Beth Bombara’s music is the sound of hard work. Her melodies are born between stops on a never-ending tour, her verses covered in dirt and dust and sweat, her bridges the relief of stretching an aching back. Bombara captures the romance of the road, but doesn’t sweeten it. She blends it with humble dignity—the satisfaction of a job well done and another opportunity earned—so common among midwesterners. This St. Louis singer-songwriter has been grinding out a music career piece by piece, building a unique mix of American styles somewhere between folk and rock. She’s played D.C. a few times, each as a duo with her partner Kit Hamon, to a handful of folks in small rooms around town, and now she’s returning to carry the weight of her and Hamon’s fuller compositions from her last record, 2017’s Map & No Direction. Opening will be D.C.’s own Lauren Calve, a blues dynamo with a voice smoky enough to set off a fire alarm. It’s Friday, so clock out and reward your own hard work this week by hearing some of theirs. Read more>>> Beth Bombara performs with Lauren Calve at 9 p.m. at City Winery, 1350 Okie St. NE. $10–$12. (202) 250-2531. citywinery.com. (Justin Weber)
OH AND ALSO
Friday: Haitian rapper and former Fugee Wyclef Jean performs at the Howard Theatre. 9 p.m. at 620 T St. NW. $37.50–$72.50.
Friday: Nothing But Thieves, an five-piece alternative rock band from England, perform at 9:30 Club. 8 p.m. at 815 V St. NW. $25.
Saturday: If you’ve heard of Verdi’s opera Falstaff and Verdi’s opera Otello, but never Verdi’s opera King Lear, you’re not alone. The Italian composer never finished adapting one of Shakespeare’s saddest tragedies, because the guy who was supposed to write the libretto died without finishing it. No music survived, but a letter describing the project did. “We need not turn Lear into the sort of drama that has been customary up to now. We must treat it in a completely new way,” the composer wrote. It may be appropriate then that the InSeries is presenting an operatic retelling of King Lear in a completely new way: as a chamber opera mash-up featuring music from Verdi’s Requiem. Timothy Nelson, the new artistic director of the InSeries, wrote the piece, which will feature eight singers as well the formidable D.C. actress Nanna Ingvarsson taking on the dual roles of Verdi/Lear. Read more>>> The show runs to Sept. 23 at Source Theatre, 1835 14th St. NW. $20–$45. (202) 204-7763. inseries.org. (Rebecca J. Ritzel)
Saturday: Comedian Kathy Griffin performs at DAR Constitution Hall. 8 p.m. at 1776 D St. NW. $37–$75.
Saturday: Waxahatchee, Katie Crutchfield‘s ever-evolving musical project, plays The Miracle Theatre near Eastern Market. 9 p.m. at 535 8th St. SE. $22–$24.
Sunday: If you missed the Jacques Becker series at New York’s Film Forum last month, you’re in luck. While D.C. may not have Manhattan’s deep repertory cinema options, local audiences get to see the director’s films—once hailed by the French New Wave movement but since neglected—on the National Gallery of Art’s much bigger screen, and for free. Becker (1906-1960) had a full life outside the movies. He was a prisoner of war in Germany during World War II, and knew artist Paul Cézanne. After working as an assistant to director Jean Renoir (including on the classic La Grande Illusion), he went on to direct a small body of work that has been lovingly restored and is ripe for reassessment. In Antoine et Antoinette, a 1947 comedy, Becker tells the story of a young Parisian couple who lose a winning lottery ticket. It’s a sentimental working-class tale, but as The New Yorker’s Richard Brody writes, “Becker’s ecstatic, overwhelmingly intimate closeups of the couple burn away daily cares with the blinding heat of erotic passion.” Read more>>> The film screens at 4 p.m. at the National Gallery of Art, 4th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. (202) 737-4215. nga.gov. (Pat Padua)
Sunday: Norman Eisen speaks at Politics and Prose about The Last Place, his rich profile of Petschek Villa in Prague, now the residence of the U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic. 1 p.m. at 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free.
Sunday: Rock & Roll Hotel welcomes Portland rock group Red Fang. 8 p.m. at 1353 H St. NE. $25.
OFFICE OF FUTURE PLANNING
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. for Latin rock star Draco Rosa, performing at the Howard Theatre on Dec. 1. 7:30 p.m. at 620 T St. NW. $39–$79.
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. for New Zealand indie pop artist Kimbra, performing at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue on Dec. 6. 8 p.m. at 600 I St. NW. $25–$30.
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