Metro Weekly

Out On the Town: DC arts & entertainment highlights — February 6-12

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

Fantastic Fungi: 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


Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema will offer multiple screenings of all the nominees up for Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards leading up to the ceremony, which airs this Sunday, Feb. 9. Several films screen every day, including 1917, Ford v Ferrari, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Little Women, Marriage Story, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, and Parasite. All nine films will be shown on Sunday, Feb. 9. 7235 Woodmont Ave. Call 301-652-7273 or visit for the full schedule.

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 film. 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


Billed as the most popular and enduring screen romance of all time, Casablanca returns for another Valentine’s Day treat from Landmark’s West End Cinema, as part of the venue’s Capital Classics series. The 1943 Oscar-winning drama, directed by Michael Curtiz (Mildred Pierce) and set in the throes of World War II, stars Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. Wednesday, Feb. 12, 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


In the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, Fathom Events and the TCM Big Screen Classics series return to the big screen one of the most romantic films ever made, according to the American Film Institute. The screenings mark the 50th anniversary of Arthur Hiller’s 1970 blockbuster starring Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw. The screenings are framed by insights from TCM Primetime Host Ben Mankiewicz. Sunday, Feb. 9, at 1 p.m., and Wednesday, Feb. 12, 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


Landmark Theatres presents this year’s nominees in the Documentary Shorts category, a 160-minute program that includes Carol Dysinger’s Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (if You’re a Girl), the story of young Afghan girls learning to read, write, and skateboard in Kabul; Life Overtakes Me, a Swedish/American film from John Haptas and Kristine Samuelson about traumatized children of the refugee diaspora who are in such profound despair, they withdraw into a coma-like state; Yi Seung-Jun’s In The Absence, about the families and survivors still seeking justice after a passenger ferry sank off the coast of South Korea in 2014, taking the lives of hundreds of schoolchildren; Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan’s St. Louis Superman, a profile of Bruce Franks Jr., an activist and battle rapper who was elected to the overwhelmingly white and Republican Missouri House of Representatives, and his struggle to pass a bill critical for his community; and Laura Nix’s Walk Run Cha-Cha, about a couple who fell in love as teenagers in Vietnam before the war, but only reunited years later as adults in California. Now playing. Landmark’s West End Cinema, 2301 M St. NW. Call 202-534-1907 or visit


There are five live action shorts nominated at the 92nd Academy Awards, all of which screen locally courtesy of Landmark Theatres in a 104-minute program. The nominees are Meryam Joobeur’s Brotherhood, about a hardened shepherd living in rural Tunisia who is deeply shaken when his oldest son returns home with a mysterious new wife; Yves Piat’s Nefta Football Club, a tale of two young brothers who come across a donkey in the desert wearing headphones over its ears; Marshall Curry’s The Neighbors’ Window, the story of a frustrated American wife and mother whose life is shaken up when she realizes she can see into the apartment of the free-spirited twenty-somethings who have moved in across the street; Bryan Buckley’s Saria, the tale of two inseparable orphaned sisters as they fight against daily abuse and unimaginable hardship in Guatemala; and Delphine Girard’s A Sister, about a Belgian woman in trouble who must make the most important call of her life. Now playing. E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Also Bethesda Row Cinema, 7235 Woodmont Ave. Call 202-452-7672 or visit


CNN offers up a new round of episodes in its historical series about U.S. presidential election campaigns narrated by Mahershala Ali. A few days before the network starts airing the second season, the National Archives Museum will screen the first episode, focused on Barack Obama’s historic defeat of “maverick” Republican Senator John McCain in 2008. A post-screening discussion features panelists including David Axelrod, President Obama’s former chief strategist, Charles R. Black, former chief strategist for Senator McCain, and Barbara A. Perry of the University of Virginia’s Miller Center. Wednesday, Feb. 12, at 7 p.m. The William G. McGowan Theater, Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets NW. Free, but reservations recommended. First-come, first-seated. Call 202-357-5000 or visit


A critic for The Atlantic called Kitty Green’s The Assistant “a subtle horror film for the #MeToo era.” It follows a day in the life of a young aspiring film producer in her work as a junior assistant to a powerful entertainment mogul in the obvious mold of Harvey Weinstein, who is never actually shown. Julia Garner stars. Opens Friday, Feb. 7. Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672 or visit


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, Feb. 14, and Saturday, Feb. 15, at midnight. 555 11th St. NW. Call 202-452-7672 or visit

Gun and Powder — Photo: Christopher Mueller



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


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


Mosaic Theater Company presents a romantic comedy about Muslim and American identity full of unexpected twists from Yussef El Guindi, the Egyptian-American playwright and recipient of the Steinberg New American Play Award. Shirley Serotsky directs. To Feb. 16. Lang Theatre in the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $20 to $65. Call 202-399-7993 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


Jason Tamborini directs Craig Wright’s drama in which a young woman in Minneapolis goes on a blind date the night after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Meanwhile, the woman’s twin sister, a student in New York, has not been heard from. To Feb. 16. Produced by Prologue Theatre. At the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $20 to $35. Call 202-399-7993 or visit


Fractal Theatre Collective, “dedicated to radical, innovative artwork,” presents a new play that focuses on the complexities of trauma and mental health for LGBTQ individuals. Written and directed by Hannah Ruth Wellons, Fractal’s associate artistic director, Rêverie focuses on a woman whose night terrors have grown worse. A woman from her past reappears, questioning the validity of her memories of an incident from 10 years prior and further blurring the lines between reality and dream-state. Ezra Tozian, Amber Monks, Noa Gelb, and Peter Mikhail star. Thursday, Feb. 6, and Friday, Feb. 7, at 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 8, at 3 and 8 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. Lab Theatre I in the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $5 to $20. Call 202-399-7993 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 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 as Adult Men and Tonya Beckman as Adult Women. To Feb. 23. 4545 East-West Highway, Bethesda. Tickets are $50 to $60. Call 240-644-1100 or visit

Merry Wives — Photo: Cameron Whitman


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


Dubbed a “quintessential queer theatrical experience,” Iron Crow’s 10th anniversary production of the Richard O’Brien’s famed cult musical, directed and choreographed by Quae Simpson, will be further enhanced by audience participation stunts and props, and even comes with a special midnight performance on Valentine’s Day. The cast includes Timothy David Copney as Frank ‘N’ Furter, Brett Klock as Brad, Bailey Walker as Janet, and Brandon Shaw McKnight as Rocky. Opens Friday, Feb. 7. Runs to Feb. 16. Baltimore Theatre Project, 45 West Preston St. Tickets are $45, or $55 to $65 for VIP, including on-stage seating. Call 410-752-8558 or visit

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



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. To Feb. 9. 806 S. Broadway, Baltimore. Tickets are $10 to $20. Call 410-563-9135 or visit


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

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



The music of the late, great Starman is performed by an eclectic mix of local acts for a special Valentine’s Day treat in the intimate performance space above all the treats to be had at the H Street location of Dangerously Delicious Pies. The lineup features the Jennifers, Sister Ex, Marshall Keith, Capital Offender, Taildraggers, Seven Door Sedan, Life on Mars, Tobias Hurwitz with Claudia Neuman, plus the promise of other “special guests.” Saturday, Feb. 15. Doors at 7:30 p.m. The Pie Shop DC, 1339 H St. NE. Tickets are $10. Call 202-398-7437 or visit


The other half of the unrivaled folk rock duo Simon & Garfunkel comes to the Barns at Wolf Trap for several intimate concerts to perform from his vast repertoire. Friday, Feb. 7, and Saturday, Feb. 8, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $82 to $97. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit


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


Violinist Simone Porter takes the spotlight as virtuoso soloist bringing to life the sights, sounds, and sensations of the four seasons as evocatively imagined by Vivaldi. Led by FSO Music Director Christopher Zimmerman, the program also includes performance of Ástor Piazzolla’s tango twist on Vivaldi, Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, with string arrangements by Leonid Desyatnikov. A “More Than Notes” discussion with Zimmerman and special guests takes place one hour before the concert. Saturday, Feb. 8, at 8 p.m. Concert Hall in the GMU Center for the Arts, 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax. Tickets are $25 to $55. Call 888-945-2468 or visit


The acclaimed British vocal ensemble Stile Antico and Los Angeles’s Renaissance brass group Tesserae Baroque join Washington’s early music ensemble for a “Bella Italia” concert focused on the music written by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina during the late Italian Renaissance in the 16th century. Set in the acoustically rich great nave of the Washington National Cathedral, the concert also features many works composed by Italian women composers of the same period, including Raffaella Aleotti, Maddalena Casulana, Sulpitia Cesis, and Leonora d’Este. The Consort will be represented by Robert Eisenstein on viol, Christopher Kendall on lute, and Webb Wiggins on portative organ. Robert Aubry Davis, host of WETA’s Around Town, will lead a discussion with the Eisenstein and other performers 90 minutes before the first performance (included in the ticket price). Friday, Feb. 7, and Saturday, Feb. 8, at 8 p.m. Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues NW. Tickets are $30 to $60. Call 202-537-2228 or visit


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


The small chamber ensemble led by the husband-and-wife team of artistic director Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez and executive director and pianist Grace Cho offers a Valentine’s Day program focused on Christian Jost’s contemporary reinterpretation of Dichterliebe (A Poet’s Love), Robert Schumann’s song cycle from 1840 with texts drawn from poet Heinrich Heine’s Lyrisches Intermezzo. While Jost was in the middle of developing his “reimagined” version of the romantic classic, chiefly one featuring a female vocalist rather than the traditional male lead, his wife, mezzo-soprano Stella Doufexis, succumbed to an aggressive form of cancer. Charged with the pain of her death, Jost completed his deconstructed and deeply personal Dichterliebe in 2017 for voice and nine instruments. NOW readies the work’s U.S. premiere with performances featuring mezzo-soprano Devony Smith and tenor Vale Rideout, who will also perform Schumann’s original. Jay Brock directs. Friday, Feb. 14, and Saturday, Feb. 15, at 8 p.m. Live! at 10th and G, 945 G ST. NW. Tickets are $15 to $45, which includes a pre-concert reception with wine and dessert at 7:30 p.m. Call 202-628-4317 or visit


A wide array of talented pop vocalists from around the area are brought together to perform from the Fab Four’s epic catalog of songs celebrating love in its many forms. The seventh iteration of this concert features Ron Newmyer, Todd Wright, Cal Everett, Tom Lofgren along with the Lofgren Brothers (Mike and Mark, but not Nils of the E Street Band), Kipyn Martin, Magical Mystery Girls, Brian Simms, Bumper Jackson Duo, Brandon Combs, Chuck Sullivan, Ronnie Smith, John Trupp, Dave Egelhofer, and Brian Goodard. Saturday, Feb. 8. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $25 to $75. Call 202-787-1000 or visit


An adjunct professor of music at Howard University in the area of jazz voice, the Philadelphia native is presented as the Valentine’s Day treat at the Hill Center, per its Street Scenes concert series curated by Shannon Gunn. A former lead soloist with Howard’s premier vocal jazz ensemble Afro Blue who has also placed high in various vocal competitions, including garnering 1st runner up in the 2014 Sarah Vaughan International Vocal Jazz Competition, Rogers released 16 Moments, her debut solo album, in 2018. Friday, Feb. 14. Doors at 6:30 p.m. Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Tickets are $25 and include a glass of prosecco. Call 202-549-4172 or visit


It’s a crowded stage whenever the headline act is this Jacksonville, Florida-based blues/rock supergroup, with a large, 12-member ensemble formed from the merger of bands led by married couple Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi. It’ll be crowded all around at the Warner Theatre the next two weekends, when the Birchmere and Live Nation present a four-night run that is close to selling out. Tickets remain only for the Friday night shows, Feb. 14, and Feb. 21, at 8 p.m. 513 13th St. NW. Call 202-783-4000 or visit


Folk-rock musician Justin Trawick formed this collective a decade ago as a means to book venues for shows featuring Trawick and fellow local musicians, giving them a bigger audience and opportunities to improvise and collaborate, and giving audiences an easier way to discover a songwriter or band to love. Next week the series ventures north of D.C. to broaden these musicians’ exposure to Maryland suburbanites. Friday, Feb. 7. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Soundry, 10221 Wincopin Circle, Columbia. Tickets are $15 to $20. Call 443-283-1200 or visit


The Hamilton Live! hosts a concert dubbed the official after-party for the Tedeschi Trucks Band shows taking place around the corner at the Warner Theatre. And that’s just the second of two concerts on tap on Saturday, Feb. 15, featuring a supergroup that arose from Crescent City 10 years ago. The New Orleans Suspects features some of the most highly respected players in town, including guitarist Jake Eckert, formerly of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, saxophonist Jeff Watkins (the James Brown Band), pianist CR Gruver, drummer “Mean” Willie Green (Neville Bros.), and bassist Reggie Scanlan (Radiators). The band tours in support of its recent set Live at the Hamilton, capturing the best of a two-night stint from NYE 2018 at the celebrated D.C. venue. 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $30 for the regular show, with doors at 6:30 p.m., and $10 for the After-Party, with doors at 11:30 p.m. Call 202-787-1000 or visit


Considered one of the world’s leading steel drum artists, steel pannist Provost, an adjunct professor of music at George Mason University, offers an Afro-Caribbean-inspired performance with other area jazz artists. Presented as part of the “When Hate Hits Home” series at Joe’s Movement Emporium. Saturday, Feb. 8, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 9, at 4 p.m. 3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mount Rainier, Md. Tickets are $17 to $25. Call 301-699-1819 or visit

Alvin Ailey: Rennie Harris’ “Lazarus” with Daniel Harder (center) — Photo: Paul Kolnik.



The celebrated dance company returns to the Kennedy Center, performing a different mix of repertory works at each performance, but all ending, per tradition, with Revelations, the masterpiece by the company’s namesake, who died of AIDS-related complications in 1989. The lineup includes Darrell Grand Moultrie’s Ounce of Faith, an exuberant expression of what’s possible when a young person is encouraged to dream, A Case of You from the company’s artistic director Judith Jamison, Ode by Jamar Roberts, which reflects on the beauty and fragility of life in a time of growing gun violence, Camille A. Brown’s City of Rain, a quietly intense work that honors the struggle of losing a friend, Greenwood, a new commission from Donald Byrd that sheds light on the 1921 attack by a white mob that destroyed an affluent black neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and an exploration of the infinite possibilities of partnering in Lar Lubovitch’s Fandango. Remaining performances are Thursday, Feb. 6, and Friday, Feb. 7, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 8, at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 9, at 1:30 p.m. Opera House. Tickets are $49 to $199. Call 202-467-4600 or visit for a complete schedule.


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


Ten years since choreographer Tiffany Haughn founded DancEthos, the D.C.-based contemporary dance company returns to where it all started, Dance Place, in a performance showcase of work by Haughn, company member Emilia Kawashima, and guest choreographer Da’Shown Rawl, accompanied by RawArts Dance and the West Shore Piano Trio. Saturday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 16, at 2 p.m. Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Theater, 3225 8th St. NE. Tickets are $20 to $30 for Saturday, including a post-concert reception and dance party, or $10 to $20 for Sunday. Call 202-269-1600 or visit


The New York-based Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana, one of America’s leading flamenco companies, presents its newest production in a performance at Virginia’s Alden Theatre. Reflejos Flamencos celebrates the fundamental emotions connecting us while honoring the individual human spirit inherent in flamenco. Saturday, Feb. 8, at 7 p.m. McLean Community Center, 1234 Ingleside Ave. Tickets are $35 to $40. Call 703-790-0123 or visit


Dance Place showcases globally inspired but locally made dance at this second annual festival featuring D.C.-based dance groups and individual artists. This year’s mixed-bill program features Carpathia Folk Dance Ensemble, which represents folk dances from Central and Eastern Europe, chitra.Moves, exploring Indian dance and hip-hop culture, Gin Dance Company, blending Asian dance heritage and Eastern philosophy with Western movement and culture, the Mexican folk dances of Maru Montero Dance Company, and the Cuban dance-focused company DC Casineros. Saturday, Feb. 8, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 9, at 4 p.m. 3225 8th St. NE. Tickets are $15 to $30. Call 202-269-1600 or visit

Ross Mathews — Photo:



Comedians from New York relive their most awkward sex/dating/relationship moments on stage at this naughty and raunchy annual storytelling event, which returns to the Black Cat. Comedian and Towleroad columnist Bobby Hankinson will add his awkward gay tales to an otherwise all-female show featuring Jen Keefe, Anita Flores, and Karolena Theresa, with host Natalie Wall. Saturday, Feb. 8. Doors at 8 p.m. 1811 14th St. NW. Tickets are $15. Call 202-667-4490 or visit


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


You may remember this cute, gay-friendly straight comic from his regular stints on Chelsea Lately — or from his more recent collaboration with Ross Mathews on the “Josh and Ross” podcast, giving the straight spin on pop culture. The Boston-born, L.A.-based writer/performer returns to the Arlington Drafthouse for another holiday run of shows, this time over Valentine’s Day weekend. Friday, Feb. 14, at 7:30 and 10 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 15, at 7 and 9:30 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m. 2903 Columbia Pike. Tickets are $25. Call 703-486-2345 or visit


It’s been nearly five years since Mathews was seen atop Marriott International’s float, officiating a gay wedding ceremony during the Capital Pride Parade just weeks before the Supreme Court’s historic ruling in favor of same-sex marriage. He’s since popped up all over television, from serving as a regular judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race to coming in second (after Marissa Jaret Winokur) on the first American edition of Celebrity Big Brother. By now, we’ve all gotten to know the funny, sweet man who got his start as the all-caps GAY intern on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno two decades ago. He appears for a night of stand-up as part of a promotional tour for his latest memoir, Name Drop: The Really Good Celebrity Stories I Usually Only Tell at Happy Hour, set for release next week. Sunday, Feb. 9. Doors at 6 p.m. 535 8th St. SE. Tickets are $35, or $100 for VIP Meet & Greet. Call 202-400-3210 or visit



The story of America’s presidents as told through their literary output, and the impact such books have had on politics and society, is the focus of Author in Chief: The Untold Story of Our Presidents and the Books They Wrote, to be published next week by this freelance journalist and historian. From Jefferson to Lincoln, Coolidge to Obama, Fehrman highlights the more interesting and impactful cases in his book. Wednesday, Feb. 12, at noon. William G. McGowan Theater in the 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 Also Wednesday, Feb. 12, at 7 p.m. Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-364-1919 or visit


A gay married couple, Riemer and Brown are professional D.C. attorneys who moonlight as amateur LGBTQ historians and activists on social media, chiefly via their joint Instagram account @lgbt_history, which begat the book We Are Everywhere: Protest, Power, and Pride in the History of Queer Liberation, published last year. Riemer and Brown will discuss their work in documenting “LGBTQ Changemakers” at a free Kennedy Center event presented in conjunction with the Library of Congress. Monday, Feb. 10, at 6 p.m. Millennium Stage. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


Stephanie Garibaldi has long thought of herself as “the Charlie Brown of Valentine’s Day,” but her disdain for the manufactured holiday ended a dozen years ago when she took matters into her own hands and developed the Story District program “Sucker for Love.” As the organization’s director of education, Garibaldi worked with freelance photographer Keith Mellnick to handpick storytellers for a 12th annual Valentine’s Day-themed showcase, coaching them individually and as a group in a series of rehearsals leading up to the big night at the Lincoln Theatre. In addition to co-directors Garibaldi and Mellnick, this year’s cast of storytellers also includes Diane Parker Mullens, Dr. Antwan Perry, Christin Ross, Robin Doody, Sheri Denkensohn-Trott, Adam Stanzione, Erika Ettin, and Nick Newlin. Friday, Feb. 14, at 8 p.m. 1215 U St. NW. Tickets are $30 to $40. Call 202-328-6000 or visit


Story District also makes love the focus of the February edition of its popular second-Tuesday monthly series. A preselected mix of storytellers will compete in “Worst Date Ever,” designed as something of a schadenfreude salve, especially for those who have ever suffered through a horrible date. Take it from Story District’s Stephanie Garibaldi: “I always tell people, if you’re having a really hard time with love, there will be at least somebody up on that stage who has had it worse.” And chances are, a whole handful or two of them. Tuesday, Feb 11. Doors at 6:30 p.m. Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. Tickets are $25 including fee. Call 202-667-4490 or visit


“Stories about reunions, rivalries, intimacies, and intrigues” is the focus of the next round of personal stories shared by Baltimoreans through the Stoop organization. Co-presented and hosted by Baltimore Center Stage, this February show will also feature live music from the Lushpockets before the stories, with food and drink available for purchase. Monday, Feb. 10, starting at 6:30 p.m. 700 N. Calvert Street. Tickets are $15 to $25. Call 410-323-0033 or visit



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 Feb. 8, 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


The National Geographic Society has partnered with the Jane Goodall Institute for an immersive, multimedia exhibition celebrating the intrepid explorer and renowned scientist who has done so much to help humankind better understand our closest living relatives, chimpanzees. Becoming Jane tells Goodall’s story through a hologram-like projection, multi-screen experiences, iconic images, and augmented-reality features, including a virtual 3D expedition to the park in Tanzania where she launched her groundbreaking career 60 years ago and ultimately helped pioneer the genre of nature documentary as the subject of National Geographic’s very first television program. The exhibition highlights the key breakthroughs and scientific achievements of Goodall’s career while also showcasing her more recent work in conservation. On display through the summer of 2020. National Geographic Museum, 1145 17th St. NW. Call 202-857-7588 or visit


Works by local travel photographer and visual artist Golie Miamee are featured as the Winter 2020 exhibit at Art14, the seasonal art series at the Coldwell Banker Dupont/Logan office on 14th Street. Opening Reception is Thursday, Feb. 6, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. On display to March. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, 1617 14th St. NW. Call 202-387-6180 or visit


The small, private LGBTQ-run Long View Gallery welcomes three new artists to D.C. for its first show of 2020. Works by Jeremy Brown, Bryan Coleman, and Ken Schiano will be featured at the Shaw gallery. Through Feb. 16. 1234 9th St. NW. Call 202-232-4788 or visit


Since the first full week in January, MK Bailey has been constructing a life-size, evolving collage in the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop through her work as the 2020 Gallery Artist Resident. This planned, five-week installation will continue to grow and adapt as Bailey responds to the gallery environment, and the evolution of the work will be documented through a series of paintings Bailey will make over the course of her residency. Bailey is a D.C.-based artist known for her oil paintings exploring themes of femininity, kinship, and death that are often unexpectedly colorful images at the individual level but that tell a darker narrative when layered and collaged together. Bailey will be in residency until Feb. 10. Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 7th St. SE. Call 202-547-6839 or visit


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, 8 of them from Virginia or the D.C. area: Veronica Barker-Barzel, Miki Beyer, Aurele Gould, Linda Hesh, Annika Papke, Lucas J. Rougeux, Todd Stonnell, and Matt Storm. Also represented are Adam David Bencomo, Mandy Chesney, and Cat Gunn, all from Baltimore. “My Queer Valentine is as much a love letter to ourselves as it is a disclosing of longing to our community,” Johnson says in a press note about the show. 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


Before it became a gay desert mecca and a resort for the rich and famous, Palm Springs was a desert outpost — as well as home to the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation. The National Museum of the American Indian shines a light on a land battle in Palm Springs, yet another in a long string of conflicts between western expansion and Indigenous peoples’ rights. The focus is on Section 14, a one-square-mile tract in downtown Palm Springs that forms the heart of the reservation. The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians created the exhibition, which was organized by the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum. Ends Feb. 17. National Museum of the American Indian, Independence Avenue at 4th Street SW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit


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. To Feb. 15. Adah Rose Gallery, 3766 Howard Ave. Kensington, Md. Call 301-922-0162 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, Joshua Dean, plus “more guests TBA!” Thursday, Feb. 14, at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $29.50. Call 703-549-7500 or visit


The Baltimore burlesque troupe presents its 11th annual Valentine’s “Tassels & Champagne” show, with this year’s theme, “We Love You Baltimore.” Baltimore favorites on tap to perform include Kittie Glitter, the femcee of Elvis’ Birthday Fight Club, Naimah, tribal belly dancer and co-director of “Art of the Belly,” “Butter-faced Beauty Queen” Betty O’Hellno, Tapitha Kix of Twisted Knickers Burlesque, “Baltimore’s Sicilian Queen” Maria Bella, and three Gilded Lily stars: Ruby Spruce aka “The Attractive Nuisance of Baltimore Burlesque,” GiGi Holliday aka “Chocolate That Melts Your Heart” and “The Uncontainable Mourna Handful.” There’ll also be a Moonstruck Market featuring handmade burlesque accessories from local vendors and a V-Day Photo Booth brought to you by Mab’s Mobile Midway. Friday, Feb. 14, at 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. Creative Alliance at the Patterson, 3134 Eastern Ave. Baltimore. Tickets are $25 to $28, or $63 to $68 for two tickets and a bottle of Champagne, $135 for two tickets, a reserved table, bubbly, and chocolates. Call 410-276-1651 or visit


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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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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