December 2010 Archives

Trombone Shorty at the 9:30 Club

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 31, 2010 8:50 AM |
Troy "Trombone Short" Andrews and his bandmates from the Crescent City merge rock, funk, jazz, hip-hop and soul, or what he calls "supafunkrock." His latest gritty jazz album Backatown refers to the locals' term for the area of New Orleans that includes the Tremé neighborhood, the oldest black neighborhood in the U.S. Saturday, Jan. 1. Doors at 8 p.m. Nightclub ... [Read]

Strathmore's Salute to Vienna

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 30, 2010 4:00 PM |
Inspired by Vienna's world-famous Neujahrskonzert concert, Strathmore hosts an afternoon of famous Strauss waltzes, polkas and operatta excerpts on New Year's Day. Guido Mancusi conducts the Strauss Symphony of America, with Hungarian singers Anita Lukács and Zsolt Vadász, dancers from the National Moravian-Silesian Ballet and international champion ballroom dancers. Saturday, Jan. 1, at 2 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 ... [Read]

New Year's Eve at the Kennedy Center

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 30, 2010 9:10 AM |
Usher in the New Year with a dazzling concert at The Kennedy Center. Now in its 16th year, the concert features members of the National Symphony Orchestra performing classic favorites, followed by a party in the Grand Foyer Party. Selections from Porgy and Bess, On The Town and South Pacific will be performed along with classics by Johann Strauss, Bizet, ... [Read]

Monty Alexander at Blues Alley

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 30, 2010 9:10 AM |
The legendary pianist Monty Alexander fuses American jazz and his Jamaican roots in a four decades-long career including work with everyone from Frank Sinatra to Dizzy Gillespie to Quincy Jones. In addition to regular performances at Blues Alley all next week, Alexander will perform two New Year's Eve shows, including dinner, with the Michael Bowie Band. Thursday, Dec. 30, at ... [Read]

The Roots, tonight at the 9:30 Club

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 28, 2010 9:15 AM |
What the Philadelphia hip-hop ensemble The Roots lacks in mainstream popular recognition they more than make up for in influence. Combining jazz and soul elements, their live shows are frequently touted as among the best in the business. And, oh yeah, they're also the house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Tonight, Tuesday, Dec. 28. Doors at 7 p.m. ... [Read]

Fantasia tonight at DAR Constitution Hall

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 28, 2010 9:13 AM |
Fantasia Barrino's Back to Me Tour returns this third-season American Idol winner to D.C. a year after she appeared at the Kennedy Center as Celie in The Color Purple. Of course, it's also her return to the stage -- and her first headlining tour -- since she attempted suicide last summer, which she denies was a publicity stunt. She's touring ... [Read]

Bringing to life the 1957 Dr. Seuss holiday classic tale, How the Grinch Stole Christmas Ice Wonderland features 10 colorful scenes straight out of the pages of the original storybook. Sculpted from two-million pounds of ice, the indoor walk-through attraction brilliantly showcases how the "Whoville-hating" Grinch learns the true meaning of Christmas. In addition, there's an exhibit showcasing artifacts and ... [Read]

James Brown Death-Mas Holiday Bash

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 23, 2010 7:15 PM |
James Brown died on Christmas Day four years ago, so the Black Cat is throwing a party -- the James Brown Death-Mas Holiday Bash, helmed by DJ Soul Call Paul. "Only time will tell if one day can be big enough for both the birth of Jesus and the death of the Godfather of Soul," the club joshingly boasts. The ... [Read]

A Wrinkle in Time at Round House

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 23, 2010 9:01 AM |
Round House Theatre greets the season with A Wrinkle in Time, a show that talks about love and family with more humor and adventure than treacle and sing-song. From JJ Kaczynski's beautifully animated opening sequence to scenic designer Misha Kachman's off-kilter, "once-upon-a-time-meets-Jules-Verne set," to the clever and spare use of puppets and audio design, A Wrinkle in Time sprawls luxuriously ... [Read]

Seven years ago, The Washington Ballet's Septime Webre refashioned The Nutcracker to be a tribute to the nation's capital, starring George Washington as the heroic Nutcracker and England's King George III as the villainous Rat King, all against a backdrop of cherry blossoms and other D.C. scenes. The lavish production includes over 350 dancers. Closes this Sunday, Dec. 26, so ... [Read]

Good for the Jews

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 23, 2010 8:52 AM |
A musical-comedy duo from New York, Rob Tannenbaum and David Fagin are "putting the Ha! in Hanukkah" on Christmas Eve with Good for the Jews, meant to balm the souls and laugh the bellies of area Semites. But the duo vows: "No songs about dreidels. And no Israeli folk-dancing." Friday, Dec. 24, at 7 p.m. Jammin' Java, 227 Maple Ave. ... [Read]

All-Star Christmas Day Jazz Jam

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 23, 2010 8:51 AM |
Now in its 12th year, Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage presents the All-Star Christmas Day Jazz Jam, a free concert with host and vibraphonist Chuck Redd, pianist Robert Redd, drummer Lenny Robinson, trumpeter Tom Williams, bassist James King and vocalist Delores Williams. Saturday, Dec. 25, at 6 p.m. Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. Tickets are free. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org. ... [Read]

Colors of the Oasis at The Textile Museum

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 22, 2010 3:00 PM |
Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats focuses on 19th century Central Asian dresses for both men and women distinguished by bold, original designs using vibrant colors. Ikats are prized for their great beauty, and the influence of ikat designs can be seen in contemporary fashion and home décor. Now to March 13. The Textile Museum, 2320 S St. NW. ... [Read]

O'Malley's March

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 22, 2010 6:05 AM |
Fresh from winning reelection, handsome Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley takes a break from politics and brandishes his guitar for a night of Celtic rock and Christmas tunes with his band. Thursday, Dec. 23, at 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Rams Head On Stage, 33 West St., Annapolis. Tickets are $25. Call 410-268-4545 or visit ramsheadonstage.com. ... [Read]

every tongue confess at Arena Stage

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 21, 2010 11:00 PM |
On the surface, Marcus Gardley has written with every tongue confess a kind of Southern fairy tale about hatred and racism and rejection in this world premiere play christening Arena Stage's new Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle. It's an emotionally difficult work that guards itself against obvious message or sympathy. Evil is as complicated as good, and understanding either requires ... [Read]

Godard in the Sixties

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 21, 2010 5:00 PM |
Largely unseen in the U.S. due to rights issues, the West End Cinema is screening Jean-Luc Godard's Made In U.S.A. for the first time ever in D.C. The film appears in a series alongside Godard's groundbreaking works Breathless and Contempt, all on newly restored 35mm prints. West End Cinema, 2301 M St. NW. Call 202-419-FILM or visit westendcinema.com. ... [Read]

The National Zoo's Zoolights

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 21, 2010 8:55 AM |
Now in its fourth year, Smithsonian's National Zoo presents ZooLights, in which colorful Christmas lights illuminate life-sized animal silhouettes, dancing trees, buildings and walkways. All that, plus select animal houses will be open, displaying nocturnal creatures, including the Small Mammal House, the Great Ape House and Reptile Discover Center. A canned food drive benefits D.C. Central Kitchen. Now through Thursday, ... [Read]

Click here to enter now! ... [Read]

St. Petersburg Trio at Strathmore

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 20, 2010 7:00 PM |
Though the members of this trio met at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in the Russian city that gave it its name, they didn't start performing together until they reunited in association with the Russian folk-instrument orchestra the Washington Balalaika Society. Svetlana Nikonova plays the domra, Vladimir Zakharevich plays the accordion-like bayan, and Andrei Saveliev plays the contrabass balalaika. They perform for ... [Read]

Click here to enter now. ... [Read]

Wale at the 9:30 Club

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 20, 2010 8:34 AM |
This up-and-coming rapper from D.C. created far more attention than he bargained for last May. He blames his handlers for canceling a headlining appearance at DC Black Pride, after they realized it was a gay event. He ended up performing a short spurt at the event, making a public apology: "Hip hop music knows no race, no color, no age, ... [Read]

Named Washington's "Artist of the Year" in 2003, this roots-rock band -- part rock, part blues, part bluegrass -- has since relocated to Nashville, but its roots are still here, so any local performance promises to be sweet. And how could it get any sweeter than free? They return for what's become an annual concert on the Millennium Stage. Monday, ... [Read]

Santa at The Kennedy Center

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 17, 2010 7:00 PM |
The Kennedy Center's Roof Terrace Restaurant presents its 14th Annual Sunday Brunch with Santa, featuring live jazz and views of the city in addition to a buffet and visits with Old St. Nick. In addition, Santa will make appearances at the KC Cafe, adjacent to the restaurant. Brunch is this Sunday, Dec. 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost ... [Read]

With the splendor of brass, organ and percussion plus the 200-voice Washington Chorus, A Candlelight Christmas features Christmas classics, sing-a-longs and a candlelight processional. Saturday, Dec. 18, at 1 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 19, Monday, Dec. 20, and Wednesday, Dec. 22, at 7 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $15 to $65. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org. ... [Read]

Tron: Legacy opens today at area theaters

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 17, 2010 3:00 PM |
Father and son (Jeff Bridges and Garrett Hedlund) battle Master Control in Tron: Legacy, Disney's sequel to the 1982 original. The graphics -- and danger -- have been modernized. Original director and co-writer Steven Lisberger produces the new film, helmed by director Joseph Kosinski and also starring Michael Sheen and Bruce Boxleitner as the film's namesake. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. ... [Read]

Usher at the Verizon Center

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 17, 2010 8:24 AM |
One of the best dancer/singer dynamos performing today, R&B/pop sensation Usher Raymond IV is sure to have the whole crowd moving and grooving and sweating to hits, including his latest, "DJ Got Us Falling In Love Again" and "OMG" -- the stuttering, staccato wonder that gives his latest tour its name. There are so many ways to love it. Tonight, ... [Read]

Originally staged six years ago, Men In Tights: A Pink Nutcracker has been revived and re-imagined. The first half of the show features over 200 singers plus an orchestra performing holiday choral music. The second half focuses on the gay Nutcracker, with 24 cast members and the chorus. Director Craig Cipollini, who originally starred as the Nutcracker prince, has carried ... [Read]

The Kinsey SIcks at Theater J

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 17, 2010 7:33 AM |
They're back! The "dragapella beautyshop quartet" comes to Theater J for what's sure to be a must-see romp of a holiday show, intended as a "tongue in the cheek and a twinkle in the eye" alternative to the typical sentimental fare. Oy Vey in a Manger revolves around Rachel, Winnie, Trixie and Trampolina, as they go about preparing for holiday ... [Read]

Gallery 10 closes with Last Picture Show

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 16, 2010 11:30 PM |
After 36 years in operation, this Gallery 10 closes with the "Last Picture Show," an exhibition of some 40 works in all media by gallery artists. Through Dec. 24. Gallery 10, 1519 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-232-3326 or visit gallery10dc.com. ... [Read]

The Roches at The Birchmere

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 16, 2010 8:20 AM |
"[Lucy] is so steeped in the history of The Roches, it's just a natural extension [to have her on tour]," Suzzy Roche told Metro Weekly last week, referring to daughter Lucy Wainwright Roche, who will both open for and add fourth-part harmony to the legendary folk trio The Roches at its annual holiday show. "[The show is] sort of a ... [Read]

WIT's Seasonal Disorder

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 15, 2010 10:00 PM |
Washington Improv Theater's annual holiday extravaganza features shows based on audience suggestions, showing you the good, the bad and the ugly of the season -- all laughs to get you through this crazy month. Each and every show is different, but all offer a grab bag of spontaneous ho-ho-ho-inducing comedy. Weekends through Jan. 1. At the Source Theater, 1835 14th ... [Read]

On 15 consecutive nights at the bar, Central Michel Richard's chef de cuisine Arthur Cavaliere gives away free samples of a different new dish each day, eliciting commentary and critique on flavor, presentation, marketability and value. Those dishes getting the highest totals will help shape a new 2011 tapas menu for one of D.C.'s finest restaurants. And all comment cards ... [Read]

A Christmas Carol at Ford's

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 15, 2010 9:00 AM |
Ford's Theatre remounts its music-filled production of the Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol, adapted by Michael Wilson and directed by Michael Baron. Edward Gero returns as Scrooge in this telling featuring imaginative special effects, familiar carols and themes of giving back and living with grace. Running through Jan. 2. Ford's Theatre, 511 10th St. NW. Tickets are $37.45 to $68.20. ... [Read]

Candide at The Shakespeare Theatre

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 14, 2010 8:45 PM |
Candide is the Shakespeare Theatre Company's first musical theater performance at Sidney Harman Hall. The comic operetta boasts music by Leonard Bernstein (West Side Story) and lyrics by Richard Wilbur, with additional contributions from Stephen Sondheim, Dorothy Parker and Bernstein. Songs include "Make Our Garden Grow" and "Glitter and Be Gay." Mary Zimmerman directs. A co-production with Chicago's Goodman Theatre. ... [Read]

Liz Phair at the 9:30 Club

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 14, 2010 6:00 PM |
Best known for her 1993 album Exile in Guyville, Liz Phair fused lo-fi indie rock production techniques with the sensibility and structure of classic singer/songwriters. But the major-label artist never matched that album's success. Now, she's going it on alone, touring in support of her self-released Funstyle. This Friday, Dec. 17. Doors at 8 p.m. Nightclub 9:30, 815 V St. ... [Read]

A John Waters Christmas at The Birchmere

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 14, 2010 9:15 AM |
An encore performance after last year's sellout success, legendary Baltimore filmmaker John Waters returns to the Birchmere in his one-man show motivated by a genuine love for Christmas. In fact, the show explores the gay and sexual possibilities of the holiday. As he told Metro Weekly last December: "Is Santa erotic? That is a question with the bear movement. Is ... [Read]

Helen Hayes Awards Showtunes & Cocktails

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 14, 2010 9:10 AM |
Pianist Glenn Pearson and special guests from Washington theater stages perform an evening of showtunes, with a portion of the proceeds from specialty cocktails and featured appetizers benefiting The Helen Hayes Awards, D.C.'s preeminent theater awards organization. Tonight, Tuesday, Dec. 14, from 7 to 10 p.m. The Quill Bar at the Jefferson Hotel, 1200 16th St. NW. Free. Visit helenhayes.org. ... [Read]

Lucia Perillo at The Folger

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 14, 2010 8:46 AM |
The Folger Shakespeare Library invites the entertaining and enlightening poet Lucia Perillo to discuss her work and pay tribute to Emily Dickinson's birthday. Poetry Society of America's director Alice Quinn will lead a conservation with Perillo. Tonight, Tuesday, Dec. 14, at 7:30 p.m. Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $15. Call 202-544-7077 or visit folger.edu. ... [Read]

A Broadway Christmas Carol at MetroStage

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 14, 2010 6:30 AM |
"Deck the halls with lots of showtunes," Donna Migliaccio sings in the opening number of A Broadway Christmas Carol. And that, she does. By the end of the show, the halls are overstuffed with showtune snippets -- 40 or so in all. They're presented in a hurried, altered, name-that-tune kind-of-way, a gaudy effect that distracts from the story -- but ... [Read]

Following on last year's hit, Barack Stars, Chicago's notorious and uproarious The Second City returns with A Girl's Guide to Washington Politics, a new political comedy revue that spoofs modern-day women in politics, from Hillary Clinton to Sarah Palin, and maybe even Christine O'Donnell if we're lucky -- lucky, you know, since the one-time witch lost royally. Through Jan. 9. ... [Read]

Certainly one of the region's most entertaining places to see a movie -- since there's table service with food and alcohol -- the Arlington Cinema N' Drafthouse throws a Christmas movie marathon today, Sunday, Dec. 12 -- and all for just $8 for the entire day, whether you stay the entire run, or come and go. How The Grinch Stole ... [Read]

Alexis Rockman: A Fable for Tomorrow focuses on one of the first contemporary artists to build his career around exploring environmental issues, from evolutionary biology and genetic engineering to deforestation and climate change. To May 8. Smithsonian American Art Museum's McEvoy Auditorium, Lower Level, 8th and F Streets NW. Free. Call 202-633-1000 or visit americanart.si.edu. ... [Read]

Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison Holiday Show

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 12, 2010 9:13 AM |
In 2003, Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison, two married country music singer-songwriters who you may remember as stars in Claritin commercials from a few years ago, released Happy Holidays, a cover album of Christmas songs. They're still a caroling couple, now they're just doing it live. Tonight, Sunday, Dec. 12, at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria. ... [Read]

The National Chamber Ensemble's Home for the Holidays celebrates the holiday season with selections from Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi and more, including a sing-along, with special guests including the Cantus Youth Choir of Choralis. Today, Sunday, Dec. 12, at 4 p.m. Spectrum Theatre at Artisphere, 1611 N. Kent St. Arlington. Tickets are $25. Call 703-573-SEAT or visit artisphere.com. ... [Read]

Eureka Dance Festival at Dance Place

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 12, 2010 9:12 AM |
The Eureka Dance Festival is an innovative collection of premieres by DC-area choreographers and international guests, including Nathan Andary, Glade Dance Collective, Keira Hart-Mendoza, Kate Jordan, Orit Sherman and Roxie Thomas. Today, Sunday, Dec. 12, at 4 p.m. Dance Place, 3225 8th St. NE. Tickets are $20. Call 202-269-1600 or visit danceplace.org. ... [Read]

DCDD's Annual Holiday Concert

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 11, 2010 9:32 AM |
"A lot of D.C. people are transplants and may not get to go home for Christmas, so [the annual holiday concert] is our way of sharing some holiday cheer," DC's Different Drummers' artistic director Joe Bello told Metro Weekly last year. And this year's concert marks the 30th anniversary of the occasion, so chances are the milestone will make it ... [Read]

Sunset Boulevard at Signature Theatre

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 11, 2010 9:31 AM |
Sunset Boulevard, starring Florence Lacey (Broadway's Evita) as faded screen star Norma Desmond, Andrew Lloyd Webber's lush noir musical is one of the greatest Hollywood tales ever told. The cast also includes local favorites J. Fred Shiffman and Harry A. Winter (as film director Cecil B. DeMille). Eric Schaeffer directs, while Jon Kalbflesich leads a 20-member orchestra. To Feb. 13. ... [Read]

The Joy of Christmas Concert

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 11, 2010 9:31 AM |
J. Reilly Lewis leads the Washington National Cathedral Choral Society, along with the Maret School Concert Choir and the Washington Symphonic Brass, in The Joy of Christmas concert, a perennial holiday favorite, including sing-along carols and an advent wreath processional. Saturday, Dec. 11, at noon and 4 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 13, at 4 p.m. Washington National Cathedral, Massachusetts and ... [Read]

The Apartment at the AFI Silver

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 11, 2010 9:31 AM |
Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine gave career-making performances in the Oscar-winning classic, The Apartment, from Billy Wilder, about a workplace romance of uncommon sophistication. It went on to inspire the Broadway musical Promises, Promises. Saturday, Dec. 11, at 4 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 12, at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 14, at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 15, at 9 ... [Read]

Reel Affirmations Xtra presents Undertow

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 10, 2010 8:48 AM |
In Undertow, a Spanish man carries on a clandestine affair with a handsome drifter. Meanwhile, his wife prepares to deliver their firstborn. You just know this won't end well for anybody involved. It's the latest film in Reel Affirmations's monthly screening series leading up to next year's spring festival. In Spanish with English subtitles. Friday, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m. ... [Read]

Neil Goldberg, creator of Broadway's Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy, presents Cirque Dreams Holidaze, an extravaganza with over 30 artists pulling stunts -- from gingerbread men flipping in mid-air to toy soldiers marching on thin wires to puppets caroling. It's all performed to an original score plus some holiday favorites, and on a set that includes colossal candy canes and 30-foot ... [Read]

NSO Pops: Happy Holidays

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 9, 2010 9:20 AM |
Marvin Hamlisch conducts the NSO Pops along with special guests, including sopranos Christiane Noll and Mikaela Schneider, cellist Kristina Winiawski, flutist Niles Watson and the City Choir of Washington, to perform familiar holiday tunes in this annual Kennedy Center tradition. Thursday, Dec. 9, and Sunday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m. Also Friday, Dec. 10, and Saturday, Dec. 11, at 8 ... [Read]

Paula Crawford at Long View Gallery

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 9, 2010 9:10 AM |
"New Work" features paintings by Paula Crawford of colorful, spherical forms. She started painting these just before she was diagnosed with Hepatitis C, a disease whose clustered spheres are almost identical to what she had painted. When something occurs that uncannily, you don't just stop willy-nilly. Crawford's still paining these forms even after treatment. Opening reception tonight, Thursday, Dec. 9, ... [Read]

Moscow Ballet performs The Nutcracker

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 9, 2010 8:50 AM |
'Tis the season for ballet companies to perform their own version of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker. The Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker pays tribute to Marius Petipa, who developed the Nutcracker and Swan Lake choreography and is credited as "The Father of Russian Ballet." Tonight, Thursday, Dec. 9, at 7:30 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are ... [Read]

Oliver Sacks at Sixth & I Synagogue

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 9, 2010 8:40 AM |
In The Mind's Eye, Oliver Sacks offers case studies of people who have lost certain cognitive abilities yet who nonetheless lead fairly normal lives as their brains find ways to compensate for the damage. The neurologist and noted author has himself recently lost vision to one side. Thursday, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. 600 I ... [Read]

Tragedy offers all-metal Bee Gees

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 9, 2010 8:26 AM |
If you can stomach the Bee Gees' signature falsettos, maybe you can stomach anything, including heavy metal's signature screeching guitars courtesy Tragedy: An All-Metal Tribute to the Bee Gees. Tonight, Thursday, Dec. 9, at 8 p.m. The State Theatre, 220 North Washington St., Falls Church. Tickets are $14. Call 703-237-0300 or visit thestatetheatre.com. ... [Read]

Dave Koz and Friends at Strathmore

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 6, 2010 9:09 AM |
The 2010 Smooth Jazz Christmas -- the 13th edition of the tour -- features gay saxophonist Dave Koz alongside South African singer/guitarist Jonathan Butler, keyboardist Brian Culbertson and Dutch saxophone star Candy Dulfer. They'll perform hits from their respective repertoires as well as holiday standards. A co-presentation with Blues Alley. Tonight, Monday, Dec. 6, at 8 p.m. Music Center at ... [Read]

every tongue confess at Arena Stage

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 5, 2010 9:37 AM |
On the surface, Marcus Gardley has written a kind of Southern fairy tale about hatred and racism and rejection in every tongue confess, the world premiere of which is christening Arena Stage's new Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle. It's an emotionally difficult work that guards itself against obvious message or sympathy. Evil is as complicated as good, and understanding either ... [Read]

Logan Circle Holiday House Tour

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 5, 2010 9:31 AM |
Twelve eye-popping homes are featured in the Logan Circle Holiday House Tour, sponsored by the Logan Circle Community Association, which concludes as always with a lively Wassail reception at the Studio Theatre, 14th and P Streets NW. Sunday, Dec. 5, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 day-of. Visit LoganCircle.org. ... [Read]

WIT's Seasonal Disorder

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 4, 2010 9:39 AM |
Washington Improv Theater's annual holiday extravaganza features shows based on audience suggestions, showing you the good, the bad and the ugly of the season – all good laughs to get you through this crazy month. Each and every show is different, but all offer a grab bag of spontaneous ho-ho-ho-inducing comedy! Weekends through Jan. 1. Source Theater, 1835 14th St. ... [Read]

The Washington Ballet's The Nutcracker

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 4, 2010 9:36 AM |
Seven years ago The Washington Ballet's Septime Webre refashioned The Nutcracker to be a tribute to the nation's capital, starring George Washington as the heroic Nutcracker and England's King George III as the villainous Rat King, all against a backdrop of cherry blossoms and other D.C. scenes. Including over 350 dancers, it remains one of the most popular Nutcrackers to ... [Read]

The Antlers at The Black Cat

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 4, 2010 9:30 AM |
Started as a solo project of New Yorker Peter Silberman, The Antlers, a Radiohead-influenced, Arcade Fire-esque experimental, orchestral rock band is popular in D.C., where the group performs several times a year. The band returns to the Black Cat along with the eccentric Canadian indie-rock group The Luyas, featuring a former Arcade Fire member. Saturday, Dec. 4, at 9 p.m. ... [Read]

Swingtime! at the In Series

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 3, 2010 9:01 AM |
The InSeries presents a holiday encore of Swingtime!, first staged over the summer. Written and directed by Tom Mallan, with music direction by Burnett Thompson, the play focuses on the post-war 1940s swing era and features a four-piece jazz band, headed by pianist Jean Baptiste, and six singers, performing well-known and lesser-known tunes from the period. Opens tonight Friday, Dec. ... [Read]

The hysterically funny Walter Cronkite is Dead takes place here in Washington, where two women -- representing red state vs. blue state -- have been stranded in an airport bar because storms have grounded airplanes up and down the East Coast. Joe Calarco's play is far more than a tale of opposites in close quarters and its comedy does not ... [Read]

Now playing: Black Swan

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 3, 2010 8:54 AM |
Even when things are most bizarre and confusing, Black Swan, which stars Natalie Portman as a tormented (in so many ways) ballerina, is gripping and stunning. The numerous ballet sequences are beautiful. Director Darren Aronofsky crashes through the fourth wall that usually divides the audience from the performers to capture the fluid nature of the dance moves and the harsh ... [Read]

Now Playing: Burlesque

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 3, 2010 8:48 AM |
Burlesque is like a sequin. It's shimmery. It looks best from a distance. It's flat and kind of cheap. And it will likely end up stuck to the bottom of your shoe after a rough night at the club. The main problem with Burlesque is that it's so damned derivative. The first time Ali (Christina Aguilera) sings is exactly like ... [Read]

Elisabeth Withers at Blues Alley

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 2, 2010 9:30 AM |
Shug Avery from the original Broadway cast of The Color Purple, Elisabeth Withers is a Tony-nominated R&B singer/songwriter. She sang backup for Celine Dion and Jennifer Lopez before venturing out on her own a few years ago with her neo-soul-stirring Blue Note debut, It Can Happen To Anyone. Thursday, Dec. 2, at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Blues Alley, 1073 ... [Read]

Pianist Louis Lortie with the NSO

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 2, 2010 9:28 AM |
Emmanuel Krivine conducts pianist Louis Lortie playing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 2. Also on the program is Beethoven's Overture to Egmont, Liszt's Les Préludes and Strauss's Don Juan. Thursday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m. Also Friday, Dec. 3, and Saturday, Dec. 4, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $20 to $85. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org. ... [Read]

Peter Hook at the 9:30 Club

Posted by Randy Shulman
December 1, 2010 8:04 AM |
After a hissy-fit departure from New Order a few years back -- just the most dramatic of several recent musical flare-ups -- the venerated bass player Peter Hook, known for his signature high bass lines, has formed a new band, Unknown Pleasures, named after the debut album from his short-lived but storied first band Joy Division. So it seems safe ... [Read]

Bringing a devilish twist to holiday classics and original songs, lively folk-jazz originator Dan Hicks and his band The Hot Licks tour in support of a new album, Crazy for Christmas. Wednesday, Dec. 1, at 8 p.m. The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1645 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $25. Call 703-255-1900 or visit wolf-trap.org. Here's a clip of Hicks from ... [Read]