Metro Weekly

Festive Best Bets

These five holiday shows are slightly off-the-beaten path

John Waters
John Waters – Photo: Todd Franson/Metro Weekly

One could easily overindulge on culture this holiday season, with multiple takes on The Nutcracker, Handel’s Messiah and Charles Dickens on offer around town. Slightly off the beaten path, however, there are plenty of holiday shows and concerts worth seeking out, from the high-minded and serious to the lowbrow — or at least low-lying — and comical.

There couldn’t be a more glorious venue for a traditional celebration than the Washington National Cathedral, and the Cathedral Choral Society‘s Advent procession, the “Joy of Christmas,” takes full advantage of the Gothic edifice. J. Reilly Lewis leads the chorus in performances of beloved carols accompanied by the Washington Symphonic Brass as well as organist Todd Fickley. Saturday, Dec. 13, and Sunday, Dec. 14, at 4 p.m., at the Washington National Cathedral. Tickets are $75. Call 202-537-2228.

Every year, the Folger Consort offers a more interesting, scholarly spin on the Christmas tradition, with this year’s program focusing on seasonal music from the imperial courts during the Italian Renaissance. Anna Marsh and Christa Patton join the Consort as guest artists playing the medieval wind instrument called the shawm, as well as the recorder. Mark Rimple also accompanies on lute for the concerts Tuesday, Dec. 16, through Tuesday, Dec. 23, at the Folger Theatre, 201 E. Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $50. Call 202-544-7077.

Few music genres capture the festive Christmas spirit better than jazz, and this year’s brassiest best comes courtesy of The Capitol Bones Big Band. This local, all-brass band stops by Blues Alley for two concerts featuring local jazz vocalist Lena Seikaly performing renditions of Christmas classics first popularized by the late big band jazz pioneer Stan Kenton. Tuesday, Dec. 23, at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., at Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Tickets are $22, plus $10 minimum purchase. Call 202-337-4141.

Of all the theatrical variations on Dickens, MetroStage offers what is no doubt the most entertaining, at least to musical theater queens. Kathy Feininger’s A Broadway Christmas Carol spins its Dickensian tale by adapting lyrics from familiar Broadway tunes, 30 or so in all, including The Music Man, Sweeney Todd and Annie. Peter Boyer is Chief Bah Humbugger in a cast that also includes director and choreographer Michael Sharp as The Man Who Isn’t Scrooge. Now to Sunday, Dec. 28, at MetroStage, 1201 North Royal St., Alexandria. Tickets are $50. Call 800-494-8497.

Last but not least is the Birchmere‘s yuk-fest featuring a certain Baltimore filmmaker. In A John Waters Christmas, the “Pope of Trash” explores the gay and sexual possibilities of the holiday, posing questions you’ve probably never pondered before, such as whether there is a “Santa hag” or a “flue queen.” Monday, Dec. 22, at 7:30 p.m., at the Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $49.50. Call 703-549-7500.

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"Limitless Michael Smuin" - Virtual Fall Series

Stellar Stream,
Monday, September 27 - Monday, October 04
  • Dance
  • Under $10
  • Online & At Home
  • Stellar

Our Virtual Fall Season, "Limitless Michael Smuin" includes four audience favorites from our archives that will be presented on demand. Tickets include unlimited virtual viewing during this exclusive ... Read more

"Quixote Nuevo"

Round House Theatre - Bethesda, Bethesda
Tuesday, September 28 - Sunday, October 03
  • Theater
  • In Person
  • Added This Week

“Make room for "Quixote Nuevo",” raves "The Boston Globe". This inspired adaptation—set to the spirited sounds of Tejano music—reimagines Cervantes’ beloved knight Don Quixote as a brilliant... Read more

"Stoop Stories" -- Online Filmed Production

Online Stream,
Tuesday, September 28 - Sunday, October 03
  • Theater
  • Online & At Home

Combining heightened prose, poetry, and music playwright and Pulitzer Prize finalist Dael Orlandersmith crafts a solo show with the rhythm and punch of big band jazz. From a stoop in Harlem, audiences... Read more

Reality Fit Club: Live Online Fitness Classes

Zoom Stream,
Tuesday, September 28 - Thursday, September 30
  • Under $10
  • Lectures & Classes
  • Online & At Home

Legs, arms, tummy, booty -- no matter which part of the body you're looking to whip into shape, Reality Fit Club's got a fun routine in store for you. With their series of high-energy online workouts,... Read more

Online Tai Chi Classes with Dave Burgett

Zoom Stream,
Tuesday, September 28 - Saturday, October 02
  • Activities & Competitions
  • Under $10
  • Lectures & Classes
  • Top Rated
  • Online & At Home

Often described at "meditation in motion," Tai Chi's gentle movements will calm your mind and enhance your body. Dave Burgett -- a Seventh-Degree Black Belt -- will lead you through a basic form to im... Read more

Name That Tune - Live Music Weekly Livestream Game!

Online Stream,
Tuesday, September 28 - Tuesday, December 28
  • Music
  • Activities & Competitions
  • Online & At Home

A weekly livestream Name That Tune game, with a different theme each time ('80s, beach music, movies, boy bands, Motown, etc.), plus trivia, lyric challenges, song knowledge and much more! And unlike ... Read more

Introduction to Meditation -- Online

Zoom Stream,
Tuesday, September 28 - Saturday, October 30
  • Free
  • Added This Week
  • Lectures & Classes
  • Online & At Home

Through this online class, you will be able to deeply understand the principles of this meditation method and experience what makes it so powerful and effective. You will be led in a 30-minute session... Read more

"The Thanksgiving Play"

Olney Theatre Center - Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab, Olney
Wednesday, September 29 - Sunday, October 10
  • Theater
  • In Person
  • Added This Week

The country’s most-produced comedy of 2019 arrives in the DMV courtesy of Olney Theatre Center to open our 2021-22 season! This hilarious sendup of “white wokeness” features an undaunted theatre... Read more

Comedy 4 Kids Online Classes

Online,
Wednesday, September 29
  • Family
  • Under $10
  • Lectures & Classes
  • Online & At Home

Develop creative writing and performance skills while discovering your inner comedic genius! Walt Frasier and his team at EIGHT IS NEVER ENOUGH bring their popular Times Square program online to the e... Read more

"Teenage Dick"

Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Washington
Wednesday, September 29 - Sunday, October 17
  • Theater
  • In Person

Welcome to a modern, darkly comic re-telling of Shakespeare’s "Richard III" set in the most treacherous of places – high school. Bullied because of his cerebral palsy, Richard is willing to crush ... Read more

Online Comedy Classes for All Ages

Zoom Stream,
Wednesday, September 29
  • Comedy
  • Under $10
  • Lectures & Classes
  • Online & At Home

Develop creative writing and performance skills while discovering your inner comedic genius! Classes are available for kids (age 7-10), tweens (age 11-13), teens (age 14-17) and adults (age 18+).... Read more

Live Comedy On Zoom!

Zoom Stream,
Wednesday, September 29 - Wednesday, October 20
  • Free
  • Comedy
  • Top Rated
  • Online & At Home

We're bringing the comedy club experience direct to your living room. Live Comedy On Zoom features the best and brightest touring stand up comics, who under normal circumstances would be busy performi... Read more

Bob Dylan Whiskey Hunt

The Mansion on O & O Street Museum, Washington
Wednesday, September 29 - Thursday, September 30
  • In Person
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Sip on Bob Dylan’s own Heaven’s Door Whiskey — then explore our themed rooms and secret doors. You will decipher clues and search for music-themed items including a guitar signed by Bob Dylan. W... Read more

"Seinfeld" Trivia on Zoom (yada yada yada!)

Zoom Stream,
Wednesday, September 29
  • Movies & TV
  • Activities & Competitions
  • Under $10
  • Online & At Home

"Seinfeld" Trivia via Zoom. Yada Yada Yada! Have some fun relieving "Seinfeld" and the gang at our interactive zoom trivia event How exactly does it work: 1) You will join the virtual room at the spec... Read more

"Fabulous Fanny: The Songs & Stories of Fanny Brice" - Online

Stellar Stream,
Wednesday, September 29 - Sunday, December 12
  • Theater
  • Top Rated
  • Online & At Home
  • Stellar

If you're looking for laughs, Fanny Brice is the one to deliver 'em to ya -- well, Fanny Brice via Kimberly Faye Greenberg. The legendary comedian's life was first dramatized by Barbra Streisand in th... Read more

Piano Bingo with Shake Rattle & Roll Pianos - Online

Online Event,
Wednesday, September 29
  • Music
  • Under $10
  • Online & At Home

All the fun of NYC's favorite all-request piano singalong show with the excitement of competitive bingo -- every song checks a box, every game has a winner! Our show takes place on the Shake Rattle & ... Read more

After School Improv 4 Teens - Online

Zoom Stream,
Wednesday, September 29
  • Comedy
  • Under $10
  • Online & At Home

Come play improv comedy games. While having a ton of fun, sharing much needed laughs, you will develop creative writing & critical thinking, team communications and presentation skills and build self ... Read more

NSO: Hilary Hahn Plays Brahms’ Violin Concerto -- See It With a Fully Vaccinated Audience

The Kennedy Center - Concert Hall, Washington
Thursday, September 30
  • In Person
  • Music
  • Added This Week

Gianandrea Noseda leads a program spotlighting three-time Grammy Award-winning violinist Hilary Hahn performing Brahms’ Violin Concerto. Then, experience the sweeping, spiritual Third Symphony by Fl... Read more

"F.I.R.E", Virtual Play

Online,
Thursday, September 30
  • Theater
  • Added This Week
  • Online & At Home

It’s Summer Drinks Night at an average Fifth Avenue hedge-fund and, for the generally isolated back office accountants, the most important night of the year. But when an emergency audit comes crashi... Read more

Based on the popular 'Audience Singalongs' that took place on Sunday and Monday nights during runs in theaters throughout the country, Hershey Felder and his team have created an event, where you can ... Read more

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