Focused on Broadway and the American theater, the 1933 classic, number 13 on AFI’s list of best musicals, brims with gay appeal. Interestingly, the novel the movie was based on featured a same-sex relationship at its center, but the storyline was changed and the film’s romantic core became strictly heterosexual. Kicking off the 2019 Capital Classics series at Landmark’s West End Cinema, 42nd Street features songs by Harry Warren and Al Dubin, choreography by the great Busby Berkeley, and a cast that includes Ruby Keeler, Dick Powell, and a young Ginger Rogers. Screenings are Wednesday, Jan. 2, at 1:30, 4:30, and 7:30 p.m., 2301 M St. NW. Happy hour from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $12.50. Call 202-534-1907 or visit landmarktheatres.com.
COMING TO AMERICA
Eddie Murphy plays an African prince who travels to the U.S. with his aide/sidekick Arsenio Hall in search of romance. In the end, John Landis’ 1988 film was only moderately funny, but it was a huge hit at the box office, and a sequel has been rumored to be in development at Paramount Pictures for two years now. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History offers a special screening of the film as a toast to its 30th anniversary. Saturday, Dec. 29, at 5:10 p.m. The Warner Bros. Theater, 1300 Constitution Ave. NW. Tickets are $6 to $10 plus fees. Call 202-633-1000 or visit si.edu/imax.
GARRY WINOGRAND: ALL THINGS ARE PHOTOGRAPHABLE
One of the foremost photographers of the 20th century is the subject of an intimate documentary by Sasha Waters Freyer and constructed using Winogrand’s own words and images — including the more than 10,000 rolls of exposed film left behind when he died suddenly at age 56 in 1984. The National Gallery of Art presents a screening of Freyer’s documentary, billed as the first focused on the life and work of this celebrated photographer, known from his captures of street life in New York and goings-on in postwar America. Sunday, Dec. 30. Doors approximately 1:30 p.m. East Building Auditorium, 3rd Street at Constitution Avenue NW. Free, but seating is on a first-come, first-seated basis. Call 202-737-4215 or visit nga.gov.
HOLMES AND WATSON
Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly are the titular crime-solving duo in this action-comedy. Written and directed by Get Hard‘s Etan Cohen, you already know if this is something you’ll be interested in — chances are if you liked Step Brothers, you’ll like this. You also might want to reconsider your life choices, but that’s not for us to say. Now playing. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (Rhuaridh Marr)
IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
Tish is an African-American woman determined to clear the name of her husband Fonny, wrongfully accused of rape, before she gives birth to their child. The latest film from Moonlight screenwriter and director Barry Jenkins adapts James Baldwin’s 1974 novel, its themes of racism and injustice still concerningly relevant today. If Beale Street Could Talk stars Kiki Layne as Tish and Stephan James as Fonny. Critics are already heaping praise on the film, so don’t be surprised to see it reappear come awards season. Now playing. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (RM)
ON THE BASIS OF SEX
Notorious RBG makes her big screen debut. Felicity Jones is a young Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a brilliant lawyer fighting for equal rights for women, including in arguments before the Supreme Court that she would eventually come to have a seat on. Armie Hammer co-stars as Ginsburg’s husband, Martin, and Emmy-winning director Mimi Leder is at the helm. This is about as close as it gets to perfect Oscar-fodder, but should also hopefully make for compelling viewing — Ginsburg’s incredible life achievements deserve it. Now playing. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (RM)
Set in a New York firm where the women are prey for the higher-ups, Billy Wilder’s 1960 comedy of manners won five Oscars and would go on to inspire the musical Promises, Promises. Jack Lemmon stars as Bud Baxter, whose apartment his bosses borrow for “nooners,” while Shirley MacLaine is the amiable elevator operator. Both are part of an extraordinary ensemble that brings to life Wilder’s witty dialogue and caustic commentary. The National Gallery of Art premieres a new digital restoration of the film historian Charles Silver said “touched a contemporary, and possibly raw, nerve.” Sunday, Dec. 30, at 4 p.m. East Building Auditorium, 3rd Street at Constitution Avenue NW. Free, with seating on a first-come, first-seated basis. Call 202-737-4215 or visit nga.gov.
Adam McKay successfully distilled the 2008 financial crisis into a simultaneously humorous and horrifying experience with 2015’s Oscar-nominated The Big Short. Expectations are high that he will do similarly good work with a comedy-drama — initially titled Backseat — about America’s most powerful Vice President, Dick Cheney, who was widely believed to be running the show behind President George W. Bush. Christian Bale stars as Cheney, capturing his rise to V.P., Amy Adams plays his wife Lynne Cheney, Steve Carell is Donald Rumsfeld, and Sam Rockwell is Bush, alongside a number of other famous faces from the Bush administration. Now playing. Area theaters. Visit fandango.com. (RM)
A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Craig Wallace returns for his third year as the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge in Ford’s Theatre’s cherished annual production of Dickens’ Yuletide classic. It really wouldn’t be Christmas in Washington without this music-infused adaptation, conceived by Michael Wilson and directed by Michael Baron. To Dec. 30. Ford’s Theatre, 511 10th St. NW. Tickets are $24 to $107. Call 800-982-2787 or visit fordstheatre.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 — billed as “Dickens originally intended, in his own words.” Now to Dec. 30. The Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Tickets are $40 to $50. Call 301-924-3400 or visit olneytheatre.org.
A CIVIL WAR CHRISTMAS
Paula Vogel’s “pageant of carols” is set in 1864 and shares tales from Virginia’s battlegrounds as well as the Lincoln White House. Deidra LaWan Starnes directs 1st Stage Theatre’s take on A Civil War Christmas, featuring music by Daryl Waters, with a 12-person cast including Suzy Alden, Tiziano D’Affuso, Billie Krishawn, V. Savoy McIlwain, Karma Price, and Joshua Simon. Extended to Dec. 30. 1524 Spring Hill Rd. Tysons, Va. Tickets are $15 to $39. Call 703-854-1856 or visit 1ststage.org.
AN IRISH CAROL
Keegan Theatre presents Matthew Keenan’s annual homage to Dickens, with biting Irish humor and incisive candor. Mark A. Rhea directs a cast featuring Kevin Adams, Josh Sticklin, Timothy Lynch, Caroline Dubberly, Josh Adams, Mick Tinder, and Jon Townson. After the Saturday, Dec. 22, evening performance comes a “Keegan’s Greetings” concert over cocktails by the Harry Bells, a D.C.-based horn-and-percussion tribute to the music of Harry Belafonte. To Dec. 31. 1742 Church St. NW. Tickets are $36 to $46. Call 202-265-3767 or visit keegantheatre.com.
Matthew Gardiner helms Signature Theatre’s take on the moving musical from writer/lyricist Lee Hall and composer Elton John about an 11-year-old boy who just wants to dance. The production features two Billys and two young ensembles performing in rotation, along with an adult crew featuring Nancy Anderson as Mrs. Wilkinson, Chris Genebach as Billy’s father, Crystal Mosser as his mother, Sean Watkinson as brother Tony, and Catherine Flye as Grandma. To Jan. 6. The Ark, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Call 703-820-9771 or visit sigtheatre.org.
CHRISTMAS AT THE OLD BULL AND BUSH
Catherine Flye’s cheery holiday tale centers on patrons at a pub telling corny jokes and singing British music hall songs and Christmas carols. Originally presented at the turn of the millennium by Arena Stage, some of the original cast members return for another holiday run at Alexandria’s MetroStage including sing-alongs and an abbreviated reenactment of Dickens’ Christmas Carol, plus a few surprises along the way. To Dec. 30. MetroStage, 1201 North Royal St., Alexandria. Call 703-548-9044 or visit metrostage.org.
ELF THE MUSICAL
An orphan leaves the North Pole to find his true identity in this musical based on the 2003 Will Ferrell movie and featuring songs by the team of composer Matthew Sklar and lyricist Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer) and a book by Thomas Meehan (Annie) and Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone). Olney Theatre presents a holiday treat of a production with a powerhouse cast including Patricia Hurley, Kevin McAllister, Nova Y. Payton, and Bobby Smith, plus David Schumpf in the Ferrell role of Buddy. Directed by Michael J. Bobbitt and choreographed by Tara Jeanne Vallee. To Jan. 6. Mainstage, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, Md. Call 301-924-3400 or visit olneytheatre.org.
FANCY NANCY’S SPLENDIFEROUS CHRISTMAS
Nancy has enough money to buy a brand-new sparkly tree topper, but when things don’t turn out as she planned, will Christmas still be splendiferous? Adventure Theatre MTC presents a musical geared toward younger audiences. Stevie Zimmerman directs. To Jan. 6. 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo Park. Call 301-634-2270 or visit adventuretheatre-mtc.org.
GEM OF THE OCEAN
The “American Century” dawns in Aunt Ester’s kitchen, where Citizen Barlow arrives to have his soul cleansed by the venerable, 285-year-old soothsayer. Round House Theatre presents the first chapter in the late August Wilson’s monumental decade-by-decade play series set in Pittsburgh’s African-American Hill District. Timothy Douglas directs a cast featuring Stephanie Berry as Ester, Justin Weaks as Barlow, Alfred Wilson as Solly Two Kings, and KenYatta Rogers as the constable Caesar. Extended to Dec. 30. Round House Theatre, 4545 East-West Highway, Bethesda. Call 240-644-1100 or visit roundhousetheatre.org.
Paula Vogel’s latest work tells the story of a group of artists who risked their careers to perform Sholem Asch’s God of Vengeance on Broadway in 1923, a work deemed “indecent” for tackling taboo themes of censorship, immigration, and anti-Semitism — but especially for depicting romance blooming between two women. Eric Rosen directs a cast that includes Ben Cherry, Susan Lynskey, John Milosich, and Max Wolkowitz. To Dec. 30. Kreeger Theater in the Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Call 202-488-3300 or visit arenastage.org.
A comedy about money, power, and American democracy focused on a newly elected congresswoman who refuses to play by the rules of lobbyists or her own party. If ever there were a built-in audience for a show in D.C., Alexandria-native playwright Sarah Burgess’ Kings is it. Marti Lyons directs a Studio Theatre production featuring Nehassaiu deGannes as Rep. Sydney Millsap and Kelly McCrann as Kate, a seasoned lobbyist who, it turns out, isn’t as hardened and jaded as even she thought. To Jan. 6. 14th & P Streets NW. Call 202-332-3300 or visit studiotheatre.org.
MY FATHER’S DRAGON
As part of its Family Theater series, Synetic Theater produces a wordless adaptation of Ruth Stiles Gannett’s book starring Synetic’s Ryan Sellers and directed and choreographed by the company’s Tori Bertocci. My Father’s Dragon focuses on the attempts of Elmer Elevator to rescue a captive baby dragon on Wild Island. To Jan. 6. Theater at Crystal City, 1800 South Bell St., Arlington. Tickets are $20. Call 800-811-4111 or visit synetictheater.org.
A psychotherapist gets a visit from a new and desperate patient — God — in a witty and touching work by Anat Gov, billed as 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 directed by Michael Bloom that launches the 18th season of the annual Voices From a Changing Middle East Festival. As part of the festival, select performances will be followed by free post-show discussions exploring resonant themes in the work with experts in religion, psychotherapy, and comedy. To Jan. 13. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $20 to $65. Call 202-399-7993 or visit mosaictheater.org.
THE ELVES AND THE SHOEMAKER
Through its family and younger audiences-geared series PLAY-RAH-KA, Keegan Theatre stages Kristin Walter’s holiday twist on the classic from Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Jake Null portrays a down-at-heel shoemaker whose young daughter (Emily Dwornik) enlists a pair of elves (Joe Baker and Debora Crabbe) to help turnaround her father’s business. Alexis J. Hartwick directs a cast that also includes Maggie Leigh and Duane Richards. To Dec. 30. All performances at 11 a.m. 1742 Church St. NW. Tickets are $17. Call 202-265-3767 or visit keegantheatre.com.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST
This tour-de-farce is arguably Oscar Wilde’s greatest play, as courtships, class, and convention square off with handbags, puns, and perambulators. For the Everyman Theatre production, director Joseph Ritsch of Rep Stage has restored the original script to include the politics and double entendres that were stripped out and censored after Wilde was imprisoned due to his homosexuality. “Baltimore’s master of comedy” Bruce Randolph Nelson dons drag to play Lady Bracknell, with Danny Gavigan as Algernon and Jaysen Wright as Jack. Daniel Ettinger’s set and David Burdick’s costumes are a modern mash-up, inspired by Roy Lichtenstein and the Pop Art movement. To Jan. 6. 315 West Fayette St. Baltimore. Tickets are $10 to $65. Call 410-752-2208 or visit everymantheatre.org.
THE PANTIES, THE PARTNER AND THE PROFIT
David Ives adapts and American-izes the epic comic trilogy Scenes from the Heroic Life of the Middle Classes by Carl Sternheim, a German Expressionist master of satire from a century ago. The play follows the Mask family over the span of a half-century, starting in Boston circa 1950, moving to Wall Street in 1987, and ending in Malibu “tomorrow morning.” Michael Kahn directs Carson Elrod and Kimberly Gilbert as husband Joseph and wife Louise in the Shakespeare Theatre Company production of a social commentary about our “near-apocalypse” society also featuring Julia Coffey, Kevin Isola, Turna Mete, and Tony Roach, each portraying various roles. To Jan. 6. Lansburgh Theatre, 450 7th St. NW. Call 202-547-1122 or visit shakespearetheatre.org.
THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG
Touted as a cross between Sherlock Holmes and Monty Python and made for the stage, this classic murder mystery is full of mishaps and madcap mania. From an unconscious leading lady, to actors tripping over everything (including their lines), The Murder at Haversham Manor, the play-within-this-play, has a murderous opening night. Fortunately, the actors killed it, as it were, when The Play That Goes Wrong debuted in London and New York, earning the 2015 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy and garnering critical praise. To Jan. 6. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $49 to $149. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
A HANK WILLIAMS TRIBUTE
The Birchmere offers the 22nd annual tribute to one of the most heralded and influential country singers of all time, this year including performances by The Kennedys (Pete & Maura), Robin & Linda Williams, Patrick McAvinue, and Marshall Wilborn, in addition to the Grammy-winning lesbian couple Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer. Sunday, Dec. 30, at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $29.50. Call 703-549-7500 or visit birchmere.com.
An internationally acclaimed concert soloist, the American pianist, born and raised in Moldova, performs Chopin preludes and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. Presented by the Washington Conservatory of Music, the concert will be followed by a Wine & Words session with the musician along with complimentary beverages. Saturday, Jan. 5, at 8 p.m. Westmoreland Congregational Church, 1 Westmoreland Circle, Bethesda. Tickets are free, donations welcome. Call 301-320-2770 or visit washingtonconservatory.org.
BALTIMORE SYMPHONY: LEON FLEISHER’S BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION
The renowned American pianist, a 2007 Kennedy Center Honoree, will toast his birthday by performing a specialty of his, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 12 in A Major. Led by conductor Peter Oundjian, the BSO will also perform Brahms’ Symphony No. 2, full of beautiful melodies and an exuberantly joyful finale. Friday, Jan. 4, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 6, at 3 p.m. Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore. Also Saturday, Jan. 5, at 8 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $25 to $90. Call 877-276-1444 or visit bsomusic.org.
CYRUS CHESTNUT TRIO
“The best jazz pianist of his generation,” Time music critic Josh Tyrangiel proclaimed in 2017 about Baltimore’s versatile virtuoso Cyrus Chestnut, who two decades ago portrayed a Count Basie-inspired pianist in Robert Altman’s film Kansas City. He returns to D.C.’s leading jazz venue for another week-long run of shows, culminating in New Year’s Eve performances, both offering a three-course meal — with a midnight glass of champagne at second seating — and featuring the Cyrus Chestnut Trio along with the vocalist-led Integriti Reeves Band. Remaining performances are Thursday, Dec. 27, through Sunday, Dec. 30, at 8 and 10 p.m., and Monday, Dec. 31, at 6:30 and 10 p.m. Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Tickets are $46 to $51, or $116 to $166 for NYE dinner/show packages, plus $12 minimum purchase per person. Call 202-337-4141 or visit bluesalley.com.
Chances are good you’ll fall for Little Bird minutes into listening to the band’s 2018 EP Familiar, which shows the ambient soul/R&B band to be a wild and warm kindred spirit to everyone from D’Angelo and Erykah Badu to Australian jam band-inspired soul act Hiatus Kaiyote. The band will play an intimate show at the 180-seat Soundry, which the Clyde’s Restaurant Group opened this past summer in Columbia to be a sibling to the local chain’s crown jewel, Hamilton Live. Opening for Little Bird is D.C.’s electro-soul quintet Novo. Saturday, Jan. 5. Doors at 7 p.m. The Soundry, 10221 Wincopin Circle, Columbia. Tickets are $10 to $15. Call 443-283-1200 or visit thesoundry.com.
PASSPORT TO THE WORLD 2019: PATSY CLINE TRIBUTE, CECILY
Curated by Lynn Veronneau and Ken Avis of Wammie-winning jazz samba group Veronneau, this annual festival presented by Virginia’s Creative Cauldron celebrates the music and dance of cultures around the world, with performances by artists representing a broad spectrum of genres: folk to Latin, opera to bluegrass. The 2019 series kicks off the first weekend in January with “Patsy Cline Tribute: Six Voices,” a tribute, in song and story, to the Virginia native female country legend and featuring vocalists Jess Eliot Myhre of the Bumper Jacksons, Lauren Calve, Maureen Andary of the Sweater Set, Karen Jonas, Brian Farrow, Ahren Buchheister, and Pat Puglisi, on Saturday, Jan. 5, at 7:30 p.m. That’s followed by “Cecily Salutes D.C.,” a concert featuring a homegrown talent and her band exploring the contributions that her forebears from the nation’s capital have made to American soul music, from Duke Ellington to Gil Scott-Heron to Roberta Flack, on Sunday, Jan. 6, at 6:30 p.m. The series continues to Feb. 2. ArtSpace Falls Church, 410 South Maple Ave. in Falls Church. Tickets are $18 to $22, or $60 for tables of two with wine, $120 for tables of four with wine. Call 703-436-9948 or visit creativecauldron.org.
PATTI AUSTIN W/TREVOR LAWRENCE JR.: BEBOP HIP HOP ELLA
In addition to a concert celebrating D.C. featuring neo-soul/R&B native son Raheem DeVaughn and go-go band Backyard Band, the Kennedy Center will also ring in 2019 with “A Jazz New Year’s Eve” in which the Grammy- and Oscar-winning vocalist Austin will scat and sing a la Ella Fitzgerald accompanied by acclaimed R&B and hip-hop drummer Lawrence. Monday, Dec. 31, at 7 and 9 p.m. Tickets are $79 to $89 and include access to the Grand Foyer Party with a midnight countdown, balloon drop, and dancing. Terrace Theater. Tickets are $79 to $89. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
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 they’re also the house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. They return for another post-holiday show, this year with Sirius Co. featuring Ms. Kim & Scooby and Victory. Friday, Dec. 28, at 8 p.m. Fillmore Silver Spring, 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. General admission tickets are $69.50 plus fees. Call 301-960-9999 or visit fillmoresilverspring.com.
THE SELDOM SCENE
Formed over 40 years ago in Bethesda, progressive bluegrass band Seldom Scene remains especially popular in its hometown region. They return for a New Year’s Eve show at Alexandria’s preeminent music hall and tavern, accompanied by The High & Wides and Ms. Adventure. Monday, Dec. 31, at 8 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $39.50. Call 703-549-7500 or visit birchmere.com.
THE STRAUSS SYMPHONY OF AMERICA’S NEW YEAR’S CONCERT
Christoph Campestrini conducts the Strauss orchestra with soloists soprano Iva Schell and tenor Martin Piskorski, plus dancers from Europaballett St. Pölten and the International Champion Ballroom Dancers in the annual “Salute to Vienna,” inspired by the Austrian capital’s famed Neujahrskonzert and offering Strauss waltzes, polkas, and operetta excerpts. Attila Glatz Concerts presents the 18th annual concert. Sunday, Dec. 30, at 3 p.m. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Remaining tickets are $49 to $125. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.
WHITE FORD BRONCO
“D.C.’s all ’90s party band,” cheekily named after O.J. Simpson’s notorious failed getaway car, is a five-member ensemble consisting of singer/guitarist Diego Valencia, singer Gretchen Gustafson, guitarists Ken Sigmund and McNasty, and drummer Max Shapiro. White Ford Bronco sings through that decade’s songbook in all styles of popular music, and will close out 2018 at the 9:30 Club. Tickets remain for the show Sunday, Dec. 30. Doors at 7 p.m. 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $25. Call 202-265-0930 or visit 930.com.
Pauline Anson-Dross’ popular lesbian all-covers party-rock band has been rocking — as well as raising money for various good causes — all over the region for over a decade now. Next up is a concert to ring in 2019. Monday, Dec. 31, at 9 p.m. JV’s Restaurant, 6666 Arlington Blvd. in Falls Church. Tickets are $50 and include hors d’oeuvres, party favors and midnight champagne toast. Call 703-241-9504 or visit jvsrestaurant.com.
STEP AFRIKA!: MAGICAL MUSICAL HOLIDAY STEP SHOW
The local percussive dance company dedicated to the tradition of stepping presents its annual holiday step show intended for audiences aged four years and up. The focus is on getting North Pole animals — polar bears, penguins — to step. And all to music by “Frosty the Snowman,” putting the needle on the record as special guest DJ. In addition to the show featuring friendly, furry characters, this holiday tradition at the Atlas Performing Arts Center includes pre-show instrument-making workshops, photo ops, and a dance party. To Dec. 30. The Sprenger Theatre, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $25 to $45. Call 202-399-7993 or visit atlasarts.org.
BURLESQUE & COMEDY: NEW YEAR’S EVE EXTRAVAGANZA
The Bier Baron Tavern in Dupont Circle and the DC Burlesque Breakfast Club present a night of variety and comedy led by former Ringling Bros./Barnum & Bailey clown Jim Dandy and burlesquer Delilah Dentata. Additional performances from burlesque showgirls Bebe “The Brick Dollhouse” Bardot and Gigi “D.C.’s Legitimate Love Child” Holliday, plus Arab-American comic Maher Matta. Monday, Dec. 31, at 9:30 p.m. 1523 22nd St. NW. Tickets are $15, or $50 to $75 for All-You-Can-Drink options, and $200 for preferred VIP seating, a bottle of wine, an appetizer, and a hotel room at the Baron Hotel. Call 202-293-1887 or visit inlovewithbier.com.
The cute, gay-friendly straight comic you may remember from Chelsea Lately — or from his collaboration with Ross Mathews on the “Josh and Ross” podcast, giving the straight spin on pop culture. The Boston-born, L.A.-based comic writer/performer returns for a full weekend and New Year’s Eve run of shows at Drafthouse Comedy. Friday, Dec. 28, and Saturday, Dec. 29, at 7 and 9 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 30, at 8 p.m., and Monday, Dec. 31, at 7 and 9 p.m. 1100 13th St. NW. Tickets are $20. Call 202-750-6411 or visit drafthousecomedy.com.
You may remember the comedic performer as the “hooker with the heart of gold” in Borat. Luenell has also had notable appearances on TV, including Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and as a featured performer in the 2012 special Snoop Dogg Presents: The Bad Girls of Comedy. Her DC Improv debut, for a weekend run of shows with opening sets from Cerrome Russell. Friday, Jan. 4, at 7:30 and 9:45 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 5, at 7 and 9:30 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 6, at 7 p.m. 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets are $20 to $25, plus a two-item minimum. Call 202-296-7008 or visit dcimprov.com.
THE SECOND CITY: LOVE, FACTUALLY
The latest seasonal satire from the cleverly twisted minds of the legendary improv/comedy company gets to the truth of life, love, and romance during the holidays — all through a parody, as you might surmise from the production’s title, of a certain nauseating yet popular movie that is low-hanging-parody fruit. Expect original comedy, music, improv, and audience participation. To Dec. 31. Kennedy Center Theater Lab. Tickets are $59 to $85. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
THE SECOND CITY: SHE THE PEOPLE
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 woollymammoth.net.
WASHINGTON IMPROV THEATER: SEASONAL DISORDER
Artistic Director Mark Chalfant describes WIT’s decade-old Seasonal Disorder as “a huge smorgasbord of different comedy shows, all of which have some sort-of angle or theme related to the holidays.” No two programs are alike, as each pivots off of a suggestion or theme from the audience. From there, the WIT players concoct characters, story, theme — whether to create an original, off-the-cuff show via the iMusical team, an improvised rock concert from Heavy Rotation, a Latino variety show a la Sabado Picante, or “Huggy Smalls: The Notorious H.U.G.” Weekends to Dec. 30. Source, 1835 14th St. NW. Tickets are $15 in advance, or $18 at the door. Call 202-204-7770 or visit witdc.org.
EXHIBITION OF FINE ARTS IN MINIATURE
Strathmore hosts the 85th annual show featuring more than 700 “mini-masterpieces”: intricately detailed works of art from around the world, painstakingly produced in miniature. The prodigious exhibition, presented by the Miniature Painters, Sculptors & Gravers Society of Washington, D.C., draws viewers into a concentrated universe — tracing its roots to the 7th century — featuring portraits, still lifes, and landscapes all no bigger than a postage stamp. Through Jan. 6. The Mansion, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Call 301-581-5100 or visit strathmore.org.
Virginia’s Del Ray Artisans Gallery offers a group show of portraits, depicting faces and bodies as the artists portray them, whether realistic, impressionistic, surreal, or abstract. Curated by Rita Schooley and Kathy Turner, the exhibit features works celebrating faces spanning the ages, from a toddler, to a new mother, to an octogenarian. Opening Reception is Friday, Jan. 4, from 7 to 9 p.m. On display to Jan. 27. 2704 Mount Vernon Ave. Alexandria. Call 703-731-8802 or visit thedelrayartisans.org.
JOHN WATERS: INDECENT EXPOSURE
Talk about a shock: A preeminent high-art institution offering a retrospective on a famously, purposely lowbrow artist would be unusual and unexpected anywhere, regarding anyone. But that it’s the Baltimore Museum of Art honoring native son and “King of Trash” John Waters is somewhat unprecedented. Indecent Exposure showcases the famous queer filmmaker’s visual arts career through a display of 160 provocative photographs, sculptures, and video and sound works. The works range from send-ups of famous films and faces, to objects from Waters’ home and studio, to three peep-shows with footage from his rarely seen underground movies of the 1960s. All told, the exhibition offers a glimpse into the filmmaker’s childhood, identity, and personality, as well as touching on his influence and views on popular culture and the contemporary art world, with a nod to the transgressive power of images. To Jan. 6. 10 Art Museum Dr. Baltimore. Tickets are $10 to $15. Call 443-573-1700 or visit artbma.org.
PICTURES OF THE YEAR: 75 YEARS OF THE WORLD’S BEST PHOTOGRAPHY
The Newseum celebrates one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious photojournalism competitions with a show featuring just a sampling of the more than 40,000 award-winning images in the archives of Pictures of the Year International. Tracing the evolution of photojournalism from World War II to today, the images on display depict the people and events that have defined the times, capturing war and peace, disaster and triumph, and the social and cultural shifts that have shaped the past 75 years. Founded in 1944 at the University of Missouri, POYi recognizes excellence in photojournalism as well as multimedia and visual editing. To Jan. 20. Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Tickets are $22.95 for general admission. Call 888-NEWSEUM or visit newseum.org.
REDISCOVERING BALTIMORE’S FORGOTTEN MOVIE THEATERS
A survey of Baltimore’s movie-going past from 1896 to the present, this Flickering Treasures exhibition at the National Building Museum features oral histories, architectural fragments, theater ephemera, and of course photography — particularly vivid, contemporary shots from Baltimore Sun staff photographer Amy Davis. All of it illuminates themes of memory, loss, and preservation, as well as the importance of movies and movie houses in 20th century American life. While only a handful of more than 240 theaters built in Charm City still function today, many survive in some form, as documented in this exhibition. On display to Oct. 2019. 401 F St. NW. Call 202-272-2448 or visit nbm.org.
ROOPKOTHA PHOTO EXHIBIT
Vibrant images captured by various photographers, along with historical artifacts and personal memorabilia, tell the story of Xulhaz Mannan and Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy, two Bangladeshi LGBTQ activists and artists who were savagely murdered in their home two years ago. The Center Arts Gallery in the DC Center for the LGBT Community has set up this powerful installation as part of an ongoing campaign to protest the inaction of the Bangladeshi government to investigate the murders. 2000 14th St. NW. Call 202-682-2245 or visit thedccenter.org.
SEASON’S GREETINGS: ALL ABOARD
This year’s annual holiday show at the U.S. Botanic Garden spotlights the country’s historic railroad stations, more than 30 of which are recreated in miniature versions made from plants and natural materials and spread out along the tracks of an elaborate model train show. A botanical replica of Washington’s Union Station, meanwhile, has been added to the garden court’s collection of plant-based D.C. landmarks. Also on view throughout the conservatory are thousands of blooms, including a showcase of heirloom and newly developed poinsettia varieties. Note: The website advises patrons that wait times, especially on weekends, may be longer than usual “due to the ongoing roof and facade project.” To Jan. 1. 100 Maryland Ave. SW. Call 202-225-8333 or visit usbg.gov.
TORPEDO FACTORY’S 2018 POST-GRAD RESIDENTS
A display of works from the four residents this year at the Torpedo Factory Art Center. Through the Post-Grad Residency, housed in Torpedo’s Studio 319, recent college graduates with art degrees are given the opportunity to create and sell work, interact with the public, and build a network outside of the academic setting. The 2018 residents — interdisciplinary artists Lyric Prince and Alexis Gomez, and sculpture/installation artists Sara Roberts and Kelly Johnston — are the featured artists in this latest group exhibition at the Old Town complex’s contemporary Target Gallery. On display through Jan. 21. 105 North Union St. Alexandria. Free. Call 703-838-4565 or visit torpedofactory.org.
TOMB OF CHRIST
Visitors to the National Geographic Museum are being transported to Jerusalem via an immersive 3D experience unlike anything seen in a museum before. Tomb of Christ offers a virtual tour of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the holiest church in all of Christendom — built on the site where Jesus of Nazareth, according to tradition, was crucified, buried, and resurrected. The exhibition recounts the storied history and enduring mysteries of the site, with a particular focus on recent technological advances that have boosted ongoing research and restoration of the Holy Edicule, or tomb of Christ dating to the fourth century. But be forewarned: The 3D exhibition is not recommended for guests susceptible to motion sickness or dizziness. To Jan. 2. 1145 17th St. NW. Timed-entry tickets are $15. Call 202-857-7588 or visit ngmuseum.org.
UNSEEN: OUR PAST IN A NEW LIGHT
Works by Ken Gonzales-Day and Titus Kaphar are featured in the first contemporary exhibition of the National Portrait Gallery’s 50th anniversary season — and a provocative one at that. Nearly 60 works highlight how people of color — from Native Americans to African Americans, Asian Americans to Latino Americans — are missing in historical portraiture. Still worse, their contributions to the nation’s past were rendered equally invisible. Kaphar sets out to right those slights by recreating well-known paintings and including those traditionally left out, through his series of 17 paintings plus one sculpture. Gonzales-Day, meanwhile, explores how ideas of racial difference, otherness, and national identity have taken shape historically and visually through nearly 40 photographs, including works from his “Erased Lynchings” series focused on the American West as well as his “Profiled” series. The bilingual English/Spanish exhibition is on display through Jan. 6. 8th and F Streets. NW. Call 202-633-8300 or visit npg.si.edu.
Gallery Underground, the visual arts space for the Arlington Artists Alliance and part of Crystal City’s Art Underground, features new seasonally themed works in multi-genres by Gallery members, plus refined traditional still life paintings by George Bowels. Through Friday, Dec. 28. Crystal City Shops, 2100 Crystal Drive, Arlington. Call 571-483-0652 or visit galleryunderground.org.
DYLLAN’S RAW BAR GRILL: WINTER COCKTAILS
Mixologist Allison Boyd presents seven libations celebrating the “spirits” of the season, showcasing herbs and spices and housemade reductions and syrups at this new fine dining and drinking establishment nestled along the historic C&O Canal in Georgetown. In a space that formerly housed Sea Catch, Dyllan’s is an upscale fresh fish-focused restaurant from a former director for Stephen Starr Restaurants. The Winter Cocktails program includes concoctions of the chilled as well as the heated variety. The chilled lineup includes: Fizz The Season, a mix of sloe gin, cranberry reduction, Cappelletti wine-based aperitif, Campari, and fresh pomegranate seeds; the Georgetown Tea Party featuring Irish whiskey, unsweetened ice tea, rosemary simple syrup, green chartreuse, and lemon bitters; and To Be Peary, with honey vodka, pear puree, fresh mint, grapefruit bitters, and a splash of ginger beer. Heated cocktails include: Somebody Sage Chocolate, a blend of wine, fresh sage, warm bittersweet chocolate, honey, a dash of cinnamon, and brandied cherry juice; C&O Cider, with apple cider, bourbon, cranberry reduction, and a dash of cinnamon and citrus; the Yes, Jerez Hot Chocolate, a cold-weather favorite spiked with brandy and topped with whipped cream; and the Butter Conundrum featuring rum, warm spices, vanilla bean, and maple syrup. The drinks, priced from $11 to $15 each, can be enjoyed throughout Dyllan’s, whether in front of the fireplaces in the cozy Canal View Bar or the large main dining room, or in the heated courtyard patio garden. 1054 31st St. NW. Call 202-470-6606 or visit dyllansrawbargrill.com.
EL TECHO: SELVA
Since the summer of 2017, the space above the taco truck-cum-fast casual joint Rita Loco has been the hippest joint you likely didn’t know about: a South of the Border vacation-themed respite from the urban environs outside. A nature-inspired, colorfully decorated oasis, El Techo churns out creative cocktails, Latin American-inspired small plates, and often hosts parties featuring some of the city’s best DJs — including Keenan Orr — spinning tropical and soul-warming grooves. That’s all getting magnified this winter, as El Techo adds a social conscious- and charity-raising dimension. Specifically, the venue has adopted the Spanish word for jungle and added weatherproof siding and other decorations to add to the jungle vibe — plus a line of hot cocktails. In addition, Selva is occasionally offering yoga classes and serving cold-pressed juices by day, conjuring Mexico’s wellness mecca Tulum. Meanwhile, proceeds from sales in February will go toward conservation efforts in the Amazon jungle. 606 Florida Ave. NW. Call 202-836-4270 or visit facebook.com/ElTechoDC.
HANK’S: FEAST OF SEVEN FISHES, OYSTERS
Throughout December, Jamie Leeds is celebrating the holiday tradition Feast of the Seven Fishes by serving two different all-in-one combination entrees at her restaurants. At Hank’s Pasta Bar in Alexandria, linguine gets tossed in a spicy tomato sauce overflowing with seven types of seafood — octopus, clams, mussels, shrimp, squid, lump crabmeat, and catfish — and priced at $34. Meanwhile, all four Hank’s Oyster Bar locations — including the original Q Street location as well as the newest at 701 Wharf St. SW — will serve a $25 special featuring oysters on the half shell with seven different dressings, from smoked lemon with olive oil and pink peppercorn, to salmon roe and chives, to wakame and sesame salad. Visit hankspastabar.com.
GEORGETOWN GLOW 2018
Now in its fifth year, this light art exhibition presented by the Georgetown Business Improvement District features 10 displays by multidisciplinary artists. Billed as a way to “reimagine the season of light,” the commissioned works, curated by Deirdre Ehlen MacWilliams, offer a high-tech modern contrast with the surroundings of D.C.’s oldest neighborhood — which has been further illuminated by the stringing of white lights on street-facing buildings. The five-week event includes a Christmas Tree Farm every weekend at the Ritz-Carlton Georgetown’s Yard and regular GLOW-inspired walking and food tours led by several local tour companies. GLOW runs every night from 5 to 10 p.m. through Jan. 6. Visit GeorgetownGlowDC.com for more information.
GLITTER BALL WITH BETTY O’HELLNO
Baltimore’s Creative Alliance offers one more LGBTQ-themed burlesque and variety show before closing the books on 2018. Young drag darlings Betty O’Hellno and Jacqueline Boxx host this end-of-year celebration featuring performances from New York’s Perle Noire, dubbed “The Mahogany Queen of Burlesque,” and Poison Ivy of the Burlesque Hall of Fame, as well as other local music, stage, and circus artists. The evening also includes a DJ dance and costume party, complete with a Sparkle Market to ensure everything and everyone will be as glittery — and gay — as possible. Saturday, Dec. 29, at 8 p.m. The Patterson, 3134 Eastern Ave., Baltimore. Tickets are $28 in advance, or $31 at the door. Call 410-276-1651 or visit creativealliance.org.
ICE! A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS
Snoopy, Lucy, and other classic cartoon characters created by Charles M. Schulz will be holding court at National Harbor in colorful, larger-than-life sculptures carved from two million pounds of ice. The Peanuts gang’s storied holiday antics are the focus of this year’s Ice! Display, accented by four, two-story tall ice slides and a Nativity scene. And that’s just the main draw at the annual series organized by the Gaylord National Resort. A Christmas Carousel, an ice skating rink, a short Potomac Express holiday train ride, a Build-A-Bear Workshop, 30-minute Christmas storytelling events led by Mrs. Claus, and a Gingerbread Decorating Center are among more than a dozen other kid-friendly activities on tap. There’s also Seasons Dreamings, a free, 25-minute aerial Cirque Dreams Unwrapped show that takes place daily in the Gaylord’s Garden Atrium. Through Jan. 1. 201 Waterfront St. Oxon Hill, Md. Tickets to Ice! are $27 to $38. Call 301-965-4000 or visit christmasonthepotomac.com.
LIGHTS ON THE BAY
Approximately 70 animated and stationary displays depicting regional and holiday themes factor into this annual holiday show, featuring a two-mile scenic drive along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. A North Pole Village & Enchanted Fairy Tales is a recent edition of this benefit for the SPCA of Anne Arundel County, now in its 24th year. On display every evening from 5 to 10 p.m. through Jan. 1. Sandy Point State Park, 1100 E. College Parkway, Annapolis. Admission is $15 per car, or $30 to $50 for larger vans and buses. Visit lightsonthebay.org.
Two traveling light installations add a little seasonal, illuminating whimsy as part of this year’s fourth annual holiday celebration in the Navy Yard area of Southeast D.C. — also increasingly known as the Capitol Riverfront. The Pool by New York’s Jen Lewin Studio, developed six years ago but making its D.C. debut here, features 106 interactive circular pads of light that react as visitors move on and around them, creating a giant canvas of shifting and fading colors. Meanwhile, Angels of Freedom by Israel’s OGE Group is a social sculptural installation where visitors pose with five giant, neon-colored wings and white halos, intended as a way to signify that we’re all angels and that “everybody counts and deserves love.” On display from 6 to 10 p.m. every night until Jan. 4. The Yards Park Boardwalk, 355 Water St. SE. Call 202-465-7093 or visit theyardsdc.com.
More than 500,000 colorful Christmas lights illuminate life-sized animal silhouettes, dancing trees, buildings, and walkways, plus a light show set to music, during this annual holiday event at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. New at ZooLights this year is a Gingerbread Village, a magical land of frosted cookies and lollipops, giant gingerbread-people cutouts, and an Instagram-ready gingerbread throne, set in the Elephant Outpost among food and holiday vendors, plus a performance stage for local school groups. The second weekend in December ushers in the second annual Grump holiday market, a European-style outdoor fair featuring local artisans set up at the Zoo’s entrance. ZooLights runs nightly except Dec. 31 until Jan. 1. National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. Call 202-633-4800 or visit nationalzoo.si.edu.