Illustration by Mary Kate McDevitt

Sept. 21

Get Happy! Michael Feinstein Celebrates the Judy Garland Centennial 

Feinstein, the “Ambassador of the Great American Songbook” and a five-time Grammy nominee himself, is your host for an evening of everything Judy, toasting the 100th anniversary of her birth. Movie clips, rare audio recordings, never-before-seen photos and, of course, unforgettable music make up this new multimedia show at The Music Center at Strathmore.

Sept. 21


On the band’s website, koto player June Kuramoto notes that the lifespan of the stringed Japanese instrument is usually about 50 years. That’s almost as long as the Grammy Award-nominated group, which formed in 1974, has been making its blend of Japanese-infused smooth jazz. Despite Kuramoto’s announcement last year that she and her koto would retire from touring, Hiroshima is playing a few select shows this fall, including one at Bethesda Theater.

Sept. 28

Itzhak Perlman: In the Fiddler’s House

Perlman, the renowned violinist, is that rare specimen: a superstar classical musician. At The Music Center at Strathmore, he’ll bring klezmer music to an audience in a live presentation of his Emmy-winning PBS special Great Performances: In the Fiddler’s House. You’ll find that the music, 30 years later, has the power to make you stomp your feet and maybe even dance in the aisles.


Sept. 29

Fatoumata Diawara

With a voice that’s been called “agile and forceful” by The Guardian newspaper of London, the Grammy-nominated Malian singer and guitarist thrives on cross-cultural collaborations. Her music blends jazz, funk and folk, layering electric guitar over traditional West African instruments. Singing about respect, humility, love and building a better world, she’s shared stages with David Crosby, Snarky Puppy and Dee Dee Bridgewater, and recorded with Bobby Womack, Herbie Hancock and, most recently, Damon Albarn of Gorillaz and Blur. This fall she comes to The Music Center at Strathmore.

Oct. 1


Tablao Flamenco

Amp is transformed into an intimate Andalusian nightclub for a performance that brings together award-winning flamenco musicians and dancers from across the United States and Europe. Their mission: to deliver a dynamic show of improvisation and passionate music, blending various folk traditions from southern Spain.

Oct. 5

Victor Wooten & The Wooten Brothers with Rebirth Brass Band

Today he’s known as a founding member of the jazz/bluegrass group Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, with five Grammy wins under his belt. But Wooten got his start at the age of 5 playing bass in his family band with his four brothers, each an extraordinary musician in his own right. The brothers are taking their show on the road this fall with a stop at The Fillmore Silver Spring. Joining their tour is New Orleans jazz/funk group Rebirth Brass Band.


Oct. 6

Anoushka Shankar

The sitarist—Ravi’s daughter, and the half-sister of singer Norah Jones—takes a neoclassical approach to traditional Indian music. In this concert at The Music Center at Strathmore, she performs with a quintet of musicians from the London music scene: clarinetist Arun Ghosh, drummer-composer Sarathy Korwar, Carnatic percussionist Pirashanna Thevarajahand bassist Tom Farmer. Expect to hear music from Shankar’s newly released mini-album alongside reinterpreted gems from her previous releases.

Oct. 14


National Philharmonic

Conductor Piotr Gajewski kicks off the National Philharmonic’s season with a program at The Music Center at Strathmore that includes music by George Gershwin, Florence Price and Beethoven. Pianist Michelle Cann opens the concert with Gershwin’s iconic Rhapsody in Blue, followed by Price’s Piano Concerto in One Movement, which blends classical and African American musical traditions. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, also known as the Pastoral Symphony, celebrates the beauty of the natural world in five movements.

Nov. 8

Sir András Schiff

The pianist and conductor is known for his exquisite performances and eloquent musical commentary. Hear his shimmering artistry and intellectual insights at this concert presented by Washington Performing Arts at The Music Center at Strathmore. The program, curated specifically for this performance, will be announced from the stage.


Oct. 21

F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Festival

Jonathan Franzen, author of some of the most acclaimed novels of recent decades, including The Corrections in 2001, will receive the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Outstanding Achievement in American Literature. The theme of this year’s Fitzgerald Festival is “Mental Illness in Fiction.” Joining Franzen at the lit fest taking place at Montgomery College’s Rockville campus are fiction writer David Means, book critic Ron Charles and other local writers. In addition to lectures and discussions, the event features workshops and a tour of “Fitzgerald’s Haunts in Rockville.” 

Aug. 30–Sept. 24



Set in London in 1969, the drama Ink tells the story of how Rupert Murdoch transformed the struggling newspaper The Sun—and in turn the entire news media industry—using sex and scandal to lure readers. The play, which was nominated for six Tony Awards, incorporates comedy and even musical numbers. It’s a co-production of Round House Theatre and Olney Theatre Center, with Olney Artistic Director Jason Loewith directing and Round House Artistic Director Ryan Rilette in the cast. The show is being performed at Round House in Bethesda.

Sept. 21–Oct. 29 

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

Adventure Theatre brings the beloved Peanuts characters to the stage with this show of vignettes based on Charles Schulz’s comic strip characters. Meant for audiences of all ages, the production includes the musical numbers “Happiness,” “My Blanket and Me,” “Little Known Facts,” “Suppertime” and “The Kite.”


Sept. 22–Oct. 22

The Very Hungry Caterpillar 

This gentle show at Imagination Stage for children ages 3 through 8 brings four beloved Eric Carle books to life with spectacular puppetry, colorful sets and original music. More than 70 larger-than-life puppets animate characters and images from Carle favorites Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?; The Very Busy Spider; 10 Little Rubber Ducks; and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Sept. 27–Oct. 29


The Brothers Paranormal 

Olney Theatre Center serves up a family horror story ahead of Halloween with this thriller about Thai American brothers Max and Visarut, who have a struggling paranormal investigation business. Things start to get strange with the arrival of their first customer, Delia, a Black woman who believes a Thai-speaking ghost is haunting her house.

Oct. 19–28


Witness the feeding of the only Manananggal in captivity in Flying V Theatre’s immersive horror experience. The show, at Silver Spring Black Box Theatre, fuses live and digital performance to reimagine the legacy of the Manananggal, a vampire-like creature from Filipino folklore.


Oct. 11–Nov. 5

The Mountaintop

What was Martin Luther King Jr.’s last evening alive like? This drama at Round House Theatre imagines the night after King gave his famous “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech in 1968—the night before his assassination. Waiting for room service, King meets hotel maid Camae. When their funny, flirty conversation takes a soul-searching turn to life, death and legacy, Camae reveals that she isn’t exactly what she seems. 

Nov. 8–Dec. 31


Fiddler on the Roof

Olney Theatre Center stages a reimagined version of this classic musical about Tevye, who is rooted to his traditional life in the shtetl of Anatevka, and his three headstrong daughters, who are determined to forge their own paths. Like the characters themselves, this production knows the value of tradition (unforgettable songs “If I Were a Rich Man,” “To Life” and “Sunrise, Sunset” are keepers), but promises some new surprises.

Nov. 15–Jan. 7

A Year With Frog & Toad

Arnold Lobel’s treasured characters Frog and Toad get the Broadway treatment in this Tony-
nominated musical at Imagination Stage. The two amphibious friends learn life lessons as they move through four seasons together, set to a jazzy score. The show is best for an elementary-school-age crowd.


Dec. 6–31

A Hanukkah Carol or Gelt Trip! The Musical

This world premiere flips the script on Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol. In Round House’s production of this original musical, Chava, a Jewish millennial influencer, is visited by a series of spirits who show her Hanukkahs past, present and future to help her reconnect with her spirit of generosity, Jewish identity and the people who support her IRL, not just her online followers.

Sept. 7–Oct. 1


The Trawick Prize Finalists Art Exhibition

In the 20 years since it was established by philanthropist Carol Trawick, The Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards has brought artwork by some of the region’s most exciting and cutting-edge artists to Bethesda. The contest awards a grand prize of $10,000 to an artist from Maryland, Virginia or Washington, D.C. See artwork from the eight finalists of this year’s competition at this Gallery B exhibition. An opening reception is planned for Sept. 8.

Various dates

Deborah Grayson, Joana Stillwell, Reni Gower and Stephanie Cobb

Art by women fills the galleries at VisArts Center this fall. In the Common Ground Gallery, through Oct. 22, Salt Eaters features work by Washington, D.C., artist Deborah Grayson, who uses printmaking to create images that examine the stories of Black women’s lives, past and present. In the Gibbs Street Gallery, Joana Stillwell explores the tangibility and fragility of a family archive in her site-specific work All the Windows in My Mother’s House. Reni Gower riffs on the sacred geometry of perfect shapes, which are found across cultures around the world in GeoMatrix in the Concourse Gallery from Sept. 8 through Oct. 29, and Stephanie Cobb’s vibrant paintings of people caught in private moments make up her show On Closeness in the 355 Pod Space Gallery through Oct. 29.

Through Oct. 29

Lyrics to Go

In acknowledgment of hip-hop’s 50th anniversary, curator Fahamu Pecou presents this two-person exhibition at VisArts’ Kaplan Gallery featuring artwork by Ebon Heath and Tahir Hemphill. Both artists incorporate poetics, writing and literature in their art, but rather than merely speaking or hearing words, they use sculpture and technology to transform words into objects that expand the experience of hip-hop music. A reception is planned for Sept. 8.

Nov. 9

Iconoclasts: Selections from Glenstone’s Collection

Work by some of the most radical art-world contributors of the 20th century will be on display at Glenstone museum this fall. The exhibition features artwork from Glenstone’s foundational collection, including 3D sculptures and large drawings by Ruth Asawa; art by Alexander Calder, Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock; and a dedicated gallery housing drawings by Willem de Kooning.The show will also feature newer acquisitions, and pieces from the collection are expected to rotate in and out of the exhibition, which, for now, has no end date.

Nov. 18–Jan. 13

The 90th Annual Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature

Fine art in miniature is a unique art form that requires artists to use tiny tools and produce detail so minute that it sometimes can only be seen with high magnification. This exhibition at the Strathmore Mansion displays more than 700 miniature masterpieces in media including oil, acrylic and watercolor paint, ivory and stone sculpture, pastels, drawings and collages. The pieces range in size from the dimensions of a postcard down to a postage stamp.

Sept. 21-Oct. 11

Latin American Film Festival

One of the country’s largest and longest-running Latin American film showcases, this festival features more than 40 films from more than 20 countries at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring. Celebrating cultural connections between Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula, the festival also includes cinema from Spain and Portugal. The movie selection spans international festival favorites and award winners, local box office hits, and buzzy debuts from a new generation of Latin American filmmakers. The festival also features filmmaker Q&As, receptions and embassy-sponsored events.

Nov. 11

Air Play

Fabric flies, balloons float and umbrellas pirouette in air in a show that is perhaps more circus than dance. And while the performers are more like clowns than ballerinas, the movement of their props through space and time, set to music, creates a beautiful ballet nonetheless. Circus performers Seth Bloom and Christina Gelsone were inspired to create the performance after seeing kinetic sculptures by artist Daniel Wurtzel. The three collaborated and experimented for years with materials, movement and technology to create the show at The Music Center at Strathmore.

Dec. 13

Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs

From the costumes to the comical dwarfs and friendly woodland animals, this interpretation of the Grimm brothers’ fairy tale features many elements that Disney fans will recognize. The State Ballet Theater of Ukraine presents the classic story with a ballet featuring a troupe of 50 dancers and music by composer Bogdan Pavlovskyat The Music Center at Strathmore.

This story appears in the September/October issue of Bethesda Magazine.