Metro Weekly

Editor’s Picks: Burlesque-A-Pades, Improbable Comedy, My Queer Valentine, and more!

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

Birds of Prey


In the spinoff of Suicide Squad, Margot Robbie, the Joker’s ex-girlfriend, is now a solo vigilante. She’s joined by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, and Rosie Perez, who team up to take down the Black Mask, Gotham’s “most nefariously narcissistic villain.” Director Cathy Yan is the first female Asian director to helm a superhero movie. So far buzz is positive on the film. Opens Friday, Feb. 7. Area theaters, including the Airbus IMAX Theater in the National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center, in Chantilly, Va. Call 202-633-4629 or visit

Gun and Powder — Photo: Christopher Mueller


Solea Pfeiffer and Emmy Raver-Lampman star as sisters Mary and Martha Clarke in a World Premiere musical inspired by the true story of African-American twins who pass themselves off as white to help settle their mother’s sharecropper debt and seize the funds by any means necessary. Book and lyrics by Angelica Chéri and music by Ross Baum and featuring direction by Robert O’Hara (Broadway’s Slave Play). To Feb. 23. MAX Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit

Love’s Labour’s Lost — Photo: Rachel Duda


Liana Olear directs a contemporary take on Shakespeare’s wittiest comedy about love, responsibility, and careful use of social media. Bill Bodie, Linda “Spencer” Dye, Peter Eichman, Joshua Engel, and Christine Evangelista are part of the 15-member cast of this community theater production from Maryland’s rebellious, classics-focused troupe the Rude Mechanicals, a mix of professional and amateur artists. Remaining performances are Friday, Feb. 7, and Saturday, Feb. 8, at 8 p.m. Greenbelt Arts Center, 123 Centerway. Greenbelt, Md. Tickets are $12 to $24. Call 301-441-8770 or visit

Sweet & Sour Valentine’s Day Comedy Show: Mike Brown


A love-themed show about Valentine’s Day that isn’t only lovey-dovey, the latest from this Maryland-based organization “will celebrate love and roast the holiday that brings it to us on a candy-red, heart-shaped platter.” The lineup of local talent includes Melissa Douty, Mike Brown, Maddox Pennington, and Anthony Oakes. Thursday, Feb. 13, at 8 p.m. Busboys & Poets in Takoma, 235 Carroll St. NW. Tickets are $15 to $25. Call 202-726-0856 or visit Also Saturday, Feb. 15, at 8 p.m. Joe’s Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mount Rainier, Md. Tickets are $15 to $25. Call 301-699-1819 or visit

Burlesque-a-Pades — Angie Pontani


New York’s Angie Pontani, billed as the “International Queen of Burlesque,” presents the 13th anniversary of a Valentine’s Day show mixing performances in the revived art of striptease with magic, music, dance, and comedy. New York drag king and transgender comedian Murray “Mister Showbiz” Hill returns as host of an evening featuring performances by Miss Exotic World Champion aka Potani, LGBTQ burlesque dancer The Maine Attraction, Gal Friday, Ben Franklin, and Joshua Dean. Friday, Feb. 14, at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $29.50. Call 703-549-7500 or visit

My Queer Valentine: Torpedo Factory Art Center, Target Gallery


The contemporary exhibitions space of Old Town Alexandria’s Torpedo Factory Art Center presents a new group show focused on love and relationships from the LGBTQ perspective — with a diversity in perspective as well as in style, medium, and tone on display. Andy Johnson, director of Gallery 102 at George Washington University’s Corcoran School of the Arts & Design, served as the exhibition juror, ultimately selecting 16 artists, eight from the area. To March 8. A public reception, with a juror talk, interactive performance art, kissing booth, and DIY art-making activities, is set for Friday, Feb. 14, from 7 to 10 p.m. Target Gallery, 105 North Union St. Call 703-838-4565 or visit

Misunderstood: American Conservation Film Festival


Every year, documentaries concerned about nature and environmental issues from a diverse group of filmmakers are shown and discussed at a festival held in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. In advance of the 2020 festival, set for late March, organizers have selected a few fan favorites from last year’s event for additional screenings at various venues in the Mid-Atlantic region, including the Weinberg Center for the Arts. This Saturday, Feb. 8, starting at 6:15 p.m., the center presents a four-hour program (including intermission) featuring the shorts Misunderstood: A Brief History of Hemp in the US by Campbell Brewer, Treeline by Jordan Manley, and Nature Rx: The Living Plant by Justin Bogardus. The program concludes with a screening of the 2019 festival’s Audience Choice Winner Fantastic Fungi, Louie Schwartzberg’s “journey into the mysterious and beautiful subterranean world of mycelium and mushrooms,” featuring author Michael Pollan and medicinal fungi advocate Paul Stramets. Weinberg Center, 20 W. Patrick St., Frederick, Md. Tickets are $14.75 to $16.75 including service charge. Call 301-600-2828 or visit

Katherine Williams in “Giselle” Photo: Rosalie O’Connor


ABT, decreed “America’s National Ballet Company” by an act of Congress in 2006, returns for an annual run of shows at the Kennedy Center, this time to perform a beloved ballet classic in a week of performances falling over Valentine’s Day. A quintessential tale of unrequited love, heartbreaking loss, and triumphant forgiveness, Giselle is performed with live accompaniment by the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra and per Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie’s celebrated staging. A rotating cast of ABT’s principal dancers includes Stella Abrera in the title role as part of the veteran ballerina’s year-long swan song before retirement and opposite James Whiteside as Albrecht, the man who breaks her heart, at the matinee performance on Saturday, Feb. 15, at 1:30 p.m. Performances begin Tuesday, Feb. 11, and run to Sunday, Feb. 16. Opera House Tickets are $49 to $295. Call 202-467-4600 or visit

National Chamber Ensemble: Valentine’s Salute to Benny Goodman, Julian Milkis


Clarinet star Julian Milkis, the only student and renowned protégé of jazz great Benny Goodman, joins this Arlington-based group led by Leonid Sushansky for a tribute concert co-presented by the Pozez JCC of Northern Virginia. Milkis will be accompanied by a quartet featuring pianist Carlos Cesar Rodriguez, violinist Sushansky, double bassist Ephriam Wolfolk Jr., and drummer Leland Nakamura. The program includes some of Goodman’s most popular jazz and classical compositions, from “Glory of Love” to his takes on Paganini’s “Caprice No. 24” and Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto. Saturday, Feb. 15, at 7:30 p.m. Theater 1 in Gunston Arts Center, 2700 South Lang St. Arlington. Tickets are $18 to $36, including post-performance reception with hors d’oeuvres. Call 703-276-6701 or visit

Throw social


Friday sees the launch of another axe-throwing venue in D.C. — and that’s just on the first floor of a 22,000-square-foot social games complex in Northeast’s Ivy City dubbed “Aspen to Palm Beach.” The 12 ranges in Kick Axe Throwing, featuring a rustic lodge-inspired decor reminiscent of those in the Colorado mountain resort, are complemented by five (iceless) curling rinks and six FootBowl ranges (aka bowling with a football) upstairs in THRōW Social, which has a brightly colored South Florida vibe complete with draped cabanas and fake palm trees. On hand for a meet-and-greet at the Grand Opening: U.S. Olympic curling gold medalist Tyler George. By now you should be familiar with curling, given the “Chess on Ice” game that originated in Scotland has been a medal sport in the Winter Olympics since 1998. But if you’re slightly thrown for a loop about axe throwing, well, comparisons to this “lumberjack-ian” experience range from darts (“only more Kick Axe,” goes a company tagline) to a Millennial version of bowling, via NBC News. Opens Friday, Feb. 7, from 8 to 10 p.m. 1401 Okie St. NE. Tickets are $30, including open bar for the first hour plus passed bites, live music, and sample experiences. Call 888-847-6919 or visit

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