Metro Weekly

Editor’s Picks: Christmas Music, Washington Ballet’s Nutcracker, Puddles Pity Party, Murray Hill, more

Our picks of the best arts and entertainment in D.C. this week!

Oh God — Photo: Iwan Bagus


A psychotherapist gets a visit from a new and desperate patient — God — in a witty and touching work by Anat Gov, “the Wendy Wasserstein of Israel.” Kimberly Schraf is the therapist who must talk the divine one (Mitchell Hébert) off the ledge of despair over the state of humanity in Mosaic Theater’s winter holiday production. Select performances will be followed by free post-show discussions exploring resonant themes in the work including, Sunday, Dec. 16, at 4:30 p.m., between Mosaic founder Ari Roth and the Edlavitch DCJCC’s Carole Zawatsky. To Jan. 13. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $20 to $65. Call 202-399-7993 or visit

She the People — Photo: Teresa Castracane


An all-female team roasts the patriarchy, modern politics and pop culture in the latest revue from Chicago’s sketch comedy troupe. Carly Heffernan directs a Second City ensemble featuring Atra Asdou, Carisa Barreca, Alex Bellisle, Katie Caussin, Kazi Jones, and Maggie Wilder. To Jan. 6. Woolly Mammoth, 641 D St. NW. Tickets range from $20 to $85. Call 202-393-3939 or visit

Chris Pureka at Jammin Java


A gender-queer singer-songwriter whose fraught-folk style reflects slightly, subtly, on her background in science: Pureka was a research microbiologist at Smith College before she became a full time musician more than a decade ago. The Portland-based artist returns for a show at Virginia’s Jammin Java with an opening set by Crys Matthews, the impressive Herndon-based, lesbian soul/folk singer. Thursday, Dec. 20. Doors at 6 p.m. 227 Maple Ave. E. Vienna. Tickets are $18 to $25. Call 703-255-3747 or visit


Puddles — Photo: David Stuart


In Puddles the Clown, Big Mike Geier has created a unique arts persona out of the jack-in-the-box. Dressed in clown whiteface, and nary speaking a word, Puddles, who is perpetually sad, sings with a shimmering baritone luster that is as astonishing as it is surprising. No wonder he’s nearly sold out the Eisenhower Theater for his Friday night performance. His set list reportedly includes R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion,” Eric Carmen’s “All By Myself,” Sia’s “Chandelier,” and, if we’re lucky, Lorde’s “Royals.” Friday, Dec. 14, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $29-$55. Call 202-467-4600 or visit

The Nutcracker — Photo: xmb Photography


The Washington Ballet’s former artistic director Septime Webre first staged his twist on the family favorite 13 years ago, setting it in D.C.’s historic Georgetown neighborhood with George Washington as the titular figure and King George III as the Rat King. As always, the production sets up shop for nearly all of December at downtown’s Warner Theatre, 513 13th St. NW. To Dec. 24. Call 202-889-5901 or visit

The Washington Chorus Candlelight Christmas


Christopher Bell directs the annual “A Candlelight Christmas,” featuring the 200-voice chorus singing familiar carols and holiday songs accompanied by brass ensemble plus organ, plus audience sing-alongs and a candlelight processional. Joining the chorus this year is Virginia Bronze, an Alexandria handbell ensemble. Sunday, Dec. 16, at 4 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 22, at 2 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Also Thursday, Dec. 20, at 8 p.m., and Friday, Dec. 21, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $18 to $75. Call 202-342-6221 or visit

Murray Hill — Photo courtesy of Murray Hill


New York drag king and transgender comedian Murray Hill — aka Mr. Showbiz — throws a holiday cocktail party live on a stage in Baltimore. Joining Hill, who regularly comes to the Birchmere to host Burlesque-A-Pades, are Angie “International Queen of Burlesque” Pontani, LGBTQ burlesque artist The Maine Attraction, and singer Julia Rose. They’ll offer wacky skits, Hot Toddy burlesque, and “a sleigh full of cheesy holiday songs.” All that, plus the winner of an Ugly Sweater Contest among audience members will get to sit on Santa’s lap and pick a gift from his grab bag. Saturday, Dec. 15, at 7 and 10 p.m. Creative Alliance at the Patterson, 3134 Eastern Ave. Baltimore. Tickets are $22 to $25, or $50 with a ticket to the 10 p.m. show plus a pre-show “Tuxedos, Sequins & Champagne” party offering bubbly, a gin punch, and snacks, all as a fundraiser for Creative Alliance. Call 410-276-1651 or visit

Folger Consort’s Christmas Messe — Photo: Teresa Wood


The Folger Shakespeare Library’s 1619 manuscript A Christmas Messe, which recounts a tussle between King Beef and King Brawn, offers lively accompaniment to a main course of beloved Yuletide music. Billed as a banquet of seasonal English music, ranging from the earliest carols to later arrangements of favorites like Greensleeves by Vaughan Williams, the music will be brought to life by strings, harp, organist Webb Wiggins, and an ensemble of voices, including soprano Crossley Hawn, alto P. Lucy McVeigh, and tenor Oliver Mercer. Before the performance on Saturday, Dec. 15, at 8 p.m., there will be a behind-the-scenes talk and look at related items from the Folger vault led by the organization’s Amanda Herbert in the Paster Reading Room. Performances begin Friday, Dec. 14, at 8 p.m. Weekends to Dec. 23. Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $52, plus $15 for the Saturday, Dec. 15, pre-show talk and exhibition. Call 202-544-7077 or visit

Downtown Holiday Market — Photo: Rob Ives


Over 150 artisans rotate among sixty tents set up on two blocks in the heart of downtown. Now in its 14th year, the holiday market offers a vast, eclectic, and international assortment of gifts and souvenirs, collectibles and wearables — from prints and photographs, to pottery and glassware, to custom jewelry and accessories. Each day also brings free staged concerts by local musicians, and options for food and non-alcoholic drink. Open noon to 8 p.m. daily to Dec. 23. Located on F Street between 7th and 9th Streets NW. Visit

The Magic of DC — Thommy Halladay


Drafthouse Comedy club offers a late-afternoon show this weekend featuring three area performers: Chris Michael, a comedy magician who does everything from funny beat-boxing to death-defying stunts; Tommy Halladay, an Instagram-born talent who mixes magic with stunts and sideshow acts; and Braden Carlisle, a comedy magician known for his magic theory book Agree to Disagree and who serves as host of the weekly magic podcast Awesome People Talking. Saturday, Dec. 15, and Sunday, Dec. 16, at 4 p.m. 1100 13th St. NW. Tickets are $10. Call 202-750-6411 or visit

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