Get to know D.C. with our daily newsletter
We dive deep on the day’s biggest story and share links to everything you need to know.
Happy New Year, D.C.! During these last days of the year 2018, you can see a Richmond heavy metal band and take in two fascinating exhibitions: one about self portraits from 1900 to the present, and the other featuring choice photos of New York and Paris from a 20-year period. Before you look forward with “new year, new me” resolutions, take time to look back at 2018 with us in the news and reviews you can use section, featuring the best of the year in film, museums and galleries, theater, and music. —Kayla Randall
Eye To I: Self-Portraits From 1900 To TodayThe selfie phenomenon, it turns out, isn’t a millennial social disorder. It’s a human behavior that for centuries had been restricted to the only people capable of self-portraiture: artists and professional photographers. Before smartphones opened the floodgates, painters were painting themselves, sculptors were sculpting themselves, and photographers were pulling timer tricks to capture images of themselves. Read more>>> The exhibition is on view to Aug. 18, 2019 at the National Portrait Gallery, 8th and F streets NW. Free. (202) 633-1000. npg.si.edu. (Alexa Mills)
D.C.-born singer-songwriter Eli Lev performs at Pearl Street Warehouse with his band The Fortunes Found. 8 p.m. at 33 Pearl St. SW. $12–$20.
Local ska and soul band The Pietasters perform at 9:30 Club. 8 p.m. at 815 V St. NW. $15.
The Birchmere welcomes R&B and jazz fusion group Pieces of a Dream. 7:30 p.m. at 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. $39.50.
GWAR Roaches and GWAR will outlive us all. It’s hard to imagine a more unlikely survivor than these Richmond sci-fi weirdos who continue to thrive nearly 35 years into their existence. Read more>>> GWAR perform with Iron Reagan and Against The Grain at 8 p.m. at 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $25. (202) 265-0930. 930.com. (Matt Siblo)
R&B vocalists and sisters Tamar Braxton and Traci Braxton perform at The Howard Theatre. 8 p.m. at 620 T St. NW. $55–$89.50.
Talking Heads tribute band Start Making Sense performs at The Hamilton. 8 p.m. at 600 14th St. NW. $18–$25.50.
British dance DJ John Digweed performs at Flash. 8 p.m. at 645 Florida Ave. NW. $20–$35.
Recovered Memory: New York & Paris 1960–1980Befitting his twin careers as a journalist and a photographer, Frank Van Riper’s Photoworks exhibition, Recovered Memory: New York & Paris 1960-1980, offers an extensive sampling of both the photographs and the essays collected in his memoir. Read more>>> The exhibition is on view to Jan. 20, 2019 at Glen Echo Photoworks, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo. Free. (301) 634-2274. glenechophotoworks.org. (Louis Jacobson)
The Strauss Symphony of America performs its Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert, which aims to recreate the beauty of Vienna’s golden era, at The Music Center at Strathmore. 3 p.m. at 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. $44.10–$89.
Suns Cinema screens macabre Swedish horror film Let The Right One In. 7 p.m. at 3107 Mt. Pleasant St. NW. $7.
Folk and roots rock band David Wax Museum performs at Union Stage. 7:30 p.m. at 740 Water St. SW. $15–$20.
Miss SaigonWe are at a high point of convergence between musical theater and opera. Today, opera companies stage musicals, opera singers appear on Broadway, and theater directors get hired to give opera productions some extra pizzazz. There’s an attitude among some that this cheapens the older genre, but the truth is it just magnifies whatever shamefulness is baked into the source material. Take Miss Saigon: Among the most detested musicals to reach blockbuster status, it is a wartime romance of a Vietnamese girl pimped out to an American G.I. Read more>>> The show runs to Jan. 13, 2019 at the Kennedy Center Opera House, 2700 F St. NW. $49–$175. (202) 467-4600. kennedy-center.org. (Mike Paarlberg)
Grammy-winning UK reggae band Steel Pulse rings in the new year at The Lincoln Theatre. 9 p.m. at 1215 U St. NW. $50.
The Anacostia Arts Center hosts Inner Light Ministries‘ New Year’s Eve Worship Experience, an evening of song and inspirational prayer and fellowship. 7 p.m. at 1231 Good Hope Road SE. Free.
Pearl Street Warehouse presents a rockabilly and blues New Year’s extravaganza featuring Rock-A-Sonics and Linwood Taylor. 8:30 p.m. at 33 Pearl St. SW. $30–$50.
King KongFrom the very first frames of the very first films ever made, it’s been apparent that cinema is transformative. In those early days, audiences were wowed and even terrified of the moving image. There’s an urban myth about the Lumière brothers’ 1896 silent short The Arrival of a Train: The film caused a panic at its premiere because audiences actually thought a train was going to hit them. The original King Kong, released in 1933, is a prime example of cinema’s enduring legacy. Read more>>> The film screens at 8 p.m. at Suns Cinema, 3107 Mt. Pleasant St. NW. $7. sunscinema.com. (Matt Cohen)
D.C. rapper Wale hosts his 8th annual New Year’s Day show at The Fillmore Silver Spring. 8 p.m. at 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $39.50.
The Kennedy Center Millennium Stage presents Kazaxé, a Virginia dance fitness troupe that invites its audience to dance with them to the beats of dancehall, soca, and more. 6 p.m. at 2700 F St. NW. Free.
Canadian electronic music duo Zeds Dead performs at Echostage. 8 p.m. at 2135 Queens Chapel Road NE. $25–$40.
The Social Power Of MusicYou need not search long to see music’s social power: Mahalia Jackson’s soul-stirring rendition of “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” at Martin Luther King Jr.’s funeral; Jimi Hendrix melting the minds of thousands with his psychedelic take on “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Woodstock in 1969; a massive crowd in Manchester spontaneously breaking into Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back in Anger” following a moment of silence for victims of the Manchester Arena bombing. The Social Power of Music, Smithsonian Folkways’ ambitious upcoming box set, aims to capture that power across more than 80 songs that, according to the label, look at how music brings people together. Read more>>> The event begins at 6 p.m. at Songbyrd Music House, 2477 18th St. NW. Free. (202) 450-2917. songbyrddc.com. (Matt Cohen)
City Winery hosts a performance from J2B2, an all-star bluegrass band. 8 p.m. at 1350 Okie St. NE. $18–$25.
Jammin Java welcomes ex-Misfits guitarist Doyle and his eponymous hard rock solo project. 7 p.m. at 227 Maple Ave. E, Vienna. $16–$25.
Shakespeare Theatre Company’s The Panties, The Partner and The Profit, a social commentary featuring panties falling, dueling pistols going off, and, of course, brunch, nears the end of its run at the Lansburgh Theatre. 12 p.m. at 450 7th St. NW. $71–$92.
MicroCinema: The Films Of Karen YasinskyThere’s an adolescent wonder to the films of Karen Yasinsky. The Baltimore-based artist and filmmaker’s work has been exhibited and shown all over the world, from the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo and Museum Folkwang in Essen, Germany, to New York’s Museum of Modern Art and D.C.’s own National Gallery of Art. Her work is alluring, beguiling, and altogether brilliant. Read more>>> The event begins at 7 p.m. at Rhizome DC, 6950 Maple St. NW. $10. rhizomedc.org. (Matt Cohen)
AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center presents an advance screening of the awards-contending, Barry Jenkins-directed drama If Beale Street Could Talk. 7:10 p.m. at 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $8–$13.
Author Alexandra Natapoff discusses her book Punishment Without Crime, a detailed analysis of America’s massive, unequal misdemeanor system. 7 p.m. at 70 District Square SW. Free.
New Orleans blues musician Chris Thomas King performs at Blues Alley. 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. at 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. $25–$30.
NEWS & REVIEWS YOU CAN USE
News: The ever-evolving art of Cynthia Connolly.
News: 9:30 Club’s new LGBTQ dance night, BENT, aims to fill the void left by Town.
Film: Have you scene this? Best films of 2018.
Museums and Galleries: The National Gallery of Art had a great 2018. Its future is looking greater.
Museums and Galleries: Second Looks—The best images of 2018.
Theater: 2018 on D.C. stages.
Music: The year 2018 in local music.
OFFICE OF FUTURE PLANNING
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. for Florida rapper YNW Melly, performing at Union Stage on Feb. 12, 2019. 8 p.m. at 740 Water St. SW. $18–$35.
Want To Do This Week sent to your inbox five days a week? Sign up here.