Twirling and whispering and beaches in Malick's Knight of Cups.

Do you have a plan to vote?

Let us tell you the information you need to register and cast a ballot in D.C.

In theater…

People grieve and cope with loss in different ways. Some wear black, others rally around family and friends. Only a select few, however, write and perform one-man musicals about their dead father and his love of music. Benjamin Scheuer, whose production The Lion runs at Arena Stage’s Kogod Cradle through April 10, is one of those people. Over a quick 70 minutes, the show flows through tear-jerkers and confessional ballads that come alive with Scheuer’s vibrant personality. But, as Chris Klimek writes, it fails to fully acknowledge the privilege that bolstered Scheuer and his family as they dealt with their hardships and tragedies. “The Lion is a marvelous show that seemed disingenuous to me in only hindsight,” he writes. “Maybe there’s a lesson in that, too.”

Heavy jargon and unrealistic plot scenarios bog down They Don’t Pay? We Don’t Pay!, a working class tale by the famed Italian playwright Dario Fo. Directed by Joe Martin and Danny Rovin, the play, which runs through March 26 at Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint, has trouble landing its highly stylized jokes and flabs in energy. Even removed from the clichéd dialogue and forced situations, the failure of the play’s comedic rhythm, writes Mike Paarlberg, “is a low-level caper from America’s Dumbest Criminals stretched into a two-hour play.”

In galleries…

As contemporary art exhibits become more immersive, the motion and congruence of gallery shows are more important than ever. At the Hamiltonian Gallery, where Nara Park’s “Between Millions of Years,” and Dane Winkler’s “Homesteading” are showing until March 26, the sculptures and materials play off each other surprisingly well, especially knowing that the Hamiltonian doesn’t necessarily pair its artist fellows. “Rhythm and tempo: On those points, both artists’ shows succeed,” writes Kriston Capps. “Her brittle staccato percussion plus his low-brass harmony.”

In film…

Since 2012’s The Tree of Life, Terrence Malick’s films have been the butt of jokes made amongst even the most hardcore cinephiles, who voice respect for his body of work but skepticism at his recent experimentations. While certainly resulting in a beautiful product, critics argue, Malick’s shirking of scripts, traditional directing, and dialogue between characters falls over the line between artsy and pretentious. In his new film, Knight of Cups, “cinematography can’t compensate for the film’s many flaws,” writes Tricia Olszewski. “Perhaps Malick should return to…more linear storytelling if he doesn’t want to Woody Allen himself and push away fans for good.”

Mysticism and hallucinogenic plants usually go pretty well together, but in Embrace of the Serpent, directed by Ciro Guerra, the murkiness of the film’s character interactions and commentaries on colonization and Catholicism lead to more confusion than revelation. The film landed Colombia’s first ever nomination for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, but failed to win, Olszewski writes, because it’s “ultimately too mysterious to win many fans… Even the black-and-white footage of its characters, including, in no small part, nature itself, seems slightly blurred – it’s no Ida.”

In books…

Modern horror fiction relies mostly on entertainment value over literary prowess, and local author Bill Schweigart’s Northwoods fits in the genre as a textbook example. From the beginning, conflicted characters and mysterious supernatural beings hunt and attack each other, resulting in piles of dead bodies with a backdrop of ghoulish, scary woods. “While there’s not much room for nuance or thematic development,” writes Eve Ottenberg, “there is action and one shocking slaughter after another.” Northwoods is a sequel to The Beasts of Barcroft, and is the series is expected to continue along its gorey tropes.