Our cultural and arts edit for the metro DC area. Highlights of performances, exhibits, and showings that are currently running, or coming to a close.

Turn Me Loose, the story of Dick Gregory, the first Black comedian-activist to radically explore racial comedy premiered in Washington, DC at Arena Stage to enthusiastic crowds, last week. Gregory’s pioneering achievement in the world of comedy where no topic was taboo and bigotry was confronted is expertly performed by actor and former stand-up comedian, Edwin Lee Gibson.

The politically charged 60’s, a time of civil unrest, was the tipping point and the start of Gregory’s successful stand-up career. Soon thereafter, he would leave this lucrative path in pursuit of his lifework in activism in the nation’s capital.
“Dick Gregory – uniquely – sacrificed an extremely successful and lucrative career for activism,” shares John Gould Rubin, Director.
Playwright Gretchen Law expertly weaves the past and near-present together, using Gregory’s own words to demonstrate the inextricability of social justice from his comedy, and offer insight into why Gregory eventually would close the door on standup to become a writer, speaker, and political activist.
“Dick Gregory’s impact is more than being a socially conscious comedian,” says Molly Smith. “He put his heart where his mouth was and used a talent for comedy as a platform for action – and change. He lived in our town and it’s a joy to present a play about him.”
Turn Me Loose runs at Arena Stage through October 14, 2018. Run time approx. 90 mins without intermission.

Dick Gregory: Edwin Lee Gibson
Stand-up Comic/Emcee/Interviewer/Gospel Singer/Heckler/Cabbie: John Carlin

Playwright: Gretchen Law
Director: John Gould Rubin
Scenic Designer: Christopher Barreca
Costume Designer: Susan Hilferty
Lighting Designer: Stephen Strawbridge
Sound Designer: Leon Rothenberg
Casting Directors: Jack Doulin, Victor Vazquez
Stage Manager: Erin Cass
Assistant Stage Manager: Christi B Spann
TICKETS: Tickets for Turn Me Loose are $40-95, subject to change and based on availability, plus applicable fees. For information on savings programs such as pay-your-age tickets, student discounts, Southwest Nights and hero’s discounts, visit Arena Stage Tickets and Programs

Tickets may be purchased online at by phone at 202-488-3300 or at the Sales Office at 1101 Sixth St., SW, D.C.



 MADLYN MCAULIFFE  @MadlynMcAuliffe and CECILIA MENCIA @DCTrending contributed to this story. 





Last week the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden announced a gift of over 35 seminal works by artist Marcel Duchamp, donated by D.C. collectors Aaron and Barbara Levine. The gift includes a cross-section of Duchamp’s works incorporating his influential pioneering and conceptual ideas, making the Hirshhorn’s Duchamp holdings one of the most extensive, in-depth public collections in the country.

Photo © Tony Powell. 2017 Hirshhorn Spring Gala. May 6, 2017

Aaron and Barbara Levine with Hirshhorn Director Melissa Chiu. Photo © Tony Powell,

The collection is complemented by 15 portraits, related photographs and works on paper by Duchamp’s contemporaries including Man Ray, Tristan Tzara, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Diane Arbus, and Irving Penn, among others.



The exhibit is set to open fall 2019.