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Tom Hardy plays double duty as the Kray twins, London's most notorious gangsters during the '50s and '60s. Leading a brutal campaign to take over the city, the Krays became minor celebrities thanks to mingling with politicians and film stars. Hardy's performance as Reggie Kray is masterful, but his portrayal of Ronnie -- who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia -- borders on parody. Thankfully, it doesn't derail Brian Helgeland's stylish, brutal and often humorous film. Opens Wednesday, Nov. 25. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com.
THE GOOD DINOSAUR
An enchanting computer-animated fantasy from Pixar, The Good Dinosaur imagines a world where dinosaurs never became extinct, allowing them to meet our early human ancestors. Peter Sohn's film follows an unlikely friendship between one human and a bright green Apatosaurus, and features voice work from Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand, Anna Paquin and Sam Elliott. Opens Wednesday, Nov. 25. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com.
THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 2
The final installment of the tale of civil uprising in the country of Panem is significantly better than Mockingjay Part 1, as it includes actual things that happen (A vicious attack by Mutts! A really nasty oil spill!) as opposed to complete and utter lethargy. Still the movie is likely only satisfying for fans of the book. There's very little emotional connection between the characters and even the movie's core love triangle is dealt with in a perfunctory manner. Elizabeth Banks steals every scene she's in, Julianne Moore is reduced to a prim harpie, Woody Harrelson does little more than mutter a few lines, and Stanley Tucci has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo. As the evil President Snow, Donald Sutherland seems more than ready for the ordeal to be over, while star Jennifer Lawrence herself just seems exhausted from spending her days staring at green screens. The biggest moments of wistfulness come whenever Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died during the making of the film, appears onscreen. It's not much of a flashy performance to go out on, but it's good to see him one more time, all the same. Now playing. Area theaters. Visit Fandango.com. (Randy Shulman)
THE NIGHT BEFORE
Just in time for the holidays, Seth Rogen returns for another comedy with his typical brand of humor. Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie are three friends who decide to have one final Christmas Eve blowout, with the expected alcohol and drug consumption and celebrity cameos of most Rogen/Evan Goldberg-produced films. Jonathan Levine directs a film narrated by Tracy Morgan. Now playing. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com.
THE WIZARD OF OZ
Victor Fleming's 1939 adaptation of L. Frank Baum's children's novel has been touted as the most-watched motion picture in history -- and no, not just among gays, appreciating its star Judy Garland and its story of a mythical Oz where all misfits are accepted. The American Film Institute's Silver Theatre offers another chance to see the family favorite on the big screen, which is definitely something to give thanks for. Thursday, Nov. 26, and Friday, Nov. 27, at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 28, at 12 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 29, at 11 a.m., and Monday, Nov. 30, at 4:30 p.m. AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $13. Call 301-495-6720 or visit afi.com/Silver.
A tale oft told in various incarnations -- including last year's dreadful I, Frankenstein -- this horror/action incarnation, directed by Paul McGuigan with a script by Max Landis, casts Daniel Radcliffe as assistant Igor. He meets a young Victor Frankenstein, played by James McAvoy, and ultimately witnesses the birth of the famed monster, making fugitives of both men as the authorities try to shut Frankenstein down and the monstrous being threatens their lives. Opens Wednesday, Nov. 25. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com.
A BROADWAY CHRISTMAS CAROL
Kathy Feininger's A Broadway Christmas Show tells the famous Charles Dickens classic by altering the lyrics to familiar Broadway tunes, 30 or so in all, from The Music Man to Sweeney Todd to Annie. The result is a pretty gay show, especially with gay Helen Hayes Award-winning actor Michael Sharp at the helm as director and choreographer. In years past, Sharp has played Scrooge, but Peter Boyer has now assumed the bah-humbugging duties. Sharp will play The Man Who Isn't Scrooge, Tracey Stephens also returns as The Woman Who Isn't Scrooge and Howard Breitbart as music director -- aka The Man Behind The Piano. "I always think of it like the Carol Burnett Show," Sharp told Metro Weekly a few seasons ago. "[Three] people playing a million different characters. Sometimes we crack each other up. You never know what's going to happen." To Dec. 27. MetroStage, 1201 North Royal St., Alexandria. Tickets are $35 to $50. Call 800-494-8497 or visit metrostage.org.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Ford's Theatre remounts its music-filled production of the Dickens classic, adapted by Michael Wilson and directed by Michael Baron. Edward Gero returns for his seventh year as Ebenezer Scrooge, in a staging featuring imaginative special effects, familiar carols and themes of giving back and living with grace. Among other local stage stars in the cast: Carolyn Agan, Felicia Curry, William Diggle, Erin Driscoll, Rick Hammerly, Kevin McAllister, Amy McWilliams and Stephen Schmidt. To Dec. 31. Ford's Theatre, 511 10th St. NW. Call 800-982-2787 or visit fords.org.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL: A GHOST STORY OF CHRISTMAS
Olney Theatre Center presents another seasonal run of the one-man portrayal of the Dickens classic by Paul Morella, who bases his adaptation on Dickens' original novella and reading tour. Opens Friday, Nov. 27, at 7:30 p.m. to Dec. 27. The Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab at Olney Theatre Center, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Call 301-924-3400 or visit olneytheatre.org.
A LUMP OF COAL FOR CHRISTMAS
Holly Twyford directs a world premiere co-commission by the Adventure Theatre MTC and Bay Area Children's Theatre of Norman Allen's hilarious adventure about unlikely friendships and holiday miracles. The focus is on a Lump of Coal who wants to be an artist, in the process going from one child's worst nightmare into a dream come true. Now to Dec. 31. Adventure Theatre MTC, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo. Tickets are $19.50. Call 301-634-2270 or visit adventuretheatre-mtc.org.
A VERY POINTLESS HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR
Pointless Theatre Company offers another year of a holiday show it dubs ''the North Pole's 239th Annual Talent Show,'' an annual irreverent cabaret for adults featuring puppetry, improv and a funky reindeer band -- this year with new elves and acts. Pointless was founded by Patti Kalil and Matt Reckeweg and dedicated to performing innovative and exuberant puppet theater devised in an ensemble approach, and the company's success includes the 2014 Helen Hayes Award as Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company. Opens in pay-what-you-can previews Wednesday, Dec. 2, and Thursday, Dec. 3, at 8 p.m. To Jan. 2. Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint Gallery, 916 G St. NW. Tickets are $22 to $27. Call 202-315-1310 or visit flashpointdc.org.
AKEELAH AND THE BEE
Playwright Cheryl L. West adapts the spirited celluloid story of a girl from the Chicago projects trying to spell her way to success. Charles Randolph-Wright directs an Arena Stage production starring Johannah Easley. To Dec. 27. Kreeger Theater in the Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Call 202-488-3300 or visit arenastage.org.
Another year, another production by Theater Alliance of Langston Hughes's retelling of the Biblical Christmas story from an Afrocentric perspective, incorporating gospel, blues, funk, jazz and dance, with griot-style storytelling from an ensemble cast. Black Nativity was one of the first plays written by an African American to appear on Broadway 51 years ago. The winner of three Helen Hayes Awards this year, the Theater Alliance production is directed by Eric Ruffin, who is joined by music director e'Marcus Harper-Short and choreographer Princess Mhoon. Opens in previews Wednesday, Nov. 25, at 8 p.m. To Jan. 3. Anacostia Playhouse, 2020 Shannon Place SE. Tickets are $35 to $50. Call 202-241-2539 or visit theateralliance.com.
ENTERTAINING MR. SLOANE
The Edge of the Universe Players presents a production of British playwright Joe Orton's darkly comic tale, set in the swinging '60s, of people searching desperately for love -- only to find lust, deceit and violence. The sexually ambiguous title character is played by Matthew McGee, known from his work with Constellation Theatre Company both as a Helen Hayes Award-winning actor (Taking Steps) and a puppet master (Avenue Q). Stephen Jarrett directs a cast also including David Brown Jackson, Jim Jorgensen and Claire Schoonover. Now in previews. Opens Saturday, Nov. 28, at 8 p.m. To Dec. 13. The Writer's Center, 4508 Walsh St. Bethesda. Tickets are $22 to $25. Call 202-355-6330 or visit universeplayers2.org.
GUYS AND DOLLS
At Olney Theatre Center, Jerry Whiddon directs this classic musical comedy about gambling and gangsters, starring Jessica Lauren Ball as one lucky lady. Michael J. Bobbitt handles the choreography for this production of composer and lyricist Frank Loesser's tale, with a book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows. Now to Dec. 27. Mainstage at Olney Theatre Center, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Call 301-924-3400 or visit olneytheatre.org.
WSC Avant Bard offers a play based on two short stories by gay literary giant Truman Capote, A Christmas Memory and A Thanksgiving Visitor. Russell Vandenbroucke adapted the tales for the stage in what is touted as a lovely and lyrical reminiscence of Capote's coming of age in Depression-era Alabama. Tom Prewitt directs Avant Bard's Artistic Director Emeritus Christopher Henley as Truman, supported by Charlotte Akin, Liz Dutton, David Mavricos and Seamus Miller. Opens in pay-what-you-can previews Wednesday, Nov. 25. Runs to Dec. 20. Theatre on the Run, 3700 South Four Mile Run Dr. Arlington. Tickets are $30 to $35. Call 703-418-4808 or visit avantbard.org.
IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A LIVE RADIO PLAY
Laura Giannarelli directs Joe Landry's adaptation of the classic film tale, but this time geared for radio. Joe Brack portrays the lead character, here named Jake Laurents, in this production by Washington Stage Guild also featuring Vincent Clark, Jenny Donovan, Julie-Ann Elliott, Lawrence Redmond and Steven Carpenter. Now to Dec. 6. Undercroft Theatre of Mount Vernon United Methodist Church, 900 Massachusetts Ave. NW. Tickets are $40 to $50. Call 240-582-0050 or visit stageguild.org.
KISS ME, KATE
The latest musical to get the Alan Paul treatment at the Shakespeare Theatre Company is Cole Porter's classic kiss to the Bard. Douglas Sills and Christine Sherrill star in Kiss Me, Kate, featuring a book by Samuel and Bella Spewack, about the sparks that fly on and off stage as a troupe stages a musical version of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. Now in previews. To Jan. 3. Sidney Harman Hall, Harman Center for the Arts, 610 F St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $118. Call 202-547-1122 or visit shakespearetheatre.org.
This season's musical at Arena Stage is Lionel Bart's 1962 Tony-winning take on the Charles Dickens classic, reinvented in-the-round and with a modern twist by Arena's Molly Smith. Smith directs a large 25-member cast and once again teams up with choreographer Parker Esse, who won a Helen Hayes Award for his work with Smith on another acclaimed, exclaimed production, 2010's Oklahoma! To Jan. 3. Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Call 202-488-3300 or visit arenastage.org.
Striking visual projections and live music composed by Jack Herrick promise to fulfill the dramatic potential of this rough-seas Shakespeare voyage. Originally produced at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Joseph Haj directs a run at Folger Theatre starring Wayne T. Carr before taking it to Minneapolis's Guthrie Theater at the top of 2016. To Dec. 20. Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $35 to $75. Call 202-544-7077 or visit folger.edu.
RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN'S CINDERELLA
AND ONE HALF ''I'm good,'' Ella (Kaitlyn Davidson) assures everyone at the end of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella, when once again the clock strikes midnight at her wedding to Prince Topher (Andy Huntington Jones. Douglas Carter Beane's winking wit and playful irony abounds in his book adaptation of the musical, originally made for television. There are delights for all ages in William Ivey Long's Tony-winning costumes, including a special effects-enhanced transformation of the town's glum beggar woman Marie into a gracious Fairy Godmother, sung by the big-voiced Liz McCartney, who rises to the top of a very solid, large cast. Closes Sunday, Nov. 29. National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Tickets are $48 to $93. Call 202-628-6161 or visit thenationaldc.org. (Doug Rule)
SONS OF THE PROPHET
Theater J offers a production of this 2012 Pulitzer Prize finalist from fledgling playwright Stephen Karam. A dark comedy about the suffering and struggles of a Lebanese-American family, including a gay son, Gregg Henry directs a cast featuring Vanessa Bradchulis, Brigid Cleary, Chris Dinolfo, Sam Ludwig, Cam Magee, Tony Strowd Hamilton, Michael Willis and Jaysen Wright. Now in previews. To Dec. 20. The Aaron and Cecile Goldman Theater, Washington, D.C.'s Jewish Community Center, 1529 16th St. NW. Tickets are $37 to $67. Call 202-777-3210 or visit theaterj.org.
Celebrated local director Aaron Posner helms a Round House Theatre production of Sarah Ruhl's lively comedy, mixing real-life romance and backstage farce. Gregory Woodell and Dawn Ursula star as the He and She in question, with a strong cast complemented by Craig Wallace, Michael Glenn, Todd Scofield, Tyasia Velines and Rachel Zampelli. Opens in a pay-what-you-can preview Wednesday, Dec. 2, at 7:30 p.m. To Dec. 27. Round House Theatre, 4545 East-West Highway, Bethesda. Tickets are $36 to $51. Call 240-644-1100 or visit roundhousetheatre.org.
THE APPLE FAMILY CYCLE: SORRY, REGULAR SINGING
Studio Theatre presents the final two installments of Richard Nelson's four-play Apple Family Cycle in repertory just as it did the first two -- with the same cast and the same director, Serge Seiden, who offers sharp focus on the words and action. You can jump in at any point and won't lose much if you only see one play, or see them out of order. In fact, Nelson has intentionally left some familial aspects and details out, which only encourages a theatergoer to speculate and extrapolate. Here, as in real life, it can be fascinating to try to make sense of things, particularly the complicated, contradictory characters we encounter. The ensemble has the kind of ease and natural rapport that only seasoned actors can convey. To Dec. 13. Studio Theatre, 14th & P Streets NW. Tickets are $49 to $96 each show. Call 202-332-3300 or visit studiotheatre.org. (Doug Rule)
THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN
SCENA Theatre offers a production of Martin McDonagh's dark comedy linked to the real-life filming of the documentary Man of Aran. Now in previews. Robert McNamara directs a cast including Nanna Ingvarsson, Jennifer Mendenhall, Josh Adams, Kevin Collins, Megan Dominy and Mary Suib. Closes Sunday, Nov. 29. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $25 to $45. Call 202-399-7993 or visit atlasarts.org.
Ari Roth doesn't flinch from launching his new theater company with a bang, offering a world premiere of Jay O. Sanders' epic about the madness and majesty of Rwanda in the wake of wartime horror. Derek Goldman directs a cast including Erika Rose, Caroline Clay and Michael Anthony Williams. Closes Sunday, Nov. 29. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $20 to $60. Visit atlasarts.org.
X'S AND O'S (A FOOTBALL LOVE STORY)
Subtitled A Football Love Story, the NFL takes Center Stage in this unflinching, ripped-from-the-headlines examination of America's favorite and most traumatic sport, written by KJ Sanchez with Jenny Mercein and co-commissioned by Center Stage with Berkeley Repertory Theater. Tony Taccone directs a cast including two-time Super Bowl Champion Dwight Hicks of the San Francisco 49ers. It doesn't get much more authentic than that. To Dec. 20. Center Stage, 700 North Calvert St., Baltimore. Call 410-986-4000 or visit centerstage.org.
Born in Benin in West Africa, Angelique Kidjo is known for her ''superhuman'' vocal power and uplifting, global-flavored pop-oriented music -- as well as for her longstanding efforts to boost female empowerment and the rights of women and children throughout the developing world. Kidjo will appear in conversation with the University of Maryland's Sheri Parks as part of the Arts and Humanities Dean's Lecture Series on Friday, Dec. 4, at 5:30 p.m. The next night, Saturday, Dec. 5, at 8 p.m., ''Africa's greatest living diva'' (according to NPR) will give a concert in support of last year's Grammy-winning album Eve and this year's Angelique Kidjo Sings with the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra. The Clarice at the University of Maryland, University Boulevard and Stadium Drive. College Park. Tickets are free but required for the Friday lecture, and $25 for the Saturday concert. Call 301-405-ARTS or visit theclarice.umd.edu.
BEN FOLDS WITH THE NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Extraordinary classical crossover artist Ben Folds performs his 2014 composition Concerto for Piano and Orchestra during a multi-genre, multimedia concert part of the new ''NSO Declassified'' casual, late-night Friday series. Sarah Hicks leads the NSO in a program that also includes John Adams, Paul Creston and Mason Bates, the Kennedy Center's new Composer-In-Residence whose Mothership is inspired by electronic dance music rhythms. The concert is meant to appeal to a younger audience, with drinks allowed in the Concert Hall to help foster a convivial vibe that will last past the NSO performance. Friday, Dec. 4, at 9 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $39 to $99. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
BETTY, MARGOT MACDONALD
Idiosyncratic, activist-oriented alt-rock band Betty scored an Off-Broadway musical hit over a decade ago with Betty Rules and even performed The L Word's theme song, in addition to stops at Capital Pride over the years. D.C. natives Alyson Palmer and sisters Amy and Elizabeth Ziff, who these days perform with guitarist Tony Salvatore and drummer Mino Gori, return to support the 2013 album Rise. Opening for Betty is local slow-burn rock powerhouse Margot MacDonald, demonstrating her talents with live digital looping, which adds drama and power to her haunting vocals and progressive-styled pop -- as can be heard on recent album Canvas featuring her standout cover of ''Teardrop,'' the Massive Attack hit and House theme. Tuesday, Dec. 1, at 7:30 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $30. Call 202-787-1000 or visit thehamiltondc.com.
BILLY STRAYHORN CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION CONCERTS
This weekend, the East River Jazz Series concludes its year-long series honoring the gay jazz giant Billy Strayhorn, who died in 1967 but would have turned 100 this month. On Friday, Nov. 27, comes vocalist Karen Lovejoy and a concert with her five-piece jazz ensemble the Lovejoy Group at the Kennedy Center. ''Strayhorn, The Giant Who Lived in the Shadows'' refers to his work with Washington-native Duke Ellington. Strayhorn was the Duke's right hand man for decades, responsible for many of his most famous compositions, including ''Take the A Train'' -- but he lived in Duke's shadow as an openly gay man, at least as open as one could expect to be half a century ago. On Sunday, Nov. 29, comes a special blowout concert, ''The Magical Legacy of Billy Strayhorn,'' from the recently established, big band-focused Washington Renaissance Orchestra. A WRO sextet, featuring its artistic director and percussionist Nasar Abadey, will play a body of work celebrating Strayhorn. Lovejoy Group performs Friday, Nov. 27, at 6 p.m. Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. Free. The WRO Sextet performs Sunday, Nov. 29, at 3 p.m. We Act Radio Studio, 1918 Martin Luther King Ave. SE. Tickets are $25. Visit eastriverjazz.net.
BY GEORGE, BY IRA, BY GERSHWIN
A concert-in-cabaret spanning the music from Tin Pan Alley, Hollywood and opera, this InSeries program is focused on the output of one of the greatest sibling songwriting duos. Abel Lopez directs a cast including Pam Ward, Detra Battle, Jase Parker, Kenneth Derby, Laura Fuentes and Bryan Jackson, who will move with choreography by Angelisa Gillyard while singing standards (from ''I Got Rhythm'' to ''The Man I Love'' to ''They Can't Take That Away From Me'') accompanied by a jazz combo. Opens Sunday, Nov. 29, at 8 p.m. To Dec. 20. Source Theatre, 1835 14th St. NW. Tickets are $22 to $42. Call 202-204-7741 or visit inseries.org.
CAMERON CARPENTER WITH THE NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Curtis Institute of Music conductor Sarah Hicks leads a program featuring the return of the flamboyant bisexual performer on the Rubenstein Family Organ. On his third visit, the Berlin-based provocative, experimental organist Cameron Carpenter, originally from Pennsylvania, plays his own composition Improvisation plus Barber's exuberant Toccata Festiva. The program also offers the first NSO performance of new Kennedy Center Composer-in-Residence Mason Bates's Mothership, which mixes symphonic soundscapes with high-energy electronic dance rhythms. Thursday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 5, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $15 to $89. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
DARK STAR ORCHESTRA
All Good presents a concert at the 9:30 Club of this Chicago-based tribute band to the Grateful Dead, which obsessively recreates a set list from a particular performance, with the goal of ''raising the Dead'' for Deadheads. Even original members of the Dead themselves have sung the orchestra's praises -- though of course several former members have started their own band, Dead & Company, which hit the Verizon Center a few weeks ago with John Mayer. Thursday, Dec. 3, and Friday, Dec. 4. Doors at 8 p.m. Nightclub 9:30, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $29. Call 202-265-0930 or visit 930.com.
GLEN HANSARD, RICHARD THOMPSON
IMP Productions presents this Irish singer-songwriter, who got his start in the group The Frames but is best known from his work with Czech musician Marketa Irglova in duo The Swell Season, which led to his Tony-winning score for Once. Glen Hansard tours in support of his second solo recording Didn't He Ramble, on a double-bill with Richard Thompson, who virtually invented the concept of British folk rock with his group Fairport Convention and is one of Rolling Stone's ''Top 20 Guitarists of All Time.'' Saturday, Nov. 28, at 8 p.m. D.A.R. Constitution Hall, 1776 D St. NW. Tickets are $40. Call 202-628-1776 or visit dar.org/conthall.
Wolf Trap hosts the first in the annual two-part series on American pop and jazz standards led by the local jazz veteran and pianist John Eaton. ''The Roaring Twenties: A Salute to the Jazz Age'' features legendary songs from 90 years ago, when jazz was gelling into an American original. Friday, Nov. 27, at 8 p.m. The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $25 to $27. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit wolftrap.org.
All Good presents the 9:30 Club concert ''Thanksforgrassgiving,'' which is a nod not just to the holiday and to bluegrass but also to reefer. This Fredericksburg, Va.-based artist will no doubt perform his popular 2009 single ''Doobie In My Pocket'' as well as selections from his new album Vape. But the concert is hardly just about him, instead it's to be a jam featuring ''an all-star lineup of bluegrass buddies'' including Larry Keel, Jason Carter from the Del McCoury Band, Jay Starling of Love Canon, Cody Kilby, Travis Book and Chris Pandolfi of the Infamous Stringdusters, plus as special guest the bluegrass band Cabinet. Saturday, Nov. 28. Doors at 8 p.m. Nightclub 9:30, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $25. Call 202-265-0930 or visit 930.com.
KIM ANN FOXMAN, HONEY SOUND SYSTEM, THE NEEDLEXCHANGE
D.C.'s stellar boutique nightclub Flash is offering gay clubgoers an early Christmas with a de-facto Pride in December dance party by three acts who spun at different Capital Pride events this past June. The headliner is Kim Ann Foxman, a veteran singing member of the great gay neo-disco band Hercules & Love Affair and a fledgling New York-based deep/underground house DJ/producer. Before Foxman is a set by Jason Kendig and Jackie House (aka Jacob Sperber, aka DJ P-Play) two members of San Francisco collective Honey Soundsystem, whose focus is on highlighting the queer origins of dirty disco and driving house, both new and old. The party upstairs in the club kicks off with a tag-team set by Bil Todd and Tommy Cornelis, two trendsetting DJs part of the local gay ''weirdo-beardo-boys'' house collective known as The NeedlExchange, or TNX for short. Friday, Dec. 4, after 8 p.m. Flash, 645 Florida Ave. NW. Tickets are $5 to $12. Call 202-827-8791 or visit flashdc.com.
Music Director Piotr Gajewski leads Strathmore's resident orchestra in a program culminating in Tchaikovsky's popular Serenade for Strings and also featuring Mozart's delightful and witty Violin Concerto No. 4 featuring guest soloist Chee-Yun. Friday, Nov. 28, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 29, at 3 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $29 to $89. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.
NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA POPS: HOME ALONE
The first of two area screenings over the next month of Home Alone with live symphonic accompaniment, the National Symphony Orchestra beats the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to the punch in toasting the 25th anniversary of the feel-good flick that launched Macaulay Culkin's career. The orchestra and the Choral Arts Society will perform John Williams' score as the film plays above the stage. You'll even be able to eat fresh popcorn while you watch -- just try not to get messy. It's still the Kennedy Center, after all. Friday, Nov. 27, and Saturday, Nov. 28, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $39 to $99. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
Ryan Brown helms a production of Vivaldi's Catone in Utica by this mostly French-focused company, in its first foray into the works of Vivaldi. Thomas Michael Allen, Marguerite Krull, John Holiday, Eric Jurenas, Anna Reinhold and Julia Dawson perform in this semi-staged production, in Italian with English supertitles, based on one at the Glimmerglass Festival this past summer directed by Tazewell Thompson. Saturday, Nov. 28, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 29, at 2 p.m. Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Tickets are $55 to $120. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
This popular D.C. band, now a four-piece, makes rhythmically oriented rock music with a mournful edge, with touches of Joy Division and the Doors. Paperhaus performs on a bill with Swings, Friend Roulette and Half Waif at one of the city's newer music venues, Adams Morgan's Songbyrd Music House, part of a complex that also includes a vinyl record shop and a cafe. Friday, Dec. 4, at 8 p.m. Songbyrd Music House, 2477 18th St. NW. Tickets are $10 to $12. Call 202-450-2917 or visit songbyrddc.com.
RADIO ONE'S HOLIDAY JAM WITH JILL SCOTT, NEW EDITION
Now in its second year, this annual holiday jam was launched to fill a void in multi-act concerts during the holidays featuring R&B radio hitmakers (as opposed to strictly pop or hip-hop). Jill Scott and New Edition are two headliners at this Live Nation-presented show with an impressive lineup of both veterans and newcomers, from Babyface to Tyrese, SWV to Jazmine Sullivan and the Black Alley Band. Thursday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m. Verizon Center, 601 F St. NW. Tickets are $39.75 to $150. Call 202-628-3200 or visit verizoncenter.com.
Club Glow presents the debut of one of progressive house music's best DJs at D.C.'s newest dance club, as a Thanksgiving fundraiser for local charity Martha's Table. Sharam, who came to fame as one-half of D.C.'s own Grammy-winning duo Deep Dish, is promoting his new double mix compilation Yoshitoshi Ibiza on the label that Deep Dish started. Thursday, Nov. 26. Doors at 10 p.m. Soundcheck, 1420 K St. NW. No cover, though advanced tickets can be purchased for $10; all proceeds go to Martha's Table. Call 202-789-5429 or visit soundcheckdc.com.
Three decades after her work as a drummer, songwriter and musical director for Prince -- including on the stupendous Purple Rain soundtrack, which in turn launched her solo career with The Glamorous Life -- Sheila E is back. She returns to the Birchmere a year after an electrifying show in which she showed off her dexterous skills in support of Icon, her first studio album in 13 years. Offering everything from wondrous polyrhythmic percussive runs, such as on first single ''Mona Lisa,'' to ''Don't Make Me,'' an impressive all-vocal track in which Sheila shows she's a vocal percussionist too -- a beatboxer. Thursday, Dec. 3, at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $49.50. Call 703-549-7500 or visit birchmere.com.
THE SELDOM SCENE, BUMPER JACKSONS
Formed over 40 years ago in Bethesda, the progressive bluegrass band Seldom Scene remains especially popular in its hometown region. The group returns to Alexandria's seated show palace the Birchmere for another two-night engagement over Thanksgiving Weekend, this year with D.C. folk/roots six-piece act Bumper Jacksons, fronted by vocalist/clarinetist Jess Eliot Myhre. Friday, Nov. 27, and Saturday, Nov. 28, at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $35. Call 703-549-7500 or visit seldomscene.com.
THE TALLIS SCHOLARS
The world's leading exponent of Renaissance sacred music crosses the pond for an enchanting early music Fortas Chamber Music program. Peter Phillips directs this 40-plus-year-old a cappella group performing work by its namesake Thomas Tallis as well as Tallis contemporary John Sheppard and Arvo Part, one of today's most renowned composers. Thursday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m. Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Tickets are $75. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
ULTRA NATE & LISA MOODY'S DEEP SUGAR
House music star Ultra Nate will give a hint of what to expect from her in two months, when she helms Mid-Atlantic Leather's Sunday night dance party at the 9:30 Club -- renamed Dark & Twisted from the shopworn Reaction Dance. Though still most widely known as a singer -- with a roster of club hits, including the late-'90s Top 10 pop hit ''Free'' -- the Baltimore native has become known in club circles as a preeminent DJ, in large part via her regular, high-profile gigs in the Summer house haunt of Ibiza. And people flock to Baltimore to catch her legendary second-Saturday monthly party Deep Sugar, which she's thrown with Lisa Moody for 12 years now. Friday, Nov. 27. Doors at 10 p.m. U Street Music Hall, 1115A U St. NW. Tickets are $10. Call 202-588-1880 or visit ustreetmusichall.com.
VIRGIL BOUTELLIS-TAFT, YOONIE HAN
The Embassy Series presents a concert, featuring young award-winning French violinist accompanied by 30-year-old South Korean pianist, at the Embassy of France that is now dedicated to the victims of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. The recital includes selections by Franck, Hersant, Debussy, Massenet and Saint-Saens. Wednesday, Dec. 2, at 7:30 p.m. Embassy of France, 4101 Reservoir Rd. NW. Tickets are $80 with reception. Call 202-625-2361 or visit embassyseries.org.
WASHINGTON NATIONAL OPERA
As part of its American Opera Initiative, WNO presents the world premiere of three short operas in a semi-staged concert performance accompanied by members of the WNO Orchestra, conducted by John DeMain and followed by a Q&A session with the artists and creative team. The 20-minute operas, performed in English, are: Service Provider by composer Christopher Weiss and librettist John de los Santos, Alexandra by composer David Clay Mettens and librettist Joshua McGuire, and Twenty Minutes or Less by composer Sarah Hutchings and librettist Mark Sonnenblick. Tickets remain for the second performance on Wednesday, Dec. 2, at 9 p.m. Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Tickets are $15. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
CHRIS AIKEN & ANGIE HAUSER
This duo offers a mini-repertory featuring local dancers who will perform after participating in a four-day class to learn their choreographic technique, which is built on improvisation and intended to engage the imagination of the audience. On the bill is a performance of Utopia Parkway, with music created by Jesse Manno and Tigger Benford. Saturday, Dec. 5, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 6, at 4 p.m. Dance Place, 3225 8th St. NE. Tickets are $25 in advance, or $30 at the door. Call 202-269-1600 or visit danceplace.org.
THE HIP HOP NUTCRACKER
A dozen all-star dancers, an on-stage DJ and an electric violinist reimagine Tchaikovsky's classic score for a contemporary, all-ages audience with hip-hop choreography and digital scenery. Thursday, Dec. 3, at 7:30 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $29 to $54. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.
THE JOFFREY BALLET: THE NUTCRACKER
Yep, it's Sugar Plum Fairy season again. This year, the Kennedy Center dances one last time with Robert Joffrey and his awe-inspiring staging, boasting larger-than-life Victorian America scenery and costumes, and featuring his Chicago-based company's dancers moving to Tchaikovsky's entrancing score. The Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra performs, with the Arlington Children's Chorus joining to serenade the spectacular Snow Scene parade of ballerina-snowflakes. The Joffrey version of The Nutcracker will be retired after this, its 28th touring season, to be replaced with a new version by Tony-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon. Opens Wednesday, Nov. 25, at 7 p.m., with performances Friday, Nov. 27, through Sunday, Nov. 29, at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $55 to $200. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
THE WASHINGTON BALLET: THE NUTCRACKER
Every year for the past 12 years, Washington Ballet's artistic director Septime Webre has offered his own twist on the family favorite, setting it in D.C.'s historic Georgetown neighborhood with George Washington as the titular figure and King George III as the Rat King. After two weekends in the intimate THEARC space in Southeast D.C. as part of the company's efforts to spread and diversify its audience, the production sets up shop for nearly all of December at downtown's Warner Theatre. Tickets remain for performances Saturday, Nov. 28, and Sunday, Nov. 29, at 1 p.m. THEARC, 1901 Mississippi Ave. SE. The full run begins in a preview Thursday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m. Runs to Dec. 27. Warner Theatre, 513 13th St. NW. Tickets are $35 to $126. Call 202-889-5901 or visit washingtonballet.org. Tickets are $39.95. Call 202-362-3606 or visit warnertheatredc.com.
A COLLECTOR'S VISION: WASHINGTONIANA COLLECTION
In addition to incorporating the Textile Museum, the recently opened George Washington University Museum also houses the Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection. The exhibition A Collector's Vision serves as a perfect introduction to the collection, featuring maps and prints, rare letters, photographs and drawings documenting the history of Washington, D.C. and donated by Small in 2011. The George Washington University Museum, 701 21st St. NW. Call 202-994-5200 or visit museum.gwu.edu.
A JOURNEY FROM CIVIL WAR TO CIVIL RIGHTS
Tied to the revised version of Philip Glass' opera Appomattox, the Washington National Opera presents a related photo exhibit also commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act as well as the sesquicentennial of the end of the Civil War. The exhibit was curated by Journey Through Hallowed Ground, named after the 180-mile-long, 75-mile wide National Heritage Area stretching from Gettysburg, Penn., to Thomas Jefferson's Monticello in Charlottesville, Va. Closes Sunday, Nov. 29. Kennedy Center Hall of Nations. Free. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
ART OF THE AIRPORT TOWER
The images of Smithsonian photographer Carolyn Russo offer a journey examining contemporary and historic air traffic control towers in this exhibition at the Air and Space Museum. Through November 2016. National Air and Space Museum, Independence Ave at 6th St. SW. Call 202-633-2214 or visit airandspace.si.edu.
CHAMBER MUSIC: THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF ELIZABETH SPRAGUE COOLIDGE
In honor of the 150th anniversary of her birth, the Library of Congress presents a new exhibition about the woman who supported establishment of the institution's first music venue, the intimate, finely tuned Coolidge Auditorium that required an act of Congress but finally opened in 1925. An accomplished pianist and avid composer, Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge's passion was chamber music and her mission was to make it more widely available and accessible by sponsoring concert tours around the world and commissioning new works. The exhibit features 40 items, most drawn from the Coolidge Foundation Collection at the Library, which holds the world's largest music collection. Through Jan. 23. Performing Arts Reading Room Gallery in The Library of Congress's James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Call 202-707-8000 or visit loc.gov/exhibits.
COLIN WINTERBOTTOM: SCALING WASHINGTON
Celebrated local gay photographer Colin Winterbottom's debut museum exhibition features stunning, large-scale images of the post-earthquake restoration of the Washington Monument and Washington National Cathedral. Through Jan. 3. National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. Call 202-272-2448 or visit nbm.org.
COMMEMORATING CONTROVERSY: THE DAKOTA-U.S. WAR OF 1862
The National Museum of the American Indian presents a provocative exhibition exploring a decision by President Abraham Lincoln to order the hanging of 38 Dakota men. The mass hanging was a culminating step in a war between natives in southern Minnesota and the U.S. military and immigrant settlers that left deep wounds still to heal over 150 years later. Through Dec. 29. National Museum of the American Indian, Independence Avenue at 4th Street SW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit nmai.si.edu.
ELAINE DE KOONING: PORTRAITS
John F. Kennedy, poets Frank O'Hara and Allen Ginsberg, critic Harold Rosenberg, choreographer Merce Cunningham, and painters Willem de Kooning and Fairfield Porter are among the friends and family members represented in a National Portrait Gallery retrospective of this abstract expressionist painter's work. Most of de Kooning's paintings hang in private collection and have rarely been seen by the public before. Through Jan. 10. National Portrait Gallery, 8th and F Streets. NW. Call 202-633-8300 or visit npg.si.edu.
INGENUE TO ICON: HILLWOOD'S FASHION EXHIBITION
Subtitled ''70 Years of Fashion from the Collection of Marjorie Merriweather Post,'' the Hillwood Museum offers a special exhibition focused on the elegant fashions and sumptuous fabrics documenting the evolution of 20th Century fashion -- and all drawn, naturally, from the late Hillwood owner who gave the place so much style. Through Dec. 31. Hillwood Estate, 4155 Linnean Ave. NW. Tickets are $18. Call 202-686-5807 or visit hillwoodmuseum.org.
MAKE SOME NOISE: STUDENTS AND THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT
Pegged to the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and just one of several exhibitions at the Newseum marking the occasion, Make Some Noise: Students and the Civil Rights Movement explores the new generation of student leaders that emerged in the 1960s to fight segregation and fight for civil rights. John Lewis, now a U.S. representative from Georgia, and Julian Bond, a former chair of the NAACP, are among the leaders highlighted here. Through 2015. Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Tickets are $21.95 for general admission. Call 888-NEWSEUM or visit newseum.org.
ONE LIFE: DOLORES HUERTA
The National Portrait Gallery offers its first exhibition devoted to a Latino figure. Dolores Heurta co-founded the National Farm Workers Association with Cesar Chavez in 1962 and fought for the passage of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975. Taina Caragol curated an exhibition that vividly traces the 13 years between those two actions. Through May 15. National Portrait Gallery, 8th and F Streets. NW. Call 202-633-8300 or visit npg.si.edu.
PEARLS ON A STRING
Subtitled ''Artists, Patrons and Poets at the Great Islamic Courts,'' Baltimore's Walters Art Museum presents its first major exhibition of Islamic art, with a focus on the cultures of historic India, Iran and Turkey. The result is a sweeping selection of works including manuscripts, paintings, sculpture, textiles, decorated ceramics and metalwork. Through Jan. 31. Walters Art Museum, 600 North Charles St. Baltimore. Call 410-547-9000 or visit thewalters.org.
RENWICK GALLERY: WONDER
As part of the immersive exhibition Wonder, nine leading contemporary artists, including Gabriel Dawe, Patrick Dougherty and Maya Lin, have each taken over different galleries in the newly renovated Renwick Gallery, the first building in the U.S. designed expressly as an art museum. Through July 10. Renwick Gallery, Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW. Free. Call 202-633-1000 or visit renwick.americanart.si.edu.
THE BIG HOPE SHOW
Baltimore's American Visionary Art Museum offers its 21st annual exhibition, featuring over 25 artists offering works in various media that champion the radiant and transformative power of hope. It's an original and unabashedly idealistic exhibition, curated by Rebecca Alban Hoffberger, founder and director of this original and unabashedly unusual 20-year-old museum. Through Sept. 4. American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Highway. Baltimore. Tickets are $15.95, or $20 for the preview party. Call 410-244-1900 or visit avam.org.
WINDOW TO WASHINGTON
Window to Washington: The Kiplinger Collection at HSW is an exhibition at Washington's Carnegie Library that traces the development of the nation's capital from a sleepy Southern town to a modern metropolis, as documented through the works of artists. The Historical Society of Washington, D.C., exhibition was made possible by a donation from the Kiplinger family. It's also an early step in a reorganization effort by the society, which has struggled to revive ever since its short-lived effort a decade ago to run a City Museum of Washington proved too ambitious. Open Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Historical Society of Washington, D.C., at the Carnegie Library, 801 K St. NW. Call 202-393-1420 or visit dchistory.org.
BETHESDA'S WINTER WONDERLAND
The Bethesda Urban Partnership kicks off the holidays with an event featuring live ice-sculpting presentations plus choral performances by local school groups. Also, Santa Claus will be dropping by. Saturday, Dec. 5, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Veterans Park, at the corner of Norfolk and Woodmont Avenues, Bethesda. Free. Call 301-215-6660 or visit bethesda.org.
DC GURLY SHOW
Having grown out of the former local drag king organization the DC Kings, the DC Gurly Show isn't your grandfather's burlesque. It's focused more on playing with gender than teasing with sex. On Thursday, Dec. 3, at the Pinch in Columbia Heights, the queer burlesque organization offers ''A Tit Bit Nipply'' -- billed as ''some hot burlesque'' to help warm you up. Thursday, Dec. 3, at 9 p.m. The Pinch, 3548 14th St. NW. Tickets are $12 to $15. Call 202-544-6831 or visit dcgurlyshow.com.
NATIONAL ZOO'S ZOOLIGHTS
Every year the Smithsonian's National Zoo presents ZooLights, in which more than 500,000 colorful Christmas lights illuminate life-sized animal silhouettes, dancing trees, buildings, and walkways, plus a light show set to music. All that, plus select animal houses will be open and displaying nocturnal creatures, including the Small Mammal House, the Great Ape House and Reptile Discovery Center. And one new special event this year is the ticketed BrewLights on Thursday, Dec. 3, offering tastings from a dozen breweries, including D.C.'s small Hellbender but mostly large national brands such as Blue Moon, Brooklyn and Starr Hill, in addition to sample bites from D.C. restaurants Brookland Pint, Matchbox, Meridian Pint and Smoke & Barrel. ZooLights begins Friday, Nov. 27, at 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. Every night except Dec. 24, 25 and 31, until Jan. 2. National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free, courtesy of Pepco; BrewLights is $55. Call 202-633-4800 or visit nationalzoo.si.edu.
Over the final three Saturday nights of the free-art-for-all extravaganza known as Artomatic, Team Rayceen presents a variety show hosted by namesake Rayceen Pendarvis and Curt Mariah and featuring performances by #AskRayceen 2015 Talent Competition winner Peach Jah, a poet, and the competition's runner-up Usagi, a burlesque artist. The rest of the lineup varies, though opening night performers on Saturday, Nov. 28, include: C. Paige, PoetryzChyld, Anthony Newman, Tim Trueheart, Starranko and Von Tae. Food and drinks, including alcohol, available to order. Saturday, Nov. 28, starting at 9 p.m. Artomatic 2015, 8100 Corporate Dr., Hyattsville, Md. Free. Visit facebook.com/TeamRayceen.
THE SCIENCE OF DELICIOUS
Innovative food and drink pairings from Chaplin's are the centerpiece of a National Geographic Live event inspired by a story in the December issue of National Geographic about the science -- and art -- behind what tastes good and bad to humans, and why we even taste at all. Leading the discussion with be biopsychologist Julie Mennella of the Monell Chemical Sciences Center, who will be joined by restaurateur Ari Wilder and chef Myo Htun of the Asian-inspired restaurant Chaplin's in Shaw. Thursday, Dec. 3, at 7:30 p.m. National Geographic's Grosvenor Auditorium, 1145 17th St. NW. Tickets are $100. Call 202-857-7588 or visit ngmuseum.org.