Metro Weekly

Out on the Town: D.C. arts and entertainment highlights — Aug. 29-Sept. 4

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

Coco — Image via Disney/



As part of its Capital Classics series, Landmark’s West End Cinema returns the second film in Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy as two strangers who meet by chance on a train. In 2004’s Before Sunset, the two characters are reunited unexpectedly in Paris, leading to a new question: “What if you had a second chance with the one that got away?” Wednesday, Sept. 4, 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 each. Call 202-534-1907 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 beverages. The series concludes Friday, Aug. 30, with a 30th anniversary screening of “one of the most bodacious comedies of the 20th century,” and to help build anticipation for next year’s sequel Bill & Ted Face The Music. As stars Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves famously put it, party on, dudes! The screening begins 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


Al Pacino gives one of his finest screen portrayals as an amateur crook who robs a bank to pay for his partner’s sex-change surgery in Sidney Lumet’s gritty, edgy drama. At the time, the film challenged social prejudices against the LGBTQ community, and its gay content is relevant enough that it made the third installment of Metro Weekly‘s “25 LGBTQ Films Everyone Should See” series. The film returns to the big screen as part of a two-month The New Hollywood series at the American Film Institute’s Silver Theatre. Saturday, Aug. 31, and Tuesday, Sept. 3, at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 4, at 4:30 and 9:25 p.m., and Thursday, Sept. 5, at 4:30 p.m. 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $10 to $13. Call 301-495-6720 or visit


Considered one of cinema’s most magnificent and visually stunning achievements, David Lean’s 1962 masterpiece will be presented digitally in 4K from a meticulous restoration of the original negative and presented by Fathom Events as part of the year-long TCM Big Screen Classics series. Based on the exploits of T.E. Lawrence during World War I as leader of the Arab revolt against the Turks, Peter O’Toole plays the title role with a supporting cast that includes Omar Sharif, Anthony Quinn, and Alec Guiness. The four-hour epic garnered seven Oscars, including best picture, director, cinematography, and score. Sunday, Sept. 1, and Wednesday, Sept. 4, at 1 and 6 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). Tickets are $12.50. Visit


Every Saturday and Sunday morning until early September, the AFI Silver Theatre screens a different 45-minute program featuring selections of Warner Bros.’ classic cartoons starring the Looney Tunes gang — Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, Porky Pig, Foghorn Leghorn, Sylvester, Tweety, and more. The series continues with Program 6 this Saturday, Aug. 31, and Sunday, Sept. 1, at 11 a.m. 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $5. Call 301-495-6720 or visit


Union Market revs up its monthly Drive-In Series twice more in 2019, with the penultimate offering next week of Coco, the 2018 Oscar-winning animated adventure from Disney-Pixar about an aspiring 12-year-old musician channeling his great-great-grandfather, a legendary singer, and featuring songs by the Oscar-winning couple Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez (Frozen) plus a score by Oscar winner Michael Giacchino (Up). You don’t have to drive a car to partake in the experience, as you can just nab a viewing spot in the free picnic area. Food and beer are available from market vendors and neighboring merchants. The DC Rollergirls will also be on hand to sell and deliver candy. Friday, Sept. 6, with the screening starting at 8 p.m. In the parking lot at Union Market, 1309 5th St. NE. Free for walk-ups or $15 per car. Call 800-680-9095 or visit

Dear Evan Hansen: Christiane Noll as Cynthia Murphy and Jessica Phillips — Photo: Matthew-Murphy



If you missed it when it started its life at Arena Stage four years ago, the Tony Award-winning masterpiece from the hit stage and screen songwriting team of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul returns for a nearly sold-out run to the area as part of its first national tour. Michael Greif directs the deeply personal and profoundly contemporary tale, featuring a book by Steven Levenson, about the power and overpowering effects of social media and social standing. To Sept. 8. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $79 to $175. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


More than 65 D.C.-area theater companies offer readings, workshop productions, open rehearsals, and previews of developing plays and musicals as part of this free event held over Labor Day weekend. Participating theaters in the 18th annual event include Ford’s Theatre, The In Series, MetroStage, Mosaic Theater Company, Pinky Swear Productions, the LGBTQ-focused Rainbow Theatre Project, Theatre Prometheus, the Welders playwriting collective, the black LGBTQ-focused African-American Collective Theater, the impressive Millennial-focused Monumental Theatre Company, and Huemanati Artist Collective, the latter presenting Day Dream, a work about pioneering jazz artist and historical LGBTQ figure Billy Strayhorn. Other highlights include: Brave Soul Collective’s #BlackGayRage, a montage of performances celebrating the existence and illuminating the challenges of black LGBTQ people; Project 2020’s The Last Battle of the American Revolution, a medley of scenes from stage works celebrating and relating events from the struggle for women’s voting rights in the U.S.; and Voices Unbarred’s Dear America: A Disconnect Between Perception & Truth, an examination of the perceptions of inmates versus the reality with an eye toward brainstorming solutions to the issues raised. Festival begins Saturday, Aug. 30. To Monday, Sept. 2. Call 202-467-4600 or visit

Legally Blonde — Photo: Cameron Whitman


Dupont Circle’s Keegan Theatre closes out its 22nd season with the stage adaptation of the hit movie, based on Amanda Brown’s novel about effervescent Elle Woods and her journey to Harvard. Ricky Drummond helms Keegan’s production of the show, featuring music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Neil Benjamin, aided by music director Walter “Bobby” McCoy and choreographer Ashleigh King. To Sept. 1. Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church St. NW. Tickets are $52 to $62. Call 202-265-3767 or visit


Four short, one-act plays get staged during the third and final weekend program of this 2019 festival, including Steve Langley’s Gone Fishin’, about the meeting at a secluded fishing hole between a grieving father and the man who reveals that he was much more than his late son’s roommate. Gregory Ford directs Melvin D. Smith, Axandre Oge, and Sebastian Leighton in the drama, staged along with Nan Gatewood Satter’s Yalu River, Agyeiwaa Asante’s Help Wanted, and Carl L. Williams’ The Elimination Round. The festival of all-original works kicks off Silver Spring Stage’s new season. The program opens in a Pay-What-You-Can Preview Thursday, Aug. 29. Main performances are Friday, Aug. 30, and Saturday, Aug. 31, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 1, at 2 p.m. 10145 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring, Md. Tickets are $22 to $25. Call 301-593-6036 or visit


Ally Theatre Company, focused on presenting works or partnering with organizations that acknowledge and confront systemic oppression in America, launches its third season with a timely drama from Naomi Wallace about three vigilantes, childhood friends who enjoy spending their time patrolling the U.S./Mexican border. In time, they gain a fuller, more complicated picture of border security and what it means to be an American in a work that features a warning akin to an R-rated movie: “This play contains adult content including acts of violence, sexual assault, guns, partial nudity, xenophobic, homophobic, and misogynist language.” Matt Ripa, the artistic director of the DC Queer Theatre Festival, directs a cast featuring Jhonny Maldonado, Robert Pike, and Eli Pendry. To Aug. 31. Joe’s Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mount Rainier, Md. Tickets are $15 to $20. Call 301-699-1819 or visit

Jennifer Hudson



As wild and wacky as you’d expect from a fully staged production featuring a female-fronted, metal-inspired J-pop band, Babymetal tours in support of Metal Galaxy. Set for release in October, the Japanese band’s album continues to weave a Dungeons and Dragons-esque story as band members find themselves summoned to the dark path by the Fox God. The Swedish metal act Avatar opens. Sunday, Sept. 8. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. Tickets are $52 to $300. Call 202-888-0020 or visit


Next up in the outdoor American Roots Concert Series at the Hill Center is a performance by the Grammy-nominated Creole musician, C.J. Chenier, son of Clifton “The King of Zydeco” Chenier. The bluesy singer and accordion player will lead the Red-Hot Louisiana Band during a free late-afternoon concert further enhanced by two boxed offerings from the acclaimed nearby restaurant Little Pearl. A Cold Fried Chicken or Cold Fried Eggplant box can be ordered up until Thursday, Sept. 5, and available for pick-up on the patio at Little Pearl an hour before the concert. Sunday, Sept. 8, at 4:30 p.m. Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Free. Call 202-549-4172 or visit


After a break over Labor Day, the 10th annual summer cabaret series at ArtSpace Falls Church continues with two of D.C.’s finest young R&B singers each paying tribute to those who came before. On Friday, Sept. 6, at 8 p.m., comes “Cecily Sings Nancy Wilson,” a show in which “D.C.’s first lady of soul” brings to life the story and music of the celebrated artist and activist. That’s followed on Saturday, Sept. 7, at 8 p.m., with Rochelle Rice’s “And We Shall March,” a journey through the social justice causes, key figures, and empowering music of the Civil Rights Movement. 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


With the release of Deerhunter’s last album, 2015’s Fading Frontier, lead singer-songwriter Bradford Cox swore off the dreamy, shoegazy quality that ran through much of the Atlanta-based group’s early work. On this year’s Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared? he happily proclaims it dead and buried. This time around, Deerhunter find themselves squarely in the present, fixated on upheaval and transience, themes that are reflected in its brief runtime. Depending on what one wants to read into the lyrics, Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared? could be described as a political album, albeit an unconventional one. Its voice hovers between resignation and distress, seemingly bewildered by a world gone mad, in which chaotic politics are both cause and consequence of a wider tumult. Cox manages to keep up a sense of humor in his narration. Including himself in the joke saves the album from veering into outright sanctimony. The band will perform the new work as part of a co-headlining show at the 9:30 Club with Dirty Projectors, a Brooklyn-based outfit touring in support of a new self-titled breakup album produced by the legendary Rick Rubin. Sunday, Sept. 8. Doors at 7 p.m. 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $30. Call 202-265-0930 or visit (Sean Maunier)


Thomas Wilkins conducts the National Symphony Orchestra in a program that draws on the repertoire and showcases the powerhouse pipes of probably the most famous American Idol contestant — one who actually came seventh in her season. But Hudson showed them all, including Simon Cowell, by going on to great acclaim and awards, including an Oscar for her work in the movie version of Dreamgirls. She’ll be back in cinemas this fall in the movie adaptation of Cats. Thursday, Sept. 5, at 8 p.m. The Filene Center at Wolf Trap, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. Remaining tickets are $60, or $45 for lawn seats. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit


East Texas blues meets southwest Louisiana swamp rock with this Grammy-nominated pianist and singer-songwriter, who offers tastes of roadhouse rock, jump blues, R&B, soul and zydeco. Ball is also a regular attraction at celebrated area concert venues from the Hamilton to the Birchmere to the Barns at Wolf Trap, but her next stop is at the AMP by Strathmore. Thursday, Sept. 5, at 8 p.m. 11810 Grand Park Ave. North Bethesda. Tickets are $35 to $55. Call 301-581-5100 or visit


Last year, the Queen of Hip-Hop became the first entertainer to perform at D.C.’s Entertainment and Sports Arena, the same honor Blige was given back in 2011 when she officially opened the Fillmore Silver Spring. Next week, Blige makes a thrilling return to Wolf Trap for a sultry, end-of-summer starry night as she enlists the crowd to sing along to her many hits. Tuesday, Sept. 3, at 8 p.m. The Filene Center, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. Remaining tickets are $45 to $115. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit

Natalia LaFourcade


A 35-year-old Mexican singer-songwriter, Lafourcade was effectively groomed to become the star that she is throughout Latin America by parents who are established music educators and pianists. Aside from a powerful, lyrical soprano-caliber voice, her appeal is the old-timey, moody chanteuse vibe of much of her music, such as the captivating, all-original album Hasta la Raiz — which garnered a whopping five Latin Grammys and also Lafourcade’s second nomination and first win at the main Grammys, for Best Latin Rock Album. Lafourcade’s nostalgia-evoking style is naturally even more pronounced on Musas, the recently released two-volume collection propelled by stand-out tributes to the Mexican folk songs that inspire her, and recorded with acoustic guitar duo Los Macorinos. Thursday, Sept. 5, at 8 p.m. Warner Theatre, 513 13th St. NW. Tickets are $45 to $125 plus fees. Call 202-783-4000 or visit


Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke leads the NSO in the annual tradition on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. This year’s concert features vocalists Mykal Kilgore and Nova Payton in a program of popular songs by R&B hitmakers ranging from Aretha Franklin to Whitney Houston, James Brown to Stevie Wonder, plus a few patriotic songs, capped by Ray Charles’s version of “America The Beautiful.” Also lending vocal support are Micah Robinson, Shacara Rogers, and Jillian Willis Sunday, Sept. 1, at 8 p.m. U.S. Capitol Building, West Lawn. (In case of inclement weather, the concert will move to the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.) Free. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


An array of talented pop/folk vocalists and musicians from around the area are brought together to perform in tribute to one of the first 10 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Known for classic hits “Bye Bye Love,” “Let It Be Me,” “Love Hurts,” and “Walk Right Back.” Presented by the production company Newmyer Flyer, led by BandHouse Gigs co-founder Ron Newmyer, the concert features performances by David & Ginger Kitchen, the Jelly Roll Mortals, Ruthie & the Wranglers, Willie Barry, Bob Berberich, Lynn Kasdorf, and Louie Newmyer. The lineup also features a tribute to the 1970s band Grin, founded and fronted by Nils Lofgren. Grin Again features original Grin drummer Bob Berberich and singer Tom Lofgren, with Mike and Mark Lofgren subbing for their brother Nils and sharing lead vocal duties, plus Ronnie Newmyer subbing for the late bassist Bob Gordon. Friday, Aug. 30, at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $29.50. Call 703-549-7500 or visit


As part of its free lunchtime Tuesday Concert Series, downtown’s Church of the Epiphany presents a 45-minute program showcasing the evolution of classical piano styles, from the elegant gracefulness of Classicism, to the passionate lyricism of Romanticism, to the percussiveness of Modernism. Valenti will perform on the nine-foot Steinway concert grand piano in the church’s beautifully vibrant acoustic space. Tuesday, Sept. 5, at 12:10 p.m. 1317 G St. NW. Suggested donation of $10. Call 202-347-2635 or visit


Of Monsters and Men was always going to be haunted by the mainstream success of the Icelandic band’s 2011’s hit “Little Talks” — with that famous recurring chant “Hey!” — and its follow-up, “Mountain Sound.” After spending two albums turning out echoing, anthemic folk-adjacent stadium-fillers, they have opted to take their chances. Fever Dream goes in a markedly different direction, trading acoustics for synths and intimacy for polish. Of Monsters and Men has a distinct sound, thanks largely to lead vocals supplied by Nanna Hilmarsdóttir and Ragnar Þórhallsson. These two are the band’s most recognizable asset and as a result are one of the few elements tying Fever Dream to their previous output. Fever Dream ends on a surprisingly strong note with “Soothsayer,” a tense and intimate closing track that brings back the electric guitars to great effect and lends a solid bookend to the album. Lower Dens serves as opening act for Of Monsters and Men’s Fever Dream Tour, with a local stop presented by DC101 and Corona. Wednesday, Sept. 4. The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. Tickets are $50 to $199. Call 202-888-0020 or visit (Sean Maunier)


Eugene “Junie” Henderson, best known as the leader of hitmaking D.C. go-go band E.U. (Experience Unlimited), presents an annual concert-driven dance party that pays tribute to the music of the Purple One. Henderson will channel the sound and charisma of the late, legendary pop/R&B superstar for this All-Star Purple Party accompanied by a band consisting of veteran R&B and rock players who have toured with everyone from Aretha Franklin to Patti LaBelle. Friday, Aug. 30. Doors at 6:30 p.m. 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $18 to $25. Call 202-787-1000 or visit


“If you were a kid when ‘Red Red Wine’ came out, UB40 something,” goes a meme making the social media rounds referring to the unmistakable cover of the Neil Diamond song from the reggae band out of the U.K. “Red Red Wine” was a ubiquitous chart-topping hit in the mid-1980s, as was the band’s similarly novel reggae spin on the classic “(I Can’t Help) Falling In Love With You.” For those craving a real blast from the past, a version of the original band featuring original lead singer Ali Campbell and original percussionist Astro performs under the stars at Wolf Trap for a nostalgia-steeped, summer-ending concert over Labor Day also featuring turn-of-the-millennium hitmaker Shaggy (“Oh Carolina,” “It Wasn’t Me”), plus D.C. reggae band Nkula. Sunday, Sept. 1. Gates at 6 p.m. The Filene Center, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $40 to $60. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit


“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. Friday, Aug. 30. Doors at 11 p.m. U Street Music Hall, 1115A U St. NW. Tickets are $22 to $25. Call 202-588-1880 or visit

Wolf Trap: Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me



The popular, entertaining NPR news quiz show returns for another annual broadcast from Wolf Trap. Peter Sagal hosts, along with judge and scorekeeper Bill Kurtis, two shows at the venue this year. On Thursday, Aug. 29, they will be joined by panelists Peter Grosz, Negin Farsad, and Faith Salie, while the show Friday, Aug. 30, features Tom “Motel 6” Bodett, Maz Jobrani, and the Washington Post‘s Roxanne Roberts, with a featured celebrity guest to be announced. Gates for both shows open at 6:30 p.m. The Filene Center, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. Lawn seats, at $45 each, are the only tickets remaining, and only for the Thursday, Aug. 29, show. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit



The Notorious R.B.G., more properly known as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will join José Andrés, Raina Telgemeier, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Barbara Kingsolver and other top authors in discussions at this 19th annual Library of Congress event. All told, more than 140 best-selling authors and illustrators will participate in the #NatBookFest, including Louis Bayard, Michael Beschloss, Holly Black, Douglas Brinkley, David Brooks, David Epstein, Joanne B. Freeman, Philippa Gregory, Monica Hesse, Linda Holmes, Alexandra Horowitz, David Maraniss, David McCullough, Joyce Carol Oates, Jim Ottaviani, Elaine Pagels, Steven Pearlstein, Evan Thomas, Ngozi Ukazu, and Frans de Waal. Saturday, Aug. 31, from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mt. Vernon Pl. Call 202-249-3000 or visit



Provided you can snag a table, this weekend seems like an opportune time to try the much-acclaimed brunch offerings at what is purported to be the nation’s first Balkan restaurant. Although since expanded to Clarendon, the original Capitol Hill location of Ambar remains a draw on weekends for its fixed-price Unlimited Brunch ($30 to $39 per person, not including tax and gratuity) offering an all-you-can-eat array of mezze, soups, salads, sandwiches, egg dishes, and pastries and crepes, plus five distinctive brunch cocktails for those looking to booze it up. There’s “Popara” Balkan Bread Pudding, with aged cow’s cheese, milk and chili flakes, served with country-style bacon; an Almond & Walnut Crusted Fried Chicken Sandwich with a spring mix and apple-wasabi slaw; and Poached Pear Waffles with house-made caramel sauce and whipped cream. In addition to a traditional Bloody Mary and Mimosa, Ambar offers variations including a Peach Mimosa with Balkan sparkling wine and peach and lavender purée, and a Mixed Berry Mimosa with Balkan sparkling wine, mixed berry purée, and lime juice. Saturdays and Sundays — plus Monday, Sept. 2 — from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 523 8th St. SE. All diners at a table must order the Unlimited Brunch. Call 202-813-3039 or visit


On Thursday evenings from 5 to 8 p.m., the Heurich House Museum in Dupont Circle hosts a bar event in its botanical backyard that spotlights D.C.’s brewing culture and history. Also open during the event is the museum’s Home/Brewed exhibition. The Castle Garden, 1921 Sunderland Place NW. Free, with $7 glasses of beer and wine available. Call 202-429-1894 or visit


The Pembroke, in the recently renovated boutique hotel located right on its namesake city circle, factors in among a crop of newer or renewed restaurants and cafes in town, and one inviting residents to check it out over Labor Day. Throughout the weekend as well as on Monday, Sept. 2, guests will be able to order from the French-themed restaurant’s regular brunch menu developed by Chef Harper McClure. Favorites include a toasted farro breakfast bowl, the Croque Madame, or classic brioche French toast, all of which can be enjoyed through the gorgeously appointed interior space, set off by marble tabletops and plush salmon-colored leather sofas, or on the outdoor terrace. 1500 New Hampshire Ave. NW. Call 202.448.4302 or visit

T-Rex and friend at Dinosaur Zoo Live. Photo: C. Waits



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. 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


Over 1,000 items from D.C.’s historic original brewery, the Chr. Heurich Brewing Company, are on rotating display at the Heurich House Museum, which has started a fundraising campaign to purchase the collection, owned by local collector Jack Blush. Ranging from bottles and kegs to branded everyday objects and signs to employee photos, Home/Brewed tells a part of D.C. history that until recently had been largely forgotten and lost in large part because of a fire in 1938 that destroyed the company’s founding documents and similar memorabilia. In operation from 1873 to 1956, the Heurich Brewing Co. was a household name at its peak in the 1890s, when it also stood as the largest non-governmental employer in the city. Now run by a family-created nonprofit, the Heurich mansion-cum-museum remains as the city’s best-preserved example of Richardsonian Romanesque residential architecture. The exhibition is on view during public tours and special events. 1921 Sunderland Place NW. Call 202-429-1894 or visit


In recognition of the significant cultural loss with the recent passing of Toni Morrison, the National Portrait Gallery displays Robert McCurdy’s painted portrait of the Pulitzer Prize- and Nobel Prize-winning author of Song of Solomon and Beloved. McCurdy’s portrait, based on an expressionless photograph he captured of Morrison “that has no implied past or future but exists in the eternal present,” has been added to the larger exhibition Twentieth Century Americans: 2000 to Present on the museum’s third floor. Now to Jan. 31. 8th and F Streets. NW. Call 202-633-8300 or visit


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


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 new exhibition at the National Geographic Museum puts a rare spotlight on the queens of ancient Egypt, including Hatshepsut, Nefertari, Nefertiti, and Cleopatra VII. The life and leadership of these legendary figures, whose rule ranged from the New Kingdom (1539-1514 B.C.) to the Ptolemaic dynasty (51-30 B.C.), is told with the help of more than 300 ancient Egyptian artifacts, including monumental statues, sparkling jewelry, and impressive sarcophagi — plus the use of advanced virtual reality technology providing a 3D flythrough tour of one of the most well-preserved tombs in the Valley of the Queens, that of Queen Nefertari. Many of the objects on display come courtesy of the Museo Egizio of Turin, Italy, one of the international cultural partners in the exhibition. And much of the research is based on the work of renowned Egyptologist and National Geographic Explorer Kara Cooney, author of the companion book When Women Ruled The World: Six Queens of Egypt, published by National Geographic Books last fall. To Sept. 2. The museum is located at 1145 17th St. NW. Tickets are $10 to $15. Call 202-857-7588 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. ArTecHouse, 1238 Maryland Ave. SW. Tickets are $13 to $20, with “after hours” sessions featuring a bar with exhibition-related Augmented Reality cocktails. visit

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A few photographs that you may remember from covers of this magazine — Jim Graham as Cleopatra or the infamous Leather Kewpie — have factored into the latest exhibition at the DC Center for the LGBT Community, all by Todd Franson, Metro Weekly‘s principle portrait photographer for 24 years. Yet the focus of the exhibit is on artworks Franson has created for other projects and pursuits, going as far back as his days as a student at the Savannah College of Art and Design. A more recent passion of Franson’s has been capturing artistic shots of foliage, blooms, and landscapes at the National Arboretum. And then there are the dazzling and quirky photographs that come closest to conveying his personal sensibility, none more so than “Dancing Bear,” a vibrant image of a bustling amusement park at dusk. Franson will add new pieces and versions as well as $25 loose prints for purchase during the closing reception, featuring light food and drinks, set for Saturday, Sept. 7, from 7 to 9 p.m. The Center Arts Gallery is inside the Reeves Center at 2000 14th St. NW. Call 202-682-2245 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

Maryland Renaissance Festival



Launched in 2016 by John Lindo and Jim Coakley, with a headline performance by The Voice‘s Billy Gilman, this Labor Day Weekend LGBTQ social dance mainstay returns with a headline performance by Herndon, the veteran Grammy-nominated and Dove-winning recording artist who came out in 2014, becoming the first major gay male country star. Set for Sunday, Sept. 1, at 9 p.m., Herndon will perform with musical accompaniment as part of the capstone party Farewell Dance: Blue and White Cowboy also featuring DC Out DJs including Louis St. George. Festival-goers are encouraged to don elegant or casual blue-and-white garb for a party also offering them a chance to demonstrate the moves they learned and practiced in the classes and workshops to be offered at the three-day “crossover swing, country, and line event.” Held in the ballrooms of the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, DC Out kicks off Thursday, Aug. 29, with an evening dance, with a Blues & Soul party led by DJ John Festa set for Friday, Aug. 30, and the Sparkles, Sequins and Glam evening dance on Saturday, Sept. 1. 400 New Jersey Ave. NW. Tickets to the Sunday concert and dance are $30, or $65 as part of an Individual Day Pass, or $119 for a Full Weekend Pass. Visit for more details and a complete lineup of dance instructors.


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


As summer nears its end, thoughts naturally turn to jousting, feasting, crafts, theater, music, and merriment. Yes, it’s time once again for one of the world’s largest festivals recreating 16th century England. Now in its 43rd season and set in a park outside of Annapolis, Md., the festival encourages patrons to dress up in period costume. They’re available to rent if you don’t have your own doublet and hose. Just don’t bring weapons, real or toy, or pets, as they tend to eat the turkey legs. It all takes place in the 27-acre Village of Revel Grove, where more than 200 professionals perform as characters of the era, naturally led by His Most Royal Highness King Henry VIII, wandering the steeds and streets when not on the village’s 10 stages or in the 3,000-seat arena, where a headline attraction is the jousting troupe Debracey Productions with its field full of horses, men in armor, chariots, trick riding and thrills for all ages. Also on hand are over 140 artisans exhibiting their predominantly handmade crafts in renaissance shops, five taverns and watering holes helping adult patrons stay hydrated and in good spirits, and 42 food and beverage emporiums to quench the hunger and thirst of even the youngest and most discerning. Weekends through Oct. 20. 1821 Crownsville Road, Annapolis, Md. Tickets are $18 to $20 for a single-day adult ticket until Sept. 8, or $23 to $27 after; passes range from $41 for a 2-Day Pass to $160 for a Season Pass good for all 19 days. Call 800-296-7304 or visit


Another round of storytelling at the Bier Baron Tavern in Dupont Circle in which three of four shared stories are true while a fourth is a concocted yarn. The whole point of the evening is to deduce the liar through an interrogation round after the storytelling exercise. The crowd will vote and then brace itself “for the shocking truth” at this event with a first-come, first-seated ticket-holder policy. Wednesday, Sept. 4. Doors at 5:30 p.m. 1523 22nd St. NW. Tickets are $16.74 with service fee. Call 202-293-1887 or visit or


For the latest edition of this monthly show, Rayceen Pendarvis hosts a variety showcase including live music by female vocal group Pink PaLiSh, burlesque by Lottie Ellington, and a play reading by Alan Sharpe’s African American Collective Theater. The evening begins with music by DJ Misfitz, along with vendors, a cash bar, and free catered food (while it lasts). Wednesday, Sept. 4. Doors at 6 p.m. HRC Equality Center, 1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW. Free. Visit

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