Erin Petty leads off the arts section this week with a look at recent D.C. plays that have subverted audiences’ expectations via the race of their principal actors. She asks: Is this stunt-casting, or, to use the theater world’s term, merely “nontraditional?” Christina Lee talks to until-recently-local author Doreen Baingana about a travelogue she’s currently writing from memory after her research was stolen. Jeffry Cudlin reviews the National Gallery of Art’s “Pre-Raphaelite Lens” exhibit, and concludes that its fuddy duddy British subjects were a pretty odd bunch. Tricia Olszewski reviews the seventh installment of the so-so-long Harry Potter series, as well as documentary on a pioneering, so-so-old journalist. In theater: Bob Mondello reviews Superior Donuts at Studio Theatre, Trey Graham reviews Walter Cronkite Is Dead at Signature, and Chris Klimek reviews Synetic’s The Master and Margarita. In books, Eve Ottenberg reviews Alphaville, a grizzled-cop memoir by a grizzled cop. And for One Track Mind, I chat with Painted Face about its fantasty-epic electronic pop.

On the cover! Designer Brooke Hatfield turns in some impressive scribbling.

In City Lights: Louis Jacobson enjoys transition-obsessed German photos at Goethe-Institut. Also! Liturgy at Comet, Eero Saarinen at the Embassy of Finland, the Go-Go Awards, Junip, Kings of Pastry, and, um, this guy.