Top Baltimore arts events for fall 2019

Autumn’s on the way, which means swapping lemonade for cider, linen for flannel and dehydration-inducing heat waves for (hopefully) cooler temperatures.

Check out the fall’s most-anticipated shows and events in and around Baltimore, including theater productions, visual arts exhibits, film showings, pop and classical music concerts, literary events, eclectic events and more.


Pop music

Cardi B performs at Royal Farms Arena on Sept. 8.

Cardi B

Between her six Billboard Music Awards and photo-op with Sen. Bernie Sanders, Cardi B’s star rose further than ever before in 2019. The record-breaking rapper, singer and actress rings fall in by headlining the 92Q End of Summer Jam—the substitute for the radio station’s postponed Spring Fling. Yo Gotti, JB Blocboy and other rising hip hop stars are scheduled to perform as well. 7:30 p.m. Sept. 8 at Royal Farms Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St. $76-$516. 410-347-2020.

Eze Jackson

Eze Jackson

Rapper, singer, activist and hometown hero Eze Jackson spits the best game of his career all over “Fool,” the full-length album he released during the summer. After a raucous album release show during Artscape weekend, he takes another victory lap with a headlining gig at Baltimore Soundstage. See him backed by The Backwudz Band. Funsho, Apex The Genius, Dre Thompson, MC Bravado and Christen B open. 8 p.m. Sept. 13 at Baltimore Soundstage, 124 Market Place. $20-$25. 410-244-0057.

Tyler, the Creator.

Tyler, the Creator

Tyler, the Creator has largely cast away the casual homophobia, sexism, lurid violence and cynicism that characterized his time with the Odd Future collective. Introspection and soulfulness took their place and led to more mature and acclaimed works, including 2019′s “Igor.” The multihyphenate takes his creative wisdom to Columbia this fall. Two artists with local connections — D.C. native Goldlink and Jaden Smith, son of Baltimorean Jada Pinkett Smith — join him. 7 p.m. Sept. 21 at Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. $29.50-$69.50. 410-715-5550.

High Zero

A weekend spent listening to fully improvised music, beyond the conventions of genres, might not sound fun to everybody. But to those who seek challenging and novel musical experiences, High Zero has that in droves. See nearly two dozen experimental musicians, including local artists like Bonnie Jones (also an organizer) and CK Barlow, create new work on the spot with electronics, upright bass, saxophones and daxophones. Don’t know what a daxophone is? This premier festival, one of the biggest dedicated to this type of music, is your chance to find out. 8:30 p.m. Sept. 19-22 at Baltimore Theatre Project, 45 W. Preston St. $10-$16. 410-752-8558.

WPOC Sunday in the Country

Sundays might be for church, but WPOC Sunday in the Country festival is resolutely for ... well, country music. The region’s premier broadcaster of twangy guitars, searing fiddles and whiskey-soaked harmonies brings stars like Old Dominion, Michael Ray and Jordan Davis to Howard County for hours of rollicking good times. Dust off your cowboy boots and get ready to party so hard that you’ll need church next Sunday. 2 p.m. Sept. 29 at Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. $55-$125. 410-715-5550.

Les Filles de Illghadad come to Creative Alliance in October with an ethereal mix of traditional folk and fast-fingered Tuareg guitar.

Les Filles de Illghadad

Unless you literally live under a rock, you probably don’t know seclusion as well as the women in Les Filles de Illghadad do. This all-women ensemble (“Les Filles” means “the girls” in French) take their name from the village in rural Niger where they honed their ethereal mix of traditional folk and fast-fingered Tuareg guitar. The latter comes courtesy of Fatou Seidi Ghali, lead vocalist and one of the few female Tuareg guitarists. Check out the show, with opener Infinity Knives + Randi, and prepare to travel beyond geography. 8 p.m. Oct. 12 at Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave. $15-$18. 410-276-1651.

Tank and the Bangas.

Tank and the Bangas

Does the phrase “spoken word poetry” make you cringe? Well, let Tank and the Bangas show you what live poetry can do. This New Orleans-bred ensemble mixes spoken word, funk, hip hop and soul into an infectious sound that’ll have you alternately shaking, head-bobbing and entranced by singer/rapper/poet/frontwoman Tarriona “Tank” Ball’s virtuosic flow. Check out this stop on their Green Balloon tour, named for their 2019 album, and learn why this group won NPR’s 2017 Tiny Desk Contest. Fellow New Orleanian Pell opens. 8 p.m. Oct. 18 at Rams Head Live, 20 Market Place. $25. 410-244-1131.

Ledisi will bridge the worlds of classical, jazz and soul at Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric on Oct. 19.


Few living singers can come close to capturing the haunting beauty, both uplifting and condemning, of Nina Simone’s voice. Ledisi just might come close. The veteran singer/songwriter’s latest show, “Nina and Me,” bridges the worlds of classical, jazz and soul that permeates both artists’ canons into a stunning orchestral narrative about Simone’s intersection-rich influence on Ledisi. Time travel with them. Maybe you’ll get to hear Ledisi take on Simone’s take on Randy Newman’s “Baltimore.” 8 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Modell Lyric, 140 W. Mount Royal Ave. $41.50-$214. 410-900-1150.

BJ the Chicago Kid

Despite the hometown mentioned in his stage name, BJ the Chicago Kid represents the best of old and new Motown, his current record label. His laid-back mix of classic soul and modern R&B aesthetics endeared him to an ever-growing list of collaborators, including Kendrick Lamar, Warren G, Solange and Rapsody. His latest album, this year’s “1123,” only builds on the momentum this prolific guest songwriter and singer built during his nearly 13 years in the music industry. Hop on this ride before his career really enters the stratosphere. 8 p.m. Oct. 20 at Baltimore Soundstage, 124 Market Place. $19.80-$55. 410-244-0057.

Watch The Jonas Brothers tear through the hits that made them one of the Disney empire’s most enduring talents on Nov. 30.

The Jonas Brothers

These aren’t the kids who put the “rock” in “Camp Rock.” Not anymore. The Jonas Brothers came back for 2019′s “Happiness Begins,” their first album in a decade, as men with their own careers, identities and swagger. While you might not see famous beaus Sophie Turner or Priyanka Chopra when they conquer downtown, you will undoubtedly witness the trio tear through the hits that made them one of the Disney empire’s most enduring talents. Face it: you’re a sucker for them. Bebe Rexha and Jordan McGraw open. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 30 at Royal Farms Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St. $63.95-$203.95. 410-347-2020.


Eclectic events

Street painter Michael William Kirby of Baltimore during his second day working on his pastel chalk version of Raphael's "Sistine Madonna" during the first Madonnari Arts festival in Little Italy.

Madonnari Arts Festival

One of Baltimore’s most visually inventive, and beautiful, good times, as sidewalk artists from throughout the world come to Little Italy to make its pavements come to life: In past years, The Beatles, the Madonna, giant ladybugs, even the Mona Lisa have graced the streets, in often stunning detail. Come wander among the artwork, soak in some live music (from the Eric Byrd Trio, the Carl Grubbs Ensemble, Stone Hill All-Stars and the Kings of Crownsville, among others, performing from a soundstage on Fawn Street between South High and Albemarle streets), take home something from the pop-up art market and (of course) sample some of the food for which Little Italy is famous. Sept. 6-8 on South High Street between Pratt Street and Eastern Avenue.

Anne Arundel County Fair

One of the year’s last county fairs is always one of the best, complete with tons of livestock and agricultural exhibits, a carnival midway, lots and lots of food, plenty of music (from Oracle, the Dublin 5, Jackson Dean and others) and, of course, the Arundel’s Got Talent contest (set for 6:30 p.m. Sept. 12, so mark your calendars now!). 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Sept. 11, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Sept. 12, 4 p.m.-10 p.m. Sept. 13, 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Sept. 14, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Sept. 15 at the Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds, 1450 General’s Highway in Crownsville. $10, free for kids 8 and under.

Eric Freundlich, 27, and Laura Maxwell, 28, of Philadelphia, pose as Captain America and Black Widow at Baltimore Comic Con in 2015.

Baltimore Comic Con

A celebration of the glories of panel-by-panel storytelling, and one of the few remaining comic cons where the focus remains squarely on comic books. With workshops and panels, scores of artists and writers anxious to interact with fans, a vendor’s room with back issues galore (looking to finally finish that run of Fantastic Four?) and costumed superheroes wherever you look (count on multiple Batmen, Spider-Men, Wonder Women and maybe even a few Hulks). Time to face front, heroes! 1 p.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 18, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 19, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Baltimore Convention Center, 1 W. Pratt St. $25-$35 daily, $65-$165 for all three days.

Patton Oswalt visits the Modell Lyric on Nov. 9.

Patton Oswalt

One of the funniest guys around, winner of an Emmy and a Grammy, a veteran of everything from TV’s “Seinfeld” to “A.P. Bio” (and his takedown of the holiday song “The Christmas Shoes” is a pointedly profane classic), brings his act to the Modell Lyric, 140 W. Mount Royal Ave. 8 p.m. Nov. 9. $45-$65.

The Reginald F. Lewis Museum Annual Gala

Baltimore’s museum showcasing Maryland African American history and culture hosts its annual big-time bash, complete with cocktail reception, a seated dinner and a Light Up the Night after-party, with music provided by DJ Tan. This year’s gala honors Baltimore philanthropists Eddie C. and C. Sylvia Brown. 5:30 p.m.-midnight Nov. 9 at the museum, 830 E. Pratt St. $150-$275.


"Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back"

Movie with Orchestra

Seeing a great movie is one thing, listening to a great soundtrack another. But watching a great movie while a full symphony orchestra plays the soundtrack live? That’s an experience for the ages. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will perform John Williams’ Oscar-nominated score for 1980′s “Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back” at 8 p.m. Sept. 20 and 3 p.m. Sept. 21, then follow-up with Elmer Bernstein’s score for 1984′s “Ghostbusters” (most likely without an appearance by Ray Parker Jr., alas) at 8 p.m. Nov. 2 and 3 p.m. Nov. 3. Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St. $20-$80.


Final weeks of summer films

Free outdoor movie screenings are one of Baltimore’s favorite summertime activities, and if you’re willing to drive to Howard County, they continue right on through September (and even into the fall). At The Wine Bin in Ellicott City, 8390 Main St., the remaining movies, set for an 8 p.m. start, are “BlacKkKlansman” (Sept. 7), “Rear Window” (Sept. 14), “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (Sept. 28) and “A Quiet Place” (Oct. 26). At the Lakefront in Downtown Columbia, 10275 Wincopin Circle, remaining entries in the Lakefront Summer Film Festival, scheduled to start at dusk (around 8:15 p.m.), are “Captain Marvel” (Sept. 1), “Avengers: Infinity War” (Sept. 6) and “Avengers: Endgame” (Sept. 7). And thanks to a July cancellation, there’s even a late entry in Fells Point’s Films on the Pier series, with “Game Night” set for 8:30 p.m. Sept. 11 on the Broadway Pier, 1701 Thames St. Search the series name on

Harrison Ford in "Blade Runner: The Final Cut."

‘Blade Runner: The Final Cut'

There seem to be an unlimited number of versions of director Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi classic (there are actually seven, but don’t bet against more turning up someday) about the blurring line between human and robot in a dystopian future , but this is probably the best and most faithful to Scott’s vision. Regardless of the version, of course, this is one of the most visually original films ever, with Harrison Ford at his sullen best. And it deserves to be seen on the big screen. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20 at The Senator, 5904 York Road. $9-$10.

2019 College Homecoming Showcase

The work of student filmmakers from area colleges and universities will be featured, with films selected by a screening committee of their peers. Also planned: a back-to-school celebration and chance for some networking. The showcase is part of the year-long Baltimore Student Film Showcase at the Niarchos Foundation Parkway, 5 W. North Ave. 7 p.m. Sept. 5. Free.

Documentary about Moe Berg, an enigmatic Jewish catcher who joined the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) to spy for the U.S. on the Nazis’ atomic bomb program.

Chesapeake Film Festival

Expanded to eight days and unspooling in three Eastern Shore cities (Easton, Cambridge and Oxford), this 12th annual gathering of the cinema faithful will feature 62 films, including favorites from the festival circuit and documentaries on the environment, many getting their Maryland premiere. The festival opens Oct. 3 at Easton’s Avalon Theatre, 40 E. Dover St., with screenings of director Catherine Wyler’s “The Cold Blue” (4 p.m.), a tribute to her father, Oscar-winning director William Wyler, and the airmen of World War II, and director Aviva Kempner’s documentary “The Spy Behind Home Plate” (7 p.m.), the story of major league catcher Moe Berg and his work as a spy for the OSS during World War II. Both directors will be on hand to discuss their work. The festival then runs through Oct. 10 at venues in all three cities. Tickets for individual films are $10-$12, $140 for festival passes. A ticket for opening day that includes both movies and a gourmet reception is $40.


The Enoch Pratt Free Library Central Branch will have its grand reopening in September.

Enoch Pratt Free Library Central Branch Grand Reopening

After $115 million and three years of renovation, we’re betting that the 86-year-old beauty with its ornate decorative plasters and jaw-dropping ceiling will never have looked better. Festivities include a block party, music, performances, storytelling, slam poetry and more. Noon to 4 p.m. Sept. 14 at 400 Cathedral St. Free.

The Weekly Reader Book Club

“The Great Believers,” a page-turner chronicling the AIDS crisis, is one of the big books of 2019. Meet author Rebecca Makkai when she inaugurates a new book club co-sponsored by The Ivy Bookshop and WYPR-FM. The club meets the second Thursday of every month and is open to WYPR contributors. 7 p.m. Sept. 12 at Bird in Hand coffeehouse, 11 E. 33rd St. Contribution required.

Valerie Jarrett will read from her memoir, "Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward," at the Enoch Pratt Free Library Central Branch in the fall.

Valerie Jarrett

Former U.S. President Barack Obama’s longest-serving senior adviser will read from her memoir, “Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward.” Portrayed by the New York Times as “the ultimate Obama insider,” Jarrett went everywhere and saw it all. Will she spill the beans? 7 p.m. Sept. 19, Enoch Pratt Free Library Central Branch, 400 Cathedral St. Free.

Patti Smith will appear at Goucher College to read from her third memoir, "Year of the Monkey."

Patti Smith

Often described as “the punk poet laureate,” the singer, songwriter and author Patti Smith will appear at Goucher College on behalf of Sykesville’s A Likely Story Bookstore to read from her third memoir, “Year of the Monkey." Her publisher says it chronicles “loss, aging, and America’s changing political landscape in 2016." 7 p.m. Sept. 25 at Goucher College’s Kraushaar Auditorium, 1021 Dulaney Valley Road. $45-$55 includes a copy of the book.

Baltimorean Jeannie Vanasco's second memoir, "Things I Didn't Talk About When I Was a Girl," will debut in October.

Jeannie Vanasco

When Jeannie Vanasco was a teen, she was raped by a close friend. After 14 years of silence and worsening nightmares, she reached out to her assailant — who agreed to meet. “Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl” is the second memoir by Vanasco, who teaches at Towson University. Book launch at 7 p.m. Oct. 2 at Bird in Hand coffee shop, 11 E. 33rd St. Free.

Jesmyn Ward

The National Book Award-winning “Sing, Unburied, Sing” is equal parts mystical revelation and road trip from hell. The novel alternates between a 13-year-old boy who communicates with animals, his drug-addicted mother who sees ghosts, and the boy who haunts the living to try to discover how he died. 6 p.m. Oct. 15 at Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles St. Free.

National Book Award winner Charles Johnson will deliver a free public reading at Goucher College in October.

Charles Johnson

This fall’s visiting author at Goucher College was the second African-American to win the National Book Award for his 1990 novel, “The Middle Passage.” Johnson’s warmly reviewed short story collection, “Night Hawks," which was released last year, spans genres from science fiction to realism and draws on the author’s Buddhist beliefs. 8 p.m. Oct. 15 at Goucher College, 1021 Dulaney Valley Road. Free, but reservations are required.

Dan Rather will read from "What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism" at the Enoch Pratt Free Library Central branch this fall.

Dan Rather

In “What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism,” the longtime CBS-TV news anchor muses: “I find myself thinking deeply about what it means to love America.” This essay collection tackles today’s toxic political atmosphere and seeks to remind Americans of the principles on which the U.S. was founded and the core values we share. 7 p.m. Oct. 3 at the Enoch Pratt Free Library Central Branch, 400 Cathedral St. Free.


Dave Cullen

First came “Columbine,” by all accounts the definitive chronicling of the Colorado high school shooting. Now Cullen gives us “Parkland: Birth of a Movement,” — a book that, by tracing the journey of an extraordinary group of teenage survivors from tragedy to activism, is also a book about hope. 3 p.m. Nov. 1 at the Baltimore Book Festival’s Literary Salon, along the Inner Harbor promenade. Free.

Baltimore author Steve Luxenberg will discuss his book "Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson, and America's Journey From Slavery to Segregation" at the Festival of Jewish Literature.

Festival of Jewish Literature

In its second year, the Festival of Jewish Literature is growing fast, with 20 readings, panels and performances at a dozen Baltimore-area locations. One highlight: Washington Post editor Steve Luxenberg discusses his new book, a thoroughly researched account of the landmark Plessy v. Ferguson U.S. Supreme Court case that upheld racial segregation. The festival runs Nov. 7-17. Some ticketed events; most are free. Luxenberg appears 6:30 p.m. Nov. 17 at Beth Israel Congregation, 3706 Crondall Lane, Owings Mills. Free. Details at


Actor Paul Diem will appear in Single Carrot Theatre's production of "Mr. Wolf."

‘Mr. Wolf’ at Single Carrot Theatre

Beginning with this production, Baltimore’s scrappy Single Carrot Theatre is giving up its performing home to embark on a nomadic existence with site-specific performances of socially conscious shows. “Mr. Wolf” examines what happens when a 15-year-old girl is returned to her family years after being abducted by a mentally ill teacher. Sept. 13 to Oct. 13 in the Rectory at St. John’s in the Village, 3009 Greenmount Ave. Seating is extremely limited. $10-$45. 443-844-9253 or

‘Hamlet’ at Annapolis Shakespeare Company

In half a dozen years, the troupe founded by former Broadway dancer Sally Boyett has earned a reputation for ambitious and artistically sound productions. Boyett promises a “modern, edgy and visually striking” staging of Shakespeare’s greatest work. University of North Carolina School of the Arts graduate Stephen Kime performs the title role. Sept. 28-Oct. 27 at Annapolis Shakespeare Company, 1804 West St., Annapolis. $39-$65. 410-415-3513 or

Actor Michael P. Sullivan will play the title role in Chesapeake Shakespeare Company's production of "Dracula" in the fall of 2019.

‘Dracula’ at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company

Campy adaptations of the Gothic horror story have robbed Bram Stoker’s novel of much of its power. Ches Shakes aims to restore the shocks by mounting Steven Dietz’ version. His adaptation of an aristocratic predator stalking two young women is drawn from the source material and includes excerpts from Stoker’s text. Oct. 4-Nov. 2 at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, 7 S. Calvert St. $17-$53. 410-244-8570 or

‘Proxy,’ staged by Rapid Lemon Productions

Rapid Lemon Productions closes its season of belief with a world premiere about a terminally ill woman, her robotic counterpart and the decision that ignites a war between the two people closest to her. The play explores such of-the-moment topics as artificial intelligence and patchwork families. Oct. 11-20 at Baltimore Theatre Project, 45 W. Preston St. $10-$21. 410-752-8558 or

Actress Hayley Palmer will perform at the Gordon Center for the Performing Arts this fall in Suzanne Bachner’s autobiographical play, "The Good Adoptee."

‘The Good Adoptee’ at the Gordon Center for the Performing Arts

This autobiographical story of one woman’s single-minded search to find her birth parents despite the state of New York’s sealed adoption records has won a slew of independent theater awards. Off Broadway actress Hayley Palmer depicts Suzanne Bachner’s struggle to reconcile her dual identities while remaining a "good adoptee.” For one performance only at 3 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Peggy and Yale Gordon Center for the Performing Arts, 3506 Gwynnbrook Ave., Owings Mills. $25-$30 including fees. 410-356-7469 or

‘E2’ at Rep Stage

Who knew that one of the earliest British history plays was a gay love story? Playwright Bob Bartlett puts a contemporary spin on Christopher Marlowe’s tale of the ineffectual King Edward II, who struggles to lead England while navigating a relationship that could result in his monarchy’s downfall. Oct. 31-Nov. 17 at Howard Community College’s Horowitz Center for Visual & Performing Arts, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. $15-$40. 443-518-1500 or

‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ at Imagination Stage

Introduce your kids to the wonders of live theater with this dance-based adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ beloved story. In this revival of an award-winning 2012 production, four children travel from war-torn England to magical Narnia. Imagination Stage has a reputation for skilled acting, fancy sets and costumes and commitment to young audiences. Nov. 23-Jan. 5 at Imagination Stage, 4908 Auburn Ave., Bethesda. $15-$35. 301-280-1660 or

This poster for Baltimore Center Stage's production of "Men on Boats" was created by collage artist Mirlande Jean-Gilles.

‘Men on Boats’ at Baltimore Center Stage

Imagine if “Hamilton’s” founding fathers had been portrayed not by African American actors, but by female, gay, bisexual and transgender performers. In “Men on Boats,” playwright Jaclyn Backhaus puts her own spin on history by using non-traditional casting to retell the real-life 1869 expedition to chart the Colorado River led by a one-armed captain. Nov. 29-Dec. 2 at Baltimore Center Stage, 700 N. Calvert St. $25-$74 plus fees. 410-332-0033 or

Everyman Theatre will put on a production of Agatha Christie's "Murder on the Orient Express" this fall.

‘Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express’ at Everyman Theatre

This one seems on track to be a hit: A beloved Agatha Christie whodunit, adapted for the stage by the very funny Ken Ludwig. A set recreating the glamorous, Istanbul-bound train. Opulent, 1930s-era costumes. And local favorite Bruce Randolph Nelson portraying detective Hercules Poirot. What more could a theater lover want? Dec. 3-Jan. 5 at Everyman Theatre, 315 W. Fayette St. $15-$62. 410-752-2208 or

Actress Kerry Suseck portrayed Mary Magdalene in a previous national tour of "Jesus Christ Superstar." A production featuring a new cast will perform at the Hippodrome Theatre in the fall of 2019.

‘Jesus Christ, Superstar’ at the Hippodrome Theatre

What’s the buzz? This 1970 groundbreaking show was among the first to fuse rock 'n' roll with musical theater by telling the crucifixion story from the perspective of Jesus’ betrayer, Judas. With such songs as “I Don’t Know How to Love Him,” the musical holds up surprisingly well after nearly half a century. Dec. 17-22 at the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center, 12 N. Eutaw St. Ticket prices had not been set at time of publication. 410-837-7400 or


Visual arts

Jack Whitten's 1968 work "Zen Master" will be featured in a fall exhibition at the BMA entitled "Generations: A History of Black Abstract Art."

‘Generations: A History of Black Abstract Art’

The influence of black artists — too often overlooked — gets its due in this touring exhibition, previously titled “Solidary & Solitary," at the Baltimore Museum of Art, from Sept. 29 through January of next year. The exhibit highlights work by black artists like Norman Lewis, Alma W. Thomas and Jack Whitten, as well as younger artists such as Kevin Beasley, Mark Bradford, Martin Puryear and Lorna Simpson. 10 Art Museum Drive. $5-$10.

A 2016 work by Johanna Burke will be included in an exhibition exploring "the secret life of earth" at the American Visionary Art Museum.

‘The Secret Life of Earth: Alive! Awake! (and possibly really Angry!)’

The always-innovative American Visionary Art Museum invites everyone from climate-change deniers to scientists and kid activists to an exhibition that simultaneously celebrates Earth’s beauty and informs visitors about the fragility of life on “our one blue homegirl planet.” Runs Oct. 5 through September 2020. 800 Key Highway. $9.95-$15.95 museum admission.

An exhibition by the Jewish Museum of Maryland tells the stories of generations of scrap entrepreneurs, beginning with Jewish and Italian peddlers who built the industry. (Photo by Jeffrey Katz, courtesy of the Jewish Museum of Maryland.)

‘Scrap Yard: Innovators of Recycling’

This exhibition by the Jewish Museum of Maryland tells the stories of generations of scrap entrepreneurs, beginning with Jewish and Italian peddlers who built the industry. Opening in October, the exhibit replicates the look and feel of a scrap metal yard with historical artifacts that convey both the creativity of scrap recyclers as well as the struggles and discrimination they faced. 15 Lloyd St. $2-$10 museum admission.

The Eastern Avenue Sewage Pumping Station, formerly the Public Works Museum and soon to reopen as the Public Works Experience, will be featured as part of this year's Doors Open Baltimore.

‘Doors Open Baltimore’

The popular two-day event lets Baltimoreans mosey on in to churches, homes and other buildings often off-limits to the public. This year, check out the Eastern Avenue Sewage Pumping Station, formerly the Public Works Museum and soon to reopen as the Public Works Experience along the Inner Harbor. The self-guided tour is sponsored by the Baltimore Architecture Foundation (and based at the Maryland Historical Society). Oct. 5-6. 201 W. Monument St. Free.

"The May Queen," a decorative panel by Margaret Macdonald, will be included in an upcoming exhibition at the Walters exploring Scottish design.

‘Designing the New: Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow Style’

Like Baltimore, Glasgow is an industrial city that has been home to some amazing art. At this exhibition about influential Scottish designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh, visitors can explore his work, including textiles, furniture and ceramics, and take a look at some of his influences, including Japanese tsubas, Islamic tiles and bookbindings. Opens Oct. 6. 600 N. Charles St. Free.

A portrait of a sharecropper by Elizabeth Catlett will be among the works displayed at an exhibition of her work. (Catlett Mora Family Trust / VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY / The Art Institute of Chicago / Art Resource, NY)

‘Elizabeth Catlett: Artist as Activist’

Opening Oct. 26, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum’s exhibition of work by Washington-born printmaker and sculptor Elizabeth Catlett shows how the artist used her work in activism in both the U.S. and her adopted home of Mexico. The grandchild of former slaves, Catlett studied at Howard University and the University of Iowa. She moved to Mexico in the 1940s and taught at the National School of Fine Arts in Mexico City until 1976. Her subjects range from images of children to symbols of the Black Power Movement. 830 E. Pratt St. $6-$8 museum admission.



The Dance Theatre of Harlem will perform at Morgan State University as part of the group's 50th anniversary tour. (Photo by Rachel Neville)

Dance Theatre of Harlem

Now celebrating its 50th year, the Dance Theatre of Harlem is headed to Morgan State University as part of its golden anniversary tour, honoring the life and legacy of founder Arthur Mitchell. The 17-member company performs works by George Balanchine and contemporary pieces that celebrate African American culture through ballet, including premieres of commissioned works by Pam Tanowitz, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Robert Garland. 8 p.m. Nov. 23 at Gilliam Concert Hall, Carl J. Murphy Fine Arts Center, 2201 Argonne Drive. $40-$65. 443-885-4440.

Performers Caroline Theodora Dartey and Carl Ponce Cubero of Ailey II will perform in Towson. (Photo by Kyle Froman)

Ailey II

Alvin Ailey formed his famed dance company in New York in 1958 as a refuge for black artists overlooked by established companies. A secondary company to mentor young dancers came 16 years later. This fall, the group, called Ailey II, comes to Towson under the artistic direction of Troy Powell. Sneak a peek at the future of modern dance. 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sept. 14 at Towson University’s Stephens Hall Theatre, 8000 York Road, Towson. $50.

The Full Circle Dance Company will perform "REFUGE: Needing, Seeking, Finding" this fall. (Photo by Brion McCarthy)

‘REFUGE: Needing, Seeking, Finding’

A program of individual works by new and established Baltimore artists, “Refuge” explores topics ranging from the global refugee crisis to the need to find peace from one’s own children. In “Transient,” choreographer Elizabeth Quinones tackles the immigrant experience, while Nicole Tucker Smith’s work “Facing Me” looks at the challenge of facing mental illness within our communities. The lineup also includes “Comic Interlude” by Misty Borst Yackshaw, a work by Hope B. Byers illuminating the history of lynching and the effects of racism, and more. Performances are at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16 and at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 17 at the Baltimore Theatre Project, 45 W. Preston St. $20 in advance general, $15 in advance students, $25 at the door.

‘The Snow Queen’

In Annapolis, the Ballet Theatre of Maryland performs the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale “The Snow Queen,” or, as you can explain it to your children: the story that inspired “Frozen.” Heroine Gerda begins her odyssey with help from mountain man Kai to liberate their kingdom from eternal winter. With guest appearances by mysterious trolls, princesses and fairies. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 18, 7 p.m. Oct. 19 and 2 p.m. Oct. 20 at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, 801 Chase St., Annapolis. for ticket prices (not yet announced at press time).

The Moscow Ballet brings "The Nutcracker" to life at the Hippodrome. (Photo courtesy of the Moscow Ballet)

Moscow Ballet’s ‘Great Russian Nutcracker’

Critics panned “The Nutcracker” when it first debuted in Russia in 1892. But what do critics know? A century later, the ballet remains a holiday classic and a staple of the Moscow Ballet’s annual tour. The group’s dancers bring it to life at the Hippodrome with 200 costumes, towering puppets, jaw-dropping sets and even birds that soar. Performances are 7 p.m. Dec. 13 and noon, 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Hippodrome Theatre, 12 N. Eutaw St. 800-982-2787. $25-$200.

Thunderbird American Indian Dancers

The decades-old New York-based group Thunderbird American Indian Dancers bring native culture to audiences around the country. In Towson, they’ll perform songs and Fancy Dances from numerous groups, including Northwest Coast, Eastern Woodlands, Plains and Southwest tribes. The group is directed by Louis Mofsie, also known as Green Rainbow from the Hopi Tribe of Arizona and the Winnebago Tribe of Wisconsin. 10:15 a.m. and noon Nov. 21 at Goucher College’s Kraushaar Auditorium, 1021 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson. $9. 410-252-8717.


Classical music

Conrad Tao is one of the most compelling voices in classical music.

Conrad Tao

At just 25 years old, Conrad Tao has one of the most compelling voices in classical music, both as a composer and a pianist. You can witness Tao’s artistry as the latter when he joins the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to perform Alexander Scriabin’s rarely heard Piano Concerto. 8 p.m. Oct. 3 at Strathmore Music Hall, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda; 8 p.m. Oct. 4-5 at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St. $25 to $90.

Mind on Fire

Mind on Fire, a “musical arts co-op,” offers some of the most fascinating experimental productions in the area. Their Oct. 12 program combines Meredith Monk choral music, saxophonist Andrew Bernstein of Horse Lords, and a performance by Karagoz Theatre Company, a group that practices 500-year-old Anatolian shadow puppetry. 8 p.m. Oct. 12 at Lovely Lane United Methodist Church, 2200 St. Paul St. $10 to $15.

Jerusalem Quartet is one of the premier string quartets of the last 20-plus years. (Courtesy Jerusalem Quartet)

Jerusalem Quartet

A chance to catch a live performance by this internationally acclaimed string quartet is a rare treat. The Shriver Hall Concert Series welcomes the Jerusalem Quartet, one of the premier string quartets of the last 20-plus years, for an evening program featuring works by Haydn, Shostakovich and Brahms. Pre-concert lecture at 4:30 p.m., concert at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 20 at Shriver Hall, 3400 N. Charles St. $10 to $42.

Sarah Cunningham is one of the leading performers of the viola da gamba.

Sarah Cunningham with Pro Musica Rara

Sarah Cunningham is one of the leading performers of the viola da gamba, an early string instrument popular in Renaissance and Baroque music. She joins Pro Musica Rara, Baltimore’s ensemble specializing in early music, for “We’ll Always Have Paris,” performing works that would have been heard in the court of Louis XIV, among others. 3:30 p.m. Oct. 27 at Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive. $10 to $30.

Occasional Symphony’s Halloween Screening

Baltimore’s “grassroots orchestra” celebrates Halloween every year with a screening of a horror movie from the silent-film era paired with a live musical score. This year’s film is 1920’s “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari,” and the program will also include performances of works by local composers. Costumes are encouraged. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 31 at 2640 Space, 2640 St. Paul St. $20.


Annapolis Opera reimagines Giacomo Puccini’s classic “Tosca” as a World War II drama set in 1943. Soprano Shannon Jennings sings the role of Tosca, tenor Derek Taylor her lover Cavaradossi; and baritone Tim Mix is the corrupt chief of police, Baron Scarpia. The performance is preceded by a series of Opera Insight lectures delving into the cultural and historical stories behind this work. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 1 and 3 p.m. Nov. 3 at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, 801 Chase St., Annapolis. $40-$100.

Peabody graduate Ana Vidović joins the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra and WBJC’s Jonathan Palevsky for Joaquín Rodrigo’s beloved 'Concierto de Aranjuez.'

Ana Vidović with Baltimore Chamber Orchestra

Classical guitarist Ana Vidović may be celebrated all over the world, but as a Peabody graduate she’ll always have a special place in Baltimore. Vidović joins the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra and WBJC’s Jonathan Palevsky for an all-guitar program that includes Joaquín Rodrigo’s beloved “Concierto de Aranjuez.” 3 p.m. Nov. 3 at Kraushaar Auditorium, Goucher College, 1021 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson. $35.

‘Pride and Prejudice’

Jane Austen’s classic novel of 19th-century British romance and etiquette may have seen countless film adaptations, but it’s never been made into an opera — until now. In November, the Peabody Opera Theatre stages the world premiere of Kirke Mechem’s “Pride and Prejudice.” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20-23 at Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall, 1 E. Mount Vernon Place. Free. 667-208-6620.

Baltimore Choral Arts Society returns for their annual holiday performance at the Baltimore Basilica. (Courtesy BCAS)

Baltimore Choral Arts Society: Christmas with Choral Arts

Set a high standard for your Christmas carols with the Baltimore Choral Arts Society’s annual performance at the Baltimore Basilica. Joined by a string orchestra and Leo Wanenchak on the organ, the BCAS promises holiday favorites rendered with unmatched grandeur. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3 at The Baltimore Basilica, 409 Cathedral St. $25 to $76.

Regional best bets


Philly queen Mimi Imfurst will give the classic film "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" the full drag treatment during a costumed and choreographed performance at Punch Line Philly on Oct. 26.

Rocky Horror Drag Queen Show

Mimi Imfurst of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” fame joins a cast of talented queens, lip-syncing the entire 1975 campy, cult horror-musical. 11 p.m. Oct. 26, Punch Line Philly, 33 E. Laurel St. $15 to $20.

Lizzo performs Sept. 18 at The Met Philadelphia.


The songstress known for her body positivity as well as catchy hits such as “Truth Hurts” and “Juice” will bring her energetic performance to The Met Philadelphia. Also look for her later this year when she showcases her acting chops in the movie “Hustlers” starring Jennifer Lopez, Cardi B and Constance Wu. 8 p.m. Sept. 18, The Met Philadelphia, 858 N. Broad St. $60.

Elton John performs on his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour in Philly on Nov. 8-9.

Elton John

The Brit stops at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center for two nights as part of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour. Expect to hear a slew of his greatest hits including “Bennie & The Jets,” “Tiny Dancer” and “Candle in the Wind.” Nov. 8 and 9, Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St. $55-$245.


‘30 Americans’

The exhibit showcases 30 of this country’s greatest contemporary African-American artists from Jean-Michel Basquiat and Kara Walker to Mark Bradford and Nick Cave. Oct. 27 to Jan. 12, Barnes Foundation’s Roberts Gallery, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. $5 to $25 (children 12 and under free). 215-278-7000.

Blooms & Bamboo: Chrysanthemum and Ikebana Sogetsu Artistry

Enjoy Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging, during Longwood Gardens’ chrysanthemum showcase featuring two large-scale bamboo and natural element displays by Akane Teshigahara, headmaster of the Japanese-based Sogetsu School of Ikebana. Oct. 3-Nov. 17, Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square. $12 to $23 (children 12 and under free).

Washington, D.C.

Art All Night

D.C.’s only free all-night arts festival lives up to its name. The festival includes eight neighborhoods where artists and art lovers can enjoy everything from painting to theater and dance in both indoor and outdoor spaces. 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. Sept. 14.


The iconic Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, which will also be a motion picture, is on national tour. Winner of seven Tony Awards and anchored by the hit song “Memory,” “Cats” has entranced audiences in more than 30 countries. See why. Sept. 17 to Oct. 6, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F St. N.W. $111 to $1,182.

"Jitney" runs at Arena Stage, Sept. 13-Oct. 17.


August Wilson’s work about gentrification has never been more important as urban centers such as Washington, D.C., and Baltimore struggle with this issue. Ruben Santiago-Hudson will direct his 2017 Tony Award-winning revival of Wilson’s drama. Sept. 13 to Oct. 17, Arena Stage, 1101 Sixth St. S.W. $56-$95.

National Children’s Museum

Just blocks from the National Mall, the newly opened 33,000-square-foot play space will emphasize STEAM learning (science, technology, engineering, art and math) with plenty of hands-on activities. Admission will be $10.95; babies ages 12 months and younger are free. Opens Nov. 1, Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.


‘Heroes: Principles of African Greatness’

Discover artwork from the National Museum of African Art’s permanent collection. Learn the story of heroic principles in Africa’s arts and history. The work is intended to make visitors reflect on the core values of justice, integrity, generosity, and empathy. Opens Nov. 13, National Museum of African Art, 950 Independence Ave. S.W. Free.


Jason Aldean performs at Jiffy Lube LIfe on Sept. 7.

Jason Aldean: Ride All Night tour 2019

Weekend Watch


Plan your weekend with our picks for the best events, restaurant and movie reviews, TV shows and more. Delivered every Thursday.

The country crooner known for his hits “My Kinda Party,” “Don’t You Wanna Stay," and “Dirt Road Anthem” will be joined by young sensation Kane Brown (“Lose It” and “What Ifs”) for the Ride All Night tour. 7:30 p.m. Sept. 7, Jiffy Lube Live, 7800 Cellar Door Drive, Bristow. $39-$125.

‘Michael Kagan: I Was There When It Happened’

The artist, who grew up in Virginia Beach, will present his first solo museum exhibition that reflects his lifelong interest in innovation, technology and space. Kagan used NASA photographs to create paintings that are said to have a cinematic quality. Sept. 21 to Feb. 16, Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, 2200 Parks Ave., Virginia Beach. $8 for adults and $6 for students.

Snoop Dogg performs Sept. 27 at Jiffy Lube Live.

Snoop Dogg & Wu Tang Clan 25th Anniversary of Doggystyle & 36 Chambers

The charismatic marijuana advocate Snoop Dogg (“Gin and Juice” and “Nuthin’ But A 'G' Thang”) and the gritty Wu Tang Clan (“C.R.E.A.M.,” “Protect Ya Neck”) will join forces with a slew of their greatest hits. 7 p.m. Sept. 27, Jiffy Lube Live, 7800 Cellar Door Drive, Bristow. $26.25-$140.

Fall Wine Festival & Sunset Tour

The three-day event will celebrate the state’s wine industry and the country’s first president. During tours of the mansion, guests will have an opportunity to learn about Washington’s successes and struggles with making wine. Ticket price will include samples of wines made in Virginia. Oct. 11 ($48); Oct. 12 ($52); Oct. 13 ($42); George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon.

‘Edward Hopper and the American Hotel’

Explore the American artist’s images of hospitality settings. The exhibition also includes diaries, postcards and personal travelogues, as told by his wife, Josephine. Oct. 26 to Feb. 23, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 200 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd., Richmond. Free.



Elizabeth Nonemaker covers classical music for the Baltimore Sun as a freelance writer. Classical music coverage at The Sun is supported in part by a grant from the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, the Rubin Institute for Music Criticism and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. The Sun makes all editorial decisions.