May 2013


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Cover Story

Can Dutch Ingenuity Help Save
U.S. from Future Natural Disasters?

a5.netherlands.bekink.homeFrom generating jobs and investment to offering advice on water management and climate change, the Netherlands has become an invaluable partner for the U.S. that punches far above its weight. Read More

People of World Influence

Longtime Congressman Leaves
Lasting Foreign Policy Footprint

a1.powi.berman.homeHoward Berman, a 30-year congressman and leader on U.S. foreign policy, is turning a new leaf while also hoping his efforts to overhaul America's foreign assistance don't end with his failed re-election bid. Read More


Pakistani Elections Are Possible
Bright Spot In Troubled Country's upcoming election marks a rare moment of optimism in a country beset with problems — from Islamic militants terrorizing its people to crippling power outages that have left its economy in the dark. Read More

The Rotunda: Foreign Affairs on Capitol Hill

'A Dilemma with Horns':
Congress Steps Into Syria Fray

a3.rotunda.syria.building.homeCongress is stepping into the contentious debate over whether to arm Syria's rebels in an attempt to stanch the bloodletting that has raged for two years now. Read More

International Relations

Japan-South Korean Rivalry
Is Thorn in America's Pivot

a4.japan.korea.missile.homeNorth Korea has been screaming at the top of its lungs that it will destroy the U.S. and South Korea but beyond the verbal bombast, two of America's best friends in the region have also been quietly butting heads — hampering Washington's ability to tamp down hostilities elsewhere. Read More


Chicago: Underrated
U.S. Hub of Diplomacy

a6.chicago.skyline.homeAlmost no one thinks of diplomacy when they think of Chicago, but the quintessential American city is far more international than many realize. Read More

Book Review

Enlightening 'Secretary' Offers
Window into Hillary the Diplomat"The Secretary" is a compelling account of Hillary Clinton's tenure at Foggy Bottom that also offers some clues as to what kind leader she might be in the White House. Read More


Longtime Congressman Leaves Lasting Foreign Policy Footprint

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By Michael Coleman

Last summer, Congressman Howard Berman (D-Calif.), a longtime leader on American foreign policy, was about to launch one of the most significant legislative initiatives of his career.

After countless hours of work that started in 2008 when he took over the chairmanship of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Berman and his staff were finalizing a nearly 1,000-page bill that would have completely overhauled the 1961 U.S. Foreign Assistance Act.

Then the 30-year congressman lost his re-election bid.

As part of a 2010 redistricting in California, Berman's traditionally safe seat evaporated. As it happened, both Berman and a fellow Democratic Jewish congressman, Rep. Brad Sherman, lived in the same newly drawn district that came up for grabs in California's western San Fernando Valley. A bitter primary battle ensured in early 2012 (during one acrimonious debate, the two almost seemed to come to blows) and Berman came up short on Election Day last year. Sherman went on to win the seat in the general election.

Naturally, the loss stung Berman, who deeply valued his job as an influential congressman, as well as his consistently strong approval ratings. But the former congressman recently rebounded, landing a high-profile job with the public policy and government affairs practice at Covington & Burling, one of Washington's premier law and lobbying firms. Berman brings to the firm an extensive list of contacts in government — and around the world. He is expected to beef up Covington's international client list at a time when the U.S. economy is suffering and lucrative global contacts are more valuable than ever. Covington has an office in Brussels and conducts extensive work in the European Union and London, as well as in Beijing, Shanghai and Seoul.

a1.powi.berman.storyPhoto: Covington & Burling LLP

Howard Berman

Asked about his adjustment to life outside of elected office, Berman, 71, sounded a bit wistful but optimistic.

"Obviously, I ran for re-election — I loved it. It was a great honor and very interesting, but I'm quite happy to be doing what I'm doing now," Berman told The Washington Diplomat in a wide-ranging interview. "This is a different kind of challenge and it also interests me. There is no point in looking back."

Indeed, in his interview, Berman sounded mostly forward-looking about his new job and a host of foreign policy issues, including Congress's growing bent toward isolationism, its relationship with Israel, and how America can conduct its business overseas — and assist other countries — more effectively.

The former congressman was still crafting American foreign policy until his final days in office. In mid-December — just a few weeks before he had to leave Capitol Hill — Berman introduced the foreign assistance bill he'd labored over for years. The Obama administration has begun to implement some of its initiatives but a broad overhaul of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 — first passed into law when John F. Kenney was president — remains uncertain at best.

In his fiscal 2014 budget, however, President Obama proposed a major change in the way the United States supplies food aid abroad. That budget includes $47.8 billion for the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development, a 6 percent decrease from last year's request.

Notably, it would allow almost half of the $1.4 billion requested for food assistance to be spent on local bulk food purchases in the target nation or on individual vouchers for local purchases — instead of requiring that food to be purchased here in the United States. Aid reform advocates say that system is costly and inefficient, forcing the food to be shipped on U.S.-flagged vessels and hindering impoverished nations from developing their own food distribution networks.

Berman told us that Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) is hoping to pick up the torch on his legislation and carry it through the congressional committee maze and eventually to Obama's desk. One significant element of Berman's foreign assistance rewrite is that the legislation is broken into multiple parts — such as data transparency initiatives — meaning it could be passed piecemeal, which even he concedes would be better than nothing at all.

"One of my biggest disappointments in not going back [and being re-elected] was that I thought that this bill was very important," Berman said. "We spent a huge amount of time getting ready for this effort."

Berman explained how the legislation aims to transform U.S. foreign aid from a donor-recipient relationship, in which the United States doles out money and foreign countries agree to a set of conditions for receiving that money, to one in which both countries work toward "mutually agreed upon and beneficial goals."

"We want to create country ownership of the work that is being done in these recipient countries and get them directly involved, so then what they do will be sustained because it's a priority for them, as well," Berman explained. "The legislation says we should let the programs be driven by mutually agreed upon goals, rather than from Washington or checking the box on what a particular government wants."

Some of the many specifics in Berman's bill include:

— requiring that the impact of U.S. foreign assistance be measured in a systematic and comprehensive way

— banning the launch of multiyear projects unless funds are set aside to complete them at the outset

— expanding the jurisdiction of the USAID inspector general

— establishing a clear division of labor in carrying out programs

— streamlining overlapping and conflicting law, procurement rules and regulations

— requiring all foreign assistance data be posted on the Internet

— increasing availability of information on arms sales and military training

— providing for publication of human rights reports in local languages

Yet history has not been kind to reform efforts. USAID — the primary foreign assistance agency — acknowledges as much in a white paper on its website.

"Since 1960, there have been at least seven major foreign aid reform efforts," the 2010 report said. "Only two — the early achievements of the Kennedy administration and passage of the New Directions legislation in 1973 — could be considered successful efforts."

Berman said the common sense goals of his bill should supersede much of the predictable partisan sniping on Capitol Hill.

"We believe this is something that should attract bipartisan support," he told The Diplomat. "It's not about how much you spend on foreign aid — it's much larger than that. We think [the existing law] is just out of date. We want to decentralize some of the missions and we want to strengthen USAID."

Berman has long been a voice for investment in foreign affairs. He has frequently pointed out that international affairs spending represents only about 1 percent of the overall federal budget. Development and humanitarian spending amount to even tinier sliver of that pie — less than half of that 1 percent.

Yet diplomacy and development remain indispensable tools for promoting U.S. relations abroad, especially as Americans grow wary of military interventions overseas.

"Despite these facts, there continues to be a widespread misunderstanding about the size of our foreign aid program," Berman said in a congressional speech last year. "Polls show that most people think it is upward of 20 percent of the budget and that cutting foreign aid will somehow balance the budget. What is interesting is that the amount people think we should be spending on foreign aid is about 10 times more than we actually spending.

"It bears repeating that we give humanitarian and development aid not only because it is the right thing to do but because it is the smart thing to do," he continued. "Addressing hunger, disease and human misery abroad is a cost-effective way of making Americans safer here at home. And it is infinitely cheaper to address these with economic and technical assistance now than to wait until fragile states collapse or conflicts erupt in wide-scale violence and we have to resort to costly emergency aid or even military action."

The former congressman stressed that his legislative initiative wasn't a spending bill so much as a smart reform bill. He conceded that dire budget straits in Washington make any new spending difficult.

"The budget realities do impact that," he said. "This foreign assistance reform is not to say we should spend more or less money, but whatever money we decide to spend should be spent better."

Berman said he worries that a growing segment of Congress — and by extension America — is averse to any kind of U.S. involvement abroad. The Republican-led tea party movement, in particular, has been disdainful of U.S. meddling abroad.

"I am worried about that," Berman said. "It is part of a larger fear I have that there are growing voices in both political parties that think America is better served by disengaging. On so many different levels, I think that's the wrong approach.

"We're a globalized world," he continued. "The notion that the country is better served at a time when everything is so interconnected that what happens in one place so impacts other things ... it seems foolish to make the case that this is the time to disengage."

Berman, a staunch defender of Israel in the American foreign policy establishment during his three decades in Congress, gave Obama generally good marks for managing the relationship. The Diplomat spoke with Berman just after Obama returned from his trip to the Middle East in late March, where he aimed to re-launch the stalled peace process by asking young Israelis to pressure their leaders for a peace agreement with the Palestinians while acknowledging the Jewish state's historical right to exist and defend itself.

"Notwithstanding some mistakes at the beginning, which have been corrected, the level of security cooperation, intelligence sharing and trying to find a common purpose is very strong between the U.S. and Israel," Berman said. "You talk to their military and intelligence leadership — there has never been a time when the cooperation has been better than it is now. That's a tribute to the administration's commitments there.

"The administration's recent trip was very effective in showing the people of Israel that [Obama] values the U.S.-Israel relationship, as well as wanting to do as much as possible to try to pursue the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a way that protects the Israeli security and gives the Palestinians a state," he added.

Berman rejected the notion held by some that Congress kowtows to the Jewish-Israeli lobby out of fear of political retribution.

"I don't buy it," he said bluntly. "I think our relationship with Israel is serving our interest and Israel's interest. I've always been one who is willing to push when it made sense to push. There is a massive campaign to try to de-legitimize the state of Israel and when you look at the other countries of the world, they are quite willing to give short shrift to Israel's security needs and to internalize Israel as a permanent part of the Middle East.

"I think U.S. policy helps to overcome that sentiment and resist that sentiment," Berman said. "American policy is very clear: We want two states for two peoples and we do a great deal of assistance for the Palestinian Authority. We promote security cooperation between the PA and the state of Israel, we invest heavily in Israel's security needs, but we also try to help the Palestinians find a better life."

Finally, Berman chuckled when asked about criticism of former members of Congress who leave Capitol Hill and immediately take a lobbying job, trading contacts for lucrative contracts. Federal law prohibits former members from becoming lobbyists for a year, although they can be "consultants" and other paid advisors.

Berman pointed out that the decision to find a new line of work wasn't exactly his.

"I didn't go to Congress to build up a base to become a lobbyist — I lost an election," he exclaimed. "Why wouldn't I want to take some of the skills and contacts I developed in Congress to try to resolve problems and help people who deserve help? I'm aware of the sensitivity here.

"There are people who provide very useful services by trying to inform members of Congress about things they may not know much about. In some cases it's perverse and counterproductive, but it all depends on how you go about it," he added. "Everybody is entitled to have people representing them. It is the American way. "

About the Author

Michael Coleman is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.


Pakistani Elections: Possible Bright Spot In Country Overshadowed by Problems

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By Sean Lyngaas

Read more: Pakistani Elections: Possible Bright Spot In Country Overshadowed by Problems

‘A Dilemma with Horns’: Congress Steps Into Syria Fray

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By Luke Jerod Kummer

Read more: ‘A Dilemma with Horns’: Congress Steps Into Syria Fray

Japan-South Korean Rivalry Is Thorn in America’s Pivot

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By Talha Aquil and Anna Gawel

Read more: Japan-South Korean Rivalry Is Thorn in America’s Pivot

Can Dutch Ingenuity Help Save U.S. from Future Natural Disasters?

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By Larry Luxner

Read more: Can Dutch Ingenuity Help Save U.S. from Future Natural Disasters?

Netherlands Pushes TTIP To Boost Bilateral Trade

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By Larry Luxner

Read more: Netherlands Pushes TTIP To Boost Bilateral Trade

Chicago: Underrated U.S. Hub of Diplomacy

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By Dave Seminara

Read more: Chicago: Underrated U.S. Hub of Diplomacy

Enlightening ‘Secretary’ Offers Window into Hillary the Diplomat

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By John Shaw

Read more: Enlightening ‘Secretary’ Offers Window into Hillary the Diplomat

Prepping College Grads for Life, and Work, Beyond the Classroom

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By Carolyn Cosmos

Read more: Prepping College Grads for Life, and Work, Beyond the Classroom

Practical Tips for Mastering Protocol Like a Pro

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By Dave Seminara

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New Cultural Tourism Chief Ready to Take Flight with Passport DC

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By Stephanie Kanowitz

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Dutch Envoy’s Texas Bride Is All Business, Bliss and Charm

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By Gail Scott

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Everyday Pictures Chronicle Extraordinary U.S. Phenomenon

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By Audrey Hoffer

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Two Shows Reveal History, Secrets of Panama, Guatemala

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By Gary Tischler

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More Sentimental ‘Dolly!’ Tugs on Heartstrings at Ford’s Theatre

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By Lisa Troshinsky

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In Renaissance Times, English, Irish Fed Off, and Fought, Each Other

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By Gary Tischler

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At Mari Vanna, Hospitality Complements Hearty Fare

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By Rachel G. Hunt

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To Prove His Point, Norwegian Sets Out on Grueling Sea Odyssey

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By Ky N. Nguyen

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Films - May 2013

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By Cari















(Komal Gandhar)
Directed by Ritwik Ghatak
(India, 1961, 134 min.)
This tale of two rival theater groups struggling to collaborate is at once a backstage drama and an allegory about the partitioning of Bengal.
Freer Gallery of Art
Sun., May 5, 4 p.m.

The Golden Thread
Directed by Ritwik Ghatak
(India, 1965, 143 min.)
In a refugee neighborhood on the outskirts of 1950s Calcutta, young Ishwar and his little sister Seeta take in an abandoned boy, Abhiram. Years later, Seeta and Abhiram fall in love, but the sudden reappearance of Abhiram's mother confirms his lower-caste status, much to Ishwar's dismay.
Freer Gallery of Art
Sun., May 12, 2 p.m.

A River Called Titus
Directed by Ritwik Ghatak
(India/Bangladesh, 1973, 159 min.)
In this spare and beautiful portrait of a 1930s fishing community on the banks of the Titas River in East Bengal, a couple is separated by a kidnapping. But while the wife escapes her captors and finds shelter with the townspeople, her husband goes mad with grief.
Freer Gallery of Art
Sun., May 19, 2 p.m.


Adam's Apples
(Adams æbler)
Directed by Anders Thomas Jensen
(Denmark/Germany, 2005, 94 min.)
Fresh from prison, neo-Nazi Adam is sentenced to 12 weeks of community service at a country church, where a priest believes that he can get Adam to see the light in this blackly comic biblical allegory.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., May 4, 12 p.m.,
Mon., May 6, 7:30 p.m.


Ben X
Directed by Nic Balthazar
(Belgium, 2006, 90 min.)
Diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, teenager Ben is more at home playing his favorite online computer game than in the real world, where he's harassed by school bullies. Increasingly isolated, Ben is visited by a beautiful fellow gamer who advises him to extract revenge on his tormentors.
AFI Silver Theatre
Thu., May 2, 9:30 p.m.


The Angel's Share
Directed by Ken Loach
(U.K./France/Belgium/Italy, 2012, 101 min.)
Narrowly avoiding jail, a gruff but benevolent man vows to turn over a new leaf for his newborn son — and a visit to a whisky distillery inspires him and his mates to seek a way out of their hopeless lives.
Landmark's E Street Cinema

Directed Götz Spielmann
(Austria, 2004, 119 min.)
Three couples, residents of a drab high rise on the outskirts of a large city, are further connected by marriage, divorce and affairs (English, German and Croatian; explicit sexuality).
AFI Silver Theatre
Mon., May 27, 9:10 p.m.,
Thu., May 30, 9:45 p.m.

Directed by Olivier Assayas
(France/Germany, 2010, 334 min.)
Olivier Assayas's celebrated biopic of the notorious international terrorist known as Carlos the Jackal, a political radical from Venezuela who masterminded a wave of terror attacks in Europe and the Middle East in the 1970s and '80s, was hailed for its probing look at the life of this shadowy figure (in English and multiple languages).
AFI Silver Theatre
Fri., May 24, 1 p.m.,
Sun., May 26, 1 p.m.

A Fierce Green Fire
Directed by Mark Kitchell
(U.S., 2012, 101 min.)
Unfolding in five acts, the documentary chronicles grassroots and global environmental movement building over five decades, connecting the causes and exploring how we got here and where we're going.
Landmark's E Street Cinema
Opens Fri., May 3

Hava Nagila
Directed by Roberta Grossman
(U.S./Ukraine/Israel, 2012, 73 min.)
This documentary examines the history, mystery and meaning of the infectious Jewish party song in an around-the-world journey from Ukraine to YouTube.
The Avalon Theatre
West End Cinema

Directed by Guillermo del Toro
(U.S., 2004, 122 min.)
Summoned from the fiery depths by Nazi occultists in the final days of World War II, rescued by an Allied platoon and raised by kindly Professor Bruttenholm to fight for good, Hellboy is now the premier agent in the top-secret Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense.
AFI Silver Theatre
May 18 to 20

Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Directed by Guillermo del Toro
(U.S./Germany, 2008, 120 min.)
With the exiled elf prince Nuada seeking to start a war with the human race, Hellboy and his pals must use not only their mighty powers but also their wits to stave off disaster.
AFI Silver Theatre
May 24 to 26

History of the World: Part I
Directed by Mel Brooks
(U.S., 1981, 92 min.)
Having fun with Hollywood's version of history, from prehistoric cave dwellers to the Roman Empire to the Spanish Inquisition to the French Revolution, Mel Brooks achieves epic spoofery by riffing, zinging and punning his way through this omnibus of period pieces.
AFI Silver Theatre
May 24 to 26

I Was a Male War Bride
Directed by Howard Hawks
(U.S., 1949, 105 min.)
In post-WWII Germany, French Captain Henri Rochard (Cary Grant) and American WAC Lieutenant Catherine Gates (Ann Sheridan) go from antagonistic co-workers to passionate lovebirds while on assignment out in the field, and get married.
AFI Silver Theatre
May 25 to 28

Love Is All You Need
(Den skaldede frisør)
Directed by Susanne Bier
(Denmark/Sweden/Italy/France/Germany, 2012, 112 min.)
A hairdresser who has lost her hair to cancer finds out her husband is having an affair, travels to Italy for her daughter's wedding, and meets a widower who still blames the world for the loss of his wife.
Angelika Mosaic
Opens Fri., May 10
Landmark's E Street Cinema
Opens Fri., May 3

My Brother the Devil
Directed by Sally El Hosaini
(U.K., 2012, 111 min.)
Two teenage brothers must face their own prejudices head on if they are to survive the perils of being British Arabs growing up on the streets of gangland London.
Landmark's E Street Cinema
Opens Fri., May 10

No Place on Earth
Directed by Janet Tobias
(U.K./Germany/U.S., 2012, 81 min.)
This documentary brings to light the untold story of 38 Ukrainian Jews who survived World War II by living in caves for 18 months, the longest-recorded sustained underground survival (English, German and Yiddish).
Landmark's E Street Cinema

The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Directed by Mira Nair
(U.S./U.K./Qatar, 2012, 128 min.)
A young Pakistani man chasing corporate success on Wall Street finds himself embroiled in a conflict between his American Dream, a hostage crisis, and the enduring call of his family's homeland.
Landmark's E Street Cinema
Opens Fri., May 3

Directed by Philippe Lioret
(France, 2009, 110 min.)
Seventeen-year-old Kurdish refugee Bilal is caught trying to stow away on a barge from France to England and sent to an illegal immigrant compound. Intent on reuniting with his girlfriend in London, the headstrong Bilal starts training at the municipal pool run by coach Simon so he can swim the English Channel (English, French and Kurdish).
AFI Silver Theatre
Thu., May 16, 7:20 p.m.


Mother of Mine
(Äideistä parhain)
Directed by Klaus Härö
(Finland/Sweden, 2005, 111 min.)
In World War II, 9-year-old Eero is sent by his beloved mother to live on a remote farm in Sweden, where his surrogate father is welcoming and warm, but his surrogate mother is cold, and even cruel. As Eero tries to adjust to the culture, he feels increasingly alienated from everyone, until a touching confession from his surrogate mother changes everything (Finnish and Swedish).
AFI Silver Theatre
Fri., May 31, 2 p.m.


Cesar and Rosalie
(César et Rosalie)
Directed by Claude Sautet
(France/Italy/W. Germany, 1972, 110 min.)
Rosalie is amicably divorced from César, dividing her time between her mother's house, with her siblings and small daughter. Enter David, an artist and Rosalie's flame before her marriage who, in a quiet, brooding way, seeks to reclaim Rosalie.
Mon., May 13, 6:30 p.m.

Cold Water
(L'eau froide)
Directed by Olivier Assayas
(France, 1994, 92 min.)
Teen lovers Gilles and Christine are a refuge to each other from their disinterested bourgeois families. They share a dream of escape, perhaps to live in an artists' colony, but are they destined to do so together?
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., May 4, 5:30 p.m.,
Sun., May 5, 8:45 p.m.

The Grocer's Son
(Le fils de l'épicier)
Directed by Eric Guirado
(France, 2007, 96 min.)
Committed urbanite and hard-edged Parisian Antoine must return to life in the country when he's asked to take over the family's grocery delivery truck following his father's heart attack. But his gruff demeanor slowly melts as he takes his truck from village to village in the picturesque Rhône-Alpes countryside.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., May 18, 11:05 a.m.,
Sun., May 19, 11:05 a.m.

In the House
(Dans la maison)
Directed by François Ozon
(France, 2012, 105 min.)
A 16-year-old boy insinuates himself into the house of a fellow student from his literature class and writes about it in essays for his French teacher, who increasingly eggs on the scheme.
Landmark's E Street Cinema
Opens Fri., May 10

Irma Vep
Directed by Olivier Assayas
(France, 1996, 99 min.)
A half-forgotten filmmaker plans to remake a landmark 1915 crime thriller to reclaim his relevance, importing Hong Kong's top star Maggie Cheung (gamely playing herself) to play the iconic role of Irma Vep, the story's formidable, cat-suit-clad master thief. But the production is a comedy of errors, beginning with the fact that no one thought to ask whether Cheung spoke any French.
AFI Silver Theatre
May 18 to 20

Jules and Jim
(Jules et Jim)
Directed by François Truffaut
(France, 1962, 105 min.)
In Paris before World War I, two friends, Jules and Jim, fall in love with the same woman, Catherine, who loves and marries Jules. After the war, however, when they meet again in Germany, begins to love Jim in this tale of evolving relationships (French, German and English).
Mon., May 6, 6:30 p.m.

Late August, Early September
(Fin août, début septembre)
Directed by Olivier Assayas
(France, 1998, 112 min.)
A critically respected but commercially unrewarded novelist is diagnosed with a terminal disease, forcing his friend, an aspiring novelist himself whose love life is in disarray, to decide what matters most in his own life.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., May 11, 4:30 p.m.,
Wed., May 15, 7 p.m.

Something in the Air
(Après mai)
Directed by Olivier Assayas
(France, 2012, 121 min.)
At the beginning of the seventies, a high school student in Paris is swept up in the political fever of the time, though his real dream is to paint and make films.
AFI Silver Theatre
Thu., May 2, 7:15 p.m.
Landmark's E Street Cinema
Opens Fri., May 10


The Forest for the Trees
(Der Wald vor lauter Baümen)
Directed by Maren Ade
(Germany, 2004, 81 min.)
Idealistic and bursting with enthusiasm, Melanie says goodbye to her small-town home, loving parents and boyfriend for her first teaching job in the big city, where she finds herself contending with bratty students, jaded staffers and loneliness.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sun., May 26, 11:05 a.m.,
Thu., May 30, 5:10 p.m.


Emperor Visits the Hell
(Tang huang you difu)
Directed by Luo Li
(China/Canada, 2013, 71 min.)
Emperor Li Shimin is a government bureaucrat who condemns the Dragon King (a Marlboro-puffing gangster) to death for trying to change the weather, so the Dragon King retaliates by cursing the dreams of the emperor, who must travel to the underworld and cut a bargain to break free.
Freer Gallery of Art
Sun., May 5, 1 p.m.

My Father's House
Directed by Zhao Dayong and David Bandurski
(China, 2011, 77 min.)
In Nigeria, Pastor Daniel Michael Enyeribe has a revelation to bring the word of God to China, joining a booming community of African merchants who have settled in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou and establishing the Royal Victory Church for both Africans and Chinese to worship. (Mandarin and English).
Freer Gallery of Art
Wed., May 1, 7 p.m.


The Bothersome Man
(Den brysomme mannen)
Directed by Jens Lien
(Norway/Iceland, 2006, 95 min.)
Forty-year-old Andreas arrives in a strange city with no recollection of how he got there and is assigned the perfect life: a good job, an apartment, even a wife. But before long, Andreas notices that something is off in this seeming paradise.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., May 11, 11 a.m.,
Mon., May 13, 9:20 p.m.

Directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg
(U.K./Norway/Denmark/Germany, 2012, 118 min.)
A Norwegian explorer crosses the Pacific ocean in a balsa wood raft in 1947, together with five men, to prove that South Americans already back in pre-Columbian times could have crossed the sea and settle on Polynesian islands.
Landmark's E Street Cinema
Opens Fri., May 3


How I Ended This Summer
(Как я провёл этим летом)
Directed by Alexei Popogrebsky
(Russia, 2010, 130 min.)
On a desolate island in the Arctic Circle, two men work at a small meteorological station: the gruff and imposing Sergei and his inexperienced new partner Pavel. One day, Pavel receives terrible news intended for Sergei and when the truth comes out, the consequences explode against a chilling backdrop of thick fog, sharp rocks and the merciless Arctic Sea.
AFI Silver Theatre
Fri., May 31, 4:20 p.m.


Directed by Pablo Berger
(Span/France, 2012, 104 min.)
This twist on the Snow White fairy tale is set in 1920s Spain and centers on a female bullfighter.
Landmark's E Street Cinema

The Devil's Backbone
(El espinazo del Diablo)
Directed by Guillermo del Toro
(Spain/Mexico, 2001, 106 min.)
Orphaned during the last days of the Spanish Civil War, 12-year-old Carlos looks for refuge at a home for children of the Republican militia. Despite warnings about the presence of ghosts, Carlos explores the rambling hacienda and its grounds, but soon comes face to face with a spirit from the next world, and uncovers a horrible secret from this one.
AFI Silver Theatre
May 3 to 7

The Violin
(El Violin)
Directed by Francisco Vargas
(Mexico, 2005, 98 min.)
Set sometime in the not-too-distant past, a peasant guerrilla movement rises in response to a tyrannical regime, but is soon brutally suppressed. His fellow villagers forced into hiding in the hills, a poor street musician Don Plutarco turns his violin into a Trojan horse.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., May 25, 11:05 a.m.,
Wed., May 29, 5:05 p.m.


Events - May 2013

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Through May 5
Faking It: Manipulated Photography before Photoshop
In the first major exhibition devoted to the history of manipulated photographs before the digital age, some 200 works will demonstrate that today's digitally altered photographs are part of a tradition that extends back to the beginning of photography.
National Gallery of Art

May 7 to July 12
Nothing is Done (Nichts ist erledigt)
Ever since the 1970s, artist, publisher and lawyer Klaus Staeck has been causing a stir in Germany. Often used in protests against environmental destruction, Staeck's art — through evocative images and slogans — calls attention to global warming, ever-growing piles of rubbish, nuclear waste, and the pollution of the air and oceans.

May 10 to Sept. 22
Bice Lazzari: Signature Line
In collaboration with the Italian Embassy, this exhibit features 25 paintings and drawings by Lazzari (1900-81), one of Italy's most revered modern artists. Discouraged from studying the figure in art school in the 1910s because of her gender, she became a prominent decorative arts designer who became for her later poetic abstract paintings.
National Museum of Women in the Arts

May 11 to Sept. 1
David Levinthal: War Games
David Levinthal, a central figure in the history of American postmodern photography, has staged uncanny tableaux using toys and miniature dioramas for nearly 40 years. Mounted to celebrate the museum's acquisition of a major, career-spanning body of work, this exhibition is the first to feature all of the artist's work on the subject of war.
Corcoran Gallery of Art

Through May 12
Angels, Demons, and Savages: Pollock, Ossorio, Dubuffet
This exhibition reveals a rare cross-cultural artistic dialogue between American painter Jackson Pollock (1912-56), American artist and patron of European and American postwar art Alfonso Ossorio (1916-90), and French painter Jean Dubuffet (1901-85). Approximately 53 paintings and works on paper from 1945 to 1958 highlight visual affinities and inspired friendships among the artists at pivotal moments in their careers.
The Phillips Collection

Through May 12
LATINO/US Cotidiano.
Literally meaning "everyday life," "Cotidiano" is a dynamic look at the rapidly changing nature of the Latino experience in America, where out of every six Americans is now of Hispanic origin, an impressive social transformation with enormous political, economic and cultural consequences.
Spanish Cultural Center

Through May 12
Memories of Stones
Photographer Åsa Nyhlén's moss-covered stone walls are a testament to an era of profound change in Swedish history. Today, the forest has reclaimed the walls, which echo the exodus of one third of the population to try their luck in the New World, creating a Swedish Diaspora in the Americas.
House of Sweden

Through May 12
A World Apart: Anna Ancher and the Skagen Art Colony
The first exhibition in the United States to focus on Danish modern painter Anna Ancher (1859-1935) and the artist colony at Skagen, Denmark, features 41 paintings and oil sketches by Ancher and more than 20 by her fellow Skagen artists.
National Museum of Women in the Arts

May 12 to Sept. 2
Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, 1909-1929: When Art Danced with Music
More than 130 original costumes, set designs, paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings, photographs and posters reveal how the Ballets Russes — the most innovative dance company of the 20th century — propelled the performing arts to new heights through groundbreaking collaborations between artists, composers, choreographers, dancers and fashion designers.
National Gallery of Art

Through May 18
The Fallen Gods
Béatrice Lampla Mellinger integrates her diverse heritage and extensive travels into her vibrant and richly textured paintings. In her newest series, she explores the historical roots of Caribbean society, structuring a lineage that affirms the Amerindian origins of the culture and repudiates the arrival of the Conquistadors as its starting point.
International Visions Gallery

Through May 19
Nobility and Newcomers in Renaissance Ireland
Focusing mainly on the Irish upper-class, their cultural exchange with England, and their struggle for power during a time of great change, "Nobility and Newcomers" underscores why Irish cultural identity is challenging to define.
Folger Shakespeare Library

May 19 to July 28
Edvard Munch: A 150th Anniversary Tribute
This 150th birthday tribute to Edvard Munch (1863–1944), Norway's most famed painter and printmaker, includes more than 20 renowned works from the gallery's collection and a unique series of six variant impressions.
National Gallery of Art

Through May 26
Color, Line, Light: French Drawings, Watercolors, and Pastels from Delacroix to Signac
Some 100 drawings and watercolors from the collection of James T. Dyke showcase the broad development of modern draftsmanship in France, from romanticism and realism through the impressionists, Nabis and neo-impressionists.
National Gallery of Art

Through May 26
On Common Ground: Dominican Republic + Haiti
In conjunction with the Embassies of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, this exhibition of works by emerging artists of Hispaniola, the island that these two countries share, offers fresh perspectives on Hispaniola's cultural scene and addresses misconceptions surrounding the two nations' complex relationship with one another, imagining a brighter future.
OAS Art Museum of the Americas

Through May 26
Painting Borges: Art Interpreting Literature
Sixteen visual artists interpret 12 stories by Argentinean Jorge Luis Borges, one of the most prominent and profoundly philosophical literary figures of the 20th century, organized according to three topics: identity and memory, freedom and destiny, and faith and divinity.
American University Katzen Arts Museum

Through May 26
Un Lugar Sin Reposo | A Place with No Rest
In conjunction with the 43rd regular session of the Organization of American States (OAS) General Assembly in Guatemala in June, this exhibition of artwork by one of the host country's finest artists, Luis González Palma, examines the power of communication through the gaze and body language.
OAS Art Museum of the Americas

Through May 31
Perceptive Strokes
In honor of the Inter-American Development Bank's annual meeting in Panama in March, the IDB Cultural Center presents artwork by women Panamanian artists.
IDB Cultural Center

Through May 31
Tango Visions
PA7, or Pintores Argentinos 7, a group of artists based in D.C., collectively express the soul of Argentine music, dance and culture from their special viewpoint as expatriates. Their paintings depict themes of the tango, which originated in Argentina's Rio de la Plata region but eventually expanded across the world.
Embassy of Argentina

Through June 8
Pageant of the Tsars: The Romanov Coronation Albums
Marking the 400th anniversary of the founding of the Romanov dynasty in 1613, the history and spectacle of Russian tsars' coronations are revealed through lavish, rarely seen albums and objects from Hillwood's Russian collection.
Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

Through June 9
Albrecht Dürer: Master Drawings, Watercolors, and Prints from the Albertina
Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) has long been considered the greatest German artist, uniquely combining the status held in Italian art by Michelangelo in the 16th century, by Raphael in the 18th and 19th centuries, and by Leonardo da Vinci in our own day. But while Dürer's paintings were prized, his most influential works were actually his drawings, watercolors, engravings and woodcuts.
National Gallery of Art

Through June 15
Codex Mexico: The Book as Art
This exposition of artisanal books and printed art showcases both Mexico's enormous heritage in the arts of printing, and the Mexicans currently working to renew and enrich such an
important legacy.
Mexican Cultural Institute

Through June 21
Point of View – Afghanistan
Presented by the Embassy of Australia and the Australian War Memorial as part of the 2013 ANZAC Day Commemorations, "Point of View – Afghanistan" features the video and photographic work from Shaun Gladwell's experience as an official war artist in the Middle East, where he investigated relationships between the human body, landscapes and images drawn from the contemporary world.
Embassy of Australia Art Gallery

Through June 30
The Enduring Designs of Josef Frank
Designer and architect Josef Frank, born 1885, was a leading pioneer in modern Swedish design, leaving behind about 200 textile and 2,000 furniture designs, a portion of which are on display in this exhibit.
House of Sweden

Through June 30
The Third Room
Maja Salomonsson, in collaboration with Swedish Radio's Youth Radio Drama Department, has created the sound walk "The Third Room," a play area that welcomes children into a dream world where time is fluid and the laws of gravity are suspended.
House of Sweden

Through July 7
One Man's Search for Ancient China: The Paul Singer Collection
New Jersey psychiatrist-turned-collector Paul Singer's bequest to the Sackler Gallery created one of the largest Chinese archaeological collections in the United States. This exhibition looks at the collector's contributions to Chinese art history — made largely at a time when contact between China and the West was heavily restricted — and examines how landmark archaeological discoveries have shed new light on his acquisitions and on ancient China.
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Through Aug. 4
Arts of Japan: Edo Aviary and Poetic License
Complementary but distinct installations examine two themes of Edo period art: "Edo Aviary," which traces how depictions of birds were influenced by natural history painting, and "Poetic License: Making Old Words New," which shows how classical Japanese and Chinese literary traditions were absorbed into the merchant and artisan classes.
Freer Gallery of Art

Through Aug. 4
Views of Panama
Photographers Gabriel Benaim, José Manuel Castrellón and Lorena Endara examine the stunning transformation Panama has undertaken in the last few years, manifested into a real estate and building boom that has changed Panama City's skyline.
OAS Art Museum of the Americas
F Street Gallery

Through Aug. 11
Hand-Held: Gerhard Pulverer's Japanese Illustrated Books
More than 100 volumes reflect on the Edo period Japan (1615-1868) as an age of great social and political change that gave rise to an unprecedented "reading culture" of artists, writers and publishers. Similar to blogging and e-publication in the 21st century, illustrated books (ehon) in Edo Japan opened up a new avenue with which to share ideas, marked by epic levels of publishing and book consumption.
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Through Sept. 2
Nine Deaths, Two Births: Xu Bing's Phoenix Project
Chinese artist Xu Bing spent more than two years creating his newest work, "Phoenix Project," a massive installation that comprises two birds fabricated entirely from materials found at construction sites in Beijing.
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Through Sept. 8
Over, Under, Next: Experiments in Mixed Media, 1913-Present
Butterfly wings, glass shards, doll parts, crumpled automotive metal, jigsaw puzzle pieces, clothing, straight pins, furniture, and colored sand — these are just some of the materials in "Over, Under, Next," an exhibition of approximately 100 examples of collage and assemblage, primarily drawn from the Hirshhorn's collection.
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Through Oct. 13
Out of Southeast Asia: Art that Sustains
The last exhibition presented in the Textile Museum's historic location before the museum's 2014 reopening promises to be a beautiful pairing of tradition and innovation, demonstrating how four artists are reinventing traditional Southeast Asian textile techniques, designs and ideology in new and meaningful ways.
The Textile Museum

Through Jan. 5, 2014
Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa
Some 100 exceptional works of art from the late 18th to 21st centuries come together for the first major exhibition and scholarly endeavor to comprehensively examine the rich relationship between African artists and the land upon which they live, work and frame their days.
National Museum of African Art


Sat., May 4, 8 p.m.
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo
The sight of large male bodies stuffed into tutus delicately balancing en pointe is just the beginning of the fun. This all-male ballet company specializes in hilarious twists on the classics such as "Swan Lake" and "Giselle," with equal parts comedy and technical prowess. Tickets are $24 to $48.
George Mason University Center for the Arts

Sat., May 4, 8 p.m.
Pan American Symphony's Tango
The final performance of the DC Tango Festival is a sensational tango variety show that includes Pan American Symphony's arrangements of the best-loved traditional tangos, along with Astor Piazzolla's complex modern tangos. Tickets are $30 to $45.
GW Lisner Auditorium

May 12 to May 18
Urban Corps: A Transatlantic Hip-Hop Festival
The Alliance Française's Urban Corps transatlantic hip-hop festival returns to D.C. with a powerful compilation of urban dancers, musicians and speakers from around the world whose distinct backgrounds in mime, acrobatics, DJ, video and American urban tradition present an unrivaled vantage point on metropolitan culture and identity. For information, visit
Various locations


Tue., May 7, 6:30 p.m.
Imagining the Renaissance: Albrecht Dürer and Italy
German artist Albrecht Dürer both was inspired by and influenced Italy during his time. Art historian Alice Jarrard examines Dürer's role in the 19th-century construction of the Renaissance and considers some of the German writers and scholars who cast Dürer as a heroic protagonist who delivered Italian inventions north of the Alps (presented in connection with the Albrecht Dürer exhibiton at the National Gallery of Art). To RSVP, visit
Embassy of Italy

Sat., May 11, 9:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
The German War Machine: From Conquest to Collapse
History professor Marcus Jones takes an in-depth look at World War II through the German military experience, integrating the history of the major European military campaigns with German strategic and racial policy and tracing the once-unthinkable but inevitable race to war's end. Tickets are $130; for information, visit
S. Dillon Ripley Center

Wed., May 15, 7 p.m.
Polar Bears, Climate Change — And You
When Don Moore, associate director of the Smithsonian's National Zoo, began working with polar bears in Canada in 2000, few foresaw how climate change would impact the bears. Today, though, Moore is studying and fighting for a dwindling species that numbers fewer than 20,000 in the wild. Tickets are $25; for information, visit
S. Dillon Ripley Center

Sat., May 18, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The Neighborhoods and Villages of London
In a program that journeys from the old City of London to historic maritime Greenwich, the revitalized neighborhood of Spitafields to lofty Hampstead village, Londoner Lorella Brocklesby shares some well-kept secrets of this timeless world capital. Tickets are $130; for information, visit
S. Dillon Ripley Center

Wed., May 29, 7 p.m.
Tour de France Wine Tasting
Discover France's breathtaking countryside while unlocking the doors to some of the best wines of France with this popular series of tastings. The May 29 session focuses on burgundy wines and features Maison Joseph Drouhin, famous for its pinot noir wines from Oregon. Tickets are $70.
La Maison Française


Sat., May 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Passport DC: Around the World Embassy Tour
More than 40 embassies representing six continents open their doors to D.C. visitors and residents as part of Cultural Tourism DC's sixth annual Passport DC ( Last year, visitors were treated to music and dance performances, tastings, karate demonstrations, sari-wrapping lessons and other activities. Complimentary shuttle service is provided.
Various locations

Sat., May 4, 7 p.m.
Let's Dance! / Alors on Dance!
The French Embassy (La Maison Française) transforms into a Parisian nightclub, playing the best of French pop music from the last four decades, in this benefit presented jointly by the Consulate General of France in Washington and D.C.'s French-American Chamber of Commerce to support the Comité Tricolore, the Serge Betsen Academy and the sports section of the Lycée Rochambeau. Tickets are $30 and include a country buffet.
La Maison Française

Sat., May 11, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Shortcut to Europe: European Union Embassies' Open House
As part of Passport DC, the European Union Delegation to the U.S. and the embassies of the EU member states invite visitors to experience the authentic music, dance, food, film and art of 28 distinctive nations along with a rare behind-the-scenes look into the European Union embassies. Complimentary shuttle service is provided.
Various locations

Sat., May 18, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
National Asian Heritage Festival: Fiesta Asia Street Fair
As part of Passport DC, the Asia Heritage Foundation's eighth annual Fiesta Asia Street Fair features more than 800 performers in 70 groups on five stages from over 20 cultures — and includes a festive parade, food stalls, craft exhibits, cooking and martial arts demonstrations, kid's talent contest; mass street dance and more.
Pennsylvania Avenue

Through May 19
The Washington DC International Design Festival
Artisphere and Apartment Zero present this free three-month-long multidisciplinary celebration of design, anchored by "The Next Wave: Industrial Design in the 21st Century," a 4,000-square-foot exhibition exploring innovation in product design over the last 13 years. The exhibit of more than 100 objects from around the world will be complemented by a series of public programs. For information, visit or


Fri., May 3, 7:30 p.m.
Anya Bukovec, Violin
Anja Bukovec, an accomplished solo violinist and popular media personality in Slovenia, performs a program of works by Serbian and Slovenian composers, Beethoven and others. Tickets are $100, including buffet reception; for information, visit
Embassy of Slovenia

Fri., May 3, 7:30 p.m.
Cornelia Herrmann
Born into a family of musicians in Salzburg, Cornelia Herrmann is a sought-after chamber musician who was the youngest finalist and winner of the International J. S. Bach Competition in Leipzig. Admission is free but RSVP is required and can be made by visiting
Embassy of Austria

Mon., May 6, 7:30 p.m.
Péter Bársony, Viola
Barnabás Kelemen, Violin
Melvin Chen, Piano
Violist Péter Bársony, founding member of the Akadémia and Somogyi String Quartets, is joined by Barnabás Kelemen and Melvin Chen for a Hungarian concert. Tickets are $75, including reception; for information, visit
Embassy of Hungary

Thu., May 23, 6:30 p.m.
Guitarist Roberto Limón
Celebrated Latin Grammy-nominated Mexican guitarist Roberto Limón will interpret an eclectic range of selections from Latin America, Spain, and the United States, including traditional pieces by Mexican greats Manuel M. Ponce and Carlos Chavez, as well as a contemporary piece by noted film composer Brian Banks. Admission is free but RSVP is required and can be made by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Mexican Cultural Institute

Tue., May 28, 7:30 p.m.
Melancholy Bird
As part of the event series "We should never forget," the Austrian Cultural Forum presents soloist Irene Wallner and pianist Maria Raberger in the concert project "Melancholy Bird," which aims to commemorate composers persecuted by the Nazi regime. Admission is free but RSVP is required and can be made by visiting
Embassy of Austria


May 2 to 25
Club de Caballeros / Gentlemen's Club
Teatro de la Luna presents Argentine playwright Rafael Bruza's comedy about four men who "suffer for love" and come together to show and solve their problems of the heart. Tickets are $30 or $35.
Gunston Arts Center

May 4 to June 1
The Full Monty
The Keegan Theatre presents the raucous musical based on the British film about six down-on-their luck steelworkers who are desperately seeking paychecks to support their families — until they come up with a bold way to make some quick cash. Tickets are $40.
Church Street Theater

Through May 5
How to Write a New Book for the Bible
A man moves in with his ailing but always funny mother when she becomes too frail to care for herself, resulting in a reunion that heals old wounds and opens a heartfelt new chapter in their relationship. Tickets are $10 to $61.
Round House Theatre Bethesda

May 9 to June 9
The Submission
A gay, white playwright's play gets accepted at the nation's preeminent theater festival. Trouble is, everyone thinks his stirring new play about an alcoholic black mother and her card-sharp son trying to get out of the projects is written by Shaleeha G'ntamobi ... and she doesn't exist. Tickets are $32.50 to $65.
Olney Theatre Center

May 9 to June 9
The Three Musketeers
"All for one and one for all" springs onto the stage with Synetic's fiery, bombastic ensemble of lovers and fighters as they fence, wine, dance and fling their wit across the stage in the ultimate cross between physical and romantic comedy. Tickets are $35 to $55.
Synetic Theater

May 9 to June 23
The Winter's Tale
An act of jealousy sets the plot into motion when Leontes, King of Sicilia, accuses his virtuous wife Hermione of infidelity in this moving story of mistakes and forgiveness that spans 16 years and two nations. Tickets are $43 to $95.
Shakespeare Lansburgh Theatre

May 21 to June 30
On his 35th birthday, a commitment-phobic bachelor searches for the answers to love and life in New York City, where he observes both the joys and pitfalls of marriage from his five quirky couple friends. Please call for ticket information.
Signature Theatre

Through May 26
DC-7: The Roberto Clemente Story
From the barrios of Puerto Rico to his successful seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, to the fateful flight to Nicaragua to deliver humanitarian aid, this insightful musical reveals the man who battled triumphantly on the baseball field and against discrimination. Tickets are $20 to $42.
GALA Hispanic Theatre

May 29 to June 30
The Hampton Years
This breakthrough premiere explores the development of great African-American artists John Biggers and Samella Lewis under the tutelage of Austrian Jewish refugee painter and educator Viktor Lowenfeld during World War II. Tickets start at $35.
Washington DCJCC Theater J

Thu., May 30, 7:30 p.m.
Staged Reading: Anna Freud at the Hotel Regina
As part of the event series "We should never forget," the Austrian Cultural Forum presents a play by Myron Robert Hafetz in remembrance of the 75th anniversary of Anna Freud's emigration to the United Kingdom in 1938. Admission is free but RSVP is required and can be made by visiting
Embassy of Austria

Through June 2
Hero/Traitor Repertory of Coriolanus and Wallenstein
In the Shakespeare Theatre Company's repertory of "Coriolanus" and "Wallenstein," both plays revolve around military leaders who've gained fame through deadly prowess — in Shakespeare's "Coriolanus," the title character must re-examine his loyalties when the country he championed turns against him; in Friedrich Schiller's "Wallenstein," the main character must choose between the ideal for which he fights and his government's agenda. Tickets are $43 to $105.
Sidney Harman Hall

Through June 9
Twelfth Night
Director Robert Richmond returns to Folger Theatre to direct this romantic and whimsical of tales filled with lovers, lunatics, poets, drunkards, and clowns in the quixotic land of Illyria. Tickets are $30 to $68.
Folger Shakespeare Library


Classifieds - May 2013

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Real Estate Classifieds - May 2013

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