Metro Weekly

Editor’s Picks: MetroCooking DC, Cece Peniston, An Evening with Sophia Loren, and more!

Our picks of the best arts and entertainment in the D.C. area this week!

Metro Cooking DC: Martha Stewart


Both a holiday treat and a shopping preserve, “The Ultimate Foodie Outing” is the area’s biggest specialty food and culinary event. Martha Stewart and Wolfgang Puck are the headliners on the James Beard Foundation Cooking Stage at the 14th annual showcase also featuring Lidia Bastianich, Myron Mixon, Justin Severino, Fernando Desa of Goya Foods, and Lauren Katz, a D.C. native and winner of ABC’s The Great Holiday Baking Show, as well as many of D.C’s best and newest chefs, including Amy Brandwein, Victor Albisu, Erik Bruner-Yang, Haidar Karoum, Daniela Moreira, Kwame Onwuachi, Kevin Tien, and Enrique Limardo.

Also on hand: Two hundred specialty food vendors, including a two-day Beer, Wine & Spirits section, a BBQ Bash on Saturday, Nov. 16, and the 7th annual Grand Tasting Pavilion featuring over 50 local restaurants, with a portion of proceeds benefiting So Others Might Eat (S.O.M.E.) on Sunday, Nov. 17, and Cooking Classes and Workshops offered throughout.

The show starts at 10 a.m. both days. Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mt. Vernon Place NW. General admission tickets are $21.50 in advance, including admission to the James Beard Cooking Stage and the Exhibitor Marketplace. The individual classes and workshops as well as access to the Beer, Wine & Spirits Garden, the BBQ Bash and the Grand Tasting Pavilion are all special ticketed items and sold separately. Call 866-840-8822 or visit

Lover’s Vows: We Happy Few — Photo: Mark Williams Hoelscher


Although it plays a prominent role in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, Elizabeth Inchbald’s play Lovers’ Vow is otherwise, particularly on stage, a “criminally forgotten show.” That’s according to We Happy Few Productions, which is working to transform classic texts for modern sensibilities. The company’s Kerry McGee directs a five-person ensemble reviving this moving comedy by Inchbald, billed as “a near-forgotten female playwright” from the 18th century. A story of love, class, and doing the right thing, Lovers’ Vows puts in stark relief the divide between peer or social expectations and one’s own needs and desires. The production features music from local band the North Country. To Nov. 23. Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 7th St. SE. Tickets are $20. Call 202-547-6839 or visit

Cece Peniston — Photo: Michael Creagh


The gospel- and theater-trained vocalist’s biggest international hit “Finally” began as a poem that she wrote in college. Raised in Phoenix, where she still resides, Peniston, who’s had five Billboard Dance Chart No. 1s — including “We Got a Love Thang” — marvels at how “Finally” has become not just her signature tune but also part of the soundtrack of people’s love stories and coming out stories, and countless drag performances, thanks in part to Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. “To see a little poem that you were writing when you were 21-years old turn into this big song that people still love to this day, and has become a classic, is always love for me,” Peniston told Metro Weekly before a March run at City Winery DC, where she returns as an early Thanksgiving treat. Friday, Nov. 15. Doors at 6 p.m. 1350 Okie St. NE. Tickets are $35 to $45. Call 202-250-2531 or visit

Kim Petras — Photo: Clare Gillen/Alexandre Moors


A performer at Capital Pride in 2018 along with Troye Sivan — whom she opened for last fall at the Anthem — the German-born, L.A.-based trans dance-pop artist Petras is a bubbling-under mainstream act you’ve no doubt heard here or there via hits “Heart to Break,” “I Don’t Want It All,” “All I Do Is Cry,” and “Broken.” Earlier this year, the 27-year-old stopped at the Fillmore Silver Spring on a tour supporting her full-length debut Clarity. Petras returns a mere few months later to promote a follow-up full-length set, Turn Off The Light. Alex Chapman opens. Wednesday, Nov. 20. Doors at 7:30 p.m. 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $38.50. Call 301-960-9999 or visit

The Gamer Symphony Orchestra — Photo: Ken Rubin


Billed as “the first collegiate ensemble exclusively devoted to performing orchestral arrangements of video game music,” this student-run orchestra, founded in 2005 by Michelle Eng, now boasts a roster of more than 100 musicians. The Fall Concert features pieces from Pokemon, Mario, Zelda, Kingdom Hearts, and Fire Emblem, among others, all performed in arrangements created by orchestra members and alumni. Monday, Nov. 18, and Sunday, Nov. 24, at 7 p.m. Dekelboum Concert Hall in The Clarice at the University of Maryland, University Boulevard and Stadium Drive. College Park. Tickets are free but required. Call 301-405-ARTS or visit

Center for the Arts at George Mason: Rubberband Dance Group


A contemporary company from Montreal that aims to bridge “the grace and structure of classical ballet and the raw, improvisational moves of hip-hop,” through a signature namesake dance technique. In the program Vic’s Mix, the innovative ensemble showcases the creations by, as well as the evolution of, company founder Victor Quijada over a 15-year span, incorporating the Los Angeles native’s experiences from urban street and club dancing to his professional work with acclaimed post-modern and ballet companies. Friday, Nov. 22, at 8 p.m. George Mason University Center for the Arts, 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax. Tickets are $29 to $48. Call 888-945-2468 or visit

Sophia Loren


The legendary, Oscar-winning actress comes to the area for two intimate, live, on-stage evenings — purportedly out of only five nationwide — through which she’ll share stories and show clips from her life and career, and answer questions from the audience. Steve Parsall, the former film critic for the Tampa Bay Tribune, hosts the discussions, part of the Guest Artist Series presented by the Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center of Montgomery College and a complement to the organization’s Sophia Loren Film Festival (see Film section). Wednesday, Nov. 20, and Thursday, Nov. 21, at 7:30 p.m. Montgomery College’s Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center, 51 Mannakee St., Rockville. Tickets are $100 to $150, or $550 for VIP including premium seating, a Meet & Greet and professional photograph with Loren, official laminated badge, and film series pass. Call 240-567-5301 or visit

District Queer Comedy Festival: Elizabeth Norman


Produced by Comedic Pursuits, a local web resource, and LGBTQ AF, a recurring all-queer variety comedy show, this festival’s mission is to provide local performance and learning opportunities for queer comedy performers, whether emerging or incipient. The 2019 festival features more than two dozen (mostly local) stand-up, improv, or podcast acts performing across four shows the evenings of Friday, Nov. 15, and Saturday, Nov. 16, at the DC Arts Center in Adams Morgan. That’s followed by after-parties both nights, with Friday night’s at the Mellow Mushroom pizzeria next door to the DCAC, and Saturday night’s down 18th Street to the Duplex Diner. The festival also offers two free afternoon workshops on Saturday, Nov. 16: one focused on improv and led by Mark Chalfant of Washington Improv Theater, the other a guide to stand-up and joke writing overseen by nonbinary queer writer and comedian Maddox “MK” Pennington, and both held at Source Theater on 14th Street. Things draw to a close with an open mic event intended to give festivalgoers a chance to try out their own comedy, set for Sunday, Nov. 17, starting at noon at Petworth’s Colony Club. Tickets are $12 to $15 for each stand-up show, and a suggested $5 donation to Casa Ruby for the closing event. Visit

National Treasure


The National Archives presents a 15th anniversary screening of the blockbuster about a good treasure hunter vs. an evil one (Nicolas Cage and Sean Bean) battling it out over the Declaration of Independence, which is housed in the Archives. Jon Turteltaub’s film increased the public’s awareness of the institution — while also causing some to erroneously believe the Declaration features a treasure map printed on its backside — and that is the reasoning behind this special screening, which will be preceded with “fun activities related to the film and the Declaration.” These include a post-Halloween costume contest (“Come dressed as your favorite National Treasure or Nicolas Cage character and you might win a prize,” touts the event’s official notice). Thursday, November 21, at 6:30 P.M. William G. McGowan Theater in the National Archives Museum, Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets NW. NW. Free, with reservations recommended, as it’s first-come, first-seated. Call 202-357-6814 or visit

Nevertheless, She Persisted: CC singers with JOM dancers at Epiphany


Nevertheless, She Persisted….Celebrating America’s Women Composers is the full title to a program opening the 33rd season of the Congressional Chorus, which strives to shed light on issues of equal rights through its performance of choral music. The latest program offers a journey from Amy Beach’s groundbreaking Festival Jubilate, circa 1892, up to some of music’s most prolific and innovative women composers today, with selections from Jennifer Higdon, Libby Larsen, Alice Parker, Joan Szymko, and Undine Smith Moore. The program also includes Jenni Brandon’s America Belongs To Us, a work reflecting on the uprooted immigrant experience that the 85-voices-strong Congressional Chorus and the 14-piece Columbia Flute Choir will perform with guidance by the California-based composer herself. he Flute Choir will stick around to perform Serenade as composed and conducted by Alexandra Molnar-Suhajda. Additional performances will come from the local, lesbian African-American singer-songwriter Crys Matthews, highlighting songs from her recent album Battle Hymn for an Army of Lovers, while the organization’s 24-member a cappella chamber ensemble will perform the jazz-tinged work Same Birds by Elizabeth Alexander. Four additional choral selections — by Susan LaBarr, Gwyneth Walker, Jocelyn Hagen, and Rosephanye Powell — will be enhanced by virtue of classical and interpretive movements by dancers Aaron Jackson, Darryl Pilate, Helen Hayes, and the women of Joy of Motion’s Youth Dance Ensemble. Sunday, Nov. 24, at 4:30 p.m. Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $39. Call 202-629-3140 or visit

Mateo Lane
Mateo Lane


Roughly a decade ago, after catching a show by Joan Rivers, Matteo Lane was inspired to try his hand at stand-up, which he took to right away as someone who “likes being on stage and coming from a funny family,” he tells Metro Weekly. At first, the gay Chicago native stuck to his guns in advertising, “drawing during the day and then doing stand-up at night. And then I got a job that moved me to New York for illustrating.” Soon enough, stand-up turned into Lane’s full-time pursuit, with guest or recurring spots on MTV and Comedy Central shows, plus enough overall media exposure to be recognized by the 2018 Logo30 — not to mention a steady touring schedule. The 33-year-old will next fly down to do “a traditional hour of standup,” where he’s expected to talk “about all things from dating to my favorite TV shows to things that piss me off.” Friday, Nov. 22, at 7:30 and 10 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 23, at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Arlington Drafthouse, 2903 Columbia Pike. Tickets are $20. Call 703-486-2345 or visit

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