Dance Theatre of Harlem
Dance Theatre of Harlem; Credit: Theik Smith

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Thursday: The Garden at Howard Theatre

Looking for a high-energy, intense live show where you can live out your crowd-surfing, stage-diving dreams? Look no further. Twin brothers Wyatt and Fletcher Shears make up the Garden, known for their vaudeville-esque jesters-in-leather-jackets aesthetic that revived originality in Orange County. While their music is classified as punk in the traditional fast-and-loud sense, the band doesn’t want you to get hung up on genre pigeonholes. The brothers define punk as being your authentic self, and not giving a shit about what other people think. For their “don’t care” attitude, the twins are surprisingly sensitive with their messages of self-acceptance, self-improvement, and positivity. These tender ideas can clash with traditional punk, which is why the band has been given so much credit for redefining the genre. On the surface, they’re just two brothers who play drums and bass to backing tracks, making fun music to blow off steam. But their deeper lyrics and hidden meanings give the band dimension that keeps them alluring and makes them a curious paradox of vulnerable punk music. Their self-created world of Vada Vada that promotes unconditional authenticity sets them apart from other bands and makes their shows more of an experience rather than a simple concert. Their new record, Horseshit on Route 66 is perfectly self-described in their song “What Else Could I Be But a Jester?” with the lyrics, “In a make-out session with aggression.” The album is full of self-aware lines that range from “Mental inspection/ Always searching for perfection” to lighthearted rhymes like “Jester mindset clear as Jell-O/ Born a wild card/ Now just a fellow.” Don’t miss the Garden turn the Howard into their own little universe, where you can do whatever the fuck you want—as long as you’re kind to each other. The Garden play at 8 p.m. on Oct. 6 at Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW. $25–$50. —Simone Goldstone

The Garden; courtesy of the Howard Theatre

Friday and Saturday: Sounds of Hazel at Sidney Harman Hall

Washington Performing Arts opens its new season with a world-premiere ballet Sounds of Hazel by the Dance Theatre of Harlem, celebrating the life and legacy of Hazel Scott (1920-1981), a Trinidadian American jazz and classical singer, pianist, bandleader, stage and screen actress, and activist. A piano prodigy accepted into Juilliard as a child, Scott’s exemplary career crossed musical genres and she was deemed the “Queen of Cafe Society.” With her variety television program, the self-titled Hazel Scott Show, she became TV’s first Black host. But as a civil rights activist she also garnered scrutiny and her U.S. career stalled after she was blacklisted during a McCarthy-era hearing. As an expat living and working in Paris, she continued to be a popular draw at nightclubs. She protested alongside James Baldwin in anticipation of the March on Washington. Fittingly, Sounds of Hazel not only tells her remarkable story through dance but has been envisioned and devised by a dream team of contemporary Black women artists: choreographer Tiffany Rea-Fisher, composer Erica Lewis-Blunt, and Dance Theatre of Harlem’s outgoing artistic director Virginia Johnson. The program also features incoming artistic director, choreographer Robert Garland’s Higher Ground (set to the music of Stevie Wonder), which will open the show. Washington Performing Arts’ celebration of Hazel Scott continues on Nov. 11 with a 101st Birthday Celebration at the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club. A Night at Cafe Society is inspired by the 1940s nightclub known as the first racially integrated nightclub in America, which Scott frequented. These events are part of WPA’s  two-season tribute to Scott. To WPA, Rea-Fisher described Scott as “not afraid to be raw and rough while also being glamorous. Her erasure from history was intentional because she was so audacious. People actively tried to erase her…so to be able to not only not erase her but celebrate her for all that she is and was is really super-super exciting.” Sounds of Hazel runs Oct. 7 at 8 p.m., and Oct. 8 at 2 and 8 p.m. at Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F St. NW. $30–$80. Colleen Kennedy

Sunday: Capital Jewish Food Festival on F Street NW

This Sunday, the Capital Jewish Museum will host the first-ever Capital Jewish Food Festival. Although the museum has yet to open to the public—it’s preparing for a spring 2023 opening—the festival is an outgrowth of the museum’s values, mission, and commitment to chronicling Jewish identity in the nation’s capital. Using food as a medium to understand intersecting identities and cross-culturalism, the event will feature food—and complimentary samples—from 20 local restaurants, including Baked by Yael, Call Your Mother, and Sababa. Renowned chefs Susan Barocas and Vered Guttman will put on cooking demonstrations, Joan Nathan, “the matriarch of Jewish cooking,” will give a few remarks, and local culinary historian Michael Twitty will have a conversation with Nycci Nellis. There will also be discussions on sustainability and food insecurity, and all food will be composted or collected by Food Rescue DC. “We wanted to make sure we weren’t just preaching sustainability practices, but that the festival itself was really living those values,” museum curator Lisa Del Sesto says. In addition to addressing food sustainability, Del Sesto hopes the festival will give attendees a much deeper understanding of what Jewish food means to individuals in different cultures. “We hope people come together and learn something because, at heart, we’re a museum and we want people to learn in a way that’s really accessible to them,” she tells City Paper. After all, as Del Sesto put it, food gets people to the table. “It’s a shared language even when it’s a very personal and unique expression.” The Capital Jewish Food Festival starts at 11 a.m. on F Street, between 2nd and 3rd Streets NW. $15–$50.Hannah Docter-Loeb

Ongoing: Mary Kelly: To Witness the Future at Maria & Alberto de la Cruz Art Gallery

Mary Kelly, “Peace is the only shelter”

For another month or so, you can see Mary Kelly’s projected installation, “WLM Remix,” in the National Gallery of Art’s exhibition, The Double, which explores a wide range of artworks defined by the concept of doubling. In a happy coincidence, Kelly’s projection, which features overlapping photographs of a 1970s feminist march and a recreation of it years later, is also doubled, as it were, by appearing crosstown in a small retrospective of her work at Georgetown University’s Maria & Alberto de la Cruz Art Gallery. The overarching theme of Kelly’s art is to blend examples of feminist activism across the generations. One series of works from the 2010s reimagines magazine covers documenting early 1970s social protests; what’s notable is that the works are constructed from dryer lint. Lint is not only an intriguing visual medium but also thematically appropriate, chosen by Kelly because it embodies a traditional women’s household role. Another series recapitulates a 1962 women’s strike through large lightbox photographs of the artist in a Coachella desert setting, holding umbrellas with activist slogans. The most striking work is “Flashing Nipple Remix,” a series of images of three women with flashing lights strategically placed over the breasts and groin of each, mimicking the look of early 1970s protesters at a Miss World contest in London. Kelly’s brilliant decision was to take a pair of long-exposure photographs of the women moving around, transforming their lights into an abstract, firefly-like blur. Mary Kelly: To Witness the Future runs through Dec. 11 at Georgetown University’s Maria & Alberto de la Cruz Art Gallery, 3535 Prospect St. NW. Wednesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. Free.Louis Jacobson

Wednesday: Tina Karol at Howard Theatre

Tina Karol; courtesy of the Howard Theatre

Tina Karol broke onto the world stage in 2006 when she represented Ukraine on Eurovision with her hit song “Show Me Your Love.” Since then, the contest alum has earned multiple other opportunities to represent Ukraine musically. She served as a mentor on The Voice of Ukraine, helped pick new national artists for Eurovision, and in 2017, won the People’s Artist of Ukraine Award from former President Petro Poroshenko. Her music has evolved, more recently focusing on pop collaborations with younger Ukrainian artists, and she has introduced more of an electronic sound alongside her distinct voice. Speaking with the BBC earlier this year, Karol said that “since the [Russia-Ukraine] war has started everyone is even more proud to be Ukrainian, and they are only using Ukrainian language and folk melodies. It’s becoming more modern, new and popular. We want to show how beautiful our voices and melodies are.” With this in mind, Karol is now leading a multi-city tour throughout the U.S. in partnership with Resilience Entertainment Group, a promotion and production agency that focuses on artists from Eastern and Central Europe. Karol will bring her art to the stage, but she’ll also be raising funds for Polyus Tyazhinnia, which supports children’s cancer hospitals in Ukraine. Whether you’re a diehard Eurovision fan or looking to support a good cause, Karol promises to be singing “for a peaceful future.” The show starts at 8 p.m. at the Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW. $85–$115.Sarah Smith