- - Friday, September 6, 2013



Detroit may be bankrupt, but Lisa D’Amour’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated play of the same name as Michigan’s largest city is likely to prosper when it opens at Washington’s Woolly Mammoth on Monday, the first show of the theater’s 34th season. The dark comedy follows the lives of an ordinary American couple in an ordinary American suburb: Ben, who was recently laid off, and his wife Mary, who tries too hard to keep up with neighbors who are in a much better financial situation. (The play does not explicitly take place in the suburbs of the Motor City, though the title is meant to allude to what happens to the couple’s economic situation.) Arrive at the theater a few minutes early to explore a pop-up museum in the lobby, or attend one of the post-show discussions on suburban life and poverty with scholars from the Brookings Institution, the Urban Institute and the University of Maryland’s American Studies Department. Through Oct. 6 at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, 641 D St. NW. 202/393-3939. Web: woollymammoth.net.

Live music

Silver Spring Jazz Festival

Few musical artists can say they’ve played with Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie as well as Sting and the Grateful Dead, but you can add it to the long list of Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Branford Marsalis’ musical accomplishments. On Saturday, the Branford Marsalis Quartet will headline the 10th Silver Spring Jazz Festival, a free annual event celebrating a wide range of jazz genres from classic standards to Latin and smooth jazz. Mr. Marsalis will be joined by other contemporary jazz stars, including Marcus Johnson, a local keyboardist and composer who mixes jazz with hip-hop rhythms, as well as the Noah Haidu Quintet, featuring one of today’s most promising young jazz pianists. Additionally, the National Philharmonic’s jazz quartet will play beloved selections, including Wayne Shorter’s “Footprints.” For a thoroughly elegant evening, after you enjoy classic jazz, we recommend Ray’s on Colesville Road for a classic martini and steak dinner. Saturday in downtown Silver Spring. 240/777-6821. Web: silverspringdowntown.com.


Adams Morgan Day

Adams Morgan may be synonymous with sticky dive bars and jumbo slices of pizza, but the Northwest Washington neighborhood is one of the most culturally diverse in the city, a melting pot of immigrants from all over the world (and their tasty culinary traditions). On Sunday, celebrate this vibrant community during the annual Adams Morgan Day Festival, which has taken over 18th Street Northwest on the second Sunday in September since 1978. Enjoy more than 60 live musical performances on six stages, ranging from Latin rock and salsa to American rock and funk, as well as craft and community organization booths, children’s activities and, of course, a wide variety of food. Don’t miss Arts on Belmont — between 18th Street and Columbia Road — featuring local fine artists, craft and jewelry artisans and photographers, too. The street festival is sponsored by Adams Morgan Main Street, a nonprofit organization devoted to promoting the community and its rich history and traditions. Sunday at 18th Street Northwest between Florida Avenue and Columbia Road Northwest. 502/544-5765. Web: ammainstreet.org.


After the Revolution

The 34-year-old American playwright Amy Herzog is having an impressive year in Washington. In the spring, her Obie Award-winning play “4000 Miles” ran with rave reviews at the Studio Theatre, and this week, her breakout play “After the Revolution,” which premiered off-Broadway in 2010, opens at the Washington D.C. Jewish Community Center’s Theater J on Saturday. Kicking off the theater’s 2013-2014 season, “After the Revolution” follows Emma Joseph, a young woman from a famous, left-wing political family whose grandfather Joe chose to be on the blacklist rather than give up names during the McCarthy era. Emma’s beliefs are turned upside down, however, when she discovers a disturbing secret about him. Throughout the play’s run, Theater J will also host a series of post-show discussions with the cast, Cold War history scholars, and, since the play is based on Ms. Herzog’s own family history, some of the playwright’s family members. Through Oct. 6 at Theater J, 1529 16th St. NW. 202/777-3214. Web: washingtondcjcc.org.


Takoma Park Folk Festival

If you think a local folk festival is just a bunch of hippies playing the banjo, think again — and make your way to Takoma Park on Sunday for the city’s 36th-annual free festival celebrating a wide range of American and international folk traditions. The festival features more than four dozen music and dance performers on six stages, such as the Cousin John Band, which plays a New Orleans-style mix of blues, funk and rock, and Lea, a coffeehouse soul musician inspired by James Brown and gospel, as well as 11 local musicians younger than 26. While enjoying the music, explore a juried craft show, community booths and a variety of food vendors. The festival is free, but proceeds from booth rentals and attendees’ purchases throughout the day will benefit local children’s nonprofit organizations, including Scout troops and high school clubs. Sunday at Takoma Park Middle School, 7611 Piney Branch Road, Takoma Park. 301/270-2839. Web: tpff.org.



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