Capital Fringe Festival: A People’s History — Ursa Waz
A PEOPLE’S HISTORY
Mike Daisey is kicking off the Capital Fringe festival a few days early and in spectacular style. Rather than perform just one show as part of his new partnership with Fringe, the provocative stage monologist, known to Woolly Mammoth audiences for 2016’s The Trump Card and 2011’s The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, will be performing 18 full-length monologues, nearly one per show during the production’s 21-date run.
The arguments he’s making about American history — and particularly what the average American wasn’t taught and doesn’t know on the subject — amount to a 30-hour production. Daisey’s work tells a tale of two American histories, taking its title from Howard Zinn’s decades-old but still eye-opening account A People’s History of the United States. The other source? The U.S. History textbook his teacher at his rural Maine high school taught from 25 years ago.
Flipping back and forth between the two helps Daisey, according to the promotional material, “confront the legacy of our nation, our complicity, our responsibility, and the future.”
Opens Friday, July 5. Runs to July 28. The Cradle in Arena Stage’s Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Tickets are $35 for each theatergoer’s first performance, $20 for any subsequent performance. Fringe Festival passes not applicable to this production. Call 202-488-3300 or visit www.arenastage.org.
Singing in the Rain
SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN
Landmark’s Capital Classics series presents one of the greatest Hollywood musicals ever made. Set during the early days of talkies and a rollicking satire of the era in Hollywood, Singin’ In The Rain traces the seismic transition from silence to speech in film, as matinee idol Gene Kelly and his partner Donald O’Connor search for a solution to a dud film and a shrill co-star. Debbie Reynolds saves the day in this all-singing, all-dancing visual spectacle from 1952 that made Reynolds a star. Wednesday, July 10, 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 Object is of NoImportance — Photo: Tony Hitchcock
GWEN & IDA: THE OBJECT IS OF NO IMPORTANCE
Nu Sass Productions and Uncle Funsy team up to present the world-premiere of a play about two of history’s forgotten heroines, penned by David S. Kessler. Not one to hold back, Ida has opinions about what happened to neglected painter Gwen John, who becomes her case in point when she asks Jack for a break. Lynn Sharp Spears directs Aubri O’Connor, Rebecca Ellis, and Matty Griffith in the production. To June 29. Caos on F, 923 F St. NW. Tickets are $20. visit www.nusass.com.
Matilda — Photo: Stan Barouh
MATILDA THE MUSICAL
Adapted by Dennis Kelly from Roald Dahl’s book, the award-winning show, with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, centers on a precocious young girl discovering her magical powers while also coming to the realization that ours is a cruel world full of dastardly people. (If only she could think of some way to change things.) In the hands of director Peter Flynn, fresh from his wry and whimsical Into The Woods at Ford’s Theatre, everyone should find joy, if not magic, at Olney. The sharp cast is worth noting too, including Felicia Curry, Rayanne Gonzales, Tracy Lynn Olivera, Michael Mainwaring, and Tom Story as — what else? — a villain in drag. Now to July 21. Olney Mainstage, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road. Call 301-924-3400 or visit www.olneytheatre.org.
Nick Murphy — Photo: Willy Lukatis
When he first emerged on the international pop scene nearly a decade ago, Australian Nick Murphy adopted the moniker Chet Faker in slighly cheeky homage to jazz musician Chet Baker. In recent years Murphy dropped that alias, to disabuse people of any notion that this is a tribute act. His 2017 EP Missing Link and this year’s full-length Run Fast Sleep Naked are noteworthy sets of eclectic tunes in a signature hybrid style one might call atmospheric electronic-folk. Murphy’s music is a dazzling hodgepodge of electro-pop, rock, and hip-hop. The New York-based electronic duo Beacon opens. Wednesday, July 10. Doors at 7 p.m. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $36, including a $1 donation to PLUS1. Call 202-265-0930 or visit www.930.com.
One of the best singer-songwriters to emerge from the 1990s neo-soul movement, Angie Stone has a penchant for mid-tempo balladry, balancing modern hip-hop’s breezy beats with old-school soul humidity. After forays into other realms of the entertainment industry — including playing herself in the final two seasons of TV One’s R&B Divas: Atlanta — Stone has fully returned to music and touring in 2019. Full Circle, her ninth studio set and first in four years, is expected next month — a week after her debut at City Winery DC, in fact. Friday, July 5. Doors at 8:45 p.m. 1350 Okie St. NE. Tickets are $55 to $65. Call 202-250-2531 or visit www.citywinery.com.
Chocolate Lounge: Black Burlesque Revue — Photo: Stereo Vision
THE CHOCOLATE LOUNGE BURLESQUE SHOW
Burlesque and the art of striptease will be represented at this year’s DC Black Theatre & Arts Festival through a revue featuring local burlesque artist GiGi Holliday and performers of color from D.C. and Baltimore, all accompanied by a live band. “We are celebrating the history of the past, creating history in the present, and ensuring that black burlesque has a future,” says Holliday in an official release. “These performers are pulling out all the stops to delight you, mesmerize you, and most of all, entertain you with black girl magic and black boy joy.” Thursday, June 27, at 7 p.m., and Saturday, June 29, at 9 p.m. THEARC, 1901 Mississippi Ave. SE. Tickets are $15. Call 202-889-5901 or visit www.dcblacktheatrefestival.com/chocolate-lounge.
Do the Right Thing
DO THE RIGHT THING
Spike Lee’s joint from 1989 screens for a one-week-only run at the AFI Silver Theatre as a toast to its 30th anniversary with a new 4K restoration and exclusive behind-the-scenes pre-show montage. Do The Right Thing, which introduced the world to Martin Lawrence and Rosie Perez, has been lauded by AFI as one of the greatest films of all time. And yet, because of its forthright examination of persistent racial tensions that stoke violence, it’s also one of “The 25 Most Controversial Movies Ever,” according to Entertainment Weekly. It’s worth adding that Public Enemy’s “Fight The Power,” the hip-hop classic that was written for the movie as its theme song, also registers every bit as timely and provocative today as back then. Opens Friday, June 28. 8633 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring. Tickets are $13. Call 301-495-6720 or visit www.afi.com/afidocs.
A Capitol Fourth
A CAPITOL FOURTH
Everyone who calls the nation’s capital home should experience the National Symphony Orchestra’s A Capitol Fourth concert at least once in their lifetimes. The lineup makes a strong argument in favor of doing so this year — most notably for fans of singer-songwriter Carole King, who will perform along with the Broadway cast of the King-centric musical Beautiful. John Stamos returns to host the 39th annual show, held on Thursday, July 4, starting at 8 p.m. on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. (It will be simulcast on PBS for you homebodies.) Scheduled performers include Lindsey Stirling, Keala Settle, Vanessa Williams, Lee Brice, Colbie Caillat, Yolanda Adams, Laine Hardy, Angelica Hale, Maelyn Jarmon, and the cast of Sesame Street. And then there’s the NSO, led by Jack Everly, in a performance of American favorites and classical masterworks — culminating a few minutes after 9 p.m. with Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and the soundtrack to what organizers tout as “the biggest, most distinctive fireworks display in the nation.” Free but get there early to claim a spot. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org/nso for more information.
A former Strathmore Artist-in-Residence, Urquiaga has made a gradual move away from classical compositions and into pop. Last summer, he served as music director for Signature Theatre’s cabaret “Everything Elvis” and also performed at the venerable Blues Alley. He’s released two pop albums — I’m Here and Complete — and calls his style of music a blend of pop with R&B and Latin influences, owing to his Brazilian and Peruvian heritage. Currently working on his third Latin pop album, Urquiaga is likely to give a sneak peek into some of his newer material at a concert at DC9 at the end of the month that features two other D.C.-based artists as opening acts. There’s the gritty rock/folk quintet Rock Creek Kings, which was formed by songwriters Evan Sharess, Jonah Belser, and Erich Collins and also features jazz saxophonist Christopher Lawrence and bassist Evan St. John. And there’s also Anjali Taneja, a jazzy/R&B artist of Indian descent who is in at least one sense following in Urquiaga’s footsteps: She’s a current Artist-in-Residence at Strathmore. Sunday, June 30. Doors at 7:30 p.m. 1940 9th St. NW. Tickets are $10. Call 202-483-5000 or www.dcnine.com.
Livingston Taylor — Photo: Mim Adkins
He’s the fourth of five in a family where pretty much everyone has worked as a musician or singer at some point and in some fashion — although none of them as famously as the second-born James. As it happens, James and Livingston work and perform together every now and then, and the two-years-older Taylor has even had a few hits with songs written by Liv, including “I Can Dream of You” and “Boatman.” A longtime professor at Berklee College of Music, Livingston celebrated his 50th year in the music business in 2017 by releasing Safe Home, which includes both original tunes as well as covers of showtunes and standards, including “Over The Rainbow,” (an update of his original 1973 cover of the classic) “Penny Lane,” “People Will Say We’re In Love” from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!, and “Try To Remember” from The Fantasticks — any of which would sound great performed live. Friday, June 28. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $24.75 to $49.75. Call 202-787-1000 or visit www.thehamiltondc.com.