Forky and Woody in Disney/Pixar’s “Toy Story 4”
This year’s 17th annual documentary film festival, bringing global stories and experiences to the heart of our nation’s capital, will screen 72 films of varying length. And this weekend brings screenings of two feature-length LGBTQ-themed documentaries: Gay Chorus Deep South, a look at the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus and its tour, with the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, to faith-based communities in red states after the 2016 election, screening Friday, June 21, at Landmark’s E Street Cinema (555 11th St. NW), and Saturday, June 22, at 2:30 p.m. at the AFI Silver (8633 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring); and a 30th anniversary screening of Tongues Untied, Marlon T. Riggs’s revolutionary and moving film that gave voice to the discriminatory struggles as well as the artistic expression of communities of black gay men, incorporating poetry, music, performance, and autobiographical revelations into the mix, on Friday, June 21, at 9 p.m., at E Street. Other notable titles exploring this year’s theme exploring artists and their contributions to the creative world include Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am, David Crosby: Remember My Name, Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool, Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements, Shangri-La, The Apollo, and Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice — the latter the latest from the Oscar-winning gay filmmaking duo Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (The Times of Harvey Milk). Festival runs to June 23. Tickets are $12 to $15 each; $50 for the opening night film; passes are available starting at $150. Call 301-495-6720 or visit www.afi.com/afidocs.
A week after Tongues Untied screens as part of AFI Docs, AFI showcases another, even earlier groundbreaking LGBTQ-themed documentary. Greta Schiller’s 1984 film, narrated by Rita Mae Brown, charts the evolution of LGBTQ life and culture in America from the early 1900s to the early ’80s, when the modern LGBTQ movement was still emerging. Before Stonewall: The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community features eye-opening historical footage and illuminating interviews with some brave, openly LGBTQ pioneers, from Harry Hay, Frank Kameny, and Barbara Gittings, to Audre Lorde, Richard Bruce Nugent, and Allen Ginsberg. A salute to pride and to the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, the run, ending on the 4th of July, kicks off with a special screening and introduction by Montgomery County Councilmember Evan Glass on Thursday, June 27, at 7 p.m. 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $13 general admission. Call 301-495-6720 or visit www.afi.com/Silver.
DC SHORTS: LAUGHS
Three local stand-ups introduce a slate of comedic shorts in this popular annual program from the DC Film Alliance and the DC Shorts International Film Festival. The evening will feature Natalie McGill, a correspondent and writer for the political satire show Redacted Tonight on RT America, Baltimore’s Chris Lawrence, and original Funniest Fed competition winner Freddi Vernell. Six shorts will be screened: Cat Ventura’s Holly Goes to Therapy, following a troubled woman participating in an unconventional therapy session; Bastien Alexandre’s How Tommy Lemenchick Became a Grade 7 Legend, about an 11-year-old girl’s scheme to score her first kiss; Margaret Bialis’ Opening Night, which finds a man reflecting on his past with a humorous, musical twist; Alejandro Saevich’s Marmartuile, about an international conflict that erupts in the final days of the president of Mexico’s term in office; Robert Bruce Carter’s WHAM, showing the ripple effect that results after two people fall violently in love on the sidewalk; and David Malouf’s The Pharaohs, a fictional dark comedy about the “mean girls” in a senior living facility and based on the screenplay that won the 2017 DC Shorts Screenwriting competition. Beverages, including beer and wine, and snacks will be available. Friday, June 21, at 7 and 9 p.m. The Miracle Theatre, 535 8th St. SE. Tickets are $20. Call 202-400-3210 or visit www.laughs.dcshorts.com.
Tom Hanks stars as a man with a unique outlook and history-bending experiences in Robert Zemeckis’ endearing comedy, a summer blockbuster that went on to become the top-grossing film of 1994 as well as the recipient of six Oscars, including Best Picture, Actor (Hanks), and Director (Zemeckis). Forrest Gump and his folksy ways and wisdom — bolstered by an all-star supporting cast including Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson, and Sally Field — returns to the big screen 25 years later courtesy of Fathom Events and Paramount Pictures. Sunday, June 23, and Tuesday, June 25, at 3 and 7 p.m. Area theaters including Regal venues at Gallery Place (701 7th St. NW), Potomac Yards Stadium (3575 Jefferson Davis Highway), and Rockville Center (199 East Montgomery Avenue). Visit www.fathomevents.com.
The colorful street style and music of Nairobi’s vibrant youth culture is the backdrop to a tender love story between two young women in a country where homosexuality is still a criminal act. Despite the political rivalry between their families, Kena and Ziki encourage each other to pursue their dreams in Kenya’s conservative society. Wanuri Kahiu directs Rafiki, which screens as one of two films in Reel Affirmations’ Xtra monthly film series this month. Thursday, June 27, at 9 p.m. Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Tickets are $14. Call 202-452-7672 or visit www.thedccenter.org/events/rafiki.
Rocketman isn’t a straight-laced biopic. It’s best described as a musical fantasy biopic drama — a mouthful that only begins to scratch the surface of its enjoyable take on Elton John’s early years, his first break into music, and then his descent into drug-and-alcohol-fuelled hedonism. And it does it all while being a sung-through, choreographed, honest-to-goodness musical. Director Dexter Fletcher’s film is a constant visual splendor, held together by Taron Egerton’s incredible performance. Egerton makes Elton’s songs his own, and in turn produces a characterization that, while injected with perhaps a touch too much square-jawed machismo, brings to life a charismatic, deeply flawed, sympathetic man who has it all but deep down yearns only to be loved. In a world of straight-laced biopics, Rocketman tries for something different, and it thoroughly succeeds. Now playing. Area theaters. Visit www.fandango.com. (Rhuaridh Marr)
STEAM ROOM STORIES: THE MOVIE!
A bawdy comedy from JC Calciano, the niche Hollyood director of Is It Just Me? and The 10 Year Plan. This movie adaptation stars what promotional materials simply refer to as “a bunch of handsome hunks” who are as seemingly allergic to shirts. Top billing goes to former porn star Traci Lords, the movie’s villainess Sally Fay. The failing cosmetics magnate becomes convinced that fame, fortune, and the fountain of youth are all within her grasp — with only a gym full of gay himbos standing in her way. Thursday, June 27, at 7 and 9 p.m. Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Tickets are $14. Call 202-452-7672 or visit www.thedccenter.org/events/steamroomstories.
THE MASTERS OF SILENT COMEDY
The Avalon Theatre presents a program featuring three classic silent films, with live musical accompaniment, from the same era that birthed the historic movie house in D.C.’s Chevy Chase neighborhood nearly a century ago. Charlie Chaplin’s The Adventurer from 1917, Buster Keaton’s One Week from 1920, and Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy’s Habeas Corpus from 1928 will screen while their original orchestral scores, all restored by conductor Andrew Greene, are performed by the Peacherine Ragtime Society Orchestra. Hailed by the Washington Post as “the premier American ragtime ensemble,” Peacherine was founded by Greene nearly a decade ago when he was just a student at the University of Maryland. Thursday, June 27, at 7:30 p.m. Avalon Theatre, 5612 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets are $25. Call 202-966-6000 or visit www.theavalon.org.
In her new documentary, conceptual artist Jill Magid attempts to resurrect the art and legacy of revered Mexican modernist architect Luis Barragán. His eye-catching, colorful, yet naturalistically harmonious designs made him one of the world’s most celebrated artists of the 20th century, but his stature has been diminished in the decades since his death in 1988 and the subsequent acquisition by a Swiss design company to his archives and all rights to his name as well as reproductions of his work. Magid’s provocative documentary — the title of which refers to a controversial but compelling offer to Barragán’s Swiss overseers from the filmmaker, with the blessing of Barragán’s Mexican family — explores critical issues over artistic legacy, ownership, and responsibility. Opens Friday, June 21. Landmark’s West End Cinema, 2301 M St. NW. Call 202-534-1907 or visit www.landmarktheatres.com.
The popular Capital Classics series at Landmark’s West End Cinema presents a new 4K digital restoration of Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 psychological horror masterpiece, whose influences are still felt in the genre today. Based on Stephen King’s bestselling novel, Kubrick’s creepy, stylized film stars Jack Nicholson as aspiring writer Jack Torrance, who is tipped over the edge by all of the deranged, venge-seeking supernatural forces haunting the cavernous, empty, isolated hotel where he serves as winter caretaker. Wednesday, June 26, 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.
TOY STORY 4
Toy Story 3 was a perfect coda to a trilogy of films that demonstrated a masterful dedication to filmmaking, voice-acting, and all-ages scripting. It was an emotional sucker punch of childhood-evoking nostalgia, and a tear-jerking reminder that animation can produce feelings both equal to and beyond that of live action. Did Disney and Pixar really need to make a fourth one? Is it truly because they found a story worth telling beyond the original three, or is it just to print even more money for the company? Head here to read our review and find out, but here’s something worth noting: Tim Allen said last year that the story was “so emotional” he struggled to record the last scene, and Tom Hanks called the ending a “moment in history.” We’re taking that to mean “bring every tissue you own, and some more for good measure.” Opens Friday, June 21. Area theaters. Visit www.fandango.com. (RM)
Pointless Theatre: Forest Treas — Photo: C. Stanley
A DOLL’S HOUSE, PART 2
Holly Twyford, Craig Wallace, and Nancy Robinette lead a powerhouse cast in this clever and sharp “sequel” to the Ibsen classic, circa 1879 from contemporary playwright Lucas Hnath (currently represented on Broadway with Hillary and Clinton). Nicole A. Watson directs a Round House Theatre production staged at the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s secondary house while the Bethesda company’s venue undergoes a dramatic renovation. To June 30. Lansburgh Theatre, 450 7th St. NW. Call 202-547-1122 or visit www.roundhousetheatre.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. 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.
Playwright Evan Linder’s uncompromising exploration of race, family, and betrayal in the American South comes to D.C. in a new Kennedy Center production after an award-winning run in Chicago in 2016. The heartfelt comedy focuses on a young white couple in love — who get the surprise of their lives and become the talk of their small southern town when their first child is born biracial. Jack Falahee and Caroline Neff play the lovebirds in a cast also featuring Aimé Donna Kelly, Blake Morris, and Cecelia Wingate. Kimberly Senior directs. Now to July 7. Terrace Theater. Tickets are $25 to $89. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.
DESCRIBE THE NIGHT
The stories of seven lost souls are connected across decades by history, fiction, lies, and blood in the latest play from Pulitzer Prize-finalist Rajiv Joseph (Guards at the Taj), based on the diary of Russian Jewish writer Isaac Babel. Recipient of the 2018 Obie Award for Best New American Play, Describe the Night makes it D.C. debut in a Woolly Mammoth Theatre production directed by John Vreeke and featuring Tim Getman and Kate Eastwood Norris as part of a cast also including Moriamo Temidayo Akibu, Regina Aquino, Danny Gavigan, Jonathan David Martin, and Justin Weaks. To June 23. 641 D St. NW. Call 202-393-3939 or visit www.woollymammoth.net.
It’s a notable achievement that William Finn and James Lapine’s musical is touring the country now, nearly 30 years after the show became one of the first to present gay life and same-sex love on Broadway. Yet far from being outdated, the two-time Tony-winning musical has proven it still resonates with contemporary audiences, even those seeing it for the first time in the current Lincoln Center Theater production, once again directed by Lapine. For one thing, there’s the story, which fundamentally is about the rewards and ramifications of coming out and being true to oneself — as timely as ever. And then there’s the music, which elevates the show to another level, says Nick Adams, currently playing the role of Whizzer opposite Max von Essen as Marvin. “The score really has some of the most beautiful melodies in the musical theater catalog,” Adams says. “And that’s the thing — people get wrapped up in the emotion that’s carried in the songs. It’s just fantastic. But as a full piece, to see it — God, it’s a ride.” To June 23. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $49 to $139. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.
Pointless Theatre presents a newly commissioned work devised by company member Navid Azeez and inspired by the Beltway Sniper from 2002, in which a neighborhood on the outskirts of the city decides to put cameras everywhere and live-stream what transpires. What could possibly go wrong? Directed by Kelly Colburn, Forest Treás — pronounced as “Triage” — examines the unforeseen effects of the Information Age on a community in violent crisis. The setting has been described as “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood meets Dogville, with live video-streaming as a form of post-modern puppetry.” Now to June 30. Dance Loft on 14 Theater, 4618 14th St. NW 2nd Floor. Tickets are $15 to $32. Call 202-733-6321 or visit www.pointlesstheatre.com.
Grease — Photo: Jeri Tidwell
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. 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.
Journey deep into the wild and wonderful walls of Grey Gardens, where it all began for the legendary mother-daughter duo, and follow along as they become the Edies, Big and Little. Now to July 13. Richmond Triangle Players, The Robert B. Moss Theatre, 1300 Altamont Ave. Richmond. Call 804-346-8113 or visit www.rtriangle.org.
Tony-winning Broadway legend Betty Buckley (the original Grizabella in Cats) stars as Dolly Levi, following in the formidable footsteps of Bette Midler and Bernadette Peters (and way before them, Carol Channing and Barbra Streisand). The touring production of Jerry Herman’s masterpiece, per Jerry Zaks’ swell Tony-winning revival, now settles in for a month-long run at the Kennedy Center. Also starring Lewis J. Stadlen. To July 7. Opera House. Tickets are $49 to $159. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.
Six theater companies and more than 40 artists will team up in creative collaborations led by Rorschach Theatre Company, joined this year by representatives from Theater Alliance, Solas Nua, Longacre Lea, Flying V Theatre, and We Happy Few. Named after a childhood game that later inspired Hermann Rorschach’s famous Inkblot Test, Klecksography embraces the metaphor of that test by showing all participating artists a single, distinctive piece of visual art. They will then work together in assorted teams of directors, playwrights, actors, and filmmakers to create 12 new stage works and six films. This year’s teams are not theater-specific and will also include new and freelance artists in an attempt to foster greater networking and connections in the field. Saturday, June 22, at 5, 7, and 9 p.m. Sprenger Theatre at the Atlas, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $15 to $20. Call 202-399-7993 or visit www.atlasarts.org.
Celebrated local devised company Happenstance Theater explores ancient Greek mythology with its latest original work, with guest artist Craig Jaster generating a live musical score. The company’s founders Mark Jaster and Sabrina Mandell are joined by Gwen Grastorf, Sarah Olmsted Thomas, Alex Vernon, and Craig Jaster as performers who regularly invoke the Muses, offer Sacrifice, suffer Hubris, consult Oracles, and meet Fate as they portray an array of mortals and gods whose flaws reflect their own. Now to July 1. Joe’s Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mount Rainier, Md. Tickets are $17 to $23. Call 301-699-1819 or visit www.joesmovement.org.
Ripcord — Photo: C. Stanley Photography
Megan Thrift directs Keegan Theatre’s latest, a production of David Lindsay-Abaire’s dramatic comedy about a seemingly harmless bet between two old women that quickly escalates into a dangerous game of one-upmanship. The setting is a sunny room on an upper floor in a senior living facility, which the cantankerous Abby (Deb Gottesman) had to herself before the arrival of the infuriatingly chipper Marilyn (Claire Schoovoner), setting the stage for the bet. Jared Shamberger, Kari Ginsburg, Oscar Ceville, and Robert Bowen Smith round out the cast. To July 6. Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church St. NW. Call 202-265-3767 or visit www.keegantheatre.com.
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 RESISTIBLE RISE OF ARTURO UI
Both entertaining and provocative, Bertolt Brecht’s play is a powerful parable to Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in Germany, while also eliciting comparisons to those today seizing more power and control over us. Presented by Scena Theatre, the tale focuses on the meteoric rise of a small-time gangster in 1930s Chicago who ruthlessly disposes of his competitors to enrich himself and gain power. Now to July 14. Lab Theatre II in the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $25 to $45. Call 202-399-7993 or visit www.atlasarts.org.
A powerful one-man show — written and performed by Kelvin Roston, Jr. — based on the life of ’70s soul singer Donny Hathaway, which imagines the troubled and brilliant musician’s last day on Earth. Derrick Sanders directs the production for Mosaic Theater Company of DC in collaboration with Baltimore Center Stage, Chicago’s Congo Square Theatre, and New York’s Apollo Theater. Now to July 21. Lang Theatre in the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $20 to $68. Call 202-399-7993 or visit www.atlasarts.org.
Three months after her first stop at Capital One Arena on the Sweetener World Tour, the pipsqueak-piped pop star returns to coat her fans once more in her syrupy sound, this time with opening sets from Normani and Social House. Friday, June 21, at 7 p.m. Capital One Arena, 601 F St. NW. Call 202-628-3200 or visit www.capitalonearena.com.
She was born 53 years ago in New York City but to Brazilian music royalty, as the daughter of bossa nova legend João and bossa nova star singer Miúcha. Yet this Gilberto long ago proved deserving of recognition of her own musical talent — from the get-go, in fact, with 2000 debut Tanto Tempo — and her notably consistent style: A lushly orchestrated, gently swaying sound that perfectly complements her sensual, soothing voice. Saturday, June 22, at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $45. Call 703-549-7500 or visit www.birchmere.com.
The Washington Post has referred to this 12-piece band as “a storming powerhouse of big-band African funk…smart, tight and relentlessly driving.” The Afrobeat-driven group has won 13 Washington Area Music Association Awards, including Artist of the Year in 2008 and as best World Music Group the last nine years in a row. Chopteeth performs regularly throughout the region, with a return to the Hamilton up next. Saturday, June 22. Doors at 6:30 p.m. 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $25. Call 202-787-1000 or visit www.thehamiltondc.com.
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.
From the start, the Bay Area-formed girl group’s sound was fresh. Often playful and sassy, it drew from its early hip-hop era — think 1992’s “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)” — and was always confident and empowering, courtesy of the group’s signature sound of tight vocal harmonies initially inspired by doo-wop (1992’s “Giving Him Something He Can Feel”). And unlike most other girl groups, En Vogue has always been about collaboration and teamwork. There has never been one member known as lead singer, and every member alternates between lead and backing vocal duties. (Just try to imagine Diana Ross or Beyonce agreeing to that.) Originally a quartet, En Vogue has been a trio the last few years, with Cindy Braggs, fellow founder Terry Ellis, and Rhona Bennett, who first joined the group in 2003. The trio returns to the area at the end of the month, or exactly four years after a Capital Pride performance that may have taken place during a steady downpour, yet no one’s spirits were dampened. The ladies definitely gave their all to make sure of that — and fans certainly felt it. Friday, June 28, and Saturday, June 29, at 8 p.m. Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club, 7719 Wisconsin Ave. Tickets are $79.50 to $94.50, plus $20 minimum purchase per person. Call 240-330-4500 or visit www.bethesdabluesjazz.com.
FIREFLY MUSIC FESTIVAL
Spread out over a scenic, woodsy 100 acres at Dover Downs, Delaware’s Firefly, now in its eighth year, offers non-musical diversions, including The Great Atlantic Campout, an immersive camping experience including daily yoga, panels, meet-and-greet events, silent discos, “Spruce Up” stations and showers, plus a farmers market, bar, and general store. But the chief focus is on catching many of music’s latest and greatest. Panic! At The Disco, Tyler, The Creator, Zedd, Travis Scott, Kygo, Death Cab for Cutie, Post Malone, Vampire Weekend, and DJ Snake are this year’s headliners. Other notable acts in the lineup include, per day: Louis The Child, AWOLNation, Courtney Barnett, X Ambassadors, Bob Moses, TLC, The Knocks, Ekali, Cuco, Arkells, Grizfolk, and Shaed, on Friday, June 21; Passion Pit, Young The Giant, Alison Wonderland, Dashboard Confessional, King Princess, Bishop Briggs, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Tank and the Bangas, Joywave, MansionAir, Max, Let’s Eat Grandma, Great Good Fine Ok, Rubblebucket, Max Frost, and Yoke Lore, on Saturday, June 22; and Griz, Walk The Moon, Lykke Li, Gucci Mane, AJR, Car Seat Headrest, Jessie Reyez, LovelyTheBand, Nora en Pure, Jukebox the Ghost, Nombe, VHS Collection, and Magic Giant on Sunday, June 23. The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway, 1131 N. Dupont Highway, Dover, Del. Passes start at $129 for a single day or $319 for a Weekend pass. Call 855-281-4898 or visit www.fireflyfestival.com.
JAZZ IN THE GARDEN: ADWELA & THE UPRISING, BLACK MASALA
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 drinks, 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 “world steam punk” from popular local band Black Masala, consisting of members of Thievery Corporation, on June 21, and the Hendrik Meurkens Quartet on June 28. Evenings from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Sculpture Garden, between 7th and 9th Streets NW. Call 202-289-3360 or visit www.nga.gov.
LANDAU EUGENE MURPHY JR.
Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. won America’s Got Talent eight years ago by singing his heart out a la Susan Boyle. Touted as the “Soul of Sinatra,” the West Virginia-native paid tribute to Ol’ Blue Eyes by reinterpreting standards popularized by Frank Sinatra on his debut album That’s Life, released in 2011. Sunday, June 23, at 8 and 10 p.m. Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Tickets are $35, plus $6 fee and $12 minimum purchase. Call 202-337-4141 or visit www.bluesalley.com.
NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK W/SALT-N-PEPA, TIFFANY, DEBBIE GIBSON
The Mixtape Tour 2019 features the now-middle-aged original members of the insanely popular boy band from the late 1980s: Jonathan Knight, Jordan Knight, Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg, and Danny Wood. The boys-to-men tour in support of their 2017 EP Thankful — though everyone wants to hear “The Right Stuff,” of course. Speaking of being thankful, fans will have plenty of other blasts from the past to enjoy at the show, as other now-aging contemporaneous hitmakers sing their best-known tunes. We’re talking “Push It” and “Let’s Talk About Sex” per Salt-N-Pepa, “I Think We’re Alone Now” a la Tiffany, “Out Of The Blue” by Debbie Gibson, and “O.P.P.” by Naughty By Nature. Who’s down to sing right along with all of that? Every last lady! Tuesday, June 25, at 7:30 p.m. Capital One Arena, 601 F St. NW. Call 202-628-3200 or visit www.capitalonearena.com.
NSO POPS: 50 YEARS OVER THE RAINBOW: A JUDY GARLAND CELEBRATION
Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke leads the National Symphony Orchestra in a program marking the loss, 50 years ago this month, of Judy Garland. He’ll do so by recreating the gay icon’s legendary, comeback concert at Carnegie Hall in 1961 that featured her signature standards (“Over The Rainbow,” “The Trolley Song,” “Puttin’ On The Ritz” among them) and that, recorded and released as a double album, earned Garland the designation of being the first woman to win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. (And yes, it’s the same concert and live album that Rufus Wainwright re-created and recorded a dozen years ago, with his own Grammy to show for it.) Young Broadway sensations Laura Osnes (Bandstand, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella) and Capathia Jenkins (Newsies, Caroline, or Change), and Pink Martini frequent guest vocalist Jimmie Herrod join the NSO to celebrate the music, life, and legacy of Garland. Friday, June 28, and Saturday, June 29, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $24 to $99. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.
START MAKING SENSE W/SEEPEOPLES
Jon Braun leads this New York-based seven-piece band that pays tribute to David Byrne by faithfully recreating the music of Talking Heads including the hits “Once In A Lifetime,” “Burning Down the House,” and “Psycho Killer,” as well as other songs the band never performed live — and of course never will, given the “bad blood” between Byrne and the others. The “anti-genre indie pranksters” known as SeepeopleS and led by songwriter/producer Will Bradford open. Saturday, June 29. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $18 to $25.50. Call 202-787-1000 or visit www.thehamiltondc.com.
WHITE FORD BRONCO
“D.C.’s all ’90s party band,” cheekily named after O.J. Simpson’s notorious failed getaway car, is a five-member ensemble consisting of singer/guitarist Diego Valencia, singer Gretchen Gustafson, guitarists Ken Sigmund and McNasty, and drummer Max Shapiro. White Ford Bronco sings through that decade’s songbook in all styles of popular music. After closing out 2018 with a run of shows, the band returns to the 9:30 Club halfway through 2019. Friday, June 21. Doors at 8 p.m. 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $25. Call 202-265-0930 or visit www.930.com.
Dance Exchange: A Sense of Wonder — Photo: Kevin Kennefick
10 HAIRY LEGS: GAY PRIDE CELEBRATION
The New Jersey-based all-male dance troupe returns to Baltimore with a mixed-repertory program on the theme of Pride. Now concluding its 7th season, 10 Hairy Legs is focused, in part, on dispelling assumptions about male dancers. “If you watch two women dance on stage, you don’t normally assume that they are homosexuals,” says founder and leader Randy James, himself a gay man. “But if you watch two men dance on stage, people do assume that sometimes. And hopefully, that is one of the things that we’re kind of educating audiences on.” The program includes: Al Blackstone’s commissioned quintet Brian, a 2018 Emmy Award-nominated work touching on the loneliness of adolescence, the desire for friendship, and the journey to self-realization; an excerpt from Christopher Williams’ The Portuguese Suite, a sinuous duet set to traditional Fado songs; David Parker’s Friends of Dorothy, a tongue-in-cheek duet set to a rousing score of songs by Debbie Reynolds and Jane Powell; Stephen Petronio’s Bud, a duet with intricate partnering set to Rufus Wainwright’s “Oh What A World”; and Raj Feather Kelly’s Andy Warhol’s Bleu Movie, a 2017 commissioned quintet alluding to the 1970s gay club scene and the nature of fleeting attraction and romance and set to an original score by Bryan Strimpel. Thursday, June 20, and Friday, June 21, at 8 p.m. Baltimore Theatre Project, 45 West Preston St. Baltimore. Tickets are $20 to $25. Call 410-752-8558 or visit www.theatreproject.org.
CHAMBER DANCE PROJECT: NEW WORKS +
The sixth annual contemporary-ballet-with-live-music program from this New York-birthed, D.C.-based company features a new collaboration between artistic director Diane Coburn Bruning and Studio Theatre’s associate artistic director Matt Torney. Based on the T.S. Eliot poem, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock navigates the emotional and psychological intricacies of the masterwork through the movement of five dancers and the text read by Torney, with an original score composed and performed live by James Garver. A second world-premiere comes from international choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, whose Rondo Ma Non Troppo is a dynamic work for four dancers having a physical conversation around a table that mirrors the drama of Schubert’s String Quartet No. 14 as performed by principal musician Claudia Chudacoff. Also in the lineup is the Washington premiere of Extremely Close, an evocative duet amidst a stage of white feathers by Spanish choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo and a lush piano score by Philip Glass. The program is rounded out with two additional works by Bruning: 2017’s Songs by Cole, a witty and stylish collaboration between dancers and a jazz trio featuring vocalist Shacara Rogers performing Cole Porter standards; and Journey, a pas de deux exploring a relationship and intimacy and set to Samuel Barber’s soaring adagio. Opening Night, featuring a white-attire-suggested Summer Solstice Celebration with the artists after the performance at the Hotel Monaco (700 F St. NW), is Thursday, June 20, starting at 7:30 p.m. Additional performances Friday, June 21, and Saturday, June 22, at 2 and 8 p.m. Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F St. NW. Tickets are $38 to $52, or $125 to $175 for Opening Night. Call 202-499-2297 or visit www.chamberdance.org.
DANCE EXCHANGE: A SENSE OF WONDER
Science meets modern dance in an evening of mixed repertory by choreographers Elizabeth Johnson Levine, Liz Lerman, Cassie Meador, and Keith Thompson. A Sense of Wonder features excerpts from three works demonstrating the range and breadth of collaborations by the company that was founded 43 years ago by Lerman and has been under the direction of Meador since 2011. Saturday, June 22, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, June 23, at 7 p.m. Dance Place’s Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Theater, 3225 8th St. NE. Tickets are $15 to $30. Call 202-269-1600 or visit www.danceplace.org.
HANNAH GADSBY: DOUGLAS
Art criticism is generally about as far from stand-up comedy as it gets, and any comic with the notion that the two endeavors could be forged together seamlessly, to say nothing of successfully, would have been laughed off the stage — if they weren’t booed off first. That is, until the Australian lesbian Gadsby came around with Nanette, her popular and provocative Netflix special from last year that rattled both the art and comedy worlds and had everyone on the edge of their seats. As it happens, Gadsby spent a decade honing her variant of comedy — which could be called critical standup — via comedy art lectures focused on collections at major galleries, art documentaries expounding on her artistic insights, and of course her art history degree at root. The wry comedian makes her Kennedy Center debut with a new show that reportedly delves more into her personal and cultural experiences. Meanwhile, everyone who goes to see Douglas — a show named after her dog — will have a completely “phone-free experience,” as all smartphones and smart watches will be locked in special cases during the performance, and no other cameras or recording devices will be permitted. Performances are Tuesday, June 25, and Wednesday, June 26, at 7:30 p.m., and also Thursday, June 27, at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $39 to $75. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.
THE SECOND CITY: AMERICA; IT’S COMPLICATED
The legendary comedic troupe from Chicago returns to the Kennedy Center for another all-new, made-for-Washington politically minded show mixing sketch comedy, improv, satire, and original music. Mary Catherine Curran, Cody Dove, Jillian Ebanks, Jordan Savusa, Adam Schreck, and Holly Walker are the featured players for America; It’s Complicated. Now to Aug. 11. Theater Lab. Tickets are $49 to $59. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.
2019 Rise Up exhibit at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.
ART & EXHIBITS
ILLEGAL TO BE YOU: GAY HISTORY BEYOND STONEWALL
The National Museum of American History celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots with a yearlong display of artefacts from the Smithsonian’s LGBTQ collections, intended to examine the complexity of LGBTQ history both before and after Stonewall. Among the objects, buttons and graphics in the special exhibit — some of which date to the 19th century — are items of clothing belonging to Matthew Shepard, protest signs from gay rights activist Frank kameny, the first transgender pride flag, and even lesbian tennis pro Billy Jean King’s tennis dress. Opens June 21. Runs through spring 2020. Exhibit is located on the second-floor of the National Museum of American History, 1300 Constitution Ave. NW. Admission is free. Call 202-633-1000 or visit www.americanhistory.si.edu.
The Kimpton Carlyle Hotel Dupont Circle is celebrating Capital Pride with a summer-long art exhibition in its lobby featuring local LGBTQ artists and allies. Curated by Julie Ratner and Golie Miamee of Artworx Consultants, One Voice includes works by Tom Hill, Maggie O’Neill, Wayson Jones, and Rose Jaffe, in addition to several permanent works by world-renowned mixed-media artist Michele Oka Doner and Michael Crossett’s piece “Community,” which was commissioned for Kimpton in partnership with Shop Made in DC. Through Sept. 2. 1731 New Hampshire Ave. NW. Suggested donation of $5 per person that will benefit Kimpton brand partner the Trevor Project. Call 202-234-3200 or visit www.carlylehoteldc.com.
REFIK ANADOL: INFINITE SPACE
D.C.’s technology-focused art gallery ArTecHouse presents the first major retrospective of Refik Anadol, a thoroughly 21st-century-focused artist who uses data and computerized networks to create radical visualizations of our digitized memories, expanding the possibilities of architecture, narrative, and the movement. Through site-specific, parametric data sculptures and immersive installations, the L.A.-based Turkish artist helps rethink the physical world, our relationship to time and space, and the creative potential where humans and machines interact. The exhibition’s title derives from an infamous, internationally touring immersive installation featuring three infinity boxes and a selection of multimedia works spanning Anadol’s career. Now to Sept. 2. 1238 Maryland Ave. SW. Tickets are $13 to $20, with “after hours” sessions featuring a bar with exhibition-related Augmented Reality cocktails. visit www.artechouse.com.
STONEWALL AT 50: LGBTQ+ ACTIVISM IN THE UNITED STATES
The Library of Congress celebrates “LGBTQ+ Pride Month” with a new display commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. Drawing from the papers of early LGBTQ rights pioneers Lilli Vincenz and Franklin Kameny, the exhibit puts that turning point in the LGBTQ movement in context with materials representing activism from the time periods before — those from the education-focused homophile movement of the 1950s — and after, or the more radical gay liberation movement. The display also includes flyers and ephemera from the very first pride event, the Christopher Street Liberation Day in 1970. On display through July 11. The Great Hall in the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. SE. Call 202-707-8000 or visit www.loc.gov/events.
THE LIGHT OF VENICE
Last summer, 11 Virginia artists traveled to Venice for adventure and a plein-air painting expedition, the results of which — a showcase of Venice’s “irresistible light and sights” in summer — are on display in a group show from the Focus Gallery in the Crystal City Shops. An all-female roster, the gallery and Arlington Artists Alliance members represented include Jane McElvany Coonce, Linda Donaldson, Cindy Donohoe, Gerda Lane, Meg Mackenzie, Jessica Mickey, Jean Moore, Liz Schaeffer, Nancy Snell, Agnes Yackshaw, and Patti Yoder. Now to June 28. Gallery Underground, 2100 Crystal Drive. Call 571-483-0652 or visit www.galleryunderground.org.
WOMEN CELEBRATING WOMEN
Bethesda’s Triangle Art Studios honors the women’s suffrage movement and the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution with an exhibition and open house featuring studio artists Jill Newman, Maruja Quezada, Barbara Siegel, and Clare Winslow. Nonprofits supporting women, including Emerge Maryland, Empowered Women International, the League of Women Voters of Montgomery County, and Emily’s List, will earn 25 percent of proceeds of art sales during the Opening Reception on Friday, June 14, from 6 to 8 p.m., which also includes making statement sashes, registering participants to vote, and contributing to a large, interactive mural about the movement and current issues surrounding voting rights. On exhibit through June at the studios, located in the Cheval Condominium, 7711 Old Georgetown Rd., Bethesda. Call 301-215-6660 or visit www.bethesda.org.
Strathmore: L’ Homme Cirque
ABOVE AND BEYOND
BIG FREEDIA AND KARAMO BROWN AT NMAAHC
The National Museum of African American History and Culture toasts pride this year with a special event as part of the Smithsonian Summer Solstice celebration that features the Queen of Bounce from New Orleans and the queen of culture from Netflix’s Queer Eye, each focused on their recently published memoirs. After discussions with Big Freedia about God Save the Queen Diva and Karamo Brown with Karamo: My Story of Embracing Purpose, Healing and Hope, there will be a brief bounce demonstration by Freedia as well as a dance party. Saturday, June 22, from 7 to 10 p.m Heritage Hall, 14th St. & Constitution Ave. NW. Free, but first-come, first-seated. Call 844-750-3012 or visit www.si.edu/solsticesaturday.
BY THE PEOPLE: ARTS AND DIALOGUE FESTIVAL
Dozens of installations, pop-up performances, and discussions — many of them free — will take place over the next week at various venues around town, from Union Market to the hotel Eaton DC to a floating art barge on the Potomac River, all part of the annual arts and innovation festival organized by Georgetown’s Halcyon House. Yet the majority of activities take place at the Smithsonian’s Arts + Industries Building (900 Jefferson Dr. SW), which once again serves as the festival hub on weekends, with installations including: Walking on Clouds by New York mixed-media collage and digital technologies artist Jonathan Rosen; Post Referendum…. More Than a Number, featuring 272 pedestals commemorating the lives of the enslaved people sold by Jesuit priests at Georgetown University in 1838, by Baltimore multimedia artist Ada Pinkston; Cosmic Warrior, an augmented reality sculpture from Virginia interdisciplinary artist Alexis Gomez; Pillar of Salt: Illuminated History in Writing, a series of crowdsourced written histories and light sculptures exploring gender equality, by interdisciplinary artist Mengxi “Althea” Rao; We The People, an augmented reality reflection on the embrace and expression from one citizen to another, by digital artist and animator Marjan Moghaddam; various sculptures from D.C. artist Martha Jackson Jarvis; a work exploring the delicate threads of directions presented, journeys chosen, and paths leading you here, by D.C. mixed-media fiber artist and printmaker Rania Hassan; Eye See You, a comment on the age of surveillance, by D.C.-based Nigerian-American painter Victor Ekpuk; Red/Act, a virtual reality experience featuring poetry written by incarcerated and previously incarcerated indigenous women, by Cherokee Nation citizen Jessica Mehta; 108+1, collaborative performances calling for collective healing through sound baths and an immersive live experience and featuring Naoko Wowsugi and Estefani Mercedes; Night Light: Half-World, a work-in-process meditative, contemporary dance and movement piece from UNUM Dance Collective founder Tariq Darrell O’Meally; and Two Truths and a Lie, a dance work weaving together seven short pieces from D.C.-based company Agora Dance. And during the Solstice Saturday event on June 22, the building will remain open until midnight with “Soulstice Soundscapes” by Les The DJ plus performances by Nicoletta Daríta de la Brown and Shanna Lim. Among highlights elsewhere, there’s the By The People Art Fair featuring 51 local artists, curated by Nina O’Neil in partnership with Monochrome Collective and on display in the former Jonathan Adler Store (1267 Wisconsin Ave. NW). Festival runs to Sunday, June 23. Call 202-796-4240 or visit www.bythepeople.org.
DAVID DIMITRI: THE ONE-MAN CIRCUS
With his latest feat, this veteran of Cirque du Soleil and the Big Apple Circus and an acrobat and high-wire dancer that the New York Times has called the “Lord of the Wire,” isn’t just a circus act — he’s the whole darn show. Performed in an intimate, one-of-a-kind tent, L’homme Cirque is a one-man show featuring what Dimitri refers to as “unique magic” as he balances dramatic feats, such as high-wire flips or a human cannon launch, with humor, poetry, and accordion serenades. Strathmore welcomes Dimitri to help christen the Bernard Family Foundation Pavilion, the new addition to the Music Center. Performances begin Thursday, June 27. To July 7. 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $20 to $33, or $75 for Opening Night VIP Reception and Meet & Greet. Call 301-581-5100 or visit www.strathmore.org.
SMITHSONIAN SUMMER SOLSTICE CELEBRATION
This Saturday, June 22, you can spend the evening at your favorite Smithsonian museum, as most of them will stay open until midnight. The occasion is the annual institution-wide, all-day celebration honoring the official start of summer. Held this year in association with the By The People Festival, whose central hub is the Smithsonian’s Arts and Industries Building (900 Jefferson Dr. SW), which will host art installations, programs, and performances, and also with Hofstra University’s Astronomy Festival on the National Mall, taking place Saturday evening in front of the Smithsonian Castle (1000 Jefferson Dr. SW) and featuring solar, optical, and radio telescope observations, hands-on activities, and presentations by educators and scientists, including astronomers. The Summer Solstice event will certainly be the longest day of the year at the various museums, whose cafes and gift shops will also stay open well into the evening hours. And all day long, there’s the free, multi-site music festival America Now!, honoring the Smithsonian’s Year of Music 2019 celebration with, among other activities, a dance party on the National Mall with DJs Adrian Loving, Ayes Cold, and Les the DJ, and live music from Baltimore rapper Wordsmith and the hip-hop/classical collaborative Classically Dope, at the American History Museum (14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW); plus evening performances by go-go band Rare Essence, Christylez Bacon, the Out of Town Blues Band, and Eric Hilton (of Thievery Corporation) with The Archives, in the Kogod Courtyard (8th and F Streets NW). Visit www.si.edu/solsticesaturday.
SUMMER SOLSTICE AT GEORGETOWN WATERFRONT
The Georgetown BID, in partnership with Athleta, presents this three-hour event featuring free outdoor fitness classes, prizes, and giveaways and all to celebrate the official start of summer as well as International Yoga Day and the longest day of the year. A special offshoot of the free Georgetown Sunset Fitness classes held every Wednesday at 6 p.m. and featuring the neighborhood’s more than 40 studios and athletic specialty stores, this Solstice event on Friday, June 21, starts at 4 p.m. and offers hour-long yoga classes sponsored by Down Dog Yoga, The Wing, and Athleta, plus bottled water and healthy snacks. (Attendees must bring their own yoga mat.) The first 300 attendees receive an Athlete swag bag filled with goodies and discount coupons and surprises, while all attendees will get the chance to win a $100 Athleta gift card, a Down Dog Yoga 10-class pack, a Tuckernuck clutch and earrings, and a Kendra Scott giveaway, among other prizes. And attendees sporting their #GeorgetownSummerSolstice Wristband will be offered drink specials and discounts at nearby businesses including Church Hall, The Tavern, Pinstripes, and Tuckernuck. Visit www.georgetowndc.com/summersolstice for more information and to register.