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While those touted as “rock gods” tend to be white and male (see: Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Kurt Cobain), the roots of rock ’n’ roll can be traced to a black American woman whose story, of course, is not told nearly as often as it should be. Sister Rosetta Tharpe grew up playing gospel music in a traveling evangelical troupe and was one of the first musicians to add guitars to traditional gospel songs. Though male musicians went on to rip off Sister Rosetta’s sound and found mainstream success doing so, she remained determined to make her mark on the music industry, eventually collaborating with a young pianist named Marie Knight. Their partnership has been commemorated with a stage play called Marie and Rosetta, which Mosaic Theater Company is currently presenting at Atlas Performing Arts Center. Scholars debate if the relationship between the female musicians extended off stage, but whether or not they were romantically involved has little bearing on the music they created. Enjoy their sounds and learn from their story. Read more>>> The play runs to Sept. 30 at Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. $20–$68. (202) 399-7993. atlasarts.org. (Caroline Jones)


Contemporary D.C. dance company PrioreDance performs Cirque De Nuit, a piece that combines dance with folklore and fantasy, at Atlas Performing Arts Center. 8 p.m. at 1333 H St. NE. $10–$20.

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson speaks about cosmic collisions and other space facts at the Warner Theatre. 7:30 p.m. at 513 13th St. NW. $67.50–$123.

British pop duo Let’s Eat Grandma performs at U Street Music Hall. 7 p.m. at 1115 U St. NW. $15.

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