Taron Egerton as Elton John in Rocketman — Photo: Paramount Pictures
ALWAYS BE MY MAYBE
Ali Wong stars as a celebrity chef whose career is holding up a lot better than her personal life, as a result of her fiance reneging on their engagement and revealing he’s not the marrying kind. Randall Park, meanwhile, plays her character’s ex and longtime friend, and one who still harbors romantic feelings. Any hope of rekindling the relationship is delayed, if not dashed altogether, when Wong breaks the news that Keanu Reeves is her new beau, largely on account of his prowess in the bedroom, a la “insane, freaky-ass sex.” The title is a nod to the 1996 Mariah Carey hit, twisted to reflect Park’s standing as Wong’s “Maybe,” as opposed to “Baby.” Now playing. IPIC North Bethesda (Pike & Rose), 11830 Grand Park Ave., Maryland. Call 301-231-2300 or visit www.ipic.com.
The American Film Institute continues its important, two-month “The Fourth Estate Film Series” showcasing a handful of Hollywood’s most acclaimed journalism-themed hits, with The Front Page, His Girl Friday, and Network still to come. Next up is the 1987 romantic comedy from Oscar-winner James L. Brooks, set in a high-pressure D.C. TV news bureau. Albert Brooks, William Hurt, and Jack Nicholson star, but it’s Holly Hunter who steals the film. The screening includes a panel discussion with Brooks and New Yorker staff writer Jane Mayer. Wednesday, June 5, at 7 p.m. 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $13 general admission. Call 301-495-6720 or visit www.afi.com/Silver.
GODZILLA: KING OF MONSTERS
Fun fact: This is the 35th film in the Godzilla franchise. A direct sequel to 2014’s Godzilla, everyone’s favorite large lizard faces off against equally large monsters Mothra, Rodan, and three-headed King Ghidorah. If giant CGI battles are your thing, get thee to the nearest multiplex. Opens Friday, May 31. Area theaters. Visit www.fandango.com. (Rhuaridh Marr)
LESBIAN AVENGERS EAT FIRE TOO
The Lesbian Avengers rose to national prominence essentially overnight by virtue of staging the very first Dyke March on the eve of the 1993 March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay, and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation. Later that same year came a kind of time capsule of the activist group, its heyday, and its Dyke March legacy via an hour-long documentary featuring interviews with leading Avengers as edited by Su Friedrich and Janet Baus. The movie screens in the Black Cat’s regular free, inclusive series focused on the representation of queer women in film. Sunday, June 2, at 8 p.m. Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. Free. Call 202-667-4490 or visit www.blackcatdc.com.
A psychological horror starring Octavia Spencer as a loner who befriends, cares for, and then terrorizes a group of teenagers? We’re sold. Ma is the latest in a string of films from out director Tate Taylor. Juliette Lewis, Missi Pyle, and Luke Evans also star as the various adults oblivious to Ma’s schemes. Opens Friday, May 31. Area theaters. Visit www.fandango.com. (RM)
Elton John’s life gets dramatized in a musical featuring Taron Egerton as the multi-million selling gay singer-songwriter born Reginald Dwight. The film showcases a number of moments from John’s life, from his first start in the music industry to the burgeoning exploration of his sexuality — although here’s hoping the latter is a little more fleshed out than the relatively tame Bohemian Rhapsody. Dexter Fletcher, who was hired to complete that Freddie Mercury biopic after its original director Bryan Singer was fired, is fully at the helm with Rocketman. Egerton will also do all of his own singing — take that, Rami Malek. Opens Friday, May 31. Area theaters. Visit www.fandango.com. (RM)
THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE
A 1948 neo-western drama starring Humphrey Bogart and Tim Holt as two desperate young men prospecting for gold in Mexico that is perhaps most notable for being the only time legendary filmmaker John Huston actually snagged an Oscar for his work — in fact, he won two for the film, as Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. (His father, Walter Huston, also earned the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his portrayal of the veteran prospector who joined the new wanderers.) A faithful adaptation of B. Traven’s same-named novel, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is next up in the popular Capital Classics series at Landmark’s West End Cinema. Wednesday, June 5, 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.
THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW
Landmark’s E Street Cinema offers 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, June 7, and Saturday, June 8, at midnight. Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672 or visit landmarktheatres.com.
UNION MARKET DRIVE-IN: CON AIR
Nicolas Cage is a newly paroled ex-con and former U.S. Ranger and John Malkovich as the criminal mastermind in this 1997 Jerry Bruckheimer-produced action blockbuster, directed by Simon West, next up in the monthly warm weather Drive-In Series at Union Market. You don’t have to have a car to take it all in — just grab a viewing spot in the free picnic area. Food and beer are available, delivered to you or your car window by the DC Rollergirls. Other films to screen on first Fridays this summer include A League of Their Own, Jaws, Coco, and The Wiz. Friday, June 7. Gates at 6 p.m., with the movie starting after sunset at 8:45 p.m. In the parking lot at 1305 5th St. NE. Free for walk-ups or $10 per car. Call 800-680-9095 or visit unionmarketdc.com.
WALKING ON WATER
Through spectacular aerial views and fly-on-the-wall camerawork, Bulgarian director Andrey Paounov provides an intimate examination into the vision and the work of a fellow countryman, the renowned large-scale, site-specific, ephemeral installation artist known simply by his first name, Christo. The movie focuses on the octogenarian’s quest to realize a project he and his late wife and creative partner Jeanne-Claude originally conceived of back in the 1970s. Christo withstands more than his fair share of complications — from bad weather to burdensome bureaucracy to excessive popularity and hype — as he finally brings to fruition the Floating Piers project, in which a wide golden walkway was temporarily set up across the scenic Italian alpine Lake Iseo. An estimated 1.2 million spectators were able to walk over the lake during the project’s shortlived run: a mere three weeks in the summer of 2016. Opens Friday, May 31. Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672 or visit www.landmarktheatres.com.
A NEW BRAIN
Before the Kennedy Center presents the touring revival of Falsettos in June, Iron Crow Theatre, billed as “Baltimore’s award-winning queer theatre,” offers another musical from the team of composer/lyricist William Finn and writer/director James Lapine. The surprisingly joyous and funny musical A New Brain, which ran Off-Broadway in 1998, was inspired by Finn’s own life — specifically, the puzzling seizure he suffered shortly after the success of Falsettos that spurred him to reevaluate and better appreciate his life and work as well as the healing power of art. Sean Elias directs. Opens with a post-show Complimentary Opening Night Reception Friday, May 31. Runs to June 9. Theatre Project, 45 West Preston St. Baltimore. Tickets are $20 to $35. Call 410-752-8558 or visit www.theatreproject.org.
Matt Minnicino’s new contemporary distillation of Molière’s classic comedy The Misanthrope is the last show of WSC Avant Bard’s 29th season. Where the 17th-century original skewered the hypocrisy of the French aristocracy, A Misanthrope is set in the present, and further characterized per official publicity materials as “a send-up of trendy suck-ups and phonies during a booze-fueled pool party with the wealthy and wanna-be famous.” The 90-minute intermission-less production is overseen by Megan Behm, directing a sizable 10-member cast including Sara Barker, Elliott Kashner, Thais Menendez, Tendo Nsubuga, and Hannah Sweet. In previews. Opens Tuesday, June 4. Runs to June 30. Gunston Arts Center Theatre Two, 2700 South Lang St. Arlington. Tickets are $40. Call 703-418-4804 or visit www.wscavantbard.org.
ANTIGONICK & THE FRAGMENTS OF SAPPHO
Taffety Punk Theater Company, whose tagline is “We Will Rock You” and styles itself as a theatrical rock band, presents a 90-minute double feature of Greek classics both translated by poet Anne Carson. There’s her new telling of the Sophocles classic Antigone, about a female hero who stands against tyranny and injustice, and featuring rich poetic language that drives the action of an ensemble of actors, dancers, and musicians directed by Kelsey Mesa. Meanwhile, another ensemble explores the tensions of loss in Carson’s translation and all that remains of Sappho’s poetry. Choreographer Katie Sopoci Drake and director Marcus Kyd oversee The Fragments of Sappho. Now to June 8. Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 7th St. SE. Tickets are $15. Call 202-547-6839 or visit www.taffetypunk.com.
Alan Parker’s Oscar-winning 1980 movie about talented, hyper-emotional, horny New York City high schoolers learning drama, dance, and music cast a perfect mold for theatrical reinvention. The magnetic energy and appeal harnessed by director-choreographer Luis Salgado and his estimable cast in GALA Hispanic Theatre’s production creates strong connections. The show is performed in both Spanish and English (all supertitled), and the cast slides easily between both tongues, registering a profound and accurate representation of today’s American high school. To June 9. 3333 14th St. NW. Tickets are $65. Call 202-234-7174 or visit www.galatheatre.org. (André Hereford)
Go for a drive up to Columbia if you’d like to go back in time — all the way back to the 1950s — for Toby’s Dinner Theatre’s production of Grease, the hit musical circa 1971 by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. The musical-writing duo set the show in a mid-20th century American high school — one where even cool kids can’t resist breaking out into the sing-along fun of such hit staples as “Summer Nights,” “You’re The One That I Want,” and “Hopelessly Devoted to You.” Mark Minnick directs and choreographs a that stars Matt Hirsh as Danny and Nicki Elledge as Sandy. Now to July 28. 5900 Symphony Woods Rd. Columbia, Md. Tickets are $47.50 to $63, including buffet-style dinner and coffee and tea. Call 301-596-6161 or visit www.tobysdinnertheatre.com.
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. Extended to June 9. Kreeger Theater in the Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Tickets are $41 to $95. Call 202-488-3300 or visit www.arenastage.org.
LOVE’S LABOR’S LOST
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. To June 9. 201 East Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $42 to $85. Call 202-544-7077 or visit www.folger.edu.
Jason Loewith directs an Olney Theatre Center production of Friedrich Schiller’s bracing, 19th Century Shakespearean political drama about one of England’s most storied rivalries, that between Mary, Queen of Scots, and Queen Elizabeth I. Catholic Mary is a threat to Protestant Queen Elizabeth’s reign, but her murder isn’t a clear or easy way to eliminate the threat — especially considering the fact that the two are cousins. To June 9. Theatre Lab, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Call 301-924-3400 or visit www.olneytheatre.org.
Synetic Theater offers its 14th “wordless Shakespeare” production, an athletic, futuristic, cyberpunk adaptation of King Richard III’s Machiavellian rise to power, highlighting the terrifying extremes made possible through the abuse of modern technology. Synetic’s Paata Tsikurishvili directs Alex Mills in the title role, with Irina Tsikurishvili portraying Queen Elizabeth. The cast also includes Matt Stover, Maryam Najafzada, Thomas Beheler, Philip Fletcher, Jordan Clark Halsey, Aaron Kan, Tim Proudkii, Nutsa Tediashvili, Ana Tsikurishvili, and Scean Aaron. To June 16. 1800 South Bell St., Arlington. Call 800-811-4111 or visit www.synetictheater.org.
Mosaic Theater Company of D.C. presents a world premiere offering a metaphysical twist on romance, marriage, and parenting, while exploring the pains and pleasures of all three. Developed as part of Locally Grown Mosaic, a series nurturing and commissioning works by local artists, Allyson Currin’s play follows a teenage daughter as she helps her reluctant single mother to reenter the dating scene. Gregg Henry directs Cristina M. Ibarra, Erica Chamblee, and Tony K. Nam. To June 16. Sprenger Theatre in the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $30 to $60. Call 202-399-7993 or visit www.atlasarts.org.
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. To June 23. The Ark, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit www.sigtheatre.org.
The Children – Photo: Carol Rosegg
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. To June 9. Studio Theatre, 1501 14th St. NW. Call 202-332-3300 or visit www.studiotheatre.org.
THE MEMBER OF THE WEDDING
An evocative, poetic coming-of-age drama adapted from the novel of the same name, Carson McCullers’ play is set in rural Georgia during the summer of 1945. The Member of the Wedding focuses on the relationship between 12-year-old Frankie Addams and her family’s housekeeper Berenice Sadie Brown, a surrogate mother to Frankie who struggles under the weight of the deeply entrenched racism she endures. Zoe Walpole and Deidra LaWan Starnes star. Cara Gabriel directs. Extended to June 16. At 1st Stage, 1524 Spring Hill Rd. Tysons, Va. Tickets are $15 to $39. Call 703-854-1856 or visit www.1ststage.org.
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, Zoë Sophia Garcia, and Rad Pereira, plus an eight-person Chorus. To June 2. Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F St. NW. Call 202-547-1122 or visit www.shakespearetheatre.org.
Stpnewall 50: GMCW
BALTIMORE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: BEETHOVEN’S EMPEROR
Czech pianist Lukáš Vondráček, winner of the 2016 International Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition, will substitute for the injured André Watts as guest soloist with the BSO under Marin Alsop to play Beethoven’s mighty last Piano Concerto No. 5, posthumously referred to as the “Emperor” Concerto on account of its majestic tone and heroic gestures. Watts will also perform Brahms’ exhilarating, youthful Piano Quartet in G Minor. Thursday, May 30, at 8 p.m. Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore. Also Sunday, June 2, at 3 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Additionally, Beethoven’s work is examined in more depth and insight in two, Alsop-led 90-minute Off the Cuff performances also featuring Vondráček, followed by question-and-answer sessions, on Friday, May 31, at 8:15 p.m., at Strathmore, and Saturday, June 1, at 7 p.m., at the Meyerhoff — the latter ending with Beethoven’s Beer Hall After-Party with live music, food specials, and $6 drink specials. Tickets are $25 to $90. Call 410-783-8000 or visit www.bsomusic.org.
BEYOND PSYCHO: THE GENIUS OF BERNARD HERRMANN
The man responsible for making the Hitchcock classics Psycho and Vertigo spookier and creepier than they would have been otherwise is the toast of this concert, which showcases Bernard Herrmann’s range while also suggesting, via promotional materials, that he just might be “the most underrated 20th-century American composer.” Angel Gil Ordóñez conducts the PostClassical Ensemble, in residence at the Washington National Cathedral, in a performance of excerpts from Herrmann’s famous scores — also including Citizen Kane and Taxi Driver — as well as lesser-known works, particularly those from his pioneering work in radio. Chief among these: Whitman, a 30-minute radio play from 1944 that paid homage to iconic American poet Walt Whitman. Saturday, June 1, at 7:30 p.m. Washington National Cathedral, Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues NW. Tickets are $25 to $65. Call 202-537-2228 or visit www.nationalcathedral.org.
CARLOS HENRIQUEZ NONET: GROOVING WITH DIZZY
Washington Performing Arts presents a high-energy tribute to the towering Latin jazz trumpet legend and bebop pioneer “Dizzy” Gillespie from a longtime Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra veteran. The bassist/composer and bandleader Henriquez’s own music regularly draws from ’60s-era hard bop, Afro-Cuban salsa, and classical music in a manner similar to what can be heard across Gillespie’s wide-ranging songbook, veering from “A Night in Tunisia” to “Manteca,” “Salt Peanuts” to “Tin Tin Deo.” Saturday, June 1, at 8 p.m. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $35. Call 202-408-3100 or visit www.sixthandi.org.
CONGRESSIONAL CHORUS: LET JUSTICE ROLL
The last concert in the organization’s main 2018-19 season, “Let Justice Roll…from Montgomery to Selma to Birmingham” features groundbreaking musical works shedding light on the nation’s long and painful history of racial inequality and celebrating those who have worked to bring justice, freedom, and hope to their fellow citizens. Poetry by Langston Hughes and Dominick DiOrio and songs by Sweet Honey in the Rock founder Bernice Johnson Reagon and jazz legend Billy Taylor will be featured in the concert. David Simmons, the company’s artistic director, leads the chorus and chamber ensemble in a one-night-only performance, coming a month before the organization embarks on a Civil Rights Concert Tour with stops in Georgia and Alabama. Saturday, June 1, at 7:30 p.m. National City Christian Church, 5 Thomas Circle NW. Tickets are $28 to $35. Call 202-347-2635 or visit www.congressionalchorus.org.
FLORENCE + THE MACHINE
Lead singer Florence Welch emerged sylph-like in a white diaphanous gown when she took the stage at the Anthem on the first leg of her band’s High as Hope Tour last fall. Wielding a songbook of gorgeously melodic, midtempo power-pop built to propel Welch’s soaring vocals, the band materialized a sort of sing-along, clap-along church with Florence as the twirling preacher woman channeling the evening’s “healing, juicy, feminine energy.” There were no pauses for costume changes, or grand effects. Welch’s powerful voice was the effect the audience wanted to experience. Fans at the front bestowed gifts upon her — she bestowed her own with a performance that was as piercing during the encore as on the first song. Florence stirred lyrics into a beckoning, while the Machine supplied a steady drumbeat and lush arrangements leaning on harp and strings. They return at the top of June for a show under the stars, kicking off with a set of mid-tempo, sultry, alt-R&B tunes from the queer-identified black music producer/songwriter Dev Hynes (Solange Knowles, Sky Ferreira) performed under his moniker Blood Orange. Monday, June 3. Gates at 6 p.m. Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Md. Tickets are $109.50 to $375, or $39.50 for lawn seats. Call 800-551-SEAT or visit www.merriweathermusic.com. (AH)
GAY MEN’S CHORUS OF WASHINGTON: STONEWALL 50
The final program of the season kicks off pride month through a celebration of the LGBTQ movement and a focus on music and messages of pride — including the organization’s usual musical hodgepodge of touching, funny, and/or poignant songs drawn largely from showtunes, R&B, and pop. Yet the Stonewall 50 program launches with the world premiere of a one-act musical Quiet No More: A Choral Celebration of Stonewall. Commissioned by GALA Choruses and said to be the largest collaboration in the history of LGBTQ choruses, the eight-work movement incorporates classical elements with those from musical theater, jazz, and pop, and features the voices of six diverse LGBTQ artists: composer Michael Shaieb (Through a Glass Darkly), classical pianist and producer Our Lady J, composer Julian Hornik (Giovanni’s Room), jazz singer/actress Ann Hampton Callaway, Tony-nominated actor Michael McElroy, and GALA Choruses Artistic Director Jane Ramseyer Miller. Saturday, June 1, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, June 2, at 3 p.m. Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. Tickets are $25 to $65. Call 202-888-0050 or visit www.thelincolndc.com.
JAZZ IN THE GARDEN: BILLY PRICE, SHANNON GUNN
A summertime staple for 19 seasons, the National Gallery of Art offers free outdoor concerts immediately after work every Friday through late August. Bands offering a range of jazz styles, from swing to Latin to ska, perform amidst the museum’s collection of large-scale sculptural works while patrons enjoy food and drink, including beer, wine, and sangria, as sold by the Pavilion Café. New menu items for 2019 include the popular vegetarian Teriyaki Impossible Burger, a Bahn Mi Turkey Burger with ginger soy aioli, and more traditional sandwiches of pulled pork and beef brisket, all available at grill stations throughout the Sculpture Garden. The series continues with blues and soul singer-songwriter Billy Price on May 31, followed by a DC Jazz Festival concert featuring jazz trombonist Shannon Gunn, on June 7. Evenings from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Sculpture Garden, between 7th and 9th Streets NW. Call 202-289-3360 or visit nga.gov.
MARYLAND LYRIC OPERA: AN EVENING OF PUCCINI
Excerpts from La boheme, Madama Butterfly, and Tosca — three of the Italian opera master’s most beloved emotion-filled works — will be performed by featured vocalists sopranos Maria Natale and Youna Hartgraves, mezzo-soprano Catherine Martin, tenors Yongxi Chen, Mauricio Miranda, and Marco Cammarota, and baritone SeungHyeon Baek. They will be accompanied by the 50-member Maryland Lyric Opera Orchestra under the baton of Louis Salmeno, along with concertmaster Jose Miguel Cueto and lighting designer Joan Sullivan Genthe. Friday, June 7, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, June 9, at 2 p.m. Kay Theatre in the Clarice at the University of Maryland, University Boulevard and Stadium Drive. College Park. Tickets are $10 to $60. Call 301-405-ARTS or visit www.theclarice.umd.edu.
NATIONAL ORCHESTRAL INSTITUTE AND FESTIVAL: 2019 OPENING CONCERT
On Saturday, June 1, the University of Maryland launches another edition of its annual month-long festival of professional development and music-making for young classical musicians featuring concerts pairing students with world-renowned conductors. The 2019 NOI+F opening concert offers John Morris Russell of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra and Wolf Trap Opera leading Porgy and Bess: A Concert of Songs featuring soprano and Wolf Trap Opera alum Alyson Cambridge as well as current Wolf Trap Opera baritone Joshua Conyers and D.C.’s Heritage Signature Chorale. Gerswhin’s popular orchestral suite will be performed along with rarely heard contemporaneous works by pioneering black composers Nathaniel Dett, James Reese Europe, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, and Florence Price, the latter of whom became the first black female composer represented by a major American orchestra. Saturday, June 1, at 8 p.m. Dekelboum Concert Hall in the Clarice, University Boulevard and Stadium Drive. College Park. Tickets are $20. Call 301-405-ARTS or visit www.theclarice.umd.edu.
NATIONAL PHILHARMONIC: ODES TO FREEDOM
Piotr Gajewski, who was mentored by Leonard Bernstein, leads Strathmore’s resident orchestra in the last of two programs linking the late, legendary 20th-century American composer to his 18th-century German forebear. Arguably the greatest work for full symphony in the history of Western music, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D Minor “Choral” features a towering “Ode to Joy” that in concert will be paired with Bernstein’s magical and joyful Chichester Psalms for a grand season closing concert. Featured soloists include Esther Heideman, soprano, Shirin Eskandani, mezzo-soprano, Colin Eaton, tenor, Kevin Short, baritone, and Enzo Baldanza, boy soprano. Saturday, June 1, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $29 to $88. Call 301-581-5100 or visit www.strathmore.org.
NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: DVOŘÁK’S NEW WORLD SYMPHONY
Antonin Dvořák’s folk-inspired Ninth Symphony — an ode to America — will be performed four different times next week by the National Symphony Orchestra as concerts to close out another season under the helm of Gianandrea Noseda. The Czech master’s grand and dramatic work will be showcased by itself first, on Wednesday, June 5, at 8 p.m., as the latest in a series of concerts at the casual and hip new venue the Anthem. Following that comes the usual three-concert run at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall — Thursday, June 6, at 7 p.m., Saturday, June 8, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, June 9, at 3 p.m. — as part of a program with two additional folk-inspired classical works: Manuel de Falla’s “Seven Popular Spanish Songs” featuring mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard and Aaron Copland’s cowboy ballet Billy the Kid, which evokes the grit of the Wild West anti-hero and the optimism of the everyman. Tickets to The Anthem show are $15 to $30. Tickets to the Kennedy Center performances range from $10 to $89. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.
STEVEN BLIER: 25TH ANNIVERSARY
Blier, the leader of the New York Festival of Song will be joined by fellow pianist Joseph Li and Wolf Trap Opera singers and alumni for a 25th anniversary recital celebrating his work and legacy, and likely rekindling old memories as well as creating new ones. “Special Guest Alumni” include soprano Amy Owens, mezzo-soprano Annie Rosen, tenor Frederick Ballentine, and bass Matt Boehler, with Katherine Carter returning to serve as stage director. Soprano Alexandria Shiner, mezzo-soprano Lindsay Kate Brown, tenor Ian Koziara, and baritone Johnathan McCullough represent the current Wolf Trap Opera lineup. Saturday, June 1, and Sunday, June 2, at 3 p.m. The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $48. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit www.wolftrap.org.
THE CHUCK BROWN BAND
The godfather of go-go may have died in 2012, but his namesake band with its signature D.C. sound keeps go-going. The jazz festival staple and powerhouse ensemble of danceable funk and soul grooves next performs at the Hamilton in a concert featuring an opening set from the Let It Flow Band, another homegrown go-go band. Sunday, May 26. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $24.75 to $29.75. Call 202-787-1000 or visit www.thehamiltondc.com.
THE IN SERIES & INNOVĀTIŌ: THE TALE OF SERSE
The plot to Serse, Handel’s vibrant, Italian-language opera, is streamlined into a simple story of love in a new In Series production. Director Timothy Nelson intends to transform the 18th-century work by broadening its appeal to today’s culturally sensitive audiences. The Tale of Serse features new spoken narration, crafted from the poetry of Rumi in a nod to the story’s Iranian roots, with scenic calligraphy and painting by artist Parinaz Bahadori of the Iranian-American Community Center. Janna Critz performs as Serse, leading a seven-member cast including Jaely Chamberlain, Dawn Rae Warren, Madelyn Wanner Salazar, Cara Gonzalez, Jarrod Lee, and Antony Zwerdling. Finally, Handel’s magnetic and visionary score is rendered by the In Series’ new period instrumental ensemble Innovātiō featuring Nelson as conductor and harpsicordist. Saturday, June 1 and 8, at 8p.m., and Sunday, June 2 and 9, at 3 p.m. Lang Theatre in the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $20 to $45. Call 202-399-7993 or visit www.atlasarts.org.
WASHINGTON PERFORMING ARTS GOSPEL CHOIRS: LEVEL NEXT
Fixtures of the regional gospel scene, with more than 50 years of gospel music history between them, the two namesake choirs of the organization Washington Performing Arts — the Men and Women of the Gospel and the Children of the Gospel — take the stage together for an evening of celebration and affirmation, closing out the season with a bang. Grammy-nominated singer and D.C. gospel legend Richard Smallwood and the D.C.-based singer and choir director Monique Steele-Griffiths will make special guest appearances at the concert, intended as both a showcase of gospel’s proud legacy as well as a glimpse into its future. Theodore Thorpe III leads the adults while Michele Fowlin is the artistic director for the children. Friday, June 7, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $40 to $75. Call 301-581-5100 or visit www.strathmore.org.
Dance Africa: Nick Gwynn of Coyaba Dance Theater — Jonathan Hsu
DANCEAFRICA DC: 32ND ANNIVERSARY
Dance Place hosts this annual celebration paying tribute to the vibrancy of African heritage through dance, music, visual arts, food, clothing and crafts. The core of the five-day festival is an African Outdoor Marketplace, where vendors sell food and wares on 8th Street in front of the venue in Brookland. Various local dance artists and groups will also perform either indoors or on an outdoor stage, including Sylvia Soumah as Griot, Coyaba Dance Theater, Farafina Kan, African Heritage Dancers and Drummers, Soul in Motion, Ezibu Muntu, Kankouran West African Dance Company, Ni Dembaya, Sankofa Dance Theater, Taratibu, Tam Tam Mandingue, Duende/Vibe Quartet, DC Casineros, Malcolm X Dancers & Drummers, National Hand Dance Association, and Sahel. DanceAfrica also offers several Master Classes, this year led by Coyaba Dance Theater, on Thursday, May 30, at 6:30 p.m., Ezibu Muntu on Saturday, June 1, at 9:30 a.m., and Farafina Kan on Sunday, June 2, at 9:30 a.m. Main stage performances are Friday, May 31, at 8 p.m., Saturday, June 1, at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday, June 2, at 2 p.m. 3225 8th St. NE. Tickets for performances are $15 to $30, while Master Classes run $17 each. Call 202-269-1600 or visit www.danceplace.org.
RITMO FLAMENCO: DOS ALMAS
When two souls meet each other on a path, the interaction becomes much more than an encounter than it is exchange, a dialogue in which they learn to coexist, listen, seek freedom, and find harmony in an imperfect world. Ritmo Flamenco explores such possibilities through the interaction of dance and music as performed by dancers Anna Menendez and Pam de Ocampo, and musicians, singer and percussionist Francisco Orozco “Yiyi” and guitarist Ricardo Marlow. Friday, May 31, and Saturday, June 1, at 8 p.m. Lab Theatre I in the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $35 to $45. Call 202-399-7993 or visit www.atlasarts.org.
KWEENDOM: A STAND-UP & STORYTELLING SHOWCASE
Bobby Hankinson of Awkward Sex and the City hosts a diverse, all-LGBTQ lineup for a pride-pegged foray to D.C. from the New York-based comedy show Kweendom. The showcase, a benefit for the DC Center for the LGBT Community, which will be given 20 percent of proceeds, features Gabe Gonzalez of Scruff’s ‘Hosting,’ Jessica Henderson of Upright Citizens Brigade, Veronica Garza of MTV, and Calvin S. Cato of Oxygen. Thursday, June 6. Doors at 7:30 p.m. Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. Tickets are $15. Call 202-667-4490 or visit www.blackcatdc.com.
BOOKS IN BLOOM FESTIVAL
Presented by the Downtown Columbia Partnership, this annual festival offers readings, panel discussions, children’s activities, live music, curated culinary offerings, a beer garden, and a pop-up bookstore by Busboys and Poets. This year’s event moves to the newly renovated Merriweather Post Pavilion and nods to LGBTQ history and pride with “Looking for the Rainbow: Celebrating Pride 50 Years After Stonewall,” a track featuring authors Matthew Riemer and Leighton Brown of We Are Everywhere: Protest, Power, and Pride in the History of Queer Liberation and Charles Kaiser of The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America. Other hot-button topics that will be explored via discussions with participating authors include “Documenting Immigration: Sharing Perspectives with the Next Generation” with Laura Wides-Munoz of The Making of a Dream: How a Group of Young Undocumented Immigrants Helped Change What It Means to be American and Nadia Hashimi of The Sky at Our Feet; “Rising Up + Speaking Out: Black Feminism Today” with Feminista Jones of Reclaiming Our Space: How Black Feminists Are Changing the World from the Tweets to the Streets and Brittney Cooper of Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower; and “Graphic Memoirs + POC Voices: The Surprising New Narrative” with Malaka Gharib of I Was Their American Dream: A Graphic Memoir and Mira Jacob of Good Talk. This year’s headliner is celebrity chef José Andrés, author of We Fed An Island, who will be joined by at least two other chef/authors: Kwame Onwuachi of D.C.’s Kith & Kin and author of Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir and Edward Lee of Succotash and Buttermilk Graffiti: A Chef’s Journey to Discover America’s New Melting-Pot Cuisine. Additional authors to be featured at Books in Bloom include Bob Yule of Spirits, Sugar, Water, Bitters: How the Cocktail Conquered the World, Abby Maslin of Love You Hard: A Memoir of Marriage, Brain Injury, and Reinventing Love, Maurice Jackson of DC Jazz: Stories of Jazz Music in Washington, DC, and Anna Palmer with co-author Jake Sherman of The Hill to Die On: The Battle for Congress and the Future of Trump’s America. Sunday, June 2, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 10475 Little Patuxent Pkwy. Free but reservations requested. Call 410-964-4984 or visit www.dtcpartnership.com/booksinbloom.
CAPTURING FIRE: QUEER SPOKEN WORD SUMMIT & SLAM
Since its inception in 2010, Capturing Fire is still “the only event of its kind.” Organizer and producer Regie Cabico intends the two-day spoken word and poetry festival, presented by the DC Center, to be a refuge and retreat for LGBTQ poets. “We’re performing in non-queer venues all the time — bars and coffeehouses,” Cabico told Metro Weekly in 2017. “I just wanted to create a kind of Underground Railroad for queer poets to better know and support each other.” Friday, May 31, and Saturday, June 1. Most events, including the 9th annual slam competition, take place at Takoma Busboys & Poets, 234 Carroll St. NW. An AllPass costs $50, with tickets to Saturday’s Semi-Final and Final Slam $25 for both. Call 202-682-2245 or visit www.capfireslam.org.
ART & EXHIBITS
AMERICAN DEMOCRACY: A GREAT LEAP OF FAITH
A display of prominent artifacts highlighting the history of citizen participation, debate and compromise from the nation’s formation to today. The American experiment is still alive, if not altogether well at the moment, but it has endured rough times before. This exhibition, at the Smithsonian’s American History Museum, highlights the various ways in which leading figures have strived to make the country “a more perfect union.” Objects include Thomas Jefferson’s portable desk he used to draft the Declaration of Independence, the inkstand Abraham Lincoln used to draft the Emancipation Proclamation, and the table on which Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote the Declaration of Sentiments. Ongoing. 14th St. and Constitution Ave. NW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit www.americanhistory.si.edu.
DUPONT-KALORAMA MUSEUMS CONSORTIUM WALK WEEKEND
The Phillips Collection and four other historical museums offer free admission as part of this 36th annual event. The participating museums are Anderson House (2118 Massachusetts Ave. NW), Woodrow Wilson House (2340 S St. NW), Dumbarton House (2715 Q St. NW) and the National Museum of American Jewish Military History (1811 R St. NW) in addition to the Phillips at 1600 21 St. NW. Saturday, June 1, and Sunday, June 2, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit www.dkmuseums.com.
LGBTQ+ ART SHOW
Housed in the former Palmer Ford building along with the original Vigilante Coffee, Maryland’s Studio SoHy — short for South Hyattsville — readies its next exhibition: a group show curated by KAY with a focus on works by 13 local LGBTQ artists as diverse as they are and the community is. The opening reception is Saturday, June 1, from 6 to 8 p.m. 4327 Gallatin St., Hyattsville, Md. Visit www.studiosohy.com.
QUEER AS GERMAN FOLK: CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF TRANSATLANTIC RAINBOW FRIENDSHIP
The Goethe-Institut Washington and the DC Center for the LGBT Community have teamed up for a joint, two-part exploratory exhibition featuring a hands-on deconstructed archive that visitors can browse at their own pace and according to their own interests. The archive includes materials drawn from the Schwules Museum Berlin as well as D.C.-based archives and partner resources such as the Rainbow History Project, Whitman-Walker Health, local photographer Elvert Barnes, and the DC Public Library. The similarities and differences in the push for LGBTQ equality in both capitals will be highlighted. Now to Aug. 23. Geothe-Institut/German Cultural Center, 1990 K St. NW. Ste. 03. Also The DC Center, 2000 14th St. NW. Ste. 105. Free. Visit www.goethe.de/washington and www.thedccenter.org.
SARAH GEE MILLER: UNIVERSAL REMOTE
A Vancouver-based Canadian artist who makes her solo debut in D.C. with an exhibition at the Long View Gallery that features what Miller has referred to as “new work, new ideas, new colors to flood your brain with endorphins.” The artist’s specialty is in vibrantly colored hard-edge abstract collage and geometric ink drawings, sometimes both in one — a combination of painting with collage that can start to look like sculpture. Opening reception is Thursday, May 30, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. On display through July 14. 1234 9th St. NW. Call 202-232-4788 or visit www.longviewgallery.com.
Sunday Supper at Union Market — Photo: Joy Asico
FOOD & DINING
SUNDAY SUPPER BENEFIT AT UNION MARKET
Eight of the nation’s best chefs and culinary experts — half of them women — will prepare a Latin-inspired family-style feast for this annual event, a communal dining outing that helps boost women’s roles in the culinary field. Created and hosted by Union Market’s parent company Edens, Sunday Supper has become the primary fundraiser for the James Beard Foundation-run Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Program, a multifaceted initiative — originally spearheaded by Edens’ CEO Jodie W. McLean — that strives to boost the number and presence of women leaders in the food industry. This year’s 8th event will feature culinary creations from four women: chefs Mary Sue Milliken of Border Grill Restaurants (Los Angeles, Las Vegas), Daniela Moreira of Timber Pizza and Call Your Mother (D.C.), and Johanna Hellrigl of Bird’s Eye Coffee Bar & Eatery (D.C.), and acclaimed public TV host/cookbook author Pati Jinich of Pati’s Mexican Table. The event will also include dishes that will serve as a kind of preview of culinary attractions on tap when Union Market’s Latin American offshoot La Cosecha opens next month with: chefs Juan Manuel Barrientos of El Cielo (Miami, Bogota), Sebastian Quiroga of vegan-oriented Ali Pacha (Bolivia), Christian Irabien of Amparo Fondita (formerly of Oyamel), and Frederico Tishler of White Envelope Arepa + Ceviche Bar (Baltimore). The dinner program will be paired with wines curated by Latin wine shop Grand Cata, while a Cocktail Reception will offer specialty drinks from District Fishwife, Chaia, Colada Shop, Pervuian Brothers, La Casita, and Buffalo & Bergen. It all ends, naturally, on a sweet note or three, via a Dessert Reception with selections from Pluma, Buttercream Bakeshop, Kith & Kim, Arcay Chocolates, Dolcezza, and Ice Cream Jubilee. Sunday, June 2, starting at 5 p.m. Union Market, 1309 5th St. NE. Tickets are $275 per person. Visit www.unionmarketdc.com/sundaysupper.
Monumental Theatre Company: Flip Flop
ABOVE AND BEYOND
A DRAG SALUTE TO DIVAS AND DEVOS
Local drag sensation Shi-Queeta Lee returns to the Kennedy Center with her talented troupe of local drag queens — and a king or two — to pay lip-synched tribute to the likes of Beyonce, Cardi B., Whitney Houston, Marvin Gaye, and Lady Gaga. Long a fixture at Town Danceboutique and Nellie’s Sports Bar, Lee is probably best known for her breathtaking, high-energy impersonation of Tina Turner, or her fluttering and full-figured Diana Ross. She tours this revue to venues around town and across the region as a way to celebrate “diversity and individuality in hopes of inspiring millions to embrace their differences.” Wednesday, June 5, at 6 p.m. Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. Free. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.
FLIP FLOP REVERSE CABARET
Award-winning, millennial-focused, LGBTQ-run professional theater troupe Monumental presents its fifth annual fundraiser next weekend at a new venue: Pitchers. Helmed by the company’s Jimmy Mavrikes and Michael Windsor, the cabaret features a variety of local talent, this year led by stage actress Dani Stoller as host, all of whom are encouraged to explore and experiment with performing in a range of genres and styles — from pop to Broadway — with a focus on singing “songs they never get to sing.” The lineup includes Rachel Barlaam, Solomon Parker, Christian Montgomery, Nigel Rowe, Kanysha Williams, Kylie Smith, and Jyline Carranza, plus additional performance and guitar accompaniment throughout from Harrison Smith. Warren Freeman oversees the show’s music direction while David Singleton handles choreography. Saturday, June 1, at 7:30 p.m. 2317 18th St. NW. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. Call 202-733-2568 or visit www.monumentaltheate.org.
LIVE FROM HERE WITH CHRIS THILE
Chris Thile, the progressive bluegrass musician who is also a member of Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers, replaced the retiring Garrison Keillor in the fall of 2016 as host of this popular public radio variety show, formerly and famously known as A Prairie Home Companion. The show definitely has a more youthful energy to it under the direction of the 38-year-old Thile, but otherwise it’s still as folksy and familiar as ever. Guster, Adia Victoria, Matt Braunger, and Madison Cunningham are special guests for this year’s live taping from the Filene Center stage at Wolf Trap. Saturday, June 1, at 5:45 p.m. The Filene Center at Wolf Trap, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $45 to $125, or $30 lawn seats. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit www.wolftrap.org.
THE ASK RAYCEEN SHOW: COMEDY SHOWCASE
Rayceen Pendarvis hosts the monthly LGBTQ variety show with June featuring stand-up routines by Anthony Oakes, Beverly “Miss Chocolate” White, and Gina Brown, with live music from Grammy-nomainted singer Carolyn Malachi per the Listening Lounge segment. Additional interviews, a raffle, vendors, food, and a cash bar will also be on tap. Wednesday, June 5, beginning at 6 p.m. HRC Equality Center, 1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW. Call 800-777-4723 or visit www.AskRayceen.com.