Don’t You Forget About Me
With the success Cee-Lo Green has had of late — his zeitgeist-topping hit (politely edited to “Forget You”), a flamboyant Grammy performance and a gig judging NBC’s “The Voice” — it’s somewhat surprising he’s opening for Rihanna at 1st Mariner Arena. Then again, Rihanna’s been on quite the roll herself, with her big single “What’s My Name?” and guest spots with Eminem and Kanye West. Together, this dream team is well worth the trip to Baltimore on June 4.
» 1st Mariner Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St., Baltimore; June 4, 7:30 p.m., $19.75-$99.75; 410-347-2020, Baltimorearena.com.
He’s Really Just Misunderstood
“The Merchant of Venice,” opening June 21, has gone from being the embarrassment of Shakespeare’s canon (due to its heavily stereotyped Jewish villain) to one of the Bard’s most acclaimed works, thanks to the modern reclamation of the character of Shylock.
» Shakespeare Theatre, 610 F St. NW; June 21-July 24; 202-547-1122, Shakespearetheatre.org. (Gallery Place)
Come As You Are
This year’s Capital Pride Festival celebrates Washington’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, but all are welcome at this rainbow-drenched, stiletto-filled 36th annual summer tradition. The 10-day festival — whose theme this year is Paving the Way — includes the Mr. and Ms. Capital Pride pageant at 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 4, at Town Dance Boutique (2009 Eighth St. NW; 202-234-8696; Towndc.com). Keep an eye out for the winners at the Festival Parade on Saturday, June 11, which steps off in Dupont Circle at 6 p.m.; and the Street Festival on Pennsylvania Ave. NW the next day (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), which will feature food, musical performances and educational activities.
» Various locations; June 2-11; Capitalpride.org.
Going Right To the Source
The Source Festival has a tough job, going up against the Capital Fringe Festival, but it’s done admirably — the new works it presents are slightly more staid than Fringe (you probably won’t get dragged up onstage or splattered with fake blood), but it’s still three weeks of 10-minute plays, one-acts and full-length shows, all brand-new.
» Source Theatre, 1835 14th St. NW; June 10-July 3; Sourcedc.org. (U St.-Cardozo)
All Hail Our Gracious Queen
You wouldn’t call it a comeback, but it’s good to know Aretha Franklin is back on tour after she had surgery for a mystery ailment early this year. The Queen of Soul even has a new album, her 38th, “Aretha: A Woman Falling Out of Love,” out in May. Expect Franklin to mix the new songs alongside a healthy taste of her decades-spanning hits when she and her crack band take the stage at Wolf Trap on June 21.
» Wolf Trap’s Filene Center, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna; with Vance Gilbert, Tues., June 21, 8 p.m., $25-$45; 877-965-3872
It was 30 years ago when HIV and AIDS came into the national conciousness, and the National Museum of American History is marking the anniversary with a new exhibit that begins June 3. A special showcase in the Science in American Life exhibition will feature photographs, magazine covers and other graphics, as well as equipment that Dr. Jay Levy used to isolate the virus. There will also be a panel from the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, which used to blanket the Mall every four years.
» National Museum of American History, 1400 Constitution Ave. NW; 202-633-1000, Americanhistory.si.edu. (Federal Triangle)
Time to Think Pink
No, it’s not cherry blossom season again. All that pink is coming from the Komen Race for the Cure, a 5K on the Mall that brings 40,000 folks together to fight cancer. Expect sweat, emotion and lots of T-shirts with jokes about boobies.
» June 4; $40-$45; Nationalraceforthecure.org
Good Things in Small Packages
Awwww! Look at the widdle art! It’s so tiny and cute! The National Portrait Gallery opens a new exhibit called Mementos: Painted and Photographic Miniatures, 1750-1920. There will be tiny pictures of tiny Abraham Lincoln and tiny Mark Twain. The art was to be worn close to the body, since you can’t exactly do that with full-sized paintings or statues. Although you could try.
» National Portrait Gallery, 8th and F streets NW; June 17-May 13, 2012; 202-633-8300, Npg.si.edu. (Gallery Place)
Barbie in Blue Wig
Currently on her “California Dreams” tour — nodding to her twin 2010 hits “Teenage Dream” and “California Gurls” — Katy Perry has solidified herself as an American pop princess, with sugary-sweet songs cloaked in innuendo. At Merriweather on June 15, she’ll be joined by Sweden’s undisputed pop queen: Robyn. Formerly a teen act (1997′s “Show Me Love” hit big in the U.S.), Robyn re-emerged into the American consciousness last year with her forward-thinking “Body Talk” albums, buoyed by critical cheerleading and the stellar “Dancing On My Own.”
» Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia; Wed. June 15, 6 p.m., $35 to $48; 410-715-5550. merriweathermusic.com
Get Wet, Get Riding, Get Running
Until Mayor Gray establishes a major hand-dancing competition, we’ll have to stick with the sporting events started in the previous administration. That includes the D.C. Triathlon, which lets competitors select from Olympic distance (1.5k swim, 40k bike and 10k run) or sprint distance (0.8k swim, 20k bike and 6.7k run). There’s no shame in being a first-timer: Beginners actually compete among themselves in the race-within-a-race Newbie Challenge.
» June 19; West Potomac Park; $135-$190; register at Dctri.com.
Pictures Worth 1,000 Words
What you see is what you get when it comes to American culture — for good or for ill. A new exbihit, For All the World To see: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights, is at the National Museum of American History, in conjunction with the to-be-built National Museum of African American History and Culture. Among other artifacts, you’ll be able to see rare footage of Jackie Robinson’s first game in the majors.
» National Museum of American History, 1400 Constitution Ave. NW; June 10-Nov. 27; 202-633-1000, Americanhistory.si.edu. (Federal Triangle)
Join the Cults. Everyone’s Doing It
Cults takes what made 1960s girl groups great and filters it through a modern indie-pop lens. Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion caught a wave of Internet buzz by putting some songs up on the Web. Now they have a deal with Columbia Records and an album due June 7. Conveniently, a gig at the Rock and Roll Hotel on June 10 falls during the week of the release.
» Rock and Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE; Fri. June 10, 9 p.m., $12-14; 202-388-7625, Rockandrollhoteldc.com.
Get Into the Swing Of Things, Tiger
The U.S. Open returns to Bethesda’s Congressional Country Club in
June for the first time since 1997. Tiger Woods, fresh off the disappointment of losing April’s Masters, will be seeking his first major championship since 2008 at a course he knows well — his own tournament took place at Congressional for three years.
» Congressional Country Club, 8500 River Road, Bethesda; June 13-19; $50 to $1,8750; 301-469-2032, Usopen.org.
Crazy for Musicals
“Next to Normal,” a rock musical about schizophrenia (of course!) made its way to D.C. before it found huge acclaim on Broadway, and now it’s returned. Tony-winner Alice Ripley has been its consistent anchor and powerhouse in the role of Diana, a wife and mother struggling with mental illness.
» Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. NW; June 28-July 10, $35-$120; 202-467-4600, Kennedy-center.org. (Foggy Bottom)
Eat, Dance, Serve
If you volunteered for the Peace Corps in Colombia and you happen to be a big R&B fan, this is your year: The Smithsonian Folklife Festival celebrates all three topics — that is, the 1961-established service corps, the South American nation and the musical genre. The annual event features a slew of family-friendly activities, but we always make a beeline for the food stalls (pro tip: Thursdays are the least-crowded days). Here’s hoping for some great Colombian coffee!
» National Mall between 7th and 14th streets NW; June 30-July 4 and July 7-11; Festival.si.edu. (Smithsonian)