Metro Weekly

Editor’s Picks: Silent Sky, Electric Guest, Kennedy Center’s Lunar New Year, and more!

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

Roger and Me: Michael Moore (right)

ROGER & ME

In his 1989 debut Roger & Me, the influential, rabble-rousing documentary filmmaker Michael Moore obsessively dogged General Motors CEO Roger Smith, in an effort to get him to discuss the closing of GM plants in Moore’s hometown of Flint, Michigan. Moore’s extraordinary debut returns to the big screen in Landmark Theatre’s Capital Classics series. Wednesday, Feb. 5, at 1:30, 4:30, and 7:30 p.m. West End Cinema, 2301 M St. NW. Happy hour from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $12.50. Call 202-534-1907 or visit www.landmarktheatres.com.

A Thousand Splendid Suns– Photo: Margot Schulman

A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS

The lives of two Afghan women are inextricably bound together in a play adapted by Ursula Rani Sarma from the best-selling novel by Khaled Hosseini (Kite Runner). Carey Perloff directs Hend Ayoub and Mirian Katrib leading a 12-member cast at Arena Stage in a show billed as a “gripping and heart-rending fight for survival [that] will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.” To March 1. Kreeger Theater in the Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Call 202-488-3300 or visit www.arenastage.org.

Silent Sky — Photo: Scott Suchman

SILENT SKY

Lauren Gunderson’s inspiring drama explores the determination, passion, and sacrifice of the women who redefined our understanding of the cosmos — Henrietta Leavitt and the women “computers” in the Harvard Observatory who transformed the science of astronomy, a decade before women gained the right to vote. Directed by Seema Sueko. To Feb. 23. 511 10th St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $52. Call 202-347-4833 or visit www.fords.org.

Pianist Brian Ganz — Photo: Jay Mallin

BRIAN GANZ WITH NATIONAL PHILHARMONIC

Strathmore’s resident orchestra presents the 10th annual recital with renowned pianist Brian Ganz, who is vying to become the world’s first to perform every note Fryderyk Chopin wrote for piano, more than 250 pieces in all. The latest iteration in Ganz’s “Extreme Chopin Quest” series showcases Chopin’s growth as a composer by comparing his early waltzes, polonaises, nocturnes, and marches to later, more advanced examples in those formats, including Funeral March and Polonaise-Fantaisie. Piotr Gajewski conducts. Saturday, Feb. 1, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $29 to $79. Call 301-581-5100 or visit www.strathmore.org.

Electric Guest

ELECTRIC GUEST

The L.A.-based duo of vocalist Asa Taccone and drummer Matthew Compton has been compared to Scissor Sisters and Tame Impala, though there is something unique about Electric Guest’s particular brand of breezy, summery electropop. Their music inhabits a sonic space that recalls constant sun and haze, a carefree yet vast and lonely place in a constant, unhurried sort of motion. The duo is joined on tour by Luke Top on bass guitar and Reese Richardson on guitar and keys. Friday, Feb. 7. Doors at 10 p.m. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $26. Call 202-265-0930 or visit www.930.com.

ODE Choreographer: Jamar Roberts, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater — Photo: Paul Kolnik

ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER: AILEY AT 60 TOUR

The celebrated dance company returns to the Kennedy Center, performing a different mix of repertory works at each performance, all ending, per tradition, with Revelations, the masterpiece by the company’s late namesake. Included are Darrell Grand Moultrie’s Ounce of Faith, an exuberant expression of what’s possible when a young person is encouraged to dream and A Case of You, by the company’s artistic director Judith Jamison. Tuesday, Feb. 4 through Sunday, Feb. 9 in the Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $49 to $199. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org for a full schedule.

Arnie Zane Company: What Problem? — Photo: Maria Baranova

BILL T. JONES/ARNIE ZANE COMPANY: WHAT PROBLEM?

The revolutionary New York-based dance and performance ensemble led by Jones, a two-time Tony Award winner and Kennedy Center Honoree, comes to George Mason University, where Jones is an Artist-in-Residence, to perform a world-premiere production. Co-commissioned by the GMU Center for the Arts, What Problem? examines group identity and its relationship to being alone and is set to spoken word and live music. The work features three thought-provoking sections: Jones in a rare solo performance, Jones alongside members of his company, and finally Jones, the company, and 30 participants from the greater Northern Virginia community who helped with the creative development and rehearsal of the piece in the week leading up to its premiere. Saturday, Feb. 1, at 8 p.m. Concert Hall, 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax. Tickets are $29 to $48. Call 888-945-2468 or visit www.cfa.gmu.edu.

Laya Monarez

LAYA MONAREZ

With several murals in the D.C. area, many of which were commissioned by the Latin American Youth Center, you’ve likely seen the work of Laya Monarez. The bisexual transgender Latinx artist, who works by day as Operations Coordinator at HRC, gets the spotlight at the art gallery in the DC Center for the LGBT Community through a display of her mixed-media work revealing the influence of famous surrealists ranging from Salvador Dali to Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. The opening reception and artist talk, including lite fare and drinks, is Saturday, Feb. 1, from 7 to 9 p.m. Center Arts Gallery, 2000 14th St. NW. Call 202-682-2245 or visit www.thedccenter.org.

Lunar Lanterns — Photo: Tracey Salazar

KENNEDY CENTER’S LUNAR NEW YEAR 2020 CELEBRATION

For the traditional Chinese calendar, the new year begins on the new moon — which in 2020 was last Saturday, Jan. 25. Fortunately, the traditional celebration lasts two weeks, and the Kennedy Center mostly follows suit with its 5th annual Lunar New Year slate of (mostly free) activities, with showcases of both Chinese and Korean culture. This year’s celebration, ushering in the Year of the Rat, is centered in the complex’s new outdoor campus the REACH, festooned with 100 stunning Winter Lanterns consisting of 10,000 LED lights depicting the Chinese Four Symbols and 12 Zodiac Signs, Panda Grove, and Mushroom Garden. The display of lanterns will be enhanced Thursday, Jan. 30, through Sunday, Feb. 2, with performances celebrating Korea, from a drum and spinning-dishes show from Freelak Company, to a group Mural Painting led by Julia Chon, to kite-flying led by a South Korean master. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.


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Randy Shulman is Metro Weekly's Publisher and Editor-in-Chief. He can be reached at rshulman@metroweekly.com.

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