BEFORE YOU KNOW IT
Veteran actress and longtime LGBTQ ally Judith Light plays a plucky, indomitable actress who is not dead, as her two daughters were led to believe. The truth is their mother is still very much working as a third-rate soap opera star. Director Hannah Pearl Utt stars as Rachel, a level-headed lesbian, opposite Jen Tullock as her flighty, flirty sister Jackie in a spiky dramedy that the two wrote together. Mike Colter and Alec Baldwin also star. Opens Friday, Sept. 6. Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672 or visit www.landmarktheatres.com.
Clint Eastwood’s 1988 biopic about jazz legend Charlie “Bird” Parker is revived next week as part of the Capital Classics series at Landmark’s West End Cinema. Bird, which earned Eastwood two Golden Globe Awards, including Best Director, plays out like a jazz riff as past and future events overlap to showcase Bird’s soaring skill and destructive excesses. Forest Whitaker also garnered acclaim — and Best Actor at Cannes — for his remarkable portrayal of Parker. Wednesday, Sept. 11, 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.
HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH
The film version of John Cameron Mitchell’s wildly imaginative musical comedy-drama features brilliantly subdued lighting effects and animated sequences, a strong cast including Mitchell in the title role, and an infectious punk score by Stephen Trask. All of that is what makes it a recurring hit on the “midnight movie” circuit, with another run at Landmark’s E Street Cinema set for next weeekend. But the 2001 film earned its place in Metro Weekly‘s list of “25 Gay Films Everyone Should See: The Sequel” chiefly on account of its story, which subtly, slyly captures the ongoing struggle for recognition of the transgender community in mainstream society. The fictional trans title character effectively stands in for many actual transgender people who understandably harbor some resentment over mainstream society’s routine ignorance, even discrimination. Hedwig, the “internationally ignored song stylist,” doggedly pursues respect in a world that makes fun of her and bluntly refuses to understand her predicament. The ultimate message: Hedwig cannot be denied. Friday, Sept. 13, and Saturday, Sept. 14, at midnight. 555 11th St. NW. Tickets are $10. Call 202-452-7672 or visit www.landmarktheatres.com.
IT: CHAPTER 2
A sequel was in the works more than a year before It‘s release in 2017. Of course, the resounding success of that adaptation of Stephen King’s 1986 bestseller — now ranking as the highest-grossing horror film of all time — only hastened the process. In Andy Mschietti’s It: Chapter Two, the evil being known as Pennywise the Dancing Clown (played by Bill Skarsgård) returns, after 27 years away, to the small town of Derry, Maine, compelling the town’s “Losers Club” to regroup as adults to once again fight against a terrorizing force that has become deadlier than ever. Opens Friday, Sept. 6. Area theaters. Visit www.fandango.com.
Every Saturday and Sunday morning the remainder of the month, 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 concludes with Program 7 this Saturday, Sept. 7, and Sunday, Sept. 8, at 11 a.m. 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $5. Call 301-495-6720 or visit www.afi.com/Silver.
SMITHSONIAN’S BACK TO SCHOOL FILM SERIES
Next weekend, the Warner Bros. Theater in the National Museum of American History offers a mini-film festival focused on popular films about teenagers and set in or around school. On Saturday, Sept. 14, the lineup includes Footloose at 12:30 p.m., Grease at 2:30 p.m., and School of Rock at 4:30 p.m., while Sunday, Sept. 15, offers Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone at 12:15 p.m., The Breakfast Club at 3:10 p.m., and Mean Girls at 5 p.m. On Saturday night from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. there’s even a dance party, “Grease is the Party,” featuring themed beverages and where “sock hop attire or Kevin Bacon cosplay [is] highly encouraged.” 1300 Constitution Ave. NW. Tickets are $15.50 with fees. Call 202-633-1000 or visit www.si.edu/theaters.
UNION MARKET DRIVE-IN: COCO
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 www.unionmarketdc.com.
YOU ARE HERE
Fathom Events, in partnership with Canadian media company M.D.F. Productions, presents the U.S. premiere of an intimate documentary relating the same story that inspired the hit Broadway musical Come From Away (which made its pre-Broadway debut at Ford’s Theatre). Moze Mossanen’s You Are Here is set in the tiny island town of Gander, Newfoundland, which was inundated with over 6,500 passengers from 38 international airliners in the days following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The warm welcome and kindness the Canadian townspeople exhibited to this deluge of unexpected strangers “restored hope on America’s darkest day,” according to publicity materials. Wednesday, Sept. 11, at 7 p.m. at various area 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 www.fathomevents.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, with a Pride Night performance, Friday, Sept. 6. at Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Avenue, Arlington. Tickets are $40 to $108. Call 703-820-9771, or visit www.sigtheatre.org. (André Hereford)
DEAR EVAN HANSEN
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 www.kennedy-center.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)
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. Extended to Sept. 8. Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church St. NW. Tickets are $52 to $62. Call 202-265-3767 or visit www.keegantheatre.com.
THEATREWEEK KICKOFF PARTY
More than two dozen local theaters offer discounted tickets — ranging from $15 to $35 — to their current offerings as part of a nearly month-long, TheatreWashington-organized promotion that helps launch the new season. This year’s lineup includes Assassins at Signature, Fences at Ford’s, Doubt at Studio, Trying at 1st Stage, Cabaret at Olney, and Elephant & Piggie’s “We Are In A Play!” at Adventure Theatre-MTC. TheatreWeek also features a dozen or so special events, many free, including notable first-week offerings such as a Show Tunes & Cocktails party with pianist Glenn Pearson at the Beacon Bar & Grill, on Monday, Sept. 9; Beltway Barks, the annual adoption event by DC Actors for Animals at the Rockville Town Center, on Saturday, Sept. 14; a Tour d’ Theaters Bike Ride led by Theater J’s Adam Immerwahr on Sunday, Sept. 15; and a Historic Theatre Walking Tour featuring NPR’s Bob Mondello and presented by Cultural Tourism DC on Monday, Sept. 16. First up is the free Kickoff Party starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7, at Arena Stage. Along with demonstrations, conversations, and giveaways, the party features entertainment throughout, with highlights including performances by acclaimed local actors Felicia Curry, Wood Van Meter, and Monique Midgette, Creative Cauldron’s married musical-writing team of Stephen Gregory Smith and Matthew Conner, select cast members from the recent production of Into The Woods at Ford’s, and an excerpt from Synetic Theater’s “wordless Shakespeare” production of The Tempest. Call 202-337-4572 or visit www.theatreweek.org. Discount tickets available at www.TodayTix.com.
WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME
In her boundary-breaking new play, Heidi Schreck resurrects her 15-year-old self, a repeat winner of Constitutional debate competitions, in order to trace the profound relationship between four generations of women in her family and the founding document that shaped their lives. Having garnered two Tony Award nominations earlier in the year and recently named a Pulitzer Prize Finalist for Drama, What The Constitution Means to Me starring Schreck comes to the Kennedy Center for a limited, two-week engagement. Wednesday, Sept. 11 through Thursday, Sept. 22. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $49 to $169. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.
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 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. Previews begin Thursday, Sept. 5, with opening night Saturday, Sept. 7. Through Sept. 22. Source, 1835 14th St. NW. Tickets are $21 to $46, or $31 to $56 for Opening Night & Celebration. Call 202-204-7741 or visit www.inseries.org.
C.J. CHENIER AND THE RED-HOT LOUISIANA BAND
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 www.HillCenterDC.org.
CREATIVE CAULDRON’S SUMMER CABARET SERIES
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 www.creativecauldron.org.
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 www.930.com. (Sean Maunier)
ELISE TESTONE’S ALL-STAR AMY WINEHOUSE BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE
Two days before what would have been her 36th birthday, the great, late British soul singer is celebrated in a concert featuring Testone, a singer-songwriter who became a finalist on American Idol, backed by an eight-piece band of musicians who have performed with the Trey Anastasio Band, Prince, Snarky Puppy, and more. The concert also features Philadelphia-based reggae/fusion band The Underwater Sounds playing The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Thursday, Sept. 12. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $22 to $32. Call 202-787-1000 or visit www.thehamiltondc.com.
The Grammy-winning star flamenco band returns for one of the last concerts of the season under the stars and in the amphitheater at Wolf Trap. Gipsy Kings is led by singer Nicolas Reyes and lead guitarist Tonino Baliardo. Online ticket purchases come with one digital download link to the band’s upcoming album Evidence. Vilray opens. Sunday, Sept. 8. Gates at 6:30 p.m. The Filene Center, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $39 to $79. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit www.wolftrap.org.
MARYLAND LYRIC OPERA: PAIRING OF TWO ONE-ACT OPERAS
Music Director Louis Salemno launches a new season of this young, singer-focused troupe with a concert pairing two celebrated one-act operas: Il Tabarro by Giacomo Puccini and the haunting Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni. Susan Bullock, Mark Delavan, Jonathan Burton, Jill Gardner, and Yi Li lead the cast of principal soloists accompanied by the 80-member Maryland Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus with concertmaster Jose Miguel Cueto and chorus master Steven Gathman. Saturday, Sept. 13, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 14, at 2 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $35 to $75. Call 301-581-5100 or visit www.strathmore.org.
The 69-year-old Brit responsible for the classic rock radio staples “Breaking All the Rules,” “Show Me the Way,” and “Baby, I Love Your Way,” among others, has gone on to play himself in TV shows ranging from The Simpsons to Family Guy to Madam Secretary. Frampton, who was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame in 2014, returns to the area as part of his “Finale: The Farewell Tour,” an evening romping through his repertoire, as well as paying tribute to another British classic-rock act, with an opening set from Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening. Wednesday, Sept. 11. Doors at 6 p.m. The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. Tickets are $76 to $1,076. Call 202-888-0020 or visit www.theanthemdc.com.
Continuing the legacy of blues divas Etta James and Bessie Smith — to say nothing of her late father, Texas bluesman Johnny Copeland — Shemekia Copeland is far from just a powerhouse brassy blues singer-songwriter. The stirring, genre-bending music featured on the 40-year-old’s eighth release, America’s Child, is a bluesy, soul-fired blend of Americana, folk, and rock. Recorded in Nashville, the set “celebrates our collective diversity in all its forms and colors.” Friday, Sept. 13, at 8 p.m. Amp by Strathmore, 11810 Grand Park Ave. North Bethesda. Tickets are $25 to $45. Call 301-581-5100 or visit www.ampbystrathmore.com.
COMEDY AS A SECOND LANGUAGE
A show President Trump doesn’t want you to see, Maryland’s Improbable Comedy has recruited more immigrants and first-generation comics for another Comedy As A Second Language program. Taking the stage at the Silver Spring Black Box Theatre will be Che Guerrero, Alyssa Al-Dookhi, Umar Khan, and Reem Seliem. Saturday, Sept. 7, at 8 p.m. 8641 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $22 to $30. Call 301-588-8270 or visit www.improbablecomedy.com.
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 Liquer, and Fino Shery 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, starting Saturday, Sept. 7, and ending Sunday, Sept. 22. 2800 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Call 202-944-2026 or visit www.fourseasons.com/washington.
DC BEER WEEK
When this promotion was launched 11 years ago, there weren’t any breweries based in D.C., just a dedicated crew of craft beer aficionados with a dream. Now there are a dozen breweries in D.C. proper and the entire region has seen an explosion in the craft. DC Beer Week has grown by leaps and bounds, with dozens of events taking place over the course of eight days. This year’s Marquee Events include: the Kickoff Party at Bluejacket on Sunday, Sept. 8, where a selection of guest beers will be poured and the promotion’s official beer for 2019 will be released, the German-style lager Solidarity Beer, brewed on-site; the Washington, D.C. Total Tap Takeover at Churchkey on Tuesday, Sept. 10, in which 55 local craft breweries will be represented; Roofers Union Kick the Keg Contest on Wednesday, Sept. 11, in which seven local breweries compete for bragging rights as the audience’s favorite brew; “Red Bear Celebrates Women In Beer” on Thursday, Sept. 12, featuring a panel discussion on the topic; and Brewers on the Block in Buffalo & Bergen’s outdoor beer garden Suburbia on Saturday, Sept. 14, where guests can get unlimited pours in a souvenir tasting glass from 40-plus area breweries, cideries, and meaderies. DC Beer Week runs to Sunday, Sept. 15. Visit www.dcbeerweek.net for a full schedule of events.
6 @ 35: CELEBRATING WASHINGTON SCULPTORS GROUP’S 35TH ANNIVERSARY
The Zenith Gallery toasts the 35th anniversary of an organization that supports area sculptors by collaborating with other arts organizations, helping develop careers and exhibiting artwork. The latest exhibition in Zenith’s downtown Sculpture Space highlights six member artists of the Washington Sculptors Group, selected by a jury comprised of Sandy Bellamy, the official art curator for D.C.’s public buildings, art critic and curator Nancy Nesvet, and Zenith’s Margery Goldberg. The six artists with works on display are Luc Fiedler, Allen Linder, Mitra Lore, Vienne Rea, Gil Ugiansky, and Wilfredo Valladares. Now to Jan. 4, with a Meet the Artists Reception on Sept. 18. 1111 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Call 202-783-2963 or visit www.zenithgallery.com.
ARTY QUEERS: D.C.’S LGBTQ+ ART MARKET
The DC Center for the LGBT Community offers the chance for local LGBTQ and queer-identified artists to showcase and sell their works on the second Saturday of every month, including Sept. 14, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Prospective art buyers can expect to see original artworks in a range of media, including painting, pottery, photography, jewelry, glasswork, textiles, and clothing. 2000 14th St. NW, Suite 105. Call 202-682-2245 or visit www.thedccenter.org.
ILLEGAL TO BE YOU: GAY HISTORY BEYOND STONEWALL
The National Museum of American History celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots with a yearlong display of artifacts from the Smithsonian’s LGBTQ collections, intended to examine the complexity of LGBTQ history both before and after Stonewall. Among the 20 objects and 30 buttons and graphics in this special exhibition, which is set up in a display clase on the museum’s second floor: items of clothing belonging to Matthew Shepard, protest signs from gay rights activist Frank Kameny, the first transgender pride flag, and lesbian tennis pro Billy Jean King’s dress. To Spring 2020. 1300 Constitution Ave. NW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit www.americanhistory.si.edu.
MANIFESTO: ART X AGENCY
More than 100 works of art and ephemera created over the past century are currently on display in this group exhibition at the Hirshhorn. The specific focus is on artist manifestos and their impact, exploring how artists have used these statements of principles or theories to engage with the political and social issues of their time, including the present day. Manifesto: Art X Agency is named after a multichannel film by German artist Julian Rosefeldt that features actress Cate Blanchett performing excerpts from some of the great manifestos of the past century. Dating to 2015, Rosefeldt’s film makes its Hirshhorn debut as part of the exhibition, which is mostly comprised of seminal works from the museum’s permanent collection made by Alexander Calder, Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, Jackson Pollock, Guerrilla Girls, Adrian Piper, Nam June Paik, and Glenn Ligon. Now to Jan. 5. Independence Avenue and Seventh Street SW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit www.hirshhorn.si.edu.
NORMCORE BY SASCHA APPELHOFF & LENA VON GOEDEKE
Through a year-long artistic partnership with the German government and the Goethe-Institut Washington, the Transformer Gallery displays works created by two contemporary Berlin-based artists playing with the idea of “normcore,” a portmanteau of normal and hardcore. Appelhoff and von Goedeke challenge the concept, and the cliché of the uptight, rule-following German, through their own perception of the “norm” — in signs, sizes, and symbols — and by playing with the metric system in the U.S., where none of these rules apply. After it closes next month, the main immersive, site-specific exhibition will be condensed down to a month-long storefront installation in a room at the American University Katzen Arts Center, presented in conjunction with Transformer’s 16th Annual Silent Auction & Benefit Party, set for Oct. 26 at the GWU/Corcoran School of the Arts & Design. Opening Reception is Saturday, Sept. 7, from 6 to 8 p.m. On display to Oct. 10. Transformer, 1404 P St. NW. Call 202-483-1102 or visit www.transformerdc.org.
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 Fall 2019. 1731 New Hampshire Ave. NW. Suggested donation of $5 per person that will benefit Kimpton brand partner the Trevor Project. Call 202-234-3200 or visit www.carlylehoteldc.com.
SECTION 14: THE OTHER PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA
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 www.nmai.si.edu.
THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF TODD FRANSON
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 that he reproduces as larger prints in sizes ranging from 16×20 and 24×30. And then there are the dazzling and quirky photographs that come closest to conveying his personal sensibility — from “Dancing Bear,” a vibrant image of a teddy bear posed with a bustling amusement park in the background, to a new 12×12 series of fun and spontaneous “street” photographs. Prints will be available for purchase in prices ranging from $125 to $600 each at the closing reception, also featuring light food and drinks, and 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 www.thedccenter.org.
ADAMS MORGAN DAY
Back in the summer of 1977, residents and businesses in Adams Morgan hosted a block party. Over four decades later, what became Adams Morgan Day is renowned as D.C.’s longest-running neighborhood celebration, drawing masses to the neighborhood each year. The festival offers almost any activity you can think of — from live musical acts to board games to painting demonstrations, plus local restaurants tempting passersby with incredible specials. Sunday, Sept. 8, from noon to 6 p.m. Free. Visit www.admoday.com. (John Riley)
D.C. ART ALL NIGHT
In 2009, Alexander Padro and his partner were so inspired by a visit to Paris’ Nuit Blanche that they launched a D.C. version of the free, one-night-only art festival in their Shaw neighborhood. The idea was so successful, it soon expanded to seven other city neighborhoods, overseen by each locality’s Main Street program. The festival’s activities, performances, and displays represent all types of art and artists, ranging from performers in music, dance, theater, and poetry to visual artists working in painting, photography, film, sculpture, crafts, and fashion. Co-sponsored by D.C.’s Department of Small and Local Business Development as well as the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the 11th annual D.C. Art All Night is set for Congress Heights, Deanwood Heights, Dupont Circle, H Street, Minnesota Avenue, North Capitol, Shaw, and Tenleytown. Saturday, Sept. 14, from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. Visit www.dcartallnight.org for full details.
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’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 opens this weekend via a 16-day, star-studded festival offering nearly 500 events. Free, timed-entry passes are required for entry into the REACH — and unfortunately, all passes for the festival’s marquee evening and weekend events are fully booked. Still, there are plenty of notable events planned over the festival’s first week that are available by reserving the appropriate morning and afternoon passes. The passes also grant 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.
Among the available events, per day, the highlights on Monday, Sept. 9, include screenings of Every Little Step, the 2008 documentary about the casting for the 2006 Broadway revival of A Chorus Line, and Fences, the 2016 adaptation of the August Wilson play starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. With a focus on art and artists of Native or Indigenous populations, Tuesday, Sept. 10, presents a Conversation with Yalitza Aparicio, the first Oscar-nominated Indigenous Mexican actress (Mixtec, Roma), moderated by Mexican director/playwright/actress Ofelia Medina, plus the Panel Discussions “Native Artists in the Performing Arts,” moderated by Dance Place’s Christopher K. Morgan, and “The New Contemporary in Native American Art.” A multitude of events appeal to fans of classical music and musical theater on Wednesday, Sept. 11, including: TED-style “Classical Talks” with NSO harpist Adriana Horne, conductor Ankush Kumar Bahl, Scott Tucker of the Choral Arts Society, and Daniel Bowen of Symphony 21; a two-hour open rehearsal, with audience Q&A, of an NSO Chamber Group performing Dvořák’s Viola Quintet; the contemporary show “S P A C E D O U T” from the D.C.-based wind quintet District5; a Master Class with legendary musical composer Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors) as well as a rehearsal of Menken’s sold-out performance later that evening with the NSO and Broadway stars Megan Hilty, Adam Jacobs, Norm Lewis, and Patina Miller; another Master Class with NSO Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke; and screenings of the documentaries Duke Ellington’s Washington and Seymour: An Introduction, the latter Ethan Hawke’s intimate look at the concert pianist-cum-musical educator Seymour Bernstein. Things kick off at sunrise on Thursday, Sept. 12, with a free Daybreaker morning dance and yoga experience led DJ FDVM, resident MC Haile Supreme, and resident yogi Atticus Mooney, followed later in the day by a screening and panel discussion of the new documentary Once in a Hundred Years, about the life and legacy of groundbreaking African-American opera singer Marian Anderson. And highlights on Friday, Sept. 13, include a screening hosted by pioneering independent filmmaker Charles Burnett of his 1999 documentary Selma, Lord, Selma, and the Collective Futures in Music series featuring individual performances by, and a group panel discussion with, five emerging artists from the black, Latinx, immigrant, and/or LGBTQ communities in D.C. and Baltimore: DJs Genie, Trillnatured, Toyo Mansi, Kotic Couture, and EN’B. The festival runs to Sept. 22. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org/reach to reserve passes or for more information, including a full schedule of events.
LA COSECHA: CALLE LATINA OPENING CONCERT + BLOCK PARTY
EDENS, the developer and operator of Union Market, will throw open the doors of its newest venture in that same Northeast neighborhood with a free, daylong party. Styled as a contemporary Latin marketplace and offshoot of the original market, La Cosecha will feature Latin culture- and cuisine-focused merchants, such as El Cielo, Nova Bossa, Amparo, Ali Pacha, Grand Cata, Serenata, Café Unido, Filos Bakery, Zona E Home, La Casita, and Peruvian Brothers — all of whom will give a sneak peek of their offerings during Calle Latina. Ozomatli, the Grammy-winning Latin pop fusion act from Los Angeles, headlines the block party featuring additional performances by local pop singer/dancer Jason Cerda, Salt Cathedral, Mario + Jose, Jonathan Acosta, DJs Bembona, Renzo, Nicolas Losada, and Batalá. Comedians also factor into the party lineup, along with kids dance classes, food and retail pop-ups, and chef demos. Calle Latina is presented in partnership with Events DC. Saturday, Sept. 7, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 1270 4th St. NE. Visit www.lacosechadc.com/callelatina for more information.
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 $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 www.rennfest.com.
Wineries and vineyards from nearby and around the globe will be on hand at this annual fundraiser for the organization Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ), which was once known as Grapes with the Apes. A key feature of this year’s wine fest, sponsored by Total Wine & More, is that all of the wines available for tasting are rated 90 points or above — and the impressive selection ranges from a berry-flavored Bordeaux to a sustainably produced, honey-noted pinot gris from Oregon. Meanwhile, the contemporary jazz pianist Marcus Johnson will offer samples from his FLO Wine collection in addition to a musical performance. Food from local restaurants and popular food trucks will also be on hand to complement the wine tastings at Zoo Uncorked, which also offers opportunities to see nocturnal animals, including residents of the Kids’ Farm, Great Cats, and Think Tank. The evening benefits conservation, research and education programs at the zoo and its Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va. Thursday, Sept. 12, from 6 to 9 p.m. 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. General Admission tickets are $55 for FONZ members or $70 for non-members and include a commemorative wine glass, or $99 to $115 for VIP including exclusive offerings of wine and food, a DJ, and special animal encounters, and a take-home gift. Call 202-633-4800 or visit http://nationalzoo.si.edu.