It’s rainy and cold again, but Entertainment Nation/Nación del espectáculo, a new exhibit coming to the National Museum of American History this year has me once again believing there’s no place like home in the District. Here are some recent arts-related headlines and news stories that’ll leave you feeling the same way. Check back weekly for future Monday Arts Roundups.
Heads Will Roll: SIX, by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, brings together the six women married to Henry VIII—including Anne Boleyn—and pop sensibilities to “remix 500 years of historical heartbreak into an exuberant celebration of 21st-century girl power!” (According to the press release.) The Broadway sensation, with its all women cast and all women band (dubbed The Ladies in Waiting), arrives at D.C.’s National Theatre on July 5, where it will run through Sept. 4. With lyrics like “Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived,” I’m not sure this is my definition of “girl power,” but what do I know—I learned that term from the Spice Girls, after all. Tickets for SIX go on sale at 10 a.m. on April 19.
We Take Care of Each Other: The praised play Remember This: The Lesson of Jan Karski, written by Clark Young, directed by Derek Goldman, and starring Oscar-nominated actor David Strathairn, returns to a local, and significant, stage this May. After a successful run with Shakespeare Theatre Company last fall, the play took off for its national tour. Now, before heading overseas this summer, it will show at Georgetown University’s Gonda Theater from May 12–22. It’s particularly significant because Karski, who “provided the earliest comprehensive accounts of Germany’s aim to exterminate the Jewish people,” was a professor at Georgetown for 40 years. The university’s Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics, co-directed by Goldman, was the first to present a draft of Remember This in 2014.
Lights, Camera, Action: A new permanent exhibition is coming to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Complete with a yellow brick road and the museum’s beloved piece of Oz memorabilia, the ruby slippers, the bilingual Entertainment Nation/Nación del espectáculo opens on Dec, 9. If you’ve been visiting the museum for years, you’ve likely seen the always magical, sequin-covered ruby slippers, but now you’ll find them alongside Michelle Yeoh’s Star Trek: Discovery costume, the dress worn by Ali Wong in a groundbreaking standup performance, one of Selena’s legendary costumes, and guitars that belonged to Prince, Paul Simon, and other musicians. The beloved robots from Star Wars, C-3PO and R2-D2, will be there too, as will Muhammad Ali’s boxing robe. The 7,200-square-foot, multimedia exhibit, with more than 200 objects, will be the Smithsonian’s first space dedicated to the history of entertainment.
Entertainment Nation/Nación del espectáculo will anchor the museum’s new Culture Wing on the third floor. In addition to the Hall of Culture and the Arts, a gallery that will feature temporary exhibitions, the wing will also house the museum’s Warner Bros. Theater, slated to reopen on Dec. 9 as well.
Climate Change: COAL + ICE, the Kennedy Center’s immersive photography exhibit that examines climate change via its impact on landscapes and people will stay up and open to the public for another day. The exhibit was scheduled to close after April 22, but in honor of Earth Day, COAL + ICE will run through April 23 with additional events planned. On Earth Day proper, April 22, an evening event, complete with a guided tour, live art creation by Cuban costume designer Celia Ledón, a DJ, and the presentation of Asia Society Climate Change’s poster design prizes, will start at 6:30 p.m. Ledón is the star of Friday evening’s Sustainable Fashion event. The designer—in a panel discussion with Manuel Carmona Yebra, counsellor for environment and oceans at the Delegation of the European Union to the United States, and the Kennedy Center’s vice president for international programming Alicia Adams—will discuss how she creates sustainable fashion using recycled materials.
Open Temple: If you’ve ever driven on the Capital Beltway, you’ve probably seen an imposing white and gold building peeking out over rows of trees. My family has affectionately nicknamed it the Emerald City building because its enchanting shape mimics the Wizard of Oz’s fictional residence. Its official name is actually the Washington D.C. Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That means that—with very few exceptions—people who do not belong to the Latter-day Saint faith are not allowed to enter, which is true of all LDS temples. On April 28, the temple will make one of those rare exceptions. It’s opening for an open house, which will run through June 11. It’s the first time since the temple was built in 1974 that non-believers will be allowed inside, and not just confined to gazing in awe from their cars. There’s no yellow brick road to follow, but there is parking and a free shuttle from the Forest Glen Metro Station to get you there while you have the chance. —Ella Feldman
Shop, Drop, and Roll: Femme Fatale DC will return to a Cleveland Park storefront this June. Co-owned by Cee Smith and Adriana Mendoza, this Black- and Latinx-owned grassroots retail venture does store pop-ups and online sales. It began in 2016 to support and spotlight femmes, women, and nonbinary makers. When it pops up at brick and mortar location, Femme Fatale DC creates space for retail, art showings, and community gatherings. Today (April 18), they opened their applications for entrepreneurs looking to sell their goods and spread brand awareness this summer. Applications, with a $20 fee, are due on May 2. Once those are received, Femme Fatale DC will open applications for Experiences + Events.
Make it Rain: Calling all local artists! The 2022 Washington Award, funded by Sachiko Kuno of the S&R Evermay Foundation, is looking to support DMV residents with not one but eight awards for the year ahead. In an effort to reach a more diverse swath of artists and needs, local creators can apply for one of four $12,500 cash prizes or, for the first time ever, one of four year-long studio space awards. The four cash prizes will go to one artist in each of the following disciplines: dance (performance or choreography), music (performance or composition), visual art (studio-based or community based), and interdisciplinary art. Likewise, one artist in each of the aforementioned disciplines will be chosen for a one-year usage of the dance studio or studio spaces at Georgetown’s Fillmore School. Terms, such as leading events for the local community to attend, do apply.
The nonprofit behind it all, S&R Evermay, has been working since 2000 to educate, support, and recognize “talented emerging innovators, scientists, and artists whose talents contribute to improved global, cultural and scientific understanding.” The Washington Award is one of two annual awards handed out by the organization. The other, known as the Kuno Award, is given to women using scientific research and principles to address current issues. Applications for the 2022 Washington Award are due April 29. Awardees will be notified the week of June 13.