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Editor’s Note: Regina Spektor’s show at the Warner Theatre has been postponed after the singer contracted COVID-19. We’ll share information about the rescheduled show when it’s available.
Thursday through Sunday: Double Exposure Film Festival 2022
On Aug. 20, 2020, Russian anti-corruption activist and former presidential candidate Alexei Navalny was poisoned on his way to Siberia. The attempt on his life made headlines at the time, but what happened next? That’s what young Canadian filmmaker Daniel Roher set out to capture in Navalny, a new documentary cataloging the activist’s investigation into his own poisoning. Navalny is one of the headliners of Double Exposure Film Festival, a first-of-its-kind film showcase devoted to investigative documentaries. The festival will feature new, hard-hitting works such as The Grab, a global thriller about an eight-year investigation that found governments, private investors, and mercenaries have worked together to hoard food and water resources. American Pain profiles the twin masterminds behind the largest oxycodone trafficking network in U.S. history. And Retrograde chronicles how the Green Berets navigated Afghanistan as it increasingly fell under Taliban rule. The festival will also host panels by industry professionals on intellectual property law, grant-writing, and pitching to demystify documentary filmmaking for newcomers and seasoned vets alike. The event is being thrown by 100Reporters, an investigative news organization founded by Diana Jean Schemo and Philip Shenon, two former New York Times reporters. Schemo founded Double Exposure in 2015 with former AFI Documentary Festival director Sky Sitney. Double Exposure Film Festival runs Oct. 13 through 16 at several locations in NW. dxfest.com. $15-$275. —Kaila Philo
Thursday: The Man in Black at the Birchmere
If you’re haunted by the rambling, whistling, ghost of Johnny Cash’s music and legend, the Man in Black will be reincarnated just outside D.C. courtesy of Shawn Barker, who has dubbed his work the “Number 1 Johnny Cash Tribute Show.” While most tribute bands sound like the icons they’re impersonating, Baker leaves audiences hard-pressed to tell the difference visually as well. Considered the “preeminent Johnny Cash tribute artist” by both the public and critics, Barker’s nuances, speech pattern, voice, and movements spell-bindingly recreate the “Folsom Prison” singer. His show at the Birchmere promises a fun night of theater, and will allow novice fans to expand their repertoire beyond “Walk the Line.” Of course, Cash has deep ties to the DMV—in 1968 he famously married June Carter of Virginia’s Carter Family. Barker’s show features hits made famous with Carter, along with Cash’s list of hits and deep cuts that fans adore. Though Barker started as a choir gospel boy from Missouri, his crooning covers from a cast of country legends led him to be cast as Cash in the Broadway production of Million Dollar Quartet. Barker’s recreation of the Americana icon is accurate and energetic, and will keep the torch lit to ensure Cash’s tortured genius never burns out. The Man in Black: A Tribute to Johnny Cash starts at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 13 at the Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. birchmere.com. $29.50 —Simone Goldstone
Friday: Jonathan Richman With Tommy Larkins at Lincoln Theatre
Right before the world started locking down at the end of March 2020, I caught Jonathan Richman and Bonnie “Prince” Billy performing at the Lincoln Theatre. (It was the last concert I saw until Thievery Corporation’s reunion at St. Elizabeths East Entertainment and Sports Arena in July 2021.) Bonnie “Prince” Billy (Will Oldham), with his soaring voice and Appalachian gothic lyrics, is a musical giant, haunting and glorious. But it was Richman’s joie de vivre, his unending curiosity, his exploration of both the quotidian and the exotic, his utter exuberance that stayed with me for many months. Even in the following weeks, I found myself humming his irreverent tunes and finding a little peace. From his early years in the proto-punk band the Modern Lovers—with such classics as “Roadrunner,” “Pablo Picasso,” “Astral Plane,” and “I’m Straight”—Richman’s unenthused nasally voice has always belied the whimsy and wonder in his lyrics. In the 1990s, his appearances in several Farrelly Brothers’ gross-out comedies—including as the guitar-strumming, tree-sitting musical narrator of There’s Something About Mary—to his many standout performances on Conan O’Brien’s talk show, including his LGBTQ laissez-faire ally ode “Dancing in the Lesbian Bar,” rightfully earned Richman a Gen-X cult following. Richman has spent decades living and performing as a sweet weirdo who never really fits in. As he has grown wiser, he has only become more endearing and avuncular, telling humorous anecdotes, singing in a variety of Romance languages, and quoting from the 13th-century Persian poet Rumi. For more than 25 years, Richman has been partnering with drummer Tommy Larkins for his concerts and recording, who will join him again on this tour. To enjoy Richman’s charms, leave your cynicism at home and prepare for an evening of childlike joy. Jonathan Richman featuring Tommy Larkins play at 8 p.m. on Oct. 14 at the Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. thelincolndc.com. $35. —Colleen Kennedy
Sunday: DC Record Fair at the Eaton Hotel
Ready to discover some new music or get your hands on a long-coveted vinyl? If so, you’re in luck. The annual DC Record Fair is back at the Eaton Hotel. The one-day event is the ultimate opportunity for vinyl lovers to shop until they drop. From up and down the East Coast, more than 35 vendors will be making the trek to the Eaton to buy and sell records. Attendees will also have the opportunity to socialize with fellow music lovers and experience a unique lineup of DJs including RWeOnTheAir, John Murph, Pharoah Haqq, DJ Test Patterns, Brandon Grover, and Cinema Hearts (yes, the band are doing a special DJ set). The live music promises to offer something for everyone. Cinema Hearts are the indie rock project of former Miss America contestant Caroline Weinroth. Grover, of “We Fought the Big One,” is a DJ associated with a “highly unwieldy, Belgian beer-fueled music blog” that covers “left-of-center music for left-of-center people.” If that’s not enough, the DC Record Fair also promises to provide an on-site preview of the Capital Audiofest, which will take place Nov. 11-13. Make all your vinyl fantasies come true—you just may discover your new favorite song! The DC Record Fair runs 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Eaton Hotel, 1201 K St. NW. eatonworkshop.com. Free. —Sarah Smith
Sunday: Regina Spektor at Warner Theatre
Regina Spektor is not the kind of singer/songwriter who takes things literally. When asked the innocuous question, “Where are you right now?” Spektor’s response was, “What do you mean? Like, in life?” Case in point: the song “One Man’s Prayer” from Spektor’s latest album Home, before and after; the lyrics deal with isolation and loneliness, but the genesis of the song, along with others on the album, started long before the pandemic. “There are songs on this record that got finished during the pandemic and then there are songs on this record that are like 18 years old,” Spektor tells City Paper. Calling those songs “the elders,” Spektor will showcase these new-yet-somehow-old songs when she performs at the Warner Theatre on Oct. 16. Over the course of her more than 20-year career, Spektor, a native Russian who immigrated to New York City in 1989, has toured with The Strokes and Kings of Leon, performed at the White House in 2010, duetted with Ben Folds, and had a residency on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in 2019. It was during this time that Spektor received a surprising honor from then-Mayor Bill de Blasio, who proclaimed June 11, 2019, Regina Spektor Day. For Spektor, the honor of the day carried extra meaning. “I think for immigrants…it hits this American Dream spot,” says Spektor. “You never really allow yourself to feel like you’re going to be that inside a culture because you’re so used to being an outsider… It all goes into that kind of magical ‘Do you believe this?!’” Regina Spektor performs at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 16 at Warner Theatre, 513 13th St. NW. livenation.com. Verified resale tickets $70-$390. —Christina Smart
Opening Oct. 20: My Body, No Choice at Arena Stage
Arena Stage Artistic Director Molly Smith recalls a formative pre-Roe v. Wade memory. It the early 1970s, she tells City Paper, she and her sister Bridget attended a weekly women’s consciousness-raising session in a friend’s living room near Catholic U. “We talked about our bodies and read eye-opening books like Our Bodies, Ourselves as most of us already subscribed to Ms. Magazine and many read Betty Friedan’s game-changing book,” Smith says. “Mostly we talked and laughed and cried and learned and listened to our individual and collective stories about being a woman and feminists. Those sessions forever changed my life. I was in that circle of women who got to know each other over a single year, and we had this place to reveal our deepest secrets.” In her last directorial venture for Arena, Smith takes on My Body, No Choice, a series of monologues about reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy in a post-Roe America. Written by renowned women playwrights such as Lee Cataluna (Home of the Brave), Lisa Loomer (Roe), Dael Orlandersmith (Stoop Stories), Sarah Ruhl (In the Next Room, or the vibrator play), Mary Hall Surface (Perseus Bayou), and V (The Vagina Monologues), the works are personal, profound, audacious, and utterly fearless. Joining the ranks of these established feminist playwrights is Fatima Dyfan, an up-and-coming writer and Woolly Mammoth Theatre New Work Fellow, whose monologue covers taking a pregnancy test. “As a younger Black woman, there were a lot of other things that I already had to deal with with my body,” Dyfan recalls. “While I may not have had an abortion, at the end of the day, I am fertile. And that possibility for me exists. I reflected on how limited and scared I felt, how I didn’t know about resources available for me, how unsure I felt in my own body.” In addition, Arena Stage is inviting women, trans men, and non-binary individuals to share stories about their bodies and freedom that will air on the monitors throughout the theatre during the run of the play. My Body, No Choice runs Oct. 20 through Nov. 6 at Arena Stage, 1101 6th St. SW. arenastage.org. $18. —Colleen Kennedy