Deep into winter, with spring renewal and rebirth just a ways over the horizon, Christmas is the opposite of top of mind. But if anyone can convince you that the end-of-year holiday is worth rehashing so soon into the new year for good ol’ entertainment’s sake, it would be John Waters. The gay raconteur and cultural icon was forced to postpone his annual Christmas show at the Birchmere by a full month, with A John Waters Christmas now scheduled for Monday, Jan. 30.
An annual staple for 25 years, the one-man-show is always a highlight of the season, especially because every year Waters comes up with new, original musings. “There are always things that are going on in society and culture that you can twist into Christmas,” Waters told Metro Weekly before the 2021 edition, the first in which he was able to really tackle the issue of “how COVID affected sex at Christmas.” Expect more along those lines this time around.
The season of love will also be celebrated at the Birchmere a few days before Valentine’s Day with “an all-star cast of today’s top teasers” as featured in the annual bonanza Burlesque-A-Pades in Loveland starring Angie Pontani, who has been dubbed the International Queen of Burlesque, and featuring a “stunningly gorgeous” boylesque artist and contortionist Mr. Gorgeous, The Maine Attraction, Bebe Bardeaux, Carly “DC’s Queen of the Blues” Harvey, and Tequila Honeybee, with live jazz from the Brian Newman Band, whose namesake is both a frequent Lady Gaga collaborator as well as Potani’s husband (2/11).
All in all, the Birchmere has a pretty impressive lineup of coming attractions this winter, mixed in with the many shows in tribute to legacy acts, from Earth, Wind & Fire to Jerry Lee Lewis, Michael Jackson to Tina Turner. And then there’s the multi-artist tribute show to beat them all, “Daryl Davis Presents: Thanks for the Memories 2022!,” with Davis’s six-piece band and special guests Angela Hill, Deletta Gillespie, Jeff Jones, John Jamison, Patty Reese, and Josh Christina remembering and paying tribute to Olivia Newton John, Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie, Ronnie Spector, Meatloaf, Mickey Gilley, Naomi Judd, Ramsey Lewis, Loretta Lynn, and others (2/5).
Also swinging through town is Macy Gray, playing through her 20-plus years of songs distinguished by her signature blend of R&B, pop, funk, and jazz (2/7), two “solo acoustic” evenings from the legendary folk artist Richard Thompson (2/24-25), Lalah Hathaway (2/27-28), Vanessa Carlton (3/2), and a two-night run from the soul-singing, Tony-winning Broadway veteran Stephanie Mills (3/10-11).
The Birchmere will also present a few notable acts at downtown’s Warner Theatre, several times the size of the intimate Alexandria landmark. First up is a two-night engagement over Valentine’s Day from jazz sensation Gregory Porter (2/14-15, Warner Theatre, 513 13th St. NW), immediately followed by the first of two three-night engagements with the Tedeschi Trucks Band, a 12-member blues/rock supergroup from Jacksonville, Florida led by married couple Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi (2/16-18, 3/2-4). Another Birchmere-presented show at the Warner is the “Together in Concert” triple feature of Shawn Colvin, Marc Cohn, & Sarah Jarosz (2/19).
The Birchmere is at 3701 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, Va. Visit www.birchmere.com or call 703-549-7500.
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