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Mary J. Blige has made a career of vividly conveying her personal life in her songs. As she navigates a messy divorce from her manager/husband, the vocalist turns heartbreak into transformative anthems on her new album, Strength of a Woman. While song titles like “Love Yourself” and “Set Me Free” may sound cliché, these are crafty, hook-filled numbers the Yonkers-raised powerhouse imbues with her raw yet tender wail. Read more >>> Mary J. Blige performs at 8 p.m. at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. $45–$145. (703) 255-1900. wolftrap.org. (Steve Kiviat)
Attend “Que-niversity” this weekend at Union Market, where Sloppy Mama’s BBQ leads a class from 1 to 4 p.m on Sunday. It’s free to watch and learn, but the there are two paid options too. The BBQ Master Package ($50) allows attendees to enjoy the meat they prep and smoke, and comes with a hog smoker kit featuring Sloppy Mama’s signature sauces and rubs. The Deluxe BBQ Master Package ($75) tosses in a package of smoked meat. 3 Stars Brewing Company will provide beer for paid attendees. Tickets are available here. Union Market, 1309 5th St. NE. (877) 775-3462. unionmarketdc.com. (Laura Hayes)
OH AND ALSO
As part of the Hogarth Shakespeare series, in which contemporary authors re-imagine The Bard’s greatest plays, Tracy Chevalier reads from New Boy, her forthcoming adaptation of Othello, at the Folger Shakespeare Library. 7:30 p.m. at 201 East Capitol St. SE. $15.
Local rock acts Stone Driver, Classified Frequency, and Derek Evry perform a benefit show at the Black Cat Backstage, with proceeds benefitting the Joe Strummer Foundation. 7:30 p.m. at 1811 14th St. NW. $12.
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