Avalon Theatre: Fantastic Fungi
Louie Schwartzberg’s entertaining documentary shines a light on the many ways mycelium and mushrooms can heal and save the planet, as responses to pressing medical, therapeutic, and environmental challenges. Narrated by actress Brie Larson, the film features insights and observations from bestselling authors and journalists Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma) and Eugenia Bone (Mycophilia: Revelations from the Weird World of Mushrooms), medicinal fungi advocate Paul Stramets, and best-selling author and alternative medicine doctor Andrew Weil (Spontaneous Healing). Wednesday March 11, at 8 p.m., followed by post-screening Q&A with Stephen Apkon, an executive producer of the film. At the Avalon Theatre, 5612 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets are $10.50 to $13. Call 202-966-6000 or visit www.theavalon.org.
Steve Coogan stars as a fictional retail fashion magnate in this British satire of today’s super-rich, the latest from writer-director Michael Winterbottom. Greed is set in Mykonos, the popular Greek island resort, where Coogan’s character has retreated for a blowout 60th birthday celebration, accompanied by an entourage including his ex-wife and a journalist he’s hired as his official biographer. The celebration doesn’t go at all as planned in this mockumentary-style comedy/drama that touches on the excesses of corporate capitalism and the exploitation of the poor by the rich — specifically, the still-widespread use of sweatshop labor in the fashion industry. With Isla Fisher and David Mitchell. Opens Friday, March 6. Area theaters. Visit www.fandango.com.
The latest animated adventure from Disney-Pixar follows a Dungeons & Dragons-esque story of two teenage elf brothers who set out on a quest to discover if magic still exists, as well as to reconnect with their deceased father. Inspired by filmmaker Dan Scanlon’s own life — chiefly the loss of his father when he and his brother were young — Onward features Tom Holland Chris Pratt giving voice to the brothers, while Julia Louis-Dreyfus voices the mother, and Kyle Bornheimer the father. Octavia Spencer, Lena Waithe, Ali Wong, Tracy Ullman, and Wilmer Valderrama are part of the supporting cast. Opens Friday, March 6. Area theaters. Visit www.fandango.com.
Jean Poiret’s original farcical French play La Cage aux Folles inspired a 1978 French classic, a Broadway musical, and this 1996 big-budget Hollywood adaptation by Mike Nichols. In this version, the gay couple at the story’s center is played by Robin Williams and Nathan Lane (who didn’t officially come out until two years later). They’re supported by a stellar cast including Gene Hackman, Dianne Wiest, Christine Baranski, Dan Futterman, Calista Flockhart, and Hank Azaria. Two area Alamo Drafthouse locations present The Birdcage as part of their “Remakes & Hot Takes” series (“some are revered, some are controversial, all are worth another look”). Tuesday, March 10, at 7:20 p.m. Alamo Drafthouse – One Loudoun, 20575 Easthampton Plaza, Ashburn, Va. Tickets are $10. Call 571-293-6808. Also Wednesday, March 11, at 7:20 p.m. Alamo Drafthouse – Woodbridge, 15200 Potomac Town Place, Ste. 100, Woodbridge, Va. Tickets are $10. Call 571-260-4413. Visit www.drafthouse.com/northern-virginia.
THE RUINS OF LIFTA
Voices from the Holy Land series, now in its sixth season and sponsored by an interfaith coalition of more than 40 area organizations, screen documentaries focused on the Israel-Palestine conflict. Next weekend’s offering focuses on an Arab village whose residents were driven out during the Arab-Israeli war in 1948, and to this day remains relatively untouched. Most other such villages have either been destroyed or repopulated by Israelis, and in fact, there has been a plan in the works to redevelop Lifta as an upscale neighborhood. Yet an ad-hoc Israeli-Palestinian coalition in favor of preserving the site as an Arab village has helped to stymie such plans. Sunday March 15, at 2 p.m. Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, 4444 Arlington Blvd. Free. Call 703-892-2565 or visit www.voicesfromtheholyhland.org.
The stunning rise of Israel’s Shas political party is brought to life through the lens of one father’s improbable campaign to defend his daughter and speak out against routine discrimination and treatment of Sephardic Jews as second-class citizens. Set in 1983, Eliran Malka’s The Unorthodox has been a hit on the Jewish film festival circuit, and comes to the Edlavitch DCJCC, in a co-presentation by Sephardic Heritage International DC, for a one-week engagement. In Hebrew with English subtitles. Screenings are Friday, March 6, at 1 p.m., Saturday, March 7, 6 and 8:10 p.m., Sunday, March 8, at 3 and 5:10 p.m., and Tuesday, March 10, through Thursday, March 12, at 7 p.m. Cafritz Hall, 1529 16th St. NW. Tickets are $9 to $13. Call 202-777-3210 or visit www.jxjdc.org.
THE WAY BACK
There is still talk of a sequel — and also possibly a TV series spinoff — of The Accountant, the 2016 thriller directed by Gavin O’Connor and starring Ben Affleck as an autistic number-crunching action hero. Meanwhile, O’Connor and Affleck reunite for a sports drama about an out-of-control alcoholic who is given the chance to reclaim his life and career as the new head coach of his alma mater’s basketball team. With Al Madrigal, Michaela Watkins, Janina Gavankar, and Glynn Turman. Opens Friday, March 6. Area theaters. Visit www.fandango.com.
THE WILD BUNCH (DIRECTOR’S CUT)
Upon its release in 1969, Sam Peckinpah’s revisionist western disturbed viewers and critics alike for its graphic violence (tame by today’s standards). Starring William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, and Warren Oates, The Wild Bunch has gone on to earn recognition by the Library of Congress’ U.S. National Film Registry, the American Film Institute’s 1998 list, “100 Years…100 Movies” (where it ranked No. 80), and “AFI’s 10 Top 10: Western” list (No. 6). Landmark’s West End Cinema presents three screenings of the 1995 re-release that restored 10 minutes, filling in gaps from the original American theatrical version. Wednesday, March 11, at 1:30, 4:30, and 7:30 p.m. 2301 M St. NW. Happy hour is from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $12.50. Call 202-534-1907 or visit www.landmarktheatres.com.
Boy — Photo: Cameron Whitman
ADA AND THE ENGINE
Playwright Lauren Gunderson (Shakespeare Theatre’s Peter Pan and Wendy) offers a whimsical and inspirational scientific history lesson about Ada Lovelace, best known as the only legitimate child of the poet Lord Byron and also as wife to Charles Babbage, called “the father of the computer.” In fact, Gunderson’s tale posits that Babbage may have invented the hardware, or “analytic engine” of the machine, but Lovelace is responsible for inventing “the language, the song, the soul of the thing, the programming.” Ada and the Engine rotates dates with Suddenly Last Summer. Previews begin March 8. To April 5. Gunston Arts Center, Theater Two, 2700 South Lang St. Arlington. Tickets are $40. Call 703-418-4804 or visit www.wscavantbard.org.
A year after Andy Blankenbuehler won the 2016 Tony Award as Best Choreography for Hamilton, he would repeat the feat, this time for his work on Bandstand, which he also directed. And he’s continued in that dual capacity with the touring production of the poignant musical by Richard Oberacker and Robert Taylor. Bandstand centers on a group of American soldiers, newly returned from World War II, who form a band to enter a national competition seeking music’s next big thing. Remaining performances are Thursday, March 5, at 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 6, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, March 7, and Sunday, March 8, at 2 and 8 p.m. National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Tickets are $54 to $99. Call 202-628-6161 or visit www.thenationaldc.org.
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 www.keegantheatre.com.
The title was the name of a young enslaved woman in pre-Civil War America determined to gain her and her child’s freedom. In this chamber musical from the creators of Ragtime, Dessa is aided in her cause by a disaffected Southern belle named Ruth. The unlikely pair’s adventure is brought back to the stage for a one-night-only production at Olney Theatre Center. Awa Sal Secka and Gracie Jones star. Friday, March 6, at 8 p.m. Mainstage, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Tickets are $60. Call 301-924-3400 or visit www.olneytheatre.org.
HEAD OVER HEELS
Promoted as a show offering “all the drama of a 16th-century romance with a queer twist,” Head Over Heels is most easily described as a jukebox musical featuring the hits of the Go-Gos. Tony-winning writer Jeff Whitty (Avenue Q) first got the notion to blend the female quartet’s fun and effervescent pop with Philip Sidney’s sprawling, sensational Renaissance prose poem The Arcadia for an upbeat celebration of love and identity, and all those, you might say, who’ve got the beat. Head Over Heels features numerous characters questioning their sexuality, experimenting with their gender identity, and pursuing queer relationships, all while taking heed (or not) of the gender-fluid, nonbinary oracle, Pythio (Topher Williams). Monumental Theatre Company kicks off its new season with the company’s Jimmy Mavrikes directing. Opens March 5. To March 23. Ainslie Arts Center in Episcopal High School, 3900 W. Braddock Rd., Alexandria. Tickets are $40. Call 703-933-3000 or visit www.monumentaltheatre.org.
QUEENS GIRL: BLACK IN THE GREEN MOUNTAINS
With this world-premiere production at Baltimore’s Everyman Theatre, playwright Caleen Sinnette Jennings completes the Queens Girl trilogy she launched in 2015 with Queens Girl in the World at Theater J. Chronicling the adventures of bright-eyed, brown-skinned Jacqueline Marie Butler, the first play explored the young girl’s dawning sense of self as a young black girl in the Civil Rights era. It was followed by last year’s Queens Girl in Africa, exploring her family’s move to Nigeria in the wake of the assassination of Malcolm X. Now, Butler returns to the U.S. for college in Vermont in the era of a raging Vietnam War and heightened tensions on college campuses after the Kent State killings. Felicia Curry stars and Paige Hernandez directs. The play christens a new, 211-seat performance space in Everyman’s complex. To April 12. Upstairs Theatre, 315 West Fayette St. Baltimore. Tickets are $59 to $69. Call 410-752-2208 or visit www.everymantheatre.org.
Two co-workers — one black, one white — are driven apart by the machinations of their boss in a tense workplace thriller by playwright Joel Drake Johnson. The situation spins wildly out of control in this incisive, even incendiary, dark comedy that examines the prevalence of ingrained racism in America, even in a time, and a place, some claim to be “post-racial.” The Ally Theatre Company’s Ty Hallmark directs the show to close out the third season of her young but already Helen Hayes Award-winning organization, one focused on producing theater intended to acknowledge and confront systemic oppression in America. Opens Friday, March 6. To March 22. Joe’s Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mount Rainier, Md. Tickets are $15 to $25. Call 301-699-1819 or visit www.joesmovement.org.
Suddenly Last Summer — Photo: DJ Corey
SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER
This one-act play Tennessee Williams has all the hallmarks you’d expect from the playwright: exotic locales, tortured psyches, lyrical language, and Williams’ knack for creating vivid, unforgettable characters. The focus is on an elderly New Orleans socialite mourning the death of her poet son while trying to squelch details about his mysterious death. Of course, it doesn’t exactly work, although the truth of what exactly happened remains vague. The prevailing theory, and certainly most sensational, suggests that her son’s homosexuality was a factor. Christopher Henley directs. In rep with Ada and the Engine. To April 5. Gunston Arts Center, Theater Two, 2700 South Lang St. Arlington. Tickets are $40. Call 703-418-4804 or visit www.wscavantbard.org.
THE 39 STEPS
Actors cast in this comedic adaptation of one of Alfred Hitchcock’s early works certainly can’t phone in their performance — particularly not those, such as Gwen Grastorf and Christopher Walker, cast in Constellation Theatre Company’s new production as what the program simply lists as a “Cast of Dozens” (there are over 100 roles in all). Constellation’s production stars Drew Kopas as a British everyman who gets ensnared in a spy ring, then proceeds to have romantic dalliances along the way to clearing his name. Patricia Hurley does triple duty as his three paramours. Extended to March 15. Source Theatre, 1835 14th St. NW. Tickets are $19 to $55. Call 202-204-7741 or visit www.constellationtheatre.org.
Up-and-coming gay playwright Jordan Harrison (Marjorie Prime) offers a mind-bending journey from the 14th Century to the present day — or, in plague terms, from the Black Death to the AIDS crisis by focusing on a troupe of bumbling actors staging “Noah’s Ark.” Olney’s production stars Emily Townley, Michael Russotto, Evan Casey, Rachel Zampelli, John Keabler, and James Konicek. To April 5. Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab, Olney Theatre Center, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Tickets are $59 to $64. Call 301-924-3400 or visit www.olneytheatre.org.
A devout and conservative cake baker in North Carolina tries not to think too hard, or much at all, about the complexities of things or the discrepancies of religious teachings. Until the girl she helped raise returns home to marry another woman. Bekah Brunstetter’s play was inspired by the U.S. Supreme Court case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Dawn A. Westbrook directs. Through March 7. Richmond Triangle Players, The Robert B. Moss Theatre, 1300 Altamont Ave. Richmond. Tickets are $10 to $35. Call 804-346-8113 or visit www.rtriangle.org.
Nu Sass Productions, the female-focused local theater company, presents a modern retelling of the Latin folktale “La Llorona,” or “The Weeping Woman,” centered on a woman accused of drowning her two children and the public defense attorney assigned to her high-profile case. Boneza Valdez Hanchock and Carolyn Kashner play the two women who form an unlikely friendship in this psychological thriller, written by D.C. playwright Amanda Zeitler, that touches on hot-button issues of racism, abortion, immigration, and misogyny. Bess Kaye directs. Now to March 14. Caos on F, 923 F St. NW. Tickets are $20. Call 202-215-6993 or visit www.nusass.com.
A CAPPELLA LIVE!
AMP, Strathmore’s intimate cabaret venue, presents a modern twist on the classic touring Motown revue next weekend when four a cappella acts share the stage. The lineup includes the charming, boy band-inspired the Filharmonic, established gospel/R&B group Committed, American Idol-popularized electronic/dance artist and beatboxer Blake Lewis, and the international collective Women of the World. The concert is overseen by Deke Sharon, a leading force behind NBC’s The Sing-Off, which gave the world Pentatonix. Sharon was also the arranger and music director of the Pitch Perfect movies. Friday, March 6. Doors at 6:30 p.m. Amp by Strathmore, 11810 Grand Park Ave. North Bethesda. Tickets are $42 to $68. Call 301-581-5100 or visit www.ampbystrathmore.com.
BERNARD/EBB SONGWRITING AWARDS CONCERT
Some of the area’s best and most original music artists will perform at this 6th annual competition created by Cathy Bernard in honor of her late uncle Fred Ebb, the legendary lyricist responsible, with his writing partner John Kander, for an abundance of major Broadway musicals, including Cabaret and Chicago. The Bernard/Ebb trophy is open to songwriters working in various genres, all drawn from a local pool of applicants (more than 160 entries were received this year). Produced by the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District, the 2020 finalists are Hayley Fahey of Derwood, Md., Genna Matthew of Charlottesville, Eric Scott of North Beach, Md., Maimouna Youssef of Baltimore, and DuPont Brass, a D.C. ensemble. A three-person jury of music industry veterans will give feedback throughout the show and then select the Grand Prize Winner and recipient of $10,000 plus 25 hours of recording studio time. Friday, March 13, at 7:30 p.m. Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club, 7719 Wisconsin Ave. Tickets are $15 to $20, plus a recommended $20 minimum purchase per person. Call 240-330-4500 or visit www.bethesdabluesjazz.com.
BRUCE HORNSBY & YMUSIC
You can always count on Bruce Hornsby to perform in concert his sentimental, richly textured ’80s pop hits, including “The Way It Is,” “Mandolin Rain,” and “The Valley Road.” But the singer-songwriter from Williamsburg, Virginia, has a vast catalogue that goes well beyond the tried and true. His newest album, Absolute Zero, is a wide-ranging set that includes forays into experimental jazz fusion, avant-garde classical as well as progressive rock. The 2019 album finds Hornsby collaborating with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon on a couple of strong selections, and roughly half of the tracks feature yMusic, the extraordinary Brooklyn-based contemporary classical chamber ensemble featuring a string trio, flute, clarinet, and trumpet. Next week at Strathmore, both acts will perform individual sets, but the key attraction is to see them join forces and jam together. Friday, March 6, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, Md. Tickets are $38 to $88. Call 301-581-5100 or visit www.strathmore.org.
Over the past few months, Christian Douglas has managed the feat of breaking into the competitive local theater scene as an ensemble member in two high-profile musicals — Newsies at Arena Stage and Gun & Powder at Signature Theatre. Douglas is preparing to branch out further as a 2020 Artist in Residence at Strathmore. Douglas gets the spotlight for two shows set for March, in which he’ll perform songs from his EP Lonely Paradise, as well as “Modern Love,” his Strathmore-commissioned song cycle inspired by a New York Times column of the same name. Wednesdays, March 11 and March 25, at 7:30 p.m. 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Tickets are $19. Call 301-581-5100 or visit www.strathmore.org.
It’s been 42 years since one of the first and certainly one of the defining hardcore punk bands formed in San Francisco. Last year, the Dead Kennedys released the live compilation album DK40, which they continue to support on tour. Opening sets from Canadian hardcore act D.O.A. and Maryland’s “poop punk” veterans in Dingleberry Dynasty. Wednesday, March 11. Doors at 7 p.m. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $30. Call 202-265-0930 or visit www.930.com.
FRANK SOLIVAN & DIRTY KITCHEN
Increasingly regarded as one of the genre’s best contemporary bands, the local progressive bluegrass act — or, if you prefer, New Acoustic American Roots Music — earned a Grammy nomination for its 2015 album Cold Spell. Solivan and his Dirty Kitchen crew of banjoist Mike Munford, guitarist Chris Luquette, and bassist Jeremy Middleton next take to Falls Church’s State Theatre for what is billed as “a very special show on Frank Solivan’s birthday weekend.” Pierce Edens and the 19th Street Band will serve as opening acts. Sunday, March 8. Doors at 6 p.m. 220 North Washington St., Falls Church. Tickets are $17 to $20. Call 703-237-0300 or visit www.thestatetheatre.com.
FXCK SXSW: A LOCAL SHOWCASE
Every year for a week in mid-March, local concert venues and the overall live music scene in D.C. becomes just a wee bit darker and quieter — just enough to make you remember that, indeed, the country’s biggest music festival is now getting underway in Austin. Not everyone can go to South By Southwest, of course. And for those stuck in D.C., the Black Cat once again presents a special showcase of local acts set on the Austin festival’s opening night. This year’s lineup includes The OSYX (pronounced “06”), a post-punk, all-female supergroup consisting of Erin Frisby, Ara Casey, Selena Benally, Robzie Trulove, and Maya Renfro, all of whom are also principals in This Could Go Boom!, a record label and presenting organization specifically geared to fellow “womxn and non-binary musicians”; Too Free, the experimental, improvisational electronic pop trio of Awad Bilal, Don Godwin, and Carson Cox; and Nice Breeze, featuring the “abstract poet punks” Andy Fox, John Howard, and Martha Hamilton. Friday, March 13. Doors at 8 p.m. Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. Tickets are $12 to $15. Call 202-667-4490 or visit www.blackcatdc.com.
GAY MEN’S CHORUS OF WASHINGTON: GENDEROSITY
For its fourth concert of the season, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington offers a glam-rock spectacle celebrating gender and self-expression. Naturally, the program includes over-the-top costumes, dancers, and drag queens to go well beyond the music. GMCW’s Thea Kano will direct the concert with choreography by Craig Cipollini, James Ellzy, and Danny Aldous. The song list ranges from “Dancing Queen” to “Vogue,” “Changes” to “Born This Way,” along with musical numbers from La Cage Aux Folles (“A Little More Mascara”), The Wiz (“Home”), and Aida (“My Strongest Suit”). Joining the chorus on stage as the program’s special guest will be Batalá, D.C.’s diverse, all-women percussion group. Saturday, March 14, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, March 15, at 3 p.m. Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. Tickets are $25 to $65. Call 202-328-6000 or visit www.thelincolndc.com.
You might call singer-songwriter Gina Chavez a missionary for intersectionality. Chavez, who describes herself as “half-Mexican, half-Swiss German, and fully Texan,” touches on issues related to her faith, religion, and love in her folk-pop songs, which she performs live accompanied by a five-piece band of fellow Austin-based musicians. Friday, March 6. Doors at 7 p.m. Jammin Java, 227 Maple Ave. E. Vienna. Tickets are $20. Call 703-255-3747 or visit www.jamminjava.com.
GUDELL JAZZ SYNDICATE
A once-familiar presence performing in musical productions around town, Tony Gudell has altered course slowly but surely over the last decade, restyling himself as an increasingly in-demand nightclub singer and jazz vocalist. Case in point: Gudell has spent the past year as a monthly performer with a backing band at Logan Circle’s the Crown & Crow. And with the advent of March, that swanky Victorian-styled venue decided it wants more, inviting Gudell and company to become the “official house band” with performances twice monthly. As before, the exact lineup accompanying Gudell varies, although it usually consists of either Oren Levine or Terry Marshall on piano, Mark Saltman or Gerhard Graml on bass, and Christian Clark on percussion. What doesn’t change is the focus on swinging, crooning classics from the first half of the 20th Century, a golden era for jazz and pop. The repertoire ranges from hits by the Rat Pack to American Songbook standards, and all intended to “evoke a mid-century Vegas vibe.” Saturday, March 14 and March 28, from 9 p.m. to midnight. 1317 14th St. NW. No cover or minimum purchase required. Call 202-763-7552 or visit www.thecrownandcrow.com, or www.tonygudell.com for more details and additional dates.
ON A WINTER’S NIGHT: 25TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR
Cliff Eberhardt, John Gorka, Patty Larkin, Christine Lavin, and Cheryl Wheeler reunite to perform and celebrate a “moveable feast of song,” also dubbed a mini-folk festival. Ultimately, the concert pays tribute to the 1994 compilation that Lavin assembled featuring winter love songs from some of her favorite singer-songwriters. Saturday, March 7, at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $$45. Call 703-549-7500 or visit www.birchmere.com.
RED BARAAT W/ANJALI TANEJA
Jazz artist Sunny Jain conceived of and leads the bhangra-rooted party band Red Baraat, a Brooklyn-based ensemble returning to D.C. on their annual Festival of Colors tour. This year’s party, which celebrates spring rites as well as the South Asian Diaspora in America, features an opening set from Anjali Taneja, a D.C.-based R&B singer-songwriter who weaves together soulful melodic elements with South Asain rhythmic influences. Friday, March 6. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $25. Call 202-787-1000 or visit www.thehamiltondc.com.
Born into a family of Cuban musicians, this world-renowned jazz pianist spent years touring with Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club and Cuba’s greatest living diva, Omara Portuondo. Fonseca is currently touring in support of his ninth solo album, the wide-ranging 2019 set Yesun, which finds rap, funk, reggaeton, and electronica mixed in with his standard jazz. Calling it “the album I’ve always wanted to make,” the artist says in an official release that Yesun, ultimately, “presents a Cuba without borders,” one that “bridges…my Afro-Cuban traditions and other styles of music I’ve absorbed.” Tuesday, March 10. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $24.75 to $49.75. Call 202-787-1000 or visit www.thehamiltondc.com.
THE CHUCK BROWN BAND
The godfather of go-go may have died in 2012, but his namesake band keeps go-going. The jazz festival staple and powerhouse ensemble of danceable funk and soul grooves, and leading arbiter of what is now recognized as the official music of D.C., returns for another go-go round down on the Wharf and in the intimate Pearl Street Warehouse. Saturday, March 7. Doors at 7 p.m. 33 Pearl St. SW. Tickets are $25 to $35. Call 202-380-9620 or visit www.pearlstreetwarehouse.com.
The protagonist in Mozart’s anti-hero classic Don Giovanni fashions himself a real Don Juan, aiming to seduce and conquer all of the beautiful women he encounters, whatever it takes. Eventually, however, “time’s up” for Giovanni in this celebrated tragicomedy. Ryan McKinny takes on the title role in a Washington National Opera production directed by E. Loren Meeker and choreographed by Eric Sean Fogel. WNO Principal Conductor Evan Rogister leads the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra. In Italian with English surtitles. To March 22. Opera House. Tickets are $45 to $299. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.
Russian National Ballet: Cinderella — Alexander Daev
MARTHA GRAHAM DANCE COMPANY: THE EVE PROJECT
For its return to the Kennedy Center, the dance company named after the woman widely regarded as the mother of modern dance presents a collection of new commissions inspired by the late Graham’s work plus several of her signature classics. Another celebratory nod to the 19th Amendment’s centennial, the EVE Project features new works including Untitled (Souvenir) by Pam Tanowitz and Lamentation Variations by Aszure Barton, Liz Gerring, and Michelle Dorrance, each riffing on Graham’s iconic solo of the same name. Repertory works to be presented at various performances include Graham’s Diversion of Angels, Ekstasis, and Chronicle. Thursday, March 5, through Saturday, March 7, at 8 p.m. Performances are followed by a free talk with company artists, collaborators, and creative team members. Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $25 to $69. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.
RUSSIAN NATIONAL BALLET
The grand national tradition of major Russian ballet works is the bread and butter of this 50-member company, which returns to George Mason University to present four classics over the course of a weekend. Under the direction of legendary Bolshoi principal Elena Radchenko, the company kicks things off Friday, March 6, at 8 p.m., with Tchaikovsky’s beloved fairytale Sleeping Beauty through exquisite choreography originally created by Marius Petipa and presented in an opulent production. At the Hylton Performing Arts Center, 10960 George Mason Circle, in Manassas, Va. Tickets are $33 to $55. Call 703-993-7759 or visit www.hyltoncenter.org. It’s followed on Saturday, March 7, at 8 p.m., with two beautifully tragic one-act ballets — Tchaikovsky’s passionate, star-crossed Romeo and Juliet (choreographed by Radchenko), and an adaptation of Bizet’s Carmen, featuring the work of choreographer Alberto Alonso and composer Rodion Shehedrin. The weekend concludes on Sunday, March 8, at 2 p.m. with Radchenko’s grand take on Prokofiev’s Cinderella. Concert Hall in the Center for the Arts, 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax. Tickets are $34 to $56 per performance. Call 888-945-2468 or visit www.cfa.gmu.edu.
Dulcé Sloan — Photo courtesy of Loshak
COMEDY AS A SECOND LANGUAGE
A show President Trump doesn’t want you to see, Maryland’s Improbable Comedy continues to enlist more immigrants and first-generation comics for another stand-up showcase. Taking the stage at the Silver Spring Black Box Theatre are Pedro Gonzalez, Rahmein Mostafavi, Shelley Kim, and Sofia Javed. Saturday, March 14, at 8 p.m. 8641 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $20 to $30. Call 301-588-8270 or visit www.improbablecomedy.com.
RIOT! COMEDY EVENT FEATURING MARGARET CHO
The Kennedy Center honors International Women’s Day with a star-studded night of comedy including veteran queer comic Cho, Daily Show with Trevor Noah breakout Dulcé Sloan, Sasheer Zamata of Saturday Night Live fame, Jen Kirkman of Chelsea Lately and Drunk History as well as her multiple hit Netflix stand-up specials, and Catherine Cohen, host of a weekly show at Alan Cumming’s East Village bar Club Cumming. Sunday, March 8, at 8 p.m. Concert Hall. Tickets are $29 to $69. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.
In 2018, McCormick became the first queer comic to headline an event at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture. Raised in D.C., McCormick appreciates how the comedy scene overall has become more welcoming and inclusive since he started in stand-up well more than a dozen years ago. Now based in L.A., McCormick returns home for his debut at the DC Comedy Loft with a run of shows this weekend. Paris Sashay opens. Thursday, March 5, at 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 6, at 8 and 10 p.m., and Saturday, March 7, at 7:30 and 9:15 p.m. The Cellar Stage, 1523 22nd St. NW. Tickets are $20, plus two-item food/beverage minimum. Call 202-293-1887 or visit www.dccomedyloft.com.
READINGS & LECTURES
(HER)STORY: ALL-BLACK WOMAN POETRY SHOWCASE
Presented by the local queer black writer/activst C. Thomas, this showcase features works of poetry that generally celebrate the strength of black women, touch on the wisdom they’ve gained as passed down from relatives and ancestors, and share experiences of joy and pain and healing. KaNikki Jakarta, the Poet Laureate of Alexandria, hosts the evening, which features writers Gail Danley, Theresa Tha Songbird, Miss Butterfly Free, and Luki. Friday, March 6, at 7 p.m. The Athenaeum, 201 Prince St., Alexandria. Tickets are $10. Call 703-548-0035 or visit www.nvfaa.org.
An artist and illustrator whose work is frequently featured in the New Yorker, Kalman’s latest project is an illustrated edition of the Gertrude Stein’s classic book from 1933 that shed light on the life and times of her life partner, Alice B. Toklas. Full of color and Kalman’s signature sense of whimsy, the paintings, more than 60 in all, are intended to complement the text, but more importantly to add a new dimension to the work: through depictions of Stein at her desk, following visitors such as Sylvia Beach and Man Ray, and evoking “the unique modernist ferment that was 27 rue de Fleurus.” Sunday, March 8, at 5 p.m. Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-364-1919 or visit www.politics-prose.com.
STORY DISTRICT: SHE COMES FIRST
Every second Tuesday, Story District presents a program featuring everyday people sharing personal stories they’ve been coached to tell in seven minutes, and all focused on a particular topic. For March, which is Women’s History Month, the program focuses on “stories about women taking a stand, turning the tables, and breaking the ceiling,” all told one at a time. Storytellers including Qudsiya Naqui, Yasmin Elhady, Jenna Huntsberger, Janelle Brevard, Molly Kelly, Anne Hofmann, Coby Ones, Jasmine Jones, and HRC’s Charlotte Clymer. Tuesday, March 10. Doors at 6:30 p.m. Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. Tickets are $20 plus fees. Call 202-667-4490 or visit blackcatdc.com.
Hill Center Galleries Regional Juries Exhibition — Fruit of the Harvest: Sam Dixon
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 March 7, 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.
BEHIND THE LENS FEATURING GOLIE MIAMEE
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. On display to March. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, 1617 14th St. NW. Call 202-387-6180 or visit www.facebook.com/CBRBDupont.
HILL CENTER GALLERIES: REGIONAL JURIED EXHIBITION
Over the years, this exhibition, featuring works in various mediums and subjects, has grown to include 85 artists from D.C., Virginia, and Maryland. This year’s juror is Myrtis Bedolla, owner of Baltimore’s Galerie Myrtis. Bedolla selected 94 pieces of original hanging work, in any medium, submitted by 85 artists, including Kasse Andrews-Weller, Olga Bauer, Katherine Becker, Julie Byrne, Sally Canzoneri, Sam Dixon, Sean Dudley, Christopher Fowler, Charles Gaynor, M. Alexander Gray, Tara Hamilton, Wan Lee, Joey Manlapaz,Khanh Nguyen, Felicia Reed, Robert Weinstein, and Alla Zareva. On display to April 18. At the Old Naval Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Call 202-549-4172 or visit www.HillCenterDC.org.
MIGRATIONS & MEANING(S) IN ART
A new exhibition at the Maryland Institute College of Art features a diverse range of local, national, and international visual artists exploring the timely topic of migration, many of them drawing on historical reference points, from slavery and emancipation, to the Great Migration, to migrant communities in the Caribbean, the Americas, Africa, Europe, and Asia. Scholar and artist Deborah Willis of New York University curated the show per her role as the visiting chair of photography at MICA. Willis selected works across various media — photography, prints, video, animation, and sculpture — touching on “how identities are realized, rejected, performed, and desired,” as well as to the urgency of the present time. Artists and collectives included in the exhibition are Leslie King-Hammond, Albert Chong, Renée Cox, Carrie Mae Weems, Danny Wilcox Frasier, Tsedaye Makonnen, Nate Larson, Ana Teresa Fernandez, Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum, and Hank Willis Thomas. To March 15. Meyerhoff Gallery in the Fox Building, 1303 W. Mount Royal Ave., Baltimore. Call 410-669-9200 or visit www.mica.edu/galleries.
MY QUEER VALENTINE
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. 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. Target Gallery, 105 North Union St. Call 703-838-4565 or visit www.torpedofactory.org.
OUTBREAKS: EPIDEMICS IN A CONNECTED WORLD
To mark the 100th anniversary of the Great Influenza, the Smithsonian presents a (now harrowingly timely) exhibition on epidemiology and human health that, per the spread of coronavirus, shows itself to be as timely as ever. From HIV to SARS to Ebola, Outbreaks shows how viruses can spread from animals to people, why some infectious diseases become pandemics, and the collaborative ways many have been stopped or curtailed. Today, pandemic diseases remain one of the greatest threats to individuals and society, due to an increasingly interconnected, increasingly mobile, increasingly urbanized and industrialized global world. Ongoing to 2021. National Museum of Natural History, 10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit mnh.si.edu.
THE DIVINE FEMININE
For the month of March, Gallery Underground, the visual arts space for the Arlington Artists Alliance and part of Crystal City’s Art Underground, presents an intriguing painting show featuring representative and abstract works by four female artists. Beth Hudgins, Linda Maldonado, Elise Ritter, and Deborah Taylor each envision the exhibition’s titular theme through unique imagery interpreting the feminine side of spirituality in the natural world, in human relationships, and in other facets. In addition, the main gallery will feature new works by gallery members ranging from paintings to sculpture, ceramics to woodworking. Opening Reception and Meet The Artists is Friday, March 6, from 5 to 7 p.m. On display through March 28. Crystal City Shops, 2100 Crystal Drive, Arlington. Call 571-483-0652 or visit www.galleryunderground.org.
ABOVE AND BEYOND
LA TI DO: THE MUSIC OF NEAL LEARNER
Anya Randall Nebel and Larry Grey co-host the next D.C. iteration of the musical variety cabaret La Ti Do. The March edition presents an evening of original music from Neal Learner, co-creator of the musical Soul Redeemer, which debuted at last year’s Capital Fringe. Guest performers include Jessica Jellish, Cathy McCoskey, Paige Washington, Anthony Williams, and Fernando Luciano Delgado, with music direction by Josh Cleveland. The program also offers spoken word from C. Thomas, the local queer poet of color. Monday, March 16, at 8 p.m. Le Mirch, 1736 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets are $20 at the door. Call 202-629-3577 or visit www.latidoproductions.com.
POETRY & PASTIES
Every second Saturday of the month, the Anacostia location of Busboys and Poets plays host to a diverse open mike/burlesque event over brunch explicitly designed as a “#queer-affirming, #POC-centered, #femme-focused space.” Poetry & Pasties (@poetryandpasties on social media) is hosted by poet and sex educator Jennifer Eden, who identifies as a Black queer femme. Saturday, March 14, at 1 p.m. 2004 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE. Call 202-889-1374 or visit www.busboysandpoets.com.