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If you’ve been to Dupont Underground, you probably know that the space’s most striking visual elements—once your eyes adjust—are the murals painted on the tunnel walls. They’ve been integral to the space since early 2017, when a group of artists descended into the Underground and added graffiti art to commemorate the form’s history in the region and in the tunnels themselves. Since the beginning of 2019, four new murals have been added to the space, like the “17.11.1989” mural at the end of the tunnel that commemorates the beginning of the Velvet Revolution in what was formerly Czechoslovakia, installed to accompany the Alliance for New Music-Theatre’s subterranean run of The Havel Project. If you haven’t been, DU is hosting art markets as they negotiate with the city for a lease extension, as this week’s cover story details. Head down to the tunnels before it’s maybe too late. —Emma Sarappo
FRIDAY, FEB. 21
This is where/I Begin…
The longer he is denied citizenship in the United States, the more material Gabriel Mata has for his dances. At Atlas Performing Arts Center’s 11th annual Intersections Festival, the choreographer debuts his third solo show exploring his status as an undocumented immigrant. He’s a talented contemporary dancer, busy earning an MFA at the University of Maryland, performing with other local companies, and developing his own dances. Mata came to California from Mexico as a young child, and arrived in D.C. two years ago to be with his partner. In This is where/I Begin… Mata muses on the concepts of “home” and “citizenship,” asking how a body can feel at home in a country that doesn’t recognize it. READ MORE >>> The performance begins at 8 p.m. at Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. $25. (202) 399-7993. atlasarts.org. (Rebecca J. Ritzel)
Don’t refuse to see Refused. 7 p.m. at 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $32.
The Washington Ballet has prepared a mix of pieces in varying styles from two 20th century dance greats, George Balanchine and Sir Frederick Ashton. 8 p.m. at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater, 2700 F St. NW. $25–$170.
There will be some Tender moments in your future if you head to Southwest. 7 p.m. at Union Stage, 740 Water St. SW. $17–$35.
SATURDAY, FEB. 22
Rather than hip-hop hotbeds like L.A. or the Bay Area, rapper Hook is from Riverside, out in California’s Inland Empire. And while she proudly claims it, the IE is more a place to be from than to be in. “It’s nothing, there’s nothing there, you feel me?” she told The Fader last year. “There’s not much to do. Everybody leaves to go out and do shit.” For the 21-year-old upstart, music has been her way out of Riverside for a minute; she grew up performing in girl groups before deciding to be a rapper full time. And while she’s only been releasing music as Hook for less than a year, she’s already making a name for herself with tracks that range from finger-snapping post-hyphy jams to hazy SoundCloud rap headbangers. READ MORE >>> Hook performs at 8 p.m. at Pen Arts Gallery, 1701 N St. NW. $15. femmecase.eventbrite.com. (Chris Kelly)
Watch 64-year-old Brenda Hayes’ first feature-length film, BackBurner Dreams, where three women of color revisit the goals and ambitions they put on the “back burner” to support their families. 2:15 p.m. at Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. $20.
Eaton Workshop is screening The First Rainbow Coalition to encourage viewers to think about solidarity across justice movements. 7 p.m. at Eaton DC, 1201 K St. NW. Free.
Celebrate Mardi Gras a few days early at The Wharf with food, drinks, crafts, and live music. 4 p.m. at The Wharf, 760 Maine Ave. SW. Free.
SUNDAY, FEB. 23
D.C. bounce beat go-go pioneers TCB are celebrating two events at Echostage—the band’s 20th anniversary and vocalist Black Bo’s birthday. The self-proclaimed BouncebeatKingz will be joined by many of the act’s original members to commemorate the group’s origin, and by vocalists from other go-go bands to honor Bo. In 2000, TCB, then led by vocalist Reggie “Polo” Burwell, had a hard, raw go-go sound. Then, in 2003, they debuted the galloping timbales and rototoms rhythm known as bounce beat at a now-legendary show at a Riverdale firehouse. That beat, enhanced with keyboard samples and rapped vocals, gave a younger DMV generation a staccato sound of its own without the funk-and-salsa-rooted congas and horns of old-school go-go. READ MORE >>> TCB performs at 10 p.m. at Echostage, 2135 Queens Chapel Road NE. $20–$30. (202) 503-2330. echostage.com. (Steve Kiviat)
Anna Mwalagho brings her hilarious and sharp play Never Thought I Was Black Till I Came to America to Atlas’ Intersections Festival. 2 p.m. at Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. $25.
Nashville’s beloved Gretchen Peters is playing in Vienna. 7 p.m. at Jammin Java, 227 Maple Ave. East, Vienna. $15–$20.
Meanwhile, the legendary Roy Ayers is closing out his weekend at Blues Alley. 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. at Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. $50.
MONDAY, FEB. 24
Like Someone in Love
From Abbas Kiarostami, the director of The Wind Will Carry Us, comes Like Someone in Love. Kiarostami stayed in his native Iran for decades after the 1979 revolution, leaving only twice to make movies outside of it—including Like Someone in Love, set in Japan. Like his Iranian movies, it’s composed mostly of minimalist, locked-down shots, often presented in repetition. It luxuriates in gaps and pauses; one of the most wrenching sequences in Like Someone in Love consists of the protagonist, a Tokyo call girl named Akiko, sitting in the back of a cab, listening to voicemails, the lights of a slick, clean, lonely city reflected against the windows. READ MORE >>> The film screens at 7:15 p.m. at AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $8–$13. (301) 495-6700. afi.com/silver. (Will Lennon)
Can you dig Digable Planets orbiting Alexandria? 7:30 p.m. at The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. $55.
The Citizen’s Climate Lobby is gathering to write letters to the editor about the threat of climate change. 6 p.m. near 14th Street and Newton Street NW. Free.
Set down your haul and enjoy the classic Midwestern emo of Downhaul. 7:30 p.m. at DC9, 1940 9th St. NW. $12.
TUESDAY, FEB. 25
U.S. Botanic Garden at 200: Deeply Rooted, Branching Outward
In 1820, after several years of nudging from assorted local aesthetes, do-gooders, and gentleman horticulturalists, the U.S. Congress established a botanic garden right in the heart of the nation’s capital. Control of the garden was given to a private organization called the Columbian Institute, which promptly ran into financial troubles and ceased to exist. The garden remained a swampy, abandoned eyesore until Congress took control of the project at mid-century, formally dubbing it the U.S. Botanic Garden and authorizing the construction of greenhouses, because you really can’t have a botanic garden without greenhouses. READ MORE >>> The exhibition runs to Oct. 15 at the U.S. Botanic Garden, 100 Maryland Ave. SW. Free. (202) 225-8333. usbg.gov. (Justin Peters)
Don’t forget to Cherish the Ladies. 8 p.m. at The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. $27–$32.
Kathleen Barber, the author of the book the Apple TV series Truth Be Told is based on, is back with a new thriller, Follow Me. 6:30 p.m. at Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe, 1517 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free.
Check out 2019 feature Standing Up, Falling Down, featuring Ben Schwartz of Parks and Recreation, screened as part of JxJ 2020. 7 p.m. at Cafritz Hall, 1529 16th St. NW. $13.
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 26
Beethoven isn’t known for opera. He only wrote one, Fidelio, and it doesn’t get performed nearly as much as it should. It has all the tropes familiar for Beethoven fans: noble heroes, wicked tyrants, anti-authoritarian politics, thinly veiled stand-ins for Napoleon. However it’s named for a character that does not exist, the male alter ego of a woman, Leonore, who disguises herself as a prison guard to free her wrongfully imprisoned husband. D.C. last saw this opera in 2012, in a concert version by the National Symphony Orchestra. So it’s surprising that a staged version is coming from Opera Lafayette, a niche chamber opera company which specializes in French Baroque era, not German Romanticism, and normally does not do fully staged productions. READ MORE >>> The show begins at 7 p.m. at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater, 2700 F St. NW. $25–$135. (202) 467-4600. kennedy-center.org. (Mike Paarlberg)
Clear leaves off your roof periodically or you’ll end up with Gutter Demons. 8 p.m. at Pie Shop DC, 1339 H St. NE. $10–$12.
Bokanté blend electric blues with Caribbean rhythm and Afropop. 8 p.m. at AMP by Strathmore, 11810 Grand Park Ave., North Bethesda. $28–$48.
If you enjoy live feedback and snarky comebacks, then you’ll love The Comments Section, a comedy show that brings those processes to life. 7 p.m. at Capitol Cider House, 3930 Georgia Ave. NW. Free.
THURSDAY, FEB. 27
Present Tense: DC Punk and DIY, Right Now
The hardcore photo essay is an enduring tradition. Cynthia Connolly first published her pivotal book on the city’s punk scene in 1988; Banned in DC is now in its seventh printing. Lucian Perkins only ever shot a handful of shows, but his pictures of Bad Brains, Teen Idles, and other punk bands endure in a recent publication, Hard Art, DC 1979. So with her new photo collection, City Paper contributor Farrah Skeiky is first and foremost paying homage to the past. Present Tense: DC Punk and DIY, Right Now captures the throbbing energy of the city’s punk and hardcore scenes in high-contrast black-and-white photos, much like the punk documentarians who came before her. READ MORE >>> The exhibition runs to Feb. 29 at Transformer, 1404 P St. NW. Free. (202) 483-1102. transformerdc.org. (Kriston Capps)
It’s time once more for Georgetown Cabaret, where the school’s undergraduates put on a rock show for the ages. 8 p.m. at U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. $14.
Actor and activist Dyllón Burnside chats with author Darnell Moore about the intersection of black and LGBTQ identity. 5:30 p.m. at Metropolitan AME Church, 1518 M St. NW. $20–$40.
Brandon Taylor‘s debut novel, Real Life, is getting real buzz. He’s speaking about it with Gabriel Bump, author of Everywhere You Don’t Belong. 8 p.m. at Politics and Prose at Union Market, 1270 5th St. NE. Free.
NEWS AND REVIEWS YOU CAN USE
News: Dupont Underground is racing against the clock to renew its lease. City Paper dug deep to uncover the group’s turbulent history and relationship with the city.
Galleries: Foundry Gallery’s new exhibition is a collection of paintings full of nostalgic joy for the region.
Cartoon: Liz at Large, “Growing”
OFFICE OF FUTURE PLANNING
Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Friday for Who? Weekly Live at the Lincoln Theatre on March 27. 8 p.m. at 1215 U St. NW. $25.
Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Friday for Purity Ring at The Anthem on May 12. 8 p.m. at 901 Wharf St. SW. $36–$76.
Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Friday for Lennon Stella at The Fillmore Silver Spring on June 3. 8 p.m. at 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Ticket prices to be announced at time of sale.
Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Friday for Dave Matthews Band at Merriweather Post Pavilion on July 18. 7:30 p.m. at 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. $49.50–$115.
Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Friday for AJR at Merriweather Post Pavilion on Aug. 1. 6 p.m. at 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. $29.50–$79.50.
Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Friday for Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds at The Anthem on Oct. 1. 8:30 p.m. at 901 Wharf St. NW. $70–$175.