Photo courtesy of Strathmore

Open doors

March 10

Listening to Marisa Monte’s music is like a dreamy, jazzy escape. She’s been called one of the greatest Brazilian singers by The New York Times and Rolling Stone, and she’s collaborated with international artists including David Byrne, Philip Glass, Arto Lindsay, Gilberto Gil and Seu Jorge. Last year, the four-time Latin Grammy winner released Portas, her first album in 10 years. The name of the album means “doors” in Portuguese, and listening to its blend of pop with nods to samba and bossa nova feels like a freeing departure from everyday life.

8 p.m., $44-$94, The Music Center at Strathmore, North Bethesda,

Courtesy of Gaithersburg Arts Barn

Oh, Lord

March 4-20

Playful and lighthearted rather than preachy, the musical Godspell tells the story of a troupe of comedic actors who team up with Jesus to teach his lessons. Sandy Spring Theatre Group partners with the Gaithersburg Arts Barn to present the show, which features songs in styles ranging from pop and rock to vaudeville, and shares messages of kindness, tolerance and love. Recommended for ages 12 and older.


8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, $24, $20 student (ages 15-21), $15 ages 14 and younger, Arts Barn, Gaithersburg,

A song is born

April 1


Bethesda’s local version of a singing competition show, the Bernard/Ebb Songwriting Awards Concert is a contest and performance in one. At the concert, eight finalists perform their songs for a panel of judges who offer feedback on the spot. At the end of the show, the grand prize winner will be announced and awarded $10,000. The competition is open to songwriters in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., and is run by the Bethesda Urban Partnership.

7:30 p.m., tickets start at $15, Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club,


Courtesy of Strathmore

Sower power

April 28-29

Written in 1993, Octavia E. Butler’s sci-fi novel Parable of the Sower, which takes place in the mid-2020s against a backdrop of climate change, social inequality and corporate greed, seems particularly prescient these days. The Afro-futurist story follows a young woman named Lauren Olamina, who develops a new belief system called Earthseed, based on the idea that God is change. The tale is the inspiration for the opera Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower. The show was created by musician and songwriter Toshi Reagon and her mother, singer and activist Bernice Johnson Reagon, a founding member of the a cappella group Sweet Honey in the Rock, and features more than 30 songs in styles such as funk, blues, folk and rock.

8 p.m., $34-$74, The Music Center at Strathmore, North Bethesda,


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Easy being green

April 23

Climb a tree, check out an interactive electric car display and get a plant for your garden at GreenFest. The event combines Montgomery County’s environmental festival and Brookside Gardens’ Earth Day celebration. There will be outdoor family activities such as yoga and face painting, and the opportunity for residents, nonprofits and businesses to share ideas and learn about ways to be more environmentally friendly. A variety of food trucks and arts and crafts vendors will also be on-site.


11 a.m. to 5 p.m., free, Brookside Gardens, Wheaton,

Courtesy of Bethesda Urban Partnership

What’s up, doc?

April 29-30

The 10th annual Bethesda Film Fest, put on by the Bethesda Urban Partnership, features short documentaries—each film is five to 30 minutes—on a variety of topics, all made by filmmakers from Maryland, Virginia or Washington, D.C. After the screenings, filmmakers will be on hand to discuss their work and answer questions from the audience. A jury of film industry insiders chooses the documentaries for the program.


7 p.m. Friday, 6 and 8 p.m. Saturday, $10, Imagination Stage, Bethesda,