muse directs Lucy Kirkwood’s taut and disquieting thriller, a hit in London and New York, about responsibility and reparation, and what one generation owes the next. Jeanne Paulsen and Richard Howard play a married pair of retired nuclear physicists whose peaceful existence in a remote cottage on the British coast is upended by a former colleague, played by Naomi Jacobson, who offers a proposal that threatens more than their marriage. In previews. Runs to June 2. Metheny Theatre, 14th & P Streets NW. Call 202-332-3300 or visit¬†


Founded by Strother Gaines and nurtured at Capital Fringe, TBD Immersive — which stands for Tradition Be Damned — is hardly theater as usual. The company’s variation on devised, participatory theater centers the audience, with each attendee becoming an active participant, choosing their own way into and around the chief story, such that they ultimately become a co-creator of what results, building on the work of the mainstage performers and the company’s devising playwright Jenny Splitter, with additional assist from producing improvisation director Dana Malone Heiser. Next up from TBD is an intimate, hour-long guided experience through a series of interactive installations transforming the subterranean Dupont Underground into a passageway to the Underworld. A maximum of 10 patrons will explore at the same time, and they will journey from life to death or from death to life — depending on their assigned path, with no two journeys ever alike — exploring the wonder, pain, and beauty of the unknown along the way. To May 12. Dupont Underground, 1500 19th St. NW. Tickets are $35. visit¬†


Shakespeare Theatre Company’s longtime artistic director Michael Kahn goes out with a big Greek bang as he directs a world-premiere interpretation of Aeschylus’ potent trilogy of epic Greek tragedies. Commissioned by the company and three years in the making, Ellen McLaughlin’s¬†The Oresteia¬†weaves together Aeschylus’ stories with stunning poetry. The production features Kelley Curran, Simone Warren, Kelcey Watson, Josiah Bania, Zo√ę Sophia Garcia, and Rad Pereira, plus an eight-person Chorus. In previews. To June 2. Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F St. NW. Call 202-547-1122 or visit¬†


In Mary Zimmerman’s adaptation of the ancient Chinese legend, a snake spirit transforms itself into a woman in order to experience the human world, and in the process falls in love with a pharmacist’s assistant. Allison Arkell Stockman directs a production from her company Constellation Theatre that features live original music from multi-instrumentalist Tom Teasley and dulcimer virtuoso Chao Tian, plus a signature bold acting ensemble led by Eunice Bae, Momo Nakamura, and Jacob Yeh. To May 26. Source Theatre, 1835 14th St. NW. Tickets are $19 to $45. Call 202-204-7741 or visit¬†

Blue and Blood On the Tracks: Lori Williams



A “Movie with Orchestra” event, in which the classic 1951 film directed by Vincente “Liza’s Father” Minnelli and featuring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron is projected on screens overhead as Jack Everly leads the BSO in George Gershwin’s extraordinary film score, including the songbook standards “Embraceable You” and “I Got Rhythm.” Thursday, May 2, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Also Friday, May 3, and Saturday, May 4, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, May 5, at 3 p.m. Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore. Tickets are $25 to $90. Call 410-783-8000 or visit¬†


The orchestra concludes its 51st season with a musical ode to our planet and what lies beyond it — chiefly via Gustav Holst’s famous orchestral work¬†The Planets¬†with video projections from NASA. The program also includes works by Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo inspired by the northern lights and the mythical power of his homeland. Sunday, May 5, at 5 p.m. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $15 to $25. Call 202-399-7993 or visit¬†


Singer-songwriter Lissie Maurus lives in Iowa, but got her start on the Los Angeles coffeehouse circuit before opening for the likes of Lenny Kravitz and Ray LaMontagne and appearing at the Lilith Fair. Although she doesn’t channel Stevie Nicks quite as blatantly on last year’s¬†Castles¬†as she did on 2016’s¬†My Wild West, Lissie’s fourth studio album is every bit as steeped in the dramatic and folky rock/pop style of her idol, with the biting “Love Blows” and the power ballad “Meet Me In The Mystery” particular standouts. Monday, May 6. Doors at 6 p.m. City Winery DC, 1350 Okie St. NE. Tickets are $25 to $35. Call 202-250-2531 or visit¬†


Now in its 24th edition, this festival, named after the pioneering female jazz pianist/composer, features two evenings of performances by some of contemporary jazz’s leading women, hosted by NEA Jazz Master Dee Dee Bridgewater. Friday night, May 10, is dedicated to the prolific pianist and composer Geri Allen, whose recent death at the age of 60 shocked and saddened the jazz world. Grammy-winning drummer Terri Lynne Carrington, a close friend of Allen’s, curates and performs this “Feed The Fire” tribute alongside NEA Jazz Master Dave Holland on bass, Jason Moran on piano, and Ravi Coltrane on saxophone, plus tapper Maurice Chestnut and DJ Val-Inc (Val Jeanty). Saturday, May 11, offers performances by two pianist-led ensembles: the Joanne Brackeen Quartet also featuring Ugonna Okegwo on bass, Rudy Royston on drums, and Greg Osby on saxophone, and the Renee Rosnes Quartet with Steve Wilson on saxophone, John Patitucci on guitar, and Lenny White on drums. Performances both nights start at 7 p.m. Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Tickets are $40 to $45. Call 202-467-4600 or visit¬†


Piotr Gajewski, who was mentored by Leonard Bernstein, leads Strathmore’s resident orchestra in the first of two programs linking the late, legendary 20th-century American composer to his 18th-century German forebear. Specifically, Bernstein’s dramatic¬†Symphony No. 2, which was inspired by W.H. Auden’s Pulitzer-winning poet¬†The Age of Anxiety, is paired with the equally charged¬†Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, probably Beethoven’s most famous work — featuring the most famous four notes in all of classical music — which unfolds a personal narrative about the triumph of the human spirit. Pianist Michael Brown joins to perform Bernstein’s symphony with its innovative inclusion of piano solo. Saturday, May 11, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $28 to $78. Call 301-581-5100 or visit¬†


Victorian-era dramatist W. S. Gilbert and composer Arthur Sullivan jointly created 14 comic operas, including the masterpieces¬†H.M.S. Pinafore,¬†The Pirates of Penzance, and¬†The Mikado. This popular New York outfit, leading interpreters of the repertoire, return to the area to perform a twist on the usual cabaret, one in which the timelessness of the comic opera masters shines in rewritten lyrics to their tunes as well as mash-ups with modern-day examples — from¬†Spamalot¬†to Sondheim’s¬†Company¬†— and of course a selection of untouched Gilbert & Sullivan classics. Saturday, May 4, at 7 p.m. The Robert Ames Alden Theatre at the McLean Community Center, 1234 Ingleside Ave., Mclean, Va. Tickets are $35 to $40. Call 703-790-0123 or visit¬†


A wide array of talented pop/folk vocalists from around the area are brought together to perform in their entirety two of the most revered albums by two of the greatest singer-songwriters of all time: Joni Mitchell’s¬†Blue¬†and Bob Dylan’s¬†Blood on the Tracks. Presented by the production company Newmyer Flyer, led by BandHouse Gigs co-founder Ron Newmyer, the concert features Lori Williams, Kenny Wesley, Margot MacDonald, Kipyn Martin, Sara Curtin, Maureen Andary, Luke Brindley, Laura Tsaggaris, Justin Jones, and John Bustine. Saturday, May 11. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $18 to $40. Call 202-787-1000 or visit¬†


Maestro Sergio Alessandro Buslje directs the PASO in a presentation of its signature tango show featuring 30 musicians, including Latin Grammy Award-winner Rodolfo Zanetti on bandoneon and Pablo Estigarribia on piano, plus two pairs of international tango dancers, performing traditional and nuevo tangos full of passion and elegance. Sunday, May 12, at 7:30 p.m. Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Tickets are $55 to $65. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


Seven members of two of the world’s best orchestras, the Berlin and Vienna philharmonics, shuck their tuxedos and their inhibitions to perform as a swinging chamber ensemble in a concert presented by Washington Performing Arts in the acoustically rich main hall of Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. The repertoire ranges from Satie to Sting, Brahams’¬†Hungarian Dances¬†to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” plus a smattering of jazz, klezmer, and Latin pop. Saturday, May 4, at 8 p.m. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $40. Call 202-408-3100 or visit¬†


Formed nearly 50 years ago in Bethesda, the Seldom Scene was instrumental in launching the progressive bluegrass movement and is still considered one of the genre’s leading purveyors. Naturally, it remains especially popular in its hometown region. Saturday, May 11, at 8 p.m. BlackRock Center for the Arts, 12901 Town Commons Dr., Germantown, Md. Tickets are $25 to $45. Call 301-528-2260 or visit¬†


Artistic Director Dana Marsh leads a concert featuring the magnificent oratorios Johann Sebastian Bach composed honoring two of Christianity’s high holidays and the 40-day period between when Jesus is said to have risen from the dead and when he entered heaven. The organization’s namesake classical composer demonstrated his versatility with these works, juxtaposing the full force of the orchestra and chorus in expressions of unbridled joy with more intimate music conveying Jesus’ sacrifice for humankind. As such, the oratorios highlight the power and range of the consort’s chorus, orchestra, and soloists, the latter of whom include Katelyn G. Aungst, soprano, Sarah Davis Issaelkhoury, mezzo-soprano, and Richard Giarusso, baritone. An hour before the performance comes a free Talking Bach lecture by renowned Bach scholar Dr. Michael Marissen, and afterwards comes a complimentary reception with the artists. Sunday, May 5, at 4 p.m. National Presbyterian Church, 4101 Nebraska Ave. NW. Tickets are $10 to $69. Call 202-429-2121 or visit¬†


Ethan McSweeny directs a production of Giacomo Puccini’s striking, suspenseful drama, a sumptuous tale of ill-fated love that amazes and captivates new and longtime opera lovers alike. Keri Alkema takes on the title role opposite Riccardo Massi as her rebellious lover Cavaradossi (except for the Sunday matinees on May 12 and May 19, when Latonia Moore and Robert Watson substitute) in a WNO production of the work set in 18th century Rome and featuring elegant sets depicting grand Roman scenes provided by Seattle Opera. Speranza Scappucci serves as conductor. Performances start Saturday, May 11. To May 25. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $35 to $300. Call 202-467-4600 or visit¬†

WEILERSTEIN, BARNATAN, KHACHATRYAN, CURRIE: TRANSFIGURED NIGHTS¬†Cellist Alisa Weilerstein, pianist Inon Barnatan, violinist Sergey Khachatryan, and percussionist Colin Currie are all “transcendent musicians” and classical stars in their own right. They’ve teamed up for a Washington Performing Arts concert anchored by works that have been “transfigured” through the act of transcription, or arranged for different instruments than what was originally composed. This “Transfigured Nights” program derives its English name from¬†Verkl√§rte Nacht, an early masterwork from Schoenberg written for string sextet but famously adapted for a piano trio by Edward Steuermann. The concert also features Rolf Wallin’s¬†Realismos Magicos for Solo Marimba, a work inspired by the stories of Gabriel Garc√≠a M√°rquez and commissioned for Currie. Piano trios from Beethoven and Shostakovich round out the program. Thursday, May 9, at 7:30 p.m. Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Tickets are $65 to $75. Call 202-467-4600 or visit¬†

Jane Franklin Dance: Complete Dogness — Photo: Jim Turner



Barky is a dog with bad habits who learns new tricks in this family-friendly work from choreographer Jane Franklin’s local dance troupe incorporating spoken word, imaging and animation by Hong Huo, and interactive participatory activities for young children, along with movement and music. A quartet of female dancers — Andie deVaulx, Kelsey Rohr, Brynna Shank, Rebecca Weiss — perform some gymnastic style moves as they work to bring to life the dog’s tale, complete with dog sounds of barking, whining, and growling. John Kamman and David Schulman provide proper musical accompaniment. Saturday, May 4, at 4 p.m. Theatre on the Run, 3700 South Four Mile Run Dr. Arlington. Tickets are $10 to $15, or $45 for a family of four. Call 703-933-1111 or visit¬†


A MacArthur Award-winning dance company from Chicago makes its Kennedy Center debut with an insightful and surprisingly humorous dance/theater “whodunit,” one that marries intimate conversations among friends with the tragic myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. A creation of Lucky Plush artistic director Julia Rhoads and frequent collaborator Leslie Buxbaum Danzig,¬†Rooming House¬†features the company’s signature style of layered choreography, palpable liveness, and socially relevant storytelling. The work pursues the question: What makes a person do something that could lead to shattering and irreparable consequences? Thursday, May 2, and Saturday, May 4, at 7:30 p.m. Terrace Theater. Tickets are $39. Call 202-467-4600 or visit¬†


Queens of Egypt: National Geographic


A temporary exhibition highlighting how Henry Clay Folger and his wife Emily Folger set out to create their shrine to the Bard as a gift, in 1932, to the American people — examining the Folger Shakespeare Library’s architecture and looking to its future. To Jan. 5. 201 East Capitol St. SE. Call 202-544-7077 or visit¬†


Zadravec’s colored pencil portraits capture both the human expressions of her subjects as well as their momentary spirit, rending texture and light with precision while maintaining a whisper of the pencil stroke to remind viewers of the artist’s hand. Now to May 26. Invitational Gallery, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Call 301-581-5100 or visit¬†


One of the most popular artists regularly presented by LGBTQ-run Long View Gallery, this Chicago-based lesbian artist creates large, hanging-wood sculptures made from reclaimed wood, often found in dumpsters and back alleys in revitalizing urban neighborhoods. Runs to May 26. 1234 9th St. NW. Call 202-232-4788 or visit


A new exhibition at the National Geographic Museum puts a rare spotlight on the queens of ancient Egypt, including Hatshepsut, Nefertari, Nefertiti, and Cleopatra VII. The life and leadership of these legendary figures, whose rule ranged from the New Kingdom (1539-1514 B.C.) to the Ptolemaic dynasty (51-30 B.C.), is told with the help of more than 300 ancient Egyptian artifacts, including monumental statues, sparkling jewelry, and impressive sarcophagi — plus the use of advanced virtual reality technology providing a 3D flythrough tour of one of the most well-preserved tombs in the Valley of the Queens, that of Queen Nefertari. Many of the objects on display come courtesy of the Museo Egizio of Turin, Italy, one of the international cultural partners in the exhibition. And much of the research is based on the work of renowned Egyptologist and National Geographic Explorer Kara Cooney, author of the companion book¬†When Women Ruled The World: Six Queens of Egypt, published by National Geographic Books last fall. To Sept. 2. The museum is located at 1145 17th St. NW. Tickets are $10 to $15. Call 202-857-7588 or visit¬†


A survey of Baltimore’s movie-going past from 1896 to the present, this¬†Flickering Treasures¬†exhibition at the National Building Museum features oral histories, architectural fragments, theater ephemera, and of course photography — particularly vivid, contemporary shots from¬†Baltimore Sun¬†staff photographer Amy Davis. All of it illuminates themes of memory, loss, and preservation, as well as the importance of movies and movie houses in 20th century American life. While only a handful of more than 240 theaters built in Charm City still function today, many survive in some form, as documented in this exhibition. On display to Oct. 2019. 401 F St. NW. Call 202-272-2448 or visit¬†


The contemporary exhibition space in Alexandria’s Torpedo Factory Art Center is championing up-and-coming regional artists in its annual exhibition series. Four stylistically diverse artists were selected by a jury panel to be featured in the second year: Kate Gorman, Kim Sandara, Madeline A. Stratton, and Sean Sweeney. The artists and the members of the exhibition’s jury panel — Adah Rose Bitterbaum of Adah Rose Gallery, Philippa Hughes of the Pink Line Project, and Dawne Langford of Quota — will take part in a discussion on Thursday, May 2, at 6:30 p.m. On view through June 5. Target Gallery, 105 North Union St. Alexandria. Free. Call 703-838-4565 or visit¬†


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¬†

Chihuahuas — Photo: Raker



Billed as “D.C.’s funniest Cinco de Mayo celebration,” this year’s 8th annual race, planned for the day before the actual Mexican holiday, offers the unexpected joy of seeing 128 Chihuahuas, competing in groups of eight, on a 60-foot “race track.” Don’t worry: You won’t have to squint to see all the little doggies compete for the crown as Fastest Chihuahua in D.C. — which comes complete with an official championship trophy — as the action will be captured on a huge video wall. Anyone with their own personal Chihuahua can register Mr. Chalupa for the race in advance, or until all spots are full, at $30 per dog. No doubt a few overly competitive human handlers will take the whole to-do seriously instead of enjoying it as the pure feel-good, do-good experience it is, with all proceeds benefiting Rural Dog Rescue, which works to save canines from high-kill rural shelters. It’s a win-win kind of event for everyone, and every dog, too, whether they’re Chihuahuas, Xoloitzcuintlis, non-Mexican breeds, even all-American mutts. Indeed, all fur babies can compete in the contest for the day’s best-dressed dog. There will also be pet-friendly vendors, a Beer Garden serving cold Mexican beers, food kiosks, a Dance Party with live music after the races, and more family fun. Saturday, May 4, from 1 to 5 p.m. District Pier at the Wharf, 101 District Square SW. Free. Visit¬†¬†for more information.


Every year more than 40 embassies open their doors to visitors to show off their impressive edifices and especially to showcase their cultural and culinary traditions, artifacts, and eccentricities. Organized by the Cultural Tourism DC nonprofit coalition, the 2019 lineup includes the embassies of Afghanistan, the African Union, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Oman, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa, and Turkey. Saturday, May 4, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free, no tickets required, though government-issued photo ID recommended. Call 202-355-4280 or visit


The newest program from the local presenting organization DC Shorts offers seven music-themed films to be introduced via musical performances from three area stage professionals associated with the local LGBTQ-led cabaret outfit La Ti Do Productions: Ava Silva, Krystle Cruz, and Jarreau Williams. The program will be hosted by La Ti Do co-founder Don Mike Mendoza, with musical accompaniment by Paige Rammelkamp. A natural extension of the popular DC Shorts Laughs program held in June, which mixes comedy shorts with live standup, DC Shorts Sings features one specifically LGBTQ-themed film: Brad McDermott’s¬†Silver Light, about a man who returns to his hometown to attend the funeral of his male high school sweetheart. All seven films share an underlying theme of celebrating the triumph of self-identity over preconception and bias. The most lighthearted of the bunch is¬†Aria for a Cow, Dan Lund’s animated musical comedy about a bovine diva who pleads for respect beyond her dairy output, and is moved to sing a previously unreleased number from Howard Ashman and Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast). Saturday, May 4, at 8 and 10 p.m. Miracle Theatre, 535 8th St. SE. Tickets are $20, including pre-show open bar for beer and wine. Call 202-400-3210 or visit¬†



Billed as “Where Spoken Word and Musical Theatre Collide,” this presenting organization showcases local talent regularly on select Monday nights at Bistro Bistro in Dupont Circle. Yet as good as every performance at that venue is, none of them quite compares to the special Saturday show planned for the first weekend in May — at the city’s preeminent performing arts center. All the more so since the Kennedy Center engagement is free, as part of the complex’s nightly Millennium Stage programming. Saturday, May 4, at 6 p.m. Call 202-467-4600 or visit¬†


On Saturday, May 4, sometimes known as Star Wars Day, local DJ company Scorpio Entertainment plans to transform the historic Terminal A Lobby at Washington National Airport into a spaceship-inspired cosmic dance party. Guests are encouraged to dress for the theme, with supplemental glow wear provided. In addition to music by DJ Edward Daniels and live entertainment by Baltimore’s hula hoop performer Zbu Hoopism and D.C.’s juggler Christian Kloc, this #Maythe4thDC party will feature an open bar, views of the runway, a Hot Pink Photo Booth, social media projection wall, a galactic LED light show, and the possibility of a surprise “real-life Sharknado moment above the crowd,” to quote Daniels, the company’s founding director, a native of rural southern Virginia who, incidentally enough, got his start in the area by hosting karaoke at Freddie’s Beach Bar. Party starts with a Twilight Pre-Show at 7 p.m. before Blast-Off at 8 p.m. Tickets are $65, with partial proceeds benefiting the local shelter and homeless-helping nonprofit Change for Good, Inc. Call 202-536-4495 or visit¬†¬†for more information.


Since 1939, Washingtonians have flocked to the city’s grand neo-gothic edifice the first weekend in May in a nod to Spring. A plethora of plants and flowers are on display as well as for sale, with proceeds benefiting the organization All Hallows’ Guild, responsible for the upkeep of the cathedral’s beautiful gardens and grounds. Yet the greenery alone isn’t what draws thousands of people to the historic 59 acres in Cathedral Heights. There’s also the gifts, collectibles, and food available from local artisans and vendors set up at over 70 booths. Add to that the garden tours, gargoyle walks, and many games and activities for children, most notably riding the Guild’s historic carousel dating to 1890. And of course people come to visit the nave — decked out in an International Floral Display by area embassies — and/or to climb to the top of the Cathedral for a bird’s eye view of the city. (Tower Climb tickets are $20 to $25.) There’s also the option of a Taste in the Tower seated luncheon in the South Tower. (Advance reservations are $35 per person.) Live music will also be performed throughout. Friday, May 3, and Saturday, May 4, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 3101 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Call 202-537-2937 or visit¬†

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