Metro Weekly

Out On the Town: DC arts & entertainment highlights — February 20-26

Everything arts and entertainment in the D.C. area this week!



Landmark’s West End Cinema presents a 35th anniversary screening of the third film in George Miller’s post-apocalyptic series that originally starred Mel Gibson as “Mad” Max Rockatansky. In this installment, Max is exiled into the desert by the ruthless ruler of Bartertown, played by Tina Turner, where he encounters an isolated cargo cult centered on a crashed airplane and its deceased captain. Screenings are Wednesday, Feb. 26, 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


The Jack London classic from 1903 gets the live-action treatment directed by Chris Sanders, previously best known for his work in animation (How to Train Your Dragon). Harrison Ford stars as John Thornton, who teams up with a St. Bernard/Scotch Collie dog named Buck for an adventure in Canada’s Yukon territory. Opens Friday, Feb. 21. Area theaters. Visit


In honor of Black History Month, Fathom Events and Turner Classic Movies celebrates the 35th anniversary of Steven Spielberg’s acclaimed drama that brought both comic Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey to the big screen. Sunday, Feb. 23, at 1 and 5 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

Boy — Photo: Cameron Whitman



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


In the 1960s, a well-intentioned doctor convinces the parents of twin boys to raise one as a girl following a surgical accident. Inspired by true events, Anna Ziegler’s play explores the beauty of finding love, the complexity of gender identity, and the consequences of the choices we make for those we love. Susan Marie Rhea directs Keegan’s production starring John Jones, Lida Marie Benson, Karen Novack, Mike Kozemchak, and Vishwas. To March 7. 1742 Church St. NW. Call 202-265-3767 or visit


A 2003 Pulitzer Prize-winner for his drama Anna in the Tropics, Nilo Cruz directs GALA Hispanic Theatre’s new production of his magical realist romance Exquisite Agony. The cast includes GALA veteran Luz Nicolas, starring as opera singer Millie Marcel, a widow who fixates on the young transplant recipient now living with her dead husband’s heart. Joel Hernandez Lara plays Amer, the object of Millie’s obsession and desire. In Spanish with English surtitles. To March 1. 3333 14th St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $55. Call 202-234-7174 or visit (André Hereford)


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


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. Extended to Feb. 23. 14th & P Streets NW. Call 202-332-3300 or visit


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

The cast of Spring Awakening photographed by Todd Franson on the set on Friday, February 7, 2020. Costumes by Sarah Cubbage – Set by Adam Rigg – Stage Lighting by Colin K. Bills — Photo: Todd Franson


The Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Alan Paul makes his directorial debut at Round House Theatre with a production of Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater’s haunting, high-octane, and boundary-pushing rock musical. A Tony-winning adaptation of Frank Wedekind’s prescient 19th-century drama, Spring Awakening focuses on a repressed group of angsty teenagers navigating blindly through their burgeoning sexuality. Evan Daves, Cristina Sastre, Sean Watkinson, Jane Bernhard, and Christian Montgomery lead a youthful cast also featuring Bobby Smith playing all the Adult Men and Tonya Beckman all the Adult Women. To Feb. 23. 4545 East-West Highway, Bethesda. Tickets are $50 to $60. Call 240-644-1100 or visit


Aaron Posner helms a Folger Theatre production of the delightful comedy of love, money, deception, and the power of women, as the ladies of Windsor serve Falstaff his comedic comeuppance. To March 1. 201 East Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $27 to $85. Call 202-544-7077 or visit

Legwarmers — Photo: Jake Charow



The 70-year-old son of folk’s founding father, Woody Guthrie, returns to the area for two performances on the 20/20 Tour featuring “Alice’s Restaurant” with Folk Uke. Friday, Feb. 28, and Saturday, Feb. 29, at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $65. Call 703-549-7500 or visit


With a goal of making classical music accessible and enjoyable, the local female trio, founded in 2007, plays all over the region and all types and eras of classical music. In a performance at the Athenaeum in Old Town, the chamber ensemble will celebrate what would have been the 250th birthday of Ludwig Beethoven by performing a transcription of his trio Serenade that swaps out the violin for the Beau Soir signature the harp, played by the ensemble’s founder Michelle Lundy, who will be accompanied by Ruth Wicker Schaaf on the viola and Carol Bean on the flute. J.S. Bach’s Trio Sonate will also be rendered in a flute/viola/harp transcription made for Beau Soir by Alex Jacobsen of the National Symphony Orchestra. A local premiere from Miguel del Aguila will round out the main concert program, and the concert will conclude with a little Irish music as an early toast to St. Patrick’s Day. Friday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. 201 Prince St., Alexandria. Tickets are $15. Call 703-548-0035 or visit


Former National Symphony Orchestra conductor Iván Fischer leads the Budapest Festival Orchestra, which over the past three decades has established itself as one of the world’s leading ensembles. Washington Performing Arts presents a concert at Strathmore pairing works by two late-Romantic composers. German contralto Gerhild Romberger will join to sing Kindertotenlieder by Mahler, who is also represented in the program with Blumine. Meanwhile, Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8 in G Major will be performed along with the “Misto klekani (Evening blessing)” from his Four Choruses. Friday, Feb. 21, at 8 p.m. 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $35 to $105. Call 301-581-5100 or visit


Established more than 40 years ago in New Orleans and taking its name from a popular social club for African-American musicians, this seven-member ensemble has helped revitalize the brass tradition in New Orleans as well as export it around the world. A music machine that has guested on albums for David Bowie, Elvis Costello, Modest Mouse and the Dave Matthews Band, the Dirty Dozen offers genre-bending romps and high-octane performances. For an early Mardi Gras party at the Hamilton, the Dirty Dozen will be joined by Louisiana’s Zydeco Cha-Chas, made up of brothers Nathan, Dennis Paul, and Sid ‘El Sid O’ Williams. Saturday, Feb. 22. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $25 to $30. Call 202-787-1000 or visit


The alt-country/Southern rock band tours in support of The Unraveling, a followup to 2016’s American Band, a politically charged set intended as a warning shot hinting at a coming storm. The new set, written in the wreckage and aftermath, is as political as it is personal, as lead vocalists and songwriters Mike Cooley and Patterson Hood — white Southerners — grapple with the challenges of our times, as captured in song titles, from “Babies in Cages” to Armageddon’s Back in Town” to “Awaiting Resurrection.” Buffalo Nichols opens. Friday, Feb. 28, and Saturay, Feb. 29. Doors at 8 p.m. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $35. Call 202-265-0930 or visit


Franz Schubert packs a lifetime of hope, suffering, and joy into the two movements that comprise his Symphony No. 8. The work is commonly referred to as “Unfinished,” although that’s not exactly true: The composer lived for another six years after the work’s debut. The NSO will perform the masterpiece as part of a program that ends with a very contrasting work, Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5. This powerful showpiece is long and wide-ranging, lasting over an hour in length and covering great emotional range, juggling tender passages with bouts of rage, and expressions of joy and sorrow. Gianandrea Noseda conducts. Thursday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m., and Friday, Feb. 21, and Saturday, Feb. 22, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $15 to $104. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


The nationally distributed NPR program and podcast that celebrates the voices and talents of America’s brightest young classical musicians comes to George Mason University for its next live taping. Greg Anderson (a From The Top alum) and Elizabeth Joy Rose of the acclaimed piano duo Anderson & Roe will interview and perform with each of the exceptional young artists, ages 12 to 18. Four of the 10 featured pre-collegiate musicians hail from the greater D.C. area, including Ella Kim, a Supernova Piano Duo of Jialin Tso and Alexander Suh, Kiesse Nanor, and Lira Masuda. From The Top is heard Sundays on WETA 90.9 FM as well as 200 other stations across the country, with this live event airing during the weeks of April 20 and May 11. Saturday, Feb. 29, at 8 p.m. GMU Center for the Arts, 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax. Tickets are $34 to $53. Call 888-945-2468 or visit


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.” After a largely sold-out run at the Source in D.C., the company reprises the work in Baltimore, kicking off with a Pride Night Performance on Friday, Feb. 21, at 8 p.m., including a post-show exclusive champagne toast with the artists. After the performance the next night, Saturday, Feb. 22, at 8 p.m. comes a post-show all-levels tango lesson with Baltimore’s own Roger Peterson. And prior to the last performance, Sunday, Feb. 23, at 3 p.m., comes a special Carmen Look IN discussion. Baltimore Theatre Project, 45 West Preston St. Baltimore. Tickets are $20 to $30. Call 202-204-7763 or visit


The five-piece Americana-steeped folk-rock act, best known for the 2012 inescapable chanting hit “Ho Hey,” returns to the area for a show at Capital One Arena. Opening is the Kenyan-born artist J.S. Ondara. Friday, Feb. 28. Doors at 7 p.m. 601 F St. NW. Call 202-628-3200 or visit


Maryland’s Victorian Lyric Opera Company presents a new take on the beloved Gilbert & Sullivan operetta. Director Amy Sullivan helms a Classic Hollywood-inspired production, fully staged with a 1940s-esque set intended to evoke the glitz and glamour of movie musicals of the era — though the action still takes place over Leap Day in the Victorian Era. Expect to hear the classic songs “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General” and “Poor Wand’ring One.” Performances are Friday, Feb. 21, and Saturday, Feb. 22, at 8 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 23, at 2 p.m., Friday, Feb. 28, and Saturday, Feb. 29, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, March 1, at 2 p.m. F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre at the Rockville Civic Center, 603 Edmonston Dr. Rockville. Tickets are $20 to $24. Call 240-314-8690 or visit



As part of this year’s Intersections festival at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, the gay-led Dissonance Dance Theatre offers an evening-length program celebrating West African, Caribbean, South American, and American music by performing works of contemporary ballet and modern dances set to soca, blues, samba, and soul, among others. According to the company, “Diaspora aggressively blends contemporary ballet against the tapestry of urban and indigenous culture.” An artist talk-back will follow the performance. Saturday, Feb. 22, at 8:15 p.m. Sprenger Theatre, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $30 to $35. Call 202-399-7993 or visit



A showcase of talent from right in our own backyard, the latest show from Maryland-based promoter Improbable Comedy features Wendy Wroblewski, Dominic Rivera, Liz Barlow and Allan Sidley. Saturday, Feb. 22, at 7 and 9 p.m. Cissel-Saxon American Legion Post 41, 8110 Fenton St., Silver Spring. Tickets are $10 to $25. Call 301-588-8937 or visit

Calloway Fine Art Consulting — Rodgers Ranch Road: Maud Taber Thomas



More than five decades of neighborhood change in the nation’s capital, as well as the rich history of organizing and civic engagement that accompanied it, is explored in this temporary exhibition at the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum. A story of how ordinary Washingtonians have helped shape and reshape their neighborhoods in extraordinary ways, A Right to the City, developed in partnership with American University, Metropolitan Center, and the D.C. Public Library, specifically highlights developments in six city neighborhoods or regions: Adams Morgan, Anacostia, Brookland, Chinatown, Shaw, and Southwest. To April 20. 1901 Fort Place, SE. Call 202-633-4820 or visit


A display of prominent artifacts highlighting the history of citizen participation, debate and compromise from the nation’s formation to today. The American experiment is still alive, if not altogether well at the moment, but it has endured rough times before. This exhibition, at the Smithsonian’s American History Museum, highlights the various ways in which leading figures have strived to make the country “a more perfect union.” Objects include Thomas Jefferson’s portable desk he used to draft the Declaration of Independence, the inkstand Abraham Lincoln used to draft the Emancipation Proclamation, and the table on which Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote the Declaration of Sentiments. Ongoing. 14th St. and Constitution Ave. NW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit


For Strathmore’s 29th annual juried exhibition, jurors Terence Nicholson of the Hirshhorn Museum as well as the American University Museum and Erwin Timmers of the Washington Glass Studio and School called on artists to submit works offering interpretations of the structural, communal, and emotional aspects of the spaces we inhabit. In paint, collage, graphite, and ink, artists examine the pleasures, disparity, symbolism, and meaning in the perception or place we call a home. Represented among the nearly 90 artists in the display are Cathy Abramson, MK Bailey, Jennifer Barlow, Michaela Borghese, Kimberley Bursic, Lulu Delacre, Songmi Heart, Saralee Howard, Wayson Jones, Chau Nguyen, Robert Sullivan, and Andrew Wodzianski. Through Feb. 23. First Floor Galleries in the Mansion, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Call 301-581-5100 or visit


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 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. Through February. Center Arts Gallery, 2000 14th St. NW. Call 202-682-2245 or visit


The entire perimeter of the Hirshhorn’s second-floor inner-circle galleries has been transformed into a vibrant spectrum of color. A commission of a 79-year-old New York-based painter and printmaker, this nearly 400-linear-foot-long, site-specific exhibition features 30 large-scale abstract canvases creating an immense color wheel shifting hues with each painting. To Sept. 7, 2020. Hirshhorn National Museum of Modern Art, Independence Avenue and Seventh Street SW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit


Virginia’s McLean Project for the Arts presents an exhibition by a Korean-born, D.C.-based artist who draws on the world of fairy tales to compose paintings exploring dreams, identity, and personal transformation. Through a cast of characters including mermaids, Pinocchio, and a figurative alter-ego, Lee’s surrealist-inspired illustrations mine symbolic connotations to create narrative works full of tension, adventure, and wisdom. Through Feb. 29. Atrium Gallery in the McLean Community Center, 1234 Ingleside Ave., Virginia. Call 703-790-1953 or visit


The Library of Congress tells the story of the largest reform movement in American history, the 72-year campaign for women’s suffrage that culminated in the passage and ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution exactly one century ago. To Sept. Southwest Gallery in the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. SE. Call 202-707-8000 or visit


With the lead title Nation to Nations, this long-term exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indian tells the story of the treaties signed between U.S. leaders and influential Native diplomats. Most Americans today live on land that was originally promised to Native Nations via (obviously broken) treaties. And while most of the documents date to the early days of the American republic, the exhibit, which has been on display since 2015, has recently been updated to end with an 11.5-foot-tall mile-marker post created by activists protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota — touted as the largest gathering of Native Americans in protest. In other words, the treaties are hardly something relegated to museums and history books but in fact very much an ongoing, present-day concern. On display through 2021. National Museum of the American Indian, Independence Avenue at 4th Street SW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit


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. To March 29. 1701 14th St. NW. Call 202-745-7000 or visit


The National Geographic Museum currently has on display a timely, temporary collection of powerful images from famed National Geographic photographers. Taken together, the photographs offer a glimpse of both what it means to be a woman in the world today and how that’s changed in the 100 years since American women gained the right to vote. The exhibition also includes stories and commentary from female luminaries, among them Melinda Gates, Gloria Allred, Jane Goodall, and Christiane Amanpour. Through Spring. 1145 17th St. NW. Tickets are $15. Call 202-857-7700 or visit

Capital Remodeling and Home show: George Oliphant



Since it opened 15 years ago in a renovated former Art Deco movie palace, the Atlas Performing Arts Center has had a visible impact on its H Street Corridor neighborhood through its regular work in presenting “art that informs, educates, enlightens, and inspires,” as the institution’s executive director Doug Yeuell puts it. That is also essentially the goal of Intersections, a festival that aims to showcase art that makes “a difference in our society, culture and world.” The 11th annual festival, set for the last two weekends in February, will offer over 50 performances from artists ranging from musicians to filmmakers, dancers to speakers. The festival officially launches on Thursday, Feb. 20, with a concert by folk-pop singer Malinda and her band as part of a launch party with light bites and drink starting at 7 p.m. Highlights to come in the opening weekend: a performance of Elizabeth McCain’s one-woman-play A Lesbian Belle Tells… on Saturday, Feb. 21; the dance-theater program Small Creatures featuring the works of choreographers Jess Hoversen and Mariah Lopez, on Sunday, Feb. 22; and the Diaspora program from the gay-led Dissonance Dance Theatre, also on Sunday, Feb. 22. Runs to March 1. 1333 H St. NE. A festival pass is $85; tickets to the Launch Party are $45, or $25 for the concert only; individual ticket prices vary. Call 202-399-7993 or visit for a full schedule and details.


George Oliphant of NBC’s George to the Rescue, the home renovation series featuring interior designers and contractors teaming up to help familes and communities with much-needed home repairs, headlines this show at the Dulles Expo Center. Presented by Marketplace Events, the focus of the February show is on gardening and landscaping. In addition to Oliphant, who appears on the Main Home Stage on Friday, Feb. 21, and Saturday, Feb. 22, attendees to this year’s show will be able to hear and even solicit advice, gather information and purchase services from experts in the home remodeling, renovation, home décor, landscape and garden design fields. All told, more than 300 exhibitors are set to attend. A central feature is on the nearly 3,000 square feet of garden space overseen by three large local garden and landscape companies — Blue Sky Landscaping, Meadows Farms, and Premium Lawn & Landscape — showcasing new looks, techniques, and technology to inspire attendees to start their spring projects in everything from gardening and landscaping, to patios and outdoor furniture, to water features. Also, Merrifield Garden Center will present a Flower Market filled with fresh flowers and plants and related goods for purchase. Friday, Feb. 21, and Saturday, Feb. 22, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 24, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 4320 Chantilly Shopping Center, Virginia. Tickets are $12 at the box office or $9 online, or free for military and first responders on Friday, Feb. 21 and federal employees with government ID on Sunday, Feb. 23. Call 800-274-6948 or visit

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Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @ruleonwriting.

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