Friday, April 5
‘Junk’ at Arena Stage: The 1987 film “Wall Street” gave us the mantra: “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.” Now, the main character in Pulitzer-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar’s “Junk” declares, “Debt is an asset.” The play, opening at Arena Stage, flashes back to the financial world of the 1980s and is inspired by real corporate raiders. Directed by Jackie Maxwell, “Junk” zeroes in on a brash financier and his efforts at a hostile takeover, going after a family-owned manufacturer. Through May 5. $56-$105.
Evoken at Atlas Brew Works: Since 1992, Evoken has been a pioneer and purveyor of funeral doom metal, a genre that’s exactly what it says on the tin. This is metal at its gloomiest, with John Paradiso’s gravel-chewing growl leading the way through the muck. The band’s latest album “Hypnagogia” takes its name from the transition from wakefulness to sleep, and while the sludgy tempos might slow down your nervous system, such double-length dirges as “Valorous Consternation” and “The Weald Of Perished Men” aren’t built for slumber. Evoken kicks off the Decibel Metal & Beer Fest at the District’s best venue for both: the Atlas Brew Works tank room. 7 p.m. $15-$20.
Jess Glynne at the Lincoln Theatre: With a rich voice in the tradition of Amy Winehouse and Adele, Jess Glynne is a compelling addition to the lineage of British blue-eyed soulsters. Her first brush with fame came when she contributed vocals to Euro house throwbacks like Route 94’s “My Love” and Clean Bandit’s “Rather Be,” topping British charts. Glynne quickly turned that into solo success with a parade of electronically charged dance pop. Not content to be a house diva, Glynne dispensed with the dance floor fillers of her debut album, “I Cry When I Laugh,” for the slickly produced electro-pop of “Always in Between,” singing to an even bigger audience. 6:30 p.m. Sold out.
‘In Peak Bloom’ at Artechouse: Technically, Artechouse’s latest attraction consists of four discrete installations and a hallway display, each separate yet thematically linked in various ways. All the works represent nature in some way; three were directly inspired by flowers and plants. Two invoke Japanese culture, riffing — as the show’s title suggests — on cherry blossom season, which peaked in early April. All four installations are the work of female artists or teams that include women. In the main room you’ll find “Hana Fubuki” (literally, “flower blizzard”), a video projection that covers the walls (and the reflective floor) with what appear to be clouds of multicolored petals. These intangible petals respond to visitors’ movements, changing direction — as if blown by a shifting wind — as you walk through the space. Through May 27. $8-$16 in advance; $10-$20 at the door.
Cynthia Erivo at the Kennedy Center: With her star-making turn as Celie in the Broadway revival of “The Color Purple,” Cynthia Erivo got herself three-quarters of the way to an EGOT, winning an Emmy, Grammy and Tony. The British singer-songwriter-actress heads to the Kennedy Center and joins the National Symphony Orchestra and Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke to show off those award-winning pipes. The classically trained Erivo will traverse the history of female singers, covering Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Beyoncé and more. And after stealing the show by running through “Widows” and singing through “Bad Times at the El Royale,” the “O” in EGOT is sure to follow. 8 p.m. Through Saturday. $29-$109.
CrossCurrents at various locations: Internationally themed performances will take place across the city for the next several weeks as part of Georgetown University’s Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics’ inaugural CrossCurrents festival, which begins Thursday with a two-night stand of Phantom Limb’s “Falling Out” at the Kennedy Center — an experimental work about the tsunami and nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan. Through May 11. Free-$20.
Saturday, April 6
Petalpalooza at the Wharf: The cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin have hit peak bloom, providing a bright and colorful backdrop for the climactic events of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Petalpalooza at the Wharf is a waterfront party with live music, beer gardens and a fireworks show over the Washington Channel. Noon to 9:30 p.m. Free.
‘Mental’ at Von Ammon Co.: New York art dealer Todd von Ammon wants to make a name for himself in Washington with his new gallery, Von Ammon Co. For its debut exhibition, “Mental,” the 3,500-square-foot warehouse space in Georgetown’s Cady’s Alley displays the brand-new multimedia sculptures of New York-based artist Tabor Robak, whose works have been featured at world-renowned museums such as MoMA: PS1 and the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. “Mental” is a future-forward exploration into technology’s positive and negative effects on the human brain, composed of cutting-edge video installations, eye-popping LED screens and more high-tech gear. Some of the far-out pieces you’ll see include “MiniJumbo,” a miniature Jumbotron that displays messages using a neural network. Through May 25. Free.
Vijay Iyer Sextet at the Kennedy Center: Pianist-composer Vijay Iyer might be the most heralded jazz musician of the past 20 years, receiving multiple awards, a MacArthur fellowship and an endowed chair at Harvard. His work is dense, experimental and architectural, but also intensely rhythmic, tempestuous and at times wonderfully affecting. Nowhere is that more true than in his sextet, a three-horn ensemble with some of the most cutting-edge improvisers (Iyer not least of them) on the jazz and creative-music scene. 7 and 9 p.m. $45.
DMC DC and Battle for Supremacy at Flash: DJ equipment is light-years beyond the days when all you needed was two turntables and a microphone, but the art remains the same: Showing off scratching, mixing and blending skills over short sets while rocking the party and engaging a crowd. The annual DMC DJ championship brings together the best jocks from around the globe, but to qualify, they have win a regional battle, like this one at Flash. Beyond the competition, the day-long event includes special showcase sets by the judges, who include former world champions DJ Precision (New York) and DJ Nelson (France) and UK champion DJ Rasp. The event is hosted by local legend Biz Markie. 2 to 9 p.m. $15-$20.
Fatback Reunion at Ten Tigers Parlour: In the early 2010s, Fatback was one of the best and sweatiest parties in Washington, thanks to a team of DJs mixing up vintage slabs of soul, disco and boogaloo without coming up for air. While the Fatback DJs have dispersed across the county, they get back together once a year for an old-school party. Expect to hear James Brown, Fela Kuti and the Incredible Bongo Band blasting through the speakers for a crowd that won’t stop dancing. 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. $5.
Bent LGBTQ dance party at the 9:30 Club: When Town Danceboutique closed last year, it left a sizable void in Washington’s LGBTQ nightlife scene. But DJ Lemz hopes to carry on Town’s legacy with his new queer dance party. Bent’s quarterly dance party — following an inaugural show in January — features an eclectic mix dance music from Lemz along with fellow local DJs Tezrah and Bratworst. Bent is built on the promise of offering a safe space that’s free of judgment from the outside world, even if it’s just for one night. 11:30 p.m. (Doors open.) $15.
Lisa Fischer and Grand Baton at the Music Center at Strathmore: Lisa Fischer will be front and center for this Strathmore show, but for much of her career, she worked as a backup singer for such artists as Tina Turner, Luther Vandross, Chaka Khan, the Rolling Stones and Sting. Those gigs earned her a starring role in the Oscar-winning documentary “20 Feet from Stardom,” which chronicled the lives of backup singers. Here’s a chance to hear Fischer’s dynamic voice in concert with her band Grand Baton and members of the National Philharmonic. 8 p.m. $38-$78.
Sunday, April 7
‘100 Yen Love’ at the Freer Gallery of Art: The Freer Gallery’s movie programming is among the most thoughtful and interesting of any slate in the District. Throughout April, they’ve developed a tongue-in-cheek series dubbed “Crazy Broke Asians,” showcasing Asian films that explore tales on the margins of life — basically the antithesis of the polished wealth and luxury seen in “Crazy Rich Asians.” The free films begin Sunday with 2014’s “100 Yen Love,” which features a standout performance from Japanese actress Sakura Ando as a 32-year-old slacker who takes up boxing to reclaim control of her life. 2 p.m. Free.
Tokyo Jetz at MilkBoy ArtHouse: There’s never been a better time for female rappers, as a whole class of young talent makes waves across the country and upends the traditionally and persistently male-dominated genre. Plus, they’re often doing it the old-fashioned way: capturing attention by freestyling over hit songs and making them their own. Take Tokyo Jetz, a fire-spitting rapper from Jacksonville, Fla., who flipped Yo Gotti’s “Down in the DM” on Instagram and ended up with a contract with T.I.’s Grand Hustle label. “They told me be humble,” she raps defiantly on “The One.” “I’m like for what?” 8 p.m. $18-$100.
Brooklyn Rider and Magos Herrera at the Kennedy Center: The full, open voice of Magos Herrera also has a longing, a melancholy, baked into it. It means that although the Mexican singer usually fronts a progressive jazz ensemble, pairing her with an adventurous string quartet like Brooklyn Rider (whose repertoire ranges from Debussy to Philip Glass to Armenian composer Komitas) is a no-brainer. Their collaboration will celebrate the music of the Spanish diaspora and will assuredly take it in unexpected directions. 7:30 p.m. $19.
— Hau Chu, Adele Chapin, Fritz Hahn, Chris Kelly, Nelson Pressley, Michael J. West and Stephanie Williams