CLASSICAL AND CHORAL MUSIC
Streaming in Washington Performing Arts’ Home Delivery Plus series from June 4 to 10 will be a performance of Bach’s “The Art of Fugue” by German pianist Schaghajegh Nosrati, second-prize winner in the 2014 International Bach Competition in Leipzig.
The National Symphony Orchestra will be back in action at Wolf Trap on July 1 for “Fifty Years Together: A Celebration of Wolf Trap.” JoAnn Falletta will conduct a concert with an all-women trio of guest artists: actress and singer Cynthia Erivo, opera star Christine Goerke and pianist Joyce Yang, a Van Cliburn silver medalist. On July 2 and 3, Roberto Kalb will be on the podium for “Sweeney Todd in Concert.” Then, on July 8 and 9, Jonathon Heyward will conduct a performance of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony and Joseph Bologne’s Violin Concerto in A major with soloist Francesca Dego.
Another anniversary: Gay Men’s Chorus, Washington, will mark its 40th with a 75-minute retrospective streaming from June 5 to 20. The program will feature the premiere of an anthem written for the occasion by Broadway’s Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, appearances by GMCW ensembles Potomac Fever, Rock Creek Singers and Seasons of Love and archival footage of past performances.
Available for streaming from June 11 to 30: “Resilience,” a cross-disciplinary concert by The Washington Chorus using choral music, filmmaking and poetry to explore the power of music and the human spirit.
POP, ROCK AND COUNTRY
Founded 55 years ago, The Birchmere in Alexandria, Virginia, has kept soldiering on in the face of pandemic-related cancelations and postponements. A few upcoming in-person shows of note: the Allman Betts Band (June 13), Pure Prairie League (June 28), Asleep at the Wheel (July 8) and, at age 86, Herb Alpert (July 27).
Did you think 86 was getting up there? Tony Bennett, who will turn 95 on Aug. 3, will bring his “I Left My Heart Tour” and his daughter Antonia to Strathmore on July 9. And there’s another 50th anniversary, of the band America, which will perform on Aug. 13.
Two more highlights of Wolf Trap’s summer lineup: Max Weinberg’s Jukebox on July 10 and 11 and progressive mandolinist Chris Thile on July 24 and 25.
“All’s well that ends well” is a good catchphrase to keep in mind as the pandemic winds down and performing arts organizations look to transition from virtual to in-person events. So let’s step off with the comedy “All’s Well That Ends Well,” onstage at the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Virginia, beginning on Aug. 5. In the meantime, the company is mounting “Macbeth” and, starting June 17, “Henry V.” The shows will play in repertory throughout the summer.
Sticking with Shakespeare, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, in association with the Folger Shakespeare Library, will stream “Where We Belong” by Mohegan theater-maker Madeline Sayet from June 14 through July 11. Directed by Mei Ann Teo, the solo piece recounts Sayet’s experience when she traveled to England in 2015 to pursue a Ph.D. in Shakespeare studies, finding a country that would rather not acknowledge its ongoing role in colonialism.
And what about D.C.’s Shakespeare Theatre Company, pray tell? STC is back in Sidney Harman Hall with “Blindness,” an immersive, pandemic-inspired sound and light installation imported from London’s Donmar Warehouse. Based on José Saramago’s novel and starring Juliet Stevenson, “Blindness” has been extended through June 13.
Likewise echoing our pandemic struggles, Studio Theatre will stream “Tender Age” by George Brant, directed by Henry Godinez, from July 2 to 25. In the play, a man guarding a warehouse near the Texas border full of children separated from their families faces a moral reckoning when an epidemic reaches the facility.
GALA Hispanic Theatre will continue to welcome a reduced-capacity in-person audience to the Tivoli in Columbia Heights with “Ella es tango,” an original musical revue conceived by co-founder Hugo Medrano to highlight the contribution of women composers and singers to this traditionally male-dominated genre. Running from June 2 to 20, the production features texts by Patricia Suárez Cohen (some songs are in English) and dancing by artists from Argentina and the U.S. On Wednesdays, you can dance tango after the show.
From June 14 through July 11, Round House Theatre will stream the final show of its 2020-21 season, Young Jean Lee’s “We’re Gonna Die,” directed by Paige Hernandez, “an experience that is part one-woman stage play, part live-band rock concert and totally life-affirming.” Regina Aquino will make her Round House debut as the Singer.
Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia, which specializes in musical shows, will present two this summer. “After Midnight,” with mid-June dates to be announced, will star Nova Y. Payton in a “song and dance extravaganza … set to the swinging sounds of Duke Ellington, Jimmy McHugh, Dorothy Fields, Harold Arlen and more and framed by the poems of Langston Hughes.” In early August, “Detroit ’67” by Dominique Morisseau, will tell a story of family and civic unrest to a Motown accompaniment.
A year after “Detroit ’67,” during the 1968 Republican and Democratic conventions, William F. Buckley, on the right, and Gore Vidal, on the left, matched tongues and wits. Washington Post humorist Alexandra Petri depicts their televised, borderline-physical duel in “Inherit the Windbag,” adapted by Mosaic Theater as an eight-episode streaming package available through June 30.
Other 20th-century celebrities — contralto Marian Anderson and physicist Albert Einstein — will be portrayed in the Ford’s Theatre production of “My Lord, What a Night,” still to be scheduled.
Finally, Inez Barlatier will host a special children’s performance at Wolf Trap in Vienna, Virginia, on July 20: “Ayiti: Stories and Songs from Haiti.”
From June 1 to 6, Dance Place will present DanceAfrica, DC 2021, a “free virtual festival and in-person gathering,” hosted by Griot Mama Sylvia Soumah. The 34th annual event, celebrating the spirit of the African Diaspora, will include performances, master classes and oral histories.
The next offering of “NEXTsteps,” The Washington Ballet’s series premiering ballets created on TWB dancers by emerging choreographers, will be streamed in June on Marquee TV. The featured choreographers are: New York City Ballet dancer and choreographer Silas Farley; former San Francisco Ballet soloist and returning TWB choreographer Dana Genshaft; and Houston Ballet Artistic Director Stanton Welch.