Things to See and Do in the Bethesda Area in March and April
Our picks for live music, theater and other entertainment
Girls and Dolls
When the American Girl line of dolls debuted in the 1980s, there were only three characters—pioneer Kirsten, turn-of-the-century Samantha and World War II-era Molly. The brand has grown to include dozens of dolls representing various periods of American history, books (many written by Silver Spring resident Valerie Tripp) and movies. Now, the American Girl characters take to the stage in American Girl Live, a new Broadway-style musical about a group of girls who come together at sleepaway camp. The story interweaves six iconic American Girl characters and shows that lessons they learned through history are still relevant to girls today.
2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.; $30-$76, $100-$130 VIP; The Music Center at Strathmore, strathmore.org
In comics and movies, superhero Wonder Woman comes from the mythical island of Themyscira. But in real life, she comes from the mind of psychologist and lie detector inventor William Moulton Marston, who created the character in 1941. Learn about the origin of Wonder Woman from National Park Ranger Heidi Dietze at her lecture, Merciful Minerva! Suffrage and the Birth of Wonder Woman. The program focuses on the link between the suffrage movement of the early 20th century and the creation of Wonder Woman. The event begins with a beer tasting from Rockville’s True Respite Brewing Co.
Tasting starts at 7 p.m., talk starts at 7:30, $10, registration required, Gaithersburg Community Museum, gaithersburgmd.gov
High School Musical
The Gaithersburg Arts Barn and Rockville Musical Theatre will stage Heathers: The Musical, a performance based on the 1989 cult-classic film Heathers, which starred Winona Ryder and Christian Slater. The story centers around a trio of queen bee high school students—all named Heather—and Veronica, the misfit girl who plans to put them in their place. The show features lots of fun songs, but it also goes to some pretty dark places as characters lose more than their social status; some lose their lives, making this production best for ages 15 and older.
8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday; $22, $18 students ages 15-21; Gaithersburg Arts Barn, gaithersburgmd. gov/recreation/performing-arts/theater/heathers
Tour artist studios and speak with resident artists about their work during Artists & Makers’ Open Studio Weekend. The event, featuring artist demonstrations and original artwork and crafts for sale, takes place at both Rockville locations of Artists & Makers Studios (on Parklawn Drive and Wilkins Avenue). While you’re visiting the Parklawn site, check out Steve Loya’s “Splotch Monster” paintings; “Lions, Tigers and Bears” paintings and drawings by Kathy Moore Wilson; and paper and paint creations by Ronni Jolles in the galleries. An opening reception with light refreshments will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on April 5. The exhibitions will stay on view through April 24.
Noon to 5 p.m., free, Artists & Makers Studios 1 and 2, artistsandmakersstudios.com
Fans of music competitions like American Idol and The Voice will want to check out Bethesda’s version, the Bernard/Ebb Songwriting Awards concert. The contest, produced annually by the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District, invites songwriters from Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., to compete for $10,000, plus free time in a recording studio. During the awards show concert, finalists will perform their original songs in front of a live audience and a panel of music industry judges who will choose the winner.
8 p.m., $15, Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club, bethesda.org
Neither Wil B. nor Kev Marcus had any great interest in learning to play the violin when they were kids; both came to the instrument somewhat by accident. But now, the men, who perform as Black Violin, play genre-melding music that mixes classical, pop and even hip-hop sounds. They entertain at an average of 200 shows a year and have appeared with Wu-Tang Clan, Alicia Keys and Wyclef Jean.
8 p.m., $26-$72, The Music Center at Strathmore, strathmore.org
Kids can don safety gear and climb trees with Montgomery County arborists at GreenFest, a county festival celebrating nature and highlighting ways to reduce residents’ impact on the environment. The event features workshops and demonstrations on ways to go green, and lots of family-friendly activities, including a car show with electric and hybrid vehicles, live music, dance performances, arts and crafts, and food trucks. Visitors to the festival at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton are also welcome to stroll the trails and explore the grounds.
11 a.m. to 4 p.m., free, Brookside Gardens, montgomerycountygreenfest.org