A CLOCKWORK ORANGE
Malcolm McDowell is magnificent as the Beethoven-loving ringleader of a band of thugs in this powerful satire about the evils and capriciousness of our modern, psychiatric-driven society. With its extreme violence and horrific rape sequence, A Clockwork Orange ranks as one of the most shocking in Stanley Kubrick’s rich cinematic oeuvre. The 1971 film, based on Anthony Burgess’ dystopian crime novel, returns to the big screen as the next entry in the Capital Classics series at Landmark’s West End Cinema. Wednesday, Jan. 15, 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. Call 202-534-1907 or visit landmarktheatres.com.
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS
Ranked No. 9 on the AFI’s Greatest Movie Musicals list, the Oscar-winning 1951 classic returns to theaters across the country for two days this month as part of the TCM Big Screen Classics series presented by Fathom Events. Directed by Vincente Minnelli from a script by Alan Jay Lerner, and featuring extraordinary music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin, An American in Paris stars Leslie Caron and Gene Kelly, who also choreographed the dance numbers — including a climactic 17-minute ballet, which cost almost $500,000 to shoot. Sunday, Jan. 19, at 1 and 4 p.m., and Wednesday, Jan. 22, at 7 p.m. Area theaters including Regal venues at Gallery Place (701 7th St. NW), Potomac Yards Stadium (3575 Jefferson Davis Highway), and Majestic Stadium (900 Ellsworth Dr., Silver Spring). Tickets are $15. Visit www.fathomevents.com.
I HAVE A DREAM INDIE FILM SHOWCASE
The Arlington Cinema ‘N Drafthouse hosts a special screening of 10 student-created short films, all winners of the Teens Dream Video Contest, and each touching on one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. Presented by Little Known Stories Productions, the program will also screen 16 other powerful short features and documentaries by adult filmmakers addressing hot-button topics, many of which were also key concerns for Martin Luther King, Jr. — from police brutality to teenage pregnancy to immigration. Set to take place on the eve of MLK Jr.’s birthday, the program also features a panel on bullying, plus a filmmaker Q&A. Sunday, Jan. 19. Doors at 6:30 p.m. 2903 Columbia Pike. Tickets are $20, with a percentage of proceeds going to Bernie House and the Maryland-based charity’s work helping victims of domestic violence and their families. Call 703-486-2345 or visit www.arlingtondrafthouse.com.
A drama about the case of Walter McMillan, a death-row inmate who successfully appealed his conviction with the help of a young defense attorney. Michael B. Jordan is the lawyer in question, Bryan Stevenson, with Jamie Foxx starring as McMillan, who spent six years on death row for a crime he didn’t commit. Brie Larson co-stars, as a colleague of Stevenson’s at the Equal Justice Initiative, in a film co-written and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton (The Glass Castle) and based on the original bestseller by Stevenson. Opens Friday, Jan. 10. Area theaters. Visit www.fandango.com. (Rhuaridh Marr)
SMITHSONIAN THEATER’S OSCARS SPOTLIGHT: DOCUMENTARIES
The Warner Bros. Theater in the National Museum of American History continues to screen 15 documentary features that have been shortlisted for the 92nd annual Academy Awards. Up next in the series: Knock Down the House on Saturday, Jan. 11, at 2:20 p.m., Maiden on Saturday, Jan. 11, at 3:55 p.m., Midnight Family on Sunday, Jan. 12, at 2:20 p.m., and One Child Nation on Sunday, Jan. 12, at 3:55 p.m. 1300 Constitution Ave. NW. Tickets are $10 per film, or $75 for a Film Festival Package. Call 202-633-1000 or visit www.si.edu/theaters.
THE CURIOUS WORLD OF HIERONYMOUS BOSCH
The latest in the Exhibition On Screen series of documentaries about classic Western art and artists focuses on the strange and fantastical paintings of a Dutch master who straddled the medieval and Renaissance worlds. Filmmaker David Bickerstaff offers a remarkable, cinematic exploration of Bosch’s fascinating life as well as his detailed, bizarre, even unsettling artworks, taking as its jumping-off point Jheronimus Bosch — Visions of Genius, an exhibition organized by a hometown Dutch museum that brought together the artist’s masterpieces from around the world for the one-off display. Sunday, Jan. 12, and Tuesday, Jan. 14, at 10:30 p.m. Avalon Theatre, 5612 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets are $10 to $15. Call 202-966-6000 or visit www.theavalon.org.
THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW
Landmark’s E Street Cinema presents its monthly run 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 even more interactive than usual. Friday, Jan 10, and Saturday, Jan. 11, at midnight. Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672 or visit landmarktheatres.com.
TO WONG FOO, THANKS FOR EVERYTHING! JULIE NEWMAR: BRUNCH SCREENING
Hollywood was quick on the heels of the global box office smash and Oscar-winning Australian comedy The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, churning out only one year later an essentially American take on the three-queens-on-the-road comedy, remade with a trio of male action stars improbably portraying drag queens en route to Tinseltown. Next weekend, both Virginia Alamo Drafthouse cinemas screen the 1995 film starring Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze, and John Leguizamo as part of its “Hindsight Is 20/20” series revisiting a select number of underappreciated films from previous decades. Your appreciation will surely be enhanced by partaking in the accompanying brunch, offered with a themed mimosa. Whether you leave thinking it was “the most fabulous brunch you’ve ever had,” as organizers boast, no doubt you’ll feel a buzz from the bubbly and the film’s warm overall message of community and acceptance. Sunday, Jan. 19, at 11:40 a.m. Alamo Drafthouse – One Loudoun, 20575 Easthampton Plaza, Ashburn, Va. Call 571-293-6808. Also Alamo Drafthouse – Woodbridge, 15200 Potomac Town Place, Ste. 100, Woodbridge, Va. Call 571-260-4413. Tickets are $10 for the screening only. Visit www.drafthouse.com/northern-virginia.
XANADU: GLOW-ALONG SCREENING
This year marks the 40th anniversary of Robert Greenwald’s cult musical in which Olivia Newton-John stars as a Greek muse who descends to Earth and indulges in earthly pursuits. As a way of paying tribute, Alamo Drafthouse cinemas will offer glowing screenings, literally. The theaters will supply all manner of glowing accessories, “franchised glitz,” and other props and party favors to help bring the roller disco to life — minus the rink and the skates, but including audience sing-alongs to the film’s disco hits, including Newton-John’s “Magic” and the title track featuring Electric Light Orchestra. Xanadu screens as part of Alamo’s “Hindsight Is 20/20” series, with organizers praising the film’s pre-MTV prescience: “Its brilliant colors, early computer animation, and slick editing set the stage for the golden age of music videos.” A dud upon original release, Xanadu is also notable for inspiring the creation of the Golden Raspberry Awards, recognizing the year’s worst films. Monday, Jan. 13, at 7:20 p.m. Alamo Drafthouse – One Loudoun, 20575 Easthampton Plaza, Ashburn, Va. Call 571-293-6808. Also Alamo Drafthouse – Woodbridge, 15200 Potomac Town Place, Ste. 100, Woodbridge, Va. Call 571-260-4413. Tickets are $14.30. Visit www.drafthouse.com/northern-virginia.
Lerner & Lowe’s My Fair Lady: Lauren Ambrose, Harry Hadden-Paton — Photo: Joan Marcus
A MEASURE OF CRUELTY
In only its third season, Montgomery County’s 4615 Theatre seems more determined than ever on becoming known as the most daring, adventurous and unconventional theater company around. Case in point: A Measure of Cruelty. For starters, the play is set in a real, fully operational bar: Flanagan’s Harp and Fiddle, one of the oldest pubs in Bethesda. Theatergoers will take seats wherever they choose throughout the sprawling space, where they will be immersed in the action as a bar-owning father and his son, a recently returned war veteran, become entangled in a local tragedy and are forced to confront their demons. Characterized as “nail-bitingly intense,” A Measure of Cruelty is a site-specific work written and directed by Joe Calarco and featuring Scott Ward Abernethy, Nick Torres, and Ethan Miller. The production runs for a limited engagement of four shows. Saturday, Jan. 18 and Jan. 25, and Sunday, Jan. 19 and 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.
A band of underdogs become unlikely heroes when they stand up to the most powerful men in New York in this musical boasting a score by Alan Menken and Jack Feldman and a book by Harvey Fierstein, and based on a 1992 Disney film. Molly Smith directs. To Jan. 12. Fichandler Stage in the Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Call 202-488-3300 or visit www.arenastage.org.
JAMES JOYCE’S THE DEAD
SCENA Theatre presents Richard Nelson and Shaun Davey’s Tony-winning musical adaptation of the classic short story by James Joyce that wrestles with themes of lost love and the search for meaning in life. Robert McNamara directs a production full of “drama, dance, and song,” and featuring a 13-member cast including Danielle Davy, Andrea Hatfield, Buck O’Leary, and Rosemary Reagan. To Jan. 12. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $15 to $50. Call 202-399-7993 or visit www.atlasarts.org.
MY FAIR LADY
The classic musical about a young Cockney lass who becomes a “proper lady” for an older, well-to-do man comes to new life in a Lincoln Center Theater production helmed by Bartlett Sher. Lerner & Loewe’s My Fair Lady features several gems that have become American Songbook standards, including “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “The Rain in Spain,” and “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly.” To Jan. 19. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $39 to $159. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.
Studio Theatre presents a searing drama written by Dominique Morisseau, focused on the struggles an African-American single mother faces in pursuit of a good education for her teenage son. Awoye Timpo directs. Previews start Wednesday, Jan. 15. Runs to Feb. 7. 14th & P Streets NW. Call 202-332-3300 or visit www.studiotheatre.org.
The Foreigner: Spotlighters Theatre — Photo: Shealyn Jae Photography
BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS
Neil Simon’s semi-autobiographical play about a Depression-era family trying to laugh through tears next lights the stage of Baltimore’s community Vagabond Theatre. Brighton Beach Memoirs is a moving, entertaining comedy focused on a male teen obsessed with girls, baseball, and the idea of becoming a writer. Opens Friday, Jan. 10. To Feb. 9. 806 S. Broadway, Baltimore. Tickets are $10 to $20. Call 410-563-9135 or visit www.vagabondplayers.org.
Greenbelt Arts Center offers the East Coast premiere of Quadrille: A Romantic Play by San Francisco-based writer Melynda Kiring. Stephen Foreman directs a community cast bringing to life a “romantic fairy tale,” set in 1835, further described as “featuring romance, secret plots, good food, more secret plots, bad food, heroic duels, and plenty of perfectly prepared corn muffins.” Weekends to Jan. 19. Greenbelt Arts Center, 123 Centerway. Greenbelt, Md. Tickets are $22 to $24. Call 301-441-8770 or visit www.greenbeltartscenter.org.
Larry Shue’s 1984 comedy is set at a rural fishing lodge in Georgia, where two guests from England uncover some scandals among residents while also incurring the ire of white supremacists who seek their removal. Sherrionne Brown directs a community cast in a production from Baltimore’s Spotlights Theatre that tackles the xenophobia and racism still present today. To Jan. 12. 817 St. Paul St. Tickets are $18 to $24. Call 410-752-1225 or visit www.spotlighters.org.
Originally from Moldova, the internationally heralded concert pianist Alexander Paley returns for his only annual concert in the D.C. area, showcased as part of the concert series presented by the Washington Conservatory of Music. The program includes Debussy’s 12 Etudes, Scriabin’s Sonata No. 5, and Ravel’s Suite Le Tombeau de Couperin. Saturday, Jan. 11, at 8 p.m. Westmoreland Congregational Church, 1 Westmoreland Circle, Bethesda. Suggested donation of $20. Call 301-320-2770 or visit www.washingtonconservatory.org.
BLUE DOT JAZZ TROUPE
Rooted in the music of New Orleans, this modern rhythmic jazz ensemble mixes in blues, funk, Afro-Cuban, and pop to bring the signature American music genre to life in new and dynamic ways, with the intention of getting audiences moving and dancing. And since this past summer, they’ve been doing it three nights a week, performing live at Kramerbooks’ Afterwords Café, in the back of the venue, where patrons can enjoy late-night food as well as a host of literary-inspired cocktails and over 20 craft beers on tap. Thursdays from 9 to 11 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 p.m. to midnight. 1517 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-387-3825 or visit www.kramers.com.
Hands down the breakout star of last year’s South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, the Cuban artist also made Billboard‘s list of the “Top 10 Latin Artists to Watch in 2019.” Cimafunk’s savvy blend of popular music styles from the U.S. and Africa is rooted in strong Cuban rhythms, and together forms the subgenre called Afro-Cuban Funk. Born Erik Iglesias Rodríguez, the artist’s stage name is rooted in his heritage as a descendant of Cubans of African descent who resisted or escaped slavery — known as cimarrón — while also nodding to the strong rhythmic music that connects it all. Saturday, Jan. 11. Doors at 10 p.m. Union Stage, 740 Water St. SW. Tickets are $30 to $50. Call 877-987-6487 or visit www.unionstage.com.
CRACKER & CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN
These two veteran rock acts from California have been performing and touring together for decades, even sharing the same leader, singer/guitarist David Lowery. Lowery helped start the more punk-bent Camper in 1983, then followed with the more country-flavored Cracker in 1991 when Camper disbanded for a decade. Among the longstanding members of the two quintets, perhaps the most notable player after Lowery is Victor Krummenacher, the gay Camper co-founder and bassist who served a short stint last decade as a member of Cracker and also is the rare musician in the camp to have had a solo career. Saturday, Jan. 18. Doors at 6 p.m. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $25. Call 202-265-0930 or visit www.930.com.
DIANA ROSS WITH NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Maestro Emil de Cou helps give 2020 a Supreme boost in its second week with an NSO Pops program featuring Diana Ross. Ross performs from her hit-packed, decades-spanning career accompanied by the orchestra in concerts also featuring as special guest the Joyce Garrett Singers, the D.C. gospel choir that also performed in tribute to the living legend in 2007 at the 2007 Kennedy Center Honors. Through Saturday, Jan. 11, at 8 p.m. Concert Hall. Tickets are $39 to $199. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.
This young R&B starlet charmed us practically right out of the gate, with her debut studio album Perfectly Imperfect, full of songs about getting drunk but still being responsible (“Refill,” “Oh What A Night”) and loving oneself (“So Fly”). But that was released all the way back in 2012, when Varner was only 22. She then spent the better part of the last decade fighting her label to release Four Letter Word, only to see that sophomore set eventually shelved by RCA Records before the label dropped her. Last summer, the singer-songwriter resurfaced with Ellevation, which ultimately registers as a natural progression of her style and sound, led by the singles “Pour Me” featuring Wale and the female empowerment anthem “Kinda Love.” The emerging R&B singer-songwriter J Brown, a native of Detroit with familial connections to Motown, opens as Varner’s special guest. Friday, Jan. 17, at 7 p.m. City Winery DC, 1350 Okie St. NE. Tickets are $32 to $44. Call 202-250-2531 or visit www.citywinery.com.
The bisexual iconoclastic singer-songwriter returns for a weekend run of shows in her hometown. Titled an “Exploration Through Geographical Memories,” the concert draws from Ndegeocello’s Ventriloquism, the 2018 Grammy-nominated set featuring covers of R&B and pop hits from the 1980s and 1990s — everything from Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam’s “I Wonder If I Take You Home” to George Clinton’s “Atomic Dog,” Sade’s “Smooth Operator” to Janet Jackson’s “Funny How Time Flies (When You’re Having Fun).” The result, as anyone with even passing familiarity with Ndegeocello’s prior output would expect, is a collection of imaginatively recreated songs often drastically different than their originals — and as far removed as it gets from the act that gives the album its title. The visionary vocalist and bassist will be joined by Federico Pena, Gene Lake, and Tarus Mateen. Thursday, Jan. 9, at 10 p.m., and Friday, Jan. 10, through Sunday, Jan. 12, at 8 and 10 p.m. Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Tickets are $56, plus $12 minimum purchase. Call 202-337-4141 or visit www.bluesalley.com.
The Dutch music company Oorkaan transports young audiences to an enchanted world in which music, artists, images, and technology interact to explore questions such as: What do colors sound like? Who can understand the moon? How do you sing a tree? Jazzy melodies mix with bright visuals to form a captivating new way to relate to music and sounds and ideal for toddlers aged 2 and 4. Remaining, non-sold out performance is Saturday, Jan. 11, at 11 a.m. Kennedy Center Terrace Gallery. Tickets are $20. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.
PASSPORT TO THE WORLD OF MUSIC 2020
Curated by Lynn Veronneau and Ken Avis of Wammie-winning jazz samba group Veronneau, the annual festival presented by Virginia’s Creative Cauldron celebrates the music and dance of cultures around the world, with performances by artists representing a broad spectrum of genres: folk to Latin, opera to bluegrass. The 2020 series continues with: the Ken & Brad Kolodner Trio, an old-time instrumental bluegrass father-and-son act plus guitarist Luke Chohany, on Friday, Jan. 10, at 7:30 p.m.; The Kennedys, the legendary folk-pop duo of Pete and Maura Kennedy that originated in D.C. but is now based in New York, on Saturday, Jan. 11, at 7:30 p.m., and Raymi, a D.C.-based band, led by Juan Cayrampoma, that performs traditional music from the Andes in South America, on Sunday, Jan. 12, at 7 p.m. The series continues to Feb. 1. ArtSpace Falls Church, 410 South Maple Ave. Tickets are $20 to $25, or $70 for tables of two with wine, $140 for tables of four with wine. Call 703-436-9948 or visit www.creativecauldron.org.
Trained to be an opera singer, the shy Werner instead found a more fitting musical path as a singer-songwriter, a role that requires her to be “a little more of a comedian or dinner-party host.” An Iowa-born, Chicago-based performer, Werner is good-natured and wholly unpretentious, cracking jokes and laughing easily. The queer artist continues to tour behind 2017’s An American in Havana, a collection of original songs inspired and colored by her recent travels to Cuba. Werner will be joined by Havana-born percussionist Mayra Casales. Saturday, Jan. 11. Doors at 6 p.m. Jammin Java, 227 Maple Ave. E. Vienna. Tickets are $20 to $28. Call 703-255-3747 or visit www.jamminjava.com.
THE INSERIES: LE CABARET DE CARMEN
Bizet’s famed opera Carmen comes to life in a unique and intimate tango-cabaret experience led by the In Series’ young and innovative new director Timothy Nelson. Cara Gonzalez performs as the intoxicating and immortal titular chanteuse accompanied by the More Tango Quartet and with musical direction from Emily Baltzer. The cast, performing in French with English supertitles, also features Brian Arreola as Don Jose, Kelly Curtin as Micaela, Alex Albequerque as Escamillo, Kyle Dunn as Host, and Lydia Gladstone as Madame Pastia. The concert comes with a warning, “Parental Advisory: Explicit Content.” Runs to Jan. 19. Source, 1835 14th St. NW. Tickets are $21 to $46, or $31 to $56 for Opening Night & Celebration. Call 202-204-7763 or visit www.inseries.org.
The Institute of Musical Traditions, which works to promote and preserve folk music traditions, presents an intimate evening of acoustic blues with the Nighthawks. The concert is offered as an early toast to the upcoming 50th anniversary of the blues and roots band, which was formed in D.C. in 1972. Singer Mark Wenner leads the Nighthawks, accompanied by lead guitarist Paul Bell, bass guitarist Johnny Castle, and drummer Mark Stutso. Monday, Jan. 13, at 7:30 p.m. St. Mark Presbyterian Church, 10701 Old Georgetown Road, Rockville. Tickets are $15 to $20. Call 301-754-3611 or visit www.imtfolk.org.
URBANARIAS: GLORY DENIED
The nationally recognized local contemporary American opera company presents a brand-new staging of an opera based on the gripping true story of Col. Floyd “Jim” Thompson, an American POW during the Vietnam War. Glory Denied, with music and libretto by Tom Cipullo, was adapted from Tom Philpott’s book of the same name, which focused on the marriage and family back home that became the real victim of the Viet Cong’s capture and prolonged confinement of Thompson. Thursday, Jan. 16, through Saturday, Jan. 18, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 19, at 2 p.m. Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church St. NW. Call 202-265-3767 or visit www.urbanarias.org.
WHO’S BAD: THE ULTIMATE TRIBUTE TO MICHAEL JACKSON
Founded over a decade ago in North Carolina, Vamsi Tadepalli’s band didn’t explode in popularity until after the King of Pop’s death in 2009. Ever since, this infectious tribute production has regularly offered fans a treat, putting on a show recreating Jackson’s precise synchronized dance routines, in full regalia, from glitzy jackets to glittery gloves. Saturday, Jan. 11. Doors at 7 p.m. Baltimore Soundstage, 124 Market Place. Tickets are $18. Call 410-244-0057 or visit www.baltimoresoundstage.com.
WNO’S AMERICAN OPERA INITIATIVE: THE NEW 20-MINUTE OPERAS
“Catch a glimpse into the future of opera” reads the tagline for the Washington National Opera’s commissioning program for contemporary American opera, now in its eighth season. This year’s festival includes three short operas, staged in a world-premiere concert performance and featuring WNO’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists accompanied by a small chamber orchestra comprised of musicians from the WNO Orchestra. The three operas, performed in English with each highlighting a different aspect of American life and culture, are: Woman of Letters, about the dreams of a young girl being raised by a first-generation New York immigrant and widower, with music by Liliya Ugay and libretto by Sokunthary Svay; Admissions, about a well-to-do American family swept up in the ripped-from-the-headlines college-admissions scandal, with music by Michael Lanci and a libretto by Kim Davies; and Night Trip, about the harsh realities a young African-American girl from Chicago confronts on a visit to her relatives in 1950s-era rural Tennessee, with music by Carlos Simon and a libretto by Sandra Seaton. Performances are Friday, Jan. 11, at 7 and 9 p.m. Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Tickets are $19 to $35. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.
WILL LIVERMAN, KEN NODA
A Wolf Trap Opera alum, baritone singer Liverman returns for a recital as part of the Chamber Music series at the Barns at Wolf Trap. Ken Noda will accompany on piano as Liverman sings from Winterreise, Schubert’s iconic journey through the icy regions of the Self. Sunday, Jan. 12, at 3 p.m. 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $42. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit www.wolftrap.org.
Step Afrika! — Photo: Edward C. Jones
KANKOURAN WEST AFRICAN DANCE COMPANY
For over 35 years, KanKouran has offered an annual presentation celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, and showcasing the influences that African dance and culture has had on contemporary dance styles. Led by the company’s co-founder and artistic director Assane Konte, the concert features the senior and junior companies of KanKouran as well as the children’s company and the community class. Saturday, Jan. 18, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 19, at 4 p.m. Dance Place, 3225 8th St. NE. Tickets are $15 to $30. Call 202-269-1600 or visit www.danceplace.org.
STEP AFRIKA!: STEP XPLOSION, DRUMFOLK
Strathmore welcomes back the professional dance troupe founded by C. Brian Wiliams and focused on stepping, the high-energy, percussive style of dance that originated with African-American fraternities and sororities. This year’s program begins with performances by six of the finest step squads around, ranging from Dem Raider Boyz of Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, Md., to the Cook Hall Step Team from Howard University. Yet the showcase is on a portion of a new work commissioned by Strathmore that honors the heritage of step and puts the vibrant art form in historical context. Drumfolk reflects on the harsh realities of the American South while celebrating the fortitude of enslaved Africans who practiced percussive traditions such as patting juba, hambone, ring shout, and tap — all antecedents of step. Sunday, Jan. 12, at 5 p.m. Music Center, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $35 to $75. Call 301-581-5100 or visit www.strathmore.org.
JYNX COMEDY NIGHT
The Brookland location of Busboys and Poets plays host to this monthly showcase of women-identifying, non-binary, and LGBTQ comedians produced by Project Thalia founder Angela Hamilton. Each edition of Jynx is intended to be “supportive and empowering,” and fosters an “atmosphere of caring, compassion, and kindness.” The first edition of 2020 is headlined by Natalie McGill, a comic who has been featured on 2 Dope Queens and in the film American Comic on Amazon Prime. Sofia Javed hosts the show also featuring Pamela Arluk, Ali Cherry, Yasmin Elhady, Anna Huntley, and Lisan Wood. Wednesday, Jan. 15, at 8 p.m. 625 Monroe St. NE. Call 202-636-7230 or visit www.busboysandpoets.com.
WASHINGTON IMPROV THEATER: ROAD SHOW
D.C.’s leading troupe for longform improv offers its annual “wintry mix” of vignettes featuring different ensembles, with each plot developed on-the-fly, spurred by a single audience suggestion. Each show is different, but all offer a grab bag of spontaneous comedy and long-form improv, including the all-female-identifying group Hellcat, the slyly named all-African-American group Lena Dunham, the improvising playwrights of iMusical, and the improvised rockers in Heavy Rotation. To Feb. 2. District of Columbia Arts Center (DCAC), 2438 18th St. NW. Tickets are $15 to $18. Call 202-462-7833 or visit www.witdc.org.
READINGS & DISCUSSIONS
ADRIAN SHANKER: BODIES AND BARRIERS: QUEER ACTIVISTS ON HEALTH Adrian Shanker, an activist and organizer for LGBTQ health equity who also serves as executive director of the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in Allentown, Penn., comes to D.C. for a free talk about the new anthology he edited. Bodies & Barriers: Queer Activists on Health features a collection of essays by 26 activists shining a light on the myriad and pervasive health issues that queer people confront throughout their lives. Sunday, Jan. 19, at 5 p.m. The Potter’s House, 1658 Columbia Road NW. Call 202-232-5483 or visit www.pottershousedc.org.
BITE YOUR TONGUE: THE UNHOSPITABLE EDITION
Next weekend sees the premiere of a women-focused “Night of Storytelling” speaker series from Bite Your Tongue, or BYT, a new outfit co-founded by Sara Polon of Soupergirl, Doron Petersan of vegan bakery Sticky Fingers, and Anna Valero of Drink The District, Kraken Axes, and Hook Hall. Co-produced by Story District, the series launches with a lineup of “D.C.’s Foodie Women” sharing personal stories about starting and running some of the area’s top bakeries, breweries, and food companies. The lineup also includes Violeta Edelman, co-founder and co-CEO of Dolcezza Gelato & Coffee; Sarah Frimpong, CEO and co-founder of grab-and-go food company Wellfound Foods; Sarah Gordon, co-founder of Gordy’s Pickle Jar; Jenna Huntsberger, founder of online bakery Whisked! D.C.; and Julie Verratti, co-owner of Maryland’s Denizens Brewing Company. The show in the new Hook Hall event space in D.C.’s Park View neighborhood will start with a live performance by local band One Lane Bridge. Proceeds from the event will go toward N Street Village and the nonprofit’s work in empowering homeless and low-income women in D.C. Saturday, Jan. 11, at 7 p.m. 3400 Georgia Ave. NW. Tickets are $20. Call 202-629-4339 or visit www.bytongue.com.
WILLIAM ROSENAU: TONIGHT WE BOMBED THE U.S. CAPITOL
The newest book from William Rosenau, an accomplished researcher affiliated with several think tanks in Washington, promises “a shocking, never-before-told story from American history.” Subtitled The Explosive Story of M19, America’s First Female Terrorist Group, the focus is on the hidden history of a domestic terrorist group — six radical, well-educated women who decided to rail against the rise in conservatism with the Reagan revolution through daring and disruptive practices, organizing prison breakouts, murderous armed robberies, even a bombing campaign that wreaked havoc on D.C. With access to declassified FBI documents as well as original photos, Rosenau exposes this fascinating historical footnote and provides insight into how homegrown extremism can take root. Thursday, Jan. 16, at noon. National Archives, Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets NW. NW. Free, with reservations recommended; first-come, first-seated. Call 202-357-5000 or visit www.archivesfoundation.org.
Touchstone Gallery: It’s Something About Color — By Joan
ART & EXHIBITS
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 Jan. 11, 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. Perfect time to pick up a few extra-special gifts! The DC Center, 2000 14th St. NW, Suite 105. Call 202-682-2245 or visit www.thedccenter.org.
BOUKE DE VRIES: WAR AND PIECES
A contemporary response to a tradition dating to the 17th century of creating scenic or architectural centerpieces crafted out of sugar and porcelain, this Dutch artist alters course by depicting an epic battle. The remarkable ceramic centerpiece features seven sculptural vignettes, using thousands of white porcelain fragments, plus sugar and even pieces of plastic toys, all set up on Hillwood’s grand dining table. To April 5. Hillwood Estate, 4155 Linnean Ave. NW. Suggested donation is $18. Call 202-686-5807 or visit www.HillwoodMuseum.org.
IT’S SOMETHING ABOUT COLOR: PAINTINGS BY JOAN BIXLER
A new exhibition at downtown’s Touchstone Gallery features a variety of vibrant, even exuberant artworks by Joan Bixler, reflecting the Northern Virginia artist’s love of color and her fascination with the interactions of light, shadows, and shapes. In large-scale paintings, Bixler often uses color and forms to create the effects of texture and depth, occasionally accenting or emphasizing things with the application of gold leaf, iridescent paint, or Venetian plaster — all touches that draw from Bixler Studios LLC, her decorative painting company serving commercial clients in the region. Opening Reception is Saturday, Jan. 11, from 2 to 4 p.m. Closing Reception is Feb. 1. Gallery C, 901 New York Ave. NW Call 202-347-2787 or visit www.touchstonegallery.com.
JUDY CHICAGO: THE END-A MEDITATION ON DEATH AND EXTINCTION
Through nearly 40 works of painted porcelain and glass, as well as two large sculptures, famed artist and feminist icon Judy Chicago reflects on her own mortality while appealing for compassion and justice for all earthly creatures affected by human greed. The National Museum of Women in the Arts is the first venue to feature this new series, executed in the bold graphic style that has become Chicago’s hallmark — stark images as a visceral antidote to a culture that prizes youth and beauty, and often ignores the suffering of other creatures. Grouped into three sections, The End features works that personify the five stages of grief, ruminates about the artist’s own demise, and offers a visual catalog of species endangered by the action, or inaction, of humans. To Jan. 20. 1250 New York Ave NW. Admission is $10. Call 202-783-5000 or visit www.nmwa.org.
LOS CARPINTEROS: CUBA VA!
An Intersections installation from Marco Castillo and Dagoberto Rodríguez, current members of the internationally acclaimed Cuban artist collective Los Carpinteros. Cuba Va! features two videos and a group of LED sculptural portraits rendered as heroic revolutionaries, all of which continue the artists’ focus on creating rather subversive artworks offering a social landscape of Cuba’s modern history, at once utopian and dystopian. To Jan. 12. The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st St. NW. Tickets are $10 to $12, or free for Phillips members. Visit www.phillipscollection.org.
MID-CENTURY MASTER: THE PHOTOGRAPHER OF ALFRED EISENSTAEDT
Nearly 50 photographs and ephemera from the Life Magazine artist known for capturing larger-than-life personalities and those among the most notable people of the 20th century — from Marilyn Monroe to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. This special exhibition at Hillwood explores the relationship that evolved over the course of photo sessions between Eisenstaedt and Hillwood founder Marjorie Merriweather Post. Concurrently, on the second floor of the mansion, Hillwood features a special display celebrating Adelaide Close Riggs, the eldest of Post’s three daughters, in recognition of her dedication and contributions to the museum as well as the 20th anniversary of her passing. To Jan. 12. 4155 Linnean Ave. NW. Suggested donation is $18. Call 202-686-5807 or visit www.HillwoodMuseum.org.
RECLAIMED REUSED REPURPOSED: SUSTAINABLE ART FOR THE PLANET
The first in a series of exhibitions addressing climate change at Dupont Circle’s Studio Gallery highlights artists who have been getting creative in their use of materials — finding ways to reuse byproducts and waste from the manufacturing industry. As curated by Molly Ruppert, the exhibition features Jessica Beels, Robin Bell, Julia Bloom, Gloria Chapa, Pat Goslee, Liz Lescault, and Erwin Timmers. Now to Jan. 25. 2108 R St. NW. Call 202-232-8734 or visit www.studiogallerydc.com.
Del Ray Artisans: Tangerine — Image: Doug Schulte
Long associated with energy, youth, and happiness, the saturated, bold orange hue has also been the love interest in popular songs. And for the remainder of January, Alexandria’s Del Ray Artisans Gallery presents artworks by its member artists with imaginative and original interpretations of what “tangerine” means. Opening Reception is Friday, Jan. 10. On display to Feb. 2. 2704 Mount Vernon Ave. Alexandria. Call 703-731-8802 or visit www.thedelrayartisans.org.
THE INFINITE IN THE INTIMATE: DRAWINGS BY WESLEY BERG
Created using a few graphite pencils and light washes of watercolor on paper, Berg’s drawings are playful, humorous, and simplified, and intended to appear as though they simply “happened.” Individual elements of line, gesture, and color add curious touches to the works, which ask questions of space and dimension. Vernissage, with live music by Bud Wilkinson, is Saturday, Jan. 11, from noon to 3 p.m. On display to Feb. 15. Adah Rose Gallery, 3766 Howard Ave. Kensington, Md. Call 301-922-0162 or visit www.adahrosegallery.com.
Riley Knoxx by Billy Maloy
ABOVE AND BEYOND
ELVIS’ BIRTHDAY FIGHTCLUB
Elvis Presley hosts an underground fight club in what is billed as a comically lowbrow theater event from Astro Pop Events (Countdown to Yuri’s Night). Now in its 10th year, the production features the King accompanied by sardonic sidekick Kittie Glitter, plus “a little more conversation” in the form of hilarious color commentary during seven comical, choreographed matchups full of cartoon-like violence and below-the-belt comedy, as burlesque dancers keep the audience “all shook up” between fights. Friday, Jan. 17, at 7:30 and 10 p.m., and Saturday, Jan. 18, at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Creative Alliance at the Patterson, 3134 Eastern Ave. Baltimore. Tickets are $28. Call 410-276-1651 or visit www.creativealliance.org.
PRETTY BOI DRAG: 4TH ANNIVERSARY PARTY
Former DC King Pretty Rik E and co-producer Lexie Starre have helped keep alive the art of drag kings in D.C. with this regular series of shows, taking place over brunch or during nighttime parties, and featuring nearly two dozen local performers. The 4th anniversary party promises to be the biggest show yet. Sunday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m. Union Stage, 740 Water St. SW. Tickets are $25 to $35. Call 877-987-6487 or visit www.unionstage.com.
RILEY KNOXX: AN ILLUSION OF QUEEN BEY
With a team of dancers and wind machines, plus her own work in mastering the moves, mannerisms, and even makeup of today’s biggest pop diva, this local illusionist gives one the feeling they’re watching Beyoncé in concert. Knoxx, who in recent years has made moves to become a recording artist in her own right, has reportedly even garnered praise from Queen Bey herself. Wednesday, Jan. 15, at 8 p.m. City Winery DC, 1350 Okie St. NE. Tickets are $25 to $45. Call 202-250-2531 or visit www.citywinery.com.
Home Remodeling Show
THE HOME + REMODELING SHOW
Kevin O’Connor, host of PBS’s pioneering home improvement show This Old House and the offshoot Ask This Old House, returns as headliner of next weekend’s home show at the Dulles Expo Center. One of several annual home-focused showcases produced by Marketplace Events, the Home + Remodeling Show presents more than 250 corporate vendors with the latest products and services in remodeling, renovation, décor, and redesign. O’Connor will lead three hour-long “Insights and Behind the Scenes of This Old House” discussions from the event’s Main Stage, on Friday, Jan. 17, at 2 p.m., and Saturday, Jan. 18, at noon and 2 p.m. The Main Stage will also play host to local experts offering advice on specific topics including: “The Secret to Designing a Home Remodel on a Budget” with Ted Daniels of Daniels Design & Remodeling, “Remodeling for All Budgets” with Dawn Prker, Nan Kinsely, and Ford Hal of NVS Kitchen & Bath, “Ideas to Maximizing Your Outdoor Living Space” with Joseph Colao & JR Peter of Colao & Peter, and “Landscape Lighting: How to Paint the Night with Light” with Patrick Harders of Enlightened Lights. Additionally, at the main entrance will be a display by the Beekeeper’s Cottage promising “a glorious variety of modern urban farmhouse home decor accessories and furnishings,” ranging from handcrafted soy candles, to goat milk soaps and lotions, to hip bracelets and earrings from their Crown Jewels Collection. Show hours are Friday, Jan. 17, and Saturday, Jan. 18, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 19, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 4320 Chantilly Shopping Center, Virginia. Tickets are $9 to $12 per day, or free on Friday, Jan. 17, for those who travel by Metro using SmarTrip or Transit Link cards. Call 703-378-0910 or visit www.homeandremodelingshow.com.