Alex Gibney’s latest revelatory, topical documentary examines the corrupt state of politics and power in post-Soviet Russia. The focus is on the enigmatic Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the oligarch who was once the richest man in Russia — until he started speaking out against Putin and his regime. Khodorkovsky was arrested and sentenced to years in prison without due process, and his assets were seized. Now living in exile in London, Khodorkovsky is Citizen K‘s Exhibit A in the destructive effect concentrated wealth and power have on democracy. Opens Friday, Jan. 24. Landmark’s West End Cinema, 2301 M St. NW. Call 202-534-1907 or visit www.landmarktheatres.com.
WHEN WE FIRST ARRIVED
Before officially launching The Corner, Whitman-Walker will open the doors of its new cultural center for an art exhibition intended to increase community awareness about the nearly 7,000 asylum-seeking children who have been separated from their families and are being detained in holding pens by the U.S. government. More specifically, the exhibition features donated works of art by leading visual artists created in response to interviews with some of the detained children sharing their experiences. The exhibition has been curated by the Corner’s new executive director Ruth Noack and organized in close collaboration with DYKWTCA — an art initiative, led by artists Mary Ellen Carroll and Lucas Michael, whose name is an acronym for Do You Know Where The Children Are? More than 100 artists are represented, among them Jesse Presley Jones, Kay Rosen, Amy Sillman, Walead Beshty, Boris Torres, Dan Graham, Molly Gochman, POPE.L, Lisa Tan, and Xaviera Simmons. Sales of the donated artworks will benefit the Safe Passage Project, Terra Firma, Innovation Law Lab, and Team Brownsville. Opening Reception is Saturday, Jan. 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. On display to March 29. 1701 14th St. NW. Call 202-745-7000 or visit www.whitman-walker.org.
A MEASURE OF CRUELTY
Montgomery County’s 4615 Theatre is more determined than ever to become the most daring, adventurous, and unconventional theater company around. Case in point is this play, which is set in a real, fully operational bar: Flanagan’s Harp and Fiddle, one of the oldest pubs in Bethesda. Theatergoers take seats wherever they choose throughout the sprawling space and are immersed in the action as a bar-owning father and his son are forced to confront their demons. The site-specific work is written and directed by Joe Calarco. Saturday, Jan. 25, and Sunday, Jan. 26, at 2 p.m. 4844 Cordell Ave, Bethesda. Tickets are $16.50 to $20, plus a one-item minimum purchase of food or drink from the bar. Call 301-951-0115 or visit www.4615theatre.org.
DOM FLEMONS: AMERICAN SONGSTER
One of the founders of the Grammy Award-winning black bluegrass band the Carolina Chocolate Drops, but now flying solo, Flemons comes to the Kennedy Center to illuminate the history and influence of the early “American Songsters,” or the African-American musicians who helped pioneer styles including ragtime, blues, country western, bluegrass, and old-time string band. Flemons will perform on the banjo, fife, guitar, harmonica, quills, and rhythm bones, in addition to vocals, at this concert, part of the day-long Music From Mount Vernon celebration exploring the roots of American music through a panel discussion and concerts. Sunday, Jan. 26, at 4 p.m. Studio K in the REACH. Tickets are $15. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.
MARYLAND LYRIC OPERA: THAÏS
This young, singer-focused company presents Massanet’s Thaïs in a fully staged production directed by Claudia Zahn, with Louis Salemno conducting the MDLO Orchestra and Chorus. Sarah Joy Miller leads a cast that includes Louis Otey, Allegra de Vita, Hunter Enoch, and Joe Brent, plus a ballet performed by local dance troupe Sarah Ewing & Dancers. In French with English surtitles. Thursday, Jan. 30, at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, Feb. 1, at 2 p.m. Kay Theatre in the Clarice at the University of Maryland, University Boulevard and Stadium Drive. College Park. Tickets are $25 to $50. Call 301-405-ARTS or visit www.theclarice.umd.edu.
DARLINGDANCE: TARGET PRACTICE
Founded a decade ago by choreographer and performance artist Hayley Cutler, darlingdance is a feminist, postmodern dance theater ensemble based in D.C. Target Practice is the troupe’s latest work, offering an intimate exploration of the female experience — and devised in a collaborative environment that prioritizes humor and authenticity over “the glossy traditions of formal theater dance.” The ultimate aim is to develop works that “can help us all come to grips with the realities of womanhood.” Saturday, Jan. 25, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 26, 4 p.m. Dance Place, 3225 8th St. NE. Tickets are $15 to $30. Call 202-269-1600 or visit www.danceplace.org.
RHYTHM & JEWS: JEWS & THE BIRTH OF ROCK AND ROLL
Musicians Daryl Davis and Seth Kibel present an evening of story and song celebrating the Jewish artists who worked behind the scenes in rock music’s first decade and helped propel to stardom Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Elvis Pressley, among others. These unsung heroes were songwriters including Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller, Doc Pomus, and Carol King, producers such as Leonard and Phil Chess, Jerry Wexler, and Phil Spector, and DJs and promoters like Alan Freed. Wednesday, Jan. 29, at 8 p.m. Cafritz Hall in the Edlavitch DCJCC, 1529 16th St. NW. Tickets are $15. Call 202-777-3210 or visit www.jxjdc.org.
LOCAVORE FILM SERIES: A NIGHT OF SHORTS
The Arlington Cinema ‘N Drafthouse offers a special, one-night-only screening of eight short films, an eclectic assortment connected merely by the fact that all are locally-produced. The lineup includes Letter to Niyah, Sharon Wise’s tale of a woman restored after a stint living under a bridge; Swan Lake, Mariagustina Fabara Martinez’s take on the classic fairy tale; A Glint of Hope, Jobvan Zuylen’s three-minute snippet about a widower who finds unexpected consolation at his dearly departed’s graveside; Zebrafish: Practically People, Transforming How We Study Disease, Jennifer Martin’s overview of the surprising and strange genetic similarities between human beings and a particular freshwater fish; Ana, Myself, et Moi, Zeyn Faddoul’s attempt to answer the question, “How do languages affect multilinguals’ personalities?”; Game Master, Daniel Marcinek’s tale of a dinner party gone wrong, with murder as the main course and sides of paranoia and hysteria; Another Day Is Over, Ibrahim Turk and Isa Seyran’s look at the capricious nature of today’s restaurant business, as a waiter, busboy, and manager deal with one unhappy customer’s bad online review; and In Lorton’s Darkroom, Karen Ruckman’s documentary about the groundbreaking photography workshops offered in the 1980s at Lorton Prison. Wednesday, Jan. 29, at 7 p.m. Arlington Cinema ‘N Drafthouse, 2903 Columbia Pike. Tickets are $10. Call 703-486-2345 or visit www.arlingtondrafthouse.com.
COUNTRY MEGATICKET 2020 AT JIFFY LUBE LIVE
LiveNation has already announced this year’s slate of country superstars coming to Jiffy Lube Live, and the 2020 Country Megaticket package for all 10 shows goes on sale starting Friday, Jan. 24 — weeks before tickets to each individual show become available. The Megaticket offers the same seat at every show plus additional perks with the Platinum and Gold levels. This year’s lineup includes Brooks & Dunn with special guests on Saturday, May 23; Brad Paisley with Jordan Davis and Gabby Barrett on Saturday, June 13; Kenny Chesney with Michael Franti & Spearhead on Thursday, June 18; Chris Young with Scotty McCreery and Payton Smith on Friday, July 10; Tim McGray with Midland and Ingrid Andress on Saturday, July 18; Lady Antebellum with Jake Owen and Maddie & Tae on Saturday, Aug. 8; Jason Aldean with Brett Young, Mitchell Tenpenny, and Dee Jay Silver on Saturday, Aug. 15; Luke Bryan with Morgan Wallen and Runaway June on Sunday, Aug. 23; Thomas Rhett with Cole Swindell and HARDY on Saturday, Aug. 29; and Rascal Flatts with special guests on Saturday, Sept. 12. The package runs $750 to $1,600, or $350 for lawn seats. Visit www.megaticket.com.
STORY DISTRICT: 11TH ANNUAL TOP SHELF
An annual best-of showcase featuring some of the best tales told over the past year at the various events around town presented by D.C.’s premiere storytelling organization. Unlike other such outfits, Story District is focused on congenial camaraderie rather than competition — no judged “Story Slams” here. Now in its 11th year at the Lincoln Theatre, Top Shelf is a curated group of eight storytellers, partially winnowed down by a panel of independent judges, all active members of the storytelling community. The lineup this year features Charles McCaffrey, Colleen Clark, Joani Peacock, Darryl Smith, Jason Pangilinan, Lizzie Peabody, Michael McVey, Sufian Zhemukhov, and Whitney Ellenby. Expect stories about “unbridled lust, a trip to the water park, love spells that really work, and more.” Saturday, Jan. 25. Doors at 6:30 p.m. Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. Tickets are $30 to $40. Call 202-328-6000 or visit www.thelincolndc.com.
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