Welcome to the Hotlist, a monthly preview of the happenings you shouldn't miss in the weeks ahead. Here's what's coming up in June.
Awesome Con, now in its fourth year in the District, may have assembled its most impressive guest list for this weekend. It includes the “Batman” dynamic duo from the 1960s television series, Adam West and Burt Ward; actor Peter Capaldi of “Doctor Who”; actor Robin Lord Taylor from "Gotham"; “All-New, All-Different Avengers” writer Mark Waid; “Star Wars” author Timothy Zahn; professional wrestler Ron Simmons; and comic book writer Peter David, among others. There also are two ticketed events bookending the weekend: “An Evening With Kevin Smith” on the convention’s opening night, and "StarTalk Live!" with Bill Nye and Eugene Mirman on Sunday. You, of course, can attempt to upstage all of them at one of the cosplay competitions on Saturday or Sunday. $15-$75.
Few DJs in the country know their way around Prince's discography like DJ Dredd, an obsessive Prince vinyl collector who launched the popular Prince tribute dance parties at the 9:30 Club and Black Cat more than a decade ago. And few DJs in Washington can set a party off like Jahsonic and Adrian Loving, whose Axel F parties deliver the finest retro "jheri curl funk and champagne soul." The three come together to honor Prince on his 58th birthday at a night that promises epic dancing and a few tears. Proceeds benefit Girls Rock! D.C. and the U Street Music Hall Foundation. $10.
If you've ever studied western literature, you've studied Homer's epic poem "The Iliad," which tells the story of the Greek victory in the Trojan War. To celebrate the opening of the National Geographic Museum's major summer exhibition, "The Greeks," the museum is hosting a reading and discussion of poem with translator Caroline Alexander and British actor Dominic Keating. (The $25 ticket includes admission to the exhibit, which will stay open until 7:30 p.m.) On June 29, National Geographic hosts A Big Fat Greek Happy Hour ($15), with extended museum hours and a screening of either "300" or "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." (The movie will be chosen based on votes on the National Geographic Museum's Facebook page.)
Beyoncé at M&T Bank Stadium, June 10
Beyoncé’s The Formation World Tour is a spectacle of sound and vision, with cameras and lights tracking the singer's every move -- and, this being Queen Bey, there are many, many moves; she's slaying more than 25 songs each night. For her sold-out performance at Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium, expect a set list filled with popular bangers -- "Bow Down," "Run the World (Girls)" and "Flawless" -- as well as new tracks from "Lemonade," such as "Hold Up," "Don't Hurt Yourself" and "All Night." She also has mixed in Prince tributes, singing "Purple Rain" and "The Beautiful Ones." Sold out.
D.C. JazzFest, June 10-19
This year’s D.C. JazzFest promises to be the biggest yet. The nine-day festival has lengthened its stay at Yards Park from two days to three (June 17-19), featuring performances by Cécile McLorin Salvant, Kamasi Washington and Eddie Palmieri’s Latin Jazz Septet. Plus, expect concerts at a variety of venues, ranging from ticketed gigs at the Kennedy Center and Sixth & I to free shows at the Sylvan Theatre and Dupont Circle. Looking to eat while you listen to some tunes? Several restaurants – Acadiana, Sotto D.C., Bistrot Lepic Wine & Bar, Rumba Café – are hosting concerts as part of the festival. Prices vary.
The increasing number of beer festivals in the Washington area makes it hard for newcomers to stand out from the competition. But the Americana Beer Fest, which makes its local debut at Leesburg's Morven Park, has a few advantages. The 66 participating breweries include a few big names – Bell's, New Belgium, Boulevard – and an exceptionally strong cast of local producers, including Aslin, Ocelot, Crooked Run and Vanish. Samples are unlimited. Food trucks hawk snacks. Musical performances are headlined by the national bluegrass act Trampled by Turtles. And the event is a fundraiser for Boulder Crest Retreat, which offers therapeutic programs to combat veterans and their families. $45-$100.
This year’s Capital Pride events officially begin June 1, but its main attractions – the parade and concert – take place later in the month: On June 11, actor Leslie Jordan serves as the grand marshal for the annual parade, a blowout affair that takes over a 1.5-mile stretch around Dupont and Logan circles. The next day, Pennsylvania Avenue from Third to Seventh Street NW morphs into a festival with a stage for headliners Meghan Trainor and Charlie Puth. Admission is free for both events, but access to the concert’s stage pit will set you back $35.
The Second City's newest comedy vehicle coming to the Kennedy Center imagines the history of America as written by comedians. In that case, one look at the current state of the presidential election as seen through CNN's chyrons might make one question whether the troupe's "Almost Accurate Guide to America" is even necessary. The improv troupe will retell the story of the Founding Fathers, Industrial Revolution and other formative events in our nation's history with a mixture of truth and Abe-Lincoln-in-wayfarers embellishments. $49-$59.
AFI Docs, June 22-26
The documentary film festival kicks off at the Newseum, with an opening night gala that features a screening of Alex Gibney’s “Zero Days,” followed by a Q&A with the director, and closes at the same location with “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You” by Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing. Other highlights include “Check It,” Dana Flor and Toby Oppenheimer’s film on a gang of transgender and gay teens in Washington, and Roger Ross Williams’s “Life, Animated,” based on the eponymous book by Ron Suskind, whose autistic son, Owen, communicates using lines from Disney flicks. $10-$50.
Guns N' Roses at FedExField, June 26
Whenever Axl Rose is concerned, there's a chance a scheduled performance will be canceled, for a variety of rock-and-roll reasons. Original GNR members Slash and Duff McKagan have returned to the lineup after more than 20 years, so assuming this Guns N' Roses show happens, expect a nostalgia-packed playlist of '80s anthems and power ballads to collide with the reality that it's been almost two decades since Axl showed he could reliably hit those "Sweet Child O' Mine" high notes. (NB: The Post's Chris Richards said of the band's three-hour set at the Fillmore in 2012: "It wasn't a rock concert. It was a hostage situation.") $45.50-$250.
Smithsonian Folklife Festival at the National Mall, June 29-July 4 and July 7-10
This year's festival celebrates two far-apart places: the Basque country and California. The Basque region, located in northern Spain and southwestern France, is well-known for its unique language and excellent food, both of which will be featured at the Smithsonian festival, along with dance, music and boat-making. The "Sounds of California" portion centers around a series of evening concerts, as well as daytime activities, that highlight the state's diversity. As usual, the event takes over a portion of the National Mall, and visitors can expect a variety of food concessions (Basque cider, stews, tacos and gelato), craft vendors and educational programs. Free.
If a trip to the beach isn't on your to-do list for now, you can at least pretend you're at the shore at this summer-time pop-up. Cappy's Crabs has replaced the old Crane & Turtle space in Petworth, part of the same group that ran the late French-Japanese spot in addition to siblings Room 11, Petworth Citizen and the upcoming Slim's Diner. Until Labor Day, Cappy's will be serving, you guessed it, steamed crabs by the dozen and half-dozen, in addition to fare such as steamed clams, crab cake sandwiches and Old Bay fries. 828 Upshur St. NW.