Known for rowdy, true-to-her-roots music, Tanya Tucker is a cornerstone of country music. Her first album in 17 years, While I’m Livin’, released late last summer and fans in NoVA can experience songs new and old for one night only at The Barns at Wolf Trap this month. Here, we spoke with Tucker about her inspiration behind the new album, touring and more.
Describe your inspiration behind While Im Livin’.
I give all the credit to Brandi Carlile and Shooter Jennings. They’re the reason this album exists and took off like a rocket. Brandi and The Twins wrote most of the songs on the record just for me. They Googled me and wrote those songs before they even met me! Now that’s talent. The one song I did write is “Bring My Flowers Now.” I had the chorus stuck in my head for 30 years, but I could never get the rest of it laid down. I mentioned it to Brandi, and she ran to the piano and started writing it. We sat there together and wrote it in 15 minutes.
What is your favorite part of touring?
The fans. They’re the reason I’ve been doing this for so long. If it weren’t for the fans buying tickets to my shows, purchasing my albums or streaming my music, I’d have to get a real job.
What do you love about performing at The Barns?
There’s always a special feeling coming through the nation’s capital to perform in the area, and I love the intimate setting at The Barns. The show will feel like we’re all in my living room together. It’ll be a journey over the past 50 years of my career. I just turned 61 and I’ve been doing this since I was 11, so there’s a lot of ground to cover!
What can fans expect at the show?
All the hits and then some. I’ve got a catalog that goes back to the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, so we’ll have some fun and tell some stories. I’ll also perform a few songs off While I’m Livin’.// Feb. 5; 7:30 p.m.; The Barns at Wolf Trap: 1635 Trap Road, Vienna; $47-$67
1. Choreographer Alonzo King is bringing his talents to Fairfax with the Alonzo King LINES Ballet. The San Francisco company’s latest performance, Figures of Speech, focuses on the increasing disappearance of languages across the world; combining movement with research from poet Bob Holman and the Endangered Language Alliance. // Jan. 25, 8 p.m.; George Mason University’s Center for the Arts: 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax; $34-$54
2. Local artist Nancy Jacey has her work on display at the Workhouse Arts Center through Jan. 12. The exhibit is titled a splash of COLOR and focuses on Jacey’s use of Prismacolor pencil, acrylic and oil paintings. Learn more about the bold and bright artist in our recent interview. // through Jan. 12; Workhouse Arts Center: 9518 Workhouse Road, Lorton; free
3. Watching a performance by Dean Ford & The Beautiful Ones will make you feel like Prince is singing himself. This tribute band’s lineup includes hits from the late pop star’s extensive catalog, including “Kiss,” “1999” and the entire Purple Rain album. // Jan. 4, 9 p.m.; The State Theatre: 220 N. Washington St., Falls Church; $15-$18
4. Chocoholics, cancel all your plans because the Chocolate Lovers Festival is back for 2020. Chocolate lovers will be able to satisfy their cravings with various chocolate beverages, cakes, fudge and even more delectable chocolate desserts. // Jan. 31-Feb. 2, City of Fairfax; free admission, prices vary for tastings
5. Enjoy a night of Russian music direct from the Siberian State Symphony Orchestra. Led by Russian-American conductor Vladimir Lande, the orchestra will perform Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Overture to The Tzar’s Bride, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35 and Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. // Jan. 31, 8 p.m.; Hylton Performing Arts Center: 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas; $38-$60
6. Extend the holiday season a few extra days with a visit to Ice & Lights, The Winter Village at Cameron Run. Guests will be in awe of the thousands of lights that brighten the archways and trees throughout the park as they skate around the ice rink and explore the winter displays. // through Jan. 5, 5-10 p.m.; Cameron Run: 4001 Eisenhower Ave., Alexandria; $5-$17
7. Celebrate the life and career of legendary singer Frank Sinatra with Signature Theatre’s musical tribute: Ol’ Blue Eyes. Feel like you are a part of the Rat Pack as the cast performs “Fly Me to the Moon,” “My Way,” “The Way You Look Tonight” and more classic hits that defined a generation. // Jan. 7-18, times vary; Signature Theatre: 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington; $38
8.Avery*Sunshine combines gospel, jazz and R&B to create her own signature sound. She has released three albums, with her most recent, Twenty Sixty Four, featuring “Come Do Nothing,” “The Ice Cream Song” and “Used Car.” // Jan. 9, 7:30 p.m.; The Birchmere: 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria; $65
9. Get out of the house and brave the elements for the third annual Cabin Fever Film Fest. Support and interact with local filmmakers as they present their most recent short films, documentaries, features and home movies. // Jan. 24 & 25, times vary; Franklin Park Arts Center: 36441 Blueridge View Lane, Purcellville; $8
10. See the National Symphony Orchestra at Mount Vernon for the first performance of a three-part series at the historic mansion. After the show, enjoy Champagne and chocolates at a reception with members of the orchestra. // Jan. 28, 7 p.m.; George Washington’s Mount Vernon: 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon
11. Remember Dr. King for Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 20. (Psst: Keep your eyes open for our guide to events celebrating and honoring the iconic civil rights leader, being uploaded later this month.)
12. Stop by the DC Tattoo Expo to celebrate and admire the work of local DMV artists. With over 400 tattoo artists and piercing specialists in attendance, guests can find inspiration for their next tattoo or even walk out of the expo with some fresh ink. // Jan. 10-12, Crystal Gateway Marriott: 1700 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington; $30
13. Start thinking of warmer weather and weekends on the water at the Fredericksburg Boat Show. Whether you are looking for a boat to carry the whole family, kayaks or new sails, you’ll find everything you need for a great summer at the Expo Center. // Jan. 17-19, Fredericksburg Expo & Conference Center: 2371 Carl D. Silver Parkway, Fredericksburg; $7-$9
14. Time travel back 65 million years to a time when dinosaurs roamed the earth, with the help of Jurassic Quest. Guests of all ages will enjoy seeing the towering dino replicas scattered throughout the Expo Center, digging for fossils and taking a ride on an animatronic dinosaur. // Jan. 24-26, times vary; Dulles Expo Center: 4320 Chantilly Shopping Center, Chantilly; $22-$36
15. Is your New Year’s resolution to read more? It’s even better when you join a book club. Here is our local guide to five fun ones across Northern Virginia.
16. It’s January. It’s cold outside. You’re probably dreaming of a warm, beachy vacation on the shores of a far-off island. Masters of Hawaiian Music show is coming to The Barns at Wolf Trap for two nights this month. We spoke with musician George Kahumoku Jr. (pictured above, left) ahead of the performance here. // Jan. 24 & 25, 8 p.m.; The Barns at Wolf Trap: 1635 Trap Road, Vienna; $27-$32
17. Pack on the layers for a fun afternoon at the Winter Ice Festival and Mega Block Ice Carving Competition at the Village at Leesburg. Bring the family out to watch six world-class ice carvers create unbelievable sculptures, take a twirl on the iceless skating rink and take pictures with Washington Capitals mascot Slapshot. // Jan. 18, 1-5 p.m.; Village at Leesburg: 1602 Village Market Blvd. SE, Leesburg; free
18. The new art exhibit Moira Dryer: Yours for the Taking features the work of the late Canadian artist Moira Dryer. Unlike previous exhibits, the Greater Reston Arts Center’s collection includes many never-before-seen works that were given as gifts to friends and family. // Jan. 18-April 18, Greater Reston Arts Center: 12001 Market St., Suite 103, Reston; free
19. Travel to Scotland without boarding a plane with the delicious Burn’s Night Dinner at Oatlands Plantation. Feast on a traditional Scottish menu that includes haggis, roasted lamb, tatties and whiskey. // Jan. 25, 6:30-9:30 p.m.; Oatlands Historic House: 20850 Oatlands Plantation Lane, Leesburg; $120
Boo at the Zoo
Debut your Halloween costume at the National Zoo, where kids get to trick-or-treat at over 40 treat stations and participate in a dance party and karaoke. There will be after-hours access to some animal houses and exhibits, and an opportunity to meet Frankenpanda and Count Pandula. // Oct. 18-20; 5:30-8:30 p.m.; Smithsonian National Zoo: 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC; $20-$30
Washington International Horse Show
Which horses will leave the U.S. capital victorious? Horses and Olympic riders from around the world will come to the Washington International Horse Show to compete for monetary prizes. Take the family to Kids’ Day—it’s free—where the young ones can learn about these majestic creatures and go for a pony ride. Check out the exhibitions, silent auction and boutiques as well. // Oct. 22-27; times vary; Capital One Arena: 601 F St. NW, Washington, DC; $15-$100
Dia de Los Muertos at The Wharf
The famous Mexican holiday, Dia de los Muertos, is coming to The Wharf. Celebrate with live music, beer stations, an altar contest, sugar skull and face painting and more. Don’t forget to get a picture to commemorate the day in the photo booth. // Oct. 26; 2-5 p.m.; The Wharf: 760 Maine Ave. SW, Washington, DC; free
Travel back to segregated, 1950s Pittsburgh and follow the story of Troy Maxon—a sanitation worker who was previously a star black baseball player—in August Wilson’s Fences. Delve into the walls individuals and society build around themselves and others during this classic American play at Ford’s Theatre. // Sept. 27-Oct. 27; times vary; Ford’s Theatre: 511 10th St. NW, Washington, DC; $15-$70
Expand your reality with this interactive art exhibit making a tour stop in DC this month. 29Rooms allows guests to dive into multi-sensory installations that spark conversations and offer new perspectives on art by touring, you guessed it, 29 rooms. Founded by Refinery29, the exhibit partners with local artists in each town, including, in DC, Trap Bob and Jamea Richmond-Edwards. // Oct. 18-27, 10 a.m.-8 p.m; DC Armory: 2001 E. Capitol St. SE, Washington, DC; $34-$49
1. For 16 seasons, So You Think You Can Dance has had you secretly getting off your couch and doing your best to replicate the complicated choreography the dancers bring to the stage on the popular competition show. Music and dance superstars like Mandy Moore, Wade Robson and Lady Gaga’s longtime choreographer, Laurieann Gibson, have all mentored the dancers on the hip-shakin’ show. Now, the dancers from season 16 of the Emmy Award-winning hit are on a fall tour—and making a one-night-only stop in NoVA. Tap your toes—and try to stay seated—as the dancers showcase styles from salsa to hip-hop to contemporary. Different ticket packages offer options that include a chance to meet and greet the cast, and even get your photo snapped with them on stage. // Oct. 22; 8 p.m.; Hylton Performing Arts Center: 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas; $45-$429
2.Sarah Reeves, best known for her Christian Top 40 Chart song “Sweet Sweet Sound” is bringing her new soft-pop sound to Jammin’ Java this month. Read our exclusive interview to learn more about her exploration into a new music genre and what to expect from the upcoming NoVA performance. // Oct. 14, 7:30 p.m.; Jammin Java: 227 Maple Ave. E., Vienna; $15-$25
3. See a truly modern musical performance with this Pennsylvania-based group at Tally Ho Theater. Go Go Gadjet blends traditional instrumentation with modern synths and controllers, resulting in a unique show. Take in a performance 10 years in the making. // Oct. 12; 7 p.m.; Tally Ho Theater: 19 W. Market St., Leesburg; $10-$15
4. Join the 50,000 visitors that travel to Del Ray’s Mount Vernon Avenue each year for the Art on the Avenue Festival, celebrating multicultural arts in the community of Del Ray. Attendees can expect to engage with over 300 artists, a diverse group of musicians and a selection of delicious food vendors. // Oct. 5; 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; 2301 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria; free
6. Sample over 200 Virginia wines at this annual, unlimited tasting event. In addition to pouring some of the best wine the state has to offer, the 44th Virginia Wine Festival will
offer free tasting glasses, access to an incredible selection of wines for sale, along with musical entertainment. // Oct. 19-20; 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; One Loudon: 44600 Freetown Blvd., Ashburn; $15-$69
7. Join George Mason University’s School of Theater as it partners with an award-winning crew to put on a performance of Rags. See the latest adaptation of this timely musical showcasing the optimism and grit displayed by immigrants arriving in Ellis Island near the turn of the last century. // Oct. 31-Nov. 3; times vary; George Mason University Center for the Arts Concert Hall: 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax; $30
8. Buddy Guy, one of the premiere rock ’n’ roll guitarists on the planet, will bring his Chicago-influenced blues music to the State Theater. Come see the eminent Rock & Roll Hall of Famer do what he does best. // Oct. 14; 8 p.m.; The State Theatre: 220 N. Washington St., Falls Church; $79
9. Support artistic entrepreneurs at the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival. Dulles Expo Center will be outfitted with the creations of over 300 crafters from the Mid-Atlantic. Don’t miss this chance to see live crafting demonstrations and the chance to take home a one-of-a kind decoration or handicraft. // Oct. 18-20; times vary; times vary; Dulles Expo Center: 4320 Chantilly Shopping Center, Chantilly; $8 online, $10 at the door, kids under 12 free
10. For all equestrian and steeplechase fanatics, the International Gold Cup, one of Virginia’s premiere horse racing events, is just around the corner. Make sure to dress sharp and place a winning bet at this annual event held in The Plains. // Oct. 26; 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; 5809 Old Tavern Road; The Plains; $25 general admission wristband, $50 general admission car pass; group ticketing options, $200-$12,000
11. Take a deep look into the history of the Torpedo Factory Arts Center as it celebrates 100 Years on the Waterfront. This exhibit will commemorate and display the building’s prior life as a munitions plant, along with the past 45 years as a creative hub in Alexandria. // Oct. 11-Dec. 1; times vary; Torpedo Factory Arts Center: 105 N. Union St., Alexandria; free
12. Signature Theatre looks to find the magic in A Chorus Line, a nine-time Tony Award-winning and Pulitzer Prize-winning show. See how one of Northern Virginia’s premiere theaters puts together this highly decorated musical. // Oct. 29-Jan. 5; times vary; Signature Theatre: 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington; from $40
13. Road Trip Adventures with Disney on Ice is making dreams come true at George Mason University’s Eagle Bank Arena. See Minnie, Mickey, Goofy, Moana, Simba and more skate right into your child’s heart at this exciting extravaganza. // Oct. 2-6; times vary; Eagle Bank Arena: 4500 Patriot Circle, Fairfax; prices vary
14. The American neo soul performers Fatin Dantzler and Aja Graydon of Kindred the Family Soul return to The Birchmere this month for two nights. Read our exclusive interview with the husband-and-wife duo behind six albums (and a seventh currently in the works). // Oct. 4-5; 7:30 p.m.; The Birchmere: 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria; $69.50
15. Looking for places to enjoy the fall colors? Check out our guide on where to upgrade your outdoor autumnal experience, here.
16. Trick-or-treating isn’t just for the kids, and neither is spooky season. Here’s where to find the adults-only events this October that are worth your time.
17. Get ready for a stand-up education taught by comedy writers David Angelo, Matt Koff (pictured), Joe Opio and Kat Radley. The Daily Show Writers Stand-Up Tour gives the comics behind the jokes of the popular Daily Show with Trevor Noah a chance to step into the spotlight and make you laugh all night long. // Oct. 4-5; times vary; Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse: 2903 Columbia Pike, Arlington; $20
18. Come hear singer-songwriter Lee Ann Womack as she sets up for an unforgettable evening of acoustic music at The Birchmere. Don’t miss a chance to hear the best of Womack as she performs her repertoire stripped down to the basics. // Oct. 18; 7:30 p.m.; The Birchmere: 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria; $35
19. Join the Pat McGee Band, now performing as Almost Everything, as the original members retake the stage for two incredible shows. During their 20 years on the road, they have shared the stage and sold out shows with iconic groups like The Who, James Taylor and Fleetwood Mac. Be a part of their reunion tour at The Barns. // Oct. 17-18; 8 p.m.; The Barns at Wolf Trap: 1635 Trap Road, Vienna; $37
The REACH Opening Festival Sept. 7-22
This month, The Kennedy Center’s highly anticipated The REACH opens its very modern doors. The 4.6-acre expansion is intended to be an immersive space where visitors can not just watch, but be a part of, the creative process. Read more about the expansion and see renderings here.
My Computing Devices Through September 2020
Delve into the constantly evolving relationship that Americans share with their electronic devices at the Smithsonian. My Computing Devices showcases a wide variety of electronic and mechanical objects from the museum’s collection that have impacted American life. // National Museum of American History: 14th Street and Constitution Avenue; free
Adams Morgan Day Sept. 8, noon-6 p.m.
Visitors and residents alike are invited to join the 41st celebration of the longest running neighborhood festival in DC. Adams Morgan Day features multiple performance stages, exhibits at American University’s Humanities Truck and a full-fledged family fun zone. Additionally, neighborhood food and beverage specials will be taking place all day. // 18th Street NW, from California Street to Columbia Road; free
Art All Night Sept. 14, 7 p.m.-midnight
Tenleytown Main Street hosts an all-encompassing artistic celebration featuring performers from a wealth of different mediums and styles. From 7 p.m. to midnight, see the city’s artistic community show off its unique and amazing abilities. // 4601 41st St., NW; free
DC Shorts Film Festival Sept. 19-28, times vary
Join the 16th edition of filmmaker Jon Gann’s annual DC Shorts Film Festival. Participate in the film extravaganza, including screenings of 166 short films made across the globe, parties and filmmaker workshops and Q&As. // Landmark’s E Street Cinema: 555 11th St., NW; and The Miracle Theatre: 535 Eighth St. SE; $15 per showcase, $140 all-access pass
1)Jennifer Hudson takes her powerful voice to Wolf Trap’s stage, elevating the concert by performing with the National Symphony Orchestra. We spoke with her about the tour, her role in the new Cats movie and more. Read our exclusive interview here. // Sept. 5; 8 p.m.; Wolf Trap: 1551 Trap Road, Vienna; $45
2) Head over to historical Mount Vernon, where the modern era meets the Colonial period for the Colonial Market & Fair. Explore the marketplace for traditional food and goods made by Colonial artisans, and period music and performances. // Sept. 14-15; 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; George Washington’s Mount Vernon: 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon; $12-$20
3) Get ready for your Primetime Emmy Awards party one week early by attending the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience. Listen to the music of Ramin Djawadi as visuals from the show light the stage behind the musicians. The hit HBO show is nominated for a record-breaking 32 Emmys for its final season. // Sept. 15; 8 p.m.; Jiffy Lube Live: 7800 Cellar Door Drive, Bristow; $25-$286
4) Don’t just read about it here, go out and experience the Fredericksburg Independent Book Festival, a local event promoting literacy. Self-published and independently published authors are featured, spanning multiple genres. // Sept. 21; 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sophia Street, Fredericksburg; free
5) Dip your toes into Shakespeare with The Tempest and follow sorcerer Prospero on a remote island. See the magic, betrayal, revenge and familial themes play out as Prospero uses his powers to control the fate of others. // Sept. 25-Oct. 20; times vary; Synetic Theater: 1800 S. Bell St., Arlington; $20-$65
6) The sounds of the Gulf Coast are heading to Virginia for Rosslyn Jazz Fest. The Suffers, who have appeared on notable programs nationwide, will headline the event. The band is joined by New Orleans-based and local artists to play music spanning jazz, soul, funk, blues and Caribbean genres. // Sept. 7; 1-7 p.m.; Gateway Park: 1300 Lee Highway, Arlington; free
7) Attend An Evening with Audra McDonald to hear the accomplished soprano perform Broadway hits, as well as songs from the Great American Songbook. The Tony, Grammy and Emmy winner will be at the Center for the Arts, for the first time, for the ARTS by George! benefit. // Sept. 28; 8:30 p.m.; GMU Center for the Arts Concert Hall: 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax; $50-$100
8)Downton Abbey is coming to cinemas Sept. 20, so step into a night of British music with the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra for The Downton Abbey Era. The symphony will play music from the upcoming film, as well as works by Vaughn Williams and Sir Edward Elgar, led by Christopher Zimmerman. // Sept. 21; 8 p.m.; GMU Center for the Arts Concert Hall: 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax; $25-$50
9) Celebrate the end of summer with Ex’s & Oh’s, a Baltimore-based band. Performing works from the likes of Amy Winehouse to Led Zeppelin, this concert is sure to be a fun way to rock into fall. // Sept. 28; 3-6:30 p.m.; Farm Brew Live: 9901 Discovery Blvd., Manassas; free
10) Discover the skills law enforcement, military and civilian K-9 teams train in at the Iron Dog Competition. Spectators will get to see K-9 teams compete on an approximately 1.5-mile course with stations dedicated to skills these working dogs must know. Purchases from food trucks and other vendors are available. // Sept. 28; 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Kettle Run High School: 7403 Academic Ave., Nokesville; free
11) Phoebe Robinson is a quadruple threat. The stand-up comedian is a New York Times bestselling author, an actress (hey, Broad City) and the co-creator of hit podcasts 2 Dope Queens (now an HBO special series) and Sooo Many White Guys. This month, Robinson makes a stop at Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse during her first solo tour. Check out our exclusive interview here. // Sept. 5-7; 7:30 p.m.; Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse: 2903 Columbia Pike, Arlington; $30-$40
12) The weather turns cool and it’s time to switch from weekend beach trips to all things fall—apple picking, pumpkin decorating, hay riding and more. Check out our list of fun fall festivals kicking off this month.
13) Are you brave enough to face the scary, spooky Fields of Fear? If you dare explore the farm at night, don’t miss the Dark Side Hayride, The Forest: Back 40 and recently revamped Cornightmare. Calm down at The Firegrounds by a roaring fire and then hit the dance floor. // Sept. 20-Nov. 2; 7:30-11 p.m.; Cox Farms: 15621 Braddock Road, Centreville; $20-$35
14) Get inspired by paintings, life-sized sculptures, jewelry, photography and ceramics at the King Street Art Festival. Works of more than 200 local, national and global artists will be featured over six blocks. You will have the chance to purchase some of the art and talk with the creators. // Sept. 21-22; times vary; 220 King St., Alexandria; free
15) Celebrate history at Torpedo Factory Art Center’s 45th Anniversary Salute. Founding artists will be honored at the torpedo-factory-turned-art-center where more than 165 artists create, display and sell their work. The reception, which falls on the exact day the center opened to the public, will include snacks, music, a mayoral proclamation and an exhibition at the Target Gallery with works by some of the founding artists. // Sept. 15; 2-5 p.m.; Torpedo Factory Art Center: 105 N. Union St., Alexandria; free
16) It’s a blast from the past at the Edgar Rohr Car Show. Check out various collector vehicles and see which will win from the 50 class awards and 14 special awards. Food, drinks, entertainment, a nearby farmers market and more are part of the attractions at this annual, family-friendly event. // Sept. 21; 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Manassas Museum: 9101 Prince William St., Manassas; free
17) The end-of-summer fun doesn’t just have to be for humans, let your furry friends join in too. Here’s a list of pooch plunges coming to NoVA that are worthy of a splash.
18) Dance as gracefully as Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy at the Jane Austen Ball. Enjoy various English Country dances in a ballroom, with live music and 18th century-inspired treats. Dance classes are offered in the weeks leading up to the event and it’s recommended those unfamiliar with the dance style should complete one lesson. Reservations required. // Sept. 21; 8 p.m.; Gadsbys Tavern Museum: 134 N. Royal St., Alexandria; $45-$60
19) A blend of calm and innocence mixed with apocalyptic horror is featured in playwright Caryl Churchill’s Escaped Alone. Set in England, three friends and a neighbor sip tea and discuss grandchildren and TV programs, while intertwining horror stories expose a faltering world. // Sept. 24-Nov. 3; times vary; Signature Theatre: 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington; $40-$98
Aretha Franklin. Diana Ross. Etta James. These are household names of soul, and since Jennifer Hudson’s debut on American Idol, she has established herself on that list of legends.
This month, Hudson takes her powerful voice to Wolf Trap’s stage, elevating the concert by performing with the National Symphony Orchestra. Below, we spoke with her about the tour, her role in the new Cats movie and more.
How does performing with a symphony elevate the show?
It adds so much. It’s vibrant; it gives you the dynamic of having every instrument you can imagine. Being able to perform with an orchestra has been a dream of mine. I’m happy to see it connect with the audience.
For the Wolf Trap show, what are you most looking forward to?
I love being outdoors. I know in the hot Septembers we all want to be indoors, but I love being outside. It’s all my favorite elements in one: the sun, which I love, the beautiful, fresh air and then adding music to that … I think it will be something I remember.
What do you love about singing soul and R&B music?
Being a part of keeping it alive. To see my name up there with artists who represent soul music is incredible. The music—the spirit of it—has carried us as a people.
You’re in the cast of the new film, Cats (premiering Dec. 20). Tell us about that.
It was very different. It’s animated, but it’s not animated. We were thinking like, ‘OK, how does a human walk like a cat?’, but it was a great experience. My favorite part was singing live. In Dreamgirls, we prerecorded everything, but in Cats we’re singing live. // Sept. 5; 8 p.m.; Wolf Trap: 1551 Trap Road, Vienna; $45
This post originally appeared in our September 2019 issue. Want to know about all the best things to do in NoVA this fall? Subscribe to our semiweekly Things to Do newsletter.
Ronnie Spector & The Ronettes May 1-2, 8 p.m.
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame trio brings its greatest hits “Be My Baby” and “Baby, I Love You” to the Wolf Trap stage. // The Barns: 1635 Trap Road, Vienna; $50-$55
American Festival Pops Orchestra May 3, 8-10 p.m.
It’s the music that makes the movies. Relive your favorite flick as you enjoy the works of composers Hans Zimmer, John Williams and classic Disney songs. // Hylton Performing Arts Center: 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas; $30-$50
Nicky Jam – Intimo Tour 2019 May 9, 8 p.m. Nicky Jam has become one of the most prominent Latin urban artists in recent years with multiple Latin American Music Awards and Latin Grammy nominations and wins, and collaborations with the genre’s biggest stars, Daddy Yankee and J Balvin. // EagleBank Arena: 4500 Patriot Circle, Fairfax; $39-$400
Here Come The Mummies May 10, 7 p.m.
Here come the mummies! No, really. Taking on the alter ego of mummies, this Nashville funk band is sure to get you up on your feet and dancing in no time. // The State Theatre: 220 N. Washington St., Falls Church; $25-$28
The Who: Moving On! Tour at Jiffy Lube Live May 11, 7:30 p.m.
The iconic English rock band embarks on tour as anticipation builds for the release of The Who’s first studio album in 13 years. // Jiffy Lube Live: 7800 Cellar Door Drive, Bristow; prices vary
Verdi’s Requiem May 11, 8 p.m.
Written by Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi, Verdi’s Requiem was created as a way to honor the death of Italian poet Alessandro Manzoni, combining the emotions of loss, fear, hope and joy. // GMU Center for the Arts Concert Hall: 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax; $25-$50
Steve Earle & The Dukes May 20, 7:30 p.m.
With the release of their new album Guy in March, composed of songs written by folk singer Guy Clark, Steve Earle & The Dukes are bringing their rock/country vibe to NoVA. // The Birchmere: 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria; $59.50
The Avett Brothers May 23-25, 7:30 p.m.
Performing three nights in a row, Grammy-nominated band The Avett Brothers are back at Wolf Trap to play their new single “Neapolitan Sky.” // Filene Center: 1551 Trap Road, Vienna; $45-$85
The Nils Lofgren Band May 21-22, 7:30 p.m. Previously playing with Neil Young and Ringo Starr and The All Star Band, current E Street Band member Nils Lofgren has just released his first album in eight years and is ready to share it on tour. // The Birchmere: 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria; $59.50
Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band May 25, 8 p.m.
After 50 years, Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band are saying their final farewell to fans with one last tour. Join the Grammy-winning artist for a memorable night. // Jiffy Lube Live: 7800 Cellar Door Drive, Bristow; prices vary
Stafford High School’s Peter and the Starcatcher May 2-4, Times vary Peter and the Starcatcher depicts how a young orphan boy turns into the forever young Peter Pan as he and Molly, a starcatcher-in-training, try to save the starstuff from the evil Black Stache. // Stafford High School: 63 Stafford Indians Lane, Fredericksburg; $6-$9
On Air May 2-26, Times vary
This musical presents the progression of radio in American life and pop culture. From tuning in to hear boys are being sent home from war to listening during a traffic jam, the radio has always been an important companion in our lives. // Creative Cauldron: 410 S. Maple Ave., Falls Church; $20-$55
32nd Annual Evening of Comedy May 3-4, Times vary
Wolf Trap turns into a comedy club for the weekend as it hosts their 32nd stand-up comedy event. // The Barns: 1635 Trap Road, Vienna; $25-$28
My Fair Lady
May 3-19, Times vary
This Tony Award-winning musical follows the transformation of Eliza Doolittle from flower girl into a lady with the help of an unlikely friend. // Fauquier Community Theatre: 4225 Aiken Drive, Warrenton; $18-$20
The Member of the Wedding May 9–June 2, Times vary
Set in 1945, 12-year-old Frankie Addams yearns to join her brother on his honeymoon to escape her life in rural Georgia with housekeeper Bernice Sadie Brown and cousin John Henry. // 1st Stage Tysons: 1524 Spring Hill Road, Suite LL, Tysons; $15-$39
Annie May 11-12, Times vary
The classic rags to riches story, little orphan Annie gets whisked away to the mansion of billionaire Oliver Warbucks for the holidays as she continues to look for her family. // Hylton Performing Arts Center: 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas; $12-$20
Sleeping Beauty, The Ballet May 17-19, Times vary
This ballet follows the same fairy tale you know and love, accompanied by a Tchaikovsky score performed by the Manassas Ballet Theatre Orchestra. // Hylton Performing Arts Center: 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas; $25-65
The Savannah Disputation Through May 18
Two Southern sisters make the wrong decision and lose their cool when they let in two door-to-door evangelists into their home. // The Little Theatre of Alexandria: 600 Wolfe St., Alexandria; $21-$24
Stand Up For Pits with Rebecca Corry May 19, 5-10 p.m.
Help support the Stand Up For Pits Foundation with this comedic fundraiser. Events include a donation drive and silent auction, and wraps up with the comedy show. // Arlington Drafthouse: 2903 Columbia Pike, Arlington; $45
Singin’ In The Rain May 23–June 23, Times vary
This reimagined musical of one of the most critically acclaimed movies of all time takes a look at what happens when the projector breaks during a superfan screening of the movie. // NextStop Theatre Company: 269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon; $40-$50
Spunk Through June 23
Adapted from writer George C. Wolfe’s Jelly’s Last Jam, and Zora Neale Hurston’s short stories, Spunk presents the tales of African-Americans in the early 20th century. // Signature Theatre: 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington; $40-$94
Steinlen: Cats May 2-Sept. 1
The display presents the work of 19th century artist Theóphile-Alexandre Steinlen and his illustrations of various cats, showing his growth through the years. // Museum of the Shenandoah Valley: 901 Amherst St., Winchester; $8-$10
Sacred Feminine May 3–June 2
This new exhibit honors the significance of the female energy through various forms and styles of art. // Del Ray Artisans Gallery: 2704 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria; free
Canter & Crawl: The Glass Sculpture of Joan Danziger May 17-Jan. 5
Joan Danziger’s latest work uses the inspiration of nature and animals to create wire and glass-shard sculptures of the surrounding beauty. // National Sporting Library & Museum: 102 The Plains Road, Middleburg; $8-$10
Spring Seasonal Art Installations Through May 20
This year’s Spring Seasonal Art Installations feature artists Lynda Andrews-Barry’s “Fly/Away,” which showcases bird migration, and Liliane Blom’s “Blowing in the Wind – A Cherry Blossom Installation.” // Torpedo Factory Art Center: 105 N. Union St., Alexandria; free
Taste the Rainbow May 27–June 30
In conjunction with Pride Month, this exhibit showcases potters who have pushed the limits with colors, flares and other sculptural statements. // Torpedo Factory Art Center: 105 N. Union St., Alexandria; free
Lyrical Flight Through June 2
In Barbara Januszkiewicz’s Lyrical Flight exhibit, she uses watercolor techniques to melt tones together creating the illusion of colors folding over each other. // The Athenaeum: 201 Prince St., Alexandria; free
Revolutionary War Weekend May 4-5, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Go back almost 250 years to the start of the Revolutionary War. Witness battle re-enactments and demonstrations, or learn a few tips from General Washington himself. // George Washington’s Mount Vernon: 3200 Mount Vernon Highway, Mount Vernon; $11-$18
Becoming American May 11 & 18, 10 a.m.
Part of a six-episode series, these two film viewings focus on the experience of past and present immigrants and their journeys to America. // The Lyceum: 201 S. Washington St., Alexandria; free
Firefighters during the Civil War Walking Tour May 11, 1 p.m.
During the Civil War, Union troops occupied Alexandria and other parts of Northern Virginia. See how firefighting was conducted once the state seceded from the Union. // Friendship Firehouse Museum: 107 S. Alfred St., Alexandria; $4-$6
Apothecary Geek Tour: An Outlandish Tour May 19, 11 a.m. Take a dive into the series of Outlander to learn about some of the real herbal medicines depicted in the series. // Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum: 105-107 S. Fairfax St., Alexandria; $15
History in Your Hands May 19, 1-3 p.m.
This program welcomes visitors who are blind or have low vision to interact with the museum collections with the help of verbal descriptions and tactile graphics. // National Museum of the Marine Corps: 18900 Jefferson Davis Highway, Triangle; free
Apollo Landing Sites Revisited: Modern Datasets at Familiar Locales May 22, 8 p.m.
Meet research space scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Noah Petro as he discusses different perspectiveson the Apollo landing sites and shares new updates to future exploration. // Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: 14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway, Chantilly; free
All the President’s Pups Saturdays, 10 a.m.
Bring your pup along for the 1.25-mile tour as you learn about George Washington and his presidential pooches. // George Washington’s Mount Vernon: 3200 Mount Vernon Highway, Mount Vernon; $10
Pet Fiesta May 4, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Bring the whole family down, pets included, for a day full of fun at the Pet Fiesta. Attend the dog fashion show and visit some local vendors, or give a rescue animal a forever home. It is sure to be a doggone good time. // Reston Town Center: 11900 Market St., Reston; free
Dog Day Celebration May 11, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Enjoy wine and live music as your pup enjoys the treats, doggie vendors and dog contests at the annual dog day celebration. // Breaux Vineyards: 36888 Breaux Vineyards Lane, Purcellville; free
Canine Cruise May 18, 11 a.m.
Grab a leash and your four-legged friend for a short cruise around Alexandria for some sightseeing on the water. The best part is that dogs ride for free. // Potomac Riverboat Company: 1 Cameron St., Alexandria; $15.75-$25
Food & Drink
Art on the Rocks May 3, 7-10 p.m.
Join local mixologists as they each try to recreate the gallery art pieces in the form of cocktails and appetizers in the annual event. // The Art League: 105 N. Union St., Alexandria; $45
14th Annual Dizzyfest May 4, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sample cooks from around the country as they prepare dishes on the Big Green Egg grill, like Krispy Kreme grilled cheese or venison biscuits and gravy. And don’t forget to put in your vote for your favorite team. // Dizzy Pig BBQ Company; 8763 Virginia Meadows Drive, Manassas; $45
Carlyle’s Perfectly Paired Chocolate & Wine Tasting May 4, 6:30-9 p.m.
It doesn’t get much better than a chocolate and wine combo. Before enjoying the tasting and snacks, make sure to take a tour around the Carlyle House. // Carlyle House: 121 N. Fairfax St., Alexandria; $40
Third Annual Farm-to-Table Fundraiser May 4, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Take pleasure in a night of hor d’oeurves, wine and marketplace vendors as all the proceeds from the event go toward different environmental programs that benefit Keep Prince William Beautiful. // The Winery at La Grange: 4970 Antioch Road, Haymarket; $50-$65
Petit Verdot Linear Tasting May 18, Noon-3 p.m.
Sample some of Hillsborough Vineyards’ Petit Verdot collections, dating back to 2008. Spend some time exploring the winery and talking with one of the local winemakers. // Hillsborough Vineyards: 36716 Charles Town Pike, Hillsboro; $15-$25
May Day May 4, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Enjoy the nice spring weather while taking in local music and entertainment performances as the kids partake in games and other fun activities. // Potomac Overlook Regional Park: 2845 Marcey Road, Arlington; free
PRS’ Springtopia: A Season of Hope May 11, 6-9:30 p.m.
Join PRS (Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services) in its second annual fundraiser to support people living with serious mental illness. The event will include live and silent auctions, a photo booth and wine pull. // Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner: 7901 Tysons One Place, Tysons; $175
Manassas Viking Festival May 11, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Grab your Viking helmet and horn for a day full of historic fun. Learn about Scandinavian history as you watch Viking battle re-enactments and see what daily life was like during the eighth century. // Harris Pavilion & Manassas Museum Lawn: 9201 Center St., Manassas; free
The Heritage India Festival May 11-12, Times vary
Transport yourself to Southeast Asia with the Heritage India Festival. Visit the more than 300 booths full of gifts, children’s activities and Indian delicacies. // Dulles Expo & Conference Center: 4320 Chantilly Shopping Center Drive, Chantilly; $5
SJGF Adult Field Day 2019 May 18, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Remember field days? That one day of the year you got to run around all day playing games outside with your friends? Start putting together a team because now you can relive those memories at this adult field day. // The Farm Brewery at Broad Run: 16015 John Marshall Highway, Haymarket; $400 for a team of eight
Herndon Festival May 30–June 2
Bring the whole family out for some carnival fun. Enjoy carnival rides and concerts, plus local food and crafts. // Northwest Federal Credit Union: 200 Spring St., Herndon; free