Washington City Paper: To Do This Week July 12–18
July 11, 2019
Watch a classic ballet, see aquatic plants in bloom, and hear a summery indie pop duo.
Hello, D.C. arts lovers. In addition to our usual recommendations, here’s a single piece of art that’s worth your time. Yesterday, if you watched the Manhattan parade celebrating the U.S. women’s World Cup victory, you may have seen a specific sign: “I WANT A DYKE FOR PRESIDENT.” It’s a nod to the many out queer women who helped secure the trophy, especially co-captain Megan Rapinoe, who’s made headlines recently for speaking out against President Donald Trump. But it’s also a reference to artist and activist Zoe Leonard’s 1992 work “I want a president,” now on view at the Hirshhorn as part of the group exhibition Manifesto: Art x Agency.
The poem famously begins “I want a dyke for president.” It asks for a president with AIDS, for “someone with no health insurance,” for someone “who has stood on line at the clinic,” for someone “who crossdresses and has done drugs and been in therapy.” Leonard originally intended to publish the work in an LGBTQ magazine, but the publication went under before she could. Instead, she and her friends distributed it via Xeroxed copies; as a result, when the piece is displayed in galleries, it’s usually as a stack of papers free for the taking. At the Hirshhorn, It’s displayed on the wall, but copies sit on the floor beneath it. The manifesto’s initial demands are straightforward and searing, but it ends with a question: “I want to know why this isn’t possible. I want to know why we started learning somewhere down the line that a president is always a clown: … always a thief and never caught.” The exhibition is on view to Jan. 5 at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Independence Avenue and 7th Street SW. Free. (202) 633-1000. hirshhorn.si.edu. —Emma Sarappo
Place a pair of scissors on a flat surface, point down like a compass. Keeping one blade still, open the scissors into a V and close them again. At the same time, turn the instrument 360 degrees. Open and close, around and around, and—roughly—you have the contours of a fouetté, considered one of the most demanding turns in ballet. Swan Lake, choreographed in 1895 by Marius Petipa to a Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky score, traditionally features 32 of those whipped turns in a row. Read more >>> The ballet begins at 8:30 p.m. at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. $25–$80. (703) 255-1900. wolftrap.org. (Mary Scott Manning)
Reunited alt-rockers Anberlin take their farewell tour to The Fillmore Silver Spring. 8 p.m. at 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $29.50.
Dierks Bentley brings the summer heat with his Burning Man tour at Jiffy Lube Live. 7 p.m. at 7800 Cellar Door Drive, Bristow. $35–$285.75.
Backstreet’s back—the Backstreet Boys perform at Capital One Arena with opener Baylee Littrell. 8 p.m. at 601 F St. NW. $180–$1,200.
Lotus and Water Lily Festival
Summer in the District is in full bloom—and so are the lotus and water lily plants at Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens. The National Park Service’s annual Lotus and Water Lily Festival is back in 2019 to showcase the floating blooms and arts and entertainment from cultures around the world. The gardens are the last remaining tidal wetlands in the city and the only national park focused on aquatic plants. Read more >>> The event begins at 10 a.m. at Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens, 1550 Anacostia Ave. NE. Free. nps.gov/keaq. (Lia Assimakopoulos)
David Miller, author of the new children’s book Gabe & His Green Thumb, hosts story time at Mahogany Books. 1 p.m.–3 p.m. at 1231 Good Hope Rd. SE. Free–$20.
Legendary soul singer and Grammy winner Peabo Bryson bounced back from an April heart attack in time for his show at Bethesda Blues & Jazz. 7 p.m. at 7719 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda. $67.50–$87.50.
Author Jeff Gordinier discusses his new book Hungry: Eating, Road-Tripping, and Risking It All with the Greatest Chef in the World, which tells the story of a global gastronomic expedition, at Politics & Prose at Union Market. 6 p.m. at 1270 5th St. NE. Free.
The Juliet Letters
Elvis Costello’s 1993 collaboration with the Brodsky Quartet could be called the mother of all concept albums. The Juliet Letters is a recording of imaginary epistles directed to Shakespeare’s tragic heroine, set to music written and arranged by Costello and the string virtuosos. “Costello summons all his savage wit to envision the kinds of immortality mortals might wish for,” Elysa Gardner wrote in Rolling Stone 26 years ago. The album achieved cult classic status among fans of both the British rock star and quirky classical music. At a cabaret-style concert, three singers from the D.C.-based chamber opera company UrbanArias will take turns bringing Costello’s forlorn characters to life. Read more >>> The show begins at 2 p.m. at Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. $47. urbanarias.org. (Rebecca J. Ritzel)
Sun-drenched alternative rock group The Mowgli’s bring their good vibes to Union Stage. 7:30 p.m. at 740 Water St. SW. $20–$40.
Celebrate Bastille Day by joining the DC Road Runners for a four-mile race on the C&O Canal Towpath. 7 p.m. at 4940 Canal Road NW. Free–$10.
Rapper Nas celebrates the 25th anniversary of his debut album Illmatic, now recognized as one of the most influential releases in East Coast hip-hop, by staging a new rendition with the National Symphony Orchestra at Wolf Trap’s Filene Center. 8 p.m. at 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. $50–$115.
TIMESTAMP: Snapshots of a Changing D.C.
If TIMESTAMP: Snapshots of a Changing D.C. lacks the encyclopedic quality of Chris Earnshaw and Joseph Mills’ photographic oeuvre of the city, it does deliver some worthy glimpses. Several contributors use straightforward black-and-white that blurs chronology, like Steven M. Cummings’ classic D.C. image of Chuck Brown on top of Anacostia’s iconic Big Chair, his sidewalk photograph of an elderly couple that echoes “American Gothic,” and Esther Hidalgo’s Atget-like wanderings through D.C.’s architectural facades. Read more >>> The exhibition is on view to July 27 at the Carroll Square Gallery, 975 F St. NW. Free. (202) 347-7978. (Louis Jacobson)
The Simpsons‘ longest-serving writer, Mike Reiss, discusses his new behind-the-scenes book Springfield Confidential at Politics & Prose at the Wharf. 7 p.m. at 70 District Square SW. Free.
Literary indie rockers Okkervil River will play deep cuts and requests to promote A Dream in the Dark, a retrospective on their two decades of music, at The Hamilton. 7:30 p.m. at 600 14th St. NW. $24.75–$49.75.
D.C.-based rock group Park Snakes play Comet Ping Pong with French Vanilla and headliner Stef Chura. 9 p.m. at 5037 Connecticut Ave. NW. $12.
Back in 2014, Lana Del Rey caused a minor stir by referencing the first line of The Crystals’ 1962 single “He Hit Me (And It Felt Like a Kiss)” in her song “Ultraviolence.” While Del Rey eventually stopped singing the titular lyric, her onetime opener Nicole Dollanganger tripled down, covering the song and turning it into a BDSM fantasy on a collection of songs dedicated to the protagonist of Todd Solondz’s blacker-than-black comedy Welcome to the Dollhouse. Read more >>> Nicole Dollanganger performs at 8 p.m. at Songbyrd Music House, 2477 18th St. NW. $15–$17. (202) 450-2917. songbyrddc.com. (Chris Kelly)
Northern Virginia native Ethan Schaefer has been playing shows at Jammin’ Java since he was 14—and he’s returning to promote his new album Lost Lover Found. 7:30 at 227 Maple Avenue E. $12.
Hear Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna‘s voice take over 9:30 Club. 8 p.m. at 815 V St. NW. $25.
Louisville rockers Edgar Red play at Velvet Lounge. 9 p.m. at 915 U St. NW. $10–$15.
Summertime and the living in Shirlington is easy with Signature Theatre’s summer cabaret series. Maria Rizzo, a Signature regular (A Little Night Music, Gypsy), is heating up the theater with a great lineup of sultry, sexy Broadway showtunes. Fan of the FX show Fosse/Verdon? Rizzo channels Gwen Verdon for a little “Big Spender.” Read more >>> The show runs to July 20 at Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. $38. (703) 820-9771. sigtheatre.org. (Diana Metzger)
Southwestern rockers Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers perform at City Winery. 8 p.m. at 1350 Okie St. NE. $25–$35.
Author Madeline Henry discusses her debut novel Breathe In, Cash Out, the story of a financial analyst hoping to drop it all and become a yoga instructor, at Kramerbooks. 6:30 p.m. at 1517 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free.
You might recognize Jeff Hiller from bit parts on 2000s comedies like 30 Rock, Community, and Psych; see him shine at Studio Theatre as the star of Bright Colors, Bold Patterns, a one-man show that takes on the issues facing modern gay life. 8 p.m. at 1501 14th St. NW. $20–$45.
The first lyrics on Real Life, the April release from indie-pop duo Cayucas, repeatedly tell listeners to “shake.” They’re followed by a melodic “woah-oh-oh,” a bright bass line, and a drum track that begs you to dance. The song, “Jessica WJ,” sounds like it belongs in the summer montage of an indie movie, and kicks off an album of nine tracks that could each do the same. Read more >>> Cayucas perform at 7 p.m. at U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. $15. (202) 588-1889. ustreetmusichall.com. (Ella Feldman)
Contemporary country singer Thomas Rhett performs at Merriweather Post Pavilion. 7 p.m. at 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. $55–$125.
See the first night of Joe Coleman‘s genre-fusion cabaret, No Boundaries, at Signature Theatre. 8 p.m. at 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. $38.
Catch Ella Varner—who won a Grammy for her songwriting on Chance the Rapper‘s Coloring Book—at The Howard Theatre. 8 p.m. at 620 T St. NW. $35–$75.
NEWS & REVIEWS YOU CAN USE
News: Very Sad Lab will help save your frail ferns and sagging succulents.
Music: Don’t look further than the D.C. region for your perfect summer playlist.
Theater: Twanna Hines would like to remind you that We’re All Going to Fucking Die!
OFFICE OF FUTURE PLANNING
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday for Queer Eye star Antoni Porowski‘s book tour, at Lincoln Theatre on Sept. 10. 8 p.m. at 1215 U St. NW. $45–$95.
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday for an evening with primatologist Jane Goodall, speaking at The Anthem on Sept. 23. 8 p.m. at 901 Wharf St. SW. $55–$85.
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday for electro-funk artist GRiZ, performing at The Anthem on Sept. 27. 8 p.m. at 901 Wharf St. SW. $40–$189.
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