High Heel Race — Photo: Ward Morrison
17TH STREET HIGH HEEL RACE
What started just for fun and a little neighborhood bonding three decades ago by a couple of JR.’s employees has turned into one of the city’s most fanatically popular annual events. And, once again, it’s an official “Mayor Muriel Bowser presents” affair. Spectators start assembling in the blocks between R Street to P Street as early as the late afternoon, so get there early and stake out a spot if you want to see the high-heeled sprinters and the pre-race parade. The 33rd annual event, set for Tuesday, Oct. 29, begins with the parade at 7 p.m. The race starts exactly at 9 p.m. Visit www.facebook.com/17thStreetHighHeelRace.
AFI’S HALLOWEEN ON SCREEN
The AFI Silver Theatre offers its annual series with screenings between now and All Hallows’ Eve. This year’s lineup launches with the annual presentation of Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (1922) — German silent film master F. W. Murnau’s appropriation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula that set the standard for all vampire flicks to come — presented with live accompaniment by Maurizio Guarini of Goblin on Friday, Oct. 25, at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 26, at 5:15 p.m. Next up is The Exorcist, William Friedkin’s 1973 Oscar-winning horror classic famously set and shot in Georgetown, which is presented by legendary local TV horror host Count Gore De Vol on Saturday, Oct. 26, at 7:30 p.m., plus an encore showing on Thursday, Oct. 31, at 7:15 p.m. — with both screenings featuring the 2000 extended director’s cut reissue that includes the infamous “spider walk” staircase sequence. Also on Saturday, Oct. 26, and Thursday, Oct. 31, come screenings of new digitally restored versions of two early zombie classics: The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue, Jorge Grau’s cult classic from 1974 (also known as Let Sleeping Corpses Lie), and The Evil Dead, Sam Raimi’s 1981 nutso horror film that launched his career. The AFI Silver is at 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $11 to $13 per screening. Call 301-495-6720 or visit www.afi.com/Silver.
The ghost with the most heckles the living in the Tim Burton classic focused on a crass, cantankerous demon employed by a sweet ghostly couple wanting to rid their home of its new living residents. Memorable on account of its macabre vision and hilarious madness, the 1988 classic returns to the big screen in a new 4K digital restoration and on the day before Halloween as part of Landmark’s West End Cinema’s Capital Classics series. Wednesday, Oct. 30, 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. (André Hereford)
CONGRESSIONAL CEMETERY: SOUL STROLLS
Edgar Hoover, buried alongside his “deputy” Clyde Tolson, surely rests as the most sinister of all 67,000 permanent residents at this 35-acre historic graveyard. It’s an eerie proposition any time of year, taking a nighttime stroll past the graves of Hoover and Tolson, former Presidents John Quincy Adams and Zachary Taylor, composer John Philip Sousa, and the many Civil War-era Congressional leaders interred here. But every year, the nonprofit-run, Christ Church-owned landmark offers guided, hour-long tours with docents and costumed interpreters in the weekends leading up to Halloween. Beer, wine, and cider are available for purchase in the Chapel. Meanwhile, the graveyard’s Public Vault will be transformed into a Victorian-era funeral parlor hosting a cocktail party every night reserved for those who purchase VIP tickets with vouchers for three drinks. Tours depart every 15 minutes from 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 25, and from 6 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26. 1801 E St. SE. Tickets are $26.50 with fees online, or $62.20 for VIP. Call 202-543-0539 or visit www.congressionalcemetery.org.
EIGHTIES MAYHEM: ’80S HALLOWEEN DANCE PARTY
FYM Productions presents an evening of Halloween nostalgia at the Black Cat, where costumes are encouraged. This year’s timewarped party centers around the themes of “Redrum” — from the 1980 blockbuster The Shining — and Ghostbusters (circa 1984), with spooky or at least quirky hits from the decade spun by DJs Steve EP, MissGuided, and Killa K. Saturday, Oct. 26, starting at 9 p.m. 1811 14th St. NW. Tickets are $15. Call 202-667-4490 or visit blackcatdc.com.
MURDER MYSTERY COMEDY SHOW: HALLOWEEN WHODUNIT
The audience is asked to solve a murder in Die Laughing Productions’ annual Halloween program. The setup: Shooting for the horror flick The Friday the 13th After Next turns deadly, and the set becomes a crime scene. The evening is billed as “an interactive spooky spectacular,” one where guests are encouraged to dress up as “your favorite ghoul or goblin.” Thursday, Oct. 31, at 7:30 p.m. DC Improv, 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets are $22, plus a two-item minimum. Call 202-296-7008 or visit www.dcimprov.com.
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD
Smithsonian Theaters presents a Halloween night screening of a groundbreaking film that ushered in a completely new approach to creating horror films, from the man credited as “the Father of the Zombie Film,” George A. Romero. In the 1968 classic, the dead come back to life to eat the living, several of whom barricade themselves inside a rural house in an attempt to survive the night. Thursday, Oct. 31, at 6:30 p.m. The Warner Bros. Theater at the National Museum of American History, 1300 Constitution Ave. NW. Tickets are $12.50 to $13.50 with fees. Call 202-633-1000 or visit www.si.edu/theaters.
NIGHT OF THE LIVING ZOO
Friends of the National Zoo offers an annual, adults-only affair featuring performance artists, a costume contest, a DJ dance party, and craft beer and food truck fare. The VIP Experience also includes express check-in, one additional drink ticket, exclusive takeaway gift, exclusive animal experiences and viewings, private bar, lounge, and dance floor, and complimentary food tastings from local restaurants including GCDC Grilled Cheese Bar, Pinstripes, and Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company. Friday, Oct. 25, from 7 to 10:30 p.m. 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. General admission is $40, or $90 for VIP. Call 202-633-4800 or visit https://nationalzoo.si.edu.
OYAMEL: DAY OF THE DEAD FESTIVAL WITH COCKTAIL DINNERS
José Andrés’ temple to Mexican cuisine has concocted special menus and events to celebrate the country’s holiday Day of the Dead, with this year’s Mexican patron saint Ritchie Valens, the late Mexican-American musician best known for his hit “La Bamba!” In addition to ongoing menu specials from now until Sunday, Nov. 3, the restaurant, under Head Chef Omar Rodriguez, features two dinners to toast the holiday offering five courses focused on the unique flavors of Veracruz, Mexico, and paired with agave cocktails. Thursday, Oct. 24, and Tuesday, Oct. 29, starting at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $75 per person, plus fees. 401 7th St. NW. Call 202-628-1005 or visit www.oyamel.com.
POE IN THE VAULT
Every year actors from Guillotine Theatre, once known as the Georgetown Theatre Company, gather to “communicate with the spirits and read a witches’ brew of poems and short stories,” and all by “America’s 19th Century Master of Horror.” For added oomph, these “Tales of Mystery and Imagination” from Edgar Allan Poe are presented in the Receiving Vault of Old Town’s Ivy Hill Cemetery — after a short guided ghost tour of the property. Saturday, Oct. 26, Sunday, Oct. 27, and Monday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m. 2823 King St, Alexandria. Requested donation of $20. Call 703-549-7413 x1112 or visit www.georgetowntheatre.org.
The area’s two Angelika theaters close out the month-long “Hitchcocktober” with one of the Master of Suspense’s most famous works. Made in 1960, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho remains among the greatest horror films in the history of cinema, single-handedly reinventing the genre. Anthony Perkins gives the performance of his career as Norman Bates, the meek, neurotic owner of an eerily isolated motel where he lives with his domineering mother. His life is forever changed when Marion Crane (the lovely Janet Leigh) stays for a night. The film is celebrated for a shower to end all showers — a master class in editing — and for Bernard Herrmann’s magnificent, instantly recognizable strings-only score. Tickets are $10 at the Pop-Up, $14.50 at Mosaic. Call 800-680-9095 or visit www.AngelikaFilmCenter.com. (Randy Shulman)
PUDDLES PITY PARTY
In Puddles the Clown, Big Mike Geier has created a unique arts persona out of the jack-in-the-box. Dressed in clown whiteface, and nary speaking a word, Puddles, who is perpetually sad, sings with a shimmering baritone luster that is as astonishing as it is surprising. The self-described “Sad Clown with the Golden Voice” will offer a Halloween night show with special guest drag queen Dina Martina plus, naturally, a Halloween Costume Contest. Thursday, Oct. 31. Doors at 6:30 p.m. Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. Tickets are $40. Call 202-888-0050 or visit www.thelincolndc.com.
RAVEN’S NIGHT: CREATURE FEATURE
Raven’s Night, which doubles as a masquerade ball, is the sort of event you’re going to experience only around this time of year. This year’s theme is centered on the most iconic movie monsters and billed as “a sci-fi and fantasy fueled feast fit for all fandoms.” Saturday, Nov. 2, starting at 5 p.m. with an All Hallows Eve Exposition, including palm readings, photo ops, games, and live performance, followed by a “Salon Lunaire” dinner concert featuring the collective of Eastern European folk artists called RODYNA, starting at 6:30 p.m., and finally the main event, Cabaret Melancholia, a theatrical belly dance program with fusion dancers from across the nation, at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $25. Call 703-549-7500 or visit www.ravensnight.com.
TERROR IN THE RED RUM: TALES FOR HALLOWEEN
“Dark fiction” author Sonora Taylor (Little Paranoias) brings together a handful of fellow local horror authors for a night of dark tales at the Black Cat two days before Halloween. The lineup also includes Rob Blackwell (The Samhain Chronicles), Sawney Hatton (Uglyville), John Edward Lawson (New Mosque City), Jessica McHugh (Rabbits in the Garden), and Sheri White (Sacrificial Lambs). Tuesday, Oct. 29. Doors at 7:30 p.m. Black Cat’s Red Room, 1811 14th St. NW. Free. Call 202-667-4490 or visit www.blackcatdc.com.
THE DIANE SCREAM SHOW: HOWLLOWEEN SCREAMTACULAR
Perhaps the strangest offering around town this Halloween is a show at Songbyrd Cafe featuring a group self-billed as “the DMV’s premier Diane Rehm-themed Talking Heads tribute band.” Designed as a benefit for local educational nonprofit serving at-risk youth For the Love of Children, or FLOC, the show features Talking Heads songs brought to life with “novel instrumentation, quirky choreography, and Halloween festivities,” all from a queer team including lead singer and dulcimer player Christian Crowley and multi-instrumentalist Chris Griffin (alt-drag act Lucrezia Blozia). Guests are encouraged to come dressed in “your best Diane Rehm-themed and/or Talking Heads costume” to compete in the costume contest. Local jazz trio Djesben opens. Monday, Oct. 28. Doors at 7 p.m. 2477 18th St. NW. Tickets are $10. Call 202-450-2917 or visit www.songbyrddc.com.
THE GHOST STORY TOUR OF WASHINGTON
A costumed tour guide will discuss the spirits said to haunt Lafayette Square and surrounding buildings, including the Hay Adams Hotel and Decatur House, some for over 200 years. Touted as D.C.’s “oldest costumed ghost tour,” the all-outdoor affair lasts approximately 90 minutes, and advertises that “someone on the tour will win a prize.” All tours start at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays through October. St. John’s Episcopal Church, 1525 H St. NW. Tickets are $10 to $20. Call 301-873-3986 or visit www.historicstrolls.com.
THE LEGWARMERS: HALLOWEEN DANCE PARTY
It’s been 18 years since Gordon Gartrell and Cru Jones started what has long been heralded as D.C.’s “premier ’80s tribute band,” performing the many guilty pleasure hits of the decade. The group has performed at concert halls throughout the region and beyond, yet its primary base has been Virginia’s State Theatre. The band returns to the restored Art Deco building the last Saturday of October, when the usual audience participation of dressing the part — think shellacked big hair, lacy ankle socks, stirrup and parachute pants — will be amped up to 11, courtesy of a Halloween Costume Contest with cash prizes, along with other spooky surprises. Saturday, Oct. 26. Doors at 7:30 p.m. 220 N. Washington St., Falls Church. Tickets are $20. Call 703-237-0300 or visit www.thestatetheatre.com.
Rocky Horror Picture Show
THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW
Every October, Landmark’s E Street Cinema presents not just one but two weekends with screenings of Richard O’Brien’s camp classic, billed as the longest-running midnight movie in history. Landmark’s showings come with a live shadow cast from the Sonic Transducers, meaning it’s as interactive as can be — particularly the last weekend of the month with a special Halloween run. Friday, Oct. 25, and Saturday, Oct. 26, at midnight, and Sunday, Oct. 27, at 7:30 p.m. Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672 or visit www.landmarktheatres.com.
WASHINGTON WALKS: THE MOST HAUNTED HOUSES, CAPITOL HAUNTINGS
Washington Walks offers two popular annual outdoor tours shining a light on the many ghosts and buildings said to be haunted in the nation’s capital. “The Most Haunted Houses: The Original Washington, D.C. Ghost Tour” is another guided excursion by night through Lafayette Park, purportedly “the most haunted site in the city.” Bustling with White House staffers by day, the seven-acre park turns eerily quiet by night, aside from the ghosts and spirits serving as reminders of the many violent quarrels, vicious attacks, murders, and suicides that have taken place there. Meanwhile, “Capitol Hauntings: Ghosts of the U.S. Capitol” explores one of D.C.’s oldest neighborhoods — also historically one of its gayest — with, naturally, a focus on the apparitions said to haunt the U.S. Capitol as well as the Supreme Court. Each two-hour tour starts at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays through October. Tickets are $15 to $20. Call 202-484-1565 or visit www.washingtonwalks.com.
Jojo Rabbit: (From L-R) Thomasin McKenzie, Roman Griffin Davis and Taika Waititi — Photo: Kimberley French / Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp
BY THE GRACE OF GOD
Celebrated gay French filmmaker François Ozon (Frantz, Swimming Pool) won the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Berlin Film Festival for this gripping drama, based on a true story, about three men who band together to expose the stifling code of silence that continues to enable a priest who abused each of them as boys. By The Grace of God powerfully illustrates the varying effects that the trauma of abuse causes to individuals and their families for years. Opens Friday, Oct. 25. Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672 or visit www.landmarktheatres.com.
A nurse downloads an app that claims to predict exactly when someone will die. This is a horror movie, so naturally it tells her that she has three days left, and she must find a way to escape death while a mysterious figure haunts her. An allegory for smartphone addiction and the way apps and screens have taken over our lives, or a lazy, updated version of The Ring? You decide. Opens Friday, Oct. 25. Area theaters. Visit www.fandango.com. (Rhuaridh Marr)
Vox summed up Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi’s newest film as “a coming-of-age story about a boy and his best friend Hitler.” Based on the novel Caging Skies by Christine Leunens, Jojo Rabbit is a black comedy about a young boy during the Second World War. A member of the Hitler Youth, he discovers that his mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a Jewish girl in their attic, and struggles to accept her normality given everything he’s been taught. Cue imaginary friend Hitler (Waititi), a bumbling version of the Nazi leader, who helps him process his ideological beliefs. Reviews are polarized — though mostly positive — with some comparing Jojo Rabbit to 1997’s Oscar-winning Life is Beautiful, which was similarly criticized for using Nazi atrocities as a backdrop for comedy. Oh, and fun fact, since Disney acquired production company Fox Searchlight, the Hitler-starring Jojo Rabbit is now technically a Disney movie. Opens Friday, Oct. 25. Area theaters. Visit www.fandango.com. (RM)
THE CURRENT WAR: DIRECTOR’S CUT
Benedict Cumberbatch portrays Thomas Edison when “America’s Greatest Inventor” is on the verge of his greatest breakthrough with electricity but is faced with a challenge from George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon) and Nikolai Tesla (Nicholas Hoult). Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and written by Michael Mitnick, The Current War tells the epic story of the cutthroat competition to power the nation, one of the first and greatest corporate feuds in American history. The film finally sees a wide release two years after the Harvey Weinstein scandal doomed its fate as a Weinstein Company product. Opens Friday, Oct. 25. Area theaters. Visit www.fandango.com.
THE LAVENDER SCARE
Filmmaker Josh Howard’s eye-opening documentary offers a stark reminder that being out at work, especially for federal employees, was and is a right that cannot be held lightly, lest it be stolen away from LGBTQ people with the swipe of a Presidential pen. The hour-long film — narrated by Glenn Close and inspired by the book of the same name by David Johnson — takes stock of the harrowing period when employees of the federal government were hounded out of their jobs, an invasive, deliberately humiliating process of investigation and intimidation that started in 1953 and lasted, surprisingly, until recently. A few months after its debut on PBS, local affiliate WETA TV 26 partners with Smithsonian Theaters for a special big screen viewing followed by a Q&A with Georgetown professors Nan Hunter and Chad Heap moderated by Katherine Ott, curator at the National Museum of American History. Sunday, Oct. 27, at 3:15 p.m. The Warner Bros. Theater, 1300 Constitution Ave. NW. Tickets are $11.50 to $12.50 with fees. Call 202-633-1000 or visit www.si.edu/theaters. (AH)
Everybody — Photo: DJ Corey
DAY OF ABSENCE
White citizens in a sleepy southern town are forced to recognize the value and vitality their African-American neighbors offer them one random day when they mysteriously disappear. Raymond O. Caldwell and Angelisa Gillyard direct a Theater Alliance retelling of a “reverse minstrel show” that Douglas Turner Ward originally created in 1965, one billed as a comedic and pointed commentary on systemic racism that is sadly still relevant today. Jared Shamberger leads a 10-member cast as the town’s mayor in the 90-minute, intermissionless play. To Nov. 3. Anacostia Playhouse, 2020 Shannon Place SE. Tickets are $25 to $40, except for at least 10 Name-Your-Own-Price seats up for grabs one hour before each show. Call 202-241-2539 or visit www.theateralliance.com.
The Native American heroine Pocahontas has “come back to life to set the record straight” in the subversive, feminist-minded musical written and composed by Dennis T. Giacino. Cinderella, Snow White, the Little Mermaid, and Tiana (Disney’s first black princess) also make an appearance in this satirical take on Disney princesses, all portrayed with human faults and foibles. Matt Conner directs the Creative Cauldron production. To Oct. 27. ArtSpace Falls Church, 410 South Maple Ave. in Falls Church. Tickets are $20 to $35, or $100 for the Gala. Call 703-436-9948 or visit www.creativecauldron.org.
In Caryl Churchill’s dark comedy, three old friends are joined by a neighbor to engage in amiable chitchat with a side of apocalyptic horror. Holly Twyford directs. To Nov. 3. Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit www.sigtheatre.org.
The Shakespeare Theatre Company offers a radical adaptation of the 15th-century morality play Everyman by Obie- and MacArthur “Genius” Award-winning playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (An Octoroon). In his revamped and rechristened Everybody, Death (Nancy Robinette) pays a visit to the overly optimistic and sanguine titular character to help knock some realistic sense into them. Everybody will be played by anybody and somebody among the other nine members of the cast, chosen at random, by lottery live on stage before every performance. Will Davis directs the resulting “irreverent, rollicking” comedy also touted as remixing “the archetypal medieval morality play into an explosive experiment of wit and emotion.” To Nov. 17. Lansburgh Theatre, 450 7th St. NW. Call 202-547-1122 or visit www.shakespearetheatre.org.
Craig Wallace and Erika Rose star in one of August Wilson’s most famous and profound works, in a Ford’s Theatre production directed by Timothy Douglas, one of the foremost interpreters of Wilson’s work. To Oct. 27. 511 10th St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $52. Call 202-347-4833 or visit www.fords.org.
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS
The zany American sci-fi musical comedy, from Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, concerns a nerdy floral shop employee and hi wisecracking carnivorous plant who chews more than the scenery. Puppet designer Matthew Aldwin McGee is tasked, with puppeteer Rj Pavel, with bringing full, menacing life the bloodthirsty Audrey II, with Marty Austin Lamar providing the plant’s soulful voice. Christian Montgomery leads the human cast as Seymour, the unlikely hero infatuated with his coworker Audrey (Teresa Quigley Danskey). Nick Martin directs. To Nov. 17. Source Theatre, 1835 14th St. NW. Tickets are $19 to $55, plus fees. Call 202-204-7741 or visit www.constellationtheatre.org.
She Kills Monsters — Photo: Ryan Maxwell Photography
SHE KILLS MONSTERS
Known for ambitious stagings of eccentric, or just plain out-there, fantasy tales, Rorschach Theatre offers a reprise of Qui Nguyen’s She Kills Monsters, originally produced in 2014. Set in a Dungeons & Dragons-inspired mysterious world created by a suburban American teenager as her way to cope with and escape from high school, when she dies her sister struggles to keep the fantasy world turning. Randy Baker returns to direct the remount, reimagined for 2019 to include site-specific elements bringing audiences into unseen places throughout the Atlas Performing Arts Center, from the elevator to the basement. Now to Nov. 10. Lab Theatre II, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $25 to $40. Call 202-399-7993 or visit www.atlasarts.org.
In 1905, Jay “The Sport” Jackson dreams of becoming the first African American boxer to fight for the heavyweight championship — yet even with his string of knockout victories, the odds are stacked against him outside the ring, with the even bigger fight against entrenched racial segregation and pronounced white preudice. Paige Hernandez directs a co-production from Olney Theatre Company and 1st Stage of Tyson’s Corner of Marco Ramirez’s play, a 90-minute, intermission-less work starring Jaysen Wright the character inspired by the real-life boxer Jack Johnson. To Oct. 27. Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Call 301-924-3400 or visit www.olneytheatre.org.
WHAT TO SEND UP WHEN IT GOES DOWN
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company partners with New York’s Movement Theatre Company to offer the D.C. debut of a theatrical work by Aleshea Harris that uses parody, song, and movement to show, through a series of vignettes, the resilience of black people despite “the pervasiveness of anti-blackness” in our culture. The audience is asked to not only observe, but participate in a boundary blurring production directed by Whitney White and featuring a cast including Alana Raquel Bowers, Rachel Christopher, Ugo Chukwu, Kambi Gathesha, Denise Manning, Javon Q. Minter, Beau Thom, and newcomer Nemuna Ceesay. This weekend’s performances are at THEARC, 1901 Mississippi Ave. SE. The production opens Tuesday, Oct. 30, and runs to Nov. 10 at Woolly Mammoth, 641 D St. NW. Call 202-393-3939 or visit www.woollymammoth.net.
Amber Run — Photo: Daniel Alexander Harris
The Canadian starlet and 2018 Best New Artist Grammy recipient returns to the area more than a year after taking the Capital Pride stage for a showcase of her confident, R&B-steeped pop music. The concert will no doubt focus on her accomplished sophomore album The Pains of Growing, as well as her strong, just-released EP, This Summer. A singer-songwriter who first drew attention with “Here,” an anthem for introverts and the non-partying, sober-minded kind everywhere, Cara has released single after single that share astute, self-aware, and self-affirming messages, from last year’s “Trust My Lonely” to 2016’s “Scars To Your Beautiful” and “Wild Things,” with the latter’s alternative-embracing lyrics making it a credible LGBTQ anthem. Saturday, Oct. 26. Doors at 6 p.m. The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. Tickets are $40 to $175. Call 202-888-0020 or visit www.theanthemdc.com.
A young, rising four-piece from the U.K. that continues to draw notices for emotive, anthemic, even cinematic rock tunes — led by vocalist Joe Keogh’s signature visceral style — that bear clear influences from U2, Snow Patrol, Keane, and Kodaline, among others. Two years after the band’s impressively varied sophomore album For A Moment, I Was Lost, Amber Run returns with the concept album Philophobia, tackling the fear of falling in love and exploring the ways in which everyone will experience some degree of love, from the platonic to the romantic, in their lifetime. Jordan Mackampa opens. Thursday, Oct. 31. Doors at 7:30 p.m. Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $25. Call 202-667-4490 or visit www.blackcatdc.com.
This past June, the New Orleans’ Queen of Bounce was featured at the National Museum of African American History and Culture as part of its special pride event. The hip-hop artist and queer and trans activist returns for a special pre-Halloween treat with a concert at the 9:30 Club, featuring an opening set from buzzed-about new bluesy rock act Low Cut Connie. Tuesday, Oct. 29. Doors at 7 p.m. 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $25. Call 202-265-0930 or visit www.930.com.
A multi-Grammy-winning singing pianist/composer from Brazil, Elias has the kind of elegant, unassuming singing voice, a little unpolished, that has come to characterize bossa nova ever since Astrud Gilberto’s days. Elias returns on a tour in support of her new Concord Jazz release Love Stories, a rich orchestral ode to romance and classic love songs that is primarily sung in English. Friday, Oct. 25. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $30 to $60. Call 202-787-1000 or visit www.thehamiltondc.com.
GAY MEN’S CHORUS OF WASHINGTON: SMALL ENSEMBLES EXTRAVAGANZA
The company presents a showcase of four of its select ensembles, including the tight harmony a cappella ensemble Potomac Fever, the chamber music group Rock Creek Singers, the gospel and inspiration music ensemble Seasons of Love, and the Broadway, jazz, and contemporary choreography group 17th Street Dance. Saturday, Oct. 26, at 5 and 8 p.m. Live at 10th and G, 945 G ST. NW. Tickets are $45. Call 202-628-4317 or visit www.gmcw.org.
After signing his first record deal as a teenager with British record producer Clive Caulder’s Jive Records, Butler’s premier single became the first by a black artist to be played on white radio stations in South Africa. That early success was his ticket out of the apartheid country. The R&B/jazz guitarist and vocalist now lives in Southern California. Thursday, Oct. 24, through Sunday, Oct. 27, at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Tickets are $50, plus $12 minimum purchase. Call 202-337-4141 or visit www.bluesalley.com.
MARYLAND LYRIC OPERA INSTITUTE FALL CONCERT
Rising young talents from the MDLO Institute will perform excerpts from six classic operas in three different languages in a showcase supported by the full 50-member MDLO Orchestra on stage. Music Director Louis Salemno will conduct sopranos Alexandra Razskazoff and Sarah Joyce Cooper, mezzo-soprano Olga Syniakova, tenors Joseph Michael Brent, Yi Li, and Mauricio Miranda, baritone Christian Bowers, and bass Michael Pitocchi. The evening’s program includes Beethoven’s Fidelio, Gounod’s Faust, Verdi’s Falstaff, Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, Bizet’s Carmen, and Strauss’s Der Rosenkavlier. Friday, Nov. 1, at 7:30 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, Md. Tickets are $10 to $75. Call 301-581-5100 or visit www.strathmore.org.
His wife may get most of the attention, yet Mr. Kacey Musgraves continues to prove he’s also worthy of acclaim as a budding next-generation country artist. In addition to last year’s critically acclaimed debut album Dying Star, which fearlessly tackled his experiences with drug addiction, Kelly has recently released an eight-track EP dubbed the Dirt Emo Vol. 1. The set of covers of emo songs includes Dashboard Confessional’s “Screaming Infidelities,” rendered by Kelly alongside the band’s singer Chris Carrabba, and a version of Wheatus’ “Teenage Dirtbag” recorded live right here in D.C. The 9:30 Club presents the intimate concert at U Street Music Hall featuring an opening set by Donovan Woods. Saturday, Oct. 26. Doors at 7 p.m. 1115A U St. NW. Tickets are $20. Call 202-588-1880 or visit www.ustreetmusichall.com.
STEEP CANYON RANGERS
A Grammy-winning progressive bluegrass/rock sextet based in the liberal oasis of Asheville, North Carolina, Steep Canyon Rangers is going on two decades in the business. On a break from its decade-long work collaborating with actor/banjoist Steve Martin, the group tours in support of last year’s Out In The Open, produced by the famous Grammy-winning folk producer Joe Henry. Kaia Kater opens. Friday, Nov. 1, at 8 p.m. Weinberg Center for the Arts, 20 W. Patrick St. Frederick, Md. Tickets are $23.75 to $38.75 plus fees. Call 301-600-2828 or visit www.weinbergcenter.org.
The soul-singing Broadway veteran, winner of the Tony for her role in The Wiz, returns to the Birchmere for another year and another two-night weekend run performing hits from her repertoire that goes well beyond The Wiz‘s “Home.” Mills’ hits in the 1980s include “Never Knew Love Like This Before,” “I Feel Good All Over,” and “If I Were Your Woman.” Friday, Oct. 25, and Saturday, Oct. 26, at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $89.50. Call 703-549-7500 or visit www.birchmere.com.
Tegan and Sara — Photo: Trevor Brady
TEGAN AND SARA
Hey, I’m Just Like You is built around songs the twins Tegan and Sara Quin wrote in high school as edgy queer teens in the Calgary suburbs. Along with their memoir High School, released in tandem with the album, Hey, I’m Just Like You is a retrospective project that opens a window on Tegan and Sara’s early career. The songs give us a snapshot of two songwriters with a gift for capturing messy, complex emotions with stark clarity. The album is a return to their roots stylistically as well, revisiting their guitar-driven pre-Heartthrob indie rock sound, and the pair’s talent as songwriters and their chemistry as performers has consistently been their greatest asset. Sunday, Oct. 27. Doors at 7 p.m. Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. Tickets are $40.50 to $76. Call 202-888-0050 or visit www.thelincolndc.com. (Sean Maunier)
THE 9 SONGWRITER SERIES
Folk-rock musician Justin Trawick formed this collaborative a decade ago to help increase performance and collaborative opportunities for fellow local musicians as well as to give audiences an easier way to discover songwriters and bands to love. Next up in the series is an intimate show with performances by Trawick, Griefcat, the Duskwhales, CARYN, Dante Pope, Jason Masi, Justin Jones, Oh He Dead, and Moonshine Society. Wednesday, Oct. 30. Doors at 6 p.m. Jammin Java, 227 Maple Ave. E. Vienna. Tickets are $x12 to $15. Call 703-255-3747 or visit www.jamminjava.com.
THE DOO WOP PROJECT
Five veterans of Broadway, stars of shows ranging from Jersey Boys to Motown the Musical to A Bronx Tale, have teamed up for a project promoting the sound of doo wop. The quintet will showcase the classic tight, five-part harmony of doo wop by reimagining some of the biggest rock and pop hits of today, while also displaying the influence of doo wop on the Motown sound and artists including Smokey Robinson, the Temptations, and Michael Jackson. Friday, Oct. 25, at 8 p.m. Weinberg Center for the Arts, 20 W. Patrick St. Frederick, Md. Tickets are $25 to $37.50 plus fees. Call 301-600-2828 or visit www.weinbergcenter.org.
The former D.C.-based troubadour, who now lives in L.A., returns for a concert focused on the tender folk/pop balladeer’s seventh full-length album. According to the official bio, Territories “tells the complex story of a changing marriage and emerging relationship through songs named after the places that inspired them” — and which were visited on separate trips over the past year with Goss’ husband and a new lover. The self-identified “polyamorous gay musician” tours with two fellow queer indie singer-songwriters: Nakia, an Austin-based bluesy rock artist and seminfinalist from the first season of NBC’s The Voice, and Goss’ longtime collaborator Liz DeRoche, another former local artist now based in California. Saturday, Oct. 26, at 8 p.m. MilkBoy ArtHouse, 7416 Baltimore Ave., College Park, Md. Tickets are $12 to $30. Call 240-623-1423 or visit www.milkboyarthouse.com.
WASHINGTON CONSERVATORY: RECITAL WITH NSO PRINCIPALS
The celebrated Brahms Horn Trio is the focus of a Conservatory Concerts series recital featuring Abel Pereira, the principal horn player with the National Symphony Orchestra, Nurit Bar-Josef, the violinist who has served as the NSO’s longtime Concertmaster, and Audrey Andrist, acclaimed pianist and piano teacher. Rounding out the program are additional works for horn and piano by Eugene Bozza, Paul Dukas, and Olivier Messiaen, plus Brahms’ Intermezzo in A Major for solo piano. The concert will be followed by an informal Wine & Words Q&A featuring the performers and complimentary beverages. Saturday, Oct. 26, at 8 p.m. Westmoreland Congregational Church, 1 Westmoreland Circle. Bethesda. Suggested donation of $20. Call 301-320-2770 or visit www.washingtonconservatory.org.
WASHINGTON NATIONAL OPERA: OTELLO
Russell Thomas sings the title role and Leah Crocetto is his Desdemona in Verdi’s raging storm of jealousy and betrayal as adapted from Shakespeare. Daniele Callegari conducts and David Alden directs a production originally created by English National Opera as a co-production with Royal Swedish Opera and Teatro Real Madrid. The performances, in Italian with projected English titles at the Kennedy Center Opera House kicks off WNO’s new season. Opens Saturday, Oct. 26. To Nov. 16. Tickets are $45 to $299. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.
WASHINGTON NATIONAL OPERA: THE MAGIC FLUTE
The WNO will alternate November performances of its first production of Othello in 20 years with Mozart’s enchanting quest for love and truth via a whimsical production designed by the late Maurice Sendak, the acclaimed children’s author and illustrator (Where the Wild Things Are). A production “for all ages” from Portland Opera led by conductor Eun Sun Kim and director Christopher Mattaliano, The Magic Flute will be performed in English with projected English titles. Opens Saturday, Nov. 2. To Nov. 23. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $25 to $299. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.
Damian Woetzel: BalletX, Robbie Fairchild — Photo courtesy of Robbie Fairchild
DEMO BY DAMIAN WOETZEL: BALLETX
The former New York City Ballet Principal Dancer and now president of the Juilliard School presents the Kennedy Center debut of one of the nation’s most intriguing contemporary ballet companies as the latest in his genre-blurring collaborative series. This Demo presentation features the dynamic and versatile dancers of Philadelphia’s BalletX in a program with Robbie Fairchild, another former NYC Ballet principal dancer, and musicians Kate Davis and Catalyst Quartet. Friday, Oct. 25, and Saturday, Oct. 26, at 7:30 p.m. Terrace Theater. Tickets are $55 to $65. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.
DISSONANCE DANCE THEATRE: FALL FORWARD 2019
The 13th season of this African American-run contemporary ballet company founded by Shawn Short launches with a mixed-bill program of works ranging from classical to contemporary, including two world premieres by Short: Paparazzi, “a quick and sassy play on contemporary ballet” exploring the feelings one has when confronted by another, and SJ Suite, a work inspired by the late funk revivalist Sharon Jones that explores the links between black-inspired social dance and contemporary dance. The performance also includes company favorites Silo, Twitch, and its “gospel ballet,” Gospel Suite, as performed by the Ngoma School students. Saturday, Oct. 26, at 7:30 p.m. Dance Theatre in the Clarice at the University of Maryland, University Boulevard and Stadium Drive. College Park. Tickets are $15 to $30. Call 301-405-ARTS or visit www.theclarice.umd.edu.
BENTZEN BALL COMEDY FESTIVAL
Lesbian comedian Tig Notaro returns to curate the 10th annual “comedy and friendship” event. The lineup for Friday, Oct. 25, includes a stand-up show with Pete Holmes, creator and star of HBO’s Crashing, and opener Jamie Lee, a Crashing co-star, followed by The New Negroes, a live version of a Comedy Central showcase led by Baron Vaughan and Open Mike Eagle featuring Jaboukie Young-White and Dulce Sloan of The Daily Show, Haywood Turnipseed Jr., and Violet Gray. Saturday, Oct. 26, includes “A Smart, Funny, and Real Afternoon” with Bad Feminist author and New York Times opinion writer Roxane Gay in conversaton with former Saturday Night Live cast member Sasheer Zamata as well as and “DC Comedy Homecoming!” at the Entertainment and Sports Arena (1100 Oak St. SE), featuring nationally recognized, D.C.-area native comics Jay Pharoah, Aparna Nancherla, Rory Scovel, Jermaine Fowler, Judah Friedlander, Yamaneika Saunders, Seaton Smith and Heather Lawless. Tickets are $25 to $40 per show. For a full schedule, visit www.brightestyoungthings.com/bentzen-ball.
Maulik Pancholy: The Best at It
MAULIK PANCHOLY: THE BEST AT IT
Pancholy is an actor known for his supporting work on hit TV shows 30 Rock and Weeds, not to mention occasional roles in stage productions at Shakespeare Theatre Company and Studio Theatre. At the moment, however, Pancholy’s focus is in promoting his publishing debut, a tender and humorous book intended for young readers aged 10 to 14. The Best At It tells a story, with shades of autobiography, of an anxious, awkward gay Indian-American teen who feels rather hemmed in by societal and cultural traditions, expectations, and limitations. Perhaps he would be best served, the boy reasons, by heeding his grandfather’s advice to channel his energies into becoming “the best” at something, anything. Tuesday, Oct. 29, at 10:30 a.m. Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-364-1919 or visit www.politics-prose.com.
Hill Center: Pottery On the Hill — Stacy Snyder Bike Mugs
ART & EXHIBITS
ART INSPIRED BY THE TWILIGHT ZONE
For its latest group exhibition, Alexandria’s quirky Del Ray Artisans Gallery invited its member artists to explore humanity’s hopes, despairs, and prejudices in metaphoric ways that go beyond what could be seen on conventional TV. In other words, to create works of art or photography influenced or inspired by or referencing the classic sci-fi TV show that first started exploring another dimension 60 years ago this year. To Oct. 27. 2704 Mount Vernon Ave. Alexandria. Call 703-731-8802 or visit www.thedelrayartisans.org.
GISELLE SHEPATIN: DRESS FOR THE SEASON OF JOY
The Zenith Gallery presents an exhibition of recent creations by a wearable art designer whose work focuses on “the beauty we share, the love we desire to give and to receive, the nurturing of what we find important, and the desire to dress for and to delight ourselves with the whimsy.” To Oct. 26. Zenith Gallery, 1429 Iris St. NW. Call 202-783-2963 or visit www.zenithgallery.com.
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. Ongoing. 1300 Constitution Ave. NW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit www.americanhistory.si.edu.
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. To Oct. 31. Maryland Meadworks, 4700 Rhode Island Ave. Ste. B, Hyattsville, Md. Call 301-955-9644 or visit www.inspiredbodies.wordpress.com.
MARK BRADFORD: PICKETT’S CHARGE
Referred to by the Hirshhorn as the most significant living American painter, gay African-American artist Mark Bradford certainly works on a scale commensurate with that kind of stature. Take, for example, his huge, 400-foot installation created for his debut at the Smithsonian’s modern art museum as well as in D.C. A timely, commissioned “cyclorama” of eight large, site-specific collages, Bradford was inspired by Paul Philippoteaux’s same-named masterpiece depicting the loss of the Confederate Army at the Battle of Gettysburg. Covering the curved walls of the Hirshhorn’s third level inner circle, the work presents 360-degrees of abstracted historical narrative using Bradford’s signature practice of collage, juxtaposed with reproductions of the 19th-century original in a way that intentionally disrupts, messes up, and confuses. The end result is a work that invites reconsideration of how narratives about American history have been shaped and contested. The installation, which opened two years ago, has also proven to be so popular and provocative, the museum has repeatedly extended the run, with the display now set to last through 2021. Independence Avenue and Seventh Street SW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit www.hirshhorn.si.edu.
PERFECTING TIMELESSNESS WITH JACK BOUL
Referred to as the “dean of Washington printmakers,” Jack Boul will exhibit his latest series of oil paintings, monotypes, and works of sculpture at the historic Arts Club of Washington throughout most of October. The works on display, according to curator Erik Denker of the National Gallery of Art, highlight the “intimacy” and “timeless quality” to Boul’s work. A former teacher at American University and founding member of the Washington Studio School, the 92-year-old Boul works mostly out of his Bethesda gallery. On display to Oct. 27. MacFeely Gallery in the Cleveland Abbe House, 2017 I St. NW. Call 202-331-7282 or visit https://artsclubofwashington.org.
POTTERY ON THE HILL SHOW AND SALE
Twenty of the nation’s top ceramic artists collaborate in the annual functional pottery show sponsored by East City Art, offering something for both the most avid pottery collector and the casual observer, from table platters to fanciful mugs to cooking pots. Potters with works on display this year include Michael Hunt and Naomi Dalglish of Bandana Pottery, Bruce Gholson and Samantha Henneke of Bulldog Pottery, Dan Finnegan, Warren Frederick, Richard Hensley, Matthew Hyleck, Michael Kline, Matthew Krousey, Katherine Maloney, Matthew Metz, Lisa Orr, Donna Polseno, Mark Shapiro, Stacy Snyder, Hitomi and Takuro Shibata of Studio Touya, Sam Taylor, and Catherine White. A Preview Reception is Friday, Nov. 1, at 6:30 p.m. The show is Saturday, Nov. 2, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 3, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Old Naval Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Call 202-549-4172 or visit www.HillCenterDC.org.
REVOLUTIONARY REFLECTIONS: FRENCH MEMORIES OF THE WAR OF AMERICA
The American Revolution Institute of the Society of the Cincinnati presents a free exhibition featuring the journals, memoirs, and portraits of French officers who served in the American War of Independence, either idealistic volunteers or resolute soldiers of the French king. Largely drawn from the institute’s collections, the memorabilia offers French impressions of early America and the cause of American independence, which helped spark other democratic revolutions of the same era — perhaps none more so than the one in France. To Oct. 27. Anderson House, 2118 Massachusetts Ave. NW. Call 202-785-2040 or visit www.americanrevolutioninstitute.org.
SUPERFINE! ART FAIR
Alex Mitow and his partner James Miille have cultivated a devoted following since starting the first Superfine! Art Fair in Miami in 2015. The couple is now readying the fair’s return to Union Market next weekend, bringing together 85 independent artists and galleries under one roof. The second D.C. edition debuts a large-scale experiential art installation, Superfine! X, while significantly expanding in size from last year’s offering of over 2,000 works of art for sale — notably, with price tag included. The fair is “highly curated,” thanks to a dedicated 10-person team that works to ensure a good representation of female, minority, and LGBTQ artists that goes well beyond what’s on offer at other established art shows. The event includes a full slate of programming ranging from film screenings to panel discussions to music and DJ performances. Thursday, Oct. 31, from noon to 6 p.m., Friday, Nov. 1, and Saturday, Nov. 2, from noon to 10 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 3, from noon to 8 p.m. Dock 5, 1309 5th St. NE. Tickets are $12 to $15 per day, with multi-day passes available starting at $25. Call 800-680-9095 or visit www.superfine.world.
THE DISTRICT CREATES
A celebration of D.C.-based artists Courtney Kolker, Susan Goldman, and Jordann Wine in their gallery debuts. To Oct. 27. Long View Gallery, 1234 9th St. NW. Call 202-232-4788 or visit www.longviewgallery.com.