This week, our cover story takes a moment to stop and reflect on art’s role in grounding us when the world around us feels chaotic. It’s particularly helpful in this moment when, as writer Kriston Capps says, “America’s civil liberties are eroding, the drumbeat of war is deafening, and a climate reckoning is upon us.” Stressful stuff, right? One piece that didn’t give Capps the feeling he was seeking is The Phillips Collection’s Laib Wax Room, but I’d encourage readers to give it a try. As you approach it, winding through the galleries, a vague, fresh scent meets your nostrils—so vague at first it feels like a dream. And there’s something to be said for how when you’re in the dimly lit, sweet-smelling room, it demands stillness and silence from you (so you don’t accidentally bump the fragile wax walls). If you’d like to sit and stay a while, try the Phillips’ Rothko Room instead. —Emma Sarappo
FRIDAY, JAN. 24
ITZYSouth Korea’s ITZY emerged early in February 2019, a five-member girl group following in the footsteps of Twice, one of their label JYP Entertainment’s other big acts. Yeji, Lia, Ryujin, Chaeryeong, and Yuna debuted with IT’z Different, led by their first hit, “Dalla Dalla.” In just 24 hours, the music video for “Dalla Dalla”—an anthem of confidence and acceptance—surpassed 17 million views. Over the next few months, the group released other hit tracks like “ICY” and “CHERRY,” and they ended the year with the distinction of several Best New Artist awards. READ MORE >>> ITZY perform at 8 p.m. at the Warner Theatre, 513 13th St. NW. $62–$202. (202) 783-4000. warnertheatredc.com. (Sarah Smith)
Qrion moved from Sapporo, Japan, to San Francisco a few years back, and she’s been taking off in the U.S. since. 10 p.m. at Soundcheck, 1420 K St. NW. $10–$15.
South African choreographer Gregory Maqoma is a star in the choreography world, and he’s at the Kennedy Center for the first time with a work that mashes up Ravel‘s Boléro with Zakes Mda‘s novel Cion. 8 p.m. at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater, 2700 F St. NW. $25–$79.
Local favorites The North Country and Born Dad team up with New York City-based Toebow. 8 p.m. at Pie Shop DC, 1339 H St. NE. $10–$12.
SATURDAY, JAN. 25
D.C. Transit DayToday’s public transit nerds have Facebook pages dedicated to bus routes, a bittersweet love for the Metro, and transportation memes galore. But before D.C. had its beloved 7000-series trains, it had horse-drawn stagecoaches and then electric streetcars. For decades, these above-ground tracks wove in and out of the city, extending into Northern Virginia and Maryland. When taxicabs and buses began stealing their riders and calls for a subway system gained traction, D.C. lost its trolleys. There’s no need for history lovers to worry, though. Fifty-eight years since the end of streetcar service, the National Capital Trolley Museum is hosting D.C. Transit Day to commemorate the anniversary. READ MORE >>> The event begins at noon at the National Capital Trolley Museum, 1313 Bonifant Road, Colesville. $8–$10. (301) 384-6088. dctrolley.org. (Sarah Smith)
Take the kids to a puppet-driven re-staging of As You Like It where they can interact with the actors and instruments. 10:30 a.m. at Anacostia Playhouse, 2020 Shannon Place SE. Free.
“Green orchestra” The Beijing Bamboo Orchestra bring their 30+ types of instruments—all made from bamboo, of course—to the Millennium Stage. 6 p.m. at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, 2700 F St. NW. Free.
Vermont-based Twiddle are making a musical omelette with their opener Scrambled Greg. 8 p.m. at 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $23.
SUNDAY, JAN. 26
Burt SolomonOn Sept. 3, 1902, a horse-drawn carriage carrying President Theodore Roosevelt was broadsided by an electric trolley in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, killing a Secret Service officer and throwing Roosevelt at least 30 feet. Officially, it was an accident, but Burt Solomon, a D.C.-area novelist, has turned it into an attempted assassination—and a mystery. The Attempted Murder of Teddy Roosevelt is a follow-up to 2017’s The Murder of Willie Lincoln, which was also based on a real event (but Willie’s death was murder only in Solomon’s fictionalization). READ MORE >>> Burt Solomon speaks at 4 p.m. at One More Page Books, 2200 N Westmoreland St., Arlington. Free. (703) 300-9746. onemorepagebooks.com. (Louis Jacobson)
darlingdance, a dance theater trope founded by performance artist and choreographer Hayley Cutler, premiere the new work TARGET PRACTICE. 4 p.m. at Dance Place, 3225 8th St. NE. $15–$30.
Washington Performing Arts’ Gospel Choir celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. with a concert entitled “Living the Dream… Singing the Dream.” 7 p.m. at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, 2700 F St. NW. $25–$75.
Low Ways Quartet are performing original compositions and springing into classic group improvisation. 8 p.m. at Rhizome DC, 6950 Maple St. NW. $10.
MONDAY, JAN. 27
Rococo RemasteredNoel Kassewitz produces art that grapples with climate change, reflecting both her birthplace—Miami, a city at risk from rising sea levels—and her current home of Washington, D.C., where environmental policy is, or isn’t, made. In Rococo Remastered, her exhibit at IA&A Hillyer, Kassewitz cleverly melds her main tropes by creating art that floats, in the expectation that buoyancy will eventually be necessary if art is to survive a too warm world. READ MORE >>>The exhibition is on view to Feb. 2 at IA&A Hillyer, 9 Hillyer Court NW. Free. (202) 338-0325. athillyer.org. (Louis Jacobson)
Stephanie Wrobel chats about her highly anticipated new thriller Darling Rose Gold. 7 p.m. at Solid State Books, 600 H St. NE. Free.
Vox co-founder Ezra Klein chats with The New York Times’ Jamelle Bouie. 7 p.m. at Sixth and I, 600 I St. NW. $20–$50.
This week’s Astronomy on Tap orbits around the Parker Solar Probe. 8 p.m. at DC9, 1940 9th St. NW. Free.
TUESDAY, JAN. 28
Marcia ChatelainIn Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America, Georgetown professor Marcia Chatelain tracks the history of the relationship between McDonald’s and black communities, from civil rights activists’ first calls to integrate the restaurants to the golden arches’ inescapable presence in contemporary America. Chatelain’s book explains how the chain’s rise to prominence was no accident—the restaurant owes its success to a series of overlapping federal policies and the social conditions of the era, which drove the growth of a large black customer base. READ MORE >>> Marcia Chatelain speaks at 7 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. politics-prose.com. (Emma Sarappo)
Lindsey Metselaar takes her podcast about millennial dating in NYC, We Met at Acme, down to D.C. to share a few location-neutral dating tips. 7:30 p.m. at City Winery, 1350 Okie St. NE. $25.
Suns Cinema is showing Taiwanese master Edward Yang‘s Yi Yi. 8 p.m. at Suns Cinema, 3107 Mt. Pleasant St. NW. $10.
Celebrate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Pilsen with an opening reception for works by cartoonist Jiří Slíva. 6 p.m. at the Embassy of the Czech Republic, 3900 Spring of Freedom St. NW. Free.
WEDNESDAY, JAN. 29
Nada SurfToo late for grunge and too early for the rock revival of the early 2000s, Nada Surf blundered unsubtly into the post-Nirvana chaos of the mid ’90s with “Popular.” The song is a Molotov cocktail of high school angst that sounds like it was written by the Butthole Surfers for Blink-182. It made the band a household name, but record sales subsequently declined until Nada Surf’s members had to go back to old jobs and schedule recording around work. Miraculously, just in time for indie rock, the band reinvented itself as something more pensive (and danceable) with 2003’s Let Go. READ MORE >>> Nada Surf perform at 7:30 p.m. at Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. $25–$28. (202) 667-4490. blackcatdc.com. (Will Lennon)
Emma Copley Eisenberg‘s new book The Third Rainbow Girl doesn’t just center on the murders at the heart of the story—it expands its view to comment on living with trauma, cultural misogyny, and misperceptions of Appalachia. 7 p.m. at Politics and Prose at Union Market, 1270 5th St. NE. Free.
Canberra-bred Hands Like Houses have spent a decade constructing their musical dwelling. 8 p.m. at Union Stage, 740 Water St. SW. $17–$35.
Lobby Boy have definitively buzzed into the building. 7:30 p.m. at DC9, 1940 9th St. NW. $12.
THURSDAY, JAN. 30
Juan AtkinsIn the late 1970s, a teenage Juan Atkins was regularly listening to Detroit radio show The Midnight Funk Association, hosted by DJ Charles “The Electrifying Mojo” Johnson. On that show, Johnson was playing a diverse range of funky sounds—George Clinton’s Parliament and Funkadelic, Kraftwerk, and Yellow Magic Orchestra. Atkins had moved from Detroit to predominantly white Belleville, Michigan, and there he bonded with Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson over the sounds of that radio show. Atkins soon bought his first synthesizer and with his buddies, later all called the Belleville Three, created mixtapes that they got Johnson to play on his radio show. READ MORE >>> Juan Atkins performs at 7:30 p.m. at the Kennedy Center’s Studio K, 2700 F St. NW. $20–$35. (202) 467-4600. kennedy-center.org. (Steve Kiviat)
Art historian and critic Barry Schwabsky‘s new book is a collection of his last two decades of work on contemporary painting. 7 p.m. at Politics and Prose at Union Market, 1270 5th St. NE. Free.
Raise funds for the Vinyl Record Preservation Society, which redistributes duplicates from the Library of Congress to schools and nursing homes, with ZZ Top‘s Billy F. Gibbons. 7 p.m. at Pearl Street Warehouse, 33 Pearl St. SW. $35.
Yuna offers listeners an intimate, acoustic evening. 7 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. at City Winery, 1350 Okie St. NE. $35–$48.
NEWS AND REVIEWS YOU CAN USE
News:D.C. will soon be home to a one-of-a-kind diplomacy museum.
Museums: Amid the hustle and bustle of D.C., art offers shelter in the storm.
Books: Almost American Girl is an illustrated love letter to the author’s mother.
Cartoon: Liz at Large, “Different”
Theater: Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World is a charming romantic comedy with a terrific cast.
Theater: Of all of Shakespeare’s plays, The Merry Wives of Windsor lends itself best to a ’70s-era feminist reading—and right after Virginia ratified the ERA!
Film: The 24th annual Iranian Film Festival is full of hits.
OFFICE OF FUTURE PLANNING
Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Friday for Ilana Glazer at the Warner Theatre on March 4. 7:30 p.m. at 513 13th St. NW. Ticket prices to be announced at time of sale.
Tickets go on sale 9 a.m. Friday for The 1975 with Phoebe Bridgers at The Anthem on May 23. 7 p.m. at 901 Wharf St. SW. $60.50–$90.50.
Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Friday for Ozuna at EagleBank Arena on May 23. 8 p.m. at 4500 Patriot Circle, Fairfax. Ticket prices to be announced at time of sale.
Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Friday for Daryl Hall & John Oates at Merriweather Post Pavilion on Aug. 22. 7 p.m. at 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. $29.50–$350.