NEWS: COUNCILMEMBERS ARE DONE WITH JACK 4 FOOD: FOOD CRITICISM IN D.C. IS VERY WHITE 10 ARTS: GEORGE HEMPHILL MAKES A BIG MOVE 16
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Dvořák’s Eighth Symphony & Elgar’s Cello Concerto with soloist
Wolfgang Schmidt Photo credit: Christian Steiner
ADULT $20-$85, YOUTH $5, STUDENT $10
W W W. A L E X S Y M . O R G
COVER STORY: CRITICAL ANALYSIS
10 Diversity among food critics can make eating better for diners and business better for restaurateurs.
DISTRICT LINE 4 Loose Lips: After a report highlighted significant ethics violations, Jack Evans’ colleagues want him off the Council. 15 Scene and Heard
SPORTS 6 Divided We Stand: Kurt Suzuki’s MAGA moment puts a damper on the Nats’ victory. 7 Moved On Up: A World Series win is vindication for a generation of baseball fans. 8 Nationals’ Anthem: Scenes from a day of parades and World Series celebrations
ARTS 16 George’s Washington: Legendary art dealer George Hemphill moves his namesake gallery off 14th Street NW. 18 Curtain Calls: Rudig on Constellation Theatre Company’s Little Shop of Horrors, Warren on Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Everybody, and Thal on Mosaic Theater Company’s Theory 20 Speed Reads: Ottenberg on Maggie Paxson’s The Plateau 21 Short Subjects: Gittell on The Irishman
CITY LIST 23 26 27 28
Music Books Theater Film
DIVERSIONS 29 Savage Love 30 Classifieds 31 Crossword On the cover: Jordyn White enjoys the parade. Photo by Darrow Montgomery
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EDITOR: ALEXA MILLS MANAGING EDITOR: CAROLINE JONES ARTS EDITOR: KAYLA RANDALL FOOD EDITOR: LAURA HAYES SPORTS EDITOR: KELYN SOONG LOOSE LIPS REPORTER: MITCH RYALS CITY DESK REPORTER: AMANDA MICHELLE GOMEZ CITY LIGHTS EDITOR: EMMA SARAPPO STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER: DARROW MONTGOMERY MULTIMEDIA AND COPY EDITOR: WILL WARREN CREATIVE DIRECTOR: JULIA TERBROCK SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER: ELIZABETH TUTEN DESIGN INTERN: MADDIE GOLDSTEIN CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: MICHON BOSTON, KRISTON CAPPS, CHAD CLARK, MATT COHEN, RACHEL M. COHEN, RILEY CROGHAN, JEFFRY CUDLIN, EDDIE DEAN, CUNEYT DIL, TIM EBNER, CASEY EMBERT, JONATHAN L. FISCHER, NOAH GITTELL, SRIRAM GOPAL, HAMIL R. HARRIS, LAURA IRENE, LOUIS JACOBSON, JOSHUA KAPLAN, CHRIS KELLY, AMAN KIDWAI, STEVE KIVIAT, CHRIS KLIMEK, PRIYA KONINGS, NEVIN MARTELL, KEITH MATHIAS, BRIAN MCENTEE, CANDACE Y.A. MONTAGUE, BRIAN MURPHY, NENET, TRICIA OLSZEWSKI, EVE OTTENBERG, MIKE PAARLBERG, PAT PADUA, JUSTIN PETERS, REBECCA J. RITZEL, ABID SHAH, TOM SHERWOOD, CHRISTINA STURDIVANT SANI, MATT TERL, IAN THAL, SIDNEY THOMAS, HAYWOOD TURNIPSEED JR., JOE WARMINSKY, ALONA WARTOFSKY, JUSTIN WEBER, MICHAEL J. WEST, DIANA MICHELE YAP, ALAN ZILBERMAN
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DISTRICTLINE LOOSE LIPS
Jack of All Shades
A majority of the D.C. Council is calling on Jack Evans to resign after the release of a damning report on his ethical violations. Ward 2 CounCilmember Jack Evans has, at best, a tenuous grasp on the ethical rules that govern his job. But if you ask him, he might say he just interprets them differently. Either way, that presents a problem for the District’s longest serving legislator, a trained lawyer who recently described his approach to the ethical predicaments he is constantly putting himself in as “I’ll know it when I see it.” At least that’s what he told the folks at O’Melveny & Myers, the law firm the D.C. Council hired to investigate Evans’ conflicts of interest related to his private consulting business and his work for lobbying firms. O’Melveny’s 97-page report, which was leaked to the Washington Post Monday night and released to the public on Tuesday afternoon, identifies at least 11 instances between 2015 and 2017 where Evans violated the Council’s Code of Official Conduct by taking actions as a councilmember to benefit the interests of firms and individuals paying him on the side. All told, the firm found that from 2014 to the present, Evans banked roughly $400,000 “for doing little or no documented work,” for his clients, who paid him “largely for merely being available.” “Availability pay of that magnitude even for a highly skilled government employee is ethically suspect,” the report says. Among the examples the law firm highlighted was an August 2016 action, when Evans facilitated after-hours access to a Metro station for a digital sign company so it could install its signs after the District government ordered the company to stop. The company’s founder, Don MacCord, is currently serving time in federal prison for crimes related to his work for the company. In other instances in 2015, Evans sought to influence support for the merger between Exelon and Pepco, who hired the lobbying firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips to help them through the process. At the same time, Evans was negotiating with Manatt for a job, according to the report.
By Mitch Ryals
Details about Evans running interference on behalf of Pepco in support of the merger, in particular, made Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh’s blood boil, she said during a Tuesday press conference following the release of the report. Cheh is chairing the ad hoc committee responsible for making a recommendation to the full Council regarding Evans’ fate as a public official. Late Tuesday evening, she called for Evans to resign. “These were items of great interest to me and to the people of the District of Columbia who were frustrated and maneuvered by Mr. Evans on behalf of a client of the firm for which he was working,” Cheh said. Cheh had proposed a budget amendment dedicating funds to study the benefits of public versus private utility providers. Evans, while he was negotiating for a job with Manatt, strategized with two of the firms’ local lobbyists: former Councilmember John Ray and former deputy budget director Tina Ang, according to the law firm’s investigation. (Ang sat in the back of the room during Tuesday’s press conference.)
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The three plotted to use At-Large Councilmember Anita Bonds to introduce an amendment diverting funds from Cheh’s proposed study. On June 12, 2015, Ang emailed Evans’ chief of staff, Schannette Grant, saying Manatt wanted Bonds to introduce the amendment “for obvious reasons.” “I assume [that] was meant to hide the fact that Mr. Evans was behind it,” Cheh said of the email. Bonds agreed to introduce the amendment, it passed, and Cheh’s proposed study died. The report also identifies two instances where Evans parroted Pepco’s script during official hearings: “Pepco is doing a good job in improving electric reliability here in the District,” Evans recited in a 2015 committee hearing. “But I believe that the improvements will be further accelerated if the merger of Pepco and Exelon is approved.” In Evans’ 67-page response to the law firm’s report, his attorneys argue that Evans did not work for Manatt at the time of the merger and claim his support for it pre-dated his conversations about working for them. LL notes that
when Evans applied, “he identified Exelon in his business plan as a potential client he might be able to bring to Manatt,” according to the investigation. Before Manatt, Evans worked at the firm Patton Boggs, where he courted Exelon as a potential client, the report says. During Tuesday’s press conference, Council Chairman Phil Mendelson walked back his description from Monday that the report contained “good news and bad news.” The chairman called the report “damning,” and said “there’s no good news in it.” Asked if he still trusts Evans, Mendelson paused. Cheh, standing to his side, whispered that he didn’t have to answer every question. Finally, Mendelson stammered out a response. “I think it’s very clear at this point that in the realm, which is a very large realm, of ethical conduct, that Mr. Evans has, he has, um, obliterated the public’s trust and that would speak as well of the trust from his colleagues,” the chairman declared. Mendelson would not call for Evans’ resignation but noted that the two discussed it two months ago. By Tuesday’s end, a majority of the 13-member Council—Cheh, as well as Ward 1’s Brianne Nadeau, Ward 4’s Brandon Todd, Ward 6’s Charles Allen, and at-large members David Grosso, Elissa Silverman, and Robert White Jr.—had called for Evans to resign. Ward 5’s Kenyan McDuffie and Ward 8’s Trayon White joined their colleagues in calling for Evans’ resignation on Wednesday afternoon. if evans is struggling to find support among his co-workers, perhaps he can take comfort with his wealthy friends. Last week, Evans’ legal defense committee filed its first financial report, assigning a dollar amount to some individuals’ desire to keep the beleaguered lawmaker out of trouble. Just a couple days before his 66th birthday, and about a month after Evans began accepting donations to cover his legal bills, their support amounted to $14,000. Evans has already spent almost half of it. The report shows a $6,000 expenditure
to Ankura Consulting Group LLC, an international firm with a location on K Street NW that provides legal support services. Evans’ attorney, Mark Tuohey, declined to specify the work that Ankura provided. The 10 people who donated to Evans’ legal defense (two of whom, Franklin Wildes and Donald Dinan, are the chairman and treasurer of the legal defense committee) are those you might expect to find in the tonier parts of Ward 2: wealthy friends, developers, business types, and one former congressman. Contributions ranged from $100 to $2,000, the legal maximum. LL spoke to some of the contributors before the Council’s damning report dropped. Michael Kain, founder of the Dupont Circle Business Improvement District and CEO of Kain & Associates, a real estate development firm, contributed $2,000. He says Evans did not reach out to him directly, but rather he received a call from longtime D.C. politico and lobbyist Ray, who invited him to a meeting to ask for contributions. Kain declined to say who else attended the meeting in Ray’s office, but says he “wrote a check right away because I’m very grateful for all Jack has done for our community.” “We need more councilmen that help the business community survive and get by,” Kain says. “He’s been very friendly to the business community and very friendly to the constituents on Dupont Circle.” Barton Gordon, a Democrat who represented Tennessee’s sixth district in the House of Representatives from 1985 to 2010, tells LL he’s known Evans for about 30 years and admires his friend’s work during his 28-year tenure. The former rep contributed $200. “There are no formal charges, as far as I know, brought against him,” Gordon says. “So I have no informed opinion as to any form of guilt, but I do know the government has a great advantage over citizens in these sorts of cases. And the taxpayers are paying their bills, and I wanted to do my part to help him with his defense funds.” Gordon, who lives in Kalorama, adds that “there were occasions where Jack could have used better judgment,” in terms of his private business dealings, “but to me that didn’t diminish the good things he’s done for our city.” Kay Kendall, chair of the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities, kicked in $2,000 because she believes Evans deserves due process. “I’m proud to say Jack has been my friend for 30 years,” Kendall says. “I’ve always known him to do a great job for the city. He’s always been responsive and clear about the needs of Ward 2, where I live, and he’s been a real friend to the arts community.” Until recently, the Committee on Finance and Revenue, chaired by Evans, had oversight of the arts commission. As part of its investigation into Evans’ private business activities, the Council picked apart the finance committee and divided up the agencies under its purview. The arts commission is now within the Committee of the Whole, chaired by Mendelson. Kendall’s husband, Jack Davies, a partner in Monumental Sports, also gave $2,000.
Monumental owns the Capitals, Mystics, Wizards, Capital One Arena, and other sports properties, and plans to take advantage of the Council’s legalization of sports gambling, a measure that Evans championed. Davies says he got to know Evans as a friend through Kendall. “We think it’s the least we can do in light of everything he’s done for the ward as well as for 1 1 T H A N N U A L G R E E N C R A F T FA I R the city,” Davies says. “Everybody is entitled to due process, and we have a legal system for a reason. It’s up to the courts and the powers that be to resolve it. I’d like to make certain he has the best representation possible to get the best shot at a fair outcome.” Herb Miller, a real estate developer who founded and runs Western Development Corporation, and his wife, Patrice, also gave $2,000 each, as did West End Citizens Association officer Barbara Kahlow. A former aide to Republican congressman Doug Ose, Saturday, November 9 | 10 am – 4 pm Kahlow is another well known Ward 2 figure, weighing in on topics from public libraries, to All ages welcome. FREE admission hospitals, to a bill on a helicopter landing pad. “Jack is a long-time friend & I wanted to GO GREEN WITH YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING THIS YEAR! Explore show my thanks for the incredible job he has local crafters and artists who create treasures made from at least done for DC as a whole & for my neighbor-A study at NIH is recruiting healthy black African men and women 50% recycled, organic, fair trade or sustainably-harvested materials. hood too,” Kahlow writes to LL in an email. understand diabetes and heart disease risk in Africans. She did not agree to a phone interview.
The posiTive commenTs from Evans’ supporters stand in stark contrast to a myriad of voices who find his actions detestable. Evans is facing criticism from all directions, including some of his Council colleagues, members of the local Democratic Party, Republicans in Congress, and some members of the Metro board. Patrick Kennedy, who is challenging Evans for his Ward 2 seat, urged him to step down and “spare everyone from further embarrassment.” Jordan Grossman, another Ward 2 candidate, said the report adds to the “mounting pile of investigations into his shameless corruption.” But perhaps the most vocal Evans critic is activist Adam Eidinger, who is leading an effort to recall Evans from office. Eidinger and his team of signature gatherers have collected about 4,500 signatures out of the estimated 4,900 they need to force a recall election, he writes via text while on a business trip in Jerusalem. In the summer, Eidinger guaranteed that he could collect enough signatures as long as he could raise enough money. This week, Eidinger said the recall campaign only took in about $7,000, and most signature gatherers worked on a volunteer basis. As the Nov. 18 deadline to submit the signatures approaches, Eidinger is sounding less confident. He recently left a voicemail for Evans looking to make a deal: If Evans agrees not to run for re-election, Eidinger would drop the recall campaign. Evans hasn’t responded, Eidinger says. “The point here [is] we have collected more signatures in Ward 2 for the recall than anyone has collected for anything ever,” Eidinger writes. “He’s a scumbag politician who people are ready to see go.” CP
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SPORTS WORLD SERIES
Divided We Stand
When Kurt Suzuki donned a MAGA hat, many Trump critics did not see an innocent World Series hero in a red cap. They saw a symbol of hate. No oNe caN take away the Washington Nationals’ World Series title. The team will be remembered fondly for their ability to heed manager Dave Martinez’s mantra of “going 1-0.” Howie Kendrick’s grand slam in Game 5 of the National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers gave Nats fans one of the most exciting moments in franchise history. Stephen Strasburg, the World Series MVP, will go down as a hero for the Nationals, regardless of whether he stays with the team after opting out of his contract. Max Scherzer, a passionate clubhouse leader, overcame neck spasms to pitch in Game 7. Martinez had a heart procedure in mid-September, but returned to lead his team to a World Series title in just his second season as manager. During the victory parade, Martinez ran into the crowd for selfies and high-fives at any chance he got. Even fans like Jeff Adams (a.k.a. the Bud Light Guy) and dugout diver Jason Turner became famous through association with a Nationals team that found ways to break down barriers between players and the fans. “Grit, determination, and a whole ton of fun,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said of the Nats during the World Series championship rally on Nov. 2. But through the team’s thrilling and improbable World Series run, a pervasive narrative about the Nationals spread. Sportswriters, political pundits, and baseball fans embraced it. The Nationals, they said, helped unite a divided city. A baseball team full of fun characters had given sports fans in town a welcome distraction from the hostile political environment. It took one afternoon, a hat, and an awkward hug to unravel the myth and burst the supposedly safe, politics-free zone the Nationals were providing. Exactly a week after a large portion of the fans at Nationals Park vociferously booed Donald Trump at Game 5 of the World Series, the Nationals and the President of the United States ended up in the same place again on Nov. 4. Except this time, Trump found a receptive and supportive audience. And the majority of the Nationals players were willing participants. Sports and politics intertwined as they always have, and the White House ceremony proved that the World Series champions do not, as some
By Kelyn Soong
desperately wanted to believe, provide respite from the political world around us. “As long as politicians try to exploit sports for their own means, you’re never going to have political escape from sports,” says Dave Zirin, sports editor for The Nation, a progressive news magazine. “The people politicizing sports first and foremost are the government, corporations, military, and when people say, ‘We want to keep sports and politics apart,’ they’re really saying, ‘We’re trying to keep sports and a certain kind of politics apart.’” At the White House ceremony, Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki, one of the few Asian Americans in Major League Baseball, donned a red Make America Great Again hat as Trump hugged and grabbed his chest from behind. Ryan Zimmerman presented Trump with a Nationals jersey with his last name and No. 45 on the back before thanking him for “continuing to make America the greatest country to live in in the world.” Relief pitcher Sean Doolittle, a noted voice for progressive causes along with his wife, Eireann Dolan, told Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post that he had decided to skip the White House ceremony over objections to Trump’s policies and his “divisive rhetoric.” Six other players on the active World Series roster—Anthony Rendon, Javy Guerra, Joe Ross, Wander Su-
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ero, Michael A. Taylor, and Victor Robles— were also absent, although their reasons were unknown. Additionally, four players on the 40man roster—Wilmer Difo, Raudy Read, Roenis Elías, and Tres Barrera—did not attend, according to the Post. “It was amazing. That was the president. Just trying to have some fun,” Suzuki told USA Today after the team’s visit. “Everybody makes everything political. It was about our team winning the World Series.” But Suzuki’s act clearly came across as partisan and will likely be the enduring image from the ceremony. The White House visit marked the culmination of a weekend-long celebration, which included a parade through the city in front of tens of thousands of fans and a booze-filled visit to the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena. “America fell in love with Nats baseball. That’s all they wanted to talk about. That and impeachment. I like Nats baseball much more,” Trump said, drawing laughter from the crowd of more than 1,000 people on the White House lawn. (The president is facing an impeachment inquiry after a whistleblower alleged Trump pressured foreign leaders to investigate 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.) After starting the season 19-31, the Nationals defied the odds and went on a run that included
Sharing the World Series spirit at the Nats Park watch parties washingtoncitypaper.com/sports
facing five elimination games. They won them all, and did so in a way that reminded fans of the child-like joy of sports. Players credit Gerardo Parra, who joined the team in May, with introducing the dugout dance parties after home runs. His walk-up song, “Baby Shark,” became a city wide phenomenon. At the victory parade on Nov. 2, 94-year-old Ted Lerner, the former managing principal owner of the team, told the veterans on the team to call him “grandpa shark.” Parra and pitcher Aníbal Sánchez, both of whom are from Venezuela, wore colorful glasses in the dugout during games. Brian Dozier became a clubhouse dance star and helped make “Calma” by Puerto Rican artist Pedro Capó the team’s unofficial anthem. Juan Soto shuffled his way into the hearts of many fans. The Nationals did their part in making baseball fun. But in recent years, many winning athletes have elected to skip their White House ceremony or been uninvited by Trump. Nearly every person of color on the 2018 Boston Red Sox team passed on the celebration, including manager Alex Cora, a Puerto Rico native. Trump rescinded invitations for both the Philadelphia Eagles and the Golden State Warriors after their Super Bowl and NBA Finals victories, respectively. The Washington Mystics, winners of the WNBA championship last month, have yet to be invited. “I think with Trump being in the presidency, he brought out some of the worst in our country,” Mystics guard Natasha Cloud told City Paper in May during a conversation about her social activism. “You see that people that support Trump speak out and act on their feelings because there is no consequence anymore. You have the most powerful man in the country acting like a child and an ignorant fool.” So when Suzuki slipped on the MAGA hat, critics of Trump, especially those in marginalized communities, likely didn’t see a World Series hero innocently wearing a red cap. They saw a symbol of hate. They watched Nationals players openly embrace a president who has a long history of making racist comments, who doesn’t believe in the science behind climate change, and who has bragged about sexually assaulting women. “People say you should go because it’s about respecting the office of the president,” Doolittle told the Post. “And I think over the course of his time in office he’s done a lot of things that maybe don’t respect the office.” The past week has served as a reminder that sports are not a true respite from the problems of the world. Not everyone has the privilege to escape. A joyous and memorable World Series title won’t change that. CP
Courtesy Anibal Apunte
How “Elmo” ended up in the Nats’ World Series parade washingtoncitypaper.com/sports
Moved On Up
The Nationals won the World Series and in the process affirmed their once-questioned existence in D.C.
For years, being a fan of the Washington Nationals has been defined by indignity. Fans have been kicked while they’re down, had their hopes dashed year after year, and, in some circumstances, had their very existence denied. Those indignities started even before Major League Baseball moved the Montreal Expos to Washington. Peter Angelos, owner of the Baltimore Orioles, fought the move using every tool he had. He viewed a team in D.C. as an existential threat to his team, and, in the process, infamously told Baltimore radio station WBAL-AM that “there are no real baseball fans in D.C.; that’s a fiction.” Perhaps Angelos was able to watch the Nationals’ World Series victory parade last Saturday on MASN, the television network he created that controls broadcast rights to Nats games and that has been locked in years of bitter litigation over the Nats’ claims that he refuses to pay them a market rate for those broadcasts. If he did watch, maybe he was surprised at the tens of thousands of red-clad fans hoping to glimpse their favorite players with the World Series trophy. If he missed that, maybe he could talk to the supposedly non-existent fans who scrambled to pay $1,000 or more on the secondary market for a seat to one of the three packed-to-the-rafters World Series games in Washington or to any of the 16,000 screaming crazies (and one shirtless diving dude) cheering in a cold rain at the Game 7 watch party at Nationals Park while the actual game took place more than 1,000 miles away. The come-from-behind World Series win capped a come-from-way-behind season that saw the Nats bottom out in May with the fourth worst record in all of baseball. The success the team finally found this year took all those tired narratives and jokes about the team and its fans, crunched them into a ball, and lobbed it across the plate, only for it to be smashed into orbit like a Juan Soto homer. The mockery the Nats have endured includes national news organizations’ coverage of the team and its fans. These stories are always written as if Nats fans wear nothing but
By Chris Needham
Brooks Brothers suits and retreat to their real homes in faraway states every four years, discarding their Nats cap for their old trusty Sox or Yankees hats. It ignores the hundreds of thousands of D.C.-area folks who’ve been here for generations or those who moved here years ago and decided to make this place their home. It ignores the folks who rooted for the Senators or Homestead Grays and passed on that love of baseball to their family, a love that lingered or even lapsed for a time when their beloved teams moved to Minnesota or Texas. Just like any other city, some of their collars are white and others blue and that all gets erased when the only colors you see are partisan-tinged reds and blues. Nats fans have even had to swallow spoonfuls of vinegar from their own team. Stan Kasten, the team’s carnival-barking former president, hawked tickets to opening day—the most sacrosanct of baseball holy days—to out-of-town Philadelphia fans in 2010. Busloads came down I-95, filling the park and giving Kasten the sweet ticket revenue boost he craved. Meanwhile, Nats fans got to hear their team booed during player introductions and jeered throughout the 11-1 loss, another indignity on the way to a 93-
loss season. D.C. baseball fans are told that their baseball history is actually Montreal’s. Hipster baseball fans who’ve never set foot in Quebec and can’t name any Expos other than Tim Raines and Pedro Martinez push for a version of history that prefers a corporate lineage to the over 100 years of baseball history in Washington: of Walter Johnson and Goose Goslin; of Josh Gibson and Buck Leonard. If you’re a Nats fan, you’re used to all the losing. You’re used to the Walgreens and Gnats jokes. When Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman stepped up to the plate in misspelled “Natinals” jerseys in 2009, well, what did you expect? When the team’s original general manager Jim Bowden resigned in the midst of a bonus-skimming scandal that came to light because a top prospect nicknamed “Smiley” was actually four years older than everyone thought, well, that was just so perfectly Nats. When regular season success started to come, fans became increasingly numb to the postseason losses and certainly numb to the “The Washington Nationals have never won a playoff series” jokes. Year after year, even amid the team’s regular season success, the team’s postseason failures defined it.
Close your eyes and you can see Drew Storen facing off against Pete Kozma in 2012. You can see Matt Wieters falling apart against the Cubs in 2017, having the worst defensive half-inning in baseball history. You can picture Gio Gonzalez, looking too small for the moment, walking batters with a lead in postseason starts. The memories you have of the postseason, Jayson Werth’s homer in the 2012 National League Division Series aside, have been of the Nats failing, of folding in the biggest moments. But stop and think about this. That run of success extends eight seasons. The run of futility before that extends back seven more. That’s 15 years of baseball in D.C. That’s an entire generation. Anyone under 30 grew up with baseball in D.C. Any of those once-transient 40-year olds who settled in D.C. have had the Nats for most of their adult lives—and they’ve probably got a kid or two who’s known nothing but a winning baseball team. The Nats aren’t a ragtag bunch of no-names run out of a modular trailer in the parking lots of RFK Stadium as they were in November 2004. They’re a franchise integrated into the community with their own superstars and their own generation-long history. Nothing drove this home for me more than thinking about hats. The day of Game 3 of the World Series, the first Fall Classic game in D.C. since 1933, I took a picture of the red curly W cap I bought at RFK in 2005 and posted it to Twitter. Faded a bit, with some blackish grime on the brim and humidity-assisted sweat stains, it’s been well loved. Over the next day or so, fan after fan snapped pictures of their caps and shared them. Some looked pristine, but most were sun-beaten and worn. Seams were ripped and colors faded, especially one fan’s 2005 hat worn during a deployment in Iraq. The hats were ugly and rumpled, but loved. And that’s when it hit me. I thought back to all those old battered Red Sox or Yankees caps I’ve seen over the years. They, like these Nats caps, had faded colors and a structureless shape molded perfectly to the wearer’s head over the years. It reminded me that the Washington Nationals have their own history, one long enough to overcome all those jokes. That’s what this championship season has done. It hasn’t built a community of baseball fans, but affirmed their existence. It’s strengthened bonds between fans and the city that already existed. All postseason, many tried drawing parallels with the Washington Capitals and their run to the Stanley Cup. While some of those comparisons are facile, what does hold is that feeling of elation at the end and that all those painful losses before are now absolved. For the Nats, losing to the St. Louis Cardinals or the Los Angeles Dodgers in seasons past will be looked on as part of one long continuum leading to the championship. It’s not that those losses didn’t happen; it’s that they don’t matter now. They have their trophy, and us Nats fans can claim our history. CP
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NAT I O NA L S â€™
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“Baby Shark.” Brian Dozier dancing shirtless to Pedro Capó’s hit song “Calma.” Inspirational quotes from manager Dave Martinez. The Washington Nationals broke out all of their greatest hits during the World Series championship parade and rally on Saturday, Nov. 2. as thousands of red-and-white clad Nats fans of all ages gathered along Constitution Avenue NW to celebrate the team’s improbable victory over the Houston Astros. “By finishing the fight you have brought a tremendous amount of joy to our town and inspired a new generation of players and Nationals fans,” Mayor Muriel Bowser told the crowd. —Kelyn Soong Photographs by Darrow Montgomery washingtoncitypaper.com november 8, 2019 9
Critical Analysis The D.C. region doesnâ€™t have full-time food critics of color.
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By Laura Hayes
If you subscrIbe to the idea that restaurant critics should look like the communities they cover, the D.C. region has a discrepancy. Only 41 percent of the District’s population is white, according to 2019 data, yet there isn’t a single dedicated critic of color at a major outlet. Both of the critics at the Post are white, and so is the recently hired reporter who fills in for them; the critic at Washingtonian, plus the two food editors who evaluate restaurants for the magazine’s annual “100 Very Best Restaurants” and “Cheap Eats” issues are white; the critic who splits his time between Bethesda Magazine and Arlington Magazine is white; so was the last critic at Northern Virginia Magazine. Her job is currently open. While I don’t write restaurant reviews, I’m the only full-time food writer at City Paper. The daily decisions of who and what to cover, and how, fall squarely on my white shoulders. The other staff food writers and food editors at local media outlets are also largely white. Local black media, such as the Washington Informer, Washington Afro American, and DC Black publish food stories, but don’t have fulltime food critics on staff. The District is not an anomaly. Restaurant critics of color are scarce across the country. When newspapers and magazines extend a job offer to a food critic, they anoint them with an unofficial title—arbiter of taste. They’re endorsing a person’s ability to dictate what’s valuable and what’s acceptable, and today’s critics are being asked to review far more than what’s on the plate. No longer can they tip-toe around vital historical context or a chef’s character flaws. “Restaurant criticism is fundamentally cultural criticism and just as our society isn’t a monoculture, our restaurant critics shouldn’t reflect one,” Korsha Wilson wrote in a February think piece for Eater that addresses the potential blindspots of white critics. Wilson is one of several writers, including Nikita Richardson, Ernest Owens, and Stephen Satterfield, who have deftly covered the subject. After studying their work, I set out to report with curiosity rather than authority about what D.C. would stand to gain from having critics of color at the table: Greater empathy, more even exposure, and further context.
Why that matters.
In “A Critic For All Seasons,” Wilson mulls over what restaurant criticism would look like if it represented diners like her, noting that as far as she can tell there’s only been one black food critic at a major publication—Jessica Harris, who penned reviews for the Village Voice from 1998 to 2002. Wilson sets the scene by visiting THE GRILL in New York. The restaurant serving
caviar vichyssoise soup evokes a mid-century America bedazzled in bronzed opulence. White critics called it everything from spellbinding to smashing. Meanwhile Wilson wonders if she would have even been able to eat there in the ’50s since the Civil Rights Act wasn’t signed until 1964. “As many black diners know, being in a dining space can often mean choosing between being ignored, interrogated, or assaulted,” Wilson writes. “I suspect that the critics who loved THE GRILL have never had to negotiate these same realities.” When a region only has white critics, reviews don’t always capture the experiences of diners who don’t look like them. “I realize that some people don’t dig food writing, food criticism, and food journalism,” says Michael Twitty. “It forces them to think about place, race, time, gender, orientation, ability. But all of those things impact your eating experience.” Twitty won two James Beard Awards in 2018 for his book, The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South. He grew up in D.C. and self-identifies as a food writer, independent scholar, and culinary historian, not to mention black, Jewish, and gay. He’s emerging as one of this generation’s foremost voices on inclusion. “Imagine you’re a black food critic and you get typical black seating by the kitchen or the bathroom,” Twitty begins. “If I’m writing about a restaurant and they don’t know me from Adam or Eve, they assume I need to be with the rest of the black people. But if you’re not black and you reflect an upper middle class background or beyond, your ass gets put in the window. I’ve been tons of places where I don’t get treated well until I pull out my book. I don’t want to be special. I just want to be equal.” If Twitty doesn’t feel welcome in a space for one reason or another, “then obviously fuck my avocado toast,” he says. “There are things that happen in this city from a food industry standpoint that are not OK,” echoes longtime D.C. bartender Andra “AJ” Johnson. “Several businesses do not cater to people of color. From the way menus are written to the rolling of the eyes when we order drinks that we want. There’s no one to call that out.” Some have tried. Washingtonian published a story in 2018 about an incident where a manager at Kaliwa called the police on a pair of diners of color after a series of disagreements. The diners, who were escorted from the restaurant, say it was a racial issue. The owners denied any bias. In August, City Paper contributor Sidney Thomas caught Alero Restaurant selectively enforcing a policy that required patrons to hand over identification until they had paid washingtoncitypaper.com november 8, 2019 11
Our local critics try to write with cultural sensitivity and herald eateries from non-white owners, but the inherent problem with having a homogenous group of food critics and editors, according to local sources in the restaurant industry, is that “you don’t know what you don’t know.” Eater recently published a Takoma Park dining guide and included almost every business that sells food, save for one of the best West African restaurants in the region, Mansa Kunda. Would a diverse critic corps be more inclined to spill ink about underrated restaurants located outside of trendy neighborhoods that are absent from press releases and tasting fêtes? “If you have more people reaching out to people of color and advocating for people of color going to these places, then everybody wins,” Johnson says. “People of color now get to experience a different dining experience and people who are catering to everyone can gain more money.” She feels critics mostly ignore the city’s rich carryout culture. “We’re the fast-casual capital,” she points out. “These businesses count. There are really great ones.” Some of her favorites are Midnight Deli, The Uncaged Chefs, Eastern Carry Out, Fish in the Neighborhood, and Yum’s on 14th Street NW. “They remember me. They remember what I like. There is a level of consistency that makes them inviting and attractive, regardless of the ambiance, or lack thereof.” Even when publications put out guides of affordable options, sometimes billed as “cheap eats” lists, Johnson observes that most restaurants sharing the limelight are still sit-down
restaurants with full bars. “Be OK with being served out of a plastic cup,” Johnson urges. The only restaurants Washingtonian labeled as carryouts in its 2019 list of restaurants where you can pay $25 or less per person were Fish in the Neighborhood, Green Almond Pantry, and the U Street NW location of Oohh’s and Aahh’s. Ravi Kabob House I is the closest thing to a carryout on Post critic Tim Carman’s June compilation of “The 25 best casual restaurants in the D.C. area.” “I will walk into *any* establishment to find
print on many of them and did not know many of them existed.” Chatting with Brown about the local critic landscape, the first thing she does is send me a picture. It’s of a dinner held earlier this month honoring two of D.C.’s late culinary greats— Michel Richard and Jean-Louis Palladin. Almost all of the smiling chefs who participated in paying tribute to the two pioneers were white men. “If you took a similar picture of contemporary chefs, it would be very different,” Brown
their bills. The Mexican restaurant is on U Street NW—an artery of black culture in the District. Most recently, local outlets covered how CopyCat Co. fired a black bartender for calling a patron a “black bitch” after a person of color witnessed the incident and wrote a piece for Medium about colorism. These major incidents went viral, but what about the microaggressions diners of color confront every day? “People know who you all are,” Johnson says, referring to food critics and reiterating her point. “Your pictures are hanging up. None of those faces are black. None of them know what it’s like to walk into a restaurant and be black.” Post critic Tom Sietsema talks about the strategy he’s developed throughout his 20year tenure to put himself in others’ shoes. “I make an effort to eat with people who ‘aren’t me,’ and by that, I mean: women, senior citizens, 20- and 30-somethings, children on occasion, wheelchair users, non-white companions, etc.,” he tells me via email. He says he hears feedback from readers who feel their “age, sex, color” keep them from getting better service. “I hate to give away trade secrets, but on occasion, I’ll send guests ahead of me and show up after them to see how they were welcomed and where they land in the dining room.”
Andra “AJ” Johnson something good to eat, including carry outs,” Carman counters via email. He says without going deep into his memory bank, he’s highlighted Peter’s Carryout, Just Jerk, Capitol Hill Crab Cakes (now closed), Callejero’s Tacos, KoChix, Mister Rotisserie, and Meats and Foods. “I’ve even devoted columns to food trucks and gas station food,” Carman continues. “I just recently sampled the meats at Backyard Smokestop for this year’s barbecue guide. Have I reviewed Yum’s? No. But I’m not sure many people need a professional critic to tell them what they’ll get at Yum’s and the quality of it.” Johnson created DMV Black Restaurant Week to plug holes in coverage and point Washingtonians toward establishments where everyone’s welcome. The week-long event celebrates black-owned businesses and strives to create pathways to ownership for people of color. From Nov. 3 to 11, black-owned establishments from carry outs and caterers to sit-down restaurants will offer deals. Programming throughout the week includes a conference and cocktail competition. The exposure is working. Nadine Brown, the Jamaican-born former wine director for Charlie Palmer Steak and previous Society Fair co-owner, says, “For the most part, the D.C. group does a pretty good job at being inclusive in terms of the places they write about. However, I just looked at the list of participating DMV Black Restaurant Week restaurants and I have not seen any
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says. D.C.’s current list of culinary stars include Yuan Tang, Kwame Onwuachi, Eric Adjepong, Paolo Dungca, Jorge Hernandez, Daniela Moreira, Faiz Ally, Angel Barreto, Marcelle Afram, Erik Bruner-Yang, Peter Prime, Katsuya Fukushima, and Kevin Tien. “It’s important to have a more diverse group of people writing to correlate with the change in the restaurant scene,” Brown urges. The “why” is harder to articulate. “Sometimes it’s intangible. Kind of like why you need more women in politics.” Nina Oduro has been pleased with the roaring coverage two of these chefs have received —Onwuachi of Kith/Kin and Adjepong of catering company Pinch & Plate. Oduro cofounded Dine Diaspora, a D.C.-based agency that connects people and brands to African food culture through events, activations, and consulting services. She’s written for Cuisine Noir magazine, Black Enterprise, and others. “Both of them are being featured in the best ways,” she says. Each chef has West African roots, starred on Top Chef, and specializes in fine dining. “No one is picking one. There’s room for more than one.” For decades, the restaurants that garnered the most critical attention were those steeped in French culinary traditions and led mostly by white, culinary school-trained chefs. Critics like the New York Times’ Ruth Reichl and the Los Angeles Times’ Jonathan Gold had to battle to bring arguably more interesting restaurants into the fold. Eventually restaurants that didn’t fit the Eu-
ropean mold got some attention, but newspapers and magazines only saved a few slots for them per year or per issue, or grouped them together on “cheap eats” lists. Such compilations have the potential to devalue restaurants from owners who are non-white. Restaurateur Diep Tran wrote about the subject for NPR in a 2017 article. “This view of people of color as sources of ‘cheap’ labor bleeds into our restaurant culture: Immigrant food is often expected to be cheap, because, implicitly, the labor that produces it is expected to be cheap, because that labor has historically been cheap,” she writes. “Pulling together a ‘cheap eats’ list rather than, say, an ‘affordable eats’ list both invokes that history and reinforces it by prioritizing price at the expense of labor.” Carman retired the name of his budgetfocused review column—“The $20 Diner”— at the beginning of the year and told readers why. “By stripping this column of its previous name, I hope to remove at least one possible stigma about the restaurants that I decide to cover: that they are somehow ‘lesser’ than the ones that might charge higher prices, have table service, offer a full bar or whatever confers prestige among diners,” he writes. While Carman feels that the notion of slots has been put to bed, he thinks bias toward more refined restaurants remains: “You know, elegant dining rooms. Full service. Wine lists. Craft cocktails. High check averages. These are the places that still get the starred reviews. It’s still rare, I think, to see a fast casual or a taqueria get the star treatment.” And even when there are white tablecloths and wine lists, some cuisines seem to come with an asterisk. It shocked many when Onwuachi’s Afro Caribbean restaurant at The Wharf didn’t earn a Michelin star this year. “When critics go to these restaurants by nonPOCs, they’re like, ‘Oh, this is so refined for this,’” says Onwuachi, a James Beard Award winner. A critic’s job is more straightforward when they’re weighing one classic French dish against another compared to when they must pass judgement on food they’re trying for the first time. Onwuachi says a critic’s meal should be about cultural understanding, not cultural exploration. “If you’re figuring this out for the first time at this one restaurant, or maybe you had it one time, how are you the person who is writing and giving a professional opinion?” he asks. If there were more critics of color, Onwuachi contends, they might have different reference points to inform their reviews. “We have zero representation within food writing at a high level like editorial staff,” Onwuachi says. He’s written about it for Food & Wine. He ponders what white editors crave. “Caribbean or African places? Probably not because it’s not on their minds. They don’t spend their vacations there. People spend their vacation in Florence and when they come back, they want to try that food again.” While there’s potential to learn more from varied perspectives, there are no absolutes. A white critic is capable of writing a thoughtful,
Ho started out in the restaurant industry, working in the kitchen, where she quickly realized magazine spreads were populated with chefs who didn’t look like her. After making a name for herself as a visionary on the Racist Sandwich podcast and writing for GQ and The
precise review of a Japanese or Peruvian eatery, for example, if they’ve had life experiences that tether them to those cuisines. And just because a critic is black, doesn’t necessarily make them a foremost expert on Cantonese cuisine or even soul food if they haven’t spent time eating it. Once a white reporter wrote a story about Onwuachi that demonstrated prior knowledge of Trinidadian food. The island nation is one of the places that inspires Onwuachi’s cooking because that’s where his grandfather is from. “He understood it. He had been there. He had eaten it. He seeks it out. You have to have some sort of knowledge on the cuisine if you’re going to give your opinion on it.” Sietsema says he’s been fortunate to globetrot and try food “at its source” in places such as China, India, France, Japan, Mexico, Thailand, and Argentina. “I also read a lot, I ask chefs questions, and I occasionally take embassy workers and other well-traveled types along on reviews.” “I only know what I can bring,” explains outgoing Northern Virginia Magazine critic Stefanie Gans. “I’m a girl from Jersey who grew up in a semi-kosher house. I can talk about bagels, whitefish salad, and Italian American Jersey staples with confidence. I’ve been eating professionally for eight years. Do I know when something tastes good? Yes. I’m confident in that. But am I always able to bring a more nuanced approach? No.” One of Gans’ chief strategies for publishing culturally sensitive and culinarily accurate reviews is to lean on quotes. “I rely on the people cooking the food,” she explains. “If I don’t understand the cuisine, I think of it as a reported piece. I give a lot of quotes from chefs to make sure their voice is heard and I let them fill in the blanks.” After eight years, Gans left her post at the end of October. “Now that I’m leaving my job, I’m thinking about who would be a good person to come in and fill this roll,” Gans says. “I hope that someone of color is in the position next because I think Virginia deserves someone who looks like who lives here.” The Virginia suburbs are a bonanza of dining opportunities thanks to the area’s Korean, Salvadoran, Vietnamese, Indian, Chinese, and Ethiopian immigrants. Gans says someone with ties to other parts of the world would add texture to the magazine’s coverage of these cuisines. She looks to critics like Soleil Ho as a sign of what’s to come. In December 2018, the San Francisco Chronicle named the young, female, queer, Vietnamese American its new critic. “She’s going to dismantle the way people are writing restaurant criticism,” Gans says. “She’s out to understand what we’ve been letting slide.”
Michael Twitty New Yorker, Ho took a leap when a critic position opened up. She saw the job’s potential for impact. “That I’m being given the credibility to determine what is tasteful and good is a demonstration that there are other people that have valid things to say about culture,” she says. But Ho reckons readers were surprised. “People were anticipating a young Michael Bauer,” Ho says. Bauer, who is white, helped define Bay Area food culture but his reign was not without controversy. “The Chronicle had Michael for 32 years. Obviously they were happy with his performance and what he stood for. I represent a pretty stark difference; a swerve away from that method.” What Ho’s excelled at so far is adding context to her reviews. They resonate more like reported journalism than assessments of food and service. She’s made a crash bang by scratching far below the surface. Her thorough dissection of Le Colonial in September
advanced the genre of food criticism. The decades-old restaurant has a French Vietnamese colonialism theme, which Ho picks apart with help from a historian and a scholar. “I don’t want to go back to that time and place, to presume that I would be the person served and not the one doing the serving,” Ho writes, arguing the restaurant prompts diners to take on the position of the colonizer. And later, “Le Colonial’s theme is covered with the sticky film of racism—but compounding this insult is the fact that the food isn’t wellexecuted or particularly exciting.” She tells me, “What I want to leave people with is the ability to see past what is supposed to give them pleasure. I’m dismantling objectivity. Objectivity is a privileged white male old money perspective. I’m none of those things.” “I know people want a vacation with some food writing,” Twitty says. “We don’t always need to go deep into the stuff, right? When Soleil did that whole write-up of Le Colonial,
she was fully within her total realm as a creative thought leader to be like, ‘Since you went there, I gotta go there.’” Cultural appropriation or insensitivity isn’t always so obvious. It can rear its head in everything from art hanging on the walls, to a restaurant’s soundtrack, to the words chosen for a press release. Aaron Ross Coleman, a black writer who covers race and economics, wrote about how homegrown salad chain sweetgreen leaned on hip-hop culture “to turn lettuce into gold,” even though 95 percent of its shops are in majority white neighborhoods. The article published in The Nation in April asks where one draws the line between cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation. Naming a salad after Kendrick Lamar lyrics—“Beets Don’t Kale My Vibe”—was just the start of the fast-casual giant’s rap infatuation. D.C. chef Rock Harper picked apart Roy Boy’s decision to decorate its walls with art depicting rappers as chickens on his podcast. One mimicked the “Live From Death Row,” VIBE cover from 1996 with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Suge Knight, and Tupac Shakur. “These four black men in a fried chicken restaurant have been animalized,” he says, as a part of a larger conversation about what happens when people “grab at” black culture. “They’ve been made to look like the animal that is being slaughtered and deep fried.” Local and national outlets covered the backlash. The owners removed the art. Oduro believes the amplification food criticism provides plays a key role in the restaurant industry, but what frustrates her is critics’ thirst for discovery. “A lot of things get reported as new when they’re not,” she explains. “Until a food critic, who perhaps has not been immersed in a particular culture like black, African, or Latin, discovers and writes about it, it’s presented as new.” This is particularly true for “black food,” Oduro says, and urges media to have representation in the room where stories get pitched— “someone rooted in the culture who participates consistently and can weave the narrative together of black food and its connection to other foods.” While not tied to a cuisine, I made a false discovery error when breaking news about Johnson’s inaugural DMV Black Restaurant Week. My headline called it the first-ever. Then my inbox chirped with objections from readers. I failed to give credit to local Black Restaurant Weeks that came before, including one from ABlackLife LLC. “One does not have to search far or wide to find its impact and to see that you were able to write this piece without acknowledging the organization is hurtful and offensive, yet another mark of Black erasure in D.C.,” one reader wrote. Words are powerful enough to erase what came before. Many of the press releases that reach journalists’ desks try to gussy up food one might find at a carry out or more casual eatery. They all use the same word, “elevate,” which suggests the restaurant is improving upon something. In my inbox, I found 60 emails from 2019
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that use the word, and I delete most of the thousands of press releases I receive each year. The ones that snuck through promised to “elevate” everything from crab shack snacks and street food to cookout-style fare and comfort food. An elevator takes us from one place to another, but in the context of food writing, words like “elevate” hold us in a steady state where whitewashing is celebrated, or at least tolerated. Elevating people of color into critic jobs might instead lead us to food that’s already great.
Chef Kwame Onwuachi and his family
Oduro calls the lack of food writers and critics of color a microcosm for larger representation and inclusion issues in the District. “There are only a few slots for these positions,” she says. “There isn’t a way to get rotating representation. Openings don’t come up very much. Looking at the history of critics in D.C., people have held their jobs forever.” Sietsema has been at the Post for two decades and Carman is coming up on his 10year anniversary. Ann Limpert has been writing reviews at Washingtonian for 12 years and stepped into the head critic role in 2016, replacing Todd Kliman, who is also white. Limpert’s colleague, Anna Spiegel, started at Washingtonian in 2010. “Diversity comes with great planning,” Oduro says. “It doesn’t happen because we sit back and wish and hope.” This responsibility belongs to editors and publishers with hiring power, and the owners and boards who oversee them. If they don’t courageously shake up the status quo—like the Chronicle did with Ho or the New York Times did by hiring Tejal Rao—perhaps there’s a way to make food criticism less precious. Mainstream media call upon freelance writers with specific expertise to contribute to myriad other beats, but rarely does someone tag-in for a food critic because the position is so closely tied to a publication’s brand. Critics have chats and guides and press releases that go out when they pen zero-star reviews. A newspaper or magazine could occasionally tap outside talent with fresh perspectives and different expertise when it would best serve readers. Where will these writers come from? The District has reporters of color who contribute to food beats at local outlets, and social media and blogs help other voices break through. Jessica van Dop DeJesus, a former U.S. Marine who founded the blog The Dining Traveler back in 2014, says these platforms democratize food criticism. “Other voices have been able to come forward and say, ‘This is good,’ or ‘I like that,’ which I think has been revolutionary,” van Dop DeJesus explains. Twitty sees untapped potential on social media and hopes he and others can be mentors. “Folks like me need to encourage folks of color and others to really stop complaining on the internet and start writing professionally,” he says. “Develop your opinions into coherent thoughts that can be in a format that’s more than 140 characters. Put all those words into something that can help change the scene.”
Nadine Brown But there are barriers to entry to food writing and food criticism that go beyond slim pickings on job boards. As with all jobs, connections count, but cost is a limiting factor. “You have a lot of people who write about food who have the ability to pay for the $100 or $200 meal,” van Dop DeJesus says. “Others don’t and then media will shit on influencers for getting a free meal. Should only rich people have access to eat and write about the food?” A freelance food writer or blogger typically doesn’t receive a stipend from their employer to spend on meals to shape their coverage. And foodie events, which are great for networking, are costly too. These budding writ-
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ers either have to pay out of pocket or accept freebies in order to explore new eateries and still make a living despite the conflict of interest accepting free meals can create. Restaurants frequently host media dinners where the chef will taste writers and influencers through the menu free of charge. At these meals, van Dop DeJesus says she’s often one of two people of color. “We’re talking about a city like D.C. that’s mostly brown,” she says. “Historically the career aspect of becoming a food critic or food writer wasn’t at the forefront for many African American students, especially in the college realm,” says Dr. Erinn D. Tucker, the faculty director of George-
town University’s Global Hospitality Leadership master’s program. She also co-founded DMV Black Restaurant Week. “The publishing world is very small—that’s across the board with books, magazines, or newspapers,” she says. Food writing circles are even smaller, more insular, and exclusive. “I think that there is just this huge catching up the industry has to do,” Tucker continues. She wants a future where major publications are more conscious about expanding their writing teams to be more inclusive and argues they’ll be better off for it, especially because food writing now encompasses labor, immigration, race, the environment, and so much more. “You can get more readers and subscriptions if your content is more inclusive of the authenticness of the area that we’re in,” she says. “If we can take those steps it would be great for business, great for the city, and great for underrepresented writers who are in this space.” Soleil Ho, for one, is looking forward to having more colleagues of color. “Homogeneity is inherently not interesting,” she says. “Although my role and presence in the industry is significant, there are so many deficits. There are very few black food editors and critics. Their perspectives are sorely needed. People with power need to be able to give up that power and feed it to people who have been kept out.” Read this article on washingtoncitypaper.com/ food to see a list of local writers and bloggers of color who contribute to food beats.
Wed, Nov. 6, 2019 1/12 H (4.666” x 1.603”) Non-SAU CMYK Landmark Theatres/EP
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Heard Sign of the Times November, 2019 It’s dangerous to ride a bike or scooter with headphones in. You can’t hear cars and pedestrians, and miss the subtle cues that make it possible to navigate D.C.’s congested streets and busy bike lanes. That doesn’t stop some people, of course. They yammer incessantly into their AirPods as they scoot along the 15th Street NW cycletrack, or bob their heads to music as they pedal across the city. Most go without and let the city provide their soundtrack. But there is a third option for the safety-conscious and entertainment-starved rider: Blast your own music through your phone or speakers. In 2016 I was delivering food by bike and spent a lot of time pedaling around the city. The song of choice back then was “Panda,” Desiigner’s fun romp about, among other things, broads in Atlanta. The song, it seemed, was everywhere, and especially in the speakers of cyclists. But times have changed. This morning, a woman in a reflective yellow vest carefully signals that she intends to turn. Sound follows in her wake as she executes the maneuver. The unmistakable voice of a radio reporter says something about Mick Mulvaney and whether or not he’ll testify in the impeachment inquiry as the biker fades into the distance. —Will Warren Will Warren writes Scene and Heard. If you know of a location worthy of being seen or heard, email him at email@example.com.
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“Mystery” by Odilon Redon, ca. 1910
Last week, we highlighted five pieces in the Smithsonian’s permanent collection. This week, check out five more pieces from D.C. museums and galleries outside of the Smithsonian that deserve a second look. washingtoncitypaper.com/arts
After 15 years on 14th Street NW, Hemphill Fine Arts is headed to Mount Vernon Square.
By Kriston Capps When art dealer George Hemphill opened his gallery in 1993, real estate was flat. Storefronts in Georgetown were empty. He didn’t have any credit to his name beyond his work with the formidable Middendorf Gallery, which had bottomed out during the art market crash a couple years prior. He more or less bluffed his way into a lease for a space at Canal Square. A story about the new gallery, Hemphill Fine Arts, appeared in the Washington Post under the headline “Crash Landing.” When Hemphill Fine Arts moved to 14th Street NW in 2004, the storefronts were once again boarded up. Former automotive showrooms along the corridor proved to be perfect templates for white-cube galleries by the likes of Fusebox and Irvine Contemporary.
And Hemphill had an ideal landlord in Giorgio Furioso, who gave him and the other art dealers in the building a break on the rent for years. In this space, Hemphill Fine Arts has assembled dozens of exhibits from artists in his stable, including Renée Stout and Julie Wolfe, while also showcasing select works by Alma Thomas, Sam Gilliam, and other local (and national) legends. But after 15 years on 14th Street NW, Hemphill is moving again. At the end of November, he’s closing the last of the art spaces at 1515 14th St. NW, a building that still bears “Galleries” in relief over its entrance. His former neighbors there (Annie Gawlak, Andrea Pollan, and Laurie Adamson) have all closed their shops and slowed their activity. At 68, Hemphill has ample reason to retire, too—but no desire to quit. Instead, he’s taking
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another big bet on art in D.C. “In one sense you could characterize me as the dog, and the dog’s always going to go to the bed,” Hemphill says, in his characteristic Carolina drawl. “I get up and I drive to the gallery. It’s a habit of my life.” In January, Hemphill Fine Arts will reopen in a new storefront gallery in Mount Vernon Square. This time around, vacant storefronts are far harder to find in the District. The gallery will be a new anchor for a mixed-use development in a neighborhood chockablock with mid-rise construction projects. It will be a new type of venture for Hemphill, who has lived and worked in the city since 1979. If the past is prologue, his move may point to the future for galleries in D.C.—one in which dealers work hand-in-hand with developers to carve out space for art.
Hemphill’s new digs at 434 K St. NW will be bright and industrial. Unlike his current third-floor gallery, an austere black box theater for painting, sculpture, and photography, the new storefront gallery will be open to the street. The space won’t put up any walls between viewers and the people running the show. That’s an about-face from the current set up, where the offices for Hemphill and staff—director Mary Early, associate director Olivia Zvara, and preparator Joe Shetler—are all hidden from view. “You were never being observed observing an artwork,” Hemphill says of his 14th Street NW gallery. He says that he isn’t just changing his address. He’s rethinking how he sells art, and building a new space to reflect a different outlook. In the early 2000s, a wave of fine art dealers, Hemphill among them, followed Studio Theatre and Whole Foods to the 14th Street corridor. Almost no new art galleries have opened in the city since then. Rather, newcomers and established galleries alike have shuttered, an extraordinary exodus prompted by soaring real estate values across the city. Yet recently—very recently—green shoots have been popping up around town, thanks in part to developers. In February, a New York City dealer named Todd von Ammon opened a space in Georgetown, not terribly far from the gallery that Hemphill once inhabited. His first opening, a frenetic series of video installations by Tabor Robak, earned national press (including a review in Artforum by this writer). An alumnus of the long-tenured and widely admired Team Gallery in New York, von Ammon says that D.C. offers some inherent advantages for dealers. “While New York is teeming with art collectors, a dealer needs to employ a battery of various acid tests to decide to whom to place artwork,” von Ammon says. “This is not the case in D.C. While they are few, the majority of collectors here are affiliated with museums or major nonprofit organizations, and almost nobody engages in speculation. Most small galleries depend on the patronage of a small group of loyal buyers, and this is something that I’ve been able to access very quickly in D.C.”
CPARTS For his program, the gallerist has tapped his network of artists from New York and beyond, making his space, von ammon co., a distant outpost of the bleeding-edge contemporary art scene in Chelsea. (He recently hosted a show by Helmut Lang, the now-retired designer, who purged his fashion archive by mashing remnants of his studio into compact columns.) Von Ammon says that the support of the landlord was critical in turning out the former furniture showroom. “The developer of Cady’s Alley, Eastbanc, from whom I rent the space, is also preternaturally supportive of the endeavor, which is a wonderful change of pace from New York,” von Ammon says. “They have real conviction about the value of contemporary art in the city and have thrown a lot of weight behind me.” Developers used to follow the lead of artists and galleries moving into gentrifying neighborhoods. That relationship has f lipped. Competition among developers building new mixed-use projects has led them to look to unique retail experiences to distinguish their offerings. STABLE, a center for artist studios that opened last month in Eckington, has a favorable lease with Boundary Companies, a developer that is pursuing residential projects in the neighborhood,
including buildings with JBG and FoulgerPratt. Back in 2014, the Washington Project for the Arts signed a long-term lease in the Atlantic Plumbing mixed-use development, a JBG property. Hemphill’s new gallery will be the cultural tenant for a project by Quadrangle Development and The Wilkes Co., developers who have steered much of the construction in Mount Vernon Square; Hemphill says he’s known chairman Sandy Wilkes for decades. Ryan Dattilo, an attorney and art collector who moved to D.C. five years ago, says that he misses the New York gallery circuit. He wanted a space where he could introduce art to new friends and colleagues who don’t collect art or even necessarily know where to find it—so he decided to open his own shop. “Edens has been great,” Dattilo says, referring to the developer behind Union Market, where Dattilo opened De Novo Gallery in August. “They’ve been supportive of keeping it open. They’ve been supportive about promoting the show. I think the area is a perfect environment for that. It has a ton of energy, and Edens, through Union Market, has put on a ton of programming, with events and concerts.” While it was initially planned as a pop-up, De Novo has a longer-term hold on the space
now. Dattilo is planning shows with Amanda Jirón-Murphy, former gallery director of Hamiltonian Gallery, to showcase emerging artists. “It’s a new, fresh energy,” Dattilo says of the Union Market area. “It invites people who want to explore more. Those are the people who would want to explore art. I hope that it stays that way.” Dattilo is under no illusion that any developer will preserve a lease for a scrappy gallery forever. There’s a word for the practice in real estate of inviting the arts in when demand is low or a project is premature, only to show them to the door when the outlook improves: artwashing. In D.C., at least, the Washington Project for the Arts and STABLE have managed to secure the kind of long-term commercial leases usually reserved for more profitable ventures. Now, art dealers are making a go of it. Hemphill says that he could have held onto his 14th Street NW location. But he wanted a space better suited to a more mobile practice, with a greater emphasis on events, dialogue, and studio visits. A gallery space represents a way of communicating with the public, he says, and after 25 years working as a dealer in D.C., he decided it was time to change his model—so he’s flipping his store inside out. (Skyrocketing rents were of course a concern.)
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For his first show at the new K Street NW gallery, he’s going with Linling Lu, a painter whose bright concentric rings of color can be seen hanging in clusters inside two condo lobbies at CityCenterDC. Hemphill has represented Lu for seven years, and during that time, he’s sold nearly every painting that she’s produced. That’s something any artist dreams about hearing. Developers love to see it, too, Hemphill says. More of the city’s would-be gallerists and free-range consultants ought to consider how valuable even a trickle of art sales over time looks to landlords, he says. “A couple more spaces like mine would have a logarithmic impact on the contemporary art community,” von Ammon says. “The city has all the ingredients to support a community of intrepid young dealers, so I hope more people like me decide to give it a try.” Thinking forward, Hemphill says he hopes the gallery has space for new artists he hasn’t met yet. With every new venture, he has tried to shake up who he shows and how he shows. Looking back over his 40 years in the District, Hemphill says he doesn’t have any regrets, although he’s parted with pieces he wishes he could get back. “It should always feel like, ‘I should have never let go of that,’” Hemphill says. CP
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washingtoncitypaper.com november 8, 2019 17
WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU Little Shop of Horrors
Book and lyrics by Howard Ashman Music by Alan Menken Directed by Nick Martin At Source to Nov. 17 Plants make tidy metaphors: The life cycle of seed to sprout is an efficient shorthand for transformation, and flora have been imbued with power and meaning since before Eve ate the apple from the tree of knowledge. Little Shop of Horrors, inspired by an old black comedy of the same name, is similarly concerned with humans reaping what they sow, and uses a giant green weed to skewer greed and the American Dream. Though it was written in the 1980s and is set in the 1960s, the musical remains as fresh and sharp as ever. Little happens at the unsuccessful Skid Row Florists until nebbish florist Seymour (Christian Montgomery) starts caring for a strange plant that turns up during a solar eclipse and puts it in the window. Soon the shop is bustling, the proprietor Mr. Mushnik (Robert John Biedermann) finally warms to his surrogate son, and sweet coworker Audrey (Teresa Quigley Danskey) finally seems to take Seymour seriously. The plant, christened Audrey II, happens to have the gift of gab, and promises to make Seymour’s dreams come true if Seymour keeps it on a steady diet of human blood. After draining his own veins to the point of anemia, how far might Seymour go to do the bud’s bidding?
This dark morality play is camoflauged by a snappy doo-wop soundtrack of familiar tunes and impeccable comic timing from the very game cast. A Greek chorus of girl group backup dancers (Chani Wereley, Selena Clyne-Galindo, and Alana S. Thomas) cheerily narrate and forewarn of the terror to come. The show is a total romp and the musical numbers come in quick succession, but the show never quite lets the viewer relax. Montgomery’s portrayal of Seymour helps maintain this tension, taking a typically jittery character and dialing up his anxiety until it’s practically radiating off the stage. Audrey’s abusive boyfriend Orin (Scott Ward Abernathy) lends a menacing presence to the proceedings, and Danskey plays Audrey with a wounded, heartbreaking sensitivity. When Orin finally bites it, there’s a sense of uneasy relief that’s almost immediately undercut by the sight gag of Seymour feeding his innards to Audrey II. Audrey II is both the true protagonist and the manifestation of Seymour’s spiraling morality, and both the puppeteer (Rj Pavel) and the voice (Marty Austin Lamar) who bring Audrey II to life deserve praise. The musical numbers anchored by Audrey II are some of the funkiest and funniest in the show, and Lamar’s smooth delivery makes the plant particularly persuasive. Who wouldn’t make a deal with this green devil promising untold wishes, especially if it sang like Barry White? The various iterations of the plant puppets, designed by Matthew Aldwin McGee, are similarly fantastic, starting from a little hand-operated bud and gradually increasing in size until the plant looks nearly ready to swallow up the whole set. The cramped stage could be a liability for the production, but here it makes Skid Row feel as claustrophobic as it must be to the characters, with windows and alleyways allowing different vignettes to play out. The stage is often awash in an otherworldly green or purple glow, and before the show even begins, A.J. Guban’s set design hints that things are about
to get topsy turvy, with a thick assortment of plants that hang upside down from the ceiling, looking like they’re closing in. And closing in they are, as Audrey II’s unslakable bloodthirst threatens the destruction of all mankind. The early number “Skid Row (Downtown)” takes a dim view of humanity; as the show progresses it seems to suggest, if cheerfully, that perhaps humanity isn’t worth saving at all, love stories and business dreams aside. By the time the rollicking finale rolls around, not just Seymour but the world at large are implicated in the damage. The unsettling undercurrent and audience indictment is what keeps Little Shop of Horrors biting decades after the show was first conceived. —Stephanie Rudig 1835 14th St. NW. $19–$55. (202) 204-7741. constellationtheatre.org.
ALL IN THIS TOGETHER Everybody
By Branden Jacobs-Jenkins Directed by Will Davis At the Lansburgh Theatre to Nov. 17 everybody is going to die. You already know that, of course, but when confronted with the reality of it all, you might freak out. That’s what happens to Everybody, the titular character of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Everybody. Sound confusing? Let me explain. Of the nine cast members in the show, four play the same character every night, while five play a different role as determined by an on-stage lottery. The main character, Everybody, learns that they are going to die and will be required to give god a presentation on why they lived their life the way they did. They also find out they’re allowed to bring along a companion for the journey. Everybody then spends a lot of time experiencing an existential crisis and trying in vain to convince people (or objects) to accompany 18 november 8, 2019 washingtoncitypaper.com
them on their upcoming and fatal odyssey. Everybody is based on a 15th century morality play, but the anxieties it explores have a decidedly modern flavor. Their isolation and the artificiality of their relationships feel unique to the digital age. Everybody grapples with the lies of capitalism and vacuous friendships as they approach four concepts-cum-characters—Friendship, Cousin, Kinship, and Stuff— in search of a companion. In the end, it’s Love (who makes a surprise entrance) that sticks by Everybody’s side. These concept-characters are shells, the general shape of friendship, but not a real friend. The contours of a cousin, but not real kin. It’s easy to project yourself onto these interactions, imagining yourself as Everybody and a flaky friend as Friendship. They give the play a disorienting edge, and a lot of its humor. The actors dive into the night’s roles with energy and ease, no small task since most of the cast members have had to learn five different roles. But because these characters aren’t exactly real people, we don’t form an emotional attachment to them. They let us think about big ideas, but we don’t feel the gravity of their struggles and fears. The fact that show is replete with meta asides and inside jokes further distances us from the emotional weight of life and death. And what about the show’s big ideas? Everybody doesn’t present a lot of new ones. The characters sort through things that stoics and Buddhists and existentialists and minimalists have been talking about for millennia: You are dying, and the things you thought mattered don’t count for much. Maybe that’s because this has always been true. The climate crisis and 2016 election and Second Gilded Age may lend 2019’s existential crises an apocalyptic urgency, but death and the meaning of life aren’t exactly new concepts. The play has strong moments, to be sure. Friendship and Stuff earn laughs with their painfully true dialogue. Arnulfo Maldonado’s set—a James Turrell-esque box lit by Barbara Samuels—is beautiful, and a weird dance with inflatable skeletons transfixes the audience. But something is missing. Everybody will
probably make you feel either very smart or very dumb. I suppose it’s nice to feel very smart, but I’d rather something less academic. If we’re going to have our existential crises set against the backdrop of the apocalypse, I want something to hold on to. Like Everybody, I’m looking for love. —Will Warren 450 7th St. NW. $35–$120. (202) 547-1122. shakespearetheatre.org.
TRIGGER POINTS Theory
By Norman Yeung Directed by Victoria Murray Baatin At Atlas Performing Arts Center to Nov. 17 Canadian playwright norman Yeung’s Theory opens as a young tenure-track professor Isabelle (Musa Gurnis) discusses the syllabus with her film theory class. The semester promises a mix of the canonical and the radical. So while the students are already uncomfortable with the inclusion of Triumph of the Will, in which Leni Riefenstahl codified the iconography of Naziism, the explicit sex and violence of more recent provocations like Virginie Despentes and Coralie Trinh Thi’s Baise-Moi have some of the more woke students demanding trigger warnings on films Isabelle refuses to cancel, and boycotting screenings. But what worries her undergraduates even more is Isabelle’s decision to host the class discussion board on a server outside of the school network. It is her faith that anarchy will free their minds. As Isabelle complains to her wife, Lee (Andrea Harris Smith), a tenured English professor and novelist, about overly cautious youth, fearful of engaging with ideas outside their comfort zone, the unmoderated message board becomes increasingly toxic. The board’s anonymity provides a “safe space” to spout racial and homophobic slurs without faceto-face consequences. With no explanation “Richard69” posts a video remixing scenes from D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation with the 2017 Unite the Right rally, and later he posts a gif juxtaposing contradictory ideas about racial integration from two different Spike Lee films. Safina (Tyasia Velines) takes that as an attack on her own multiracial background, but it’s only when a video of interracial lesbi-
an porn is posted with a dedication to Isabelle that describes Lee with the N-word that Isabelle viscerally grasps that things are not right. Is Richard69 a white nationalist? A troll? A provocateur determined to demonstrate that utopian idealism does not work, that liberalism requires guardrails and guardians to protect it from illiberal forces? A single person? A collective? Soon, students are anonymously filing grievances against Isabelle. Though Yeung mines academic wit and undergraduate glibness for comedy, Theory is a tragedy in the Hegelian sense: a collision of irreconcilable ethical worldviews. Isabelle adheres to the liberal credo of academic freedom: No idea can be offensive to the intellect and the best ideas will always win out. But her utopia of free speech cannot handle being confronted with the cancel culture that advances the notion that some ideas and images are simply too harmful to encounter, even on a syllabus. Certainly some ideas are dangerous: Some of the film montages she teaches have provided powerful encouragement for ethnic cleansing or terrorism. Even the small compromises she is willing to make with reality cannot restore security. Her students, meanwhile, having grown up in a post-literate culture of memes and emojis, cannot grasp how one can critically separate form from content, emotions from a political stance. Director Victoria Murray Baatin has a personal stake in this production, the American premiere of Theory, having worked with the Canadian Embassy to bring both the play and the playwright to Mosaic Theater Company, and her commitment to Yeung’s vision is evident. Gurnis has skillfully crafted the physicality of a character who lives so much in her head. Isabelle is so enamored with her pedagogy in early scenes that she dances through her scene changes, but as her ideas are challenged, her gestures become increasingly disjointed and spastic. Smith gives a multi-dimensional performance as Lee, who must balance work on her novel with mentoring and nurturing her younger, brilliantly reckless spouse who has trouble planning a future or at least a date night together. Josh Adams puts in a cagily low-key performance as Richard, who, like all of the students, may or may not be Richard69, or a copycat. Daniel Ettinger’s modernist revival set design elegantly integrates, and blurs the lines between, Isabelle’s classroom, office, and home, while also providing a fractured surface that resembles the onscreen desktop environment of multiple overlapping windows upon which projection designer Dylan Uremovich recreates the social media and videomashup environment in which the characters are immersed. Theory is one of the most intelligently provocative plays one is likely to see this season. It will resonate with anyone who has ever had to question their own allegiances and discomfort those who are too certain of themselves. —Ian Thal 1333 H St. NE. $20–$60. (202) 399-7993. mosaictheater.org.
Women of Color: The Power of Protest November 14 | 6–7:30 p.m. | McEvoy Auditorium Join the National Portrait Gallery in collaboration with the National Museum of the American Indian and the National Museum of African Art for a series of lectures and discussions that address activism and social justice through the lens of women of color. These events are funded by the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative, Because of Her Story. Free—Register at npg.eventbrite.com.
8th and F St. NW • Washington, DC 20001 • npg.si.edu #myNPG • @Smithsoniannpg Ida B. Wells-Barnett (detail) by Sallie E. Garrity, albumen silver print, c. 1893. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
washingtoncitypaper.com november 8, 2019 19
BOOKSSPEED READS –DCist
“HHHHH...Who knew that death could be so fun?”
–DC Theatre Scene
SAVING GRACE The Plateau
By Maggie Paxson Riverhead Books, 358 pages
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins Directed by
EC TAC LE .” “A M AG N IF IC E N T S P
–MD Theatre Guide
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StorieS about ordinary people risking their lives during wartime to help persecuted strangers fill the pages of The Plateau, a new book by anthropologist Maggie Paxson. She depicts the Vivarais-Lignon plateau in France, whose inhabitants sheltered hundreds, and possibly thousands, of Jewish children during World War II, and who today welcome African and Middle Eastern refugees. Much of The Plateau follows the life and death of Paxson’s relative, Daniel Trocmé, who headed a school there which took in persecuted children, despite Na z i a t t a c k s . Trocmé himself was eventually sent to Majdanek, a concentration camp in Poland, as a political prisoner, and he died there. For his heroism, he has been recognized as one of the Righteous Among the Nations in Israel, along with 50 other people, “farmers or teachers or merchants or pastors,” from the plateau. As an anthrop o l o g i s t , Pa xson uncovers the plateau’s history, dating back to the wars of religion, of extraordinary assistance to victims of political and religious oppression. The locals do not talk about it much. Like the hero of the film Hotel Rwanda, who saved so many Tutsi people during the genocide, they simply say, “I did what anyone would do under such circumstances.” But in fact what the people of the plateau have done over the centuries is extraordinary and definitely not “what anyone would do.” Paxson traces this heroism in part to the locals’ profound Protestantism, but that does not explain it entirely. Indeed, why Daniel Trocmé and others, including resistance fighters, risked their lives for people they did not know doesn’t yield to analysis. Paxson eliminates obviously false explanations, like, “they did it to feel good about
themselves,” but in the end what their sacrifice meant to these remarkable people is contained in the deceptively prosaic idea: They risked and gave their lives because they believed it was right. “Let’s just say that suddenly you are a social scientist and you want to study peace,” Paxson begins her book. “Could there be communities that were somehow resistant to violence, persistent in decency?” She had spent years in Russian villages, one of them close to Chechnya, and had witnessed the effects of war and violence. Now she focused on the opposite. “To me this is what counts here: Did a person open the door to a stranger, when it was hard to open the door? Did they do it once, twice, ten times? Did they teach their children so well about opening doors that those children learned to do it themselves, as a matter of habit?” During the Nazi occupation, the plateau became a magnet for resistance fighters. Albert Camus spent time there. Other fighters slept i n t h e wo o ds , where Trocmé’s students hid during Gestapo raids. Though resistance fighters used guns and bombs, many in the plateau practiced nonviolent resistance. “You can’t say that this weapon of the spirit, as [pastor André] Trocmé famously called it, is of no consequence. Nor that it is for the faint of heart. Not in Ku Klux Klan America. Not in the Raj. And not in the Reich.” Nonviolent resistance is what Daniel Trocmé practiced when he decided to face the fascists who came for his students. It led directly to his death. It is unclear that he knew it would, but certainly he understood it could. Today on the plateau Vivarais-Lignon, there is a center for refugees. The 63 residents come from Congo, Rwanda, Angola, Guinea, Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Chechnya. Memories of unspeakable violence haunt many of them. They have difficulty merging with the locals, but “the children are the bridges between the locals and the asylum seekers.” Children from the two groups become acquainted at school, and then drag their parents together. —Eve Ottenberg
Chandrika Tandon presents
Shivoham—The Quest MOB MENTALITY The Irishman
Directed by Martin Scorsese One Of the most persistent criticisms leveled against Martin Scorsese, widely considered one of America’s greatest filmmakers, is that he makes immorality seem like too much fun. In films like Goodfellas, Casino, and The Wolf of Wall Street, Scorsese indulges in the earthly delights enjoyed by his protagonists, and refuses to dole out the justice his critics demand. The Irishman silences those criticisms, the rare Scorsese crime film in which no one is having any fun and everyone gets punished. Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) is a minor figure in American history whose life story dovetails with the rise of labor unions and their toxic relationship with the mob. Sheeran starts out as a truck driver and small-time crook, but he impresses his union lawyer (Ray Romano), who introduces him to his cousin, mob boss Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci). Soon, Sheeran is working as a mob enforcer, whacking who needs to be whacked with the utmost professionalism. Unlike in Scorsese’s previous works, the violence here is presented as routine, with little fanfare or shock value. Admired for his loyalty and taciturn nature, Sheeran keeps rising, eventually crossing paths with Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino), who recruits him to be his bodyguard and confidante. As Hoffa struts and frets his hour upon the stage, Sheeran becomes our unreliable narrator of some of the most controversial events of the latter half of the 20th century, but it is the deep friendship between these two mysterious men, and the brilliant actors playing them, that centers the film. The Irishman is not a history lesson. It’s a three-and-a-half-hour epic spanning an era in which America achieved massive social change—none of which appears on screen. Neither civil rights nor the counterculture get more than a mention. Clothes and haircuts never change. The same ’50s pop songs that open the film are still playing on the soundtrack well
into the 1970s. None of this is a mistake. The Irishman is ultimately a cautionary tale about men who refuse to let go—Hoffa of his power and influence, and Sheeran of the walls around his heart—and Scorsese manifests their reluctance to change in every frame. Scorsese’s thesis is that, for these men, their inability to communicate is their tragic flaw. Sheeran first ingratiates himself with the mob by refusing to name co-conspirators when busted for stealing meat. Throughout the film, the dialogue hinges on the characters’ use of code. “I heard you paint houses,” says Hoffa to Sheeran in their first meeting, referencing his work as an executioner. Another key scene revolves around the secret meaning of the phrase, “It is what it is.” Never do the characters speak their minds directly, and you get the sense that if they did, their problems might be solved. It’s a bold subversion of the first and only rule of organized crime, always keep your mouth shut, and a searing critique of Boomer masculinity. The Irishman is a masterpiece of ideas, but it also feels inert for long stretches. Maybe it’s the prominent use of de-aging technology, which is intended to take decades off the face of a 76-year-old De Niro, but instead thoroughly removes his humanity. He plays a character in his 30s for the first two hours of the film, and I’m here to tell you, reader, that it is simply not credible. Or it could be the fact that a character who can’t communicate is one without drama, and despite the action and bloodshed, it often feels like nothing important is happening because the events of the film don’t change Sheeran one bit. Nevertheless, the film builds to a devastating finale in which Sheeran suffers a fate far lonelier than any of the unlucky souls buried in the desert in Casino or even poor Henry Hill from Goodfellas: condemned to a purgatory of ketchup and egg noodles in Arizona. The gangsters in The Irishman live the same life for too long, but Scorsese and his troupe avoid the same end. They are still kicking down doors, looking backward while moving forward, pushing the boundaries of their art, for better and for worse. —Noah Gittell The Irishman opens Friday at Landmark E Street Cinema and Landmark Bethesda Row Cinema.
For one special night only, audiences will be treated to the world premiere of Chandrika Tandon’s Shivoham—The Quest. The Grammy®-nominated artist, business leader, and humanitarian describes the work as a musical expression of her 20-year search for the light. Featuring world-class instrumentalists and choirs, Shivoham weaves together a universal harmony of ancient Sanskrit mantras and English prayers, western modes, Indian ragas, African and Spanish styles, jazz, Gregorian chants, and personal stories.
November 22 at 7 p.m. Eisenhower Theater Kennedy-Center.org (202) 467-4600
Groups call (202) 416-8400 For all other ticket-related customer service inquiries, call the Advance Sales Box Office at (202) 416-8540
Chandrika Tandon presents Shivoham—The Quest is made possible by the Discover India Initiatives.
washingtoncitypaper.com november 8, 2019 21
THIS WEEK’S SHOWS ALL GOOD PRESENTS
SunSquabi w/ Goose ................................................................................F NOV 8 Ra Ra Riot w/ Bayonne .................................................................................. W 13 NOVEMBER
Wild Nothing w/ Kate Bollinger .........................F 15 Neon Indian w/ Sateen ...........Sa 16 Alice Merton w/ Raffaella ......Tu 19 Christone “Kingfish” Ingram .....................................Th 21 San Fermin w/ Wild Pink ..........F 22 Sasha Sloan w/ Winnetka Bowling League Early Show! 6pm Doors ....................Sa 23 Alex Cameron w/ Holiday Sidewinder & Emily Panic Late Show! 10pm Doors ....................Sa 23
La Dispute w/ Touché Amoré & Empath .......Su 24 U STREET MUSIC HALL PRESENTS
Miami Horror w/ Argonaut & Wasp • Ozker .....F 29 Alice Smith .............................Sa 30 DECEMBER
Turnover & Men I Trust w/ Renata Zeiguer ......................Th 19 Hot in Herre Holiday Spectacular:
2000s Dance Party with DJs Will Eastman and Ozker • Visuals by Kylos ........................F 20
& FINAL NIGHT ADDED! FIRST NIGHT SOLD OUT! SECOND
ALL GOOD PRESENTS
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong w/ lespecial
Must purchase 2-Day Pass with
12/7 PPPP @ The Anthem to attend. .....F 6
Devendra Banhart w/ Black Belt Eagle Scout Early Show! 6pm Doors .....................Sa 7 Omar Apollo w/ Alexander 23 & Silver Sphere Early Show! 6pm Doors .....................F 13 Cautious Clay w/ Remi Wolf
Late Show! 10pm Doors ......................F 13
Samantha Fish w/ Nicholas David .......................Tu 17 Daughters and HEALTH w/ Show Me The Body .................W 18
Gogol Bor d ello
& Damon Johnson .......................Su 29
DEC 30 & 31 Complimentary Champagne Toast at Midnight on New Year’s Eve!
No Scrubs: ‘90s Dance Party
with DJs Will Eastman & Ozker • Visuals by Kylos ..........................F 3
Yola w/ Amythyst Kiah.................F 10 Hiss Golden Messenger w/ Lilly Hiatt ................................W 15 American Authors and MAGIC GIANT w/ Public ........Th 16 STEEZ PROMO PRESENTS
Sullivan King w/ Eliminate .....F 17 Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven
Early Show! 6pm Doors ....................Sa 18
The Budos Band w/ Paul and The Tall Trees
Late Show! 10pm Doors ....................Sa 18
MANY MORE SHOWS ON SALE! 930.com impconcerts.com
Thievery Corporation w/ The Archives ..........................Su 22 GWAR w/ Unearth & Savage Master .......F 27 The Pietasters w/ The Fuss • Oison • Creachies .Sa 28 Clutch w/ The Steel Woods
ALL GOOD PRESENTS
Collie Buddz w/ Keznamdi ......Su 1 Mac Ayres w/ Stephn ................Tu 3
Lincoln Theatre • 1215 U Street, NW Washington, D.C. JUST ANNOUNCED!
The best thing you could possibly put in your mouth Cupcakes by BUZZ... your neighborhood bakery in Alexandria, VA. | www.buzzonslaters.com
22 november 8, 2019 washingtoncitypaper.com
......................................................................... FEBRUARY 23
On Sale Friday, November 8 at 10am THIS FRIDAY!
Kishi Bashi w/ Cicada Rhythm ......NOV 8
Robert Earl Keen -
Countdown to Christmas
w/ Shinyribs........................................DEC 6 ED!
D NIGHT ADD FIRST NIGHT SOLD OUT! SECON Judge John Hodgman Live ................................................NOV 10 Girls Gotta Eat ........................ JAN 10
Tim and Eric .............................. FEB 8 Sasha Velour’s Smoke & Mirrors .................NOV 11 Michael Kiwanuka ................ FEB 12 AEG PRESENTS BenDeLaCreme & Trixie Mattel ............................ MAR 1 Jinkx Monsoon: All I Want for Christmas is Attention .NOV 29 THE BIRCHMERE PRESENTS Colin Hay (Solo) .......................APR 4 thelincolndc.com • impconcerts.com • U Street (Green/Yellow) stop across the street!
9:30 CLUB PRESENTS AT U STREET MUSIC HALL
Abhi The Nomad w/ Atwood .... F NOV 8 Tiffany Young ............................Sa 9 Sinéad Harnett w/ ILHAM ............ M 11 Black Midi w/ Fat Tony .................W 13 Last Dinosaurs w/ Born Ruffians & Ginger Root ..............................Th 14 Chastity Belt w/ Strange Ranger ......F 15 Charlotte Lawrence w/ Goody Grace ............................Sa 16 Skizzy Mars w/ Yoshi Flower & Zaia .Su 17 White Denim w/ Spaceface ..........Tu 19 Mikal Cronin w/ Shannon Lay .......Sa 23
Jaymes Young w/ Phil Good .........Su 24 9:30 CLUB AND TRILLECTRO PRESENT
Berhana .................................Sa 30 Ezra Collective .................. Tu DEC 3 Thurston Moore Group .............Sa 7 9:30 CLUB & ALL GOOD PRESENT
Jojo Mayer and NERVE ............W 11 The Slackers w/ Mephiskapheles ...Th 19 Temples w/ Art d’Ecco All 11/8 9:30 Club tickets honored. . M JAN 20 Great Good Fine OK w/ Aaron Taos ...............................F 31
• 930.com/u-hall • impconcerts.com • Buy advance tickets at the 9:30 Club box office. •
TICKETS for 9:30 Club shows are available through TicketFly.com, by phone at 1-877-4FLY-TIX, and at the 9:30 Club box office. 9:30 CLUB BOX OFFICE HOURS are 12-7pm on weekdays & until 11pm on show nights, 6-11pm on Sat, and 6-10:30pm on Sun on show nights.
HAPPY HOUR DRINK PRICES impconcerts.com AFTER THE SHOW AT THE BACK BAR!
.................................................................SAT JANUARY 25
PARKING: THE OFFICIAL 9:30 parking lot entrance is on 9th Street, directly behind the 9:30 Club. Buy your advance parking tickets at the same time as your concert tickets!
ALL GOOD PRESENTS
CRIS JACOBS BAND &
Music 23 Books 26 Theater 27 Film 28
CITY LIGHTS: FRIDAY
NEWMYER FLYER PRESENTS
TRIBUTE SATURDAY NOV
WED, NOV 13
ALL GOOD PRESENTS
NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALLSTARS THU, NOV 14
ANTHONY B W/ NKULA AND SPECIAL GUEST RAS HAITRM FRI, NOV 15
FRANK SOLIVAN & DIRTY KITCHEN
W/ MAN ABOUT A HORSE SAT, NOV 16
YONDER MOUNTAIN STRING BAND W/ PIERCE EDENS TUES, NOV 19
AN EVENING WITH
WHOSE HAT IS THIS? WED, NOV 20
ALL GOOD PRESENTS
RISING APPALACHIA W/ RAYE ZARAGOZA
FRI, NOV 22
DEANNA BOGART AND TORONZO CANNON
Music FRIDAY BLUES
PEARL STREET WAREHOUSE 33 Pearl Street SW. (202) 380-9620. Bobby Thompson. 8 p.m. $12–$15. pearlstreetwarehouse.com.
ELECTRONIC 9:30 CLUB 815 V St. NW. (202) 265-0930. SunSquabi. 10 p.m. $20. 930.com. ECHOSTAGE 2135 Queens Chapel Road NE. (202) 503-2330. Above & Beyond. 9 p.m. $40–$50. echostage.com.
FOLK MONTGOMERY COLLEGE CULTURAL ARTS CENTER 7995 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring. (240) 567-1300. Bhi Bhiman. 8 p.m. $5–$20. cms.montgomerycollege.edu.
SAT, NOV 23
The musical abilities of multi-instrumentalist and singer Kishi Bashi defy neat categorization. Besides playing in bands Jupiter One and of Montreal, Kishi Bashi (born Kaoru Ishibashi) has toured as a violinist, scored films, and helped develop an original coffee blend. The fluidity of Ishibashi’s songs range from feverish strings to transcendent dream pop to bright, bouncy synth chords, all layered over pensive lyrics. In his live performances, Ishibashi includes loop pedals, dynamic improvisation, and beatboxing to create an original show for each new audience. His latest release, Omoiyari, is a concept album that draws on the experiences of Japanese Americans interned during World War II. He also created a documentary “songfilm” of the same name that’s set to premiere in 2020. The Japanese title has no English equivalent, but roughly translates into the practice of extending compassion to another person. Kishi Bashi performs at 8 p.m. at The Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. $35. (202) 888-0050. thelincolndc.com. —Mercedes Hesselroth
THAT 70’S PARTY W/ SUPERFLYDISCO SAT, NOV 30
ALL GOOD PRESENTS
KELLER WILLIAMS’ THANKSFORGRASSGIVING FEAT. KELLER & THE KEELS W/ SPECIAL GUEST LINDSAY LOU SUN, DEC 1
3:00pm & 6:30pm
A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS W/ THE ERIC BYRD TRIO TUE, DEC 3
FUNK & R&B CITY WINERY 1350 Okie St. NE. (202) 250-2531. Loose Ends with Jane Eugene. 8 p.m. $40–$55. citywinery.com.
HIP-HOP FILLMORE SILVER SPRING 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. (301) 960-9999. Michael Franti & Spearhead. 8 p.m. $36. fillmoresilverspring.com.
9:30 CLUB 815 V St. NW. (202) 265-0930. Temples. 6 p.m. $25. 930.com.
HANG UP AND LISTEN LIVE IN DC
THE ANTHEM 901 Wharf St. SW. (202) 888-0020. Louis the Child. 8 p.m. $46–$76. theanthemdc.com. LINCOLN THEATRE 1215 U St. NW. (202) 888-0050. Kishi Bashi. 8 p.m. $35. thelincolndc.com. U STREET MUSIC HALL 1115 U St. NW. (202) 588-1889. Abhi the Nomad. 7 p.m. $15. ustreetmusichall.com.
washingtoncitypaper.com november 8, 2019 23
CITY LIGHTS: SATURDAY
JASON MORAN AND THE BANDWAGON WITH INGRID LAUBROCK
THE MDLO ORCHESTRA IN CONCERT
Jazz pianist and composer Jason Moran became the Kennedy Center’s artistic director for jazz in 2014. During his tenure, the venue’s programming has struck a hard-to-achieve balance between maintaining a respect for tradition while also venturing into the multi-faceted genre’s cutting edge. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Moran’s excellent trio, The Bandwagon, which includes the adventurous rhythm section of bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits. The ensemble is celebrating its milestone with performances utilizing several of the Center’s numerous spaces. This one, taking place in the Family Theater, features saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock, and draws from Moran’s 2001 album Black Stars, on which Sam Rivers played saxophone. Jason Moran and the Bandwagon perform at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. at the Kennedy Center Family Theater, 2700 F St. NW. $29–$49. (202) 467-4600. kennedy-center.org. —Sriram Gopal
VALET & SECURE PARKING AVAILABLE
LIVE MUSIC | URBAN WINERY | RESTAURANT | BAR | PRIVATE EVENTS
11.11 Rhonda Ross & Rodney Kendrick
Jontavious Willis & Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton*
Marshall Crenshaw 11.19 11.17
11.16 Jimbo Mathus’ Incinerator*
Peter Himmelman w/ Jesse Palter*
Secret Society 11.20
11.19 Booker T. Jones
Celebrates the release of his memoir Time Is Tight and companion album Note By Note
Secret Los LobosSociety
12.19 Rodriguez -
An Intimate Evening of Music and Conversation w/ Raye Zaragoza
1350 OKIE STREET NE, WASHINGTON DC | CITYWINERY.COM/WASHINGTON DC | 202.250.2531
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NEW YORK • CHICAGO • NASHVILLE • ATLANTA • BOSTON • WASHINGTON DC • PHILADELPHIA • HUDSON VALLEY
24 november 8, 2019 washingtoncitypaper.com
HOTEL BEACON BAR & GRILL 1615 Rhode Island Ave. NW. (202) 872-1126. Josephine Beavers. 8 p.m.; 10:30 p.m. $15–$35. beaconhotelwdc.com.
BARNS AT WOLF TRAP 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. (703) 255-1900. Max Weinberg’s Jukebox. 8 p.m. $52. wolftrap.org. KENNEDY CENTER EISENHOWER THEATER 2700 F St. NW. (202) 467-4600. Joyce DiDonato. 8 p.m. $39– $79. kennedy-center.org.
KENNEDY CENTER CONCERT HALL 2700 F St. NW. (202) 467-4600. National Symphony Orchestra: Noseda conducts/Bar-Josef plays Piazzolla. 8 p.m. $15–$99. kennedy-center.org.
12.12 & 12.13
MEXICAN CULTURAL INSTITUTE 2829 16th St. NW. (202) 728-1628. Día de los Muertos by the New Orchestra of Washington. 7 p.m. $45–$95. instituteofmexicodc.org.
9:30 CLUB 815 V St. NW. (202) 265-0930. Billy Strings. 8 p.m. $20. 930.com.
ECHOSTAGE 2135 Queens Chapel Road NE. (202) 503-2330. Dirtybird Players. 9 p.m. $25. echostage.com.
FUNK & R&B
CITY WINERY 1350 Okie St. NE. (202) 250-2531. Loose Ends with Jane Eugene. 7 p.m.; 10:30 p.m. $40–$55. citywinery.com.
BARNS AT WOLF TRAP 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. (703) 255-1900. Leo Kottke. 8 p.m. $32. wolftrap.org.
KENNEDY CENTER FAMILY THEATER 2700 F St. NW. (202) 467-4600. Jason Moran and The Bandwagon and Ingrid Laubrock. 7 p.m.; 9 p.m. $29–$49. kennedy-center.org. SIXTH & I HISTORIC SYNAGOGUE 600 I St. NW. (202) 408-3100. Jordan Rakei with Sam Willis. 8 p.m. $20– $24. sixthandi.org.
SONGBYRD MUSIC HOUSE AND RECORD CAFE 2477 18th St. NW. (202) 450-2917. Amy O. 9 p.m. $10. songbyrddc.com. U STREET MUSIC HALL 1115 U St. NW. (202) 588-1889. Tiffany Young. 7 p.m. $30. ustreetmusichall.com.
MGM NATIONAL HARBOR 101 MGM National Ave., Oxon Hill. (844) 346-4664. Joe Bonamassa. 8 p.m. $79–$145. mgmnationalharbor.com. PEARL STREET WAREHOUSE 33 Pearl Street SW. (202) 380-9620. Eric Gales. 8 p.m. $22–$35. pearlstreetwarehouse.com. UNION STAGE 740 Water St. SW. (877) 987-6487. Ben Kweller. 9 p.m. $20–$40. unionstage.com.
KENNEDY CENTER EISENHOWER THEATER 2700 F St. NW. (202) 467-4600. Joyce DiDonato. 8 p.m. $39– $79. kennedy-center.org.
CITY LIGHTS: SUNDAY
THE BLEND SHOW 3
Go-go music is in the news again; last week, the D.C. Council heard witnesses testifying in favor of making the funky, homegrown sound D.C.’s official genre—a legislative confirmation of what’s already true. Meanwhile, D.C.-area go-go bands keep pushing against the gentrification-related obstacles trying to mute them by playing nightly gigs, with or without governmental recognition. “The Blend Show 3” will offer a multi-generational showcase of some of the percussive style’s finest practitioners, including Rare Essence, Backyard Band, WHAT? Band, and TCB. The “blend show” title means that two bands at a time will set up on stage and will alternate songs without long gaps in between. Rare Essence, formed in 1976 and led by guitarist Andre Johnson, are adept at both old-school call and response with polyrhythmic beats and newer hip-hop influenced tunes. Backyard Band, led by Anwar “Big G” Glover (also an actor in The Wire), have been skillfully cranking rough go-go jams and soulful, smoother covers since the ’90s. The WHAT? Band, led by Christian “Rapper Dude” Black (who was in Northeast Groovers) and vocalist Michelle Blackwell, have been plying their party-friendly approach since 2000. Finally, TCB, originally led by their late vocalist Reggie “Polo” Burwell, originated the speedy keyboards and timbales bounce beat go-go rhythm in 2003. The event should provide further evidence to the Council of go-go’s ongoing importance. The Blend Show 3 begins at 10 p.m. at Echostage, 2135 Queens Chapel Road NE. $40–$50. (202) 503-2330. echostage.com. —Steve Kiviat
MEXICAN CULTURAL INSTITUTE 2829 16th St. NW. (202) 728-1628. Día de los Muertos by the New Orchestra of Washington. 4 p.m. $45–$95. instituteofmexicodc.org.
BARNS AT WOLF TRAP 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. (703) 255-1900. John Eaton. 1 p.m. $27. wolftrap.org.
9:30 CLUB 815 V St. NW. (202) 265-0930. Big Thief. 7 p.m. $26. 930.com. BLACK CAT 1811 14th St. NW. (202) 667-4490. Julia Jacklin. 8 p.m. $20. blackcatdc.com.
CITY WINERY 1350 Okie St. NE. (202) 250-2531. Jon McLaughlin. 8 p.m. $20–$30. citywinery.com. FILLMORE SILVER SPRING 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. (301) 960-9999. Taking Back Sunday. 8 p.m. $35–$160. fillmoresilverspring.com. PEARL STREET WAREHOUSE 33 Pearl Street SW. (202) 380-9620. Driftwood Soldier. 7 p.m. Free. pearlstreetwarehouse.com. SONGBYRD MUSIC HOUSE AND RECORD CAFE 2477 18th St. NW. (202) 450-2917. Magic Sword. 8 p.m. $16– $18. songbyrddc.com.
NATIONAL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 4101 Nebraska Ave. NW. (202) 429-2121. City Choir of Washington: Haydn Lord Nelson Mass. 5 p.m. $15–$59. bachconsort.org.
HARRY POTTER characters, names and related indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © JKR. (s19)
Year Five begins! Between crushing on Cho Chang, studying for his O.W.L.s, and the ever-growing number of detentions from Professor Umbridge™, Harry Potter™ must find the time to discover the secret of his terrible nightmares. Experience the film in HD on a giant screen with composer Nicholas Hooper’s score played live by the NSO conducted by Steven Reineke.
November 29–December 1 | Concert Hall Kennedy-Center.org (202) 467-4600
Groups call (202) 416-8400 For all other ticket-related customer service inquiries, call the Advance Sales Box Office at (202) 416-8540
AARP is the Presenting Sponsor of the NSO Pops Season.
washingtoncitypaper.com november 8, 2019 25
3701 Mount Vernon Ave. Alexandria, VA • 703-549-7500
For entire schedule go to Birchmere.com Find us on Facebook/Twitter! Tix @ Ticketmaster.com
B L ACK V IOLI N Saturday november 9 at 8 pm
Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Baltimore tickets @ ticketmaster.com
MARCUS MILLER 13 THE GIBSON BROTHERS and ROB ICKES & TREY HENSLEY Nov 11
THE QUEBE SISTERS NOV 7
30TH ANNIVERSARY JAZZ, BLUES, AND BROADWAY NOV 10
TRACE BUNDY NOV 14
THE SILKROAD ENSEMBLE NOV 15 + 16
BRIAN NEWMAN NOV 20
AMY HELM NOV 21
ESCHER STRING QUARTET JASON VIEAUX, guitar CHAMBER MUSIC AT THE BARNS
JEFFREY KAHANE, piano
Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock 17 19
FUNK & R&B
9:30 CLUB 815 V St. NW. (202) 265-0930. Ra Ra Riot. 7 p.m. $25. 930.com. BLACK CAT 1811 14th St. NW. (202) 667-4490. Black Mountain. 7:30 p.m. $20. blackcatdc.com.
CITY WINERY 1350 Okie St. NE. (202) 250-2531. Rhonda Ross & Rodney Kendrick. 7:30 p.m. $25–$35. citywinery.com.
CITY WINERY 1350 Okie St. NE. (202) 250-2531. Edwin McCain. 8 p.m. $30–$38. citywinery.com.
DEC 7 | 2 SHOWS!
MAR 16 + 17
AND MANY MORE! ON SALE TOMORROW!
CALIFORNIA GUITAR TRIO MONTREAL GUITAR TRIO FEB 6
KIRAN AHLUWALIA FEB 29
An Evening with
CHRIS BOTTI 24 HERMAN'S HERMITS featuring PETER NOONE 25 BONEY JAMES 29 THE SELDOM SCENE & DRY BRANCH FIRE SQUAD 30 MARY PRANKSTER 3
LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO
In the music video for their R&B collaboration “Pulling Away,” Sinéad Harnett and Gallant play lovers caught at an emotional crossroads. As the pair sings about loss and reconciliation, they transcend locations together, finding each other in a forest, a field, and at a shoreline of breaking waves. Harnett’s first studio album, Lessons in Love, is an expanded account of the ebb and flow of romance, a sultry fusion that combines new cuts with two previously released singles. (The English singer already has four EPs and a bevy of singles to her name, as well as vocal features on tracks from British grime MC Wiley, dance music duo Disclosure, and drum and bass group Rudimental.) Blending soul and a synthy pop sound in her debut full-length record, Harnett presents an honest portrayal of growth, love, and loss. “If You Let Me,” which she first released three years ago, alludes to the blurry line between deep longing and desperation over an atmospheric bass beat. No longer preoccupied with self-conscious equivocation, Harnett lets her heart sing for itself. Sinéad Harnett performs at 7 p.m. at U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. $20. (202) 588-1889. ustreetmusichall.com. —Amy Guay
SIERRA HULL and NOAM PIKELNY & STUART DUNCAN 21 GAELIC STORM
AN EVENING WITH JD SOUTHER
PAULA POUNDSTONE CARMINHO ‘Portugese Fado Star!’
CHAMBER MUSIC AT THE BARNS
A JOYFUL CHRISTMAS
An Evening with
CITY LIGHTS: MONDAY
TANYA TUCKER THE FIXX
with Peter White, Euge Groove, Vincent Ingala, & Lindsey Webster
F JELD and Special Guests CHATHAM COUNTY LINE
STEVEN CURTIS CHAPMAN String 11 FIVE FOR FIGHTING Quartet "Playing Their Hits and Holiday Favorites" 8
A SPECIAL EVENING WITH THE ORIGINAL JERSEY BOY
FOUR SEASONS FRI. NOV. 15 • 8PM • AND THE
DC9 1940 9th St. NW. (202) 483-5000. Circa Waves. 7:30 p.m. $15. dcnine.com.
U STREET MUSIC HALL 1115 U St. NW. (202) 588-1889. Black Midi. 7 p.m. $18. ustreetmusichall.com.
FILLMORE SILVER SPRING 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. (301) 960-9999. Taking Back Sunday. 8 p.m. $35–$160. fillmoresilverspring.com.
SONGBYRD MUSIC HOUSE AND RECORD CAFE 2477 18th St. NW. (202) 450-2917. An Evening With Mikaela Davis and Southern Star. 8 p.m. $13–$15. songbyrddc.com.
FREER GALLERY OF ART Jefferson Drive & 12th Street SW. (202) 633-1000. Taipei Symphony Orchestra Chamber Ensemble. 7:30 p.m. $6. asia.si.edu.
UNION STAGE 740 Water St. SW. (877) 987-6487. Conor Maynard. 8 p.m. $24–$60. unionstage.com.
CITY WINERY 1350 Okie St. NE. (202) 250-2531. Coco Montoya. 8 p.m. $25–$28. citywinery.com. PEARL STREET WAREHOUSE 33 Pearl Street SW. (202) 380-9620. Jack Klatt. 7:30 p.m. $12. pearlstreetwarehouse.com.
PEARL STREET WAREHOUSE 33 Pearl Street SW. (202) 380-9620. Pokey LaFarge. 8 p.m. $25–$30. pearlstreetwarehouse.com.
UNION STAGE 740 Water St. SW. (877) 987-6487. Julia Nunes and Elizabeth and the Catapult. 7:30 p.m. $15– $20. unionstage.com. WARNER THEATRE 513 13th St. NW. (202) 783-4000. Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. 8 p.m. $48–$175. warnertheatredc.com.
BARNS AT WOLF TRAP 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. (703) 255-1900. Trace Bundy. 8 p.m. $27. wolftrap.org. MANSION AT STRATHMORE 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. (301) 581-5100. Molly Joyce. 7:30 p.m. $30. strathmore.org.
KENNEDY CENTER CONCERT HALL 2700 F St. NW. (202) 467-4600. National Symphony Orchestra: Noseda conducts Tristan and Isolde—Act II with Gould and Goerke. 7 p.m. $15–$89. kennedy-center.org.
U STREET MUSIC HALL 1115 U St. NW. (202) 588-1889. Last Dinosaurs. 6 p.m. $20. ustreetmusichall.com.
KENNEDY CENTER TERRACE THEATER 2700 F St. NW. (202) 467-4600. Fortas Chamber Music Concerts: Cantus. 7:30 p.m. $45. kennedy-center.org.
CITY WINERY 1350 Okie St. NE. (202) 250-2531. Daymé Arocena. 8 p.m. $28–$38. citywinery.com.
BIRCHMERE 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. (703) 549-7500. The Gibson Bothers and Rob Ickes + Trey Hensley. 7:30 p.m. $29.50. birchmere.com.
WARNER THEATRE 513 13th St. NW. (202) 783-4000. Old Crow Medicine Show. 8 p.m. $45–$147. warnertheatredc.com.
The Warner Theatre Sat. Nov. 16, 2019, 7:30pm
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SONGBYRD MUSIC HOUSE AND RECORD CAFE 2477 18th St. NW. (202) 450-2917. Lisa Prank. 9 p.m. Free. songbyrddc.com.
TICKETS ON SALE NOW AT TICKETMASTER.COM
On Sale Now at Ticketmaster.com chakakhan.com
9:30 CLUB 815 V St. NW. (202) 265-0930. Clairo. 7 p.m. $25. 930.com.
A PETER WHITE CHRISTMAS
6&7 feat. JONAS
U STREET MUSIC HALL 1115 U St. NW. (202) 588-1889. Sinéad Harnett. 7 p.m. $20. ustreetmusichall.com.
UNION STAGE 740 Water St. SW. (877) 987-6487. Goldroom. 8 p.m. $25–$30. unionstage.com.
CHARLTON MCILWAIN McIlwain discusses his new book Black Software: The Internet and Racial Justice, from the AfroNet to Black Lives Matter. Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe. 1517 Connecticut Ave. NW. Nov. 14. 6:30 p.m. Free. (202) 387-1400. kramers.org.
Are Coming, an incisive cultural critique that explains how patriarchy, intolerance, and misogyny are still alive and well. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. 600 I St. NW. Nov. 11. 7 p.m. $20–$45. (202) 408-3100. sixthandi.org.
CITY LIGHTS: TUESDAY
Grab a bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and lose yourself in Clairo’s music. The musician, born Claire Cottrill, stops in D.C. as part of her tour for debut album, Immunity. Despite this being her debut, she’s already on an international tour, thanks to the buzz generated by her 10 Bandcamp releases and her viral singles “Pretty Girl” and, yes, “Flaming Hot Cheetos.” In the three months since releasing Immunity, Clairo’s made television appearances on Jimmy Kimmel and Ellen DeGeneres’ shows and been recognized by Apple Music as an “Up Next” artist. Known for being genuine and honest with her fans about her personal life and struggles with mental health—she came out via Tweet—Clairo’s first fulllength work features her signature lo-fi, indie pop sound, and her soft-but-powerful voice drives standout tunes such as “Alewife,” “Feel Something,” and “Bags.” The intimate show will certainly have you in touch with your feelings by the end of the night. Clairo performs at 7 p.m. at 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $25. (202) 265-0930. 930.com. —Sarah Smith
CITY LIGHTS: WEDNESDAY
MIMI LEMAY Lemay will discuss her memoir about her transgender son and her journey beyond the faith that shaped her, What We Will Become: A Mother, a Son, and a Journey of Transformation. Politics and Prose at Union Market. 1270 5th St. NE. Nov. 13. 7 p.m. Free. (202) 364-1919. politics-prose.com. NATIONAL CELEBRATION OF READING The National Celebration of Reading is the Barbara Bush Foundation’s marquee event and will feature a lineup of bestselling and award-winning guest authors, including Jon Meacham, Jean Case, Jesse J. Holland, Eric Motley, Susan Orlean and Delia Owens. Kennedy Center. 2700 F St. NW. Nov. 12. 7 p.m. Free. (202) 467-4600. kennedy-center.org. PARKER CURRY Parker Curry, the girl who became an internet sensation through a viral photo of her looking up at Michelle Obama’s portrait, is now a New York Times best-selling author. Her new children’s book, titled Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment is yet another way to inspire other young girls and boys. To celebrate the release of her book, Parker will host a play date, book reading, and dance party, as well as a book signing. Nook Ballston Quarter. 4238 Wilson Blvd. Suite 1295, Arlington. Nov. 9. 10 a.m. Free. (571) 970-0338. playatnook.com. TERRY TEMPEST WILLIAMS Williams, a fierce advocate for public lands, discusses their future in Erosion: Essays of Undoing. Politics and Prose. 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Nov. 9. 3:30 p.m. Free. (202) 364-1919. politics-prose.com.
AGNES OF GOD Dr. Martha Livingstone, a courtappointed psychiatrist, is charged with assessing the sanity of Agnes, a novice nun accused of murdering her newborn. During her investigation of the death, Dr. Livingstone contends with objections from the convent’s calculating Mother Superior, the church itself, and even Agnes, who professes total ignorance of both the process of procreation and of her own pregnancy. Anacostia Arts Center. 1231 Good Hope Road SE. To Nov. 22. $23. anacostiaartscenter.com.
The fact that Chicago’s Pivot Gang take their name from a famous scene in Friends (the couch move from “The One with the Cop,” naturally) tells you a lot about the crew. Like that iconic ’90s cast of characters, Pivot Gang combine siblings and childhood friends: Brothers Saba and Joseph Chilliams and brothers Frsh Waters and squeakPIVOT are joined by rapper MFnMelo and producer daedaePIVOT in the group. And like moving a couch, Pivot Gang have made steady progress with small, calculated moves. The culmination of a nearly decade-long journey is their debut album, You Can’t Sit With Us, which finds the gang trading lyrically charged verses over soulful beats alternatingly sleepy and buoyant, like they’re in a cypher or at an open mic. And despite a title that seems to allude to a cool kids’ lunch table, there’s always room for others: Like-minded talents from in and around the vibrant Chicago scene like Jean Deaux, Kari Faux, Mick Jenkins, and Smino get in on the action, too. Pivot Gang perform at 7 p.m. at MilkBoy ArtHouse, 7416 Baltimore Ave., College Park. $23.50. (240) 623-1423. milkboyarthouse.com. —Chris Kelly DAVID PRIESS Preiss will discuss his new book How To Get Rid of a President: History’s Guide to Removing Unpopular, Unable, or Unfit Chief Executives. Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe. 1517 Connecticut Ave. NW. Nov. 13. 6:30 p.m. Free. (202) 387-1400. politics-prose.com FLOC 13TH ANNUAL BOOK FESTIVAL For Love of Children will host its 13th annual book festival. Students from first grade through high school and their families are welcome to join for a night of activities and book shopping—free of charge. Local author Heather Burris will give a reading of her children’s book, Hair Like Me. Games and snacks will be provid-
ed. For Love of Children. 1301 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Nov. 8. 5 p.m. Free. (202) 462-8686. floc.org. KATIE MCCABE African American civil rights attorney Dovey Johnson Roundtree—who died last year at 104—tells her story in Mighty Justice: My Life in Civil Rights. Her co-author, Katie McCabe, who collaborated with her for 10 years, will discuss the book with Liza Mundy and Sharon Patricia Holland. Politics and Prose. 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Nov. 10. 3 p.m. Free. (202) 364-1919. politics-prose.com. LINDY WEST From the New York Times columnist and bestselling author of Shrill comes The Witches
LIVE MUSIC | BOURBON | BURGERS
NOVEMBER FR 1
“BETWEEN THE LINES OF AGE” A NEIL YOUNG BIRTHDAY DANGER BIRD
BILLY PRICE BAND, SHIRLETA SETTLES, COSTA RICAN BLUES SENSATION JOSE R.
LOS STRAITJACKETS w/ BOTTLED UP
CANTINA MARINA NIGHT
WE 6 VINYL NIGHT TH 7
THE MERRY KINKSTERS TOUR w/ KINKY FRIEDMAN, CLEVE, SWEET MARY HATTERSLEY
BOBBY THOMPSON NEW ALBUM RELEASE CELEBRATION w/ KAREN JONAS
ERIC GALES w/ SCHREINER
SU 10 DRIFTWOOD SOLDIER (ALBUM RELEASE) w/ MINK MIRACLE MEDICINE
AIRNESS Nina thinks winning an air guitar competition will be easy—until the lovable nerds she’s competing against prove her wrong. Keegan Theatre. 1742 Church St. NW. To Nov. 30. $36–$58. (202) 265-3767. keegantheatre.com.
TU 12 JACK KLATT w/ JUSTIN TRAWICK
AMADEUS This play dramatizes Mozart’s ascent from child prodigy to favored composer—and the palace intrigue going on between the title character and his foe and rival Salieri. Folger Elizabethan Theatre. 201 E. Capitol St. SE. To Dec. 22. $27–$85. (202) 544-7077. folger.edu.
FR 15 PEOPLE’S BLUES OF RICHMOND w/ ELIZABETH II
A CHORUS LINE Signature stages one of the most classic American musicals, A Chorus Line—the story of hopeful dancers in an audition room hoping for a spot in the chorus line. Signature Theatre. 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. To Jan. 5. $40–$110. (703) 820-9771. sigtheatre.org. COCK This staged reading of the 2009 play Cock by Mike Bartlett is the story of John, a man who has identified as gay his entire life, but who now discovers an attraction to women as well. George Mason University Center for the Arts. 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax. To Nov. 8. Free. (888) 945-2468. cfa.gmu.edu. E2 In Bob Bartlett’s modern-day retelling of Christopher Marlowe’s Edward the Second, Edward makes a choice that could rock his dynasty, all the while challenging notions of gender and sexuality. Horowitz Center at Howard Community College. 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. To Nov. 17. $15–$40. (443) 518-1500. repstage.org. ENTRESUEÑO The Flamenco Aparicio Dance Company presents Entresueño, a reality-bending show taking audiences to the borderlines between memories and imagination, reality and dreams. Musical direction is by Grammy-nominated Gonzalo Grau. GALA Hispanic Theatre. 3333 14th St. NW. To Nov. 17. $10– $48. (202) 234-7174. galatheatre.org. EVERYBODY Branden Jacobs-Jenkins revisits the 15th century play Everyman in a production where the main role is assigned by lottery among a small
TH 14 POKEY LAFARGE (SOLO) w/ JAKE LA BOTZ
SA 16 BIG SANDY & HIS FLY-RITE BOYS w/ THE THRILLBILLYS SU 17 LULA WILES w/ DYADO TH 21 CLASSIC BLUES ALBUMS LIVE! CAN’T STAND THE WEATHER, STEVIE RAY VAUGHN FR 22 OH HE DEAD OFFICIAL ALBUM RELEASE SHOW SA 23 SARAH SHOOK & THE DISARMERS w/ MARY-ELAINE JENKINS FR 29 “SHINER HONKY TONK NIGHT” WIL GRAVATT BAND SA 30 HÜSBAND A LP FÊTE FOR SITUATION ROOM
FOLLOW US @PEARLSTREETLIVE 33 PEARL ST SW DC •THE WHARF
washingtoncitypaper.com november 8, 2019 27
cast of actors. Lansburgh Theatre. 450 7th St. NW. To Nov. 17. (202) 547-1122. shakespearetheatre.org. HARD TIMES Charles Dickens’ tale of the circus, set in Industrial Revolution England, features four actors playing dozens of characters. Washington Stage Guild at Undercroft Theatre. 900 Massachusetts Ave. NW. To Dec. 8. $25–$50. (240) 582-0050. stageguild.org.
other within a transformative soundscape. Directors Alice Maher and Aideen Barry, both visual artists, worked with twin dancers Junk Ensemble to re-stage and capture on film instances of polymorphic transformation referencing scientific and cultural sources from classical Ovid to cinematic cyborgs. (See washingtoncitypaper.com for venue information)
CITY LIGHTS: THURSDAY
THE CURRENT WAR Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse battle to be the man whose electrical system would power the country—and the world. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, and Matthew Macfadyen. (See washingtoncitypaper.com for venue information)
THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE This play, based on the 1959 novel by Shirley Jackson, follows three strangers who are invited to join a mysterious Dr. Montague in a spooky house on a hill. The Little Theatre of Alexandria. 600 Wolfe St., Alexandria. To Nov. 9. $21–$24. (703) 683-0496. thelittletheatre.com.
DOCTOR SLEEP In this sequel to The Shining, a grown-up Danny Torrance must protect a young girl with psychic powers from a cult who wants to harm them both. (See washingtoncitypaper.com for venue information)
LAST SUMMER AT BLUEFISH COVE Seven lesbian friends settle in for a seaside stay when the unexpected arrival of a straight woman who just left her indifferent husband in the city puts them in jeopardy of being outed. Over the summer, the friends become a new kind of family to replace those they have lost. Gunston Arts Center, Theatre Two. 2700 South Lang St., Arlington. To Nov. 23. $25. (703) 418-4808. wscavantbard.org.
FRANKIE In lush Sintra, Portugal, three generations of a family must deal with a life-changing event. Starring Isabelle Huppert, Brendan Gleeson, and Marisa Tomei. (See washingtoncitypaper.com for venue information)
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS In Little Shop of Horrors, Seymour Krelborn, a meek floral assistant in the Skid Row neighborhood, pines after his co-worker Audrey. He brings in big business for the flower shop when he discovers a rare plant, whom he names “Audrey II,” that, as it turns out, feeds on human flesh. Constellation Theatre at Source. 1835 14th St. NW. To Nov. 17. $19–$55. (202) 204-7741. constellationtheatre.org.
HARRIET This biopic follows the extraordinary life of Harriet Tubman, who escaped from slavery and returned to dangerous territory over and over again to free other people. Starring Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr., and Clarke Peters. (See washingtoncitypaper.com for venue information) LAST CHRISTMAS A frazzled woman living a messy life takes work as one of Santa’s elves—and meets a man who feels too good to be true. Starring Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, and Emma Thompson. (See washingtoncitypaper.com for venue information)
NEWSIES Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst are no match for the striking newsboys of New York City in the sultry summer of 1899. Arena Stage. 1101 6th St. SW. To Dec. 22. $86–$105. (202) 4883300. arenastage.org.
THE LIGHTHOUSE Two men work as lighthouse keepers on a mysterious New England island in the 1890s. Starring Willem Dafoe, Robert Pattinson, and Valeriia Karaman. (See washingtoncitypaper.com for venue information)
OCCUPANT A little Jewish girl from Russia immigrated to the US and became the renowned sculptor Louise Nevelson. In Occupant, she’s been invited to participate in an interview—from beyond the grave. Through her ups and downs, her contradictions and evasions, we witness the deep inner turmoil and intrepid triumphs of one of the 20th century’s greatest artistic minds. Theater J. 1529 16th St. NW. To Nov. 30. $34–$64. (202) 777-3210. theaterj.org.
MIDWAY Midway covers WWII’s dramatic Battle of Midway through the perspective of the soldiers who fought in it. Starring Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, and Luke Evans. (See washingtoncitypaper.com for venue information] MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN A private eye with Tourette’s syndrome tries to crack the case of his mentor’s murder. Starring Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, and Willem Dafoe. (See washingtoncitypaper.com for venue information)
PORT AUTHORITY Three generations of Dublin men navigate lost love and missed opportunities in this show directed by Jack Sbarbori, who directed Quotidian’s 2009 production of the play. Quotidian Theatre Company at The Writer’s Center. 4508 Walsh St., Bethesda. To Nov. 17. $15–$35. (301) 816-1023. quotidiantheatre.org. RENT On its 20th anniversary tour, Jonathan Larson’s RENT—a reimagining of La Bohème—follows seven struggling artists trying to make ends meet. National Theatre. 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. To Nov. 17. $54– $99. (202) 628-6161. nationaltheatre.org. RIGHT TO BE FORGOTTEN A young man makes a mistake at 17 that haunts him years later, because the internet never forgets—so he goes on a crusade to erase the event that puts him up against the biggest tech companies in the world. Arena Stage. 1101 6th St. SW. To Nov. 10. $72–$95. (202) 488-3300. arenastage.org. SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN This classic American musical—featuring songs like “Good Mornin’” and “Make ‘em Laugh”—follows Hollywood’s transition from the silent era to the talkies. Olney Theatre Center. 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney. To Jan. 5. $37–$69. (301) 924-3400. olneytheatre.org. THEORY Mosaic Theater Company presents Theory, a play where a young professor tests the limits of free speech in her classroom—and ends up in a digital catand-mouse game, fearing for her life. Atlas Performing Arts Center. 1333 H St. NE. To Nov. 17. $20–$65. (202) 399-7993. atlasarts.org. WASHINGTON NATIONAL OPERA: OTELLO The Washington National Opera performs Verdi’s version of the Shakespeare classic, where Otello confronts his own hubris and jealousy. Kennedy Center Opera House. 2700 F St. NW. To Nov. 16. $45–$299. (202) 467-4600. kennedy-center.org. WASHINGTON NATIONAL OPERA: THE MAGIC FLUTE This whimsical production designed by Maurice Sendak of Where the Wild Things Are stages Mozart’s beloved opera in a world of playful, evocative fairy tales. Kennedy Center Opera House. 2700 F St. NW. To Nov. 23. $25–$299. (202) 467-4600. kennedy-center.org.
NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE: FLEABAG This recorded performance of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s one-woman show that inspired the BBC hit series Fleabag features Waller-Bridge as the titular Fleabag, a woman whose family and friendships are falling apart—and who can barely keep herself afloat. (See washingtoncitypaper.com for venue information)
One gets the sense that your average urban-rustic, stomp-and-holler-type band approaches its own aesthetic with cringing half-embarrassment. Not so with Americana time traveler Pokey LaFarge, who wears the uniform of 21st-century-renaissance-man turned turn-of-the-centurybusker more naturally than anyone else around (except for maybe his hero, Tom Waits). The Normal, Illinois, native uses his throwback style and a guitar that’s older than most of his fanbase’s parents (a 1946 Epiphone Spartan) to craft original songs. His work is driven not by synthetic nostalgia—no “Make American Music Great Again” chants here—but by a fascination with the half-forgotten, and a passion that resonates in his music. In an interview, LaFarge said some of his favorite music comes in the form of “those deep cuts from people who only recorded seven tracks in Cleveland in 1965.” His dalliances with old school country, blues, and bluegrass aren’t just homage; they’re a collage, a trans-centennial reconstruction backed up by drums and standup bass. Pokey LaFarge performs at 8 p.m. at Pearl Street Warehouse, 33 Pearl St. SW. $25–$30. (202) 380-9620. pearlstreetwarehouse.com. —Will Lennon WHAT TO SEND UP WHEN IT GOES DOWN Part play, part pageant, part homegoing celebration, What to Send Up When it Goes Down addresses racial violence and physical—and spiritual—death in the black community. Woolly Mammoth Theatre. 641 D St. NW. To Nov. 10. (202) 393-3939. woollymammoth.net. WHITE PEARL This comedy about whiteness and the beauty industry follows the fallout of a skin whitening cream ad’s leak—and someone’s definitely getting fired. Studio Theatre. 1501 14th St. NW. To Dec. 8. $20– $80. (202) 332-3300. studiotheatre.org.
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6SKIN 6SKIN is a sound and image fantasia constructed as a series of veils, skins and fields of imagery. Polymorphic twin performers joyfully express the senses through dance in live action and animation sequences which overlap and embrace each
THE OYSTER PRINCESS ACCOMPANIED BY THE FLAT EARTH SOCIETY The spoiled daughter (Ossi Oswalda) of an American industrialist (Victor Janson) demands that her father procure a prince for her to marry, periodically demolishing their gargantuan villa when she doesn’t get her way. An impoverished Prince Nucki (Harry Liedtke) fills the bill, but he wants to make sure the prospective bride is sufficiently wealthy, leading to complications. For its 100th anniversary, this satire is screened with a live accompanying jazz ensemble. (See washingtoncitypaper.com for venue information) PLAYING WITH FIRE A group of manly firefighters have to rescue—and take care of—three rambunctious children. Starring John Cena, Keegan-Michael Key, and Judy Greer. (See washingtoncitypaper.com for venue information) PUNK THE CAPITAL: BUILDING A SOUND MOVEMENT When punk rock exploded in Washington, D.C., in the late 1970s, it was a mighty, intergenerational convergence of powerful music, close friendships and clear minds. Featuring breathtaking Super-8 footage filmed at some of the earliest punk shows in D.C., Punk the Capital takes us through that transformative period (1976–1983), situating D.C. punk within the larger narratives of the music industry at that time. (See washingtoncitypaper.com for venue information) TERMINATOR: DARK FATE Sarah Connor must protect a young girl from a new liquid Terminator from the future. Starring Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Mackenzie Davis. (See washingtoncitypaper.com for venue information)
SAVAGELOVE M DOOGALS THE FAMOUS
I am male. A close female friend was raped by an old acquaintance of mine. I knew this guy when we were tweens, I didn’t really care for him as we got older, so it goes. It turns out that a few years ago, he raped my friend in an alcohol blackout situation. I don’t know more than that. She says she considers the encounter “not strictly consensual” and confided that this guy didn’t react well when she tried to talk to him about it. This isn’t something she’s “out” about. My feelings toward this guy are pretty dark. Now he’s moved back to town and I see him around, and some good friends of mine who stayed in contact with him invite him to stuff. I don’t know what to say or how to act. I know I don’t want to talk to him or be his friend. I would like to tell my other friends about this guy so I don’t have to see him, but I can’t because it’s not my story to tell. I would rather just skip social events he’s at. But without an explanation, I doubt my friends will understand, and it feels like I’m surrendering my friends to someone who assaulted a dear friend. I told someone once to please not invite him to something or I would skip it. They were confused, and it felt like an awkward ask. What should I say to my friends about this guy? What can I do to keep him out of my life? —Angry Confidant “I don’t like hanging out with Chuck and would appreciate it if you didn’t invite him to the party/show/bris/whatever.” “What’s the issue between you guys?” “Look, we go a long way back, and it’s not something I want to discuss. It’s just awkward for us to be in the same place.” That’s the best you can do without outing your friend—without telling a story that isn’t yours to tell—and it’s likely your mutual friends will be confused by the ask, AC, but you’ll just have to be at peace with that. You could add something vague that omits identifying details (“He did a shitty thing to a friend”), but any details you share, however vague, could result in questions being put to you that you can’t answer or are tempted to answer. Even worse, questions will be put to “Chuck,” and he’ll be free to lie, minimize, or spin. My only other piece of advice would be to follow your close female friend’s lead. You describe what transpired between her and Chuck as rape, while your friend describes the encounter as “not strictly consensual.” That’s a little more ambiguous. And just as this isn’t your story to tell, AC, it’s not your experience to label. If your friend doesn’t describe what happened as rape—for whatever reason—you need to respect that. And does your friend want Chuck excluded from social events hosted by mutual friends or is she able to tolerate his presence? If it’s the latter, do the same. If she’s not making an issue of Chuck being at a party, you may not be doing her any favors by making an issue of his presence yourself.
If you’re worried your friend tolerates Chuck’s presence to avoid conflict and that being in the same space with him actually upsets her (or that the prospect of being in the same space with him keeps her from those spaces), discuss that with her one-on-one and then determine, based on her feelings and her ask, what, if anything, you can do to advocate for her effectively without white-knighting her or making this not-strictly-consensual-andquite-possibly-rapey thing Chuck did to her all about you and your feelings. It’s really too bad Chuck reacted badly when your friend tried to talk to him about that night. If he’s an otherwise decent person who has a hard time reading people when he’s drunk, he needs to be made aware of that and drink less or not drink at all. If he’s a shitty person who takes advantage of other people when they’re drunk, he needs to know there will be social and potentially legal consequences for his be-
“...Unless you’re brainstorming names for a My Chemical Romance cover band, there’s really no reason to use the phrase ‘our coital encounter.’” havior. The feedback your friend offered this guy—the way she tried to hold him accountable—could have prevented him from either fucking up like this again (if he’s a decent but dense guy) or taking advantage like this again (if he’s a shitty and rapey guy). If he was willing to listen, which he wasn’t. And since he wasn’t willing to listen … yeah, my money is on shitty and rapey, not decent but dense. —Dan Savage I’m a single straight man. A friend recently told me her 20-year marriage hasn’t included sex for the past six years. Kids, stress, etc. I offered to have sex with her, but only if her husband approves. If I were her husband, I would want to know. But I think it’s unlikely her husband would approve our coital encounter. Have I done wrong? —Married Asshole Refuses Intercourse To Affectionate Lady If discreetly getting sex outside her marriage allows your friend to stay married and stay sane, and if she doesn’t get caught, and if the sexual connection with her husband should revive after their kids are older—a lot
of ifs, I realize—then the condition you set could result in your friend and her husband getting divorced now, which would preclude the possibility of their sexual connection reviving later. (Although we shouldn’t assume that sex has to be part of a marriage for it to be loving and valid. Companionate marriages are valid marriages.) That said, your friend is free to fuck some other guy if she doesn’t like your terms. Finally, MARITAL, unless you’re brainstorming names for a My Chemical Romance cover band, there’s really no reason to use the phrase “our coital encounter.” —DS
I’m a straight 45-year-old man. Good-looking. Three college degrees and one criminal conviction. Twice divorced. I’ve had some intense relationships with women I met by chance—one knocked on my door looking to borrow an egg—so I know I can impress women. But online dating doesn’t work for me because I’m only five foot seven. Most women online filter me out based on height. The other problem is that I’m extremely depressed. I’m trying to work on the depression (seeing a psychiatrist and a psychologist), but the medications don’t seem to do much for me. This is probably due to my alcoholism. I’d love to start my online profile by boldly proclaiming my height and my disdain for shallow women who disregard me for it, but that would come across as bitter, right? —Serious Heartbreak Over Relationship Travails There are plenty of five-foot-tall women out there, SHORT, women you’d tower over. But there are very few women who would respond positively—or at all—to a man whose online dating profile dripped with contempt for women who don’t want to fuck him. Rejection sucks, I know, but allowing yourself to succumb to bitterness only guarantees more rejection. And first things first: Keep working on your depression with your mental health team and please consider giving up alcohol. (I’m sure you’ve already considered it. Reconsider it.) No one is looking for perfection in a partner—and no one can offer perfection—but if dating you is likely to make someone’s life harder, SHORT, they aren’t going to want to date you. So get yourself into good working order and then start looking for a partner. And since you know you have better luck when you meet people face-toface, don’t spend all your time on dating apps. Instead, find things you like to do and go do them. Maybe you can pick a presidential candidate you like—one who supports coverage for mental health care?—and volunteer on their campaign. —DS Email your Savage Love questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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before 4/24/20. Claims against the decedent shall be presented to Adult . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 SUPERIOR COURT the undersigned with a OF THE DISTRICT OF copy of Auto/Wheels/Boat . .to . .the . . Register . . . . . 42 COLUMBIA Wills or to the Register Buy, Sell, Trade . . of . .Wills . . . with . . . .a .copy . . . .to . . PROBATE DIVISION 2019 ADM 001057 or Marketplace . . . . the . . .undersigned, . . . . . . . . .on . 42 Name of Decedent, before 4/24/20, or be Gordon Marshall Burck . . . . . forever Community . . . . . barred. . . . . . .Persons . . 42 AKA Gordon M. Burck. believed to be heirs or . . . . . . of . .the . . .decedent . . 42 NoticeEmployment of Appointment, . . . . legatees Notice to Creditors and who do not receive a Health/Mind . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Notice to Unknown copy of this notice by Heirs,Body Ellen B.&Looney, Spirit . . . . mail . . . within . . . . .25 . . days . . . of 42 whose address is 26695 its publication shall so . . . . .the . . .Register . . . . . of 42 FinleyHousing/Rentals Rd, Carvallis, Or inform 97333 was appointed Wills, including name, Legal Notices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Personal Representative address and relationof theMusic/Music estate of Gordon Row . ship. . . .Date . . . of . . first . . . . 42 Marshall Burck AKA Gorpublication: 10/24/2019 Pets . . . died . . . . . . . Name . . . . of . . Newspaper . . . . . . . 42 don M. Burck . who on August 26, 2019, and/or periodical: Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 with a Will and will serve Washington City Paper/ without Court SuperviShared Housing . Daily . . . .Washington . . . . . . . . Law . 42 sion. All unknown heirs Reporter. Name of PerServices . . . . . . . . sonal . . . . Representative: . . . . . . . . . 42 and heirs whose whereabouts are unknown Ellen B. Looney shall enter their appearTRUE TEST copy Nicole ance in this proceedStevens Acting Register ing. Objections to such of Wills Pub Dates: appointment shall be October 24, 31, Novemfiled with the Register ber 7. of Wills, D.C., 515 5th DC SCHOLARS PCS – Street, N.W., Building Invitation to Bid – DC A, 3rd Floor, Washington, D.C. 20001, on or Scholars Public Charter
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School (DCSPCS) Adult Phone requests competitive Entertainment proposals from qualified legal professionals to Livelinks Chat Lines. represent DCSPCSFlirt, on chat and Talk to sexyof realapsingles thedate! refinancing in your area. Call now! (844) proximately $20MM in 359-5773 existing debt on their facility utilizing taxLegals exempt bonds issued through theHEREBY District GIVEN of NOTICE IS Columbia, or any other THAT: alternative financing INC. TRAVISA OUTSOURCING, (DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA solution. Please emailDEPARTMENT OFadvisor CONSUMER our financial AND REGULATORY AFFAIRS email@example.com FILE the NUMBER 271941) HAS for full proposal. DISSOLVED EFFECTIVE NOVEMProposals are due no BER 27, 2017 AND HAS FILED later than PM onOF ARTICLES OF12:00 DISSOLUTION Friday, November 22,CORDOMESTIC FOR-PROFIT PORATION WITH THE DISTRICT SUPERIOR COURT OF COLUMBIA CORPORATIONS DIVISION OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APROBATE CLAIM AGAINST TRAVISA DIVISION OUTSOURCING, INC. MUST 2019 ADM 001130 INCLUDE THE NAME OF THE Name of Decedent, DISSOLVED CORPORATION, Beatrice Ward. Notice of INCLUDE THE NAME OF THE Appointment, Notice to CLAIMANT, INCLUDE A SUMMACreditors and Notice to RY OF THE FACTS SUPPORTING Unknown Heirs, RobertTO THE CLAIM, AND BE MAILED 1600 INTERNATIONAL DRIVE, Drew and Rita Drew, SUITE 600, MCLEAN,isVA7405 22102 whose address Kenstan Ct, Temple ALL CLAIMS WILL BE BARRED Hills, MD 20748; 4703 UNLESS A PROCEEDING 8th St NW, Washing- TO ENFORCE THE CLAIM IS COMton, DC WITH 20011 MENCED IN 3was YEARS OF appointed PUBLICATIONPersonal OF THIS NOTICE Representative of SECTION the IN ACCORDANCE WITH estate WardOF 29-312.07ofOFBeatrice THE DISTRICT who died onORGANIZATIONS September COLUMBIA ACT. 21, 2018, with a Will and serve Two will Rivers PCSwithout is soliciting Court Supervision. Allmanproposals to provide project unknown heirs heirs agement services forand a small conwhose whereabouts struction project. For a copy of the RFP, please email shall procurement@ are unknown tworiverspcs.org. Deadline for enter their appearsubmissions is December 6, 2017. ance in this proceeding. Objections to such appointment shall be filed with the Register of Wills, D.C., 515 5th Street, N.W., Building A, 3rd Floor, Washington, D.C. 20001, on or before 5/7/2020. Claims against the decedent shall be presented to the undersigned with a copy to the Register of Wills or to the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned, on or
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before 5/7/2020, or be Legals forever barred. Persons believed to be heirs or DC SCHOLARS PCS REQUEST legatees of the decedent FOR PROPOSALS – Moduwho do not receive a lar Contractor Services - DC copy of Public this notice Scholars Charter by School mail 25 for days of solicitswithin proposals a modular its publication so contractor to provideshall professional inform the Register of management and construction servicesincluding to constructname, a modular Wills, building to house four classrooms address and relationand oneDate facultyofoffi ce suite. The ship. first Request for Proposals (RFP) publication: 11/7/2019 specifi cations can be obtained on Name of Newspaper and after Monday, November 27, and/or Wash2017 fromperiodical: Emily Stone via comington City Paper/Daily email@example.com. Washington Law ReAll questions should be sent in porter. of phone Personal writing byName e-mail. No calls regarding this RFP will be acRepresentative: Robert cepted. and Bids must received by Drew RitabeDrew 5:00 PMTEST on Thursday, December TRUE copy Nicole 14, 2017 atActing DC Scholars Public Stevens Register Charter School, ATTN: Sharonda of Wills Pub Dates: Mann, 5601 E. Capitol St. SE, November 7,20019. 14, 21. Washington, DC Any bids not addressing all areas as outSUPERIOR COURT lined in the RFP specifi cations will OFbeTHE DISTRICT OF not considered. COLUMBIA PROBATE DIVISION Apartments for Rent 2019 FEP 000130 Date of Death March 23, 2019 Name of Decedent, Kyoung-Ah Nam, Notice of Appointment of Foreign Personal Representative and Notice to Creditors James Kang-Koog Lee, whose address is 3740 Branding Iron Place, Must see!CA Spacious Dublin, 94568semi-furwas nished 1 BR/1 BA basement appointed Personal apt, Deanwood, $1200. Sep. enRepresentative of the trance, carpet, W/D, kitchestateW/W of Kyoung-Ah en, fireplace near Blue Line/X9/ Nam, deceased, by the V2/V4. Shawnn 240-343-7173. Superior Court for Santa Clara County, State of Rooms for Rent California on Oct. 7, 2019. Service process Holiday Special-of Two furmay be made nished rooms for upon short orDislong trict Registered Agent term rental ($900 and $800 per Services, at 1025 month) withInc. access to W/D, WiFi, Kitchen, Avenue, and Den. UtiliConnecticut ties included. Best N.E. location NW, Suite 615, Washalong H St. Corridor. Eddie ington, DC 20036Call whose 202-744-9811 for info. or visit designation as District www.TheCurryEstate.com of Columbia agent has been filed with the Register of Wills, D.C. The decedent owned the following District of Columbia real property: 1275 25th St. NW, Apt 804, Washington, DC.
The decedent owned Construction/Labor District of Columbia personal property. Claims against the decedent may be presented to the undersigned and filed with the Register ofPOWER Wills for the NOW District DESIGN HIRofING Columbia, 515 5th ELECTRICAL APPRENTICES OF ALL 3rd SKILLFloor, LEVStreet, N.W., ELS! Washington, D.C. 20001 within 6 months from about the position… the date of first publicaDo of youthis lovenotice. working with tion your hands? Are you interDate publication: estedofinfirst construction and 11/7/2019 in becoming an electrician? Name of Newspaper Then the electrical apprentice and/or positionperiodical: could be perfect for Washington Paper/ you! ElectricalCity apprentices are able to earn a paycheck Daily Washington Law and full benefi ts while learnReporter ing theoftrade through firstName Person Reprehand experience. sentative: James KangKoog Lee what we’re looking for… TRUE TEST Motivated D.C.copy residents who Nicole want toStevens learn the electrical Acting Register of school Wills trade and have a high Pub Dates: Novas7,well as diploma or GED reliable 14, 21 transportation.
a little bit aboutCOURT us… SUPERIOR Power is one of OF the OF THEDesign DISTRICT top electrical contractors in COLUMBIA the U.S., committed to our PROBATE DIVISION values, to training and to giv2019 ADM 000910 ing back to the communities Name ofwe Decedent, in which live and work. Gloria Jean Thompson. more details… Name and Address of Visit powerdesigninc.us/ Attorney Amanda Plant, careers or email careers@ 4000 Legato Road, powerdesigninc.us! Suite 1100, Fairfax, VA 22033. Notice of Appointment, Notice to Creditors and Notice to Financial Services Unknown Heirs, Barbara Denied Credit?? Workwhose to ReThompson Smith, pair Your Credit Report With The address is 309 Park Trusted Leader in Credit Repair. Street, Bluefield, West Call Lexington Law was for a FREE Virginia 24701 credit report Personal summary &Repcredit appointed repair consultation. 855-620resentative of theAttorney estateat 9426. John C. Heath, of Thompson Law,Gloria PLLC, Jean dba Lexington Law who died on July 20, Firm. 2019, without a Will and will serve without Home Services Court Supervision. All unknown heirs and heirs Dish Network-Satellite Telewhose whereabouts are vision Services. Now Over 190 unknown shall enter channels for ONLY $49.99/mo! their appearance in this HBO-FREE for one year, FREE proceeding.FREE Objections Installation, Streaming, to such appointment FREE HD. Add Internet for $14.95 be1-800-373-6508 filed with the ashall month. Register of Wills, D.C.,
515 5th Street, N.W., Auctions Building A, 3rd Floor, Washington, D.C. 20001, on or before 5/07/2020. Claims against the decedent shall be presented to the undersigned with a copy to the Register of Wills or to the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned, on or before or be Whole 5/07/2020, Foods Commissary Auctionbarred. Persons forever DC Metro Area believed to be heirs or Dec. 5 at 10:30AM legatees of the decedent 1000s Tables, Carts who do S/S not receive a & Trays, 2016 Kettles up copy of this notice by to 200 Gallons, Urschel mail within 25 days of Cutters & Shredders initscluding publication so 2016 shall Diversacut inform the Register of 2110 Dicer, 6 Chill/Freeze Wills, name, Cabs,including Double Rack Ovens & Ranges, Braising address and(12) relationTables, 2016 ship. Date of(3+) firstStephan VCMs, 30+ Scales, publication: 11/7/2019 Hobart 80 qt Mixers, Name of Newspaper Complete Machine Shop, and/or periodical: Washand much more! View the ington catalogCity at Paper/Daily Washington Law Re- or www.mdavisgroup.com porter Name of Personal 412-521-5751 Representative: Barbara Thompson Smith TRUE TEST Garage/Yard/ copy Nicole Rummage/Estate Sales Stevens Acting Register of Wills Pub Dates: Flea Market every Fri-Sat November5615 7, 14, 21. Rd. 10am-4pm. Landover Cheverly, MD. 20784. Can buy William W Crocker in bulk. Contact 202-355-2068 Decedent or 301-772-3341 for details or if intrested in being a vendor. NOTICE TO UNKNOWN HEIRS Rosemary Tate, whose address is 761 Quebec Place, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20010, is the personal representative of the estate of William W. Crocker who died April 15, 2002 without a will and will serve without court supervision. All unknown heirs and whose whereabouts are unknown. Claims against the decedent shall be presented to the undersigned on or before 12/26/2019 or forever be barred. Persons believed to be heirs to the decedent who do not receive a copy of this notice by mail within 25 days of its
publication shall so inform theMiscellaneous Register of Wills, including name, NEW COOPERATIVE SHOP! address, and relationship. FROM EGPYT THINGS Date of first publication: AND BEYOND 10/3/2019 240-725-6025 Washington City Paper www.thingsfromegypt.com Rosemary Tate firstname.lastname@example.org Personal Representative TRUE COPY SOUTHTEST AFRICAN BAZAAR Craft Cooperative Nicole Stevens Acting 202-341-0209 Register of Wills www.southafricanbazaarcraftcoo perative.com southafricanba z a ar @hotmail. com Office Space for Rent/lease at 915 WEST FARM WOODWORKS Rhode Island Avenue, Custom Creative Furniture NW Washington DC 202-316-3372 email@example.com 20001. $50.00 per www.westfarmwoodworks.com Sf Min. 3,109 sf available. Great work7002 Carroll Avenue space/metro assessible Takoma Park, MD 20912 includes reception/ Mon-Sat 11am-7pm, conference room, 2 Sun 10am-6pm unisex restrooms, andMotorcycles/Scooters kitchen. Contact: dseegers@hillcrest-dc. org 2016 Suzuki TU250X for sale. 1200 miles. CLEAN. Just serviced. Comes with bike cover Need a roommate? and saddlebags. Asking Roommates.com will$3000 Cash only. help you find your PerCall 202-417-1870 M-F between fect Match™ today! 6-9PM, or weekends. Great location at Bands/DJs for Hire an affordable price, Modern Spacious, Full of light.Newly Build, spacious, high ceilings, large windows, drenched in light. W/D D/W Refrigerator with ice maker and microwave. New flooring throughout. Walk-in closet in every Get Wit It Productions: Profesbedroom. sional sound and lighting availWasher-dryer and HVAC ablethe for unit. club, corporate, private, in wedding receptions, holiday Modern Spacious, Full of events and much more. Insured, light, 2 Floors competitive rates. Call (866) 5312 blocks Columbia 6612 Ext 1, to leave message for a Heights ten-minute Metro call back,station or book on(Green/Yellow lines)and line at: agetwititproductions.com an easy walk to Adams Morgan and Columbia Announcements Heights Shopping centers and events. Announcements - Hey, all you lovers of erotic plus and bizarre Rent $3750.00 romantic fi ction! Visit www. electricity. nightlightproductions.club and submitcar yourparking stories tospace me Happy One Holidays! James K. West in front of the house firstname.lastname@example.org
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