Miracle of Morgan’s Creek
AUSTIN POWERS: INTERNATIONAL MAN OF MYSTERY
The 22-year-old original James Bond spoof from Mike Myers and co-starring Elizabeth Hurley spawned two blockbuster sequels and a whole bag of quotes. It returns to the big screen as part of the Capital Classics series at Landmark’s West End Cinema.
Wednesday, Sept. 25, 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 www.landmarktheatres.com.
BETWEEN TWO FERNS: THE MOVIE
Zach Galifianakis obliterates the fourth wall (but hopefully not his two ferns) in this Netflix film, which sees him take his awkwardly hilarious Funny Or Die talk show on the road. Expect cameos galore as Galifianakis tries to restore his reputation through a series of high-profile interviews — one of which ends in the almost-death of Matthew McConaughey. Alright, alright, alright. Opens Friday, Sept. 20. Area theaters. Visit www.fandango.com. (Rhuaridh Marr)
DC SHORTS FILM FESTIVAL
One of the largest festivals of its kind, the 16th annual DC Shorts International Film Festival and Screenplay Competition features more than 150 shorts running an average of 5- to 15-minutes in length each. The films are presented in 19 Official Selection Showcases and 11 Special Interest Showcases, all screening at the Landmark E Street Cinema. The festival kicks off Thursday, Sept. 19, with a Filmmaker Welcome Reception. The festival concludes on Saturday, Sept. 28, with two Best of the Fest Showcase screenings at The Miracle Theatre. The day before, Friday, Sept. 27, comes the annual Screenplay Competition, in which a handful of scripts are performed live for the audience, who will then vote to award one aspiring filmmaker $2,000 as seed money for their project. The evening concludes with the World Premiere of last year’s winner, By Any Other Name. Individual Showcase tickets are $15. All Access Festival Passes are $140 and provide access to all showcases and the parties. Call 202-393-4266 or visit https://festival.dcshorts.com for more details.
LATIN AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL
The AFI Silver Theatre presents one of North America’s largest and longest-running showcases of Latin American cinema, including films from Spain and Portugal. Now in its 30th year, the festival celebrates Ibero-American cultural connections during National Hispanic Heritage Month. Films include Li Cheng’s gripping drama José (Saturday, Sept. 21, and Wednesday, Sept. 25), described as a neorealist tale about the unexpected relationship that develops between two men in Guatemala, and the recipient of the Queer Lion award at the 2018 Venice Film Festival. The festival concludes on Wednesday, Oct. 2, with the world premiere of Days of Light, featuring the work of six promising young directors from across Central America, with stories seamlessly interwoven together for a moving, honest snapshot of life across the region. Tickets are $15 general admission and $13 for AFI Members, or $200 to $225 for an all-access “Pase Especial” allowing for priority access to every film in the festival, including opening and closing night and festival happy hours. 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Call 301-495-6700 or visit https://afisilver.afi.com/laff.
Both Alamo Drafthouse locations in Northern Virginia are offering a 25th anniversary screening for fans of Quentin Tarantino’s second film, a masterpiece that influenced countless movies and media since. The screenings are part of the series Alamo Drafthouse Movie Party, at which moviegoers are encouraged to “cheer for your heroes, boo the bad guys, shout out your favorite lines, and even sing along with the songs” — all enhanced by themed props furnished by the theaters, in this case fake “Red Apple cigarettes,” cap guns, and “a pretty fucking good $5 milkshake.” Monday, Sept. 23, at 7:20 p.m. One Loudoun, 20575 Easthampton Plaza, Ashburn, Va. Call 571-293-6808. Also Thursday, Sept. 26, at 7:20 p.m. 15200 Potomac Town Place, Ste. 100, Woodbridge, Va. Call 571-260-4413. Tickets are $14.30. Visit www.drafthouse.com/northern-virginia.
RAMBO: LAST BLOOD
What could be better than watching Sylvester Stallone mumble his way through the fifth entry in his film series about Vietnam vet John Rambo? A film Stallone co-wrote with director Adrian Grunberg and focused on the titular hero rescuing a damsel in distress? In this case, the damsel is Rambo’s niece, who’s been kidnapped by the Mexican cartel. If only there were a wall to keep bad ideas off screen. Opens Friday, Sept. 20. Area theaters. Visit www.fandango.com. (RM)
THE MIRACLE OF MORGAN’S CREEK
“How did this get made in the 1940s?” That’s the question you will likely ask yourself as you leave the Smithsonian Theaters screening of what they bill as “one of the most outrageous films in American history.” Directed by Preston Sturgers, who would go on to inspire Mel Brooks and the Coen Brothers, among others, The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek tells the story of a small-town girl, played by Betty Hutton, getting into big trouble at a party to entertain soldiers on leave during World War II. A chaotic comedy of errors ensues after she discovers she’s pregnant, with pointed jabs at patriotism, sex, gender, and politics. The screening is followed by an exclusive Q&A and book signing by Tom Sturges, Preston’s son. Sunday, Sept. 22, at 2:30 p.m. The Warner Bros. Theater, 1300 Constitution Ave. NW. Tickets are $15.50 with fees. Call 202-633-1000 or visit www.si.edu/imax.
A Night With Janis Joplin 2019
A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN
Written by Randy Johnson on a commission from the Estate of Janis Joplin, A Night with Janis Joplin features more than a dozen singers and band members performing classic songs that shine the light on Joplin and especially the African-American singers who influenced her, from Bessie Smith to Nina Simone to Aretha Franklin. First produced by Arena Stage in 2012 and on Broadway a year later, the show is as close to an “all standing” concert as musicals get, with theatergoers especially blown away by Mary Bridget Davies, who earned nominations at both the Helen Hayes and Tony awards for her portrayal of Joplin. The current touring version of A Night with Janis Joplin stars Davies and features Amma Osei, Ashley Támar Davis, Tawny Dolley, and Jennifer Leigh Warren as Joplin’s muses. Wednesday, Sept. 25, at 8 p.m. Warner Theatre, 513 13th St. NW. Tickets are $37.50 to $77.50, $149 for a VIP Meet & Greet Package. Call 202-783-4000 or visit www.warnertheatredc.com.
Each of the nine notorious killers and wanna-bes rounded up in Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s musical Assassins raises a pistol towards the audience in director Eric Schaeffer’s first-class production at Signature Theatre. The entire premise, the score, the costumes, and the performances of this Assassins teeter on a dagger’s edge between a morbid fascination with a killer’s mentality, and the cast’s mordant delivery. Schaeffer guides the company surely along the precarious edge, and, bolstered by music director Jon Kalbfleisch’s solid orchestra, the cast serves up Sondheim’s score with the right touch of showmanship to soften the show’s piercing blows. This winking production, Signature’s third mounting of Assassins, adroitly sidesteps partisan arguments by focusing on the impartial power of a gun to affect anybody (or any body). The joke and the truth of Sondheim and Weidman’s prescient ode to the power of one finger on the trigger is that the gun is the uncredited main character of Assassins. The show seems to suggest that the gun might be the principal character of American history, once all the ballads have been written. To Sept. 29. Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Avenue, Arlington. Tickets are $40 to $108. Call 703-820-9771, or visit www.sigtheatre.org. (André Hereford)
Credit to a company that can pick up a show as familiar as Kander and Ebb’s Cabaret and produce a take as purposeful as director Alan Paul’s fresh staging at Olney Theatre. Well in tune with Joe Masteroff’s book for the show and Chris Youstra’s astute musical direction of an all-time great score, Paul locates potent, present-day context within the ’20s-set musical’s depiction of the looming, bitter reign of fascism. Practically combusting with chemistry, with fellow cast and the audience, Mason Alexander Park is an endless delight as the Kit Kat Klub’s provocative, gender-fluid Emcee. Leading the gender-fluid Kit Kat Girls and Boys, a winning ensemble, Park’s Emcee attacks Katie Spelman’s wonderful choreography with the gamine athleticism of a Johnny Weir, and a very similar fashion sense. Now to Oct. 6. 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Tickets are $42 to $99. Call 301-924-3400 or visit www.olneytheatre.org. (AH)
DOUBT: A PARABLE
Sarah Marshall anchors Studio Theatre’s new production of John Patrick Shanley’s 2004 Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece that tackles concepts of faith, ambiguity, and the price of moral conviction — and more specifically, the sexual abuse scandals that has rocked Catholics and the Catholic Church in recent decades. Set in 1964 at a Bronx Catholic school, Matt Torney directs a cast starring Marshall as Sister Aloysius and also featuring Christian Conn as Father Flynn, Amelia Pedlow as Sister James, and Tiffany M. Thompson as Mrs. Muller. Now to Oct. 6. Methany Theatre, 14th & P Streets NW. Call 202-332-3300 or visit www.studiotheatre.org.
FABULATION, OR THE RE-EDUCATION OF UNDINE
Stylish, successful New York City publicist Undine Barnes Calles is cruising for her comeuppance at the start of Lynn Nottage’s spiky comedy. And in swift order, the catty, uncaring PR maven gets served all the retribution that’s coming to her, and then some, as she loses her man, her money, and her mantle as an upwardly mobile mover in Manhattan’s chic social circles. Fabulation yields a bounty of laughs for the audience at Mosaic’s new production, thanks to two-time Pulitzer winner Nottage’s brilliantly funny script and an on-the-money cast. High-and-mighty in her high-fashion stilettos, Felicia Curry is fabulous as Undine, who gets rocked steadily downward by every disastrous blow until she lands back at the dreaded place she started: with her family in the Brooklyn projects. The script, under Eric Ruffin’s keen direction, captures the universal in Undine’s tale, but this fable quite distinctly tells the Undine Barnes Calles version of the story, dished up with the snap and flavor of black Brooklyn meets Manhattan glam. Curry rocks Undine’s killer wardrobe, and caresses Nottage’s ripe language without being too precious about it. Her well-honed performance leads us safely along Undine’s dizzying ride towards redemption, anchoring a vibrant, versatile ensemble that handles just about everything else. Through Sept. 22. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $45 to $65. Call 202-399-7993, ext. 2 or visit www.mosaictheater.org. (AH)
GALA Hispanic Theatre: La Vida Es Sueño (Life Is a Dream) — Photo: Stan Weinstein
LIFE IS A DREAM
Hugo Medrano directs one of the essential works of Spanish Golden Age theater, Pedro Calderón de la Barca’s timeless play that explores free will, fate, and tyranny. Nando López adapted the work for a world-premiere production to kick off the 44th season of GALA Theatre. Daniel Alonso de Santos, Mel Rocher, and Soraya Padrao lead a cast of actors who will perform in Spanish with English surtitles. Runs to Oct. 13. Tivoli Square, 3333 14th St. NW. Call 202-234-7174 or visit www.galatheatre.org.
Playwright Stephen Temperley tells the story of Florence Foster Jenkins — the eccentric society matron who fancied herself a great singer but who was, in reality, quite dreadful — from the perspective of her talented accompanist, Cosme McMoon. Joseph W. Ritsch directs the Rep Stage production. To Sept. 22. The Horowitz Center’s Studio Theatre at Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Md. Tickets are $35 to $40. Call 443-518-1500 or visit www.repstage.org.
SURFACING: AN INVENTORY OF HELPLESSNESS
ExPats Theatre presents a 60-minute work by Russian/Austrian writer Julya Rabinowich, in which three characters live in captivity, invisible to the world. There’s the female refugee, hiding underground for fear of deportation and traumatized by her cross-cultural journey, a kidnap victim locked in a basement at the mercy of her perpetrator, and a young man imprisoned in his own home due to the threat of blood-revenge against his family. Billed as a “thought-provoking production [that] opens our eyes to the plight of the marginalized, disposessed, and downtrodden.” Weekends to Sept. 29. Lab Theatre 1, Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $20 to $35. Call 202-399-7993 or visit www.atlasarts.org.
Virginia’s 1st Stage offers the regional premiere of a play by Joanna McClelland Glass, who drew on her real-life experience working for Francis Biddle at his home in D.C. in the 1960s. Biddle, the former U.S. Attorney General under President Franklin Roosevelt who also served as Chief Judge of the American Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, was notoriously hard on his staff as he worked to cement his legacy. Alex Levy directs stars Amanda Forstrom and Scott Sedar. Opens Thursday, Sept. 19. Runs to Oct. 20. 1st Stage is located at 1524 Spring Hill Rd. Tysons, Va. Tickets are $42. Call 703-854-1856 or visit www.1ststagetysons.org.
Eroica Trio — Photo: David Bean
AMERICAN POPS ORCHESTRA: THE MUSIC OF DOLLY PARTON
APO’s season opener celebrates American treasure Dolly, with guest vocalists Joan Osborne, Neyla Pekarek, Nova Y. Payton, Morgan James, Jess Eliot Myhre, Rita Castagna, and recent Metro Weekly cover Garrett Clayton performing the country legend’s greatest hits and hidden gems accompanied by the orchestra and conducted by Luke Frazier. Saturday, Sept. 21, at 8 p.m. Fichandler Stage in the Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Tickets are $25 to $75. Call 202-488-3300 or visit www.theamericanpops.org.
ANN HAMPTON CALLAWAY
Recently featured as part of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington’s “Stonewall 50” program, the lesbian jazz singer-songwriter has become known for her focus on the classics — whether love songs from the Great American Songbook to tributes to her idols Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald. Over the course of her career, the veteran has also written songs for her mentor Barbra Streisand as well as Carole King and Barbara Carroll, and is purportedly the only composer to have collaborated with Cole Porter. All that, plus she wrote and sang the theme song to the old TV series The Nanny. Callaway touches on that experience and expertise on her latest recording Jazz Goes to the Movies, which is also the focus of her show this weekend at the Hamilton. Sunday, Sept. 22. Doors at 6 p.m. 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $24.75 to $56.75. Call 202-787-1000 or visit www.thehamiltondc.com.
A British pop act named after the French national holiday, Bastille’s biggest U.S. hit before this year was all about an infamously destroyed Roman town. In the years since 2013’s “Pompeii,” the four-piece band, led by Dan Smith, has churned out plenty of other similarly pleasing, anthemic tunes, 14 of them on 2016’s Wild World alone. But it wasn’t until teaming up with EDM act Marshmello that Bastille managed to go two notches higher than the previous peak of No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 with last year’s “Happier.” The band returns to The Anthem on a tour in support of its new third album Doom Days, with an opening set from underrated American indie-pop, or “indietronica,” act Joywave. Saturday, Sept. 21. Doors at 7:30 p.m. The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. Tickets are $45 to $75. Call 202-888-0020 or visit www.theanthemdc.com.
“Madama Butterfly is a piece that all opera companies are sort of wrestling with,” says Timothy Nelson, noting that the debate is over “whether it’s still appropriate to perform the piece, because it has some major misogynistic and racial problems in it.” Few opera-focused entities have altered Puccini’s tragedy to the extent that The In Series has under Nelson, whose new production is an “experiment in trying to find a way to do the piece that makes it still speak on a human level, and tries to excise race from it entirely.” Guided by David Belasco’s one-act play that inspired Puccini’s epic opera, the resulting 80-minute production centers more than ever on the work’s titular character. The In Series further distinguishes its truncated production with two distinct versions — one in English, and another in the traditional Italian, with projected English supertitles. They will be performed on alternating dates by differing casts. Music Director Jessica Krash will accompany both casts playing Puccini’s score on piano. Through Sept. 22. Source, 1835 14th St. NW. Tickets are $21 to $46. Call 202-204-7741 or visit www.inseries.org.
FAIRFAX SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: THE DOWNTON ABBEY ERA
Music Director Christopher Zimmerman kicks off a new season of the FSO with a concert in tribute to “all things quintessentially British” — including John Lunn’s Downton Abbey Suite. Also reflective of the Edwardian era’s musical grace and artistry is Edward Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 and Enigma Variations. The program’s centerpiece is Vaughan Williams’s soaring, poetic Lark Ascending, a work composed over a century ago, on the eve of World War I, that is touted as Britain’s most popular classical composition. Violinist Janet Sung is the featured soloist. Saturday, Sept. 21, at 8 p.m. George Mason University Center for the Arts, 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax. Tickets are $25 to $39. Call 703-563-1990 or visit www.fairfaxsymphony.org.
FOLGER CONSORT: MUSIC FOR MACHIAVELLI
A true Renaissance man, Niccolò Machiavelli was a philosopher, diplomat, playwright, and composer. Of course, his chief legacy is in the realm of politics via the cunning theoretical ways and means he espoused. Yet the Folger Shakespeare Library’s early music ensemble naturally turns instead to his work as a composer, with a focus on the amusing music he created. Kicking off the Consort’s “Bella Italia” season is the program “Music for Machiavelli: Florence Circa 1500,” which features carnival songs Machiavelli wrote for the Medici family as well as music for his comedic stage play The Mandrake, plus works by his contemporaries including Francesco Bendusi, Josquin des Prez, and Heinrich Isaac. In addition to the Consort’s founders, Robert Eisenstein and Christopher Kendall, the concert features instrumentalists Larry Lipnik, Dan Meyers, Mark Rimple, and Mary Springfels, and soprano Emily Noël. Friday, Sept. 27, at 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 28, at 4 and 8 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 29, at 2 p.m. St. Mark’s, Capitol Hill, 301 A St. SE. Tickets are $42. Call 202-543-0053 or visit www.folger.edu.
Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington DC: Coulda Woulda Shoulda
GAY MEN’S CHORUS: COULDA, WOULDA, SHOULDA CABARET
Members of the chorus take to the stage for a cabaret of funny stories and songs from the worlds of pop and Broadway — all of which “we wish we had done differently.” The program includes the songs “You And Me (But Mostly Me)” from The Book of Mormon, “The Road You Didn’t Take” from Follies, the Whitney Houston/Robyn mashup “I Wanna Dance With Somebody/Dancing On My Own,” “Chandelier” by Sia, and “‘Till There Was You” from The Music Man. Saturday, Sept. 21, at 5 and 8 p.m. City Winery DC, 1350 Okie St. NE. Tickets are $45. Call 202-250-2531 or visit www.citywinery.com.
JUSTIN TRAWICK AND THE COMMON GOOD
Justin Trawick is less rock-oriented now than when he made music his full-time pursuit over a decade ago — which suits everyone and everything just fine. “It’s the first record that I’ve done that I feel really represents me as a musician and us as a band,” the Northern Virginia-based singer-songwriter says about the Americana-focused EP Riverwash featuring his four-piece band the Common Good. The group returns to Pearl Street Warehouse on the Wharf this weekend for a concert with an opening set by fellow Virginia native Ryan Johnson, who is celebrating his recent move to D.C. in a performance with his backing family band The Unsung Heroes. 33 Pearl St. SW. Tickets are $15 to $18. Call 202-380-9620 or visit www.pearlstreetwarehouse.com.
She scored two Grammy nominations earlier this year for her 2017 set Every Where Is Some Where and single “Blood in the Cut.” Now, the LGBTQ-identifying, L.A.-based alt-pop/hip-hop artist born Kristine Meredith Flaherty is already out promoting her follow-up, Solutions, also released on an Interscope Records imprint founded by Dan Reynolds, lead singer of Imagine Dragons. Sunday, Sept. 29. Doors at 6:30 p.m. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $25. Call 202-265-0930 or visit www.930.com.
LIVINGSTON TAYLOR & THE 2019 MD FOLK FESTIVAL
He’s the fourth of five in a family where pretty much everyone has worked as a musician or singer at some point and in some fashion — although none of them as famously as the second-born James. As it happens, James and Livingston work and perform together every now and then, and the two-years-older Taylor has even had a few hits with songs written by Liv, including “I Can Dream of You” and “Boatman.” A longtime professor at Berklee College of Music, Taylor returns to the area to headline a festival that otherwise focuses on featuring “the best local folk musicians.” Presented by Key West Productions, the lineup this year also includes Dry Town, The Hazards, Lea and Keith Koan. Saturday, Sept. 28, at 7:30 p.m. Weinberg Center for the Arts, 20 W. Patrick St. Frederick, Md. Tickets are $31.75 to $41.75 plus fees. Call 301-600-2828 or visit www.weinbergcenter.org.
A critical darling — and a songwriter’s songwriter — of long repute, the alt-country singer-songwriter writes poetic songs and sings in a raw, hazy voice often coloring outside the lines. No wonder some have called her “the female Bob Dylan.” Williams returns to the area with her band Buick 6 for a concert in Strathmore’s acoustically rich hall celebrating the 20th anniversary of Car Wheels on A Gravel Road, an album considered one of the cornerstones of Americana music. She will perform the Grammy-winning set, ranked No. 304 on Rolling Stone‘s list of “500 Greatest Albums of All Time,” in its entirety followed by other hits from her repertoire. Tuesday, Sept. 24, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, Md. Tickets are $38 to $88. Call 301-581-5100 or visit www.strathmore.org.
The National Philharmonic presents the acclaimed Eroica Trio in a performance of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto in C Major, one of the most unusual concertos in the canon, at once intimate and symphonic in style. Also on the program at the season-opening concert, led by the organization’s Piotr Gajewski, is the symphony from which the trio of violinist Sara Parkins, cellist Sara Sant’Ambrogio, and pianist Erika Nickrenz took its name — although Beethoven originally intended his groundbreaking Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major to be named for Napoleon Bonaparte, in recognition of what he thought were Napoleon’s democratic ideals. The German composer scrapped those plans, however, once he learned that Napoleon had proclaimed himself Emperor of the French. And thus the work known for its classical control and romantic exuberance became known as the “Eroica” Symphony instead. Saturday, Sept. 21, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 22, at 3 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, Md. Tickets are $29 to $79. Call 301-581-5100 or visit www.strathmore.org.
The next vocal artist to get the Renée Fleming VOICES spotlight at the Kennedy Center is a MacArthur “Genius” Grantee and Nashville star, who got her start by helping showcase the black bluegrass tradition by co-founding the great group Carolina Chocolate Drops. Giddens will perform music from her latest album there is no Other, said to be “at once a condemnation of ‘othering’ and a celebration of the spread of ideas, connectivity, and shared experience.” She’ll be supported by Italian multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi. Thursday, Sept. 26, at 7:30 p.m. Terrace Theater. Tickets are $39 to $59. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.
This nine-member, D.C.-based ensemble focuses on “keeping folk music alive and fresh” — yet also connected to its roots in political protest. The weekend of Trump’s Inauguration, for example, they put together “Songs of Protest, Songs of Triumph,” a program of folk standards that had galvanized activists in earlier times of struggle. Here’s to the group keeping up that fight by maintaining their level of quality musicianship and signature soaring harmonies, which have been known to inspire sing-alongs. Who could argue with that? Sunday, Sept. 29. Doors at 5 p.m. Jammin Java, 227 Maple Ave. E., Vienna. Tickets are $20 in advance, or $25 day-of. Call 703-255-3747 or visit www.jamminjava.com.
THE SELDOM SCENE & JONATHAN EDWARDS
Formed 50 years ago in Bethesda, the progressive bluegrass band remains especially popular in its hometown region. The group returns to Alexandria’s seated show palace for one of three more shows in 2019 alone, including a concert to do the honors of ringing in the New Year. The September gig is another co-headlining show with a Virginia-reared veteran folk sessions musician who has also dabbled as an actor on Broadway (Pump Boys and Dinettes) and in film, most notably the 2008 romcom The Golden Boys. Friday, Sept. 27, at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $29.50. Call 703-549-7500 or visit www.birchmere.com.
WASHINGTON BACH CONSORT: HANDEL’S CORONATION ANTHEMS
At its upcoming concert “A Royal Occasion,” this revered music collective will treat patrons as royalty, serenading them with music originally composed for kings and queens. In addition to Coronation Anthems composed by George Frideric Handel for King George II, the program naturally also features the organization’s namesake, with Johann Sebastian Bach’s now rarely performed Trauerode, first heard at a memorial service for the Electress of Saxony and nominal Queen of Poland. Vocal soloists include soprano Margot Rood, alto Sarah Davis Issaelkhoury, tenor Aaron Sheehan, and bass Jonathan Woody. Artistic Director Dana Marsh leads the program. Sunday, Sept. 22, at 4 p.m. National Presbyterian Church, 4101 Nebraska Ave. NW. Tickets are $10 to $69. Call 202-429-2121 or visit www.bachconsort.org.
Naked King — Photo: RC Schandelmeier
NAKED KING: SUBJECT TO CHANGE, PART 1
Dance Box Theatre presents an evening-length work that points a finger at an emperor with no clothes. To be more precise, the piece “exposes white supremacist systems in order to transform them towards equity, justice, and healing.” Naked King features Ronya Lee Anderson, Valerie Branch, Melissa Lineburg, Tariq O’Meally, and guest artist Pricilla Smith as “The Real Donna J. Trump.” Saturday, Sept. 21, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 22, at 7 p.m. Dance Place, 3225 8th St. NE. Tickets are $15 to $30. Call 202-269-1600 or visit www.danceplace.org.
NATIONAL DANCE DAY
A collaboration with the Dizzy Feet Foundation, the Kennedy Center presents its annual National Dance Day festivities this year as part of the new REACH Opening Festival. Led by Sarah Beth Oppenheim and her company Heart Stück Bernie, the program includes an interactive “dance lecture demonstration” by journalist Lisa Traiger, plus stories about D.C.’s dance history and interactive dance elements from established institutions including the Washington Ballet, Dance Place, Bowen McCauley Dance Company, Knock on Wood Tap Studio, and Jones Haywood Dance School. Things come to a head — or rather, a foot — with the learning and performance of a special group choreography “line dance” routine. Saturday, Sept. 21, at 6 p.m. Kennedy Center’s new REACH Grounds. Free timed-entry passes to the REACH are required. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
IMPROBABLE COMEDY: STAND-UP SILVER SPRING
A showcase of talent from right in our own backyard, the latest show from this Maryland-based company features Robert Mac, Sean Savoy, and Ali Cherry. Saturday, Sept. 28, at 8 and 10 p.m. Cissel-Saxon American Legion Post 41, 8110 Fenton St., Silver Spring. Tickets are $16 to $20 in advance, or $25 at the door. Call 301-588-8937 or visit wwww.improbablecomedy.com.
MIKE BIRBIGLIA: THE NEW ONE
A graduate of Georgetown University and one of the most famous alumni from its Georgetown Players Improv Troupe, Birbiglia has increasingly been making his name in scripted film and TV work. In addition to writing and directing 2012’s Sleepwalk With Me and 2016’s Don’t Think Twice, Birbiglia has acted in supporting roles in everything from Trainwreck to Orange Is the New Black.
The comedian returns to D.C. to kick off a four-city tour and open a new season at the National Theatre with his latest stand-up show, which just wrapped a Broadway run. Tuesday, Sept. 24, through Thursday, Sept. 24, at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 27, at 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 28, at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 29, at 2 and 7:30 p.m. National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Tickets are $39 to $114, or $25 through a lottery of 20 seats starting two hours before each performance. Call 202-628-6161 or visit www.thenationaldc.org.
SUPER SPECTACULAR COMEDY SHOW FOR HURRICANE RELIEF
Grassroots Comedy DC offers another night of comedy for a cause. This round, Grassroots will be championing Hurricane Dorian relief efforts, with proceeds benefiting Habitat for Humanity’s disaster response fund, which helps with long-term recovery efforts for communities impacted by past, present, and future storms. Comedians on tap to try their hand at topical jokes about the fifth Category Five storm in the Atlantic in four years — because sometimes you gotta laugh to keep from crying — include national comedian and actor Ryan Donahue (Jimmy Kimmel Live) and D.C. comic heavyweight Haywood Turnipseed Jr., plus “a special comedy guest from the U.K. and more.” Thursday, Sept. 26, at 7:30 p.m. The DC Comedy Loft, 1523 22nd St. NW. Tickets are $15 to $20. Call 202-293-1887 or visit www.dccomedyloft.com and www.grassrootscomedy.com.
READINGS & LECTURES
GINA RIPPON: GENDER AND OUR BRAINS
The latest results from psychology and brain imaging techniques prove that there is no biological distinction when it comes to gender, per the compelling new book Gender and Our Brains: How New Neuroscience Explodes the Myths of the Male and Female Minds. Instead, as anyone with a thinking modern brain — or a queer identity — essentially knows already, gender is a social construct. In fact, all brains have a flexible, adaptive mix of “male” and “female” components, reports Rippon, a researcher in cognitive neuroscience at the U.K.’s Aston University and a member of the European Union Gender Equity Network. She argues that previous research claiming to find gender-based differences are “products of pseudoscience,” and suggests that her findings will have dramatic implications for understanding identity. Sunday, Sept. 22, at 3 p.m. Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-364-1919 or visit www.politics-prose.com.
RAYCEEN’S READING ROOM 2019
Team Rayceen presents an annual evening of comedy, poetry, interviews and more hosted by Rayceen Pendarvis as an official kick off to DC Public Library’s Banned Books Week. Monday, Sept. 23. Doors open with a mixer at 6 p.m. Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-282-3080 or visit http://TeamRayceen.eventbrite.com
FOOD & DINING
BOURBON STEAK: SPECIALTY DRINK & DESSERT TOASTING THE REACH
In honor of the Kennedy Center’s expansion, the fine-dining restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown is offering a specialty drink and dessert, both inspired by the center’s original namesake. A favorite cocktail of President Kennedy, the classic daiquiri gets fancifully dressed up by Head Bartender Sarah Rosner with a concoction she’s calling The Lancer and Lace — nodding to the White House code names for the 35th President and First Lady Jackie Kennedy — and that sees Strongwater Golden Bitters, Don Ciccio & Figli Ambrosia Herbal Liqueur, and Fino Sherry embellishing the standard daiquiri base of rum — here, Brugal Extra Dry Rum — with cane and lime juices. Meanwhile, Pastry Chef Chelsea Spaulding riffs on a preferred treat of the former president with her Waffle Dessert special that finds the pastry drenched in chocolate and topped with banana toffee, a scoop of peanut butter ice cream, and marshmallow fluff. The specials are available in the dining room, lounge, and patio at Bourbon Steak for the duration of the REACH’s Opening Festival, ending Sunday, Sept. 22. 2800 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Call 202-944-2026 or visit www.fourseasons.com/washington.
LEGAL SEA FOODS: 11TH ANNUAL OYSTER FESTIVAL
Once again two area outposts of the Massachusetts-based seafood chain celebrates all things bivalves. Fried oysters are available in the following styles, priced at three for $12: Buffalo with blue cheese, celery hearts, and radish; BBQ with coleslaw and BBQ mayo; Sriracha Lime with roasted corn salsa and crispy shallots; or as an “Oyster BLT” with chipotle mayo. Baked Oysters (three for $14) are prepared as a Lobster Spinach Oyster bake with cheese and herbed crumbs; Oyster Scampi with shrimp, garlic butter, and white wine; Crab & Cheese Oyster with Jonah crab, horseradish, cheddar, and cream cheese; or Scallop Mushroom Oyster with Romano, truffle oil, and tarragon. A variety of oysters will also be available raw, served on the half shell, with selections and prices changing daily depending on what’s available. Wash it all down with this year’s official festival drink, the Deadrise, a $12 concoction of Tito’s Handmade vodka, muddled cucumber, lime, and grapefruit bitters. Available at lunch and dinner daily now through Oct. 9. Two area locations: 704 7th St. NW (202-347-0007) and 320 23rd St. S., Crystal City, Va. (703-415-1200). Visit www.legalseafoods.com.
ART & EXHIBITS
A MONUMENT TO SHAKESPEARE
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 www.folger.edu.
“What makes a habitat a home?” That was the question that guided artists as they created new works for the latest group exhibition in Target Gallery, the contemporary exhibitions space of Alexandria’s Torpedo Factory Art Center. Ellyn Weiss, a D.C.-based independent artist and curator served as the show’s juror, ultimately selecting 22 works by artists working across the U.S. and in a diversity of media, from sculpture and photography to video and virtual reality. The six area artists with works in the show are Ceci Cole McInturff and Nancy Ramsey of Alexandria, Delna Dastur of McLean, Kamille Jackson of Woodbridge, Pam Eichner of Silver Spring, and Alice Fornari of D.C. To Sept. 22. 105 North Union St. Alexandria. Free. Call 703-838-4565 or visit www.torpedofactory.org.
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 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 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 http://heurichhouse.org.
An artistic celebration of all bodies and resilience, Inspired Bodies is a show featuring works by local artists who self-identify with a disability, including curators Alice Gardner-Bates and Metro Weekly contributor Hannah Chertock. The artworks in the multimedia exhibit were either inspired or influenced by physical or mental disability, chronic illness, or pain. Opening Night reception with selected artists is Friday, Sept. 27, from 6 to 9 p.m. On display to Oct. 31. Maryland Meadworks, 4700 Rhode Island Ave. Ste. B, Hyattsville, Md. Call 301-955-9644 or visit www.inspiredbodies.wordpress.com.
Works by the D.C.-based abstract fine artist are next up to be featured at Art14, the seasonal art series at the Coldwell Banker Dupont/Logan office on 14th Street NW. Benedicto creates works that are unique, dynamic, multidisciplinary, and polymathic, combining traditional hand-made practices with automated systems and machine-rendered designs, all intended “to express the complex ideas of fetishism, transhumanism, and the design of self.” Opening Reception is Thursday, Sept. 19, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. On display all season. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, 1617 14th St. NW. Call 202-387-6180 or visit www.facebook.com/CBRBDupont.
THE WARMTH OF OTHER SUNS: STORIES OF GLOBAL DISPLACEMENT
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. To Sept. 22. 1600 21st St. NW. Tickets are $10 to $12. Call 202-387-2151 x247 or visit www.phillipscollection.org.
Capital Home Show
ABOVE AND BEYOND
CAPITAL HOME SHOW
Brett Tutor, the hunky new carpenter on TLC’s revived Trading Spaces, headlines this year’s event, where more than 250 exhibitors will be on hand leading home remodeling and repair discussions and seminars, giving workshops and tutorials, sharing tips and tricks, and answering questions from the public. In addition to Tutor’s “Tips from a Home Inspector and Carpenter” sessions on Friday, Sept. 20, and Saturday, Sept. 21, the Main Stage schedule — also including Sunday, Sept. 22 — features local experts presenting on specific topics, such as “How to Treat a Window” with Frank Giglio of Value Blind & Heirloom Draperies, “Balancing Luxury” in the kitchen and bathroom via experts from Bethesda’s Carnemark Design & Build, and “Enlightenedand Lights.” Falls Church decor shop Stylish Patina will also participate in Main Stage discussions as well as sponsor the free, hands-on Make-It, Take-It DIY Station. In addition, three remodeling companies — Enterprise Contracting, KBF by Audi, and Capitol Design Build — will duke it out to design the best facility in “Bathroom Wars.” Friday, Sept. 20, and Saturday, Sept. 21, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 22, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 4320 Chantilly Shopping Center, in Virginia. Tickets are $10 per day, or free on Friday, Sept. 20, for those traveling by Metro as well as all active military personnel, veterans, and first responders; also free on Sunday, Sept. 22, for federal government employees. Call 703-378-0910 or visit https://capitalhomeshow.com.
FORD’S THEATRE’S HISTORY ON FOOT
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 www.fords.org.
Kennedy Center: Studio K with furniture, from balcony — Photo: Richard Barnes
KENNEDY CENTER’S REACH: OPENING FESTIVAL
Years in the making, the unprecedented addition to the Kennedy Center campus of 72,000 square feet of interior space and nearly twice the volume of outdoor space officially opened this month via a 16-day, star-studded festival offering nearly 500 events. Free, timed-entry passes are required for entry into the REACH, with the passes also granting access to recurring REACH installations, including: Skylight Soundscapes, an immersive, music-centered lounge where guests can explore everything from the techno scenes in Detroit and Berlin, to the art and desert setting of Burning Man, to the fuzzy inside of a synthesizer; and the Virtual Reality Lounge, where Oculus headsets bring to life multi-dimensional works such as Robert Connor’s Half Life VR, featuring the Royal Swedish Ballet performing a work by choreographer Sharon Eyal, Lena Herzog’s Last Whispers, an immersive oratorio about the mass extinction of languages, and Julie Taymor’s “Circle of Life” in 360°, a panoramic video from Broadway’s The Lion King enabling viewers to choose where to look at every point. The festival runs to Sept. 22. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org/reach.
MARYLAND RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL
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 $23 to $27; passes range from $41 for a 2-Day Pass to $160 for a Season Pass. Call 800-296-7304 or visit www.rennfest.com.
SUPER ART FIGHT: AUTUMN ASSAULT
Birthed over a decade ago at Katsucon, the annual anime convention held at the Gaylord in National Harbor, Super Art Fight is self-styled as “the greatest live art competition in the known universe.” Participating artists, most of them with a cartoonist bent, set out to one-up each other through sheer force of charm and creativity, developing popular, outsized personas a la professional wrestling while improvising sketches on a mural-sized canvas set up in front of a live audience. The crowd determines both the subjects to be drawn, per a “Wheel of Death” topic generator, and the ultimate winner. Having turned it into something of a national phenomenon, organizers stage the next event back on home turf. At the Black Cat, expect a giant 6-foot-tall, 12-foot-wide canvas and four creative bouts on stage. Friday, Sept. 20. Doors at 8 p.m. Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. Tickets are $15. Call 202-667-4490 or visit www.blackcatdc.com.
THE DC WEIRDO SHOW: WEIRDOS FOR LIFE
The DC Weirdo Show bills itself as the longest-running variety show in the city — and also, as “Queen Weirdo and Producer” Dr. Torcher puts it, “increasingly the D.C. go-to show for local performers of color, queer performers, and womxn in the circus, sideshow, and variety performance arts.” In recognition of Suicide Prevention Month, the September show, “Weirdos for Life,” co-hosted with drag king Phoenix King, once again focuses on the LGBTQ community’s collective mental health, shared through personal stories from performers in various styles of variety art, from drag and burlesque, to dance, music, and comedy, to fire manipulation. Proceeds from the show will benefit Trans Lifeline, a peer-support hotline staffed for and by trans people. Friday, Sept. 20. Dew Drop Inn, 2801 8th St. NE. Tickets are $16 to $20, or $26 for VIP including seating in the front-rows, a raffle ticket, and other goodies. Call 202-791-0909 or visit www.dcweirdoshow.com.
Subtitled “Un día de diversión animal para toda la familia,” this free Hispanic Heritage Month event at the National Zoo features talks, feeding, and demonstrations by zookeepers highlighting animals including Andean bears, sloths, golden lion tamarins, and Panamanian golden frogs. ZooFiesta also features live music and cuisine from performers and vendors representing Latin America. Saturday, Sept. 21, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. Call 202-633-4800 or visit https://nationalzoo.si.edu.