Monday, Jan. 28
“Everything in Existence” at Artechouse: The new exhibition at the digital art space in Southwest has a mind of its own. This is what makes “Everything in Existence” both exhilarating and unpredictable to Artechouse’s founders, Tatiana Pastukhova and Sandro Kereselidze. Each installation generates art in real time, interpreting various streams of data into a menagerie of abstract visuals with the help of computer software. In many ways, “Everything in Existence” is more like a theatrical performance than an art exhibition. “This is no different than theater, except instead of real people, we have machines,” Pastukhova says. “There’s a chance that something could go wrong at any time, but the good thing is most of the time the audience does not notice behind the scenes.” Through March 10. $15.
Tuesday, Jan. 29
“Home Movie Day” at Suns Cinema: If you grew up in the 1980s or ’90s, there’s a good chance your parents’ attic or garage contains a cache of VHS tapes with hand-scrawled labels: “Michael’s 3rd birthday,” “Jenn’s Piano Recital,” “Disney Vacation ’96!” You’ve probably never thought about them, to say nothing of having watched them. To the D.C. Public Library, though, those tapes are treasures. Its Memory Lab, at the Northeast Neighborhood Library on Capitol Hill, teaches the public to digitize old film and photos at no charge. And because some of the preserved home movies are too good to go back into someone’s attic, the library system is showing two hours of its favorites at Suns Cinema, an art-house theater in Mount Pleasant, as part of the library’s “Home Movie Day” series. 8 p.m. Free.
“Harlequinade” at the Kennedy Center: Last winter, American Ballet Theatre’s artist-in-residence Alexei Ratmansky brought the frothy “Whipped Cream” to the Kennedy Center, and now the company will unveil the D.C. premiere of the choreographer’s retelling of a lost 19th-century comic ballet by Russian choreographer Marius Petipa. In “Harlequinade,” slapstick humor unfolds amid vivid sets and gorgeous costumes as Harlequin struggles to be with his true love, Columbine, whose father disapproves of the match. Through Feb. 3. $39-$199.
Young Dolph at the Fillmore Silver Spring: Memphis rap is having a moment, with newcomers BlocBoy JB and Key Glock making waves, and Three 6 Mafia interpolations turning up in songs by 21 Savage and A$AP Ferg, to name a few. No one has benefited more from the Grind City spotlight than Young Dolph. At 33, with a decade of mix tapes under his belt, Dolph is practically an elder statesman, but his gruff-and-tough approach to trunk-rattling trap rap is very de rigueur. His sex-money-drug-heavy punchlines pack heat, and most of all, his come-up feels earned. “I turned dirt into diamonds,” he raps, “that’s major.” 8 p.m. Sold out.
“Nell Gwynn” at Folger Theatre: It’s a classic tale. An unknown actress from humble roots hits it big and becomes a star — except this one is set in 1665. “Nell Gwynn,” opening at the Folger Theatre, charts the rise of an ordinary London orange seller (played by Alison Luff) who becomes one of the first British women to perform onstage, managing to charm audiences and make her way to the royal court. Shakespeare’s Globe originally commissioned this comedy, which won an Olivier Award in 2016, from playwright Jessica Swale. Through March 10. $42-$79.
Wednesday, Jan. 30
Clams Casino at Flash: As far as genre names go, there are few better than “cloud rap,” an ephemeral micro-scene midwifed by the Internet at the turn of the decade. What better way to describe the sound’s ethereal, atmospheric vibes and sky-high, spaced-out raps? Producer Clams Casino didn’t come up with the moniker, but he was one of its key architects, plotting woozy beats for then-nascent rappers A$AP Rocky and Lil B. Since then, the 31-year-old New Jerseyan has worked with everyone from Vince Staples and Danny Brown to Kelela and Future Islands frontman Sam Herring, proving himself to be more than just part of a short-lived fad. 9 p.m. $15.
Thursday, Jan. 31
Moshe Kasher at the D.C. Improv: The rise of streaming platforms has made stand-up comedy more accessible and helped turn more comedians into household names overnight. One of the early entrants into Netflix’s exhaustive library of hour-long specials was alt-comedian Moshe Kasher, who recorded a set in his native Oakland, Calif. The 39-year-old has been a mainstay on the Los Angeles comedy circuit and has performed on just about every late-night show that has been on the air over the past decade. His last Netflix title, filmed in 2018, was a three-parter with his wife (and fellow stand-up), Natasha Leggero, dubbed “The Honeymoon Stand Up Special,” which tackled some close-to-home material: the frightening reality of becoming parents. Kasher performs five shows at the D.C. Improv next week, each of which will be recorded for his new album. 7:30 p.m. Through Feb. 2. $20.
Juana at U Street Music Hall: These days, if you catch a DJ set by Juana at a secret warehouse rave or subterranean nightclub party, you’re likely to be inundated by techno, that pulsating and pneumatic attack girded by nonstop industrial grooves and synthesizer squelches. But it wasn’t always that way for the Chicago-born, D.C.-based selector. When she moved to D.C. in 2003, she dove headfirst into the dance music scene at such gone-but-not-forgotten clubs as Red and D.C. Sanctuary, drawn in by the West African-inspired house music of the early 2000s. But techno would soon become part of her life again. 10:30 p.m. Free.
Friday, Feb. 1
A Long, Long Way: Race and Film at Washington National Cathedral: Few filmmakers have translated the fight for racial justice to the screen better than Spike Lee. One of D.C.’s most solemn spaces will host screenings of two of Lee’s defining works, complemented by discussions about the struggles facing the black community. The two-day event kicks off on Friday with Lee’s masterful 1989 film “Do The Right Thing.” Saturday’s programming begins with a discussion about race and policing in the United States, which will prime attendees for the screening of “BlacKkKlansman,” which earned multiple Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. Panel discussions led by NPR’s Korva Coleman, and including guests such as the Rev. Dr. Yolanda Pierce, the dean of the Howard University School of Divinity, follow each film. Through Saturday. $10-$15 per event.
Toni Braxton at the Theater at MGM National Harbor: At 51, the R&B icon responsible for such hits as “Un-break my Heart,” “Breathe Again” and “You’re Makin’ Me High” is still churning out classics. “Long as I Live,” the lead single off her 2018 album “Sex & Cigarettes,” nabbed a pair of Grammy nominations and topped the R&B charts, a telling display of staying power for the soulful, sophisticated singer. This latest album rehashes some familiar themes from her past — heartbreak, pain and philandering men — while showcasing same the buttery, contralto vocals that helped her first gain notice nearly 30 years ago. With Braxton touring alongside popular 90s R&B group SWV, expect a night filled with nostalgia. 8 p.m. Sold out.
Brasstracks at Union Stage: If you don’t know Brasstracks by name, you probably know their work. The Brooklyn-based duo, Ivan Jackson on trumpet and Conor Rayne on drums, won a Grammy in 2017 for producing Chance the Rapper’s “No Problem” and have worked with artists ranging from Lido to the Underachievers. Jackson and Rayne attended the Manhattan School of Music together, and since forming Brasstracks in 2014, they’ve learned to deftly combine their classical music training with more modern, electronic music-inspired influences — which is a bit atypical for conservatory-trained musicians. They’ve dubbed the lane they’ve carved for themselves “future brass,” seamlessly fusing electronic sounds with funk, classical jazz and R&B, plus the bravado of a big band. 8 p.m. $20-$25.
Greensky Bluegrass at the Anthem: Greensky Bluegrass has made annual winter visits to D.C. since 2014, often in the form of a multi-night run at the 9:30 Club. This year, the band graduates from the 9:30 to the Anthem for a two-show stand behind the new “All For Money.” The album marks the clearest sign yet that the Michigan-bred jam act has moved beyond the “bluegrass” in its name. Album opener “Do It Alone,” for example, opens with the deliberate sound of an electric guitar being plugged in, while the title track has an extended instrumental section that recalls Pink Floyd. Still, there’s still plenty of bluegrass-style pickin’ at the core of the songs, which are among the best in the jam-band scene, a genre that often values heavily improvised live shows over studio songwriting. 7:30 p.m. $40-$75.
— Hau Chu, Tyler Blint-Welsh, Adele Chapin, Rudi Greenberg, Fritz Hahn, Chris Kelly and Stephanie Williams