City Lights: Photographer Fred Zafran Captures Metro’s Otherworldliness

The Transit of Shadows: An Allegory takes a deeper look at D.C.’s public transit hubs, on display to Oct. 17.

A couple years ago, Loudoun County-based photographer Fred Zafran took photographs along the same route as Matsuo Bashō; but Zafran’s most recent muse is likely much more familiar to the average D.C. resident […]

The Starling Isn’t a Good Movie. It Still Made Me Cry.

It’s shallow, mawkish, cloying, and clumsy, but I have a hard time completely writing off a film that can summon such powerful emotions in me.

Whenever I’m in earshot of someone disparaging film critics, no matter how mildly, I defend my line of work with a question: “Have you ever seen a movie that made you laugh or cry but you knew in your heart was not a good movie?” Inevitably, they answer in the affirmative, to which I respond, […]

The Amen Corner Gets Its Due in Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Production

In the 67 years since Baldwin wrote The Amen Corner, the play has lost none of its sharpness or relevance.

If you’ve ever wanted a glimpse or reminder of what it feels like to be in church without actually attending church, Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production of James Baldwin‘s The Amen Corner is a great place to start. The play begins with a gospel music-driven Sunday morning service at Sister Margaret Alexander‘s church in Harlem, instantly […]

City Lights: Welcome Home: A Portrait of East Baltimore, 1975–1980

The work of three women photographers is a time capsule of a previous Baltimore on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Baltimore’s neighborhoods have been chronicled by Barry Levinson, John Waters, and David Simon, but the Smithsonian American Art Museum has offered up a genuine time capsule with Welcome Home: A Portrait of East Baltimore, 1975–1980 […]

City Lights: Sing Along With Indie Darlings Middle Kids

The Australian band is back in the U.S. to promote their latest album with a show at 9:30 Club on Sept. 22.

Ask any middle child—it’s likely they’ve been subjected to many conversations about the alternating alienation and joy of “middle child syndrome” (including this writer) […]

Despite Big Swings, Toni Stone Is Stranded On Base

Unfortunately, the baseball drama often undermines Toni Stone’s own ambitions, both as a character and as a play.

America loves an underdog sports movie.  The climax is often predictable: A team of misfits wins the state championship. The Jamaican bobsledders qualify for a gold medal run. Rudy finally takes the field. And yet, from Hoosiers to Cool Runnings, we’ll watch, and fall, for the faux suspense as an underdog overcomes the odds.  Finding […]

The Eyes of Tammy Faye Doesn’t Look Deep Enough

The Eyes of Tammy Faye casts its protagonist as a victim and an occasional trailblazer. Those who sent the Bakkers their money might feel differently.

Tammy Faye Bakker is easy to mock. The earnest wife of a disgraced televangelist, Jim Bakker, she ultimately faced personal and financial ruin, a scandal defined by galling hypocrisy and theatrical contrition—all while wearing bizarre makeup. In fact, entire generations of Americans may remember Bakker caricatures on Saturday Night Live better than they remember the […]

City Lights: Noga Erez Makes Her D.C. Debut

The Israeli singer-songwriter-producer resumes her U.S. tour with a Sixth & I show on Sept. 19.

It’s not often that an artist starts a Zoom interview apologizing for the scene behind them, but Noga Erez, who is in the middle of redecorating, does just that […]


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