Metro Weekly

Fall Arts Preview 2023: Above & Beyond

A selection of comedy, drag shows, exhibits, lectures, magic, readings, tastings, and more the D.C. Metro area.

Randy Rainbow -- Photo: Dirty Sugar Photography
Randy Rainbow — Photo: Dirty Sugar Photography

Things are starting to get spooky in these parts, and they’re already queer af — that is, when reviewing what’s on tap at key venues this fall beyond merely music, movies, theater, and dance.

The non-local lineup of queer celebrities and entertainers coming through town this season include a younger crop, everyone from Matteo Lane to Ashley Gavin, Jonathan Van Ness to Jon Lovett, to say nothing of Josh Thomas, Randy Rainbow, or David Sedaris. Also this season, Reel Affirmations celebrates its 30th anniversary.

If you’re in the mood to celebrate Halloween, or just to get your annual eerie fix, options range from a Spooky Broadway Cabaret at Crazy Aunt Helen’s, to the annual Eighties Mayhem dance party at Black Cat, to the Spooky Pouch outing for the dogs at Hillwood.

Ultimately, though, if you only take in one Halloween-themed offering, and especially if you’re any kind of a fan of Rocky Horror, the Lincoln Theatre is the ticket — as long as you hurry and get your ticket before it sells out.

9:30 CLUB

815 V St. NW

  • HellBent: Double Feature — Casa Sin Miedo, Rosie Beret, and Andromeda perform at the club’s LGBTQ Halloween spooktacular hosted by Pussy Noir and featuring DJ sets by Sean Morris, Wessthedj, JJ202, and of course, the spookiest of them all, Lemz (10/28)
  • Terrible, Thanks for Asking w/Nora McInerny — A live show based on the long-running podcast of the same name “that makes space for how it really feels to go through the hard things in life” (11/29)


901 Wharf St. SW.

  • The Wait Wait Stand-Up Tour — An all-star lineup of regular guests and guest hosts from NPR’s weekly hit quiz show Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, including Mo Rocca, Maeve Higgins, Helen Hong, Negin Farsad, and Brian Babylon (11/11)
  • Chris Tucker — The Legend Tour 2023 (12/7)


Joseph Meyerhoff Hall
1212 Cathedral St.
Baltimore, Md.

Presented by Stevenson University at the Baltimore Symphony’s Meyerhoff Hall in downtown Baltimore, the annual series of seven lectures is available by subscription only. No single tickets per lecture are offered, nor are any available by livestream.

  • Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor — The third woman and first Latina to serve on the Supreme Court may break news at this public engagement, but even if not it’ll be worth hearing from the sage progressive justice fighting the good fight (9/27)
  • Jane Fonda — The two-time Oscar-winning actor and Grace & Frankie star has long been a provocative liberal firebrand and social agitator, and she’s likely to focus more on her work in activism, including the launch last year of the Jane Fonda Climate PAC (10/12)
  • Adam Kinzinger — The U.S. Air Force veteran and former six-term Republican congressman capped off his career in elected politics by serving as a member on the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack (11/9)
  • Marie Yovanovitch — Now a fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, this former career diplomat served as the US Ambassador to Ukraine and is best known publicly as a result of her televised public testimony during Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial (1/18)
  • Laurie Santos — The popular Yale professor and expert on the science of happiness has become known for the entertaining insights on how to make wiser choices and life happier through The Happiness Lab podcast (2/22)
  • Michael Beschloss — The near-ubiquitous presidential historian and contributor to NBC/MSNBC and PBS who reigns as the most-followed historian on the site formerly known as Twitter (3/28)
  • CĂ©line Cousteau — It must be in the genes: This environmentalist, explorer and storyteller has directed and produced over 20 documentaries, impressively following in the footsteps of her father Jean-Michel and grandfather Jacques (4/11)


D.C. welcomes a new festival this year with the mission of showcasing comedians of color. In partnership with Events DC, Because They’re Funny is a product of NICE CROWD, the same company behind the American Black Film Festival, and organizers intend it to become a new annual event.

  • 2023 Breakout Comedian of the Year Competition — DC Young Fly hosts a show with a musical performance by Black Alley and featuring six talented yet undiscovered stand-up comics competing for a grand prize of $20,000 and a chance to sign with Innovative Artists talent agency. The competing comics are Talib Babb, Henry Coleman, Tatyana Guchi, Ralph Guerra, Alfred Kainga, and Justin Lucas (10/6, The Anthem)
  • Sketch Comedy Workshop — Led by Isaiah Headen (10/7, Pearl Street Warehouse)
  • Joke Lab — Rob Gordon hosts this “Late Night Laughs” event featuring veteran comics testing out new material (10/6, Union Stage)
  • Live Music Lounge: Karaoke with The Experience Band (10/6, Pearl Street Warehouse)
  • Socially Funny — A discussion with hit social media comedic sensations KevOnStage, B. Simone, and Ha Ha Davis, detailing how they built their brands with skits and sketch comedy on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube (10/7, Union Stage)
  • In Amanda We Trust — A political comedy documentary independently produced by actor/comedian Amanda Seales that uses humor to remind us how little we know about the government (10/7, Union Stage)
  • Hey Ladies! Fierce Female Comedy Show — Tichina Arnold hosts an all-star female with performances by Luenell, Aida Rodriguez, Ego Nwodim, Nicole Byer, and more, hosted by Tichina Arnold (10/7, The Anthem)
  • Live Music Lounge: Crank Caviar — A rotating cast of the best musicians in D.C., who get together to perform go-go versions of favorite hit songs (10/7, Pearl Street Warehouse)
  • DC Improv Showcase — Ty Davis, Dom Rivera, Jason Weems, Umar Khan, and Ashley Mayo have been selected as the current cream of the comedy crop in D.C., and they’ll get a chance to prove it at this showcase hosted by Justo (10/7, Union Stage)
  • Breaking Into Improv — Cipha Sounds (10/8, Pearl Street Warehouse)
  • DMV Black Comedy Homecoming Show — Yvonne Orji hosts a night of performances by stand-up stars originally from the D.C. area, including Tommy Davidson, Donnell Rawlings, Tony Woods, Red Grant, Pierre, and Joe Clair (10/8, The Anthem)
  • The Mecca of Comedy: The Rise of Standup Comedy in Washington, D.C. — The D.C. premiere of what is billed as “the definitive documentary film about the legacy of Black standup comedy in the Washington, D.C., area.” Parrish Smith’s film features a cast, led by Wanda Sykes, of established Hollywood titans who got their start in D.C., and ultimately asks, “Why has [D.C.] produced so many legends? Is it a mere coincidence or a comedic contagion in the DMV air?” (10/8, Union Stage)
  • Live Music Lounge: Secret Society — Billed as “the DMV’s premiere R&B & Hip-Hop Cover Band,” formed to bring back the “live band” experience in an era of heavily computerized music (10/8, Pearl Street Warehouse)


3701 Mount Vernon Ave.
Alexandria, Va.

  • Therapy Gecko Live — Multi-platform social media sensation Lyle Forever returns on another “interactive, one-of-a-kind” tour as “the internet’s favorite gecko and unlicensed therapist,” and bearing the tagline Welcome to the Geckoning World Tour (9/24)
  • Raven’s Night 2023 — “Masquerade” is the naughty theme of this year’s annual Halloween event presented by the married lesbian couple BellaDonna and Ken Vegas, whose tagline promises “The Most Theatrical Fusion Belly Dance Show of the Season” (10/21)
  • Paula Poundstone — Comic returns for her annual pre-holiday run of shows (11/17-18)
  • A John Waters Christmas — Let’s Blow It Up!” is this year’s theme for the annual Christmas outing by Baltimore’s Pope of Trash (12/20)


1811 14th St. NW

  • 3rd Annual Preloved Bazaar — A secondhand pop-up shop and swap courtesy of Femme Fatale DC, DC Goodwill, Finding Your Good, and the Black Cat, the Bazaar will feature more than 15 local entrepreneurs, artists, and organizations, including a Permanent Jewelry Bar, a Clothing Swap, a Fix-It Station, Sustainable Fashion Workshops, and Tarot readings, plus live DJs setting the vibe (9/23)
  • Mortified DC Live — Back to School Edition (10/6)
  • Artloween Bash (10/27)
  • Eighties Mayhem — FYM Productions presents the 11th Annual ’80s Halloween Dance Party w/DJ Steve EP and DJ Missguided (10/28)


713 8th St. SE

  • Groove Drag Brunch — “Join the dance dance revolution…with Logan Stone, Sirene Noir Sidora Jackson and Friends,” two seatings every 4th Saturday (9/23, 10/28, 11/25, 12/23)
  • Vaggie’s Variety Show — “Whether you sing, dance, juggle, recite poetry, or crochet, here’s a place for you to share your talents with others,” at this “Celebration of Queer Art” monthly extravaganza, hosted by Vagenesis (9/23, 10/28)
  • Meche Korrect — The illustrious singer, published writer, and filmmaker performs life (9/24)
  • Monday Open Mic Night: The Winners Circle — Weekly winners from Monday Open Mic Nights compete on the last Monday of each month, and then the Monthly Winners will come back at the end of the year to compete as Singer of the Year
  • Dish! The Storytelling Dinner Show — A monthly show with “a new menu of storytellers ready to ‘dish’ for your dining pleasure,” including Cara Lindsey Foran, Jenny Montooth, Jenn Ameena, Ansa Edim, Scott Marken, and possibly you (9/28)
  • Drag Time Storytime Brunch w/Tara Hoot — “D.C.’s only drag story time brunch,” intended “for kids and kids at heart (that means adults, too)!” led by Crazy Aunt Helen’s resident drag queen “and her puppet friend Tator Tot” (9/30)
  • Sultry Sundae: An Intimate Evening of Live Music with Ryan Collins — Super Vibes presents this show with mostly original music (10/1)
  • Truth or Dare Comedy Show — “Comedians do their best jokes, only to be interrupted and made to play truth or dare based on audience suggestions,” a show presented by Kenny Rooster (10/4)
  • The Sketch Jam — An Open Mic for Sketch Comedy (10/5)
  • You Can’t Strip with Us! A Burlesque Tribute to Mean Girls — Callie Pigeon and friends offer “a fetch AF burlesque and variety revue” (10/6)
  • Wild N Wacky Drag Brunch — Logan Stone hosts two seatings of “the craziest drag brunch in S.E.” every 1st Saturday (10/7, 11/4, 12/2)
  • Broadway on Barracks: Open Mic Night — Sing your favorite Broadway showtune with live accompaniment every 2nd Monday, hosted by Leah Kolb (10/9, 11/13, 12/11)
  • Thicc Comedy Jam w/LoLo Vonz — A showcase of up-and-coming queer and BIPOC comedians followed by an open mic (10/11)
  • Grown-Up Story Time Dinner — Tara Hoot leads a night of reading, resulting in “a night of unexpected stories and ridiculousness” (10/13)
  • Black Opal Brunch — Drag variety brunch featuring talented Black entertainers (10/14)
  • Drag Trivia — Logan Stone and Tiffany D. Carter (10/14)
  • Devlin: Wild Women — A “special performance” of this New York cabaret show combining jazz, blues, ballads, and pop from San Diego-based musical theater veteran (10/20)
  • Shi-Queeta-Lee’s Drag Gospel Brunch — The original drag brunch diva returns every 3rd Saturday with two seatings of her gospel-fueled antics accompanied by her Praise Sisters (10/21, 11/18, 12/16)
  • Hoosiers Are A Hoot — A comedy special featuring Tara Hoot, Kristi Zobel, and Jeff McKinney discussing their Midwestern/Hoosier sensibilities, stories, and life experiences (10/25)
  • Spooky Broadway Cabaret — A fun-filled Halloween evening with favorite creepy Broadway tunes performed by the Chameleon Theater Collective (10/30)
  • Inside My Head — A noted Broadway pianist and music director/conductor, D.C. native Zak Sandler’s solo musical relates his experiences with bipolar, for which “Zak has recorded the voices of his Depression and Mania and they sing to him,” with Sandler playing the piano, singing, and performing as his doctor as well as other characters (11/5)


410 S. Maple Ave.
Falls Church, Va.

  • Holiday Cabaret Series — Favorite holiday tunes are celebrated the week before Christmas in six intimate cabaret shows where performers sing to guests savoring wine, beer, or their favorite beverage while seated at tables set up throughout the room. Curated by Matt Conner, the performance lineup for each show will be announced in advance (12/11-20)
  • Passport to the World of Music Festival — Talented and diverse singers and musicians from around the region and beyond offer cabaret-style shows featuring songs organized by lyrical theme or musical genre or some other way that lives up to the annual series’ stated purpose, which is to give guests the opportunity to “tour the world without ever leaving Falls Church.” Ken Avis and Lynn Veronneau, the married couple who lead the Wammie Award-winning duo Veronneau, curate the festival, with the performance lineup and full schedule posted in advance (1/11-2/3)


1940 9th St. NW

  • FabulosĂ© Drag + Dance Party — A “Drag + Dance Party Celebrating the LatinĂ© Diaspora,” hosted by DC9’s resident gay dragger Domingo and co-hosted by Lady Jay and the Wait! Don’t Do It! podcast, with DJ Cybersyn and a slew of drag “kings and queens and things,” from Dirty Sanchez to Haus of What!, Whoreslima to Indiana Bones, Arma Dura to Thunderboi Tsai (9/23)
  • Funk The Facts — Trivia Night at DC9 presented by Hunter & Gabby (9/26)
  • Late Night Khaos Karaoke — “Embracing chaos and karaoke every Wednesday on our first floor” (9/27)
  • The Dance Party — DC9 presents this event with Carlie Hanson and special guests (9/29)
  • 2000s+DANCE+PARTY [pop edition] — “Oops…I Did It Again!” is the Britney-tributing title to this mainstream pop-focused early aughts party from DJs Phoenix & Dionysus spinning everyone from Gaga to Gwen, Kelis to Ke$sha, *NSYNC to Outkast (9/29)
  • Vroom Vroom…A DC Dyke Night Tea Party — A “Rooftop Tea Dance–by Dykes, for Dykes” (10/1)
  • SLEAZE — “Wess Is More” is the October theme at this gay bash featuring WessTheDJ spinning tunes along with KayLasoul and Lemz. Hosted by Jane Saw (10/5)
  • Hey! Ho! Let’s Go! >> Halloween — DC9 + RIYL present this spooky early-Halloween-themed “all-ages” dance party where costumes are encouraged (10/14)
  • Astronomy On Tap — Featuring beer, trivia, and space talks (10/16)
  • Nerd Nite — “D.C.’s original science + nerd + drinking event” (10/21)
  • Spellbound: A New Wave Halloween Party — DJ Johnny Panic Ari Voxx & The Sad Lads (10/27)
  • Femme Fatale: A Queer Dance Party — “D.C.’s dopest queer dance party filled with eclectic selections from our stellar DJ lineup” (10/28)


8656 Colesville Road
Silver Spring

  • Let’s Sing Taylor — “A Live Band Experience Celebrating Taylor Swift” (9/29)
  • The Sturniolo Triplets — Let’s Trip – The Versus Tour (10/10)
  • The Eric Andre Explosion (12/6)


7300 MacArthur Blvd.
Glen Echo, Md.

  • Echo Arts Festival — A celebration of the visual and performing arts, this second annual fall event serves as a showcase for the many resident artists and arts organizations at this historic park, an architecturally amusing arts retreat and artist preserve nestled along the Potomac River several miles northwest of D.C. Produced by Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture, the nonprofit entity that oversees events and activities in this National Park Service-operated facility, the festival also serves as the last day of the year that the park’s century-old antique Dentzel carousel operates (10/1)
  • Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann: Knot Forest — Large-scale abstract paintings and paper installations drawing on both Chinese and Western landscape painting traditions are the basis of a series of maximalist, even overwhelming, mixed-media collages “bursting with incongruous efflorescence” to convey the artist’s identity as a biracial, second-generation Asian American, and to examine themes of escapism, accumulation, utopia, and magic (Now-10/1, Popcorn Gallery)
  • Cory Oberndorfer: Artists Prints — Limited-edition prints from a series focused on “the drippy frozen treats” known as popsicles, with artworks, to quote the official description, “combining an obsession with nostalgic popsicle imagery and classic pop art influences” (Now-10/1, Stone Tower Gallery)
  • Holly Buehler and Pamela Betts: Painted Visions — A two-person exhibition of plein air paintings, or oil-based landscapes drawn while outdoors, exposed to the elements and whims of nature, by Buehler, a graphic designer and art instructor in Montgomery County, and Betts, a D.C.-area-based representational painter and also painting conservator at Baltimore’s Walters Art Museum (Now-10/1, Park View Gallery)
  • Outdoor Marketplace — Artworks by Glen Echo Park resident artists and other locals, spanning a wide range of artistic media, from photographs to ceramics and glassware, paintings to jewelry, will be displayed for sale at this daytime event, which will also feature one or more live artist demonstrations, held outside the artists’ studios throughout the park (10/7)
  • Walter Johnson High School Student Photography Show (10/7-11/12, Park View)
  • Deco Chic: An Art Deco Fashion Show — The park’s historic Spanish Ballroom serves as the site for this daytime fashion and dance exposition, co-presented by the Art Deco Society of Washington, complete with live fashion presentations and dance demonstrations, focused on the styles and trends of that bygone time “Between the Wars,” from the roaring 1920s to the liberating 1940s (10/21)
  • Fall Frolic — An annual Halloween-themed event featuring family-friendly festivities throughout the park (10/28)

In addition to the above shows and events, there’s movement at the park nearly every day of the week, on account of a whole host of dance lessons and sessions. The park’s historic Spanish Ballroom and Back Room serves as a go-to source to learn and demonstrate all manner of social dancing skills through weekly dances run by groups dedicated to individual dance styles, open to all “no prior experience and no partner required.”

  • Swing Dances, such as the Lindy Hop and the Jitterbug, presented by Gottaswing (Saturdays)
  • Brazilian Zouk presented by District Zouk (Saturdays)
  • Tango and Milonga dance and lessons presented by Tango Brillante (Sundays)
  • Folk Dance presented by the Glen Echo International Folk Dancers (Wednesdays, Bumper Car Pavilion)
  • Blues dancing led by Capital Blues Dance (Thursdays)
  • Contra and Square dancing co-presented by Friday Night Dancers and the Folklore Society of Greater Washington and featuring an official Caller and accompanying live band (Fridays).

The last Saturday of September also brings one more round of swing dancing, this time set to live jazz music, courtesy of DCLX, organizers of a swing-era jazz music and dance festival every spring, with a DCLXtra session for all interested dancers featuring live music by Ian Hutchison and Slap Happy, a seven-piece combo from New York (9/30).

Finally, the park’s resident visual artists and studios offer sessions providing varying degrees of interaction with those seeking to learn more about their particular type of art and artmaking process.

  • Sculpture Studio provides space, resources, and guidance to help in the creation of three-dimensional and functional art (Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays)
  • SilverWorks offers classes and workshops in the art of silversmithing (Thursdays through Saturdays)
  • Stone Tower Studio features artists working in representational and abstract artistic styles as well as both traditional and nontraditional mediums, and championing experimentation across the board (Saturdays and Sundays)
  • Pottery Studio welcomes all to the ceramic studio process with instructors helping give shape and meaning to individuals’ unique visions (Saturdays and Sundays)
  • Yellow Barn Studio, offering classes in watercolor, oil, acrylic, drawing, and printmaking, with a special emphasis on plein-air painting, or the act of painting outdoors (Saturdays and Sundays)
  • Art Glass Center Gallery, focused on kiln-formed glass art and artists, with classes in fusing, kiln casting, mosaics, jewelry, and Venetian glass beadmaking (Saturdays and Sundays)


4155 Linnean Ave. NW

  • Family Picnic with Rainbow Families — Connect with other LGBTQ+ families at this annual family celebration set on the lush, landscaped grounds of the estate established by Marjorie Merriweather Post, the late trailblazing female business executive/philanthropist/socialite. Pack a blanket for seating, bug spray, and a picnic from home — just no outside alcohol — or purchase food and drinks, including beer and wine, from the venue’s Merriweather To Go program, and expect games of hula hoop, ring toss, and jump rope, plus practice putting on the putting green (9/24, Lunar Lawn)
  • Glass: Art. Beauty. Design. — Glass has inspired artists and designers, stimulated scientists and engineers, and captivated collectors with its beauty and practicality, including Hillwood’s founder, who amassed over 1,600 pieces of glass. Exhibition highlights this lesser-known aspect of Hillwood’s collection, featuring a range of styles and techniques, including glassware, decorative vases, candelabras, chandeliers, mirrors, and more, while placing the historic creations in dialogue with astounding contemporary artworks, including glass flowers and orchids by Debora Moore and beadwork and fashion pieces by artists Karen LaMonte and Joyce Scott (Now-1/14)
  • Hillwood Perfume Launch: “Do Not Disturb” — Fall was Majorie Post’s “private” season at Hillwood, and a new perfume, developed with Molly Ray Parfums, is intended to evoke the interior experience of the place, a luxurious and feminine scent named in honor of the iconic silver signs posted on all bedroom doors in the mansion. Guests will enjoy light refreshments and spray samples of the fragrance, the second exclusive perfume from Hillwood, plus the chance to enter a raffle for one of the silver Do Not Disturb signs (9/28 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., 9/29 from noon to 4 p.m., Museum Shop)
  • Artist Talk: Debora Moore — A contemporary artist whose work is featured in the current Hillwood exhibition Glass: Art. Beauty. Design. will discuss her artistic process and vision in this morning lecture. Well known for her imagined glass orchids and organic forms, created by combining new techniques with traditional glassblowing skills and particular attention to detail, the Washington state-based artist will also help lead a presentation on orchids with Jessica Bonilla, Hillwood’s director of horticulture. Participants can also explore the glass exhibition on a guided tour by Wilfried Zeisler, Hillwood’s chief curator and deputy director, to wrap up the visit by noon (9/30)
  • Gardener’s Focus Tour: Plants of the Fall — Take in the rich, autumnal hues of yellow, red, and orange as the the foliage and flowers transition for the season, on a 45-minute walk with Hillwood’s director of horticulture Jessica Bonilla, who will highlight favorite fall features and share practical gardening lessons (10/10, 10/13, 10/17, 10/20)
  • Guided Forest Bathing Walks — Inspired by the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku, or to absorb the forest atmosphere, a health- and wellness-promoting immersive stroll through the gardens is led by a Certified Forest Therapy Guide and requires a minimum of five participants and no more than fifteen. If interested, procure your tickets now as only the last two dates are not already sold out (10/14, 10/20, 11/3, 11/11)
  • A Conversation with Joyce J. Scott and Tim Tate — Two more artists featured in the current Glass: Art. Beauty. Design. exhibition participate in a discussion, moderated by Hillwood’s chief curator and deputy director Wilfried Zeisler, focused on their works, their pieces on display at Hillwood, and artistic collaboration; Baltimore-based Scott is a multifaceted artist and educator known for art performances and artworks exploring and questioning cultural stereotypes, while Tate is a D.C.-area-based glass artist who co-founded the Washington Glass School (10/17)
  • Fall Garden Party — Hillwood members who have contributed $150 or more are invited to for this autumnal celebration of the gardens (10/19)
  • Spooky Pooch Howl-o-ween Celebration — Inspired by Marjorie Post’s affection for dogs, as evidenced by the memorial dog cemetery honoring the many canines she lived with at the property, Hillwood invites guests to dress up their furry four-legged friends and bring them to Hillwood for some festive playtime with other pups, not to mention participate in a Costume Competition with awards for Most Glamorous, Best Owner & Dog Combination Costume, Funniest, and overall Top Dog, among others, which come with prizes such as guest passes for another visit and a family membership to Hillwood (10/21, Lunar Lawn)
  • Portrait of Lloyd Patterson — The artist Lloyd Walton Patterson traveled to Soviet Russia in 1932 along with an illustrious group of other Black Americans, including Langston Hughes and Louise Thompson, yet only Patterson remained behind after the reason for their trip — the making of a Soviet-German film intended to highlight pervasive racism in the United States — was canceled. Exhibition explores that chapter in history, including the remarkable life Patterson made for himself in his new country (Now-12/31)
  • Gardener’s Focus Tour: Specialty Mums — Jarett Currin, a greenhouse grower at Hillwood, will share insights into the 55-year tradition of propagating over 50 different types of chrysanthemums for the weekly arrangements of fresh cut flowers displayed throughout Hillwood, a tradition started by Marjorie Post due to her fondness for mums (10/25, 10/27, 11/1, 11/3, )
  • Virtual Floral Design: Chrysanthemums — A Zoom-based workshop led by Ami Wilber, Hillwood’s floral and event dĂ©cor designer, offering step-by-step guidance in creating beautiful arrangements inspired by Post’s mum mania. Materials, including flowers, greenery, and a container, can be purchased from Hillwood for an additional fee and a minimum of two weeks in advance, for pickup the morning of the program (10/27)
  • Frederick J. Fisher Lecture: Ann Lowe: American Couturier — A discussion on the life and legacy of an unsung Black fashion pioneer, who specialized in extraordinary made-to-measure designs with elaborate handmade details for elite society women including Post, presented by Elizabeth Way, associate curator of costume at New York’s Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology. The lecture serves as the 11th Annual Lecture honoring the legacy of Hillwood’s former executive director (11/16)
  • Virtual Holiday DĂ©cor Tour — A virtual tour of Hillwood’s elaborate holiday trees and other dĂ©cor led by Ami Wilber, highlighting the particular design inspiration from the current exhibition Glass: Art. Beauty. Design. (11/28)
  • Traditional Holiday Wreath Workshop — An in-person event during which Hillwood’s Ami Wilber will guide participants in creating a traditional, one-of-a-kind holiday decoration of hearty evergreens (11/30-12/3)
  • Contemporary Holiday Wreath Workshop (12/3)
  • Virtual Floral Design: Holiday Blooms — A virtual workshop guiding participants in creating a floral arrangement full of luxuriously rich colors and festive blooms to honor the season (12/15)



  • A Fireside Chat with Hip-Hop’s DJ Kool Herc and Cindy Campbell — The man revered as “the father of hip-hop” will be joined by his younger sister, “the First Lady of hip-hop,” for a discussion about the evolution of hip-hop and its influence on pop culture in the 50 years since the two helped spawn the genre, as well as their thoughts and hopes about the next 50 years of hip-hop as a full-fledged cultural movement (9/29, Terrace Theater)
  • Chelsea Handler: The Little Big B*tch Tour — The former host of Chelsea Lately and author of five New York Times bestselling memoirs has more recently become a vocal source of sage and sound advice, doled out on her hit iHeart Radio advice podcast Dear Chelsea. She returns to stand-up with a new set and follow-up to the pandemic-themed Vaccinated and Horny Tour (10/6, Concert Hall)
  • Michelle Buteau — “Full Heart, Tight Jeans” brings her unique perspective and big personality to the Kennedy Center on her latest stand-up tour (10/20-21, Eisenhower Theater)
  • Goodlaugh Presents: Comedy Saves Democracy — Comedy gurus Negin Farsad, Chris Gethard, Dylan Adler, Corey Ryan Forrester, Maggie Crane, and Yasmin Elhady share funny stories about America in pursuit of finding human connections through humor (10/21, Millennium Stage)
  • Sound Architects: A Producer Conversation with Timbaland — Dubbed the “Emperor of Sound” and ranked No. 3 by Billboard on the list of 50 of the greatest producers of the 21st century, Virginia’s Timothy Mosley helped pioneer the distinctive stuttering, synth-generated rhythmic sounds that have come to define pop and R&B in the 21st century (10/29, Concert Hall)
  • A Conversation with Grandmaster Flash — In celebration of hip-hop’s first 50 years, an intimate conversation with one of the genre’s founding fathers, specifically the first DJ to play the turntables as a musical instrument, and thereby elevating the status of the DJ as being on par with other bandmembers or instrumentalists (11/3, Terrace Theater)
  • Maz Jobrani — Mr. International Comedy Tour (11/3, Concert Hall)
  • Extraordinary Cinema: Style Wars — A free screening of Tony Silver’s groundbreaking documentary on the burgeoning hip-hop movement of 1983, when the film premiered on PBS (11/5, Justice Forum)
  • Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter: The Upcycled Self — Subtitled The Art of Becoming Who We Are, the forthcoming memoir fom the powerful artist, incisive storyteller, and award-winning co-founder of The Roots will be the focus of this special pre-release event, at which all ticket holders will receive a signed copy (11/12, Eisenhower Theater)
  • Extraordinary Cinema: Beat Street — Featuring legendary dance battles between rival New York groups, this documentary, directed by Stan Lathan, co-produced by Harry Belafonte, and scored by Arthur Baker offers an invaluable document of early ’80s hip-hop culture in the city (11/19, Terrace Theater)
  • Joke in a Box with Emily Flake New Yorker cartoonist and writer will lead this participatory workshop for adults of all drawing skill levels in the “subtle wizardry that is gag cartooning” (11/19, Moonshot Studio)
  • Extraordinary Cinema: Wild Style — A special free screening of what is heralded as the first hip-hop-themed movie (12/10, Justice Forum)
  • Common: I Still Love H.E.R.: Hip Hop & The Multi-Hyphenate Life — The Grammy-, Emmy-, and Academy Award-winning rapper known as Common is the focus of a conversation with writer Marcus J. Moore reflecting on his storied career, hip-hop’s 50th anniversary, and more (12/16, Terrace Theater)
  • Matteo Lane — The Al Dente Tour by gay stand-up comedian, one among Variety‘s Top Ten Comics to Watch, marking his Kennedy Center debut in the biggest, most impressive way possible, and with two shows at that, no less (2/10, Concert Hall)


1215 U St. NW

  • Story Pirates — The Amazing Adventure Tour from award-winning family media company best known for the podcast of the same name (9/26)
  • Phoebe Robinson — One of HBO’s 2 Dope Queens and a prolific and bestselling memoirist known to say the darndest, and funniest, things, but not known well enough (yet) (10/14)
  • Pod Save America (10/19)
  • Lovett Or Leave It — The Errors Tour 2023 from gay comedian and former Obama White House official Jon Lovett, with $1 of every ticket sold donated to the Vote Save America F*ck Bans: Leave Queer Kids Alone Fund (10/20)
  • Atsuko Okatsuka — Full Grown Adult Tour (10/21)
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show: 48th Anniversary Spectacular Tour — Barry Bostwick (Brad Majors) and Patricia Quinn (Magenta) will appear at this “very special one-night Halloween engagement” during which the original, unedited version of the cult classic will screen with a live shadow cast and audience participation, all that plus a memorabilia display and a costume contest (10/31)
  • Judge John Hodgman — The comedian who became a breakout star of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart for his smarter-than-thou shtick tours on the Van Freaks Roadshow — on the Day of the Dead, no less (11/1)
  • Ashley Gavin — Two nights of the New York-based lesbian comedian, known as the host of the acclaimed queer comedy podcast We’re Having Gay Sex who also made history as Carnival Cruiseline’s first openly gay comedian (11/2-3)
  • Sohla El-Waylly (11/8)
  • Welcome to Night Vale: The Attic — One of the most downloaded fiction podcasts, with episodes issued as community updates from the small desert town of Night Vale, with local weather, news, mysterious light sightings, dark-hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events; the live presentation includes an appearance by Erin McKeown, the great underappreciated lesbian folk/pop artist (11/9)
  • Michelle Wolf — Two nights with the provocative comedian on her It’s Great to Be Here Tour, with tickets only remaining for the second show (11/11)
  • JosĂ© González — The extraordinary Swedish guitarist and eccentric pop singer-songwriter (11/13)
  • The Moth GrandSlam (11/14)
  • Martin Amini (11/18)
  • Kishi Bashi — A screening of the documentary film Omoiyari, followed by a conversation and performance of the artist’s soundtrack to the film (11/19)
  • Ramy Youssef (12/3)



  • Letisha Marero — Maryland-based author and entertainment journalist will participate in a Meet & Greet Happy Hour with drinks and light snacks celebrating the launch of her new work of fiction Salsa Magic (9/26, Loyalty Silver Spring, 823 Ellsworth Dr.)
  • Unstoppable Stories: A Banned Books Festival — “Celebrate stories; oppose book banning!” is the tagline to this event, part of the Teaching Truth Campaign and coinciding with the launch of Banned Books Week the first week of October. Loyalty is the bookstore partner for the festival, sponsored by the three Unitarian Universalist congregations that form the UU Potomac Partnership, and featuring a keynote speech by U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), plus a “Banned Books” authors panel, a Libraries on the Front Lines panel, storytime readings, workshops, arts and crafts activities, food trucks, and Loyalty’s pop-up bookstore (9/30, River Road U.U. Congregation, Bethesda; 10/1, U.U. Fairfax, 2709 Hunter Mill Rd., Oakton, Va.)
  • Bryan Washington Family Meal is an intimate novel about two young men, once best friends, whose lives collide again after the one who moved away loses the love of his life and returns home. A recipient of numerous awards, including a Lambda Literary Award, Washington, a New York Times Magazine columnist, will be in conversation with similarly celebrated novelist Nicole Chung (10/10, Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave.)
  • Drag Story Hour with Charlemagne Chateau — Guest reader Tara Lipsyncki will join Chateau for the September edition of this 3rd Sunday monthly event, capturing the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and giving kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models (10/15, Loyalty Silver Spring)
  • Curtis Chin Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant is Chin’s vivid and funny memoir of growing up as a gay Chinese-American kid in 1980s Detroit; the co-founder of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop in New York and former writer for TV who now works on social justice documentaries will be in conversation with Ben de Guzman, Director of the Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs (10/19, MLK Library, 901 G St. NW)


1212 Cathedral St.
Baltimore, Md.

  • David Sedaris — The renowned gay American humorist and bestselling author will offer a selection of all-new readings and recollections as well as sit for a Q&A session and signing of his books, including his latest release, Happy Go Lucky (10/5)
  • Fran Lebowitz — The iconic lesbian New York cultural commentator in the mold of Dorothy Parker is sure to offer insights on timely issues related to gender, race, sexuality, and the media, as well as spout off about some of her pet peeves, from celebrity culture to baby strollers (10/6)
  • Nurse Blake — The Shock Advised Tour presents new stories about the ins and outs of being a nurse (10/8)


14th St. & Constitution Ave. NW

  • Afrofuturism: A History of Black Futures — Exploring the evolving concept expressed through a Black cultural lens that reimagines, reinterprets, and reclaims the past and present for a more empowering and inclusive tomorrow (Now-3/31/2024)
  • Virtual Art Workshop: Sun Ra Costume Embroidery — Learn how to embroider taking inspiration by the purple star costume designed by the 20th-century experimental multi-genre artist Sun Ra and currently on display as part of the museum’s Afrofuturism exhibit. Hands-on instruction from Rock Paper Plant and a presentation by Museum Specialist Timothy Anne Burnside and Historian Kevin Strait comes with a ticket as does a mailed kit with all the materials needed for the activity (10/11, but registration is required by 10/2)
  • Black in the Cosmos: Claiming OUR Space — Inspired by the inclusive-of-all speakeasy clubs of the Harlem Renaissance, this special event for LGBTQ African-Americans and allies, hosted on National Coming Out Day, offers music, artmaking, light bites and drinks, and a closing dance party with DJ MIM. But the centerpiece of the evening is a panel discussion that expands on the current Afrofuturism exhibition with featured guests including Rayceen Pendarvis, “D.C.’s own High Priestess of Love, Queen of the Shameless Plug, and Empress of Pride,” and Ytasha Womack, the author and Afrofuturist whose new book Black Panther: A Cultural Exploration will be available for purchase (10/11)
  • Virtual Cooking Demo and Conversation with Chef Jonny Rhodes — A cooking demonstration and lively discussion exploring the culinary heritage and stories from Rhodes’ hometown of Houston, with Rhodes, the acclaimed chef/grocery store owner/farmer, in conversation with Dr. Ashley Young, historian of the American Food History Project at the National Museum of American History. Rhodes will also guide in the preparation of dishes included in a curated meal kit that every participant will receive in advance, including Cashew Curried Chicken, Carolina Gold Rice, Cucumber & Mustard Green Salad, and Sorrel Jello (10/11, but registration required by 10/8)


1250 New York Ave. NW

  • NMWA Now: Museum Reopening — Two years after closing its doors for a major, top-to-bottom renovation of its iconic home — a 1908 Classical Revival structure listed on the National Register of Historic Places — the women’s museum will reopen with a bang the third Saturday of October with a full day of activities planned, including performances, talks, tastings, and flash tattoos (10/21)
  • The Sky’s the Limit — Never-before-exhibited contemporary sculptures dangle from the ceiling, cascade down walls, and extend far beyond their footprint on the gallery floor. Towering artworks on view feature an array of found objects such as silver-plated vessels, hair combs, ostrich eggs, and parasols, plus essential materials ranging from aluminum to wool (10/21-2/25)
  • Remix: The Collection — A showcase of both familiar collection favorites and never-before-exhibited recent acquisitions, with artworks grouped around themes that resonate among global artists across time, including photography, fiber works, the colors red and purple, nature, domesticity, and more (Ongoing)
  • Hung Liu: Making History — “Weeping” paintings and prints that pay homage to overlooked figures in history, predominantly vulnerable women and children from the artist’s native China (10/21-10/20/24)
  • Creative’s Keynote: Katy Hessel — British art historian and broadcaster discusses her recently released book The Story of Art Without Men and her advocacy of women and gender non-conforming artists, and will share ideas about what women throughout the museum world and visual arts sector more broadly can do to continue amplifying artists who deserve greater recognition. The museum’s signature Sunday Supper follows the lecture, with panelists and participants sharing a meal served family-style (11/12)


Eaton DC
1201 K St. NW

  • Washington D.C.’s International LGBTQ+ Film Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary and is planning “a retrospective with screenings of some of the very best and most memorable films from past years.” But the focus of this year’s festival, as it is every year, is a slew of new and exciting titles — some 58 in total, a mix of features, documentaries, and shorts. Over the course of the third weekend in October, Reel Affirmations will screen 25 of those films in the small but state-of-the-art theater inside downtown’s Eaton DC. A total of 43 films will screen virtually online (10/20-22)
Sixth and I: José Andres -- Photo: World Central Kitchen
Sixth and I: JosĂ© Andres — Photo: World Central Kitchen


600 I St. NW

  • If Books Are Banned: Reading Between the Lines — Ahead of Banned Books Week, Sixth and I hosts a panel discussion with PEN America Washington Managing Director Nadine Farid Johnson, author and journalist James Kirchick, and DC Public Library Executive Director Richard Reyes-Gavilan, moderated by The Washington Post‘s Laura Meckler, and ending with drag queen Tara Hoot reading from a banned children’s book (9/28)
  • JosĂ© AndrĂ©s — The renowned and revered Spanish-born, D.C.-based chef and founder of World Central Kitchen discusses The World Central Kitchen Cookbook: Feeding Humanity, Feeding Hope with MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan (10/1)
  • Keegan-Michael Key and Elle Key — Part masterclass, part memoir, The History of Sketch Comedy: A Journey Through the Art and Craft of Humor is an inventive and informative examination of comedy through the ages from the married Keys, who will be in conversation with The Washington Post‘s Helena Andrews-Dyer (10/4)
  • Roxane GayOpinions: A Decade of Arguments, Criticism, and Minding Other People’s Business collects many of the best nonfiction pieces from the bisexual cultural critic and New York Times contributing opinion writer, in conversation with MSNBC political analyst Juanita Tolliver (10/12)
  • Henry Winkler Being Henry is a deeply thoughtful memoir about the lifelong effects of stardom and the struggle to become whole from the Emmy-award winning actor known as The Fonz from Happy Days, in conversation with bestselling novelist Daniel Silva (11/7)
  • Josh Thomas — The Australian comedy prodigy, creator and star of Please Like Me and Everything’s Gonna Be Okay performs Let’s Tidy Up, a new show written with Lally Katz that finds Thomas trying to work out how to do the small stuff (12/7)
Sixth and I: Josh Thomas
Sixth and I: Josh Thomas


620 T St. NW

  • Adulting: True Tales about Growing Up — A one-night-only program of “raw, hilarious, and relatable true stories that delve into the triumphs and challenges of navigating adulthood,” with show directors Joy Spencer and Alex Appah guiding the storytellers, a lineup that includes Peter Jones, Jaleesa Matthews, Rohini Rao, Micaela Iveson, Rashee Raj, Mukta Ghorpadey, Hannah Koilpillai (10/10, Penn Social, 801 E St. NW)
  • Freaks & Geeks — A co-production with Mortified DC, which features adults sharing their most embarrassingly real teenage diary entries, poems, love letters, or locker notes — and reading it out loud to the room full of strangers. For this collaboration, one Mortified-style firsthand reading will be followed by a Story District-style true tale, told with no notes, and continue as such in alternating fashion to the end. The program’s takeaway message: adolescence is confusing and challenging, but with time and maturity, it makes for hilarious material (11/9, DC Improv, 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW)
  • Top Shelf: Best Stories of the Year — A panel of judges will review every story that was told between March 2022 through July 2023 to choose a final eight to land a coveted Top Shelf spot for the 13th edition of the year-end best program (12/16, Capitol Turnaround)
  • Everything Everywhere All the Time — “It’s a storyteller’s free-for-all,” allowing storytellers the chance to pitch a story on any subject they’d like (1/9/24, Penn Social)
  • Sucker for Love — Very popular Valentine’s Day special showcases true stories about romance and relationships in every which way, and is geared toward those who’d like to be entertained as well as to be inspired to talk about the shared tales with your loved one or friends (2/10/24, Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW)
  • Worst Date Ever: A Valentine’s Day Contest — Come out to hear hilarious, true tales of dates-gone-wrong to commiserate with and to cast your vote for the worst, with the winning loser (in love) earning a Golden Plunger (2/14/24)


The Mansion
10701 Rockville Pike
North Bethesda, Md.

  • Animal Kingdom: All Beasts Great & Small — The wonderful, whimsical, and wild interpretations of animals as can be seen in the work of photographers, printmakers, sculptors, and more (Now-10/28)
  • National Capital Art Glass Guild — When it was founded in 1978, the glass guild limited its membership to artisans working with stained glass, but as the glass arts have expanded, so too has the guild’s membership criteria, now open to any and all forms of glass art, including but not limited to, blown, mosaic, kiln-formed or fused, and lamp-worked. Those types of glass art are on display at an exhibition of works by guild members (Now-10/28)
  • Museum Shop Holiday Market — The 34th annual market offers an early, one-stop shop for holiday gifts from some of the area’s best museum gift shops, this year including Hillwood Museum & Gardens, the Phillips Collection, GWU Textile Museum, Nature First, Brookside Gardens, and the Kennedy Center (11/9-11)
  • Air Play — An adventure that “bounces on the edge of definitions: part-comedy, part-sculpture, part-circus, part-theater,” Air Play was devised, through years of experimentation with materials, movement, and technology, by circus performers Seth Bloom and Christina Gelsone in collaboration with kinetic sculptor Daniel Wurtzel (11/11, Music Center)
  • Fine Art in Miniature — A massive exhibition about the smallest structures, or more than 700 mini masterpieces made out of stone, oil, pastel, and print, none larger than a postcard and many as small as postage stamp-sized. The miniature creations are not just an exercise in making small art but a test of the miniaturist’s ability to create art that captivates, enchants, and invites viewers to move in for a closer look (11/18-1/13/24)


National Building Museum
401 F St. NW

  • The first weekend in October, the National Building Museum is the place to go for those seeking the finest in contemporary wearable fashion and home design accents. Presented by the Smithsonian Women’s Committee, this show reimagines and replaces the committee’s previous fall fundraiser Craft2Wear, expanding from just wearable one-of-a-kind clothing, jewelry, and accessories to factor in ceramics, glass, rugs, silver, and dinnerware for the home. Most if not all of the artists and artisans who made the goods for sale at the show will be on-site, allowing shoppers to meet, interact, and have a personal connection with the makers in a remarkable way. And best of all, proceeds benefit innovative education, outreach, and research projects at the Smithsonian’s museums, research facilities, and traveling exhibits. Through proceeds from the previous Craft2Wear shows as well as the Smithsonian Craft Show held every spring, the committee has contributed more than $14 million. Daily Admission is $20 (10/5-8)


Woodmont Triangle
Bethesda, Md.

  • The first Saturday in October sees the return of this annual outdoor food and music festival to Bethesda’s Woodmont Triangle and vicinity, with nearly 40 participating restaurants and four stages set-up for live music and entertainment, plus a dedicated children’s area with arts and crafts activities. Organized by the Bethesda Urban Partnership, this 31st year, and the first since the pandemic, introduces a heaping buffet of exciting newcomers, including CHIKO, Hawkers Asian Street Food, Maman, The Organic Butcher, Planta, Tacombi, JosĂ© AndrĂ©s’s Spanish Diner, and Good Ducking Burger. Benihana, Dog Haus Biergarten, Georgetown Cupcake at Bethesda Row, Medium Rare, Silver, and Tout de Sweet are just a few of the pre-pandemic venues returning in 2023. Free to attend, but tickets are required for all food and drink served and will be available for purchase on-site at a cost of $5 for four “taste” tickets (each serving costs between one and four tickets) or $8 each for beer and wine tickets (10/7)


513 13th St. NW

  • Chelsea Handler: The Little Big B*tch Tour — A limited number of tickets still remain for this show, which comes a night before Handler’s stop at the Kennedy Center that was announced first and is now sold out. The former host of Chelsea Lately, best-selling author, and host of the hit advice podcast Dear Chelsea returns to stand-up with a wholly new set from her last outing, the pandemic-themed Vaccinated and Horny Tour (10/5)
  • Fun & Slutty with Jonathan Van Ness — The Queer Eye stylist gets down and dirty for this one-man show (10/8)
  • Anthony Jeselnik — Comedian out on the Bones and All Tour (10/14)
  • Laureano Marquez & Emilio Lovera — “Lauraeamor y Emidilio” on tour (10/19)
  • Randy Rainbow for President — The gay YouTube-minted political parodist and musical satirist is out on the campaign trail, and the joke’s on us. Cue the laughter (10/20)
  • Kathleen Madigan — Boxed Wine & Tiny Banjos Tour (10/21)
  • Champions of Magic — The Worldwide Wonders Tour 2023 (11/3-4)
  • Whoreible Decisions — The ClimaXXX (11/9)
  • Nimesh Patel — Fast and Loose Tour (11/10-11)
  • Jimmy Carr — Terribly Funny (11/12)
  • Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson — “Astronomy Bizarre” (11/14)
  • A Drag Queen Christmas — Hark the most popular herald drag queens sing in this annual tradition from Murray & Peter Present (11/16)
  • Brett Goldstein — The Second Best Night of Your Life Tour (11/18)

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