Film, Stage, Music, Dining, more

Dance | Athletic Aesthetic

Moses Pendleton choreographs feats with his dance company Momix

Ask Moses Pendleton about his dance company Momix's next show in D.C. and he'll give you a perfectly lucid description -- and then crack wise. ''Botanica is a show that hopefully gives you the feeling of going through the four seasons, using basically the garden and natural world as inspiration,'' he says, continuing on a bit before stopping to laugh. ''Of course there is the opportunity to dream if you don't like the show. If you have that kind of ... [Read]

Music | Hi Lo-Fang

Matthew Hemerlein returns to D.C. for a post-Lorde hometown show

Matthew Hemerlein will perform as Lo-Fang at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue next weekend, for a concert not two months since the pop musician's debut at Echostage. ''It was nice to play someplace I'd never even been before,'' says Hemerlein, who opened for Lorde. ''It's great to see new places opening in D.C.'' {Lo-Fang (Photo by Grant Singer)} Those aren't merely idle words from an itinerant musician, one who also expects next weekend ''to see lots of familiar faces and ... [Read]

Stage | Unhappy Campers

''Camp David'' offers a subject well worthy of a revisit

An ideal evening at the theater for precocious high schoolers and the politically curious, Lawrence Wright's Camp David is a primer on President Jimmy Carter's brokering of an uneasy peace in the Mideast conflict as it stood in 1978. Written with mild humor, a certain passion and a storyteller's talent, this lesson in the vital and complex problems of this political and religious morass slips down with the ease of a geopolitical gel cap. Though it may not be overflowing ... [Read]

Music | German Engineering

disappear fear's SONiA reflects on her experiences in Germany

Sonia Rutstein recently met a man in Germany who inquired about her name. ''Oh, 'Rutstein.' This is a German name. Are you German?'' she recalls the man asking. ''And I said, 'Well, I was once.' And it felt really good to say that, because that's my heritage.'' Germany has also become part of the Jewish-American folk artist's present-day life. ''My friends have been wondering if I'm speaking in German and French yet, because I've spent quite a bit of time ... [Read]

Stage | Acting American

''Spelling Bee'' and ''Hair'' fill their stages with overflowing Americana, from well packaged to beautifully powerful

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is as American as apple pie -- especially as portrayed in the new production at Ford's Theatre. The musical about contestants and characters at a fictional regional spelling bee is also as American as its producing local theater company, based in the Civil War-era historical venue. Though director Peter Flynn could just as easily have created this for the Walt Disney Company. It's all wholesome, unobjectionable, feel-good fun, with light humor and even ... [Read]

Events | Stepping Out

Dissonance Dance's Black to Silver festival celebrates ''black gay arts''

''I can't think of many dance concerts that I've seen where it's been two black men dancing a story that was LGBT,'' says Shawn Short, head of Dissonance Dance Theatre. And those stray dance pieces about the gay black experience have shined a harsh light, focused on issues such as HIV stigma and violence. Says Short, ''I never saw anything that was a positive reflection of the community.'' So last year Short decided to take action, offering as part of ... [Read]

Events | Washington Wordsmith

Regie Cabico is sharing the art of celebrating syntax

''People think it's karaoke, but it's not karaoke,'' Regie Cabico says about the weekly variety show he runs at Black Fox Lounge. ''You really do need to know your song, you need to know what you're singing.'' In fact, La-Ti-Do isn't just cabaret, either. In addition to higher-quality singing than most impromptu karaoke, Cabico and his co-host DonMike Mendoza also select storytellers who offer spoken-word poetry and comedy. {Regie (Photo by Les Talusan)} The performance-art mix at La-Ti-Do is a ... [Read]

Opera | Love Is the Drug

It may get off to a slow start, but most will likely find Elixir worth the wait

Although people often call Donizetti's rom-com The Elixir of Love a good opera for the uninitiated, director Stephen Lawless's production requires a caveat: Remember that old-fashioned thing called patience? Bring some. For although it all eventually begins to fizz and crackle at an entertaining clip, the first few scenes vacillate between forced and tentative, like a fuse that can't quite decide whether to stay lit. Whether it's the dull whiffs of musical theater in the bustling villagers, the slightly confusing ... [Read]

Concert | Ciao Bello

Joe Bello prepares his swan ''dance'' as band leader of DC Different Drummers

For his swansong to the DC Different Drummers -- and to D.C. -- Joe Bello has put together a concert focused on dance. ''No, I won't be dancing,'' laughs Bello, director of DCDD's main ensemble the Capital Pride Symphonic Band. But Bello has hired five dancers to perform at the concert band's spring concert Saturday, March 29. ''The whole theme is centered around dance and several different forms of dance, including the tango and the polka,'' says Bello, who will ... [Read]

Stage | A Mighty Wind

The appeal of Signature's Beaches goes far beyond the maudlin movie

There are people -- plenty of them -- who absolutely love the maudlin 1988 chick flick blockbuster Beaches, about the platonic love of two women. I'm not one of them. But I suspect haters would come away from Signature Theatre's world premiere musical, an adaptation led in large part by the original novel's author Iris Rainer Dart, singing a new tune. Yes, even a certain old one, as director Eric Schaeffer reversed course from an earlier announced decision, and the ... [Read]