Metro Weekly

Out on the Town: D.C. arts and entertainment highlights — July 18-24

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

Spider-Man: Far From Home



The American Film Institute offers a screening of Todd Douglas Miller’s new documentary celebrating the 50th anniversary of NASA’s most celebrated mission, which took humankind to the moon. Crafted from a newly discovered trove of 65mm footage and more than 11,000 hours of uncatalogued audio recordings, Apollo 11 extends the lens to focus not just on the two men who famously first walked the moon, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, but also the perspectives of the large, anxious team in Mission Control as well as the millions of spectators on the ground. Saturday, July 20, at 11 a.m., and Sunday, July 21, at 12 p.m. AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $13 general admission. Call 301-495-6720 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


The 5th annual Georgetown Sunset Cinema series carries the theme “Out of Office,” with a schedule of trip-themed movies as voted on by the public. The Parent Trap (the 1998 version) and Eat Pray Love are still to come during the five-week run of screenings on the grassy knoll along the banks of the Potomac River, with the panoramic Key Bridge as backdrop. But next Tuesday, July 23, offers the warmhearted, spirited comedy about a pageant-obsessed 7-year-old girl from screenwriter Michael Arndt and husband-and-wife-directing duo Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. Metro Weekly‘s Randy Shulman called the 2006 film “a winning and delightfully quirky comedy,” one especially elevated by virtue of its skilled ensemble cast, including Alan Arkin, Toni Collette, Greg Kinnear, and Steve Carrell as the gay uncle of little Olive, played by Abigail Breslin in an ebullient performance. Everyone is encouraged to bring a blanket, food and water or soft drinks — just no chairs or alcohol. Tuesday, July 23, at the intersection of Water Street and Cecil Place NW. The area opens at 6:30 p.m., and the screening starts at sunset, around 8:30 p.m. Call 202-298-9222 or visit


The AFI Silver Theatre co-presents a free summer outdoor film series at nearby Sonny’s Green, where patrons can bring blankets and low-rise chairs as well as their own food and beverage. The series kicks off Friday, July 19, with Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, the Oscar-winning animated adventure with a groundbreaking visual style depicting the Miles Morales version of the superhero story — not the more familiar Peter Parker character. The following Friday, July 26, brings a 20th anniversary screening of The Matrix, the 1999 Keanu Reeves-starring sci-fi leather fetish fantasy that Metro Weekly‘s Randy Shulman praised for “its striking design, groundbreaking effects, and a narrative that [blends] references to pop culture, philosophy and a handful of religion tenets into a stylish, savory sci-fi stew.” Screenings begin at sundown, around 8 p.m. Off the parking lot of the Blairs Shopping Center, 1290 East-West Highway. Call 301-495-6720 or visit


In this largely improvised comedy, Jillian Bell (Comedy Central’s Workaholics) and Michaela Watkins (Hulu’s Casual) play a lesbian couple who reluctantly form a fortune-seeking alliance with an Alabama pawnshop owner, played by popular podcaster Marc Maron, and his bumbling employee (Jon Bass). The foursome hopes to strike it rich via a Civil War-era sword that Bell’s character inherited from her grandfather. But their quest to sell the antique causes them to duel with Deep South conspiracy theorists and fans of revisionist history. Directed by Lynn Shelton (Humpday). Opens Friday, July 19. Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672 or visit


That’s Entertainment! is an out-and-out celebration Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and its movie musical legacy. Designed as a star-studded retrospective of MGM’s first 50 years, Jack Haley, Jr.’s documentary featured classic segments drawn from dozens of the company’s most famous song-and-dance numbers, archived footage showcasing Judy Garland, Clark Gable, and Lena Horne, and original interviews with Bing Crosby, Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, Frank Sinatra, and James Stewart, plus narrators Elizabeth Taylor and Fred Astaire. That’s Entertainment! returns to the big screen as part of the Capital Classics series at Landmark’s West End Cinema. Wednesday, July 24, 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


Jim Henson’s creations first took to the silver screen in this 1979 caper in which Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo, and Miss Piggy lead a road trip to Hollywood with appearances from a “veritable who’s who of 1970s pop culture”: Mel Brooks, Madeline Kahn, Steve Martin, Dom DeLuise, Carol Kane, Richard Pryor, and Bob Hope. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the film, which was directed by James Frawley and spawned the famous song “Rainbow Connection,” Fathom Events brings the original back to screens nationwide on Thursday, July 25, and Tuesday, July 30, at 12:30 and 7 p.m. 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


It’s been nearly 60 years since director Robert Wise adapted this modernized take on Romeo and Juliet by Leonard Bernstein. The Oscar-winning movie musical with Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, George Chakiris, and Rita Moreno and featuring Jerome Robbins’ vibrant choreography, returns to the big screen for two screenings at the AFI Silver Theatre to toast the centennial founding of United Artists — a summer-long series offering a slew of classics, including Annie Hall, Carrie, Midnight Cowboy, Raging Bull, Rocky, and several James Bond blockbusters. Saturday, July 20, and Monday, July 22, at 1 p.m. 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $13 general admission. Call 301-495-6720 or visit

Lady M



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. 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


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. And a remarkable 19 out of this year’s 89 productions are billed as having LGBTQ content, including: Sara Emsley’s lesbian space adventure Dust, the experiences of a Filipino-American father and son in Emil Amok! All Pucked Up: Harvard, NPR and more, Nicole Cox’s values-clashing political drama Office of the Speaker, Shaun Johnson’s personal tale about overcoming a difficult childhood with Veneer of Beauty, and sex educator Twanna A. Hines’ We’re All Going to Fucking Die! 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


“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. To July 21. Family Theater. Tickets are $55 to $99. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


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


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. 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

The Band’s Visit — Photo: Matthew Murphy


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. 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


A drama from playwright Samuel D. Hunter (A Bright New Boise) set in an Idaho town where residents are struggling to connect, relate, and make sense of it all. Baakari Wilder (Broadway’s Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk) plays a man returning after a few years away, Dawn Thomas Reidy plays his friend and former lover, and Andrew Flurer a newcomer who complicates his future in a changed town. Audrey Cefaly, Ira Joe Fisher, Michael Grenham, and Zach Brewster-Geisz also lend their voiceover talents to this production from Maryland’s Unexpected Stage, a company that director Christopher Goodrich founded 10 years ago with his wife Rachel Stroud-Goodrich. Now to Aug. 4. Fireside Room in the River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation building, 6301 River Rd., Bethesda. Tickets are $10 to $29.50. Call 301-337-8290 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. All three, roughly 90-minute, intermission-less plays are performed Saturday, July 20, and Sunday, July 21, closing out the festival. 1524 Spring Hill Rd. Tysons, Va. Tickets are $20 per show, or $50 for a Festival Pass. Call 703-854-1856 or visit


Described as an outrageous and cutting satire of Asian-American identity, Mike Lew’s latest work closes out the current season at Olney Theatre Center in a production helmed by Helen Hayes Award-winning director Natsu Onoda Power. Regina Aquino and Sean Sekino will star as third-generation Chinese-Americans, affluent Millennial siblings who face something of a late-adolescent identity crisis that leads them to try their hand at living in the motherland. Eileen Rivera as their mother and Michael Glenn as the show’s sole non-Asian actor playing a host of characters complete the cast. In previews. Opens Saturday, July 20. Runs to Aug. 18. Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Call 301-924-3400 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. 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

Billy Joel — Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images



He’s headlined multiple concerts at Nationals Park since the ballpark opened a decade ago. And in 2014, the “Piano Man” started playing one show a month at New York’s Madison Square Garden, making him the venue’s first-ever music franchise. Surprisingly, Joel has never played at the famous home stadium for the Baltimore Orioles. Even more surprisingly, apparently no one else has either. That changes next Friday, July 26, when Joel offers what is billed as the first-ever concert at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Presented by LiveNation, the Orioles Charitable Foundation will donate a portion of the concert proceeds to support music and arts education programs for kids across the Major League team’s territory. The sixth best-selling recording artist of all time and the third best-selling solo artist, Joel is also responsible for a whopping 33 Top 40 hits — or, too many to pack into just one concert. The show starts at 8 p.m. 333 W. Camden St., Baltimore. Only “Verified Resale Tickets” remain, ranging from $177 to $1,000.01. Call 888-848-BIRD or visit


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


Rooted in the music of New Orleans, this modern rhythmic jazz ensemble mixes in blues, funk, Afro-Cuban, and pop to bring the signature American music genre to life in new and dynamic ways, with the intention of getting audiences moving and dancing. Recently, they’ve been doing that three nights a week, performing live at Kramerbooks’ Afterwords Café, in the back of the venue, where patrons can enjoy late-night food as well as a host of literary-inspired cocktails and over 20 craft beers on tap. Thursdays from 9 to 10 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 p.m. to Midnight. 1517 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-387-3825 or visit


The 10th annual summer cabaret series at ArtSpace Falls Church continues this weekend with the shows “New York, New Nora” featuring Nora Palka (Creative Cauldron’s On Air), who will perform her original ukulele tunes as well as jazz and show tune standards, on Friday, July 19, and “Somewhere Over the Rose” with Kathy Halenda, celebrating the songs, styles, and stories of Judy Garland and Bette Midler, on Saturday, July 20. Those cabarets are followed by “Piano Man” with Chis Urquiaga, performing original tunes as well as pop piano classics, on Friday, July 26, and “The First Lady of Country: Tribute to Patsy Cline” featuring Jess Eliot Myhre, Maureen Andary, and Aimee Curl, on Saturday, July 27. All shows at 8 p.m. Series runs to Sept. 14. 410 South Maple Ave. in Falls Church. Tickets are $18 to $22 per show, or $60 for a table for two with wine and $120 for four with wine. Call 703-436-9948 or visit


One of contemporary jazz’s leading figures, the gay smooth jazz saxophonist Koz recruits another group of jazz star friends for a “brass-fueled, feel-good tour of the summer” that includes a Hollywood Bowl outing and a Spirit of New York concert cruise, as well as a stop at MGM National Harbor. The lineup includes many of the guests featured on last year’s Summer Horns II: From A to Z, a collection of jazzy covers of pop/soul hits — namely, vocalist Kenny Lattimore, saxophonist Gerald Albright, vocalist/trombonist Aubrey Logan, trumpeter Rick Braun, and guitarist Adam Hawley. Thursday, July 25, at 8 p.m. The Theater, 7100 Harborview Ave., Oxon Hill, Md. Tickets are $43 to $70. Call 844-346-4664 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 jazz violinist Miles Stiebel on July 19, followed by Incendio, the 20-year-old instrumental world guitar band featuring Jim Stubblefield, Jean-Pierre Durand, Liza Carbé, and Timothy Curle, on July 26. Evenings from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Sculpture Garden, between 7th and 9th Streets NW. Call 202-289-3360 or visit

Jody Watley


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. 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


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 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


Before launching its new season next month, Signature presents a cabaret series with seven different shows, most of them featuring musical actors known from productions at the Shirlington complex. Among those performing during the opening week of the series are: Maria Rizzo (Signature’s A Little Night Music, Gypsy) celebrating the “vivacious, sexiest women of Broadway” with “Vamping” on Saturday, July 20, at 2 and 8 p.m.; Joel Coleman, the lead vocalist of the Platters (“Smoke Gets In Your Eyes,” “Only You”), and his “No Boundaries” mix of songs that share “the soundtrack of his life,” on Sunday, July 21, at 7 p.m.; Awa Sal Secka (Blackbeard, Jesus Christ Superstar) and Christian Douglas (United States Army Chorus) in “Two’s Company,” “a cabaret toast to dynamic duos,” on Friday, July 19, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, July 21, at 2 p.m.; the Christie Dashiell Quartet, featuring its namesake Billboard-charting singer and pianist Mark G. Meadows, offering a salute to the band “Earth, Wind & Fire” on Wednesday, July 24, at 7:30 p.m.; and Erin Driscoll (Titanic), who “explores the evolution of the Broadway soprano” in “My Favorite Things” on Thursday, July 25, at 8 p.m. Series continues to Aug. 4. The Ark at 4200 Campbell Ave., in Arlington. Tickets are $38 per show, or $175 for an All-Access pass. Call 703-820-9771 or visit


For those with a penchant for salsa music and Latin dancing in general, the lawn outside of the Strathmore mansion will be the place to move and groove next Wednesday, July 24, starting at 7 p.m. That’s when Puerto Rican percussionist and DJ Joe Falero will lead his namesake rhythmic band, a recipient of three “Stuck on Salsa Awards,” in a concert that comes as part of the venue’s free weekly summer series. Expect to be “dancing all night long” — or at least as long as the band keeps playing. Gudelsky Gazebo, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Tickets are free. Call 301-581-5100 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

Carol Burnett



The comedy pioneer and dynamic entertainer returns for another night in which she puts herself on the spot, taking questions from the audience, just as she did in the intro to every episode of her eponymous hit TV variety show. The program is a retrospective, complete with video clips, from the 86-year-old’s performing career, which was launched into superstardom with a 1959 Tony-nominated role in Once Upon A Mattress. More recently she’s been heralded not once but twice by the Kennedy Center, as an Honoree in 2003 and as the 2013 recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for Humor. Thursday, July 25, at 8 p.m. The Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $55 to $125. Call 301-581-5100 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 professor at Boston University School of Law (and one-time clerk to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg), Wexler explores the ever-larger number of Americans who say they identify with no religion at all in his new book. With the full title Our Non-Christian Nation: How Atheists, Satanists, Pagans, and Others are Demanding Their Rightful Place in Public Space features profiles of the many non-Christians and “other determined champions of free religious expression” who are increasingly demanding their full participation in public life. Thursday, July 25, at 6:30 p.m. Kramerbooks, 1517 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-387-1400 or visit


A National Geographic Fellow and TED Prize-winner as well as anthropology professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham comes to Solid State Books in D.C.’s H Street Corridor to read from and sign copies of her new book. Archaeology from Space: How the Future Shapes Our Past introduces readers to “the brave new world” of space archaeology and explains how the field uses futuristic tools to unlock secrets from the past — such as the kind of satellite imaging this “remote sensing” expert and noted Egyptologist has used at potential archeological sites in Egypt and across the former Roman Empire. Monday, July 22, at 7 p.m. Solid State Books, 600 H St. NE. Call 897-4201 or visit



Right now, dinosaurs are in motion and causing a commotion of sorts at the National Zoo — but in as harmless and science-lite a way, and as far from Jurassic Park, as possible. Although they can move, roar, and even spit water, the six prehistoric creatures roaming the Smithsonian park’s central Olmsted Walk are essentially toys — animatronic replicas of everything from a baby stegosaurus to a 13-foot-tall, 39-foot-long T-Rex. An additional attraction is “Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live,” a 30-minute show in which a team of skilled performers and puppeteers bring to life a collection of “lifelike dinosaurs” touted as providing “visual oomph to rival The Lion King.” Multiple shows daily, except Mondays. Now to Aug. 31. 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. Zoo entry is free; tickets to “Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo” are $8 to $10. Call 202-633-4888 or visit


The Focus Gallery of the Arlington Artists Alliance presents a group show featuring member artistic interpretations on the topical — and tropical — theme of summertime heat and humidity. The “sizzling artistry” — per the words of the organizers — will be on display in the air-conditioned comfort of the gallery, which is located in the Crystal City Shops. Also on display: Our National Mall in Color, a show featuring vivid depictions of national landmarks from watercolorist Tony Neville, the gallery’s featured artist of the month. On display through July 26. Gallery Underground, 2100 Crystal Drive. Call 571-483-0652 or visit


Nearly 50 photographs and ephemera from the Life Magazine artist known for capturing larger-than-life personalities and those among the most notable people of the 20th century — from Marilyn Monroe to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. This special exhibition at Hillwood explores the relationship that evolved over the course of photo sessions between Eisenstaedt and Hillwood founder Marjorie Merriweather Post. To Jan. 12. Hillwood Estate, 4155 Linnean Ave. NW. Suggested donation is $18. Call 202-686-5807 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 survey of Baltimore’s movie-going past from 1896 to the present, this Flickering Treasures exhibition at the National Building Museum features oral histories, architectural fragments, theater ephemera, and of course photography — particularly vivid, contemporary shots from Baltimore Sun staff photographer Amy Davis. All of it illuminates themes of memory, loss, and preservation, as well as the importance of movies and movie houses in 20th century American life. While only a handful of more than 240 theaters built in Charm City still function today, many survive in some form, as documented in this exhibition. On display to Oct. 2019. 401 F St. NW. Call 202-272-2448 or visit


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. 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


Before it became a gay desert mecca and a resort for the rich and famous, Palm Springs was a desert outpost — as well as home to the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation. The National Museum of the American Indian shines a light on a land battle in Palm Springs, yet another in a long string of conflicts between western expansion and Indigenous peoples’ rights. The focus is on Section 14, a one-square-mile tract in downtown Palm Springs that forms the heart of the reservation. The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians created the exhibition, which was organized by the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum. On display through Jan. 2020. National Museum of the American Indian, Independence Avenue at 4th Street SW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit


Works posing urgent questions about the experiences and perceptions of migration and the current global refugee crisis are the focus of a special summer exhibition at the Phillips Collection. Organized in partnership with the New Museum in New York, The Warmth of Other Suns presents 75 historical and contemporary artists, from the U.S. and all over the world, who have reconstructed personal and collective tales of migration via art installations, videos, paintings, and documentary images. The exhibition brings together a multitude of voices and exposes the universality of migration as an experience shared by many. That includes the more than six million African Americans whose exodus from the American South during the Jim Crow era is depicted in Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series, a cornerstone of the permanent collection at the Phillips. Now to Sept. 22. 1600 21st St. NW. Tickets are $10 to $12. Call 202-387-2151 x247 or visit


The National Museum of Women in the Arts currently has on display monumental sculptures made from wood and other organic materials, including leather, silk, and hair, all created by this German artist with the intent of evoking the grandeur and power of nature. A wall installation and an additional nine works on paper are included in this, the most ambitious presentation of works to date by von Rydingsvard, one of the most influential sculptors working today. Mark Rosenthal formerly of the National Gallery of Art guest-curated the exhibition, which was organized by Philadelphia’s Fabric Workshop and Museum. On exhibit to July 28. 1250 New York Ave NW. Admission is $10. Call 202-783-5000 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 an adult meal is purchased). 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



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


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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