Metro Weekly

Editor’s Picks: American Pops, Sordid Lives, Whitney band, virtual film screenings

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

Editor's picks, arts, entertainment, apo, american pops orchestra
The American Pops Orchestra: APO Jukebox


Luke Frazier of the American Pops Orchestra will be accompanied by director Kelly D’Amboise in a virtual event reliving favorite moments from past APO productions including The Music of Jerry Herman, Let’s Misbehave: Cole Porter After Dark, You’ve Got a Friend: Singer-Songwriter, and Coat of Many Colors: The Music of Dolly Parton. Even better, they’ll be joined by many of the featured guest stars, all logging in for virtual visits offering performance insights and answering audience questions. The lineup includes Claybourne Elder, Nova Y. Payton, Alexis Michelle, Mauricio Martinez, Garret Clayton, Neyla Pekarek, MILCK, Kodiak Thompson, and Ally Dods. The whole event is a benefit to support the orchestra’s various outreach efforts during COVID-19, including the APO Kids Club initiative delivering free music kits to area food banks intended for families with young children. Ticket-holders and those who register for the show on will receive the private streaming link 24 hours prior to its launch. Saturday, May 30, at 8 p.m. Tickets are by donation, with suggested general admission costing $20 plus fees. Visit

Sordid Lives


Beau Bridges, Bonnie Bedelia, Leslie Jordan, and Caroline Rhea are the headline names among a starry roster of performers participating in a special livestream reading to benefit 23 stage companies that have partnered with the newly established Del Shores Foundation and its mission to find and facilitate new southern queer artistic voices. The focus, of course, is on playwright Shores’ Sordid Lives, a 1996 “black comedy about white trash as a gay actor struggles to come out to his eccentric, dysfunctional Texas family.” Sordid Lives went on to inspire the cult-hit screen adaptation in 2000, the 2017 marriage-equality-themed sequel A Very Sordid Wedding, as well as LOGO’s prequel Sordid Lives: The Series. Produced and hosted by Shores with Emerson Collins, the one-night-only #SordidLiveStream will also feature appearances from Carson Kressley, Georgette Jones, Alec Mapa, Aleks Paunovic, David Steen, and Allison Tolman. Levi Kreis will perform, and a message to all will be dispensed by Olivia Newton-John. The artists are donating their time, with an auction of Sordid Lives memorabilia adding to the benefit. Sunday, May 31, at 8 p.m. on YouTube and Facebook. Visit

JXJ Virtual Cinema: Mr Jones


The Edlavitch DCJCC has teamed up with independent film distributors for select screening runs of new releases and restorations of classics, with 50 percent of all proceeds going toward its new (but currently shuttered) cinema space Cafritz Hall. Highlights include Fourteen, about two adult women who have been close friends since middle school; Agnieszka Holland’s thriller Mr. Jones, focused on a young Welsh journalist working to uncover the truth about Hitler’s rise to power and Stalin’s Soviet propaganda machine pushing their “utopia” to the Western world; and Outdoors, about a couple intent on fleeing the city for a fresh start in the countryside who can’t move quickly enough to save their relationship. Tickets are $10 to $12 for multi-day screenings per film, with passes also available. Visit

Whitney — Photo: Olivia Bee


The young Chicago-based indie-folk band Whitney is gearing up to perform a livestreamed concert presented by independent concert venues around the country, including D.C.’s I.M.P. Productions (9:30 Club, the Anthem), and intended as a benefit for new trade group the National Independent Venue Association (, formed in the wake of COVID-19 as a way to focus attention and assistance on these local entities as they struggle to reemerge once concerts can resume. Thursday, June 4, with stream starting at 7 p.m. (A 36-hour rebroadcast period will start at 11 p.m.) Tickets are $15 to $20. Visit

Weekends — Image: Trevor Jimenez


While its physical venue in Silver Spring remains closed, the AFI offers a rotating crop of titles available for streaming. The lineup of new titles this week include the past four annual Animation Show of Shows, curated collections featuring inspiring and profound shorts from the 17th through the 20th annual editions; Sasie Sealy’s Lucky Grandma, a hip Chinatown crime caper in which an ornery grandmother becomes embroiled in a gang war; Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s Blackfish, an emotionally wrenching documentary about an orca that killed several people while in captivity; and The Grey Fox, a 1982 revisionist western focused on an aging bandit and presented in a 4K restoration. Ticket purchases benefit the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, with additional support to independent filmmaking and distribution. Visit

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