Out On the Town

This week's arts & entertainment calendar

Have an arts-related event? Best to mail your information to: Metro Weekly, 1425 K, NW; Suite 350; Washington, DC 20005 or e-mail . Phone with questions only: (202) 638-6830.


FILM

CHARLIE CHAPLIN'S THE KID
The American Film Institute's Silver Theatre kicks off its centennial series "Charlie Chaplin: The Tramp Turns 100" with this 1921 black-and-white film, Charlie Chaplin's debut feature, establishing the template for his unique mix of slapstick and sentiment. Playing The Tramp, the chaos-prone but nimble underdog everyman, Chaplin pairs up with Jackie Coogan as The Kid to become a footloose father-and-son duo -- until the authorities break it up. Saturday, April 19, at 3:30 p.m., and Wednesday, April 23, at 6:30 p.m. AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $12 general admission. Call 301-495-6720 or visit afi.com/Silver.

FILMFEST DC
Filmfest DC, otherwise known as the Washington, DC International Film Festival, returns for a 28th year with a program of 80 features, documentaries and shorts from all over the world to be screened over 11 days. Festival runs at various venues around town to April 27. Tickets are $12 for most screenings, $40 for opening night. Call 202-234-3456 or visit filmfestdc.org.


STAGE

ARGUENDO
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company presents a production from the innovative company Elevator Repair Service, applying its unique theatrical style to the Supreme Court. Arguendo tackles the 1991 First Amendment case Barnes v. Glen Theatre, in which a group of go-go dancers petitioned for their right to perform completely naked. John Collins directs the ensemble performing using verbatim oral arguments while visual artist Ben Rubin offers breathtaking projections. To April 27. Woolly Mammoth, 641 D St. NW. Tickets range from $35 to $72.50. Call 202-393-3939 or visit woollymammoth.net.

CAMP DAVID
Arena Stage presents a world premiere from Pulitzer Prize-winning New Yorker writer Lawrence Wright (My Trip to Al-Qaeda, the new scientology exposé Going Clear). Camp David is Wright's dramatization about the historical multiday meeting in 1978 among a few key world leaders, held in the show's namesake Maryland retreat, attempting to forge peace in the Middle East. The meeting resulted in really the only treaty, the Camp David Accords, establishing peace between Israel and Egypt, to yet stand the test of time in the modern-day Middle East. Molly Smith directs a cast that includes Richard "John Boy" Thomas as President Jimmy Carter, Ron Rifkin as Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, Khaled Nabawy as Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Hallie Foote as first lady Rosalynn Carter. To May 5. Kreeger Theater the at Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Tickets are $75 to $120. Call 202-488-3300 or visit arenastage.org.

GOLDA'S BALCONY
Tovah Feldshuh reprises the role that earned her a Tony nomination a decade ago, portraying Golda Meir in a show that set the record for the longest-running one-woman show in Broadway history. William Gibson's Golda's Balcony presents the story of the state of Israel in the 20th century and is presented as part of Theater J's Voices From A Changing Middle East Festival. To April 27. The Aaron & Cecile Goldman Theater, Washington, D.C.'s Jewish Community Center, 1529 16th St. NW. Tickets are $30 to $55. Call 202-518-9400 or visit washingtondcjcc.org.

HAIR
The Keegan Theatre presents a production of the pioneering rock musical Hair, both a joyous celebration of youth and a poignant journey through tumultuous 1960s America. The company's leaders and husband-and-wife team Susan Marie Rhea and Mark A. Rhea direct the show whose book and lyrics were written by Gerome Ragni and James Rado with music by Galt MacDermot. In addition to the classic songs such as "Aquarius," "Let the Sunshine In" and "Sodomy," Keegan's production features choreography by Rachel Leigh Dolan and a large ensemble cast led by Paul Scanlon and Josh Stricklin. To April 27. Andrew Keegan Theatre (formerly Church Street Theater), 1742 Church St. NW. Tickets are $35. Call 703-892-0202 or visit keegantheatre.com.

JARMAN (ALL THIS MADDENING BEAUTY)
The performance ensemble company force/collision, founded by local theater maverick John Moletress, premieres its latest complicated creation, a part-film/part-performance show inspired by the late queer activist and filmmaker Derek Jarman (The Last of England, Caravaggio, Sebastiane). Moletress directs and performs live in Jarman (all this maddening beauty), developed in part with noted Latin-American playwright Caridad Svich and force/collion's team of theater designers. In addition, Ben Carver serves as the production's filmmaker, and worked with a small cast of actors and voiceover artists. Opens in a Pay-What-You-Can Preview Thursday, April 17, at 8 p.m. To April 27. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $20, or $10 with a Capital Fringe Button. Call 202-399-7993 or visit atlasarts.org or force-collision.org.

MOTH
Studio Theatre's experimental-focused 2nd Stage presents the U.S. premiere of Moth, Australian playwright Declan Greene's story about two teen outcasts who escape the horrors of high school through their friendship and obsessions with anime and emo. Tom Story directs Allie Villareal and David Nate Goldman in this show exploring the intimate, devastating betrayals of adolescence. To May 4. Studio Theatre, 14th & P Streets NW. Tickets are $30 to $35. Call 202-332-3300 or visit studiotheatre.org.

SLEEPING BEAUTY: A PUPPET BALLET
In 2010 Pointless Theatre won a prize from the Capital Fringe Festival for its experimental show Sleeping Beauty, a puppet take on the fairy-tale classic set to Tchaikovsky and inspired by the Ballet Russe. The company restages the show for a regular run. To May 4. Flashpoint, 916 G St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $25. Call 202-315-1310 or visit flashpointdc.org.

TENDER NAPALM
Signature Theatre presents the Washington premiere of an edgy, new battle-of-the-sexes drama by Philip Ridley, whom the New York Times' Ben Brantley shouted about in a review as "one of the most linguistically vivid dramatists on the planet!" Signature's associate artistic director Matthew Gardiner directs this story about a man and a woman, played by Elan Zafir and Laura C. Harris, at a crucial point in their relationship in the aftermath of an extraordinary loss. To May 11. Ark Theatre at Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit signature-theatre.org.

THE ADMISSION
Theater J took a lot of heat from conservatives and Israeli hardliners last year when it announced a production of Motti Lerner's play about a contested attack by Israeli soldiers on Arab civilians early in the country's history. In response, the DC Jewish Community Center's theater company downgraded the production to a "workshop presentation" -- which translates to less theatrical showmanship and fewer performances. Even so, the theater is bracing itself for protests during the show, which is intriguingly billed as an Israeli homage to All My Sons and set in Haifa during the first Intifada. Sinai Peter directs a strong cast including Danny Gavigan, Kimberly Schraf, Michael Tolaydo and Pomme Koch. To April 27. The Aaron & Cecile Goldman Theater, Washington, D.C.'s Jewish Community Center, 1529 16th St. NW. Tickets are $30 to $55. Call 202-518-9400 or visit washingtondcjcc.org.

THE AMISH PROJECT
The acclaimed local theater collective Factory449 presents the D.C. area premiere of Jessica Dickey's The Amish Project, about the 2005 shooting at the one-room Amish schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Penn. Helen Hayes Award Winner and Factory449 member Nanna Ingvarsson takes on the task of portraying the seven characters in this production of the show, which was partially inspired by Moises Kaufman's The Laramie Project. And there's even a direct link to last fall's stellar production of The Laramie Project at Ford's Theatre: Holly Twyford, who starred in that ensemble show and now directs Facctory449's production. Opens Thursday, April 17, at 8 p.m. To May 11. Anacostia Arts Center, 1231 Good Hope Road SE. Tickets are $20. Call 202-355-9449 or visit factory449.org.

THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA
The Folger Theatre welcomes New York's Fiasco Theater for its typically inventive spin on Shakespeare, in this case the dizzying romantic comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona about mistaken identity featuring bandits and a grumpy bulldog. Fiasco's co-artistic directors Ben Steinfeld and Jessie Austrian direct the ensemble production in which Austrian acts alongside Zachary Fine, Noah Brody, Paul L. Coffey, Andy Grotelueschen and Emily Young. Now in previews. Opens Saturday, April 19, at 7:30 p.m. To May 25. Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $30 to $72. Call 202-544-7077 or visit folger.edu.

VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE
Only a year after its Tony Award-winning original run on Broadway, Baltimore's Center Stage jumps a full year ahead of D.C.'s Arena Stage with a new production of Christopher Durang's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. The comedy riffs on classic literary and theatrical themes, chiefly Chekhov, as a lifetime of sibling rivalry explodes into a weekend of comedic pyrotechnics. A co-production with the Kansas City Repertory Theatre and directed by that company's Eric Rosen, the new production stars Bruce Nelson, Barbara Walsh, Susan Rome and Zachary Andrews in the four title roles. Tuesday, April 22, starting at 6:30 p.m., is Night Out, a pre-show happy hour for gay patrons. Show runs to May 25. Center Stage, 700 North Calvert St., Baltimore. Tickets are $19 to $62. Call 410-986-4000 or visit centerstage.org.


MUSIC

ANGIE HEAD, ELI CONLEY AND BE STEADWELL
Local singer-songwriters Angie Head and Be Steadwell share the stage with Bay Area folkie Eli Conley for a night of queer music at the Electric Maid, Takoma Park's community arts space and performance venue. Friday, April 18, at 8 p.m. The Electric Maid, 268 Carroll St. NW. Suggested donation $10. Visit electricmaid.org.

ANI DIFRANCO, ERIC HIMAN
Nearly 25 years after helping chart the DIY path to success as a contemporary folk-rock singer-songwriter, Ani DiFranco is still out constantly touring. Next stop: Baltimore's Ram's Head Live, inviting her charming and handsome gay protégé Eric Himan to be her opening act. Saturday, April 26, at 8 p.m. Ram's Head Live!, 20 Market Place, Baltimore. Tickets are $40. Call 410-244-1131 or visit ramsheadlive.com.

BOHEMIAN CAVERNS JAZZ ORCHESTRA
Every Monday night the 17-piece jazz orchestra performs a variety of music from the big band repertoire -- including pieces by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Billy Strayhorn and Maria Schneider, plus originals from band members -- at its namesake venue. Founded by baritone saxophonist Brad Linde and club owner Omrao Brown, features some of D.C.'s best jazz musicians, including Linde and trumpeter Joe Herrera, who co-direct. Performances at 8 and 10 p.m. every Monday night. Bohemian Caverns, 2001 11th St. NW. Tickets are $10. Call 202-299-0800 or visit bohemiancaverns.com.

BOY GEORGE
Three decades since bursting on the scene with Culture Club, Boy George isn't nearly as androgynous or even as flamboyant, and he's far more grounded, both in voice and in deed. He makes a long overdue return to the U.S. on a tour with a 9-piece band that will perform selections from his full repertoire, though the focus is on This Is What I Do, his first original solo album in 18 years. "I'm expecting that this tour will be attracting pretty hardcore fans," he told Metro Weekly, adding with a laugh: "I'm hoping that they'll have done some of their homework with the music." Monday, April 21, Doors at 7 p.m. Nightclub 9:30, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $35. Call 202-265-0930 or visit 930.com. Also visit 930.com/friends to sign up for the club's Friends With Benefits rewards program offering exclusive deals and discounts on tickets, drinks and merchandise.

CLOUD CULT
An eccentric, eight-piece, indie rock band from Minnesota, Cloud Cult often reminds you of bigger-named artists, ranging from Bon Iver to Mumford & Sons to the Polyphonic Spree. Certainly Cloud Cult itself would be a bigger-known entity had it not turned down offers from major label records and opting to stick with founder Craig Minowa's environmentally focused Earthology Records. But of course that progressive, independent spirit only adds to their appeal. The group tours in support of a new live recording. Saturday, April 19, at 8 p.m. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $20 day of show. Call 202-408-3100 or visit sixthandi.org.

GALANTIS
Pop-flavored off-kilter EDM is exactly what you'd expect from a Swedish duo whose collective production pedigree includes quirky dance acts Miike Snow ("Animal"), Bloodshy & Avant (writers of Britney Spears's "Toxic") and Style of Eye (a co-writer of Icona Pop's "I Love It"). Teaming up as Galantis, Christian "Bloodshy" Karlsson and Linus "Style of Eye" Eklow set up a studio in a Baltic Sea archipelago. And that setting is reflected in the absorbing music featured on its self-titled debut EP, including singles "Smile" and "You": It's somehow generally both icy and energetic, moody and buoyant. Thursday, April 24, Doors at 9 p.m. Nightclub 9:30, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $30. Call 202-265-0930 or visit 930.com. Also visit 930.com/friends to sign up for the club's Friends With Benefits rewards program offering exclusive deals and discounts on tickets, drinks and merchandise.

GAY MEN'S CHORUS OF WASHINGTON
The 14-member a cappella group Potomac Fever and the 32-voice Rock Creek Singers, this gay chorus's two stellar select vocal ensembles, showcase their skills in a wide-ranging program titled "Forte." Saturday, April 19, at 5 and 8 p.m. Kogod Cradle in Arena Stage's Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Tickets are $35 to $40. Call 202-293-1548 or visit gmcw.org.

JACKSON BROWNE
With hit songs from 30 and 40 years ago, including "Running on Empty," "The Pretender," "Lawyers in Love" and "Somebody's Baby," Jackson Browne helped pioneer a style of passionate, heartfelt rock that artfully, articulating expresses political and personal views. Tickets on sale Friday, April 18, at 10 a.m. for Saturday, Aug. 23, show at Hippodrome Theatre, 12 North Eutaw St., Baltimore. Tickets are $49.75 to $61.75. Call 800-745-3000 or visit LiveNation.com.

LO-FANG
Matthew Hemmerlein, a native of Columbia, Md., now based in Los Angeles, returns for a hometown show nearly two months after opening for Lorde at Echostage. The international pop superstar personally tapped Hemmerlein to perform as her tour's one and only support act. This time, though, the singing multi-instrumentalist who records as Lo-Fang will have other musicians to help him play through his great electronic-orchestral pop tunes as featured on Blue Film. Saturday, April 26, at 8 p.m. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $15 in advance or $18 day-of. Call 202-408-3100 or visit sixthandi.org.

MARYLAND OPERA STUDIO
Nick Olcott leads University of Maryland opera students in a production of Johann Strauss's beloved 1874 operetta Die Fledermaus, the ultimate Viennese confection of witty pranksters, straying spouses and lilting melodies. Saturday, April 19, at 7:30 p.m. Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center's Ina and Jack Kay Theatre, University of Maryland, University Boulevard and Stadium Drive, College Park. Tickets are $25. Call 301-405-ARTS or visit claricesmithcenter.umd.edu.

NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Osmo Vanska leads the National Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 4, otherwise known as the "Italian Symphony." The program also features the NSO debut of Martin Frost performing Aho's Clarinet Concerto, plus Sibelius's Symphony No. 3. Thursday, April 24, at 7 p.m. Also Friday, April 25, and Saturday, April 25, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $10 to $85. Call 202-833-9800 or visit kennedy-center.org.

THE WASHINGTON DC INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL 2014
Every year the World Projects Corporation rewards a handful of top music ensembles from high schools and communities in the U.S. and beyond with the opportunity to perform at the Kennedy Center. This year's lineup features three high school wind ensembles, two from California and one from Chicago, the Tubinger Saxophone Ensemble from Heidelberg, Germany and the Virginia All Steel Orchestra from Martinsville, Va. Monday, April 21, at 7:30 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $30. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

WILLIAM FITZSIMMONS
Raised by blind parents in Pittsburgh who valued playing music as a key way to engage and communicate, William Fitzsimmons's folk music as a professional singer-songwriter is as expressive and richly orchestrated as you might expect from that sort-of upbringing, akin to Iron & Wine or Sufjan Stevens. But it's also dramatically colored by years of training and work as a counselor and therapist, with lyrics often exploring complicated issues, such as the personal and psychological effects of divorce and mental health. Fitzsimmons tours with a full band in support of the recently released set Lions, produced by Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla. Sunday, April 20, at 8 p.m. The Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW. Tickets are $25 day-of show. Call 202-588-5595 or visit thehowardtheatre.com. Also Monday, April 21, at 8 p.m. Metro Gallery, 1700 N. Charles St. Baltimore. Tickets are $15. Call 410-244-0899 or visit themetrogallery.net.


DANCE

AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE
The Kennedy Center plays host this weekend to this company's spirited staging of Don Quixote, praised by the New York Times for Marius Petipa and Alexander Gorsky's "glorious passages of choreography" set to Ludwig Minkus's melodic score and all taking place in a storybook Spain. Thursday, April 17, through Saturday, April 19, at 7:30 p.m. Also Saturday, April 19, and Sunday, April 20, at 1:30 p.m. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $25 to $109. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

THE WASHINGTON BALLET
Tour-de-Force is a gala-style program of provocative and engaging classical and contemporary ballets, this year centered on George Balanchine's Theme and Variations with music by Tchaikovsky. Also on the bill: Flames of Paris by Vasily Vainonen with music by Boris Asafyev and D-Construction by the Washington Ballet's own Septime Webre and music by John Cage. Wednesday, April 23, through Friday, April 24, at 7:30 p.m. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $35 to $125. Call 202-833-9800 or visit kennedy-center.org.


COMEDY

GARY GULMAN
The Kennedy Center offers a rare performance of stand-up comedy as part of its free daily Millennium Stage programming. A literal comedy giant, standing at 6 feet 6 inches, Gary Gulman has been prevalent on Comedy Central and the late-night television circuit in the decade since he was a two-time finalist on NBC's Last Comic Standing. From Saturday, April 19, at 6 p.m. Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. Free. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

THE SECOND CITY
Chicago's legendary improv troupe returns to the Barns at Wolf Trap for another revue of uproarious sketches and songs playing off the latest news and celebrity gossip. Friday, April 18, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, April 19, at 7:30 p.m. The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $25 to $27. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit wolftrap.org. GALLERIES

A NEW AGE OF EXPLORATION: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC AT 125
As part of an organization-wide toast to the first 125 years, the National Geographic Museum offers a visual and interactive exhibition celebrating modern exploration by featuring some of the most iconic moments from the institution and its bedrock magazine. Entered through an archway made of hundreds of issues of National Geographic magazine, the exhibition in the complex's 17th Street gallery features the work of National Geographic explorers, photographers, scientists and journalists -- everyone from Jacques Cousteau to James Cameron -- and is sponsored by GEICO, with the North Face a sponsor of giveaways and events throughout its run. Through June. National Geographic Museum, 1145 17th St. NW. Tickets are $11. Call 202-857-7588 or visit ngmuseum.org.

ASCAP: ONE HUNDRED YEARS AND BEYOND
The Library of Congress offers an exhibition featuring 45 objects celebrating the work of the leading organization advocating on behalf of musical artists. Included in this centennial toast to the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers is the original manuscript of Henry Mancini's The Pink Panther theme, Paul Williams's lyrics for "The Rainbow Connection," and the original lyrics, including the many drafts and revisions, to the Barbra Streisand staple "The Way We Were," written by Alan and Marilyn Bergman. There's also interactive, audio and video stations, and the screening of a film featuring artists explaining ASCAP's work. Through July 26. Performing Arts Reading Room Gallery, the Library of Congress's James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Call 202-707-8000 or visit loc.gov/concerts.

ATMOSPHERE
Artists Chandi Kelley, Stephanie Kwak, Paul Shortt and Zach Storm share their impressions through photography, video and painting of a two-week tour last summer with the Transformer Gallery to Beijing, D.C.'s Sister City. Through May 3. Transformer, 1404 P St. NW. Call 202-483-1102 or visit transformerdc.org.

CREATING THE IDEAL HOME, 1800-1939
Housed in the same building as Constitution Hall, the D.A.R. Museum offers a new exhibit exploring the evolution of household comfort and conveniences, and how American inventors patented all sorts of laborsaving and leisure-providing home devices, from the vacuum and the washing machine to the telephone and television. Through Aug. 30. D.A.R. Museum, 1776 D St. NW. Admission is free. Call 202-879-3241 or visit dar.org/museum.

GENOME: UNLOCKING LIFE'S CODE
Thanks to the work of the decade-long, $3 billion Human Genome Project, human society has gained much greater insight into our bodies and our health. Scientists have identified genes that contribute to disease, stoking hope for ways to treat or eradicate cancer among many other ailments. This new Smithsonian exhibition, which will travel the country later next year, explores the work and growth in sequencing technology that helped spark this medical and scientific revolution. Through September. National Museum of Natural History, 10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit mnh.si.edu.

HUMAN, SOUL & MACHINE: THE COMING SINGULARITY!
Baltimore's American Visionary Art Museum opens its 19th original thematic yearlong exhibition this weekend. Human, Soul & Machine is a playful examination of the serious impact of technology on our lives, as seen through the eyes of more than 40 artists, futurists and inventors in a hot-wired blend of art, science, humor and imagination. Through August. American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Highway, Baltimore. Call 410-244-1900 or visit avam.org.

JUN KANEKO'S CERAMIC SCULPTURES
In advance of its May production of The Magic Flute, the Washington National Opera presents an installation of ceramic sculptures by Jun Kaneko, the set and costume designer for WNO's new version of Mozart's final opera. A renowned visual artist and painter, Kaneko balances the aesthetic elements of his Japanese-American heritage in his work, represented in this exhibition with pieces from his "dumpling" series HEADS, Dangos as well as his series about a mischievous shape-shifter Tanuki. Now through May 19. Kennedy Center Hall of Nations. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.

LOULOUDI FLOWER/TO FLOWER
Selected works from submissions of members of the Washington Sculptors Group comprises this show presented at the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association's Athenaeum. LOULOUD! Flower/To Flower celebrates spring's awakening flora as well as the Alexandria Historic Garden Tour, set for April 26. Julia Bloom, Greg Braun, Alonzo Davis, Jaclyn Martin, Judith Pratt and Charles Swan are among the artists in the show, curated by Renee Stout. Through May 4. The Athenaeum, 201 Prince St., Alexandria. Call 703-548-0035 or visit nvfaa.org.

MAKE SOME NOISE: STUDENTS AND THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT
Pegged to the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and just one of several exhibitions at the Newseum marking the occasion, Make Some Noise: Students and the Civil Rights Movement explores the new generation of student leaders that emerged in the 1960s to fight segregation and fight for civil rights. John Lewis, now a U.S. representative from Georgia, and Julian Bond, a former chair of the NAACP, are among the leaders highlighted here. Through 2015. Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Tickets are $21.95 for general admission. Call 888-NEWSEUM or visit newseum.org.

ONE LIFE: MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.
One Life: Martin Luther King Jr. features historic photographs, prints, paintings and memorabilia, mostly drawn from the National Portrait Gallery's extensive collection, tracing the trajectory of King's career. Through June 1. National Portrait Gallery, 8th and F Streets NW. Call 202-633-8300 or visit npg.si.edu.

PASSION OF THE EMPRESS: CATHERINE THE GREAT'S ART PATRONAGE
In the 18th century Catherine the Great reigned over a golden age of Russian culture, founding what would become the State Hermitage Museum and transforming St. Petersburg into one of Europe's cultural centers. Hillwood Museum presents Passion of the Empress, which presents a selection of dazzling, finely crafted decorative art pieces in gold, silver, porcelain and enamel -- from Hillwood's collection as well as other pieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Walters Art Museum, Dumbarton Oaks, the Birmingham Museum of Art and private collections. Through June 8. Hillwood Estate, 4155 Linnean Ave. NW. Suggested donation is $12. Call 202-686-5807 or visit HillwoodMuseum.org.

PERUVIAN GOLD: ANCIENT TREASURES UNEARTHED
National Geographic Museum offers a show of gold and silver artifacts on loan from three Peruvian institutions, with the focus on a pre-Colombian headdress called "El Tocado." Skilled artisans created objects, from ceremonial masks to jewelry, that rival anything produced by the ancient Egyptians. Through Sept. 14. National Geographic Museum, 1145 17th St. NW. Tickets are $11. Call 202-857-7588 or visit ngmuseum.org.

SHAKESPEARE'S THE THING
As part of its yearlong celebration of what would have been William Shakespeare's 450th birthday, the Folger Shakespeare Library selects from its vast collection some great or quirky hits -- from the 1623 Shakespeare First Folio to a Sanskrit translation of Hamlet to a Shakespeare board game. Now to June 15. Folger Great Hall, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Call 202-544-7077 or visit folger.edu.

TRASH PHOTO CONTEST, EARTH BLANKETS & REMNANTS
Touchstone Gallery encourages everyone to take photos of "atrocious trash" and enter its Trash Photo Contest, just one of two exhibits presented in April in commemoration of Earth Day. The other is Rosemary Luckett's Earth Blankets & Remnants, photo collages and photo-printed fabric blankets pointing to what is covered and what is revealed in today's American landscape, exploring changes in the natural world and the environment. On display through a closing reception, during which the Best Atrocious Trash Photo will be selected, Friday, April 25, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Touchstone Gallery, 901 New York Ave. NW Call 202-347-2787 or visit touchstonegallery.com.

WINDOW TO WASHINGTON
"Window to Washington: The Kiplinger Collection at HSW" is an exhibition at Washington's Carnegie Library that traces the development of the nation's capital from a sleepy Southern town to a modern metropolis, as documented through the works of artists. The Historical Society of Washington, D.C., exhibition was made possible by a donation from the Kiplinger family. It's also an early step in a reorganization effort by the society, which has struggled to revive ever since its short-lived effort a decade ago to run a City Museum of Washington proved too ambitious. Open Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Historical Society of Washington, D.C., at the Carnegie Library, 801 K St. NW. Call 202-393-1420 or visit historydc.org.


ABOVE AND BEYOND

AWESOME CON 2014
A celebration of geekdom, from comic books to video games, and its influence on today's pop culture, D.C.'s annual comic-con offers three days of discussion panels, costume contests, gaming tournaments and trivia. Among the "fantasy" celebrities expected this weekend: Billie Piper (Doctor Who), Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride, Robin Hood: Men in Tights), Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings Trilogy) and Danai Gurira (Walking Dead). Friday, April 18, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, April 19, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, April 20, at 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place NW. Tickets and passes range from $20 to $250. Visit awesomecondc.com.

THE ALL-AMERICAN GENDERFUCK CABARET
Baltimore's interactive-oriented Glass Mind Theatre presents a show by Mariah MacCarthy pushing the boundaries of theater and exploring audience members' gender and sexual stereotypes and identity. Susan Stroupe directs this show featuring an androgynous emcee and combining humor, drama, raunchy jokes and dancing. To April 19. Gallery 788, 3602 Hickory Ave., Baltimore. Tickets are $10 to $15. Call 443-475-0223 or visit glassmindtheatre.com.

THE WEIRDO (PUPPET) SHOW!
Some of D.C.'s strangest performers have put their twisted minds together for what is being touted as "an evening that will make Meet The Feebles look like The Muppet Holiday Special." Among those performing at this puppet-focused Weirdo Show, produced by local performer Kellan Hancock: The musical comedy duo Continent of Crozia, consisting of drag act Lucrezia Blozia (aka actor Chris Griffin) and musician Christian Crowley; the burlesque and sideshow performer who goes by the name Jim Dandy; and veteran D.C. burlesque act Kittie Glitter, host of popular annual events Countdown to Yuri's Night and Elvis Birthday Fight Club. A Professor Sprocket hosts the show. Saturday, April 26, at 10 p.m. The Bier Baron Tavern, 1523 22nd St. NW. Tickets are $12.50 in advance or $15 day-of show. Visit weirdoshowdc.brownpapertickets.com.

UNIVERSAL GEAR'S GRAND OPENING PARTY
After first making the leap from 17th Street NW to join the increasingly bustling 14th Street NW a few years ago, gay D.C.'s fashion empire Universal Gear has now jumped to a surprisingly even more bustling section of the street a few blocks north, directly across from the brand-new Trader Joe's. This Saturday, April 19, the clothing retailer will ramp up the 1900 block's buzzy vibe with an afternoon party featuring a DJ, cocktails served by Cobalt, models parading around in the latest skimpy swimwear fashions, plus gifts and special discounts. And even more cause for celebration: 10 percent of all sales will be donated to SMYAL. Yes it's true, you've definitely got some shopping to do! Saturday, April 19, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Universal Gear, 1919 14th St. NW. Call 202-319-0136 or visit universalgear.com.