Metro Weekly

October highlights at The Barns at Wolf Trap

Laura Benanti, Linda Eder, John Waite, Mwenso & The Shakes, and more!

wolf trap
Linda Eder

Over the summer, Wolf Trap celebrated the 50th anniversary of its signature venue the Filene Center, named in honor of the organization’s founder and chief benefactor Catherine Filene Shouse. Notably, the series of concerts presented in the 7,000-seat outdoor amphitheater were also the first after nearly 18 months of the pandemic.

With the advent of fall, the focus shifts to another venue in a different section of the lush, 100-acre property known as America’s National Park for the Performing Arts. And this season, The Barns at Wolf Trap is celebrating a milestone of its own: It’s now been 40 years since two adjoining 18th-century barns were retrofitted and opened as a charming, intimate, and acoustically rich venue with seating for just under four hundred.

Among the highlights over the next month are cabarets by two longtime leading ladies of musical theater. First up is Linda Eder, who got her start in the late 1980s on Star Search. Eder is best known for her many collaborations with composer (and ex-husband) Frank Wildhorn — starring in the original Broadway production of Jekyll & Hyde. She’s touring in support of last year’s Retro-Volume Two, the prolific artist’s 19th studio album, which features new interpretations of songs from other Wildhorn shows including The Scarlet Pimpernel and Tears of Heaven and more (10/14).

Wolf Trap
Laura Benanti — Photo: Jenny Anderson

The last Saturday of October brings two shows from Laura Benanti, who has been making quite a splash all over TV recently — from her recurring uproarious impersonation of former First Lady Melania Trump on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, to her guest turns on TVLand’s Younger and HBO Max’s Gossip Girl reboot. Yet the five-times-nominated Tony-winning triple threat (Gypsy, My Fair Lady) has a dedicated local following chiefly due to her performances with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington. So you can expect a sizable gay presence at her shows, which comes a year after the release of her full-length pop debut, a delightful assortment ranging from Paul Simon, Rufus Wainwright, the Jonas Brothers, and Selena Gomez, all covered in stunningly realized fashion (10/30).

Other notable performers coming to the Barns include veteran singer-songwriter Karla Bonoff (10/8), Virginia rockers the Pat McGee Band (10/22-23), pop-rock mainstay John Waite (11/3), and the Broadway-style multimedia show “Harlem 100,” a jazzy celebration of the Harlem Renaissance led by the large ensemble Mwenso & The Shakes (11/4).

The Barns at Wolf Trap is at 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. Ticket prices vary. COVID restrictions apply. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit www.wolftrap.org for more information.

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