There is no place like home and Step Afrika!, DC’s renowned dance company is proving that to local audiences during its annual Home Performance Series through Sunday July 1 at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. This year, Step Afrika! is using this showcase to show off its world premiere of nxt/step, an all new production that remixes the power and international influence of stepping with hip hop, multimedia and rhythm. The show highlights the very best of the artistic and athletic company, which includes the striking finesse of Andrew Vinson Jr.
Archive for June, 2012
This year’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival kicks off with the free “Bring Back the Funk” concert presented by The National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall, Wednesday, June 27, from 6 pm to 9 pm in the Festival’s “Panorama Room” performance tent between 12th and 14th Streets. “Bring Back the Funk” will open the Folklife Festival’s evening concert series and will take place within view of the future site of the museum. Music legend George Clinton will be joined by Meshell Ndegeocello, Ivan Neville and Dumpstaphunk. Tom Joyner who will serve as emcee for this summer spectacular. The concert is part of a year-long series of events celebrating the groundbreaking of The National Museum of African American History and Culture and Black Music Month.
Abbi Crutchfield is heading back to Washington, DC. The first time she came to the District she was all about hitting the books. A native of Indiana, she lived in Washington for several years while earning her degree foreign service from Georgetown University. Now she is coming to DC because she and a group of other up and coming female comedians have been booked for a show Sunday June 24 at the Busboys and Poets at 5th and K Street, NW as part of their Pink Collar Comedy Tour.
Q: Before performing as a standup comedian what were you doing?
A: I worked as an office temp throughout Manhattan, an internal auditor at Bear Stearns and an executive assistant at American Express before I finally became a full-time comic. I saved money to move to The Big Apple by working part-time (simultaneously) as a substitute teacher, cocktail waitress, restaurant server and a dinner theater actress. Every week day was devoted to public service. So in a way I was using my degree.
Q: What made you make the switch from that to pursuing comedy full time?
A: I planned to be a comedian when I left college. The other jobs I worked were a means to reach that goal.
Q: What makes the Pink Collar Comedy Tour special/different?
A: The term “Pink Collar” refers to low-status wage work for women. One of the common themes that unites all of the performers is our rejection of an unsatisfying 9-5 lifestyle. But there’s more to the show than tales of office life. We are four different voices speaking to our experiences as comedians, women, friends, failed baristas, reluctant bridesmaids, disgruntled humanitarians and irreverent pranksters.
Q: Did you ever think on graduation day from Georgetown that you’d return to Washington as a comedienne?
A: Ever since I saw GU alum Mike Birbiglia perform at Gaston Hall I plotted to return to campus as a professional comedian to do the same.
Q: Describe your brand of wit.
A: My sense of humor errs on the fun, relatable side. My earliest comedic influences were Ellen DeGeneres and Sinbad, before we stopped getting free HBO.
Q: The funniest thing about Washington is?
A: The best thing about Washington, DC is that it has been affectionately dubbed, “Chocolate City,” a nickname I love so much I use it to describe every town I play. Including Farmersburg, IN where all residents look like the cast from American Chopper.
Art is for everyone and with that belief the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities has opened up their Art Bank Collection in a new way to make it even more accessible for more to enjoy. The Art Bank Collection is a collection of artworks purchased from District artists and placed in District Government buildings throughout the city. This year DC Commission on Arts and Humanities has created wallpapers of more than 20 paintings and photographs that can be placed on your computer desktop and mobile phone or tablet. Step-by-step instructions are provided on the site.
Many can dance, but not everyone can dance like Bill T. Jones. Many can sing, but not everyone can sing like Audra McDonald. Many can rap, but not everyone can craft complex raps over beats and rhythms like the 54 rap artists that Ice-T has assembled for his highly anticipated documentary Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap. Ice-T interviews icons KRS-One, Rakim, Chuck D, Ice Cube, Eminem, Big Daddy Kane and a plethora of younger artists. Rappers share from a more intimate place about themselves and their art. The limited Washington, DC engagement of Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap begins at E Street Cinema on June 15.
As Washington, DC prepares to host the first International AIDS Conference in the United States in twenty years in July, Arena Stage is bringing HIV/AIDS center stage with their production of Tony award winning play, The Normal Heart written by Larry Kramer and directed by Tony winner George C. Wolfe. Set in a time not that long ago, at the onset of the AIDS epidemic, according to press notes the play takes raw look at “a circle of friends that struggle to contain the mysterious disease ravaging New York’s gay community. Dismissed by politicians, frustrated by doctors and fighting with each other, their differences could tear them apart – or change the world.” The Normal Heart runs at Arena through July 29.