Metro Weekly

Out On the Town: D.C. arts and entertainment highlights — July 11-17

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

Keanu Reeves co-stars with Sandra Bullock in “Speed.”



Paul Newman plays a prisoner whose rebellious spirit makes him a hero to his fellow convicts and a thorn in the side of the prison officers in this 1967 classic directed by Stuart Rosenberg and returning to big screen for one day only at Landmark’s Capital Classics series. Wednesday, July 17, at 1:30, 4:30, and 7:30 p.m. Landmark West End Cinema, 2301 M St. NW. Happy hour from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $12.50. Call 202-534-1907 or visit


Called “one of the finest historical dramas ever made” by film critic Leonard Malton, Edward Zwick’s sweeping Civil War epic returns to movie theaters for the first time since its initial release in 1989. The special 30th anniversary screening of the underrated epic, courtesy Fathom Events and TCM’s Big Screen Classics series, earned Denzel Washington his first Oscar and also starred Matthew Broderick, Morgan Freeman, Cary Elwes, and Andre Braugher. It includes pre- and post-screening recorded commentary from TCM Primetime host Ben Mankiewicz. Sunday, July 21, at various Regal venues, including Gallery Place (701 7th St. NW), Potomac Yards Stadium (3575 Jefferson Davis Highway), and Majestic Stadium (900 Ellsworth Dr., Silver Spring). Visit


In the words of presenter Smithsonian Theaters, “We couldn’t help ourselves, Keanu Reeves is everywhere this summer and we wanted more: Meathead, heartthrob, action star, defender of puppies.” So this weekend, the National Museum of American History’s Warner Bros. Theater serves up a marathon of Keanu, which fans can take in while enjoying their favorite brews from D.C. breweries including 3 Stars, Bluejack, Old Ox, Red Bear, and Right Proper. The lineup kicks off Friday, July 12, at 7 p.m., with the cult classic Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and continues Saturday, July 13 with Speed at 2:45 p.m. A Scanner Darkly, in which Reeves plays a narcotics cop in the near future who becomes an addict when he goes undercover, follows at 5 p.m., and Point Break screens at 6:45 p.m. Sunday, July 14, brings Reeves as super-assassin John Wick at 4:30 p.m. and John Wick: Chapter 2 at 6:50 p.m. The museum is at 1300 Constitution Ave. NW. Tickets, which include beer tasting tickets, are $10 per film plus $3.50 in fees. Call 202-633-1000 or visit


Filmmaker Nick Broomfield chronicles the relationship between the late Canadian legend Leonard Cohen and his Norwegian muse Marianne Ihlen, from their early days in the 1960s counterculture in Greece to how their love evolved after Cohen became a successful musician. Opens Friday, July 12. Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672. Also Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema, 7235 Woodmont Ave. Call 301-652-7273 or visit


Stu is a mild-mannered Uber driver thrust into a harrowing ordeal when his latest fare is a cop hot on the trail of a brutal killer in this action-comedy directed by Michael Dowse. Kumail Nanjiani stars among a cast including Iko Uwais, Natalie Morales, Betty Gilpin, Jimmy Tatro, Mira Sorvino, and Karen Gillan. Opens Friday, July 12. Area theaters. Visit


Landmark’s E Street Cinema presents its monthly run of Richard O’Brien’s camp classic, billed as the longest-running midnight movie in history. Landmark’s showings come with a live shadow cast from the Sonic Transducers, meaning it’s even more interactive than usual. Friday, July 12, and Saturday, July 13, at midnight. 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672 or visit

Blackbeard at Signature Theatre



Rather than perform just one show as part of a new partnership with Capital Fringe, the provocative stage monologist Mike Daisey, known to Woolly Mammoth audiences for 2016’s The Trump Card and 2011’s The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, is currently performing 18 full-length monologues — nearly one per show during the 21-date run of this production from Capital Fringe (see page 32). Daisey confronts “the legacy of our nation, our complicity, our responsibility, and the future.” 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


A high seas musical adventure full of pirates, Blackbeard is a world-premiere commissioned by Signature from book writer and lyricist John Dempsey and composer Dana P. Rowe, the same team behind previous Signature standouts The Witches of Eastwick and The Fix. Broadway veteran Chris Hoch makes his Signature debut in the title role, accompanied by a crew of nine actors playing over 60 roles including Signature favorites Nova Y. Payton, Kevin McAllister, and Bobby Smith. Closes Sunday, July 14. MAX Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit


Southwest D.C. once again serves as the hub for this year’s Capital Fringe, with seven stages set up at venues throughout the neighborhood, including Arena Stage and several area churches — all within easy walking distance of one another. Although festival organizers have curated a few professional shows it will officially present, most Fringe shows are selected through an unjuried, open-invitation process — first-come, first-staged — with works largely created and produced by new or relatively inexperienced theatermakers. Shows run in staggered repertory through July 28. Tickets are $20 per show, and multi-show passes range from $72 to $500. Call 866-811-4111 or visit Read more about the festival and a list of every production on page 32.


“See it before the show goes to Broadway,” the Kennedy Center says about this new, completely improvised musical ride, all based off audience suggestions, and featuring MCs, musicians, and beatboxers. The only guarantee is that Freestyle Love Supreme should be a quality stage show, considering it was developed by Hamilton creator Lin-Manual Miranda along with Anthony Veneziale and Thomas Kail. Miranda and Veneziale are also members of the stage improv crew along with Utkarsh Ambudkar, Andrew Bancroft, Daveed Diggs, James Monroe Iglehart, Chris Jackson, Arthur Lewis, Bill Sherman, and Chris Sullivan. The show also marks another event at the Kennedy Center designated as a completely “phone-free experience,” in which all smartphones and smartwatches will be locked in special pouches as patrons enter the theater, and no other cameras or recording devices permitted. Opens Tuesday, July 16. Runs to July 21. Family Theater. Tickets are $55 to $99. Call 202-467-4600 or visit

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


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. To July 13. Richmond Triangle Players, The Robert B. Moss Theatre, 1300 Altamont Ave. Richmond. Call 804-346-8113 or visit


Winner of the 2016 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company, the Welders Playwrights’ Collective features a team of emerging local playwrights who collaborate to produce one original show from each member over the course of three years. Now in its final year, the second generation of the collective offers a devised work created by Rachel Hynes and Francesca Chilcote, described as part incantation, part mystery, and part interactive comedy show. Based on interviews with women in D.C. sharing their attitudes toward menstruation, LadyM features three witches making a potion, casting a spell, and sending audiences down a rabbit hole of poetry, horror, ambition, and blood. Drawing on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the result is billed as a “grotesque comedy [and] highly stylized, absurdist, and radical feminist bloodbath.” Hynes and Chilcote star along with Deidre Staples, Anastasia Wilson, and Vanita Kalra. Now to July 27. Joe’s Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mount Rainier, Md. Tickets are $18 to $30. Call 301-699-1819 or visit


Adapted by Dennis Kelly from Roald Dahl’s book of the same name, the Olivier- and Tony-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…. You’re apt to like this show even more if you see it with kids — or at least kids at heart. Although in the hands of director Peter Flynn, fresh from his wry and whimsical Into The Woods at Ford’s Theatre, adults should find some joy, if not magic, here. The sharp local 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. Olney Theatre Center production To July 21. Mainstage, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Call 301-924-3400 or visit


Last year’s Tony-winning musical, scooping up a near-record 10 statues, celebrates the deeply human ways music, longing, and laughter connects us all. Featuring Grammy-winning music and lyrics by David Yazbek and a book by Itamar Moses, The Band’s Visit, based on the 2007 Israeli film of the same name, is a joyously offbeat story set in a town that’s way off the beaten path, where a band of musicians pop up out of the blue. The cast of performers in the touring production is led by Israeli actor Sasson Gabay, reprising his role from the film as well as the Broadway production (as Tony Shalhoub’s replacement), and also includes Chilina Kennedy, best known from her turn in the title role of the Broadway hit Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Now to Aug. 4. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $45 to $149. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


A rainy day is turned into a miraculous, mayhem-filled adventure in an adaptation of the Dr. Seuss classic imported from across the pond, via the National Theatre of Great Britain. The theater for young audiences production out at Adventure Theatre-MTC in Glen Echo Park is directed by Adam Immerwahr, who has become known for works that are far more serious and adult in his day job as the artistic director of Theater J. Surely The Cat in the Hat is a nice change of pace, maybe even allowing him, to paraphrase from the late Mr. Geisel’s book, “good fun that is funny.” To Aug. 18. 7300 MacArthur Blvd. Call 301-634-2270 or visit


Virginia’s 1st Stage presents its third annual festival featuring celebrated solo performers from across the country. This year’s two-week festival, which offers what the Washington Post acclaims as “three plays [that] prove the power of one,” staged in repertory on alternate evenings, includes: The Things They Carried, Jim Stowell’s dramatization of a famous collection of short stories by Tim O’Brien charting the unforgettable journey of a soldier in the Vietnam War, performed by David Sitler; The Happiest Place on Earth featuring Tia Shearer bringing to life the women in playwright Philip Dawkins’ family, exploring their tragic history while humorously pondering the concept of Disneyland and a place where dreams come true; and Joy Rebel, Khanisha Foster’s candid, personal exploration about coming to terms with life as the product of an interracial relationship that her own “cherished grandmother” condemned. The festival opens with The Things They Carried on July 11. All three roughly 90-minute, intermission-less plays are performed on Sunday, July 14, Saturday, July 20, and Sunday, July 21. 1524 Spring Hill Rd. Tysons, Va. Tickets are $20 per show, or $50 for a Festival Pass. Call 703-854-1856 or visit


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. 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


Virginia’s Synetic closes out its season with a high seas adventure full of pirates. The original adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel of the same name is the latest caper from a physical theater-focused company that’s made its name producing wordless variations on classics, particularly those by Shakespeare. Synetic’s impressive crew of athletic actors will bring to life the coming-of-age tale focused on the orphan Jane Hawkins and a ruthless band of buccaneers on a wild hunt for buried treasure. Previews begin July 17. Runs to Aug. 18. 1800 South Bell St., Arlington. Tickets are $35 to $60. Call 800-811-4111 or visit


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. 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

Lionel Ritchie



D.C.’s nine-piece Balkan and funk brass band is focused on having a whole lot of fun in a whole lot of different ways — as evidence, there are the three separately released, widely varying collections of remixes drawing from the 2015 set I Love You Madly. Black Masala also puts on one heck of a live show, which comes as no surprise given that the group consists of members of the lively Thievery Corporation. A regular at venues all around the region, Black Masala next performs a concert at the Kennedy Center as part of its free nightly Millennium Stage programming series. Friday, July 19, at 6 p.m. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


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 African fusion jazz band Elikeh on July 12 and jazz violinist Miles Stiebel on July 19. Evenings from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Sculpture Garden, between 7th and 9th Streets NW. Call 202-289-3360 or visit


Responsible for the ’80s-minted spunky dance-soul hits “Looking for a New Love,” “Don’t You Want Me,” “Still A Thrill,” and “Friends,” the Grammy-winning Watley got her start as a lead dancer on Soul Train and as a member of the R&B group Shalamar. Over the past couple of decades, the artist has shown herself to be an outspoken gay rights and marriage equality activist. One of Billboard‘s best-charting dance artists returns for another performance with support from members of her original group, Shalamar Reloaded. Watley returns with SRL, or Shalamar Reloaded Live, to celebrate 30 years of her best-selling song in the U.S., “Real Love.” Saturday, July 20, at 8 p.m. Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club, 7719 Wisconsin Ave. Tickets are $59.50 to $79.50, plus $20 minimum purchase per person. Call 240-330-4500 or visit


A New Orleans native, Ledisi portrayed a fellow New Orleanian, “The Queen of Gospel” Mahalia Jackson, in 2014’s Selma. Yet these days, she’s more focused on celebrating a different legendary African-American diva. At Strathmore’s Music Center presented by the Birchmere, Ledisi performs her show “Nina and Me,” offering an orchestrated mixture of classical, jazz, and R&B interspersed with dialogue about the musical bond Ledisi feels toward Simone, whom she cites as one of her greatest inspirations. A decade ago, Ledisi recorded a cover of “Four Women” and also performed the Simone staple as part of a powerhouse quartet with Kelly Price, Marsha Ambrosius, and Jill Scott at BET’s 2010 special Black Girls Rock. In addition to offering her takes on Simone standards, the concert will also feature versions of Ledisi’s R&B hits reimagined with strings and big band horns via a return to her jazz roots. Friday, July 12, at 8 p.m. 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $92.50 to $102.50. Call 301-581-5100 or visit


Five years after a joint concert with Bruno Mars, the ’80s hitmaker and current American Idol judge returns to Wolf Trap with the retrospective concert “All The Hits” that includes everything from “Endless Love” to “All Night Long,” “Hello” to “Dancing on the Ceiling.” Monday, July 15. Gates at 6:30 p.m. Filene Center, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $127 to $167, and include one copy of Richie’s new album, Hello From Las Vegas; or $45 for lawn and no CD. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit

Max Weinberg’s Jukebox


The longtime drummer of Bruce Springsteen’s E-Street Band and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer “plays the hits at his signature party” — a concert with his four-piece band where the audience gets to choose what songs they’ll perform. Selections are made via a jukebox-like video menu with over 300 possible songs including hits by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and of course the Boss. Weinberg is also known from his 17-year stint as Conan O’Brien’s bandleader and comedic foil. Saturday, July 13. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $34.75 to $54.75. Call 202-787-1000 or visit


“A Southern Soul Tribute: The Music of Muscle Shoals & Stax/Volt” features a wide array of soulful vocalists from the area, including some of D.C.’s R&B legends still in their prime, all paying tribute to artists who recorded 50 and 60 years ago at the two Southern soul labels. Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Sam & Dave, and The Staples Singers are among those whose songs will be performed by the Hardway Connection, Billy Price, Eddie & Earl Jones, Patty Reese, Patti Hatchett, Bill Starks, Pete Ragusa, Steve Wolf, Keith Grimes, Bruce Swaim, and Vince McCool, all with support from a seven-piece backing band. Friday, July 12. Doors at 6 p.m. City Winery DC, 1350 Okie St. NE. Tickets are $20 to $30. Call 202-250-2531 or visit


Meredith Vieira of NBC News and Adam Savage of Discovery’s Mythbusters host a special tribute, presented by the National Symphony Orchestra in collaboration with NASA, celebrating the 50th anniversary to the day of the moon landing: July 20, 1969. Emil de Cou leads the NSO performing a new commissioned work by Oscar-winning composer Michael Giacchino (Star Wars: Rogue One) as part of a momentous concert with performances and appearances by Pharrell Williams, LeVar Burton, Natasha Bedingfield, Todd Douglas Miller, Jon Bernthal, Charles Fishman, and Mark Armstrong, son of the first man on the moon, Apollo 11’s late Neil Armstrong. Also included in the “One Small Step, One Giant Leap” concert are specially curated visuals from NASA timed to music, along with pre-taped performances and greetings from John “Jack” Schlossberg, Brad Paisley, Elton John, Stephen Colbert, and astronauts on the International Space Station, and a screening of never-before-seen footage of the late David Bowie performing “Space Oddity” live at his 50th birthday concert at Madison Square Garden in 1997. Saturday, July 20, at 9 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $29 to $149. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


The Silver Spring sextet Band of Us offers a soulful take on alternative rock, with eclectic instrumentation including violin, trumpet, sax, and keys, not too dissimilar from the sound of NEEDTOBREATHE, Kings of Leon, or the Dave Matthews Band. Next week, you can check out the young band, a tight-knit group of friends, for free as part of Strathmore’s special free weekly summer outdoor concert series, “Live from the Lawn.” Wednesday, July 17, at 7 p.m. Gudelsky Gazebo, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Tickets are free. Call 301-581-5100 or visit


Named iHeartRadio’s Country Artist of the Year for the second year in a row, the 29-year-old has been on a country chart-topping tear the past couple of years. The fact that he’s also a passionate, energetic, and magnetic performer makes this easy-on-the-eyes artist downright irresistible. Opening for Rhett is another young country heartthrob, Dustin Lynch, plus emerging country artist Russell Dickerson, and Rhett Akins, a 25-year industry veteran best known these days for writing chart-topping hits recorded by others — including multiple No. 1s for his hunky tourmates Rhett (“Life Changes,” “Get Me Some Of That”) and Lynch (“Mindreader,” “Small Town Boy”). Thursday, July 18. Gates at 5:30 p.m. Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Md. Tickets are $55 to $125. Call 800-551-SEAT or visit


Hard to believe, but it’s been 17 years since Green broke out with her debut album Love Story and especially the hit R&B and dance single “Emotional Rollercoaster.” The song still speaks to so many people. Green returns to the area for two shows. Saturday, July 13, at 7 and 10:15 p.m. City Winery DC, 1350 Okie St. NE. Tickets are $40 to $52. Call 202-250-2531 or visit


Three years after closing the Filene Center season with a bang, the pop parodist par excellence returns to Wolf Trap with even more of a bang — not to mention strings — for what is billed as “his biggest show ever.” A stop on The Strings Attached Tour, the four-time Grammy winner — and biggest-selling comedy recording artist in history — will perform the hits from his 30-year repertoire joined by his original band and his usual costumes and props, plus the accompaniment of background singers and the musicians of the National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Arnold Roth. Tuesday, July 16. Gates at 6:30 p.m. 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $70 to $85, or $40 on the lawn. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit


A new production of this soaring opera featuring the beautiful music of Richard Strauss and slapstick comedy from librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal, performed simultaneously in a battle of “high” and “low” art based on a Molière comedy. Tara Faircloth directs the production with conductor Emily Senturia and a cast of Wolf Trap Opera Studio Artists singing in German with projected English translations. Friday, July 19, at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, July 21, at 3 p.m., Wednesday, July 24, at 3 p.m., and Saturday, July 27, at 7:30 p.m. The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $36. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit

American Ballet Theatre: Swan Lake



New York’s ABT returns to Wolf Trap with the quintessential classic ballet, a romantic fable of ill-fated passion, dreamlike transformation, and ultimate forgiveness, set to Tchaikovsky. In addition to the awe-inspiring sight of seeing the corps de ballet moving in magical unison as swans — per artistic director Kevin McKenzie’s take on the classic choreography by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov — each performance in the Filene Center features a different duo of principal dancers as the lovers Princess Odette and Prince Siegried: Hee Seo and Cory Stearns on Thursday, July 11, Misty Copeland and Herman Cornejo on Friday, July 12, and Devon Teuscher and Aran Bell on Saturday, July 13. All performances at 8:30 p.m. 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $25 to $80. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit



A current Saturday Night Live star, who became the show’s first-ever Latina cast member, got her start as a semifinalist on America’s Got Talent and is also an in-demand voiceover artist for television cartoons, including everything from Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time to Fox’s Family Guy. Villaseñor taps into that voice work as well as her celebrity impressions showcased on SNL (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Lady Gaga among them) when she performs stand-up, including during her debut run of weekend shows at the DC Improv, with opening sets from formerly D.C.-based comic Brittany Carney. Thursday, July 18, with doors at 6:30 p.m., Friday, July 19, with doors at 6:30 and 9:30 p.m., and Saturday, July 20, with doors at 6 and 9 p.m. 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets are $22 to $25, plus a two-item minimum. Call 202-296-7008 or visit


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. To Aug. 11. Theater Lab. Tickets are $49 to $59. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


A comedy roast of nerdy, historic proportions, with a focus on dead celebrities — particularly heretofore hallowed, Hall of Famer-types, from emperors to inventors to entrepreneurs, more often than not straight, white men. That’s the name of the game at this show created by D.C.-based comedian and writer Benjy Himmelfarb with the late Dylan Meyer. Similar to Jeff Ross’ L.A.-derived Historical Roasts on Netflix, as well as a kind of sober, live version of Comedy Central’s Drunk History, fellow nationally touring comedians join Himmelfarb for the roasting pursuit, getting into character and costume for “the meanest, funniest, most historically accurate jokes you’ve ever heard.”

The lineup next week in a return to the DC Improv includes Himmelfarb portraying Mark Twain, Bridget Geiran as Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Dominic Rivera as Genghis Khan, Rahmein Mostafavi as William Shakespeare, Umar Khan as Ronald Reagan, Denise Taylor as Mata Hari, and Eddie Morrison as Pablo Escobar. Wednesday, July 17. Doors at 6:30 p.m. 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets are $15, plus a two-item minimum. Call 202-296-7008 or visit



A troupe of ladies read their favorite memoirs, stories, and funny tales by the world’s most memorable jokesters while also revealing their funny bones — and a whole lot more besides — at the July edition. Lead Naked Girl Cherokee Rose aka “The Bewitching Beauty” will be joined by Alice Darling, Cherie Sweetbottom, and Callie Pigeon for this side-splitting spectacle. Saturday, July 13, at 10 p.m. District of Columbia Arts Center (DCAC), 2438 18th St. NW. Tickets are $17.60 to $22 plus about $2 in fees. Call 202-462-7833 or visit



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


The latest group show from members of Clarendon’s Overlook Gallery offers a twist on the traditional “colorless” approach to art. While no color is apparent in the works in Black and White, no black paint was used, either. Instead, a mixture of other colors was created as a replacement. “This dynamic expression made us examine everyday scenes in a unique way,” according to painter and teacher Jane Coonce, who conceived of the exhibit. Other new member artworks, in a range of media including sculpture, metalwork, ceramics, and photography, are on display in the main gallery of Gallery Clarendon, a pop-up art space where professional artists work, exhibit, and teach classes open to the public. Now to Aug. 4, with Opening Reception and Meet The Artists on Friday, July 12, from 5 to 7 p.m. An Arlington Artists Alliance Gallery, 2800 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington. Call 571-312-7813 or visit


The latest theme examined in a year-long exhibition at this quirkiest of museums is that of “what might be humanity’s most essential performance art.” Works by 36 artists, created out of every conceivable medium, express, in some way, their personal experience of parenting or being parented — be it good, bad, horrific, or sublime — alongside revelations from the latest scientific research, global wisdom, and fun. To Sept. 1. American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Highway. Baltimore. Tickets are $15.95. Call 410-244-1900 or visit


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. Through July 14. 1234 9th St. NW. Call 202-232-4788 or visit


The National Museum of American History presents a nearly year-long exhibition showcasing artifacts from its collections relating to animated protagonists, including comic books, movie and TV costumes and props and assorted memorabilia — from George Reeves’ Superman costume circa 1951 to Halle Berry’s Storm costume from 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past. On display through Sept. 2. 14th St. and Constitution Ave. NW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit


One of the monumental engineering achievements in history, the Great Inka Road is a network of more than 20,000 miles, crossing mountains and tropical lowlands, rivers and deserts, linking the Inca capital Cusco with the farthest reaches of its empire — and it still serves Andean communities today in Colombia, Ecuador, Perú, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile. This exhibition explores the legacy of the Inka Empire and technological feat of the road, recognized by the United Nations as a World Heritage site in 2014. Through June 2020. National Museum of the American Indian, Independence Avenue at 4th Street SW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit



With the New Orleans-oriented theme “Let The Good Times Roll,” the lesbian-owned brewery celebrates its fifth year in business at its original location, which they’re now referring to as the Silver Spring Barrel House & Beer Garden — to distinguish it from their new second location, the Production House, Taproom and Restaurant in Riverdale near College Park. On Saturday, July 13, patrons are encouraged to dress in their best Mardi Gras outfit for a chance to win free beer and to take part in a bead contest, and can also expect to drink Blue Hurricanes and to eat Po’Boys. Entertainment will come from the Naptown Brass Band starting at 5 p.m., the local drag queen collective Haus of Stone at 7 p.m., and music spun by DJ Kenny plus special performances from 9 to 11 p.m. 1115 East-West Highway, Silver Spring. Call 301-557-9818 or visit


Throughout July, Hank’s Pasta Bar in Alexandria is offering two specials “to help ease the rush hour commute,” or at least to help mitigate frustration over delays caused by Metro’s closure of the Blue and Yellow lines in Northern Virginia. The first “Beat Your Summer Commute” special grants 10-percent off the entire check per a request for the Blue Line, while a request for the Yellow Line grants a free meal for kids (provided the purchase of an adult meal). Only available weeknights from 5 to 6:30 p.m. for patrons in the dining room or on the patio. To July 31. 600 Montgomery St., Alexandria. Call 571-312-4117 or visit

Friends of the National Zoo: Brew at the Zoo



Three years ago, Kate Taylor Davis and Jared Davis concocted a variety show that made light of American history in the run-up to July 4th — in 2016, just before the country took a dark, dark turn. Since then, the hit show has become darker and more subversive — as well as more popular — adding topical games with names including “Extreme Vetting” and “Grab. That. P**sy!” This year’s fourth iteration introduces an all-new slate of games, including “The 1% Relay” and “Glory Hole Whack-a-Mole.” Carlos Bustamante aka Carl Buster returns as show host, accompanied by a bevy of “All-American Girls” for a tongue-in-cheek trip across the country filled with trivia, games, satire, and nudity. The latter especially comes into play in a segment called “Naked Moments in American History” with the character known as “Drunkle Sam,” whose purpose is “to fill in the gaps in America’s public education.” Aiding in the cause are Lucrezia Blozia, Jim Dandy, Kittie Glitter, Eleni Grove, Mehdi Raoufi, J. Brinke, Callie Pigeon, Candy Del Rio, Cherie Sweetbottom, and Andrew Wodzianski. Friday, July 19, at 9 p.m., and Saturday, July 20, at 8 p.m. GALA Hispanic Theatre, 3333 14th St. NW. Tickets are $22 to $32. Visit Also Friday, July 26, and Saturday, July 27, at 8 p.m. Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave. Baltimore. Tickets are $20 to $23. Call 410-276-1651 or visit


Billed as the nation’s largest free arts festival, Artscape attracts more than 350,000 people to Baltimore neighborhoods Midtown and Station North to take in fine/textile art in every medium — from visual to fashion to sculpture, with more than 100 artists and craftspeople represented. There are also multiple stages offering performances of live music from regional and nationally known acts. Maryland restaurants and bars also participate in an event co-produced by the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts and the Baltimore Festival of the Arts, Inc. Friday, July 19, and Saturday, July 20, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, July 21, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mount Royal Avenue and Charles Street, Baltimore. Free. Call 410-752-8632 or visit


Nearly 70 craft breweries, all in support of wildlife conservation, will be on tap for the 14th annual beer tasting extravaganza next week, hosted as a benefit for the Friends of the National Zoo, or FONZ. Port City Brewing Company, Right Proper, Denizens, and Hellbender will be represented at the event, which will also feature food from popular food trucks and other local favorites. The Shrapnels and Bobby McKey’s dueling pianists will provide live music to accompany the mingling and lawn games. “Epic dinosaur stilt walkers” is one way this year’s dinosaur theme will be carried out. Thursday, July 18, from 6 to 9 p.m. 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets, including a commemorative mug, are $50 for FONZ members or $65 for non-members, or $110 and $125 for VIP tickets allowing early access to the event, a private VIP area with complimentary food tastings, and special animal demonstrations; sober driver tickets are $30 or $90 for VIP. Call 202-633-4800 or visit


Regie Cabico and Don Mike Mendoza’s La Ti Do variety show features higher-quality singing than most karaoke, often from local musical theater actors performing on their night off, and also includes spoken-word poetry and comedy. Next up, Mendoza and Anya Randall Nebel host the annual Spoof-Tacular, an evening of funny interpretations of musical theater created by LTD Alumnus Christopher David Harris, plus a music feature on Michael Santos Sandoval. Guest performers include Paige Johnson, Lauren-Nicole Gabriel, Mel Gumina, Cathy McCoskey, and Matthew Ratz. There will also be five-minute previews of Capital Fringe shows involving LTD members and alumni. Paige Rammelkamp is music director. Monday, July 15, at 8 p.m. Arqa (formerly Bistro Bistro), 1727 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets are $15 to $20. Call 202-328-1640 or visit


A local actor offers the guided tour Investigation: Detective McDevitt, portraying Detective James McDevitt, a D.C. police officer patrolling a half-block from Ford’s Theatre the night President Lincoln was shot. Written by Richard Hellesen and directed by Mark Ramont, the 1.6-mile walking tour revisits and reexamines the sites and clues from the investigation into the assassination. Tours are offered approximately three evenings a week at 6:45 p.m. Ford’s Theatre, 511 10th St. NW. Tickets are $17. Call 202-397-7328 or visit


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Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @ruleonwriting.

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