Frozen 2 — Image via Disney
Chadwick Boseman is an NYPD detective who ends up discovering a massive and unexpected conspiracy when thrust into the search for a pair of cop killers. The film’s name alludes to 21 bridges that connect Manhattan to the mainland, all of which are closed as Boseman’s detective hunts down the killers — and, presumably, the truth. Otherwise commuters are going to be pissed. Opens Friday, Nov. 22. Area theaters. Visit www.fandango.com. (Rhuarid Marr)
A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Just hand Tom Hanks the Oscar for Best Actor now and get it over and done with. Hanks is Fred Rogers, beloved host of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and Matthew Rhys is the cynical journalist assigned to profile him for Esquire magazine. Presumably he, the audience, critics, and Academy voters will all be charmed by Hanks’ portrayal of a man who spent 30 years giving children a space to learn, grow, feel, and make sense of the world. Opens Friday, Nov. 22. Area theaters. Visit www.fandango.com. (RM)
A FACE IN THE CROWD
Landmark’s West End Cinema kicks off its December slate of Capital Classics screenings with the 1957 film that made a star out of Andy Griffith, playing a powerful radio and TV personality who becomes a sinister force in American political life. Part rags-to-riches cautionary tale, part-political thriller, and part-doomed romance, Elia Kazan’s film foretold the influence of mass media and celebrity culture on American politics and society. Wednesday, Dec. 4, 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 each. Call 202-534-1907 or visit www.landmarktheatres.com.
Both Northern Virginia outposts of the Alamo Drafthouse present the final film in a series that the national theater chain has organized for the run-up to the big November holiday. No, not that one, but close: Hanksgiving, as in the famous Hollywood actor. ‘Tis the season, according to the Alamo, “to reflect on the things that give us warmth and good cheer [and] make life worth living. We’re speaking, of course, about Tom Hanks movies.” The Alamo lays it on even thicker as it describes the series as one intended to “give Hanks to the most purely likeable man to ever grace humanity, and spend the holidays enjoying some of his finest films.” The series concludes with Ron Howard’s sweeping, visceral cinematic experience from 1995, also starring Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, and Ed Harris, that dramatizes NASA’s harrowing and ultimately aborted trip to the moon in 1970. Monday, Nov. 25, at 7 p.m. Alamo Drafthouse – One Loudoun, 20575 Easthampton Plaza, Ashburn. Also Tuesday, Nov. 26, at 7:20 p.m. Alamo Drafthouse – Woodbridge, 15200 Potomac Town Place, Ste. 100. Tickets are $10. Visit www.drafthouse.com/northern-virginia.
BEST IN SHOW
Did you know what is now known as the National Dog Show was actually inspired by this dog show spoof (and thus creating another entry in the genre of life-imitating-art-imitating-life)? That fun fact comes courtesy of the American Film Institute, which will screen Christopher Guest’s funny and sharp satire in the days after this year’s real-life show, which NBC turned into a televised Thanksgiving tradition two years after the “dogumentary” debuted in 2000. Best In Show is filled with stellar performances, including Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara, now known as the Roses on Schitt’s Creek but here portraying the down-at-heel Florida couple the Flecks and their Norwich Terrier Winky; Parker Posey and Michael Hitchcock as the Starbucks-minted neurotic couple the Swans with their Weimaraner Beatrice; Fred Willard as an imbecilic, everyman TV co-host for the fictionalized Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show; and Jennifer Coolidge and Jane Lynch as not-quite-secret lovers, connected by Standard Poodle Rhapsody in White aka Butch. Friday, Nov. 29, at 4 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 30, at 1:15 p.m. AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $10 to $13 for general admission plus $1 service fee. Call 301-495-6720 or visit www.afi.com/Silver.
Six years after “Let It Go” conquered the world, Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff, and Sven are back to try and earn Disney another billion dollars at the box office and billions more in merchandise sales. Songwriting husband-and-wife duo Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez return, as do writer-director Jennifer Lee and director Chris Buck, so expect more heart-tugging, toe-tapping comedy-drama as sisters Elsa and Anna venture north to find the source of Elsa’s powers. Oh, and Josh Gad promises the songs are “even catchier,” so get ready to hum them for the next six years. Opens Friday, Nov. 22. Area theaters. Visit www.fandango.com. (Rhuaridh Marr)
NEVER SURRENDER: A GALAXY QUEST DOCUMENTARY
A documentary that offers an in-depth look at the impact of Galaxy Quest, the 1999 cult classic credited as contributing to the predominance of sci-fi and fantasy across today’s movie landscape. With a title referencing the long odds faced by the parody — including “surviving a set fire, the loss of a powerful director [Harold Ramis], and a studio [DreamWorks] that didn’t understand what it had,” Never Surrender features insights from the cast, including Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Sam Rockwell, Justin Long, Tony Shalhoub, and Rainn Wilson, director Dean Parisot, writer Robert Gordon, and a legion of celebrity fans, chief among them Star Trek fan-favorites Wil Wheaton and Brent Spiner and filmmakers Greg Berlanti and Damon Lindelof. A one-night-only screening by Fathom Events also includes exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and a 10-minute introduction from the cast of Screen Junkies, which co-produced the documentary along with Wikia, Inc.’s Fandom. Tuesday, Nov. 26, at 7 p.m. Area theaters including Regal venues at Gallery Place (701 7th St. NW), Potomac Yards Stadium (3575 Jefferson Davis Highway), and Majestic Stadium (900 Ellsworth Dr., Silver Spring). Tickets are $16 plus fees. Visit www.fathomevents.com.
QUEEN & SLIM
Writer Lena Waithe and director Melina Matsoukas offer a first date from hell and a powerful, modern spin on Bonnie and Clyde and Thelma & Louise. Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) and Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) are pulled over by a white police officer at the end of a forgettable date, but the situation quickly escalates and Slim shoots the officer in self-defense. Captured on the officer’s dash cam, the incident goes viral after the pair flee the scene, finding themselves on the run and unwitting representatives for a nation struggling with entrenched racial tensions and dealing with grief, pain, and fear. Pose star Indya Moore, Chloë Sevigny, and Flea also star. Opens Wednesday, Nov. 27. Area theaters. Visit www.fandango.com. (RM)
SOPHIA LOREN FILM FESTIVAL
The Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center on the Rockville campus of Montgomery College is screening films starring the Oscar-winning Italian actress, half of them directed by Vittorio De Sica. The festival continues with Melville Shavelson’s Houseboat from 1958, on Friday, Nov. 22; Howard Deutch’s Grumpier Old Men from 1995 and Martin Ritt’s The Black Orchid from 1958, both on Saturday, Nov. 23. It all concludes on Sunday, Nov. 24 with Stanley Donen’s Arabesque from 1966. Located at 51 Mannakee St. in Rockville. Tickets are $5 per screening. Call 240-567-5301 or visit www.montgomerycollege.edu/PAC.
AFI Silver Theatre: The Fox and the Bird
THE ANIMATION SHOW OF SHOWS
The American Film Institute presents the exclusive area screening of a feature-length program with an eclectic, international mix of works created by both students and professionals. Shorts included in past incarnations have gone on to win Oscars, so you could say that curator Ron Diamond, a veteran animation producer, knows how to pick them. In fact, three of the 11 films included in the new 21st edition have qualified for 2020 Academy Award consideration: Five Minutes to Sea by Natalia Mirzoyan from Russia, Flowing Through Wonder (Le Jour Extraordinaire) by Joanna Lurie from France, and Daughter by Daria Kashcheeva of the Czech Republic. Additionally, the program features at least one LGBTQ-themed short: the Belgian Géraldine Charpentier’s Self-Narrative (Récit de Soi), focused on a young girl’s journey to self-realization as a transgender person. There are also two mini-documentaries about directors with their own entries in the lineup: Shlomi Yosef’s Portrait of Amit Cohen and Ido Shapira, paired with its Israeli subjects’ dog-centric Hounds, and Marta Trela’s Portrait of Gil Alkabetz, with that German director’s funny, hand-drawn Rubicon. Rounding out the program are two works from Switzerland, Kids by Michael Frei and Mario von Rickenbach and The Fox and the Bird (Le Renard et L’Oisille) by Sam and Fred Guillaume, and another from Russia, Airship of Unknown Direction by Alexandra Galitskova. Sunday, Nov. 24, at 6:30 p.m., and Tuesday, Nov. 26, at 7 p.m. AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $13 for general admission plus $1 service fee. Call 301-495-6720 or visit www.afi.com/Silver.
THE THIN MAN
A loose adaptation of the hit novel by Dashiell Hammett, featuring banter based on his rocky relationship with legendary playwright Lillian Hellman, W.S. Van Dyke’s pre-Code film circa 1934 ranks no. 32 on the 2000 list “AFI’s 100 Years…100 Laughs.” Starring William Powell and Myrna Loy, the Oscar-nominated comedy-mystery also made the “Great Movies” list by legendary critic Robert Ebert, who in particular praised Powell as “to dialogue as Fred Astaire is to dance. His delivery is so droll and insinuating, so knowing and innocent at the same time, that it hardly matters what he’s saying.” In recognition of the film’s 85th anniversary, Landmark’s West End Cinema screens it the day before Thanksgiving as part of its Capital Classics series. Wednesday, Nov. 27, 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 each. Call 202-534-1907 or visit www.landmarktheatres.com.
THE WIZARD OF OZ
Victor Fleming’s timeless 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 as well as the story of a mythical Oz where all misfits are accepted. The AFI’s Silver Theatre celebrates the 80th anniversary of the family favorite with a run of holiday screenings, definitely something to give thanks for. Thursday, Nov. 28, through Sunday, Dec. 1, at 11 a.m., plus one evening screening on Friday, Nov. 29, at 6 p.m. 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Tickets are $10 to $13 for general admission, plus $1 service fee. Call 301-495-6720 or visit www.afi.com/Silver.
Atlanta Ballet: The Nutcracker — Photo: Gene Schiavone
A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Craig Wallace returns for his fourth year as the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge in Ford’s Theatre’s cherished annual production of the 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. Also featured in the production are Stephen F. Schmidt as Jacob Marley, Rayanne Gonzales as the Ghost of Christmas Present, Justine “Icy” Moral as the Ghost of Christmas Past, Gregory Maheu as Bob Cratchit, and Yesenia Iglesias as Mrs. Cratchit. Now to Jan. 1. 511 10th St. NW. Call 800-982-2787 or visit www.fordstheatre.org.
Billie Krishawn stars as Nina, who discovers there’s more to air guitar than playing pretend when she enters an air guitar competition. Christina A. Coakley directs the D.C. premiere of Chelsea Marcantel’s comedy also featuring Dani Stoller, Drew Kopas, Harrison Smith, Chris Stezin, Gary L. Perkins III, and Forrest A. Hainline IV. The show is a co-production between Keegan Theatre, where the show will run for most of November, and Virginia’s 1st Stage, which takes up the mantle in December. To Nov. 30. 1742 Church St. NW. Tickets are $41 to $51 plus fees. Call 202-265-3767 or visit www.keegantheatre.com.
Genius and jealousy collide in 18th-century Vienna as the mediocre Antonio Salieri does everything in his power to destroy his musical rival, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Folger Theatre offers a production of Peter Shaffer’s Tony Award-winning play directed by Richard Clifford and featuring a 13-person cast led by Ian Merrill Peakes as Salieri and Samuel Adams as Mozart. To Dec. 22. 201 East Capitol St. SE. Tickets are $27 to $85. Call 202-544-7077 or visit www.folger.edu.
D.C.’s LGBTQ-focused Rainbow Theatre Project offers the world premiere of Tim Caggiano and Jack Calvin Hanna’s play relating a real-life story from the Vietnam-era U.S. military. Blue Camp documents a baseball game that occurred between two groups of military outcasts: Soldiers suspected of being gay and confined for potential dishonorable discharge in what became known as the blue barracks, and those awaiting trial and potential discharge for actual crimes, held in the so-called green barracks. Weekends to Nov. 24. St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, 555 Water St. SW. Tickets are $35 plus service fee. Call 202-554-3222 or visit www.rainbowtheatreproject.org.
A band of underdogs become unlikely heroes when they stand up to the most powerful men in New York in this musical featuring a score by Alan Menken and Jack Feldman and a book by Harvey Fierstein, and based on a 1992 film that initially bombed at the box office. Molly Smith puts her stamp on the show in a production at Arena Stage. To Jan. 12. Fichandler Stage in the Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St. SW. Call 202-488-3300 or visit www.arenastage.org.
EDWARD ALBEE’S OCCUPANT
Susan Rome stars as the renowned sculptor Louise Nevelson, a Jewish immigrant from Russia who became a pioneer for free-thinking women everywhere. Aaron Posner directs a Theater J production of a late-career masterpiece by the gay, multiple Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. Now to Dec. 8. The Aaron and Cecile Goldman Theater in the Edlavitch DCJCC, 1529 16th St. NW. Call 202-777-3210 or visit www.theaterj.org.
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS
The zany American sci-fi musical comedy, from Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, concerns a nerdy floral shop employee and wisecracking carnivorous plant who chews more than the scenery. Puppet designer Matthew Aldwin McGee is tasked, with puppeteer Rj Pavel, with bringing full, menacing life to the bloodthirsty Audrey II, with Marty Austin Lamar providing the plant’s soulful voice. Christian Montgomery leads the human cast as Seymour, the unlikely hero infatuated with his coworker Audrey (Teresa Quigley Danskey). Nick Martin directs. Extended to Nov. 24. Source Theatre, 1835 14th St. NW. Tickets are $19 to $55, plus fees. Call 202-204-7741 or visit www.constellationtheatre.org.
Although it plays a prominent role in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, Elizabeth Inchbald’s play Lovers’ Vow is otherwise, particularly on stage, a “criminally forgotten show.” That’s according to We Happy Few Productions, which is working to transform classic texts for modern sensibilities. The company’s Kerry McGee directs a five-person ensemble reviving this moving comedy by Inchbald, billed as “a near-forgotten female playwright” from the 18th century. A story of love, class, and doing the right thing, Lovers’ Vows puts in stark relief the divide between peer or social expectations and one’s own needs and desires. The production features music from local band the North Country. To Nov. 23. Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 7th St. SE. Tickets are $20. Call 202-547-6839 or visit www.chaw.org.
LAST SUMMER AT BLUEFISH COVE
Jane Chambers’s lesbian love story is brought to life by Virginia’s Dominion Stage in an all-female production directed by Sharon Veselic. Last Summer at Bluefish Cove is set in an idyllic summer resort that becomes invaded by “a female alien from the straight world” — more specifically, a dissatisfied straight woman in search of solitude after leaving her husband who unwittingly and naively wanders into the midst of a group of seven lesbians on vacation. The unpaid and volunteer cast features Lori Brooks, Katie Raymond, Judy Lewis, Heather Plank, Bryna Parlow, Christine Tankersley, Lindsey June, and Gayle Nichols-Grimes. Weekends to Nov. 23. Gunston Theatre Two, 2700 South Lang St. Arlington. Tickets are $25. Call 571-DS-SHOWS or visit www.dominionstage.org.
THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH
Susan Nanus offers a stage adaptation of the children’s fantasy adventure by Norman Juster about a 10-year-old boy and his faithful watchdog traveling to Lands Beyond. Jon Gardner directs a community production for the Greenbelt Arts Center starring Harper Chadwick as Milo and Findley Holland as Tock the watchdog. Opens Tuesday, Nov. 29. Weekends to Dec. 15. 123 Centerway. Greenbelt, Md. Tickets are $22 to $24. Call 301-441-8770 or visit www.greenbeltartscenter.org.
A Chanticleer Christmas — Photo: Lisa Kohler
Soul-pop singer-songwriter Alice Smith is understated, sophisticated and every bit as vocally talented as fellow four-octave ranger Christina Aguilera — except her music is better. Smith returns to her hometown of D.C. over the Thanksgiving weekend and on the very evening of her 41st birthday. That’s a cause for celebration all by itself, with the icing the fact that the concert comes in support of Mystery, Smith’s third collection of originals and first since 2013’s astonishingly brilliant She. Saturday, Nov. 30. Doors at 8 p.m. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $35. Call 202-265-0930 or visit www.930.com.
CAGE THE ELEPHANT, LOVELYTHEBAND
After helping to open the generically named Entertainment and Sports Arena last year, the Grammy-winning punky/blues rock quintet Cage The Elephant returns for “DC101-derland Night 1.” Co-headlined by a young, spacebar-avoiding three-piece pop outfit from Los Angeles, the concert at the Anthem also doubles as a benefit for the Trust for the National Mall. Tuesday, Dec. 3. Doors at 6 p.m. The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. Tickets are $45 to $75. Call 202-888-0020 or visit www.theanthemdc.com.
CAPITAL CITY SYMPHONY: SYMPHONIC FLIGHT
The orchestra continues its 52nd season celebrating “the outdoors as expressed through the joy of music” with a showcase of songs paying tribute to our feathered friends. Assistant conductor Tiffany Lu leads the symphony in Respighi’s suite for small orchestra The Birds, Sibelius’ tone poem The Swan of Tuonela, and Wagner’s impressionistic Forest Murmurs, while guest violinist James Stern joins to perform “Spring” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Sunday, Nov. 24, at 5 p.m. Sprenger Theatre in the Atlas, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $15 to $25. Call 202-399-7993 or visit www.atlasarts.org.
Six of D.C.’s leading jazz musicians perform sparkling arrangements of standards plus new, original swinging tunes that sound as if recorded a half-century ago. Featuring the soft, luminous vocals of Marilyn Older, the party jazz group, heralded by NPR and a frequent draw at the Kennedy Center, returns to Blues Alley for “A Very Chaise Lounge Christmas,” a holiday show named after a 2012 album. Wednesday, Dec. 4, at 8 and 10 p.m. 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Tickets are $31, plus $12 minimum purchase. Call 202-337-4141 or visit www.bluesalley.com.
The Grammy-winning all-male a cappella group — called “the world’s reigning male chorus” by the New Yorker — returns to the George Mason University Center for the Arts for a festive program of Gregorian chant, Renaissance motets, Gospel melodies, and Christmas carols. Saturday, Nov. 30, at 8 p.m. Concert Hall, 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax. Tickets are $33 to $60. Call 888-945-2468 or visit www.cfa.gmu.edu.
CONGRESSIONAL CHORUS: CELEBRATING AMERICA’S WOMEN COMPOSERS
Nevertheless, She Persisted….Celebrating America’s Women Composers is the full title to a program opening the 33rd season of this organization, which strives to shed light on issues of equal rights through its performance of choral music. The latest program offers a journey from Amy Beach’s groundbreaking Festival Jubilate, circa 1892, up to some of music’s most prolific and innovative women composers today, with selections from Jennifer Higdon, Libby Larsen, Alice Parker, Joan Szymko, and Undine Smith Moore. The program also includes Jenni Brandon’s America Belongs To Us, a work reflecting on the uprooted immigrant experience that the 85-voices-strong Congressional Chorus and the 14-piece Columbia Flute Choir will perform with guidance by the California-based composer herself. he Flute Choir will stick around to perform Serenade as composed and conducted by Alexandra Molnar-Suhajda. Additional performances will come from the local, lesbian African-American singer-songwriter Crys Matthews, highlighting songs from her recent album Battle Hymn for an Army of Lovers, while the organization’s 24-member a cappella chamber ensemble will perform the jazz-tinged work Same Birds by Elizabeth Alexander. Four additional choral selections — by Susan LaBarr, Gwyneth Walker, Jocelyn Hagen, and Rosephanye Powell — will be enhanced by virtue of classical and interpretive movements by dancers Aaron Jackson, Darryl Pilate, Helen Hayes, and the women of Joy of Motion’s Youth Dance Ensemble. Sunday, Nov. 24, at 4:30 p.m. Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $39. Call 202-629-3140 or visit www.congressionalchorus.org.
HERBIE HANCOCK INSTITUTE OF JAZZ INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION & GALA CONCERT
Since 1987, the annual Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition has helped launch the careers of jazz sensations Joshua Redman, Jane Monheit, Cécile McLorin Salvant, and Tierney Sutton, among others. Newly renamed after its longtime board chair, the 2019 edition focuses on the guitar, to be judged by an all-star panel of jazz guitarists, including Pat Metheny, Lee Ritenour, John Scofield, Stanley Jordan, Russell Malone, and Chico Pinheiro. Three gifted young guitarists out of a dozen semifinalists will compete for over $150,000 in scholarships and prizes, including a recording contract with the Concord Music Group, as part of a program also featuring an all-star gala concert with the D.C.-based institute’s new namesake as well as NEA Jazz Master Dee Dee Bridgewater, plus a special tribute to renowned trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard, who will be honored with the Founder’s Award. All proceeds benefit the institute’s public school jazz education programs in D.C. and beyond. Tuesday, Dec. 3, at 7:30 p.m. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. Tickets are $35 to $125. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.
All Good presents the annual 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 other tributes to weed from his repertoire. But as ever the show is intended to become a mind- and time-bending jam session among Williams, plus the trio Keller & The Keels featuring award-winning flat picker Larry Keel and his bass-playing wife Jenny Keel, and special guest Lindsay Lou. Saturday, Nov. 30. Doors at 6:30 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. Tickets are $29 to $35. Call 202-787-1000 or visit www.thehamiltondc.com.
For “Pranksgiving 2019,” the punky Maryland-native singer-songwriter with the Ken Kesey-referencing moniker will perform from her first album of new material in 17 years, accompanied by a 10-piece band consisting of many of the same players that can be heard on the new album, Thickly Settled. In addition to the first single “Local Honey,” the genre-hopping rock/funk/soul/pop set includes “Sweet Beet,” a jazzy ode to trans acceptance and unconditional love. Val Yumm opens. Saturday, Nov. 30, at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $25. Call 703-549-7500 or visit www.birchmere.com.
MARYLAND OPERA STUDIO: ARIODANTE
Craig Kier leads this organization, “dedicated to the future of opera,” as it prepares the next generation of stars and standouts while also working to build audiences as well as advance the art. Kier, working with stage director Garnett Bruce, will next lead opera students from the University of Maryland in a rarely staged and largely unknown work from George Frideric Handel, whose Messiah gets all the glory. A story of royalty, love, intrigue, and deceit set in the medieval Scottish highlands, Ariodante, with a libretto by Antonio Salvi after Ludovico Ariosto, fell into obscurity not long after its debut in the early 18th century. Yet in recent decades, the Italian-language opera — presented with English supertitles — has been rediscovered and re-evaluated as a Baroque masterpiece for its emotional arias and vivid music. Thursday, Nov. 21, and Friday, Nov. 22, at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 24, at 3 p.m., and Monday, Nov. 25, at 7:30 p.m. The Clarice’s Kay Theatre at the University of Maryland, University Boulevard and Stadium Drive. College Park. Tickets are $10 to $25. Call 301-405-ARTS or visit www.theclarice.umd.edu.
Although named after the South Florida resort, this indie-electronica group actually hails from Australia and now calls Los Angeles home. The resulting music is a melting pot reflecting all three locales: A slightly hazy, warm, trippy, uptempo sound, with clear influence from the early electronic dance/rock sounds of the ’80s. The four-piece act, founded by DJ/producer Benjamin Plant and featuring singing guitarist Josh Moriarty, returns to the 9:30 Club the day after Thanksgiving for a concert with opening sets by New York’s Argonaut & Wasp and D.C.’s DJ Ozker. Friday, Nov. 29. Doors at 8 p.m. 815 V St. NW. Tickets are $25. Call 202-265-0930 or visit www.930.com.
NATIONAL PHILHARMONIC: HOLIDAY SINGIN’ POPS
Luke Frazier of the American Pops Orchestra serves as guest conductor for this year’s seasonal offering from Strathmore’s resident orchestra, which will accompany a roster of talented soloists putting fresh spins on traditional and beloved holiday songs. Ali Ewoldt from Broadway’s Phantom of the Opera, Hilary Morrow of New York’s legendary Birdland Jazz Club, international vocalist Kevin Rose, and tap dancer Addalie Burns will all play a part in the program also featuring the National Philharmonic Chorale. And the audience will join in for a seasonal sing-along or two. Friday, Dec. 6, at 7:30 p.m. The Music Center, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. Tickets are $29 to $69. Call 301-581-5100 or visit www.strathmore.org.
NATIONAL PHILHARMONIC: VOICES OF LIGHT
Carl Theodore Dreyer’s silent masterpiece The Passion of Joan of Arc will screen while the National Philharmonic orchestra and chorale bring to life an oratorio composed by Richard Einhorn and inspired by Dreyer’s 1928 drama, a well-regarded cinematic landmark for its production, direction, and performances — chiefly that of Renée Falconetti in the title role. Stan Engebretson leads the performance of Einhorn’s 1984 Voices of Light, which draws from Medieval song and text, including from female mystics. Soprano Suzanne Karpov, mezzo-soprano Katherine Pracht, tenor Matt Smith, and baritone Kerry Wilkerson are featured soloists. Saturday, Nov. 23, at 8 p.m., preceded at 6:45 p.m. by a pre-concert Q&A with Einhorn and WTOP Entertainment Editor Jason Fraley. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, Md. Tickets are $29 to $79. Call 301-581-5100 or visit www.strathmore.org.
NSO with Rod Gilfry
NSO W/RENÉE FLEMING & ROD GILFRY
Celebrated soprano Renée Fleming and Grammy-nominated baritone guest perform with the NSO, under the baton of Music Director Gianandrea Noseda, the D.C. premiere of Kevin Puts’ The Brightness of Light. Inspired by the letters between iconic American artist Georgia O’Keeffe and her husband, photographer Alfred Stieglitz, this NSO co-commission comes as part of a program also featuring Richard Strauss, from the Symphonic Interlude No. 2 from the German Romantic composer’s Dreaming by the Fireside to his epic showpiece Also sprach Zarathustra, immortalized by Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Saturday, Nov. 23, at 8 p.m. Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $15 to $99. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.
PAMELA FRANK W/STEPHEN PRUTSMAN
One of the first women to win the Avery Fisher Prize performs Bach’s complete six Violin Sonatas with piano accompaniment in concert at the Kennedy Center as part of the Fortas Chamber Music Series. Wednesday, Dec. 4, at 7:30 p.m. Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. Tickets are $45. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.
Though known for her work on TV (Bunheads and especially the current hit series Younger), Sutton Foster has won more accolades for her work on stage, including two Tony Awards for revivals of Thoroughly Modern Millie and Anything Goes. After incredible performances with the National and Baltimore symphonies several years back, Foster now returns to the area to make her debut in the intimate, acoustically rich Barns at Wolf Trap. Expect a swinging run through her Broadway repertoire as well as other pop and jazz standards — and maybe even a tap-dance from the celebrated hoofer if the crowd is lucky. Saturday, Nov. 23, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 24, at 2 and 7 p.m. 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. The few remaining tickets are $85. Call 877-WOLFTRAP or visit www.wolftrap.org.
THE GAMER SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Billed as “the first collegiate ensemble exclusively devoted to performing orchestral arrangements of video game music,” this student-run orchestra, founded in 2005 by Michelle Eng, now boasts a roster of more than 100 musicians. The Fall Concert features pieces from Pokemon, Mario, Zelda, Kingdom Hearts, and Fire Emblem, among others, all performed in arrangements created by orchestra members and alumni. Sunday, Nov. 24, at 7 p.m. Dekelboum Concert Hall in The Clarice at the University of Maryland, University Boulevard and Stadium Drive. College Park. Tickets are free but required. Call 301-405-ARTS or visit www.theclarice.umd.edu.
THE SELDOM SCENE & DRY BRANCH FIRE SQUAD
Formed 50 years ago in Bethesda, the progressive bluegrass band remains especially popular in its hometown region. The group returns to Alexandria’s seated show palace for another in a string of shows in 2019, concluding with a New Year’s Eve concert. First comes a co-headlining show with a traditional bluegrass outfit founded by its leader Ron Thompson over 40 years ago. Friday, Nov. 29, at 7:30 p.m. The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets are $39.50. Call 703-549-7500 or visit www.birchmere.com.
WASHINGTON CONCERT OPERA: AMBROISE THOMAS’S HAMLET
The Washington Concert Opera launches its season with Ambroise Thomas’ ravishingly beautiful score to an opera based on a French stage adaptation of the Shakespeare classic by Alexandre Dumas and Paul Meurice. Soprano Lisette Oropesa returns to WCO to play the role of Ophelia as part of a one-night-only production also featuring baritone Jacques Imbrailo in the title role, mezzo-soprano Eve Gigliotti as Gertrude, and tenor Jonas Hacker as Laertes. Sunday, Nov. 24, at 6 p.m. GW Lisner, The George Washington University, 730 21st St. NW. Tickets are $40 to $110. Call 202-994-6851 or visit https://concertopera.org.
WASHINGTON NATIONAL OPERA: THE MAGIC FLUTE
The WNO will alternate November performances of its first production of Othello in 20 years with Mozart’s enchanting quest for love and truth via a whimsical production designed by the late Maurice Sendak, the acclaimed children’s author and illustrator (Where the Wild Things Are). A production “for all ages” from Portland Opera led by conductor Eun Sun Kim and director Christopher Mattaliano, The Magic Flute will be performed in English with projected English titles. To Nov. 23. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $25 to $299. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.
Atlanta Ballet Dancers in The Nutcracker — Photo: Gene Schiavone
ATLANTA BALLET: THE NUTCRACKER
The Kennedy Center offers Washington audiences the first chance to see the production that debuted to much acclaim last year in Atlanta. This new production of the classic tale set to Tchaikovsky hews closely to E.T.A. Hoffmann’s original 1816 tale for a visually inventive showcase of fantastical staging, dominated by oversized storybooks, clocks, and constellations, enhanced by video projections, plus fresh choreography by Yuri Possokhov of the San Francisco and Bolshoi ballets. The Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra and the Arlington Children’s Chorus will offer live accompaniment to the dancers. Wednesday, Nov. 27, through Saturday, Nov. 30, at 7:30 p.m. Also Friday, Nov. 29, through Sunday, Dec. 1, at 1:30 p.m. Opera House. Tickets are $49 to $249. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.
MONICA BILL BARNES & COMPANY: HAPPY HOUR
In the dance work Happy Hour, choreographer and performer Monica Bill Barnes will be joined by Elisa Clark for gender-bending vignettes and performances in a wide array of dance styles, including jazz, tap, and ballet. They’ll chiefly work to portray two would-be studs — or really, average, awkward straight men — leading a karaoke-fueled cocktail party. Just as in real life, the party rarely ever lives up to even the lowest of expectations. Barnes started her company over two decades ago with “a mission to celebrate individuality, humor, and the innate theatricality of everyday life.” The University of Maryland presents this “dance show turned into an after-work office party,” also featuring the company’s creative producing director Robbie Saenz de Viteri as emcee, at an affiliated though not official campus cafe/cabaret venue, where the audience can enjoy snacks, sip cocktails, and serve as de facto participants in the party. Thursday, Nov. 21, and Friday, Nov. 22, at 8 p.m. MilkBoy ArtHouse, 7416 Baltimore Ave., College Park, Md. Tickets are $10 to $25. Call 240-623-1423 or visit www.milkboyarthouse.com.
THE WASHINGTON BALLET: THE NUTCRACKER
The Washington Ballet’s former artistic director Septime Webre first staged his twist on the family favorite 14 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. The production launches this weekend with performances Saturday, Nov. 23, and Sunday, Nov. 24, at THEARC, 1901 Mississippi Ave. SE. The Nutcracker then settles in for a month-long run downtown, opening Saturday, Nov. 30, and running to Dec. 29. Warner Theatre, 513 13th St. NW. Call 202-889-5901 or visit www.thewashingtonballet.org.
Roughly a decade ago, after catching a show by Joan Rivers, Matteo Lane was inspired to try his hand at stand-up, which he took to right away as someone who “likes being on stage and coming from a funny family,” he tells Metro Weekly. At first, the gay Chicago native stuck to his guns in advertising, “drawing during the day and then doing stand-up at night. And then I got a job that moved me to New York for illustrating.” Soon enough, stand-up turned into Lane’s full-time pursuit, with guest or recurring spots on MTV and Comedy Central shows, plus enough overall media exposure to be recognized by the 2018 Logo30 — not to mention a steady touring schedule. The 33-year-old will next fly down to do “a traditional hour of standup,” where he’s expected to talk “about all things from dating to my favorite TV shows to things that piss me off.” Friday, Nov. 22, at 7:30 and 10 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 23, at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Arlington Drafthouse, 2903 Columbia Pike. Tickets are $20. Call 703-486-2345 or visit www.arlingtondrafthouse.com.
THE SECOND CITY: LOVE, FACTUALLY
The seasonal satire from the cleverly twisted minds of the legendary improv/comedy company returns to the Kennedy Center for another holiday run. The show, as you might surmise from the production’s title, is a parody of a certain nauseating yet popular movie. Expect original comedy, music, improv, and audience participation. Opens Tuesday, Dec. 3. Runs to Dec. 29. Kennedy Center Theater Lab. Tickets are $49 to $79. Call 202-467-4600 or visit kennedy-center.org.
WASHINGTON IMPROV THEATER: LIFE AND DEATH WITH WIT
No two performances are alike when performed by the Washington Improv Theater — D.C.’s answer to those comedy star-making groups such as Chicago’s Second City and L.A.’s Groundlings — especially since they’re spurred on by the audience. That’s as true as ever with the troupe’s latest performance series, which nods to the Latin American holiday Day of the Dead. Select performances will include a remount of In Lieu of Flowers, a show that comes with an improvised funeral as it works to memorialize the life of a particular audience member. Each performance also features a different mix of the improvised ensembles that comprise WIT, from on-the-spot musical creations courtesy of iMusical, to the clever antics of the all-female-identifying group Hellcat, plus the groups Poetic Resistance, Nox!, Madeline, Uncle Gorgeous, and Lizard Girl. Weekends to Nov. 23. Spooky Action Theater, 1810 16th St. NW. Tickets are $15 to $18. Call 202-248-0301 or visit www.witdc.org.
READINGS & DISCUSSIONS
DAVID J. SILVERMAN: THIS LAND IS THEIR LAND
This Land Is Their Land: The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving puts the November American holiday in proper perspective — that from Indigenous peoples’ side. Silverman, a professor of history at George Washington University, retells the mythical story of the feast marking the Plymouth Pilgrims’ first harvest in 1621 as one marking the beginning of Native peoples’ long struggle for self-determination. Viewed in such light, it’s little wonder many Native Americans observe Thanksgiving not as a celebration but as a National Day of Mourning, according to Silverman. Sunday, Nov. 25, at 5 p.m. Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-364-1919 or visit www.politics-prose.com.
ART & EXHIBITS
A hand-picked group of roughly 100 regional and national artists have donated nearly 200 works for the fifth annual exhibition at Maryland’s Pyramid Atlantic Art Center. Every artwork is different, ranging in styles from prints to paintings to mixed-media, but all are the same size — 10 x 10 inches — and all are available at the same price: $50. The invitational is billed as a great opportunity for collectors of all levels to get interesting pieces by talented artists at a remarkable price, or at least serve as original holiday gifts. It’s also a constantly rotating stock, with new pieces put on display as works sell from the second floor gallery in Pyramid, the nonprofit contemporary art center located in the historic Arcade building in Hyattsville’s Gateway Arts District. Opening Reception is Friday, Nov. 22, from 7 to 9 p.m. Through Jan. 5. 4318 Gallatin Street. Call 301-608-9101 or visit www.pryamidatlanticartcenter.org.
BECOMING JANE: THE EVOLUTION OF DR. JANE GOODALL
The National Geographic Society has partnered with the Jane Goodall Institute for an immersive, multimedia exhibition celebrating the intrepid explorer and renowned scientist who has done so much to help humankind better understand our closest living relatives, chimpanzees. Becoming Jane tells Goodall’s story through a hologram-like projection, multiscreen experiences, iconic images, and augmented-reality features, including a virtual 3D expedition to the park in Tanzania where she launched her groundbreaking career 60 years ago and ultimately helped pioneer the genre of nature documentary as the subject of National Geographic’s very first television program. The exhibition highlights the key breakthroughs and scientific achievements of Goodall’s career while also showcasing her more recent work in conservation. Opens Friday, Nov. 22. On display through the summer of 2020. National Geographic Museum, 1145 17th St. NW. Call 202-857-7588 or visit www.ngmuseum.org.
MID-CENTURY MASTER: THE PHOTOGRAPHER OF ALFRED EISENSTAEDT
Nearly 50 photographs and ephemera from the Life Magazine artist known for capturing larger-than-life personalities and those among the most notable people of the 20th century — from Marilyn Monroe to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. This special exhibition at Hillwood explores the relationship that evolved over the course of photo sessions between Eisenstaedt and Hillwood founder Marjorie Merriweather Post. Concurrently, on the second floor of the mansion, Hillwood features a special display celebrating Adelaide Close Riggs, the eldest of Post’s three daughters, in recognition of her dedication and contributions to the museum as well as the 20th anniversary of her passing. To Jan. 12. 4155 Linnean Ave. NW. Suggested donation is $18. Call 202-686-5807 or visit www.HillwoodMuseum.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. Closes Dec. 2 when the museum shuts down completely for Great Hall renovations expected to last until March of next year. 401 F St. NW. Call 202-272-2448 or visit www.nbm.org.
RISE UP: STONEWALL AND THE LGBTQ RIGHTS MOVEMENT
A groundbreaking exhibition commemorating what happened at New York’s Stonewall Inn 50 years ago this month, when patrons stood up and pushed back for the first time against the widespread police raids and anti-gay harrassment of the era. As seen through artifacts, images, and historic print publications, the Newseum’s Rise Up spotlights the Stonewall uprising as the key spark helping ignite the modern LGBTQ movement. Yet the exhibit also puts things in proper perspective by examining other pivotal moments of history, including the 1978 assassination of Harvey Milk, one of the country’s first openly gay elected officials; the creation of the rainbow flag as a powerful symbol to represent the community; the pioneering advocacy of early movement leaders, none more so than hometown hero Frank Kameny; the impact of the AIDS crisis; and the more recent cultural progress in terms of military representation and marriage equality. The role of the news media and popular culture in general is also naturally touched on in an exhibition hosted by the Newseum’s Freedom Forum Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to advocating for a free press and the First Amendment. And in particular, freedoms granted by the First Amendment are touted as having emboldened activists fighting discriminatory practices against LGBTQ Americans in housing, employment, and public accommodations. To Dec. 31. 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Tickets are $22.95 for general admission. Call 292-6100 or visit www.newseum.org.
SECTION 14: THE OTHER PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA
Before it became a gay desert mecca and a resort for the rich and famous, Palm Springs was a desert outpost — as well as home to the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation. The National Museum of the American Indian shines a light on a land battle in Palm Springs, yet another in a long string of conflicts between western expansion and Indigenous peoples’ rights. The focus is on Section 14, a one-square-mile tract in downtown Palm Springs that forms the heart of the reservation. The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians created the exhibition, which was organized by the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum. On display through Jan. 2020. National Museum of the American Indian, Independence Avenue at 4th Street SW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit www.nmai.si.edu.
Works by the D.C.-based abstract fine artist are next up to be featured at Art14, the seasonal art series at the Coldwell Banker Dupont/Logan office on 14th Street NW. Benedicto creates works that are unique, dynamic, multidisciplinary, and polymathic, combining traditional hand-made practices with automated systems and machine-rendered designs, all intended “to express the complex ideas of fetishism, transhumanism, and the design of self.” On display all season. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, 1617 14th St. NW. Call 202-387-6180 or visit www.facebook.com/CBRBDupont.
THIS TOO IS IBIZA
Esto También es Ibiza is the Spanish title to this photography and video-based exhibition offering viewers a snapshot of the famed sunsets, natural landscapes, hippy style, Balearic music, and renowned club culture of the Spanish island resort. Or at least, this is Ibiza as presented by Adrian Loving, a D.C.-based DJ and music historian who curated an audio/visual narrative exhibition using his own contributions along with images from photographers Derek Ridgers, Oriol Maspons, and Violetta Markelou, and oral histories shared by legendary DJ Louie Vega, local DJ Heather Femia, and dancer Dwaine Byrd, as well as video installations and soundscapes. The exhibition is set up in the Staff Association of the Inter-American Development Bank’s intimate exhibition space. To Nov. 26. IDB Staff Association Art Gallery, 1300 New York Ave. NW, entrance on 13th Street. Call 202-623-3635 or visit www.idbstaffassociationartgallery.org.
ABOVE AND BEYOND
A DRAG QUEEN CHRISTMAS: THE NAUGHTY TOUR 2019
Murray & Peter present another touring holiday show with select queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race, this year hosted by Nina West. “All ages are welcome” at the show, although it comes with the label, “Warning: Adult content.” So, you know, you can’t say you weren’t warned. Saturday, Nov. 23, at 8 p.m. Warner Theatre, 513 13th St. NW. Tickets are $38 to $53. Call 202-783-4000 or visit www.warnertheatredc.com.
BENDELACREME & JINKX MONSOON: ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS ATTENTION
After last year’s To Jesus, Thanks for Everything, Jinkx and DeLa comes another “two-queen holiday extravaganza” featuring two Seattle-based veterans of RuPaul’s Drag Race: Season 5 winner Jinkx Monsoon and Season 6’s Miss Congeniality BenDeLaCreme. Friday, Nov. 29. Doors at 6:30 p.m. Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. Tickets are $35 to $100. Call 202-888-0050 or visit www.thelincolndc.com.
CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING CELEBRATION AT UNION STATION
The Royal Norwegian Embassy, the Norwegian-American Chamber of Commerce, Mid-Atlantic Chapter, Washington Performing Arts, and WHUR 96.3 FM present this annual celebration in the Main Hall of Union Station. The R&B-tipped violin act the String Queens and the WPA Children of the Gospel Choir are set to perform around a 30-foot tree decorated with 20,000 lights, intended as a symbol of the friendship between Norway and the United States, with a focus this year on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, all 17 of which will be represented via specially designed ornaments and signage. Santa and Mrs. Claus are also expected to visit. Tuesday, Dec. 3, at 6 p.m. 50 Massachusetts Ave. NE. Free, registration encouraged. Call 202-785-9727 or visit www.washingtonperformingarts.org.
Downtown Holiday Market — Photo: Rob Ives
DOWNTOWN HOLIDAY MARKET
Over 150 artisans rotate among sixty tents set up on two blocks in the heart of downtown. Now in its 15th 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. Opens Friday, Nov. 22. Runs daily from noon to 8 p.m. to Dec. 23, except closed on Thanksgiving, Nov. 28. Located on F Street between 7th and 9th Streets NW. Visit www.downtownholidaymarket.com.
ENCHANT CHRISTMAS WASHINGTON, DC
The outfield of Nationals Park will be transformed into a twinkling maze of light displays, the infield will house an ice-skating trail adorned with lit archways, and all around on the concourse will be a Christmas Market stocked with more than 60 local food and artisan vendors. This weekend sees the D.C. debut of a multi-city offering touted as “the biggest and fastest-growing holiday event in North America,” further advertised as “the World’s Largest Christmas Light Maze and Market.” Opens Friday, Nov. 22. Runs from 4:30 p.m. to 10:30 or 11:30 p.m. daily to Dec. 29 except closed Nov. 25 through Nov. 28, Dec. 2, and Dec. 9. To Dec. 29. 1500 South Capitol St. NE. Tickets, not including fees, are $19.99 to $33.99 for general admission, $78.99 for a multi-day Season Pass, or $89.99 for VIP entrance with free ice skate rentals and access to the PNC Diamond Club box with festive buffet. Visit www.enchantchristmas.com.
SUGARLOAF CRAFTS FESTIVAL
The annual Sugarloaf Crafts Festival, featuring 11 different events taking place throughout the country throughout the year, is considered one of the top craft experiences in the country. The festival returns this weekend to Maryland’s Montgomery County Fairgrounds, where more than 450 artisans from around the country will offer one-of-a-kind handcrafted gifts in various media — including functional and decorative pottery, sculpture, glass, jewelry, fashion, leather, wood, metal, furniture, home accessories and photography. Gourmet food samples, live music, and interactive children’s entertainment will also be on tap. Friday, Nov. 22, and Saturday, Nov. 23, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 24, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 16 Chestnut St., Gaithersburg, Md. Tickets are $8 online or $10 at the door. Call 301-990-1400 or visit www.sugarloafcrafts.com.
THE WHITE HOUSE HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION’S HOLIDAY BOOK FAIR
A full day of holiday shopping and festivities, including 20 authors discussing and signing copies of their award-winning books, await history buffs and aficionados of White House memorabilia. Participating authors include: Roland Mesnier, former White House pastry chef and author of Creating the Sweet World of White House Desserts; artist John Hutton, who will offer lessons in creating presidential portraits a la his book How to Draw the Presidents; Mary Jo Binker, author of If You Ask Me: Essential Advice from Eleanor Roosevelt; Will Seale III, the son and narrator of the audiobook to William Seale’s To Live on Lafayette Square: Society and Politics in the President’s Neighborhood; William Allman, former White House curator and author of Official White House China; Jonathan Pliska, author of A Garden for the President who will discuss his collection of heirloom seeds; and Osborne Mackie, author of The Stephen Decatur House: A History. Additional highlights: Reproductions of two dresses worn by First Lady Jackie Kennedy as featured in Mid-Century Fashion and the First Ladies; actor Bill Barker of Monticello portraying Thomas Jefferson and sharing memories and unique insights as captured in the book Becoming Jefferson; a display of the 10 winning White House photographs submitted for a 2020 issue of the White House History Quarterly; and holiday music performed on a replica of Theodore Roosevelt’s gilded Steinway grand piano, covered in gold leaf and decorated with the coats of arms of the 13 original states. Friday, Dec. 6, from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. White House History Shop, 1610 H St. NW. Free. Call 202-218-4337 or visit wwww.whitehousehistory.org.
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 “Entre Les Rangs,” an interactive art installation featuring dozens of large, glowing animal lanterns stationed throughout the park, plus “a field of lights that call to mind wheat swaying in the breeze.” Also on hand will be food and holiday vendors and live music performers. The second weekend in December ushers in the Grump holiday market, a European-style outdoor fair featuring local artisans set up at the Zoo’s entrance that will double in size in its third year. ZooLights runs nightly from 5 to 9 p.m. starting Friday, Nov. 29 (except for Dec. 24, 25, and 31). Through Jan. 1. National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. Call 202-633-4800 or visit nationalzoo.si.edu.