Monday, April 29
Camp Cope at Black Cat: Lately, some of the best rock music has been shipped to our ears from the land down under. Australian rock trio Camp Cope’s stunning 2018 album “How to Socialise & Make Friends” found singer Georgia Maq delivering searing anthems that direct their focus on the men (and structures) that have undermined women in music. While Maq’s vocal punches hit hardest, they’re strengthened by a rhythm section that knows when to push and pull, and infectious guitar riffs that simmer below the surface. 7:30 p.m. $15.
‘Open Land — Meeting John Abercombie’ at Warner Bros. Theater: For a musician whose beautiful works are so understated, it’s fitting that the man behind that music would avoid the spotlight. This documentary aims to tell the story of John Abercombie, a prolific jazz guitarist who died in 2017. Abercombie released dozens of records from 1973 until his death and was a fixture of the legendary music label ECM. Director Arno Oehri will discuss the film with NPR’s Tom Cole after the screening. 5 p.m. Free, but RSVP requested.
Tuesday, April 30
The Oresteia at Sidney Harman Hall: If “The Oresteia” is a juicy saga of family revenge swelling into public justice, and also the only trilogy we have from ancient Greece, why is it so rarely staged? “People are afraid of them,” says Ellen McLaughlin, the writer tapped with adapting the cycle of plays by Aeschylus. “The Greeks were always asking the hardest questions, and they looked for the most disturbing images they could find. And they found them.” The project is artistic director Michael Kahn’s drop-the-mic exit at the Shakespeare Theatre Company, after arriving in 1986 and leading the troupe from the small Elizabethan stage at the Folger Shakespeare Library to two big new stages in Penn Quarter. Through June 2. $44-$118, subject to change.
‘Spunk’ at Signature Theatre: “Their Eyes Were Watching God” author Zora Neale Hurston’s unforgettable voice is adapted for the stage in “Spunk,” which turns three of her short stories into an interconnected show with soulful music and choreography. The characters of Guitar Man and Blues Speak Woman will guide Signature Theatre audiences through interwoven fables from the Harlem Renaissance-era writer. In one tale, newlywed bliss is threatened, and in another, a washerwoman in an abusive marriage finds inner strength. Through June 23. $40-$89.
Julia Jacklin at Rock & Roll Hotel: There’s never a one-size-fits-all solution to getting over a breakup. After one devastating split, folk artist Julia Jacklin’s healing process involved recording a new album, “Crushing,” on which she untangles a labyrinth of emotions. Jacklin makes clear that this isn’t just a breakup record recounting a relationship gone awry — there’s a larger existential theme of self-reflection and acceptance at work here. On the opening track, “Body,” Jacklin muses on a provocative picture that her ex took of her and wonders whether it will be used against her: “Would you use it to hurt me?/ Well, I guess it’s just my life,” she shrugs. The clarity and bravado in Jacklin’s vocals reflect a woman who clearly feels burned by her lover but remains steadfast and hopeful for the future. 8 p.m. Sold out.
Wednesday, May 1
Forward Press: 21st Century Printmaking at American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center: The museum shows that draw big crowds these days tend to be large-scale installations that immerse and overwhelm the viewer. (Think back to the Hirshhorn’s “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors.”) How can any exhibition of prints rival that kind of experience? “Forward Press: 21st Century Printmaking” has an answer: a large-scale installation that immerses and overwhelms the viewer. Among other things. The American University Museum show includes art that fills walls, towers above spectators and plays on video screens. Much of the work employs such centuries-old techniques as etching, woodcut and lithography. But what the 10 artists in the show do with these processes is bold and unexpected. Through Aug. 11. Free.
‘The Children’ at Studio Theatre: The 2011 Fukushima nuclear plant disaster inspired British playwright Lucy Kirkwood to devise a nuclear meltdown plot of her own in “The Children,” a thriller of a play that arrives at Studio Theatre after acclaimed runs in London and New York. In the aftermath of the catastrophe, a pair of retired nuclear physicists tend to their isolated seaside cottage in England (Geiger counter in hand), while waiting for clearance from the government to return to their lives. The arrival of an unexpected visitor from their past throws a wrench in their plans. Through June 2. $20-$97.
Thursday, May 2
Maren Morris at the Anthem: Last January, a wider swath of the pop music world was introduced to Maren Morris through her “The Middle” collaboration with Zedd and Grey. Loyal fans bemoaned the possibility that the Top 40 song was Morris’s denouncement of her country roots. Instead, she used her “Middle” attention to expose her new followers to “Girl,” her latest full-length album, which still fully embraces her twangy Nashville sound (see the rollicking anthems “The Feels” or “All My Favorite People”) while skirting the fringes of power-rock and pop. Once cutting her teeth writing songs for Tim McGraw and other country music giants, the culmination of Morris’s meteoric rise will be fully realized as she headlines a sold-out show at the Anthem. 8 p.m. Sold out.
Lucky Plush ‘Rooming House’ at the Kennedy Center: Chicago-based Lucky Plush Productions won a MacArthur Award for its blend of dance and theater, and now the company is slated for a Kennedy Center debut in May. The playful “Rooming House” uses the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice to explore the idea of fate and fateful decisions, with contemporary dance, spoken word in English and Spanish, and a “whodunit”-style backstory that audiences can try to decipher. Through Saturday. $39.
Friday, May 3
Old Town Cocktail Week: Old Town Alexandria is better known for Irish pubs and seafood restaurants than its cocktails. The first Old Town Cocktail Week is trying to change that, with special drinks and events at two dozen restaurants and bars across the city. Highlights of the nine-day festival include the release of “Old Town Drinks,” a cocktail recipe book highlighting the city’s bars and bartenders (Tuesday); evening tours and a whiskey tasting at George Washington’s Distillery (May 10); a tasting and meet-and-greet with six Virginia-based distillers at Gadsby’s Tavern (May 11). Through May 11. Admission charges and food and drink prices vary by event.
Beyond the Julep: Mint and Historic Cocktails at the U.S. Botanic Garden: You might be sipping mint juleps this weekend at a Kentucky Derby party, but the U.S. Botanic Garden wants to expand your horizons about mint-based cocktails. There are over 7,000 species of mint, all of which have their own unique tastes and scents. This program will take a look at historic spirits and cocktails that have been made using the plant, and naturally, beverage samples are included in the ticket price, with finger foods. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. $35-$45.
Spring Bonsai Festival at the National Arboretum: The National Arboretum is already one of the most overlooked “museums” in D.C., but the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum might be the best part of the scenic grounds. This weekend’s spring festival showcases a wide range of local bonsai growers, whose work will be on display. Vendors and experts will be on hand for those interested in creating their own bonsai tree, while paid workshops run throughout the weekend for anyone desiring more formal lessons. Through Sunday. Free admission; workshop fee: $75.
Flower Mart at the National Cathedral: Since 1939, the National Cathedral’s All Hallows Guild has hosted a Flower Mart to raise money for the Cathedral’s gardens. While it’s still focused on blossoms - you can pick up new plants for your garden or just gawk at the display of picturesque flower arrangements in the Cathedral’s nave - Flower Mart has also become a wonderful day out for families, with puppet shows, an antique carousel, carnival rides and games. Musicians and dance companies perform on the plaza in front of the Cathedral, and those brave enough to climb the towers can take in one of the best views in Washington. Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free admission. Tours, carnival games and other activities priced individually.
— Hau Chu, Adele Chapin, Fritz Hahn, Mark Jenkins and Stephanie Williams