SIX
Olivia Donalson as Anna of Cleves (center) in the North American Tour Aragon Company of SIX; Credit: Joan Marcus

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City Lights this week includes SIX at National Theatre, two throwback movie screenings, golf at new venue, and an artist talk on existentialism. Events hand picked by us for you.

Opens Thursday: City Swing at 901 New York Ave. NW

Even though the sport of golf is several centuries old, it is still viewed by some as an exclusive, costly hobby that requires expensive membership fees and equipment. Tari Cash is looking to change all that with the opening of City Swing on July 7. Cash, a former executive for Tesla and Under Armour, realized early on in her career that her love of golf, something she started casually in her childhood, was extremely beneficial. “Knowing how to play golf allowed me to connect with the executives at all of these very different companies and form relationships in a way that I otherwise would not have had the opportunity to do,” Cash says. “There’s no question that that helped advance my career.” The realization that none of her girlfriends played golf, and weren’t comfortable being complete amateurs on a course, sparked the idea for City Swing, which started as a pop-up in 2018. Now at its permanent location on New York Avenue NW, people can get introduced to the game in an inclusive environment. With simulators that show various courses from around the world, players can take lessons from a certified instructor, compete in a league, or practice their swings. In addition to the brick-and-mortar location, Cash also created the City Swing Golf Truck—a golf simulator on wheels that will go into communities that don’t typically have access to the sport. Additionally, the non-profit arm of City Swing, the City Swing Foundation will help ​​underrepresented and underserved communities enter the sport. “It’s a tremendous gift to give a kid the ability to feel comfortable around the golf course, because, while I didn’t play seriously as a child, as soon as I started to play for professional reasons I had a little bit of a foundation to build upon and that really made a difference in terms of how quickly I started to enjoy the game later on in life,” Cash says. City Swing opens July 7 at 901 New York Ave. NW. cityswingdc.com. —Christina Smart

Tari Cash, founder of City Swing, courtesy of Tari Cash/City Swing

Ongoing through Sept. 5: SIX at the National Theatre

Divorced. Beheaded. Died. Divorced. Beheaded. Survived. The opening lines of SIX list the fates of Henry the VIII’s half dozen wives, and despite setting a rather dire tone, the pronouncement has already become an iconic musical theater intro. SIX opened an ambitious two-month run in Washington this week on July 5, the longest tenure a cast has spent at the National Theatre in more than a decade. It’s the second stop for these touring queens, who set up court in Chicago for three months. The musical is essentially a clever concert, full of great pop-rock vocals, witty 16th century banter, and quotes from the period-appropriate “Greensleeves.” Here’s the concept: Katherine of Aragon, Anna of Cleaves, and their fellow ladies-in-waiting-to-lose-their-heads compete to prove their royal marriage ended with the most tragic story. Cambridge College BFFs Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss wrote SIX as fourth-year students in 2017, and have been driving the musical juggernaut ever since, from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, to the West End, to Winnipeg, to cruise ships, and finally to Broadway, where the show picked up a Tony Award for best score in June. Each of Henry’s exes has one or two “Queenspirations,” from recent decades of popular music, including Beyoncé, Adele, Avril Lavigne, and Alicia Keys. It’s a break-up anthem contest for the ages, and you’ve got all summer long to see it. SIX runs through Sept. 4 at the National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. broadwayatthenational.com. $65–$150. —Rebecca Ritzel

Saturday: Priya Vadhyar’s artist talk, Wedge of Darkness at Material Things

A Wedge of Darkness at Material Things Studio’s The Pallet Rack; courtesy of Grace DeWitt

In “Multiverse II,” one of artist Priya Vadhyar’s recent works now on view at the Material Things Studio in North Brentwood, a misty bloom of white seems to break through intersecting twilight planes, beckoning thoughts of the existential nature—the sort of thoughts best put to bed before sundown. Then again, these are the exact musings, though difficult, that are often the most prescient, as Vadhyar’s work proves. The artist, whose transient collections in acrylic and water-soluble graphite have earned her a global reputation, takes inspiration from what science writer Loren Eiseley dubbed one’s “interior geography,” the inexact, artful investigations of the ever-expanding “universe within,” which, he wrote, must accompany the exploration of the galaxies (or the everyday, magical world) beyond. Through weedy drippings and lines that evoke entire characters (as seen in “Surge”), Vadhyar demonstrates her love for the brush and ontology, reminding viewers of life’s uncertainty and impermeable in-betweenness. Amid this pretty, chaotic mess, the self emerges, both all-knowing and lost, attempting to understand its physicality in the liminal. Still, there are moments of clarity; in the carefully placed knickknacks from the artist’s studio (shells, a beaded strand, a well-worn copy of Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, from which the exhibition, titled Wedge of Darkness, gets its name) and in the definitive lines that cut through gently blended structures of color, as seen in “Sliver (Fleeting). For even in the dewy abstractions, where graphite or paint appears to have “bled” at Vadhyar’s direction, there is an assured faith—faith in life’s fluidity, and in the paradoxes of the known and, as Vadhyar calls it, the “not-known.” The exhibit runs through July 16 at Material Things Studio, 4531 Rhode Island Ave., North Brentwood. (Tuesdays 4 to 7 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 3 p.m.) The artist talk starts at at 5 p.m. on July 9. materialthingsstudio.com. Free. —Emma Francois

Sunday: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at the National Gallery of Art

1931’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; courtesy of the National Gallery of Art

“Most people never have to face the fact that at the right time and the right place, they’re capable of anything.” From the 1972 classic Chinatown, this quote is one example of a time-honored literary theme: our divided human nature. In that spirit, the National Gallery of Art, in tandem with its exhibit The Double: Identity and Difference in Art since 1900, offers the fascinating film series Dark Mirrors: The Double in Cinema. The program launches on July 10 with a 35mm print of director Rouben Mamoulian’s innovative 1931 horror film Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, adapted from Robert Louis Stevenson’s timeless tale of a respected London doctor (Fredric March) whose alter ego is a monster (and looks like a funhouse Jim Carrey). The mad scientist’s fatal error is his desire to play God: He concocts an ominously swirling potion that he hopes will isolate the moral center of the brain and encourage good behavior. Alas, the experiment backfires, and out comes the bad teeth and bad behavior. Cinematographer Karl Struss, a sometime Vogue photographer, uses a subjective camera to immerse us in the good doctor’s point of view, from the doting fiancée (Rose Hobart) to the horrifying transformation. Struss frequently deploys clever camerawork, like a series of extreme close-ups of passionate eyes that anticipate Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns. The visual razzle-dazzle will be a treat to see on the big screen, and doubles as a startling reflection of Jekyll’s inner turmoil. While the hairy beast that emerges can come off as old-fashioned camp, the lurid spectacle of shame and condemnation resonates uncomfortably with our own highly divided times. Dark Mirrors: The Double in Cinema screens  Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at 2 p.m. on July 10 at the National Gallery of Art, East Building Auditorium, 4th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. nga.gov. Free, registration required. —Pat Padua

Tuesday: Can I Kick It?:The Warriors at Franklin Park

Courtesy of Shaolin Jazz

On July 12, the DowntownDC Summer Flicks CAN I KICK IT? movie series will show the 1979 pulp classic The Warriors. Set in the wee hours in New York, the self-titled crew is mistakenly accused of killing a gang leader, leading to an all out turf battle extending from Coney Island to the Bronx. Brash, bold, and badass—it’s cinematic juvenile delinquency par excellence. What makes this experience even better, besides being held under the stars, is that it will be scored by DJ 2-Tone Jones, one-half of the D.C. creative collective Shaolin Jazz. In 2019, Can I Kick It? brought The Warriors to the Kennedy Center—one of Jones’ favorite movie events he’s ever scored—and later to Hudson River Park for their outdoor Manhattan debut to over 600 moviegoers. “I’m actually planning to revamp the soundtrack again for the movie,” 2-Tone tells City Paper. “It will include some original breaks and hip-hop tracks that compliment the era of gang culture in N.Y. in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s as depicted in the film.” Their last showing, Spider Man: No Way Home, brought out a huge crowd to the revamped Franklin Park, with treats provided by Whole Foods and DowntownDC BID. Arrive early to avoid any Warriors-like action while finding a prime viewing spot, and enjoy guest DJ Whorocdaspot, visiting from Philly, who’s tasked with setting the evening’s vibe. Then, as darkness descends, get the popcorn ready and enjoy what the great Pauline Kael of the New Yorker described as “​​a night-blooming, psychedelic shine to the whole baroque movie.” DJ Whorocdaspot starts spinning at 7:30 p.m. on July 12 at Franklin Park, 1332 I St. NW. shaolinjazz.com. Free. —Colleen Kennedy