Category Archives: Shows

World Premiere Comedy The Totalitarians Arrives at Woolly Mammoth

totalitarians dc woolly mammothIf you worship at the altar of Colbert, if you religiously watch The Daily Show, you won t want to miss this riotous comedy!

Pay-What-You-Can Performances start on June 2, with performances continuing through June 29.  Shows starts at 8:oo.

Francine, the ambitious speechwriter for a rich housewife s vanity campaign for public office, has stumbled upon pure gold: a perfectly patriotic slogan. So what if it’s totally meaningless? And so what if her doctor husband disapproves? With it Francine can turn the campaign around and make her unpredictable, gaffe-prone candidate electrifyingly powerful and finally, just maybe, get herself out of Nebraska.

Written by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, author of Boom, this high-energy farce exposes just how vacuous and absurd our political language has become. If you worship at the altar of Colbert, if you religiously watch The Daily Show, you won’t want to miss The Totalitarians.

Woolly Mammoth Theater
641 D St NW

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Blue Note Records: The Role of Music in Cultural Diplomacy

blue note jazz anniversary dc

This discussion accompanies the Blue Note exhibition at the Goethe-Institut.

Wolfram Knauer, director, Jazz Institute Darmstadt
Penny Von Eschen, professor of history and American culture, The University of Michigan
Larry Appelbaum, Senior Music Reference Specialist, Library of Congress

Since the 1950s, the U.S. State Department has sent black and white musicians around the globe. Jazz was the musical diplomat of the free world and simultaneously the argument against the accusation of racism in the United States. The medium and the art are the purpose of diplomatic commitment themselves.

Blue Note Records celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2014. Its roots lie in Berlin, where Alfred Lion, a teenager in the thrall of swing music, met Francis (Frank) Wolff, a young photographer with similar musical interests, in 1924. Their mutual love of American jazz fed a strong friendship. Both men moved to New York in the 1930s, where Blue Note Records was born in 1939.

Through Blue Note Records, Lion and Wolff helped shape the world s musical, social and cultural direction from the mid- to the late-twentieth century. Today a new generation of jazz aficionados has rediscovered Blue Note, with many of Lion’s vintage recordings enjoying recent reissues. As Herbie Hancock recalled on learning of Alfred’s death: He was a German, from the old school, who had a gift, a real insight into the qualities that the great black artists of his day were exhibiting. The world of music won’t be the same without him – I don’t suppose we’ll ever see his like again. 

Blue Note @ 75 is a citywide celebration organized by the German Historical Institute, the Goethe-Institut, the Kennedy Center, and the Library of Congress.

Panel takes place May 28 from 6:30-8:00pm at the Goethe-Institut @ 812 7th St NW.

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Midcity Artists (MCA) Welcomes Visitors This Weekend

pic courtesy of Mid City Artists

pic courtesy of Mid City Artists

Mid City Artists (MCA), a visual art collective in this vibrant residential neighborhood, opens studios on May 17th and 18th for visitors to tour.

With studios spread among the Mid City area of NW Washington DC (from Dupont Circle to Logan Circle), the tour offer visitors a rare portal into the artists’ creative habitat and an opportunity to participate in the District’s dynamic and diverse arts community. It is free of charge and offers refreshments as well as good conversation.

From the MCA website:
Enjoy a day touring with friends and observing the artistic process. Explore how artists have carved out their working spaces and build your collection from the connections that you make with these artists.

This spring for the first time, visitors can use their Creative Genius badge, available from any participating artist, to garner special deals at supporting businesses. Discounts will be given when visiting the individual business and can include deals for local wine, chocolate, clothing and even art.

Back by popular demand, MCA has arranged five guided tours for visitors by an art expert to further illuminate the process. Each tour visits different studios and will be a small group of no more than 10 people. These free tours are on a first-come, first-serve basis and must be reserved in advance through the MCA website.

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May 14: Pay-What-You-Can Preview of Pallas Theatre Company’s She Stoops to Conquer

DC Style Is Real always recommends Pay What You Can (PWYC) performances.  It’s a way to go see something new for not a lot of money.  So go out and support some local theater!  Read on for the release from Pallas Theater Company’s new show at the Anacostia Arts Center.

pic courtesy of Pallas Theater Company

pic courtesy of Pallas Theater Company

A play that parodies extremes. At one end: a love of material elegance, sophistication, and excess. At the other: the appreciation of the simple country life. In the end, a balance between the two must be found for the characters to achieve happiness.The idea of battling extremes is particularly resonant in Washington D.C.’s political and social culture today.  In recent years, radicalism in political parties has brought government to a screeching halt.  Gentrification continues to push the middle class and poor further out of the city limits and rearrange the social and cultural geographies of the capital.

Director Ann Marie T. Saunders, renowned Washington D.C. theatre scholar, sets this production in the city of Washington in the early 1820s, a time of equally polarizing cultural influences. She Stoops to Conquer promises to be both hilarious and thought-provoking!
Performances run May 15 – June 1
Tickets $20.

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Weekend East City Event Round Up:  2014 Gateway Open Studio Tour Edition

Work by ceramicist Joe Hicks on display at the 2013 Gateway Open Studio Tour.  Photo by Phil Hutinet for East City Art.

Work by ceramicist Joe Hicks on display at the 2013 Gateway Open Studio Tour. Photo by Phil Hutinet for East City Art.

Friday, May 9

Honfleur & Vivid Solutions Galleries  6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The Anacostia galleries are showing their feminine side this Friday with two concurrent exhibitions by women artists.  In Parallels: Sculptures and Installations, Nara Park uses water as an artistic medium.  Be prepared to see cascades, aquariums and other water features.  Upstairs at Vivid Solutions, in If We Came From Nowhere Here, Why Can’t We Go Somewhere There? artist collective MAMBU BADU explores African identity and “Afro-futurism.”  Exhibition descriptions here.

Honfleur and Vivid Solutions Galleries are located at 1231 Good Hope Road SE

RandallScottProjects– 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

RSP will show Amy Myers’ Natural Curve.  In this science meets art exhibition, Myers, the daughter of physicists who grew up hearing the language of theoretical physics, creates work that explores the contractions between form, chaos and chance.  Details and images here.

RandallScottProjects is located at 1326 H Street NE, 2nd Floor (above Atlas Vet)


Saturday, May 10

Volunteer Capitol Hill 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Why not volunteer for an arts organization?  This a great opportunity to meet your neighbors, to make new friends and to have a say in what goes on in your community.  Event takes place at Hill Center located 921 Pennsylvania Avenue SE. Details here.

Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

17 venues, 70 studios and over 100 artists— it’s an East City Art reader’s dream!  Officially this is the 10th anniversary of the event.  Eric Hope has interviewed stakeholders here.  You can’t possibly see it all in one tour which is why we’re thankful it’s an annual event!  All the times, details and listings here.

The OST takes place along the Route One Corridor.  Download detailed map here.

Additional Artist Open Studios 12 p.m.

There are three other open houses you should know about.  First, the 52 O Street studios will be open to the public all weekend. Next, on Saturday, DC Glassworks will be open for the Gateway Open Studio Tour (above). Lastly, a new artist studio space called “Off the Beaten Track Warehouse” officially opens to the public. It is the home of District Clay which we have profiled on East City Art. Addresses, times and listings here.

Off Rhode Gallery– 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

In a wonderfully refreshing trend, Off Rhode Gallery surprises again with yet another unexpected exhibition this year.  In Wild Ocean: Sharks, Whales, Rays and Other Endangered Sea Creatures, the gallery will exhibit artwork by artist Matt Dembicki who created these works for a graphic novel about the world’s oceans.  Details and images here.  

Off Rhode Gallery is located at 2204 Rhode Island Avenue NE

39th Street Gallery – 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The best part of the Gateway Open Studio Tour is that the art never stops.  Join the 39th Street Gallery for Mind + Body + Metaphor curated by Martha Jackson Jarvis.  The exhibition by artists Shaunte’ Gates and Nijena Surae Jarvis explores the human body as a metaphor.  Details and images here.

The 39th Street Gallery is located at 3901 Rhode Island Ave., Brentwood, MD (second floor)

Brentwood Arts Exchange – 5 p.m.

After you’ve seen art all day, you may have formed an opinion or two about what you’ve seen!  In America’s Next Top Master Artist, you’ll have the opportunity to exercise your opinion and select which artists get to move ahead to the next round for awards and cash prizes.  Artist list and details here.

The Brentwood Arts Exchange is located at 3901 Rhode Island Avenue, Brentwood, MD


Spring Studio Tours (One more left! Save the date!)

May 17-18—  Mid-City Artists Open Studios

What about Mid-City and 52 O Street NW?  Please read our open letter about East City Art’s expansion here

Phil Hutinet is the Editor-in-Chief of East City Art.  You can get more information about East City Art on Facebook , by following them on Twitteror click here to sign up for their newsletter.

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Hill Center Concert Series Features Redline Graffiti

pic courtesy of Redline Graffiti

pic courtesy of Redline Graffiti

District Sounds, hosted by Washington Post pop music critic Chris Richards, features conversation and concert with Redline Graffiti.  Think garage rock mixed with electronica and R&B.

Named for a stretch of graffiti art that runs along Washington’s oldest public train line, the quartet’s sound has been described by reviewers as “somewhere between Passion Pit and Frank Ocean” (Blisspop), “electro-rock newcomers” (Dave Malitz, Washington Post), and “very cinematic sounding” (Alexis Hauk, Washingtonian).  Judge for yourself: listen to their new EP here.

Richards has been hosting these concert/conversation evenings for several months now.  To learn more about what Richards hopes to accomplish, watch a clip from WETA here.

Tickets are $10/advance, $15/day of. Conversation at 7 p.m. Performance at 7:30 p.m on Friday, May 9.
The Hill Center: 921 Pennsylvania Ave SE

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Hill Center Concert Series features Dandy Wellington

Hill Center welcomes New York entertainer Dandy Wellington and his Band to the Hill Center Concert Series.

Inspired by the jazz of the big band era, the band has taken the sounds of the 1930’s and 40’s and created a world of well dressed music. With a passion for obscure songs steeped in the Jazz tradition, Dandy Wellington has assembled a program from the golden age of cinema to the bounce of New Orleans.

Born and raised in Harlem, Dandy Wellington grew up with one foot on the stage and jazz pumping through his veins. Dandy has dedicated his life to social awareness through the mediums he knows best: music and fashion. Through his own brand and lifestyle, Dandy serves the city of New York as a performer, social media guru, and conceptual stylist.

Burnett Thompson, Director. Funded in part by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, an agency supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as National Capital Bank.

Tickets: $15/advance, $20/day of
Show starts at 7:30pm on Wednesday, May 7 at the Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Ave SE

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Takoma Park Art Hop, this Saturday and Sunday

pic courtesy of

pic courtesy of

With more beautiful spring weather forecast for this weekend, make your way up to Takoma Park (just on the other side of the DC border) for the annual Art Hop.  It’s a weekend of public art, classes, demonstrations and more.  See the schedule below for an idea of what’s in store this year.

Takoma Park is taking off these days, especially with the opening of Republic, the new eatery from Black Restaurant Group (think Pearl Dive Oyster Palace and Black Jack).  Eater DC ranks the new restaurant on there Heat Map: Where to Eat Right Now.  There is seating inside and out, as well as half in/half out, as the bar area opens onto the scenic back patio, where the vintage neon sign from the previous tenant, the beloved Video Americain, looks down over the proceedings.


11 am:  MAD Fitness Class (Gazebo patio)

12 – 3 pm:  JoJo Fekwa - celebrated DC painter (Takoma Metro underpass)

2:30 – 3:30 pm:  Knock on Wood Dance Studio tap-dancing performance (Gazebo Patio)

3 – 5 pm:  Elevate Arts aerial arts demo and free play (Dance Exchange)

3 pm:  Holistic Health, Hips and Happiness – Artist Talk/ Video Premiere with Artist Judybeth Greene at MamaSita Studio (6906 4th St, NW)

3:30 – 4:30 pm: Roda Movements dance demo (Gazebo Patio)

7:30 pm:  Dance Afire Fire Show Spectacular (Gazebo Patio)

All day:  Altar Arts by Anike  Body/Face painter (Gazebo)

All day: CREATE Arts Center children’s craft table (in front of ArtSpring Community Art Store)


11 – 11:30 am Lab DC Breakin’ School performance (Gazebo Patio)

12 – 1 pm:  Willow Street Yoga  free community yoga class  – bring your mats! (6930 Carroll Ave, front patio)

1 pm ROADDOG blues band at Salon Jam

1 pm: Silver Stars Gymnastics demo (Gazebo Patio)

1 – 5 pm: Art of Woodcarving talks by Jim Calder at Historic Takoma (must have ticket for Takoma Park House and Garden Tour; for more info)

2-3 pm: Chantal Ross and Luz Rodriguez of the DC Style Salsa Academy: Zumba and Salsa demos– be ready to dance! (Gazebo Patio)


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Weekend East City Event Round Up:  Black & White Edition

Stephanie Bianco.  Artist selected for the Capitol Hill Art League's Black & White & in Between juried exhibition.  Photo courtesy of the artist.

Stephanie Bianco. Artist selected for the Capitol Hill Art League’s Black & White & in Between juried exhibition. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Friday, April 25

Mount Rainier Better Block– 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Mount Rainier’s Better Block Project kicks-off its third year of festivities featuring Lesole’s Dance Project, Urban Eats Arts and Music Café, Adinkra Cultural Arts Studio, Beloved Community Mosaics, artist Kenny George and Patrick McDonough’s Chard/Hops spot, a Hoop Jam by Noelle Powers to the body rollin’ tunes of BOOMscat, an open studio at Ani Kasten Ceramics, a pop-up exhibition by Krista Schlyer and family crafts with Community Forklift.  For a full description of this must go to event, click here.

The festivities will take place between Rhode Island Avenue and 34th Street in Mount Rainier, MD

Saturday, April 26

39th Street Gallery 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Artist Eric Rhein will hold an artist talk at the gallery to discuss his current exhibition Natural World.  The subject matter of Rhein’s mixed media work is heavily influenced by his HIV positive status.  To read more about natural world, click here.

The 39th Street gallery is located at 3901 Rhode Island Avenue, second floor, Brentwood, MD

Capitol Hill Art League–  5 p.m. to  7 p.m.

The Capitol Hill Art League’s Black & White & In Between exhibition will showcase league member’s work in all media.  Juror Richard Dana will speak at 5:30 p. m. to discuss his selection and process.  For a list of selected artists, click here.

The CHAL exhibition is located at 545 Seventh Street SE at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop

Saturday Workshops

CHAW–  10 a.m. to  12 p.m.

Take a classic black and white photography workshop with wet-lab; all materials included.  Details here.

SCRAP DC–  11 a.m. to  3 p.m.

SCRAP DC will help you turn invasive plants into paper and ink; create your own botanica art! Details here.

Sunday, April 27

Washington Project for the Arts– 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

You can’t take it with you when leave— so goes the saying.  However, as an artist, you can make plans to make sure your artwork is cared for when you pass.  The WPA presents a workshop about estate planning geared towards preserving and cataloging artwork for probate purposes.  Details here.

The workshop will be held in the Capitol Skyline Hotel located at 10 I (eye) Street SW.

Spring Studio Tours (Save the Dates!)

May 3— East DC Open Studios & Takoma Art Hop

May 10—  10th  Annual Gateway Arts District Open Studio Tour

May 17-18—  Mid-City Artists Open Studios

Phil Hutinet is the Editor-in-Chief of East City Art.  You can get more information about East City Art on Facebook  by follow them on Twitteror click here to sign up for their newsletter.

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Fade 2 Grey: Exhibit and Artists Talk at Vivid Solutions Gallery

pic courtesy of Adrian Loving, Vivid Solutions

pic courtesy of Adrian Loving, Vivid Solutions

From the Gallery at Vivid Solutions:

Artist Talk: April 19, from 2-4pm         Exhibit Dates: March 7 – April 25

Fade 2 Grey: Androgyny in Eighties Popular Music is a groundbreaking new solo art exhibition by artist Adrian Loving. His works explore androgyny, gender roles, fashion and the sensationalism of style in 80s pop music. Included in this show is an installation of rare album covers from the late 1970s through the mid 80s from Loving’s personal collection. Themes of New Wave, Punk, Electro Boogie, New Romantic, Sexy Robots, Hair Bands and Jheri Curl Funk all play out through the identity of the artists presented on each album. The primary focus of the exhibition will be a series of six video art installations that will explore the aesthetic tension of duality in the visual identity of select musicians including: Patti Smith, David Bowie, Grace Jones, Sylvester, Boy George and Prince all artists who have made an enduring statement in their musical careers through the use of androgyny. These short videos will be Loving’s aesthetic response to his impression of that duality and content of the musicians work. Each video contains a mix of sound, photography, video, text, pattern and rich color. Loving’s artistic goal is to tap into the unique essence, social power and flamboyance of how androgyny is played out in each musician. The viewer is challenged to make his or her own opinions about sexuality, gender and artistry as it relates to these legendary musical figures and confront Western society’s rigid constructs and viewpoints about gender.

*Please take note: Fade 2 Grey: Androgyny in Eighties Popular Music is the first exhibit at the new home of Vivid Solutions Gallery, located within the Anacostia Arts Center. The new address is 1231 Good Hope Rd. SE, just two doors down from its old location.

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